Safety is a hot topic
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta is offering tips to promote safety while engaging in swimming and other hot weather pastimes. 5
Nearly 100 adults and kids joined Atlantabased Action Ministries to set a record for the number of sandwiches made in an hour. 7
EAST ATLANTA • DECATUR • STONE MOUNTAIN • LITHONIA • AVONDALE ESTATES • CLARKSTON • ELLENWOOD • PINE LAKE • REDAN • SCOTTDALE • TUCKER
Copyright © 2013 CrossRoadsNews, Inc.
July 6, 2013
Volume 19, Number 10
Derwin Brown portrait unveiled at new precinct building By Ken Watts
Brandy Brown Rhodes watches South Precinct Commander Maj. E. Jones and Commissioner LarrJohnson unveils a protrait of late father Derwin Brown. CEO Burrell Ellis and his son, Burrell III are at right.
“So this is a very appropriate memorial.” Derwin Brown, a 23-year employee of the DeKalb Police Department, was assassinated outside his home the night of Dec. 15, 2000, hours before taking office as the county’s elected sheriff. He had campaigned on a platform of cleaning up the corruption and graft that had historically plagued the DeKalb Sheriff ’s Office. Sidney Dorsey, the incumbent sheriff he defeated, was convicted of ordering Brown’s assassination. He is serving a life sentence. The South Precinct relocated June 1 from its old home at Candler and Glenwood roads to the renovated 15,000-square-foot former
The late DeKalb Sheriff-elect Derwin Brown has a new portrait in the newly dedicated South Precinct building named in his honor. DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis and other county leaders unveiled the portrait at the precinct’s open house on June 29. A DeKalb Police honor guard presented a folded American flag to Brandy BrownRhodes in tribute to her father. The portrait features an image of Brown superimposed with an image of a bald eagle. She was pleased. “I love it. My father admired eagles for their strength, courage and beauty,” she said. Please see PORTRAIT, page 3
Ken Watts / CrossRoadsNews
Time now for Wesley Chapel CID to get going Proponents hope a Community Improvement District will offer solutions for vacant lots like this one at the corner of Wesley Chapel Road and eastbound I-20.
Stalled efforts getting the nudge from everyone By Jennifer Ffrench-Parker
The stalled Wesley Chapel CID could get on track again before the end of summer. Bobbie Sanford, president of the Wesley Chapel Community Overlay Coalition (WCCOC), said Monday that interest is high in jump-starting the efforts to create a community improvement district but that they may now be looking at a larger area. She said she met two weeks ago with DeKalb Commissioners Larry Johnson and Stan Watson and had a telephone conversation with Commissioner Lee May. All three represent the area on the county Board of Commissioners. Sanford said all three expressed great interest in getting efforts moving again. Efforts to start a Wesley Chapel CID date back to November 2010, when the WCCOC launched a fund-raiser at the Golden Glide Skating Rink to help raise $30,000 toward the $100,000 needed to launch a CID. The group also received a $62,000 grant from the DeKalb Development Authority in December 2010, but instead of moving ahead, Sanford said the decision was made to hold off because of the economic recession that decended on the country in 2010. “It was not the time to do a CID,” Sanford said. “Property values were falling and we would not have been able to get enough property owners to support it.” Since the Wesley Chapel attempts, CIDs in Stone Mountain and Tucker have started and gained county approval. Sanford, whose family owns Sanford Realty as well as the shopping center it’s in at Wesley Chapel and Snapfinger Woods Drive, said those communities are different and shouldn’t be compared to South DeKalb. “Stone Mountain has Pattilo Construc-
Photos by Curtis Parker / CrossRoadsNews
A CID can enhance beautification efforts like this landscaping initiative along the eastbound ramps at I-20.
tion,” she said. “He could start a CID by himself.” Now that the economy is now rebounding, and Wesley Chapel residents are questioning lack of action on the part of the WCCOC, Sanford said her group is ready to look again at forming a CID. “We definitely want a CID and talks have
thought she was’t moving fast enough. In a Community Improvement District, commercial property owners tax themselves an extra 2 to 5 mills annually to create a fund to finance roads, bridges, sidewalks, beautification projects, security and other improvements for the designated area. With those funds, the CID can leverage up to 10 times more in funding from the federal government. When the effort first started in 2010, the WCCOC said the CID’s boundaries would extend from I-285 to Panola Road and from Covington Highway to Flat Shoals Parkway. Two years and five months after the launch, Sanford said she does not know how many pieces of properties are in the area, and what percentage of them are owned by absentee and local landowners. “I don’t have a description, she said Tues-
began,” she said Tuesday. “Now that the real estate market is coming back and property values are going up, it is a good time to begin to work on the CID.” Pressed for a date when the WCCOC might meet, Sanford said before the end of the summer. She even offered to step aside if people Please see WESLEY CHAPEL, page 2
July 6, 2013
“This time next year, the Wesley Chapel CID should be in place. You have enough support from every level of government.”
