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Notes on Neighborhood: April 2011

SEABA Updates
By Ashley McCartney
On February 17, 2011, we met at Young Augustine’s for our second soiree of the year. We were greeted with delicious appetizers and incredible hospitality. We networked our hearts out with new and familiar faces alike. I am excited by the increased interest in our organization from local business owners and entrepreneurs. SEABA has big plans for 2011 and all business owners in the area should be a part of it.
Our next Soiree will be held on March 17, 2011 from 5:30 p.m. until 7:15 p.m. at a location to be determined. Yes, it will be a Saint Patrick’s Day networking extravaganza! Come enjoy some eats and drinks and meet other business owners and entrepreneurs in the neighborhood. This is where deals get started, so don’t forget your business cards! I cannot think of a better way to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day! Check our Facebook page or our website for information on the location.
Our first Business Luncheon of 2011 will be held at Zoo Atlanta on March 31, 2011 from 12:00 p.m. until 1:30 p.m. In addition to networking, we will enjoy a presentation by a Zoo representative about the future development of Zoo Atlanta and how it will impact our neighborhood and businesses. Complimentary lunch will be provided by Zoo Atlanta. If you are interested in attending, please RSVP to no later than March 24, 2011.
Please check the SEABA website for information about our new membership guidelines, committee 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 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.
Porch Press Winter Board Meeting
By Penny Luck
The Porch Press Board met on Feb. 7, 2011. Present were Henry Bryant, Nancy Leighton, Darin Glass, Fred Smith, Lyn Hillman, Marc Takacs and Penny Luck.
The treasurer’s report was made and accepted. The paper has been operating in the red for a third year, however, reserves from previous years have been utilized to cover any monthly shortfall. Besides holding the paper to at least 16 pages despite a lack of sustaining ad revenue in some months, spending to support neighborhood efforts while providing amenities for Porch Press volunteers contributes to the recent red ink. The loss of advertising, especially in the real estate arena, has caused the paper to be smaller in the past couple of years.
The secretary’s minutes were read and after a correction in publication dates, were accepted.
Old Business: A motion was made, seconded and passed via emails among the board members in December to donate $250 to the East Atlanta Kids Club.
New Business: A motion was made to extend the membership of existing board members until formal nominations have been received from the various neighborhood associations. Memberships were extended until the next board meeting in the spring.
The editors of each neighborhood have requested that they receive the corrected proofs of the articles they contribute each month. A lengthy discussion followed as to why this was necessary and whether that information should be returned. In fact, the discussion got quite lively. Henry Bryant is to discuss the matter with the coordinating editor before the next proof night. The editors also requested revised copy guidelines. These will be updated by the July board meeting.
The Porch Press website is up and running, although with limited data. More data and archives of papers will be added soon. It will not be a PDF format but a word press site. Completion is scheduled for the spring board meeting.
In light of reduced revenue, charitable donations made by The Porch Press were discussed and Penny Luck will draft some guidelines for same to be discussed at the spring board meeting. Future issues of the paper will include an ad requesting advertising from neighborhood businesses.
Also discussed once again, was placement of distribution boxes in the Ormewood Park neighborhood. A list of distribution boxes was requested by the board members. It was agreed to ask Dance411 to take copies of the paper for distribution to their clients.
Nancy Leighton requested that all articles including dates for the back page calendar be forwarded to her so that she may glean dates, times, locations, etc. from them.
Discussions were held regarding the location of the spring board meeting and possible dates were submitted to Henry Bryant for scheduling. Darin Glass will help research possible locations. The meeting adjourned at 9:15pm.
February GPNA Meeting Minutes
By Laurie Baggett
The Grant Park Neighborhood Association (GPNA) meeting commenced at 7:38 pm on February 15 with 44 in attendance including 4 new members.
President Russell Baggett thanked Zoo Atlanta for their hospitality, and Doc Chey’s for supplying delicious food.
Captain Cox of the Atlanta Police discussed local crime and recommended removing gadgets from parked cars & locking car doors. Call 911 & Park Department if park gates are unlocked after hours.
