Free-For-All Friday 7/11/14

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

Comments close on Monday.

136 thoughts on “Free-For-All Friday 7/11/14”

  1. I have the honor today?

    I have a suggestion: Given that Decatur is going to install large chess boards for the public to use, why not also install smooth, drawable surfaces for chalk artists to use, like you see in Europe, NYC, etc. Outside of installing the stones, it doesn’t cost us anything and would be a nice draw that simply washes away when it rains. Even Savannah held a festival for it this year. 3D art is all the rage now, but growing up with artists imitating traditional beautiful works of art, it adds to the community either way.

    www DOT buzzfeed DOT com/ariellecalderon/brain-melting-works-of-3-d-sidewalk-chalk-art

    www DOT heraldextra DOT com/news/local/central/provo/sidewalk-art-artists-put-chalk-to-the-ground/article_b64fd4c3-405f-5c7f-8a75-cc2a8b130237.html

    www DOT scad DOT edu/event/chalk-it-sidewalk-arts-festival-2014

    1. Here’s an idea: Kill two birds with one stone and paint all four way stops and associated crosswalks in a chessboard pattern. Then replace traffic signals with lighted silhouettes of the different pieces, which will indicate to pedestrians and cars how they are allowed to proceed.


  2. Peter, don’t they already have lots of flat sidewalks around the square that you can color on with chalk? or am I missing something?

    1. While some use any surface today because their drawings are so huge, in the traditional practice there are actual dark, solid blocks made out of slate or something similar that both provide a smooth, continuous and easy surface to draw on and also designate where the “canvas” ends. The level of drawing isn’t kids using a 99 cent Walmart special for stick figures. Anyhow, it’s just an idea and if no one likes it, I will drop it.

      1. I think it sounds fun. Maybe they can put a coating on some of the sidewalk we already have so it wouldn’t cost a fortune. I have seen artists in Charleston doing this and it is amazing to watch.

      2. Peter–I like the concept, but my guess would be that an impervious surface taking away green space somewhere would be going against the trend of reclaiming/preserving green space. What if we combined projects and had the chalk art at crosswalks and intersections? Every so often you’d have to yell “Car!”, but it would be colorful.

        1. It’d be Decatur’s new standard for population control…

          Daniel Tosh: Speed Bumps and Six Flags:

          www DOT youtube DOT com/watch?v=kR6VhtGiQUc&feature=kp

  3. Multiple family Yard Sales in Lenox Place tomorrow morning, Sat 7/12. 5 families on Cottonwood Place (off of Adair), and multiple families on Melrose.

  4. I went to pay a ticket for not wearing my seatbelt at and in addition to the seatbelt ticket ($15) there were three parking tickets from 2005 ($22.50 each) that are incorrect. There was no way to pay the seatbelt ticket without also paying the parking tickets. Anybody know how to appeal the parking tickets or get them removed? Or how to pay the seatbelt ticket offline?

  5. “Before You Know It” is an award winning documentary film focusing on three gay men and how each handles the adventures, challenges and surprises of aging. Full details including trailers are available on the film’s website located here:

    Richard Rhodes is attempting to schedule a screening of the film here in Atlanta through a service called “Theatrical on Demand.” In a nutshell, if 60 or more Atlantans reserve tickets, we’ll have a screening on Tuesday, July 29 at 7:00PM, at the Plaza Theatre (1049 Ponce de Leon Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30306; Tickets are $10. You will be asked for your credit card information when you make a reservation but your card is charged only when the threshold of 60 reservations is met and the screening is a “sure thing.” More about “how it works” here: If you have any questions contact Richard Rhodes ([email protected]; (404) 729-5259).

    To be a part of this event and to make a reservation click here:

  6. There is new asphalt at the Scott Blvd & Clairemont intersection and on some of the aprons of intersecting roads to Clairemont, so I guess GDOT is repaving it. Anyone know if that’s true? I missed that project announcement but having a smooth new road would make my car and bike both happy.

