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Playbook AWARE & Inside PREPARED

City of Decatur


Clear zone

DECEMBER 2016 Volume 27 • Number 5

Official Publication of The City of Decatur, Georgia

Dairy Queen Reopens in Downtown Decatur

Years after demolition of their old Dairy Queen location, which was among the first steps in redevelopment of the “Trinity Triangle,” the Momin family has reopened the business, and it’s nearly in the same spot

News 3 City

BUsiness 14 NEWs

as it was before. Now situated on the ground floor of the Arlo Apartment building at 245 E. Trinity Pl., the new restaurant is a little bit smaller than the old free-standing building, but has seating for 47 – nine more than


before. Mayor Patti Garrett, Commissioner Brian Smith, city staff, and friends gathered on Halloween morning to cut the ceremonial red ribbon to welcome the Momins back to the community.


School news 22

Focus City of Decatur

Lifecycle Housing


he City of Decatur is committed to expanding options to address the housing needs for a variety of income levels and age groups through all stages of life. The Decatur Housing Authority (DHA) does an excellent job of providing rental housing options for lower-income residents. Homestead exemptions targeting lower-income senior citizens and the MLK Service project help older homeowners reduce costs and make needed home repairs. Income-restricted programs use the Average Median Income (AMI) for the Atlanta metropolitan area. The Decatur Housing Authority works with individuals and families making 80 percent or less of the AMI. We also know that it is increasingly difficult for middle class individuals and families to afford to live in our city. This group includes service workers like teachers, fire fighters and police officers who are vital to our community. Even though they make 80-100 percent of AMI, escalating home values make it hard for them to afford to live in Decatur. The following table shows the income levels for various family sizes based on the percentage of the Atlanta area AMI, followed by a description of City of Decatur programs available to help make housing more affordable.

Focus on Community Development

The Decatur Focus is a joint publication of the City of Decatur, the Decatur Downtown Development Authority and the Decatur Business Association. It is a newsletter intended to provide announcements and information related to events, activities, and businesses in the City of Decatur. The purpose of the newsletter is to promote the city and encourage the exchange of information among residents, business owners and the school system. Letters to the editor, editorials or other opinion pieces are not published. All press releases, announcements and other information received for publication are subject to editing. Information found in the Focus is also posted on Decatur’s official website at The deadline for submitting articles, announcements or advertising is the first day of the month preceding publication. Contact: Editor, Decatur Focus, P.O. Box 220, Decatur, GA 30031, 404-371-8386; fax 404-371-1593; email: Clear zone

DECATUR CITY COMMISSION Patti Garrett...................................................Mayor Fred Boykin................................Mayor Pro Tem Scott Drake..................................Commissioner Tony Powers...............................Commissioner Brian Smith..................................Commissioner

Income 1 Person 2 Person 3 Person 4 person Level Household Household Household Household

100% 80% 65%

$47,300 $37,840 $30,745

$54,000 $43,200 $35,100

$60,800 $48,640 $39,520

$67,500 $54,000 $43,875

Decatur Housing Authority (DHA) The DHA was established in 1938. Its mission is to support the strength and diversity of the Decatur community by providing a wide range of housing opportunities with a focus on affordable housing, promoting community and economic development, and administering the program in a creative, cooperative, responsive and effective manner. The DHA provides more than 400 rental apartment units at various locations in the city that offer quality housing opportunities targeting individuals and families making 80 percent or less of the Atlanta AMI. DHA also provides 75 work force rental units at market rates. DHA has also developed for-sale residential developments including two market-rate townhouse developments which include several affordable housing units, one single-family home development that targeted middle income, first-time home buyers, and the 90-unit Talley Street Lofts community. Lifecycle Density Bonus Program Developers of multi-family developments may take advantage of a 20 percent density bonus program that allows them to exceed established residential unit densities by 20 percent if 75 percent of these additional units are marketed to individuals and families making 80 percent See DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT on page 4 Information for the FOCUS should be submitted by mail to Editor, Decatur Focus, P.O. Box 220, Decatur, GA 30031, or by email to

2 | Decatur Focus • DECEMBER 2016

DECATUR DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY Board Chris Sciarrone, Chair Linda Curry • John Drake Bill Floyd • Scott Kentner Tony Leung • Fisher Paty

Decatur Business Association

DECATUR BUSINESS ASSOCIATION Tim Martin.............................................. President Kyle Williams............................. President-elect Susan Sparks.......................................... Treasurer Lisa Bobb................................................. Secretary Marc Brennan............................. Past President

Design and layout:

City News 2017 Decatur 101 Class Begins in February

Say ‘Hello’ to Decatur’s Better Together Board Members of the city’s new Better Together Board met recently for the first time. First row (from left): staff liaisons Lartesha Chaney, Renae Madison, Linda Harris. Second row: Syreeta Campbell, Jamilah Rashid, Yvonne Druyeh Dodd, Shadi Abdalla, Sara Shay Sullivan (co-chair). Third row: Paula Collins, Haqiqa Bolling, Cindy Popp, Shenandra Usher, Christy Amador (co-chair). Fourth row: David T. Lewicki, Lauren Sudeall Lucas, Erin Braden, and Jon Abercrombie. Not pictured: Olivia Burell-Jackson and Casie Yoder). For additional information on this board, contact Linda Harris, linda.harris@

