Free-For-All Friday 7/26/13

Feel 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.

112 thoughts on “Free-For-All Friday 7/26/13”

  1. Patch reports 4,000 students in CSD this year. CSD Enrollment Committee nailed it–I believe they came up with 1967.

    Also reports two new Board candidates so far–Annie Ciaola and Lewis Jones. Anyone know if others are about to announce? I think you have to declare officially at the end of August during a 3-day period–don’t quite understand.

    1. That should have been 3,967 that CSD Enrollment Committee projected. So sorry for early morning typo. The Committee did a great job. It’s an example of where parent, teacher, and community input and expertise can be invaluable to CSD Central Office.

  2. Good morning Decatur! I want to thank everyone who contributes to the the comments on DM who has ever made me laugh out loud. Have a wonderful day, even if it does rain. Again.

  3. Anyone watch “Who do you think you are”? Family history show…they profile celebrities, kinda fun if you’re into history of any kind. This week they had Kelly Clarkson who’s ancestor was from Ohio and was captured in the Battle of Decatur. They showed her driving around town and going to city hall to review records.

    Then she went to Andersonville which was horrific.

    1. I don’t think she went to City Hall, did she? I know some of it was filmed at the DeKalb History Center in the Old Court House.

    2. Oh I didn’t know this had switched channels. I thought it was canceled. I’ll have to try and catch it – thanks!

  4. So i go to HOLA yesterday at 5pm with my sweet puppy dog. I’ve not yet tried it so i thought i would. No other oatrons are on the patio. I’m greeted by the hostess who is very friendly. The waiter who brings out some chips and salsa and takes my drink order as i look at the menu is very friendly. 5 minutes later the waiter comes back out, in a very embarrassed and sheepish voice to tell me the ‘manager said no dogs allowed ” .I’ve eated a hundred times next door at Noodle,with my dog, i’ve eaten at Sushi Ave, Siam Iberian pig, Leons…i could go on and on.. So i stood up and said, no problem, any place that won’t let me bring my dog to sit outside where there are no other diners,( and this is a very calm, small, well behaved dog) i don’t need to patronize. Walked 20 feet to Noodle and had a very nice meal. Will not go back again.

    1. I believe that accord to the law, dogs, other than service dogs, are not allowed in dining areas, indoors or out. The other places were giving you a pass.

      1. Check the facts, there is no ordinance that says dogs can not be outside in a dining area. The other places weren’t giving me a pass, they were simply exercising friendly customer service. This manager simply didn’t like dogs. Like anyone else who thinks bringing a dog to an outside restaurant is wrong. Any one else bring their dogs to places in Decatur and sit outside and enjoy a meal?

        1. “Like anyone else who thinks bringing a dog to an outside restaurant is wrong.”

          I see dogs at the U-Joint every time I go. But, although they are tied to the railing, the dogs are always on the OUTSIDE of the railing.

          I can think of several reasons why restaurants and their patrons wouldn’t want a dog in the dining area, inside or out.

          1. Have had our dogs inside the railing at U-Joint countless times, and sat with them both inside the railing at Steinbeck’s just last night with no fewer than three other groups doing the same thing. U-Joint did, however, just recently put up some signs asking for dogs to be tied up on the edges of their patio. That requirement has come and gone in waves over the years.

          2. UJ has been cited for allowing dogs on the patio proper.

            Personally, I would like to see the rule abandoned with dogs allowed outside (and possibly in, depending on owner preference). I realize I’m probably in the minority here.

            I think the “Outside Rail Only” rule is a reasonable compromise. I guess the dogs are arguably still tethered on the sidewalk?

            1. I think we should try the “Outside Rail Rule” for both kids and dogs. Tie them all up out there. Since the kids I see almost always smell worse and are dirtier and stickier than the dogs, the three-way symbiotic relationship is quite appealing. Dogs lick kids, kids get clean, dogs get entertained, kids get entertained, and adults get to enjoy themselves.

          3. I feel pretty much the same about bringing dogs to restaurants as I do about parents bringing kids to bars (like U. Joint). Yeah, it’s nice that it’s allowed for the most part, but I don’t for a minute think of it as my “right” or something that is always appropriate.

            1. Agreed. It’s simple really. It should be up to the restaurant owner to decide, period. If they decide to allow dogs and you don’t like it, don’t eat there (or eat inside). If they don’t allow it and you don’t like it, then don’t eat there. I think both HOLA and DOC handled it appropriately.

