Free-For-All Friday 9/23/11

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

Comments close Monday.

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This week’s FFAF is brought to you by Cakes & Ale….

Cakes & Ale’s Sunday Supper in the Garden

Join us Sunday, October 2nd for our second annual fundraiser: Sunday Supper in the Oakhurst Community Garden!  Billy and his team are grilling an al fresco dinner at the Oakhurst Community Garden with all proceeds going to benefit this wonderful community organization.  The October 2nd dinner is from 5:30 pm until 8 pm and will be a beautiful event in the garden.

The Oakhurst Garden not only serves every student enrolled in the City Schools of Decatur through the Farm to School initiative, it leads after school activities through the Decatur Housing Authority, works with the Boys and Girls Club to teach youth about gardening, harvesting and cooking fresh vegetables, and teaches a myriad of classes for our community to learn and appreciate the natural world.  To purchase tickets and for more information about the garden go to www.oakhurstcommunitygarden.org

178 thoughts on “Free-For-All Friday 9/23/11”


  1. Is $2.50 the going rate for laundered men’s dress shirts now? Does anyone have a cleaner that is good and does them for less?

    Thanks

    1. We’ve found Kim’s Cleaners on Clairmont near the VA, across from the Emory Clairmont campus to be the cheapest and best for us. It works especially well if one travels that part of Clairmont frequently and has a drive-up window. It’s not as fancy as City of Decatur choices but high quality and much cheaper. Cannot quote you the per shirt cost because hubbie tends to his own dry cleaning.

      1. I tell this story every chance I get:

        Way back in 1983 during the snow/ice storm that hit that year, my Mom (and several other motorists) got stuck on Clairmont. She had a 5 year old me and my 2 year old sister in tow. She walked to Kim’s Cleaners and asked if she could use his phone to call someone. He refused to let her…something about not letting anyone use the phone…or only allowing paying customers to use it. Whatever the reason, he had no interest in helping a lady in distress.

        My family practices a lifetime ban on Kim’s Cleaners. Do whatever you wish with this anecdote.

        1. I doubt it’s the same staff as back then even though the name remains. The Mr. Kim who was around when I first went there died of a heart attack on the premises in 2001. The establishment was bought by someone else who allowed Mr. Kim’s widow to continue to work there part-time for years. But I haven’t seen her in around a year. A new “Mrs. Kim”, a decade or two younger, now works there and she told me that she is no relation to the previous set of Kims. The establishment may have changed hands more than once than 2001 but it’s hard to tell. They did eventually replace the sign over the car drop-off area. (The original was hit by a bike on my roof back around 1998 but no one ever wanted to bill me.) But not much else has changed. Sorry for your Mom’s bad experience; I wouldn’t return either. But my experience has always been friendly, high quality, and reasonably priced.

          1. Hmm…perhaps with the passing of Mr. Kim I could let bygones be bygones and end my crusade against that establishment. Still won’t patronize ’em 😉

            1. Yes, what happened to you was terrible, but why continue to malign a business that, as has been explained to you, is not owned by the offender? A business lives on it’s reputation, you know.

            2. And I don’t think we can even be sure that the Mr. Kim who died in 2001 is the same Kim who owned the store or worked at it in 1983. Kim is evidently a common Korean name as evidenced by the fact that the current Mrs. Kim is not related to the previous Kim wife and husband team (or their children who worked there and eventually went on to Public Health doctoral programs and the Air Force Academy.) I think it’s fine to avoid a store about which one has bad memories but just recognize that the folks at fault may have nothing to do with the current establishment. I used to avoid the Emory Commons Publix because I was pickpocketed once while shopping with a baby there. Then I realized that the store had changed a lot in ambience, clientele, and security and it really wasn’t the same place.

    2. I would recommend non-iron shirts if you have not tried them already. They have some drawbacks but they’re minimal, and for daily wear, they pay for themsleves in a short time b/c you really don’t have to have them laundered and pressed.

      1. I agree with the no-iron. Husband likes the Brooks Brothers and I prefer the Lands End. They cost more but I can leave them in the dryer for a day or two and they still look good. But be very careful, you CANNOT use fabric softener on them or it will ruin their no -iron quality.

        1. I use Bounce in the dryer and Hubbs non-iron shirts don’t seem to mind. Was not aware I was not supposed to do that. Whoops.

        2. Also, should you choose, in a fit of irony, to iron your non-iron shirts, don’t use starch. It will significantly reduce the life of your shirt.

    3. To be honest, not sure what I pay per shirt but the only dry cleaner nearby that I’ve been happy with is Majik Touch on North Decatur by Emory. Between Starbucks and Panera Bread. Highly recommended.

    4. I’m not 100% sure of their prices, but the wife and I love courtesy cleaners on dekalb just outside of CoD. cheap/fast/great. no complaints from either of us.

    5. I’m very happy with Your Cleaners next to Farm Burger. Not sure what makes it “fancy,” but it sure has delicious neighbors.

      1. I have found their service very high quality and the stuff comes back beautifully packaged but I spent a fortune there once on a large load. I’ll bet I spend about 1/4 of that at Kim’s Cleaners. My stuff isn’t that nice and sometimes there’s a lot of it so cheap pricing is key.