  7. Anyone tried MARBAR yet? I haven’t seen much of a crowd there.

    Also, “Fresh for You” is really nice at Emory Point. I think it will do nicely for pick up salads and entrées in Decatur.

    1. We tried it recently. I was a fan before it changed to MARBAR and was expecting to be ‘wowed’ after such a long hiatus. To be honest, I didn’t really get that excited from our meal. The food was good and service was decent. Maybe I was expecting too much, but it didn’t ‘wow’ me. It’s not as high in the regular rotation now.

      I hope someone else can offer better insight.

    2. Had been to Mar early on and had the same kitchen service problems that others reported. Went to the MarBar incarnation a couple of weeks ago and was sorry to find that the service issues persisted (short list: waited more than 30 minutes for a round of drinks, which we eventually cancelled only to wait a long time for our check, which was incorrect when it arrived). I really wanted to like them, but there are simply too many great spots with great service in Decatur to warrant another visit from me, I’m afraid.

    3. We’ve been once since it reopened. Didn’t seem much different to us. We liked it before, and still like it.

      Now…what about Ration and Dram? Does anyone have a report from there?

      1. We checked out Ration & Dram a few weeks after it opened on a stormy Sunday around 5:00 PM. Despite it being uncrowded, there were service problems. A larger party had an even tougher time than we did getting its food to arrive together and in the right order.The other surprise was not being able to get a burger because the kitchen hadn’t prepped for it yet. WTF? I was upsold to the steak, which I had to send back to be reheated. They are trying to walk that line between bar food and gastropub. Place still looks good, the outdoor seating options are nice, and it’s still quite possibly the worst restaurant location on this side of town. No point going when we have U-Joint, Imperial, Twain’s and Thinking Man to name just a few.

    4. Was at Marbar Tuesday night: food was about the same excellent, but this time we were not abused verbally by the wait staff=improvement.

    5. I give MARBAR ~half a year before it’s closed. I’ve driven by on friday nights and it has looked empty. Las Brasas and Kimball house are definitely competition, so they’ll need to do something to kickstart the place. The east howard residences being built will bring business, but by the time they’re done and people have moved in it may be too late.

      1. I can see Kimball House as competition, but Las Brasas? Really? I don’t see someone going out for drinks and seafood, and suddenly changing gears and saying, “Actually, let’s get takeout rotisserie chicken and go back home instead.” Just two different markets (I say this as a big fan of Las Brasas, btw).

        1. If Las Brasas added on a small dining room with tables and chairs and just a few more main dishes, I think it would outcompete many restaurants in the Metro Decatur area.

      2. I don’t think MAR’s problem is the competition from its neighbors (in fact more competition might help draw more customers to that area (and away from the Square).

        From personal experience and the reports of others, their problem is that the service is consistently poor.

  8. What do we think the likelihood of Decatur ever getting a public splash pad? The splash pad at Old 4th Ward park and at Old Atlanta park (plus the others I can’t think of right now) are incredibly popular. How about turning some of our paved areas into a splash pad?

    1. How do you keep those things from getting moldy or disseminating aerosolized infections like Legionella?

      1. There are a lot of them in Atlanta – We were just in Asheville and they have 3. I have never heard of any of them getting moldy or disseminating any of those types of infections. The splash pad at Centennial Olympic park have been around for years and have never had mold or infection problems. I would imagine utilizing the services of a qualified installer would alleviate any of those issues.

      2. From the CDC website: Outbreaks Associated with Water Play Areas / Interactive Fountains

        During the summer of 2005, an outbreak of cryptosporidiosis occurred at Seneca Lake State Park in New York. Over 1,700 people may have been infected with 425 laboratory-confirmed cases of cryptosporidiosis and 1,374 probable cases were identified (1). Cryptosporidium was traced to the water tanks that supplied the 11,000 square foot wet deck (spraypark). In response, New York passed emergency public health regulations to govern the design and sanitation of such attractions statewide.

