Free-For-All Friday 10/21/11

Feel free to make comments and ask questions about local topics not discussed here over the past week.

Comments close Monday.

192 thoughts on “Free-For-All Friday 10/21/11”

  1. Did anyone hear a concert or something to that effect going on in Oakhurst yesterday at around 6pm? I could hear it from my house but wasn’t sure what it was.

    1. I was going to dinner in Oakhust at 6 yesterday – walked around for a while – and didn’t hear anything . . .

  2. YAY for Friday! Feeling positive vibes for this thread today. Have a great one … the weekend is here!

  3. Neiman Marcus Christmas catalog out now featuring a trip to the farm … with chickens. Day trip = $9500. Weekend for 2 = $20,000. What a great fundraiser idea for Oakhurst!

    “This idyllic farm is located just 25 miles north of Manhattan in the countryside of Pocantico Hills, New York. The lush 80-acre complex features rolling pastures and cultivated fields, where farmers raise livestock and grow a lush bounty of crops.”

    1. Sharron: I really hope that you are joking about a $9500-$20,000 trip to a farm (with chickens!) being a good idea for a fundraiser! Seriously??? If I want to see some chickens, I can walk next door(neighbors next door have a nice chicken coop or to the Oakhurst Community Garden. And one can visit a farm in about a 30 minute drive in any direction outside the metro Atlanta area. I’d be willing to bet that there are many, many, many things an individual would like to do with a prize worth that much money, and a farm visit is either at the very bottom of the list or most likely not even on the list at all!!! 🙂

      1. Neiman Marcus isn’t joking. Trip is for sale along with many other “luxury” items. And I’m with you … for us, paying to see chickens and rolling hill on a farm is kind of silly. But people with lots of throw away money who’ve never been near a farm with chickens, I guess they will pay.

  4. Was delighted to open my November issue of Food & Wine to find mention of Cakes & Ale along with Billy Allin’s English Muffin recipe. Congrats C&A!

  5. just as I feel myself transitioning into a more of a republican mindset, DTR exits stage left.
    sigh, irony.

      1. Turns out DTR is actually Herman Cain. He’s busy trying to explain his 9-9-9 plan to Michelle Bachmann. This could take a while…

      2. Nah. Here is DTR’s farewell post from last week’s FFAF:

        Decatur’s Token Republican says:
        October 17, 2011 at 11:15 am
        What a nice response, Deanne, thank you so much. And you are definitely NOT the reason. I always appreciate the back and forth with most on here, even when we agree to disagree.

        I’m no longer commenting (after this one, of course ) because, to be honest, with the maturity of this blog (and congratulations to DM for its success), the asshat quotient has increased to an intolerable level. So many of the vets (including, but not limited to, STG, Cuba, Karass, you, Scott, Steve, DEM, Parker etc.) are seemingly fighting against a rising tide of ajc-like commentary. Too many times, commenters are making statements just to wound, rather than carrying on a civil, open-minded conversation. An inevitable consequence as more discover the blog, I assume, but not something I want to continue to be a part of.

        But I will continue reading everyone’s commentary, and appreciating people like you and the others I mentioned for your dedication to civil discourse.


        1. I missed that post last time. For what it’s worth, it’s never been my opinion that the threads here are anything like the AJC (which are proof positive that universal suffrage is a questionable idea, at best). Maybe DTR will reconcider and come back someday?

        2. Wait! Good news, problem solved: New Decoy Website Launched To Lure Away All Moronic Internet Commenters

  6. I urge everyone to vote in favor of the education SPLOST on the ballot November 8th. It raises two million dollars annually for CSD, a significant percentage of the tax is paid by people from outside DeKalb County, and without it, CSD would have to cut programs, increase class size and raise the property tax millage rate. Please vote yes for SPLOST!!!

    1. Not so fast-

      “CSD would have to cut programs, increase class size and raise the property tax millage rate”

      If you think the millage rate will never ever increase again merely because SPLOST passes, you’re in for an unpleasant surprise. And if CSD is hanging on by a thread and will be forced to increase class sizes based on something so uncertain, then SPLOST isn’t their biggest issue. (that’s not the case btw)

      I’ll look at this from an objective standpoint, and most of us can see through the exaggerations and emotional appeals, they don’t help your case. Neither does, “a significant percentage of the tax is paid by people from outside DeKalb County.” It doesn’t change the fact we’re still paying for it.

      Raising taxes until we’re all paying 50-75% of our income in them, isn’t the solution for any issue, schools or other. More more more taxes are not the answer, being resourceful is, and Decatur is great at that.

      Of course this money would be helpful, but we need to keep it in perspective, and think of the bigger picture. Taxes are already high. How much is enough?

      1. Isn’t the penny sales tax already in effect? This vote is about whether to renew the existing tax – not create a new one.

        1. A renewal at a time they’re asking us to support a new transportation tax. Both of these items, are things we are already paying taxes for. There are always going to be lists of things that need to be done, and raising/extending already high taxes can’t be the answer to them all.

      2. I look at my CSD millage and SPLOST contributions as an investment, not a drain. It helps that I feel like CSD is managed well, for the most part (things can always be better). A highly regarded Decatur school system (1) helps my property values and (2) even more importantly, educates our citizens. These kids are the ones who will be running things and paying for things when we are older- the better the education they receive, the better off we will all be.

