Tuesday, December 1, 2015

City of Dunwoody initiates Teen Town Hall for Dunwoody High School Students - Thursday Noon to 4 pm #teentownhall #DwdyTTH15

Dunwoody Teen Town Hall – December 3, 2015

·         Engage students in public administration/management, decision making, and local government to generate ideas, take pulse/attitudes of students;
·         Create an event that is educational, informational and interactive;
·         Give students a chance to participate/have their voice heard

·         12:00 to 1:30 Dunwoody City Staff Set-Up on site in DHS gym
·         Accommodate two large groupings of students (students in classes: Government/civics, mass communications, finance/marketing) over two primary “shifts” and one Open House at the end of the school day:
o   1:40 to 2:25 (first group of approximately 100 – 120 students)
o   2:25 to 2:30 Transition between groups
o   2:30 to 3:15 (second group of approximately 100 – 120 students)
o   3:20 to 4:00 (Open House: stations for all interested students staying after school)

·         LOCATION: DHS Gym
·         FIVE different stations of activities; each sub-group gets a 15 minute session at THREE different stations
o   Perks for Parks – students provide ideas on park improvements and new amenities, wants and needs
o   Ideas for Infrastructure – students provide insights into issues and solutions for the city’s roads, traffic, transit, sidewalks, etc.
o   Development for Tomorrow – students provide ideas on growth, development and what they would like to see in Dunwoody, what would make them stay
o   Police Department Dialogue - students form into mini-teams and discuss community safety issues and priorities
o   Interactive Experience – Video statements & questions (statements to city leaders/questions for city leaders); record a Vine; post an Instagram; Send a Snapchat story (#teentownhall #DwdyTTH15)
·         City Staff on hand to staff stations, go through presentations/exercises or answer questions

·         Students spend 15 minutes at each station and participate in 3 rotations (each student would participate in 3 of the 5 stations).  
·         Mr. Berry and Mr. Boucher distributing signup sheet to students and working to secure even numbers at each station for each rotation.  
·         Teachers exploring potential post-event activities in class the following day where students from each group redeliver what they learned to the students who did not get to that station.

·         1st Session - Mr. Ward's 1st & 2nd period Accelerated/Gifted Civics classes and Mr. Aranson's 4th period Accelerated/Gifted Civics class (approx. 100 students; all 9th graders).  
·         2nd Session - Mr. Boucher's 1st & 2nd period AP Government & Politics classes, Mr. Berry’s 2nd period Constitutional Theory class and Mr. Fortenberry's 4th period Finance class (approx. 120 students; grades 10-12).
*All students from Ward, Boucher & Berry would receive a field trip permission form that allows them to leave their 4th period class to participate during their sessions.

GHSA new region alignments affect Dunwoody area schools sports programs.

If you are a high school sports fanatic or are someone who has kids who play, this might be the biggest news of the week as it may completely turn next years schedules around offering new opponents and different commutes.

The Georgia High School Association recently announced new alignments and a new Class 7A moved a lot of schools around. Dunwoody High School is now up in Class 6A with most of the North Fulton schools and Pope in East Cobb whereby we seem totally disengaged from DeKalb County Schools who are all in Class 5A. SPX and Marist are in 4A but play in different regions therefore may only see each other in the playoffs.

Today the reclassification committee placed schools in regions after taking requests from schools choosing to play in higher classifications. On Dec. 7-8, the GHSA will hear appeals regarding region placement. On Jan. 13, the GHSA’s executive committee will ratify the reclassification.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Dunwoody announces North Peachtree Road will be detoured for Critical Culvert Replacement Project

The North Peachtree Road Culvert Replacement project is about to be underway. Project crews will begin initial work starting the week of November 30th; the road closure and detour will begin December 2nd, weather permitting.

Based on the culvert’s existing condition and hydrologic modeling, it is necessary and prudent to replace the failing 6 foot corrugated metal culvert. The culvert is located on North Peachtree Road, just south of the intersection with North Peachtree Way. The new conveyance will be a 9 foot by 4 foot reinforced concrete box culvert. Hydrologic study and discussions with adjoining property owners indicate that stormwater overtops this portion of North Peachtree Road during significant rain events. It is estimated that this flooding occurs at a frequency of 5 to 10 years.

In addition to using a larger and stronger culvert, the city will also raise its invert to accommodate higher stormwater flows. The new culvert will convey the 100 year flood.

The construction project has been coordinated with both the Kingsley Lake Association and the adjoining property owners impacted by construction. The Kingsley Lake Association has agreed to lower the lake level 4’ to accommodate the construction in October, when fish populations and recreation will not be significantly impacted.