        A 1999 outbreak of diarrheal illness affected 44% of patrons (an estimated 4,800 people) who visited a new interactive fountain in a beachside park (2). When officials from the health department inspected the interactive fountain, they found that the water drained from the play area into an underground reservoir for recirculation. The problem turned out to be a result of inadequate chlorination and the lack of a filtration system. The chlorine tablet erosion feeder had not been filled for weeks and the designers did not include a filtration system.

        1. Shaffzin JK, Keithly J, Johnson D, Sackett D, Hoefer D, Hoyt L, Lurie M, Teal A, Rosen B, Tavakoli N, St. George K, Braun-Howland E, Wallace B . Large Outbreak of Cryptosporidiosis Associated with a Recreational Water Spraypark—New York 2005. 55th Annual Epidemic Intelligence Service Conference, 2006.
        2. Outbreak of Gastroenteritis Associated With an Interactive Water Fountain at a Beachside Park —Florida, 1999. MMWR, June 30, 2000 / 49(25); 565-8.

          1. To be fair, that was the NIH that put something in some smallpox in storage in the 1950s and then forgot about it. Who of us hasn’t done that from time to time? You clean out a closet and find gifts you forgot to give, weird wedding presents received but never used, bygone fashions, smallpox.

            1. today’s paper: “After lapses, CDC admits a lax culture”
              http : // / 1mMVMYw

              1. Right, but the laxity was about other kinds of incidents, not inadvertently losing track of stored specimens for decades. That was NIH.

                P.S.: There’s kind of a cute pun in the title “After Lapses, C.D.C. Admits a Lax Culture at Labs”

                  1. All bad, but the fridge joke fits NIH better. According to the news, they really did let an organism that had supposedly been removed from the face of the earth sit in storage like an old TV dinner you forgot was at the bottom of the freezer.

                  2. I stand corrected. From USDA memo about CDC (Decatur Patch): “Security measures within the lab building were flawed. Anthrax was stored in unlocked refrigerators in an unrestricted hallway. The key to one refrigerator sat in its lock.” I now realize that the refrigerator joke refers to CDC as well as to NIH. Didn’t think any fridge could be more dangerous than the back bottom shelf of ours, but I guess so.

              2. That ain’t nothing. If you wanted to see a lax culture of security, the CDC in the early 90’s would have blown your mind. I’m amazed that there was never a major incident because of it.

    2. There’s a couple of fountains inside the Golden Corral on Lawrenceville Highway that are awesome.

    3. Sadly nil. Between liability concerns and maintenance headaches, there’s essentially no support within the city to create one. There was at least passing consideration of the issue during the overhaul of the Marta plaza and I think the fog fountain was seen as a sort of compromise.

      1. Too bad. MARTA plaza has too much concrete and too little shade in the summer. A splash pad would have been a fun way to keep the little ones cool and occupied while the adults enjoyed a beer. Funny thing is that the fog sculpture has always seemed more dangerous than a splash pad to me. Farther to fall, anyways.

        1. MARTA would not allow anything with water about its station on the plaza, including plantings with irrigation. The fountain works because it is a small volume of water and doesn’t drain to the ground.

    1. We like Bhojanic a lot. Cannot speak to whether it is the most authentic, but it is consistently very tasty for the street food / small plate items.

    2. We like Chai Pani a lot. Probably not representative of classic Indian food. I think it’s supposed to be more casual, street food. But it’s one of the few restaurants I can walk to and not gain weight. Love the corn bhel which is healthy rather than hearty.

      1. We also like Chai Pani, but craving more along the lines of a big traditional steaming plate of curry, and a mound of rice. It’ also fun to eat in Chai Pani, but tonight is probably a takeaway kind of evening. Maybe.