  2. Re: Tree Ordinance. Said I’d repost from last week if I found out anything. Though I wasn’t able to find the specific ordinance on either the City site or the Municode site (and the person I spoke with in City Planning couldn’t find it either), there is essentially no restriction on residential tree removal. I believe you have to file a tree plan if you are building or renovating residential but there is no restriction on the number and size of trees or on the reasons for removal. If you want to cut them, you can.

    1. I live on Pharr Rd. and had a very large dead pine removed last year. The tree removal service asekd me if I was Decatur and I said yes, but Atlanta was the other side of the street. He said, “Good. If you were Atlanta we would need a permit.”

    2. Thank you, RScott. Good to know the reason we couldn’t find the ordinance is that it doesn’t exist. One thing I learned, while observing a neighboring property owner go through the process to obtain approval on a variance: if you property contains stream buffer area, then there are restrictions on removing trees. I can’t quote them specifically, but they exist.

      1. For those of you just outside the city limits (I’m a wannabe, and I know it), there are restrictions on taking down ‘specimen’ trees. I think the threshold is 36″ diameter. Those need an arborist evaluation and communication to Dekalb County. The lady’s name at the county is India, I think. I can dig it up if anyone needs it. Maybe applies to CoD too??

        Also a bit of a warning, if it’s a large shade tree that covers neighboring yards, you may want to inform your neighbors before removal. We had a pretty heated confrontation in our neighborhood after a large magnolia was removed, and a neighbor thought it should stay.

  3. The World-Traveling Decatur High School Marching Band will be featured on 11Alive’s High School Sports.net program tonight!

    What to watch:

    MYATL-TV36 at 10:30 p.m. and on 11Alive News at 11:20 p.m.

    The band was selected from all metro Atlanta bands and will be shown intermittently during both programs. What an exciting event!

  4. I think MARTA needs many improvements, but DeKalb officials seem to ignore MARTA altogether except to decry service cuts. I have assumed officials don’t engage primarily because the challenge offers little direct reward, but perhaps there’s active disengagement that is more about avoiding underlying issues, racism in particular.

      1. Help me out then, friend. If the political calculus of our officials’ engagement on MARTA was discussed here in the last 2-4 years, please point me there.

        1. I was referring to your knee-jerk reaction that MARTA issues stem particularly from racism, friend. There’s no doubt racism is an element, but since this had been hashed out in an earlier thread on DM (and other places on this site), I thought we were beyond such simplistic bromides. At Home in Decatur explained the issue well by discussing the fact there’s a lot more to it than racism. But it IS free-for-all-Friday, so have at it.

          http://www.decaturmetro.com/2011/09/05/marta-its-not-just-you-its-atlanta/#comments

          1. What are you talking about? I believe you have misunderstood me… repeatedly.

            I can rephrase my sentiment for you: maybe our politicians avoid citizen concerns with MARTA out of fear the conversation will devolve into difficult and politically risky, divisive issues.

            1. Touchy, are we? I address your racism comment, and you say I misunderstand. At Home in Decatur responds to it, and you give her a thumbs up.

              Guess we’ll just have to agree to continue misunderstanding each other.

              Cheers!

              1. I would be fine if my supposition had ‘classism’ instead, so permit me to apologize profusely for using the r-word. Very sorry, sir!

                But I suppose one or both of us may continue to talk past each other. Maybe a third party can provide insight.

                Oh, do forgive me again, but I’d like to clarify that I did not say “MARTA issues stem particularly from racism;” I suggested that maybe concerns with public transport aren’t winners for our politicians. I shall henceforth refrain from posting random thoughts under the presumption that those thoughts will be hopelessly unintelligible.

                Alas, you presume to know my mind… because you are so handsome. 🙂

                1. Both At Home and I independently responded to the word racism. The problem here (besides your sensitivity) is that the term tends to overshadow everything else in your post. That’s such a powerful word.

                  Anyway, since you seem hell-bent on sarcasm and insults rather than intelligent adult conversation, I’ll concede this one to you.

                  1. Yield to no one, don’t give in to unreasonable, poorly organized arguments dribbling from posters that don’t have the good graces to inform you beforehand they don’t understand their own logic.

                    1. Funny, Gibbets, but if you followed the thread, you may have seen that it is I that followed into the rabbit hole… from which my supposition will not emerge. So I failed to gain/share wisdom from/with the group; it was wistful to think that my supposition, if bolstered, might encourage some to gather our voices and rally our elected officials in support of bettering our public transit.

          2. Bobby’s opinions are rarely knee-jerk. Actually, I’ve noticed his comments have multiple layers of meaning and they aren’t always obvious at first glance. He constantly challenges the transit system he supports to be better, in his opinion.

            As for Gibbs, not nice dude. I figured you’d support complex and sometimes cryptic argument.

            1. You’re a better man than I am, Dunga M. Life is a too short struggle. I most appreciate your posters who look at their audience and target their arguments accordingly.

            2. Oh Mercy! What a mess!

              In DTR’s defense: Racism IS a mighty charged word. (Truth in it, though.)
              Strike against DTR: As DTR’s said before, he doesn’t pay attention to who says what. If he did, he’d know that Bobby is a straight up guy who’s definitely serious about transit.
              (Two Cents: Next time maybe check a post or two on the same topic to see if you can get a feel for the commenter.)

