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Focus City of Decatur

PLAYBOOK INSIDE

GET ACTIVE

DECATUR Clear zone

SEPTEMBER 2017 Volume 28 • Number 2

Official Publication of The City of Decatur, Georgia

Decatur Extends a Warm

Welcome see page 8

News 3 City

BUsiness 11 NEWs

13 DBA NEWs

DECATUR 14 EVENTs

School news 22


Focus City of Decatur

Project Updates from Around Town

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aul Nair, owner of Savi Provisions, hopes to have his latest market open at 180 W. Ponce de Leon this fall. Renovation plans were submitted for review in August. The work required to transform the former Cook’s Warehouse space into a market is minimal. We are excited to bring this new business to the downtown business district and fill this 5,000-square-foot retail space. Also new to the downtown business district is SideChick. This fast casual restaurant, located in the rear of the Two Town Center building, 135 Clairemont Ave., offers a breakfast menu and a wide selection of salads and sandwiches. WePo is returning! Remember WePo (West Ponce) shops and their Fabulous Friday events? Well the name and the fun are on their way back. The owners of Vivid Boutique, Found Co., and Mellow Mushroom are working to reenergize this shopping and dining corridor with a series of special events this fall. In addition to these three businesses, WePo is home to Aimee Jewelry and Fine Art Gallery, Cookin’ Up a Storm, Café Lily, The Great Frame Up, Pastries A GoGo, Big Tex Cantina, Tess World Designs, and Decatur CD (just to name a few). So if you haven’t visited the WePo district lately, go exploring and look for new events and banners this fall. New businesses in Oakhurst are ready to be explored too. Check out Double Dragon at 350 Mead Rd. and Oak Brewpub at 630 East Lake Dr. Take time to enjoy the beautiful flowers in Harmony Park while you are there. Development Updates Construction is underway on the Hampton Inn in downtown Decatur. Based on the current construction schedule, the owners of the hotel expect the building to be complete and rooms available by the first quarter of 2019. The Decatur Marriott Courtyard will begin refurbishing all of its hotel rooms beginning early next year. Downtown Decatur continues to be a popular destination for conference goers and visitors to the Atlanta metropolitan area. The addition of 134 new hotel rooms downtown will attract more conferences and meetings to the city-owned Decatur Conference Center. Construction on the Callaway mixed-use development at W. Trinity and Commerce is on schedule. The expected completion date for the project is first quarter 2019. The first phase of the Avondale MARTA station development is on schedule and should be delivered to the market by the fourth quarter of 2018. The project includes 90 units of affordable housing for seniors, targeting individuals making 60-80 percent of the average median encome for the Atlanta metropolitan region. Plans are moving forward for the redevelopment of the Bank of America site in Decatur. This critical gateway to downtown will include a new, smaller building for Bank of America, and residential and retail uses fronting Clairemont, Commerce and Church Street. Parking for the project will be underground and the developer is contributing property along Commerce Drive to allow for the extension of the planned bicycle track and wider sidewalks. see Business Update page 6 Information for the FOCUS should be submitted by mail to Editor, Decatur Focus, P.O. Box 220, Decatur, GA 30031, or by email to decaturfocus@decaturga.com.

2 | Decatur Focus • SEPTEMBER 2017

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 decaturga.com. 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: decaturfocus@decaturga.com. Clear zone

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

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 Kyle Williams......................................... President Susan Sparks.............................. President-Elect Reshell Baldini...................................... Treasurer Lisa Bobb................................................. Secretary Tim Martin.................................... Past President

Design and layout: Lampe-Farley.com


City News Out-of-Town House Check

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oing out of town or leaving your house for a few days? Request an out-of-town house check and the Decatur Police Department will look in on your house while you are away. To sign up for this service fill out the Out of Town House Check form in the city’s SeeClickFix system or call the police department at 404-373-6551. To aid the department in its scheduling processes, do not enter your information any earlier than seven days prior to your departure. If by chance you change your mind and do not leave town, be sure to let them know that as well. To complete this form online, visit decaturga.com/residents/make-a-request. Scroll down and look for the REPORT and ISSUES tabs. Enter your address on the Report tab, hit next and then select “Out of Town House Check Request” from the category dropdown menu. Answer the questions and then hit submit. Once done, you will receive an auto-generated confirmation email from the SeeClickFix system. You may also download the SeeClickFix smartphone app to make your request. Look for MyDecaturGA in your app store. Three easy ways to request an out-of-town house check: • Click on the SeeClickFix page and scroll down to the REPORT and ISSUES tabs. • Download the SeeClickFix app on your smart phone. Look for MyDecaturGA in your app store. • Call the police non-emergency number, 404-373-6551.

Holiday Solid Waste and Recycling Services

Decatur Is Now FAR Accessible Decatur has teamed up with Foresight Augmented Reality (FAR) to establish FAR-accessibility for seven locations throughout the city. FAR-accessible locations are “visually-impaired friendly” and bring added context for the blind and vision-impaired. Transforming a business into a FAR-accessible one includes installing a Bluetooth beacon that, when paired with the FAR Vision mobile app, provides users with descriptive information such as entrances and exits, restrooms, hazard warnings and more. The 65-beacon installation includes Decatur City Hall, the Decatur Police Department, Ebster Recreation Center, Decatur Recreation Center, Decatur Visitors Center, the Community Bandstand and the Decatur MARTA plaza. Foresight Augmented Reality was founded in 2016 in Atlanta with the goal of creating smarter communities. FAR’s beacons provide compliance beyond ADA requirements for businesses looking to support those with vision-related disabilities. For more information, visit ForesightAR.com and download the FAR Vision mobile app for iPhone, iPad or Android devices.

FAR Accessible Event on the Square Foresight Augmented Reality (FAR) will host an event for the blind and visually impaired community on the Decatur square, Sept. 10, 1-4 p.m. The event will showcase the FAR accessible technology recently launched throughout the City of Decatur buildings and many local businesses. There will be something for the whole family, including music, games and a raffle. FAR will be on hand to demonstrate the technology. Local FAR Accessible businesses and visually-impaired advocacy groups will also participate in the event. Email contact@foresightar.com for more details.