    3. If you want more authentic, Mirch Masala is great and has a mostly Indian clientele. Bhojanic is high quality and more of a “night out” kind of place, with cocktails, live music some nights, etc., with a mostly American clientele (the times I’ve been there anyway).
      I love the kale pakoras at Chai Pani, but I haven’t been a fan of some of the other things I’ve had there.

      1. I jut looked at the Masala menu online. Do you do the buffet or order off the menu if you go in the evenings?

        1. If you’re familiar with Indian cuisine, ordering off the menu will get you more freshly prepared food, but the buffet is usually pretty solid, too. Even if you’re not familiar with all the items, if you eat with a few other folks who aren’t squeamish, order a few things and share.

          Whichever way you go, I suggest asking for some bullet naan on the side if you can stand the heat!

          1. The buffet is a great deal, if you go that route. We took a visitor from India there and he said it was like home cooking.

      2. Re kale pakoras: I’m addicted to those things. And I don’t even like kale.

    4. Oh! Can’t believe I almost forgot to mention Royal Sweets in Patel Plaza. Don’t be fooled by the name – though they do have ice cream and sweet treats, they have savory dishes as well. I believe it surely must be authentic if I can judge by the clientele when we’ve been there. The dishes we’ve tried have all been veeeeeery spicy, but good. They have a food truck inside, which is fun.

      1. Thanks guys! I really need to explore the Patel Plaza more. I went ages ago before it was built up like it is now so I’m sure it’s changed quite a bit.

      2. The samosas at Royal Sweets are amazingly good and can be a filling lunch for less than $2. What’s not to love? Also in Patel Plaza, try the crispy chili paneer at Chinese Dhaba. I would weigh four hundred pounds if I gave in every time I craved that dish. The dosas at Chopaati are pretty great too.

        1. OMG, YESSS to the crispy chili paneer at Chinese Dhaba–I’m convinced they sprinkle crack on it, it’s so addictive! The chicken Bodhi at Zyka is also awesome deliciousness.

    5. Indian food is remarkably easy to make at home provided you have the right ingredients. Fortunately we have Patel Plaza nearby, where they are happy to show you around and help you find what you need. A few powders and a big hunk o ghee and you’re on your way. Beyond that the place above the montessori is pretty solid if you’re not up for the full bhojanic experience.

    6. I can’t believe no one has mentioned ZYKA yet! IMHO, the best, most authentic Indian cuisine in these parts. You can tell because when you go there, 90% of the people eating there or getting takeout are Indian. YUM!!! And, the last several times we’ve been there, they are no longer using styrofoam for their take-out containers (which was my only complaint about eating there on a regular basis).

      Not to miss dish: Chicken 65.

      1. Isn’t that the place mentioned in the post above yours: “Beyond that the place above the montessori is pretty solid if you’re not up for the full bhojanic experience.” I haven’t been there in years. The time I went, the place seemed more like an impromptu coffeehouse than a restaurant and it didn’t fit well with our little kid dynamics. But it could be completely different now.

      2. Not to split hairs here, but technically speaking Zyka is in reality more of a Pakistani restaurant, as evidenced by their exclusive use of halal meat and just meat in general (especially the delicious mutton in their Aachar Gosht.) See also, the fantastic conversations I’ve had with the young staff about the differences between living here versus Pakistan and let’s not even talk about how crazy that place gets around sunset during Ramadan!

        Madras Bhavan is your best bet for exclusively vegetarian Indian food, but we easily order Zyka for pick up every other week. It’s that good. Chicken 65 with extra white sauce please!

        1. Not certain, but I believe most (maybe all) of the nearby Indian restaurants that serve meat and have a largely Indian clientele are halal.

          1. If the restaurant is Northern Indian, it’s likely Muslim and, therefore, the meat is halal. If it’s Kerala-based, which has a Christian background, then not necessarily. Bear in mind that the numerous religions, geographic location and climate have heavily shaped different regions’ culinary preferences. Pakistan only became an independent country in 1947; up until then it was part of India. That’s why you see some Northern Indian restaurants call themselves Indo-Pak, like Mughal’s or Luqma.

