Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Parks' Bonds; Dunwoody Urgent Care

In case you missed it, there was a very thoughtful article in this past week's Dunwoody Reporter on the parks' bonds that will appear on this November's ballot.  The inconsistencies and lack of specifics of the referendums are part of the reason, I believe, the bonds will fail.  I was speaking with District 1 at large candidate Terry Nall this past week, and he told me about growing up in Greensboro, NC, and how specific that city's bonds were.  It made perfect sense - you knew exactly what you were voting for or against.
As well intentioned as our city council is, we need a lot more specifics concerning these bonds.  I have to take exception with a comment a very smart friend of mine made when he said, "Bob, we have to trust our elected officials."  My immediate thought was, "Didn't we trust our elected officials in Washington?"

Greg Crnkovich
By Greg Crnkovich
Dunwoody Reporter
On Nov. 8, 2011 Dunwoody voters will be asked to approve or decline two revenue bonds for the acquisition of parkland and the refurbishment of existing and future parks. These two bonds total $66 million and are to be divided equally between acquisition and refurbishment costs.
The general public is aware of these features of the bonds, but questions remain unanswered about several components of the bonds.
The bond values appear, at first glance, to match up with the land acquisition and improvement estimates put forward in the 2011 Parks, Recreation and Open Space Master Plan approved by the city. However, there are serious gaps between the bonds, as proposed, and the budget outlines in that document.
The Parks Master Plan calls for over $59 million in land acquisition and development costs, but this still includes approximately $13.5 million for greenways. Less than $4 million of this estimate is for land purchases. The remaining $9 million would be for improvements if these greenways were constructed.
Click Parks' Bond to read full story.

Big Thumbs Up for Dunwoody Urgent Care

Until Monday evening, I had not had the occasion to use Dunwoody Urgent Care.  But that changed when my son, Jack, hurt his shoulder during football practice at Murphey Candler Park at about 7pm that evening.  I really didn't how serious the injury was, and did not want to needlessly spend a couple of hours at Northside ER or Children's Healthcare, only to find out it was a bruise.  So as we was driving home, my wife called Dunwoody Urgent Care.  Dr. Casey Locarnini said he usually closes at seven, but to swing by, he would take a look at Jack.  Dr. Locarnini was fabulous.  He saw us right away, put Jack at ease with his tremendous bed-side manner, dispensed some pain medication and said come back in the morning for an x-ray.
Tuesday morning we returned to DUC, had virtually no wait, got the x-ray Jack needed, and were on our way.  Considering it was a visit to the doctor, it was a great experience.  I highly recommend DUC. 
Oh by the way, Jack's injury turned out to be a broken collarbone - his football season is over!

One Last Chance

Good luck to the faltering Atlanta Braves this evening.  The Braves need to beat the Phillies and for the Cardinals to lose to the Astros in order to make the playoffs.  If both the Braves and Cardinals win (or lose), the two teams will go to a one-game, winner-take-all contest on Thursday.  If the Braves lose and the Cardinals win, the Braves will miss the playoffs; this despite holding a seemingly insurmountable 8.5 game lead on the Cardinals on Sept.5.   Tonight's game is a 7:10pm start on SportSouth. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Real Estate Update

Great new listing of mine (above) coming up - less than 60 second walk to Murphey Chandler Park.  If you know of anyone in the market, please send them in my direction.  I'll be happy to provide them with exceptional service.
Until the job market gets turned around in the metro area, home prices will continue to fall.  The good news is Dunwoody continues to out-perform the area as a whole, however pricing is not where homeowners would like it to be.
Currently there are 151 active listings in Dunwoody in the 30338 and 30360 zip codes.  34 homes are currently under contract.  The ratio of active listings to those pending is not great, but it's better than it has been.  The median average for active listings is $350,000.  In the past 60 days, 53 homes have sold (median sales price is $320,000), compared with 40 in the same time frame last year.  However, the median average of those 40 homes last year was $396,000.  Does that the mean the market is down 19 from last year?  No.  It simply means more lower priced homes are selling.
To view any of the active listings with photos, in descending order by price, click on the first link below.  To view as a list, click on the 2nd link.