              In Bobby’s defense: Dekalb officials and their silence… very interesting! Definitely merits a discussion sometime!
              Strike against Bobby: FFAF folks are in a TGIF mood. Not the best forum for intricate topics.
              (Two cents: Might want to play devil’s advocate to see if your comments might unintentionally read smart alecky to some. I enjoy you, and I still can’t always tell when the smartypantsing begins!)

              Rockin’ it like always: At Home in Decatur and DM!

              1. Cents taken. I suppose I can be a sassy kettle. In hindsight I would rather have avoided the mess, but I still find the yarn rather astonishing.

                If not FFAF then where? Monday Topic Bucket?

              2. Good response, Deanne, and I will take your advice to pay more attention to who says what. And Bobby, I do applaud your passion on MARTA issues. I responded the way I did because I too often see the words “racism” and “MARTA” in the same sentence, and as At Home said, it’s so much more than that.

                I don’t regret anything I said, nor will I apologize, but I will make more of an effort to read everyone’s posts more closely from now on.

                We cool?

            3. DM, please do not feel obligated to come to my defense.

              Were I DeKalb CEO, I might look at this and say to myself: “See there; political toxins can easily be attached to public transportation enhancements, and with so little to gain, I best keep my distance – better to stick to the edges or punt or just do nothing.”

              The idea allows me to see the swift offer of $250 million in a different light.

              1. Bobby!!! You just went ahead before we even had a chance to answer you! :0)

                I’m thinking that thread-jacking a transit post is probably best if you’re wanting to tackle a sticky topic. Not right off, of course, but if a Marta post hits a lull…go for it! Also better to do it during the week when the other in-the-know transit folks are looking for a distraction and are up for chiming in. (I’m definitely interested in transit stuff, but most days y’all are far too knowledgeable for me to pipe up!)

    1. This again? Oh, why not. It’s FFAF, Khadaffi has been deposed, and NCLB is on its way out. Time for a fresh look at the world.

      So….I contend that anti-MARTA sentiment may be as much classism and inexperience as it is racism. I’m not saying that racism isn’t there but I suspect that lots of black and hispanic professionals and surburbanites have the same prejudices about MARTA that white professionals and surburbanites have. There’s a mindset in Atlanta that MARTA is low class, dirty, inconvenient. Mostly by folks who do not ride it much or only during crowded, chaotic mass events. Yet, in other cities, riding mass transit is trendy, green, part of the suburban culture and always has been–“Man in the Gray Flannel Suit”, “Gentleman’s Agreement”, etc. And you cannot convince me that the Boston or NYC subway systems are cleaner. To me, riding MARTA to work while reading a novel, knitting, or quickly reviewing something for a 9:00 AM meeting is sophisticated, continental, urban, plus fun. And mandatory for airport travel–our family recently came back to ATL from our “balanced” September break, took MARTA to Decatur and then walked home. So cool! But I’m clearly in the minority….

      1. Yes we are a minority, but our numbers are growing, especially in the booming neighborhoods closer in than Decatur. If the Beltline ever gets built, the cool factor for MARTA usage will boom. Just check Portland, and even Charlotte.

      2. Even after that rational, well-written response, you still can’t help but bring race back into the discussion, eh (“I’m clearly in the MINORITY”)?!?

        Sorry, it’s Friday and I’m punchy. It’s 5:00 somewhere. Who wants to meet for a beer at Brick Store???

        1. “The Glamour of Grammer” (a truly interesting book, believe it or not) points out the huge impact of the use of the definite vs. indefinite article! Hence, whether or not I’m A minority (which is an awfully impersonal way to refer to folks anyway), I can be in THE minority!

      3. Thanks for not dumping on me, karass. I should have been more clear that I was referring to our elected officials. For example, I don’t hear much that addresses how MARTA is doing across DeKalb, but I hear citizen concerns dodged with responses like “well, MARTA was really meant to involve more counties not just the two it has” (‘it’s flawed and not my fault’) or “you see, we need the [state] legislature to help” (‘take your concern elsewhere’) or “we will have to come together as a region [which is a lengthy process]” (‘I’ll be gone long before my office concedes that only magical thinking suggests that scale turns wrongs into rights’).

      4. I think “prejudice” might be more an accurate descriptor than racism. Many people I’ve talked to who will not set foot on MARTA assume it is unsafe because of the people who ride it, who happen to be mostly minorities. Even minorities may be guilty of this kind of prejudice. Not saying racism doesn’t still play a significant role; scroll the sewer that is the AJC comments section and you’ll see it in all its inglorious forms.

  5. How does one propose a new ordinance in Decatur?
    I can’t seem to find any direction on decaturga.com.

        1. That wasn’t a “WHAT ARE YOU THINKING!!!” It was a “what kind of ordinance are you thinking of proposing?”

          1. Where is LyricsOnlyGuy when you need him:

            Communication Breakdown
            Its always the same
            Havin a nervous shmake-schmown [what does he say here?]
            Drive me insane!
            Ooooohhhhhhh, sssss[censored]

    1. Attend a City Commission meeting and speak during the public comment time.

      Then follow up by email, letter and/or phone call with your commissioners and with the City Manager.