            Here’s a nice little intro about these influences:

            www DOT briskwalkers DOT com/cuisine/international-cuisine/

      1. I agree. I thought their chicken tandoori was the best I’ve ever had. It is spicy though. I ordered their biryani not spicy thinking my kids could eat it. It ended up being almost too hot for the adults.

    7. We recently enjoyed Planet Bombay in Little 5 Points. Great service and yummy food options. Usually go to the Mirch because it’s close and reliable.

  9. [Edit: in response to Keith above…]

    The wife and I had a nice meal at Ration & Dram, not spectacular.

    The upstairs was very cold when we went and actually asked to move a less drafty table.

    The drinks are the now de rigeuer “creations” with Aperol/Campari/Averna. They couldn’t make me a Dark ‘n Stormy, so points off for that. Good wine specials on the night we went.

    Food is very farm-to-table and changes daily – except for the apps I guess. The calamari was delicious, but the sides on our dinner plates were under seasoned and some under cooked.

    We’ll give another try, but not at the top of our list either.

  10. Is anyone as incensed as I am about the lane closures at Commerce & Claremont being PERMANENT? Yes, that massively used stretch of road is part of the ‘traffic calming’ measures enacted by our lovely commissioners. It took me 32 minutes to get from Howard to Claremont the other day. My commute time has doubled.

    Guess I’ll be using Drexel or Adair to get around it

    1. Am I incensed that that stretch of road will now be safer for bikes and pedestrians, with cars going slower? That we are fitting other modes of transportation into our priorities? Nope. Not incensed. Glad, actually.

      1. I am all for making the downtown area safer for bikes. But clogging one of the main routes people use to get AROUND the downtown area – as in ‘circumvent’ – makes little sense to me as a homeowner in the area. Do you think these cars will just vanish? Hardly. They will do what I’m doing and find other ways to get home. (One of them being a road that cuts through a neighborhood.)

        Its shortsighted greenwashing. Nothing more.

        1. “Do you think these cars will just vanish? Hardly. They will do what I’m doing and find other ways to get home. (One of them being a road that cuts through a neighborhood.)”

          But if enough people did that, what would they gain from using such a “shortcut”? So maybe some of those cars will vanish, so to speak.

        2. If you make it easier to walk and bike and get to MARTA, then yes, some cars will “vanish” as their owners/users will leave them at home.

          You may not get the “new” thinking regarding transportation planning, but that doesn’t make it not real and better for many reasons than 20th century auto-only transportation planning. Google “The Ten Simple Rules of Urban Transportation Planning”

    2. Right now, the construction along Commerce has closed both lanes in front of the future Paces apartment building and pushed eastbound traffic into the center lane.

      At least according to the most recent renderings, this bears essentially no resemblance to the pending lane reconfiguration, which maintains the existing, 2-lane configuration fronting most of the Paces building. The bike lane doesn’t even begin until the shared driveway with the Fidelity building. At that point, one eastbound auto lane does disappear but at no point do through traffic and left turn stacking share a lane, as is happening now.

      Premature outrage, perhaps? Check the plan and decide for yourself:

      www [dot] decaturga [dot] com/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=2688

      1. Actually, Scott – looking at the document, the lane goes from 2, to one, then back to two, with the shift to one lane right in front of the new development.

        1. Sorry – hit submit too soon.

          No, I don’t think this is ‘premature outrage’ at all. It’s going to have a massive impact on commuters in that area, and once you figure-in the influx of residents in the new tower, it’s only going to get worse. Looking at the plan, they’ve gone from what was two ‘straight’ lanes with one turn lane (3 lanes total), to one straight and one turn, to two straight merging into one, blowing out into one turn one straight. (2 lanes total).

