Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Dunwoody Walk-to-School Day is Wednesday

Austin ES:
The first Wednesday of every month will be a walk to school day for Austin Elementary. Join in with your friends and neighbors in getting out of cars and walking to school. Do you live too far to walk the whole way? Drive to Mellow Mushroom and park and walk the rest of the way to Austin. The "walking bus" will leave from Mellow Mushroom at 7:30am sharp.

Chesnut ES:
Route 1:
1. Meeting point is N. Peachtree Road parking lot of Kingswood United Methodist Church.
2. Depart at 7:05 a.m. Cross N. Peachtree Road and proceed south.
3. Cross Tilly Mill Road (there should be a Dunwoody Police officer at this crossing) and proceed south.
4. Cross N. Peachtree Road at Chesnut crossing guard.
**Jan Jones will be the walk leader from this location, but we are looking for volunteers to be a walk leader-- ideally we need two leaders, one for the front and one for the back of the line.
Route 2:
1. Meeting point is Dunover Circle at Sharon valley where there is limited parking. Please carpool, walk to the meeting point or join the route along the way. (Alternatively, there is ample parking at Dunwoody North Driving Club. The entrance to the club is on Kingsgate Drive. If you park there, exit the parking lot onto Kingsgate Drive and proceed south to meet the other walkers at the corner of Kingsgate and Brookhurst Drive.)
2. Depart at 7:05 a.m. Proceed along Dunover Circle towards Sharon Valley Court.
3. Right onto Sharon Valley Court
4. Right onto Flintshire Court
5. Left onto Kings Point Circle
6. Right onto Brookhurst Drive
7. Right onto N. Peachtree Road
8. Cross N. Peachtree Road at Chesnut crossing guard.
** Looking for parent volunteers to lead this route.
Also, we are looking for parent volunteers to lead a Walking School Bus from the Chateau or Georgetown areas! If you are interested in volunteering, please send us an email at walk@chesnutcharter.com

Dunwoody ES: 
Help Your Class Win The "Golden Shoe." This award is given to the class with the highest participation. Four Starting Points or Join Us Along The Way:
Dunwoody Library
St. Luke's Church
Kingswood Church
Vermack Pool
Meet at the Starting Points at 7:00am. Walking begins at 7:05. Come Out and Join Us - Rain or Shine. This is not a drop off event - a parent must accompany a child the entire walk.

Kingsley Charter ES:
To participate on a Walking Wednesday, simply select the route that is most convenient for you. If you do not live on one of our routes, you can still participate by joining us at the drop-off point at each routes origin. Click the link below to view the map for each route:
On our designated Walking Wednesdays, we will follow a strict schedule to ensure our students arrive to school safely and on time.
7:00 – 7:05 AM Walkers meet at the drop-off point of their route
7:05 – 7:10 AM Walker check-in and orientation
7:10 AM SHARP! Walking School Bus begins walk to school
7:35 AM Students arrive at Kingsley
In an effort to make this program as safe and enjoyable as possible, we have prepared a walkers guide for your reference. Please print the guide below, and be sure you and your student are completely familiar with all its terms and conditions before participating in a Walking Wednesday event.

Kingsley Walkers Guide for the "Walking School Bus"

Simple facts about what makes Dunwoody a great place to live and work as shared by Mayor Ken Wright and Chamber of Commerce Chairman Bill Grant

What makes Dunwoody a great place to live and work?

Dunwoody Mayor Ken Wright shared great facts about our community at a recent Chamber of Commerce event that I thought I would share.

For FY2010, there are 2,352 licensed business in the City, which employee 21,083 and generate $2,335,264 in occupation taxes on $2.34 Billion in gross receipts (GA).

Dunwoody can boast of 122 Restaurants, 60 medical professional offices, 46 beauty salons, 33 law firms and 42 management consultant offices.

We have 5 full-service hotels in the Perimeter Center with a total of 1,554 hotel rooms with total meeting space of 62,000 square feet.

Board Chair, Bill Grant continued with the theme of good things about Dunwoody.

In fact, he challenged the group to make their own list of the 10 Greatest Things about Dunwoody, Georgia. The problem, Bill explained, was not how hard it is to come up with ten good things, the problem is limiting the list to ten -- He could only whittle it down to fourteen!

So, according to Bill Grant, The Ten Fourteen Greatest thing about Dunwoody, Georgia

1. A city government of the people, by the people and for the people and no elected official has a second agenda.

2. Perimeter Mall as a significant source of revenue, and a powerful location for offices. It is the largest business center in Atlanta and houses 50 fortune 500 companies, 75 significant stores, restaurants and 5 hotels.

3. 2300+ businesses are active within the boundaries.

4. The Dunwoody Crier a local newspaper that virtually everyone reads.

5. Twelve community based non-profits all with the goal of making Dunwoody unique and better. A variety of events are sponsored by these organizations, including: Light Up Dunwoody, Lemonade Days, The Dunwoody Music Festival, the 4th of July Parade, the Dunwoody Arts Festival, the Soap Box Derby, and the Dunwoody Dash.

6. An active heritage with land marks, such as the Spruill home, the Cheek Spruill Home, the Railroad Hand House, and the Donaldson-Bannister Farm.

7. Georgia Perimeter College, Dunwoody Campus.

8. Our own police force with one officer to every 847 people.

9. A frugal City council that operates at a surplus while maintaining lower taxes than any surrounding community.

10. Small town feel with everyone interested in the overall welfare of all.

11. Proximity to the big city with the major technical University of the South and the world’s busiest airport.

12. Next to the largest Medical complex in Georgia.

13. Transportation terminus with 3 local Marta stations and easy access to I-285 and Ga. 400.

14. Seven City parks: Dunwoody Nature Center, Brook Run Park, the Donaldson-Bannister Farm, Dunwoody Park, Perimeter Center East Park, Vernon Oaks Park, and Windwood Hollow Park.