              I, for one (as an owner of 4 dogs), think it lends to the charm of the city that we allow dogs on patios. Both my parents love coming to this city for this type of thing. My mom is German and I lived there for a while growing up. We took our dog EVERYWHERE with us. This includes inside restaurants. Allowing it here provides the same kind of charm. I know not everyone agrees though.

              1. Friends who lived in Germany for a while when their children were young said that they felt that their dogs were more welcome than their children in restaurants and elsewhere! Germans seemed to find dogs cute but children in public annoying.

                1. “Germans seemed to find dogs cute but children in public annoying.” – Hah, so I can’t help feeling that way–it’s in my genes!

                  1. I was a bit trepidatious last night when we sat down on the Urban Pie patio next to a couple that had not only a dog, but infant twin girls in a double stroller. All behaved impeccably. The folks had actually picked up the dog, a beautiful blue eyed setter/dalmatian mix, from a shelter that day, so that might have explained her being on her best behavior.

                    1. The first time my Dad spent some time in Decatur, we went to Steinbecks. The patio was full of people with their babies and dogs. I noticed my Dad taking it in, but not saying much (he is a man of very few words). Next thing I know, he is asking about housing in the area. He just loved the vibe. It was a nice moment knowing that he shared my love of the area.

                2. Having seen first-hand how well-behaved the dogs in Germany are, I can understand that. Many of the dogs there run off-leash, and, like the human Germans I observed, never even jay-walk; they would run ahead to the intersection and wait for the people before crossing. The only misbehavior I ever saw was one small dog who tried to follow her owner into a butcher shop. The dogs even ride the trains – a human ticket gets one dog on board, but more dogs than that and you have to buy them a separate ticket. Several areas of Germany have laws requiring dogs to pass socialization and obedience tests, plus there is a hefty tax for dog owners, so they tend to take ownership pretty seriously. Some breeds, such as German Shepherds, have very strict breeding laws.

                  I enjoy taking one of my two dogs with me as many places as I possibly can because it’s good socialization for her and she has the temperment and training to be out amongst people. I generally assume that other owners are likewise cognizant of their dogs capabilities and limitations, so when I see a dog at a restaurant or festival, I assume the dog is well-behaved. I can’t think of a time when that was not actually the case. As for hygiene issues, I just hope the squirrels that have run across the tables I’m eating on have washed their grimey little paws and the birds flying overhead make their “deposits” on the table next to me. And, if I fan fast enough between forks, maybe I can keep the flies off my food.

        2. I don’t like it either. Page 125 of Dekalb County Food Service section.

          And last I checked we were in Dekalb County. There was a huge discussion about this same issue on this board within the last year.

          Prohibiting Animals.
          1. Except as specified in 2 and 3 of this
          subsection, live animals may not be allowed on the
          premises of a food service establishment.

          1. I just asked Bill Clinton to help clarify, and he said…

            “It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘premise’ is. If the–if he–if ‘premise’ means premise and never has been, that is not–that is one thing. If it means there is none, that was a completely true statement….Now, if someone had asked me on that day, are you having any kind of animal presence with the Univeral Joint, that is, asked me a question in the present tense, I would have said no. And it would have been completely true.”

        3. Even after Decatur cracked down on dogs on patios a couple of years ago, Twain’s left their dog water bowls out and said it was still ok when i asked. My profile pic is my dogs on the patio at Twains. Some places i just expect to see dogs on the patio which is why i patronize them and avoid others, if i happen to have my dogs. if i don’t see dog bowls set out, i assume the restaurant does not want dogs around. I think if a health inspector walked up and saw dogs, they’d probably take a point off their rating, but i don’t believe it is enforced in DeKalb County for the most part otherwise.

    2. The fact that there are no other diners and the dog is calm and well behaved is irrelevant. That’s too bad that they booted you after taking your order, though.

    3. That’s akin to complaining about getting a ticket for running a stop sign even if there are no other cars around. The waiter was following the ordinance. I’d encourage you to give them a second chance.

      1. Bulldog, your analogy of my bringing a dog to sit outside a restaurant being akin to running a stop sign is just ridiculous.

        1. Doc,

          I’m curious about this too. We used to love to walk with our dog to Sun in My Belly and have brunch on the back porch. After at least a couple of years doing this, the employees told us because of a city of Decatur ordinance, we could no longer have our dog on the porch where they served food. I pointed out that Sun in My Belly is in the city of Atlanta, not the city of Decatur. That didn’t sway them.

          Regardless, it doesn’t change the fact that they were under the belief that the city of Decatur had enacted an ordinance banning animals from eating establishments and their outside eating areas. I’ve looked for the ordinance but can’t find it. So does anyone have a definitive answer: is there such an ordinance?

