Wednesday, December 25, 2019

BelleauWoody 2019

Oh, the snowflakes fell in silence
Over Belleau Wood that night
For a Christmas truce had been declared
By both sides of the fight
As we lay there in our trenches
The silence broke in two
By a German soldier singing
A song that we all knew

Though I did not know the language
The song was "Silent Night"

Then I heard my buddy whisper,
"All is calm and all is bright"
Then the fear and doubt surrounded me
'Cause I'd die if I was wrong
But I stood up in my trench
And I began to sing along

Then across the frozen battlefield
Another's voice joined in
Until one by one each man became
A singer of the hymn

Then I thought that I was dreaming
For right there in my sight
Stood the German soldier
'Neath the falling flakes of white
And he raised his hand and smiled at me
As if he seemed to say
Here's hoping we both live
To see us find a better way

Then the devil's clock struck midnight
And the skies lit up again
And the battlefield where heaven stood
Was blown to hell again

But for just one fleeting moment
The answer seemed so clear
Heaven's not beyond the clouds
It's just beyond the fear

No, heaven's not beyond the clouds
It's for us to find it here

This song was based on the Christmas truce phenomenon of 1914: a series of unofficial ceasefires along the Western Front around Christmas 1914. (Garth Brooks)

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Scholarship Contests for Dunwoody Students

High School Seniors - time to think about college scholarship applications!
There are two scholarship competitions open now presented by Dunwoody institutions

Dunwoody Womans Club
Student Achievement Scholarships

Open to High School seniors (public or private) residing in one of these ZIP codes:
30328, 30338, 30350, or 30360.

Applications are submitted by USPS mail and must be postmarked by March 20, 2020.

Atlanta Alumnae Panhellenic Association Foundation
Scholarships for High School Women
and Collegiate/Alumnae NPC Members

AAPA Foundation is giving a record $20,000 across several scholarships for women in high school, college, or graduate studies.


High School Senior Honors Scholarship – for female students planning to attend a four-year college/university with NPC sororities on their campus. Applicants must have legal residence in Cherokee, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Hall, Paulding or Rockdale counties.

Collegiate Scholarship – for Rising Junior or Rising Senior NPC sorority members attending Georgia colleges/universities and having a legal residence in the Metro Atlanta area counties of Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Hall, Henry, Paulding or Rockdale.

Alumnae Scholarship – for alumnae with legal residence in the Metro Atlanta area counties of Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Hall, Henry, Paulding, or Rockdale who is continuing her education.

More info and applications:
Submissions are made online.  Deadline is 11:59 PM, March 1, 2020

Monday, October 21, 2019

UPDATED: Where are the 2019 Campaign Disclosures for Dunwoody Candidates?

I hope they get posted before Election Day.  Being that we all are open, and transparent, and ethical, and all.

Let's keep watch on this page.  Someone post in the comments when they see the info.

Wow, that was quick.
Here is the link to all filings, past and present.
Seriously, link these from the main City of Dunwoody website.  Will save you a bunch of phonecalls, emails, and other time wasters.  ;-)

Monday, September 9, 2019

An Open Letter from the DHA to the DeKalb County Board of Education

At the board meeting of September 8, 2019, a quorum of the Board of Directors unanimously agreed to release the following statement regarding the state of DeKalb County public schools within city limits in general and against the GO Bond in particular.

Dear Members of the Board,

The Dunwoody Homeowners Association (DHA) strives to ensure a high standard and quality of life for the homeowners of Dunwoody. An essential component of a strong and vibrant community is quality public schools for every child. Unfortunately, the school facility crisis of DeKalb County Schools (DCSD) is putting the quality of life for all of Dunwoody at serious risk. School buildings are suffering from leaky roofs, mold, malfunctioning air conditioning, non-working bathrooms, unsanitary locker rooms, unsafe multipurpose fields, and catastrophic plumbing breaks. These poor conditions extend to numerous portable trailers which are arriving at an alarming pace with little plan for relief in the next few years. We ask DCSD to prioritize this facilities crisis and school overcrowding through strategic initiatives and alternative solutions, not simply adding more portable classrooms each year.

Through the GO Bond you have proposed, you plan to increase property taxes for homeowners over the next 15 years. While we are quite concerned about the state of the facilities in our schools, we are skeptical of the GO Bond as a vehicle to successfully address these deferred maintenance problems.

