Wednesday, December 26, 2007

AJC - Two DeKalb boards' game of chicken blocks traffic & leaves school parking lot empty

The following article was published by the AJC this morning after I mentioned it twice on my blog and let numerous news organizations know of the situation. In my first post, the problem was identified publicly after there was no outlook of a resolution on the horizon. In e-mail traffic that followed, it was shown that the School Board was being forced to pay for the road improvement but only had $50,000 in funds available. Because of this, the County Public Works Department was willing to change the original intersection design to meet the School Boards available funding. (Where are the original designs & why did I attend a public meeting several years ago specifically to see those plans?)

This travesty of ineptitude has effected the entire community for the last couple of months and now
because of these last minute proposed intersection design changes, there is the possibly of it impeding the traffic flow through my neighborhood for many years to come. In my last message to both the County & School Board responsible parties, I requested a copy of the final intersection blueprints. Four days later with no acknowledgment of my request I decided to post those e-mails in a second blog entry and today because of the AJC article below I will be putting forth a request for public records regarding this intersection "improvement".

I encourage you to read the prior posts on the subject, since I of course am still waiting for the blueprints.

The new parking lot and driveway outside Dunwoody's renovated Peachtree Charter Middle School sits unused. Completed in November, it has become a kind of inside joke.

"We love to look at it through the fence," said Lisa Curtis, a parent volunteer, who like scores of others dreads the morning drive to the school, as a crush of traffic jockeys for position on and around a narrow neighborhood road behind a campus that serves as a temporary access point.

The problem can be summed up in one word — obstruction. Literally, in this case. Perhaps coupled with obstinacy. The county school system and the county government — two separate entities with a history of disagreement over these kinds of things — apparently have been true to form in this case as well.

Here's how it all played out.

The DeKalb County school system completed construction on the parking lot and driveway — replete with fresh paving, road signs and road paint — just short of a roughly 40-foot-long grassy strip. The strip, as well as a curb, blocks the school's new entrance and exit at North Peachtree Road.

Also in the way are two utility poles, which support existing traffic lights. The entire intersection needs to be reconfigured. For the parking lot to be used, earth needs to be moved.

But no one, it seems, wanted to pay for it.

"The statute is clear, the county is responsible for county road improvements," Patricia Pope, the school system's chief operating officer, said in an e-mail Dec. 11 to Dunwoody North Civic Association President John Heneghan. Pope was replying to an e-mail Heneghan had sent."The county has not performed the work and has asked the school system to pay for it," Pope added. "We are paying for the work under strong objections. As you can imagine, we will never get reimbursed."

But last week, in response to queries by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, representatives of both the county government and the county school system indicated that they had come to some sort of accord. At least publicly.

"There is no conflict," Pope said, adding that the cost to fix the problem will be approximately $41,000.

County spokeswoman Kristie Swink said DeKalb and the school system would pool money to pay for the changes — which she called "cost-sharing" — although she said they were still working out exactly what the split would be.

"There's no animosity," said Swink, adding that the work was likely to start "early next year at the latest. We're working together. Everybody's on the same page at this point."

Parents can only wonder what took so long.

"We've been under construction for two years," Curtis said. "Clearly, nobody did their job in planning for this. To me, that's the most frustrating aspect about this."

Of course, it's not the first time this has happened. Most notably, perhaps, is a 1994 Georgia Supreme Court case in which the DeKalb school system sued the county over the same issue.

The ruling? That improving public roads is the responsibility of counties and cities.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Congrats to DeKalb for Updated Police Website

Congratulations to Ms. Keisha Williams, Assistant Director of Community, Media & Administrative Affairs of the DeKalb County Police Department for implementing a complete overhaul of the Department's website. The site is now clean, usable and includes interesting historical information.

The only suggestion I could make is that it is missing a web based interactive crime statistics tool which would assist county residents in participating fully in Interactive Community Policing.

The City of Chicago Police Department also implemented Interactive Community Policing and they introduced the ClearMaping system as a way to inform residents of what happens around them.

I hope that DeKalb is looking at such a tool.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Dunwoody Chamblee Parents Council, Wed Jan 9th @ Chusnut Elem

Dunwoody Chamblee Parents Council
Serving these Dunwoody/Chamblee Area Clusters:
Dunwoody High School – Peachtree Charter Middle School - Austin – Chesnut Charter – Hightower – Kingsley Charter - Vanderlyn ES. Chamblee Charter High School - Chamblee Middle School – Ashford Park – Huntley Hills – Kittredge Magnet - Montgomery – Nancy Creek Theme ES

Wednesday, January 9th

Chesnut Charter Elementary School
8:45 refreshments ~ Meeting 9:15 am – 10:30 am

Mr. Doug Hrabe, Fernbank Science Center

“Science Matters”

Mark Your Calendars - We Look Forward to Seeing You!
Dunwoody Chamblee Parents Council
Dunwoody Chamblee Parents Council brings parents, school board members, school officials, and legislators together to discuss topics that affect public schools in our community.

Georgia Blog Carnival - If this isn't pointing a finger then maybe it's just a one finger salute?

My little blog entry documenting the lack of coordination between the DeKalb County School System and the DeKalb County Government over a needed intersection improvement has been selected for the Georgia Blog Carnival. Please check out the other entries in the latest edition of the carnival.

Onto other interesting news. Can you imagine Kathie Gannon as the next DeKalb County Commission CEO? It appears someone can and they are floating the idea to see if it has any legs. Is Vernon trying to create a reason to get out of an extremely challenging Senate race? Interesting Rumors found on Decatur Metro.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Dunwoody North & Serendipity Catering honor DeKalb Station 18 with Lunch.

Thanks to Serendipity Catering and the Dunwoody North Civic Association, a warm holiday meal was delivered to the Firefighters of Station 18. Pictured are Chef Louis (4th from left) from Serendipity surrounded by DNCA members Amanda Levi, Renate Herod, and Gerri Penn and the firefighters of Station 18 including Captain Motes (far left back row).
Serendipity Catering
4448 Tilly Mill Rd., Atlanta, GA. 30360
Phone: 770-455-4545 Fax: 770-458-1008

Dunwoody North Neighborhood Watch quoted in AJC no holiday from crime article

By Marcus K. Garner

Some leave their purses open on the front seat of their cars. Others may leave a laptop sitting in plain sight in the SUV's cargo bay. Then there's the new GPS system attached to the windshield, just above the dashboard ... in an unlocked car. These are just a few examples of the easy pickings some criminals come across on the Northside. Law enforcement officials say people tend to get careless during the holidays, when crime typically is on the rise. And thieves reap the benefits.

