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Notes on Neighborhood: March 2012

SEABA Updates
By Ashley McCartney
SEABA made great strides in 2011 and we are looking forward to an even better 2012. As a recap, our soirees in 2011 had an average of 20 guests each, up from 10 or less in the past! We now have 77 members on our Facebook page. We began our quarterly luncheon series with great reception from our members and speakers. We sponsored the Twisty Park festival and attended Grant Park’s Birthday celebration commemorating the Grant Park Conservancy in an effort to show our commitment to this community. We had ten businesses host events, five of which had never done so before. We began what I think will be a lasting relationship with Maynard Jackson High School. SEABA is really growing, which allows us to better achieve our mission-help small businesses in South East Atlanta.
Our first soiree of 2012 was a huge success! The Shed at Glenwood graciously hosted our eighteen guests. They really went out of their way in providing us with delicious hour’derves and fabulous service. We thank the Shed for their gracious hospitality and their support of SEABA.
Our next soiree will be held on February 16, 2012 from 5:30 to 7:15 at a location TBD. Check our website and Facebook page for updates. Bring your business cards! This is where deals get started!
In March, we will begin our 2012 business luncheon series at Zoo Atlanta. Rick Hudson will give his famous “Beltline 101” presentation, which fills us in on the progress and how the project can better our businesses and community.
In April, Gardenhood will host us for Networking in the Garden. This was one of the favorite events from last year and we thank Garden Hood for offering to host us again.
Good things are on the horizon for SEABA. Please check out our new SEABA website at www.seabaga.org for information about our new membership guidelines, leaders, membership benefits, and tactical and strategic plans for 2011-2012. If you would like to be on our mailing list or know more about our organization just send an email to ashmccartney@gmail.com and we’ll get back to you. We are also now on Facebook.
SEABA (South East Atlanta Business Association) was created through the merger of the Reynoldstown/Cabbagetown Business Association and the Grant Park Merchants Association in 2006. Our most important goals are to strengthen and grow the business community and enhance the quality of life for all residents. SEABA is a 501(c)(6) non-profit corporation operated by volunteers.
EACA Meeting – Tuesday, January 10, 2012
7:10 p.m. Meeting called to order. Welcome to 1st installment of EACA 2012
Public Safety Report – City of Atlanta Officer Heeb and newly appointed beat officer B. Smith. Does anyone have any questions? Couple continual problems – drivers on Moreland Ave not respecting pedestrians in crosswalk. Cut through traffic on FS and Ormewood and speed bumps on McPherson are helping. Is cut through traffic illegal? It is when it is speeding. The speeding problem is never going to go away on Moreland because people are going to use it during busy times of the day. The officer will request that the beat officers pay more attention. The detection of speed is limited to where the officers can set up. The department has vehicles designated for traffic. Moreland ave is thoroughfare from Ellenwood to Emory, so most of the traffic is transient, but the speed limit does need to be enforced. Will address with Sarge and bring out traffic cars to bump up enforcement. Crime for last month – Seems like most of the crime happened around Christmas with the exception of last couple days. Car breakins around Brownwood/Stokeswood. Burglaries – none since 28th of Dec. Only robbery was at 3:30 this morning on Bouldercrest. Good description of the perpetrator was given out.
Crime Trends – Jenny Murray, chair, does not have year over year, but we have seen significant decreases. Compared to last year, crime is down 9 percent. An Increase in assaults was seen in the last month, but all were family related. Auto theft – increased, not any pattern. Drop in burglaries. Comforting to see that. Overall crime trends are dropping across the country. Seems counterintuitive since the economy is so bad. WSJ article about that. AJC has article quoting Robert Friedman. Crimes are down in GA. Went from 42K to 39K in 2010, 7% drop. Property crime drop of 2.3% Criminologists are baffled, according to Friedman. Across country, crimes are down. We have seen that consistently in this neighborhood. Crime is social, not economic, in nature. Better policies in big cities. In zone 6, focusing on gang crime to reduce crime. Aging population less likely to commit crime. Lesser incentive because prices are lower. Drug problem is getting more under control.
New Residents – No new residents attending the meeting tonight. If you haven’t done so yet, please pay your 2012 dues to Kevin Spiegner.
Liquor License Application – Ed Gilgor presented a single liquor license application for 1981 Flat Shoals – Exxon Food Mart, change of agent licensee. No operational change for business. Does anyone have any issues? Jenny Murray wants clarification. Do the current owners of the Exxon Food Mart have any ownership interest in the c-store at Bouldercrest and Flat Shoals. Owners – none. Lawyer here around end of September, KYV Group LLC. Jenny miffed because Bouldercrest store is across from church. Question – does corporation have any interest in any other stations within 5-6 miles. Lawyer – no. Motion to approve. Second. No opposition. All in favor. Motion to pass unanimously.
