Friday, January 30, 2009

Springfield from the Air, Super Bowl Pick

Ever wonder what our neighborhood looks like from above? One of the best websites for aerial views is http: // The website not only has the aerial shots that Google does, but it allows the viewer to rotate the shot in four different directions. However, like Google, the pictures are dated. My best guess is the satellite photographs are three-to-four years old.
Want my Super Bowl pick? I didn't think so! But here it is anyway - I like the Steelers to beat the Cardinals 21-17. I expect it to be an entertaining game from start to finish. Of course, I picked the Falcons to beat the Cardinals, so what do I know!

The Right Building, The Super Bowl, Separating Fact from Fiction

In the previous post, I attached a picture of the building at 41 Perimeter Center East, which will serve as the new Dunwoody City Hall. That, unfortunately, was the building across the street. The correct building is pictured above.
In case you are not a sports fan, the Super Bowl is Sunday. It matches the upstart Arizona Cardinals against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Just how good are NFL players? Click here and see for yourself. Sometimes it is hard to separate fact from fiction. Enjoy the game!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Location Chosen for City Hall, Home Expo to Close

Dunwoody City Council has unanimously approved a location for its first city hall - 41 Perimeter Center East, which is a 6-story building off Ashford Dunwoody Rd. near I-285, behind the Ravinia Complex. To a person, the council said it would have preferred a location more centrally located, but that economics dictated the choice. The 25,000 square foot space will house all administrative offices, the city council chamber, the city court and the police department. City manager Warren Hutmacher said the terms of the lease will save the city $350,000 on its first-year budget, and that the police department will occupy the premises on March 15, with city ready the beginning of May.
While city hall will be located behind Ravinia, The Home Expo Design Center across the street will soon close, as The Home Depot announced that it is shutting down all of its Design Centers.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

New Homestead Exemption Form, DeKalb CEO Holds Town Hall Meetings

The city of Dunwoody has modified its homestead exemption form so that you no longer have to provide your social security number when applying for the exemption. Click the link to file online: Homestead Exemption
DeKalb Chief Executive Officer Burrell Ellis will hold an unprecedented 11 public hearings throughout DeKalb County to ensure the people’s concerns and questions are addressed regarding the 2009 budget recommendations. Hearings will be held at the following locations from 7 – 8:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted:

Druid Hills High School
1798 Haygood Dr.
Atlanta, GA 30307
Monday, January 26, 2009

Chapel Middle School
3535 Dogwood Farms
Decatur, GA 30034
Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Chamblee Middle School
3601 Sexton Woods Dr.
Chamblee, GA 30341
Thursday, January 29, 2009

East Lake YMCA
275 Lake Blvd SE
Atlanta, GA 30317
Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Tucker Recreation Center
4898 LaVista Rd
Tucker, GA
Thursday, February 5, 2009

Stephenson Middle School
922 Stephenson Rd.
Stone Mountain, GA 30087
Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Torah Day School
1985 LaVista Rd., NE
Tucker, GA 30329
Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Exousia Ministries
2652 Bond St.
Lithonia, GA 30058
Thursday, February 12, 2009

St. Timothy United Methodist Church
5365 Memorial Dr.
Stone Mountain, GA 30083
Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Berean Community Center
2440 Young Rd.
Stone Mountain, GA 30088
Thursday, February 19, 2009

All residents are invited to attend. For more information on the 2009 budget, please visit

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Homestead Exemption, New Pizzeria in Dunwoody

Now that Dunwoody has become a city, is it necessary to file a new homestead exemption/assessment freeze? There does not appear to be a clear answer. However, to cover your bases, my suggestion is to re-file. You may do so by clicking on the following link and filing online: If you're not comfortable filing online, simply complete the application and send it to the P.O. Box provided. In either case, make sure you keep a copy for your records.
Is a new pizzeria headed to Dunwoody? Rumor has it that Vintage Pizzeria in Chamblee is considering another location at the current site of the Pavilion in the Shops of Dunwoody. If you've never been to Vintage, the pizza is fabulous. However, in my humble opinion, Dagwood's Pizza on Spalding Dr. is still the best in the area.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Dunwoody Hires Lobbyist