Residents ready for MARTA’s offerings to Stonecrest By Ken Watts
South DeKalb residents interested in I-20 transportation options to Stonecrest got to see MARTA’s latest offerings at a nI-20 East Transit initiative open house on June 25 in Decatur. The plan features a combination of Bus Rapid Transit from Wesley Chapel to downtown Atlanta in the near future, followed by a heavy rail extension that would run south from Indian Creek station near Memorial Drive along I-285, then east along I-20 outside the Perimeter to Wesley Chapel, and on to the Mall at Stonecrest. MARTA refers to the proposed system as the Locally Preferred Alternative. Its total price tag is $1.9 billion. The transit system is trying to identify local funding sources for half the cost. Matching funds would come from the Federal Transportation Authority. During the open house at the Porter Sanford III Center on Rainbow Drive, senior project manager Janide Sidifall told residents that the transit agency adopted the plan in April 2012 after two years of public input. “At one time we were looking at more than a dozen ways to get from Stonecrest into downtown Atlanta,” she said. “Slowly but surely we evaluated those alternatives, selected about six that moved forward, did a lot of detailed analysis on them, and from those we picked the Locally Preferred Alternative.” The Decatur meeting was one of three last week offering residents an update on the initiative’s progress. Participants got to examine an array of charts illustrating project details in the Porter Sanford Center’s lobby. The Bus Rapid Transit component – at a cost of $120 million – would use articulated vehicles similar in appearance to modern streetcars. The buses would travel along an HOV lane from a station at Wesley Chapel, making stops at stations on Candler Road,
Ken Watts / CrossRoadsNews
Jeanette Bell (left) and Mickie Price-Havard read charts describing an I-20 corridor Locally Preferred Alternative at MARTA’s open house at the Porter Sanford Perfoming Arts Center.
Gresham Road, Flat Shoals Parkway and Moreland Avenue on the way to downtown Atlanta’s Five Points station. Sidifall said this is very different from regular fixed route bus service. “The BRT will be what we call ‘premium service’ operating very much like rapid rail,” she said. “The frequency interval will be every 10 minutes during peak hours and 20 minutes during off-peak periods.” Running on existing rights of way, the BRT system would be the easiest part to build. Sidifall said they could build out such a system in three to five years if they had the funding and started construction today. “The heavy rail extension will be the much more expensive and time-consuming part of the project,” she said. Pat Smeeton, a project manager with Jacobs Engineering, a consulting firm working
with MARTA, said that part of the Locally Preferred Alternative involves creating a new right of way and making environmental changes. “It would have to be built in stages and it could take at least 10 years to complete,” he said. Smeeton said the project is in the environmental review phase, a required step for any local transit construction that will use federal funds. The planning team hopes to have the early environmental assessment completed by April 2014, followed by an environmental impact study. Early data suggest the Bus Rapid Transit would have relatively little impact on the environment, while the heavy rail component would bring some visible changes along its route requiring MARTA to plant trees and
install sound barriers as buffers between the rail line and residential neighborhoods. In July 2012, South DeKalb voters joined others around metro Atlanta in emphatically rejecting the $8.5 billion T-SPLOST initiative for transportation in part because the proposal offered only more bus service in the short run and a promise of rail in the distant future. Most wanted a heavy rail line that would run along I-20 from Stonecrest to downtown Atlanta. But many of the visitors at the open house seemed open to the compromise. Jeanette Bell of Decatur called it a wonderful idea. “I’m ready for it right now. Can we have it right now,” she joked. “We would love to have rail, but it’s expensive. So, anything that will help.” Bell said she used to live in Lithonia until morning traffic got so bad she moved to Decatur, a little closer to Atlanta. Mickie Price-Havard, who grew up on Rainbow Drive, is not willing to wait. “I think that we need rail now,” Price-Havard said. “I know it costs money, but we’ve waited so long for it. And this traffic backup has been here for at least 15 years. So I think we need the rapid transit solution now.” MARTA General Manager Keith Parker told a South DeKalb community meeting on May 4 that there is no fast track to rail service for South DeKalb as the transit agency tries to stabilize its post-recession finances. At the open house, spokesman Lyle Harris said MARTA has identified the I-20 corridor as a area of high demand for rapid transit. “And all our studies show that the demand is only going to grow larger in the coming decades,” he said. “So this LPA is an attempt to keep the rapid transit idea alive here and mold it to what the area needs.” For MARTA’s Locally Preferred Alternative report, visit www.itsmarta.com /I20-east-corr.aspx.
CID is a development tool allowing private-public partnership WESLEY CHAPEL, From Page 1
day. “We are a group of volunteers. We have no one to do that work.” To create a CID, property owners holding at least 75 percent of the assessed property value of the area must agree to support the CID. Information obtained from county by CrossRoadsNews shows that there are 836 non-residential properties with 465 owners in the proposed CID area. Those properties have an assessed value of $209 million. For the CID to go forward, 233 of those owners with $157 million in assessed property values must consent to the CID formation.At 3 mils, the properties would yield $627,000. At 5 mils, the yield for the CID would be just over $1 million.
250 property owners needed Sanford said the funds raised for the CID in 2010 are “intact” in a bank account. Asked why the money was not used to hire someone to contact the property owners, Sanford said if they had done that, the money would have been used up. “I am afraid that the money would be gone and we still wouldn’t have a CID,” she said. But the $62,000 grant awarded the group by the DeKalb Development Authority in December 2010 was designated to fund a planner to complete the final phase of the work needed to implement the CID. At that time the grant was announced, Sanford said the planner would map the proposed Wesley Chapel CID area and contact the landowners to get their agreement to the self-tax. “We need 250 property owners to agree,”
A CID could help address issues like underutilized buildings (left) and rampant littering that are prevalent along the Wesley Chapel corridor.