      Post it here on DM, talk to your neighbors, etc, to get others on board. Be prepared for the process to take some time.

      1. thanks.
        My proposal is…(gasp!) bike related

        It appears that City of Decatur has not enacted an ordinance that permits bicyle operation on the sidewalk by persons aged 12 or younger as they are empowered to by O.C.G.A. § 40-6-144 .

        Effectively, since 2009, everyone who rides a bicyle on the sidewalk in Decatur is in violation of this traffic code.
        Big whoop right?
        While the thought of officer Lindsey ticketing our children for riding on a sidewalk marked “Safe Route to School, City of Decatur” may seem amusing, there is a potential problem here for parents (and the City). We may be in negligence per se.

        Should a child operating a bicycle on the sidewalk in Decatur be injured by a motorist, the motorist’s insurance may have an argument to refuse or even reverse claims in that accident and the child’s parents may be criminally charged. Is this unrealistic? Consider the recent case of Raquel Nelson, who was convicted of vehicular manslaughter because her son was killed while violating traffic code § 40-6-92 under her supervision. I think this may be a real problem.

        So my question is…Does Decatur have a resolution or ordinance that permits riding bicycles on the sidewalk. And, if not, when can we get that enacted?

        1. I understand your concern after the Raquel Nelson, but you’ve got to understand that case was really the result of an overzealous, irrational Solicitor’s office. This is DeKa…um…nevermind, you’re right…

            1. Having a case and deciding to pursue it are two entirely different things. I’m not sure exactly what was reported but the judge in the case did an incredible thing by offering her a choice between a minimal sentence and a new trial. Motions for new trial are very hard to win, but in this case she ordered it without even being asked. The story behind the scenes seems to be that she was PISSED about the solicitor’s office prosecuting of the case.

              1. Set aside criminal prosecution for a moment.
                Let’s say your child incurred 2 million dollars of medical bills due to a motorist accidentally hitting them while they were “illegally” riding a bicycle on the sidewalk.
                The motorist’s insurance likely will not cover it.
                Your insurance and homeowner’s may balk because you were negligent in facilitating your child breaking the law.
                You or your insurer may have to go after Decatur because the city has been openly facilitating this “lawbreaking activity” and may bear liability for damages that result.
                This wouldn’t even be a question if Decatur had an ordinance or resolution that permits children to ride bicycles on the sidewalk. It seems like a simple fix.

                1. Bah, I thought I was done working for the day, but I guess I can play lawyer a little longer….

                  First, I agree 100% that it’s ridiculous that the city code would seem to make it illegal for young kids to ride on sidewalks, effectively forcing them into busy, dangerous streets if they are to ride “legally”. That is absurd and it should be fixed.

                  The good news is that your fears are probably unfounded in the scenario you envision. The fact that someone is negligent per se would not automatically exclude coverage from any available sources. The driver’s insurance, the driver’s assets above his liability limits, your UM and your homeowner’s policy are all in play. Contributory or comparative negligence, per se or otherwise, is a defense. However, it must actually be causative of the injuries. The driver cannot simply say (at least in Georgia), “I was wrong, but so was that dumb kid, so my insurance doesn’t have to pay”. Likewise, your own coverage would not be voided unless the negligent act cause or exacerbated the injury.

                  In your scenario, I’d be pretty confident that I could turn into a $10,000 case into a $100K case or a $100K case into a $1 million case if the liability insurer defended on a comparative negligence basis (or a homeowners insurer denied coverage). I can’t imagine a jury not being offended by that argument, whether or not it was technically illegal for a child to ride on the sidewalk. More importantly, I don’t see how riding on the sidewalk could be argued to be the *cause* of an accident.

                  The real tragedy would be when a young, inexperienced rider tried to obey the law and, fearing a ticket from Officer Lindsey, rode wobbly down Clairemont, Commerce or Scott and got creamed by a SUV.

                  1. That’s the scenario I’m trying to avoid.
                    However, O.C.G.A. § 40-6-144 mandates that drivers crossing a sidewalk look out for and yield to pedestrians (cyclists are not pedestrians) and in the same paragraph makes it illegal for anyone to ride a bicycle on the sidewalk.
                    There’s little doubt the intention and effect of of this law is to place responsibility for such an accident on the cyclist and absolve the motorist (absent the most reckless conduct).
                    If the cyclist was not illegally on the sidewalk there could not have been a collision there. That is about as causative as it can get.

                    1. Ah, I see your point. I wasn’t thinking about, say, crossing a sidewalk to enter a driveway or parking lot. I still don’t think negligence per se due to riding on the sidewalk would get a defendant past a jury but it’s not even a battle that should have to be faced. Seems clear enough that the law should not force young kids into the street, or keep them from riding at all!

        2. Proposing an ordinance? We’ve got a city commissioner, Fred Boykin, who owns a bike shop. Call or email Fred directly, and I’m sure he’ll consider your proposal.

  6. Back to bicycles and traffic law enforcement for a moment. Despite all of the comments tossed around on DM and over at Dateline:Decatur, no real workable solution emerged for pursuing changes to the law that would allow law enforcement officers to distinguish motorized vehicles from non-motorized vehicles. It is fair to enforce the law equally, i.e., ticket motorists and cyclists who commit moving violations. But is it appropriate to have a uniform fine schedule that does not recognize that the economics of cycling are very different from the economics of driving?