Labor Day Monday, Sept. 4

City Commission Meeting

Regular services for Monday will be on Tuesday, Sept. 5. Regular services for Tuesday will be on Wednesday, Sept. 6.

The regular first-Monday City Commission meeting in September will be on Tuesday, Sept. 5, because of Labor Day. Meetings are held in the City Commission Room in Decatur City Hall. They are also streamed live on the website at decaturga.com/city-government/city-commission/streaming-video. SEPTEMBER 2017 • Decatur Focus | 3


City News Open Office Hour Returns with Commissioner Tony Powers

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he Decatur City Commission will continue its Open Office Hour sessions Sept. 28, 7-8 p.m., when Commissioner Tony Powers will host a discussion highlighting the role of the city and schools, including ongoing and potential initiatives and partnerships. Open City Hall Office Hour is a series featuring individual commissioners discussing different topics, using the city’s streaming video system and Facebook Live. The community is invited to tune in virtually to watch and listen, and may submit questions related to the topic live via Twitter, Facebook, email or telephone. For those unable to watch the live sessions, recordings will be available on the website for viewing at any time. The October Open Office Hour will feature Commissioner Brian Smith with the topic of development and youth opportunities. Past recorded sessions include Mayor Patti Garrett discussing Decatur’s commitment to being a just, welcoming, equitable, inclusive and compassionate city; Mayor Pro Tem Fred Boykin discussing transportation; Commissioner Scott Drake discussing business; and City Manager Peggy Merriss discussing the organization and the budget. Watch the Decatur website, DecaturMinute blog, and other social media sites for announcements and updates. For information contact Renae Madison, 678-553-6561 or renae.madison@decaturga.com.

Make East Lake Yours! The East Lake MARTA LCI planning process kicks off in September. The first two events, a community academy and the public kick-off meeting, will take place at the end of September. Full details will be posted on decaturnext.com and through the Decatur Minute. The City of Decatur, City of Atlanta, MARTA, ARC, and a consultant team (TSW, Toole Design Group, and Noell Consulting Group) are collaborating to envision the future for the East Lake MARTA station and the half-mile area around the station. The study area touches five neighborhoods within the cities of Atlanta and Decatur: Druid Hills, Lake Claire, Kirkwood, Lenox Plaza, and Oakhurst. Questions? Contact Angela Threadgill, angela. threadgill@decaturga.com, or Sarah McColley with TSW at smccolley@tsw-design.com. 4 | Decatur Focus • SEPTEMBER 2017

Sidewalks: Keeping Them Clear, Safe and Clean Is a Responsibility We Share

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ecatur residents have invested millions of dollars in the installation and maintenance of sidewalks. But all too often pedestrians find themselves in unsafe situations where a sidewalk is overgrown with residential landscape plants or covered with slippery leaves or landscape debris. Per city code, residents are responsible for the upkeep and de-littering of their property all the way to the curb. Please keep the sidewalk in front of your home clear of debris and vegetation in every season. Prune all plants to behind the edge of the sidewalk and make sure there is at least seven feet of clearance above so that pedestrians need not dodge low branches as they walk. Questions? Contact Assistant City Manager David Junger, 404-377-5571.

Needs work . . .

Looks good!

Decatur Resident’s Donation Gives Kids Summer Camp Experience Decatur resident Meredith McCoyd gave students from Freedom Middle and Stoneview Elementary School the opportunity to attend, free of charge, a four-week-long summer camp held at Freedom Middle School. The DeKalb Community Service Board’s APEX Supplemental Summer Camp provided an alternate summer camp experience, with behavioral and emotional support, for students 9 to 14 years old. In a therapeutic recreational environment, students enjoyed summer camp while enhancing their social skills and anger management techniques. Campers also participated in team-building activities and unique cultural experiences. McCoyd has also contributed to DeKalb CSB’s Prevention and Early Intervention Program (PEIP), which aims to assess, engage, support and treat young adults in the early stages of schizophrenia.


City News Go-Through Sculpture Added to Public Art Collection

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his is Something We Had to Go Through,” the painted-steel-andcast-iron sculpture created by James Davis, is now part of the city’s public art collection. The sculpture, which sits on the sidewalk at the corner of Sycamore and Church streets, was part of Phase 1 of the Decatur Artway outdoor sculpture gallery. It will stay permanently in its current location. The sculpture is a draw for residents, visitors and tourists. Photos of people passing

through it appear regularly on Facebook and Instagram. Its purchase was a collaboration of the Decatur Arts Alliance, the Decatur Downtown Development Authority, the Decatur Tourism Bureau and the City of Decatur Public Art Fund. “This sculpture deals with personal thoughts and experiences derived from thinking about all the things a person has to go through in a lifetime,” James Davis, the artist, explained. “These things can be small or large, happy or sad, good or bad. What-

ever the feeling may be, these are the things that direct you. Experiences make you who you are. “The sculpture holds different meanings for each viewer. I created an actual passage that viewers could go through so they could experience the feeling of going through something difficult. Everyone has to go through things they don’t want to and those are all different for each person. The sculpture is a visual version of some of the things that I was afraid to go through.”

Car-Free Day – Take the Pledge for a Chance to Win! Friday, Sept. 22 • 11 a.m.-1 p.m. • Decatur Square Come to the square on Friday, Sept. 22, to celebrate Car-Free Day with Decatur Active Living. Walk, bike, or take the train or bus to participate in the event. Get a Car Free Day sticker, learn about ways to commute car free and receive a Car Free gift. Car Free Day is an international event celebrated every September, in which people are encouraged to get around

without driving alone in cars and instead ride a train, bus, bicycle, carpool, vanpool, subway, or walk. For those who work from home, telework also counts. Car Free Day is open to all people who live within Decatur city limits. To participate in this event, complete the pledge form found at decaturga. com/activeliving, then go car free or car-lite on Friday, Sept. 22.

