Free-For-All Friday 8/26/11

Feel free to use this post to make comments and ask questions about local issues not discussed here over the past week.

Comments close Monday.


This week’s Free-For-All Friday is brought to you by: Kick in the Fit, offering a free month of boot camp (morning or evening) to one Decatur Metro reader.

To enter, just send an email with the subject line “Decatur Metro Giveaway” to [email protected] Make sure to include your name and address in the email. Kick in the Fit will pick the winner at random on Monday morning.

197 thoughts on “Free-For-All Friday 8/26/11”

  1. There is a local WP resident who would love your support tomorrow at Stone Mountain in a national singing competition. Amy Andrews of Winnona Park made semi-finals at Eddie’s earlier this summer and will sing tomorrow to represent ATL at the state competition for the oldest country music competition in the country – the Texaco Country Showdown. It all starts at 2pm. It’s a full day of music, including national recording artists and the ever-popular laser show for the price of a parking pass. More information at her website: Please come cheer on our hometown contestant!

  2. Decatur High School Football Home Opener
    Friday 26 August
    vs. North Springs
    DHS Stadium
    7:30 PM

    It’d be nice to have these on the calendar.

    1. So how much does it cost to go to a high school football game these days? Are we allowed to bring our own thermos of hot chocolate? (looking ahead to the last week or two of the season or, dare we hope, the post-season)

    2. Still trying to find out how much it costs to get into the ball game. (Info not found at DHS athletics web page or Bulldog Boosters web page.) The last time I went to a high school football game, I was in high school and I think adults probably had to pay about a dollar. I have no useful frame of reference!

          1. Yes, but it was about five years ago. I believe DeKalb tickets are $7, so perhaps Decatur’s are the same now.

          2. You can buy a season membership to the Decatur Bulldog Assoc. but I find it hard to go to that many games. It’s more for the honor.

          3. One more question: just how fancy is the new stadium…seats with backs, or standard bench-type bleachers where middle-aged folks need to bring little folding stadium seat?

          4. I hope you enjoy the game (go Bulldogs!), but it sure doesn’t feel like football weather yet…I don’t think I’ve ever been as ready to see Fall as I am this year. A truly miserable summer in the south.

            1. Yeah, a football game sounded like a nice Friday night outing earlier today, but I stepped outside to get the mail a little while ago and lost all enthusiasm. Then realized it’s not even Labor Day yet — way too early for football in the South! Think I’ll play the non-spawner card and leave it up to dear friends and family to support the Bulldogs until the weather cools off a little bit.

    3. It was 96 degrees at 6 pm today and is 93 now at kick off time. I thought there was a rule against playing in the extreme heat. No practice but games okay?

      1. It’s not the temperature alone. It’s a combination of temperature and humidity and the humidity is quite low right now.

  3. Just a wish…milk growlers. I hate buying all those plastic gallon jugs, even though they can be recycled. I would fill up at least 2-3 times a week.

    1. when we were growing up my uncle had a dairy and was an old school milk man…anyone remember the old houses with the milk boxes by the back door? haven’t thought about those in a long time!

      1. It was not that long ago (well maybe 25 years !) that Mathis Dairy delivered fresh raw milk and other dairy products (from local cows!) to my house on Melrose. I had the metal box by my front door. My family even exchanged small holiday gifts with the milkman, who was the same man for at least 10 years.Before someone starts a new business they need to figure out why that business died.

          1. Technically, yes — it can’t be sold as regular milk for human consumption. The few dairies that offer it get around this by advertising it as pet food. I actually tried a glass a couple of weeks ago and it wasn’t too bad, though after a lifetime of brainwashing about the virtues of pasteurized/homogenized, I have to admit I was a bit squeamish about drinking something so “taboo”.

            1. There’s a farmer in north Georgia who sells raw milk and makes regular rounds in the Atlanta area on Fridays. It is labeled for animal consumption only. I find it to be exceptionally delicious but, of course, I’m an animal.

        1. Mathis Dairy also delivered to our house when I was growing up! Strangely I seem to recall they also brought orange juice.

        2. We still have milk delivered to our house every week (in Decatur). We started with Mathis and have had the same milk man for 30 years and have never met face to face because he comes in the wee hours of the morning. It now comes in plastic jugs in lieu of the glass bottles but I think it last longer than the milk you buy in the grocery store.