    In the interview I did with Georgia Bikes! executive director Brent Buice, I learned that more Georgia cyclists are on the road out of necessity, not because they are fitness conscious environmentalists. The costs to acquire, maintain, and comply with existing laws for cyclists are dramatically lower than they are for cars and motorcycles. Legal penalties for violating the state’s motor vehicle code should be similarly different.

    I earned a ticket this week because I broke the law. But, I also think that the $212.50 fine is excessive. And, the fine is more if folks elect to pay electronically because there is a $21 service charge tacked onto the total. My read on the fine and fees is that something needs to change legislatively. The fines for cycling infractions need to be proportionate to the economics of the activity. And, jurisdictions should welcome the economies of doing business electronically (where a live transaction is avoided) and not further penalize folks for opting to avoid driving or otherwise traveling to pay fines in person.

    Thoughts? Suggestions?

    1. If you are a bike commuter to an Atlanta business district, Clean Air Campaign will reward you monthly with a $ 10 gift certificate to participate in their Log Your Commute program. In a little over twenty months you will have absorbed the hit from your infraction.

      Seriously, I can attest that the costs of traffic citations present a hardship.

      I would be interested to learn what proportion of bicycles (vehicles) vs. autos (vehicles) are cited for stop sign and red light violations in Decatur. I imagine that on a per vehicle/type basis bikes are being selectively cited. Easy pickings for this ticket-writing racket.

      I intend to voice my concerns at the Commission meeting scheduled to discuss the Clairemont/Commerce intersection improvements. Monday, 6:00 – 8:00 PM at City Hall.

      1. Tom L, when I went to the Clean Air Campaign site I only saw bike commuting providing the opportunity to be in gift certificate raffles if you log your commute. Could you direct me to the place to sign up for $10 a month? My husband bike commutes 16 miles a day and the $10 a month could pay for all the tires/tubes he blows through! Thanks!

      2. Tom L: “I intend to voice my concerns at the Commission meeting scheduled to discuss the Clairemont/Commerce intersection improvements. Monday, 6:00 – 8:00 PM at City Hall.”

        Hugh Saxon and Fred Boykin would prefer that you DON’T do that. (I asked.) It’s not that they’re unwilling to hear cyclists’ concerns; it’s just not the forum for it. Think about it: Do you really want to shortchange input on a project that will greatly improve things for cyclists?

        If you feel strongly enough, please show up at a Commission Meeting and present your concern! Here’s the remaining 2011 schedule:
        http://www.decaturga.com/index.aspx?page=318

    2. Boy, this cycling thing (thread I mean) is here to stay isn’t it. I know it is a hotbed, and therefore something I usually try to avoid. But let me put a few serious thoughts in.

      Though laws are important, I just don’t think that needs to be or should be the focus here. I simply don’t live my life based on moral or legal codes, rather what seems to make sense and what is considerate. Maybe there are some adjustments needed to existing language. But I think the real “solution”, and maybe it isn’t really about solving this, is that we all need to get more used to sharing the road with each other.

      When I come alongside a biker riding on a narrow street at a busy time of day, I sometimes get irked. I hope that, as this kind of encounter happens more, I will get more used to it. And what is so important about saving ten seconds anyway?

      One of the things I really appreciate about this community is the, overall, level-headedness about these things. Often on posts, people seem to respond in the negative about the need for new ordinances of one kind or another to a relatively new problem. And I agree. Let us live in it for a while and see if we can work it out, and then go to law as a means of incentive later.

      For a lesser point on your comment, I too wish the fees that are tacked on fines would change. When I worked for the GA Dept of Audits, we recommended to the Governor and General Assembly many times to change that mess. But there are too many grubby hands in that pot and not nearly enough political will to clean it up.

      1. “When I come alongside a biker riding on a narrow street at a busy time of day, I sometimes get irked.”

        If you ever get behind me in that situation, and we get an opening, I’ll ALWAYS wave you around. Unless you blow or yell at me of course. Then you get the one finger salute.

        1. when that happens to me, 8/10 times the rider waves me around, there’s always a jerk in every bunch though, be it rider or driver. It’s rare, like i said, 2/10 times but the ones who don’t wave people around (esp if theres a line of cars behind them 5-10 deep) or decide they are going to move more towards the center of the already narrow road/lane after seeing the cars behind them do get annoying, but the same can be said for a slow moving car in the same spot.

          1. “…decide they are going to move more towards the center of the already narrow road/lane after seeing the cars behind them”

            What’s wrong with that? It’s actually recommended in the law and is considered proper safe cycling technique. It must get frustrating being annoyed at people because they are lawfully going about their business. Why won’t they stop doing that?

    3. “I learned that more Georgia cyclists are on the road out of necessity,”

      Funny you mention that. Last weekend I and my buddy were passed a friendly guy coming towards us close to Stn. Mtn. not wearing a helmet with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth, and it just surprised him a little. And I just said, I’m pretty sure he’s just trying to get from A to B, not get his morning ride out of the way. I don’t see that a lot, but I have to believe it’s fairly common.