For additional information on this culvert replacement project please contact Public Works at 678.382.6850 construction@dunwoodyga.gov or visit the North Peachtree Road Culvert Replacement project page.

 P.S. - Don't speed through this detour as I believe it will be closely monitored.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Fiber Internet to the home has arrived in Dunwoody as AT&T Uverse with #Gigapower is now being installed.


AT&T has been stringing fiber for months and today my regular Uverse service was finally converted over to the Gigapower version with lightning fast speeds.   Below is a comparison of my line speed before and after installation.

The price is a bit more than I was paying previously but the productivity gained on large uploads should cut my processing time way back.   I hope it comes to your neighborhood soon as I am told that it is just a matter of time and unlike other fiber providers, I believe this service is also available to business customers too.

Finally I have received a bunch of questions asking, how do I know if fiber was strung on the poles in my neighborhood?  Well, here is what my pole looked like in June after line installation was strung on the poles.

Dunwoody's Jewish Family and Career Services is about to expand facilities for wide array of community social services.

4549 Chamblee Dunwoody Rd,
Dunwoody, GA 30338
 (770) 677-9300

The article below is written by Mr. David  Pendered of the Saporta Report Blog.

Following the success of building a new Ben Massell Dental Clinic, the Jewish Family and Career Services of Atlanta is preparing to complete its campus in Dunwoody as it continues to collaborate with other social service agencies.

“We need to band together to make sure the social needs that are important to us are provided,” said John Perlman, president of JFCS’s Executive Committee and co-chair of the agency’s Campaign to Complete the JFCS Campus. “We need to work with others so we don’t duplicate efforts.”
The organization is nearing the end of a $5.1 million fund raising campaign. Perlman said the campaign is now being opened to the general public in order to raise the final few hundreds of thousands of dollars needed to complete the planned construction.

The organization serves a client base that’s about 50 percent Jewish and 50 percent who aren’t Jewish. The board of directors was diversified to represent the evolution of the client base, Perlman said. The Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta awarded JFSC the Managing for Excellence Award in 2012-2013.

The capital campaign, and the expansion it is to fund, was started under the leadership of former CEO Gary Miller. Miller led the organization for 24 years and stepped down in July to take a strategic advisory role. Miller was succeeded by Rick Aranson, who had served as COO for 11 years, according to a statement released in January.
At the time, Miller wrote:
  • “We are building needed and specialized space for the vocational training/support programs serving adults with developmental disabilities. In addition the plan includes the reconfiguration of space serving counseling clients with psycho-social service needs that embraces a private practice model. I am, indeed, proud to continue to participate in this exciting expansion.”
According to Perlman, modifications to the existing building are intended to increase the confidentiality of clients and increase physical security. A new building will provide services for clients with developmental or intellectual disabilities. Perlman serves as president of Adams & Co. Real Estate, Inc., and has overseen JFCS properties and buildings for many years
At the existing center, the work includes adding a new entrance for those seeking career counseling. This will prevent the need for them to interact with those visiting for help battling substance abuse or for educational testing.

Cameras that will be linked to a secure Internet connection are to be added to enable parents to watch their child’s test from a remote location. Currently, parents must attend with the child and watch the procedure through a one-way mirror.

Electronic door locks will be added to counseling rooms, to increase the level of security. Perlman said safety has not been an issue. Sound-proofing will be enhanced.

The new building is to provide room for programs that already have prompted the center to expand. Services were moved from the basement of a house to a 3,300-square-foot facility in Chamblee. The new building will provide 8,300 square feet of space on the main JFCS campus.

“We’re building a state of the art facility where we can help each and everyone reach their potential,” Perlman said. “We’ve needed more space and better facilities. A lot of clients are in wheelchairs and use public transit. We need a covered space where MARTA can be out of the way and where clients won’t get wet in the rain as they’re brought into the building.”

JFCS has grown significantly since moving to Dunwoody in 1995 from the basement of a homeless shelter in Midtown. The organization has reshaped its programs over time to focus on needs that aren’t being met elsewhere, and downsizing or eliminating programs that are better handled by others, Perlman said.

“We used to do homeless, but we don’t do it as well as others,” Perlman said. “Similarly, Meals on Wheels. We used to make an effort to deliver kosher, but we discovered that kosher wasn’t important – they wanted good, fresh and hot. So now we collaborate. They take care of clients we used to have, and if they have clients who needs counseling, they bring them to us.

“The Atlanta Community Food Bank lets us get kosher stuff to put in our food pantry,” Perlman said. “We collaborate with the Jewish Community Center, where they have an afternoon program where our guys can go play basketball, play sports. We send clients to visit at senior housing nearby. Anything where we can collaborate is good.”