Photos by Curtis Parker / CrossRoadsNews
properties it owns at the corner of Wesley Chapel and Snapfinger roads in the heart of the proposed CID area, Racetrac’s attorney Kathy Zickert told DeKalb Commissioners that her client wanted to be part of the CID even though despite numerous attempts, she had been unable to get any response from Sanford and the group. Sanford, who did not attend that hearing, said she heard the she “was thrown under the bus.” She said she read newpaper reports of the hearing but has not spoken with Zickert. “I guess I could reach out to her,” she said. Johnson, the District 3 Commissioner, says that establishing CIDs along the I-20 corridor is the final plank in a long-term development plan for the Larry Johnson area’s renaissance. An overlay district establishing architectural control for the area was approved she said in a Dec. 30, 2010 article in Cross- by the DeKalb Board of Commissioners in January 2008. RoadNews. In February 2010, the area got a $80,000 During the recent hearings into RaceLivable Centers Initiative grant from the trac’s application to lift restrictions off
Atlanta Regional Commission that explored what the area could look like. Johnson has said that the CID offers business owners the opportunity to buy into the success of their community. Watson, the Super District 7 commissioner, said movement is needed on the CID, but that there is a need to look at expanding the boundaries. “I think it needs to be bigger than Wesley Chapel Road,” he said Wednesday. Stan Watson “Just look at Wesley Chapel Road, there is not enough to sustain a CID. You have to get businesses who can tax themselves to make it work.” May, who represents Commission District 5, got a piece of the Wesley Chapel area during redistricting that became effective in January. He said that even though he is new to the district, he knows that creating the CID needs to be expedited. “It is one of our best economic development tools that allows the private sector to partner with the public sector for Lee May beautification, security and so on to make it attractivefor businesses to come to our area.” May, who is also pushing for a Stonecrest CID, said both CIDs can come to fruition quicky. “This time next year, the Wesley Chapel CID should be in place,” he said. “The money is in place for the planner, and you have enough support from every level of government and the community for it.”
July 6, 2013
DeKalb School Board approves $1 billion budget for 2013-14 By Ken Watts
With the clock counting down to the end of the fiscal year, DeKalb School Board members adopted a $1 billion consolidated 2013-14 budget at their June 26 meeting. The bulk of the budget – $755.8 million – goes to general operations. The rest goes for debt service, capital outlay and school nutrition as well as athletics, trust and agency funds. The budget includes $3 million to cover the reduction of one furlough day for all 10- and 11-month employees, principals and central office employees whose total salaries do not exceed $80,000 annually. The budget also includes $4 million to allow the district to purchase a partial adoption of textbooks and instructional resources. The Curriculum and Instruction Department, with input from schools, will develop a prioritized list of other textbooks and instructional resources for purchase with any remaining funds. Last year’s budget constraints forced the district to layoff several bus mechanics. The worker shortage led to a backlog of bus repairs and disruptions in the student transportation schedule. The 2013-14 budget provides funds for four additional bus mechanics to reduce the
downtime of the district’s 920-unit bus fleet. The approved spending plan will support the district through June 30, 2014. Preliminary budget projections in April and May said the district would avoid a predicted $24 million deficit and have a revenue surplus. Those predictions held up in the final document. Earlier projections anticipated $9.1 million in excess revenue from the 2012-13 fiscal year. Chief financial officer Dr. Michael Bell updated the projection to between $15.6 and $16.8 million. Interim Superintendent Michael Thurmond said that since joining the district, he has made “getting our financial house in order a priority.” “These excess revenues reflect our district’s Michael Thurmond new vision and commitment to our community,” he said. The board also held a public hearing on the 2013-14 millage rate. No rate increases are proposed, leaving the current rate at 23.98 mills. The Consolidated Budget is at www. dekalb.k12.ga.us/www/documents/newsand-info/press-releases/consolidated-budget.pdf.
Pantry seeks help to feed families The increased needs of families individuals and organizations will struggling to keep food on the help St. Vincent de Paul during table this summer are depleting the this challenging summer. He said Society of St. Vincent de Paul’s 38 that typically between June and pantries each week. August, when demand grows, they The group, which serves 146,000 receive significantly fewer food and families and individuals, is askfinancial donations. ing individuals and organizations “We are asking the community to help it restock its shelves with to help put food on the tables of donations of nonperishable food John Berry these families by either donating and money. nonperishable food items to our local food The society, one of Georgia’s leading pantry facilities or making a financial conauthorities on poverty and hunger preven- tribution today,” he said. “The community’s tion, distributes on average 20,000 pounds generosity is very much appreciated.” of perishable food to the tables of those it Last year, the society provided more serves. than $6 million in food, clothing, household When the school year ends, it says that goods and direct aid to clients. low-income parents are trying to provide adIndividuals, organizations and businesses ditional meals while maintaining an already can help by hosting food drives to collect tight budget. Summer feeding programs exist nonperishable food and donate them to in local communities, but not every child the society’s food pantry. Donors also can has access to these programs, leaving their make food or financial donations at www parents to rely heavily on donated food from .svdpgeorgia.org and click the “Donate Now” the society to feed them properly. button. John Berry, the society’s executive direcFor information on your closest food tor and CEO, says he has faith that local pantry, call 678-892-6160.
Derwin Brown Volunteer corps spirit lives on making pitches PORTRAIT, From Page 1
Toys ‘R’ Us building next to the Gallery at South DeKalb mall. It houses 139 officers, a CSI lab and the latest technology including mobile units, Wi-Fi and cameras, and a community room for use by residents. Officers say Capt. Derwin Brown would have been proud. Police Chief Cedric Alexander, who is new to the county, did not have the pleasure of working with Brown but said that everyone who has worked with him was fond of him. “His spirit will live on forever in this community because of the commitment that he gave,” Alexander said.
DeKalb residents 18 and older can learn about volunteering with the Peace Corps and AmeriCorps at an informational meeting on July 9 at the Stone Mountain-Sue Kellogg Library in Stone Mountain. The “Make a Difference in Your Community” meeting takes place from 6 to 7 p.m. Representatives from Literacy Volunteers of America also will show how participants can make a difference in their community and the world. Stone Mountain-Sue Kellogg Library is at 952 Leon St. For more information, call 770413-2020.
