Decatur Gets the Gold

The Atlanta Regional Commission announced this afternoon that Decatur and Alpharetta are the first two cities in the Atlanta metro region to achieve “Gold Certification” for their “sustainability initiatives”.

Here’s the Decatur-specific portion of the press release…

The City of Decatur achieved Gold certification in 2010 after becoming Bronze Green Community in July 2009. City policies include purchasing of green products, a green fleet policy, green building standards and more. Employees recycle, and new hires must sign the Lights Out/Power Down policy and the No-Idling pledge. Fire Station #2 is LEED silver certified and uses 25 percent less water and 35 percent less energy than a standard building of the same size. Solar panels on the roof provide energy to heat water for the building. The city’s Safe Routes to School Program encourages elementary and middle school children to walk or bicycle to school and makes trips to school safer. Other sustainable measures in Decatur are a Pay-As-You-Throw program for trash disposal, a comprehensive residential recycling program and a Health Impact Assessment incorporated into the transportation plan.

After achieving Bronze status last year, City Manager Peggy Merriss has stated publicly a few times this year that Gold was the city’s next goal.  In a statement to DM, she writes…

“We’re very excited that the City of Decatur has been recognized with a Gold level certification for sustainability efforts from the Atlanta Regional Commission. This award recognizes the efforts of our community residents to support recycling and walking and cycling as well as the City Commission’s leadership in supporting construction of LEED certified facilities and City employees’ dedication to turning off lights, using less fuel and taking innovative approaches to sustaining the environment. Resource Conservation Coordinator Lena Stevens was instrumental in getting all of the information together and spearheading the application effort.

Also, I’ve posted the blurbs for all the other Gold, Silver and Bronze winners after the jump.  Anyone see any “sustainable” initiatives that Decatur should copy?

Thanks to Creative Loafing’s Thomas Wheatley for forwarding the release!

Continue reading “Decatur Gets the Gold”

“An Electric Car Can Draw as Much Power as a Small House”

Hmm, this could certainly prove problematic for electric utilities and their consumers in the short-term…

Nationwide, utilities have enough power plants and equipment to power hundreds of thousands of electric cars. Problems could crop up long before that many are sold, though, because of a phenomenon carmakers and utilities call “clustering.”

Electric vehicle clusters are expected in neighborhoods where:

— Generous subsidies are offered by states and localities

— Weather is mild, because batteries tend to perform better in warmer climates

— High-income and environmentally conscious commuters live

…Adding an electric vehicle or two to a neighborhood can be like adding another house, and it can stress the equipment that services those houses. “We’re talking about doubling the load of a conventional home,” says Karl Rabago, who leads Austin Energy’s electric vehicle-readiness program. “It’s big.”

Sounds like Decatur’s most wealthy and eco-conscious neighborhoods need to host meetings, take a straw polls, and see how many people have a Nissan Leaf or Chevy Volt on order!

Pita Pit Opens Thursday

My wife and I saw a few Pita Pit door-hangers scattered in the street amongst the fallen leaves along Ponce Place Sunday evening, so I had a feeling this place was pretty close to opening.

Carl has posted a pic of a sign on their door that announces the “Grand Opening” will be this Thursday, December 2nd from 7a to 10p.

And in case you’re not up to speed: the shop is taking over the old Quizno’s space at the corner of the “Birds from Hell” building.  Also, you can view their menu HERE (pdf)

19th Annual Decatur Holiday Marketplace and Cafe This Friday & Saturday

Anne writes in…

The 19th Annual Decatur Holiday Marketplace and Café will take place Friday, December 3rd from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Saturday, December 4th from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., in conjunction with the Decatur Tour of Homes.

Clairemont Elementary School transforms into a lively and festive market where more than 95 local and national artists exhibit their wares.  Kick off your holiday season by shopping for unique handmade gifts, paintings, glass art, jewelry, pottery and much more.  Be sure to stop by the café for mouthwatering homemade soups and decadent desserts, as well as toe-tapping tunes performed live by local musicians and carolers.

New this year: On Saturday, kids can enjoy live children’s music in the café from 1-2 p.m. and join in the fun with art activities on Saturday from 2 – 6 p.m.  And as the sun sets on both evenings, don’t miss the new Winter Wonderland Light Display on the school grounds.

Whether it’s your palette or palate that needs pleasing, you’ll satisfy both at the Decatur Holiday Marketplace + Café!   The school is located at 155 Erie Avenue in Decatur.  Admission is free, and all proceeds benefit Clairemont Elementary School programs.

For more information, please visit

CSD Adds 9th Redistricting Map Based on Resident Feedback

Asst. Superintendent Thomas Van Soelen alerts us to a 9th map option added to the mix in CSD’s ongoing discussion with the community about redistricting Decatur’s K-3 school enrollment zone, in order to bring Glennwood back into the mix.

While this map is titled “Map 9”, it is really one of just three redistricting options still on the table.  You can still view and give feedback on all three maps here.

Here’s part of a note, just posted on CSD’s website, announcing the additional map.

In response to public input received during the Board public sessions, Map 9 has been created. In this map, revisions are made to keep neighborhoods whole as much as possible. In addition, a programmatic decision was made to continue the current practice of serving K-3 students who need English as Second Language services at Winnona Park.

I would also point out that the “non-white” percentages, which have received a lot of the focus in DM conversations, are now all in the 31%-39% range in this 9th scenario.