Presentation by Recycle EAV – Kate Crosby, the founder of Recycle EAV, gave a presentation on what Recycle EAV does and why. What is RecycleEAV? Kate was a bartender for seven years and threw away a lot of glass. She got together with friends in 2009 and they tried to resolve situation. They brainstormed the best way to rectify the situation. They thought if they made recycling free, people would have no reason not to participate. Recycle EAV funds eight 95 gallon recycling bins. They pay for weekly pick up as well as overflow services. They encourage residents and businesses to use the service. Conex Recycling provides service. Kate presented a performance report for Dec 2009-July 2011. They have recycled over 55 tons since 2009. Shows how much we drink in this neighborhood:) Recycle EAV is on the right track and want it to continue. It has a lot of potential for growth. Recycle EAV is paid for all through fundraising. At Strut 2010, they did t-shirt fundraiser. Made prizes from recycled material for Run Before you Crawl. The Recycle EAV mascot is the Trash Troll. They do little fundraisers here and there to raise what they needed. Strut 2011 made a robot out of recycled material. The Midway Craft Market they sponsored raised $300, or 3 months of recycling. More events are in the works. Working with Parks & Greenspace and Arts & Culture committees for a new Earth Day benefit this year. Conservation in action demonstrations. Another craft market and a lantern parade. The beautification committee is also planning a neighborhood cleanup. Recycle EAV is planning an Artists Market for Valentines Day. And they will participate in Adopt-A-Street program. In the next year they want to expand their recycling services in the following ways: form another station of bins, composting station for the village, recycling bins beside trash cans, adding recycling bins to Brownwood. Recycle EAV needs volunteers – recycleeav@eaca.net. Comment from the audience: For the small number of people, impressed with accomplishments. Kate believes this is the best neighborhood and wants to keep it that way. Comment: How about a recycling electronics day? Recycle EAV Response: Earth Day benefit is same day as tire roundup and we are also thinking about adding paint to the recycling program for that day. Comment: House member Carla Smith from District 1 does a semi-annual electronics dump – might have a vendor you can use. Comment: How about recycling cell phones? A local high school is doing a fund raiser. You can drop them off at Bound to Be Read. Kate’s enthusiasm is very contagious. Happy she is part of EACA.
Parks & Greenspace Committee Update – Laird Ruth, co-chair of Parks and Greespace, enlisted volunteers for Brownwood Park MLK Day of Service, Monday, January 16. From 10-1. Volunteers will be cleaning up the garden and the new trail, and distributing mulch on the Ormewood side. Bring a pair of gloves. Other tools will be provided. Questions – send email to parks@eaca.net Would like to get a number of people in advance so can plan for food.
Land Use and Zoning Committee Updatelanduse@eaca.net – Andy Schneggenberger, committee chair. The committee meets the first Tuesday of the month in conjunction with NPU (meeting 4th Wednesday of the month) at Martha Brown, 7 pm. One update tonight. Last night a development team held a meeting to get some neighborhood feedback about a potential conditioned storage space on Moreland, north of Confederate. This development would take place on a parcel where a residential subdivision was planned to be built. Not sure how many units because the information is second hand. There would be parking on Moreland side of the parcel. The kicker about this parcel is that it is part in City of Atlanta (COA), part of Unincorporated Dekalb (Uni-D). The Dekalb part of the property has to be rezoned. Right now, the Dekalb part of the parcel is zoned OD (office distribution). Don’t know what allowable uses are in that category. Residential neighors adjacent on Dekalb side, not particularly excited about having that zoning in their backyards. Question: What else allowable according to that zoning category? Answer: If development applicants want to change the zoning, they have to submit paperwork to county by Thursday. If they do, it is a month-long process and there is an opportunity for input and action if EACA feels it is necessary. Ed Gilgor comment: Any discussion of conditioning zoning on site plan so can only be rezoned to OD and only this storage facility. Andy S. question: is that even legal? Ed: as far as he knows it is, but might not be. Andy: the parcel is part of LCI study (master planning initiative for corridor) – identified as mixed use R/C parcel. The rear part of the lot was not contemplated at all in LCI (only the COA part). Doesn’t coincide with vision of city and residents. Jack Greundler question: Did you say there are 200 parking spaces? Andy – no 200 ft, 47 parking spaces. Jack: How much traffic expected to generate? Andy: 