Free-For-All Friday 12/19/14

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

99 thoughts on “Free-For-All Friday 12/19/14”

  1. Please go vote for Decatur in this contest and spread the word! The West End is beating us!

    1. Must have been a late night elementary school event.

      Ba dum bum. Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

  2. really cute new boutique open on East College next to Piece of Cake. great women’s clothes and good prices.

  3. DM: Why is Patch listed under Decatur News over on the left but Decaturish is listed under Decatur Blogs? Decaturish seems much more about news than the Patch.

    1. Whoops that should have been “over on the right”. Geesh. I STILL get that mixed up. The left is on the window side of my first grade classroom and the right is on the door side.

      1. I panicked there for a moment, then I decided that maybe we went to different elementary schools . . . I had Mrs. Swanson for first and second grade.

  4. Report on AJC that Google Fiber is delaying its decision about where to install until next year. Guess we are all stuck with Comcast a little longer.

  5. I’m looking for recommendations for a guitar repair person who does pro-quality setups (action, intonation… someone who knows that a guit-box neck should not be flat to be right). I feel the need to shred like Yngwie.


      1. Bill Hatcher is also one seriously awesome steel guitar player. Check out his version of Bohemian Rhapsody on non-pedal lap steel.

      1. Thanks, Dogz. Maple St. has been recommended to me a few times. I guess I just have to suck it up and make the trek across town.

    1. Earthshaking Music has done a good job on my guitars. (New location over by the prison where Bolevard ends.)

    2. Check out Decatur’s very own Acorn Amps at, they’re right next to 3 Taverns.

      1. Really? You want to share some? Google my name. You’ll have no trouble finding an email or phone number.

    1. YDFM has them. We found some at Sprouts in Snellville, but think they are all sold out now. My dad loves pecans in shells and we’ve had a crazy hard time trying to find them this year. He was really happy with the YDFM ones.

  6. Had dinner at Twisted Soul last night and am happy to report, based on my anecdotal sample of three, that it was pretty terrific. Especially in light of the multiple closings this month. Vibe was unpretentious, food (proper fried chicken) quite tasty, prices reasonable, Orpheus on draft, and staff learning the ropes but seemingly eager to please. Decent crowd materializing by early evening.

    They’ve got the mojo in place to be a solid addition to the neighborhood. All the best to ’em.

        1. Fear not. Recognizing that families besides your own are the Devil incarnate is the first step towards sound fiscal discipline. 😉

        2. One of the houses under construction is being built by a couple whose children have already gone through the school system. Thus, they will be a revenue+ household.

  7. I have been summoned for DeKalb Co jury duty 4 times since 2006. Every two years seems like a lot – is this typical?

    1. That’s been my experience too. It used to be once in a blue moon that I got summoned but the process must have gotten automated and now it actually works. The good news lately is that, once summoned, I’ve either called in the night before to find out that I’m not needed or I’ve shown up, not been picked, and gone home after 1 day. Used to be that I was often picked for a jury. Of course, I’ve been gradually changing demographics and that could have something to do with my likelihood of being picked….

    2. On one of my repeat visits I checked with the clerk and my name was on the list multiple times. She removed the duplicates and it worked …

      1. Same here. I called to see what was up and they found that I was on multiple lists. Haven’t been called in since.

      2. Did the same thing after I was called twice within 6 months. Was told to write duplicate on the notice and send it back (I would not advise doing this without calling first). The person I spoke to said that they get names from several lists.

  8. There are some interesting Christmas lights around the neighborhood. My favorite so far is the traffic-stopper on both sides of McLendon near Lake Claire Park.

    Thanks, COD and Decatur Active Living, for repainting the Sharrows near the Post Office!

    1. We love working with Public Works and the city engineer to get things done! Glad you like the newly painted sharrows.

  9. One final pre-Christmas shout out to Decatur Boxing – they have a 1 month gift certificate for
    $ 59 that would make a great stocking stuffer or present. Not going to find a more authentic boxing experience. Classes are welcoming and great for all skill levels. Highly recommend!

  10. So what happens to DeKalb County Gov’t after all of these “new cities” are created? Where will they get their lost revenue from? How much will this hurt the already hurting services (schools, police, landscaping, etc.)?

    1. These cities will continue to use DeKalb for everything but local land use decisions. If the cities later create their own police force, etc., DeKalb’s police force will shrink so there will be a reduction in expenses (although it won’t be dollar for dollar as DeKalb will hang onto its bloated bureaucracy – DeKalb County govt and school system are jobs programs after all). Presently these cities can’t form their own school systems.

      1. Presently.

        I fully expect the state legislature to allow these little secessionist blocs to have their own school systems by 2020.