Not bad for a young city, what is on your list?

November ballot item - extention of Dunwoody ad valorem tax homestead exemption

This November the residents of Dunwoody will see an item on the ballot proposed by Rep. Fran Millar that continues the homestead tax exemption of ad valorem taxes that were about to expire. As a member of the Dunwoody City Council, I am not going to lobby for or against the item (as I may be prohibited from doing so) but know that Representative Millar has worked in the best interest for Dunwoody residents for many years and that I am sure this will be explained (in layman's terms) by him in the very near future. Please watch for it.

HB 1319 - Dunwoody, City of; ad valorem tax; provide homestead exemption

BILL SUMMARY: A Bill to amend the homestead exemption from City of Dunwoody ad valorem taxes for municipal purposes in an amount equal to the amount by which the current year assessed value of a homestead exceeds the base year assessed value of such homestead by eliminating the automatic sunset so that the exemption continues indefinitely.

Authored By: Rep. Fran Millar of the 79th
Signed by the Governor - 06/02/2010
Referendum -  November 2, 2010

An Act incorporating the City of Dunwoody, approved March 25, 2008 (Ga. L. 2008, p. 3536), as amended, is amended by repealing in its entirety subsection (f) of Section 5.08 which reads as follows:

"(f) The exemption granted by subsection (b) of this section shall apply only to taxable years 2009 through 2011. Unless renewed or extended by subsequent Act of the General Assembly, the exemption granted by subsection (b) of this section shall not apply to taxable year 2012 or any subsequent taxable year."

Unless otherwise prohibited by the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended, the municipal election superintendent of the City of Dunwoody shall call and conduct an election as provided in this section for the purpose of submitting this Act to the electors of the City of Dunwoody for approval or rejection. The municipal election superintendent shall conduct that election on the date of the November, 2010, state-wide general election. The municipal election superintendent shall issue the call and conduct such election as provided by general law. The municipal election superintendent shall cause the date and purpose of the election to be published once a week for two weeks immediately preceding the date thereof in the official organ of DeKalb County. The ballot shall have written or printed thereon the words:

"( ) YES   ( ) NO   Shall the Act be approved which amends the homestead exemption from City of Dunwoody ad valorem taxes for municipal purposes in an amount equal to the amount by which the current year assessed value of a homestead exceeds the base year assessed value of such homestead by eliminating the automatic sunset so that the exemption continues indefinitely?"

All persons desiring to vote for approval of the Act shall vote "Yes," and all persons desiring to vote for rejection of the Act shall vote "No." If more than one-half of the votes cast on such question are for approval of the Act, Section 1 of this Act shall become of full force and effect on January 1, 2011, and shall apply to all taxable years beginning on or after that date. If the Act is not so approved or if the election is not conducted as provided in this section, Section 1 of this Act shall not become effective and this Act shall be automatically repealed on the first day of January immediately following such election date. The expense of such election shall be borne by the City of Dunwoody. It shall be the duty of the municipal election superintendent to certify the results thereof to the Secretary of State.
HB 1319 Dunwoody Homestead Exemption

Dunwoody High School Football Blogs and Schedule

I found that someone started an "unofficial" Dunwoody High School Football blog and that this weeks game will be shown on the internet.  The "official" Dunwoody High School Football site is still under construction but I did find the full schedule there.  Check out both locations if interested in the topic.

As the father of sons who play football, Dunwoody High School home games are a real treat both in quality and price of admission.  I hope to attend most home games but in checking my schedule I just noticed that I will be missing the big Dunwoody / Marist game on October 15th.  Really bummed as I bet that will be a lot of fun.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Dunwoody update by Councilman Robert Wittenstein

Dear Dunwoody Friends and Neighbors,

First, I’d like to welcome the new additions to my distribution list and to invite any of you who get this forwarded to you to get on my distribution list by e-mailing me at robertlw@mindspring.com.

This month I’d like to share with you various ways you can stay informed on City of Dunwoody government. You might want to save this e-mail away for future reference.

If you see a public works problem and want to report it, please call 678-382-6700 and ask for Public Works. To report an after-hours emergency problem, dial the number and press “2”.

For routine issues, you can e-mail the public works department at: public.works@dunwoodyga.gov.

If you have a police, fire or medical emergency you should call 911. If you want to talk with the police dispatcher, but it isn’t an emergency, you can call 404-294-2911.

Would you like to see information on crimes in your neighborhood? We have recently set up a website that allows residents to view a map of police activity at Dunwoody Crime Search.

The City Council meets at 7:00 pm on the second and fourth Monday of each month. (Our meetings in September will be on the 13th and the 27th.) We welcome you to come in person to City Hall (41 Perimeter Center East, behind Park Place shopping center). We start and end every meeting with public comment where anyone who wishes to make a statement has up to three minutes to address us. You can also watch us from the comfort of your home through the Internet. Our meetings are streamed live complements of Councilmember John Heneghan at Council meetings live feed.

Are you interested in what our ordinances actually say? If so, you can read and search our complete code of ordinances at Dunwoody code of ordinances.

September is budget month. We will revise our 2010 budget and also begin discussion of our proposed 2011 budget. I expect an important and lively discussion on the proper balance between spending on police, roads and parks. In the meantime, if you want to view our current 2010 budget, you can find it at Dunwoody 2010 budget.

