Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Dunwoody Community is in mourning for Halle Scott, 19, who was killed in a car wreck.

Halle Scott, 19, “was someone we looked up to” - AJC

When Halle Scott was a girl, this had been her church, with its tiny chapel radiant whenever light streamed through the amber windows arching high.

It was like that Thursday, the little brick chapel of Dunwoody United Methodist Church glowing inside, every pew filled with mourners. Outside, the rest of the world went on with its lunchtime business, many oblivious to the grief contained in this little room. There was an uneasy silence inside, broken every now and then with the rip of tissues being pulled from small boxes to muffle sobs and dry tears.

There was no order of service for this memorial to Scott. The 19-year-old perished along with three fellow UGA students after their car crashed Wednesday night. A fifth friend is fighting for her life at Athens Regional Medical Center.

The events of the past 24 hours was too much to bear for former classmates and teachers from Dunwoody High School, who gathered to mourn Scott.

One by one, kids in shorts and track shoes and adults with graying hair choked out prayers. They asked what people always ask whenever a teenager has to lay a peer to rest and a parent has to bury a child: Why?

“Dear Lord, life isn’t fair and it makes me mad, but I thank you for allowing me to be mad,” said one of her former Dunwoody classmates. “I’d ask that you’d welcome them into your kingdom, but we’d ask you to help those of us who are left behind to heal.”

“We ask for the Scott family the peace that surpasses understanding descends on this family,” said a teacher.

“We feel like we’ve been stolen from,” said another.

They prayed for Halle’s family, her mother, father and older brother, who friends said was also a student at UGA.

And when they were done praying but not grieving, they huddled in aisles and in the lobby to remember Scott.

Long before she became a member of Delta Delta Delta Sorority, she was a Dunwoody High Wildcat, captain of the football cheerleading squad her senior year.

“She was welcoming when we were freshmen,” said Emily Christensen, 17. “When you’re a JV cheerleader you get a big sister and you go on this scavenger hunt to find out who your big sister is. And I saw her standing there with a big sign with my name. I was so happy. Everybody looked up to her.”

At summer cheerleading camp, she was the only one who could ever seem to get the youngest kids to pay attention and practice, said Jenna Hogan, 17. She did it not by bossing them around but by making up little songs and dances for them to do. She didn’t like to see people sitting things out, her friends said. She wanted people to be included.

Scott had been a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at Dunwoody High since the 9th grade and every Friday morning could be counted on to read announcements at the group’s meeting. Steve Fortenberry, was one of her teachers and led the group. Faith played a large role in her life. But as much as she wanted to see people look past their differences and get along, she also had a quiet competitiveness, always looking to best herself. “She wanted to win,” Fortenberry said.

“She was comfortable in her own skin and at that age, you know, kids are hung up in what others think,” he said. “She wasn’t. She was confident and she had such a strong family that instilled that in her.”

Scott was the flier for her cheerleading squad, the one they tossed into the air during intricate routines. Her longtime coach Gayle Hard remembered Scott as the one who led by example and made it a point to get along with the many different groups.

That Scott seemed poised and confident in who she was is what made her a model for some of the younger girls, Hard said.

“This was a remarkable child,” she said.

Pernoshal Park / Trail Extention Grand Opening - Free Movie & Community Bike Ride

“Park at Pernoshal”
Friday, April 29, 2016
4:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Park at Pernoshal Court 4575 North Shallowford Road, Dunwoody, GA

Goal: Bring attention to and activate the new Park at Pernoshal Court
Objective: A celebration to open the park with a family-friendly community event drawing residents and visitors to the city’s newest Park, creating an opportunity for the city’s community partners to promote their organizations to the community.