Buyer Report

Mayoral Debate

I don't know the party affiliation of any of the three candidates for mayor, but the North Dekalb Republican Women’s Club will host at City of Dunwoody Mayoral Candidate debate on Saturday, October 1st at Dunwoody Library. A Meet & Greet with coffee will begin at 10:00 AM, followed by Introductions and Q & A Session at 10:30 AM. Please feel free to bring your friends and your questions and to the event. Please pass this on to friends and neighbors that are interested in the Future of the City of Dunwoody.  The Dunwoody Homeowners Association will hold its candidate forum on October 13th at the new Dunwoody High School auditorium.  Election Day is Tuesday, November 8.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Mayoral Candidate Meet-and-Greet; Pancake Breakfast

We are less than seven weeks away from the November elections - do you know the platforms of the candidates running for mayor and city council?  The Dunwoody Homeowners Association will hold a candidate forum on October 13th at the new Dunwoody High School auditorium.
In the meantime, the candidates are hosting meet-and-greets, including mayoral candidate Mike Davis.  The public is invited to his event this Friday night at Kingsley Racquet & Swim Club.  I plan on attending.  (I'm happy to post events for all the candidates).

Wildcats Pancake Breakfast

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Odds and Ends

My last blog entry concerned the morning traffic on Womack Rd.  The flashing red light at the intersection with Vermack Rd. combined with the additional cars on the streets destined for Dunwoody Elementary, Vanderlyn and the high school, make for the perfect storm.  Since writing that blog entry, I have sent an email to Dunwoody Police Chief Billy Grogan - who's usually prompt with a response - and communicated with Rosemary Gorham, the head of the transportation committee at DES.   Rosemary tells me a large part of the problem is one-third of all students at DES are driven to school by their parents.  That is an extremely large percentage considering that most all students have access to bus service. 
Rosemary went on to say that she was in touch with the Clean Air Campaign, and in connection with CAC sent out a carpool form to all parents, trying to match up potential carpool families. She got 4 returned forms.  Four! 
This past week, Dunwoody Talk also addressed the traffic issue.

A Fall Saturday at Murphey Candler

While most of the at large candidates for Dunwoody City Council spent the weekend campaigning, councilor John Heneghan spent his Saturday at Murphey Candler Park serving as "water boy" for his son Riley's football team.
City Closes on PVC Farm

The City of Dunwoody is now, officially, the proud owner of the PVC Farm, the 16-acre parcel between Chamblee Dunwoody Rd. and N. Shallowford Rd.  It's assumed that the city has targeted that land for greenspace, but that is not necessarily the case.
The news release from the city says, "Through the Georgetown/North Shallowford area master planning effort, and the previous Comprehensive Land Use Plan, the City received extensive feedback and input from the community indicating this property could better serve the community as a park, civic or institutional use, and/or future public/private venture as a catalyst for redevelopment of the area. Following basic site stabilization, including capping and sub-grading of the existing PVC pipe and basic site maintenance the city will work with the public to further investigate all potential uses of the property outlined in the Master Plan.
Whether this becomes a park or a public/private venture, it is a win-win for Dunwoody.  The same cannot be said of the $66 million that city council is trying to raise through two November bond referendums.  Simply too many questions - read Farmer Bob.

Rain Barrel Workshop

This coming Thursday night, I'm attending a rain barrel workshop that I learned about through the City of Dunwoody (kudos to city officials).  Chattahoochee Riverkeeper Bonny Putney is the presenter.  The cost of the workshop is $35, which is a steal.  For the price of admission, I'll get a 55-gallon rain barrel (donated by Coca Cola), as well as all the necessary accessories.  Typically, the price of a 55-gallon barrel is $80-120.  For more information, contact Linda Shulin at

Dunwoody Prep Killer Cops Insanity Plea

Don't know if you saw this article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution over the weekend.  I find the comments by Hemy Neuman's attorney, Doug Peters, very disturbing.  He says, "The issue is not what happened, but why it happened."  I seriously doubt the late Rusty Sneiderman, or his children, would agree!

By Christian Boone
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Hemy Neuman's lawyers filed notice Friday their client will plead not guilty by reason of insanity, acknowledging he in fact shot and killed Rusty Sneiderman outside a Dunwoody day care facility last November.
"The issue is not what happened, but why it happened," said attorney Doug Peters in an interview with the AJC. "The facts of this case are not in dispute."

Peters said, because of Neuman's mental illness, he was unable to differentiate between right and wrong at the time of the shooting.
"We are relieved that Mr. Neuman has admitted that he killed Rusty Sneiderman," said Seth Kirschenbaum, the attorney representing the vicitm's widow, Andrea Sneiderman. "This was a cold-blooded, pre-meditated murder, however. Hopefully, the prosecution is prepared to rebut his insanity defense. "
Click AJC to read the rest of the story.

DCSS Input Session

What: A Community Engagement Session to gather input from stakeholders
When: Tuesday, September 20, 2011, 6:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
Where: The DeKalb County School System Administrative and Instructional Complex (AIC) Auditorium, 1701 Mountain Industrial Boulevard, Stone Mountain, GA 30083
Who: All DeKalb County School System stakeholders are invited to participate.