For those who want to stay really connected to your city government, you can arrange to have an e-mail notice sent to you each time we post news, events, or publish agendas and material for meetings. You can sign up to receive only News notices, only Event notices, only Meeting Agendas or any combination of the three. Sign up for automatic e-mail updates here.

Finally, if you have something on your mind and want to let your elected officials know, feel free to e-mail us:

Mayor Ken Wright, ken.wright@dunwoodyga.gov
Council Post 1 (District 1 Local), Denis "Denny" Shortal, denis.shortal@dunwoodyga.gov
Council Post 2 (District 2 Local), Adrian Bonser, adrian.bonser@dunwoodyga.gov
Council Post 3 (District 3 Local), Douglas R. Thompson, douglas.thompson@dunwoodyga.gov
Council Post 4 (District 1 At Large), Robert Wittenstein, robert.wittenstein@dunwoodyga.gov
Council Post 5 (District 2 At Large), Danny Ross, danny.ross@dunwoodyga.gov
Council Post 6 (District 3 At Large), John Heneghan, john.heneghan@dunwoodyga.gov



Chesnut Charter Elementary has a new Parent Website!

If you’re a Chesnut parent, you have a new, cool tool to use for keeping up-to-date with school goings-on.

The new website, www.chesnutcharter.com , is a parent-run site, jointly managed by the PTA and Charter Council.  It’s designed to contain all the information parents need on a daily basis, including things like:

·         School news posted on the front page
  • ·         Carpool, Parking, and Dismissal policy changes
  • ·         Breaking news on how the school is handling the unexpected increase in kindergarten classes
  • ·         Menu, bus, and weather information
  • ·         Choices for school clubs, activities, and yearbook
  • ·         MyLunchMoney.com account management
The site also contains school-related technical information such as:
  • ·         Dekalb County annual school calendar
  • ·         Archived minutes from PTA and Charter Council meetings
  • ·         Contact list for Room Parents
  • ·         Online copy of the Charter Contract
  • ·         Teacher contacts, grading policy, attendance policy, dress code requirements
From the site, you can link directly to the volunteer management system, K12Ambit, used as a calendar of school events, finding volunteer opportunities at the school, tracking charter credit hours, and receiving regular weekly and one-off urgent email blasts from the school.   You can also make online donations with a credit card to the PTA’s and Charter Council’s charitable organizations – used to augment facilities, training, and cultural events above and beyond what’s provided by Dekalb County.  If you think the site is useful, sign up and Subscribe to receive once-a-day emails any time a news item is posted on the front page.

We hope you’ll use the website to stay involved in the life of the school!
Chesnut Charter Council and PTA

Saturday, August 28, 2010

City Hosts “Pic in the Park” Movie Night at Brook Run Park - Sat Sep 25th

The City of Dunwoody Parks and Recreation welcomes families and kids of all ages to “Pic in the Park.” Dunwoody and area residents are invited to enjoy this free, outdoor event featuring the PG release Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Other activities include face painting, a bounce house, food for purchase, and more!

The movie will be shown on a giant outdoor screen on the play field located at the front of the park (North Peachtree entrance), adjacent to the playground.

Saturday, September 25, 2010
6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Brook Run Park
4770 North Peachtree Road
Dunwoody, GA 30346

As a consideration to others, Pic in the Park moviegoers are asked to leave pets at home; however, pet are allowed in the park and the Dog Park will be open until sunset. Umbrellas and high-backed chairs are strongly discouraged to allow visibility for all viewers.

Dunwoody High School Meeting to discuss Water Retention Pond - Tuesday Aug 31

Dunwoody High School SPLOST III Renovation & Addition

Community Meeting
Tuesday, August 31
Dunwoody High School Media Center

Topic: Dunwoody High School Retention Pond

Please join us for an informative meeting about the new retention pond at Dunwoody High School.

Claire Botsch
Dunwoody HS Design Team

Dunwoody Sidewalk Improvement Plan

City Sidewalk Planning Process

The City of Dunwoody created the Sidewalk Improvement Program to provide an objective process to prioritize the City’s sidewalk projects. The City has allotted $100,000 in capital funds to the improvement of our sidewalks for 2010 and anticipates further capital funding for the coming years. The City has identified 21 miles of future sidewalk improvements and 87 future ADA-compliant sidewalk ramps.

The Sidewalk Improvement Policy details the purpose, goals and requirements of our sidewalk improvement program. This policy also includes the priority criteria that will benefit the city as a whole.

Sidewalk Improvement Program scores potential sidewalk projects based on the specific criteria listed in the Sidewalk Improvement Policy.

The Existing and Future Sidewalks Map shows where the city’s potential sidewalk projects will fit with the existing sidewalk throughout the city.

The City will be hosting a Public Information Meeting to discuss the installation of three new sidewalks on Tuesday, August 31, 2010 between 6:30 PM and 8:30 PM at Dunwoody City Hall, 41 Perimeter Center East, Dunwoody, Georgia 30346.  The three projects are located on North Peachtree Road south of Chestnut Elementary, Verdon Drive and Dunwoody Park. There will be no formal presentation. City staff will be available anytime between 6:30 PM and 8:30 PM to discuss the projects and answer any questions.

In other related news, the City has been in contact with the GA DOT over the future installation of sidewalks and traffic safety improvements around Kingsley Elementary for the $460,000.00 Safe Routes to Schools grant but these projects will not be installed until the spring.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Dunwoody resident Kathie Chipman refinishes "A Few Good Pieces" of Vintage Furniture

Kathie Chipman, a long time resident of Dunwoody (I think she still holds a few swim records on the Dunwoody North pool house wall from her teenage years) who is now raising a family of her own; has officially turned her passion of furniture restoration and refinishing into a business.

