Tuesday, March 31, 2009
On and after April 1st, 911 calls originating within the city limits of Dunwoody will be designated for dispatch to the Dunwoody Police Department. The data and the computer system have been verified to work smoothly therefore there should not be any issues as far as dispatching to the correct department.
However, due to the facts that the system is new and that cell phone calls on the borders of the city may be picked up by a tower out side of the city limits, it certainly wouldn’t hurt for someone looking for the proper service during a 911 call, to say they are located in the City of Dunwoody. Any thing you can do to assist the DeKalb County 911 operators to properly route your emergency phone call might improve a response time over a miss routed call. Just a suggestion that I hope you will never need.
For general police questions, the non-emergency number for the Dunwoody Police Department is 678-382-6900.
A case of bullets nearly stopped the budding Dunwoody Police Department.
The new city worked nonstop for three months to recruit officers, develop policies and buy gear to get its police force on the streets by Wednesday. But because of a national run on ammunition, the department was desperate for bullets appropriate for target practice.
Without them, new police hires couldn’t qualify. And that meant no cops on the street, in a cruel April Fool’s joke on a city that exists largely because voters wanted a more visible police presence.
Councilman Tom Taylor, a competitive shooter, suggested a Villa Rica store that agreed to set aside 500 bullets for the department. The Dunwoody Police Department was back on track.
“It was going to be like Barney and Andy, with everyone getting one bullet,” Taylor said. “But they knew we had to be on the street on April 1, so they helped us. Everyone knows we’re committed to doing this.”
City residents are just days away from seeing the black-and-white cruisers of Dunwoody police patrolling their streets.
But aside from a well-publicized job fair for officers, the bulk of the effort to make that happen — and quickly — took place behind the scenes in City Hall offices, staff meetings and phone calls — like the one begging for bullets.
As part of the push for cityhood a year ago, a committee of residents envisioned what their police force would look like. The city wanted the latest in weapons and gear to lure only the most professional officers.
Still, they insisted their department be lean and cheap. Initial plans called for just a 28-member force, for less than $3 million.
When City Manager Warren Hutmacher and police Chief Billy Grogan came on board last fall, though, they made it clear that if the city wanted a top-flight department, it would mean more bodies and more money.
The final budget gave the department $5.7 million to fund 48 positions, including 29 patrol officers and 40 take-home Ford Crown Victorias.
Money in hand, Grogan’s first act was to hire a command staff and assign each commander a specific task for building the force from the ground up. They were guided by that citizen committee’s wish list for weapons, cruisers and uniforms.
Deputy Chief David Sides set about overseeing equipment and procedures. Lt. David Barnes began recruiting for the department.
Lt. Oliver Fladrich quickly ordered the cars and their equipment. Lt. William Hegwood furiously developed training.
One speed advantage: Grogan, Sides and Barnes all knew each other from working in Marietta. And the entire command staff knew police work inside-out, which helped keep chatter to a minimum.
“I’m able to use two words to ask him a question, and he’ll give me a one-word response, and we’re done,” Sides said of interactions with Grogan. “We have 15-minute meetings.”
Grogan’s team set up plans for at least five officers on duty at any given time, up from the three DeKalb County police officers previously assigned to the district.
In addition, there will be a forensic unit, detectives and other specialties.
Recruiting and hiring, the most visible part of the process, was also the hardest for Grogan. The city had eight qualified applicants for each open position.
But Grogan said he knew if residents were going to see results from incorporation, it would take more than just watching patrol cars drive by. He pushed for officers who would be at ease talking with the well-heeled homeowners and young apartment-dwellers who dominate the city. And he equipped every cruiser with GPS to give officers more time to talk to residents instead of trying to get around.
“Interpersonal skills are an important part of this job for this city,” Grogan said. “Interaction and service go together.”
Training began for the new hires earlier this month, while Grogan and his staff began moving from their space in the temporary City Hall in Sandy Springs. But Grogan and his crew continued to do major work on minor things.
It took six weeks just to get the navy uniforms in, because they needed to be imprinted with the department’s patch, designed by a local committee in January. And the city is still waiting for its tin badges — which will include an outline of the historic Dunwoody Farmhouse, a familiar symbol for the city.
“A lot of things fall into that category, details that you absolutely have to get right to make everything work,” Grogan said.
“But we will get it done. We are going live [on] the 1st no matter what.”
Monday, March 30, 2009
Sandy Springs Councilman Doug MacGinnitie (who is also running for Secretary of State) will hold a Town Hall Meeting tonight, Monday, March 30th at 5:30 p.m. This meeting will focus on the Dunwoody Club and Spalding Drive intersection improvements and the City budget. It will be followed by a question and answer session.
The meeting will be held at Dunwoody Charter Elementary School at 8100 Roberts Drive in the school's cafeteria. The meeting is scheduled to last ninety minutes.
Project Option 1 - Add a Light
Project Option 2 - Slightly move the intersection, add a light.
Project Option 3 - Drastically move the intersection, add a light.(For the many regular attendees of the Dunwoody City Council, please take the night off as there is no meeting scheduled for this evening.)
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Official City of Dunwoody discussion board is available for comments and questions, other improvements to the website.
I am really proud that the City of Dunwoody posts copies of documents that will be discussed in advance of the meeting taking place as well as maintains past agendas & related documents.
The City has implemented a Request for Service page whereby residents can ask for specific city services and upload attachments (pictures) describing the request. Once registered in the system, I believe you will receive a work order number and/or a confirmation as to the status of the request, as well as a confirmation as to the completion if applicable.