Pledge for a Chance to Win Once you pledge, you are automatically entered for a chance to win two Decatur Wine Festival tickets. Already car free? You also get the same chance to win prizes when you fill out the pledge form. SEPTEMBER 2017 • Decatur Focus | 5


City News Better Together Advisory Board Hosts Partners Meeting

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pproximately 50 people attended the recent Better Together Partners meeting hosted by Mayor Patti Garrett and the Better Together Advisory Board. Better Together Partners are nonprofit and civic groups, faith-based organizations, educational institutions and neighborhood associations that are working on issues and helping to carry out the Decatur Better Together Community Action Plan for Equity, Inclusion and Engagement. The plan contains 60 action items around six focus areas, including community participation and engagement, racially just community policing, diverse and affordable housing, welcoming and inclusive retail environments, use of public spaces, and low-cost transportation Better Together Partners are pictured with Better Together Advisory Board members at the recent meeting. options. The Better Together Advisory Board also maintains a community asset map with a listing of all partner organizations, including names, addresses, and contact information. The community asset map is updated regularly at decaturga.com/communitypartners. If you are part of an organization and would like to be involved in this ongoing effort, contact Renae Madison, renae.madison@decaturga.com, 678-553-6561, or Linda Harris, linda.harris@decaturga.com, 678-553-6512.

Who Is Your Hero?

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t’s time to think of your favorite Decatur Hometown Hero. A Hometown Hero can be a friend, neighbor or co-worker – that person who works hard, often behind the scenes, to make our community a better place to live, work and play. There is no better way to let someone know how much they are appreciated than to have them receive a Hometown Hero award. Nominate that special person for recognition as a 2017 Hometown Hero by Sept. 30. Decatur began recognizing and celebrating Hometown Heroes in the summer of 1996 at the close of the Hometown to the World Festival held during the Olympics. It has since become an annual tradition to honor a new group of Hometown Heroes during the Decatur Business Association’s holiday meeting in December. Applications are judged by a panel of national professionals who work with volunteers and who do not know the nominees. Nomination forms are available at decaturga.com or at Decatur City Hall, 509 N. McDonough St., second floor, Community and Economic Development department. You may also write an essay describing your Hometown Hero and what she/he has contributed to the Decatur community. For information call 678-553-6548 or email leeann.harvey@decaturga.com. You may submit the nomination in person or by email.

6 | Decatur Focus • SEPTEMBER 2017

Business Update continued from page 2 We are working with the developer to include improved pedestrian access throughout the site, with a midblock connection between Clairemont and Church Street as well as a north-south connection between this development and the Town Center buildings and the square to the south. United Methodist Children’s Home Purchase and Planning Decatur closed on the purchase of the United Methodist Children’s Home, 500 S. Columbia Dr., in August. As part of the purchase agreement, the city will not take possession of the property until October 2017. This 77acre site offers many opportunities for Decatur and there are as many great ideas for it as there are people in the city. Decatur worked closely with the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority to get a low-interest loan for 22 acres of the site that will be permanently protected as a conservation area. Beginning in January, the city will develop plans for the remaining 55 acres and 34 buildings, with extensive public input opportunities. A planning team will be selected to lead this effort. An assessment of the property and the buildings will be conducted through the end of the year and the public input process will kick off in January 2018. Development of a plan should take approximately six months. Decatur plans to invest funds in refurbishing the existing athletic fields to bring them up to the city’s standards, but this investment will not limit the ability to expand and add athletic fields as part of the final plan. Stay tuned for updates and announcements about public input sessions beginning in 2018. This article has been corrected. The city will take possession of the UMCH property in October 2017, not 2018. Public input sessions will begin in January 2018, not 2019.


City News DHA to Host Trinity Walk Grand Opening Ceremony Sept. 12 • 10 a.m.

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he Decatur Housing Authority (DHA) will hold a grand opening ceremony for Phases I and II of Trinity Walk, the redevelopment of the former Gateway Manor and Oakview apartments in downtown Decatur. The new, affordable apartment community at 421 W.Trinity Place is fully occupied and now boasts 121 one-, two- and three-bedroom energy-efficient apartment flats and townhomes in six contemporary, three-story buildings. Thirty-two of the apartments were developed for the elderly and/or disabled, and the remaining 89 units were designed for families. Guests invited to the grand opening include Decatur’s mayor and city council members, HUD officials, DHA staff, project investors and partners and Trinity Walk residents, who worked with DHA, HUD and Decatur to create a revitalization strategy for the redevelopment. For more information, visit decaturhousing.org.

National Neighborhood Day Sept. 17 What will your neighborhood be doing to celebrate National Neighborhood Day on Sunday, Sept. 17? Visit neighborhoodday.org for ideas. Get with your neighbors and start planning. There are many ideas on the Neighborhood Day website – from a neighborhood walking tour to a book exchange to flying kites. Your neighborhood can also come up with its own unique idea. National Neighborhood Day is a great time to get together with long-time neighbors and get to know new neighbors. Be sure to include your older neighbors in your plans. Decatur’s Lifelong Community Advisory Board would love to hear from you about your neighborhood’s plans. Contact Lee Ann Harvey at leeann.harvey@decaturga.com or 678-553-6548 to share your plans.

Holiday Ornament Unveiling Sept. 14

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he community is invited to a reception and unveiling of the 2017 Holiday Ornament on Thursday, Sept. 14, 6:30-8 p.m., at Wild Oats and Billy Goats, 112 E. Ponce de Leon Ave. Each year the Decatur Tourism Bureau and the Decatur Arts Alliance commission a different artist to create a unique City of Decatur ornament. After the official unveiling the ornaments will be available for sale at Wild Oats. They will go on sale at other Decatur shops the following week.

National Night Out Oct. 3 The Decatur Housing Authority, in partnership with the Decatur Police Department, will host the National Night Out event on Oct. 3. National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live.