        1. That will be interesting. As CSD knows, it’s tricky doing excellent education, for all types of students, meeting all legal mandates, on a small scale, on dwindling state funding. It takes incredibly dedicated staff and teachers, incredibly involved families and parents, die hard supporters willing to pay high community taxes, and plain good luck like the generational move to live ITP instead of further OTP, to work. Not to mention many controversies and the dramas that go with them. CSD has had years and years to get it right and to survive the occasional failures in one area or another. As a parent, I’d be real nervous being part of a new experiment because your own kids’ trajectory in school could be shorter than the time it takes for a solid school system to be built. Even when I haven’t liked a particular CSD decision, I’ve known there was enough forward momentum and institutional experience to carry us through it.

          Whatever happens, I wish all the students the best. They only have one chance to be in any particular stage of school.

  11. We’re taking the kids to Disney for the first time in Feb and could use advice on where to stay. On-site versus off? Any particular hotels? Any Disney advice in general? Money-saving advice? Thanks folks.

    1. If you want to save money, just don’t go. Sad but true — Disney is crazy expensive. I would think that by going in Feb, you’re hitting relatively low seasonal rates.

      But I have to say, the level of service there is pretty damn impressive.

    2. I highly recommend using a travel agent that specializes in Disney. They get paid by Disney and don’t cost you anything. There is so much to do and so many ways to plan your trip that it helps to have someone that knows it all and can make recommendations tailored to your situation. I have used Small World Vacations and have been really pleased with them. There are ways to save money at Disney and going in February will help because it is one of the slower seasons. As a result you will get lower (for Disney) prices at on-property hotels and they may offer deals on hotel + ticket packages. A travel agent can help you book your reservations now and then re-book you when deal are announced if they are to your benefit. And I’m not a travel agent; my family just loves Disney! 🙂

      1. AAA helped us with our last visit, and they were great. I always recommend staying on property — you pay a premium, but the convenience and service are worth it.

          1. They helped us book everything all at once — lodging, meals, transportation. They got us discounted rates and threw in some “extras”. Lots of help with dining plans for the kids. Also, great follow up contact to see how else they could help.

        1. +1 to “you pay a premium, but the convenience and service are worth it.”

          I guess one money-saving tip is to exercise restraint in response to the constant barrage of impulse purchase opportunities. Everywhere you go, they’re taking photos of you which they want to sell to you for premium prices. And of course every ride ends with a required walk through a gift shop.

          It’s also super easy to overspend on food and drinks with the Magic Band, since with the touch of your wrist to a sensor, you can charge anything and everything to your account. The drinks and snacks can really add up fast.

    3. If you stay at a Disney property in a unit with a kitchen, Garden Grocer will deliver to your hotel. If your flight is late or you’re stuck in traffic, Disney will store your food (including refrigerating perishables) until you get there.

      The food at Disney is unbelievably expensive, and the quality, while better than what I remember as a child, isn’t spectacular. The lower end restaurants are fast food, and the higher end restaurants are “small town/convention center fancy.” I’d try to eat at the very least breakfast and probably also the evening meal in the room.

      1. Food is hit or miss. If you want to eat well at dinner time, go to Epcot. But again, you’ll pay for it.

    4. I would recommend to go in September. There were no lines at all and the early halloween stuff was fun. I have read that the week around Presidents day is a busy week for the park. We split between a “HOTEL-CONDO” resort by sea world and the Beach Club on resort. The 1200 sq condo was less per night and awesome. The hotel was too tight for all of us. The on campus food is 2x or 3x what it is worth. IF we do it again, we will stay off campus.

      1. +1 for the Fall–the Halloween stuff in October is fun (but you pay extra for those nights). If you go in early November, you’ll have the place to yourselves and the weather’s perfect.

        The convenience of the monorail at the three resorts that it services is great–or the boats from Wilderness Lodge–but they cost more. We’ve done the cheapest hotel and the most expensive and had a great time every time. Check to see which ones are being refurbished before you book.

        I have a good friend who’s a Disney travel agent ( who will take good care of you–down to making dinner reservations (which have to be made months in advance for anything other than pizza and burgers–it’s ridiculous…)

    5. If you have any family connection with the uniformed services, Shades of Green is an almost-Disney resort that is walkable to the Polynesian Resort and monorail. It is remarkably reasonable given its location, level of service, lack of crowds, and full amenities like pools, bus transport, ticket office, etc.

    6. We stayed once at a Disney resort and once at a regular hotel (we were going to Universal and Legoland too). Both were fine. We picked a hotel near Legoland and drove to the other 2 parks and it was fine.