Holiday Solid Waste and Recycling Services Christmas Holiday, Friday, Dec. 23, and Monday, Dec. 26 Regular services for Thursday, Dec. 22, will be on Wednesday, Dec. 21 Regular services for Friday, Dec. 23, will be on Thursday, Dec. 22 Regular services for Monday, Dec. 26, will be on Tuesday, Dec. 27 Regular services for Tuesday, Dec. 27, will be on Wednesday, Dec. 28 New Year’s Holiday, Monday, Jan. 2 Monday services will be on Tuesday, Jan. 3 Tuesday services will be on Wednesday, Jan. 4 Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday, Jan. 16 Monday services will be on Tuesday, Jan. 17 Tuesday services will be on Wednesday, Jan. 18

The 2017 Decatur 101 classes will begin in late February. The seven-week class is held on Thursdays and there is both a morning and an evening class. Whether you have just moved to the community or have been here for years, you will learn something new about the City of Decatur. Participants meet department heads, visit city buildings, and enjoy interactive sessions about a variety of subjects including history, economic development, quality of life programs, public works, police and fire, emergency management and more. There is usually a waiting list for the class, so sign up today. If you are interested in taking the 2017 Decatur 101 class, email Shirley Baylis,, 678553-6573, or Linda Harris, linda.harris@, 678-553-6512.

Correction Corner Pricing for the 2016 Breakfast with Santa has changed. Tickets are $15/child and $20/adult. The date for the Menorah Lighting on the MARTA plaza has changed to Dec. 26. DECEMBER 2016 • Decatur Focus | 3

City News Have You Moved Your Glass Lately? The Decatur Environmental Sustainability board would like to remind you that glass must now be separated from other recyclable materials for the weekly curbside pick-up. Glass is a resource, and it’s important for residents to keep their glass containers separated, clean, and unbroken. Simple steps for the new separate glass-recycling program: 1. Place your empty glass containers in a separate bin. Residents are responsible for providing the second bin, and there are no stipulations regarding type or color, though it should be 18 gallons or smaller. 2. Remove all lids and tops from glass containers and place them in your mixed recycling bin. Do not place any recyclables in plastic bags. 3. Have all trash, yard waste, and recycling placed at the curb by 7:30 a.m. on your regularly scheduled sanitation day. However, please note that depending on the route, your various items may not be picked up at the same time. Need a New Bin? Red glass recycling bins and 95-gallon rolling bins for co-mingled recycling are available for purchase by residents: visit Intown Ace Hardware, 1404 Scott Blvd., or call Latham Home Sanitation, 678-858-5407.

4 | Decatur Focus • DECEMBER 2016

Downtown Development continued from page 2 of the median income. While this program is available for both for-sale condominiums and for-rent apartment developments, they are most successful in rental products that help assure long-term affordability. Developers identify the units that will be included in the program and establish a maximum occupancy rate and rental rate for these units. Currently, the Arlo apartment development is participating in this program and has 21 apartment units available for individuals and families who meet the 80 percent median income requirement. Please contact the leasing agent if you are interested in this program to see if you meet the income restrictions and whether units are available.

or two large houses. These homes offer a much-needed small-home option.

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) In 2014, the City revised its zoning codes to reduce the minimum square footage for a home and make it easier to build accessory dwellings in single-family residential districts. These smaller units, generally located to the rear of a primary residence, create small rental housing opportunities in single-family neighborhoods and provide additional income to help cover mortgage payments for the homeowner. They also offer a housing option for aging parents, young adult children or caregives to support aging in place. ADUs are allowed in all single-famArlo Lifecycle Dwelling Program* ily residential zoning districts if lot size and Unit Targeted Lifecycle setback requirements are met. City staff will Size Occupancy Rate assist single-family homeowners interested in pursuing ADUs on their properties. Efficiency 1-2 $945 (1) $1,080 (2) Martin Luther King Service Project 1 BR 2 $1,080 This community-supported program works 2 BR 3 $1,215 with lower-income senior homeowners in * Residents must meet 80 percent AMI income Decatur to provide much-needed home limits, not exceed 30 percent of income for repairs and energy-efficient upgrades, makrental cost, and meet income verification and ing it possible for them to age in place and credit requirements. remain in the community. Work ranges from simple repairs to projects that correct Cottage Courts hazardous conditions and make a home Developments of smaller homes clustered more accessible for elderly residents. While around shared green space offer home the majority of this work is done during the ownership options for first-time buyers and month of January in honor of Dr. King’s empty nesters interested in downsizing. The birthday, assistance is provided throughout Decatur Development Authority is currently the year to address emergency repairs. See developing a model project with six homes page 6 for more information. ranging in size from 468 to 1,100 square feet that will be marketed to employees of the Homestead Exemptions City of Decatur and City Schools of Decatur The basic homestead exemption reduces through a lottery system. Ownership of the the property tax bill for owner-occupied land will be retained through a community housing. Additional homestead exemptions land trust and the houses will be sold to target lower-income homeowners and older individuals who qualify. Homeowners will homeowners to further reduce property tax have a 99-year lease on the land and share in bills to help make homeownership more the maintenance of common areas through affordable. In November, Decatur residents a homeowners association. The city plans to voted to approve five homestead exemppursue more of these developments and tartions that extended existing programs and get individuals and families making 80-toadded an additional program. For more 100 percent of the median income. The city information on Decatur homestead exempis also making it easier for private builders to tions and how to apply, visit develop similar cottage court developments and search for homestead exemptions. with multiple small homes rather than one