A Season of Giving/Christmas Decatur Seeks Volunteers

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Season of Giving/Christmas Decatur provides holiday gifts for Decatur’s low-income children and senior citizens through the help of individuals, families, neighborhood associations, clubs, places of worship, and businesses. Volunteer opportunities include:

• Interviewing parents/guardians at one or more of our application sessions in October to determine appropriate gifts for the child’s wish list (must have good knowledge of children’s toys and clothing sizes); • Office work on weekdays October through mid-December (answering voicemail, calling potential donors, sending “wish lists” to donors, and updating the client and donor lists); • Assisting with gift intake, gift organization, and gift pickup in December. No matter what holiday you observe, this is the perfect way to celebrate the true meaning of the Season of Giving. For more information, contact Lee Ann Harvey, 678-553-6548, or aseasonofgiving@decaturga.com. SEPTEMBER 2017 • Decatur Focus | 7


City News

Celebrate Welcoming Week in Decatur

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n 2015, the City of Decatur signed a resolution to become one of Welcoming America’s Welcoming Cities. This year, Decatur will join Welcoming America and other organizations around the world in participating in Welcoming Week, Sept. 15-24. This year’s Welcoming Week theme is “Connecting Neighbors, Serving Communities.” During this annual week of events, communities are encouraged to bring together immigrants, refugees, and native-born neighbors to raise awareness of the benefits of welcoming everyone.

8 | Decatur Focus • SEPTEMBER 2017

Photos on these two pages were taken at a welcoming celebration on the square in April


City News Welcoming Week Decatur Reception Friday, Sept. 15 • 5- 7 p.m. Decatur will host a Welcoming Week kickoff event on Friday, Sept. 15, at the community bandstand on the square. Bring your family and friends as we celebrate what it means to be a member of the Decatur community. There will be artists, refreshments and speakers from the community sharing their stories of immigration and what being a Decatur resident means to them. The event is free and open to all who wish to join.

We Are Decatur: Building Community through Conversations Sunday, Sept. 24 • 5-7:30 p.m. All are welcome to participate in community conversations around Sunday supper on Sept. 24. This event will feature the I Am Decatur photo project (see page 20). Read the personal stories of fellow community members, and then join in on a broad community conversation across differences. Participants will be supported by table facilitators and invited to share experiences and perspectives on various topics. The event will take place at Beacon Municipal Center, Ebster Gym, 105 Electric Ave., and is free to the community. Reservations are required as space is limited. RSVP at goo.gl/tPa55D (use password WeAreDecatur17)

SEPTEMBER 2017 • Decatur Focus | 9


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PUBLIC Styrofoam recycling and DECATUR DECATUR PUBLIC & Shredding, too! document shredding, too! WORKS 2635 Talley St. St. 2635 Talley WORKS

Label Label makers makers LED/LCD LED/LCD Monitors Monitors Mini-towers Mini-towers Pagers Pagers PDAs PDAs Portable Portable CDCD players players Portable Portable game game players players Printer Printer cartridges cartridges Printers Printers Radios Radios Remote Remote controls controls Routers Routers Scanners Scanners Servers Servers

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recycling events Recycle your old — electronics and Styrofoam combined! and safely shred and Recycle your old electronics recycle yourand documents and Styrofoam safely all inand one place.your It’s simple shred recycle documents all in oneJust place. and convenient. It’sdrop simple convenient. offand your recyclables Just drop off your 9 a.m.-1 p.m. (Sorry, recyclables 9 a.m.-1are p.m. early drop-offs not (Sorry, early drop-offs are not possible.) possible.)

Recycle this hardware for free Adding Adding machines machines Answering Answering machines machines Batteries, Batteries, any any kind kind Cable Cable converter converter boxes boxes Cables Cables Calculators Calculators Component Component parts parts Computer Computer mouses mouses Computers Computers Copiers Copiers Digital Digital cameras cameras Digital Digital projectors projectors DVD DVD players players Electric Electric lawn lawn mowers mowers FaxFax machines machines Garden Garden equipment equipment GPS GPS receivers receivers Game Game controllers controllers Keyboards Keyboards

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Fee Fee required required to to recycle recycle cathode cathode rayray tube tube equipequipment ment (exact (exact change change only): only): Monitors Monitors $5;$5; TVs TVs $10 $10

Since we started in 2005, we’ve diverted more than we’ve diverted more than 1,000,000 pounds of 1,000,000 pounds of electronics from landfills. electronics from landfills. Contact Sean Woodson Contact Sean Woodson, at 404-377-5571 or sean. 404-377-5571, or sean. woodson@decaturga. woodson@decaturga. com more information com forfor more information and last-minute updates, and last-minute updates, visit decaturga.com/ oror visit decaturga.com/ electronicsrecycling. electronicsrecycling.

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This This is a is great a great opportunity opportunity toto ensure ensure that that your your important important personal personal documents documents areare disposed disposed of properly. of properly. AAA AAA Security Security Shredding Shredding provides provides secure secure on-site on-site document document shredding, shredding, and all shredded and all shredded documents documents will be 100 will percent be 100 percent recycled. recycled. Most document Most docutypes arement acceptable, types are including acceptable, bills,including invoices, bills, correspondence, invoices, correspondence, canceled checks, canceled tax records, financial checks,statements, tax records,purchase financial orders, statements, and blueprints purchase orders, and maps. and blueprints and maps. These These items items cannot cannot bebe shredded: shredded: Cardboard, Cardboard, glass, glass, plastic, plastic, magazines, magazines, napkins, napkins, newspapers, newspapers, paper paper cups cups and and plates, plates, plastic plastic oror spiral-bound spiral-bound notebooks, notebooks, phonebooks, phonethree-ring books, three-ring binders, and binders, trash.and trash.