          They have increased traffic load (the tower) while decreasing traffic capacity on the main route commuters use to circumvent the downtown area. Now add in to the mix the other medium/high capacity developments that are in the works for the same area.

        2. The building frontage for the Paces apartments is about 420 feet long and the neck-down to one through-lane on Commerce doesn’t happen, at least in the rendering, until the last 125 feet of that.

          The most important difference is that through traffic and left turn stacked traffic on Commerce will not be sharing a lane at any point. That’s really what’s screwing everything up right now.

          I can’t speculate any better than you can as to what will ultimately happen as it relates to reconfigured lanes, potential traffic from new apartments, etc. My point was just that the proposed scheme is a lot different than the interim set-up we’ve got going on right now. And I put a lot of weight on the empirical results all around us. Decatur has trimmed down a lot of asphalt downtown in the past 20 years, while gaining hundreds of downtown residents, and our traffic counts remain almost identical to what they were prior. That’s no small bit of evidence.

          1. Unfortunately can’t get the renderings to display right now but had a couple of questions.

            How does the new configuration prevent drivers who want to turn left from occupying the through lane once the left-turn lane is filled?

            You’ve referred to those traffic counts before. What are the actual numbers and when and where (on which streets or at which intersections) were the counts taken? What are your points of comparison?

            1. I can only speak to what I see in the rendering, which doesn’t appear to show any sort of “cut-off” for left-turn stacking. In theory, cars (at least in terms of physical barriers) can stack as far back as they need to. If that’s the case, it would seem to address the problem you’re asking about.

              The traffic reference comes from counts done (presumably by the DOT) in a variety of spots over a 15 year period of traffic calming and downtown growth, listed on the city’s website:

              www [dot] decaturga [dot] com/index.aspx?page=269

              That’s the extent of what I’ve seen on the matter. As I mentioned to Dan, there’s no way to know at this point what *will* happen, but we’ve got a lot of built evidence as to what’s happened prior. And besides, there not a whole lot of re-engineering or infrastructure going on. If it ends up not working, they can just re-stripe it.

  11. DM- what happened to being able to post pics? Or am I imagining we were actually able to do that here at some point in the past?

  12. Is anyone else as annoyed as I am with the new parking situation in downtown Decatur? It seems to be to be a giant money-grab. Now all of the previous metered parking spaces are 2 hour max, and you have to put your license plate number in the machine so if you’re even a second late to re-up you get a ticket. As well, all of the lots are now $5-$7. This has driven folks from parking in the lots, and it’s impossible to find a metered space within a 10 minute walk of your destination. Parking was already a quagmire in downtown, and this has made it MUCH worse. It is not inviting for tourists, and I’ve asked a few local business owners who state they are fuming about it. Thoughts?

    1. Actually, enforcing parking restrictions makes parking better, not worse. Everyone knew parking wasn’t enforced, so they left their cars in metered spaces. As people adjust (after receiving multiple tickets), those spots will be more readily available and long(er) term parkers will be sent to parking decks and lots, as designed. Most of the lots/decks have been pay lots for as long as I can remember, so this isn’t new (unless of course you are one of those who left your car in a metered spot for half a day).

      1. I think it was just loosely enforced, I’ve witnessed tickets being written by Jimmy Johns in the past on multiple occasions.

        I hope the new enforcement isn’t the style that I have seen in Midtown. I watched someone get out of their car in a 10 minute spot at Publix, and the minute the person walked in the store, the Park Atlanta car pulled up behind her, dropped a ticket, and quickly zipped off. The whole situation took place in less than 60 seconds, the person had every right to be on the spot, and the ticket writer was clearly lurking for someone to write a ticket on whether the person had the right to be there or not. I don’t think parking restrictions with quotas are good for local business at all.

        1. Everyone don’t forget that the county-owned parking deck is free after 6 pm on weekdays and all day on weekends. It’s conveniently located within a 5-7 minute walk (or less) of just about anything in downtown Decatur.

