Friday, August 20, 2010

Appears the Dunwoody High School water detention pond is now a public health hazard.

This is the new water retention pond at Dunwoody High School where the contractor cleared the trees and installed a system where stagnant water remains for an unlimited number of days breeding swarms of mosquitoes. Residents want answers and corrective measures taken.


John Heneghan said...

Jim Redovian our DeKalb County School Board Rep emailed me and asked that I post his response below.

The retention pond has been installed according to the specs from the State of Georgia. It was a part of the original plans and we had no say on how and where it was to be done. We have added treatment to take care of the Mosquito problem and will continue to monitor and control. We are also looking at other ways to solve the problem, however any changes will have to go through the permit and approval process. I am in the process of having a citizen committee to deal with the landscape as we did with the building. The committee will come from outside the school system and be handled through Page Olsen who is community rep, Anyone interested should contact her for details.

As for the Hydrant problem, the leak is in the hydrant, and a request was made to DeKalb Count to come out to assess and repair. Need I say more. The contractor is prepared to pay if they are at fault, however they can do nothing until the County makes a ruling.

This contract has done a very good job of being responsive to all that has come up, however they also are protected by the laws and should not be expected to take care of things they are not responsible for.

Joe Hirsch said...

Major clarifications are needed to Jim Redovian’s comments:

Just because the stormwater pond was built correctly does not mean it was done with common sense. If it weren’t considered a stormwater pond, it is worth noting that it is actually illegal to have a stagnant body of water on a property – (from unused swimming pools or even in discarded car tires) due to the health threat. There were probably other designs for the stormwater that could have been used, particularly in a neighborhood.

If neighbors had not complained about this new mosquito pond, there were no plans to ever treat it for mosquitoes. It never occurred to them. This demonstrates stupidity on behalf of the builder, Doster Construction and for DeKalb County Schools since it appears no one questioned if it was a good idea. Now, they have to routinely put a chemical in the pond to kill the mosquito larvae. Can DeKalb Schools be trusted to take care of it for the next 25 years? Or will they only react after complaints? The scheduled plan of treatments should be publicized along with the cost estimates. We will now have to pay for treating the pond on a regular basis; how much will this cost taxpayers? Doster’s own website says that environmental considerations should be made early in a project to mitigate costs. Did anyone consider the years of mosquito abatement necessary for this?

We are told that DeKalb County Schools Facilities Manager, Steve Donahue is apparently overseeing the situation. That does not make me rest easier. Recall that earlier this year it was Steve Donahue that ordered the small trees at Dunwoody High School and at Dunwoody Elementary along Womack Road to be cut down to improve the views of the schools. Seriously. Beautiful trees along the stream in front of Dunwoody Elementary were removed for beautification reasons, and Mr. Donahue said it was ok because he didn’t think he needed a permit. So, Mr. Redovian’s comments are to make us feel better now?

I am also quite shocked to read from Jim Redovian that the contractor has done a “very good job of being responsive to all that has come up”. That is a lie. An enormous lie. Mr. Redovian is well aware of the disruptive noise violations that occurred almost every single day for 3 months by the contractor. He spoke with me about them. Doster Construction has been horrible to the neighborhood. Mr. Redovian should correct his statement. It is not the truth.

Once again, it looks like Dunwoody is at the mercy of DeKalb Schools. I am thankful for the Dunwody leaders and staff who are trying to help.

Donal said...

Noise Violations
I agree on the noise violations, work has been carried on in the High School before and after City of Dunwoody allowable times, on Sundays and on holidays.
The Pond
I wonder when the Contractor or School would have addressed the mosquito breeding pond without community pressure.
The Hydrant
The hydrant was leak free for over 30 years. It started leaking around the time trailers and storage buildings were unloaded beside it.
While we wait in the County to make a ruling could the contractor install a sump and sump pump to send the water directly to a drain rather than creating an insect and algae breeding ground?

Anthony said...

The most recent rains have left a small lake effect in this pond. It is not draining! I do not understand this design at all. More rain and more breeding opportunities for mosquitos! The amount of stagnant water now standing has tripled in the last 3 days and I repeat, it is NOT draining. Does it have to reach a height of Biblical proportions before it drains. Please help for the sake of the kids who go to school at the high school and in the neighborhood.

John Heneghan said...

When Dunwoody Elementary was constructed two underground retention ponds were included in the plans. Don't know why this modification wasn't included by the school system at Dunwoody once the current pond there had to be increased in size?