• • Make Make sure sure foam foam has has the the “6”“6” symbol symbol onon it it • Rinse • Rinse and and separate separate food food service service containers containers from from other other foam foam • No • No straws, straws, lids, lids, tape tape oror stickers stickers • No • No foam foam peanuts peanuts oror insulation insulation material material

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Business & Nonprofit News Agnes Scott College Recognized for Energy Efficiency Efforts

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uring a special event in July, Agnes Scott College was presented a $100,000 rebate check by Georgia Power in recognition of energy-efficiency upgrades on the Decatur campus. Agnes Scott earned the rebate by upgrading lighting in more than 15 facilities, replacing chillers that serve a large portion of the campus, and through air flow conversions and valve retrofits. With these upgrades, Georgia Power estimates that the college may reduce total energy use by more than 2,000 megawatt-hours annually. Since its inception in 2011, Georgia Power’s Commercial Energy Efficiency program has awarded more than $44 million in rebates. The program includes educational resources, rebates and incentives available to all commercial customers such as school systems, universities, hospitals, museums and many more. Visit georgiapower.com/commercialsavings for more information.

Decatur Presbyterian To Host Blessing of the Animals

Saturday, Oct. 7 • 10:30 a.m. Decatur Presbyterian Church invites members of the community to join Dr. Speed and his yellow lab, Chevy, for a blessing of the animals. The blessing of pets and animals is often celebrated on Oct. 4, the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, or near that date. This custom commemorates St. Francis’s love for all creatures. He was a monk (1182-1226) who founded the contemporary order of Franciscans and was known for his vow of poverty and his special connection to animals. The event will take place in the terrace garden of the church, 205 Sycamore St., corner of Church and Sycamore. In case of rain it will be moved to Slack Fellowship Hall. For more information about the event contact Decatur Presbyterian, 404-378-1777.

Decatur Residents Enjoy Wylde Center Produce Many Decatur residents enjoyed locally grown produce this summer, thanks to the Wylde Center’s new community supported agriculture (CSA) program. This was the center’s first year to offer the program, which brings together people who financially support and share in the harvest of farm-grown vegetables, herbs, fruits and other produce. In addition to the purchased shares, fresh produce was donated weekly to Decatur Housing Authority (DHA) residents who participate in gardening programs directed by the Wylde Center. From April through July, the Wylde Center donated more than 100 pounds of tomatoes, herbs, squash, greens, beets, carrots, lettuce, kale, and fresh flowers to the DHA garden club members. The food is primarily grown at Oakhurst Garden’s mini-farm, with additional items harvested at the Wylde Center’s public greenspaces in Decatur and Atlanta. september 2017 • Decatur Focus | 11


Business & Nonprofit News Friends of Decatur Cemetery

Restorative Agriculture at Decatur Farmers Market

Friends of Decatur Cemetery (FODC) have donated a message center to the cemetery. The double-sided bulletin board is located in front of the office off Bell Street. One side will be maintained by FODC with activities and announcements. The reverse side displays the map of the cemetery detailing the different sections and gravesites for the convenience of those seeking information outside of regular office hours.

he farmers at the Decatur Farmers Market use restorative agricultural practices that go beyond organic standards. Restorative agriculture is a way of farming that tries to give back to the earth more than the farmer takes out. They aim to take care to conserve resources and to have a positive impact on the land they farm. For example, many of the farmers use rainwater collected in barrels to water their crops. Conventional farming can deplete nutrients in the soil, disrupt the delicate ecosystem and increase erosion. The DFM farmers instead give back to the soil by planting cover crops like clover that increase soil nutrients without having to add fertilizers. They rotate their crops so that all of the areas that they farm have a chance to rest and restore. Many of the farmers also create habitats for pollinators and wildlife. DFM farmers eliminate food waste by composting or feeding their leftover fruits and veggies to their animals. Here are some ways that the farmers at DFM use restorative agriculture: • Global Growers has used only water from rain barrels this year. • Snapfinger Farm has an acre planted with native Georgia wildflowers to attract pollinators like bees and moths. • Pigs from Partnership Farm and Riverview Farms love getting produce from the garden. • Mealor Family Gardens is committed to never using chemicals so they have to pick pests off their plants by hand. Visit the Decatur Farmers Market every Wednesday, 4-7 p.m., and Saturday, 9-1 p.m., at 308 Clairemont Rd. Free parking is available at the church.

Cathy Vogel, chair of Friends of Decatur Cemetery, presents the new message center to David Junger, assistant city manager, Public Works, at Decatur Cemetery.

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Walter Kellar Receives Sally Wylde Cultivating Life Award

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ecatur resident Walter Kellar has received the 2017 Sally Wylde Cultivating Life Award from the Wylde Center and the City of Decatur. Kellar was honored for conceiving and helping to create the Tanyard Creek Community Garden on a creekside floodplain within the city. The award is named for Sally Wylde, who passed away in 2010 and whose family was honored with the first award. Other previous winners include Louise Jackson, co-founder of the Oakhurst Garden, Greg Levine for his work with Trees Atlanta, sustainability leader Frank Burdette, Erin Johnson and the Morse family, who donated the Decatur property now known as Woodlands Garden. Kellar owns a home that borders on a parcel of land owned by Decatur and identified as an overflow area for periodic flooding of Tanyard Creek due to extreme rainfall. While the greenspace was maintained by the city, it was not utilized for any purpose other than to keep potential floodwater contained. Kellar approached the city and his neighbors with his idea of creating a community garden on the property.

12 | Decatur Focus • SEPTEMBER 2017


DBA News DBA Annual Golf Tournament Oct. 2

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The DBA will host its annual DBA Golf Open on Monday, October 2. There will be beer, lunch, range balls, cart fee, greens fees, raffle, and a cookout after the event. The registration fee is $125 per player. Raffle tickets are $5 each. Sponsorship opportunities are available: $100 for a hole sponsor, $250 for a cart sponsor, $500 for a par sponsor, $750 for a birdie sponsor, and $1,000 for a hole-inone sponsor. All sponsors will be acknowledged at the event. The tournament will take place at the Smoke Rise Country Club, 4900 Chedworth Dr., Stone Mountain. Registration begins at 9 a.m. Visit decaturdba.com for more information.