To Attend: Please RSVP by calling 678-676-0023 or by email: If you need an interpreter in order to participate, please notify us of your specific needs when you RSVP.
An on-line survey will be available for those who can't attend the meeting. A link to the survey will appear on the district's website immediately following the meeting.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Morning Traffic on Womack

This is not an actual photo of the morning traffic on Womack Rd.  It only seems like it.
My daughter is a 4th grader at Dunwoody Elementary who rides the bus to school everyday.  The morning bus arrives at our stop at 6:51am, so she gets up early to catch it.  Not an issue.  This past Thursday evening she was up late studying for a test, so we allowed her to "sleep in" until 6:50am, and I drove her to school.  What an experience that was!  Driving east on Womack Rd. through the four-way flashing light at Vermack was a breeze.  But once I got to the school driveway, it was stop-and-go (mostly stop) the rest of my trip.  And the return home was a nightmare!
In all, it took 45 minutes to make the round trip to Dunwoody Elementary.  45 minutes to drive 1.8 miles!  Part of the problem lies with the school.  Principal Johnathan Clark holds the carpool lane until teachers are in their classroom because he says he has nowhere to put the kids.  He says the gymnasium and cafeteria are at capacity from the children riding the bus.
The other part of the problem is the number of cars making left-hand turns out of the parking lot, and then by 7:45am the volume of cars backed up by the flashing light at Womack and Vermack (this intersection becomes an issue with teachers and students at Dunwoody High now part of the equation).
Unfortunately the crossing guard at Dunwoody Elementary cannot direct traffic (he is not trained).  If he could, that would solve part of the problem.  Another solution would be for a Dunwoody police officer to direct traffic for 45 minutes or so.  I'll check into the latter and see if that is a possibility - it seems reasonable. 
Until then, I'll make sure my daughter gets in her studying before her normal bedtime!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

An Emotional 9/11

It's been an emotional, patriotic tenth anniversary of September 11, 2001, to say the least.  Some of the television programming has been rivoting, especially a program I watched on The History Channel about a hero by the name of Rick Rescorla, who predicted the attack on the World Trade Center.  It was his implementation of evacuation procedures that saved thousands of lives in Manhattan that tragie day.  Unfortunately, it didn't save his life.

It was a disappointing start to the season for the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, getting throttled by the Bears in Chicago, 30-12.  But what a stirring performance of the National Anthem by Jim Cornelison.  Click on the photo below to watch.

A Dunwoody resident by the name of Brian Mand has edited a book about 9/11, The Legacy Letters:  Messages of Life and Hope from 9/11 Family Members.   All proceeds go to the non-profit Tuesday's Children.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

DHA Agenda, Update from Councilman Shortal, Support our Firefighters

Below is the agenda for this Sunday evening's Dunwoody Homeowners Association meeting.  The meeting is at 7:30pm at the Cultural Arts Center next to the library.  The public is always welcome. 

Announcements and introduction of new board members and distinguished visitors

1. Approval of Minutes – for August 2011 Board meeting
2. DHS Dunwoody Girls Lacrosse
3. Starbucks on Ashford-Dunwoody @ Ravinia.  Presentation by the K. Zickert for the applicant
4. The Tile Shop (next to Rooms To Go) signage variance.  Presentation by Carl Westmoreland for the applicant
5. Survey of membership on COD Parks Bonds
6. Discussion of Candidate forum(s) for October
7. Board only session

Votes as needed on any motions.  Adjourn.  Next board meeting: Sunday, October 2, 2011.

Update from Councilman Shortal

Good evening fellow citizens ... some quick items of interest ...

1. Climb the Manhattan Tower ... This Saturday morning our Dunwoody Firemen spear headed by Patrick Lindstrom of Station 21 will climbing the stairs of the 26th floor Manhattan Towers .. located at 4561 Olde Perimeter Way, in Dunwoody. This is the condo building located close to the Target in the Perimeter Mall area. I will be in the first group of climbers with our fireman (they are going to climb in full gear .... I will be in shorts, T-shirt and running shoes ... what a wimp!!) and we are meeting at 8 AM. A group of climbers will leave every few minutes until everyone has made the climb. This is to honor the 343 firefighters and 60 policeman who lost their lives heroically on 9/11/2001. You can register to join the climb at ... then go to Dunwoody Manhattan Memorial Climb. Registration fee is only $25 (it is tax deductible) and all proceeds go to the Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation. If you register on line you will get a T-shirt. If it is a last minute decision for you come on over and ... the ladies of the DWC ( I know one of them personally) will get you registered.