        3. The business model worked pretty good when there were concentrations of customers. But, as more and more people went to the supermarket to get their products, the delivery cost per customer, and therefore the product cost, would have gotten a little too high. If folks were willing to pay twice as much or more what the product cost at the store, we might still have the service.

        4. Our family had Mathis deliver raw milk and other products to our door during the 60s & 70s, and we loved their milk and cheese. We moved away early 80s, came back to Atlanta in ’87, looked for their products (they actually sold them in supermarkets), and couldn’t find the raw products. I asked at a health-food store where we’d gotten them before, and was told they weren’t carrying them anymore. Mathis had a herd that was ‘Certified’ which meant they were strickly inspected monthly to be sure they were disease-free. They gave tours through their dairy grounds and were proud to show you how clean it was and the fact that the milk went from the cow directly to the bottle without being ‘interfered with.’ Our children’s school had a yearly field trip to milk ‘Rosebud,’ their mascot, and picnic on the grounds. Seems at some time, the owners sold out to a company (Irish, I was told) and they were buying their milk from other dairies which didn’t have Certification to sell raw. They lost their license. Although they still sold the Mathis products, they were pasturized and never tasted the same. R.I.P. Original Mathis Dairy!

      2. Yep, not so long ago! We were still getting milk delivered every morning (at 5 a.m.) in the late 70’s and early 80’s over in Gwinnett County. I still have my parents’ metal milk box that sat on the front stoop.

      3. We not only had Mathis Dairy delivered but we had Charles Chips delivered as well. They came in a big metal tin. I loved those big glass jars the milk came in. I wonder if I could find one today.

      4. I’m pretty sure my wife’s father was the milkman — her mother doesn’t deny it.

        But then, she grew up on a dairy.

      5. There is still Milk delivery. I use a guy named Preston Born; he took over the Mathis routes and still delivers in Decatur! He lives in south Decatur and comes in the wee hours of the morning to deliver. I had to give up the milk delivery recently since we no longer have kids in the house, but this is a great service, and I highly recommend it. The milk is very fresh. A little more expensive than grocery, but worth it when you’re going through several gallons a week.

  4. I remember when there was a carjacking near the DFUMC parking lot back in 1993. At the time carjackings were a new thing. I had two small children then, 4 and 1 1/2 years old. I was terrified to drop my child off at the DFUMC preschool because I thought I was going to be carjacked! I empathize with that mother who had her kids at Chik Fil A.

    1. Right on. I’d be scared for my kids too. Though I usually don’t get too worried about crime stories, even local ones, there’ve been an unusual number of incidents within a few miles of my house recently – these cell phone thefts, Detective Apoian (sp?), and the Avondale shooting. Hope it is just a blip and not a trend.

      1. +1. Thank you for sharing. I was glad to know about the incident.

      2. The Friends School got a letter today from Chief Booker to pass along to the school community. It talks about the recent uptick of car break-ins in school parking lots when a parent stops for just a few minutes to pick up a child. I know of an incident at Circus Camp this summer.

  5. Any recommendations for someone/someplace that does good furniture reupholstering? Preferrably local to the Decatur area (or at least on the east side of town), but I’m willing to travel if the person/place is really good.

    1. I have used Gee and Gee Upholstery and was really pleased. They are located in Tucker but will come to your home and give you an estimate. They provide pick up and delivery. I found their prices to be very reasonable. It is a family business run by nice people.

    2. this has been posted several times on the oakhurst yahoo group from a woman in the business:

      There is none better than Larry Corn (or son John) at Corn Upholstery in Tucker. I’m a designer and have used him for over twenty years. Of dozens of pieces I’ve had custom built, upholstered or reupholstered, only twice did I have need to ask him to redo something, and he handled it right away with an apology. He is a magician with fabric and frames. I’ve occasionally used someone a little less expensive but never more than once: I always go back to Corn.

    3. I just had two chairs delivered today that were upholstered by Larry Terry of Exquisite Upholstery on E. Ponce after the DeKalb Farmer’s Mkt. in the Old Antique Village. He is an excellent craftsman. The chairs look great. Resonably priced. Had both chairs finished and delivered in two weeks.