SPONSORED BY

Authors Palmer and Pendergrast Honored at Decatur Book Festival Two authors whose books pay homage to Atlanta’s urban development – past, present and future – are recipients of the second annual Judy Turner Prize from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Decatur Book Festival (DBF). The 12th annual event, the largest independent book festival in the country, is Labor Day weekend, Sept. 1-3. Hannah Palmer, author of Flight Path: A Search for Roots Beneath the World’s Busiest Airport, and Mark Pendergrast, author of City on the Verge: Atlanta and the Fight for America’s Urban Future, will receive the award before their presentation “The Impact of Changing Atlanta” at 1:45 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 2, at the Decatur Library. The prize is named in honor of Judy Turner, DBF founding board member and long-time board president, who served until 2016 and remains on the board of directors. Turner retired in 2016 from Private Bank of Decatur after a 51-year career in banking. In recognition of her dedication to community service, Private Bank of Buckhead, which includes Private Bank of Decatur, contributed $10,000 in seed money to establish the prize. Palmer, who works as an urban designer in Atlanta, writes about the intersection of Southern stories and urban landscapes for outlets such as CNN, Art Papers, Atlanta Magazine, ATL Studies and master plans for urban design projects around the world. A graduate of Agnes Scott College, she earned an MFA in creative writing from Sewanee: The University of the South. Palmer lives near the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport with her husband and sons, and Flight Path is her first book. Pendergrast, born and raised in Atlanta, is the author of 11 books, including For God, Country and Coca-Cola, Inside the Outbreaks, and Uncommon Grounds. He now lives in Vermont.

September 26 DBA’s Fall Fiesta 315 W. Ponce de Leon Ave. 5:15 p.m. Networking Reception 6 p.m. Program

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SEPTEMBER 2017 • Decatur Focus | 13


Decatur Events YEA! Event for Young Emerging Artists

Decatur Tiny House Festival

Sunday, Oct. 1 • noon-4 p.m. This one-day arts event in the newly redesigned Harmony Park in Oakhurst Village has been embraced by local students, grades K-12, as a way to showcase their creativity and talent to the public. Shop at the juried outdoor artists market and enjoy live performances on a stage in the park. Tents lining the park will be packed with student artists showing off a bounty of jewelry, paintings, photography, drawings, culinary delights, and handcrafted goods, all for sale. The stage in the center of the area will have a nonstop lineup of high-energy performances, from wild-and-wooly rock combos to blues acts, singer-songwriters, soloists, and more. Visit decaturartsalliance.org for more information.

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Haints & Saints Halloween Parade By Community, with Community, for Community Decatur’s annual Haints & Saints Halloween Parade returns to the streets of downtown Decatur at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 29. Local bands, tricked-out hearses, floats, classic cars, civic groups and, best of all, Decatur residents and visitors take to the streets to get their Halloween weird on. As the parade wraps up, the Haints & Saints Musical Jam will commence. Local bands – including Wasted Potential Brass Band, Black Sheep Ensemble, Mercury Orkestar and more – turn the square into a celebration of music, dance and community. Interested in sponsoring, volunteering or having your local band featured? Contact Lori at homegrowndecatur@gmail.com. For more information, details and parade registration, visit decaturhalloweenparade.com.

14 | Decatur Focus • SEPTEMBER 2017

Sept. 29-Oct. 1 • 10 a.m.-6 p.m. nyone with an interest in micro living, sustainability or simply downsizing to a better lifestyle can get motivated, educated and empowered at the second annual Decatur Tiny House Festival, presented in downtown Decatur by Mitsubishi Electric. Organized by Tiny House Atlanta and the City of Decatur, the festival offers three days of speakers and 20-plus tiny houses to tour. This year’s speaker lineup includes Steven Nygren, founder of Serenbe, who will discuss innovations in housing and what they mean to Atlanta, and Atlanta’s Commissioner of City Planning Tim Keane, who will present on the micro movement and metropolitan cities. Ticketholders will enjoy a lesson in “less is more” from organization and downsizing experts Claudia Morris Barclay and Catherine Lee. Additional topics to be covered include minimalism, urban planning, tiny house zoning and codes, utilization of space and the social impact of micro living. The full speaker schedule is available at tinyhouseatlanta.com/. In addition to the house tour and speaker symposium, local and national vendors will promote sustainable practices and showcase products made for tiny houses. The relaxed and family-friendly atmosphere also includes a DJ, a food court with food trucks, and bicycle parking. Tickets are now on sale and several ticket options are available. General admission ticket holders can enjoy the tiny homes, speakers, and vendors throughout the weekend. The price is $35 for a Saturday and Sunday weekend pass, $20 for a single-day ticket and $10 for children 10 and younger. Tickets are also available for Friday night’s VIP preview event: Tiny House Soirée with keynote speaker Steve Nygren from 6 to 10 p.m. VIP tickets are $75 and include cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and admission to the festival on Saturday and Sunday. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit tinyhouseatlanta.com.


Decatur Events

Saturday, Oct. 14 • noon-7 p.m.

Oakhurst Porchfest Returns

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hat began in 2015 as a quirky effort to get neighbors out and about, celebrating music and each other’s company, has now grown to become the state’s largest, most diverse, and totally noncommercial array of performances on any single day.

Free and open to all, this year’s Porchfest will feature more than 200 performers, spread all across the Oakhurst neighborhood. Characterized as a day of “radical generosity and good will,” the event is made possible by the voluntary contributions of almost a thousand people.

Wylde Center to Host Plant Sale

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he Wylde Center will host its annual Fall Plant Sale, Sept. 2-Oct. 14, in Oakhurst Garden, 435 Oakview Rd. The event is designed for gardeners seeking unique varieties of vegetables, herbs, and perennials. Plants for sale will include varieties of lettuce, Asian greens, arugula, kale, Swiss chard and other cool season edible plants. The vegetables were propagated by the Wylde Center’s horticulture staff. Many of the other plants offered for sale are provided by local growers and partner organizations. Proceeds from the sale benefit the numerous educational offerings at the Wylde Center and support the organization’s five public greenspaces. The Plant Sale operates on a self-serve honor system from sunup to sundown each day. All prices are clearly marked, and customers are asked to deposit either cash or a check made out to the Wylde Center for their purchase total through the drop box in the front door. Credit cards are accepted during regular business hours, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information visit wyldecenter.org/fall-plant-sale-2017.