Finally the City has implemented on-line collection of Municipal Court fines and I believe will be implementing other on-line financial payments where possible.
In closing, the "services" being offered by the City of Dunwoody website fosters a level of transparency in government that we the residents of DeKalb County are not use to, but that we the residents of Dunwoody have demanded. I believe that there are number of improvements in development and yet to be brought on-line that will make it even better. As far as I am concerned the City website will always be under development and in a constant state of flux, so what improvements do you want to see to the City of Dunwoody website?
Friday, March 27, 2009
Thank you for serving and I look forward to meeting each of you in the coming week.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
The Dunwoody North "Fins" Swim Team accepts swimmers who are not members of the DNDC Swim/Tennis Club and not even part of the immediate community (based on availability), therefore the swim team is one of the largest and most competitive in Dunwoody.
Early Bird Registration: Sunday, March 29th from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m. at DNDC Clubhouse (Open to all returning swimmers/families and to all DNDC members)
Open Registration: Thursday, April 23rd from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. at DNDC Clubhouse (Open to non-members if there is availability)
May Practice: Monday May 11th – Thursday May 21st
Pre-team (those who cannot yet swim 1 length of the pool) 2:45-3:15 p.m.
6 and under 3:15 – 3:45 p.m.
7/8 and 9/10 – 4:00 – 4:45 p.m.
11 and up 5:00 – 5:45 p.m.
Time Trials: Tuesday May 26th
6 and under start at 8:30 a.m.
Everyone else be at the pool at 8:45 a.m.
Summer Practice: From May 27th until the end of the season.
M/Tu/Th/Fr: Pre-team and 6 and under: 8:30 – 9:00 a.m.
7/8: 9:00 – 9:45 a.m.
9/10: 9:45 – 10:30 a.m.
11 and up: 10:30 – 11:15 a.m.
Wednesdays: Doughnuts and Ribbons from 9:00 a.m. – 11 a.m.
DNDC Swim Team Dues for the 2009 season are:
- Please register your child with NASA On-line BEFORE You Come to Registration this Year by going to the following link: www.atlantaswimming.com.
- Early Bird Registration Special of $80.00 per swimmer ($200 family maximum) if registered on Sunday, March 29th. This date is reserved for returning DNDC swimmers and also returning non-member swimmers. This date is also available to all DNDC members who are new to the team.
- Standard Registration Fee of $85.00 per swimmer ($215 family maximum) if registered on Thursday, April 23rd. This date is open to new non-members if there is space on the team.
- Late Registration Fee of $90.00 ($230 family maximum) after April 23rd. DNDC members who register for the swim team after April 23rd may need to be waitlisted – so register at the early bird or standard dates!
- Swimmers who are 15 and older on June 1 MUST register with NASA on-line and pay their registration fee of $17. Although these older swimmers must complete all registration DNDC registration forms, they will not be charged a DNDC registration fee.
- Non-members may join the swim team for an additional $50.00 per swimmer with a family max of $200/$215/$230. The additional $50.00 fee applies to each swimmer, is not part of the max and is not refundable.
- Only registered and paid swimmers (with DNDC and NASA records and payment complete) can participate at practice and meets. If your swimmer needs a trial period, we can hold checks until Wednesday, May 27th.
- One person from each swimmer’s family is required to volunteer during one half of each meet. You can sign up for specific positions at the March 29th and April 23rd registrations.
Mondays, June 1 – 29, 2009
DNC Members $100; General Public $125
Do you have a digital camera, but are still trying to figure out exactly how to use it? Do you set your camera on automatic, but really wish you knew how to take the pictures that you are trying to capture? We’ll spend 5 weeks learning all the in’s and out’s of digital photography, from what the basic settings mean to optimizing composition and lighting. We’ll also tackle specific subject areas like how to best take portraits or sports pictures of your children and how to take the best vacation pictures. Each week you’ll get a specific assignment and then we will spend part of the next class reviewing each student’s pictures. A syllabus and general photography handout will be distributed at the first class.
Photo caption: Black and white photography by Alan Mothner, taken at Wildcat Creek in Dunwoody Park.
Located just north of Dunwoody Village at 5343 Roberts Drive, the Nature Center provides programming for ages 2 to 82. For more information, call 770-394-3322 or consult our website: www.dunwoodynature.org.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
A state House subcommittee has deferred the bill setting the terms of property and parks transfers from DeKalb County to the city of Dunwoody. After hearing from DeKalb's chief executive, Burrell Ellis, and city officials Wednesday, the sub-committee adjourned with a recommendation from state Rep. Wendell Willard (R-Sandy Springs) that both sides seek mediation.
Click here to see the full story.
Beverages at 8:45AM - Meeting at 9:15AM
Austin Elementary School
5435 Roberts Drive
Dunwoody, Georgia 30338
THE DUNWOODY, CHAMBLEE, & CROSS KEYS PARENTS COUNCIL BRING PARENTS, SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS, SCHOOL OFFICIALS, AND LEGISLATORS TOGETHER TO DISCUSS TOPICS THAT AFFECT PUBLIC SCHOOLS IN OUR COMMUNITY.
DCPC MEETING ANNOUNCEMENT:
Meetings are held on the first Wednesday of each month - Unless noted
Beverages at 8:45AM - Meeting at 9:15AM
May 6, 2009 - Dr. Crawford Lewis – Peachtree Charter MS
School Year Wrap-Up
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
The following link will lead you to the site containing the maps defining the boundaries for each of the schools in the DeKalb Schools system. Please note that the school district cautions that these lines are subject to change on an annual basis and represent a depiction of the verbal description of the boundaries. In the event of a mismatch, the verbal description prevails.