Zone 3 Community Prosecutor Claire Farley brought burglary task force community newsletters. Fulton County is having Court Watch Training. She discussed John Henderson’s upcoming case & introduced Gang Prosecutors Mr. Gabe Banks & Mr. Lance Cross to answer questions. Lieutenant Paul Guerrucci from Homicide also attended.
Georgia Hill Library Manager, Twana Canon, wants GP neighbors to utilize the library. Information at Saturday event on 6/4 from 11-3 needs volunteers. State Park & Zoo passes can be checked out. Computers with downloadable books and wi-fi are available.
Steve Hargrove discussed genRACEtion, a10K run/2012 Peachtree Road Race qualifier and 2K Fun Run on Saturday 5/21 benefiting Senior Citizen Services of Metro Atlanta & Kate’s Club charities. Motion made to accept & approved.
Sheryl Bennett from Council Member Carla Smith’s office discussed expanded annual Recycling Day with electronics & paint recycling, paper shredding, tires, etc. Sign up by 3/1 for 5-gallon paint giveaways for community projects.
Vice President, Lauren Rocereta, noted a by-laws review 2/26 at 3pm at Dakota Blue. Please visit & click “Like” & comment on our FaceBook site. Another FB workshop to be announced. Neighborhood Watch e-mail goes out this week to start the program.
Secretary Laurie Baggett stated that last month’s meeting minutes are in front for review and were posted on FaceBook and printed in the Porch Press.
Treasurer Michelle Botwinick read Representative Margaret Kaiser’s legislative update. Contact her at, home 404-223-6269, cell 404-784-6059, office 404-656-0265. She needs votes to approve the amended budget. Treasurer’s report reviewed & available in front. Join GP Security Patrol on our website. Donations to the neighborhood are tax deductible.
Public Safety Committee Chair, Chris Newman, did not have any additional issues.
Economic Committee Chair, Jeff Rogers, was not in attendance.
Education & Children’s Issues Committee Chair, Meg Boeff, asked residents to visit & use our local library. Watch for events at regarding Maynard Jackson High School changes. An Atlanta Public School Board meeting attendee group has formed, email her if interested. Weekend playgroups are held on weekends. NCS’s annual fundraising event, the Right Brain Mall, is on 3/5. At Parkside Elementary on 3/3 at 6:00pm there will be a PTA zoning meeting. The next social is Wednesday 3/3. She introduced and thanked Brenda Mohammed for attending tonight’s meeting.
Fundraising Committee Chairs were not in attendance. Contact Gigi Conner about Tour Of Homes issues. A Grant Park Farmer’s Market is being discussed at a potluck meeting Sunday 2/27 from 4 -7pm at the Mann’s residence on 547 Broyles Street. A Spring Pub Crawl fundraising event is 3/26 – make sure to join the fun! Michelle Botwinick thanked Sharon & Bo Jenkins for making sunbursts for fundraising which can be ordered by emailing Sharon at
Historic Committee Chair, Paul Simo, noted that the committee meets the third Monday of the month at 7pm at the Atlanta Preservation Center at the Grant mansion on St. Paul Avenue and needs volunteers. Another home history workshop will be held in March.
Land Use & Zoning Committee Chair, Rick Hudson, thanked Enso for seeking Leed Gold certification. Please attend “Beltline 101″, which is held every third Tuesday from 6-7pm at Historic Concepts in Glenwood Park.
Parks and Recreation Committee Chair, Sharon Jenkins, said recreation center is now open. On 3/5 her committee will be meeting there at 3pm. A Grant Park softball team will be discussed.
Technology Committee Chair, Stephanie Warner, suggested visiting on-line sites for information and advertisement opportunities.
Transportation Committee Chair, Louie Ingle, meets jointly with the land use & zoning committee. They will discuss the major initiative of a one-way conversion of Atlanta Avenue, and street-scaping, bicycle safety and Beltline issues.
A motion to correct a spelling error in minutes was made & approved.