Driving is available as a limited option, though attendees are strongly encouraged to instead walk, bike, rideshare, or take MARTA to the East Lake station. Visit oakhurstporchfest.org for the latest news, including the late-September release of the map and performance schedule.

Save the Date:

L’Arche Atlanta’s Fifth Birthday Benefit & Bash Join L’Arche Atlanta on Oct. 1 at 4 p.m. for L’Arche Atlanta’s Fifth Birthday Benefit & Bash. With the support of the community, last year’s inaugural fundraising event raised more than $40,000 to support the organization’s mission. Details of the event will be available soon at larcheatlanta.org. SEPTEMBER 2017 • Decatur Focus | 15


Decatur Events School News

Beer Festival Tickets on Sale Sept. 18, Online Only The Decatur Craft Beer Festival will be Saturday, Oct. 21, noon to 5 p.m. Tickets to the event will go on sale at noon on Monday, Sept. 18. Tickets generally go fast, so make a note to buy your tickets and be prepared to purchase at noon. Admission is $45 per person and includes a commemorative tasting glass. Tickets will be available online only and will increase to $50 on Oct. 2. No tickets are available for purchase at the gate. You must be 21 or older to attend. No children or animals allowed in the festival area. No exceptions! For connoisseurs, the festival offers samples of more than 100 of the finest American craft beers and special tappings. Food will be available for purchase during the festival, and at all of Decatur’s downtown restaurants and pubs. This annual event is sponsored by Decatur’s restaurants and pubs, and area distributors. VIP access: Enjoy your ultimate beer festival experience with the purchase of a $95 VIP ticket. With your VIP ticket you can use the exclusive VIP entrance and enjoy complimentary snacks all afternoon. You can also try very special beers made just for this festival by Georgia craft brewers. Only 300 VIP tickets are available, maximum two tickets per person. VIP tickets will increase to $100 on Oct. 2. For more information, visit decaturbeerfestival.com.

16 | Decatur Focus • SEPTEMBER 2017

Trinity Mercantile & Design Celebrates Five Years

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rinity Mercantile & Design, Decatur’s retail home furnishings and gift store, celebrates its five-year anniversary in September. In 2012, interior designers Lisa Turner and Wallace Bryan opened Trinity to bring their favorite lines of furniture, lighting and accessories to Decatur and the surrounding neighborhoods. Over the past five years, Trinity has grown from a small shop to the largest retail store in downtown Decatur. Trinity moved to its current location at 116 E. Trinity Place in September 2015 and its most recent expansion showcases custom window treatments and rugs. Trinity is celebrating this milestone with an anniversary sale Sept. 15-30. Enjoy extra special savings, including 25 percent off everything in-store (except original art) and 20 percent off all special orders.


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Decatur Events Madison Avenue Soapbox Derby Returns Oct. 7

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ee a neighborhood street in Oakhurst transform into a raceway, complete with creatively themed soapbox race cars on pit row, live music, food, drinks and more – all for a cause. Since this Decatur community event began in 2011, more than $100,000 has been raised for local charities serving children. Proceeds from this year’s derby will go to Decatur Robotics, inspiring young people from all backgrounds to become science and technology innovators. Be part of the 7th annual Madison Avenue Soapbox Derby on the first Saturday in October. This family-friendly event is free for spectators and open to the public. For details on competing in the derby, volunteering, making a donation or signing on as an event sponsor, visit madisonavesoapboxderby.org.

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Decatur Events Oakhurst Jazz Nights at Scottish Rite

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njoy live jazz every Thursday in September, 7-9 p.m., on the lawn of the Old Scottish Rite Hospital, 321 W. Hill St. in Oakhurst. Bring your blankets (no lawn chairs, please) and enjoy the free concerts. For a front-row view, candlelit tables are available for reservation. Each table seats up to four and comes complete with chairs, fresh linens, and a custom candle-lit centerpiece. Reservations are $25 per table, per night. Email concerts@oakhurstjazznights.com. In the event of inclement weather, Jazz Nights will be held inside the Solarium (located next door). Oakhurst Jazz Nights would not be possible without the support of the Solarium (Community Center of South Decatur) and the Decatur Development Authority. Oakhurst Jazz Nights sponsors include DoubleDome Web Technologies, Hammertime Construction, Heather Tell with Atlanta InTown Realty, Oakhurst Electric, Petmeisters Pet Sitting, Scout Restaurant, Oakhurst Market, Steinbecks, Oakhurst Realty Partners, Snap Fitness Decatur, UJoint, All Souls Church, Dan Barracliff State Farm Insurance, Wahoo Grill and Wine Provisions, KellerKnapp Realty, H2H Wellness Centers and the Private Bank of Decatur. Volunteers are needed. If you are interested in volunteering or have additional questions, email concerts@oakhurstjazznights.com.

Sept. 7

Will Scruggs Trio

Sept. 14

Faith Harris

Sept. 21

Kermit Walker

Sept. 28

Mace Hibbard

Mace Hibbard

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18 | Decatur Focus • SEPTEMBER 2017

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Decatur Events Voices for the Earth: A Concert Celebrating the Community of Life Saturday, Sept. 30 • 7:30 p.m. Holy Trinity Parish 515 E. Ponce De Leon Ave. The community is invited to listen and sing along at the second annual Voices for the Earth concert to celebrate the community of life. Participants will sing everything from “Itsy Bitsy Spider” to Creedence Clearwater Revival and Bob Dylan. The concert, sponsored by Holy Trinity, Decatur First UMC, First Baptist of Decatur, and North Decatur Presbyterian, is free and open to the public.

