Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Mayor Tommy Fry, City Branding Survey, ZBA, Jobs Available, Lemonade Days needs help, BRAD & School Board qualification approching.

Mayor for a Day, Tommy Fry

The CVB and City of Dunwoody, along with the Chamber of Commerce and the Perimeter Center Improvement District has embarked on a new branding project. Their aim is to create a logo and tagline for the City of Dunwoody that will encapsulate all that is positive about the city that we live in. To ensure a branding image that we can all stand behind, they are asking for feedback from the citizens.

Please click onto the link below and complete the survey, and then sign up for one of the focus groups that will be conducted on April 8th and 9th.

The City of Dunwoody - Branding Survey

Dunwoody ZBA is meeting Thursday  Swimming pool construction error forces application for decrease accessory structure setbacks and an increase in maximum allowable lot coverage.

City of Dunwoody is hiring.

Current Opportunities
Building Inspector

Convention and Visitors Bureau Sales Manager

Apply Now for Future Opportunities
Police Officer

Lemonade Days is looking for volunteers, if your interested please contact Kelly Coker Smith.

The Bike Ride Around Dunwoody is scheduled for Sat April 17th, sign up today.

Dunwoody's own Dale Cardwell wants you to trust him with his new business venture of finding trustworthy companies that we should do business with at and besides trusting Dale, I'm also proud to say that as a local elected official, I'm not even afraid of him.

Anyone thinking about running for School Board?

I haven't talked to Jim Redovian and don't know if he is thinking of running for re-election on the DeKalb County School Board but with the tough decisions being faced in these rough economic times; few would be surprised if he didn't run again. That being said, District 1 of the DCSS (Dunwoody, Chamblee & Doraville) needs to start grooming viable candidates because the qualification period of June 28 through July 2nd is fast approaching.  Who is interested and how can I help?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Comment deadline approaching on FAA modification of Class B Airspace

If you intended to file a comment to the Federal Aviation Administration regarding the Class B airspace changes to Hartsfield Jackson, which we are told will have a direct impact at PDK thereby lowering the airplanes closer to our homes, the deadline is this Saturday, April 3rd.  All comments need to be filed in triplicate as the Federal Register requires to the P.O. Box listed below and placed into the mail ASAP.

The City of Dunwoody passed a resolution against this change and it has already been mailed off to the FAA to beat the deadline.

This evening I was copied on a good example of a letter that a neighbor sent to the FAA and please feel free modify to suit your needs.
Mark Ward
Manager, Operations Support Group
Eastern Service Area, Air Traffic Organization
Federal Aviation Administration
P.O. Box 20636
Atlanta, GA 30320
March 30, 2010
Dear Mr. Ward,

I am writing today to provide my comments to the FAA’s proposal to lower Class B airspace over the northern part of Dekalb County, Georgia.

I am a long time resident of the neighborhood of Dunwoody North, which despite its name, is the southernmost part of the city of Dunwoody. We are directly north of Peachtree Dekalb Airport, and my street in particular is aligned almost perfectly with the landing strips at this regional airport. I know this because planes seem to line up for their approach over the reservoir to the north of us and approach the airport by a straight line right over my house.

I am very concerned with this proposal because of the common-sense reality that the same number of planes arriving and departing from PDK will now be required to do so in a compressed amount of airspace. We already know that VFR planes coming in on cloudy days approach much lower than under normal circumstances, and when that happens, they are a terrible nuisance in the neighborhood. Lowering the ceiling of available airspace by 1,000 feet just means that the noise, sight, and air pollution from these plans will be much worse on a much more regular basis.

In addition, though I understand that the specific air over my home will only be decreased by 1,000 feet, I know that the longer-term plan is actually to smooth out approach and take-off patterns for Hartsfield-Jackson, which will inevitably affect the smaller plans at PDK and other regional airports, as well. The general PDK area will be compressed by 3,000 feet and these smaller planes will be pressed into an even lower airspace than initially considered. It seems disingenuous of the FAA to purposely fail to include this in their community presentations, as though this impact to Class B space, though not directly above my house, will not have any impact. Of course it will.

There is no way that these changes to streamline operations at Hartsfield-Jackson, their logical impact on PDK, and the resulting impact on my neighborhood can be good for my neighborhood. The lower flight patterns will be a terrible setback to our neighborhood: the added noise and visual disruption will most certainly lead to more daily dissatisfaction for current residents and an obvious drop in home values when prospective buyers are disturbed by the low-flying planes.

I urge you to take these comments into account and find a way to ease the congestion for Hartsfield-Jackson in a way that has less of an impact on the residential areas of north Dekalb.


Name, Address, City, State Zip

Monday, March 29, 2010

Grow a Ton for Hunger, help feed Dunwoody's hungry - Malachi's Storehouse

Do you have a garden? Anticipate more tomatoes than you could possibly eat?

Why not purposely over plant this year to feed the hungry?

My good friend Pattie Baker would like to find a way to have the Dunwoody community raise 2,000 lbs of fresh produce from our home gardens for the Malachi's Storehouse run by St. Patrick's Episcopal Church on North Peachtree Road.

Plant a Row for the Hungry, a nationwide grassroots movement where people help people. No bureaucratic red tape. No governmental oversight. Just a collection of backyard kitchen gardeners, community gardeners, school gardeners, and farmers who help pierce the darkness of hunger by either sharing their unexpected surplus--a particularly robust zucchini crop, for instance--or dedicating everything from a specific row or rows of their garden or farm to sharing with the one-in-ten of all Americans who are hungry and without food each day. Millions of pounds of fresh produce have made their way from digging hands to desperate hands.

Can you help?

Bob Spratling - visitaton and funeral arrangements

Bob Spratling, age 48 of Dunwoody leaves behind wife Kelly and three beautiful children who attend Vanderlyn, DES & PCMS.   My deepest sympathies to the family.

Guestbook, Visitation & Funeral Details.

