Mutts’ Creator Patrick McDonnell Coming to DBF

31 07 2008

I’m surprised the Decatur Book Festival hasn’t done more to promote Patrick McDonnell’s appearance.  I know a lot of people, including myself, that love his daily comic strip Mutts.  (Though I’m sure everyone says that about their favorite authors in attendance)

Perhaps its because its a kid-focused event?  According to the DBF’s official calendar its looks like he’s scheduled to discuss his new book “South” on the Target children’s stage at noon Sunday.

I wonder if I can borrow someone’s kids for 30 minutes so I can attend. 🙂

This isn’t from a press release…just a random discovery of mine…

Restaurant Saturation?

31 07 2008

There’s a great little interview over on the AJC with Decatur Mellow Mushroom owner, Dave Kieffer today. The Q&A covers a lot of ground, from “Why Decatur?” to an explanation of why this particular Mellow Mushroom location has so many horror movie posters on its walls and tables. It’s a great read, especially for those that enjoy the “spring water dough” as much as I do.

However, there was one question in particular that caught my attention.

Immediately after asking Kieffer his first question, “Why Decatur?”, the AJC’s Jon Waterhouse asked him “Do you think downtown Decatur is reaching its peak of restaurant saturation?”

An interesting question for a rather established restaurant owner don’t you think? It would make more contextual sense if Kieffer was brand-spanking new to the area. But he’s not. So to me, it says more about the interviewer than the interviewee. It seems to expose the opinion among Atlanta foodies that Decatur has gotten a little TOO restaurant happy.

What do you think? Does choosing a place for dinner in town give you the hives due to the multitude of options? Is it a bad thing that the city has so many restaurant options and so few utilitarian stores (grocery, hardware…)? If so, then what can be done about it? Or is it just a result of the makeup of the Atlanta metro area? (…meaning big box stores have closed down all the local, more utilitarian shops…so independents are limited to food and drink, clothing and niche products)

I open the virtual floor to your thoughts.

315 W. Ponce Planning Commission Meeting Deferred

31 07 2008


The developer, JLB Partners, has requested that their appearance before the Planning Commission be deferred until after the determination of the Zoning Board of Appeals with respect to their application for variance. This means that they will appear at the NEXT Planning Commission meeting in September. The calendar of events for 315 West Ponce has been updated and the letter requesting the deferral is posted in the development’s files section.

This means that the next CRITICAL meeting date for this project will be:

August 11, 7:30pm – Zoning Board of Appeals (City Hall, 509 North McDonough)

Oakhurst Green Home Finished

31 07 2008

Looks like the Oakhurst Green Home is finally complete/nearing completion.

Episodes are scheduled to air on the hard-to-find “Planet Green” network next month (Aug 7th and 14th at 6pm). But since the episodes are on a network that I don’t subscribe to, plus I can’t find anything on Comcast “On Demand”, I guess I’ll have to satisfy my voyeur-tendencies with these pics from the AJC of Oakhurst’s newest landmark home.

Also, it seems the house (601 Third St.) has a blog (If I knew this at any point, I promptly forgot it) to view ongoing progress.

So, here’s my $64,000 question…does the house use more energy now (at 2,300 sq ft) than when it was just 900 sq. feet?

[photo courtesy of the AJC]

Decatur First Bank Now Offers CDARS and Eco-Banking

30 07 2008

VP of Decatur First Bank, Jack Regan, recently wrote in to let residents know that his bank now offers both CDARS (Certificate of Deposit Account Registry Service) and Eco-Banking.

It took me a bit to get my head around the CDARS service, but I think I get it now.

If you’ve got a cool $50 million hanging around (or anything over $100,000) and want it in FDIC-insured CDs, you no longer need to run around to a hundred different banks depositing $100,000 at each (which used to be the case).  Instead, the CDARS service (pronounced ‘cedars’) allows one bank to distribute your money amongst a network of “well-managed banks”.  So you get only one statement, one tax document, etc…  If I’m not making any sense, this BankRate article does a good job of describing the service.

Also Jack DFB is now offering “Eco-Banking” which includes online banking, e-statements, remote deposit, and 10 free ATM withdraws a month at ANY ATM.  Additionally, new customers will receive a free “Decatur Shops Green” tote bag!

