Free-For-All Friday 10/26/12

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

Comments close on Monday.

110 thoughts on “Free-For-All Friday 10/26/12”

  1. Does anyone know anyone with the City of Avondale? If so, I would like for you to contact them to have the ripped to shreds US flag removed from the old James Joyce. All it would take is a ladder & about 10 minutes time. I have sent several emails to the city clerk about this flag. It is a disgrace.

    1. Since it’s private property, COA may not be able to do anything about it. Suggest you contact the property owner and/or sales/leasing agent.

      1. Speaking of the Joyce, will someone buy it already and bring a viable option back to Avondale. Me thinks we should convince Leon’s and the Brick Store to expand again. Maybe a Belgium Beer house in this space. It goes with the Alpine theme, right?

        It could really be a great spot if someone knew what to do with it.

    2. Update—just got a message from the AE City Clerk. She is going to contact the real estate company. I’ll follow-up with them.

      1. Mic, thank you very much for noticing this and following up on it. I drive by there all the time and never noticed it. I recently rescued a U.S. flag, still attached to a pole, from one of my neighbor’s trash. I was absolutely shocked when I saw it in the city of Decatur trash bag.

        1. Scout troops will be happy to retire US flags properly. We accumulate them and once or twice a year have a solemn ceremony in which they are taken apart and burned. It’s a nice ceremony (plus, it gives the boys a chance to build a great big fire!) Troop 134 at First Baptist would be glad to take any in need of disposal.

        2. I did the same thing for a neighbor’s Member’s Only jacket–what is wrong with people these days?

  2. Wow. Only 3 comments by 9:20. Must be a slow morning. Remember Homecoming parade this evening – traffic impacts for downtown.

  3. rezoning and permit requests for Lawrenceville and Orion Dr go to the Planning Commission (DeKalb County)

    Thursday, November 1
    6:30 PM, Maloof Auditorium

    specifically, rezoning residential property (formerly single family homes) to commercial zoning and permitting a gas station (Racetrac)

    1. is that where we go to ask them to pass it so we can have another gas station and more competition and lower gas prices?

      1. No, that is where you can go and support residents. Racetrac and QuickTrip already have some of the lowest gas prices around–probably sell at or below cost. There are quite a few other empty commercial properties along Lawenceville Hwy/Scott Blvd Racetrac could re-develop, instead of building into a residential neighborhood and next to the Little Creek Horse Farm (county-owned). Their business location analysis seems to be ‘find an existing QuickTrip and build a Racetrac across the street’, without taking into account whether the new Racetrac will be a benefit or detriment to the community.

  4. Can anyone recommend a vendor for fall leaf cleanups? I will likely need a 2-3 removal sessions but don’t need a full time lawn care team.

    1. If you are open to high school kids, email [email protected]. They charge by the bag (those paper leaf bags) – $1.50/bag if you supply; $2.00/bag if they supply. This business model only works when there is a hefty supply of leaves on the ground – not so great for a leaf here or there.

  5. I was at my vet yesterday, and they told me of a small-dog death by coyote in Decatur. It happened to a toy poodle in his own yard late at night. The owner had gotten up and let the dog outside because it was barking. Unfortunately, there was a coyote waiting. Beware.

    1. bright reddish-brown with black wings? My yard was teeming with them a week or two ago, and a few even got inside the house somehow, in the evening. They were pretty sluggish, though, and easy to dispatch. Noticed yesterday they seem to have mostly disappeared.
      HUGE bumper crop of acorns this year, the squirrels and chipmunks are as fat and sleek as I’ve ever seen around here.
      Throughout spring & summer, seemed like more songbirds than usual, of all kinds, and they also look prosperous, their plumage even more vividly colored than usual. (Sounds like I’m high on more than nature, I know!)

      1. The squirrel population is indeed strong and healthy. Its like a Hitchcock movie in my front yard. They throw nuts and seed pods at us and are really starting to freak me out. They’ve also tried to blow up my house twice by chewing through the power line.

        1. yes…the squirrels give us quite the show as we eat dinner on our upper deck…chasing around and doing daredevil leaps…it’s cirque du freaky squirrel every night back there 🙂

        2. Never fear! A red tail hawk is surely near!

          I think the Decatur Hawk population has doubled or trebled in the past few years.