Open Forum: Email for Yellow pages delivery opt out option. Cary Burgess with Zoo Atlanta will partner with local businesses to clean up bridge overpasses & on – off ramps leading into Grant Park and discussed a communication plan that is in place with the neighborhood regarding emergencies and events. Replacement 18” hex pavers for sidewalks are available from Paul Simo. Tennis pro Blake Murray can offer his services.
9:11pm meeting adjourned.
February 8th, 2011 EACA Meeting
7:10 p.m. Meeting called to order
Public Safety Report
Police Report – Major John Dalton, Zone 6, Atlanta Police Department
-We have made some significant arrests week (detailed in weekly report)
-We have 9 new officers
On the car break in, was there anything significant in the windows?
-Yes, if anything is in your car – it will encourage them to break in
There have been some HVAC units stolen in the neighborhood. Are these related to each other?
-We have made some arrests but can not pin point it to one group
-We are working on the recycling laws regarding copper to decrease the demand
Are there any tips you can give to avoid HVAC theft?
-Burglar bars for your AC
-They look for houses that are for sale or for rent
The news has a lot of information about a big change in the Red Dog units, how does that impact the zone?
-It should not interrupt our service in this zone
-Red Dog was designed for open air drug transactions and it is not necessarily as important now
Will we have any interruption in traffic with Michelle Obama’s visit?
-Yes, the immediate area will be closed down during her visit to Burgess-Peterson
Public Safety – Jennifer Murray, EACA Public Safety Co-Chair
-Biggest percent of our crimes is auto larceny
-We are down 23% vs prior year
-We cut 100 burglaries off
-We were down almost 50% vs December in January
Street Food
Greg Smith, Founder of the Atlanta Street Food Coalition
-Street food is a mobile unit that serves food
-It gives us the ability to bring good food to people with a festive, pedestrian friendly atmosphere that improves the local surroundings
-We commissioned a study with GA Tech to find out that 50% of people met new people during the event and 88% used social media to find out about the event
-The experience of cities shows that food vendors attract foot traffic to commercial districts, which means increased sales and more vibrant retail business for all
-We are including local businesses in our coalition to increase their expansion
-There would be a positive economic impact with more street food vendors
-We are working to build a consensus to make food vending more friendly for entrepreneurs
-We would like to see a new permitting system at the city level
-Our website address is: or or 404-585-1496 or
-Kwanza Hall and Natalyn Archibong have introduced legislation to assist with this and it is on hold for further investigation
What food is being served in Atlanta right now, how successful is it, and where can we get it?
The Auburn Curb Market is our epicenter right now and there are a few people in the Poncey-Highlands area
There are Pops, Korean Tacos, French Fries, and Burritos
-Raw meat can not be carried on the trucks right now and it limits menus
Farmer’s Market Legislation
Katie Hayes, Director, Community Farmer’s Markets
-I am your new Farmer’s Market manager this year
-We are moving to the empty lot across the street from the Midway Pub this year
-We worked with EACA to get a 50k grant to do educational outreach in the community
-We will be open May 5th – November 18th on Thursdays at 4:00 pm
-We will be offering a double food stamp benefit again this year
-There is a new ordinance out now for Farmer’s Markets that protects our operations, defines, and legitimizes us
-We need to work on some stuff such as the parking stipulations
Andy Schneggenburger, EACA Land Use & Zoning Chairperson
-There is a new ordinance being introduced that regulates the city’s Farmer’s Markets
-The NPU meeting last month had a presentation outlining and summarizing some changes to the ordinance
-Come to the next NPU meeting on the 4th Wednesday of this month at Martha Brown United Methodist if you are interested because we will be discussing this and my information is: email me if you would like more information
Land Use & Zoning Matters
Phillip Christensen, Graveyard Tavern
-We would like to expand into our basement to add additional facilities and event space
-This would be a good addition to the neighborhood
-We are applying for an expansion
-We have acquired the parking lot behind the space and we plan on making it more secure in the future
There is concern about noise coming from the venue, are you going to address that
-We have taken that into consideration and the sound level will be a lot better in the basement as all