Dunwoody Arts Festival looking for volunteers and sponsors.

Be a part of history and be a volunteer for Dunwoody's First Annual Arts Festival.  Chamblee Dunwoody Road between Mt. Vernon Road and Dunwoody Village Parkway will be blocked off on Mother's Day Weekend for the artists' booths, continuous live music, children's activities and much, much more.

Take a look HERE for more volunteer information or if your interested in having your company sponsor the event, help would be appreciated on that front too.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Dunwoody and other DeKalb Cities partner for Google Fiber Application.

Atlanta Urban Area Partnership for Google from Atlanta Urban Area Partnership for Google Fiber on Vimeo.

Here’s the video produced by Decatur’s Andrea Berry on behalf of Decatur, Chamblee, Avondale, Dunwoody, Doraville, Emory and Georgia Power, making the case for Google Fiber. [h/t The Decatur Minute and Decatur Metro]

It looks like the Atlanta partnership team will have their work cut out for them.  Google broke its silence on the initiative yesterday with an update, which stated that with the RFI deadline now past, over 1,100 communities across the U.S. had expressed interest in becoming the test ground for the company’s high-speed fiber optic network.  Next steps for Google include “site visits, meeting with local officials and consulting with third-party organizations.”

Below is a map that Google created showing the locations of government responses (small dots) and resident nominations of 1,000 or more (big dots).

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Best dinner in Dunwoody - All Saints Friday Fish Fry - this Friday is the last night.

My family attends All Saint's Catholic Church and I'm a member of the Knights of Columbus, though this year my participation with the group has been cut way back due to other family and civic duties.  The Knights biggest fund raising event happens on five Friday nights whereby they serve fish dinners to the entire community.  If you haven't experienced one of their tasty meals, the last chance to do so is this Friday evening where these fine Dunwoody gentleman will be serving from 5 to 8 pm.

From the Georgia Bulletin: A small army of Knights of Columbus members is responsible for the traditional Lent fish fry dinner at All Saints Church. In a three-hour window, close to 1,000 meals are sold, which averages to be about one meal every 10 seconds.  (Check out the photos of this fine event.)

What does it take to pull together this noisy, carnival atmosphere on the eight Fridays of Lent?
Just to start: 140 pounds of potatoes. 72 pounds of green beans. 397 individual pieces of seasoned salmon. Not to mention the coleslaw, fried cod, buckets of clam chowder.

And that’s not to forget the hard-working men, who crack jokes at each other’s expense. Like Bill Luckerd, who spends a couple hours hovering over the boiling pots of green beans. He said the steam rising to his face is like a spa. A colleague shouts that the steam gives him the best complexion of the group.

Members of Knights of Columbus Council 11402 have been doing this for more than a dozen years. They have gotten the meal service to a science: they know to have waiters deliver food to sitting customers because a buffet takes too much time. Golf carts deliver vegetables and wrapped fish from the lower kitchen. There are two lines, the fast-moving take-out line and one for the dining room. In fact, veterans of the fish fry crew have gone to other parishes to offer advice on making other operations run smoother.

The money they collect supports the many charities supported by the organization.

Lou Hlad, the leader of the Knights of Columbus at All Saints, said so many people attend because it is a close-knit parish and the meals are inexpensive: $7 for fish meal, $8 for salmon, and a $1 off for the over-55 crowd.

“Where in town are you going to get a better deal than that? It’s $4 for the kids meal, so people bring their families. It doesn’t take long to get up to 1,000 meals,” he said.

“People from all the churches around here buy our fish. We have Methodists and Baptists—they see our sign, and they drop in.”

“It is kind of like a carnival. There is a lot of noise. It is just a lot of fun.” said Hlad.

All Saints Church, one of many parishes in the Atlanta Archdiocese hosting fish frys during Lent, is located at 2443 Mount Vernon Road, Dunwoody.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Survey results for the Dunwoody Comprehensive Land Use Plan

I would like to thank those who took the time to complete this on line survey for the Dunwoody Comprehensive Land Use Plan as I have just read all 51 pages of comments. Here are the results of the survey. Please feel free to comment on the results and/or the value of the survey as I am interested in your thoughts.

Thank you.  (PS, sorry about the font size, if viewing the document on my html site, please click the Fullscreen link at the top of the document for best viewing or just click here.)
City of Dunwoody Comp Plan Survey Results - March 2010

Backyard Chickens fail at Dunwoody City Council by a 4 to 3 vote.

This evening the Dunwoody City Council held a public hearing on the possibility of allowing the residents to keep six chickens in their backyards and then it was voted down by a 4 to 3 vote with Mayor Wright, Councilmen Taylor, Shortal and Ross voting against the measure and Council members Bonser, Wittenstein and Heneghan voting in favor.

Once the two friendly amendments, making the ordinance even more restrictive failed by a four to three vote, the final outcome was pretty much set in place with there being nothing more I could say that could sway my fellow council members decision.  Therefore I decided to say nothing, no grand standing, no saying things that would have no effect on the final outcome, instead I let the inevitable happen and allowed those who voted to deny backyard chickens to explain their vote.  I personally feel this outcome was a mistake but I respect my fellow council members who voted against the measure since the community voiced opinions on both side of the issue.

In reviewing the video recording, my heart felt like I should have fought harder on the matter, but my head still tells me that it wouldn't have mattered.  The chicken owners had already presented the facts by technical experts, presented the circumstances by inviting council members and our children to visit their coops and laid out everything they had to offer; whereby at that point I felt there wasn't much else for me to say.

Below are links to my video.

Full meeting video.

Chicken presentation, vote and council comments on vote.

At the very end of the meeting we were discussing future road improvements and I brought up the needed repairs on N. Peachtree Rd near Chesnut Elem which I think the residents in the area would like to hear.