2. Paving. The paving is proceeding well with only a couple of equipment and weather delays. Roberts Dr will be paved from Chamblee Dunwoody Rd north to the Sandy Springs city line. Depending on weather, etc we should start the paving process here approx. 15 - 19 SEP. It will take approx. 10 day for completion ... again depending on weather, etc. The plan is to start work at 8 AM and shut it down at 2 PM daily. There will be lane closures, etc. during this period, thus I highly recommend you avoid Roberts Dr during the paving. I also highly recommend Austin School students walk to school to the max extent possible during this period. It will be beautiful when finished. A by-product of this paving will be a 3 - 5' bike lane on both sides of Roberts .... this will add a much needed safety factor for our children who are walking and riding their bikes to Austin School. Also provide a bike lane for those adults that just want to go for a bike ride. Remember paving roads REQUIRES patience from all of us!!

3. Sidewalks .... Although we do not yet have a timeline there will be about 70' of sidewalk, just passed Fire Station 12 on the way to Austin School, replaced. For those of you that walk to school you know this area .... which is badly broken up. This will be another safety enhancement for our children walking/riding their bikes to school.

4. Walk to School Day ... Today was the first "Walk to School Day" of the year. To me this is a win/win situation and I would like ever day to be a "Walk to School Day." At Austin we had 460 of the 650 children walk to school today ... and that was in a light drizzling rain. My thanks to the Austin School facility, the parent organizers and all of you parents and children who participated. I and Chief Grogan walked with the group from Mellow Mushroom .... and from what I saw the children really like walking to school. I hope everyone will try to make this a daily routine .... just think parents, you can get your exercise in by 8 AM.

5. Stage Door Players .... One of the real assets in our city is the Stage Door Players ... this is the arts right here in our midst. Great entertainment at a very reasonable price ..... and you can see the stage up close as there is not a bad seat in the house. I don't own any stock nor am I an actor in the Stage Door Players..... but I highly encourage you to support the Stage Door Players as we need to keep this asset alive and well in Dunwoody. Buy season tickets, buy a package or just go to some single shows .... I think you will be impressed with the quality.

That is all for tonight. Please pass this on to your friends, neighbors, members of your HOA or anyone you think maybe interested. If anyone wants to be added to my email list just let me. Again, thanks for you great positive support of our City ..

Let Us Continue To Build Our City Together

Denny Shortal
Dunwoody City Council, District One, Post-1 Mayor Pro Tem PH (O) 678-382-6700 (C) 678-246-9006

As we recognize the 10th Anniversary of 9/11, we honor those who lost their lives.

We ask that you help us acknowledge them on this day with a special tribute to the
343 FDNY firefighters and 60 police officers who perished.

WHAT: Twenty-Six Story Memorial Stair Climb
DATE: Saturday, September 10, 2011
TIME: 8:00am
WHERE: The Manhattan Condominiums
4561 Olde Perimeter Way
Dunwoody, GA 30338


§ This event is open to the public
§ Registration and payments can be made by visiting Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation at
§ All proceeds will be donated to the Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation
§ T-Shirts will be provided upon completion for pre-registered participants only
§ Any size donation or sponsorship is welcomed
For additional information contact FAO Patrick Lindstrom, 706-455-7398 or

NAME: ____________________________________ Shirt Size___S___M___L___XL___2X
ADDRESS: ________________________________
________________________________ PHONE #:______________________

By signing this form I agree that DeKalb County Government, DeKalb County Fire Rescue, City of Dunwoody or Manhattan Condominiums will not be held liable for any injuries I may sustain during this event.

Signature: _________________________Date: _______Received By: ________________________

Monday, September 5, 2011

I'm In, I'm Out

A funny thing happened on the way to running for office …
Let me start from the beginning.

I used to have one of the most wonderful next door neighbors imaginable – a wise grandfather with a heart of gold. His name was Bill Dunn. I recall the many times Bill and I would sit on his front porch discussing area politics, and life in general. Bill would often mention a very bright guy who, years earlier, lived on the opposite side, next door. He couldn’t gush enough about him – as a community-minded citizen; as a person. He’d say, “You would’ve like him.”
Fast forward to this past week. After announcing I would seek the council position being vacated by Danny Ross, I learned that another candidate had qualified to run for the seat. We reached out to one another, and late last week met for the first time.

He was interested to know where I lived in the Springfield subdivision, as he once was a resident of the neighborhood. It didn’t take long to figure out this was the very gentleman Bill spoke so highly of years before!
After an engaging three-hour get together, I realized why Bill thought so much of Kerry de Vallette. I also realized that Kerry’s vision of the city aligned with mine - shockingly so. And his passion for serving was even greater than mine.
With that, I have decided not to run for city council, but instead, endorse the candidacy of Kerry de Vallette. I have little doubt he will make an exceptional councilor.