          1. Decatur is not involved. Dogs and restaurants falls under Health enforcement, which is a county function. So, assuming it’s in Dekalb County, Sun in My Belly would be governed by the same enforcers as U-Joint or HOLA or any of our other places.

            As to the rule, it’s been explained to me that it’s a gray area that’s handled differently by different inspectors or under different circumstances. For example, they may choose to look the other way but if a complaint materializes, they crack down. This explains U-Joint’s policy-in-flux. They try to serve the preference of the ‘hood but, every once in a while, some whiner screws it up for everyone. (Yes, I’m being tough on people who hate dogs on patios… Sorry.)

            1. copied from above.

              Bulldog says:
              July 26, 2013 at 9:33 am

              I don’t like it either. Page 125 of Dekalb County Food Service section.

              And last I checked we were in Dekalb County. There was a huge discussion about this same issue on this board within the last year.
              Prohibiting Animals.
              1. Except as specified in 2 and 3 of this
              subsection, live animals may not be allowed on the
              premises of a food service establishment.

              1. Well, I finally found the ordinance at issue. It is NOT in the DeKalb County Code of Ordinances. But Section 13-281 (a) of the DeKalb County Code of Ordinances adopts the rules of the State department of human resources regarding food service. And Ga. Comp. R. & Regs. Section 290-5-14-.07 (5) (o) (1) provides, “live animals may not be allowed on the premises of a food service establishment,” as Rick said.

                1. O.P. wrote — “… .I’ve eated a hundred times next door at Noodle,with my dog, i’ve eaten at Sushi Ave, Siam Iberian pig, Leons…”

                  Presumably the sidewalk does not count as the premises of the food service establishment. So Sushi Ave., Siam, and Iberian Pig may be exempt.

            2. Let’s make room for the possibility that the “whiner” is responding to a situation created by an inconsiderate/irresponsible dog owner, e.g., an unclean dog or one that misbehaves and disrupts other diners’ experiences. It’s been known to happen.

                1. ‘s OK, I don’t hate dogs on dining patios. I just hate dogs that are not well groomed and impeccably behaved, the same as children (and grown-ups, come to that).

              1. There is an ordinance, as Bulldog and Rick posted. Just that its enforcement, in practice, has been subjective depending on circumstances (as opposed to, for example, something like food temperature, which is probably more rigidly managed).

    4. I love dogs – am typing this with a Katrina rescue hound dog at my feet right now. But I’m having a hard time empathizing here. I know many people in my neighborhood who are terrfified of dogs, large or small. Seeing one on a dining patio would be enough to send them walking out the door of the place. Your assumption that the manager simply doesn’t like dogs is misguided; he/she has a job to do and other customers (and an owner!) to consider. There are some places in Decatur that actively support bringing dogs – I’m thinking especially of the Dog Dock at Dancing Goats where there are almost always dogs out front.

      1. And, as with children sometimes, what is considered to be well or ill-behaved is in the eye of the beholder…just saying. I have two dogs that I consider to be well-behaved (okay, moderately well) but I think I’m biased.

      2. Agreed. One of my dogs came from the streets, and while she is the sweetest fluffy lump I’ve ever met, she will ferociously bark at strangers and other dogs… not that she would harm them, because she wouldn’t (just can’t take her anywhere). However, even if she did know how to act in public, she sheds like crazy. I will see chunks of her fur float by in the air as I sit and watch tv or whatever it is I’m doing while sitting still. I am sure restaurant patrons would not like to see this floating by as they eat and drink. So to be courteous to other diners, I will keep my sweet fluffy lump at home. My other 2 dogs on the other hand, are great in public, and do not profusely shed. I’m always down to take them to a patio somewhere, and I have a mental list of places that are patio dog friendly and which ones are not. I think I read someone say Leon’s is, I didn’t know that, making a mental note…

      3. I agree with Jake. How do you know the manager doesn’t like dogs? I have two dogs that I love. I never take them to restaurants because I happen to think it’s a little inconsiderate to other diners. I go to the UJ at least once a week and I’ve seen many disturbances with dogs snapping at eachother or just barking. It’s not a huge deal but my preference would be to not have to eat around other people’s dogs. As stated, the manager of HOLA may have many reasons to prohibit dogs including law, risk management (dog bite issue) or just for the benefit of other diners.

        That said, it’s your option to dine where you want to.

