Sunday, October 30, 2011

Opportunity Knocking - Clean, Shine, Fix-Up Dunwoody

Right after the tempest regarding Dunwoody Glen hit Category 5 status, an announcement was released by City Hall regarding "Clean, Shine, Fix Up Dunwoody" day on November 5.

This got me wondering:  where exactly is all this cleaning, shining, and fixing up going to happen?  The City Council and City employees have decided that the east side needs drastic redevelopment.  Has there been any attempt to do any volunteer fixup in this area?

Here's the event announcement from City Hall.  There's a vague reference to assignments and some mentions of Brook Run (stream cleanup, etc).  Sounds great!  More information on another website.  Let's click....

Now we're at the North Atlanta Church of Christ website.  Wait a minute - I thought this was a City event.  Public/private partnership maybe?  That would be OK.  But say that on the announcement.  There's no search box and the clean-up event isn't on the front page.  Let's dig around a bit.

Under Calendars and Events, we find "Serve Day". No mention of a City of Dunwoody project, just anyone who wants to do some community fixer-upper service, just sign up and show up. This doesn't look like a City project, despite the main website saying, "...the City will be holding its Third Annual Clean up Dunwoody Day..."

The FAQ page has the following regarding what projects are going to be worked on:

Dunwoody Nature Center
⇒  Fire hydrant painting throughout the city of Dunwoody
⇒  City of Refuge
⇒  Ronald McDonald House
⇒  Many more!

Nothing outstanding here.  Fire hydrant painting projects have happened in town before.  Dunwoody Nature Center is an oldie but a goodie for community service.  What is City of Refuge?  Where is Dunwoody's Ronald McDonald House?  What constitutes "many more"??

There's several videos from past years included as well.  Brook Run and the Nature Center, Ebenezer Primitive Baptist, are obvious, but some other outdoor locations weren't clear.

Here's my question for anyone who knows:  if Winter's Chapel / PIB is such a terrible part of Dunwoody that entire housing developments have to be removed to improve it, where is the volunteer effort to improve areas of that part of town?  For example, everyone wants to "adopt a triangle" near the Farmhouse, who will adopt the traffic triangle at the intersection of Peeler and Winter's Chapel?  Everyone wants to spruce up the landscaping at Brook Run, who wants to do the same on unused lots along Winter's Chapel?

There is NO criticism here of any of the charity work that has been done thus far under the banner of "Clean Up Dunwoody".  I would like to know what volunteer efforts under this program have been done in the "less popular" parts of our City.  They're not readily apparent, they're not in any of the videos I saw on the church site, and they're not listed on the City website.  If the eastern parts of Dunwoody need to be "spruced" or "fixed", where are the volunteer efforts to do so?  The comments section is open.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Opportunity Knocking - What to do with all of those pumpkins???

As "Shrek" and "Donkey" are transforming the front yard into a swamp complete with an outhouse and "Puss in Boots" and "Baby Dronkey" are down for their naps I'm planning the rest of my errands including a last-minute Pumpkin Run for jack o'lanterns.

It's practically a rule in Dunwoody that every house of worship has to have a Pumpkin Patch to sell decorative pumpkins for fall, including Halloween.  Like all produce pumpkins have a limited shelf life and they have to be disposed of.  Decorative pumpkins don't get made into pie.  So hooligans are going to smash them or they're going to get thrown away.

Is there a better option?

When Christmas ends and Christmas trees start dying, there is a network of tree recyclers that runs the "Bring One for the Chipper" program.  Instead of leaving trees on the street to rot and then get picked up by DeKalb sanitation and put in a landfill, Christmas trees are mulched with giant chippers, then the mulch used for public beautification projects, or even given back to individual gardeners.

Is there any reason that pumpkins/jack o'lanterns can't be recycled in a similar way?  You can't chip them for mulch but you can compost them.  And there is a big gardening movement here in town encouraging vegetable growing.  You can't have enough compost to fortify your garden beds over the winter and into spring.

Only hitch is you can't guarantee that the pumpkins are organic.  Even so, this is an opportunity worth developing to keep the streets clean, avoid reeking rotting pumpkins on streets and sidewalks, and add compost to gardens that need it.

Anyone want to run with this idea?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

There goes the neighborhood....
Get a good look because it's going to change soon.
Make sure to check out the Halloween info
and For Sale listings.
When I organized Briers North Halloween in the past, the person I inherited it from was adamant that there be no "advertising" - no Internet, media blackout in the newspapers and TV, everything.

Then a couple of years later I handed off the responsibility to another neighbor who isn't quite so concerned.

Thanks to some posts today on Facebook from Dunwoody Police and CVB, as well as some news last year, I guess it's officially "advertised" and I can chat about it.

Everything you need to know if you're planning to visit Briers North on Halloween is at  This was one of the first sites I created after moving to Dunwoody in 2004.  It's due for a tweaking and an upgrade.  I created this website with an extensive private back-end info system back in the day when both Joomla and Drupal and similar content management systems were in their infancy and had security holes wide enough to drive a truck through.  I didn't trust any of them.  WordPress was still only a blog and even then much more primitive than most blogs today.  So I created a custom database with a custom CMS that has worked continually these past 7 years.  My hand-built databases have never been hacked.  I'm still deciding what road to go down with this upgrade and redesign, so stay tuned.  Some other customers' projects are moving along toward their launch dates.

Be careful if you do a drive-by before Monday.  The streets are narrow and there are tons of kids and other folks out walking.

If you REALLY like what you see on Halloween, remember this neighborhood is here 364 other days of the year and is a great place to live.  There are 3 houses up for sale, plus one up for rent.  (One of them is a  behemoth with a pool, spa, and finished basement - perfect for a large extended family.)  Links to MLS listings are on the front page above.  We need neighbors as much as we love our visitors!

See you on Monday, 10/31!

"Princess Fiona"