        1. I completely agree with you about the investment. It’s unfortunate that it’s tied to another district. It’s not fair to place the blame on the kids for the corruption that has taken place, by withholding money for things they may legitimately need. But giving them more money when they have a history of misusing it, can’t be excused or overlooked. It really is a tricky situation.

    2. Smart people I really trust have assured me that we are doomed in CSD if SPLOST doesn’t pass. If it does pass, times are still tough but it’s not doomsville yet. So I will vote for SPLOST even though I cannot articulate the arguments like my smart, trustworthy informants.

      1. I believe this is the second recent occasion where you’ve disparaged a particular commenter. Please refer to the DM comment policy which reads…

        “Any comments including personal insults or attacks will be edited or removed, depending on the severity.”

      1. Someone recently reported to me that they saw a CSD employee at a meeting with a list of some DM monikers with the real community names next to them. It’s made me uncomfortable. While I understand that we all guess in our heads who is who on DM, keeping lists that “out” people seems against the community mores of anonymity on DM. Too Mad Magazine Spy vs. Spy for my tastes. Not sure what I will do. Maybe change names more frequently, maybe change gravitars, maybe not. I hope that this list business doesn’t take hold because it may undermine the civil sharing of information and comments on DM.

        1. That’s very interesting… but not unexpected. I am curious as to DM’s thoughts on the degree to which this blog is meant to serve as a public square. I don’t think we need to rehash anonymity, though I’d appreciate some discussion on a disclosure policy.

        2. AHID/Karass-

          I can see why that’d be unnerving, but suppose it’s well intentioned? Maybe by matching the commenters to real life folks, the CSD can try to address concerns one-on-one. Not sayin’ they’ll call you to their office and come right out with it, but they could provide you with additional info on the things they know are of particular concern to you (or whoever)… Or it could just be as simple a thing as an employee who’s amused by figuring out who’s who!

          As far as a whack-a-mole commenting strategy goes, it sounds complicated and silly. Each commenter has a unique style, and it’s not that difficult to pick up when someone’s switched things up. You can change your name AND gravatar, but if you don’t change up your characteristics, folks are likely going to recognize you anyway.

          Decatur Metro is a terrific forum for discussing CSD developments, but if there’s some paranoia setting in about lists being kept at CSD Meetings, then it might be time for some commenters to look within at the appropriateness of what’s being said. Whatever someone says on here, the person should be willing to own it. Yes, there’s a freedom on here to be more candid, but folks need to make sure that what they’re saying is honest to who they are.

          [ We want you back as Karass because it’s who you are in our hearts. Seein’ as how the little computer’s still glowing, I hope you’ll think on it some more. ]

          1. My being sick of the name Karass is unrelated to CSD keeping lists of who on DM is who. That name isn’t coming back, no matter what. Haven’t decided how I will post in the future.

            It’s funny that you use the term “paranoia” because that’s exactly the term that came to mind when I heard that CSD seems to be tracking the true identity of posters. The identity of posters is the wrong focus. Good reasons exit for anonymity. The right focus is making information available to the community and encouraging feedback which is what this blog has done. Even though there’s a downside to blogs–especially the personal attacks and lack of accountability–they are worth it, IMHO. I’ve learned a lot from this blog.

            1. Maybe it feels very different to the regular participants in CSD discussions on here. As a sideliner who attempts to follow and value what’s being said, I agree that there’s a whole lot of feedback being given. Unfortunately, since it’s mostly the same criticisms from post to post (often said in a not nice way), it kinda comes off that most folks commenting are satisfied with advising the CSD from their couches, but aren’t willing to get out of their comfort zones to try to help fix the issues in real life. (Until there’s proof of CSD hit squad retaliation, then piping up on concerns in person is the same as doing it in any other environment– uncomfortable, but the right thing to do.) It’d also be nice to see more folks offer up encouragement and praise on here when the CSD acts on concerns.

              [Karass? Who?]

              1. Re positive comments. I always try to pipe up about positive CSD news. And it’s true that the good news only gets a handful of comments. But that’s just the nature of blogs and news in general, not specific to CSD. Bad news and controversy stimulate a lot more discussion. Good news gets some +1 comments and not much else.

                I think that IF the CSD list of DM posters were examined (which I do NOT recommend be circulated and examined!!!), you’d find some of the biggest volunteers, committee members, and contributors in the community. At least DM posters care what happens to CSD as a whole vs. only focussing on their own child’s experience.

                I was reading about APS in the AJC today–how it was able to fool the outside world for so long about its supposed revolutionary success, garnering accolades, awards, and book deals. I like to think it’s highly unlikely we’ll ever see anything like that in Decatur, mostly because we have honest, competent folks running CSD but also because DM, other local news media, and the involved community would detect fraud early on before it could catch hold and penetrate the system. And we would listen to teachers or staff who came forward with real evidence of misdeeds. I feel awful for those in APS who were run out because no one listened to their claims of fraud.