Knowing, Affirming & Celebrating Our Identity in Christ “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.” – Corinthians 5:17a
Monday, July 15 – Wednesday, July 17 7:00 p.m. Nightly (6:30 p.m. Devotion) Featuring Revivalists:
Pastor Richard Gaines
Pastor Marlin Harris
Consolidated Baptist Church
New Life Church
Join us for Sunday Service, July 14th 7:45 a.m. & 10:45 a.m. 3250 Rainbow Drive, Decatur, GA 30034 (404) 486-1120 www.greenforest.org Reverend Dennis W. Mitchell, Senior Pastor
Come out as we kick off Revival 2013 with our FREE Health Fair on Saturday, July 13th 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Community 2346 Candler Rd. Decatur, GA 30032 404-284-1888 Fax: 404-284-5007 www.crossroadsnews.com email@example.com
Editor / Publisher Jennifer Parker Graphic Design Curtis Parker Staff Writers Jennifer Ffrench Parker Jessica Smith Ken Watts Copy Editor Brenda Yarbrough Circulation Manager Jami Ffrench-Parker
CrossRoadsNews is published every Saturday by CrossRoadsNews, Inc. We welcome articles on neighborhood issues and news of local happenings. The opinions expressed by writers and contributors are not necessarily those of the publisher, nor those of any advertisers. The concept, design and content of CrossRoadsNews are copyrighted and may not be copied or reproduced in whole or in part in any manner without the written permission of the publisher.
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July 6, 2013
“The reason why I continue to fight in my retirement is because what has happened here is wrong.”
Congress must fix the Supreme Court’s action By U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson
“Throwing out preclearance when it has worked and is continuing to work to stop discriminatory changes is like throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting wet” – Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in her blistering dissent against the court’s ruling that declared Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act unconstitutional last week. I wish every member of the Supreme Court had the wisdom and insight of Justice Ginsburg. Her message is clear: The Voting Rights Act is still doing its job. We are closer to the goal of equal voting rights, but we are not there yet. Efforts made to restrict the right to vote in the last election prove we still have a long way to go. The progress we have made proves that the law works and is a reason to keep the Voting Rights Act intact, not a sign that it has become obsolete. This is especially true here in the South. During the last renewal of the landmark law just seven years ago, Congress conducted more than 21 hearings with nearly 100 witnesses and amassed a 15,000-page
“Ruling from the bench Jim Crow style, the Court held 5-4 that the decadesold law used to protect minority voting rights had outlived its usefulness.” Hank Johnson, 4th Congressional District Representative
record documenting the ongoing discrimination against minority voters. Congress voted to renew the law in overwhelming bipartisan majorities: 390-33 in the House and 98-0 in the Senate. But this activist, conservative court struck a dagger in the heart of the law last week. Ruling from the bench Jim Crow-style, the court held 5-4 that the decades-old law used to protect minority voting rights had outlived its usefulness. While Section 2 of the VRA remains intact – not to mention the 15th Amendment – five justices struck down Section 4, which was used to determine whether a state or local government had to get permission from the Justice Department before making changes to their voting laws. This ruling renders Section 5 – the administrative process that held local jurisdictions accountable for unfair changes to voting laws – moot.
To call this ruling deeply disappointing is an understatement. This decision represents a serious setback for voting rights and has the potential to adversely affect millions of Americans. The Supreme Court’s decision can only be described as a historic overreach in which the court ignored its own precedent, the findings of Congress, and disregarded evidence of ongoing discrimination at the polls. Disenfranchisement does not only occur in states with a history of discrimination. Most recently, we have seen an uptick in attempts to disenfranchise voters in other jurisdictions around the country. The 2012 elections saw the attempt to disenfranchise voters taken to a whole new level – with voter ID laws, cutting off early voting in certain areas, end to sameday registration, and measures making it harder to register large
groups of voters. It’s these kinds of second-generation forms of racial bias that the VRA and Section 4 address specifically. In fact, it’s already happening. In states previously covered by the law, including Texas, North Carolina and Alaska, the GOP is already revving up to push through voting procedure changes. Predictably, GOP leaders in North Carolina are engineering an end to the state’s early voting, Sunday voting and same-day registration provisions, all popular with black voters. A call for strong, swift action by the Congress to draft a new formula is now front and center. I will work with all my colleagues, on both sides of the aisle, to ensure voters have every necessary protection. The Voting Rights Act is as necessary today as it was almost 50 years ago. Congress must act quickly to strengthen it. We have no other choice. Rep. Hank Johnson represents the 4th Congressional District that includes DeKalb and parts of Rockdale, Newton and Gwinnett counties. He is a member of the House Judiciary Committee, where the drafting of new language for the Voting Rights Act will take place.
