Wednesday, September 30, 2015

A report on DeKalb County Corruption is calling on Interim CEO Lee May to resign.


A report released Wednesday alleging he violated the public's trust called for interim DeKalb Co. CEO Lee May to resign.
The investigation stems from an FBI inquiry into whether a company won a county contract in return for a contribution.
“Appalling corruption and a stunning absence of leadership in the DeKalb County government are a disgrace to its citizens and an embarrassment to our state,” the report said.
Former GA Attorney General Mike Bowers and his lead investigator Richard Hyde, said officials "delayed and impeded the truth seeking process" from the start of the report.
In at least two instances, the report said, "May and others in the administration conspired to actively block our efforts."
Bowers and Hyde specifically cited an instance where the moved up the investigators' deadline from Oct. 6 to August 26.
After the investigators said they couldn't finish the report by that date, Bowers and Hyde said May tried to terminate it. In fact, the strongly-worded, 40-page report is based only on info gathered before that "fabricated" deadline.
"It's a bad situation, it needs strong words," Bowers told CBS46.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Big Yard Sale in Decatur


THE YARD SALE at First Baptist Church Decatur at the corner of Clairemont and Commerce

Oct. 1, 2 and 3
The sale begins at 8 a.m. on Thursday morning, Oct. 1

First Baptist Church Decatur at the corner of Clairemont and Commerce

This annual Decatur yard sale tradition—since 1995— will be held again this fall at First Baptist Church Decatur. All proceeds from the stuff you buy funds special projects that help people.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Math Playdate at Little Shop of Stories Oct. 11

Math Playdate at Little Shop of Stories

From: Leslie Gilbert


My name is Leslie Gilbert and I am a resident of Decatur, a mother of two, and an enthusiastic math educator!

As a math teacher, I've been working to help parents support PreK-3 math learning in their homes. I have a couple of projects that would be of interest to Decatur residents. I would appreciate a moment of your time to tell you more about them. I'm happy to provide a little summary or whatever would be most helpful.

Math Playdate at Little Shop:
First, I'm delighted to be partnering with Little Shop of Stories to run a free math playdate there on October 11. It's like storytime, but math stories, games, and crafts!

More about the playdate >

Secondly, I have teamed up with another Oakhurst mom who is a designer to create a product called MathKit. MathKit is a research-based learning system for K-3, made to help parents support addition and subtraction learning at home.

MathKit comes with a set of 10 hands-on games and learning tools. It provides welcome help and structure for families who want to build a strong math background for their kids, but don't know where to start.

I am also passionate about supporting girls in STEM, and while MathKit is for all children, it is particularly focused on ways to build girls' confidence and skills.

More about MathKit >
More about the research behind MathKit >
More about the Oakhurst moms who made MathKit together >
More about MathKit and girls in STEM here and here

Thank you so much for your time. Feel free to call or email. I would love to tell you more about these projects, and how they can help Decatur families!

Learn more at below links


Leslie Gilbert
Founder of MathKit, LLC.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Serenity Charity Screening at The Plaza Theatre Sunday Sept. 27

The ever-generous Plaza Theatre has offered to donate a ticket to a future film (1 per person, $12 value) for each attendee who brings canned food donations. So, essentially, showing up for this charity drive and cleaning out your pantry pays for itself!! Come on out, and see what the spirit of Atlanta is all about while having a wonderful time!

For Sydney Rhame Fans

From her facebook page

So proud of all my friends on ‪#‎TheVoice‬ so far! Ya'll please keep watching and tuning in every Monday and Tuesday. I wish I knew which episode I'll be on but I don't. Thanks again for all of the support and the love! It's truly overwhelming!

Las Brasas Restaurant will Open this Saturday

This popular chicken joint which was located at 310 Howard Ave for several years is opening at their new location 614 Church Street Decatur this Saturday.

Three Local Breweries have been named Top Beer Destinations.

Decatur, Avondale Estates Breweries Makes Top List

Three local breweries have been named top beer destinations.

Three breweries in Decatur and Avondale Estates have been named to EaterAtlanta’s top 10 local beer destinations.