Then Mr. Bob Lundsten who serves on the Dunwoody Planning Commission,  presented a closing public comment whereby he chastised the council, pointed out some inconsistencies in council members reasoning and then informed the council that he has filed an open records request for every e-mail regarding chickens either sent or received by the council members dating back to January 1st.

Finally Mr. Rick Callihan does better job in setting the scene of the chicken vote then I can, therefore please read his recap as it appears to be very accurate, right down to the part where I didn't have much to say.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Ga Supreme Court decides DeKalb County V. Perdue in favor of Dunwoody, GA

This appeal stems from a lawsuit by DeKalb County against Gov. Sonny Perdue and the state Revenue Commissioner, challenging as unconstitutional the 2007 amendment to the Homestead Option and Sales Use Tax Act (HOST). The suit was sparked by the incorporation of the City of Dunwoody.

FACTS: Under Official Code of Georgia § 48-8-10, the state legislature established the 1 percent HOST and created 159 special tax districts whose boundaries are the same as Georgia’s 159 counties. Under the law, the tax could not be levied without a local referendum. DeKalb voters approved the 1 percent tax in 1997, with the revenues to go toward “funding capital outlay projects and…replac[ing] revenue lost to an additional homestead exemption of up to 100 percent.” Voters also approved legislation providing for the additional HOST-funded homestead exemption. In response to opposition by DeKalb’s cities, the County entered into a 49-year agreement to make annual disbursements to the cities from the HOST revenues, although a dispute later arose over how those payments were calculated, resulting in ongoing litigation. In 2007, the legislature amended the HOST Act, providing that the state Revenue Commissioner would distribute HOST proceeds both to the county and to any “qualified municipality,” which the statute defines as “a municipality created on or after January 1, 2007...” At the time, only DeKalb and Rockdale counties levied a HOST, and neither contained a “qualified municipality.” The two are still the only counties with a HOST. In 2008, the legislature approved the incorporation of the City of Dunwoody which fit the definition of a “qualified municipality” and is due shortly to begin receiving HOST money that would otherwise go to the County. In 2008, the County sued the State, Gov. Sonny Perdue and the Revenue Commissioner in Fulton County, claiming the amended Act was unconstitutional and could not take effect in DeKalb without a voter referendum. The trial court ruled against the County and it now appeals.

ARGUMENTS: The County’s attorneys argue the trial court made at least six errors, including findings it based on testimony by DeKalb’s Director of Finance. The court determined the amended law would not result in any revenue loss to the County, other than what it would have to pay Dunwoody and the other cities. The court also found there would be no increase in the ad valorem tax millage rate the County levies in unincorporated DeKalb. But those findings are wrong, the attorneys contend. Under the amended statute, the County would have to pay Dunwoody $2.9 million in 2009, and if the agreements with the other cities are invalidated as they are requesting, the County could pay as much as $5.3 million. Taxes in unincorporated DeKalb would be raised by $500,000, violating the state constitution’s requirement that “all taxation shall be uniform.” The trial court also erred by ruling that a change to the HOST distributions could be done without a voters’ referendum. Voters must approve any changes to the HOST statute, just as they had to approve the statute itself. Lawyers for the governor and revenue commissioner argue that the trial court’s findings were not erroneous and besides, the County has abandoned these arguments on appeal. There is nothing in state law or the constitution that requires a referendum before the legislature can make changes to the HOST Act. The HOST is a special district tax, not a county tax. Like the County, the City of Dunwoody will act as an agent for the special tax district in expending a portion of the revenues for capital outlay projects that benefit the special tax district. The amended Act does not create non-uniform tax classifications, the attorneys contend.

Attorney for the Appellant (County): Roy Barnes
Attorneys for the Appellees (Perdue): Thurbert Baker, Attorney General, R.O. Lerer, Dep. A.G., Warren Calvert, Sr. Asst. A.G.

Judgment affirmed. All the Justices concur.

Friday, March 19, 2010

DeKalb County Senior Olympics - Registration on Monday

Table Tennis (Singles & Doubles), Line Dancing, Swimming, Tennis, Water Volleyball, Golf, Bowling, Track and Field, Wii Bowling (New), Horseshoes, Canasta, Talent Show, Checkers, Dominoes, Mah Jong, Fun Walk, Billiards, Pinochle

Registration Information brochure
Senior Olympic General Information
Registration Form
2010 Events Schedule and Venues
Important Information

For additional information, call 404-371-2990 or e-mail

The DeKalb County Parks & Recreation Department invite all men and women 50 years of age and older to come and participate in this wonderful senior athletic event. There are over 30 event categories and team sports offered. Our mission is to promote healthy lifestyles for seniors through fun, fitness, and play. The Benefits We are proud to be able to help promote healthy lifestyles for adults, particularly seniors of 50 years and older. It’s no secret that baby boomers are entering their golden years and are becoming more conscious about health and the way we age. Staying fit and active is the best answer to aging. The games provide an excellent way for seniors to maintain or improve their physical and mental condition as well as their coordination, while enjoying some friendly competition. Plus, you meet new friends, engage the whole family in the fitness mode and you can become a volunteer too!

Event: May 10-20, 2010
Register: March 22 - April 19
Fee: $10 per person (fee includes 2 sports and souvenir shirt)

DeKalb County Senior Olympics Purpose:
To provide adults 50 and older an opportunity to participate in a program that:
-Encourages more physical activities
-Promotes healthier lifestyles
-Promotes health and wellness
-Provides a unique opportunity for socialization through competitive activities.

Participants must turn 50 years old by September 26, 2010. Events are divided into men’s and women divisions and age groups where appropriate. Birthdate must be included for this reason. Awards:
Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals will be awarded to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners in each event.
DeKalb County Senior Olympics reserves the right to combine age groups or to cancel any event due to insufficient registration, inclement weather, and unusual or extenuating circumstances.