The new Jim Crow just got smarter, more insidious By Dr. Eugene P. Walker
All things considered, I am encouraged by Friday’s administrative hearing in Judge Maxwell Wood’s courtroom. It was in his venue that any scrutiny whatsoever was given to the blatantly false AdvancED/ SACS report which has caused irreparable damage to the DeKalb School System, my colleagues on the Board of Education and the community as a whole. No matter what the outcome is from this point forward, at least there is that. I have been dismayed since the beginning of this odyssey that the report, lengthy as it is, has been sold and bought as the gospel truth. In Judge Wood’s courtroom, we were finally allowed to scrutinize the document and the hands that prepared it. We were validated: SACS brought forward no supporting documentation for their baseless allegations. The whole process has been suspect from the start. SACS had advised us of concerns, and we were addressing them. In their review in March 2012, they commended the DeKalb School System in five areas. There were seven areas, called “Standards,” that we had been addressing. At that time, we had met four of them and making progress on the other three. Things were looking up. In an effort to streamline our processes as a policy-setting organi-
Circulation Audited By
“The record shows that there was not a drop in student performance, there was no credible evidence of fiscal mismanagement or nepotism, and the personnel department had consistently received good ratings for their operations.” Dr. Eugene P. Walker Former DeKalb School Board member
zation, and to rectify our remaining issues with SACS, we did vote on a policy change that I believe was the root of our sudden and unexplained falling out with SACS. We increased the unilateral purchasing authority of the superintendant from $50,000 to $100,000. With this flexibility came the condition that a report of these purchases would be provided to the board. After all, the board was no longer seeing and approving these purchases on the front end, so to ensure transparency and fiscal integrity, we asked for the report on the back end. It was our responsibility as stewards of public funds. But the report, as stipulated by policy, was not produced. When I asked for it, our former superintendent said it could not be produced without additional money and staff. I wasn’t buying it. And then came the sudden execution from SACS: immediate probation. Remember, a few scant months earlier DeKalb was making substantial progress toward all the SACS goals. We were on “advisement” and moving in the right direction. As a
result of the December 2012 report, the School System was taken off “advisement,” moved past “warning,” and placed on “probation”. The record shows that there was not a drop in student performance, there was no credible evidence of fiscal mismanagement or nepotism, and the personnel department had consistently received good ratings for their operations. No one knows what evidence or documents were used to pass “warning” to placing the System on probation in light of the March report. Thanks to Judge Wood’s hearing, we know that SACS did not review the state audits. I would think a sound and fair review of alleged fiscal mismanagement might have included taking a look at them. But not in DeKalb’s case. I could go on and on, and I have done so before. But there are two more things I’d like to make clear before I close. First, enough with the missing book money already. All of the money earmarked for textbooks went for textbooks. We have the
records and the textbooks. Just because SACS cites it in a flawed report does not make it true. Second, there are many who believe that my legal filings are the selfish act of an old man trying to save his political career. Completely false, except for my age. While I am indeed 77 years old, my political career was over years ago. The job pays $18,000 a year, if anyone is interested. I continue to serve the School System only because I believe I have something to offer. The reason why I continue to fight in my retirement is because what has happened here is wrong. I have not been arrested, indicted or even accused of any crime or wrongdoing. There is no recall effort under way for myself or any other board member. Yet the governor, armed with a largely anonymous and completely flawed report, usurped the will of 42,000 DeKalb County voters without due process for me, or for them. Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Georgia has made sufficient progress that the Voting Rights Act is no longer needed. It is true that the old Jim Crow has been eradicated for the most part, but you can’t tell me that the new Jim Crow isn’t just the same. It’s just gotten smarter. Dr. Eugene P. Walker is former chairman of the DeKalb School Board and one of six board members removed from office by Gov. Nathan Deal in March.
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July 6, 2013
“By taking a few extra measures, parents can make sure that their kids have a healthy and safe summer.”
Observe safe practices in the water, at play for summer fun As families head into the thick of summer, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta is offering tips to promote safety while engaging in traditional hot weather pastimes. Its 2013 Summer Safety Tips focus on many aspects of summer safety that parents and children can put into play to ensure that more time is spent poolside than bedside. Dr. James Fortenberry, who is Children’s Healthcare pediatrician-in-chief, said that along with school James Fortenberry vacation, warm weather and outdoor sports comes an extra dose of responsibility for parents. “Summer shouldn’t be a scary time,” Fortenberry said. “It also shouldn’t be spent in the hospital. By taking a few extra measures, parents can make sure that their kids have a healthy and safe summer.” At www.choa.org/summersafety, parents can educate themselves and their children on ways to have a safe and healthy summer. The tips include: n Water safety: Drowning takes the lives of nearly 900 kids each year. Practicing water safety, including boat, pool, swimming, life jacket and general water safety, can help prevent this. n Play safety: The season for extended daylight and outdoor activity is also the season for broken bones and accidental injuries. Being aware of playground, ATV, helmet, bike and summer equipment safety can prevent
Curtis Parker / CrossRoadsNews
Drowning takes the lives of about 900 children each year. Parents and their kids can learn about water safety at www.choa.org/summersafety.
injuries. n Sun and skin safety: Melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer that can spread rapidly to different parts of the body, accounts for up to 3 percent of pediatric
cancer. Protect your kids by taking measures to prevent sunburn, and know the effects of excessive sun exposure. n Heat safety: Each year, young athletes and children die from heat-related illness, which
is completely preventable. Learn ways to prevent heat illness, keep kids hydrated on and off the field, and understand how to protect babies and young children from the heat.
Zumba instructor holding classes for seniors Dr. Naima Lewis, who credits her youthful energy to a holistic lifestyle and passion for movement, will begin her Zumba Gold Class for seniors on July 8 at Exchange Park in Decatur.
Dr. Naima Lewis, who turns 70 this summer, will bring her Zumba Gold Class for seniors on July 8 to Exchange Park Intergenerational Center in Decatur. The session starts at 10 a.m. Zumba is a Latin-inspired dance and aerobic fitness program. Lewis, director of the nonprofit HY-DY Inc., credits her youthful energy to her holistic lifestyle and her passion for movement. She will share her “Shaping Shades of
Grey” concepts through movement, which later will include yoga/Pilates. The programs are designed to educate 50- to 70-year-olds on maintaining their strength, viability, health and happiness. Older, less mobile seniors also are encouraged to participate with chairs and experience the joy of sassy rhythmic movement. The Intergenerational Center is at 2771 Columbia Drive. For more information, visit www.hydyinc.org or call 678-565-8800.
Master trainer offering fitness, yoga demos Adults 55 and older can get fit with master trainer Steffanie Haggins on July 11 at Salem-Panola Library in Lithonia. During the 10:30-to-11:30 a.m. class, Haggins, a coach, author and yoga trainer, will teach basic fitness techniques and offer nutritional information to the first 12 people to register. Steffanie Haggins On July 13, adults of all ages can attend
Intro to Yoga and Meditation from 11 a.m. to noon. Meditation and yoga, which involves stretching, poses and deep breathing, are recommended for stress reduction and other benefits. Participants are urged to wear comfortable attire and sneakers. The library is at 5137 Salem Road. For more information, call 770-987-6900.