In the last few years, Kathie has become a treasure hunter. She looks for great pieces of furniture that have been neglected or damaged. Then she carefully repairs, refinishes or reinvents the piece. You'll find plenty of pieces here on her blog that were rescued from the Goodwill, thrift stores, junk lots or even Craigslist. Kathie is also taking custom work, so if you have a special piece that needs a makeover, let her know!

Kathie's blog is used to document her projects along the way and she would love to have you stop to to take a look at what she has done. If your interested in contacting Kathie Chipman, drop her a note at kathiechipman@yahoo.com and she will get back to you.

Georgia Aquarium's Me & Mommy Deal allows one adult, four kids & free parking for $25.00

They know it’s not always easy for moms (and dads and caregivers!) to take everyone on an exciting adventure, and the Georgia Aquarium wants to help. They have brought back the best Aquarium offer ever, and they have reserved it just for you!

For only $25, the Me & Mommy ticket includes Aquarium admission for one adult, free admission for children age 5 and under (maximum four children per paid adult) and free parking ($10 value). This offer is valid Monday-Friday, now through November 12, 2010, and can only be purchased online. You also have to bring the little ones along to take advantage of this great offer. So take a day and come see everything at the world's largest aquarium, big (beluga whales, whale sharks!) and small (clownfish!).

Lekotek Run - this Saturday, August 28th at Georgia Perimeter College

This Saturday, August 28th, kids and families in the City of Dunwoody will be lacing up their tennis shoes to participate in the 18th Annual Lekotek Run -- all to benefit children with disabilities. This event, held at Georgia Perimeter College, provides an opportunity for the Dunwoody spirit to shine brightly as a stellar example of community service. We have course options for every fitness level -- a 4 mile run/race walk and a 1-mile fun run/walk. All race entrants receive a long sleeve race t-shirt and all children who participate take home a medal . Plus, there’s food, fun and activities for the whole family. Last year we had over 600 runners and another 100 volunteers and family members attended the event.
Georgia Perimeter College, 2101 Womack Road, 30338

Race-day registration (August 28)
Starts at 7:00 a.m.
4 mile race starts at 8 a.m.
1 Mile Fun Run starts at 9 a.m.
$20.00 entry fee (Children under 12 years pay the dollar amount of their age.)

Children with disabilities and special needs face challenges interacting with family members and participating in school and community activities. That's why we're here. Lekotek facilitates successful inclusion in all aspects of life. Lekotek occupies a unique niche in the lives of kids with disabilities. It's a welcome break from therapy. Yet through play, Lekotek promotes inclusion and frequent byproducts of play result in mastering therapy goals. All children learn through play and Lekotek provides a recreational environment to meet the special needs of every child. Lekotek's philosophy is that every child can be successful with adaptations. Adapted toys, software and computer input devices are our tools to help any child with a disability.

Pulitzer Prize winning author, Natasha Trethewey, will be reading at the Spruill Gallery on August 28th at noon.

Pulitzer Prize winning author, Natasha Trethewey, will be reading at the Spruill Gallery on August 28th at noon. Her memoir, Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississipi Gulf is upcoming from the University of Georgia press this September.

Her talk will surely be one you can't miss. Learn more about Natasha Trethewey or her upcoming book. Click on 'upcoming book' to hear and read her interview on NPR's Fresh Air.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Copy of the Doraville GM package that DeKalb County Commission is going to vote on today.

I have obtained the DeKalb Board of Commissioners documents regarding the Doraville GM plant redevelopment whereby the developer would get a 35 million gift from the DeKalb County Tax Payers in exchange for promises of development at a later date.  The proposed development down the road is too small and too far away in exchange cash up front to build something now that isn't needed nor will generate extensive tax revenue.  I think I heard Elaine Boyer call it empty promises.
DeKalb GM Vote Info for Aug24

Monday, August 23, 2010

Video of the Aug 23rd Dunwoody City Council Meeting

Atlanta Tour de Pink on Oct 16, 2010 at Perimeter Mall in Dunwoody supporting the Young Survival Coalition (YSC)

Young Survival Coalition - Tour de Pink
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Perimeter Mall

The only bike ride for breast cancer in Atlanta, YSC Tour de Pink is the fastest growing charity cycling event in the metro area. Take part in routes from 1 to 100 miles, exploring the northern suburbs as we ride to fight breast cancer in young women. Bring your family and experience our community expo, featuring entertainment, food and more! YSC Tour de Pink Atlanta is more than an event with cyclists. It’s a chance to honor survivors, raise local awareness and support important Atlanta programs for young women with breast cancer.

What is YSC Tour de Pink Atlanta?As Atlanta’s only bike ride for breast cancer, participants enjoy the opportunity to ride from 1 to 100 miles in the Northern suburbs.  The inaugural ride in 2009 saw over 350 registered riders and raised almost $150,000 for local programs. This year promises to be bigger and better, from short family rides and a survivor loop to professionally designed routes for the more expert cyclist.  We’ve even added an opportunity for walkers to join us on our short route!

Who is YSC?Young Survival Coalition Atlanta is the oldest and largest affiliate of YSC, ensuring no young woman faces breast cancer alone.

When and Where is YSC Tour de Pink Atlanta?YSC Tour de Pink Atlanta is Saturday, October 16, 2010 at Perimeter Mall in Dunwoody. 

How can I participate in Tour de Pink?A number of ways!

Cycle (entry fee and $125 minimum fundraising requirement) - Participate in one of four cycling tours (4, 20, 50 and 100 miles).

Walk (entry fee and $125 minimum fundraising requirement) - Run or walk the 4 mile course
Child (entry fee only) Children under 14 are encouraged to take part in our family ride with an adult. While fundraising isn’t a requirement, we encourage all young supporters to get involved.