City News Permanent Drug Drop-Box Installed at Police HQ

Artists at Work on the MARTA Overpass Mural

Through a partnership with the Decatur Prevention Initiative (DPI) and the support of Mayor Patti Garrett, the Decatur Police Department has obtained a permanent drug drop-box through a grant made possible by CVS Pharmacy and Partnership for DrugFree Kids. The drug drop-box has been installed in the front lobby of the police department at 420 W. Trinity Place, to the right of the “police” window in front of the elevator. You can now stop by at any time and drop expired, unused and unwanted medications into the drop box at your convenience. Please do not drop needles, inhalers or liquid medications into the drop-box. For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs go to

y the time you read this, the Milagros Collective (artists Felici Asteinza and Joey Filastre) should be hard at work painting the mural on the MARTA overpass at West Trinity Place and Atlanta Avenue. The mural is the result of community input sessions with the surrounding neighbors led by community engagement consultant Joy Bailey Bryant of Lord Cultural Resources. Funding for the mural came from a grant awarded by the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) and, as a requirement of the grant, was matched by donations from the Decatur Milagros artists Arts Alliance, the Decatur Housing Authority, the Decatur Asteinza and Filastre Downtown Development Authority, the Decatur Tourism Bureau, and the Task Force for Global Health. Other steering committee partners include the City of Decatur, City Schools of Decatur Administration, Ebster Recreation, Decatur Police and Municipal Court, the Swanton Hill Neighbors, and MARTA. Once the mural is complete there will be a community celebration and dedication. Watch the Focus for details.


Focus Combined for January and February The January/February issue of the Focus is a combined one and will come out the second week of January instead of the first week. The deadline for submission of information for both January and February is Dec. 10. Send information to

Joey Filastre reveals the mural concept at a public meeting concerning the project.

DECEMBER 2016 • Decatur Focus | 5

City News MLK Service Project jan.14-16 15 Years of Helping Decatur’s Senior Citizens Stay in Their Homes

Volunteer Shifts Sign up for one or more of the following shifts: Saturday, Jan. 14 9 a.m.-1 p.m. 1-5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 15 1-5 p.m. Monday, Jan. 16 9 a.m.-1 p.m. 1-5 p.m.


ou can still sign up to volunteer for Decatur’s 15th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Service Project. This annual event brings together more than 1,300 volunteers who do house repairs and maintenance, weatherization, and yard repairs so fixed- and low-income senior citizen homeowners can safely, comfortably, and affordably remain in their homes. The project honors the legacy and teachings of Rev. Dr. King and the spirit of the King Holiday, and is the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service. Anyone can serve (age 12 or older, unless

6 | Decatur Focus • DECEMBER 2016

participating with a Scout troop). If you can rake leaves, do light carpentry, do repairs on your own home, paint a wall, wash a window, lay floor tile and linoleum, caulk, or help with any of the hundreds of other tasks, please join us. If you are a plumber, carpenter, electrician, HVAC technician, roofer, or other skilled tradesperson, or have an insulation company, please consider donating your skills and services to this worthy project. There are jobs for every skill level, including helping feed hungry volunteers by making sandwiches, cookies, and brownies. To volunteer, sign up in advance with

Lee Ann Harvey, 678-553-6548, or leeann. Everyone must have a signed release form (parent or guardian to sign for youth). Help make the 15th anniversary even more special by making a $15 donation (or more). Visit for more information about the project, to download a release form, and to donate online. You may also mail your check payable to Decatur Preservation Alliance (designate MLK Project) to Decatur Preservation Alliance, P.O. Box 1764, Decatur, GA 30031.

City News Share a Visit to Decatur Cemetery for the Holidays


f you are looking for an activity to engage your out-of-town company over the holidays, why not treat them to a walk through Decatur Cemetery? Not only will you get some exercise, but also it will be a chance to introduce them to your hometown – history, nature and exercise for the whole family, all in one place. Self-guided walking tours are available at the Cemetery Office at the Bell Street entrance or at the Visitors Center on Clairemont Avenue. For more information contact Friends of Decatur Cemetery,

A Decatur Walk Star


ack Kittle is a man who likes to walk because it gets him out in the community and connects him to the world. Although he uses a car from time to time, walking is his preferred method of transportation. Jack can be seen walking with his dark brown leather hat on his head. When his daughter was small he was known for walking with her on his shoulders. He is currently the chair of the Pedestrian Advisory Committee (PAC), a subcommittee of the Decatur Active Living Advisory Board, and is the first PAC Walk-and-Roll Star. He is sure to encourage you to walk as well as to be Bright at Night. Do you know of someone in Decatur who is a Walking Superstar? Send your nomination to for consideration.

Commissioners Cauldron Awarded to Cotters Family This year’s Commissioner’s Cauldron winner is the Cotter family, 415 Glendale Ave. The judges were impressed with the spooky antics going on in the family’s yard, headless ghost, gravesites, and even a mean dog that had the judges afraid to walk up the driveway to deliver the yard sign. Thanks to everyone who decorated, submitted entries and made a showing for Halloween. See all of the entries at the Decorate Decatur Facebook page.

Smoke Detector Blitz The Decatur Fire/Rescue department would like to thank all of the volunteers and the American Red Cross for their time and efforts during the Decatur Fire and American Red Cross Smoke Detector Blitz. Volunteers and firefighters visited 293 homes, installed 62 detectors, inspected 86, and reached 117 Decatur residents. Remember to check your smoke detectors. Firefighters are available to inspect your detectors and install when needed. Call 404-373-5092 to schedule your visit.