          1. Shhh. And be sure not to tell anyone that if you park at the back of the second level, there is a stairwell on the corner of the deck nearest to the Marta stop which is about a 2 min walk to the square.

            1. For years that stairwell was secured with a “Wet Paint” sign, but I see even that security measure has been removed recently.

          2. During the week, it’s usually free before 6, sometimes as early as 5. Whenever the toll booth at the exit is unmanned/unwomanned, it’s free. And you pay on the way out, so you can still park for free during the day, so long as you leave after 6 (or whenever the fare taker leaves).

            I’m not worried about revealing the secret of parking nearest the northeast corner stairwell. I’ve been doing that for years, telling people about it the whole time, and it’s NEVER even close to being full. Too many people would rather pay to park than have to walk through the Marta bus bays. But that’s all good, more easy parking for me…

    2. The parking program does pay for itself (plus generate some profit, I believe) but it is not designed to be a revenue source. It’s goal is to ensure turnover, through a combination of market-rate pricing and time limits, so people coming downtown will always have an expectation of being able to find an on-street space if they want one (and are willing to pay a market rate for the convenience).

      The logic’s somewhat counter-intuitive, I know, because we’re used to places that have WAY more parking spaces than are needed. But if you’ve got a limited supply in a downtown setting, free or casually enforced programs ensure that spaces get filled and stay filled. For merchants, that’s when they really get hosed.

      1. Regarding one aspect of downtown, our many pubs, I’m pretty much of the opinion that if you can’t afford an UberX ride, you definitely can’t afford to go out drinking. Please note that I’m only talking about driving downtown and drinking, not other activities, nor a mere glass of wine with dinner. And if you would have had to pay for parking, that’s 5-8 dollars off your Uber (or Lyft) ride right there.

    3. I agree with Dawgfan too.

      It is not a money grab on the part of the City, and I think the proceeds benefits the Education Foundation or some other local cause. We are just now catching up with how city parking should be run: keep the spaces turning over for the customers.

      If you are coming for more than two hours, isn’t a $5 lot a reasonable cost?

  13. Can anyone recommend someone that can restore an oil painting? My parents had a fire and although the painting made it out, (as well as my parents thankfully) it has heavy smoke damage. The painting has been in our family for some time, so it has a lot of sentimental value. It’s about 4′ by 3′ including the frame.

  14. Can anyone point me to a link to the draft UDO (Unified Development Ordinance)? The first public meeting is July 21, and I was hoping for more than a week to take a look. But maybe I’m looking for it in the wrong place/missing an obvious link?

  15. I’m looking for a pet sitter within walking distance of the Emory Commons vicinity. Recommendations?


  16. I’d like to visit Glenn Creek Nature Preserve. What’s the best street to park on to access it? And what interesting things should I look for there?

    1. Fairview Street off of Sycamore. I walk our dogs over there daily. Not much to look at other than the nice mature trees & the creek.

  17. Anyone got tips for yellow jacket removal? There’s a nest of them in a hole in our carport.

    1. Those artillery level spray cans of wasp/yellow jacket/etc. spray cans seem to work for us in similar situations. I have no idea if this makes sense but I always do the spraying at night on the theory that the hive members are all at home sleeping and 1) will be less likely to attack me and 2) won’t be off gallivanting around and miss the hive-icide. I also wear protective clothing and gloves; I’d wear a mesh screen around my face if I had one. I have a feeling that this is not the green way to do this but it’s the only way I know how. Other than my father’s technique that involved gasoline and setting the hive on fire. I’m positive that was less green and more dangerous.

      1. Given that this one is in a hole in our carport, I’m not sure fire is the best option.

        (Also, all I can see is the access hole – no idea where the actual nest is….)

        1. Depending on how the access hole and hive are constructed, maybe you could just block the access hole with spray foam or even something less intrusive. That works for carpenter bee holes. If the next day, there’s not only still yellow jackets, but they look particularly frustrated, you could ramp up to the next level of action.