Volunteer - Plenty of opportunities to donate your valuable time to benefit a great cause.

Where do we ride?The event begins and ends at Perimeter Mall. Depending on the route you choose, your ride will wind through the scenic streets and neighborhoods of North Atlanta moving north toward Lake Lanier. All riders will cross the finish line at our community expo. Route details will be posted here as soon as they are available: Atlanta Ride.

Taxpayers Shouldn’t Become Developer’s ATM by Representative Mike Jacobs

Shopping centers empty like ghost towns in the Wild West

By Rep Mike Jacobs

Drive north on Peachtree Road and Peachtree Industrial Boulevard through Brookhaven, Chamblee, Doraville and into Dunwoody and the view is startling. Shopping centers are empty like the ghost towns of the Wild West.

Town Brookhaven is finally sprouting major anchor stores, but is having trouble filling its smaller retail store fronts. Chamblee Plaza? Nearly empty. The new “Super H Mart” center adjacent to the GM site? It’s nearly empty, too.

The CoStar Group, a national real estate analysis firm, says the vacancy rates of retail, shopping centers and offices in North DeKalb are at catastrophic levels when you compare them to the national average. With so many empty store fronts, why would county officials push so hard to use our tax dollars for a supersized mixed-use project at the site of the former GM plant in Doraville?

Consider this:

- In the North DeKalb zip codes 30319, 30338, 30340, 30341, 30346 and 30360, the vacancy rate for shopping centers is 23 percent compared to 14 percent in DeKalb County as a whole and 10 percent in the City of Atlanta.

- The vacancy rate for North DeKalb office buildings is 24 percent compared to 18 percent in the county overall and 20 percent in the City of Atlanta.

- Retail vacancy rates are 17 percent in those zip codes, 11 percent in DeKalb overall, and 9 percent in Atlanta, according to CoStar.

The county’s elected officials are considering using a special allocation of $36 million in federal stimulus bonds on the 165-acre GM site with visions of creating another Atlantic Station. These bonds come with a high price tag to the taxpayers. DeKalb officials would use the stimulus bonds as a $36 million “gift” to an out-of-state developer, New Broad Street of Florida.

Worse yet, county taxpayers would have to pay the principal and a majority of the interest on these bonds. It’s very likely that means higher property taxes for you and me because the county doesn’t otherwise have the money to make the payments.

In ordinary times, the developer wouldn’t have to rely on county taxpayers. There would be more private investment to help finance the project. But these are no ordinary times. We’re in the midst of the worst commercial real estate market in memory. Private investors don’t want to provide the financing for an overly ambitious mixed-use project consisting of shopping, apartments and offices. The county wants the taxpayers to step in and do what private investors won’t do: bear the risks of this project.

If a new restaurant, retail shop or gas station, for example, wants to open for business, investors take the risk whether it prospers or fails. The same should be true for this project. DeKalb taxpayers are not a bank. They are not in the business of providing corporate welfare to jump start a project the private sector would never finance.

This is the most ambitious project we’ve ever seen county officials attempt to tackle, and it comes during a deep recession. It is not the taxpayers’ job to finance the next Atlantic Station and add to the already glutted market a new supply of retail and commercial space.

The definition of insanity, according to Albert Einstein, is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. We should heed the lessons of the “real estate bubble” and steer clear of risking taxpayer funds for further overdevelopment. After the bubble has burst, don’t use our tax dollars to create another bubble!

There are two final things to consider:

1. The GM site ultimately will be redeveloped if the county does not intervene. It’s arguably the most valuable parcel of available commercial property in the county. It’s on a major highway (I-285), a major north-south artery (Peachtree Industrial), and a MARTA station. In better economic times, something that private investors and market forces will support will be built there. I’m confident of that.

2. These particular stimulus bonds are supposed to be used for public infrastructure projects, not for private development. When used properly, they are a cheaper way of financing these projects. The county already has a list of infrastructure needs a mile long, not the least of which is the water and sewer system upgrades that they plan to fund with massive increases in our water bills. The bonds could be used to defray those costs. They also could be used for projects such as street repairs, new sidewalks, intersection upgrades, and parks.

The DeKalb County Board of Commissioners will vote on this matter tomorrow, Tuesday, August 24.
Commissioner Elaine Boyer has pledged to vote against it. I encourage you to contact the other six county commissioners (Rader, Johnson, Barnes-Sutton, May, Gannon, and Stokes) and urge them to vote “no” as well. In particular, Commissioner Jeff Rader appears not to have taken a position as of yet. You can find the commissioners’ telephone numbers and e-mail addresses by clicking here.

Taxpayers Can’t Afford to Subsidize another Atlantic Station by DeKalb Commissioner Elaine Boyer

By Elaine Boyer

Milton Friedman, Nobel laureate and economic advisor to Ronald Reagan, coined a memorable term that withstands the test of time in economics and politics: “There is no such thing as a free lunch.”

DeKalb County’s CEO Burrell Ellis, the county’s development authority and a private developer seeking to remodel the former General Motors plant in Doraville might consider that wisdom. Taxpayers would wind up on the hook for this 165-acre project deemed to be the region’s next Atlantic Station.

The so-called “free money” or federal stimulus money being touted for this project along Interstate 285 is nothing more than $36 million in bonds that someone would have to pay off. That someone is DeKalb County taxpayers.

It was revealed last week that to cover the cost of the bonds of the mixed-used project offered by New Broad Street, the county would levy a 1 percent sales tax or a .12 property tax increase. The 10,000 residents of the city of Doraville also would pay a 33 percent property tax hike.

There is nothing free or beneficial about this deal at all to the residents of our county.