DECEMBER 2016 • Decatur Focus | 7

n u f t a h oh, w

you'll find in decatur

terrific Decatur’s 2016 Holiday Ornaments Now Available From left: Decatur Arts Alliance board member Pat Walsh, Decatur Arts Alliance Chair Alan Dishman, artist Karen Fincannon, Decatur Visitors Center Manager Sherry Jackman, Commissioner Tony Powers, Decatur Arts Alliance Executive Director Angie Macon.

ommissioner Tony Powers unveiled the 2016 Decatur Holiday Ornament at Wild Oats and Billy Goats in November. The ornament, designed and created by artist Karen Fincannon, is the fifth in a series of handcrafted ornaments commissioned by the Decatur Tourism Bureau and the Decatur Arts Alliance. Each ornament is a one-of-a kind hand-built ceramic piece that incorporates text, textures, and bright happy colors. The ornaments, priced at $18 each, are available at Wild Oats and Billy Goats, Trinity Mercantile and Design, Little Shop of Stories, HomeGrown, and the Decatur Visitors Center.

8 | Decatur Focus • DECEMBER 2016

Meet the Artist:

Karen Fincannon Karen’s work is whimsical and she likes to make art that makes people smile. You can find other examples of her work at Wild Oats and Billy Goats.


h ol



y t ree lig h a d

Be there on East Court Square when the lights go on! Enjoy caroling, cocoa, snow, and Santa. Generously sponsored by local businesses.

DeC. 1 | 7 PM

furry tails pet shop

treehouse kid & craft homegrown


or m e n a h li g d

h ti

o n t he s e r q fi





Shop local at 30+ participating shops and make Decatur your one stop for all of your holiday gifting. See p. 10 for the details!




s t w it h s a f k

DeC. 1, 8, & 15


terrific thursdays |

DeC. 10 | 8-10 AM

DeC. 15 | 7-8 PM

DeC. 26 | 6 PM

At the Marriott Courtyard Hotel. Updated ticket prices: $20 for adults and $15 for children under 12. Buy tickets at Sponsored by DBA.

Roast a marshmallow (or three) around a spectacular 10’ x 20’ bonfire. Free, but RSVP at Hosted by DBA.

Celebrate Chanukah on the square with sing-alongs, latkes, raffles, and prizes! Get the details at

Stay ConneCted! decaturga


downtowndecatur DECEMBER 2016 • Decatur Focus | 9


3 0+ shops

DeCeMBer 1, 8, & 15 Visit these participating shops, spas, salons, and restaurants to enjoy snacks, sales, seasonal shopportunities, fun and sPeCiAL sUrPrises

aimee Jewelry & Gallery

eyeworks of decatur

Shaded Soul tattoos

335-B W. Ponce de Leon Ave. 404-371-0099

335 W. Ponce de Leon Ave. 404-377-3937 •

340 W. Ponce de Leon Ave. #201 404-373-1003

ale yeah

Fabu Face Spa

Splash of olive

335 W. Ponce de Leon Ave. 404-377-6363 •

201 W. Ponce de Leon Ave. 404-600-2414 •

Found Co. decatur


335 W. Ponce de Leon Ave. 678-515-3109 •

149 Sycamore St • 404-373-6607

Furry tails

Squash Blossom

228 E. Ponce de Leon Ave. 404-205-5049 •

113 E. Court Sq. • 404-373-1864

the Great Frame Up

treehouse Kid & Craft

416 Church St. • 404-378-7272

335 W. Ponce de Leon Ave. 404-257-6090

533 W. Howard Ave.• 470-355-8305

Café at Cakes and ale

Greene's Fine Foods

151 Sycamore St. • 404-377-7960

141 Trinity Pl. • 404-378-2001

427 Church St. • 404-330-8733

Coco + Mischa


245 E. Trinity Pl. #1212 404-875-5717

412 Church St. • 404-373-1147


414 Church St. • 404-377-5250

906 W. College Ave. • 404-371-4331

Bleu Hanger Boutique 305 E. College Ave. • 404-254-1256

Boutique Karma 145 Sycamore St. • 404-373-7533

Butter and Cream

114 E. Ponce de Leon Ave. 404-377-1280 •


Kismet Jewelers

tres Jolie

trinity Mercantile & design 116 E. Trinity Pl. • 404-378-0197

Vivid Boutique 308 W. Ponce de Leon Ave. 404-963-1025 •

Wild oats & Billy Goats

133 E. Court Sq. • 404-373-6300

112 E. Ponce de Leon Ave. 404-378-4088

180 W. Ponce de Leon Ave. 404-377-4005

natural Body Spa

Worthmore Jewelers

decatur Cd

Pure Barre decatur

Cook's Warehouse and Sherlock's Wine Merchant

356 W. Ponce de Leon Ave. 404-371-9090 •

decatur Square Framing & Gallery 111 Clairemont Rd. • 404-377-1414 Facebook

Little Shop of Stories

225 E. Ponce de Leon Ave. 404-370-1330 • 415 Church St. • 404-428-2290

Rocket Fizz 115 Clairemont Ave. 404-565-0156 •

Salon Red Kids 123 E. Ponce de Leon Ave. 404-377-6230 •

10 | Decatur Focus • DECEMBER 2016

117 E. Court Sq. • 404-370-3979

see the DeALs AND DetAiLs at!

Get GiFtsPirAtiON from our 30 Days of Shopping posts at

snap a selfie we love

holly octopus Hey KidS (of all ages)!


Make your own octopus ornament or visit for a sheet to download and print. T-CUT-C CU UT

#holidaydeca turga

Find festive photo frames in participating Terrific Thursday shops. Post your pic on Instagram or Facebook for a chance to win sweet seasonal prizes! #holidaydecaturga

FiND Free Art! Look for 10 artsy octopi placed in participating shops every Terrific Thursday.


Check out instagram for a peek at new pieces.