      “no real workable solution emerged for pursuing changes to the law that would allow law enforcement officers to distinguish motorized vehicles from non-motorized vehicles.”

      There may be no way for officers to distinguish it, so maybe it’s time for a change in the law. Someone brought the yield at stops deal up last week, and it seems worth investigating. I came across this piece when I was reading about it, and thought it well reasoned for all.

      http://www.bicyclelaw.com/articles/a.cfm/legally-speaking-stop-as-yield1

  7. I just wanted to point out that at Wilton Dr. and Clairmont Rd., when the light is green for those coming off of Wilton Dr. to turn left or right onto Clairmont, I have witnessed just this past week TWO cars driving down Clairmont towards Scott Blvd. run the light, nearly causing accidents (and I have to point out, both were on their cell phones… grrrr). Even worse, both of these red light running incidents occurred around 8 in the morning, when children may be out and about hurrying to school. As someone who frequently uses this route in the morning I find it annoying and dangerous and hope every stays vigilant.

    1. Our favorite local motorcycle policeman often sits on Superior and nabs people making illegal lefts onto Superior from EB Scott in the AM. I wish he would also get the jerks who block the intersection sitting on Scott when the light changes that prevent me from crossing.

      1. The traffic sensor at Superior and Scott seemed not to be working both times that I went through the intersection today. Lots of cars piled up on Superior, waiting for 7+ minutes and then making illegal right turns.

        I called the DPD non-emergency number and let them know. Scary intersection to try and navigate when the light won’t change!

        1. The very nice Dekalb Traffic Ops folks are excellent about checking out an issue when notified.
          Their number: 404-297-3947

          ( Mostly I wanted to be helpful, but I also enjoy needling Steve! :0)

  8. Does anyone know what kind of bird it is that makes a high pitched cry? I have been hearing that darn bird all summer and can’t figure it out.

  9. Last FFAF I posted an inquiry about my 2nd 2011 Annual Property Assessment. Yesterday I spoke with some very nice people – April, Brentnol, Joyce – at the Dekalb County Tax Appraisers office today. Can’t do much about the appraisal increasing in the 2nd assessment notice but they were cordial and able to initiate change where a smaller error had been made. Tough place to work, I’m sure. Thank you.

  10. Anyone else experiencing very slow Comcast internet service lately? I’m on Coventry and the page loads, etc., have been taking forever…

    1. Comcast has been slow for us for years and frequently required rebooting of the wireless router and Comcast thingamajiggy (modem?), sometimes a reboot of the computer too. But we recently got a MAC AirPort router and are having less problems, almost no reboots needed.

  11. Please take time to nominate your favorite Decatur teen for the 20 Under 20 awards done by Intown Atlanta paper. Last year there were NO Decatur High teens on the list (and very few public HS kids in general). I wrote the publisher inquiring about it, and she said it is because they got very few nominations for public school kids. SOOOO– here is how you nominate all the great Decatur teens that are giving back to the community:

    Send by 10/3 to [email protected]
    Nominee: Full name, age, grade and school, contact info.
    Nominator: Your full name, relationship to nominee, contact info.
    Include a short paragraph about what the student has done to give back to the community.
    Remember, Oct 3 deadline. Start your nominating!

  12. I think we could say something similar for just about every lighted big-street-crosses-little-street intersection around the city. Scott and Superior is a good example. Howard @Thinking Man is another.

    A few weeks of a motorcycle cop w/ zero tolerance might put a dent in that behavior. For a while. Maybe.

  13. If you are a gluten free beer drinker (as I unfortunately became in the last 2 weeks), I highly, highly recommend New Planet beers. By far the closest thing I have found to “real” beer, especially their IPA. You can only get it by mail right now (it is brewed in Colorado and they don’t ship to distributors in GA) and it is crazy expensive, but I am hoping that if enough Georgians start ordering it they will consider shipping here and the price will go down.

      1. As it happens my wife spoke to Wild Heaven about it. They said they are considering a gluten free beer but it is probably a year or two away. I would definitely welcome a local option, though for now, the stuff thatis available in our stores is not too good.

      1. I support your proposal in theory. But keeping in mind that we would then be subjected to endless prattling about kids running rampant in restaurants or pooping on playgrounds, I think I’ll choose to stick with drunks on bikes…

    1. Children in restaurants it is then! BTW-Gibbets- your comment that got pulled yesterday, while slightly inappropriate I guess, was hysterical.

            1. “you probably hate beer…”

              Well that was a cheap shot. That’s the equivalent of hating kittens, puppies and rainbows in my book!

  14. Thnaks to who every recommended LM Richardson for chimney sweep. They arrived early (called first to make sure it was ok) and seem to be doing a pretty good job so far.

  15. Anybody know a good “bug guy” or girl? We need someone to come once in awhile as needed, with no annual service contract.

    1. +1 I turned on the kitchen light suddenly late last night and it was as if someone had startled a room full of teenagers playing spin the bottle. Disgusting. And I keep a clean house.

    2. Zone Pest Solutions. The treat (and bill) quarterly for me, but I think they will do it on an as-needed basis as well.

    3. Decatur Pest Control! Had a roach problem around April, called them, and haven’t seen them since! I’m not sure if links are allowed here, but if you go to their website it looks like they offer $35 off first visit.