15-20 vehicle trips per day. Henry Bryant: Is the stone quarry the back part of the property? Ralph Green: Yes. Just informational tonight, but we will be hearing more in the next month. Question: How many parcels? Andy: Just one, part in COA, part in Uni-D. Question: Do they need 47 parking places? Unanswerable. Question: Will residents have any input on landscaping? Talking about storing vehicles in addition to storage? Andy: looks like customer parking. Question: What about storm water retention – on north branch of entrenchment creek. Do provide a buffer and pond in the back. Parcel has not been purchased, this is conditional on rezoning. We can provide input after Dekalb approves rezoning. Question: How tall is it? Andy: In the front 1 above grade, 1.5 above grade, 2.5-3 story building on the back end. Question: The adjacent property to the south is Papa John’s Pizza. Ed read that the neighborhood position supported the business if they would add more trees and the business refused. The developer hired lawyers, so now it is in superior court. Laird: Is there any way EACA could send a letter to discourage that type of planning prior to a potential application? Ed: No. Without an application, there’s no one to send a letter to. Jack: Could we send a letter to Dekalb county expressing in general terms support for things that respect land use in the LCI? Perhaps asking COA and Uni-D to implement the zoning recommended by the LCI. We have worked on that before. Andy: Issue there is that parcel not defined by LCI on Dekalb part of parcel. But the point is taken, at least to educate Dekalb about LCI and future issues. Lewis: We don’t really have all the information yet. We will next month.
Beautification Committee and Adopt-A-Street program updates – Moko Moone is the new beautification chair. We’ve talked about EA Adopt-A-Street program at other meetings. Lewis and Kevin recently had a meeting with Natalyn Archibong to discuss the legalities of signage placement as far as the right of way. Two issues- 1) COA 2)Uni-D. To get the program totally kicked off, we having to deal with two different entities. Happy to report that COA has approved the program and approved placement of signage on right of way. On Sunday will receive the final logos. Sarah Smith is working on the logos. Next step is to get the city sign kicked off while we’re working on Dekalb County.  Will the first Adopt-A-Street program in COA. Will be working with Moko and Alan to incubate the program. If you’ve signed up for a street, but haven’t heard much about the program, you will soon. Branan Towers has adopted Glenwood and are tying it in with their Wellness Walking program.
East Atlanta History Lesson – Henry Bryant showed a photo of the Zuber-Gerald mansion from 1930s. It is our lone National Register historic property in EA. The house is on Flat Shoals. Originally the property ran from Flat Shoals to Glenwood.  Mr. Zuber bought so he could be outside the city. East Side ave was east side boundary of COA.
Transportation Committee Update – Please send any transportation issues to Jack Gruendler, committee chair, at transportation@eaca.net.
Treasurer’s Update – Ralph Green – EACA’s 2012 budget is more of a detailed budget than we normally do but we have more money and we are trying to be as transparent as we can. Treasurer’s report is included.
Motion to approve the December minutes with changes recommended. Second. All in favor. Motion to pass unanimously 8:35 p.m. Meeting Adjourned.
Porch Press Board Meeting – Winter 2012
By Penny Luck
Present at the winter board meeting were Mia Pond, Lyn Hillman and Penny Luck representing Grant Park. Representing East Atlanta were Henry Bryant and Genie Strickland. Representing Ormewood Park were Fred Smith and Nancy Leighton.
The minutes of the fall board meeting were not available and approval was tabled until the next meeting.
The treasurer’s report was as follows was presented an accepted. Insurance policies for board liability and errors and omissions are due this month. This will total $3016 in premiums. Fred Smith to look at options on the CD at BOND as a cash infusion will be needed to print the paper until the CD matures. A motion was made and passed to remove $5,000 from the CD if there is no penalty for early removal and $10,000 if there is a penalty to get us operating cash through October. New advertisers are still needed to keep the paper in the black. The treasurer’s report was accepted.
Advertising was discussed at length, noting that new advertisers need to be contacted to ask them to continue their ads. Genie Strickland volunteered to do same. A discussion was also held regarding the advertising trade-outs with Grant Central and Dakota Blue.
January is the month that the various neighborhood associations confirm the status of board members. SAND confirmed Nancy Leighton for another term as did EACA for Genie Strickland. GPNA has not confirmed the board status of Lyn Hillman and will be contacted by the paper to do so.