PDF Maps Below
Austin Elementary School
Chesnut Charter Elementary School
Kingsley Charter Elementary School
Vanderlyn Elementary School
Peachtree Charter Middle School
Dunwoody High School
A new Dunwoody-area elementary school is currently under construction. This school - which will be located on Womack Road near Georgia Perimeter College - will serve students in grades 4 & 5 for students living in the attendance areas of Austin ES, Chesnut ES and Vanderlyn ES. These schools will become PK-3 schools. Kingsley & Hightower will remain PK-5 schools.
By MARCUS K. GARNER for the AJC
A Cumming man accused of fatally shooting another man at a Dunwoody gas station earlier this month is in jail, authorities said Tuesday.
Cayles Nathan Berry, 36, turned himself in to DeKalb County Sheriff’s deputies Tuesday, more than a week after Allan Wolfenbarger was shot behind the Texaco gas station at 4369 Peachtree Road, on March 12.
Footage from the Texaco’s security camera — widely circulated through the media — showed the two men walking together in the store and outside, just before Wolfenbarger was killed.
Witnesses said Berry drove away from the station, leaving Wolfenbarger laying on the ground to die at the entrance of the gas station, authorities said.
According to an arrest warrant, Wolfenbarger’s friends and family said he was meeting Berry for a drug transaction.
Berry is being held without bond at the DeKalb County jail.
Revive 285 is looking at options for transit, possibly a dedicated Bus Rapid Transit line from Doraville, Perimeter Mall, Medical Center, Roswell Road over to Cumberland and this meeting is to seek input on size, shape and appearance of stations as well as identify potential land use challenges and opportunities.
Since there was a tentative station planned for Shallowford Road & Cotillion just within the City of Dunwoody borders; I think I will be going as well as inviting the Public Works Director.
Current Project Status
Blog post on Revive 285 from November
All items on the agenda were passed as presented except for a minor language cleanup in the Dunwoody Convention & Visitors Bureau.
03232009_audio1.mp3 17 MB
I received a complement from a person I truly respect who was unable to attend the last meeting and listened to my audio for the first time and was very grateful that it was available.
Does anyone have any comments or suggestions to improve the audio? The new City Hall council chambers will have microphones which should greatly improve the sound quality. What else?
Who knows someday the city council meetings may have streaming video to the internet and be simulcast on cable TV?
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Is your child interested in going to ...
- Kittredge Magnet Elementary for High Achievers?
- Chamblee Middle School Magnet for High Achievers?
- Chamblee Charter High School for High Achievers?
- Huntley Hills Elementary for Montessori?
- DeKalb Elementary School of the Arts?
- DeKalb School of the Arts High School?
- DeKalb Early College Academy?
Read this Brochure and attend tonight's meeting at Peachtree Charter Middle School at 6:30 p.m.
(Since this important meeting announcement missed the Crier deadline, I would appreciate it if you forward this to any school age families who might be interested. Thanks.)
One hundred and nineteen words through six rounds. That’s how long it took 12-year-old Julia Denniss, a Dunwoody area resident from St. Jude the Apostle in Fulton County to best her 19 other competitors and go on to become the winner of the 48th Annual Georgia Association of Educators State Spelling Bee held on March 20th at Georgia State University's Student Center. She will now represent Georgia in the Scripps National Spelling Bee Championships in Washington, D.C., May 24-30.
Late in the sixth round it was narrowed down to Julia and 14-year-old Sarah Landman from Bremen Middle School in Bremen City. Sarah went first and was given the word “erythromycin,” but she spelled it with an “a’ rather than an “e.” The word was then given to Julia who spelled it correctly and then, according the rules when it’s down to two contestants, was given a new word which must be spelled correctly. She received the word “concatenate,” which she enthusiastically spelled correctly to become the state’s new spelling champion. The sixth round proved to be the one that began weeding out the contestants with words such as olivaceous, breviloquent, pentapody, helioatry and fructiferous.
Julia tried to restrain her enthusiasm to no avail. “I’m just so excited and happy to be going to Washington [D.C.] for the nationals,” she said. She said she will continue to prepare the same way for the nationals and that includes her mom, a medical doctor, helping her with “medical words.” That help definitely came in handy this time around. Should Julia, for any reason, be unable to represent Georgia at the nationals, Sarah would take her place.
“I can’t say enough about what these young people have accomplished,” said GAE President Jeff Hubbard. “Everyone associated with their efforts should be very proud and on behalf of GAE I congratulate each and every one of them. And our thoughts and prayers are with Julia and her family as they travel to Washington to represent Georgia and hopefully bring back the national championship.”
In addition to her first place trophy and an all expense paid trip to the national championship and $400 (GAE), Julia also took home a dictionary (Merriam-Webster), an Amazon.com gift certificate (Scripps National Spelling Bee), a one-year online subscription (Encyclopaedia Britannica), and one $100 U.S. Savings Bond (Samuel L. Sugarman Award). Sarah, as runner-up, took home a second place trophy, $100 (GAE), a dictionary (Merriam-Webster), and a one-year online subscription (Encyclopaedia Britannica). All contestants received $25, a certificate of participation, and a GAE State Bee lapel pin.
Monday March 23
Proclamation: “Serve Day”
Ordinance to amend Chapter 14, Articles 1, 3, and 4 - Development and Environmental code to reflect internally consistent language and EPD requirements.