        3. Our Magnolia tree now has a Squngee (squirrel bungee feeder) outfitted with two big, tantalizing ears of dried corn, but the backyard seed-stealing committee is not impressed.

      2. Spoke too soon. The backyard is full of wasps again today. As last week, they are mostly flying around the water oak tree, the way bees fly around flowers in the summer.

    2. Anybody else notice a boom in woodpecker populations this year? There were many around my place 10-12 years ago, then a tree that seemed to be their headquarters was taken down and I saw or heard very few for years. This year, they’re back. I regularly see pileated, redheaded, and downy woodpeckers around the yard & immediate environs, often all at the same time.

      1. Will ask my husband, he’s a woodpecker freak. But we always have some pecking around our house–even I have been able to spot one now and then. Was anyone besides me frightened as a young child of old Woody Woodpecker cartoons? I had nightmares.


    1. Fisbn – isn’t this also the swan song of using the Beacon Hill Arts Center for arts-related projects before it becomes home to CSD admin?

      I think I read that in CL. End of an era…

      1. yes it is closing and Gathering Wild will be one of the many displaced artists.A very talented bunch of people

  7. Finally hit up Sugar Moon Bakery today. Absolutely fantastic.

    All the laps I’m going to have to do to work off the perfection that was the banana pudding cupcake? Eh. Not so much.

    1. My high school didn’t do class colors at all so I’m clueless about the phenomenon. But here’s what I’ve gotten from the forwarded emails and Mom-chatter:
      – Yesterday was somehow “Color Day” at DHS
      – Past events on Color Day have bordered on bullying and destruction of school property so wearing class colors is prohibited.
      – High school students disagree so they break that rule sometimes, including this year.
      – A whole bunch of DHS freshmen wore green t-shirts with a leaf on it. “Everyone” knows that a leaf is a reference to marijuana. Not good.
      – School administration was not happy, cancelled pep rally, and emailed parents.
      – Teens are saying that they if they don’t join in when the rest of the class breaks the rule and wears class colors, they will be ostracized or worse. Not good.

      Would love insights from parents and school staff who understand this situation better. After hearing about the Winnona Park Halloween problem last year, which was predominately 9th graders, and now this, I’m concluding that 9th graders hit DHS, go “Whee! I’m in high school!”, and then start breaking limits in group settings. Not sure what to do with this insight other than figure out the 9th grade class colors and “accidentially” ruin all items of that color in the wash and discourage trick-or-treating after age 12.

      1. Every word you wrote could describe any high school at any time in any place. There is no “situation;” it’s just high school students being, well, high school students. Short-term ramifications? Some teasing, inclusion, ostracizing, and exclusion. Long-term ramifications? By age 30, most of them will have long ago realized that none of it mattered anyway.

        I miss my cool shirts, including the pot-leaf ones (never smoked, but loved the shirt), my 99 WIZD shirt that said “kick-ass rock and roll” and the one with the pic of the snake slithering through a skull.

        My point is that this is nothing new, it doesn’t compare to what happened at WP last year, and it’s only a big deal if we MAKE it a big deal.

        1. I actually agree with you DTR. I have a student at DHS and see the emails. It must have been quite a scene at DHS yesterday. Now keep in mind that I am an adult who loved the 60’s, so I apologize in advance to all the parents who may object when they read what I feel, but I am also an senior age adult whose children (seem) well adjusted to life.
          In my opinion, Ms McKains’ emails sound like they were written by a “control freak”, to quote my son. Some of her emails are condescending toward the students and sarcastic in tone, to say the least, so I understand the reaction from many students. I also understand the need for keeping the situation “under some control” but I am afraid the administration is only encouraging more rebellion. I do not envy her or any teacher, and would not want to be in their position. My advice? Try to relax Ms McKain.

          1. Same school administration that prohibits students from standing up during football games. Reminds me of my own high school days, being kept down by the man.

            1. Really? I have so much to learn about customs in Decatur. Why not? Because the teens are so tipsy from the beer they’ve snuck in? Or is it perhaps something benign like so people behind them can see too.

            2. Same school administration that prohibits students from standing up during football games.


              ARE YOU SERIOUS? That is straight-up incredible.