                1. (Goodness! By “free you,” I did not mean “unleash us!” :0)

                  The engagement committee’s a very positive move! (See DM’s post below.) Since DM’s pretty much the key to brokering online peace, I hope he’ll use his mighty powers to get the folks on here to give the process a chance. This list business will be surely be one of the first things addressed. (Again, I understand why it’d be unnerving.) … Yeah, it’s kinda apparent that some of the biggest CSD critics on here are actively involved in the schools. You realize it’s majorly contributing to the distrust on the CSD’s side, right? While it’s nice to have parents pitching in, it’s detrimental when they’re also engaged in micro judging and publicly criticizing everything. Hopefully, the committee will be able to bring the needed changes to start building trust. (DM- Please, oh please, make the participants do that trust-building tightrope-in-the-trees partnering exercise! I’d pay good money to see it! :0)

                  As for offering positive comments, I was referring more to how folks react when the CSD releases news. For instance, I thought Dr. Edward’s bus schedule letter was pretty commendable: she straight up bulleted the problems, and she gave CSD’s solutions for addressing them. That’s what y’all have been after, isn’t it? Candor and action? It was disappointing that it was met with griping as usual. And on the late buses notification post: Why not instead say, “Yes! Terrific start with the website and feed! A text alert, etc. would also be really helpful.” Encouraging folks is a nicer approach than greeting efforts with exasperation. Just sayin’…

                  (It’d be very cool to have an ongoing DM series of happy posts showcasing all the wonderful things going on in our schools. I had a chance to work alongside an 11 year old on Saturday who blew my mind with his knowledge. He has very smart parents, but a huge amount of praise goes to the CSD too- the teachers and the folks who make the curriculum and creative learning opportunities possible.)

            2. I’ve also learned a lot from this blog, and it helps in my learning to be able to hear from consistant voices. I appreciate folks like karass/At Home In Decatur and others who regularly post on CSD issues, and also some of the regular transportation posters– hearing from a “known” yet anonymous voice adds value to the conversations for me. I think most readers who spend a lot of time here have learned which voices have credibility for them, and appreciate the continuity- along with the flow of information and opinion.

        3. I’m not sure how I feel about this whole “recent development.” My initial reaction was total frustration. (To answer the unasked question, no I did not provide CSD with posters’ real names.)

          Deanne’s points are well taken, but I tend to fall on AHID’s side for now. I’ve been asked to serve on a new CSD “engagement committee” and one of the goals is not only to address communication issues but also the TRUST issues between CSD and the community.

          I’ll write more extensively about this later in a dedicated post but a list of DM names seems to be an excellent example of a symptom that shows a lack of trust. Maybe the community doesn’t deserve trust from CSD at this point and maybe CSD doesn’t deserve trust from the community. As I’ve said previously, like any issue that seems to continue on with no real hope of being resolved, there are valid points of view on both side of the aisle.

  7. Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk coming through Decatur today- they lunch at Avondale MARTA, come up Ponce, hang a left on Adair, right on Howard, then over to McClendon. Come out and cheer on the walkers, or honk as they go by. It is a phenom event that raises awareness and funds for research. Many people battling cancer participate- let’s show our support!

  8. Took the girlfriend to Parker’s last night and on the way home we stopped at the Cake & Ales Bakery.. I think last night was as close as I’ve ever been to heaven. Not sure why it took me so long to try both places, but wow. Delicious!

    1. C&A gets enough love so they don’t need my endorsement but I hear enough “mehs” and “whatevers” about Parkers that I feel the need to chime in. I love the place. The guys did an awesome job renovating and decorating the space. I like to eat at the bar but the dining room is also nice, especially if you can get a table up front by the windows. I’m not really a “steak house” guy because I can season, grill, sear and/or broil a steak as well as anyone (and for usually less than half the price than even at Outback!) but once in a while it’s nice to have someone else do it and I’ve enjoyed the steaks the few times I’ve had them there.

      I’m a really big fan of their roasted chicken, which is actually not as easy to cook correctly at home and which wouldn’t be much cheaper to do taking into account the quality of the meat and time to prepare it with the sides. I can’t totally dismiss the complaints some folks have raised about the service from time to time, but heck, I’m sure even Anne Quatrano has to fire folks at Bacchanalia once in a while. And aside from one or two questionable attitudes, it’s usually a much more pleasant experience dining there than at most places that cost a whole lot more money.

      And no, I am NOT the JT from Parkers on Ponce, just a similarly named, satisfied customer 🙂

      1. Yeah, we got a table right in-front of the windows and had a great waiter. I wish I could remember his name, but all I cared about was eating at the time. They also had a jazz band playing in the bar area; a stand-up bass player and an acoustic guitar player. I’m not sure if that’s a normal thing there, since it was my first time. It did however make me want to eat in the bar to enjoy the music more.

        Overall, I loved it, it was great. I’ll definitely be going back there again, but probably for a special occasion since I couldn’t afford that every night. 😀

      2. I’ll join in the shoutout for Parkers! I’ve always had wonderful experiences there and it’s our go-to place for celebrations. My brother is even convinced that one can’t have a b’day without a trip to Parkers. 🙂

            1. I don’t think you understand how “taxes” work. It’s not up to the business to decide to tax more or less. Are you really so dumb to believe…Wait, you were joking weren’t you? Yeah, that’s getting lost in the translation around here more and more…Doh!

  9. I’m moving to Decatur with my husband and son this weekend and have heard great things about the community and tight-knit nature of Decatur, this blog definitely seems proof of that 🙂 We’ll be near Toy Park [hopefully that’s a good location, Montgomery Place] are there other activities ongoing regular outside of Toy Park for children in the Decatur area? Storytimes, etc? Thanks and if you see a brown girl wandering around pushing a stroller looking lost, please do say hi, its probably me 🙂

    1. Yes! Decatur library has story time and so does Little Shop of Stories. Welcome to Decatur.

      Also – make sure you get on the decaturmama listserv if you are not already on it (it is a yahoo group).

