Free-For-All Friday 6/9/17

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

33 thoughts on “Free-For-All Friday 6/9/17”

  1. Railroad crossing at S. Candler was closed this morning. Is the construction that was announced would begin on June 19, or something different?

  2. I just read in a Wikipedia article that the first ever Applebee’s restaurant was opened in Decatur in 1980 and was called T.J. Applebee’s Rx for Edibles & Elixir. Does anyone remember where it was?

    1. I was trying to find the same info–thanks for asking! Also, the list mentioned Waffle House in Avondale Estates (1955) but failed to also mention Huddle House from Decatur (1956). I was around in the 1980’s and have no memory of Applebee’s in Decatur. If anyone has more info, I’d love to know more. I’m currently scouring the internets & will report back if I find anything.

      1. I once read that the Applebee’s on Memorial just outside of 285 is the site of the original, but I don’t know for certain. That location does have a Decatur mailing address; 4705 Memorial Dr, Decatur, GA 30032

      2. I forgot to say above that there was an article in the AJC about restaurant chains that started in the Atlanta-area. That was what sparked my curiosity about Applebee’s.

    2. I have wikipedia’d many things, but never Applebee’s. I am intrigued by what led you down this path.

      1. I read the same AJC article that someone mentioned, and then wondered if the original Applebee’s was the one on Ponce. I’m not a fan of Applebee’s, but curious about Decatur in the 1980s.

    3. It amuses me that Decatur, now the locus of one of the hottest dining scenes in Atlanta, if not the nation, also holds the ignominious honor of being the birthplace of Waffle House, Huddle House, AND T.J. Applebees.

  3. If I’m faced with an emergency while out-and-about in Decatur and need help fast, would I be better off calling 911 or Decatur PD directly when using my cell phone?

    1. If you’re in COD, call 404-373-6551 on your cell. It’s answered by the same Decatur folks who answer Decatur 911. If you call 911, you may get the County or the City first depending on the cell tower that picks you up and the call will have to be transferred.
      BTW, you can also text if you have to, but they obviously prefer voice.

  4. Why do we need this green sign on College, near Cambridge that says “Intercity Bus Station” ahead? I suppose its directing us to the Felini’s that has not been a bus station in over 10 years. Anybody have insight?

    1. Kind of like Westchester school and warning lights remained for years after it closed. And they’ve had to fight to get them back once it re-opened 9 years later.

    2. Like the “Neighborhood Playhouse” sign on the corner of Commerce and Trinity that was only removed when they cleared that property, at least 10 years after they went out of business and the building was demolished to make way for the PD.

  5. Hey, has anyone else been hit with a property appraisal from Dekalb County on a COD property that has increased dramatically? I just got one with a 36% increase – this on the heels of a large increase ( almost 50% ) several years ago.

    1. Nope, assessment was flatline from 2007 to 2014, then 22% increase, then 4%, then 1%, and 5% increase this year. Not happy but I think it’s consistent with the market. Unfortunately, increases of 50% and then 36% may be realistic for certain parts of Decatur and certain types of housing. Oakhurst cottage style, 4 bedroom/3 bath?

    2. My assessment last year had an increase of more than 50%. I appealed, successfully, and in the end the increase was only about $6,000. Reasonable and appropriate for our property. I encourage you to appeal – anyone can do it themselves, and it’s not hard to put together a good appeal packet.

    3. Yes. Planning an appeal. PS, my assessment was considerably more than I paid for the property just months ago and considerably more than anyone has ever paid for a similar unit. Too bad there is so little jeopardy for the government making such totally unsupported assessments and putting folks to the burden of appeals.

    4. Yep, ours went up 30% this year, but I’m not sure it’s worth appealing. It went up very little for a number of years, but about 18 months ago, the old church property on Hibernia Avenue, around the corner from where I live, was turned into about 18 single family homes selling for 500k+ (ours is valued in the mid 400’s). I figure that probably drove the increase in our assessment.

    5. I am about 300 ft. outside of COD. Purchased home 1.5 years ago so the first assessment was the price paid for the home–high compared to my neighbors who have been here for years, but the market is high. I just received the Dekalb co. assessment and it’s 23% higher in one year. Yikes. Appealing.

  6. If heading East on Ponce through downtown and cross over Clairmont, there are two parking spaces on the street on the right before just before you ge to the Brickstore/Squash Blossom turnaround. For the past several weeks, I’ve occasionally noticed a tiny “No Parking Symbol” attached to an orange cone that attempts to block off the spaces. Mid-afternoon Friday, I just noticed that the person doing this came out of the old courthouse (Dekalb History Center) where they often host weddings and parties.

    When meters were at each spot, city officials would have to lock down a meter with “no parking” which I believe required a fee to “own” a meter for a certain amount of time if not for city use.

    This person had no identification and did not appear to be a city employee. While I dislike certain aspects about the Decatur parking rules and enforcement, I think I even dislike someone without apparent authority conscripting spaces for non-city use.

    Anyone know anything about this practice? Might the Deakalb History Center be paying for this privilege? In my mind, it’s taking tax dollars out of the city coffers. The signs are there right now if you happen to be traveling nearby.

    1. Real quick- meters are not about income to the city, they’re about turnover for allll the local businesses. Devoting those 2 spaces to facilitate the maaany events hosted by the Dekalb History Center that bring people to DT are entirely in keeping with that aim.

  7. And speaking of Westchester Elementary, if you come across any “old” Westchester memorabilia from the pre-closing days, they would be happy to get it from you. Apparently when the school board moved in for about 10 years, all of that sort of thing went in a dumpster.

    1. Thanks LOL. The past can disappear quickly when everyone is focused on the present.
      What you described in your post was my experience in CSD and environs. Decatur was lucky to have many long time employees who kept school memorabilia hidden in desks and closets and passed it on to trusted newcomers. There were also people like Eddie Fowlkes at DHS who saved countless items from the dumpster and encouraged reunion groups from the 1930s to the Seventies to donate valuable items to the DHS Sports History Project. Freddie Bailey, a member of the famous “Bailey Shoe Shop” family and DHS grad recently restored the cornerstone (along with two other grads) of the Central Grammar School/Decatur Girls High and CSD will hold the dedication ceremony soon in front of the DHS gym. Without these people, and many others in Decatur’s past, valuable historical items would be lost.
      I would encourage all Decatur residents who respect the past to ask the school board and city commission to find ways that preserve and honor the “glory years”. This could be as simple as asking elected leaders to let volunteers be the collectors of school or community history.
      All it takes is one person and that could be YOU, Mr. and Mrs. Decatur!

    2. Oooooh. Definitely have some. Although a lot still looks cute on our walls. My favorite is the mosaic of the famous Westchester red tennis shoes made up of all the school pictures of the student body. When Westchester reopened, I did notice that some of the family plaques and outdoor tiles were still in place, plus the handprints on the columns. Because some of the volunteer parents were quite artistic and crafty in the old Westchester school community, the rather plain brick building was quite decorated with colorful student artwork. And the fantastic annual auction/adult party generated tons of Westchester artwork. It’s probably still scattered all over homes in northwest Decatur. As the old Westchester graduates move out and parents clean out rooms or downsize, a lot of potential donations might be generated. I’d get the word out repeatedly on CSD eBlasts, the Decatur Focus, and Facebook. Nice to see the old Westchester valued again–A Community Learning for Life!

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