Census Response Rate – Decatur: 67%, Avondale: 60%

From InDecatur’s recap from last night’s Decatur City Commission meeting…

Peggy:  Decatur is currently at 67% census return, vs. goal of 99%.

Well, that goal seemed a bit, shall-we-say, aggressive?  So, I ventured over to the Census 2010 website to give that number a bit more context and low and behold, not only is there up-to-date data, but also a handy-dandy map and interactive database!  Look I even created this informative comparative chart for Decatur city, DeKalb County, Atlanta city, Avondale and Georgia!

The map itself shows that Decatur is currently ahead in participation among cities in the metro region.

Decatur PD Arrests Man for 4 Recent Winnona Park/MAK Burglaries

From Decatur PD’s Juanchella Francis…

On Monday, April 5, 2010, Decatur police officers arrested Aaron Lee Walker for (4) burglaries that occurred between December 2009 and February 2010, in the Winnona Park, McDonough, Adams & Kings Highway neighborhoods. Mr. Walker admitted involvement in additional burglaries, in the area, during the same time period.

MARTA To Fund Planning & Design N. McDonough Rd. & Commerce Intersections

The item on last night’s agenda (page 59) – which led me to the city’s $1.77 million McDonough Street LCI grant – is also of particular interest on its own.

Remember when the Atlanta Regional Commission saved MARTA from massive cuts last year, directing $25 million in federal stimulus money to the cash-strapped transit authority’s operating budget?

Well, there were some strings attached.  It wasn’t an out-of-the-kindness-of-their-heart gift.

It was actually just a clever way to get around the suffocating state-imposed mandate that MARTA use half of its revenue from the 1-cent Fulton/DeKalb tax on “capital improvement”, even in times when the other 50% can’t keep the operating budget afloat.  (For more background info and the current sorry state on transit legislation, check out Thomas Wheatley’s excellent Creative Loafing article from yesterday)

In exchange for its $25 million operating budget “bailout”, MARTA agreed to use an equal amount of funds from its capital improvement fund to pay for studies and improvements around MARTA stations in line with the ARC’s mission to promote and fund more “livable” communities.

And it looks like Decatur will see a piece of that delicious capital improvements pie.

At last night’s City Commission meeting, the commission approved an agreement that MARTA would fund the planning and design for both the North McDonough streetscape improvements AND improvements to the Commerce Street intersections at Church Street and Clairemont Ave.

In a note to City Manager Peggy Merriss, Asst. City Manager Hugh Saxon also mentions that he believes there will be enough funding in the $750,000 budget to also design bike lanes for Church Street.


Atlanta: AJC Reach is Unlawful

CBS Atlanta reported yesterday that the city of Atlanta has deemed the “AJC Reach” – a bunch of ads stuffed in a plastic sleeve  – unlawful under the city’s ordinance litter law as a “handbill”, since it’s thrown onto the properties on subscribers and non-subscribers alike.  Some residents around Atlanta dislike the tossed ads so much that they’ve created a website www.stopajcreach.com. [h/t: InDecatur]

In the segment, CBS attempted to get a response from the AJC on the city’s stance that if the newspaper didn’t change their method of delivery they would be cited.  But it was to no avail.

A quick look through Decatur’s city code reveals a similar law

Sec. 70-3. Same–Depositing, distributing on private property.

It shall be unlawful for any person to distribute or deposit any handbills, advertisements, printed matter or rubbish upon any real property located in the city without the consent of the owner thereof.

(Code 1967, § 3-3)

I’ll verify with the city, but to me it sounds like the AJC Reach is also unlawful in Decatur.

Photo courtesy of www.stopAJCreach.com