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July 6, 2013
“I could see my scalp again. Now I can just wash and go.”
Lithonia’s mayor shed locs for new look Lithonia Mayor Deborah Jackson is sporting a new ’do and turning heads everywhere she goes. Jackson, who has worn locks since 1994 in honor of Nelson Mandela becoming president of South Africa, has shorn the whole thing off this week. “I had been thinking about it for a while,” Jackson said. When the hair that cascaded down her back was gone, Jackson said it felt like weight
was lifted from her shoulders. “I could see my scalp again,” she said. “Now I can just wash and go.” This is the first time that Jackson has worn her hair this short. “When I was in law school, I had a low Afro,” she said. “This time I took it all off.” Watch for her new style – big earrings, more lipstick. “I have been getting a lot of compliDeborah Jackson ments,” she said.
Famous quilter celebrates Ebony Stitchers’ 5th year Noted art historian and professional of Our 44th President.” quilt artist Myrah Brown Green will lecThe exhibit at the Historical Society of ture and teach classes during the fifth anWashington ran through January 2009. nual Ebony Stitchers Quilt Exhibit on July Green’s quilt, “Children Dancin’ at the 11-13 at the Porter Sanford III Performing Tree of Life,” was among 60 art and interpreArts and Community Center in Decatur. tive quilts created to welcome the first family. Green, the Distinguished Lecturer of The quilt was part of her “Dancin’ at the Tree Art at City College of New York, is a fiber/ of Life” series. The Egyptian ankh symbol surface designer who earned a Ph.D. in and Ghana’s Gye Nyame symbol are placed Art History from Union Institute and in the tree to represent long life, protection, University. She has taught textile arts for infinite wisdom, and spirit. 20 years as well as all levels of quilt-making Green is author of “Pieced Symbols: for more than a decade. Quilt Blocks From the Global Village” and Her quilts can be found in many prico-founder of Tell Mama Now, an educavate collections, including the Smithsotional program for girls and young women nian Institution’s Anacostia Community interested in the arts and art history. Museum in Washington. She will teach a class from 10 a.m. to 4 She will help the Ebony Stitchers Quilt p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Registration Guild celebrate its fifth year as an organiis required. Exhibition times are noon to 7 zation that supports quilters and women p.m. on July 12-13. of color who are fiber artists. The Porter Sanford Center is at 3181 Dr. Myrah Brown Green’s “Children Dancin’ at the Green, a Brooklyn resident, is among Tree of Life” celebrated Obama’s inauguration. Rainbow Drive in Decatur. For more infor44 master quilters whose work was includmation, visit www.ebonystitchersquiltguild ed in “Quilts for Obama: An Exhibit Celebrating the Inauguration .org or e-mail Ebonystitchers1@bellsouth.net.
Legal Notices 6/29, 7/6, 7/13, 7/20
Notice of Petition to Change Name(s) of Minor Child(ren) in the Superior Court of DeKalb County State of Georgia
Civil Action Case Number: ++ 13CV6688-2++ Ian Alexander filed a petition in the DeKalb County Superior Court on June 14, 2013 to change the name(s) of the following minor child(ren): From Ava Bartholomew-Alexander to Ava Nicole Enid BartholomewAlexander. From Tristan Bartholomew-Alexander to Tristan Marcelle BartholomewAlexander. Any interested party has the right to appear in this case and file objections within the time prescribed in OCGA 19-12-1(f)(2) and (3). Dated: April 17, 2013 Ian Alexander Petitioner, Pro se 5894 Strathmoor Manor Circle Lithonia, GA 30058 404-750-5780
Debra DeBerry Clerk of Superior Court
6/29, 7/6, 7/13, 7/20
Notice of Petition to Change Name(s) of Minor Child(ren) in the Superior Court of DeKalb County
State of Georgia
Civil Action Case Number: ++ 12CV12371-10 ++ Ashley E. Thompson filed a petition in the DeKalb County Superior Court on November 8, 2012 to change the name(s) of the following minor child(ren): From Kingston Carter James Pittman to Kingston Carter James Thompson. Any interested party has the right to appear in this case and file objections within the time prescribed in OCGA 19-12-1(f)(2) and (3). Dated: Nov 8, 2012 Ashley E. Thompson Petitioner, Pro se 808 Tree Mountain Pkwy Stone Mountain, GA 30083 678-362-6511
Debra DeBerry Clerk of Superior Court
6/29, 7/6, 7/13, 7/20
Notice of Petition to Change Name of Adult in the Superior Court of DeKalb County State of Georgia
Civil Action Case Number: ++ 13CV6957-7++ Tabatha Lundy Foster filed a petition in the DeKalb County Superior Court on June 24, 2013 to change the name from: Tabatha Lundy Foster to Tabatha Alicia Foster. Any interested party has the right to appear in this case and file objections within 30 days after the petition was filed.
