Should a Key to the City Still Mean Something?

Remember that goofy fellow who showed up in Decatur a few weeks ago and requested a key to the city in exchange for a little community service?  No?  Well the Decatur Minute documented the whole thing.

That was comedian Steve Hoffman and now he’s now found himself on the CBS Evening News, speaking about the 95 keys and counting that he’s collected from city’s all over the country.

And while Decatur escapes exposure in the televised segment that seems conflicted between laughing along with Hoffman and feigning upset at the devaluation of the honor of key-bestowing, Mayor Floyd’s photo with Hoffman is front and center in the accompanying website article.  A similar photo below is from The Minute.

So, as only a national newscast can over-generalize, should a key to the city still mean something (in every single city across the country)?

Umm…well that sorta depends.  Did your city only reserve keys for burning-building heroes and eight term mayors up until Hoffman came a knockin’?  Or are keys kinda blase’ in your city these days?

In short, instead of asking “Should a key mean something?” perhaps the more appropriate question would be “DOES a key mean something?”

I mean, it’s not like Decatur gave him a Hometown Hero award.

Former Decatur Commissioner John Ridley Considers State Senate Run

John Ridley sends in this announcement…

Former Decatur City Commissioner John Ridley (1998-2002) is considering a run for the State Senate District 42 being vacated by David Adelman. Senator Adelman has been nominated by President Obama to be ambassador to Singapore.

Former Commissioner Ridley has served as a Vice Chair of the Dekalb County Democratic Party, a Policy Analyst for the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress, a Tax Policy Analyst for the Georgia General Assembly, is a third generation alumni of Emory University, a graduate of The American University’s College of Public Affairs, and has lived in Decatur for over 25 years.

DeKalb Avenue Suicide Lane Commits Suicide Again

Lee reports in on a pretty common DeKalb Avenue event, with a twist…

Commuters were surprised to find the suicide lane on DeKalb Avenue was not green for in-bound traffic this morning. The Atlanta police were gently encouraging some of the more confused drivers.

Is this a permanent change or simply a errant clock?

I grant that the cop is a new touch, so maybe something is up, but the missing weekday morning “green arrow” happens semi-regularly.

Of course, a lack of traffic signals has never stopped many DeKalb Ave. commuters and their God-given right to do whatever necessary to get to work on time.

First Christian Christmas Tree Sale Begins Today

After a very successful, inaugural tree-selling season in 2008, First Christian Church of Decatur is all set to begin tree sales for the 2009 Christmas season today!

According to the church’s website, they again are offering Frasier Fur trees from 3′ and 4′ (“Charlie Brown” trees) up to 9 footers, “along with wreaths, garland, mistletoe and handmade ornaments.”

Trees range from $35-$95 and can be purchased with cash or check OR with a credit card thru Paypal online.

Sale hours are Monday to Friday 3pm-9pm, Saturday 8am-9pm, and Sunday 1pm-9pm. Proceeds Benefit Church and Community Ministries Serving Greater Decatur.

Oh, and did I mention the free home delivery within a five-mile radius of the church?

h/t: DecaturMom

Car Stolen on Third Avenue in Oakhurst

From the Oakhurst Message Board…

Just FYI eveyrone, a car was stolen on Third Avenue today (Saturday late afternoon or early evening). The owners are out of town and don’t know yet, so I’m not posting the address, but the general area is the stretch of Third Avenue between the street’s two intersections with Hood Circle.

If you saw anything or anyone suspicious this evening in the area, please let me know so I can pass it along.

Better yet, call Decatur PD directly.  The non-emergency phone # is 404-373-6551.  (A great # to have saved in your cell phone contacts BTW)

Critical Love for Community Q BBQ

Though his assessment is based only on one takeout container, AJC food critic John Kessler echos a couple recent comments here calling Community Q BBQ “some of the best barbecue I’ve eaten in Atlanta.”

And lucky for Decaturites, it’s just a quick ride up Clairemont to Clairmont in the former Epicurian catering space!

Dig Into Decatur’s Historic Resources Survey!

Picture 2

Due to its sheer size, it’s taking the city some time to get the recently completed Historic Resources Survey up on its website.  So until that time, I’m providing it here in full for your perusal. Just be aware, it’s a big ol’ PDF file.

Beyond the sections of wonk-ish methodology, the report also offers a lot of info that could be of interest to any city resident.  Like what?  Like parcel-level maps and summations of Decatur’s many existing and potential historic areas, (Is your home “historic”?  Check the maps!) along with a developmental history of Decatur and a list of the city’s “landmark buildings”.

The map above indicates all the districts in the city that – by the strict 50-year rule definition – could be deemed historic at the national or local level in bluish green.  Existing local and national historic districts are in red.  Decatur has so much historic residential, it’s actually easier to summarize the large non-historic areas:  the now urban-renewal showcase that was once “Beacon Hill”, the Decatur Cemetery, East Decatur Station and Decatur Heights.  See?

I’ve included full list of “landmark” buildings after the jump.  And because I’m such a nice guy, I’ve even provided direct links to visuals of every building on the list via Google Streetview.  (Make sure to check out 303 Fifth Ave.  I never knew that house even existed and it’s freakin’ awesome!)

Continue reading “Dig Into Decatur’s Historic Resources Survey!”