    2. Welcome to the Shire, Aisha. I second the recommendation on the DecaturMama listserve. Lots of great info there.

      1. +1 for welcome, and love the Shire reference. Much better than Mayberry, etc., and I had not seen that before.
        Who gets to be Gandalf?

          1. MARHALL?!? MARSHALL?!? Please go fetch him!!! I’m absolutely convinced he’s chained up in a dungeon somewhere!!!

    3. Thanks everyone! How do I get on the Decatur Moms listserv? That sounds awesome. And Little House of Books!! We’re near a bookstore with Elephant in the title and didn’t see any kid-related activities there.

      1. Little Shop of Stories. 🙂 It’s right on the square, next to Starbucks. Storytime happens three times a week and it has the most wonderful staff in the world.

    4. We’re scheduled to close on our house next week, finally! We’re going to be near Scott and Clairemont. Can’t wait to get out and start walking around my new 4.2 sq mile town. You know, everyone outside of Decatur talks about the high taxes. While I recognize that they’re higher than most of the area, I’m coming from the Northeast so the taxes here are actually LESS than we were paying up there. And the sun shines here more. So I get friendly, progressive-minded neighbors, great restaurants and quality schools along with no highway craziness. What could be better?

      1. Congratulations, New Scott!
        A word of warning on your mortgage closing: apparently the City of Decatur doesn’t send tax bills directly to mortgage companies like Dekalb County does. So, you’ll need to
        a) make sure your escrow account reflects costs for both and
        b) make sure you stay in close contact with your mortgage company when city taxes are due to ensure they both get paid.
        My husband and I had to pay late fees even after getting verbal assurance from our mortgage company that they’d paid both our city and county taxes. (Yes, we refinanced after that debacle just to get away from that bank.) I’d ike to say we’re the exception in this case, but we know two other couples who found themselves in the same situation.
        Again, welcome!

        1. Wow, very good advice. I just sent an email to the lady handling the mortgage to make sure it’s taken care of. Thanks very much, and thanks for the welcome!

          1. Hi NewScott and welcome to our wonderful town. About taxes and escrow … When I bought my Decatur house, I agreed to an escrow account which is not my usual path since I prefer saving money, making interest and paying myself. (Got that great advice when I bought my first home in 1977.) As the loan processed I fortunately noticed that only Dekalb County taxes were being withheld and paid, so I stashed away a pile of money to cover the Decatur City bill I knew would be big.

            Worked out fine for 2 years and then I decided to refinance. Same mortgage company caught the two government tax amounts this time and jacked my monthly payment in the good faith estimate to cover the higher withholding for taxes. I objected and they tried to charge me a fee to continue non-escrowing Decatur. I successfully stood my ground – no fee. Now I pay my own taxes the month each installment is due and make a little interest on the money I’m saving. For people who have variable incomes month to month it’s so much better.

      2. Hope all goes well with the closing. We just went through the whole process two and a half months ago. I promise, whatever last minute snags come up, if you get through it in one piece and without filing for divorce, it will all be worth it!

        If you’re near Scott and Clairemont, that means you must be very near to us (on Garden Lane ourselves). If you need any help or local advice (we just moved to this house but I’ve actually been in the Decatur area for almost 20 years) feel free to email the DM master and he is welcome to pass on my contact info.

        1. Thanks very much! As for the divorce, as soon as we’re allowed to be married in more than 6 states and Washington DC, that might be an option. 🙂 But really, thank you, that’s a very nice offer. Since it looks like you’re a dog kinda guy, I do need a good vet in the area. I’d really appreciate your thoughts on that.

          1. Ha! My apologies for projecting my heterosexuality on you! I guess the past (almost) two years I spent OTP manifests itself in ways like that.

            It’s funny you should ask about vets. We found a really good vet in Lawrenceville (Brookwood Animal Hospital) and are seriously considering sticking with them despite the drive and just utilizing Village Vets for emergencies. We had used Village Vets before moving and liked them well enough but it really did start to seem like we were paying a hefty premium to subsidize their shiny new digs.

            I know that Dearborn Animal Hospital has a lot of fans on here (the topic comes up every so often) and there are one or two others that people have recommended but there doesn’t seem to be a simple way to search for that in past threads (maybe DM can dig them up and link them here????).

          2. I’ve taken my cats to Church Street Animal Hospital for more than 10 years and recommend them. 711 Church Street.

          3. As a fellow person who would like to be married in more than 6 states and Washington DC, Welcome. My partner and I have lived in Decatur for over 10 years and we love it. We really enjoy being part of a progressive, diverse community. I hope you will find Decatur to be as wonderful and welcoming as we have.

          4. Thanks everyone for your welcomes and your recommendations! Very happy to be a part of the community.

      3. Welcome to Decatur. I have met both liberal-minded and conservative-minded jerks in this town. Most neighbors are decent enough. I suggest you don’t judge someone by their yard signs or bumper stickers until you get to know them a little. Who knows, a mean-ol’ token conservative may become your dream neighbor!

  10. Any ideas on the homeocming parade route this afternoon?

    Thanks for the heads up macarolina. I am hoping to leave the office early enough to cheer them on!

    1. Funny, I just looked at DM, which linked to Patch, which linked to DHS… but Parch says
      The parade starts at 5:30 p.m.

      The parade will start at the high school on McDonough Street, go down Commerce Street, turn right on West Ponce de Leon Avenue, turn right at Church Street, turn right at Trinity, and turn left onto McDonough to take the parade back to the high school.