The audacity of county officials and the private developer is what has turned the American public against government in this age of tea parties and hostility toward incumbents. Ever since the 2008, $787 billion federal bank bailout, taxpayers have had enough of government financing of anything in the private sector.

All they hear about is bailouts ranging from a proposed $23 billion bailout for teachers; to rescue packages for Chrysler, Ford and GM’s corporate headquarters in Detroit. And let’s not forget about Bear Stearns and other financials saved by American taxpayers and the ability of our federal government to print money with no forethought of what would do to our economy and the lives of our children and grandchildren.

Here in DeKalb, our local economy is suffering just as is the rest of the nation. The county’s unemployment rate is 9 percent, and homeowners can’t afford a property tax increase for another retail, office and multi-family complex. Nor should our sales rise to the highest in the region to pay for such a development – no matter how many jobs it might create.

It used to be when the private sector wanted to build a restaurant, a dry cleaner’s or a shoe store, for example, it loaned the money to an investor who took the risk. The builder never expected taxpayers to help foot the bill. Today, too many developers are seeking corporate welfare to finance their projects. If New Broad Street or another firm doesn’t have the cash to rebuild the GM site, then it shouldn’t do it. The taxpayers are not a bank.

Drive into the suburbs or virtually anywhere in the Atlanta region and there are empty storefronts, shopping centers, apartment complexes and office buildings, thanks to this Great Recession. The last thing we need to do is use taxpayer money to add to the supply.

Economics revolves around supply and demand. For the Atlanta economy to rebound to a sustainable condition, government must get out of the way and let market forces align so it can recover on its own. The economist Friedman was also quoted as saying: “Governments never learn. Only people learn.” Let’s hope this worst recession since the Great Depression will teach elected officials a lesson. Let taxpayers keep more of their own money.

Boyer, a Republican, represents District 1 on the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners which includes Doraville and the site of the General Motors plant.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

McKendrick's Steak House of Dunwoody shares with Atlanta Business Radio what makes them so special.

Mr. Doug McKendrick offers Dunwoody one of the finest dining experiences in the Atlanta metropolitan area serving the very best steak and seafood available.  He along with General Manager Rick Crowe and Chef Tom Minchella explained to the listeners of Atlanta Business Radio the reasons why McKendrick's is such a beloved institution in town. From the freshest ingredients to the top notch customer service you will not find a better steak or better meal in town. Check out the interview and for you fine chefs out there, you might be interested in knowing that Chef Tom not only has a blog (Culinary Comfort - for the love of food!) but his wide appealing culinary reputare also means that he he is the preliminary favorite to win the Dunwoody Chili Cookoff in October.

McKendrick's Steak House
4505 Ashford Dunwoody Road
Dunwoody, GA 30346
Phone: 770-512-8888

Attention Chesnut Parents - No Left Hand turns from North Peachtree into or out of car pool.

New Chesnut car pool rule for N. Peachtree Road.

The following was sent to all Chesnut parents via email this evening.

Morning Drop Off Changes
To minimize North bound traffic congestion on North Peachtree Road, Dunwoody Police and Chesnut School will implement the following changes on Monday, August 23.
Arrivals before 7:30 am - you may make right and left hand turns from North Peachtree road into the lower school parking lot
Arrivals between 7:30 and 8:15 am - ONLY RIGHT turns can be made from North Peachtree into the lower school parking lot; cones will be placed in the middle of North Peachtree blocking the ability to turn left.

If you travel north on North Peachtree Road between 7:30 and 8:00, you have a couple of options:
1) park on a side street in the Dunwoody North subdivision and walk on the side walk to the crossing guard on North Peachtree
2) travel through the Dunwoody North subdivision and exit back on North Peachtree road north of the school and get into the drop-off line
3) travel on Cotillion Road, turn right on North Shallowford, turn right on Peachford, and turn right on North Peachtree getting into the drop-off line

We DO NOT recommend crossing North Peachtree at any other location than at the Crossing Guard at the front of the school.

Please remember you can only turn RIGHT out of the lower parking lot going south bound on North Peachtree road.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Monday August 23rd, Dunwoody City Council Meeting Agenda

Monday, August 23rd
Dunwoody City Hall
41 Perimeter Center East
Dunwoody, GA 30346
7:00 p.m. - Watch Live
Meeting Agenda

Dunwoody Chamblee Parents Council meeting - Wed Sept. 1st, 9 am at PCMS


When:  Weds., Sept. 1, 2010, 9:15am-10:30am
(refreshments start at 8:45am)

Where:  Peachtree Charter Middle School
4664 North Peachtree Rd.
Dunwoody, GA  30338

Who:  Romona Tyson, DCSS Interim Superintendent and Dr. Morcease Beasley, Interim Deputy Superintendent

What:  DCSS Update

All guests are welcome!

For more information email CLJacobs2000@yahoo.com  or visit the DCPC website www.dcpc-dekalb.org 

(FYI: I attended last year when Ms. Tyson spoke and hope to be in the crowd this year as well.)

Food Allergy Walk at Brook Run on Sat Oct 2nd.

Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network

Date: Saturday, October 2, 2010
Time: Check-in begins at 9:00 a.m.; Walk begins at 10:00 a.m.
Location: Brook Run Park (Dunwoody), 4770 N. Peachtree Road, Atlanta, GA, 30338
Distance: 2 miles
Honorary Chair: “Coupon Mom” Stephanie Nelson
National Honorary Chair: Trace Adkins, country music star

**After the family-friendly walk, there will be a festival with music, crafts, face-painting, inflatables, and many allergy-free and gluten-free samples.
To contact the local volunteer committee, e-mail atlantachair@foodallergy.org.