          2. Somehow, teenage rebellion to protest the Vietnam War or promote Earth Day seems in a different category from protests to wear red or green. But what do I know? 🙂 I do think that it might be counterproductive to be humorless about green shirts with leaves on them. Somewhere deep down in my adolescent self is a smirk about the shirts. On the other hand, I hear that kids have been upset when their hair was spray painted (not with washable hair dye, but sprayPAINTED). or they were physically held to be marked with marker or paint. And a bathroom was painted yesterday in some way that it cannot be used and already most of the bathrooms are kept locked (??? don’t ask me???).

            We did not have Color Day. We did have a principal who was a control freak. Does that maybe go with the territory? Are there good examples of laid back public high school principals out there? 🙂 Sounds like the high school students want more respect and DHS thinks their behavior toward school rules was not respectful. Is this not an age old issue? Maybe I should be glad that teens continue to have this developmental experience….. (But deep down inside, I don’t care what I did in high school, I wish my kids wouldn’t do it. )

      2. This type of “incident” is very typical for a high school. Teenage stuff. 9th graders are just big 8th graders. They do get to high school and go a little nuts. But to lump that in with a sexual assault … that’s just not right.

        1. It was NOT the Freshman in the Green shirts with the drug reference. It was the SOPHOMORES! There were also not leaves on the shirts. Maybe a message on the back that could be associated with something illegal. Can we say immature upperclassmen.

            1. And as I originally said in my response to Sarahph’s query, I’m getting my info from mom-chatter, not direct observation. That’s why I asked for help from folks who knew the situation better. I apologize profusely to the freshmen for implicating them in error. I’m a clueless adult who needs to learn this class color thing! Of course green means sophomores!

        2. From what is said, several bad things occurred at WP Elementary and that was the most horrible. A huge mass of young teens with no adult supervision and way too much alcohol put all attendees at high risk of bad outcomes. I hope that parents and teens will prevent a recurrence this year.

    2. 1) All adults are humorless control freaks whose mission in life is to suppress creative thought and independence and make sure nobody ever has any fun.
      Wait, that can’t be right…

      2) All teenagers are spoiled, hormone-drenched brats who should be required to do more chores and spend less time watching video games. And stand up straight.

      No, wait a minute…what year is this?

      3) No standing at ball games? Really? Sounds like more thought is needed about choosing battles.

      3) You parents — if you’re going to comment about whatever went on at school yesterday, go ahead and fill the rest of us in about what happened. Inquiring minds want to know! (How can we judge you and your responses and your parenting skills unless we have the full story?!)

  8. What is Decatur missing in terms of shopping, entertainment or food experiences? We’ve overdosed on yogurt and are certainly covered on BBQ and breakfast joints.

      1. Sapori di Napoli as well–it’s more than just pizza! Fresh, homemade pasta, etc. They have very authentic Italian food.

        1. Now that you mention it, I have been wanting to try this place but for whatever reason, keep forgetting about it. I guess the owners, being from Naples, would know a little about Italian food… even if that’s a different region than I’m used to.

      2. +1 on Italian. Yes, I already read everyone’s comments on where we can get Italian in Decatur and we could still use more Italian places. We need a place that has really good red sauce. We need lasagne Bolognese. We need Florentine specialties. We need truffles in profusion. Amatriciana. Grilled sardines. Pici with cinghiale. Fiori di Zucchini Fritti. Porchetta. More tartuffi.

    1. A jazz club with white tablecloths and an elegantly dressed hostess, filled with sophisticated urbanites sipping scotch and listing to Mose Allison.

              1. Atlanta has been a dreadful town for a jazz lover for years. The local scene is nice, but there’s not been a club in the 25 years I’ve lived here regularly booking national players, and it’s even less likely to happen anymore. Shows over the years at the Rialto, Ferst, Emory, and Spivey have been great, but it just ain’t the same as a club.

      1. Is it true that the music store on Clairmont was at one time a theater? A place that shows art flicks in Decatur would do great I imagine.

  9. I just can’t resist putting in plug for Chemistry Day at Fernbank Science Center (where I work) tomorrow, Saturday, 12-4. Admission is free. It’s part of chemistry week and there is a lot of cool stuff going on. Today my co-workers were making a Cupcake Periodic table for the event. Yay Chemistry!

    Here’s the link to the brochure –

    1. My daughter and I just came back from the Fernbank Science Center and had a great time! Although I do miss the forest…
      Thanks to all that work and volunteer there!