We do not support the GO Bond for the following reasons:

  • Lack of leadership: Dr. Green is expected to leave by next summer. Many departments are being run by interim leaders who have limited vision and fail to provide a long-term plan for the school system. Strong leadership must be in place to oversee additional taxpayer funds prior to their collection.
  • Lack of financial transparency: The 2017 financial audit contained material weaknesses that have yet to be solved. The Athletics department internal audit from October of 2017 found “gross non-compliance due to controls not being in place”. The 2018 procurement audit revealed a risk of liability exposure. We have not seen a 2018 audit even though we are in the 3rd quarter of 2019. A forensic audit, by an objective third-party firm, must be conducted of the athletics, food service, public safety, and procurement departments prior to any consideration of a bond.
  • Lack of transparency on the GO Bond process: According to attendees from our community, including elected officials, GO Bond meetings were very confusing and provided no opportunity to answer the public’s questions. DCSD must develop greater trust with the community during the bond approval process.
  • Lack of professional acumen in GO Bond construction estimates: Internal DCSD staff compiled the construction estimates, rather than using professional estimators. A construction management firm needs to be hired to manage the entire scope of the Go Bond work.

The DHA has been a long-time supporter of DeKalb County Schools throughout the Dunwoody area and desires to continue this successful partnership. The DHA is proud to be a consistent contributor to all seven public schools and our support goes beyond just financial donations. DHA members are also DCSD parents who support hands-on initiatives like campus clean up days and other service projects to keep our schools strong.

Our primary goal is to promote the recreation, health, safety, welfare, benefit and enjoyment of the homeowners within the community. We know this goal cannot be obtained without focusing on maintaining high quality schools. We implore you to be more purposeful with the funds you currently have and pause the Go Bond process until you have addressed our concerns above. We are confident that taxpayer funds will be better spent when a stronger financial and strategic foundation is in place.


The Board of Directors
Dunwoody Homeowners Association

Printable copy on letterhead

The purpose of the Dunwoody Homeowners Association is to promote the recreation, health, safety, welfare, benefit and enjoyment of the homeowners within the community.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Dunwoody's Elections Were Originally Non-Partisan

And yet, we have these text messages posted to Twitter.

If Dunwoody's elected offices become openly driven by political parties, will Dunwoody be better or worse?

Which of our current city council members are supporting partisan recruitment of candidates?

Which of our current county commissioners are supporting partisan recruitment of candidates?

Which of our state elected officials support changing Dunwoody to a partisan elected body?

How will Dunwoody voters know which candidates are running to serve Dunwoody and which ones are running to serve their political party?

Is there a money trail?  If so, where does it lead?

The original tweet where these images were distributed:

Friday, May 31, 2019

DHA Supports Dunwoody Police and Honors Past President Bob Lundsten on June 2

Below is the agenda for Sunday's meeting. We will have reps from Dunwoody PD accepting our donation of an AED device in Bob Lundsten's memory.
We have a funding request from All Fore One for Peachtree MS.
There is also a proposal being submitted to the city next week for a rezoning/redevelopment in the Perimeter area near Ravinia. The site plan is also attached.

To our elected officials and anyone considering running for office: these meeting announcements are your engraved invitation to attend and give your commentary on any of the subjects in the agenda. If you're running for office or considering an announcement, let me know when you arrive (before the meeting starts) and I'll make sure you have a few moments.

During this next meeting I plan to announce the reboot of an older DHA custom - committee reports. Our community has a lot of people who became residents after incorporation and are looking for ways to better impact our city. At the same time, addressing all of the innovations in Dunwoody is more than a one-woman job (read: me) and more than a six-person job (read: the exec board). So the new solution is an old one: committees that gather info on different topics and report on it at board meetings so we can take action if necessary much more quickly. Learn more this Sunday evening.

See you then!

Announcements and introduction of distinguished visitors
Introduction of candidates for office

Presentation of donation for AED in memory of Bob Lundsten
Scheduled: Sgt Robert Parsons, Dunwoody PD

Request for Funding: All Fore One Campaign

Alex Brock of Smith, Gambrell, & Russell, LLP
Proposed rezoning of 11 Ravinia Parkway

Sunday, June 2, 7:30 PM
North DeKalb Cultural Center (Dunwoody Library)
5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road
Room 4

Monday, May 27, 2019

Atlanta Business Chronicle interview on the future of Dunwoody housing.

Last month, I was contacted by an ABC reporter for an email interview about Dunwoody housing.. scheduled for the Dunwoody Market Report.  Alas, the article was cut for space.  