I'll have to admit that I am not privy to the information that is available to our mayor and city council members, nor to the advice being doled out by city manager Warren Hutmacher. However, hiring a lobbyist at a cost of $55,000 seems rather extreme, at least on the surface. Is this how our tax dollars are best spent? I'd love to hear your opinion.
By April Hunt
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Dunwoody has hired a lobbyist —- at a cost of more than $4,000 a month —- to give the new city leverage at the Statehouse in a looming conflict with DeKalb County over parkland.
Voting on a last-minute addition to its agenda, the City Council voted 6-1 to hire a lobbying firm, ConnectSouth, to work on state issues.
City and county officials have been negotiating on a variety of issues since residents voted to incorporate last year. But now with a deal reached on police protection, tensions have shifted to the question of parks.
The city wants to take over county parks and receive about $7 million officials believe remains earmarked for Brook Run park from a 2005 bond referendum. The county is continuing the talks through the County Commission, but so far it has balked at the city’s taking over the parks.
Supporters of the lobbyists said hiring the firm —- at $4,583 a month for the year —- would be another tool to use in negotiations.
“We have at times had an adversarial relationship with some of the county commissioners,” Councilman John Heneghan said. “We are negotiating in good faith, but we have to be looking at other legal means as well.”
The sole dissenting vote came from Councilman Robert Wittenstein. He objected to the $55,000 overall price tag, noting that the cost is not in the city budget and will need to come from contingency funds.
He also said the move to hire ConnectSouth was more about “pushing something through the Statehouse” than reaching a deal with DeKalb County on the takeover of property, most notably parkland.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Gran Torino: Thumbs Up

Where have I been? Rita and I went on a rare date Friday night to see a movie, and man-o-man was I stunned at the price of a ticket. We ordered online, and including the $1 service charge, the tickets were $11 each. Add $5.50 for a medium Coke and $6.75 for a medium popcorn, and all of a sudden paying $15 a month for HBO seems like a steal!

But the movie was worth the price of admission. We saw Clint Eastwood's Gran Torino. Eastwood stars as Walt Kowalski, a widower who holds onto his prejudices despite the changes in his Michigan neighborhood and the world around him. Kowalski is a grumpy, tough-minded, unhappy old man, who can't get along with either his kids or his neighbors, a Korean War veteran whose prize possession is a 1972 Gran Torino he keeps in mint condition. When his neighbor Tao, a young Hmong teenager under pressure from his gang member cousin, tries to steal his Gran Torino, Kowalski sets out to reform the youth. Drawn against his will into the life of Tao's family, Kowalski is soon taking steps to protect them from the gangs that infest their neighborhood.
I give it a thumbs up!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Time to Refinance, Crime Report

If you are not considering refinancing of your home, perhaps you should. Depending upon lender, interest rates for 30-year mortgages have dropped to as low as 4.375 percent! That is the lowest many of us can remember. If you need a referral for a quality lender, please let me know.
Here is the crime report for our area of Dunwoody from December 15 through January 1:

Total Crimes: 17
Burglary: 1 (The Wright Gourmet Shoppe)

There were numerous reports filed on automobile break-ins, the nearest at Mellow Mushroom.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Vote on Sign, Rudder Wins Again

The city of Dunwoody will soon have its own welcome signs. The city council has narrowed its choices down to three and is now asking the citizens of Dunwoody to vote. To see the three finalist and to cast your vote, click on the link below:
Congratulations go out to Springfield's own Mark Rudder, who won another bike race this weekend, a 17-mile competition in Dalton. Rumor has it the former Dunwoody High football star is set to celebrate a mini-milestone birthday this week!