"It's one of those things where it's a crime of opportunity," said Roswell Police Lt. James McGee. "You leave a door cracked or unlocked at home. People are leaving cars unlocked or leaving expensive things in their cars." A ride-along Monday with Alpharetta police Officer John Robinson proved this, as the officer found the garage door open and nobody home in one neighborhood, and an open purse in an area shopping center.

Common sense can protect your property, Sandy Springs police Lt. Steve Rose said. "Many thieves are taking whatever they can find and fencing them out or selling them on the street for whatever cash they can get," Lt. Rose said. "This is their cash plus-up for holiday shopping." Such was the case during Thanksgiving weekend when six teenagers entered more than 150 cars over a three-day period. They found only 50 of the cars locked, and took a huge haul of valuable items.

Last week, Rose reported several break-ins where thieves had apparently stolen garage door openers from cars. "The thieves later returned to the house when the victim was gone," he wrote in his weekly column. "They opened the garage door, drove inside, and then closed the door to hide the car while going through the house." Other Sandy Springs reports offered warnings to GPS device owners. "In one case the victim's GPS was in the car that was stolen," Rose said. "The GPS was programmed to "home" and it gave directions to the victim's home." It's important to stay alert while shopping, as well.

Alpharetta police spokesman George Gordon said that although the department has stepped up patrols around the North Point Mall area to deter crime, some shoppers still make theft all too easy. "We've had people go to Best Buy and get a $1,400 plasma TV, and leave it in their car when they go to eat ... with the door unlocked," Gordon said. "Of course, it's gone when they get back."

Roswell's McGee said people have called to report being followed after they leave a shopping area with a car full of gifts. "Watch your surroundings when you leave a store," he said.

Lisa Unkefer, neighborhood watch coordinator for the Dunwoody North Civic Association, said the best deterrent for home break-ins is neighborly vigilance. "Having neighbors watch over is a big deterrent," she said.

But Rose warns that the smartest tactic is not to make theft easy for criminals. "The risk vs. opportunity is the most important thing to remember, because it affects every crime that's committed," he said. "Crooks take the path of least resistance. Victims are often the lazy ones or the procrastinators who think that it won't happen to them."

Staying safe at home
  • Vary the times you leave home and come back.
  • Leave your lights on a timer.
  • Leave a radio or TV turned up loud when you leave the house.
  • Keep your garage door closed.
  • If you are traveling, stop your mail delivery or have a trusted person retrieve your mail.
  • Trim shrubs and any landscaping that obstructs your entry and exit areas
  • Join a neighborhood watch group. Become active in your homeowners association.
Here are some suggestions from law enforcement agencies for protecting your property while shopping:
  • Lock your vehicle at all times.
  • Watch your surroundings when you leave a store.
  • Call police and don't go home if you see a car you think is following you.
  • Don't program the GPS for 'home' unless you need to.
  • Remove GPS units or garage door openers each time you exit your car.
  • If there is a theft, reprogram the garage door opener.
  • Do not leave any item(s) of value in your vehicle unattended.
  • If you purchase an expensive item please take it home prior to stopping at another business or restaurant.
  • Always park your vehicle in a lighted area at night.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and try to shop when other patrons are present.
  • Do not display large amounts of cash.
  • Carry your credit cards and cash in your front pockets.
  • Do not leave a purse unattended.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

If this isn't pointing a finger then maybe it's just a one finger salute?

A couple of weeks ago I raised an issue regarding the politics playing out between the DeKalb County School System & the DeKalb County Government about improving an intersection in front of a new middle school that has been under construction for several years. The intersection needs to be reworked to a four way stop & several light poles need to be moved prior to a large parking lot on the school property being allowed to open. Without this happening all 1,000 students must now enter & exit through a dangerously congested back side street which also serves a DeKalb Fire Station. It is a very bad situation which affects not only the Peachtree Charter Middle School, but also the neighboring Chesnut Charter Elementary and the safety of all the citizens served by the Fire Station.

Since I figured one little blog entry wasn't enough, I sent an e-mail to nine various Atlanta & DeKalb County news organizations making them aware of the situation and copied every school & County government representative I could find hoping to end this silly stalemate.

Ms. Pat Pope, Chief Operations Officer for the DeKalb County School System replied that she was not pointing fingers but it is the County's responsibility to improve the intersection, yet the County is asking that the School System to pay for the road improvement. In a separate e-mail from the DeKalb Traffic Department, the school system stated they couldn't pay more then $50,000 to improve the intersection and now they wanted the road design changed to meet the money available. I'm not sure that throwing out the properly engineered plans of a major intersection which feeds onto I-285, just to save a few dollars, is a wise long term investment? I have asked for the final engineered drawings of the intersection so that I can post them on-line but have yet to hear back from anyone.

Below is the history of the e-mails sent & received on the subject, documenting if nothing else, the fact that the coordination between these two governmental bodies are a joke. I really hope the intersection doesn't turn out the same way!

From: Dunwoody North Civic Association []
Sent: Thursday, December 06, 2007 9:50 PM
To: Various Major Atlanta & DeKalb News Outlets
Cc: 'Swink, Kristie N.'; ''; 'Gannon, Kathie'; 'Boyer, Elaine'; 'McBride, Nancy J.'; ''; ''; ''; ''; 'Jones, Bernadette R.'; 'Kimbrough, Ann L.'; 'ANGELIQUE E. CONNER'; 'Chesnut School'; ''; and many interested parents

Subject: Why are DeKalb County & the School Board pointing fingers at each other over an intersection improvement?

Dear news organizations,

There seems to be a stalemate on an intersection improvement project needed for Peachtree Charter Middle School in Dunwoody and I was wondering if someone could please look into this situation. I have been informed that neither the County nor the School System are taking responsibility for completing this final aspect of construction and it is affecting an entire neighborhood, passing traffic, two schools and the safety of more then 1,000 children. The intersection of North Peachtree Road & Kings Point Drive needs to be reconfigured and a four-way traffic light installed for the parking lot to be opened.