    1. Deluxe Roofing 770-925-7788

      Excellent service and work. Best price out of three or four estimates when I needed a new roof.

  16. (I know there’s bike fatigue here so I want to just ask a question but do not mean to start a more general discussion about cycling and such).

    I was looking at CrimeReports and I noticed that they have a category of Traffic Stops but there is nothing more specific. I assume that the specific categories of violations are public information. Does anyone know how one might go about getting information about what the specific distribution of traffic violations are?

    I am curious as to whether there has been an change in how certain violations are being treated/ticketed and whether this represents a general policy change or the initiative of one or a small group of officers.

    I don’t mind doing a little leg work to find/collect this information but wondering if anyone has a suggested starting point.

  17. Has the bicycle vs. car debate/discussion taken the place of the kids-in-restaurant debate/discussion (or should I have not even mentioned that debate)?

  18. Tried Kitch’n 155 (or however you spell that nonsense) and was COMPLETELY underwhelmed. $31 for a family of four, for a couple of mediocre hot dogs and two burger/sandwich plates that didn’t even include a side. And the quality of the food was nothing to write home about.

    I was so disappointed, especially after hearing positive reviews. Scratch that one off my list.

      1. If you decide to get one, make sure it’s got a good 30 year warranty. I wonder if they offer any pool boys, who cook and do light house-keeping.

  19. Does Sapori di Napoli have their beer and wine license yet?

    Do I have a problem if I have been kept away from eating there as much as I would have because of that and due to the fact that it is illegal in Decatur to BYOB?

      1. It may have been approved but they ain’t serving yet. Ate there last night with some friends who were a bit bummed they couldn’t have some vino with their pizza. The pizza may not have been Antico-level but it was still pretty darn good. The spicy salami on the diavalo was particularly awesome. I have a feeling that the oven is not quite broken in or hot enough yet so I’m looking forward to seeing if that makes any difference as it gets used more. Also, the crust could use to be just a tad thinner to begin with and it would be a pretty damn good Neapolitan pie. Those quibbles aside, I’ll definitely be eating there again soon.

      1. Here are the relevant code sections which are still on the books despite Mayor Floyd and Commissioner Basket’s disagreements.

        Sec 6-2: “Brown bag establishment means any restaurant, music hall, theater, or other establishment providing food or entertainment in the normal course of business, and in which the owners or their agents knowingly allow patrons to bring in and consume the patrons’ own alcoholic beverages.”

        Sec 6-23: “Brown bag establishments shall be prohibited within the city.”

        So, I ask, if Mayor Floyd and Commissioner Baskett are so against this law, why is it still on the books several months after commenting that they disagreed with it? If they got one more vote on the Commission, it could be repealed at the next meeting.

  20. Hey Steve – I wanted to thank you for recommending your podiatrist to me last FFAF. Dr. Tuck is a gem! Thanks again.

  21. Can anyone recommend a Decatur Bed and Breakfast? 4 couples from Macon want to come spend the weekend in our lovely city and attend the Wine Festival on Nov. 5? Any suggestions? Called the Sycamore B&B and the number was disconnected.

  22. Hey I just found out about this awesome Decatur Beer Festival in Oct from a friend but was sad to find out they already sold out… Is anyone out there have any spare tickets they wanna sell or know of anyone who are selling their tickets. I would love to surprise my fiance and take him to this festival.

    1. You’re probably not going to find many offers (except extortionate ones on CraigsList) until closer to the event when conflicts start to arise and people have to adjust their plans. That being said, these comments will probably be a good place to keep an eye out for any available (and reasonably priced) tickets.

    2. I can personally attest to DM’s magical ticket brokering powers. I plum forgot about the tickets going on sale and so did not make arrangements to have someone at the computer Monday while I was stuck in a meeting. One bummed out, whiney comment about it here and I scored two of them from a fellow DM’er who apparently lives about 200 yards from me! As a bonus, I even learned the origin of Nubbs’ moniker (which I will not reveal here without her permission because I fear it would lead to a Seinfeld-esque hilarity of DM regulars searching Decatur for someone with a particular physical feature 😉 )

      Thanks again, Nubbs!

      1. Jeez, J_T, way to tease us. Now I can’t help but wonder what physical attribute can result in the name Nubbs.

          1. “Hubbs and Nubbs” would be a great band name. Or a comic strip. Just tell me you don’t call each other that in public!

          2. Friends of a very tall/very short coupling resulted in one being called Stumpy (in a beloved fashion). I think I’ll take Nubbs!

  23. Our CSA just ended and I fear that if I don’t get another soon I may backslide & start living on Doritos or compromise our financial stability by shopping at Whole Paycheck.

    Anyone have any info on any fall CSAs that have pickups around Decatur?Serenbe looks yummy but is geographically undesirable.

      1. Moore’s Farm has been coming to Peachtree Center courtyard every Thursday at lunch, and I’ve been really pleased with quality and mix of veggies. Super friendly as well.

      1. I have subscribed to Riverview farms. They have 3 ten week subscriptions per year. The third hasn’t started yet. They drop off the boxes on Wed. At Oakhurst Community Garden.