Draft Agenda (timing/activities being finalized):
11:00 a.m. – Set up (some set up 4/28 if necessary)

4:00 p.m. – Welcome
-          Introduce Mayor (Bob Mullen)

4:15 p.m. – Mayor Denis Shortal
-          Welcome
-          Park at Pernoshal Court – Background & Key Features

4:20 p.m. Mayor & Council
-          Ribbon cutting and Photo op

4:30 p.m./5:00 p.m. –Various Activities begin and continue till dusk (tentative list below)
-          Food Trucks open (tables and chairs around pavilion)
-          Booths for city partners, local nonprofits/organizations, event sponsors
-          Lawn games: Bean Bag games, hula-a-hoops, etc.
-          Shoot around on basketball courts

5:00 p.m. – Bike-Walk Dunwoody - Bike loop ride for all ages along trail, loop Brook Run trail, back to Park at Pernoshal; Instructions for ride, Not a race

5:00 p.m.Chiefs Futbol Club - Soccer games and fun for kids

5:00 p.m. – Pickleball Tutorial - demonstration of the game from JCCA players

Periodic Announcements & Activities

8:30/Dusk: Movie on large field – Disney Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur (PG)
9:30 p.m. ish – End of Event/End of Movie

Atlanta Colts Football & Cheerleading early registration ends Saturday - save money today.

The video above is from my oldest sons first seasons of football with the Atlanta Colts and I know that even after almost ten years many of these boys are still enjoying the sport at Dunwoody, St. Pius X, Wesleyan and Woodward Academy.   I highly recommend the program and my 10 year old will be playing in the 5th grade league.  Maybe I will see you out there but the $50 discount for early registration ends this Saturday. Register before May 1 to save!

Register now and join the best youth football and cheer family in Metro Atlanta. The Atlanta Colt Youth Association has a team for every age and experience level. We offer flag football, Intra-league Cheer/Football and D1 Travel Football and Cheerleading.

Come Run With The Colts!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Dunwoody Park at the Dunwoody Nature Center is the best playground in Atlanta for sensitive skin and young ones.

What seems like many years ago, my wife & I had our favorite children's playground in a beautiful shaded park in Norcross.  Unfortunately that park is no longer as shaded as it once was and my boys rarely hang out in playgrounds therefore I wanted to show and tell our community about Dunwoody's beautiful hidden play areas among the trees.  Please stop by the Dunwoody Nature Center to set a spell, enjoy the creek, the shade and the children's laughter.

5343 Roberts Drive  Dunwoody, GA 30338 and walk to the back of the park.

Dunwoody City Council ageda for Mon April 25, 2016 - Crown Towers, PDK Airport, Food Truck Tuesdays.

Monday, April 26, 2016
Dunwoody City Hall

41 Perimeter Center East
Dunwoody, GA 30346

Watch Live at 6:00 p.m.
6 pm Agenda

Administer Oath of Office to Officers Chris Valente and Officer Zach Woodburn.

Mario A. Evans, CM Interim Director Peachtree-DeKalb Airport.   Past history with City.

FIRST READ: RZ 16-041: Dunwoody Crown Towers, LLC, owner of 244 Perimeter CenterParkway, Dunwoody, GA 30346, by G. Douglas Dillard, attorney for the property owner, seeks to rezone property currently zoned Office-Institution (O-I) to Commercial-Residential Mixed-Use (CR-1) to allow for construction of a mixed use development with residential and nonresidentialuses.
FIRST READ: SLUP 16-041: Dunwoody Crown Towers, LLC, owner of 244 Perimeter CenterParkway, Dunwoody, GA 30346, by G. Douglas Dillard, attorney for the property owner, seeksthe following: (a) For approval of a special land use permit to increase the height of the multi unit residential building. (b): For approval of a special land use permit to increase the height of the mixed use vertical building. (c): For approval of a special land use permit to allow multi-unitresidential use in the CR-1 Zoning District

FIRST READ: TA 16-051 - Consideration of re-adoption and/or modification of the LED prohibition of the Sign Ordinance

 DHA Food Truck Tuesday's at new Pernoshal Park.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Dunwoody's National Charity League brings mothers & daughters together for local community service, leadership development and cultural experiences.

Yesterday I stopped by the Dunwoody Nature Center to check on the paint recycling and discovered a great local organization of women making our community a better place.  These ladies were have fun and bonding over their community service.  Please check them out. 