Copied on this e-mail are most of the people responsible (either directly or indirectly) for some aspect of the project, maybe someone can let the community know exactly when we could expect this situation to be rectified? For the DeKalb County School Board there is the Director of Construction Operations, Pat Pope, Board Member, Jim Redovian, PCMS Principle Steve Donahue and many interested parents. For DeKalb County there are Commissioners Kathie Gannon & Elaine Boyer, Public Information Officer Kristie Swink, Chief of Staff, Ann Kimbrough and various other DeKalb Transportation e-mail addresses found on the internet.

We would like to see some movement on this project because it causes an unsafe atmosphere around the schools. If you would like to see the problems caused by not having this parking lot open, I invite you to please come out some afternoon to see it for yourself.

For the good of the community, I thank you for making inquiries on this subject.


John Heneghan, President
Dunwoody North Civic Association
From: PAT A. POPE []
Sent: Tuesday, December 11, 2007 12:56 PM
To: Dunwoody North Civic Association
CC: Various Major Atlanta & DeKalb News Outlets, all of the DeKalb officials as well as the parents.

Subject: Re: Why are DeKalb County & the School Board pointing fingers at each other over

Thank you for your concern. However, no one is "pointing fingers". The statue is clear, the county is responsible for county road improvements. The Department of Transportation is responsible for state road improvements. The county has not performed the work and has asked the school system to pay for it.

We are paying for the work under strong objections. As you can imagine, we will never get reimbursed. We are paying because we want to get this project completed as soon as possible to help lessen the impact on our parents and students.

Mr. Heneghan, I don't agree with your approach; but, you are certainly entitled to your opinion. The team is working hard and aggressively to complete the project. The only thing I ask is that you allow us to do so.

Patricia A. Pope
Chief Operations Officer
DeKalb County School System
Operations Department
1780 Montreal Road
Tucker, Georgia 30084
678.676.1331 Office
678.676.1350 Fax
From: Dunwoody North Civic Association []
Sent: Wednesday, December 12, 2007 2:58 PM
To: 'PAT A. POPE'; ''
Cc: Various Major Atlanta & DeKalb News Outlets; all of the DeKalb officials as well as the parents.

Subject: RE: Why are DeKalb County & the School Board pointing fingers at each other over

Thank you Ms. Pope for your response; I’m glad your not pointing fingers otherwise we wouldn’t know exactly where you stand on the matter.

As a taxpayer, I am disgusted by what I read below. As a future PCMS parent, I am grateful the school system is willing to spend the out-of-budget $50,000 to get the project finished. But I am very angry at DeKalb County that you are being forced to doing so. The PCMS construction project has been going for over two years and yet the discussion of the reconfiguration of the light is only now taking place. Surely both parties are at fault for the lack of communication and planning that should have taken place starting two years ago. “The county has not performed the work and has asked the school system to pay for it.” Why? It has been in the plans since the construction project was first conceived. Why does the school system have to pay for this project? As a taxpayer and a parent, I would prefer that those tax dollars be spent on instruction, the core business of the school system. I pay other tax dollars for roads – where is that money?

Below is a message, forwarded from Elaine Boyer’s assistant Nancy McBride, which shows that the plans provided to the community back in 2005 may now be changing the right of way in order to save money. Community meetings were held showing acceleration and deceleration lanes as well as a northbound, left turn lane on N. Peachtree Rd entering PCMS. When the final plans for the intersection are available, I would like the Public Works Department to send me a pdf version of the plan so that I can post the document to my neighborhood website & blog.

Ms. Pope, I appreciate the fact that your team is working hard to aggressively complete the project, but the only thing I now ask is that design shortcuts aren’t taken on this intersection project which will negatively affect the community for many years to come.


John Heneghan
From: McBride, Nancy J.
Sent: Wednesday, December 12, 2007 7:14 AM
To: Dunwoody North Civic Association
Subject: RE: Why are DeKalb County & the School Board pointing fingers at each other over an intersection improvement?
Importance: High

According to Ted Rhinehart, Director of Public Works for the county:

“John Gurbal, Director of Transportation, is working with the School District’s project managers; the way they wanted the signal designed, to avoid their having to dedicate some right-of-way, was more costly than they expected; When Traffic Engineering sent them the estimate, they asked if it could be reduced; so we’re trying to work on the cost estimate to get it within their budget (under $50,000). I think John and the project manager have worked that out, and then our construction crew can schedule the work.”

Hopefully, things will come together soon.
Nancy McBride
For Commissioner Boyer

Monday, December 17, 2007

DeKalb County Police Telephone Resource List - since DeKalb's website needs a little work.

My internet logs tell me that I get a number of hits for people looking for DeKalb Police Telephone numbers. It was stated at a public meeting that DeKalb's website was suppose to be completely rewritten by Mid November, but it hasn't, therefore I figured I would publish what the North Precinct provided in a handout I received during a recent meeting.

The DeKalb Police website is an embarrassment of self promotion that says absolutely nothing of use to the residents; telephone numbers are hard to find & statistics or other crime data is nowhere to be found. I am looking forward to the changes and hope to be impressed when it is finally on line?

North Precinct (across from Perimeter Mall)
4453 Ashford Dunwoody Road
Atlanta, GA 30346
404-297-3950 & Fax 404-297-3863

Precinct Commander, Major D.B. Calhoun
Asst. Precinct Commander, Captain M.P. Yarbrough
Business Relations MPO W.L. Swann 404-294-2673
Public Education Specialist, Al Fowler 404-294-2558

404-297-2000 Police Services Information
404-294-2858 Crime Prevention / Neighborhood Watch
404-294-2625 Criminal Investigations / Detectives
404-294-2911 Non Emergency Number
770-724-7850 Domestic Violence & Elder Abuse
440-413-5557 Foreign Language Assistance
770-724-7710 Youth & Sex Crimes
770-322-2540 Drug Hotline

Center Precinct - 1960 W. Exchange Place - 770-724-7621

East Precinct - 2484 Bruce Street - 770-482-0300

South Precinct - 1816 Candler Road- 404-286-7911

Tucker Precinct - 4451 Lawrenceville Hwy- 678-937-5301

770-724-7740 Police Records & Crime Stats
404-294-2996 Animal Control
404-371-2882 Commissioner Bolton's Office
678-413-8650 DMVS & Driver's License
404-298-8500 DeKalb County Jail
404-298-8515 DeKalb County Sheriff
404-370-5000 Children & Family Services
678-406-7750 Fire Services
404-294-2700 Juvenile Court
404-294-2769 Juvenile Intake
770-724-7805 Homeland Security
404-377-1428 Rape Crisis Center
404-371-4778 Roads & Drainage
404-294-2900 Sanitation
770-492-5497 Speed Hump Application
770-492-5296 Street Light Request & Repair
404-294-2278 Tactical Ops - Speeding & Radar
770-492-5483 Traffic Engineering
770-492-5221 Transportation - New Street & Parking Signs
770-724-7970 Code Enforcement
770-724-7940 Code Enforcement (2nd Line?)