Blue Tarp opened in December 2012, and recently started canning beers. The brewery is open for tastings and tours on Saturday from 3:30-7:30pm.

Three Taverns specializes in Belgian-inspired beers. Its parlor is open for tours and samples of beers Thursday and Friday from 5:30-9 pm and Saturday and Sunday from 1-5pm.

Wild Heaven in Avondale Estates launched in 2010. Its tasting room is open on Thursday and Friday from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Saturday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

WILLY'S 20 Years and Still Rolling!

 Atlanta-based Willy's Mexicana Grill has signed leases for two new locations.  Each location will make use of a former restaurant.  Consequently, each location is slated to open soon. Willy's will open a new location in Roswell and will add a second location in Kennesaw. 

In Kennesaw, Willy's will open in place of Ray's Pizza on Chastain Road at The Village at Townpark.  This marks the second time that Willy's has taken over a former Ray's, having previously opened in the the former Ray's at Sandy Springs Plaza on Roswell Road in Sandy Springs. The Kennesaw location is 2,986 square feet and should open in late October.  Willy's already operates a Kennesaw location on Barrett Parkway at Cobb Place shopping center. 

In Roswell, Willy's will do something rather extraordinary: they will open in a soon-to-be-vacated Moe's Southwest Grill. The local Moe's franchisee has apparently found what he considers a better location about a mile away, and will reopen there soon.  The existing Moe's space is about 2,500 square feet and is located on West Crossville Road in Stonebridge Station, across the street from the Trader Joe's-anchored Roswell Crossing center.  Willy's plans to be open in Roswell by late November. 

The West Paces Ferry Road Willy's recently reopened after an extensive remodel that brought the popular location many of the design elements in the new Druid Hills and Brookhaven locations.


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Decatur Police Dept. Drug Take-Back initiative this Saturday, September 26, 2015

The Decatur Police Department will be participating in the DEA National Prescription Drug Take-Back initiative

Drug Take-Back: Saturday, September 26th

 by Lt. Jennifer S. Ross

The Decatur Police Department will be participating in the DEA National Prescription Drug Take-Back initiative this Saturday, September 26, 2015 between 10am-2pm. The Drug Take-Back initiative is an opportunity for you to safely dispose of any unwanted, unneeded or expired prescription drugs.  It is important to safely dispose of prescription medications so they are not targeted for theft, accessible to youth or disposed of into the water supply or trash where they can harm the environment, animals or end up in the wrong hands.

We will be collecting in front of the police department, located at 420 West Trinity Place, Decatur, GA 30030, so you can just drive up and drop off.
photo credit

Decatur MARTA overpass to receive a grant for the creation of a mural.


The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) has chosen the

The overpass is located at the intersection of W. Trinity and Atlanta avenues.

According to a statement from MARTA:
“The Decatur MARTA overpass bisects several diverse communities while sheltering children waiting for school buses, as well as neighbors and employees walking and riding bikes. Many cars traverse the corridor daily, and thousands of citizens from all over the Atlanta Region ride the Blue Line MARTA train across the overpass every day. In essence, it creates a gateway into these economically and racially diverse communities and provides an opportunity for real connections through meaningful art on this large, durable concrete canvas.

“The MARTA overpass mural will create neighborhood connections and an exceptional art form that is reflective of the revitalization and vibrancy of this historical community in downtown Decatur.”

The grant is part of a series that were awarded by ARC to create the Atlanta Regional Public Art Program.
Decatur MARTA overpass to receive a grant for the creation of a mural.