@larocquel369 @laais



Fabu Face Spa


Find one? Keep it! Tell the shop owner and post a pic with your discovery. Check out these recent finds!

Coco + Mischa


DECEMBER 2016 • Decatur Focus | 11

City News School News Prairie Vane, Dan Perry

Earth, Fire, Water, Wind, Hanna Jubran



Decatur Artway Adds Five Sculptures in Oakhurst The five sculptures selected for Phase 2 of the Decatur Artway have been installed in Oakhurst and will be on display for two years. Five sculptures were installed downtown in 2015 for Phase 1. The Decatur Artway is a public arts initiative established by the Decatur Arts Alliance and the City of Decatur. To get a personal tour of the pieces, with narration provided by the artists, download the free Otocast app from iTunes or Google Play. Learn more about each work at

Sunkissed, Nathan Pierce HARMONY PARK

The Geometry of Sol, Phil Proctor FIRE STATION NO. 2

Shelter (basics), Matthias Neumann Oakhurst Communty Garden

12 | Decatur Focus • DECEMBER 2016



Artists Paint Traffic Signal Boxes The Decatur Arts Alliance worked with Decatur resident/artist Larry Holland (pictured) to commission a variety of artists to paint traffic signal boxes throughout Decatur. Each selected artist painted only one box, so there are dozens of unique artworks around. Take a walk and see for yourself. Holland is also the mastermind of octopidecatur, a free art facet of this year’s Terrific Thursdays. See pages 11 and 23 to learn more.

2016 Citizen’s Police Academy Graduates Congratulations to the 24th graduating class of the Decatur Citizen’s Police Academy. During the 10-week program, participants attended weekly educational sessions, had the opportunity to tour the DeKalb County jail and DeKalb County Medical Examiner’s

office and completed a patrol ride-a-long. If you are interested in signing up for the Citizen’s Police Academy, contact Lt. Jennifer Ross at or 678-553-6613.

DECEMBER 2016 • Decatur Focus | 13

Business & Nonprofit News Decatur Makers’ New Years Resolution:

Make Something


o you or anyone you know want to make something cool but do not know how or where? Then it’s time to visit Decatur Makers, 605 W. Ponce de Leon Ave. This year, the Decatur Makers community has been ramping up class offerings and hosting “Open Build Nights” on Wednesday evenings. It’s the place to visit if you’re feeling adventurous and want to build furniture, sew a costume, program an Arduino, or 3D print something. Memberships and class vouchers can be used as holiday gifts for the creative DIY person in your life. And if your resolution is to de-clutter your workshop, we’re happy to consider your donation of equipment and tools to our makerspace. Unleash your inner creative genius and visit for more info.

DZ Scooters and Bike Rental Offers New Ways to Get Around


new business in Decatur – DZ Scooters and Bike Rental – rents scooters and bikes by the hour, day, and week and hopes to change how people of all ages get around in Decatur. The business has two locations, 1707 Church St. and 249 E. Ponce de Leon Ave., and is an extension of Dad’s Emissions. The scooters are 49cc and are driven on the street with a maximum speed of about 50 mph. No motorcycle license endorsement is necessary. Each scooter and bike comes with a helmet, and gas is included with each scooter as they are rented. All users must be 18 years old and hold a driver’s license. The scooters and bikes are meant for short local trips, such as to the grocery store (they all have baskets), going house hunting, to work, or going on outings with friends. Check them out at dzscooter&, or call 770-902-2453 for more information. Open seven days a week.

HLM Welcomes New Members HLM Financial Group is celebrating 30 years of providing accounting, tax, and financial and business advisory services to the Decatur and Atlanta communities. In this celebration year, the firm welcomes two new members to the team. Deloyd Johnson (left) is a CPA and MBA with more than 25 years of experience in public accounting, operations finance and controllership. As principal, he is responsible for business development and managing business advisory and CPA engagements for the firm. He is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University and Iona College Hagan School of Business. Cody Crowder (right) joined HLM Financial Group in September. He is a staff accountant responsible for providing accounting and financial reporting services. He graduated from Appalachian State University with a bachelor’s degree in finance and accounting.

Private Bank Names Bundrage a Personal Banker Kelyonta Bundrage, a former detention deputy and corrections officer, saw the opportunity to provide customer service in a vastly different environment from law enforcement. She grew up in Sparta, Georgia, and attended Sandersville Technical College. She received a phlebotomy certification from the Ashona Medical Institute and is currently pursuing a degree in criminal justice at American Intercontinental University.

Celebrate the Holidays at Decatur Yoga Decatur Yoga, 431 W. Ponce de Leon Ave., invites the Decatur community to visit during their 14th holiday season. Give the gift of yoga and Pilates to your friends and family and receive a 10 percent discount on gift certificates. The studio offers a variety of classes for yogis of all ages and will host a Restorative Workshop, A Long Winter’s Nap, on Dec. 17, 2-4 p.m. For more information call 404-377-4899. 14 | Decatur Focus • DECEMBER 2016

Business & Nonprofit News The Buzzs Putting

inesse New Bus Oakhurst in s t o o R Down The Historic Scottish Rite building, 321 W. Hill St. in the heart of the Oakhurst neighborhood, announces the addition of three new tenants: Trove Studio is a full-service Atlanta video production company that creates videos to give audiences a fresh way to engage with your story. As a one-stop shop, they can scale everything to your budget. Contact Ben Wade at