EACA is currently setting up a communication center and circulating a digital newsletter to its residents. Henry Bryant urged board members to communicate more with new officers of neighborhood organizations to communicate more about The Porch Press purpose and mission with the side purpose of obtaining more articles and advertising. This induced a discussion of the relativity of The Porch Press and where it stands with residents, its history and its philanthrophy.
Due to the current financial condition of the paper there will be no spring retreat in 2012 and a normal board meeting will take place at Adams Realtors on April 9, 2012. Meeting was adjourned at 8:25 pm.
GPNA Meeting Minutes – November 15, 2011
By Laurie Baggett
GPNA meeting called to order. President Russell Baggett welcomed members and reviewed NPU voting guidelines. NPU-W Chair Ed Gilgor explained voting rules & held NPU election, read nominations, recommended motion to go forward with the group, motion 2nded for acclimation of group all agreed, none opposed. Jeff Rogers made a point of order to check red boxes or vote is invalid.
Russell introduced candidates who spoke about (re-)election. Chris Balch explained his background in being an effective advocate in affairs. Each of the current board members had an opportunity to say what they have done and gotten accomplished. Stephanie Warner asked to have a write in for a co-chair, Jason Parker. It was agreed upon and voting took place.
Russell thanked Zoo Atlanta for use of their space. The next GPNA meeting is 12/20. He explained a $500 grant to Atlanta Charter Schools to plant fruit trees for learning about edible plants. Motion made to donate, seconded, all approved.
Dave Hicks from Aarron’s L5Flyers reviewed the Grant Park Criterium bicycle race. He thanked neighborhood restaurant sponsors & volunteers, then donated a $500 check to GPNA.
Lieutenant Browning updated information on 51, Part 1 crimes for 10/2011.
Fundraising-Selling pumpkins @ Grant Park Farmer’s Market (GPFM) resulted in $2,600.00 gross sales with a $1,400 net gain. GPFM asked for a $1500, $1000 was agreed upon in steering committee. A motion was made to give what was made, $1400. Motion had discussion, and failed. Second motion was made to add $100 to make the $1500 sponsor amount & was properly seconded and discussed, 3 opposed, majority in favor, motion passed.
GP Neighborhood Watch: Contact jeff.swing@gmail.com.
Vice President Lauren Rocereta passed out committee signup sheets for volunteer opportunities.
Secretary Laurie Baggett said October’s minutes are in front for review.
Treasurer Michelle Botwinick reviewed current treasurer’s report. 501-C-3 tax free donations can be made on the GPNA.org website.
Public Safety Chair Chris Newman said call 911 to report suspicious activity and spoke briefly about zone changes.
Economic Development Chair Jeff Rogers encouraged attendance to meetings.
Education & Children’s Issues Chair Meg Boeff said GPPN needs a new president. Meg also welcomed everyone to attend the Candlelight Tour the second weekend in Dec.
Historic Committee Chair Paul Simo said next meeting is the third Monday in Dec. regarding 2012 agenda
Land Use & Zoning Chair Rick Hudson gave next meeting information.
Parks & Recreation Chair Sharon Jenkins introduced Tally Spalvins, he spoke about Recreation Center hours are 10 am to 7 pm and stays open to leagues until 9 pm. 4-1/2 to 12-year old youth programs need volunteers. $35/wk after school programs. Senior programs 10am – 12 noon. Contact info 865-964-9300, taspalvins@atlantaga.gov. Call Coco @ 404-624-0697 for space rental information.
Technology Chair Stephanie Warner discussed advertising/sponsorship supports community & community supports us, please contact her via email for more info.
Transportation Chair Louie Ingle discussed meeting details. Christine Mann asked if pedestrian crosswalk uprights can be acquired for GPFM entrance, Louie stated he would assist.
Motion made to approve last month’s meeting minutes unanimously approved.
Voting results were announced and all current positions will continue on except for new additions Nikkia Hammonds as fundraising chair and Jason Parker as technology co-chair
Motion made to adjourn 8:58 pm.
GPNA Meeting Minutes – December 20, 2011
By Laurie Baggett
President Russell Baggett opened the meeting and thanked Zoo Atlanta for use of their space.
Lyn Hillman was unanimously nominated for Porch Press board.
Treasurer Michelle Botwinick updated accounts & treasurer’s report. Grant Park Security Patrol dues are paid out. Cash or in kind donations are 501-C-3 tax deductible.