-A $10.00 registration fee must accompany the complete application form.
-Registration for participants outside of DeKalb County will be an additional $10.00.
-A $5.00 late registration fee will be added after April 19th.
-Mail-in registrations must be postmarked by April 19th
-Registration entitles the individual to participate in any event where a time conflict does not occur.
-Registration includes a Senior Olympics T-shirt.

Mail registration form with payment to: DeKalb County Parks and Recreation, Attn: Jackie Swain, 1300 Commerce Drive, Rm. 300, Decatur, Georgia 30030

Registration is payable by check or money order; NO CASH ACCEPTED
Please make payable to "DeKalb County Parks and Recreation".
The liability waiver must be signed and dated by the applicant.
Special accommodations will only be available with prior arrangements. If you need special assistance, please let us know when you register.

For additional information, call 404-371-2990 or e-mail

The ACSM World Heart Games - Registration Open

May 14-15, 2010 • Co-hosted by Agnes Scott College, Decatur, Georgia
Register at by April 2, 2010

Olympic Style Competition for Cardiac Rehab Patients
Cardiac patients get a wide variety of challenging but safe activities to compete in for the ACSM World Heart Games. These provide a monitored and competitive way for the participants to be active in a way that they’re comfortable with.

Reclaiming the Joy of Sports - Olympic Style Competition for Cardiac Rehab Patients!

Cardiac rehabilitation patients will get a wide variety of challenging, but safe activities to compete in for the 2010 World Heart Games. These provide a monitored and competitive way for the participants to be active in a way that they and their medical team are comfortable with. Some events that participants can expect to compete in are: table tennis, bocce, golf putting, bowling, prediction events, basketball, game of knowledge, volleyball, tennis, softball throw, soccer shoot a 9-hole golf tournament and much more. We encourage you to learn more about the game rules. As clinicians in cardiac rehabilitation, we have all witnessed the evolution of the sedentary, sometimes isolated life in our patients with cardiac disease or risk-related symptoms, to one of hope, activity and purpose. Cardiac rehabilitation programs prepare patients to reenter life!

Contact Jessica Hancock ( (317) 352-3893 with any questions or for information on how to support the ACSM World Heart Games.

Friends of the Dunwoody Library

In these tough economic times we have the fortune of being able to turn to our local library for help. Libraries provide free internet access, computer classes, children’s programs, and of course, thousands of books, DVDs and more that can be borrowed for no cost at all. Unfortunately, many libraries across the country are losing vital funds to keep these services and programs afloat. One non-profit organization, The Friends of the Dunwoody Library, has been working tirelessly over the years to make sure that the Dunwoody Library remains a hub of the community, despite growing economic uncertainty. These volunteers’ efforts include sponsoring library programs, promoting literacy and organizing a major quarterly undertaking: the Dunwoody Library booksale. Money generated from these booksales, which are comprised of a massive collection of community donations, has allowed for some major undertakings, namely the renovation of the Dunwoody Library this past summer. The Friends put an astounding $185,000 towards the remodeling of the branch, which included updating the children’s library and storytime room.

And their work has ensured that the Dunwoody Library can continue to provide relevant, educational and entertaining programs for community members of all ages. Each year the Friends generously give the Dunwoody Library between $55-60,000 for programs and materials that end up benefiting the entire DeKalb County Public Library System. Children’s programs, such as storytimes and the Book Bunch Book Club, and adult literacy programs would not exist without the support of the Friends. Online databases, books, periodicals and reference materials are purchased with the help of the Friends as well. In fact, the Friends recently purchased content for a new audio book database called Overdrive. It’s not available yet, but check back to the DCPL website in the coming months.

The Friends of the Dunwoody Library continue to succeed in keeping the library a center of the community through their hard work and commitment. If you would like to help with their important work, you can stop by the Dunwoody Library and ask for a Friends of the Library membership form. If you don’t live in Dunwoody but would like to join your local Friends group, click here for more information.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Dunwoody City Council scheduled to vote Monday on backyard chickens - Work Session scheduled for 6 p.m.

Monday, March 22nd
Dunwoody City Hall
41 Perimeter Center East
Dunwoody, GA 30346

The City Council proposed a new schedule whereby this Monday's Voting Meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. also has a work session starting at 6 p.m. in order for the Council to ask informal questions, present new items and is in place to attempt to speed up the voting meeting.  Since I will be rushing to get to this meeting located in the side room of the main City Council Chambers; I'm not sure I will be able to set up my computer in time but I will try.  As always the work session is open to the public and I encourage your attendance since that is were some heavy discussions regarding the evenings topics may occur.  The main voting meeting is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. and even if the work session is required to be cut short; the main meeting will start at 7 p.m. 

6:00 p.m. - Work Session (Side Room)
Work Session Agenda - Possible Video?

Review of March 22, 2010 City Council Meeting agenda.
Crime mapping demonstration.

7:00 p.m. Voting Session (Main Chamber)
Voting Session Agenda - Watch live streaming video

By Tommy Fry, Austin Elementary student and winner of the Austin Elementary “Mayor for a Day” auction package.

Employee recognition.
a. Michael Lockett - “Employee of Distinction” Proclamation
b. Officer Jesus Maldonado - “Officer of the Year”
c. Katharine “KC” Kramer – Dunwoody Police Department “Employee of the Year”
d. Officer Fidel Espinoza - “Marksman of the Year” and “Christmas for Kids” Program
Resolution opposing proposed changes to Class B airspace at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport.

City of Dunwoody and Perimeter Community Improvement District (PCID) Cooperation Agreement.

Green Building Policy.

PUBLIC HEARING and Scheduled Vote on Chapter 27, “Raising Backyard Chickens in Single Family Residence Districts.

SECOND READ: Ordinance to amend Chapter 15, Regulation of taxi cabs.

SECOND READ: Ordinance to amend Chapter 17, Motorized Golf Carts.

Convention and Visitors Bureau of Dunwoody Annual Report.

Ordinance to amend Fiscal Year 2010 Budget to fund Economic Development study.

