Decatur General Election Tomorrow

5 11 2007

Vote Baskett or McNeely tomorrow (Nov. 6th) for Decatur Commissioner-at-Large at your local precinct.  Everyone else is running unopposed.  If you don’t know your precinct click here for Georgia’s poll locator  [hattip: InDecatur]

If you need some last minute info or the AJC voter’s guide didn’t really do it for you, check out pages 8 and 9 of this month’s Oakhurst Leaflet, which have more extensive discussions with the candidates on where they stand on the issues.

In my opinion, McNeely hasn’t done or said much to differentiate himself from the incumbent Baskett to make a compelling argument for change.

Decatur Wi-Fi Map and Instructions

1 11 2007

As reported a couple days ago, Decatur’s Wi-Fi service is now live. According to the city’s website the service will be in a Beta test period thru December. Until then service may be sporatic at times and email accounts won’t be available until after the Beta period is over. Click here for more details.

Below are the city’s access instructions and a current coverage area map.

How to Connect

1. Enable your wireless (WiFi) device.

2. Connect to the SSID “DecaturWiFiBETA”

3. Launch your internet browser.

4. You will be redirected to the login portal as pictured here.

Report your technical concerns to

Coverage Area Map


Map Legend

Blue/Green: Laptop coverage on street and possibly into the fronts of some buildings (-35 to-65)

Yellow: Laptop on street will most likely work (-65 to -85)

Orange: Marginal, if any, coverage (-85 to -100)

Gray: Outside coverage area

Is Sembler the Future of DeKalb?

28 10 2007

In its cover story for the week, CL uses the the Sembler project at Briarcliff/N. Druid Hills Rd to argue how DeKalb County has come to a crossroads in terms of future development. With more people looking to avoid the long commutes downtown, will DeKalb have to accommodate a larger population with more condos and fewer single family homes?  It’s already happening.  Older shopping centers with huge expanses of asphalt are ripe for development.

The article uses Decatur as an example of successful mixed use development.

“Compelling evidence (of mixed use development) lies just a few miles south of Briarcliff, in Decatur. With 19,000 residents packed into four square miles, the longtime county seat is the most densely developed city in Georgia. Surrounded by busy roads, it’s several minutes’ drive from a major highway, yet plans for new blocks of condominiums are welcomed and property values continue to soar.”

Though I certainly wouldn’t argue that Decatur is a successful example of mixed use, its not an apt comparison to the Sembler development, which would be created by a single company. Look to Atlantic Station or Sembler’s Edgewood development for what the future might hold for the Briarcliff intersection.

An excellent read.  Pick one up or click here.

Hattip: Decatur-DeKalb

Decatur Featured in US School Commute Exercise Program Article

26 10 2007

Washington Post

Amy Lovell and her 10-year-old son Allen arrive with his French horn on bicycles at Glennwood Academy (Washington Post)

Where do AP reporters go when they need a good example of kids walking and biking to school for a story about the Federal “Safe Routes to School” program? Decatur of course!

Washington Post

International Tribune

San Francisco Examiner

I think this “evergreen” AP story has been around for a couple weeks, since I recall seeing it in the local papers a few weeks ago. But now it seems its making the rounds amongst the big boys.

Water Fight: Atlanta vs. Everybody Else

23 10 2007

Mud Pit Photo Courtesy of the New York Times

What happens when people begin to fear the imminent depletion of a natural resource? Fisticuffs! (of sorts)

While the Governor Sonny Perdue has framed his fight for water against endangered mussels and the Army Corps of Engineers, actual human beings that live downstream are starting to pointing out to Atlanta politicians that there are more than just clams that depend on the water that is released from Lake Lanier.

Alabama’s governor has written a letter in opposition to Perdue’s request to the President that would force the Army Corps of Engineers to stop releasing water from the lake. In it, Gov. Bob Riley points out that the water released from Lanier isn’t just used to cool off the endangered mussels downstream, but also more vital human creations, like nuclear power plants.

Valdosta is also enraged by Perdue’s Atlanta-centric request. A scathing editorial in the Sunday Valdosta Times blames poorly planned Atlanta development for the impending water crisis…

“Gov. Sonny Perdue’s temper tantrums against the Army Corps of Engineers, the state of Florida and anyone else associated with not giving into his demands continued through the weekend, with meetings at Lake Lanier and declaring northern Georgia a disaster area Saturday to further enforce what everyone else has long known — Atlanta is a greedy, poorly designed behomoth of a city incapable of hearing the word “no” and dealing with it. ”

Read the full editorial here.