      Larry Terry of Exquisite Upholstery
      3240 E. Ponce De Leon
      [email protected]

  6. Can someone remind me what’s happening at the old tire shop (?) up the street from Feast across from the bike path? I know we’ve talked about it post-Hooray-for-Clay plans, but I can’t remember what’s going there.

    1. The old Sopencer Tire building was purchased in December by Community Housing Capital, a non-profit currently in leased space at 315 W. Ponce. It is being renovated to be its headquarters. I don’t know if they will be keeping any of the Cabbage Patch stuff on the walls, but I tend to doubt it.

      1. How cool. I wish there was some kind of directory to all of the national non-profits based around here. Seems like I learn about another one every week.

    1. Really? I live near there and wondered what was being filmed. Entire pool area covered in black plastic on the outside.

    1. Sign on site says they’re adding a wing to the shopping center. There isn’t an empty space in the existing buildings. Would love to see a good tandoori joint move in…

  7. Anyone know of someone local who has written and published a memoir or similar book of personal essays? Gettin geared up for the Book Festival!

    1. Yes! Kim Severson, New York Times journalist and Decatur resident, has a terrific memoir called “Spoon Fed” out.

    1. Dr. Hamid Sadri at 1st Choice Healthcare, located on L’ville Hwy across from the ice cream place. (Used to be on Church Street but moved in last year or two.) Everybody I’ve seen at that clinic over the years is great.

      1. -1

        Went in with a painful neckache, came out with pinched nerve. After researching later, found out his treatment was exact opposite of what it should have been. Heck, he couldn’t even take a decent x-ray.

      2. The treatments I’ve received at Dr. Sadri have been excellent. His work has been much better than many I have seen.

  8. A plug for Andryannis Greek Bistro behind Cornerstone Bank and Parkers. Both the Greek burger and the meatloaf were great, as is owner/chef Mario. And a surprisingly decent spot for outdoor dining. Breakfast and lunch only.

    1. I second that plug for Andryannis. The food is pretty good – ample portions and fair price. Mario is a great guy .

      1. Thirding the Andryannis love. Everything I’ve had there has been delicious and very fresh. And (apologies for dragging the dead horse back out for another whalloping) they are a great place to take young kids – providing toys, coloring books, etc. to keep them amused before the food arrives.

    1. I think this was discussed a while back and the answer is no. However, the track at Agnes Scott can be used when there is not an event, as I recall.

  9. Anyone know of a parking lot in Midtown that takes credit cards for monthly parking?

    Also a note to the parking companies of Atlanta: We have this new-fangled invention called “credit cards” which are a hell of a lot easier than writing and delivering a check. There is also this new thing called “The Internet” which you might want to look into.

    1. The lot next to the 4 Seasons on 14th takes credit cards for daily parking, so I would think they will do the same for monthly.

        1. If you are going to work at that location and driving to work from Decatur, why don’t you use public transit?

          1. Granted that the frequency isn’t as often as it used to be, but the #2 bus terminates right there, as does the train if you’re willing to connect at 5 Points.

            1. Relax, and leave the driving to someone else. When you need to go somewhere else, try a taxi. They are fun too! I save hundreds of dollars a month my not having a car.

          2. Drive to 675 W Peachtree during rush hour, 40 min.
            Walk to Mart from house 15 min + 25 min on train to North Ave = 40 min.
            Ride bike on Stone Mtn path from house to 675 W Peachtree, 40 min.

            I just can’t get there faster.

                  1. I don’t drive. I take Marta or bike. The driving times were taken from hitching rides with friends a few times. Most of them park in the new deck BellSouth built.

            1. It’s not my usual commute, so I can’t claim it’s typical, but last week I made it from the Decatur station platform to the front door of 817 W. Peachtree in 35 minutes.

              1. Out the front door of my house in Decatur, 2 buses and the train, into my office in Executive Park: 60 min every day. MARTA monthly pass cost is $68. Sure I could drive it in 20 min, but I cannot read, post comments on DM blog, or sleep like I do while taking public transit. And as I said above, not owning a car saves me many hundreds of dollars every month. And I feel good about myself for not contributing to climate change and helping to give my grandchildren maybe a future.