  11. I had a great experience at Six Star Subaru this week. They saved me from a $1200 repair that another shop said we needed, and only charged $22 for the repair we did need. Also, their front desk person is super nice and very patient in explaining mysterious car things.

    1. Six Star is a real boon for us Subaru owners. It’s a true Mom and Pop — the “front desk person” is usually Mrs. Six Star. First time I went in was to get a brake job, and without being asked to, he tightened up the gussets on my frameless windows and ended what I hadn’t realized was excessive wind noise I’d been tolerating for years. DIdn’t charge me extra for it, either.
      I spent my teen years working in the back of car dealerships, and I can testify that a good, independent mechanic with a well-established shop is always the way to go. A good, independent mechanic with a well-established shop in walking distance of a MARTA station (Avondale) is even better.

    2. We love the Six Star folks! They’ve kept our aging Subaru running while we contemplate our next set of wheels.

      1. The Dude abides.

      2. Speaking of Subarus, does anyone remember an Atlanta magazine article (or was it CL?)maybe 10-12 years ago that categorized the Atlanta communities by cars they drove? I’m pretty sure the Subaru Outback was the “Decatur car.” I wonder if this remains true, or if it would be the Prius or Civic hybrid?

        1. I was actually well off on the time frame; the Decatur=Subaru Outback claim was in 2005. Also, this article validates an Asheville comparison I made here sometime back. (Sorry about the long URL )

  12. Welcome to Decatur! With just 4.2 square miles to choose from, there’s not really a bad location to be had. Unfortunately, Decatur is not very kid-friendly. In fact, I thought it had just passed a moratorium on new residents under the age of 16. Perhaps they made an exception for you since we also recently just moved in and pledged to never, ever have kids with less than four legs 😉

    If you are near the toy park, that’s right on our dog walking route so I’ll be on the lookout for the lost brown girl with baby. I’ll be the big, funny looking pale faced dude (the only one in Decatur!) with the mutts you see in my avatar.

    And yes, the 😉 above indicates that I was joking. Some people around here sometimes have a hard time recognizing that…

    1. Uh oh. Is there a stacking problem or did I just reply in the wrong place. This was obviously a response to Aisha above (or it was not so obvious and you all are thinking, damn, J_T’s done lost his mind again)

  13. Hit up Mojo’s again last night after a 9 month boycott due to bad customer service, new competition, and a few other things – they have a new GM and although I am not the biggest fan of their pizza (Mrs. Boogaloo loves the toppings) happy to report on the customer service side of things big thumbs up! We will be back certainly more often than we have…

    1. Well then, maybe we’ll give them another shot as well. Haven’t returned since last April after being very regular customers…at least weekly for trivia. Like you, there were just a number of things that finally turned me off enough to quit going. We even shifted our trivia someplace else because the tiresome political commentary from the trivia host at Mojo’s became too, well, tiresome! But, based on your comments, I’m ready to give them another try.

    2. I’ve lived 3 blocks down the street from Mojo’s for 12 years and will gladly drive to Fellini’s or Avondale Pizza in order to get decent pizza. Theirs is the worst. It’s always WET and soggy! Yuck!

  14. Another lament for the resignation of DTR. I participate on multiple message boards/blogs and this place comes nowhere near the level of pettiness I see elsewhere. I think he was just having a bad day.

    He’ll be back. The ones who take the time to post farewells always come back.

    1. The variety of my blog posting is limited so not too much to compare to Decatur Metro. I read many blogs but don’t comment regularly on most. That said up front …

      I’ve seen several individuals portraying themselves as the DM regulars joke with each other, abstractly many times, and then posting snarky comments at others interjecting. It’s reminds me of school, the scene where the less confident student finally, bravely speaks out and is shot down just as quickly.

      DTR – I see where you are coming from and why you’re reading but not posting. You will definitely be missed, and we’ll see where this environment change takes DM. The factual information is invaluable so I’m hopeful that the bullying subsides.

  15. Would like to get my son (age 6) to the DHS football game tonight. Since it’s homecoming, anyone know if it sells out/has sold out?

    1. No chance of anything near a sell out. You will have your pick of seats. Be sure to visit the Decatur Bulldog Boosters concession stand near the visitor stands.

        1. It was not the beer, it was the Cheesehead cooking them that made those brats so good. They will be available tonight but come early because, unlike the game, they do sell out.

  16. The freshly painted fire hydrants look wonderfully bright and sparkly. Why are the caps painted different colors?

  17. We found a dog running in the middle of College Avenue near Trackside Tavern last night (10/20) about 8 pm. Sweet dog. Male, black with white markings about 50lbs. Maybe a border collie/pit bull mix? Young. Knows commands. Please contact me at 404.372.1430 to retrieve him.

    1. Contact the DM op. S/he’ll post a picture to help him find his family. (One of the many things I love about this blog.)

    1. There are literally no words to describe the feeling I got when I first saw the sign advertising Ruby Tuesday’s Seafood Festival.

  18. I dont know if this is the appropriate forum but I am not sure what is so I will just ask. City of decatur schools serves alot of special needs children. In doing so does it stunt the growth of children without disabilities since the teachers have to spend more time with the ones that have special needs? I am talking more about the elementary schools in the city of decatur school system. I am all for helping special needs but not at the expense of other children and them getting their proper development as well. Is there a place I can pose this question?

    1. I think there are laws that require public schools to accommodate all children residing within the district. I bet you could learn all about it by contacting the Central Office.