Ordinance to amend Chapter 7 - Building Code to reflect State mandated changes and complete text.
Ordinance to adopt Chapter 28 - Illicit Discharge regulations.
Ordinance to amend the Property Maintenance Code.
Ordinance to adopt Chapter 26 – to establish a Stormwater Utility.
Ordinance to amend Chapter 16 – Offenses and Violations, of the City of Dunwoody Code of Ordinances.
Resolution establishing a Georgia Fund1 account for Hotel/Motel tax.
Resolution to approve and authorize an Intergovernmental Agreement for Ad Valorem Tax Billing and Collection by DeKalb County.
Resolution to amend the Schedule of Fees for Alcohol Licensing.
Discussion and vote on Dunwoody Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Award of Office Furniture Contract.
Award of Wrecker Service Contract and a copy of the Wrecker RFP
Saturday, March 21, 2009
The Dunwoody Police Department is inviting your company to provide information on services and qualifications for the implementation of a comprehensive and fully integrated Police Records Management System (RMS). These services include, but are not limited to: project management, system design, hardware specifications, software customization, system integration, system maintenance, testing, implementation and training.
This request for proposals initiates a comprehensive records solution for the Dunwoody Police Department. This project includes modules essential to the day-to-day management of law and order and support operations. In the interest of continuity and compatibility, the City reserves the right to contract with the successful bidder, or other qualified firms, for implementation of future phases.
Dunwoody Purchasing Page & Copy of the RFP
RFP available for distribution: 5:00 PM EST, March 16, 2009
Pre-proposal meeting (Mandatory) 1:00 PM EST, March 27, 2009
Deadline for receipt of proposals: 2:00 PM EST, April 3, 2009
Evaluation/Selection process : First two weeks of April, 2009
Oral presentations/ product : Week of April 09, 2009
Final Evaluation Week of April 10, 2009
Projected award date: April 20, 2009
Friday, March 20, 2009
Angered by the roof leaks, old pipes and cracked mortar The Elaine Clark Center fights daily, the students recorded a plea for the center on Peachtree Industrial Boulevard in Chamblee and its 40-year-strong history as a safe haven. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Oprah Winfrey. Ellen DeGeneres. The students will send each a video with a personalized greeting to try to get the center some help. AJC Article
I want to commend these students as my family has had the pleasure of using the services at the Elaine Clark Center and I can tell you first hand that they do wonderful work.
It appears that the Google mapping mobile has driven through Dunwoody since almost every street including my own, has been mapped and videoed for the world to see.
To find out if your street was photographed, click here to search for your address and once found, click "Street View" under the photo.
Click Here for the Farm House and the intersection of Chamblee Dunwoody & Mt. Vernon
Click Here for the back 30 acres of Brook Run Park
Custom Search Tool
In playing with Google, I also created a custom search tool for my own use that searches various Dunwoody informational sites as well as many of the places I store electronic files. I placed it at the top of the side bar in case you're interested in trying it.
What does the community want to see as far as crime statistics are concerned?
I personally like crime stats to be publicly available for a number of reasons but mostly for accountability, safety and to a certain extent deterrence. Dunwoody's crime stats have never been separate from that of DeKalb's and because of it, Dunwoody has received some bad press as being a crime ridden area when we the residents know that to be generally not true.
The downturn in the economy has generally raised the level of property crime, theft and robberies but random violent crime (like the senseless murder that happened at the Texaco station, just off 285) happens everywhere and without reason. A solid police department cannot stop these types of random crimes from happening in Dunwoody but the overall crime stats do give a solid indication where problems exist that may need to be addressed.
Today I received the hard copy bi-weekly crime stats from DeKalb County for the three territories in Dunwoody and decided to compare them against the new internet based Crimetrac system which takes the data directly out of the DeKalb County police databases. The comparison wasn't even close, with the Crimetrac system appearing to be much more complete and also much more accurate whereby the hard copy statistics conveniently forgot to tell us of the murder that happened at the Texaco Station on March 12th.
I am not sure that the Crimetrac system will be the best solution for the City of Dunwoody as I will leave that up to Police Chief Billy Grogan to decide, but I do like the mapping and report functions of the system.
I have received positive feedback from residents regarding the DeKalb Mugshots webpage which lists every mugshot photo taken at the DeKalb County Jail and the Community Watch System which e-mails you when there was a resident in your (or your adjacent) zip code was arrested the previous day. These two services are both part of DeKalb's County's Online Judicial System master database which shows both civil and criminal cases being handled in the county, as well as shows all inmate inmate information. If a person is arrested in Dunwoody and processed at the DeKalb County Jail, I take it that for granted that these services will continue, but is this the type of crime tracking system we want in Dunwoody? Why or why not and if you have recommendations for something else, I and I'm sure Chief Grogan would be glad to hear them.
When I was a teenager in Chicago, my local neighborhood newspaper listed every crime in the area including every drunk driving, shoplifting and speeding ticket that was issued. As voyeuristic and big brotherish as it sounds; it was one of the most read columns in the paper and in the Heneghan Family, God help you if your name was ever listed in there as it would have embarrassed my Mother and tarnished the good family name.
The Dunwoody Police Department will be rolling out onto the streets at Midnight of April 1st and internet crime statistics may not be the highest priority for the Department at this point but it is something that will be addressed in the near future, so please give us your feedback.