                1. That’s definitely something you should feel good about AR. And something we should all aspire to!

              1. The short answer is I am not so keen on hot weather. But that is my excuse. I may start doing that. Thanks.

    2. The parking lot at 516 Peachtree takes credit cards and is $60 for monthly parking. At the corner of Peachtree & Renaissance Pkwy. across the street from Emory Midtown. My commute at 7:30 takes 20 minutes from Oakhurst.

      1. And that reminds me of another thing about Atlanta-the desire to rename everything. Emory Midtown is Crawford Long. Will always be Crawford Long. Shame on Emory for erasing his name from the institution.

        1. It’s not just Atlanta. I was in Chicago last weekend and I heard the new owners renamed the Sears tower, though no one uses the new name.

  10. Where are the most powerful self-service car vacuums in the area? I’m in an epic battle with bionic dog hair.

    1. I like the ones at the car wash down on Lawrenceville Highway by Brewsters. You can use them for an unlimited amount of time and they’re pretty good. And I’m not saying that you HAVE to go by Brewsters after getting all hot and sweaty cleaning out your car, but it is an option.

    2. Honor Thy Auto in Kirkwood is good. There is an attendant on duty if you have any problems.

    1. Shhhh…don’t tell everyone. I have first hand knowledge that there is going to be some good stuff! I want it for myself!

  11. A shout out for Pure. Just stopped by for the first time. Filled up my tank with courtesy and I grabbed an Oakhurst Market wrap for lunch! Yum. I was about to drive out to QT, but Pure was on my way saved me driving a few miles just for gas. What a great addition to Decatur.

  12. So the sketchy apt bldg at Fayetteville Rd/Gordon is now unoccupied and sort of boarded up, with yellow tape around the property and a “For Sale” sign in the yard. Anybody know the latest news or rumor?

    1. The apt. building will be demolished. The site has been subdivided into two single family lots. They’re probably just marketing early, in the event they can get buyers before starting construction.

      1. I was afraid that plan had fallen through and they needed to unload the lot. It’s on one of my early-AM walking routes and kind of gives me the creeps in its present state. I hope they get the demolition done before it starts being dark early in the morning.

    1. Incredibly sad announcement for this region. More gridlock. Announced the day after the state powers that be announce the regional transportation plan vote has been postponed. Regions grow based on their educational system and transportation options. We have neither.

      1. “Announced the day after the state powers that be announce the regional transportation plan vote has been postponed.”

        I thought all that was postponed was the effort to move the vote from July to November. Maybe I missed something.

  13. Why does the MARTA train going to Atlanta s l o w d o w n s o m u c h when traveling on the bridge over W Trinity?

    1. Because of all the people who bought houses by the tracks and then complained that the trains were TOO LOUD???

        1. How about the people who bought houses that then were tunneled under by MARTA? We’re not all Johnnys-come-lately. And until they stop running trains with out-of-round wheels on worn-out tracks, they’re going to have to slow down in those tunnels.

  14. Was randomly perusing some information on the COD website, and under the demographics section I noticed something I have always assumed but never saw in numbers. According to the site, over half of Decatur residents work in the “public administration” field (53%, compared to 6% for metro Atlanta.). I assume this category includes teachers, but would it also include employees of Agnes Scott and Emory, which are private? In other words, what exactly does “public administration” mean for purposes of the statistics provided by COD? The only other category listed that could possibly fit would be “service.” Would, say, a church kindergarten teacher be under services or public administration? At any rate, those two categories combined account for a whopping 82% of the demographic in Decatur.

    1. I imagine the categories are not COD, but US Census categories. That said, I have the same curiosity as you.

    2. Don’t have time to go digging, but I believe the Census uses — or maps to — NAICS codes. I think that “public administration” includes anybody who works for any government agency in any capacity. If I’m right, then it would include folks who work at the CDC and the VA (which I think, anecdotally, are well represented in our town).

    3. I saw a presentation of similar data last year. The “industry” figures describe job sectors in Decatur and not (necessarily) jobs held by Decaturites. Public administration jobs include city and county government. There is also a high rate of restaurant and retail jobs in Decatur. Looking at the jobs data as compared with the cost of property in the city, there are relatively few people who work in Decatur and can afford to live here, and relatively few jobs available in Decatur that would support residency here.