    5. I think there’s a difference between feeling slightly displeased and feeling like you’re entitled to have restaurant managers share your preferences. You seem to fall towards the entitlement side. For all you know, the owner and managers of HOLA may be dog owners. There are many reasons that they might not want dogs on their patio, and I wouldn’t presume that they dislike dogs.

  5. Does anyone have a kids wooden swingset/slide/fort to sell? There are many on Craigslist, but most of them are in the outer reaches of the ‘burbs.

    I’m looking for something in good condition and not of the “big box store” variety. I can disassemble and move it.

    If you have one to sell at a reasonable price, please drop me an email at [email protected] Thanks.

    1. Quit worrying, Arnold Schwarzenegger addressed this issue in detail in Total Recall, and everything turned out fine. Or at least that’s what I recall. Assuming that memory is real . . . OH MY GAWD!

  6. By the way, I wanted to give a shout out for Jacob who pressure washed at my house this week.

    I followed up with Jacob based on the post on last week’s FFAF. He showed up on time, was courteous, efficient and did a great job. I am re-posting his digits here – text Jacob at 404 309-9863.

    1. I’ll add a shout out, too. He’s my high school age son. I’m a big proponent of unleashing the entrepreneurial instinct — at any age. Anybody need a logo?

  7. There is a woman who has made a bit of a camp around the MARTA stop on DeKalb Industrial across from Kroger. Does anyone know her situation? Can we get her some help or at least get her to clean up her site?

      1. I believe this woman is the same one who use to stay near the post office in Scottdale. I have a friend who works nearby and told me of local women who tried to reach out and help her, but she turned down their offers; “they said she’d once been a normal, contributing member of society but there had been some sort of big emotional trauma, and she very quickly became shopping cart woman.” She had quite a large camp last year that a crew came and cleaned up one day and she wasn’t seen for about a month, when she appears near Kroger.

    1. The lady on Dekalb Industrial has been homeless for a long time. I have bought her food at the Burger King many times. She clearly is mentally ill.

    2. I’ve worked for organizations before that dealt with the homeless and the sad truth is that many of them are mentally ill and refuse to accept any help other than the occasional cash or food donation. unfortunately unless they are a danger to themselves or others there’s very little that can be done to help them if they don’t want help.

      1. She has been in the general area of that intersection for years. At one point a local church rented her a storage unit at Public Storage – a few doors down from the one I rent. (she no longer apparently has said unit). I’ve seen at least two church groups show up and offer assistance or shelter, but she refuses it. She will accept food.

    1. I second the recommendation for Mathew Morgan with Oakhurst Electric. We used him about a month ago and he was prompt, professional, reasonably priced, and friendly.

  8. We have 20 people to entertain one night next month and are looking for a restaurant large enough to handle us on a Friday night. They are staying in downtown Decatur, and most won’t have transportation other than MARTA, so we would like to keep it within walking distance (oh, and reasonably priced, too).


    1. My first thought is Iberian Pig, though that may not qualify as reasonably priced. Book it now if you choose it though.

    2. How fancy does it need to be? We’ve put 20-25 people in the back room at Big Tex with no problem. That pretty much takes up the whole room so it’s like having it to yourself, too.

    3. Thanks, everyone. You’ve definitely opened up some options for me.

      JT, we ain’t fancy folk, so Big Tex is an excellent recommendation.

    4. I had a progressive birthday party around Decatur. Of all the restaurants involved ( cakes and ale, Leon’s, Cafe Lily, 246, Chocolate Bar (closed)), Anthony at Cafe
      Lily was able to handle our group of 18 the best. We were at different tables but next to each other.
      Everyone had a wonderful time ( except the patrons at The Chocolate Bar- who were exposed to very loud group of women) and everyone enjoyed the best of Decatur dining.

  9. Did anyone else get one of the new Google Chromecast devices? I managed to snag one before they discontinued the Netflix rebate (lasted less than 24 hours!), but I haven’t picked it up yet. Has anyone tried it yet?

    1. Richard,
      I have two chromeboooks, a Samsung and a Pixel and they are great, for the right use case. The Samsung is cheap, light and the battery lasts forever. The Pixel is not cheap and doesn’t have great battery life but is a dream to use. For either one you need to be able to survive with nothing but web apps. At this point I would say they make great second computers…


  10. Anyone buy the new Google Chrome Bumper? It’s just a chrome bumper with a Google logo. It looks neat, but I’m not sure what it does.

    (Sorry. Had to keep the theme going…)

  11. The wood railings and posts at our front door are falling apart, so we need new ones built. We also have some rotten fascia that needs to be replaced. I’d greatly appreciate any recommendations for affordable carpenters or others who might do this sort of thing. I’m also quite open to ideas for materials other than wood since we keep having issues with chewing squirrels, carpenter bees, termites, and now rot.