Board1 said...

You wonder why I don't blog. Not worth being called a lier and an idiot. It's been nice. Hopefully all will enjoy the new member in January

Joe Hirsch said...

Does the blogger above, perhaps our school rep, think we should have sympathy for him? He doesn't seem to be correcting statements I made about him, so I suppose mine are true: he lied. OK - rather than trying defend yourself and help your constituents you just say it's not worth it. A true leader to the end. Nothing was his fault. Good riddance. So now you don't feel obligated to clean up this mess under your watch? That's the easy way out. Maybe you should just resign tomorrow so you don't have to hear our complaints anymore.

Dunwoody Mom said...

Joe, really, is it too much to try and be civil?

I'm sure the individual who posted under Board1 is not who you think he is. Another internet "clown" would be my guess.

Anyway, has anyone tried contacting the actual high school design and construction team with your concerns? Here is an email for you:

Joe Hirsch said...

DunwoodyMom, thanks I didn't think of contacting the construction team! (I'm kidding of course). Actually, she has never responded to this problem (with numerous emails). But she did send out this email earlier this summer: Dunwoody "does NOT have any laws that restrict days that construction is allowed" -- and since that was completely bogus misinformation passed along to her from Doster Construction, which she forwarded, I feel they won't even give her good information, despite her efforts. I have a lot of reasons to be upset. Doster Construction is a horrible company. Being civil and waiting for action doesn't accomplish anything.

Atlanta Media Guy said...

Let's form a Blue Ribbon Task Force to help the DCSS decide what to do with the stagnant water in the retention pond. Task Forces seem to be the only thing that get's their attention.

Plus, isn't it illegal in DeKalb to chop down trees? Did DCSS replace the trees they cut down? If so, where?

DCSS chopped back the tree limbs in front of Montgomery Elementary that was providing excellent shade for the rooms that faced Ashford- Dunwoody Road. Now, according to teachers, the rooms are a lot warmer and impossible to cool in the afternoons, energy efficient?

Maybe a Blue Ribbon Landscaping Task Force is needed to show the DCSS pruners how to prune properly. I'm just saying.....

Dunwoody Mom, we should remain respectful to our public officials, however, if they can't take the heat for something they claim is being done and proof shows otherwise, then they need to grow a spine and admit it or do something about it. You're right that Board1 person is most likely a troll. However, Mr. Redovian is certainly welcome to refute any charge made in a public form like this.

Dunwoody Mom said...

From the June DHS Renovation and Addition Update:

Construction Updates

There is a need to clarify the construction schedule. First, know that Doster Construction is working within the laws of the City of Dunwoody. The City does not have any laws that restrict days that construction is allowed which is why they've been working on weekends. The city does have a noise ordinance which restricts the hours that noise is allowed from any source. Doster Construction is sensitive to the school's location in a residential neighborhood and has scheduled the work so that there's limited noise on the weekends.

The retention pond on the Womack Rd. entrance is being excavated to meet code requirements. All the trees removed were on DCSS property and met with approval of the City of Dunwoody. Once the retention pond work is complete a new fence will be erected, trees will be planted and there will once again be a green buffer.

The only other trees to be removed are near the construction trailer, at the rear of the school between the football field and the building, and in the two interior courtyards. All are being removed to either meet code requirements on the project or due to damage caused to the building foundation by the trees.

Joe Hirsch said...

Thanks Dunwoody Mom for posting that update. If it weren't so sad, I'd be laughing at it.

Wishbone Nolan said...

It is really sad that a man as respectable as Jim Redovian must be subject to such scurrilous attacks.

Mr. Redovian has selflessly served the people of DeKalb County and Dunwoody for many years and deserves much better than to be bullyragged by someone who has no interest in the community and whose indubitable motives are that of an obstructionist with an incomprehensible invidiousness towards the DCSS and its contracters.

How can this commenter label a person's business (i.e. construction company) as "horrible" merely because they won't return a call to someone of no authority in their contract in constructing the school. And if he spoke to them with as much vile as he writes in his comments in this blog then I don't think I'd return his calls either.

This is about getting the high school constructed as quickly as possible for our children, and not about an individual's vindictiveness.

Let Jim Redovian, the DCSS, and their construction contractors do their jobs!

Wishbone Nolan said...

Additionally, this construction company that the iniquitous individual labeled as "horrible" has received only the very highest marks from the BBB.

Donal said...