  15. Attention: Schools and school leadership and parents:

    David Schwartz, nationally known author of the book _How Much Is A Million_, and personal friend of mine, will be in town for a talk to the Georgia Council of Teachers of Mathematics and is interested in speaking to Decatur schools. His best date is Monday, October 24, but he might be available some of the previous week, too. Contact me or David!
    [email protected]

    1. Saw it last night for the first time. Don’t know how it snuck in so quickly (as we walk by all the time). It was after 9pm and it had a blinking open sign. It is next to the Decatur T-shirt place, above the Snoball place and Garlic.

      1. Where the cosmetic surgery office used to be? I guess there’s some continuity there, tattoos are plastic surgery of a type. That building gets a unique assortment of businesses! New Orleans sno balls, Thai cuisine, and tattoos!

  16. Hey Y’all – Anyone have a good recommendation for a restaurant in town that serves a nice roast chicken dinner? Simple but good home cooking?

  17. Open letter to the woman walking with her dog on Ansley Monday afternoon: Please realize that those are peoples’ front yards in which you allowed your dog to defecate. It is not polite or frankly even kind to allow your animal to roam off leash deep onto the private property of others, then allow the dog to soil the property and blithely walk off leaving your animal detrius behind.

    Same goes for the beast who allowed its dog to poo on the sidewalk in front of my house and scampered away so the little children walking towards dinner in Oakhurst ended up with shoes coated in poo.

    Thank you.

    1. +1
      And for whoever collects their pup’s poo in pink baggies: please don’t put it in my household garbage can that’s sitting empty on the curb on trash day — I don’t appreciate having to fish it out and deal with it.

      1. I could not believe what I was seeing. And she let the dog free range in not one but TWO front lawns… .

        1. I know of police warning tickets having been given for this poor behavior …yes it is usually a slow day for the police here in Mayberry

        2. That’s when you walk out and politely say “Excuse me, I think you forgot something” The 2nd time conversation goes a lot differently.

          1. You really get a range of responses from people when you scurry out the front door to offer them bags to collect their puppies’ poop.

            1. Sounds like you’re speaking from experience. Letting your dog poo in someone’s yard and not pick it up, can’t be explained away as an oversight or an accident, it’s being a total jerk.

              Age has mellowed me out and I’m not so quick to yell or flick someone off in traffic anymore, but I’m totally fine with having a word with someone about dog poop etiquette.

  18. Does anyone know the mother of five, who had two children at WP, who died unexpectedly over last weekend?

  19. Does anyone know what’s up with the house on Parkwood that has concertina wire on top a fence enclosing the back yard? Are they keeping something in or something out?

    1. It’s Bobby Brown’s house. His story is too long to tell. Suffice to say be thankful he doesn’t live in your neighborhood.

  20. Does anyone know anything about the Pratt Pullman Yard in Kirkwood? I’d love to go take some pictures there, but not sure if I’d be trespassing or not…can anyone just go in there?

  21. DM, this question may have been asked before, but is there a way (or a way coming) to search the FFAF forums for previously asked questions? I don’t need a/n (insert specialist/special restaurant/novelty store) now, but I may in a few months and it would be nice to have a keyword search of the questions here since this seems the be the place with answers.

    1. try this format in a google search…(without the quotation marks)

    2. Along these same lines, does anyone remember the guy who posted about having his heating and cooling ducts sealed a while back? I’m looking for a recommendation on someone to do this.

  22. Anybody know where I can take the old motor oil after changing the oil in my car?

      1. Thanks, Bryan!

        Now I have another question…I have a reel mower that needs its blades sharpened. Anyone know where I can get this done?

        1. If they are still around, I’m pretty sure Mower Menders on Lawrenceville Hwy in Tucker would offer that service.

    1. Dunno, but we left less than 15 minutes later and the clock was already down to 2 minutes in the 3rd quarter, so that may have been the final score. In the past we have experienced them “letting the clock run” when there is no hope of a come from behind victory for the losing team… Modified mercy rule?

    2. I was at the game and at one point in the 2nd quarter, the DHS time keeper forgot to start the clock and it was stuck at 7 minutes for at least 4 or 5 plays. That last 7 minutes took ~45 minutes to play out, and I believe the score would have been at least 2 touchdowns less going into halftime if the clock had kept running. I was surprised nobody from the other team noticed and complained.