Why We Walk
• We walk to find a cure for food allergies.
• We walk to increase awareness of food allergy and the effect it has on a community.
• We walk to provide understanding, hope, and an opportunity for a child with food allergy to simply be a child.
• We walk to save a life!

More than 12 million Americans, or one in every 25, have food allergies. Included in that number are more than 3 million children. The incidence of peanut allergy doubled in children over a five-year period (1997-2002).

Over the years, FAAN, the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network, has been at the forefront of progress in food allergy research. Findings from research studies have been used to change federal and state laws, improve school policies, raise public awareness, improve the daily lives of individuals with food allergy, and provide education for patients, caregivers, and health professionals.

To create or join a team or to donate, please check out www.foodallergywalk.org

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.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

One man's experience with Attention Deficit Disorder - a blessing in disguse?

The article below originally found on "Like the Dew, a Journal of Southern Culture and Politics", touched me in many ways and I thought I would share it with you.  Thoughts??

My Companion for 67 Years
by Jack deJarnette

I was born with it, although I didn’t know it or understand it. It has been a constant companion all of my life. Once I thought it a curse, today I count it a blessing. Its name is Attention Deficit Disorder. I resent that label since I believe that it is not a disorder at all, but just a different way of thinking. People with A.D.D. process information quite differently than so called normal thinkers. I grew up in a time when A.D.D. had not yet been defined. Those of us who thought in a different way were simply considered lazy, non-workers, and given other unkind labels. Sometimes I was called stupid. I knew that wasn’t true, my I.Q. had been measured at 138. Often I was told that if I had character I would study more and my grades would improve. There are two difficulties here–first there was no way I could study more and the second was that no matter how I tried I could not concentrate. My mind was good for maybe thirty seconds then it was on to something else. The harder I tried the worse it got. I felt like an animal trapped in a cage. I was not hyperactive; in fact, I was extremely well behaved and very compliant, I simply couldn’t concentrate.

In my early elementary school years I was an excellent student, however as subjects lasted for longer periods of time and classes were extended I realized that I was having more and more difficulty. I couldn’t stay focused for very long and so I stayed lost and confused. By the 7th grade I was really struggling. I passed all of my courses but with increasing difficulty. I didn’t know what was wrong, but I knew something was. My Dad met with my 7th grade teacher, the meanest and most hateful teacher that I ever had, and suggested to her that I was bored and needed more work and a greater challenge and he was right. She refused his request go give me more to do with the argument that it wouldn’t be fair to me. I just needed to learn to concentrate. Try as hard as I could, concentration for periods longer than 5 or 10 minutes simply escaped me. I could think of many things almost simultaneously, but not one thing for long.

My 8th grade year was an academic disaster. Courses were 9 months long and classes lasted for one full hour. I lived in a dismal fog of failure. Dad stayed on my back constantly which started my resentment and anger toward him. He didn’t understand nor did I. I had to go to summer school that year where I excelled. Short classes and compressed time for courses, 8 weeks instead of 9 months made a great difference. My mind was in a state of swirling thought processes. I was multitasking before Bill Gates was born.

I went to A Military Academy starting in the 9th grade where I realized a new phenomenon. We were graded every two weeks in our course work. I did very poorly on my bi-weekly grades, but made near perfect scores on my semi-final and final exams. I learned material very quickly, but it took a longer period to process. I couldn’t recall in the short term, but seldom forgot what had been converted to long term memory. Even today I can recall much of what I learned in high school. It astounded my children that I could still show them how to work quadratic equations when they took algebra.

At the end of my senior year I had a high D average. Bi-weekly tests weighed 1/2 in grading while semi-finals and finals weighed 1/4 each. The big tests got me through and I graduated with a B+ average. I made in the high 500s in both parts of the Scholastic Aptitude Test, scored extremely high on the Academic Achievement Tests, and was in the 99th percentile on the Merit Scholarship exam.

The headmaster called me into his office and scolded me for not having applied myself saying that I could have graduated at the top of my class if I had the character to work consistently. His words, along with my Dad’s admonition to work harder and study more devastated my self-confidence.

Because of my outstanding performance in the military arts, average grades, but exceptional test scores I was offered an appointment to West Point if I would spend a year in a prep school. With my confidence shattered I decided there was no way I could survive the academic rigors of the Academy, so I refused. Only many years later did I realize that God was protecting me from the danger of war so he could use me in the tasks that I was created to perform.

Today I am thankful for the gift of a cluttered, unfocused mind. Because of that gift I have been able to achieve and accomplish far more than if I had been born normal. In all of my endeavors, I have been able to see the big picture. I am extremely creative and able to function and work outside of the box, which while often-causing distress to other more conventional thinkers, has proved to produce that which rigid thinking could never have construed.

My encouragement to those blessed with Attention Deficit Disorder is to embrace it then learn techniques to work with it and achieve success. I would say to parents with children with A.D.D. try to understand what life is like for your child. Don’t be ashamed and don’t be in denial. The sooner it is recognized and accepted the more quickly your child and you can learn to accommodate.

I claim absolutely no scientific authority from which I speak. I’m simply one who has lived with a constant companion for sixty seven years.

Taste of Chamblee is Saturday and various other news stories crossing my desk.

Taste of Chamblee, this Saturday 11:30 to 8. More than 30 local Chamblee restaurants offer samples of assorted fare—including Indian, Malaysian, Mexican and Cajun cuisine—for $1 each. In addition to food, this year's festival includes an ArtWalk showcasing more than 40 regional artists, a Beer Garden featuring a selection of craft brews, a Wine Garden, a kids area and live music.