photo credit: google maps

Monday, September 21, 2015

Atlanta area Schools Looking into Doing away with makeup Snow Days

 Gwinnett county is the first to look into this. Other counties may follow.
 The novelty of a traditional snow day may be coming to an end in Gwinnett County Public Schools. Gwinnett County Public Schools CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks said Thursday that the school district is considering utilizing its eCLASS digital curriculum component during a period of prolonged inclement weather.
That would allow the district to avoid adding makeup days at the end of the school year, or adding time to a school day. Wilbanks admitted there’s a “good bit of buzz” going around about “cyber day,” and if it’s possible to execute, he figured a lot of people would be happy.
“There may be the opportunity if we have inclement weather days to continue with instruction pretty much as we are,” Wilbanks said. “Now that’s not saying that there will be 100 percent. There are some families that don’t have Internet connections, so we’ll have to take care of that.” The district each year typically builds into the calendar three inclement weather makeup days in February, March and April.
“If we have to close a week, that exceeds the days and then it starts running into spring break and everything, that people have bought tickets to Honolulu and other places,” Wilbanks said. “It’s hard to make them up, so we are looking to do that. … I don’t know if we’re ready for that today. I’m not sure it’s entrenched enough, but hopefully we will be by the time the snow days generally occur.”

Decatur's Sydney Rhame on the Season Premiere of “The Voice” Tonight

Here is Sydney in 2010 at Earth Day in Oakhurst ---

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Downtown DeKalb Idea Closer to a Reality

Atlanta United FC will construct a 3,500-seat stadium, three practice soccer fields and a two-story corporate headquarters on 41 acres of government land near Memorial Drive and I-285. An indoor training facility and additional fields may be built later. The team will play its first season in 2017 in the new stadium being built for the Falcons in downtown Atlanta. Credit: Atlanta United FC

A concept for a Downtown DeKalb development near Memorial Drive calls for converting the county jail into an office or apartments and building a convention center, concert hall, hotel, recreation complex and 20-story government office tower alongside Atlanta United’s planned soccer headquarters.

DeKalb is taking bids from architectural design firms to create a master plan for the area, an early step toward bringing the Downtown DeKalb idea closer to a reality. The county asked contractors to submit quotes under $50,000 by Friday.
Interim DeKalb CEO Lee May highlighted the idea of relocating the county’s government operations from Decatur in his State of the County address earlier this year. The government tower would house more than 3,000 employees and anchor the Downtown DeKalb development, according to county bid documents.
The master plan should envision a “live-work-play urban mixed use district” covering about 150 acres of government land near the DeKalb Jail and Interstate 285, according to the documents.

The area could also include a square with fountains, retail, apartments, office space, parks and a movie theater.

The only part of the development that’s been approved so far is Atlanta United’s facility.

The soccer team agreed to locate its headquarters, a 3,500-seat stadium and several practice fields on the site last month, and the DeKalb Commission approved incentives for the team worth more than $12 million.

Kirkwood Wine Stroll on Friday, September 25th


The Kirkwood Business Association is holding its 9th annual Kirkwood Wine Stroll on Friday, September 25th in the historic Kirkwood neighborhood. Visit the many adorable shops, unique galleries and amazing restaurants that are making Kirkwood a destination location! Also enjoy a beautiful night of music with three local acoustic and light rock bands performing throughout the night. A variety of businesses in Kirkwood will be participating in the stroll which will enable you to sample wines from around the world in each of the participating locations.
The wine tasting portion of the event will end at 9:30pm and the street party will continue until 11:00pm. All wine tasting guests must be 21 and older with valid ID. Tastings are while supplies last only.
You will receive a souvenir wine glass and program with each ticket that is purchased. Tickets are limited and may sell-out in advance.
GA Ticket:
  • Souvenir Wine Glass
  • Wine tasting from 6:30pm - 9:30pm
  • Live Music
Early Bird Ticket: $30 (On Sale from 8//7 until 8/14)
Regular Ticket: $40 (On Sale from 8/15 until 9/10)
Late Ticket: $50 (On Sale from 9/11 until 9/24)
Day of Event Ticket: $60 (IF AVAILABLE)
VIP Ticket:
  • Souvenir Wine Glass
  • Exclusive selection of premium wines
  • Two catered VIP Only lounges
  • VIP Restrooms
Early Bird VIP Ticket: $50 (Sale from 8//7 until 8/14)
Regular VIP Ticket: $60(On Sale from 8/15 until 9/10)
Late VIP Ticket: $70 (On Sale from 9/11 until 9/24)
Day of Event VIP Ticket: $80 (IF AVAILABLE)