    2. Because a child has disabilities they should be placed in the back of the room while your child receives help from the teachers. What’s the purpose of going to school? . . . Of the para-professional? . . . Of school in general?

      I believe all students should receive the help needed to learn and go. Some may require more help than others. The children sometimes assist each other. I believe the most appropriate place to address this question is at the school board meeting or with the principal of your child’s school.

    3. Ever thought about the fact that your child could learn while helping teach another child. All children have their stenegths & weaknesses so they often help each other out.

    4. As a public school system, CSD serves all students that parents within the limits of Decatur choose to send to our schools. That includes children with a wide variety of strengths and abilities. Our district professional learning focus (for our employees) this year is about differentiation: the practice of changing some student’s content, process, product, or learning environment based on their interest, readiness (ability), or learner profile (how they learn). To quote the primary researcher and practitioner we use (Carol Ann Tomlinson), differentiation is an approach to teaching that advocates active planning for student differences in classrooms.”

      Your child’s teacher can tell you more about how and when s/he differentiates.

      1. Thanks Thomas! I understand all children need to be helped. However, In past schools our child was hardly getting any attention while the special needs children took most of the time and instruction. Again – they deserve to get the help they need and they do deserve to be in a normal environment. I just want to be sure my child that does not need special needs gets the proper instruction so she does not get left behind or left to herself so she cant advance as quickly. Again, probably the wrong forum so I appreciate all the answers!

    5. I imagine you could post this question at a school board meeting. But I am not clear about what you mean by ‘special needs’. If you mean Exceptional Student Services (ESS) I thought those students were in separate classes with dedicated teachers. If you mean a child with an Early Intervention Plan, they would still be in the other classes and I would imagine would require more attention from teachers and para pros.

      But, aside from all that, and I mean this as politely as I can, your use of the word “stunt” and statement that special needs may be performed “at the expense of other children” is troubling. We may have very different perspectives on this. And that’s fine. But I want my kids to learn that the people with whom we share our community and its public resources are different, have different opinions, and even abilities. I guess I don’t see that there is any stunting or any expense in this. If anything, perhaps there is a net gain – learning to see the dignity and worth of all people, even if it means that we slow down a little or earn some of that achievement on our own time. Peace.

      1. sorry, wrong choice of words – I did not meant stunt or at the expense. I just meant if teachers are taking up most of their time teaching special needs and have smaller amount of time focusing on other things. from what I gather now, this probably doesnt happen here so it looks like a non issue. I just wanted to be sure as this has happenned to me with my child in another school district. Sorry!

        1. I have had all sorts of thoughts over the years about all the special this and special that. The terminology is legal but infuriating because it implies that some kids AREN’T special. But here’s the real scoop IMHO–these “special” programs actually benefit all the kids now that most ESS students are in the regular classroom. Much of the enrichment aimed at the “gifted” (an annoying term if I ever heard one as though the gift fairy sprinkled gifts around unequally) or the special methods of instruction aimed at students with “learning disabilities” really ought to be happening anyway. But, in the past, how good your teacher was varied widely just as with physicians or tax preparers or dentists. The beauty of the laws mandating special services is that school systems have to make sure that they happen. And it’s usually cheaper for them to do it right for the whole classroom rather than have a lot of special groupings, settings, and instruction. A good example is instruction for reading disabilities–it’s a lot of focus on phonics, decoding words, fluency, sentence structure, word roots, etc. None of that hurts any child; in fact, perfectly fine readers may read, spell, and write better and score on standardized tests like the SAT with that kind of instruction in their background.

          1. +1
            You’ve given a good response. Let me add that it is documented (no, I can’t site the gazillion research pieces) that students in the middle are often neglected in a heterogeneous classroom. In reality like you said everyone is an individual … 28+ different kids with different needs … but there’s one teacher (and maybe an inclusion special ed teacher or parapro) trying in a brief time period to teach the voluminous curriculum. An amount of compacting must take place, a grouping of kids in similar learning categories, in order for the teacher to maximize the small time frame.

            Ever heard “teaching to the middle?” An old school tactic that assumed both ends would get it too. So imagine now that teaching to both ends assumes that the middle gets it. Blake’s questions have merit even though as he’s admitted there could be other words used. Teaching is a passion for the great ones but oh so much more complicated now. Multi-tasking, intuition, quick thinking reactions are critical to teacher success. And that leads to student success.

        2. An important part of a child’s development, IMHO, is learning respect for all people instead of viewing people with different capabilities as mere obstacles.

        3. No prob at all Blake. My son is only a few years in to WPES so I have little personal experience about this subject, just some thoughts. Despite some getting hot about various school issues on DM, I think most agree CSD is a good system to be in. Parents care and, overall, administrators listen.

    6. It’s not “helping”. It is educating members of the community. It is a civil-rights issue. And I admit I am curious… Do you have any evidence to back up your assertions?

    7. Special needs students receive extra support in and out of the classroom from ESS teachers -which gives the classroom teacher more availability for the “traditional” students.

    8. If there are special needs children in the classroom, then no, your child is not being “stunted”. In fact, additional teachers trained to service special ed students are included in the classroom (as well as paraprofessionals) to assist in accomodating those with special needs. The term is called co-teaching, and they are equipped to assist the regular ed teachers. So, in fact, your child is actually benefiting from those teachers being there, because the teacher-student ration is much lower.

  19. Any rec’s for a local lawyer who does “family law” for a custody and child support modification who has ample experience with underemployment and gift income?

