Sunday, June 30, 2013

UPDATED. Christmas For Kids Returns Early in 2013

Report on drive by CBS Atlanta News

Dunwoody Police are starting a special Christmas For Kids drive this weekend (June 29 & 30) to assist the 10 families that were displaced by the fire at Lacota Apartments this week.

From Channel 11 (with video)

60 residents displaced by DeKalb County apartment fire

Photo from Dunwoody Police via Facebook

From Dunwoody Police via Facebook

Christmas for Kids is being called to action! As some of you might already know, an entire building at the Lacota Apartments was lost to a fire on Wednesday June 26th. We’ve learned that 10 families lost everything. Fortunately, the families were relocated to other apartments in the same community but are in need of clothing of all sorts for young and old, males and females. Household goods and non-perishables are also needed. We’re partnering with our friends at I Care Atlanta and coordinating a weekend clothing and food drive. If you’d like to donate come to the Georgetown Plaza and look for the I Care Atlanta truck and Dunwoody Police Van. Personnel will be on sight. Donation times are as follows:
Saturday June 29th 9 AM to 1 PM
Sunday June 30th 1 PM to 5 PM
If you have any questions contact Sgt. Fidel Espinoza at 678-382-6913.

DPD will also post updates on this drive via their Facebook page. They are also willing to make arrangements to pick up larger items (furniture, etc) if you contact Sgt Espinoza above for details.

The apartment complexes on PIB are just as much a part of Dunwoody as any other community or subdivision.  Let's turn out in force and get these families the help they need in this tough time.  It's the same thing we would call for in support of any other family or homeowner in town.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Talkin' Trash

I saw a DeKalb County truck lifting piles of branches off the curb on Tilly Mill this afternoon.  Debris of that size and amount requires a specialized crane-equipped truck.  I've heard some grumbling about how long it has taken for DeKalb to remove the storm-damaged trees.  However, you'll probably be surprised to know that removing debris of that magnitude is not covered by our regular trash fees.  The crews on the trucks need your help and cooperation in removing whatever fell during that storm.

From the City of Dunwoody via Facebook:

Storm Debris Pick-Up
The City has reached out to DeKalb County Sanitation Department regarding the remaining storm debris.

The county will pick up the debris from the storms. However, the limbs, sticks, and leaves must be properly prepared for pickup.
Standard Pick-up:
1. Limbs should be cut into 4-foot or shorter lengths
2. Tied and bundled or placed in proper containers
a. Approved containers include durable metal and plastic containers or durable biodegradable paper bags
3. Weight may not exceed 50 lbs
4. Call DeKalb Sanitation at (404) 294-2900 if there are large piles of yard debris at the curbside not meeting the restrictions, or if your yard debris has not been serviced on the scheduled day by 2:00 p.m.
Special Collection:
Special collection services are provided for a fee to residents to properly dispose of yard waste that is unbundled or cannot be lifted by hand and other large debris items. These special items are collected using specialized vehicles and are not included in the annual residential assessments. For scheduling call DeKalb Sanitation at (404) 294-2900.
You can visit the DeKalb Sanitation website at
You can also contact them by email at

While on the topic of trash, be mindful of what you put out on the curb twice a week.  There's a perception that anything you put out, DeKalb Sanitation will pick up.  Not only is this not accurate (paint cans come to mind...) but it can be downright dangerous.  

From CBS Atlanta (emphases added)
Two injured when oxygen tank explodes in Marietta garbage truck

Two people were injured Friday morning, when a discarded oxygen tank dumped into a garbage truck exploded.
It happened around 8 a.m. on Brentwood Drive in Marietta.
William Smith sustained serious injuries to both eyes, and was taken to Wellstar Kennestone Hospital. He saw an eye specialist on Friday afternoon. Marvin Markham suffered a laceration to the cheek, and was treated at the scene.
It's something the two sanitation workers on their normal route did not expect.
"I heard it, it woke me up," neighbor Eva Board said.
A neighbor put two oxygen tanks out with the trash. One exploded.
"There was like an explosion. It was literally like a bomb," neighbor Freda Heyen said.