The Hydrant at the DHS construction trailers
It seems that the construction contractor, school system and DeKalb County can’t find and solve a water leak in a timely manner. These bodies are staffed with civil engineers, health and safety professionals, have huge construction equipment and personnel resources.

Meanwhile for weeks students, passers-by and neighbors were subjected to a permanently wet, algae growing sidewalk, with a bug infested mini swamp.
Today I, a private, taxpaying citizen, drew upon my experience growing up on a farm in Ireland and spent 20 minutes with a shovel working on the problem. We now have a dry sidewalk and a swamp that is drying out. This is a temporary measure; it still needs to be repaired.
A couple of passers-by remarked: “glad they turned off the water.”It is a pity that “They” was not “They”; rather it was “Me” a tax payer.

Joe Hirsch said...

Wishbone, if you know not of the conversations had, then how do you know what I am "merley" upset by? They do return my calls and emails. And I am of authority: I am a taxpayer. I pay Redovian's salary - he works for me :)

Wishbone Nolan said...

So, being a "taxpayer" gives you the right to libel a good man and a construction company???

You didn't cite any actual facts when you called one a "liar" and the other "horrible", respectively.

Joe Hirsch said...

... oh bit I did list facts, please reread. But you are correct, being a taxpayer doesn't protect me in making what you call to be libelous statements. Rather, the greatest legal defense in slander or libel accusations is TRUTH. Therefore, I have no fear of speaking it. I celebrate it.

Wishbone Nolan said...

I am really aghast at your audacity! How can you reread your own comments and be under the delusion that they are not calumniating and that you have cited any credible facts in your accusations?

The offended parties have to be the most benignant and benevolent souls if they are not right now contemplating legal action.

If you have relevant information or a point of fact associated with an issue, you might as DunwoodyMom suggests "...try and be civil." The disparagement of good persons or quality businesses is never the best route to take.

Joe Hirsch said...

YES, it actually was Jim Redovian who was whining on this post as "Board1". In an email exchange with him today, I asked Mr. Redovian if that post was indeed from him? His response: "Sure sweets, it was me"
I'm rather grossed out by his reply, but I also find it unprofessional. This is not a joke. He really wrote that. He is our DeKalb School rep for all of our public schools here in Dunwoody.

Wishbone Nolan said...

Actually you're lucky Jim Redovian responded with merely a humorous reply and not a lawsuit for libel for calling him a "liar".

My respect for Mr. Redovian grows.

Wishbone Nolan said...

It's funny how some persons who've never achieved anything of social merit in life decide in middle age to tear down the reputations of good people who have accomplished many things for their families and community. I really feel sorry for someone that miserable.

Joe Hirsch said...

Thanks Wishbone! I love your responses.

Anonymous said...

Redovian may have accomplished some things in life, but that doesn't change the fact he runs hot and cold on responding to issues raised by the citizenry at large. He openly admitted it at the DHS contruction update meeting just before school opened. At that meeting, he said, "I have the power of the delete button." He went on to say, "Don't expect an email response from me if you're venting." Sorry Jim, but you are an elected official. If you don't respond, even with a canned reply, to messages from your constituents, don't expect a lovefest from voters. If you can't stand the heat, get out of elected office.

Anonymous said...

Rumor has it there is a DHS Community Construction Update (and special emphasis on the retention pond) meeting in DHS Media Center on Aug 31 at 6:00pm.

If confirmed, DHS has double-booked parent information meetings. Senior parents are also scheduled at 6:00pm on same night.

Unless it is rescheduled, if you're a senior parent with an interest in the construction update, you will have to choose which meeting to attend. It appears the DHS construction design team didn't look at the DHS website for conflicting events.

Wishbone Nolan said...

I recall some written accounts of the Salem Witch Trials that is analogous to what is happening in this community:

An obsequious character libels a good man by calling him a "liar".

An anonymous poster etches rumors in the bark of the Salem trees.

Come on folks! Aren't we better people than this?

Wishbone Nolan said...

I hope that the majority of citizens in this city will form their opinion of issues and city/county officials by an equitable review of facts and not from the expression of personal rancor and acrimony or rumor.

"Mad slanderers by mad ears believed be." Shakespeare

Famous FarmHouser said...


I think people in Dunwoody have the past few years as evidence of Jim's performance (or lack thereof). Joe's comments are nothing new to the chatter about Jim. It's not personal, it's politics.

Dunwoody Mom said...

One senior parent can go to the senior meeting and the other parent to the meeting about the rentention pond.