  10. @JasonR I agree on the music venue thing. Eddie’s Attic is cool and all but it’s a totally different music experience. Not a rock venue.

    1. Very sad. Sounds like school is handling it well in terms of taking action and communicating well with parents and students.

  11. The Decatur High School Close Up club will have a “Rake&Run” on November 10 from 8:00 until 4:00. A team of DHS students and adult chaperones will come to your Decatur area home and do yard work- rake and bag leaves, spread mulch, clean gutters (adults do this job) and similar types of work. This is a free service project for Decatur homeowners but donations to help students pay for Close Up, a week long citizenship training program in Washington, D.C., will be gladly accepted. If interested, please contact DHS Close Up sponsor Mr. Chris Curtis ([email protected]) for more information or a spot on the schedule. Thanks!
    FYI- The DHS Close Up club will also participate in the Dearborn Park/Renewal competition on Novemember 3 from 8:00 till 1:00. This is a great neighborhood event as well as a terrific way to improve an outstanding park in south Decatur (off Midway Road). Feel free to join in the fun and afterwards, enjoy lunch “At The Dearborn!”

    1. Those leaves better start falling so we can beat last year’s 29 bags! I think this year we might even increase our donation a bit to get a few of the “adults” up on ladders to clean out the gutters 😉

  12. WABE had their fundraiser this week, and it made me think about how poor the NPR selection in Atlanta is. I moved here from a much smaller market, and we had three choices: all classical, all talk, and a variety of music (bluegrass, jazz, progressive rock…all sorts of interesting music).

    It’s nice to have a classical option, but I miss Diane Rehm and Q. I miss Terry Gross. Why, in a market this size, isn’t there better NPR coverage?

    1. I’d like more talk. If one of the airings Prairie Home Companion could be replaced by one of the Sunday night shows, I’d be in heaven.

    2. I agree. I’ve been here so long that I’m resigned but NPR had a better selection in both California and New Mexico.

    3. I can sometimes pick up the Macon GPB station. I wish WABE (and many other NPR outlets nationwide) would drop Car Talk now that it’s all reruns and put virtually anything else on. I also have the KCRW app on my phone.

        1. It just started being all reruns sometime this month. Click and Clack retired. Can’t say I blame them, I remember discovering their show sometime in the ’80s. One of my all-time favorite calls was from a guy who said he was calling from his vehicle and challenged them to figure out where he was. They asked him a series of questions, it went on for a while, finally turned out he was calling from the space shuttle. He had gone to MIT (I think–one of those Cambridge schools) and as a student had rented garage space from them to work on his old MG or something. It was pretty entertaining.

      1. Does listening on your phone consume data stream allocation? If so, do you have a sense of how much it uses?

    4. AGREE! I really miss music on Sunday mornings. I like PHC just fine but we don’t need it to air twice a week. If somebody is that much of a fan, can’t they either make time to listen to it on Saturday or catch up with a podcast later? Also wish the classical programming was more varied, especially during weekdays. They play the same music over and over.

    5. I also miss Diane Rehm and I download her podcast now. It’s not the same, but it is what it is. I asked someone in the know a while back, why we don’t get the various other NPR options I got over yonder, and was told they don’t have the budget. I bet if people got the opportunity to listen to her show for a month, they would open their wallets to not lose such a valuable and informative show.

    6. All this talk about how we can get NPR programming on a smart phone, or via podcast, or via satellite radio, or webcast, etc. misses the main point: WABE’s on-air programming is incredibly lame for the size market we are in.

      It all comes down to WABE’s programming director, Lois Reitzes. This article from Creative Loafing ( ) is five years old, but nothing has changed with regard to the politics, the ongoing struggle between Georgia Public Radio and WABE, and how so much of your pledge dollars go to prop up WPBA Channel 30.

      Bottom line: as long as Lois Reitzes is in charge, WABE will remain lame.

  13. Electricity is out. AGAIN. In the ” top hat” area of Willow /N superior. Anyone out there know what’s up? More trees down or can these lines not withstand a little wind? Thanks.

    1. I thought it was the work they are doing on N. Decatur. I was driving on N. Decatur, then Clairemont, and power was out from Publix, on up to Emory. It was on again at the VA and north.

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