Motion to support application for expansion at the Graveyard Tavern
All in favor – 30
All opposed – 0
Abstain – 1
Motion passed
Andy Schneggenburger, EACA Land Use & Zoning Chairperson
-A review of a variance application so that applicant can expand the roof on their house 1412 Van Epps Ave knows as V.210.211
-Surrounding neighbors have written a letter of support
Motion to support variance application V.210.211
All in Favor
Motion passed unanimously
Councilmember Update
Natalyn Archibong, Council District 5
-Michelle Obama is coming to Burgess Peterson this Wednesday
-APS accreditation issue has caused grave concern in the Atlanta Public School Board and they are researching and intend to exceed the guidelines
-This issue has come up because of governance vs academics
-Every year I do a focus upon senior services at Drew Charter School from 10 am – 1 pm on February 12th and there will be cooking demonstrations, tax advisors, and Medicare advisors
-Thank you to all for working on the cell tower issue
-I have introduced the legislation regarding the monument at Monument Ave
-I would like to assist with water bill issues and have the city come out to test your meter
-Please let us know if you are having issues by signing up on the EACA register outside
EACA Committee Reports, Announcements and Approval of December Minutes
Austin Dickson, President EACA
-We have been discussing the idea of beautification in our neighborhood and the Parks and Green Space Committee has volunteered to begin overseeing our green spaces
-We have also decided to possibly create an ad hoc committee called the Arts and Culture Committee to look at beautification as it relates to artists and creative events in our neighborhood
-We sent out notification on the EACA newsletter calling for anyone interested and had 8 people sign up as interested and Lori Gami has volunteered to be chairperson
Lori Gami, Possible Chairperson, Arts and Culture Committee
-We would like to work with other committees to tackle some of the problems in the community through the arts
-We would like to focus on more events to bring the community together
-We are a very diverse artistic community and would like to focus on utilizing those assets
Motion to create an ad hoc committee for Arts and Culture
All in Favor
Motion passed unanimously
Laird Ruth, Parks and Green Space Committee
-Thanks to all who came out to help with the Community Garden expansion
-If you are interested in working on the garden or having a plot, please let us know
-Send an email to
Is it legal for you to use water from the creek?
-We have received a lot of support and use most of our water from the rooftop and do not use any from the creek
-This garden is organic and approved by parks, EACA, and the NPU
-We planted 9 fruit trees and blue berry bushes
-We would like to build a trail east of the creek
Jack Gruendler, Chairperson, Transportation Committee
-If you would like to be a part of the committee, please sign up
-It may seem like transportation issues are a city issue but they are important at a community level
-There are quite a few projects in the works regarding transportation that are detailed on the table in the back
-I would like to get your input on these issues
-Contact me if you are interested:
-The Transportation Committee will be advocating for East Atlanta’s interests with the city so that we are representing the best for our community
Motion to approve November EACA minutes
All in favor
Motion to pass
Motion to approve the 2011 EACA Budget
All in favor
Motion to pass
Matt Underwood, Principle, Atlanta Charter Middle School
-School merger has been approved by the Atlanta Board of Education
-If you would like more information about enrollment, you can look on the website of either school
-Kingfisher Elementary is having its annual food drive and we are collecting canned goods and bring it to 158 Moreland Ave, if you are not able, we will pick it up
-We are also in an enrollment period
-Every Wednesday during February we are doing tours
Henry Bryant, BATL
-BATL will occur this year on July 16th
-Let me know if you are interested in participation
Lynn Bryant, East Atlanta Library
-If you are interested come see the art exhibit by Leslie Smith – Metal Worker
Austin Dickson, Food For Firefighters
-Every Friday night, the firefighters at Fire Station 13 get a home cooked meal made by the community
-There is a sign up in the newsletter every week FFF
-You can sign up for the newsletter online
Austin Dickson, Nominations for Porch Press EACA Board Member
Motion to nominate Henry Bryant as representative on the Porch Press Board from EACA
All in Favor
Motion Passed
8:33 p.m. Meeting Adjourned

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