Children & Education Chair Meg Boeff addressed Atlanta Public School’s redistricting & overcrowding issues city-wide. A motion was made for a vote to support all of Grant Park in a single (elementary, middle, & high school) zone according to the city’s definition of the neighborhood boundary. An amendment was made to use NPU-W’s districting guidelines as defined by city of Atlanta as geographic divisions so as to keep the neighborhood unit as a whole. It was properly seconded, all approved. Vote #2 concerns Maynard Jackson High School & the Western boundary at the connector to support SEAC’s position to include Summer Hill neighborhood to serve as western boundary, properly 2nded, all approved. Vote #3 involves one single middle school instead of 2 (Cohen in Edgewood & King) Pros & cons of closing King Middle School were discussed. A motion was made to support Maynard Jackson High School cluster zoning & opposing closure of Martin Luther King Middle School, discussion & motion 2nded, all approved. Next meeting to be established. megboeff@gmail.com or education @gpna.org,
Economic Development Committee Chair Jeff Rogers said next meeting is 1/2012. email economicdevelopment@gpna.org
Russell Baggett discussed next fund raising event – a Pub Crawl. Volunteers needed. Sunburst signs available.
Historic Committee Chair Paul Simo announced next meeting.
Land Use & Zoning Committee Chair Rick Hudson not present.
Atiba from GP Conservancy Board discussed park issues & plans to increase communications w/ GPNA by attending future meetings.
Tally Spalvins from the Recreation Center discussed web page “Friends of Grant Park Recreation Center” FaceBook page, handed out a survey for completion, is accepting community donations.
Technology Committee Chair Stephanie Warner send comments to her on website issues. PayPal option will be added in 2012. $4,300 made on Business Directory this year.
Transportation Committee Chair Louie Ingle is developing a projects list.
Russell Baggett made motion to approve last month’s meeting minutes, all approved. Motion made to make action items and budget for 2012 in Jan 2012, to alter Bylaws items, & vote in 2/2012, all approved.
Contact smurrell@atlanta.k12.ga.us or friend Sharonda Murrell on FaceBook regarding school issues.
Grant Park is now in Police Zone 6, from Zone 3.
9:08 p.m. meeting adjourned.
SAND January 12, 2012 Meeting Minutes and Notes
MINUTES:

  • SAND voted unanimously to approve a Transportation Committee motion urging the MARTA Board to approve an expansion plan along I-20 East and enhance SAND connectivity to other mass transit in Atlanta.
  • The minutes from the previous meeting on December 8, 2011, were approved without objection.
  • SAND Volunteers: Steve Norman presented a list of volunteers for SAND committee chairs for 2012: Schools and Children: Alfred Brooks; Transportation: Bob Titus; Land Use and Zoning: Fred Smith; Webmaster: Kyle Booth; Membership: Anastasia Allain; and Boulevard Heights: Stacey Martin. All volunteers were approved without objection. Steve Carr volunteered to serve as By-laws Review Chair and was approved by a vote of 4-1.

NOTES:
District Attorney: Community Prosecutor Camarillo reported on the community prosecution and court watch programs. SAND will be updated on the court watch program in future meetings.
Atlanta Police Department: Sgt. Hutchinson reported on speeding in neighborhood school zones and other issues.
State Senate: Sen. Nan Orrock reported on several health policy issues and asked anyone interested in health policy to call her. She will provide a short list of issues of SAND interest at a future meeting.
Transportation: Bob Titus reported. A committee motion was presented to urge the MARTA Board to approve a preferred alternative plan for the East I-20 Transit Initiative that includes permanent mass transit facilities located within the City of Atlanta along the I-20 corridor and to include funding for significant investments intended to enhance the levels of connectivity between southeast Atlanta and metropolitan Atlanta. The committee motion was unanimously approved.
Schools and Children: Terry Roth reported on the Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School and SEACS. ANCS is pre-selling fruit trees from their future orchard. There will be a meeting on January 19 at 4:30 p.m. to discuss traffic issues around the school. The school was recently awarded a grant of almost $1 million to help teachers. The annual auction to support the school will take place on March 3. SEACS will meet on January 29 from 3:30 to 6:30 in the Grant Park Recreation Center to discuss neighborhoods in the school zone redistricting. Another meeting will be held on January 30 at Maynard Jackson High School for unveiling of two redistricting options. Peter Parkinwich agreed to serve as community representative for Wesley International School.
Land Use and Zoning: Steve Norman reported on a public storage facility proposed for Moreland Avenue near the Family Dollar Store. This is the location previously planned for townhouses. The plans were presented informally in a recent meeting and will be officially presented later to EACA and SAND.
Commercial sign violations: Steve Norman encouraged neighbors to use the SAND website to report locations of illegal signs and call vendors to request that illegal signs be removed.
Adjourned: The meeting adjourned at 8:50 p.m.

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