    1. Duncan Cottrell has done that for us. Not cheap, but high quality and trustworthy.

    2. Keath Your Handyman: 404-274-1689. Solid gold: reliable, trustworthy, straightforward. Overall excellent handyman who started off as a carpenter. Not cheap, but IMO you get what you pay for, and I trust this man enough to leave him alone in my house with my (paltry) belongings and pets.

  12. My favorite handyman is Ben Brackner, honest, flexible, capable, honest, 678-920-8204. Did I mention trustworthy and honest?

  13. Alas, our housekeeper is moving back to Brazil; does anyone have a recommendation for a really good local cleaning service? Thoroughness & efficiency are more important than cost, if that helps. Thanks for any info you can share!

    1. Priscilla Sena and Daiane Nascimento, Brazilian sisters who have literally changed my life. Very thorough, and they really care about doing a great job. 229-515-0585. Tell them Trish recommended them.

  14. This is definitely so true. Went to my mothers-in-law birthday party there last month we went to this lovely restaurant and bought along the dog. No one batted an eye. Germans even bring their dogs on the subway with them along with open containers! Man if it wasn’t for the long winters there….

  15. Me and my family are pursuing fostering/adopting a pug, but want to know what we’re getting into first. Is there any one kind that’s willing to part your knowledge and let us pay a quick visit?

    My voicemail is 4-828-0486 or if you want to leave way for me to contact you, I’ll do so.

  16. Just another reminder to be careful no matter where you are. A teen was robbed at gunpoint Wednesday at 6:35PM in the parking lot of the East Lake YMCA. Guys in a stolen car pulled up next to him as he was walking to his car, asked him for directions, and pulled the gun on him.

    1. Phooey. We use that YMCA sometimes when the Decatur DeKalb Y schedule doesn’t work for us. Given that there was just an armed robbery across from the latter YMCA, I can’t help but wonder if YMCAs are now being targeted by thugs. But East Atlanta Patch reports states that police are wondering if this one is linked to a Glennwood carjacking.

      1. Can you please tell me exactly where the armed robbery across from the YMCA was? What time of day was it? Thanks.

  17. Just received our annual postcard to inform us of the child’s homeroom teacher for the upcoming year. I realize this is a relatively minor issue, but there must be a more efficient and cost-effective way to get this done. We received a packet of information with all of the other school forms and information not even a week ago. Either include the teacher information with this packet, or email it when it’s ready. Household email information is collected during the initial registration for school. The fail-safe would be to post the class rosters at the school at the same time.

    At 33 cents a stamp, plus the cost of materials, it seems like a waste of at least a thousand dollars. (4k students @ 0.33 cents/each, assuming they do this for all students. I personally only know about the elementary grades.)

  18. Massive tree down on Ponce before Clifton. All lanes closed in both directions. I imagine cleaning it up will be at least a half day affair, if not longer.

  19. Speaking of dogs, what is the best organization in the area for adoption? Not interested in purebreds, just a good mutt.

    1. When my comment with the link gets out of moderation, you’ll have the website, but the answer is Lifeline.

    2. Like Steve said, Lifeline is great. And since they’ve just taken over operations at the DeKalb Animal Shelter, you can go straight to the big old pound on Camp Road and get a great dog right off of death row. That’s how we got all three of ours 🙂

      1. Absolutely. Go to the source, fall in love, take one home. Isn’t that right Shyla…yes it is…who’s a good girl…you are…yes you are.

    3. If you are looking for a smaller dog, then try Small Dog Rescue and Humane Society which is now part of FurKids. I got my wonderful dog from them.

  20. I am looking for information on

    Carl Martin Maloy
    Georgia, Captain, U.S. Marine Corps
    July 21 1929-June 25 1954
    Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal, 3 General Staff(?), Purple Heart.
    Buried in the Decatur Cemetery on the bisecting cemetery road, south of the Glenlake Park entrance, on right side before the start of the hill.

    Please respond to [email protected]

  21. Just want to give a shout-out & BIG love to The Pinewood–they started out pretty darned good, but their food of late has been FABULOUS. We’ve had two amazing meals there in the past two weeks, & whoever their chef is, I gotta give him/her propers. Check ’em out if you haven’t done so already, or if you haven’t been in a while, give ’em another go. You won’t be sorry!

    *I hereby attest that I am in no way affiliated with The Pinewood and/or its owners/staff, I just think they’re awesome & wanted to spread the word. 😀

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