Hat Tip: Fresh Loaf

The Dalai Lama In His Own Words

22 10 2007

Vodpod videos no longer available.
The Emory Wheel has the video (see above) from an interview the Dalai Lama gave to the press on Sunday.

For anyone that hasn’t had the opportunity to hear the Dalai Lama speak or will not be able to attend this afternoon’s public talk at Centennial Olympic Park, this is a great way to get beyond the headlines and hear the man in his own words.

UPDATE: WABE interviewed Emory Wheel editor Chris Megerian about his experience interviewing the Dalai Lama in the video above. Click the audio steam below to listen.

Back to the headlines…

The AJC and AP report from the faculty ceremony this morning where the Dalai Lama was officially instated as a member of the Emory Faculty. During the ceremony, the Dalai Lama was presented with his own Faculty ID card by student Emily Allen who went on to say “I suspect you will not need to carry this with you for identification, but in any case, we wanted you to know you are welcome,” The Dalai Lama also exhibited his famous self-deprecating sense of humor when he exclaimed “With no training, no modern education, now somehow I got a professorship. I feel really rewarded.”

Author Dana Thomas and Book TV @ Wordsmiths

22 10 2007

Photo courtesy of Wordsmiths Books website

On Wednesday evening (7:30p), Wordsmiths Books will be hosting Newsweek’s style and cultural reporter Dana Thomas, while the bookstore’s parking lot will play host to the CSPAN2’s famous Book TV bus.

Book TV will be onsite to film Thomas’ reading and discussion from her latest release Deluxe: How Luxury Lost its Luster. Thomas’ book delves into the world of “New Luxury”, where brands like Gucci, Prada and Burberry have sacrificed quality for mass production.

Afterwards make sure you make time to tour the Book TV bus, “which includes a tour of the state-of-the-art studio set, an interactive demonstration about Book TV programming, the opportunity to learn how a television show is produced, and a chance to sign up for programming alerts”.

See the Wordsmiths website for more details.

J.K. Rowling: Dumbledore is Gay

21 10 2007

As Amazon’s 18th “Harry-est Town in America“, Decatur residents must already be buzzing about J.K. Rowling’s latest Harry Potter bombshell; Albus Dumbledore was gay.

What’s always been so amazing and engaging about the Harry Potter novels is the depth and complexity of the story/world.  Rowling, armed with her notebooks of details and backstory, will probably forever be stunning audiences with interesting details we didn’t realize, but when revealed make the story even better.  This latest revelation finally gives some clarity to Dumbledore’s often confusing motivations throughout the seven books.  It is also another brilliant way for Rowling to underscore the positive and negative implications of love, the most consistent theme throughout the books .

Put that in your pipe and smoke it Gwinnett County Harry Potter haters.

Former Dogwood Brewer Hard at Work @ Twains

13 10 2007

So here’s something that I wasn’t aware of. An Access Atlanta blurb about Twain’s brewpub points out that the man in charge of the barrels at the corner of Church and Trinity is none other than the former head brewer of Dogwood Brewery, Jordan Fleetwood.

As one that sincerely misses picking up six bottles of Dogwood at the Farmer’s Market or Decatur Package Store, I was quite intrigued by this bit of information. I haven’t been to Twain’s since they renovated and installed the brewery, but this point may motivate me to brave that intersection again.

Go to Twains’ website to view Jordan’s latest hoppy creations.

HatTip: In Decatur

The real Sam Clemens once quipped, “Scotch whisky … I always take it at night as a preventive of toothache. I have never had the toothache; and what is more, I never intend to have it.” Sounds like he’d have been at home amongst the Brick Store’s extensive scotch list.

New R.E.M. Song Debuts on CNN

13 10 2007

R.E.M. has teamed up with CNN to help promote the network’s much talked about upcoming eco-conscious series Planet in Peril by lending a song from their upcoming 2008 album to the trailer.

“Until the Day is Done” plays throughout the Planet in Peril trailer (see below) and echoes of a more meditative and reflective Michael Stipe found on Automatic for the People and New Adventures in Hi-Fi.

Also check out this Anderson Cooper interview with Decatur-born Stipe discussing his reasons for getting involved with the project.

Planet in Peril has an excellent website and airs on CNN, Tuesday and Wednesday Oct 23rd and 24th at 9pm. Set your DVRs!