Other DeKalb Police Related Websites
DeKalb County Police Alliance,
DeKalb Police North Precinct Community Relations;

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Dog Bite victim needs to find Dog & Owner

On Saturday, around 1:30 in the afternoon, my son Erik was bitten on the leg by a dog in front of Peachtree Middle School. He and two of his friends were skateboarding; as they passed the dog (which was on a leash being walked by it's owners), it bit Erik on his upper thigh through his blue jeans. According to Erik & friends the dog was a yellow lab and the couple were "middle aged" wearing sunglasses and the woman was wearing a sports bra. They both have dark colored hair. These details were given by 14 year old boys so I don't really know what middle aged means to them.

I need to find the owners ASAP and make sure there is nothing wrong with the dog or our pediatrician wants Erik to have rabies shots. Since the dog is a pet, I'm sure the dog is healthy but I also understand the fact our pediatrician doesn't want to take any chances.

There is a 10 day window so I'm hoping the owners will come forward to avoid those unnecessary shots for Erik.

A number of friends and my husband included are afraid the owners will not identify themselves because they fear a lawsuit. PLEASE LET EVERYONE KNOW WE WOULD NEVER DO ANYTHING LIKE THAT!!!

Thank you so much for your help!!!!

With great appreciation,

Lisa Johanson
770-939-3165 (HOME)
678-516-5960 (CELL)

Monday, December 10, 2007

DeKalb North Precinct enjoys lunch provided by community.

Major Dewayne Calhoun, Commander of DeKalb’s North Precinct enjoys lunch provided by the Dunwoody North Civic Association & Carrabba’s Italian Grill.

In appreciation of the service the DeKalb Police Department provides the community, the Dunwoody North Civic Association, in conjunction with Carrabba’s Italian Grill of Dunwoody provided lunch to all three shifts of the North Precinct.

Thanks to our Neighborhood Watch Coordinator, Lisa Unkefer who coordinated the huge effort as well to the ladies of the Dunwoody North Home & Garden Club who provided enough desserts to negatively affect the local donut economy for the next several weeks.

If you haven’t visited Carrabba’s restaurant located in near the new Super Target, please do and tell the Manager, Mr. Brett Cavalli that you apprenticed his willingness to assist us in honoring the DeKalb Police Department.

Carrabba’s Italian Grill
1210 Ashford Crossing
Atlanta, GA 30348
(770) 804-0467

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Why are DeKalb County & the School Board pointing fingers at each other over an intersection improvement?

Peachtree Charter Middle School was completely rebuilt at a cost of $19 million dollars and the school has been open to the 1,075 students since the middle of August. The beautiful new, striped and lit parking lot was finished about a month ago yet it is not open because the main entrance to the school at the intersection of North Peachtree Road & Kings Point Drive needs to be completely reworked. There are two street poles that need to be moved and the traffic controller, currently in the entrance lane to the parking lot also needs to be relocated and reprogrammed for a 4-way intersection.

The DeKalb County School System and the DeKalb County Transportation Division are arguing over who pays to rework the intersection & I have been informed that they have been arguing for almost 25 months over this specific detail with neither side willing to budge!!

Parents, Children & School buses are forced to use a cramped temporary access point at the back of the school which puts children at risk for being in an accident. The finger pointing between these two governmental agencies needs to stop, the intersection needs to be changed and the new parking lot needs to be accessible.

Monday, December 3, 2007

DeKalb County CEO Vernon Jones and Commisoners viewed at their Worst!

I found these two clips from the Nov. 13, 2007 DeKalb County Commissioners Meeting where CEO Jones appeared to have possibly threatened Commissioner Ellis and then went on a tirade. For my neighbors who don’t have the opportunity to observe our esteemed Government Leaders in action, these clips explain a great deal on why our County operates the way it does.

As a commenter on my favorite on-line newspaper stated, we all deserve better then we are currently receiving from this Administration.

Part One

Part Two

DeKalb reports that speeding is typical in Brook Run and proposes Speed Bumps & Legislative Change.

This afternoon the DeKalb County Police Department informed me that the average speed detected by the clearly visible speed diction device (shown above) in Brook Run Park was 21.20 MPH with the highest speed recorded at 31.04 MPH.

With the posted speed limit of 15 MPH in the park, the county now agrees that speeding may be a problem in Brook Run Park.

Unfortunately, current State laws restricting the use of speed detection devices for law enforcement purposes do not allow the Police Department to effectively use this tool in these specific circumstances. Because of this, the DeKalb Police Department is discussing with the Parks Department in order to get speed humps on the main road that winds through the park.

These State laws limiting law enforcements police powers need to be modified and Governor Perdue’s Office of Highway Safety is aware of the need to change the laws and are already working on changing them. The 2007, Law Enforcement Legislative Proposal states that “Georgia public safety agencies have numerous restrictions which prevent their officers from effectively enforcing speed limits—restrictions not imposed by Georgia’s neighboring states. These include being required to have marked vehicles, blue lights clearly visible on the top of vehicles, for speed limits 35 mph or higher requiring the offender to exceed the posted speed limit by 10 mph (excluding GSP) when detection devices are used, the enforcement vehicles must be visible for 500 feet, and requiring signs to be posted where detection devices are being used by agencies (excluding GSP).”

If any State Legislators read this post, I ask that you review the laws regarding speed enforcement in order to allow local law enforcement jurisdictions to properly serve & protect its citizens. I also ask that the 10 MPH over the speed limit for strict enforcement be modified for roads adjacent to or inside a park just as it is for school zones. Thanks.

