Strong Support for 5th Avenue as 4/5 Academy?

Garrett comments over on CSD Mom’s Reconfiguration blog that the most vocal support by parents at last night’s listening session was for Option#13, which calls for converting vacant 5th Avenue Elementary into the city’s new 4/5 academy.

Among the 13 options, #13 is the most costly upfront at more than $9 million to execute.

What do you think?  Is 5th Ave as 4/5 the best solution?

I’m still unsure of what to support.  And I don’t think I’m alone.

“Reduce, Reuse” Suggestions

Scott sends in a pic of an old BTTF Delorean
Scott sends in a pic of an old BTTF Delorean

Apparently, even the AJC can’t believe the sheer, unbridled green-ness of our city.

In detailing the decrease in the cost of our trash pickup this year – thanks to an increase in recycling rates (first reported on the Decatur blogs) – the AJC’s April Hunt starts her article with three little words: “Only in Decatur.”

Damn straight!  And just wait ’til the city unveils its trash-powered Delorean police cars (thanks Doc Brown!)…then everyone will marvel in our unsustainable growth rate in sustainability initiatives!

But seriously, major props go out to everyone in decreasing the amount of trash we generate as a city by 40% since the implementation of the “Pay-As-You-Throw” program.  You are truly professional recyclers.  But, this is no time to get cocky and rest on our bins.

Due to the lack of demand for recyclable materials thanks to the global recession, the city warns that this fee decline could only be temporary.  Why?  Because our partner in recycling – Latham Home Sanitation – is having a harder time selling these materials on the back end.  So that means someone has to pick up the loss-of-revenue slack.  And the suppliers (us) are the only ones left.

Therefore I join the city’s efforts to reemphasize the first two actions of that age-old, overused adage “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”.  So I ask you gentle readers, in what ways do you actively “reduce and reuse” to decrease the amount of garbage (be it trash or recycling) that goes on to the curb?

I’ll get the ball rolling and state the most obvious: reusable grocery bags.  Additionally, we’ve recently begun using washable dishcloths instead of disposable sponges.

What else should I be doing?

Hiking the Beltline

Over the weekend, AsianCajuns’ Catherine and Lauren hiked 6-miles of the future Beltline with some good friends in tow.

Their photo journal documents the fascinating urban environment along this much-talked about abandoned track.  Its not to be missed.

I’m thinking I need to get in on one of these Urban Hikes.

You know what’s even more daring than an urban hike?  A suburban hike.  Go stroll those great unused sidewalks along US 78 for a couple miles and in short order you’ll see what I mean.

Decatur Wi-Fi Is “Complete”

Click for full-sized image
Click for full-sized image

According to an update to the city’s Wi-Fi page in January, our extensive wi-fi network is finally finished!

After two years of network design and construction, the City’s wireless network is complete. The network consists of 190 wireless mesh radios over approximately 4 square miles within the City limits. The radios are attached to a variety of structures including Georgia Power utility poles, traffic signal poles, city-owned poles, and government and commercial buildings.

The network provides outdoor, high-speed Internet access to devices with wireless networking capabilities. For indoor access, most users will need a device called a CPE (consumer premise equipment) or wireless modem to strengthen the signal.

There’s also a new map (above) that shows more specific signal strength along our streets.  From the looks of it, I seem to have some of the worst signal strength on our street.  Oh well, all’s fair in love and wi-fi distribution.

If most indoor users will need an extra “CPE” to have a chance of accessing the wi-fi network, I still think it would be a good idea for “Get the Speed” to have neighborhood “fairs” or something so interested residents can test it out in their homes without having to order one, find out it doesn’t work for them, and then have to return it in the mail.  That’s just too much effort for most people.

In terms of comparison shopping, if you signed up for the 12-month high-speed access plan and needed a CPE, your total monthly cost would be somewhere around $30.  That’s about 12 bucks cheaper than my current Comcast.

Good Turnout For 5th Earl Fundraiser

In response to another post, Rusty Diamond comments on the great turnout at Parker’s yesterday for the 5th Earl fundraiser.

David has some pics over at InDecatur to prove it.