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Atlanta Warbird Weekend Photos

A reenactment of a Bob Hope Show (including Hollywood starlets) entertaining the troops.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

B-17 “Memphis Belle” Joins Atlanta Warbird Weekend Lineup at PDK this Week-end

 “Memphis Belle,” will join dozens of WWII warbirds on the tarmac at Dekalb-Peachtree Airport Sept. 12-13 for the Commemorative Air Force Dixie Wing 2015 CAF Atlanta Warbird Weekend. The B-17 will be available for photos and tours, along with other vintage aircraft including a fleet of P-51 Mustangs, British RAF Spitfire, German FW-190, Stearman biplane; a DC-3 and other famous WWII aircraft. 

The event is FREE but it will cost you  $10.00 to Park.

B-17 Joins CAF Atlanta Warbird Weekend Lineup, Along With Family Fun Activities

Families will enjoy activities provided by Zoo Atlanta, Atlanta History Center and the Museum of Aviation History in Macon. WWII veterans will discuss their experiences at a series of “Warbirds in Review” sessions. Military reenactors will display their uniforms and equipment, and the Dixie Wing PX will offer souvenirs, including authentic military dogtags.
WWII pilot Bud Anderson will captivate this year’s audience as guest speaker for the Atlanta Warbird Weekend’s “Dinner with an Ace,” at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12 at the 57th Fighter Group restaurant, Dekalb-Peachtree Airport. Tickets are $125 for this limited seating event, which was sold out last year. This is a rare opportunity to hear first-hand about WWII from one of the dwindling number of heroes who flew the aircraft and experienced the battles.
“This weekend is dedicated to the remembrance and celebration of the men, women and machines of the Greatest Generation,” said Jay Bess, program coordinator. “AWW is a catalyst that brings together organizations, aircraft and people to keep this history alive, and to engage the public and businesses to preserve the spirit of America’s shared past.

“Our goal is to create “hands-on” history that brings the era alive and inspires in a way that goes beyond textbook learning,” Bess said. CAF “This event helps us fulfill that mission, increases awareness of the Commemorative Air Force in Atlanta and raises much-needed funds for restoration and preservation of our historic aircraft.”
“Memphis Belle,” will join dozens of WWII warbirds on the tarmac at Dekalb-Peachtree Airport Sept. 12-13 for the Commemorative Air Force Dixie Wing 2015 CAF Atlanta Warbird Weekend. The B-17 will be available for photos and tours, along with other vintage aircraft including a fleet of P-51 Mustangs, British RAF Spitfire, German FW-190, Stearman biplane; a DC-3 and other famous WWII aircraft. Atlanta Warbird Weekend is open free to the public from 10 4 p.m. each day. All of the planes will be on display and rides will be available in the Dixie Wing’s P-51, Douglas SBD-5 dive bomber, LT-6 Mosquito, PT-26, and DC-3, among others.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Macy's will close 35 to 40 Underperforming Stores

   Will Macy's at North Dekalb Shopping center in Decatur Ga. make the cut?

The stores, slated to be shuttered in early 2016, will be identified at a later date, said the company with corporate offices in Cincinnati and New York.

Macy's will close 35 to 40 underperforming stores, around 5% of its total locations, the department store chain announced Tuesday.
The stores, slated to be shuttered in early 2016, will be identified at a later date, said the company with corporate offices in Cincinnati and New York.

Annual sales volume at the stores, "net of sales expected to be retained in nearby stores and online," as the company puts it in a statement, is expected to be about $300 million. That would represent about 1 percent of total Macy's sales, the company said.

The closures are a bold move: Macy's has closed a net total of 40 stores over the past five years. CEO Terry Lundgren said the retailer will remain a major store operator, but noted the change comes as shoppers alter their habits, buying more merchandise online.

There are now 770 Macy's stores in 45 states. Over the past five years, 52 stores have been closed and 12 new ones opened, the company (ticker M) said.