On a related subject, the Dunwoody Court system has now been in session, I believe three times on alternating Wednesday Mornings and Wednesday Evenings with the next session taking place on Wed morning. I have heard that the sessions have been run smoothly and efficiently by our experienced judges with many citations, currently being written by the DeKalb Police Department, being paid over the internet via the city webpage.
Someday soon I will have to catch a session of court but let's just hope for my sake it will not be a demand performance, otherwise my Mother would be very disappointed in me.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
1432 Dunwoody Village Parkway
Saturday March 21
1 - 6 PM
RAIN OR SHINE
Magic shows 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30
Raffle Prizes, Carnival Games, Sports Challenge, Moon Bounce, Lucky Ducks, Sombrero Toss, Putting Green, Dinosaur Dig, Temporary Tattoos, Balloons and more……..!!
When: Saturday, March 28 from 12 - 4 PM
Where: Turner Field
Image via Wikipedia
If you're a baseball fan, then make plans to head to Turner Field on Saturday, March 28. The gates open at noon and fans can watch the Braves take on the New York Yankees live from Spring Training on the World's largest high definition video board at 1:05.
If you want a break from the game, there are lots of other activities including:
- Meet Braves alumni Pete Smith, Greg McMichael, and Jim Nash
- Register to win Braves' items, including autographed items, between every inning
- Visit the Braves Museum and Hall of Fame
- Pretend to be a player with a tour through the Braves Dugout and Clubhouse
- Play the interactive games in Scout's Alley and Tooner Field
- See the Braves Heavy Hitters Drumline perform and meet the Braves Tomahawk Team
On Friday, March 20, spring officially arrives, and to celebrate, Rita’s is giving every customer a free regular-size Italian Ice. The store has sponsored numerous community activities, like Atlanta Colt Football, Murphy Candler Baseball & Softball and the Children's Healthcare of Atlanta's Taste of Dunwoody and I truely encourage you to visit this fine establishment.
If you have never tasted Rita's Itialian Ice, you don't know what you are missing, as the Mango Ice is my favorite.
To get yours, just stop by the Rita's Store across from Blackburn Park at the intersection of Ashford-Dunwoody and Johnson-Ferry Roads on Friday from noon-10:00 p.m.
Since I am on this subject, Kudos go out to Dunwoody's Legislative Team of Fran Millar & Dan Weber for being true advocates for education on a statewide level. Thank you.
The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 is an update to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the central federal law in pre-collegiate education. This act has the very admirable goal of improving the education of disadvantaged students. The act aims to hold states and schools more accountable for student progress. Some of the changes that cause discomfort to many educators, and joy to many parents of disadvantaged students include: Annual testing, which mandates schools to test annually in reading and math in grades 3-8 and at least once in science in elementary, middle and high school. A sample of 4th and 8th graders in each state must also take the National Assessment in reading and math every other year to provide a point of comparison for states. States must bring all students to the “proficient” level by the 2013-2014 school year. To that end, schools must meet state “adequate yearly progress” (AYP) targets. This is based on a formula spelled out in the law and must be met not only by the population at large, but by certain demographic subgroups. If a school receiving federal Title 1 funding (for low income areas) fails to meet the target two years in a row, it must be provided technical assistance and its students must be offered a choice of other public schools to attend. If the school fails three years in a row, they must be offered supplemental educational services such as private tutoring. Beyond that, a school could find themselves under outside correction by the state.
In addition to the testing requirements, the Act requires that teachers must be “highly qualified”, or certified and proficient, in each subject he or she teaches. All new teachers hired with Title 1 money must have at least an associate’s degree or higher and have passed an exam in their subject. The act also create a new grant program called Reading First to help state set up “scientific, research-based” reading programs in K-3. Priority is always given to high-poverty areas and includes a reading program for disadvantaged preschoolers.
These are fantastic initiatives in my opinion. If we are to continue to advance as a nation, we must capture all available talent. Many opportunities for societal contributions lie dormant in disadvantaged children in our cities and rural areas. Be it a medical genius or a really good, intelligent and reliable worker, we must uncover talent wherever it resides. Everyone will need to function as a contributing member of the United States economy if we want to maintain our economic status in the world. We are kidding ourselves if we do not recognize the critical level of our inter-dependence.
However, there have been controversies around NCLB, as well as problems implementing the act in our county (Dekalb). I see these as growing pains that need major tweaking. Don’t throw out the proverbial “baby with the bath water.” The spirit of the law is respectable – especially so if you are the parent of a low-income minority, non-English speaker or special education student. The NCLB testing has peeled back the onion layer of overall passing school performance to reveal the fact that we are not equally educating sub-groups. As much as many of us have wearied of testing, the statistics are undeniable. Over and over, the white, bi-racial and Asian populations pass the threshold. Blacks, Hispanics and special education students do not. The 2008 testing data shows in black and red that Dekalb educates white and Asian students better than blacks, Hispanics and special education students. And once again, DeKalb county as a system, failed to make Adequate Yearly Progress.
Why then, is the solution to offer transfers to the entire population of a school that failed to make AYP in a sub-category? What is now happening is that the highest achievers at “failing” schools with proactive parents are leaving their schools in droves. Many of these students were not members of the sub-category that did not meet AYP. This “brain-drain” virtually ensures that these schools will never make AYP. Add to that, the incredible emergency this creates on a receiving school – one middle school had to make room for over 250 new students after school started - and the transfer solution is not the best first answer. What does seem like a good idea to me is to offer intense tutoring, class size reduction and mentoring to students in those failing groups. If that doesn’t cause improvement after a year, then offering a transfer might seem less reactionary. The law desperately needs some flexibility in application.