National Charity League, Inc. (NCL, Inc.) is a national non-profit organization comprised of mother and daughter members in Chapters across the United States. NCL, Inc. was established in Los Angeles, California, in 1925 and incorporated in 1958.


To foster mother-daughter relationships in a philanthropic organization committed to community service, leadership development and cultural experiences.


Through the mother-daughter relationship, National Charity League, Inc. will develop strong women leaders serving and impacting communities today and for generations to come.

Core Values

  • Honoring the mother-daughter bond by together learning, growing and modeling responsibility and graciousness
  • Empowering women with the skills and confidence to lead
  • Nurturing through mentorship
  • Inspiring a legacy of social awareness and compassion
  • Providing depth of support in local communities
  • Integrity and excellence in everything we do

Our Chapter History

The Dunwoody Chapter is the 116th Chapter of the National Charity League, Inc. (NCL) and is one of eight chapters in the state of Georgia. Our chapter was formed 2004 by a group of service-minded women who saw needs in our community and sought to fill them. Finding tremendous interest in the community from mothers and daughters who were familiar with other area chapters, these women  worked to create a chapter in Dunwoody. We received our charter in 2006. Over the past 15 years we have grown to include 228 active members, including 10 sustaining members.

State Rep. Tom Taylor of Dunwoody apologizes to voters for DUI arrest & he still has my support.

The Dunwoody community was shocked when our State Representative Tom Taylor of Dunwoody was arrested last week and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol in Rabun County.  Tylor, 54, a Dunwoody Republican who worked diligently to create & serve the City of Dunwoody, had a blood-alcohol content of .225, nearly three times the legal limit of .08.

These salacious details made national news just weeks before the election and for some, this mistake is enough for Dunwoody residents to vote for the other guy no matter what.  I understand that perspective but let's also realize that Tom has a problem that he will work to correct and maybe this community should compare Tom's voting record against what the alternative candidate will bring to our community.

As per the Crier... "Taylor came to local attention through his work with Citizens for Dunwoody, serving as vice president and then president. He was a leader in the three-year fight for cityhood, taking a prominent role in successfully lobbying the General Assembly to allow a referendum.

That and his work as chairman of the Police Task Force, helping to establish the Dunwoody police department, led to his election to the first City Council. In 2010, when Dan Weber decided on short notice not to seek re-election to the state senate and state Rep. Fran Millar decided to move up, Taylor ran for the state house and was elected.

In the state house, representing Dunwoody and pieces of Chambee and Doraville, Taylor is best known locally for championing a bill to create an independent school system for Dunwoody. Less publicized was his work on legislation to force DeKalb County to sell its parks in Dunwoody to the city for $100 an acre and convey $7 million in bond funds for Brook Run Park to the city.  In 2011 he was chosen Rookie Legislator of the Year by the Georgia Chamber of Commerce.  Despite his short tenure in the house, Taylor was chosen as chairman of the MARTA Oversight Committee and is on several key committees such as economic development and tourism, governmental affairs and regulatory industries."

Bill Torpy the straight talking columnist in the AJC (whom I admire and who reminds me of Chicago's Mike Royko) wrote a spot on the perspective of Tom's arrest just prior to reelection where he outlines the options for the Dunwoody community.  My favorite quote is "There are a lot of preeners, egotists and even loons in the state legislature. Taylor isn’t one of them."  "Tom Owens, is a well-known, self-appointed, in-your-face, conspiracy-minded, immigrant-fearing fringe candidate. To put it mildly.  The prospect of Rep. Tom Owens (R-Dunwoody) heading to the Legislature has GOP and Dunwoody politicos guzzling Maalox by the pint."

Mr. Torpy is spot on, as a Dunwoody politico (I prefer the term public servant) I know Candidate Tom Owen as I have been in numerous meetings (1, 2, 3) with him and I detest the thought of him representing our community!  Character goes a long way for me and your history of arrests and interactions with law enforcement usually shows an aspect of ones character.  This is Tom Taylor's first offense and he is taking full responsibilities for his actions.   Now let's compare that against candidate Tom Owen whereby he was charged for spitting on a businesses door because of his intolerance against immigrants and whereby he thought they were funding terrorism.  There are numerous stories on candidate Owen within the links on this blog post where there are numerous restraining orders filed against him because of his threats of violence against various people, and his intolerance for differences. 

