AP Accidently Slights Decatur, GA

29 08 2008

So I’m sure you’ve all heard about Clayton County losing its accreditation yesterday?  Third time in the past 40 years, ring a bell?

Well, apparently the article written by the Associated Press originally had the story based in Decatur, GA.  See here.  Since then, many of the original postings have changed the lead of “Decatur, GA – ” to “Jonesboro, GA -“, but not before the popular blog “Hit & Run” used Decatur as an example for allowing parents to choose where their kids go to school.  (You know, since apparently we’re located in Clayton County!)

Now, we really can’t be that judgemental.  Even among Atlantans, it seems that everything from the city of Decatur to the southern DeKalb County line gets dumped into the “Decatur” bucket these days.  Soon alligator attacks in the Okefenokee Swamps will be attributed to “Decatur, GA”.

But I guess we just have to grin and bear it.

Post-Modern Design is NOT for the Birds

15 06 2008

I gotta tell ya 1 West Courthouse Square building. You’ve become “that guy”. Your the unattractive, noisy neighbor that everyone tolerates, but no one likes.

Not only is your uninspired glass box design a complete eyesore sitting next to our well-loved courthouse, not only is your layout ridiculously annoying with your pointless side entrance and giant parking deck, now you just won’t shut up.

Carl writes in…

For the last month or so, I’ve been confused by the sudden influx of tropical birds to downtown Decatur. It seemed that they were somehow nesting on the 1 W Court Sq building; and, while the toucans were invisible, they could be heard for half a mile away. I originally expressed concern about this bizarre situation but was told by someone who knows birds far more than I that this nonsense was “baby finches.”

I didn’t really understand how the “finches” were invisible, so VERY loud, and seemingly never slept. Perhaps they were adjusting to their new home atop an office building. As the weeks passed, though, I recognized that this noise simply never stopped. I began reaching out via various forms of social networking wondering if anyone knew the deal. Was this a bizarre public art project, somehow organized by AIA/D or a prank? I encountered lots of people along the way (many of whom I didn’t even know) that appreciated my question but had no answers. It seemed that either others had the same question or simply thought I had dreamt the whole thing up. I’d wondered if I could ever gain access to the roof of the building to see what was causing this noise. It became a combined source of frustration and curiosity.

Well, finally, courtesy of a conversation with Mayor Floyd, it seems that we have an answer. “It” is unfortunately neither designed for the public good (in my opinion) nor is it a wonderful new colony of endangered birds. Instead, it’s a device designed to protect the owner of the mirrored building against broken windows. All of the ruckus will theoretically frighten normal birds away from the building so that they do not crash into the glass. Perhaps that IS good for the birds, but I wonder whether all of this noise is good for anyone. If it keeps birds away from the building, doesn’t it also keep them from flying normally in the area? It’s no wonder that I didn’t ever see any nesting in nearby trees, since they’re likely frightened by what seems to be a nearby zoo.

What sort of permit did they secure for this noisemaker? I can hear it two to three blocks away in every direction. What once was amusing is now something that interferes with my morning walks. I can’t hear the normal birds, but I can sure here the artificial ones. I sat outside on the patio at Pastries A Go Go today once again feeling like I was dining at the Rainforest Café.

(I love that last line!)

The city has put a lot of lipstick on this pig over the years. Without Cooks/Sherlock’s and Crescent Moon, its parking deck would be the scourge of downtown. And don’t get me started on those crumbling stone tables/benches. But now, specifically because of its post-modern design, it also must emit noise. (My wife and I had a debate one late evening regarding this very noise. I was in the “bat” camp and she thought they were nocturnal finches. Obviously Carl proved us both wrong.)

Glass skyscrapers the world over MUST exist without this sort of device. Otherwise, from midtown Manhattan to Midtown Atlanta we’d hear only the din of traffic over the cacophony of prerecorded bird chirps. What do the big boys use to avoid bird collisions? My grandmother cut bird shapes out of black construction paper and put them on her windows. Perhaps that could be building-wide art project for its tenents?