There are those who think that NCLB has an agenda to frustrate schools into a general dismantling of public education. I really can’t see that as being reality, although, there are places such as Detroit where student populations are decreasing enormously with no reasons given. Still, there are many of us who believe in sticking in there and fighting the good fight to improve public education for everyone. Sadly, though, DeKalb does not seem to be making progress in our high schools. We continue to see a vast majority of our high schools unable to make AYP and the response by our administration has been to simply offer transfers to the few schools that do make AYP. But no one tracks these students after their transfer, so we really have no way of knowing if this solution is working. I would wage a guess that it's not, simply judging by the reduction in NCLB students in the freshman class at receiving schools vs the number of NCLB students who make it through to graduation at their school of choice. If it's not working, then we need to find a better method.
As a country, we need to be very thankful for Bill & Melinda Gates. They have hit the nail on the head in that we have an absolute crisis in many of our high schools. We have to drastically change the conventional pathway and pace to a high school diploma by recognizing that one size does not fit all. Vocational and technical schools have declined in favor of a cookie-cutter college prep diploma. At the same time drop out rates have soared. The Gates Foundation discovered that many drop-outs simply feel disconnected and bored at school. However, I chatted with an auto mechanics teacher in Gwinnett County who told me that he had his students enthusiastically doing trigonometry, although they didn’t regard it as such – they were problem-solving how to fix an engine.
Everyone deserves to have a chance at the pursuit of happiness in this country. Creating an equal educational environment in which more people can land a job with a living wage and health care benefits for their family is part and parcel to the principles our country was founded on. It increases the quality of life for everyone. So let’s get on board and tweak the NCLB act until it can fully serve the purpose for which it was created – ensuring that even the most vulnerable in our country have an opportunity to succeed.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Start of the meeting, announcements.
Public Comment & Boyken Status Report
Overlay Task Force Report
Zoning code Amend, Chap 14 Development Environ Code, Chap 7 Building Code
Illicit Discharge, Property Maintenance Code,
Convention & Visitor's Bureau
Hotel Tax Fund,Schools, SB164, HB516
Judge rules in favor of Dunwoody
DeKalb County ordered to share sales tax money
By April Hunt for the AJC
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
DeKalb County must share sales tax revenue with the new city of Dunwoody, a judge has ruled.
Fulton County Superior Court judge Jerry Baxter denied DeKalb’s request for an injunction against state enforcement of a 2007 law that requires the county to distribute part of its 1 percent sales tax to Dunwoody.
The ruling means that $1.6 million the county had been distributing yearly to the Perimeter area’s self-taxing business district now will go to Dunwoody. Whether the city will end up turning the money over to the district, for improvements such as roads, has yet to be decided.
“We did not expect this to be resolved this quickly, so it hasn’t even been discussed yet,” Councilman Tom Taylor said of how the city will spend the money.
DeKalb can appeal the ruling. Spokeswoman Kristie Swink said Monday the county was “reviewing its options.”
DeKalb is still involved in a legal struggle with many of its other cities over the distribution formula for the homestead option sales tax, or HOST. That case has dragged on for more than eight years.
Monday, March 16, 2009
First and foremost the room was filled with love, it was uplifting for all involved and it made the rainy St. Patrick's Day Weekend one of my most memorable. My son Riley and I bonded over a little haircut which raised money and awareness for a great cause. We witnessed an entire DeKalb County Firehouse (I believe from Brookhaven?) being shaved as a group charity. I almost cried when I discovered that the big burly guy with Pink Hair sitting in the barber chair was the Chaplain from the Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, cancer ward and he had just come from the hospital where the kids helped dye his hair. Beautiful young nurses with long hair were participating in this event honoring a specific patient that touched them deep. Person after person jumped up in the barber chair and each had a story to tell, all of which I thought were more special then my own. In honor of those good people, I lift my glass to you on this upcoming St. Patrick's Day; Sláinte.
The organizers of these St. Baldrick's events in the Atlanta area for a number of years has been Donal & Karen Fleming of Dunwoody; without whom, these events probably wouldn't happen. They are an inspiration for all the work they have put forward for this cause and I am now proud to call them my friends.
Who is going to join Riley & me next year?
Sunday, March 15, 2009
- Boyken Status Report.
- Report of the Overlay Task Force (as it relates to the original overlay).
- February Financial Report.
- Request to initiate a Zoning Code amendment to reflect internally consistent language.
- FIRST READ: Ordinance to amend Chapter 14 - Development and Environmental code to reflect internally consistent language and EPD requirements.
- FIRST READ: Ordinance to amend Chapter 7 - Building Code to reflect State mandated changes and complete text.
- FIRST READ: Ordinance to adopt Chapter 28 - Illicit Discharge regulations.
- FIRST READ: Ordinance to amend the Property Maintenance Code.
- FIRST READ: Ordinance to adopt Chapter 26 - to establish a Stormwater Utility.
- Discussion of Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.
- Resolution establishing a Georgia Fund 1 account for Hotel/Motel tax.
- Discussion on schools.
- Discussion of SB164. Clear cutting for Signs?
- Discussion of HB516. Mobile Homes allowed anywhere?
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Please feel free to laugh out loud at the video as my wife sure did, enjoy.
Video of the Shaving
Friday, March 13, 2009
Police said they’re trying to figure out why Allen Wolfenbarger, 30, was shot. Police were examining a security videotape that showed the man leaving the store with another man. If you have any information as to the shooting or the second person in the video tape, please contact DeKalb County Police.