Lost Cat - Found Cat


We have a situation here on Brookhurst Drive where one cat appeared and another disappeared. Two of us have been loving and feeding one cat that appeared.

Here is his description.
Male, Black w/white patch under his chin.
Stocky/sturdy body, Big yellow eyes.
Young, Neutered, Very affectionate/purrs loudly.
Short haired, Looks well cared for.

The cat that disappeared about two weeks ago is described this way.

Female, about 17 years old. Beautiful orange, brown & white
Long hair, Maine Coon Cat

If you have found a cat or lost a cat, please call me at: (770) 458-0884.

Pat Grayson
2331 Brookhurst Drive, Dunwoody, GA 30338

Sunday, December 2, 2007

New Cross Walk at Tilly Mill Road & Dunkerrin Lane

Thank you to Ms. Amanda Levi (who will be joining the DNCA Board at the next election) for requesting that a cross walk be installed across Tilly Mill Road at Dunkerrin Lane. Amanda was very persistent in working with the County representatives whereby they conducted several examinations of the land, traffic and pedestrian flows prior to installing the yellow warning signs & painting the street.

After this initial success, additional crosswalks have now been requested at Tilly Mill & Stonington, North Peachtree Road & Riverglenn Circle (in order to cross over to Brook Run) and a re-striping project on the existing crosswalk at Chesnut Elementary.

The DNCA would also like to thank Mr. David Pelton (770-492-5223) & Ms. Patrece Keeter (770-492-5281) of DeKalb Counties Traffic Engineering Department for being responsive to our request. Thank You.

Callanwolde Concert Band - Brook Run, Fri Dec 7th at 7:30


DeKalb County Chief Executive Officer Vernon Jones, The DeKalb County Board of Commissioners, and The DeKalb County Office of Arts, Culture, and Entertainment cordially invite you to join them for special Holiday Pops Concerts by the Callanwolde Concert Band, Raymond Handfield, Conductor, on Friday, December 7, 2007 at 7:30 PM at the Brook Run Theatre, 4770 North Peachtree Road, Dunwoody.

This year’s concert features a suite from The Nutcracker by Peter Tchaikovsky, Shalom! – Suite of Israeli Folk Songs by Philip Sparke, the Farandole from the L’Arlesienne Suite by Georges Bizet, Amen from Messiah by Georg Frideric Handel, and other holiday selections. In addition, in honor of the one hundredth anniversary of his birth, the Band will perform composer Leroy Anderson’s A Christmas Festival.

The Band will be joined by the eighty-voice Treble Concert Choir of the world-renowned Atlanta Young Singers of Callanwolde, Paige F. Mathis, Conductor. This ensemble will perform Festive Alleluia by Lyn Williams, the French traditional carol Angels We Have Heard on High, Shchedrik a Ukrainian Bell Carol, This Little Babe from A Ceremony of Carols by Benjamin Britten, and other holiday favorites.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Plan your Transit/Bicycle/Walking Trips Online - Citizens for Progressive Transit

Citizens for Progressive Transit is unveiling its latest project, an online trip itinerary planner for the Atlanta region, focusing on transit, bicycle, and walking trips:

Since I live only 2.5 miles from Perimeter Mall (as the crow flies) with no direct Marta route I figured I would give it a try. I was impressed with the results though it only highlighted the fact that there is no easy bike or walking path to the location. Maybe someday besides double decking or widening the top end of I-285 transportation planners might think about including walking & bike lanes in the planning process.

Public Transit & Walking

Biking & Walking routes

Bikers may also enjoy this tool in order to plan routes since it also provides the complete topography of the route plotted.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

DeKalb Police could learn a lesson from John’s Creek on Recruitment & Retention

Having sat through several sessions with DeKalb Police Department’s top brass whereby they touted the benefits of Chief Bolton’s "Road to Success Action Plan" to recruit & retain police officers. I have questioned some of the policies on this blog and made suggestions to both Chief Bolton, Commissioners Rader & Gannon to improve the plan.

The City of John’s Creek just borrowed my suggestion that DeKalb Officers should be paid a residential stipend for living inside the district they are paid to protect. Currently very few DeKalb officers actually live in DeKalb therefore when the Department finally obtains an adequate number of marked police vehicles and implements the take-home car program, DeKalb will not have the same impact from those vehicles as if they were stationed here in DeKalb. I am told the Department is currently in dire need for police vehicles for patrol, with officers waiting at station houses for vehicles to come off shift.

Chief Bolton’s take home plan also has another major flaw, it calls for officers with the highest seniority (Lieutenants and Sergeants) to get the take home vehicles first, but the problem with retention is not at the supervisory level, it is in the uniform ranks. I have been told that the number of uniform officers has gone down significantly while the number of supervisory officers (Sgt's) has dramatically increased. Since it is these uniform officers who answer the calls, they are where the rubber hits the road and they need to be taken care of first. Management is just overhead to support the patrolman’s needs; unfortunately, it appears that the DeKalb PD has this concept completely backward.

John’s Creek understands that retention of every officer in a competitive market is a long-term savings over the additional costs associated with obtaining & hiring new recruits. DeKalb needs to shift gears to start concentrating on adequately equipping the Department with vehicles, offering residency and other retention benefits to new recruits & uniform officers who have a much higher tendency to leave the department. The DeKalb Police Department cannot do business as it always has because the game has changed and the newer and more nimble municipal departments are at a huge advantage. Without quick action to outmaneuver these new departments by offering competitive compensation packages and quality of work life improvements, it is my fear that DeKalb will have a retention problem for many years to come.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Nava/Breffle youth wresting program of Dunwoody

The Nava/Breffle youth wresting program for 3rd graders to 8th graders starts this Thursday November 29th at Dunwoody High School. It is essentially a feeder/introductory program for Dunwoody HS, but anyone who would like to participate is welcome. Practices will take place Thursday evenings from 6-7:30 and will emphasize the Fun and Fundamentals of the sport.