Resolution “Georgia Cities Week”.

Resolution “The Atlanta Urban Area Partnership for Google”.

Resolution to appoint additional members to the Dunwoody Village Design Review Advisory Committee.

Resolution of joint cities opposing proposed changes to Class B airspace at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport.

Five-year resurfacing plan.

Dunwoody area businesses needed to participate in the "Punch up the Green" local promotion card program.

The Dunwoody Sustainability Commission is proposing a punch card where you do six easy eco-actions between Earth Hour (3/27) and Earth Day (4/22) and get a discount at a local business. To encourage environmentally conscious choices, we are reaching out to our local area businesses to participate in the upcoming Punch Up the "Green" in Dunwoody promotion (see linked flyer).

The promotion, which runs from Earth Hour (March 27, 2010) to Earth Day (April 22, 2010), is a free opportunity to align your business with a positive local campaign, gain new customers for your retail store or service business and help encourage environmental awareness in your community. Feel free to use a deal already implemented in ongoing promotions and the Sustainability Commission will list it on their social networking site ( Participants simply fill out their punch card as they complete a variety of "eco-actions" and bring it in to participating local vendors when all actions are completed.

If you are interested in participating or have any questions regarding this promotion, please contact Pattie Baker at The deadline to sign up as a participating business is March 21, 2010.

Free Rita's Italian Ice on Saturday to celebrate the First Day of Spring

Free Rita's on Saturday

Rita's Italian Ice across from Blackburn Park at the intersection of Ashford-Dunwoody and Johnson-Ferry Road is a favorite of our family. The various ice's are a delicious treat on a hot day and the owner, Carrie hosts numerous events throughout the community; therefore I enjoy supporting them.  My favorite flavor is Mango.

Rita’s will hold its 18th Annual First Day of Spring Giveaway from noon to 10pm on Saturday, March 20. Each guest who visits one of the over 500 open Rita’s locations will receive a FREE regular size, 10 oz. cup of Italian Ice in the available flavor of their choice.

With over 40 delectable flavors plus the cool new PEEPS® Ice, Rita’s is the place to be on the First Day of Spring. The arrival of spring just became a little sweeter and much tastier with the launch of Rita’s PEEPS® Italian Ice.

Updates - Google, Ethics, Pre-K, Gardening, Cheap Dad, Speeding, Tax Freeze and Kitchen Tour

Google Fiber Update - The Cities of Avondale Estates, Chamblee, Decatur, Doraville, and Dunwoody along with Emory University are now partnering together to answer Google's search for a trial location to test its ultra-high speed broadband network. Become a fan on Facebook.

Ethics - Dunwoody City Council - Financial Disclosures and Campaign Contributions are now available on line.  The data is not 100% complete as I know that I have already filed my 2009 & 2010 financial disclosure reports but I am sure they will all be there soon.  Our initial candidate campaign and personal finance forms were filed with the GA State Ethics Commission and can be found by searching the the previous links.

Pre-K Lottery today - Registration for the Pre-K lottery is Thursday, March 18 from 8:30 AM to 1:00 PM at all Dunwoody lower elementary schools. The application processes closes at 1:00 PM and the lottery drawing beings at 1:15 PM. Complete documentation must be presented at the time of registration, including: Child's original certified birth certificate,Parent's Photo identification,Child's Social Security Number, Current Month's Gas, Electric Bill and/or a copy of your lease agreement. A residence affidavit must be provided if current bills are in someone else's name.

Garden Plots Available at Dunwoody's 2nd Community Garden at Georgetown - Congrats to Susan Harper and if you are interested in gardening check out the Potluck Picnic at the Dunwoody Community Garden at Brook Run.

Cheap Dad Alert - Atlanta Opera’s Family Day on Saturday March 27th The Atlanta Opera is hosting their popular Opera Family Day on Saturday, March 27 from 10 am – 2 pm. The day is designed for children in preschool and early elementary school. Activities include make-your-own instruments and other craft activities, an interactive costume shop, stage combat demonstrations and an instrument petting zoo. For those who don’t know, an instrument petting zoo is an opportunity for children to hold and play various instruments. It’s a lot of fun and the kids love it. Of course there is also an opera performance. This year will be The Ugly Duckling.  $5.00 with free parking.

Speeding Tickets reduced - DeKalb offers a firesale reduction on old traffic citations.  I wonder if the recorders court has been doing this for years without putting a notice in the paper.

Five Year Tax Assessment Freeze, citizen vote approved - thank you Rep Fran Millar.

Tour Atlanta's Top Kitchens (Dunwoody included) this weekend to support the Junior League of Atlanta.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Dunwoody Police offering Collision Avoidance Training to teenagers.

Welcome to the Dunwoody Georgia “Collision Avoidance Training program.”  The Dunwoody Police Department was established April 1, 2009 and began providing professional law enforcement services to the 37,500 residence of the City of Dunwoody. We have hired the best and brightest officers available and our officers have received thousands of hours of training and numerous advanced certificates.  Our department is committed to protecting the lives and property of Dunwoody residents as well as ensuring our unique and high quality of life.

Recognizing that automobile crashes are the leading cause of teenage injuries and deaths, reducing these premature deaths in our community will be a priority.  To help ensure we reach our goal we have adopted the Collision Avoidance Training program for teenage drivers and will plan many of our traffic safety initiatives around this program.  This advanced defensive driver training program has been very successful aiding other law enforcement agencies in reducing teenage crashes.  We have been impressed with the program’s success through partnerships with other law enforcement agencies and we are confident it will be as successful in Dunwoody.

This training program truly provides "Driving Skills For Life" and we hope every parent of a teenage driver or soon to be driver will enroll their son or daughter in this life saving program.  For more information you can check out:

If you have questions please contacts Lt. William Hegwood at or 678-382-6904 or to enroll your child call 1-800-656-6507.