As a fellow Dunwoody City Councilman, Tom Taylor and I have had a long friendship based on mutual respect but when we talked earlier this week I informed him that he needs to regain that level of respect from not only myself but from the entire community and this needs to be done by kicking this habit in order to clear any demons that he may be facing.

Once that is done, I believe Tom Taylor should be reelected to the Georgia Legislature in order to represent us and push the needs of our community within the State Legislature. If you disagree with my assessment, I respect that decision but I would like you to be fully informed as to the other choice for State Representative as it is my opinion that Tom Owen is not a viable candidate to work with others in the state legislature to push for positive change in our community.

In case you are not fully aware of the story of Tom Taylor or the history of Candidate Tom Owen, here are a few links.

AJC - Georgia Rep. Tom Taylor charged with DUI in Rabun County Thurs Apr 14

The Crier - Taylor apologizes to voters for DUI arrest

AJC - Rep. Tom Taylor said DUI arrest was his wake-up call Thurs Apr 21

Atlanta Area Lawmaker with DUI – His Opponent says He’s a Drunk

Ga. State Rep. Tom Taylor Of Dunwoody Charged With DUI  - Full Report

AJC - Bill Torpy at Large: Kids, a .45 and a high-speed DUI

Peach Pundit - Tom Owens, A Man Amok from Oct 2014

Doraville Police Report - Tom Owen for spitting on a business.

MARTOC Chairman Arrested for DUI

AJC - And you thought DeKalb politics couldn’t get any crazier?

Tom Owen addresses the DHA Political Forum - watch the question & answer at 29:55

Friday, April 22, 2016

Paint Recycling in Dunwoody, Saturday from 10 to 4 @DunwoodyNature Center

Paint Recycling
Date: April 23, 2016
Time: 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Thinking about doing some spring cleaning? Now’s the time to gather all of those old cans of paint lying around the house to bring in for recycling (yes, the old paint is recycled and used again!) during the Nature Center’s Earth Day Paint Recycling Event on Saturday, April 23rd from 10:00 until 4:00. Brought to you by the City of Dunwoody, for a fee of $1 per gallon (cash only), residents can drop off any unwanted paints and promote healthier air and water quality in the process. 


Location:   Dunwoody Nature Center - 5343 Roberts Drive, Dunwoody, GA 30338

Latex paints often end up in the landfill. Chemicals leached from this paint can have deleterious effects on soil, air and water. Innovative paint disposal operations, such as our partners at Atlanta Paint Disposal, have provided an alternative; in addition to separating, bulking and filtering the paint to produce a reusable paint product, Atlanta Paint Disposal donates large quantities of paint to community beautification projects. Their largest quarterly donation goes to the Graffiti Task Force of Atlanta. The Earth Day paint recycling event is part of a larger effort by the Nature Center and the City of Dunwoody to encourage environmentally-friendly behavior among residents.

Dunwoody News: Parks & Rec Master Plan Survey, *NEW Park Opening 4/29*, Activities & more!

Parks Public Survey

Today (4/22) is the last day to complete the Dunwoody Parks & Recreation Master Plan Survey

The Parks & Recreation Master Plan Survey is open to all Dunwoody residents. Please visit to complete the online survey. The survey will close tonight (4/22) at midnight. 
Community involvement and public input will be a critical component of the master planning update process. Answer the survey and help create a better Dunwoody! 
For additional information on the Parks and Recreation Master Plan Update or the survey, please visit or email

Earth Day EventsDunwoody Earth Day Celebrations Take Place on Saturday, April 23rd