Depending on the level of participation, the program will integrate matches and maybe even a tournament. For more information contact Mr. Jeff Warshaw 770.335.8500,

Friday, November 23, 2007

Dunwoody Cycling group offers Garys Groin Puller - 32 Miles & 1,500 Vertical Feet of enjoyment

If riding your bike for a little exercise sounds like a good idea after the big thanksgiving meal, you might be interested in checking out Then again with route names like Garys Groin puller whereby you ride 32 miles with over 1,500 vertical feet of hills at a strenuous pace of 23 mph; you might need to think twice about joining this group of biking enthusiasts. They have organized riding groups starting from Dunwoody High School at both 5:30 & 7:30 am several days a week whereby you could easily log 75 plus miles before your work day begins. Easier routes are available, check the website for details.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Light Brown Labrator Retriever Found on Holliston

Don't spend Thanksgiving without an important member of the family!

Claim your dog by calling 404-535-0525

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Perimeter area's condo boom creates high hopes "& concerns"

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 11/22/07

A new way of life could emerge around Perimeter Mall.

But it's going to take some negotiations with people currently living there.

There are plans for at least 10,000 new residents to move into condo towers under consideration.

That's a best guess of the number of people who would move into a dozen or so proposed huge condos. The high rises are to open in three to 10 years, according to developers who expect to build after the housing market shows signs of a rebound.

The newcomers will have a large impact on the office and retail center that stretches from Sandy Springs to Dunwoody.

They'll add traffic to streets, lines at grocery stores and probably create a busier nightlife in a district that largely shuts down by mid evening.

Area residents have been talking for months about what the planned condo boom could mean. Some say the challenge will be to get it right.

By that, they mean the new developments should not be built as fortresses. Instead, the projects should have synergy so people can walk from one to the next – like a traditional downtown district.

"Think about Georgia cities of 50,000 residents, like Tifton, which is what this area could become," said Bob Dallas, a Dunwoody resident since 1983. He's also vice chairman of DeKalb County's planning commission.

"Cities that size have amenities that everyone needs — groceries, parks, places for kids to play and day care for toddlers," Dallas said. "We need to make sure the developments do several things, with the conclusions being that they help create a family friendly community."

The condo developers already know a lot what the community expects from them. Most have negotiated with neighborhood groups elsewhere in metro Atlanta to get support for other projects.

Novare, for example, worked with neighborhood groups in Midtown and Buckhead. The company expects to have similar conversations about its plans for two condo towers at Perimeter.

Novare's John Long, the chief financial officer, said the company intends for its project to add to the sense of community. He said he thinks the other condo developers will do the same.

"We're trying to bring a more urban feeling to the Perimeter market so people can walk where they want to go, instead of driving everywhere," Long said. "And it's not just us who want to build that type of community. A lot of the developers have the same desire to provide that type of experience."

Dallas said a lot of work has to be done to make certain the emerging town center called Perimeter is a nice place to live.

"We have to plan to make sure it is designed in a way that the folks who are here, and the folks who will come, can say it is sustainable growth."

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Rob Maxwell of Dunwoody North chosen as 2007 Dunwoody Dad of the Year.

When circumstances caused Rob to become a stay-at-home dad almost 8 years ago, he did not know what he was getting in to. He thought it would be a piece of cake. Eight years and 3 kids later he now knows better. All three of the Maxwell children attend Chesnut Charter Elementary where Rob has served as a room parent for the last two years, he volunteers in the kids classrooms, and has become a regular figure at the school. Having a dad around (amid all those moms) provides as a great role model. He can’t walk through the cafeteria during lunch time without several kids high-fiving him or calling out “Hi Mr. Maxwell” or “Hey Mr. Evan’s Dad”. Rob also fulfills the traditional stay-at-home role at home. He shuttles kids to school, soccer, play dates, helps kids with homework and he even cooks. He may not be the traditional Dunwoody stay-at-home spouse, but he is learning how to fit in with the other moms, and has even found a few other stay-at-home dads along the way.

Rob will be honored at this Sundays, Light Up Dunwoody Celebration.

Congratulations Rob !!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Friday, November 9, 2007

DNCA - Whom do we serve and what have we done for you lately?

The Dunwoody North Civic Association (DNCA) is a nonprofit Georgia corporation, which was formed in 1967 to address the civic needs of the 1,250 homes contained within the subdivision known as Dunwoody North, as well as the homes in the adjacent subdivisions of Andover Estates, Laurelwood Farms, Dunwoody Trails, Brafferton Square, Briers North, The Madisons, and Chestnut Landing.

Who do we represent? Whether you live in a new subdivision or a home that is 40 years old; if you live in the shaded area below, we represent you and would ask that you to consider supporting us. We are not associated with or a part of the Dunwoody North Driving Club, the social swim & tennis club of the neighborhood. Membership in the DNCA is a nominal $20/year and each and every homeowner’s participation is important!

How does the DNCA benefit me? Our homes are usually among the largest investments we will ever make and we want to help keep that value. There is no other neighborhood organization that helps protect the investment of your home from any development that does not support the quality of life that we now enjoy, But the DNCA does -- read on to learn the countless ways we do just that..

Dunwoody Homeowners Association – Three current Board Members of the Dunwoody North Civic Association currently sit on the DHA Board. Those three current board members are among the first to learn of possible developments that would be detrimental to our home values. And being part of such a organization allows us to ask for their advice and support when situations come up. Recently a homeowner wanted to zone her home on North Peachtree O & I in order to put in a business. Dedicated homeowners such as you worked with the DNCA and DHA to get the word out and when it came time to stand up and say NO to the rezoning that would have impacted our home values we were ready and in record numbers.

DeKalb County Airport - A past President of the DNCA sits on the DeKalb County Airport Advisory Board for PDK as well as the DHA. That individual provides the Airport Advisory Board with a reminder that our neighborhood demands accounting for airplane noise and ongoing abatement procedures. Without that dedication to our neighborhood who knows what the airplane noise level or number of late night flights would be.

Neighborhood Watch – The Neighborhood Watch Chairman of the DNCA meets directly with the North Precinct for up to date information on crimes in the neighborhood and helps keep us notified as to what is happening in our own backyards. The data collected by block captains and from DNCA registration provides information for the Calling Post, a valuable service in getting the word out to us so we can be alert to suspicious persons. Every one remembers the car break-ins of this past summer. Our Neighborhood Watch and Calling Post volunteers helped remind us to be watchful and let us know that the police were working with the neighborhood in any way possible.