Based partly on the success of the Massell Dental Clinic, Perlman is confident the new facilities will enable JFSC to help meet these other needs of the community. The clinic provides comprehensive dental care with social service and health screening supports.

“The Massell Dental Clinic is the largest in the country,” Perlman said. “It has 150 dentists and 10,000 individuals who come for everything from cleaning to dentures, and even implants. That was our capital campaign 10 years ago. We’re probably 40 percent over our initial goal.”

Saturday, November 21, 2015

This afternoon starting at 3 pm, Light up Dunwoody community event kicks off at the Farmhouse.

A Dunwoody Tradition and Holiday Event
Sunday, November 22, 2015; 3:00 to 6:00pm
at the Cheek Spruill Farm House
Mt. Vernon & Chamblee Dunwoody Road

An annual community event to welcome the holiday season, Light up Dunwoody Christmas Village opens at 3:00 pm and concludes with the lighting of the tree at 5:45 pm. Vendors will offer wonderful holiday treasures and refreshments!

Santa will welcome children to sit on his lap, and a Santa sleigh with reindeer will be available for more photo opportunities. Bring your own camera!

Everyone is invited, and there is no cost to participate in this family friendly event!

PS: I have a special memory of a Light Up Dunwoody event from the past that I would like to share.  It was ten years ago this month that my wife Kristin was eight months pregnant with my son Declan when she was honored by the Dunwoody Homeowners Association for her community work by being named Dunwoody Mom of the Year. I remember this day like it was yesterday!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

City of Dunwoody calls Special Meeting for Monday morning to discuss Legal, Real Estate & Personnel.

Dunwoody Police Daily Bulletin shows traffic stop locations and who is being ticketed / arrested for what. Possible Murder investigation is on going.


The City of Dunwoody has worked very hard from day one to be transparent in everything we do and that includes telling the community what our police department is doing on a daily basis.   Yesterday Dunwoody residents told social media that they wanted more visibility on the roads, more enforcement and this public page could be a gauge as to what the department is doing to be responsive to the communities desires.  I believe the department has heard the residents concerns about traffic safety but lets understand that there are more important responsibilities that the department has. The data provided by Dunwoody in this tool probably gives just a snapshot of what our department is doing at any one time but it doesn't include the numerous hours of a possible murder investigation, a child molestation case or a prostitution ring being broken up - all of which happened in the last few days.  

You will note that I blacked out the names in the photo above but the Dunwoody site does not do this.  Juveniles age 16 and below are protected by not having their names in the database and the same goes for being the victim of specific crimes, but after your seventeenth birthday it is a different story for all offenders.  So if little Johnny is 17 and he gets arrested for shoplifting or gets a ticket for speeding, it will show up here for all to see.

In case you are not aware, below is the link to our daily bulletin.


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Dunwoody residents are demanding slower speeds & school bus enforcement from Dunwoody Police Facebook page.


If you look at the history of my blog, I have discussed speeding over 50 times with North Peachtree Road being a very prevalent mention, yet it continues to be a problem.  The photo above and all the comments and many more were posted to the very public Dunwoody Police Facebook Page complaining about drivers doing the speed limit on North Peachtree and being passed by other drivers who are in a hurry.   As a City Councilman, I forward items to the Dunwoody PD for their action and they are relatively receptive to doing spot checks for traffic violations, but this type of systemic issue may need to be reviewed for City initiated, targeted traffic calming where appropriate.

Few neighborhood traffic calming requests to change the structure of a road (by adding small traffic circles at minor intersections or narrowing road sections where appropriate) have come to the City Council for approval and I am unsure if our policy is flawed or people are unaware that it exists.  I had a neighbor who was in the process of requesting traffic calming in Dunwoody North at Stonington between the two stop signs but he decided to move and therefore stopped the process.  Anne, reach out if you want details in order to restart.

Below is the link to the current traffic calming policy that may need to be modified as the current policy would exclude the Council from installing the traffic calming where we believe it is needed unless approved by the citizens in the area.  This may need to be revisited and I will be asking the Public Works Director for background information. 

Traffic Calming Policy
The city's Traffic Calming Policy details the procedures for adding speed humps or other forms of traffic calming installed on your street.

When it comes to Traffic Enforcement, our large SUV's may not be the best vehicle choice therefore I will be exploring with Chief Grogan the thought of adding motorcycle officers to the mix in 2017.   I will be reviewing the radar certification levels and assuring that there is enough equipment to do speed enforcement and finally I will be asking for a strategy to increase compliance with School Bus stop signs as the video shot on Womack today near the High School is scary.