In honor of Earth Day, the City of Dunwoody and the Dunwoody Nature Center are hosting 'Stream Clean-up' and 'Paint Recycling' events Saturday, April 23rd. 
Stream Clean-up: Lend a hand! Volunteers will help to clean-up portions of Nancy Creek behind the *New* Park at Pernoshal Court April 23, 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. To volunteer please contact Rebecca Keefer at The group will meet at the Park at Pernoshal Court (4575 North Shallowford Road, Dunwoody.) Work clothes, boots, bug spray and sunscreen recommended. Gloves, tools and trash bags will be provided.
Paint Recycling: Recycle your old paint at the Dunwoody Nature Center on April 23, 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. For a fee of $1 per gallon, residents can drop off any unwanted paint at the Nature Center (5343 Roberts Drive, Dunwoody) to help promote healthier air and water quality. If you have any questions call the Dunwoody Nature Center at 770.394.3322. In the past more than 8,000 gallons of paint have been recycled through this event – help us set another record this year!!!
Check the city's event calendar and Dunwoody Nature Center website for updates and inclement weather notifications. 

DeKalb SanitationAs of April 18th changes have been made to DeKalb County garbage and recycling container requirements and collection procedures 

As apart of DeKalb County's Rolling Forward to One initiative, the county announced the implementation of Phase II of the sanitation service change, which ensures that every single-family residence received a garbage roll cart.
Effective April 18, 2016, the Sanitation Division implemented changes to garbage and recycling container requirements and collection procedures, which were approved by the DeKalb County Governing Authority. Only county-provided garbage and recycling containers are approved for use. Customers not in compliance will not be serviced until their next scheduled collection day. A notice will be issued advising of the use of an unapproved garbage or recycling container. Noncompliant customers will also be required to place their garbage or recyclable materials in county-approved containers for servicing. 
Inquiries regarding Phase II should please be directed to the Sanitation Division’s customer service team at 404.294.2900 or  
For more detailed information, please visit

Brook Run Dog ParkBrook Run Dog Park celebrates its 10th Anniversary on Sunday, April 24th from 11am-1pm

Join the Brook Run Dog Park Association, Inc. (BRDPA), other dog lovers, local rescue groups and pet vendors in celebrating the dog park's 10th anniversary on Sunday, April 24th from 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. at Dunwoody's own Brook Run Dog Park located at 4770 North Peachtree Road.
The first 100 animals with reservations with receive FREE micro-chipping, a gift from the BRDPA. Please visit the news section of the website for more information on how to sign up your dog. 
For more information please visit

Nature Center Plant SaleDunwoody Nature Center Spring Plant Sale: Ordering Deadline Wednesday, April 27th

The Nature Center is hosting its annual spring plant sale 'Contain Yourself.' The Nature Center's team of Master Gardeners are offering suggestions for beautiful flower combinations for containers. All of the profits from the annual spring plant sale benefit the programs and operations of the Nature Center. To order visit:

Park Opening

Park at Pernoshal Court Opening: Friday, April 29th at 4pm 

Please join the City of Dunwoody in celebrating the opening of the *NEW* Park at Pernoshal Court located at 4575 North Shallowford Road, Dunwoody. Festivities begin at 4:00 p.m. and will include a ribbon cutting, food trucks, bike ride around the trail, games, and a FREE outdoor movie (Disney Pixar's The Good Dinosaur (PG)) in the meadow beginning at dusk. 
Check the city's event calendar page for more information. 

Monarchs and Margaritas logoMonarchs & Margaritas & Moonshine: Saturday, April 30th 6pm-9pm

Dunwoody Nature Center is hosting its premier spring event Monarchs & Margaritas (& Moonshine!) at Dunwoody Park on April 30th from 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Guests are encouraged to pick out a pair of favorite boots to wear to this Southern Chic party benefiting the Nature Center. The event will feature live music, catering and an evening full of fun! 
For more information and to purchase tickets

Peachtree Middle Garden

Grand Opening of Peachtree Charter Middle School's Butterfly Garden: Saturday, May 7th 10am-noon

Please join Peachtree Charter Middle School at their Botanical Garden (4664 North Peachtree Road Dunwoody) on Saturday, May 7th for the grand opening of their butterfly garden. Peachtree Charter Middle School, was awarded a grant from Monarchs Over Georgia and the Roslynn Carter Butterfly Trail to build a butterfly habitat in the school garden. The event takes place from 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. If you are interested in attending RSVP to