Jack, let me know if I got all that right…

Stan Watson: Where the Hell Are You?

30 07 2008

In case you haven’t heard, Stan Watson has skipped another debate. This time leaving Burrell Ellis to debate himself.

So now he’s missed two debates and was late in filing his campaign contributions report! I don’t care if your campaign slogan is “Give that Decatur Metro guy $30 million dollars!”. Anyone that doesn’t have enough respect for their fellow citizens to show up for a public debate (twice!), has no business being in charge of ANYthing.

Vote Ellis…because we can’t actually prove that Stan Watson isn’t a cyborg.

315 West Ponce Dawn Redwoods Might Be in Jeopardy

30 07 2008

Trees As Seen in Winter - From Google Street View

Cherie has forwarded along a note from a landscape architect in the neighborhood who has contacted three separate arborists in regards to the four unique (and massive) Dawn Redwoods on the 315 W. Ponce property. The verdict seems to be that the 12 1/2 foot distance between the Redwoods and Building “B”, which fronts Ponce, isn’t enough and would eventually kill the trees.

Here’s the resident’s note followed by an arborist’s letter in the continuation….

Dear Commissioners,

In reviewing the documents for the proposed project located at 315 West Ponce de Leon Avenue, it has come to my attention that the 5 Dawn Redwood trees, located along the front plain of the existing Wachovia building, are in jeopardy as a result of the proposed nearby construction. As a Landscape Architect, I am familiar with basic protection measures which are recommended to insure long term survivability of trees in construction zones.

It is my understanding that the City is of the strong opinion that these 5 specimen trees are not to be damaged or killed. As recently as the July DDA meeting, the developer stated that the trees were safe. This is in doubt.My first hope is that the trees will be saved. Short of that goal, I want for the fate of the trees to be known up front.The proposed front building, Building “B”, is designed to be sited 12 1/2′ from the centerline of the tree trunks. My concern about this placement led me to meet with three certified arborists, all independent from one another, to learn their opinions about the survivability of these trees. The following report expresses the professional opinion of one of the arborists, saying that the trees will be severely compromised by construction and will not survive. Please read the report and let me know if you have any questions.Not included at this time are the other arborists’ analyses; however, their conclusions coincide with those of Mr. Morris.

Sincerely, [ed: Name has been withheld]

You’ll find the arborist’s letter after the jump…

Hmm…this is troubling…and it seems that at least one member of the city commission agrees. Commissioner Baskett replied to the landscape architect’s original note expressing his concern.

Personally I’ve never quite bought on to the idea of Building “B” anyway. While the rear building only covers a parking lot, building “B” replaces probably the best example of the modernist landscape in the town…and that includes those Redwoods.

Also, I still can’t picture building “B” not looking sort of cramped in front of the massive office building.

Should be interesting to see how this new wrench works its way thru the gears of the political system.

Stay tuned!

Read the rest of this entry »

Decatur Average Home Price Still on the Rise

29 07 2008

I found these interesting charts over on the city-data, that lists homes sales by quarter (instead of year like the AJC). While every single one of the following charts shows the total number of homes sold plummet, Decatur saw the average home price rise the past two quarters after a bit of a drop in Q4’07. Also note the steady upward trend.

To compare to neighboring zip codes, click the continuation… Read the rest of this entry »

City Commissioner Attendance

29 07 2008

Thru the first 15 city commission meetings this year, all of Decatur’s commissioners and the mayor have kept a great attendance record, according to the city’s meeting minutes.

Here’s the rundown…

Jim Baskett: Perfect Attendance

Mary Kemp: Perfect Attendance

Mayor Bill Floyd: 1 Absence

Fred Boykin: 1 Absence

Keisha Cunningham: 2 Absences

Hey…somebody’s gotta keep an eye on these things! 🙂

Beer Hydration

29 07 2008

I liked this…

Next Stop…Decatur has a pic of some innovative local marketing done by Fleet Feet Sports at one of the city’s most popular barrel tables.

Is there a proper way to pour Weihenstephaner into a water bottle?