      IMHO Decatur should have sat the starters when the score topped 40 in the first half – it was borderline bad sportsmanship to run up the score so high.

  23. okay – I love the mural across from the DQ – love it. But – the one on the back of Twains looks so much like Tiger Woods that I keep thinking someone (probably Gibbets) is working on a Nike Swoosh Golf Hat to top the thing…

    1. Holy cow! I thought I was the only one who was wondering why Twain:s now has a mural of an aging Tiger Woods!

    1. In most cases no, but there may be one or two ticketed events. Not sure if there those tickets are free or not.

    2. The only ticketed event in the Book Fest is the Friday opening keynote. The tickets were free, but it is sold out. All other events are free and non-ticketed, but there are capacity limits for some venues, so arrive early if you think a particular event will be popular.

  24. My apologies if this has already been recapped but I was wondering if anyone has the 411 on the bicycle hash marks on the road all up and down Ponce through Decatur.

    just askin’…

  25. Qualifying for city elections is NEXT WEEK! Qualifying begins Monday, August 29 at 8:30 AM and ends on Friday, September 2 at 4:30 PM.

    3 City Commission seats and 2 School Board seats are up for grabs. What is the word on the street?

    I think we have confirmed that the 3 City Commission incumbents are running for re-election with Bill Floyd (Dist 1) running for his 6th four year term. Jim Baskett (At Large) running for his 5th four year term and Kecia Cunningham (Dist 2) running for her 4th four year term. Whew! That is a long, long time to be serving on a small town City Commission (48 years combined with this trio). Will any challengers make an uphill run against any of the incumbents?

    With the two open School Board races we know that incumbent John Ahmann (Dist 1) is stepping aside and there are two known candiates for his spot. Is Julie Rhame (Dist 2) running for re-election? If so, is she vulnerable to a challenge? Will all incumbents just get a pass this year.

    Stay tuned …. share any info you may have …

    1. AJC reported that former Commissioner John Ridley said he would file for Baskett’s seat and his main platform is that the mayor should be elected by popular vote, not as a City Commission member as it now done. I guess he knows that it would take an act of the Legislature amending the City Charter to do that.

      1. Wouldn’t Mayor Bill Floyd win either way? There are many schoolchildren in Decatur who think MayorBillFloyd is all one word.

  26. Any idea how much the “average” 3-2, if it were approx. 1800 square feet, in the City of Decatur sells for?

    I ask because I am wondering, if I expand my 900 square foot 2-1 to a 3-2, how much the overall value of the house might go up.


    1. Go to You can see the value of any house in the area to get some comparables. The value is highly variable by neighborhood (in the past year, I’ve seen how short sales in my neighborhood cut the (theoretical) value of my house by 1/4).

  27. Had a chance to think some last week about jibes on this blog aimed at parents and at non-parents. We need to ease up on one another. No one can win. Back in the day, women used to be considered “just housewives” and even Marlo Thomas had to act ditsy to portray a single, working woman. When women got more of a chance to enter the workforce, they were either criticized for creating “latchkey kids” if they worked outside the home or going on “the mommy track” if they left the workforce. Single women were told they would never get married if they didn’t marry by age 35 and the insulting term “old maid” took a long time to disappear. Couples without children became known as DINKs as though they were selfish for earning two incomes without spending any money on children or empty nesters as though life beyond children was empty. Now parents are supposed to be involved because that’s linked to achievement, but not so involved that they are helicoptering. And free range parenting is good as long as your house isn’t the one with huge unsupervised party. No matter what your family status, someone will criticize. Life is more nuanced than this. Part-time working Moms become SAHMs then become full-time workers then go part-time again. You free range parent one child but then helicopter another for awhile and vice versa. An empty nester ends up adopting grandchildren unexpectedly. A single woman inherits nieces and nephews when family tragedy strikes. A parent loses their children by death or acrimonious divorce. We need to support and respect one another in our choices and life circumstances, even we would never (we think!) select certain choices.

    1. Bravo, Karass. Well put. I would shorten your thought to, ‘Less Flack. More Slack.’ And it’s applicable to spawners and spawnless alike.

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