    1. for the past several years feast restaurant has done a lovely thanksgiving dinner…you could always call to see if they are doing it again this year. not sure about other restaurants…

  20. I have a question for people who use baby sitters a lot, or even once in a while…..
    Do all babysitters charge $12-$15 an hour? Do you find that as crazy as I do? Especially when they’re only 14 or 15 yrs. old? That’s around $80 bucks to sit for one evening. I could understand that if they had to change diapers, drive them around, feed them and entertain them, but to just watch them??? Georgia’s minimum wage (although ridiculously low…) is $5.75 and the national wage is $7.75…..Just wondering if I’m only finding the expensive sitters or are they all this much???

    1. Are you kidding me? In my day, the going rate was about 1/3 of minimum wage (at most). For $15/hour, your kids should be learning algebra or French or how to play the accordion!

    2. At my house, $12-$15/hr is what is earned by an adult babysitter with either some kind of formal child care training or years of experience plus a car so they can ferry kids to activities. A college student with a car to transport children earns $10-$12/hr. Younger babysitters earn $8/hr for 1-2 children or $10/hr for more.

      1. We use a few different Emory students as sitters, and we pay them $10/hour. Our son’s preschool teacher charged $12/hour. In my experience, I’ve found that the older the sitter, the more they charge, and that’s understandable if they have more experience and training. I personally wouldn’t pay a 14-15 year old $12-15 to babysit. They can’t even drive to my house. I had one sitter tell me she charged $12/hour, and I told her we could only pay $10 and she didn’t hesitate to take it. I figure we can set the price and they can accept it or I’ll find another sitter.

    3. We just moved here recently from Orange County (CA) and those rates are high. My parents kid sat (they don’t do babies) and the most they would ever get was $10 an hour. They hated giving prices so just would take what anyone was willing to pay. When my son played football and got hurt he even bartered with a doctor/neighbor for her services!

    4. Workerbee,

      I babysat in middle school/high school and nannied my way through higher education. The rate you’re charged depends a lot on the individual and their experience. A high-quality nanny is going to charge the rate commanded by their experience and necessitated by the fact that it’s their career. A high school or middle school student would typically charge substantially less. Current minimum wage is 7.25 an hour, and –while it’s unlikely a baby-sitter is going to go after you for this–it’s technically illegal to pay them less than this, EXCEPT for some circumstances in the first 90 days of employment for people under 20. Then it’s 4.25/hr. In my experience, you get what you pay for with a nanny or baby-sitter, although it’s certainly true that the subpar childcare providers will charge whatever you’re willing to pay, even if they’re not really worth it.

    5. That is high. My daughter charges about $7 per hour. I do have one friend who uses pays her $12 per hour. I told my friend she was crazy; that was way too much. But she said she “wanted her to take it seriously.” I assured her that my daughter would take the responsibility seriously for $7/hour and that there wasn’t a price point, like, “for $7 an hour I’ll try to remove items your baby might choke on and for $10 an hour I’ll call 9-1-1 if he does choke and for $12 an hour I’ll call 9-1-1 AND perform CPR until help arrives” but she insists on paying that much. My daughter even said it was ridiculous – but she is not returning the money!

  21. We have had a couple of great comfort food meals at Big Tex. Their stacked beef enchiladas, meat loaf, chicken fried steak and chicken fried chicken are all great. We loved the roasted creamed corn, turnip greens and mashed potatoes and gravy. The service was good, and the outdoor seating was perfect. My entrees seem to end up being lunch the next day as well 🙂

  22. have to give 2 shout outs this week: #1 goes to the walgreen’s at dekalb medical center…i have an Rx that is apparently very hard to find these days (i checked with mckinney’s first). they were so helpful and professional…a breath of fresh air, indeed! #2 goes to roost in avondale. what a beautiful cozy store for furniture and accessories…they were the nicest people! they are also stockists of “annie sloan’s chalk paint” which is my new obsession.

  23. If you want to plan your wine festival strategy, I posted some tips on the Visit Decatur blog. With links to all the participating restaurants and the full list of wines.

    (Question for you more experienced bloggers: Is this bad blog etiquette? Using DM’s blog to refer people to a different blog? I’m new at this so let me know what you think. And if you don’t care for the practice, DM, just let me know and I’ll refrain in the future.)

  24. here is a good free for all subject: where was decatur general hospital, back in the 60s and 70s?

    seems like it was right off the square, or nearby, maybe on commerce or church street..

    was it related to the present day dekalb medical?

    was there ever a decatur general?


    1. Decatur Hospital was built sometime after 1972, I don’t remember the exact year. It was in the building that is now part of DeKalb Medical across from the baby Kroger. I remember it as a specialty surgery hospital. I’m sure there is someone on this blog that has more detailed info.

    (Fidelity Bank will acquire the accounts. Presumably ATMS, loans, online, etc. continues as normal during the transition)

    On Friday, October 21, 2011, Decatur First Bank, Decatur, GA was closed by the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) was named Receiver. No advance notice is given to the public when a financial institution is closed.

    The FDIC has assembled useful information regarding your relationship with this institution. Besides a checking account, you may have Certificates of Deposit, a car loan, a business checking account, a commercial loan, a Social Security direct deposit, and other relationships with the institution. The FDIC has compiled the following information, which should answer many of your questions.
    Back to top
    II. Press Release

    The FDIC has issued a press release (PR-170-2011) about the institution’s closure. If you represent a media outlet and would like information about the closure, please contact Greg Hernandez at 1-202-898-6984.
    Back to top
    III. Acquiring Financial Institution

    All deposit accounts, including brokered deposits, have been transferred to Fidelity Bank, Atlanta, GA (“assuming institution”) and will be available immediately. The former Decatur First Bank locations will reopen as branches of Fidelity Bank during regular business hours.