New Mobile Service Comes to Decatur


illage Vesl, a new mobile service founded in 2016 by a group of Atlanta-based entrepreneurs, creates a mobile community that enables real-time, location-based communication for local residents and businesses. During its initial rollout, Village Vesl will launch the mobile app in Decatur. The app brings the context of location to everyday communication with its place-based messaging platform. The service enables two-way communication between businesses and consumers, and both public and private messaging between individual users. Village Vesl is available for free on iPhone and Android devices to all interested community members. For more information visit

Decatur Mindfulness and Psychotherapy specializes in mindfulnessbased therapy including ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) and DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) skills training. Mindfulness-based therapy is helpful with a wide range of challenges, including depression, anxiety, stress, and relationships. Contact Becky Anne at Wellspring Counseling Intown provides professional, experienced, and nonjudgmental counseling services for individuals and families from diverse backgrounds in ethnicity, gender, and sexuality. Contact Melissa Dickinson or Tom Query at These businesses join the list of Scottish Rite tenants who have anchored this building since it was renovated in 2002: • Decatur Eye Care • Origins Real Estate • Resonance Marketing • Tapestry Development Group • The Oakhurst Doctor, Tim Watts, M.D. • Deborah McGarry, massage therapist • Shelter Lending Services Scout, a new locally owned restaurant, will open in the west wing later this year.

AADD Chosen For $5,000 Grant through Employee SuperGift program


ll About Developmental Disabilities (AADD) has received a check for $5,000 from the Liberty Mutual Foundation through its Employee SuperGift grant program. One of the foundation’s focus areas is accessibility and inclusion for low-income individuals with disabilities, a community that is served by AADD. The Atlanta-based nonprofit works with individuals and families living with developmental disabilities. AADD provides family support, advocacy, employment services, and community integration for individuals and families with developmental disabilities. Developmental disabilities are defined as severe chronic intellectual and/or physical disabilities that limit three or more critical functional abilities. Examples include Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, autism disorders, fetal alcohol disorders, and intellectual disabilities. For more about AADD, visit

On hand to accept the check from Liberty Mutual’s Employee Supergift grant program were Wayne McMillan, AADD’s interim executive director, and Nancy Rizor, AADD’s board chair (center, behind check). Also included in the photo are AADD program participants.

DECEMBER 2016 • Decatur Focus | 15

DBA News DBA Seeks Public Servant Award Nominations

Marc Brennan Receives Decatur Fleetwood Award

o you know a public servant who goes far beyond his/her job to strengthen our community, serve as a role model, and contribute to our community on an ongoing basis? The Decatur Business Association is calling for nominations for the 15th annual Thomas O. Davis Public Servant Award to honor a public servant – one who often goes unnoticed in his/her work but serves as an inspiration and who exemplifies honesty, integrity, and professionalism in the performance of duties. The public servant can work in any government sector as long as they serve in a nonelected capacity. The award is not limited to City of Decatur employees. The DBA established the award in memory of Thomas O. Davis, Decatur’s city attorney from 1968 until his death in 2000. Submit a nomination by writing a letter/statement explaining why the nominee should receive the award. The deadline for nominations is Dec. 20. For information or to submit a nomination, call 678-553-6548 or email leeann. Nominations may also be dropped off at Decatur City Hall, 509 N. McDonough St., second floor, Community and Economic Development department, or mail to P.O. Box 220, Decatur, GA 30031.

Oakhurst restaurateur and former DBA president Marc Brennan has earned Decatur’s Alma Fleetwood Spirit award for 2016. He was recognized with the award at a recent Decatur Business Association meeting. The award is presented each year to a city employee, resident, or volunteer who embraces and maintains the overwhelmingly positive spirit of Alma, who always had a smile, a kind word, and a hug for everyone. Brennan is pictured below with Mayor Patti Garrett, DBA Membership Chair Herb McCoy, and members of the Fleetwood family: Sheryl Fleetwood, Daphine Gresham, and Daisha Cannon.


December 6

Thank you to DBA sponsors

Holiday Party Decatur Courtyard by Marriott 130 Clairemont Ave. 5:15 p.m. Networking reception

Meeting Reminder

6 p.m. Hometown Heroes, Beer Festival Grant Awards Sponsors: Decatur Development Authority, Decatur Courtyard by Marriott Visit for details.

SAVE the DATE 16 | Decatur Focus • DECEMBER 2016

Mayor’s State of the City Address at the January DBA Meeting: Tuesday, Jan. 24 • Decatur Courtyard by Marriott

Decatur Events Art Camps and More at Sycamore Place Gallery Sycamore Place Gallery, 120 Sycamore Place, is offering holiday break camps for children, Dec. 20-22. The gallery also offers workshops, classes for children and adults, and private art lessons. The community is invited to enjoy functional and fine art happenings at the Adornment Show on Saturday, Dec. 3, 6-9 p.m. Featured artists include children’s book illustrator Michele Phillips and encaustic photography artist Jenny Bell. The event will include open studios, fine and functional art for sale, music by Waiting4Aliens, and refreshments. Gift certificates for children and adult art classes will be available for purchase. For information on studio space, special event and gallery rentals, and art birthday parties, call 404-377-7747, email or visit

Alternative Gift Market at North Decatur Presbyterian Church Saturday, Dec. 3 • 10 a.m.-3 p.m. • 611 Medlock Rd. Decatur residents Reverend David Lewicki and Reverend Beth Waltemath invite the Decatur community to North Decatur Presbyterian’s annual Alternative Gift Market, Saturday, Dec. 3, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Shop for fair trade, environmentally sustainable holiday gifts. Gifts for sale include olive oil, wood carvings and embroidered items from Palestine; hats, scarves, clothing and gifts from Guatemala and Peru; soup

and cookie mixes that support people in transition; rugs and other gifts from local refugee and affordable housing initiatives; jewelry and other items from Africa, Nepal, and Haiti; and fair trade coffee, tea, and chocolate. The market includes a children’s craft corner to engage the children, and snacks are provided for sustenance while you shop. Holiday Gift Cards benefiting the Case

Materna Ana Sayre Birthing Center in Guatemala and the Community School of the EcoVillages of Collodere in Haiti will also be sold. The church is located at the intersection of Medlock, N. Decatur Road and Scott Boulevard. Credit cards, checks and cash will be accepted. For information, contact Becky Evans,, 678613-8942.