So here are all the questions I received and their responses, in their entirety.  Happy reading!

What are the most popular neighborhoods for single family homes?

The desirability of single family homes is tied directly to the perceived value of the elementary school for which it is zoned. All of the elementary schools are overcrowded and require trailers so there is demand all over the city. However, long-time local real estate agents prefer to promote homes zoned for Vanderlyn and Austin. These subdivisions are in the central and northwestern areas of Dunwoody.

What multi-family projects are coming down the pike?

The long-awaited High Street project - across from the Dunwoody MARTA station - is finally supposed to break ground in 2019. That project was approved by DeKalb County in 2007 (before Dunwoody's incorporation as a city) and has been waiting through a major recession and the Amazon HQ2 bidding process before laying utilities in 2018. If it is fully built out according to the latest plan, it will contain 1,500 owner-occupied condos and 1,500 rental apartments in a mixed-use-style community reminiscent of Avalon. The developer is promoting the community on social media but work has not yet begun.

The DHA recently endorsed the Park at Perimeter Center East. This is also a mixed-use community that will transform a commercial area of aging office buildings and huge parking lots into a mix of office and up to 900 owner-occupied condos (if completely built out) with multiuse trails and parks. Dunwoody city council approved the rezoning in late 2018. The project is expected to be built in stages over up to 10 years - again, assuming 100% of the proposal is actually built. A start date has not been set.

What is unique or special about the residential environment in Dunwoody? How do single family homes and condos/apartments/townhomes “coexist?” What are the multi-family home communities like?

What makes Dunwoody unique is the combination of traditional small-town community, where families/households are interconnected within the community, juxtaposed with its location in a major urban area. The "small town" feel is something usually found in isolated communities where interdependence is unavoidable. In Dunwoody, residents choose to live here because we choose to depend on each other. Even with other major cities and their amenities close by.

The coexistence between single family homes and multifamily housing is a work in progress. Dunwoody residents view townhome communities in the same category as single family homes. Homeowners in general view rental apartments with great concern as they represent instability in school populations, density that places a greater strain on aging infrastructure, and recent memories of a county government overbuilding the area as a preemptive punishment for incorporation. But our population is changing. The same people who coveted the traditional single family home in the '80s and '90s with a large yard and trees have seen their children grow up, move on, and have their own families. They don't want or need the large home any more. They want less maintenance, less space, nearby shopping, and no stairs. Now that multifamily housing starts looking not-so-bad. There will always be a market for the single family homes due to the area school communities. But the definition of desireable owner-occupied housing is broadening.

Multifamily housing is itself a spectrum. There are apartment developments of varying ages throughout Dunwoody and along the edges of the city on major highways (285, PIB, etc). Some cater to lower-budget renters. Others have renovated to improve their features, or even converted to condos. On the higher end, you have Dunwoody's only high rise luxury residential building, The Manhattan. When residents talk about "aging in place" and condominium living when they no longer need their large home and yard, this is the type of low maintenance housing they have in mind.

What amenities do people want?

Dunwoody is a surprisingly diverse community in terms of ideology and lifestyle, as well as stage of life. Thus, different types of residents prefer different community amenities. Younger families relocate here for the schools and their respective parent communities. Families also enjoy the numerous community events put on by city government, the DHA, or other entities. More established residents who have weathered many storms with county government want to see infrastructure improvements - rebuilt roads, improved utilities and traffic mitigation to name the most commonly mentioned. A survey taken several years ago indicated a great demand for "walkability" to use a trendy phrase. So city government has responded with expanded building of sidewalks on major roads. A major initiative also included a multi-use trail system beginning in Brook Run Park and extending gradually throughout the city as time and money permit. The current conversation is how to add sports fields to city property so that families can participate in sports close to their homes without having to travel to other cities. There is also an ongoing conversation about how to modernize our neighborhood-scale commercial districts (symbolized greatest by the Dunwoody Village shopping center) while reaffirming the small-town identity they represent and serve.

How do residents feel about all the development in Dunwoody and at the Perimeter?

The feelings are very mixed. Some look forward to new opportunities for retail options and special occasion / social experiences. Those who would prefer to see less development are usually those who have to drive on Ashford Dunwoody in rush hour traffic to get to and from their jobs. It's interesting to note that everyone talking about the density of Perimeter development - including supporters - live in single family homes! There is always concern about the impact on the school communities. DHA has been careful to endorse those projects that provide for the growing need for housing for empty nesters and young professionals, while avoiding density that would put a strain on an already overcrowded school cluster. DHA has also reminded developers that greenspace should be a part of any major project.