Lundgren called brick-and-mortar stores "absolutely vital" to the brand.

"As new shopping centers are opened, however," he said in a statement, "many customers change their shopping habits and often the sales volume of a store gets divided among the new and nearby, existing centers. Each year, we prune some stores that are our weakest performers so that we can concentrate our resources on the best locations and maintain a strong physical presence."

At the same time the company opens a "small number" of new stores "to fill gaps in our market coverage or where we have outstanding real estate opportunities," he said.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Third Annual Open Streets to return to Emory Village Sept 20

 Open Streets is free and open to the public. The family and pedestrian-friendly event is presented by the Emory Village Alliance and DeKalb County

The circus is coming to the third Annual Open Streets DeKalb at Emory Village. And high school bands,  drummers, a bouncy house and waterslide, a cappella and choral music, face painting, tasty treats from Village businesses, and more. New this year will be a giant climbing wall and a “Best in Show” dog contest.

 Neighbors, students and street performers will reclaim the streets between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. when North Decatur Road will be closed to vehicular traffic  from the roundabout at the intersection of North Decatur and Oxford roads to Lullwater roundabout, and on north Oxford Road from the roundabout to Clifton Road.  Both roundabouts will remain open.

Open Streets is free and open to the public. The family and pedestrian-friendly event is presented by the Emory Village Alliance and DeKalb County
Sponsors include the Imperial OPA Circus, Lisa Hill Photography, Emory University, the Druid Hills Civic Association, John Oxford of State Farm Insurance, Niki Paris and Kevin Steward of Paris and Associates, Nicole Davis of Coldwell Bankers, RisenDine,  Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church, Earthfare, Saba, PressBox, Slice and Pint, Majik Touch Cleaners, Ali’s Cookies, Thomas Winn of Keller Williams, Tori Winn Interiors, and Nathan Hartman.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Could Buford Hwy Become a Leafy Pedestrian Paradise

Buford Hwy's Alter Ego: Buford Blvd, Leafy Pedestrian Paradise
photo credit atlanta curbed

Some residents would be thrilled if police could just control crime and gang activity around Buford Highway, but Brookhaven has bigger ideas. According to a plan presented to city council earlier this month, the city would like to turn its part of the six-lane, vegetation-devoid highway into a lovely pedestrian-friendly boulevard chock full o' bike lanes, trees, multi-use paths, mixed-use developments and new businesses. The grand vision is outlined in a report prepared by the Jaeger Company and Urban Partners and is expected to be adopted starting next month. In addition to the physical changes, the plan proposes that the Brookhaven portion of the street be renamed Buford Boulevard to really drive home those improvements and ditch the negative connotations of "Buford Highway."
Read more
photo credit:

Saturday, September 5, 2015

The DeKalb County Board of Health has asked the city to share the following information:

The DeKalb County Board of Health has asked the city to share the following information: 

A mosquito collection from a DeKalb County Board of Health’s sampling station which is located in Decatur has been reported as positive for West Nile virus (WNV).
While most people infected with West Nile virus have no symptoms or experience mild flu-like symptoms, the virus potentially can cause serious and sometimes fatal illness. The chance that any one person is going to become ill from a single mosquito bite is low. The risk of severe illness and death is highest for people over 50 years old, although people of all ages can become ill.
The easiest and best way to avoid West Nile virus is to prevent mosquito bites. While the potential for WNV transmission exists throughout the metro area, this WNV positive collection does indicate a higher risk at this time in this area. Please remember to use the following precautions and remind your neighbors, friends and coworkers to do the same.
•    Apply insect repellent. DEET (N, N-diethyl-meta-toluamide), picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus and IR3535 are effective repellents recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For more information, please see:
•    When possible, wear long sleeves, long pants and socks. Clothing may also be treated with permethrin.
•    Use extra care when mosquitoes are most active, particularly from dusk to dawn.
The DeKalb County Board of Health is aggressively working to prevent West Nile virus transmission. Program technicians will be in the area providing additional mosquito control services including applying larvicide and investigating for mosquito breeding sites. This will keep mosquito larvae from developing into flying biting insects.
Along with the larvicide treatment, it is important to eliminate any containers and other removable breeding sites which may hold water for five or more days. Some items such as bird baths can be dumped and rinsed twice a week, but do need continual attention. Also, gutters should be cleaned and checked to make sure they drain properly.
For more information about West Nile virus, refer to the following web sites:
Contact the Division of Environmental Health (404-508-7900) with any questions or concerns on this matter.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Smith’s Olde Bar granted lease extension through end of 2015

            Will Smith’s Olde Bar Move to Decatur after Lease Ends ?

