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

Saturday, November 3, 2007

DeKalb installs temporary speed detection device at Brook Run

The Special Operations Unit of the DeKalb Police Department has temporarily placed an electronic speed detection device in Brook Run Park which announces to the approaching driver the speed in which they are traveling and even indicates in Red when they are exceeding the maximum speed limit of 15 MPH.

I am thankful to police department for installing the speed detection sign as well as the Dunwoody Crier for publicizing the related story. Both items have raised the awareness of the issue with the community and the park is safer for it. Thanks.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Dunwoody Chamblee Parents Council - Legislative Update on Nov 7th

Wednesday, November 7th
Chamblee Charter High School
8:45 refreshments ~ Meeting 9:15 am – 10:30 am

Legislative Update from: Senator Dan Weber, Representatives Fran Millar & Mike Jacobs

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.