Calling Post Messages – If a house is broken into or urgent emergency news happens; we call you at home to let you know the important information. Our system calls the over 750 phone numbers in the system and spreads our message within 45 minutes from us making the initial call. If you want to be part of our system, we need you to register with us so that we have your telephone number. Webpage – Search for the words “Dunwoody North” in any search engine and you find an informative website directed specifically to your needs, in your neighborhood, & possibly your street. Our page lists numerous internet links to local schools and government offices. All provided by DNCA, your community advocate.

Dunwoody North Blog, – Created by John Heneghan, President of the DNCA to keep you up to date on important news events affecting your neighborhood. After only one month in existence, Blognetnews, named the Dunwoody North Civic Association’s page the 7th most influential political blog in the State of Georgia.

Zoning – When the DNCA was notified that a house on North Peachtree Road intended to request rezoning from residential to Office and Industrial (O & I) we took immediate action notifying the neighbors, signing petitions and doing what ever we could to ensure that the request for spot rezoning was withdrawn. Because of this action our Vice President of Zoning & Code Enforcement, Ms. Gerri Penn who also acts as the DHA’s code enforcement rep, requested and was assigned by Commissioner Boyer to represent her on the community council to hear all preliminary zoning requests. Over the years DNCA has developed an excellent reputation with the DeKalb County Commissioners, Zoning Board and Code Enforcement departments. The dedicated DNCA volunteers like Gerri Penn, Barbara Dodds, and others provide information back to us so that we can help deter unwanted commercial businesses and make sure that our neighborhoods remain the way they are.

Brook Run – We continue to work closely with the County and the DHA to assure that the park is operated and developed in a reasonable manner. We have worked to improve the playground area for parents by asking for more benches, worked at keeping the skate park sound system down and have been promised more trees to replace the ones the County cut down along Peeler. Recently we were instrumental in getting speed limit signs posted in the park and have been working closely with the DeKalb Police Department about improved security patrols.

Neighborhood Directory – Another perk of joining DNCA is the neighborhood directory. The DNCA puts together a directory of the current residents, in Dunwoody North along with the various other surrounding subdivisions. Don’t confuse this directory with the Driving Club! Your DNCA dues will update your information and provide you with a new directory in early 2008.

City of Dunwoody – We have worked closely with Dan Weber and the Citizens for Dunwoody Committee in order to assure that all of the Dunwoody North communities were completely within the proposed City Boundaries. The City Charter was moved out of committee and passed the Senate in 2007, in January the legislature again convenes and if the charter legislation is passed by the House and signed by the Governor, you will be granted the right to vote on the matter yourself.

Chesnut Elementary - We personally have children who attend Chesnut, we attend numerous meetings at the school and are very interested in seeing it flourish. Last year’s, PTA President at Chesnut is also a DNCA Board Member. The DeKalb School System announced that all of the Dunwoody North Communities will continue to be served by Chesnut Charter Elementary. The full map is available on the DNCA blog.

Peachtree Middle School – We personally have children who attend Peachtree, we attend numerous meetings at the school and are very interested in seeing it flourish. For example, we reviewed the ingress and egress traffic plans to make sure that the traffic patterns around the school weren’t made worse after construction is completed. (Did you know that Kings Point Drive will soon extend across North Peachtree Rd at the light?)

Dunwoody High School - We personally have children who attend Dunwoody, we attend numerous meetings at the school and are very interested in seeing it flourish. (Are you aware of the future expansion plans for school call for a new Auditorium, a Career Technology Instructional Addition, a Fine Arts Addition & new HVAC?)

Public Meetings and Newsletters – We hold informative meetings on topics of interest for all of our residents. DeKalb County Police Chief Terrell Bolton will be the invited speaker in February 2008. Several times a year a newsletter is distributed to each home sharing valuable information, fun tidbits of information, and articles of interest. If the City of Dunwoody legislation passes in 2008, we promise that we will bring you all the details needed on the subject so you can vote intelligently on city incorporation.

Working Behind the Scenes – Are you aware that the DNCA challenged the DeKalb County Sheriff about a registered sex offender who was illegally living too close to Chesnut Elementary? DNCA presented irrefutable legal evidence to the Sheriff who then had to evict the sex offender from his rented home, even though the Sheriff just a week earlier informed the individual that he was in a legal residence. Are you aware that the DNCA assisted an elderly resident on a fixed income who could not maintain her residence to get a grant to improve the residences appearance and allow her to live more comfortably? Out of respect for our neighbor’s privacy, not everything we do is given to the Dunwoody Crier for a front-page story.

These are some of the resources provided by the DNCA to you in an effort to keep property values high, unwanted business and commercialism out and to make sure that others know we intend to keep our community of friends and neighbors strong, safe and enjoying the quality of life we all deserve. So what are you waiting for?? Come Join Us! If you have time and talent you want to donate, that’s wonderful news! If you have time to help show up for rezoning matters - that’s great! New board members are always welcome.

Please become an active member of the Civic Association today for only $20.00.

We Appreciate your support.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Missing Boy has been Found !

Awesome Tool!

Late this afternoon I received a phone call from another DNCA Board Member who informed me that a Chesnut Charter Elementary student has been missing since school let out several hours earlier. Due to the circumstances, Dunwoody North Board Members decided to send out a Calling Post telephone notice to our more then 900 residences in order to alert the neighborhood.

I am very happy to report the Chesnut child who was missing since 2:30 was found at 8:15 pm. Thank you to all who looked and prayed for him. Dunwoody North residents came out in full force to help look for this young man, many others turned on their flood lights to make easier for those who were walking the neighborhood. All of these efforts were greatly appreciated and it truly shows what a great neighborhood we live in. Thank you, so much.

A special thank you goes out to the DeKalb Police Department who brought their helicopters and manpower to cover the area. You gents are awesome!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Sat Night - Maggie Moo's benefits the Starlight Starbright Children's Foundation

The Bovine Miss MaggieMoo
is making an appearance this Saturday evening in Dunwoody!

Saturday, November 10, 2007 5pm - 9pm

MaggieMoo's Ice Cream and Treatery
4468 Chamblee Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody, GA
(The Shoppes of Georgetown)

Come and help support the kids of Starlight Starbright!
Meet Miss Maggie Moo, Celebrity Scoopers, Face Painting and fun for the whole family.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Documents provided by DeKalb County but questions about Brook Run remain.