“There are some new developments in town that have approached us about if we leave, they’d love to have Smith’s. There’s a chance we’d go to Decatur. But that’s all speculation,”



The beat goes on for Smith’s Olde Bar – at least until the end of the year.

The watering hole/music venue/restaurant was threatened with vacating its Atlanta strip mall locale, where it has hosted hundreds of concerts for 23 years, when the property was put up for auction Aug. 28.

But prior to that deadline, Dan Nolen, owner-operator of the venue on Piedmont Avenue in Morningside, was able to renegotiate with the current landlord, the family of original owner Beverly Taylor, to keep Smith’s and Nolen-Reeves Music office intact until at least Jan. 1. Taylor passed away earlier this year at the age of 97.

“Our whole thing was to stay there long enough, assuming the building sells, to see if whoever our new landlords are will be interested in keeping Smith’s,” Nolen said Wednesday afternoon. “We haven’t heard yet if anyone has bought it, so we’re doing a wait and see, paying our rent and serving up a good time.”
Nolen said when news of the possible eviction became public in July, he was contacted by “at least” five different groups of developers who expressed interest in the property, but only if Smith’s would remain.

“We’ve certainly got our fans. We have a 23-year track record that we want to keep going forever,” Nolen said.

While he isn’t anticipating a move in 2016, should the new owners have other plans for the property, a historic building that is believed to be the first strip mall in Atlanta, Nolen has some ideas.

“There are some new developments in town that have approached us about if we leave, they’d love to have Smith’s. There’s a chance we’d go to Decatur. But that’s all speculation,” Nolen said. “Moving Smith’s would be like moving the Alamo! I’ve got a third of my life invested here. People have met their spouses here. We’ve helped bands achieve superstardom here. It would be very hard to take what we’ve got and duplicate it. But I don’t anticipate that being the case.”

Indeed, of the countless bands that have performed at Smith’s, many have escalated to great acclaim, including Kings of Leon, which played its first official show as a band at the venue, John Mayer and Widespread Panic.
Nolen expects the new owners to be in place by November, at which point he will negotiate a new lease to solidify the future of the venue.

“Right is might and we prevailed,” he said. “We’re staying and hope that we’re here for a long time to come.”

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Toco Hills to Welcome Taziki's

Taziki's is coming to Toco Hills

Birmingham, Alabama-based Taziki's Mediterranean Cafe plans to open a new location at Toco Hills Promenade. The Mediterranean eatery will open in the former Uncle Maddio's Pizza Joint at the Publix-anchored center on North Druid Hills Road.  Uncle Maddio's at Toco Hills was the now chain's first location when it opened in 2009.  As I reported in April, the restaurant closed due to a reported "30% rent increase."   

Ironically, Taziki's will mark the return of "Mediterranean fare" to the 3,551 square foot space at Toco Hills.  Prior to Uncle Maddio's Pizza Joint, Mama Fu's Asian House, and some other random Asian eatery, the space was for many years home to Gyro Wrap.  Gyro Wrap, today known as Great Wraps, is Atlanta-based and known for their "Mediterranean inspired menu."  This location was a favorite of my family's in the 90s. 

Taziki's entered metro Atlanta in 2012 with a location in Sandy Springs at the  "Glenridge Springs" development, near the Haverty's building. Taziki's added a location on Windward Parkway in Alpharetta in late 2013. Last spring, the chain opened in Athens in the Bottleworks on Prince Avenue. 
photo credit:

Remembering Horton's at Emory Village