Below are the dates available for the remainder of 2010:
June 5th
July 10th
Aug. 7th
Sept 11th
Oct. 9th
Nov. 6th
Dec. 4th

Dunwoody Police Explorers plan Car Show benefiting Special Olympics : looking for Sponsors for August event.

The Dunwoody Police Explorers are in the early planning phases of a car show to raise money for Special Olympics Georgia that will be held on August 14, 2010 at First Baptist Atlanta.

If you would like to assist with, or help sponsor the show, please contact:
Officer W. Furman
(678) 382-6913


Saturday, March 13, 2010

Dunwoody High School's Wildcat Fund hosts a Wildcat Royale at Dunwoody Country Club.

The Wildcat Fund would like to invite you to a night of fun, dinner, dancing, and live auction at

Wildcat Royale
A Night at the Club
Saturday March 27, 2010
7:00 PM
Dunwoody Country Club

RSVP to Page Olson:

Here’s a quick glimpse of the evening: 
  • All guests start the night off with 5,000 chips and five tickets towards “chance” prizes
  • Professional dealers at all the game tables who will teach you how to play
  • 52 Card Chance (try and win two round trip tickets on Air Tran)
  • 50/50 Money Bucket
  • Live Auction!!!!
  • Fabulous Food and Dancing       
  • At the end of the evening the professionals will count your chips – for every thousand you get another ticket to win a chance for a prize…..
Let us deal you in…
Only 16 Reservations to play at the Wildcat Royale!
$100 gets you a seat at this limited event
Grand Prize is a Flat Screen TV!

Email Pam Tallmadge to register:

St. Baldrick's 2010 - thanks to those who donated.

Sorry there is no video of the St. Baldrick's event as my flip camera had issues but we did have a great time so thank you to all those who donated.  If anyone would still like to donate, here is the link

I'm off to the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Atlanta which starts at Noon.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Happy St. Baldrick's Day from the Heneghan Family

Today around 4:30 myself and my sons Riley & Gavin will be shaving our heads at Fado's Irish Pub in solidarity with kids fighting cancer. If you are unfamiliar with St. Baldrick's, I have embedded a small video from last years event in the margin at the right or you can just click here. We are collecting donations through St. Baldrick's to fund more research in fighting childhood cancer and if you are able to make a small donation please click here.   Thanks.  John, Riley & Gavin Heneghan

Convention & Visitors Bureau of Dunwoody website

The Convention & Visitors Bureau of Dunwoody, GA just posted their official website and were you aware that there are only five hotels within the City Limits of Dunwoody? They are...

Convention and Visitors Bureau of Dunwoody

Calling All Dunwoody Cyclists for Georgia Rides to the Capitol; Tues, March 23

March 23, 2010 Event
Don’t miss the 5th Annual Georgia Rides to the Capitol event. Show your state officials that you care about bicycling and the recently-introduced 3-Feet Safe Passing bill! The Dunwoody group will depart at 9:45 AM on a police-escorted route along Mt. Vernon Rd and will link up with Roswell & East Cobb riders on Roswell Road in Sandy Springs. We’ll travel at a leisurely 12 mile per hour pace, but novice riders and families may want to join the five-mile group ride leaving from East Lake MARTA Rail Station in Decatur with Mayor Bill Floyd. There are many other starting times and locations throughout the metro area including Roswell, East Cobb, and more, so please see the event website for details. Please note that return routes from the capitol will not be police-escorted. Meet the Dunwoody group at 9:30 AM at the Fresh Market at Dunwoody Village (5515 Chamblee Dunwoody Rd, Dunwoody, GA). Remember to pre-register at the website!

At a glance:
  • Over 2,000 Atlanta cyclists ride to the Capitol to support bike safety, visibility, and facilities
  • Ride with Dunwoody Mayor Ken Wright along a police-escorted route
  • Meet at Fresh Market in Dunwoody Village at 9:30 AM on Tuesday, Mar. 23
  • Enjoy the 16-mile, ~2-hour ride to the Capitol; ride MARTA or bike home
  • Free event, $10 suggested donation, complimentary snacks at starting point
  • Pre-register at

3-Feet Safe Passing Bill (HB 988)

Introduced in January, this bill will improve cyclists’ safety on Georgia’s roadways by requiring that 3 feet be maintained between cyclists and motor vehicles when passing. With your support we can help make this bill become law.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Contracting for City of Dunwoody services, a look backward at millions of dollars.

The biggest issue facing the newly created City of Dunwoody was how were we going to provide city services? The City of Sandy Springs was the model and they used a master contractor who then subcontracted where they could. This system worked wonderfully for Sandy Springs but the price being offered to Dunwoody by a single bidder was a little on the expensive side and a group of community members with the guidance of Senator Dan Weber started exploring other options.  Soon after, the master contractor CH2MHill withdrew the bid to provide city services and because of it, the city moved forward with a new model whereby we have a strong City Manager with direct oversight of numerous highly skilled contractors specializing in very targeted tasks. As time is proving the validity of our system, other communities now look to the Dunwoody model for possible new contracting options.

Check out this article in the AJC where our City Manager, Mr. Warren Hutmacher is quoted as to the efficiency and multi-million dollars in savings based on the system we use.

“By opening up the competition, we were able to draw better prices and draw in specialty firms,” Hutmacher said. “We were able to be innovative with new ideas, because of what had already been done.”

Looking back Dunwoody was lucky that we explored various options then took the one less traveled by, as that has made all the difference (in our budget).

More backyards may have barnyard feel - AJC

 Are Dunwoody backyard goats in our future?

By: Nancy  Badertscher for the AJC

Some barnyard animals could be moving into backyards under a bill that cleared a House committee Wednesday. The bill would allow homeowners to have chickens, milk goats and rabbits -- as well as sizable fruit and vegetable gardens -- so long as the goal would be to feed their families.