Dated: June 20, 2013 Tabatha Foster Petitioner, Pro se 4670 Cedar Park Trail Stone Mountain, GA 30083 404-987-1432
Debra DeBerry Clerk of Superior Court
6/29, 7/6, 7/13, 7/20
NOTICE OF PUBLICATION In the Superior Court of DeKalb County State of Georgia
Civil Action # ++13CV6639-7++ Rochelle Yvonne Gayden Plaintiff Vs. Marcus Neal Flowers Defendant TO: Marcus Neal Flowers By Order of the Court service for service by publication dated June 18, 2013, you are hereby notified that on June 14, 2013, the above-named Plaintiff filed suit against you for: Divorce. You are required to file with the Clerk of Superior Court, and to serve upon the plaintiff’s attorney whose name and address is Rochelle Gayden, 2918 Catalina Dr, Decatur, GA 30032. Answer in writing within sixty (60) days of, June 18, 2013. Witness the Honorable Daniel M. Coursey, Jr. Judge of the DeKalb Superior Court. This the 18th day of June, 2013. 6/29, 7/6, 7/13, 7/20
NOTICE OF PUBLICATION
In the Superior Court of DeKalb County State of Georgia
Civil Action # ++13CV5416-2++ Donald Gene Burks Plaintiff Vs. Sandra Luvenia Burks Defendant TO: Sandra Luvenia Burks 314 Bourley St Leesburg, GA 32748 By Order of the Court service for service by publication dated June 10, 2013, you are hereby notified that on May 7, 2013, the above-named Plaintiff filed suit against you for: Divorce. You are required to file with the Clerk of Superior Court, and to serve upon the plaintiff’s attorney whose name and address is Donald G. Burks, 1795 Crescent Centre Blvd, Tucker, GA 30084. Answer in writing within sixty (60) days of, June 10, 2013. Witness the Honorable Asha F. Jackson Judge of the DeKalb Superior Court. This the 11th day of June, 2013. 6/29, 7/6, 7/13, 7/20
NOTICE OF PUBLICATION In the Superior Court of DeKalb County State of Georgia
Civil Action # ++13CV5849-4++ Kasandra D. Bonaparte Plaintiff Vs. Aaron Bonaparte Defendant TO: Aaron Bonaparte 300 7th Ave, Apt 9 Asbury Park, NJ 07712 & PO Box 611 Neptune, NJ 07754 By Order of the Court service for service
Your Source for Neighborhood News
Library honors Dickey’s poetry The life and work of the late Atlanta native and National Book Award-winning poet James Dickey will be celebrated on July 15 at the Decatur Library. The 7:15-to-9 p.m. program is part of the Georgia Center for the Book’s Festival of Writers series and coincides with the publication of “The Complete Poems James Dickey of James Dickey,” an authoritative edition of all 331 of his poems in one volume for the first time. The event also will feature readings of Dickey’s poems by Bronwen Dickey, John Lane and former Georgia Poet Laureate David Bottoms. The collection includes a foreword by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Richard Howard, president of the PEN American Center. Dickey, who was born on Feb. 2, 1923, was a high school football star and varsity player at Clemson College in South Carolina before leaving school to serve in World War II. His first collection, “Into the Stone, and Other Poems,” was published in 1960, and he abandoned a lucrative advertising career to devote his life to poetry full time. In 1977, Dickey read at President Jimmy Carter’s inauguration and later served as judge of the Yale Younger Poets series. He died in 1997 after a long illness. The library is at 215 Sycamore St. in downtown Decatur. For more information, call 404-370-3070.
by publication dated June 3, 2013, you are hereby notified that on May 21, 2013, the above-named Plaintiff filed suit against you for: Divorce. You are required to file with the Clerk of Superior Court, and to serve upon the plaintiff’s attorney whose name and address is Yazmin Sobh, Atlanta Legal Aid, 246 Sycamore St, Ste 120, Decatur, GA 30030-3434. Answer in writing within sixty (60) days of, June 3, 2013. Witness the Honorable Gail C. Flake Judge of the DeKalb Superior Court. This the 12th day of June, 2013. 6/15, 6/22, 6/29, 7/6
Notice of Petition to Change Name of Adult in the Superior Court of DeKalb County State of Georgia
Civil Action Case Number: ++ 13CV6354-10 ++ Louvenia Denmark filed a petition in the DeKalb County Superior Court on May 30, 2013 to change the name from: Louvenia Denmark to Louvenia Harris. Any interested party has the right to appear in this case and file objections within 30 days after the petition was filed. Dated: May 30, 2013 Louvenia Denmark Petitioner, Pro se 299 Glen Hollow Dr #2 Decatur, GA 30034
Debra DeBerry Clerk of Superior Court
6/15, 6/22, 6/29, 7/6
Notice of Petition to Change Name of Adult
pear in this case and file objections within 30 days after the petition was filed. Dated: June 4, 2013 Rhenita Mahoney Petitioner, Pro se 401 Friendly Hills Drive Decatur, GA 30035 678-791-9177
Debra DeBerry Clerk of Superior Court
6/15, 6/22, 6/29, 7/6
NOTICE OF PUBLICATION In the Superior Court of DeKalb County State of Georgia
Civil Action # ++13CV4517-4++ Demeca Hood Plaintiff Vs. Carlos Peebles Defendant TO: Carlos Peebles 2167 Glenwood Ave Atlanta, GA 30316 By Order of the Court service for service by publication dated June 3, 2013, you are hereby notified that on April 16, 2013, the above-named Plaintiff filed suit against you for: Divorce. You are required to file with the Clerk of Superior Court, and to serve upon the plaintiff’s attorney whose name and address is 3488 Robins Landing Way #7, Decatur, GA 30032. Answer in writing within sixty (60) days of, June 3, 2013. Witness the Honorable Cynthia J. Becker Judge of the DeKalb Superior Court. This the 10th day of June, 2013.
in the Superior Court of DeKalb County State of Georgia
Civil Action Case Number: ++ 13CV6281-4 ++ Rhenita Marie Mahoney filed a petition in the DeKalb County Superior Court on June 4, 2013 to change the name from: Rhenita Marie Mahoney to Rhenita Marie Mundine. Any interested party has the right to ap-
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July 6, 2013
“When the school bell rings for the last time in May, many of these children return to homes where there’s not enough food for three meals a day.”