Other tidbits of news

FBI finds Charlotte kidnapping fugitive hidden at Broadstone Apartments in Dunwoody.

AJC - Johns Creek plans move away from privatized service.

Dunwoody's Finest - Atlanta police aggressively hiring new recruits

South DeKalb - Incorporating DeKalb not the way to go. "CEO Ellis spoke in favor of exploring city-hood as an option that would bring additional resources to the newly created city."

State Representative & Peach Pundit Blogger, Buzz Brockway explains the tightrope walk of blogging while in political office.  My first hand experience tells me Buzz will do just fine walking the fine line. Congrats Buzz on the win!

GPC is back in session and growing strong.  (Please get and stay well, Dr. Tricoli!)

Monday, August 16, 2010

What's my son's excuse for not riding a bike to Dunwoody Elementary School?

 Why are only 6 of 900 children biking to school?

There are probably many excuses for my oldest son not riding a bike to school but I will put the blame squarely on my own shoulders, right where it belongs.  I haven't pushed it in the past but now that Riley is 10 and the first week of school is over; I need to encourage my 140 lb fifth grader to live a healthier lifestyle. 

My good friend Pattie Baker wrote an article for Foodshedplanet.com detailing the fact that only 6 of the 900 students at Dunwoody Elementary are riding their bikes to school, yet I am hearing that the buses are already filled to capacity.  I highly encourage everyone to read the full article as it speaks to not only parents with school age children, but to all.

Based on my family's wacky schedule this week (don't ask), as well as setting a routine for getting three boys to three different schools, I plan to escort my son via bicycle to school on Thursday and/or Friday. 

If you live in the Dunwoody North area, please let me know if your interested in joining us.  Thanks.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Could Dunwoody become the City of Roundabouts? One resident thinks so and he wants your thoughts on the subject.

Dunwoody resident, Mr. Joe Seconder floated an idea past me about installing roundabouts at some of the more congested intersections as well as closing down a part of Jett Ferry to create a public park.  Since we as a city are about to start our Master Transportation Planning process, now is an ideal time to discuss his and other "out of the box" ideas to improve traffic flow.  Take a look at his vision and please feel free to comment, both positive or negative as he would like to read your honest opinions of his ideas.  I will reserve judgment except to say that if Jett Ferry was closed where shown, I bet the residents on Saffron Drive south of Mt. Vernon would be very unhappy with the new traffic volume. 

What transportation improvements can you envision?  Go ahead and let us know.
Jett Ferry-Mt Vernon-Dwy Club Roadwork Redesign

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Special Olympics Car Show hosted by the Dunwoody Police Explorers and Jim Ellis Porsche is this Saturday at First Baptist of Atlanta

9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
4400 N. Peachtree Rd. Dunwoody, Ga. 30338

The Dunwoody Police Explorers and Jim Ellis Porsche are proud to present the 1st Annual Special Olympics Car Show to be held on August 14th, 2010 at First Baptist Church Atlanta, 4400 N. Peachtree Rd. Dunwoody Ga. This event is to raise money for Special Olympics Georgia. There will be food and a large raffle, which includes a 52” Sharp LCD T.V. donated by Best Buy. The Soap Box Derby cars will also be on display. Former Braves’ players Zane Smith, Terry Harper, Marty Perez and Jim Nash will be on hand to sign autographs. Spectators can also use their money to vote on their favorite vehicle. Anyone wishing to register their vehicle, or purchase raffle tickets, can go to www.dunwoodycarshow.com to find that information.

Nepotism is widespread at the DeKalb County School System - Jim Redovian discusses the matter.

Could the County School System lose accreditation?

As per the AJC,
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools is questioning DeKalb to see if they are in compliance with accreditation standards.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

BLAKE KULLER, Memorial Services

Memorial Services

Dear Friends,

It is with deep sorrow that we inform you of the recent and sudden death of a child of one of our Austin/DES/PCMS Families.  Blake Kuller (14) son of Whalen and Allison Kuller and brother to Jackson (10) Lauren (8) and Ansley (6) passed away early Monday morning at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta's Scottish Rite hospital, where he had been admitted after suffering a fall.  Blake, who would have been a freshman at Dunwoody High School this year, had Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a disease he bravely fought for more than a decade.

Visitation is Thursday August 12th from 6pm-8pm in the Chapel at Dunwoody Baptist Church (enter off Mt. Vernon at the fish awning).

The memorial service honoring Blake will be held on Friday, August 13 at 11:00am in the Dunwoody Baptist Church Worship Center (near the Prayer Garden). 

Donations can be made in Blake's name to: Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (www.parentprojectmd.org) an organization dedicated to funding medical research aimed at finding a cure for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

Please send your condolences and notes of support to the following private P.O. Box:

The Kuller Family
 P.O. Box 88136
Atlanta, GA 30356

Dunwoody City Council Work Session Video

FYI: the parking situation was squashed as a mistake even before public comment.  We won't see that again.

CBS Atlanta comes to Dunwoody to check on the High School.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Tuesday is again an Election Day.

Tomorrow, August 10th, is Georgia’s runoff election. Your local polling place will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday. You can find personalized voting information, including the location of your polling place, on the Secretary of State’s “MVP” website (click for link).

The Republican runoff includes races for Governor, Attorney General, Insurance Commissioner, and the Public Service Commission. The Democratic runoff only includes a race for Secretary of State.

Click here to view the Republican sample ballot. Click here to view the Democratic sample ballot.

Please note: If you voted in the Republican primary on July 20, you MUST choose a Republican runoff ballot. If you voted in the Democratic primary on July 20, you MUST choose a Democratic runoff ballot. If you did not vote in the July 20 primary, you can choose either party's runoff ballot.