Local governments wouldn’t have much room to object, unless they have complaints about things like noise or odor that they're willing to take to court. Subdivision covenants would still apply, said Rep. Bobby Franklin (R-Marietta), sponsor of the “Georgia Right to Grow” bill.

“If Michelle Obama can grow food at the White House, then no Georgia family should be denied the right to grow their own food,” Franklin said.

Last year, some cities in north Fulton pressed homeowners to get rid of their backyard chickens. Some of the homeowners balked, and, in December, Roswell changed its backyard chicken ordinance to allow six birds in yards of one-third to one acre and a maximum of 36 birds with even bigger acreage.

Officials representing cities and counties -- including Atlanta -- told members of the House Agriculture Committee that the bill would usurp local control. “These decisions are best made locally,” said Tom Gehl, deputy director of governmental relations for the Georgia Municipal Association.  Committee members were split 6-6 on whether to pass the bill, and committee Chairman Tom McCall (R-Elberton) cast the tie-breaking vote.

Events leading up to this weekend.

Thursday morning, earlier then I am fully functional, the Sustainability Commission is meeting to discuss next steps in the Green Communities program. Thursday evening the Community Council is meeting to discuss rezoning the SunTrust Mortgage building on Perimeter Center across from the Mall from O-I (Office Institution District) to OCR (Office-Commercial-Residential District) to allow a restaurant or retail store. The other item up for discussion is multiple amendments to the text of the Dunwoody Village Overlay District Sign Ordinance.

Leadership DeKalb will host an Open House
on Thursday, March 11 at Dunwoody City Hall for active and influential leaders who are interested in community leadership training. Nominations for the Class of 2011 are being accepted now. DeKalb District Attorney Gwen Keyes Fleming, a graduate of the Class of 1999 and member of the Board of Directors, will host the Open House and moderate a panel of Leadership DeKalb graduates. The free Open House will begin with a Networking Reception at 5:30 p.m. and the program will last from 6 – 7 p.m. on March 11 at Dunwoody City Hall, 41 Perimeter Center East, Suite 103, Dunwoody, Georgia 30346. Parking is free and light refreshments will be served. Reservations can be made by e-mail to or by phone at 404-373-2491.

Thursday night is also the Ignorance is No Defense presentation for students and parents at Peachtree Charter Middle School.

Friday night my two oldest boys and I are shaving our heads at Fado's Irish Pub in solidarity with kids fighting cancer and we are collecting donations through St. Baldrick's to fund more research in fighting childhood cancer. I haven't been pushing for donations in this tough economy but if you would like to make a donation to the cause, please click here. Thanks for those who have already donated. 

Saturday at 7:30 am is the Vanderdash 5K and Fun Run followed by the Atlanta St. Patrick's Day Parade.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Video of March 8th Dunwoody City Council Work Session

Last nights work session meeting ran long to almost 11 pm with a short executive session.  The initial video timed out after 3 hours therefore I had to start a second video session for the last 20 minutes.  We followed the agenda but public comment lasted about 30 minutes and Councilman Ross added an agenda item on three new proposed bike routes through the city.  Besides talking about backyard chickens, we covered the important  topics of emergency medical services, a five year repaving plan, economic development and proposed a multi-family code compliance sweep.


Saturday, March 6, 2010

Greenspace - What is your Green Dream for Dunwoody?

Pattie Baker chairs the Dunwoody Sustainability Commission and is also serving on the Dunwoody Comprehensive Steering Committee which is the group helping the City and its contractor Pond & Company develop the first draft of our comprehensive land use plan. Pattie shot the video below discussing her thoughts on her Green Dream of Dunwoody and hopes the City can do better than they are initially proposing.

Click the video below and/or check out her original post here for even more information.

The Leprechaun Trap and the new Magic Tree House book are a couple of must read books for the holiday.

I haven't read either of the two books shown above but something tells me that I will be reading both very soon.

"The Leprechaun Trap" is published by Dunwoody authors David & Kelly Clinch and it tells the story of the children of an Irish-American Family who try to trap the naughty Leprechaun that causes trouble in their house every March. The book is available via Amazon and the Clinch's also have a line Soccer Princess clothes for those of interest.

The authors of the celebrated Magic Tree House series are coming to Atlanta next week! As part of their book tour featuring the newest MTH releases, Leprechaun in Late Winter (#43 in series) and its companion research guide Leprechauns and Irish Folklore, the authors will be in town just before St. Patrick’s Day – and that’s no blarney!

WHAT:           Book Signing and Author Visit with Mary Pope Osborne (MTH author) and Natalie Pope Boyce (MTH research guide co-author)

WHERE:          “Little Shop of Stories” children’s bookstore
                        133 East Court Square
                        Decatur, GA 30030
                        (404) 373-6300

WHEN:           Thursday, March 11, 2010 at 6:30pm

This is a FREE event – no advance tickets necessary. Parking is available in the Decatur Courthouse parking deck.

A message every young teen should hear, Ignorance is No Defense by J. Tom Morgan on Thursday @ PCMS

Author and former DeKalb County District Attorney
J. Tom Morgan
Speaking to Parents and Students
Thursday, March 11
7:00 p.m.

Ignorance is No Defense is a practical, convenient guide for teenagers on laws in Georgia. Packed with useful - and sometimes surprising - information about laws and consequences for violating laws, this book will help teenagers make safe, informed choices. Ignorance is No Defense covers a wide range of important topics, including the following:
  • The Fundamentals
    Overview of crimes and punishment, rights of a teenager in searches and arrests, parties to a crime, prosecution of adults and juveniles, going to court
  • What's the Crime?
    • Drugs and Alcohol: underage drinking and adult liability, false IDs, marijuana and other illegal drugs, prescription drugs, DUI
    • Vehicles: vehicular homicide, reckless driving, racing, aggressive driving, hit and run, other driving violations
    • Sex Crimes: statutory rape, rape and other sex crimes with force, sex crimes against children
    • Harm to People: physical and mental abuse of children, assault and battery, robbery and armed robbery, murder and voluntary manslaughter, self-defense
    • Harm to Property: stealing, criminal trespass, vandalism, other acts of invading property
    • More Crimes: criminal street gang, weapons, public indecency, gambling
  • Extra Stuff
    Driving cars and boats, body piercing, tattooing, tobacco, loitering, and more
Books will be available for $15.  Book signing at conclusion.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Agenda & Documents for Monday Dunwoody City Council meeting.