Happy St. Baldrick's Day in Atlanta - come out to Fado's at 3:30 to cheer me on. Last push for donations, please help.
There is still time to click on the link above to donate to St. Baldrick's to help find a cure for children's cancer. Thanks again to my supporters who raised another $250 within the last 24 hours, I promise an update with photos and possibly a video from my "little haircut" at Fado which takes place today around 3:30 in the afternoon.
March 13, 2009
273 Buckhead Ave
Atlanta, GA 30305
Previous Posts on St. Baldrick's, here & here & here.
The Story of St. Baldrick's
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Who wants to help read proposed ordinances? Stormwater, Dunwoody Village Overlay, Building Codes and Financials
The Dunwoody City Council has a work session on Monday and it is at these meetings where we attempt to flush out the details of the ordinances being proposed without voting on them. Nobody is an expert at everything and I (we) enjoy it when residents who have skills or insights in a specific technical area to comment on the proposed ordinances. Between now and Monday I will be reading and redlining areas that I may want explained or changed on Monday and if you happen to see errors or question what is being proposed, please get back to me and/or any other Member of the City Council. Your feedback at this junction of the rule making process makes it very easy to propose changes prior to us voting on the items a week from Monday.
I have had a few residents question the cities finances and at this Monday's meeting we will be going over the February Financial Report which is linked here. If you have any questions on the cities finances, I would recommend that you attend this meeting to listen to the presentation by the City Manager as well as the discussion that will follow.
I have had a resident who has been concerned over how we were going to implement the Stormwater Utility therefore now that it has been published I will be personally contacting him to assist me with the review.
What do the builders in Dunwoody think of the building code updates?
If you see anything that you want me to look at, please drop me a note at John.Heneghan@DunwoodyGa.gov with the details.
03162009_Agenda Work Session.pdf
03162009_Amed to Chapter 7 - Building Code.pdf
03162009_Amend Development and Environmental Code.pdf
03162009_Amend International Property Maintenance Code.pdf
03162009_Boyken Status Report.pdf
03162009_Chapter 26 - Stormwater Utility.pdf
03162009_Chapter 28 - Illicit Discharge.pdf
03162009_Establishing Georgia Fund1 Account.pdf
03162009_February 2009 Financial Report.pdf
03162009_Overlay Task Force.pdf
03162009_Zoning Code Amendment.pdf
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Chesnut Charter Elementary School is slated for ADA renovations, parking changes, improved ramps & curb cuts, restroom upgrades and a new elevator.
The DeKalb County School System just went out for a Request For Proposal for ADA modifications to Chesnut Charter Elementary School and the information from the DeKalb site can be found here.
If I was on the Chesnut parent council or had a child with special needs, I would want to either review or personally obtain the complete set of drawings (Available upon request for $25.00 check payable to the DeKalb County Board of Education, Sam A. Moss Service Center, 1780 Montreal Road, Tucker, Georgia 30084, 678-676-1331.) as well as attend the bidders Pre-Proposal Conference on Tuesday, March 31, 2009. See Link.
Since construction documents on the DeKalb site disappear soon after bid closing, I have taken the liberty to copy some of the rough plans here.
Chesnut_ADA_General_specs.pdfPhase I: Refurbishing of accessible parking areas
Repaint parking lot striping at handicapped parking spaces and adjacent access aisles, including existing curb ramps, in two locations: Bus drive at north side of building and lower lot adjacent to gym. Evaluate signage and replace if necessary.
Phase II: Curb cuts and/or on-grade accessible routes
Provide access to playground and playing field: Install new concrete sidewalk, extending from existing covered walkway in approximate location of existing asphalt walkway, along north side of gym, to level of playing field and playground “pods”.
Phase III: ADA-compliant ramps
Provide access to upper level paved playing court: Clear trees and grade embankment; install ADA-compliant switchback concrete ramp with handrail and guardrail, adjacent to existing concrete stairs. Approximate rise: 8’.
Phase IV: ADA-compliant restrooms
Renovate the schools restrooms to provide new ADA-compliant plumbing fixtures and accessories. Demo existing quarry tile floor and install new flooring. Patch walls as necessary to match existing glazed block. Install new toilet partitions for one new ADA-compliant 5’ stall and 4 new standard stalls (toilet plumbing locations will need to be shifted to accommodate new stall configuration). Install new plumbing fixtures, accessories and signage. Demo existing lighting and replace with new energy-efficient surface mounted fluorescent fixtures.
Phase V: New Elevator
Provide access between building levels, and to gym and playing field: Provide and install new ADA-compliant, 2- stop elevator at end of South hall, adjacent to existing stairwell, enclosed by a new addition on exterior wall. Minimize size of addition as much as practical. Reconfigure existing aluminum canopy at lower level to accommodate new addition. Provide machine room and elevator lobby as necessary.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Thanks to those of you who have donated to the cause, I appreciate what you have been able to share in these tough economic times. To the 1,000 plus readers of this blog; I would like to ask you to think about giving to this worthwhile cause if you are financially able to do so.
In case someone would prefer to donate Anonymously these types of donations are accepted on line. Public donations will be properly thanked via e-mail and on this site.
Previous Posts on St. Baldrick's, here & here.
The Dunwoody Preservation Trust would like YOU to design the first-ever commemorative Lemonade Days Poster to celebrate 2009 and our first year of Cityhood!
We're calling anyone in our community (and elsewhere!) to submit an original piece of art that may be selected for a limited-run poster to be sold at this years' Lemonade Days and given to our sponsors as special gifts. We expect that this poster will be the first of a series, and that the honor of being the author of the first poster will grow in significance over the years.