Atlanta Panyarders Caribbean Arts and Culture Exhibit Sept. 22 • 5-8 p.m. The Atlanta Panyarders Caribbean Arts and Cultural group invites the community to the bandstand on Friday, Sept. 22, to embark on a journey through Caribbean culture. The program will include steelpan music, a display of elaborate festival costumes and interactions with the audience. This event is part of Decatur’s Welcoming Week celebration. See pages 8 and 9

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SEPTEMBER 2017 • Decatur Focus | 19


Decatur Events Photo Exhibit Premieres on the Square Sept. 15

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ecatur photographer Beate Sass, in partnership with the Decatur Education Foundation and the Decatur Arts Alliance, recently launched the I Am Decatur photo project. Sass’s photo portraits, paired with the personal stories of the local residents she interviewed, showcase the diversity

of the Decatur community. A public art installation based on the project will launch to kick off Welcoming Week Sept. 15 at the community bandstand on the square. You can also view the exhibit online at IamDecatur.com. Subscribe to receive new stories as they are published.

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Decatur Events Woodlands Garden: Fall Events and Construction

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he fall season is shaping up to be a busy time at Woodlands Garden, with construction on the garden’s master plan slated to begin, along with a number of public events on the schedule. The design process for the garden’s expansion is wrapping up this summer and a general contractor has been selected to lead construction efforts in conjunction with Woodlands’ program manager, Frank Burdette, and the construction committee. The master plan will include an expanded parking area, better access for school buses, and improved garden pathways accessible to all visitors. The garden’s visitor center will be updated to include accessible restrooms and additional event spaces. A separate shed will be constructed for storage of tools and gardening supplies. The design team is carefully orchestrating plans for the Woodlands property to minimize the number of existing trees affected and thoughtfully selecting a diverse collec-

tion of tree species to replace those removed. Construction is tentatively scheduled to begin in November. The grand opening of the expanded garden will take place in late spring 2018, although the plan is to have the garden open throughout as much of the project as possible. Visit woodlandsgarden.org/construction for updates. Even with construction approaching, Woodlands Garden has a full schedule of fall events for the Decatur community to enjoy. Visit the garden’s website to find details about free events in the Pavilion, like Music in the Garden and Yoga in Nature. The Fall Plant Sale will take place on select Sundays (Sept. 17 and 24 and October 1, 8, and 15) from 2-4 p.m. Experienced volunteers will help you find the best plants for your yard. Every year the selection of plants for sale is better and bigger. If you have plants you’d like to donate, dig or divide to be included in the Fall Plant Sale contact Ben Ackerley, garden manager, info@wood-

landsgarden.org. Fairies in the Garden will return on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2-4:30 p.m. This event is free for all ages. For a complete list of upcoming events, visit woodlandsgarden. org/events.

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School News Decatur Education Foundation Launches Supper & Sips Thursday, Oct. 19 • Courtyard by Marriott

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oin the Decatur Education Foundation for Supper & Sips (formerly Boil & Brew), Oct. 19, at the Courtyard by Marriott in downtown Decatur. This year the foundation has updated the event’s theme to “Supper & Sips” to incorporate more Southern dishes. Supper & Sips will now feature a wider range of Southern dishes from four of Decatur’s restaurants – Leon’s Full Service, Taiyo Ramen (formerly Makan), Steinbeck’s and Truman Pub. Dessert will be provided by Butter & Cream. Guests can still look forward to the event’s past standbys: beverages, games like the Heads or Tails raffle, and a live auction. Tickets are $75 ($50 for City Schools of Decatur employees) and are available for purchase at defsupper.com. All proceeds from Supper & Sips support Decatur youth through DEF. With the community, DEF removes obstacles that impede learning, provides opportunities that empower kids and their teachers, and harnesses community resources to help every child reach his/her full potential.

Fifth Avenue 5K and Mayor’s Mile Run/Walk Be

nef ION itin Kickstart your fall fitness goals by D AT g F. OUN AV E F N + D E C AT U R E D U C AT I O running or walking the Oakhurst 5th Avenue 5K or Mayor’s Mile on Saturday, Oct. 7. Enjoy a healthy, family-friendly morning while running or walking in the 5K. Then jump into the Mayor’s Mile event with city leaders and former Decatur mayors.

9 a.m. 5K Race starts at F.Ave and ends in Oakhurst Village 9:45 a.m. Mayor’s Mile starts and ends in Oakhurst Village Registration is $25 for adults, $18 for 18 and under, $20 for CSD or CoD employee. Proceeds will benefit programs and enrichment opportunities offered by the Fifth Avenue Elementary School PTO and the Decatur Education Foundation. The event will take place rain or shine and is part of the Team Decatur Grand Slam of Fitness series. Register at oakhurst5a5k.com.

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22 | Decatur Focus • SEPTEMBER 2017


Around Town

Flying the Flag

#decaturga

Show off your Decatur on social media and share it with your neighbors. Email renae.madison@decaturga.com.

Sixth Place . . . Not Too Shabby

Thank you to Madsen and Colby Smith, who were the flag bearers during the Parade of Flags at the Georgia Municipal Association’s annual convention. They are pictured here with Commissioner Tony Powers (left) and their dad, Commissioner Brian Smith. #gma #seewhosalutes

Summertime CPR Training in Decatur

Congratulations to Beth Barbiers for finishing 6th for team USA in the women’s marathon during the Deaflympics (Deaf Olympics) in Samsun, Turkey, this summer. #deaflympics

#homegirl

#26miles

Way to Go, Mr. Mayor

Congrats, Jackson

Decatur resident Kristin Ebersold would like to thank Captain Ninetta Violante of the Decatur Fire Department for teaching a child-centered (and very fun and engaging) first aid and CPR class. Ninetta spent several hours on a Friday night teaching Decatur kids how to be safer citizens.

Michael Mears, former mayor of Decatur and now a full-time professor of law at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School, has been elected chairperson of the Georgia Institute of Continuing Legal Education. Professor Mears served on the Board of Trustees of the institute for four years before being elected chairperson.

Congratulations to Jackson Swan for winning the National Miss Reigning America preteen title this summer.

#firstresponders #firstaid

#chairperson #decaturmayor

#beautyqueen #localgirl SEPTEMBER 2017 • Decatur Focus | 23


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Focus September 2017 rev  

Official Newsletter of the City of Decatur, Georgia

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