Hunger fighters break Guinness record for sandwich making By Ken Watts
Breaking a Guiness World record takes precision, execution, and for the Smart Lunch, Smart Kid program, a lot of people. On June 29, all three came together in the parking lot of the Sam’s Club in Lithonia when nearly 100 adults and kids joined Atlanta-based Action Ministries to break the old record of 2,706 sandwiches made in an hour. They blew it away with 4,200 sandwiches made. The new record took weeks of preparation and frenzied teamwork. Volunteers built the cheese sandwices at a long table with an assembly line precision that Henry Ford would admire. Action Ministeries pesident and CEO John Moeller said there were people assembling bread and cheese slices. “They passed them on to others who put the cheese and bread together while other team members put the sandwiches in baggies and into bread sacks so they could be counted,” Moeller said. Action Ministeries provides housing, hunger and education services to help lead people out of poverty. Moeller said child hunger is a hidden crisis threatening the health of tens of thousands of children in DeKalb and across the state. “There are 800,000 Georgia children on the free and reduced lunch program during the school year,” Moeller said. “That means when the school bell rings for the last time in May, many of these children return to homes where there’s not enough food for three meals a day and they go hungry every day of the summer.” He said there’s anecdotal evidence from school counselors who report that some of the kids return to class in the fall underweight
Photos by Ken Watts / CrossRoadsNews
Volunteers assemble sandwiches in the parking lot of Sam’s Club in Lithonia. The team made 4,200 sandwiches in an hour to blow away the old record of 2,706.
because of inadequate nutrition during the summer break. Moeller said that news is just heart rending and that hids group is trying to reach as many of these kids that they can. “These kids are supposed to be growing,” he said. “Their minds are still developing
and access to proper nutrition is crucial to healthy brain and body development.” During the summer, Smart Lunch, Smart Kid volunteers prepare lunches and deliver them door to door to families identified as being in need.
A typical sack lunch consists of a sandwich, fruit, chips and bottle water or healthy fruit drink. Moeller said the Guinness World Record event was a way to make as many sandwiches as possible for the coming week and have fun tackling the record. Atlanta is the fifth cities, it has tried to shatter the world record and in the process made more than 18,000 sandwiches that will be served to children this summer. “We were attempting to break the record in Rome, Gainesville, Athens and Augusta as well as metro Atlanta,” he said. “And we beat the record state in every city.” Volunteers came from the Arabia Mountain High School, AT&T Telephone Pioneers, the United Methodist Church, and individual families. Moeller said Sam’s Club customers donated food items that they purchased a thet the store on the day of the event. The 4,200 sandwiches made in Lithonia was the largest total in Georgia. Proctors monitored the event and shot video for the Guinness Book of World Records which will certify the results. Organizers hope to have the official count and the certified record from Guinness in time for a scheduled Labor Day rally in September. new callers, SO CALL NOW. 1-800-699-7159
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July 6, 2013
“We have enormous momentum in support of our efforts and we received a strong, positive response from residents throughout this area.”
Lakeside Alliance raises funds for cityhood feasibility study By Ken Watts
The group that wants to create a new city of Lakeside in North DeKalb says it is ready to take the next step. Leaders of the Lakeside City Alliance said June 25 that they have raised $30,000 for the feasibility study required by state law. Chairwoman Mary Kay Woodworth said the alliance has hired the Carl Vinson Institute at the University of Georgia to conduct the study. “We are grateful that so many citizens in our community contributed to fund this study which will determine whether we have the financial capacity within our borders to incorporate as a city,” Woodworth said. “We have enormous momentum in support of our efforts and we received a strong, positive response from residents throughout this area of north DeKalb County.” The alliance began gauging public interest on Feb. 7 with a series of informational meetings explaining the pros and cons of cityhood. Attendees were encouraged to contribute to a fund set up to pay for the feasibility study. Woodworth said the funds didn’t come from big donors. “We got a lot of small donations from a lot of people,” she said. The proposed new city would have a population of about 63,000 and covers about 20 square miles, bounded by North Druid Hills Road to the south, I-85 to the west, and the
Mary Kay Woodworth and other proponents of a city of Lakeside announced that they have hired the Carl Vinson Institute Georgia to conduct a feasibility study.
Ken Watts / CrossRoadsNews
Alliance organizers say the boundaries could change again over the next few months based on input from the community. Meantime, the Lakeside efforts seem to be energizing DeKalb’s other cityhood efforts, including a proposed city of Stonecrest. Jason Lary, president of the Stonecrest City Alliance that is seeking a city in South DeKalb’s unincorporated Lithonia area, says they are Courtesy of Lakeside City Alliance moving ahead. Embry Hills community to the northeast. “We’ve raised $15,000, about half of what The map does not include a huge portion we need for our own feasibility study,” he said of western Tucker as did earlier versions. At at the Lakeside news conference. “We’re geta contentious alliance meeting in March, ting a lot of interest from the neighborhoods many Tucker residents said they wanted to and we’ll build support at our informational keep their neighborhood intact, perhaps for meetings this summer.” their own incorporation effort. Two other neighborhoods – Briarcliff and
North Druid Hills – are deciding whether to pursue cityhood under HB 665, a placeholder bill filed by state Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver. County leaders continue to slam the idea of cityhood as divisive and costly to unincorporated DeKalb. Presiding Commissioner Lee May and District 3 Commissioner Larry Johnson say the movement is draining millions of dollars in tax revenue, making it harder for the county to fund basic services, but the movement continues. Lakeside Alliance leaders say the driving force behind their progress so far has been the desire of neighborhoods to have local control over zoning, public safety and parks. The movement also taps into anxiety over the DeKalb School System’s probationary status and concern about ongoing corruption investigations in the county, but Woodworth said the group had already raised nearly all the necessary funds before the grand jury indictment of CEO Burrell Ellis on June 18. The Carl Vinson Institute could finish Lakeside’s feasibility study in four to five months. The General Assembly will use the Vinson Institute’s information next year when it considers legislation on whether to allow residents to vote on the matter. If all goes well, the Lakeside Alliance says it will push to get its cityhood initiative on the ballot as early as next summer.
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CrossRoadsNews, July 6, 2013