Decatur Civic Chorus Presents 69th Annual Christmas Concert Sunday, Dec. 11 • 3 p.m. • First Baptist Church of Decatur • 308 Clairemont Ave. Join The Decatur Civic Chorus for the “Sing We Now of Christmas” concert to kick off the holiday season. The concert will feature guest instruments of every family along with a local English hand bell choir. The Decatur Civic Chorus, one of the oldest in the country, is for all ages and is free and open to the community. DECEMBER 2016 • Decatur Focus | 17

Decatur Events Worthmore Jewelers Holiday Celebration Dec. 4 Join Worthmore Jewelers, 117 E. Court Square, for its annual holiday celebration on Sunday, Dec. 4. This year’s event will feature: • A Jewelry Antiques Roadshow – Bring in your family treasure and meet one-on-one with our antique jewelry expert to learn the history and value of your item. • A visit from designer Jill Maurer, who will share the latest from her organically inspired unisex jewelry line that crosses boundaries to make wearable pieces of art. • A chance to meet Worthmore’s new designer, Belle Brooke, and get a glimpse of her metal jewelry designs. • A presentation by Shinola to highlight leather accessories and show off the latest additions to the Shinola watch collection. Andrew and Dorian, lead designers at Zina of Beverly Hills, will be in store with designs fresh from the workshop. For more information call 404-370-3979.

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18 | Decatur Focus • DECEMBER 2016

A Night Out for a Cause The Community School, 308 Clairemont Ave., will host its sixth annual Southern Soiree and Auction at the historic DeKalb Courthouse on Feb. 10. The school is a local nonprofit providing services and programs to support the education and social-emotional development of adolescents and young adults on the autism spectrum. Classes are tailored to meet the individual needs of each participant and to help them reach goals that they set collaboratively, including as much independence as possible. This event supports these programs. The annual event includes hors d’oeuvres, an open bar, a DJ and dancing, as well as live and silent auctions. Tickets go on sale Dec. 1. For more information, visit

Decatur Events

Decatur events Dance HalltoDecatur it’s a Date Stay up late! – New Year’s ll Decatur residents,Eve and everybody else, too, are invited


Breakfast with Santa in Oakhurst


to walk in the Decatur Lantern Parade on the evening of Saturday, Dec. 31 • 8:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Friday, May 15. This is one of those “the-more-the-merrier” DECEMBER 31 Historic DeKalb Courthouse P.M. - 12:30 A.M. events, so plan now to participate and be8:30 a part of helping 101 E. Court Square, second floor to make this lantern parade memorable. Ring in the New in Decatur! Make your ownYear lantern at homeThe or DeKalb History Center’s shindig features a DJ come to a lantern-making workshop playing dance songs. Admission includes appetizers where supplies and guidance are providfrom Soiree Catering and Events, two drink ed. Find out where and when by visiting tickets, sodas, champagne toast at midnight, and holiday party favors. Guests may purTo participate, line up at Color Wheel chase additional drink tickets for beer, Studio at 508 E. Howard Ave. after 8, or cocktails. Festive dress is encouraged. The parade steps off at 9 p.m. led by The Reservations are available at the DeKalb Black Sheep Marching Ensemble and paHistory Center or online via PayPal at rade guru Chantelle Rytter. The parade reservations of will wend its way toAdvance the community $35/$50 per adult are available until Dec. 29, bandstand in front of the Old Court5 p.m. (discount for members). Advance reshouse on the square. ervation of $15 for guests under 21 only. For The parade is sponsored by Color A BENEFIT FOR THE DEKALB HISTORY CENTER more information contact Melissa Forgey, Wheel Studio, Decatur Arts Alliance, 404-373-1088 ext. 22. Decatur Education Foundation, and the Decatur Development Authority.

Monday, Dec. 19 9:30-11:30 a.m. The Solarium at Historic Scottish Rite • 321 W. Hill St.


Tickets available at:

DeKalb History Center in Historic DeKalb Courthouse, 101 E. Court Square, Decatur GA 30030, Second Floor

Tickets also available online (, or at the event.

All children and their families are invited to join the Community Center of South Decatur at the Solarium for a light breakfast and a photo-op with Santa. There will be craft stations and kid yoga mini-sessions available. This event is free and open to the public. RSVP for this event by contacting the Solarium office,

Advance reservations are $35/$50 (discount for DHC members). Delicious appetizers from Soiree Catering, two drink tickets and more. A professional DJ plays your favorite dance music. Additional drink tickets available at the event.