          1. Again, the nest is somewhere in the wall of our carport. I know y’all Dawgs hate yellow jackets and all, but I’m not setting my house on fire over it.

            1. When you use gasoline, you don’t actually have to light it. I used that method once to get rid of yellow jacket next in the ground. I didn’t light it even though my father would have. But then I felt terrible about the environmental effects although it sure did get rid of the yellow jackets. I definitely would use gasoline in a structure–that would be a real fire risk, I think.

              1. Meant would not use fire, not would use. Professional or artillery spray probably best for structure.

            2. Hire a professional. They puff powder into and around the entrance to the nest. Dead yellow jackets and no drama.


              Triple A Trapping

              770 995 0803

            3. You don’t light it. The fumes will kill em. And I assumed it was in the concrete of your carport – if not, I might be hesitant to use gas too.

    2. Get the foaming type of spray, specifically for yellow jackets & carpenter bees. I learned about it from Tony P. at Intown Ace a year or two ago. (Can’t remember the brand, you can get it many places although if you want to reward Intown for offering invaluable and knowledgeable advice, buy it there.) Be sure the can you pick up has a little tube taped to it (like WD40), that helps you keep your distance and focus the stream. Be sure it says “foaming” on the label.
      Go after them at daybreak or late dusk, just before dark. Beforehand, in the daytime, observe them coming and going. Often, a nest has more than one entry/exit.
      If you’re treating a ground nest, it’s worthwhile to put a board over the hole after you spray, weighted with a brick or rock.
      The stuff packs a punch, it doesn’t take much. Also works on open-air nests (hanging from soffets, under decks, etc.
      Be ruthless. The yellow jackets are.

  18. Anyone know of any local artists or furniture makers who might take some silver maple wood off my hands?

    The storm last night split our silver maple tree, and the tree cutters are going to be cutting off some sizable chunks.

    1. John Madajewski (sp?), the City Engineer, may be interested. He does wood turnings and sculpture.

      1. That’s the correct spelling, and I betcha he’d be interested: [email protected]

        (For folks who haven’t seen his work, he makes really beautiful bowls, platters, etc., from wood salvaged from around town. So cool to see a tree you admired many times when passing by continue on in another lovely form! :0)

    2. Highland Hardware is now a specialty shop for woodworkers. They probably know lots of people who would love to get their hands (and chisels and adzes and lathes) on some of it.

    1. Oh darn if true. I’ve bought many quirky gifts over the years there. And they are one of the few places open late in Downtown Decatur on weekday nights besides bars and restaurants. It was always a great place to go on babysitter night when it was too early to go home and you couldn’t think what else to do with yourselves once you’d had dinner Downtown.

  19. I wondered about the same thing and was assured by the cashier that they are not going out of business. Love that place.

    1. Oh, thank heaven!! That’s my go-to place when I need quirky little hostess gifts, unique kids’ birthday gifts, and eye-catching little household items (coasters, glassware, etc.) for myself. It would truly grieve me if they ever folded!!

  20. Anyone else notice what a terrible job they are doing of marking lane closures relative to the repaving occurring on Clairemont this weekend? I literally slalomed down Clairemont earlier today trying to figure out what section was supposed to be closed. No flaggers in sight.

    1. And for a little while yesterday, a traffic cop wasn’t letting folks heading north on Scott to turn left on Clairemont. But then I heard his buddy yell that it was ok.

      This morning, signs were posted announcing that paving would resume evenings at 9 PM. You are now forewarned. Yesterday the paving seemed to go from Clairemont at Commerce all the way up to Clairmont at the VA.

  21. Hi Decaturites,

    Rising Decatur senior wants to pressure wash your patios, decks, driveways and walkways. Give him a call or txt if interested.

    Jacob Miller: 404-309-9863

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