    Your transferred deposits will be separately insured from any accounts you may already have at Fidelity Bank for six months after the failure of Decatur First Bank. Checks that were drawn on Decatur First Bank that did not clear before the institution closed will be honored as long as there are sufficient funds in the account. For more information on deposit insurance, you may speak to an FDIC representative by calling 1-800-430-7974 or visit EDIE, the FDIC’s Electronic Deposit Insurance Estimator.

  26. Anyone else having trouble viewing DecaturMetro on an iPad? It’s coming in slightly fuzzy, as if the pixels of an image have not fully resolved. Started happening to me a couple days ago. Refreshing doesn’t fix it.

    1. Use the “Switch to Regular Theme” link at the bottom of the page if it gets too bad. (Assuming it hasn’t gotten so bad that you can’t read this.)

      1. Assuming you have an iPad2? The late DTR brought this to my attention a week or so ago, but I haven’t been able to find a quick fix yet. For the meantime, Lee’s suggestion is an apt workaround.

        1. OK, so I just found that it’s due to “a memory limit/rendering issue with the JavaScript scrolling used pre-iOS 5.”

          In iOS 5, they’re using native scrolling, so it won’t be an issue. They promise an update “soon”.

  27. Anyone see the melee that shut down the DHS Homecoming Game last night? Freeranging child is already out and about so I cannot ask him what they saw. Big article on Decatur Patch was forwarded to me by friend. This is why I need DM, Decatur Patch. What I got last night from Freeranger in answer to “How was the game?” was “Fine. (my depiction of long uncommunicative stare)”. No clue of anything out of the ordinary.

    Am surprised. Have always thought the police presence at sports events was nice but overkill. I guess not. Knowing much of the football team, who seem like disciplined athletes to me and the same nice boys that they ever were, I don’t expect this. I guess the National Geographic article about the teen brain is right. It’s not all there yet. That’s not an excuse. We need to try to stuff that incomplete brain with some good values and reflexes. But at least there’s a rational explanation….

    1. Wow, between this and the bank shutdown, not a good night in Decatur. Seems I picked a good weekend to be in the Golden Isles…

    2. I guess you saw the report last Friday night about the Warren County HS coach who was seriously injured when he tried to break up a fight between his team and the Hancock County team. C’mon, folks, IT’S A GAME.

  28. I was shopping at the Decatur Farmer’s Market this morning. A child on a bike was hit by car at the intersection of McDonough St. and W / E Trinity . Many people rushed to help , including Mayor Floyd who happened to be shopping at the market . The driver stopped and gave assistance. Police arrived super quickly with fire and medical rescue close behind.

    I didn’t witness the actual accident so I can’t say exactly what happened. Appeared that the child was riding across Trinity towards Chick-Fil-A and the vehicle (a minivan) was turning from Trinity onto McDonough. I wasn’t close enough to have any idea about the extend of injuries, etc. It looked to be a boy, probably older elementary age maybe 9 or 10.

    If any one knows any information about his condition, please post something .He has been in my thoughts and prayers all day.

    1. The boy who was hit lives in my neighborhood. He is home from the hospital and is doing fine. He was bruised and of course shaken up, but no broken bones or other injuries. He was with his Dad and sister when the accident happened.

      1. Thanks so much for posting this good news ! I will sleep better tonight knowing his injuries where not serious.

      2. Hopefully the boy was wearing a helmet. It’s a great lesson for the kids. Lots of bruises but safe brain is a life lesson. One time I fell off my bike while riding with my young son and the helmet cracked. He was quite impressed with the idea that it would have been my head cracking otherwise! I’ve never seen or heard of him not wearing a helmet.

  29. Question for a friend:

    He needs a person or company that can create sheet music for an original song. With all the creative types in Decatur, is there someone you can suggest?

  30. The Decatur High School Close Up Club will do “Rake&Run” on November 19 from 8:00 to 4:00. A team of DHS students and at least one adult chaperon will come to your home and rake and bag leaves, clean gutters, and do light landscaping projects. On average, students work from 30 minutes to one hour at each site.This is a free service to City of Decatur homeowners but donations will be accepted. All donations will be used to provide travel grants (or a day trip to Gettysburg or Williamsburg- hopefully both) for students to attend the 2012 trip to Washington, D.C. Additional information about the Close Up Foundation can be found at (your donation may be tax deductable). Please contact Close Up sponsors Mr. Chris Billingsley [email protected] or Mr. Geoff Koski [email protected] for more information.

  31. I am looking for a reputable Saab mechanic here in decatur. Is there anyone people trust? The closet one I trust is in Woodstock – M and M saab. dont feel like going all the way there!

  32. Wonder how this will affect CCP games moving to downtown decatur-
    “Yesterday, CCP Games, the developer and publisher of spacefaring MMO EVE Online announced major layoffs — cutting its staff by 20 percent. For a company of 600, this means roughly 120 were let go: big numbers.

    The layoffs primarily hit the Atlanta studio, but occurred across the entire CCP organization globally, Gamasutra has confirmed. ”

    I think they were supposed to be the largest private sector employer in Decatur when they move here.

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