Monday, March 8th
Dunwoody City Hall
41 Perimeter Center East
Dunwoody, GA 30346
7:00 p.m. - Watch Live
Work Session Agenda

1. Emergency Medical Service response discussion.
2. Resolution opposing proposed changes to Class B airspace at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport.
3. Online disclosure reports discussion.
4. City of Dunwoody and Perimeter Community Improvement District (PCID) Cooperation Agreement.
5. Ordinance to amend Chapter 27, Article 4, Section 4-10.1 to include regulations for “Raising Backyard Chickens in Single Family Residence Districts.”
6. Ordinance to amend Chapter 15 re Regulation of taxi cabs.
7. Discussion of Mt. Vernon – Dunwoody Baptist to Sandy Springs linear park/path.
8. Five-year resurfacing plan discussion.
9. Multi-family housing code compliance discussion.
10. Economic Development discussion.
11. Green Building Policy Discussion.
12. Motorized carts discussion.
13. Off-duty police traffic control.
14. Impact fees discussion.

Dunwoody Comprehensive Plan Public Survey

The Dunwoody Community Development Department and Steering Committee have created a survey as means to solicit input from local residents, businesses and property owners as it pertains to the development of the Comprehensive Plan. This survey will provide an opportunity during the planning process for the public to identify their opinions on various subjects concerning the City of Dunwoody. Participation is voluntary; however, by responding to this survey you will aid in the development of a thorough Comprehensive Plan.
(I was not involved in the survey creation but I do encourage you to take a few minutes to complete it as I do look forward to the results and the written comments.  Thanks.  John)

Rumor of Jim Showfety as new Dunwoody HS football coach and other misc tidbits.

Heard a rumor, but can not confirm that Dunwoody High School hired Jim Showfety as their new football coach.

Interim DeKalb schools chief: Budget on track

City of Dunwoody 2010 March E-News Update

Citizens Police Academy - heard from several participants that they are really enjoying this program. Think about signing up if we offer this again.  The ride along program is also available.

House Addresses on Curb - am told the Police Explorers are still painting house numbers on curbs. It costs $20.00 which is treated as a tax deductible contribution. Please contact Officer William Furman at (678)382-6913.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

My nightly reading - most of which is Dunwoody related in some way.

The Global Debt Bomb - Georgia ranks 21st.

MARTA to slash a quarter of service and other perspectives on Marta funding for DeKalb & Fulton.

Georgia Perimeter: Program cuts, furloughs, restrictions on courses and larger classes

Colleges outline massive cuts to help balance state budget with UGA proposing to slash 1,418 jobs

Mandatory online disclosures.  I think Dunwoody may need to correct this and I am making inquiries.

The Board Meeting at Peachtree MS and the Budget

Kudos to Maria Saporta and her other colleagues. I appreciate your work and maybe you can offer Peter Parker the photographer over at the Daily Bugle a part time gig?

Mommy & Me, GA Aquarium deal extended until March 19th but you can use the tickets until Dec 31.

Bike-lane project moving forward in Decatur

Kudos to Rep Mike Jacobs who is blogging and participating in social media quite a bit more these days.  He even cut his own video for Youtube on lowering your real estate taxes (deadline just passed) and I enjoyed the locked in piece done by Doug Richards.  (Here's Doug's back story on the piece.)

Speaking of Mr. Richards, Doug is a TV newsman who analyzes the craft of TV news here in Atlanta on his Live Apartment Fire blog and therefore it is a daily read of mine.  There were two DeKalb news stories that he covered recently both equally interesting in their own right, Transparency and Disinformation Officer Check them out.

I've also had a few people mention they were surprised by the various ways to read and share my blog with others.  Below are a few you may not be aware of.

Available via Facebook  or   Subscribe to Heneghans Dunwoody Blog by Email

Another tidbit of information based on comment I received, my e-mail subscriptions goes out around 11 am therefore I sometimes write a post in advance and schedule it to go live at some time in the future after that cutoff so that the post has maximum screen time and yet is also in the que the next day when I really want a majority of the people to read it.  I guess what I'm saying is don't believe the time stamp since I can manipulate it as I see fit; just like this (and many of my blog posts) show they were published at 12:01 am when in reality they were not.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Dunwoody Chamblee Parents' Council meets Wednesday, topic "How To Raise a Good Citizen"

The Dunwoody Chamblee Parents' Council brings parents, DCSS Board Members, school officials and Georgia Legislators together to discuss topics that affect public schools in our community. You have the opportunity to meet other parents and speak directly with your Board of Education representatives. 

SPEAKER: Dr. Garry McGiboney
                 Associate Superintendent
                 Policy and External Affairs
                 Georgia Department of Education

TOPIC: "How To Raise a Good Citizen" 

Dr. McGiboney is a very motivating and informative speaker. We are fortunate to have him join us again. He will share ways we can influence our children to become good citizens. He combines his experience as a parent with his professional career in helping many families grow and become stronger. After hearing him speak before, a parent said "I feel like I've gotten a booster shot of strength and encouragement so I can be recharged for the tough job of being a parent." 

WHEN: Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010 
WHERE: Montgomery Elementary School
              3995 Ashford Dunwoody Road
              Atlanta, Georgia 30319
TIME:  Beverages served at 8:45am, Meeting is from 9:15 - 10:30am
PHONE: 678-676-7502   (School Office) 

If you would like to be on the email list to receive future meeting notices, please send a note to