Rabid Raccoon Caught in Decatur

1 03 2008

Apparently on the edge of the city near Dearborn Park.  The AJC reports…

Decatur’s Blurmeister Reaches Out From the Beyond (i.e. the Midwest)

3 02 2008

The once defunct “Decatur Blur” has risen out of the internet trash heap of abandoned blogs with its first posting in 8 months! Responding to the cries (and trill screams) of admirers, the Blurmeister General admits that he has moved to the Midwest in search of a better yard. (I guess the grass is greener on the other side…especially after the months of drought here)

But luckily it sounds like he’s still willing to author “Onion-esque” articles about our fair city and is asking readers for topic suggestions. He can be reached at decaturblur@yahoo.com

While I would not-so-humbly suggest the Blurmeister use this site for inspiration, I’ll go one step further and submit a couple of my own satirical headlines to spark his admirable wit:

“Following the City’s Lead, Local Decatur Man Looks to Annex Neighbors To Lessen Tax Burden”

“Father of Three Worries He Drank The Angel Out of Business”

“Clairmont Elementary 2nd Grade Class Rejoices at Charter School Status – Submits Working Plan To School Board for Week-Long Recess”

Good Luck General!

(Photo Courtesy of the Decatur Blur)

h/t: Rus

Some Where In Georgia, There’s a Boy Named “Decatur”

26 01 2008

Unless he’s moved out of state.

The AJC has an online searchable database of names given to children born in Georgia in the past 18 years.

Take a look. You won’t be disappointed by the creativity of Georgia parents. To assist your search the AJC has also broken out a bunch by name “types”, in case you want to see lists of kids named after animals, cities, alcohol or brand.

If you feel moved, post your favorites below.

Collegiate Quidditch Replacing Ultimate Frisbee?

28 11 2007

Middlebury Battles Vasser in Quidditch (Photo Courtesy of USA Today)

In case you haven’t noticed or (more-likely) have never visited this site before, Decatur Metro, aside from bringing you all things Decatur, Georgia, also has a bit of a Harry Potter slant. I continually justify it by noting that Decatur was Amazon’s 18th “Harry-est” town in the country.

First we brought you the British school that was improving test scores with Harry Potter inspired lessons. Now, we bring you a USA Today article that details real, live Quidditch matches taking place on college campuses. Sounds to me like a dorked up version of Ultimate Frisbee.

MIDDLEBURY, VT – The broomsticks they hold between their legs can’t help them fly. The Snitch is not a winged golden ball but a young man who sprints across the field at lightning speed. And at times, the game looks like the mongrel offspring of rugby, dodge ball and soccer. But somehow it all works.

The first intercollegiate Quidditch match was held here this month, and though this version of the game is earthbound, it’s taking off. Originally played by wizards darting about on broomsticks in the Harry Potter novels, the game is now taking root on college campuses.

“We were all Harry Potter’s age when the books started,” says Sam Libby, 20, a Middlebury College junior geography major from Richmond, Vt. “And Quidditch is one of the most creative things that came out of the books. We were able to create that here, follow all the rules, except the ability to fly. It just caught on.”

Quidditch surfaced at Middlebury two falls ago when a handful of students gathered to play a rudimentary form of the game on Sunday afternoons, making up rules extrapolated from the books.

Read the full article here.

I can’t wait to see Emory battle arch-nemesis Wash U for the golden snitch! That’ll be a bloodbath of beaters!

Megachurch Sex Scandal Slapped with “Decatur” Label

20 11 2007

This story has spread like wildfire all over the country. Megachurch Pastor, Earl Paulk, sleeps with brother’s wife and fathers child. Uhh…34 years ago. That is just too juicy for a concerned nation to ignore! So AP articles can be found in papers throughout the country (here it is in the Chicago Tribute) while the CNN.com homepage links to the WSB article.

Lucky for CITY of Decatur residents, the story is tagged with a “Decatur, GA” location label because the Cathedral at Chapel Hill has a Decatur mailing address, even though its south of I-20 on Flat Shoals Road.

“OK,” you’re saying, “stop trying to tie the story to Decatur residents and get to the sordid details!” OK fine. Apparently the 80 year-ago archbishop of the church was quite the wild stallion in his day, using the “word of God” to convince women to sleep with him. Sex scandals have plagued the church for years. But the Pastor didn’t stop at just seducing impressionable church employees (one of whom is currently suing him after having a four year affair) but was so bold as to also sleep with his brother’s wife! That twisted affair gave birth to the church’s current Senior Pastor, D.E. Paulk.

Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.

You really can’t make this stuff up…maybe the telenovela writers can, but you sure can’t.

I think I need another shower. (But I’ll have to forego it since I should be conserving water)

UPDATE: The AJC has a disturbing time line of Paulk’s indescresions over the years.

Urban Coyote Conundrum

16 11 2007

Photo Courtesy of 11Alive

inDecatur points to a discussion over at the Decatur Forum about an 11alive article I reported on yesterday regarding the fate of the coyote caught in Oakhurst. The article states that the coyote was to be euthanized yesterday, so the discussion may only be hypothetical at this point.

Why the coyote was euthanized and not released in a more suitable environment is probably a money issue. Much cheaper to just kill the animal than spend the time and money to truck it way outside the perimeter and release it. Other than that, the only other motivation to kill is the fear that the animal could come back and frighten residents and eat weaker animals.

I can certainly comprehend the efficiency argument, even though I may not agree with it. As far as the coyote returning to Oakhurst, I don’t know how far away the animal would have to be taken not to return, so I can’t really judge the validity of that fear.

Coyotes Eating Cats in Oakhurst??

15 11 2007

OK, obviously I don’t know or understand Oakhurst at all. It’s like the freakin’ wild west down there! It’s dog eat dog and coyote eat cat on the southern side of the tracks.

Apparently there are reports of coyotes eating cats in Oakhurst. Apparently these reports are credible enough for the AJC to write an article about it. Apparently there is such a concern that the Oakhurst Homeowners Association has invited Michael Ellis from the Atlanta Wild Animal Rescue Effort to speak to residents tonight at the Solarium at 7pm about the facts and myths of urban coyotes.

While I was aware of reports (and hilarious videos) of wild animals coming into cities as development continues to destroy their natural habitat (I’ve seen/heard a surprising number of owls ITP lately), I didn’t realize that coyotes were currently a problem in Oakhurst. Oakhurst isn’t exactly a fringe community, so I figure that if Oakhurst has this “problem”, much of metro Atlanta does too.

So why is Oakhurst getting all the press? Well, it seems a female coyote was caught in the neighborhood recently and 11 Alive reports that the animal will be euthanized on Thursday. Euthanized?! That’s our brilliant solution? We can’t release the animal somewhere outside the city? I guess that costs to many tax payer dollars. DeKalb County sure loves to euthanize animals! As the 11 alive article points out that “for every documented coyote attack on a human there are 400,000 dog attacks.”

Though there’s an understandable concern for pets safety with coyotes lurking about, their presence can also be beneficial. This story from World Science points out that they help control a neighborhood’s rat population.

Will Garrison Keillor Ever Come Back to GA?

23 10 2007

After a bunch of wealthy, drunken table revelers ruined a performance of A Prairie Home Companion at Chastain Park in the summer of 2005, Garrison Keillor snubbed his nose at Atlanta by relocating his show to Columbus, GA in April 2007. While the Columbus audience may have behaved better than the corporate lushes in Atlanta, his take away from that show may have been even worse.

Apparently at that performance, Keillor was unlucky enough to gain the attention of one Andrea R. Campbell, 43, of Hawkinsville, GA. Campbell’s subsequent”transcendental” love of Keillor compelled the mother of five to send the radio host a myriad of strange gifts (like alligator feet and dead beetles) along with unwelcome letters of fantasized sexual encounters. After trying to break into Keillor’s home in St. Paul (perhaps in an attempt to get him to read a hilarious “greeting” to her kids during the intermission of his next broadcast?) he obtained a restraining order against Campbell.

Even with a restraining order against her, the Hawkinsville resident is inclined to believe that its not Keillor who does not desire her taxidermy-laden affections. The AP quotes her saying “I believe that he’s paranoid, or some woman, his wife, is upset and told him he has to do something about it,”.


So, all of this begs the question…will Keillor ever return to the Georgia or has the parade of love-starved locals and unappreciative transplants scared him away forever? If he never returns, his trips will be sorely missed. Not only by me, but also by local son Roy Blount Jr., who will have to make due with “Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me” appearances to showcase his wit.