The idea is similar to what New Orleans has done with JazzFest (for examples of some of those posters, please follow this link,) but with a Dunwoody theme. You can choose to highlight special characteristics of our city, our landmarks, or even on the Lemonade theme. Your creativity is what they're after!
The details of the contest are highlighted in the poster linked here. In summary, they are seeking a FLAT, 14x14 piece of original art, submitted physically or electronically by April 1, 2009. They will judge the submissions, announce the winner and produce a limited run of posters shortly after that. The winning artist will receive three numbered copies of the poster, have your name printed on the poster, receive two full-run ride passes for the Lemonade Days carnival, a t-shirt, and as much publicity as we can give you. Sales of the poster will benefit the mission of the Dunwoody Preservation Trust.
If you have questions you can contact the DPT at email@example.com, or call Kathy Florence or Monica McGurk at the numbers printed on the poster.
Saturday, March 21 10AM-4PM
1165 Perimeter Ctr W
Dunwoody, GA 30338
Most electronic items are harmful when thrown in the landfill. By visiting the Perimeter REI store during the collection you'll be doing the planet and your closet a huge favor. As a thank you, anyone who drops off their old electronics will receive a 15% off coupon to use in the store for one full-priced item and be entered into a drawing to win an iPOD Nano.
This collection is being conducted by Electronics Recycling Services which accepts these dropoffs at their Norcross location on a regular basis, 2980C Pacific Drive, Norcross, GA 30071 770-300-9909 .
For more information, contact Natalie at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.erecyclingservices.com
The Dunwoody Chamber of Commerce is offering drop-in assistance on the following days from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm at their office located at 5518 Chamblee Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody, GA 30338:
Thursday's, March 12, 19, 26; 2:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Friday's, March 13, 20, 27; 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Beside the Chamber offering assistance, City Hall's Finance Department is also available to assist you in completing your application during normal business hours and I would recommend you call them at (678) 382-6700 to answer any and all questions that you may have. The text below is taken from the License General Information link shown here and is not all inclusive but it is a good taste of what has to be done.
At the meeting last night there was also a complaint that Chapter 15 on Businesses Taxes could not be found on the Dunwoody website and I have found in my personal records what I believe are the final draft copies of Chapter 15 and related amendments prior to any last second amendments from the floor that may have been added. Please note the date listed in the beginning of the title of each document.
I'm sure the city will post the "official" final version to Chapter 15 to the Dunwoody site very soon, as my documents here are not official and may have errors and omissions.
12182008_Amendment to Chapter 15.pdf
From the City of Dunwoody Website
Business License General Information
New Business License Application
Frequently Asked Questions for Business Licenses
Existing License Holder Application
Business Home Occupation Supplemental License Form
Who Needs A Business License
A separate license/certificate is required for each branch or separate location of business. Any person, including but not limited to an individual, partnership, corporation or limited liability company, who wishes to conduct either directly or indirectly, any business within City of Dunwoody must secure a business license. City law states that no person shall engage in business or transact and carry on a business activity, show, or exhibition, without complying with any and all applicable provisions of Chapter 15 of the City Code.
All businesses require our Zoning Department’s approval, while regulated businesses require some additional approvals prior to obtaining the business license.
Home-based business are allowed if it merely serves as the base of operations and the activity does not create any traffic or noise, does not involve customers at the home, and there are no identifying signs. The use of residential property for business purposes requires the completion of our Home Occupation Permit form (HOP). For information or questions regarding Home-Based Business and Zoning please contact the Planning/Development Department at (678) 382-6700.
Owners of Residential or Commercial Property
Owners of residential and/or commercial rental properties must have a business license.
Real Estate Sales Agents
Real estate sales agents are in business for themselves. Although they must be affiliated with a licensed broker, each agent is responsible for payment of his/her own business license.
Independent Contractors are in business for themselves and must obtain a business license prior to commencing work. Generally, if payroll taxes are not deducted from your pay, you are an Independent Contractor.
Business Basics for the New Business Owner
Planning/Zoning & Sign Approvals
The Zoning Department reviews all new applications and changes of addresses to ensure compliance with zoning regulations for that business location. They must approve the business activity to be conducted at that location prior to issuance of a Business and Occupational Tax Certificate.
Signs are strictly regulated. For information about Zoning and Signs, contact the Community Development Department at (678) 382-6700.
Business ownership is classified into one of the following types of ownership entities (legal business structures): Sole Proprietor, Partnership, Limited Partnership, Limited Liability Company/ Corporation.
To determine which type of organization best suits your needs contact your legal or tax professional.
How to Obtain a Business License
Obtaining the Application
The initial steps to register a business begin in the Dunwoody City Hall Offices currently located at 400 Northridge Road Suite 1250, Dunwoody, GA 30350. The licensing process begins with the submission of the Dunwoody City Business Registration Application. Applications may be obtained via the City web page at www.dunwoodyga.gov, or in person at our office.
Completing the Application
Read the Business Registration Application thoroughly and complete all sections that apply.
Every application must contain at least the following:
- Business Name
- Federal Tax ID/Social Security Number
- Type or Line of Business to be conducted
- Business Location*
- Contact Phone Number(s)
- Number of Employees
- Copy of Certificate of Incorporation and Listing of Owners or Corporate Officers
- Appropriate Tax Payment
- A Valid Signature
- Government Issued Photographic Identification (drivers’ license)
- Notary Certification Signature and Stamp