  24. Nothing to see here.

    “Most of the UARS satellite will disintegrate, but 26 pieces—representing 1,200 pounds of heavy metal—are expected to rain down somewhere. The biggest surviving chunk should be no more than 300 pounds.”

    That’s a relief. Only 300 pounds.

  25. Y’all…. I’m drowning in mess over at my house. In DESPERATE need of a house cleaning service/woman to come by maybe every two-three weeks. Anyone willing to share their favorites?

    1. We have been using Omega Residential (770 806-1030) – they come every 2 weeks and do a good job. They also bring their own supplies.

  26. Anyone plan on catching a movie at Cinebistro, the new multiplex in Town Brookhaven? I think they open today. Looks like they are going to have a decent lineup of more “adult” type films. It’d be nice to have an alternative to Tara.

  27. There was a mention in a FFAF thread awhile back about Mathis Dairy. I thought someone said that they still get milk delivered from the dairy – but I can’t find any evidence that the place still exists. So, does it exist, and if not, is there another dairy that does milk delivery anywhere in the area?

  28. Dear rude person walking in front of my house: if you are going to criticize something about my grass, how about not doing it within my earshot?

  29. I heard today the Ryan Aiken is no longer involved with the new restaurant Harbour Bar? I used to eat at Indigo years ago when he was Chef (dating myself there) and many other of his restaurants since. I was really hoping Indigo style seafood was coming to Decatur! I wonder what experience the now owners have with seafood, because if seafood isn’t done right, it stinks if you know what I mean!

    Maybe Ryan will do another Burrito Art, best Burritos every! I miss it.

    1. Dating yourself there was a smart move. It’s much cheaper than having to pay for a whole
      ‘nother actual person.

  30. Fireworks tonight — shot by your hometown crew — at 9:30 after the Concert on the Square. Sunset is 7:32 so this show will be well after dark thirty.

    1. Thanks for the update. Despite the DM item a few days ago, I was still wondering abt the time since it gets dark sooner.

    2. Great show- thanks CoD! Some families got a nice surprise, too. Leaving viewing spot, one car fam asked us if we knew why fireworks in Sept– they need to start reading DM!

  31. Has anyone tried Camp Kitty? I have a cat who acts out when we’re on vacation so I am looking for a place to board her.

    1. Camp Kitty is great! Great care and they take daily photos of your cat and post them.
      Plus, their prices are very reasonable.

  32. This one’s about running not biking so I thought i would bring it up. On my morning run, around 6am, twice this past week I was almost hit by two different cars that did not stop at the stop signs at East Lake and 2nd. And I have witnessed many cars running through the stop sign on different occasions. It’s dark and I follow proper precautions but these cars just speed on through. It’s nerve wracking to think I may get hit crossing the road. Is there anyone in particular I can call about this?

  33. Back to bikes…I was coming home via East Lake this afternoon and had a cyclist pass me and go through the stop sign at Second Avenue, then I watched as he went through the stop sign at Third Avenue and I passed him further down and when I stopped at the stop sign at Oakview Road and waited to turn right due to two ladies crossing in the crosswalk, the cyclist came up on my left side and went on through that stop sign too. I have spoken to a cyclist friend of mine and confirmed my suspicions as I was told “we don’t want to stop the momentum of the ride, so if we can, we go on through”. I DON’T WANT TO STOP MY CAR RIDE EITHER BUT I HAVE TO!!!!!!!!

    1. Maybe we should start a yahoo group or some other forum for every time you see a cyclists with riding skills that disturb you. I don’t have enough time in the day if I stopped to log the same scenario with vehicles, but lots of friendly drivers waived me across here and there today, so I’m all cool on that front.

      I biked on the path, then through downtown Decatur, and Oakhurst today. Saw tons of riders, and several families (mom or dad in front and kids in the middle) out riding.

      Went through the part of the path that virtually cuts through people’s back yards and this nice guy with a wheelbarrow and his grand kid waived me by and as I slowed down they spoke, very small town friendly experience, fun. It was a sunny delightful afternoon (made all the more better by a new Snickers flavored yogurt from YT.) The kind of day I’m going to miss terribly in a few months.

      I hope you took away more from this amazingly beautiful day than that experience. This incredible weather is coming to end, and I’m going to enjoy every last second of it, before it does. I hope you do the same.

  34. Weekend comments:

    – On Saturday morning, saw a fairly shocking example of a cyclist not obeying the rules of the road. He was no spring chicken but seemed rash nonetheless. He went right through the red light on Clairemont at Commerce. Even my child in the back seat saw it and gasped. I completely understand the temptation to avoid stops on quiet streets, especially at the bottom of a hill. But I would always assume that I should stop at the Clairemont and Commerce intersection even if I were traveling on a pogo stick.

    – Big shout out to Auto Zone on Lawrenceville Hwy just north of North Druid Hills. After a grim start to the day when my car wouldn’t start several times and I couldn’t tell if it was bum battery, the alternator, or something else, they efficiently and pleasantly helped me diagnose the problem as a battery problem only and then installed a new one with no wait at all. I would go there again in a heartbeat.

    – German Bakery, which happens to be quite near Auto Zone and was a worthy way to celebrate the return of my car’s functionality, is still great. This month only, they’ve got traditional plum cake; get it while you can.

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