Your neighbor and intown real estate specialist. Whether you are buying selling10:15 — or DF_adaimee-11-16-v2.pdf 1 or 10/31/16 AM simply exploring your options — call me to be sure you are positioned for success in today’s changing market. C






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Decatur Resident for Over 20 Years

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DECEMBER 2016 • Decatur Focus | 19

Decatur Events Run With The Dogs 5K


he Decatur Bulldog Boosters invite the Decatur dog-loving and running communities to participate in the 12th Annual Decatur Bulldog Boosters Run with the Dogs 5K on Saturday, Jan. 21, 9 a.m. The run/walk will begin on Commerce Drive by the Decatur High School football stadium and take a scenic, if challenging, course through neighborhoods. It will again feature a single 5K race where runners and dog owners can run with (or without) their dogs. T-shirts, awards and treats will be available to participants, as well as a sporty race kerchief for canine companions. All proceeds go to funding the uniforms, equipment, and awards for student-athletes at the middle and high schools. Come out and run off a few of those Holiday calories with Decatur and its Dogs. Register online at This will be the first race of the New Year in Decatur’s 2017 Grand Slam Fitness Challenge and will serve as the award ceremony for those dedicated Team Decatur individuals who completed the Grand Slam last year. Follow us on Facebook at RWTD5k or Instagram @RWTD5K. Send questions to Laura Moore,

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Charles Cope • Proprietors • Kimberly Schoon

650-B East Lake Drive • Decatur, GA 30030 • 404-377-1030 • 20 | Decatur Focus • DECEMBER 2016

Decatur Events Inaugural Christmas on Clairemont Concert Sunday, Dec. 18 • 7 p.m. • First Baptist Church of Decatur, 308 Clairemont Ave.


hristmas on Clairemont, a music spectacular, debuts Dec.18. The event features a full orchestra, organ, piano, a special surprise guest soloist, and a festival choir of more than a hundred local voices from First Baptist Decatur, Decatur Presbyterian Church, the Georgia State University Singers, and many others. Christmas on Clairemont will also feature local conductors, including host Daniel Solberg, Nick Bowden (previously at Peachtree Presbyterian Church), Deanna Joseph (Georgia State University), Scott Atchison (Peachtree Road United Methodist Church), Rolando Salazar (Atlanta Opera Chorus), Matt McMahon (Decatur Presbyterian Church), and Kathryn Hartgrove.

The concert is presented free of charge to the community. Contributions received at the concert will benefit “Start With One Kenya,” an organization that transforms the lives of thousands of Kenyans each year through

education, clean water, building shelters and improving health. Christmas on Clairemont will specifically benefit the Lake Victoria Water Project, which provides water filters to the Kenyan islands on Lake Victoria.

Personalized hometown community banking

Decatur restaurateur Mike Gallagher (Brick Store Pub, Leon’s Full Service, Kimball House) at left with the bank’s new Decatur President, Brent Adams.

Full-service community banking: From safe deposit boxes, checking and savings to lending options from mortgages and construction to SBA and other business loans.

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24-hour emergency pet care and board-certified veterinary specialists. All under one woof. 625 Dekalb Industrial Way, Decatur 30033 404-924-2000

DECEMBER 2016 • Decatur Focus | 21

School News Decatur Education Foundation

Volunteer and Make a Difference


he Decatur Education Foundation has been engaged with the community to make things happen for kids since its founding 14 years ago. During that time, DEF has become a community facilitator, acting as a vehicle for those who are inspired to make a difference. By connecting community resources with the needs of kids, DEF works to ensure that every child has opportunities for success. During this season of giving, they want to remind you of how you can make a difference. Donate your time Volunteers are involved in every aspect of DEF’s work, sharing their talents to support programs and operations, serving on DEF project-specific councils, and staffing or sponsoring community-wide events. Whether you would like to volunteer at events, on a weekly basis, or as a specialist (photographer, writer, baker), DEF has a place for you. Mentor a student DEF recently launched three mentoring programs that pair Decatur students with community volunteers who provide the extra support they need to succeed in school and beyond. Opportunity Partnerships, REACH

Decatur parent Elizabeth Moore has volunteered for Decatur Education Foundation for several years.

Georgia, and Partnership for Career Achievement each target a dffierent age group, but all serve a common goal. To learn more about volunteering in general, complete an interest form at At its core, DEF is a community partnership, and is asking for your help. Join the

partnership in the coming year and make a difference. Read about what the foundation has been able to do for kids at For more information on how to make a contribution and other ways that you can help, visit

Call us for an appointment! 404-377-7263



235 East Ponce De Leon Ave STE 109 Decatur GA 30030

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Focus • DECEMBER 2016

5/14/14 4:47 PM


Around Town

Finders Keepers!


Show off your Decatur on social media and share it with your neighbors. Email

Mayors Past and Present Run for Funds Walt Drake

Bill Floyd Jim Baskett Elizabeth Wilson Patti Garrett

Five Decatur mayors participated in the Fifth Avenue 5K/Mayors Mile in Oakhurst recently. The race is a fundraiser for the 4/5 Academy at Fifth Avenue and the Decatur Education Foundation. #decatureducationfoundation #boatloadofmayors

City Staff Talk Careers at 4/5 Academy

Decatur resident and artist Larry Holland is coordinating yet another citywide art experience. He’s asked local artists to paint 10-inch octopi, and then he’s placing them in 10 different Terrific Thursdays shops. Find an octopus of your own and give it a good home. Post it on Facebook or Twitter with hashtag . . . #octopidecatur #freeart #holidaydecatur

Decatur Communications Specialist Renae Madison (at right, in back) and City Planner Courtney Frish (at left, in back) recently visited with students at the 4/5 Academy at Fifth Avenue to discuss their work and their roles in city operations. #explorations #careers #fourfiveacademy

DECEMBER 2016 • Decatur Focus | 23

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Decatur Focus Newsletter, December 2016  

December 2016 edition of the official newsletter of Decatur, Georgia

Decatur Focus Newsletter, December 2016  

December 2016 edition of the official newsletter of Decatur, Georgia