Anonymous said...

Well, duh, DunwoodyMom...that's pretty obvious.

In our case, both parents are keenly interested in both topics and want to attend both to not miss out on any micro details. It is painful to have to split apart and miss one or the other. Honestly, it's not that difficult to check the DHS master calendar of events and avoid double-booking these important meetings at the same school that affect parents of the same school.

That said, the most recent DHS weekly update email (sent 8/26) did not mention the construction meeting at all. It sounds as though the left and right hands at DHS aren't talking to each other. How does the DHS design team (or DCSS) expect interested and affected people to attend if it is not widely advertised, much less scheduled on double-booked nights? A cynic might say that the point.

Dunwoody Mom said...

You just want something to complain about. My guess is that very few really care about this retention pond issue. The majority of Dunwoody citizens know that Page Olson and Claire Botsch will make sure this is all taken care of properly.

Dunwoody Mom said...

And your "well, duh" comment makes you sound like a child. If my children EVER addressed an adult in that manner, consequences would be severe.

Anonymous said...

I save the term for patronizing comments.

Sorry, but I don't leave anything of great importance to a closed set of two people, not matter who they are. You and I know DHS is a tax-funded school for the community and these are major amounts of tax funds that have been spent on this project.

To simply say I just want to complain doesn't change the fact there was a severe lack of DHS calendar coordination and a severe lack of public/parent communication thus far about the community construction meeting. Let's not ignore the facts.

Wishbone Nolan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wishbone Nolan said...

DunwoodyMom, from your comments you seem like a very nice person of great social insight. And you are absolutely correct, Page Olson and Claire Botsch are very competent and diligent community leaders.

But there are persons in this world, not just your "ordinary Joes" but also those that wish to remain "anonymous", that are toxic personalities, and thrive on badgering and hurling unwarranted criticisms at people that are actually trying to do some good in this world.

These types of miserable persons won't change. So, don't tarnish yourself or waste your time exchanging comments with them in this blog. Continue to align yourself with persons of integrity like yourself and the Page Olsons and Claire Botschs' of this world and maybe the toxic others will crawl back into the hole they came out of or perhaps the Dunwoody High School detention pond.

Anonymous said...

For the record, a blog moniker such as "DunwoodyMom" is every bit as anonymous as the moniker "Anonymous." And it's her right to remain anonymous, as it is mine.

Secondly, not one person here said Claire or Page were not competent.

Wishbone Nolan said...

You know how after you've been alive a long time, you've seen certain personalities act in a specific manner, you can predict how a certain type will react to situations. Well, how much fun was it to attend the meeting where I got to see the same malcontent whiner appear in person and act the "Gladys Kravitz" that I anticipated he would be. Really, somebody has to get a life and let others do their work. If a tenth of that energy spent on a perceived anathema were projected onto charitable work, we'd have a cure for cancer now or world hunger would be eradicated.

The only one who has made any sense on this whole issue was the young lady in her letter from last week's Crier, but predictably she was pounced on in this week's edition.

Joe Hirsch said...

You know, being young and astute, I am astonished when wise sages rise up to say we should just sit back and let others do the work for us with no transparency. I choose not to live on the dole. I am also unimpressed with those who assert to know me so well yet have never had the fortitude or acumen to speak a word to me. Thanks “Harry Dunne” for the jocularity. Your phony outrage seems like you are masking a crush on me. I wish for you to be blessed with health, happiness and to be inscribed in the book of life. L'shanah tovah!

Wishbone Nolan said...

"You're so vain, you probably think that last post was about you." by Carly "Cyber" Simon, which might be a good thing because maybe you'll feel a little of the pain that your victims have felt through the years from your vituperation.

It has nothing to do with anyone's right to free speech or to criticize public officials; the issue is the degree of vindictiveness and virulence with which this castigation has come.

Your victims are local citizens, they are not world leaders that lied about Iraq having "weapons of mass destruction" and as a result over 5000 of the best of us have died and over 30,000 maimed. Your targets are our neighbors that are earnestly attempting to do the best they can about local and less
portentous issues.

There are ways to make your point without all the rancor because right now it's outright obstructionism throwing unneeded obstacles in the way of good persons trying to do their jobs.

Back when I administered to over 200 management personnel, I would direct similar socially inept personalities to attend a Dale Carnegie course of "How to Win Friends and Influence People". There really are ways to express your opinion without the personal attacks and the hatred.