      The time we stayed at a Disney resort we stayed in a cabin at Fort Wilderness: sleeps up to 6 and has a little kitchen. Plus, there are deer in the park and canoeing and campfire events although our stay was only 3 days we did not take advantage of any of the fort Wilderness events. It was a cute little cabin, very clean, and having a kitchen was a real plus (especially since the food at Disney isn’t that great.)

    7. We go often and enjoy it. If you are going during the feb break plan to do something else on president’s day cause the locals crowd the parks. End of that week (thurs-Sun) should be pretty empty UNLESS Mardi Gras corresponds that week. Then all the LA families hit the road and all of WDW is packed. We’ve stayed both on and off site can recommend places for both – if young kids definitely hit up All Star Movies or Pop Century on site. We go at least twice a year, if you want to shoot me an email at fC.checkmail at gmail I’ll give you all our hotel rec’s and ways we save money, plus fun places to go and affordable ways to eat (plus the best quick service restaurant at WDW) We stopped tracking, but with all the times I went as a kid and now with kids, have gone over 30 times. Happy to share info and planning sites

    8. This might be helpful also:

  12. Can the City or DeKalb County Water please fix the street at the intersection of Sycamore & Fairview? The water main was supposedly fixed a month and a half ago; but still just gravel. Where is the asphalt?

    1. I delivered with midwife Judith Cox at Atlanta Obstetrics and Gyn at Piedmont. Worth the drive to Piedmont in my opinion.

      1. Another thumbs up for this practice and for Piedmont Hospital. Georgia is not the most advanced state when it comes to patient-centered, less medicalized childbirth. Until a few years ago, there was only one freestanding birthing center and it wasn’t anywhere near Atlanta. I think there’s still just one in Metro Atlanta. Therefore, midwives are a great choice if you want to go as natural as your childbirth will allow. In Georgia, midwives have to practice with a licensed physician so you have physician back-up if needed.

  13. Does anyone know a local place with a large selection of charms for a charm bracelet (the link kind, not the slide-on Pandora kind). Decatur-area would be great, but I’d settle for somewhere across town. Thanks!

    1. James Avery has lots of charms. Their closest location is the Forum on Peachtree Parkway – check out their website first to see if worth the trek. They also do beautiful gift wrapping.

  14. Anyone looking for something fun to do on New Years Eve should check out Dance Hall Decatur at the Old Court House. It’s not only a bargain at $35 a head ($25 for DeKalb History Center members) but it’s family friendly as well. There will be a DJ, hors d’ouevres, dessert, and a couple of drink tickets included in the price of admission. Check out the DeKalb History Center’s website for more information and advance tickets.

    1. Sport Motoring on Ponce, just east of the strip club, specializes in BMW repairs. So does Quantum Mechanics on Talley St, near the public works building. I’ve enjoyed excellent, courteous service and solid workmanship from both.

    2. I have used Munich West for close to 20 years. They are not the lowest price but a lot of experience with BMW. I also have used Femm Auto Care in Tucker. They also work on a lot of BMW. I currently drive a ’01 330Ci.

  15. State legislature has drawn the map for Tucker and Lavista Hills. Northlake split between the two.

  16. I spotted two coyotes at 8:50 PM tonight (12/19/14) in the Sycamore Ridge neighborhood in NE Decatur walking along Pinehurst St. and crossing Winn Way. Coyotes have visited our neighborhood in the past, but it has been a couple of years, to my knowledge. Keep your cats and small dogs inside at night during the holidays!

    1. Just because you haven’t seen the coyotes doesn’t mean they weren’t there. I wrote a story about coyotes a few years ago for another online publication, and was told that coyotes live in all urban areas within metro Atlanta. They are nocturnal and shy. I’ve lived here for 23 years and have never seen one, but I know they live in my neighborhood.

    2. We saw two coyotes off Sycamore on our way to school last spring. Beautiful animals. Same coyotes I wonder?

  17. Dos Madres was great! Particularly loved the margarita (no syrup) and guac. So glad to have them in the ‘hood.

  18. Can someone please fill me in on the issue with the trees at the Oakhurst dog park? The beautiful banner has me wondering what’s up. thanks

    1. The Boys’ and Girls’ Club, which owns the dog park but leases it to the city, is looking to divide the property and sell the wooded piece to an interested developer. Decaturish had a post recently-ish about it

  19. I highly recommend the hot cider with rum, honey, and lemon at Victory for a bad cold. There are times when I feel so at home in Decatur.

  20. SWAT team on the 11 Alive news at Oakvale Road and River Road in Decatur. Time for people in 30030 to get outraged about the reporting. How dare they call 30034 Decatur?

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