Dunwoody residents know that the single family subdivisions we have are a precious commodity that are worth preserving. Whatever talk goes on about how to develop or repurpose properties, they know that we cannot let the good intentions and progress of urbanized development diminish the single family neighborhoods on which our city was built. Once those traditional neighborhoods are gone, they're gone. So an equilibrium between our "two Dunwoodys" is essential to our present lifestyles and the future.

Monday, April 15, 2019

SDOC Uupdates: Dunwoody Woman's Club

While working on some larger projects I make sure to find time to help neighbors close to home.
The Dunwoody Woman's Club contacted me  to help with updating their website.  It has great bones but got hung up when WordPress updated to version 5 and the new Gutenberg editing interface.  Lots of websites needed retooling with that change.  There was also a need for the site to be secured with SSL.

A lot of old tools and obsolete plugins had to be pulled out and rebuilt.  There's only a few simple differences but DWC members and supporters will know they're in the right place.  Most importantly of all the club leadership will be able to do their own edits.  Check out the new calendar page!

Thank you to the DWC for the opportunity to help your club serve more efficiently!

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Let's talk about GDOT, Farmers Market and Dunwoody Schools

The weather has cleared so visit DHA tonight for hot topics:

Board of Directors Meeting
Sunday, April 14, 2019 @ 7:30 P.M.
North DeKalb Cultural Arts Center, Room 4
5339 Chamblee Dunwoody Rd, Atlanta, GA 30338

Public Meeting

Announcements and introduction of distinguished visitors
Introduction of candidates for office
Approval of minutes from past meetings

Community Updates
Roberts Drive rezoning
I-285 Toll Lanes: How will our community respond/resist?

Sponsorship Request: Dunwoody Woman’s Club 2019 Home Tour

Dunwoody Farmers Market: Meet the New Manager, Brandon Smith

Dunwoody HS - more trailers, fewer trees
Who do we hold accountable for the state of Dunwoody HS and how do we do it?

Board-Only Discussion & Vote

Donation of AED Device to Dunwoody PD
(Second vote needed due to price clarification)

DWC Home Tour Sponsorship

Next Meeting: May 5, 2019

Monday, February 25, 2019

New Georgia Senate bill threatens to destroy self-determination of Georgia cities

On Friday, Senate Bill SB 172 was dropped by senators from rural Northwest Georgia. This bill would set severe limits on how Georgia cities – including Dunwoody – could enact their zoning and ordinance codes.

In 2008, Dunwoody fought for the right to determine what ordinances would benefit our community without being diminished by DeKalb County. We wanted to decide amongst ourselves what kind of community to build, and to make sure that the lawmakers had to live with their decisions, just like the rest of the city. Now it’s other parts of the state that want to set their own limits on our community, where they don’t live, and they don’t care what happens.

Learn about SB 172 here:…/…/Display/20192020/SB/172

Contact Dunwoody’s State Senator, Sally Harrell and let her know that Dunwoody can determine its own ordinances. Representatives from rural Georgia do not need to diminish our city with their agendas.


Phone: (404) 463-2260


The House of Representatives version of this bill, HB 302 is also in progress and has the same effect. The bill passed out of committee by one vote and its future is uncertain.

Learn about HB 302 here:…/…/display/20192020/HB/302

Contact Dunwoody’s State House Rep, Mike Wilensky and let him know that Dunwoody can determine its own ordinances. Representatives from rural Georgia do not need to diminish our city with their agendas.


Capital Phone: 404.656.0202

Local Office Phone: 678.791.1725


How else can you help?

The City of Dunwoody has lobbyists working to protect our city’s interests at the State Capitol. Our city council members have been quiet about this issue, except for a resolution on tonight’s city council agenda.

Email our Mayor and City Council and demand that they protect Dunwoody’s right for their votes and ordinances to stand without outside interference. Email all seven members of council here:

Ten years ago, Dunwoody fought for the right to determine our future. Now we have to fight for the right to keep it. Make sure our elected officials fight on our side.

The next DHA meeting is March 3, 7:30 PM at the North DeKalb Cultural Center (near the Dunwoody Library). All of our elected officials will be invited to give reports on this and other legislation that directly affects our community. I look forward to hearing how they voted and what actions they are taking to protect Dunwoody, here and today!

Adrienne Duncan

President, DHA