On Friday, DeKalb County provided 131 pages of documents concerning the demolition of the structures at the back of Brook Run Park; many of which were available at the time of my previous requests but not provided until now. I was particularly interested in the analytical test results proving that the moisture barrier embedded in the two concrete foundations truly requires a $500,000.00 contract extension. I was promised on Friday of a quick response on the documentation of the asbestos and will post it on line as soon as it is received.

Besides the proof of additional asbestos, I am again questioning the promises made to the community in regards to the $11.5 million dollars promised specifically for Brook Run Park, promises for new park benches, promises for shade sails for the playground as well as replacement trees that were removed in the construction of the skate park.

Most of the information provided is e-mail correspondence between the County & the following four companies.

  1. Dore & Associates Contracting, Inc., Bay City, MI
  2. Corporate Environmental Risk Management (CERM), Atlanta, GA
  3. Tristar of America, Inc., Norcross, GA
  4. Abatech Services, Inc., Snellville, GA

The e-mail below was sent to DeKalb County on Friday evening thanking them for the 131 pages of documents that can be obtained at the link immediately following.

Dear Mr.’s Smith & Stamps, thank you for providing me the documents I requested in my latest request, it is much appreciated.

I went though all of the documents separating them into two separate piles, one for skate park documents and the other was for demolition documents. I have placed the demolition documents in chronological order, scanned them into an electronic format, and have made them available on my website servers as shown below.

Mr. Stamps you are already aware on the one document that I was specifically looking for that was not provided in the pile. I asked for the analytical test results proving that the moisture barrier imbedded on the two concrete foundations was actually proved to be asbestos and you stated that Mr. Dave Butler probably received such documentation from the environmental firm CERM in their proposal (found on page 42). For a $500,000 contract extension, I am very interested in seeing the test results for the two building foundations believed to be asbestos.

At the Oct 23rd BOC Meeting, Commissioner Gannon asked a question on the Change Order for Triad (E10) as to where the money for this parks project was going to be coming from. She was informed that the money would be coming from the last Parks Bond Referendum. Since the Brook Run demolition was also advertised to be completed in the parks bond referendum, I take it that the $20,000.00 increase for Change 1 and the $470,000 increase for Change 2 will both be subtracted from the $11.5 Million promised for Brook Run Park in the 2005 Parks bond referendum? Is that the case?

On July 12th, I attended the County Wide Parks Master Plan meeting at the Mason Mill Recreation Center and because it wasn’t a public meeting whereby I could make a public statement; I was instructed by Commissioners Gannon & Rader to give Mr. Billups my prepared statement. I talked to Mr. Billups after the meeting, provided him my prepared document, asked about obtaining an electronic copy of the large color Master Plan of Brook Run crated by EDAW and followed up the meeting with an e-mail (attached) again asking questions regarding Brook Run. My requests for information & documents in this case were never acknowledged, nor answered, therefore I will repeat them again.

The first question was concerning the accounting of the expenditures and the balance of the $11.5 million dollars available for future development of the master plan. I have attached the latest general breakdown of the parks bond money but I am looking for it broken down to the park level as promised it would be (at least for Brook Run). Is this type of detailed information accessible, if so, the community deserves a full accounting of where the promised $11.5 million dollars are being spent and what funds are still available?

2001 Bond - Parks Improvement Projects

2006 Bond - Parks Improvement Projects

The second item was concerning the promised reforestation along Peeler in order to block the view of the skate park. Commissioner Boyer in a private meeting with community representatives, myself & Mr. Billups, Ms. Boyer asked Mr. Billups if she still had money available in a specific fund (special projects?) for additional trees. At the time, she was informed that there was money available for the trees and Ms. Boyer made a public statement in the Dunwoody Crier that a “massive re-landscaping” needs to be done along Peeler. I have yet to hear of a reply from Ms. Boyer regarding this item but take it for grated that the drought would have a negative affect the trees being installed.

The next item I inquired to the Parks Department on was public statement of Mr. Billups who stated to the Dunwoody Crier that additional benches and shade awnings were to be installed at the Children's Adventure Playground. I asked for confirmation of the quote & asked if a timeline might be available for these improvements? To date, Mr. Billups has never replied to my request for a timeline for these improvements.

Though the County has yet to answer my questions above, they did fulfill my final request of July 12 to install speed limit signs in Brook Run Park. Thank you.

Finally in the Brook Run Skate Park documents, I noticed that a Change Order for the completion of the Brook Run Skate Park was being prepared for an upcoming BOC Meeting and I didn’t see the dollar amount? I hope that it is nowhere near the extended costs of the demolition project and I guess the specific documents will be available after the BOC decision on the matter.

I look forward to obtaining the test results and other documentation from Mr. Butler proving that asbestos is embedded in the moisture barrier and maybe I will obtain answers to my other questions above.


John Heneghan, President
Dunwoody North Civic Association

-----Original Message-----

From: Smith, Kendric E []
Sent: Friday, November 02, 2007 3:14 PM
To: Dunwoody North Civic Association
Cc: Billups, Marvin F.; Stamps, James; Ernstes, Viviane
Subject: RE: Open Records - update requested


The documents pertinent to the change order (#2) will be available at 5 PM from James Stamps in his office on the third floor - I think you have been there before. Strictly speaking, most of these documents were not in the custody of either Marilyn Boyd Drew or Viviane Ernstes, but we won't quarrel over that at this point. Also, we are waiving copying or staff assistance costs on the production of these documents, in view of the previous difficulty on this point, so you don't need to bring any money.

James Stamps also states that he has already given you a complete set of the contract, the site and grading plans, and environmental assessments. The documents produced today include any correspondence (mostly e-mails) between the contractor and purchasing concerning the proposed Change Order #2, which has been approved by the Commission, although we are not certain whether the CEO has approved or vetoed it. With this production plus the previous one, according to Marvin Billups and James Stamps, you should have complete copies of everything requested to the extent that it exists either in the Parks Department or in Purchasing & Contracting. No documents have been withheld as exempt under the Open Records Act.

As for the grading plans, Mr. Stamps insists that they are included in the material he gave you previously. Perhaps there is a problem with interpretation, in which case you may wish to have a builder / contractor review them for you. Please let me know if I can be of any help.



Kendric E. Smith
Assistant County Attorney
DeKalb County Law Department