Pieces of debris flew as far as four houses away. Supervisor David Tiggs said this is a reminder of the danger of the job.
"It could have been a little bit more, it could have been the loss of an eye, but we ask homeowners to call us and notify us when they have items such as this, so we can tell them how to dispose of it properly," said Cobb County Sanitation Supervisor David Tiggs.
Police said the oxygen tanks came from a home where a woman recently passed away. Her son, in from out of town, pulled up as CBS Atlanta was on the scene.
"I had cleaners come through, and I'm not sure what was put in the trash bags that I took out," Justin Schmidt said.
As soon as he learned someone was injured, Schmidt said, "I got to get down there. I've got to go to the hospital."
Neighbors hope this serves as a reminder for everyone to be careful what you throw out.
"It is very scary. These gentlemen do us a great service, and we need to take care of them, and be responsible and think about what we put out at our curbs," Heyen said.
Sanitation is one of the few departments that DeKalb gets right.  The crews on the trucks deserve some consideration from us to stay safe on their routes.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Dunwoody at Dusk Starts Tomorrow

The Chamber and CVB have had plans in the works for months on this summer series of events at Dunwoody's many "hearts".  

Park Place is first up.  Many of you are going to be on your way home through the Perimeter anyway so it's a great chance to stop off and enjoy the samples, entertainment, special offers and raffles.

Both Alon's and McKendrick's are among the participants.  Enough said!

Up to the minute news is on Facebook:

Current list of specials and offers at the first Dunwoody at Dusk at Park Place on June 21.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

INTRODUCING: WineShoe Atlanta

Open the site and you're there - this is WineShoe decked out for  a  paired wine/cheese tasting.

When I received an email from Nora Wiley with an RFP for a new website, the first question in my head is, "Where did she come up with "Wine Shoe"?

The Answer:  someone in the City of Atlanta made a typo in her applications for a wine shoP.  After a ton of red tape and still no correction, she decided to leave the name as is.  WineShoe Atlanta was born.

WineShoe is a boutique wine store, wine classroom, and event facility in Castleberry Hill, on the ground floor of the Castleberry Point Lofts.    Castleberry Hill was an industrial district in the 1920s and has been revitalized as the hippest, coolest, artistic  sector of the city.  Think Rent or La Boheme.  Think Flashdance.  Except these factories-converted-to-lofts are far more upscale.

Nora collects wine from "off the beaten path" vineyards all around the world and hosts tasting classes in the shop.  Not only frequented by locals, it is a popular destination with downtown employees who work within walking distance and tourists soaking up the funky art-community atmosphere.  Visitors from Georgia to as far away as New Zealand have booked her wine tasting classes weeks in advance.

WineShoe Atlanta is the kind of project website designers drool over.  My only directive was "Be creative." has to reflect and portray the creative, artistic, and hip neighborhood where it resides.

The website is based on WordPress with a custom theme that goes beyond the standard trap of giant rectangle color blocks and an obligatory generic slideshow.  Nora has collected an impressive library of images from her professional photographer friends.  Those images became the backgrounds of the site:  there is no need for a photo gallery.  The fun and finesse of WineShoe comes through on every page.

From a functional standpoint there were two critical elements.  The site had to have an impressive mobile component.  More than 15% of WineShoe's visitors are using a mobile device - a huge percentage, even factoring in the recent jump in tablet usage.  Most sites in my repetoire average 5-7% mobile usage, even with mobile friendly features.

WineShoe's mobile website with the menu expanded.
All functions available on the desktop/laptop site are  usable on tablets and smartphones.
An essential for a destination for shoppers on the go, whether from work, or visiting tourists.
iPhone/iPad users can add a desktop icon to their device to access the site quickly and linked phone numbers  make calling the shop easy with just one tap.
The website also needed an on-board event ticketing system where visitors register for classes and the Nora can manage the reservations.  Before now, they were using Booking Bug which was too awkward and not very engaging.  The current system combines event ticketing with eCommerce.  It even accommodates the Living Social, Groupon, and SweetJack deal vouchers available periodically.  It is now very easy to book a wine class, or several, and check out securely.

It is also easy to book WineShoe for private parties and corporate events.

It takes less than a minute to securely register for a wine tasting class at WineShoe.
Nora reports that business is up since the new WineShoe debuted.  She even booked two weddings in record time.  Oh wait, didn't I mention the weddings?  Adjacent to WineShoe is a gallery called "The Wiley" that has become the hottest indie wedding venue in the area.  Nora offers wine tasting activities for bachelorette parties and as part of the wedding reception.  Now that WineShoe is launched, the next project is its companion site:  Wine Shoe Weddings.  I expect that one to debut in a few weeks.