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Playbook Inside

City of Decatur

Clear zone

SEPTEMBER 2016 Volume 27 • Number 2

Official Publication of The City of Decatur, Georgia

RETURNS Oct. 8, noon-6 p.m.


t began last year as an idea to get neighbors out and about, enjoying music and each other’s company, but it quickly became the Southeast’s largest crowd-sourced music festival. It culminated in what Georgia’s music tourism bureau called “very likely the most diverse musical lineup of any festival” in the state.

All are welcome Saturday, Oct. 8, noon-6 p.m., when approximaely 160 separate performances take place on an equal number of porches and yards all across the Oakhurst neighborhood. Covering a square mile and powered by the generous participation of more than 700 volunteers, the event is free to enjoy. Attendees are encouraged to walk, bike, rideshare, or take MARTA to the East Lake station. Visit for the latest news, including the late-September release of the map and performance schedule.

News 3 City

BUsiness DBA 10 NEWs 12 NEWs

Around School 13 DECATUR EVENTs 23 Town news 21


solar-Powered Pay stat ions and Parking Meters

Our solar-powered pay stations and single make it easy to pay meters for on-street parking . They accept Visa, MasterCard, and American Express debit cards, as well credit or as good old-fashioned Meter Rates nickels, dimes, and Enforced Monday quarters, and dol-Saturday 8 a.m.-6 p.m. lar coins. Dollar bills are not accepted. Nickel 1.5 min. You can also set up Dime a 3 min. pay-by-cell accoun Quarter t at 7.5 min. Dollar Coin

live car-lessly Public transit

Decatur has three MARTA rail station s inside its city limits, and the Decatur station is directly beneath the historic downtown square . The rail system connec ts you to Hartsfield-Jac MARTA International Airport kson , downtown Atlanta key stops as well and other as an extensive bus system. Call MARTA at 404-84 8-5000 for informa tion or visit

Pick up a parking brochure at City Hall, Police HQ, or the Visitors Center. 30 min.

Regardless of which on-street spot you choose, you can pay at any pay station. All you need license tag numbe r to enter at the machin is your e.

The Emory Univers ity CCTMA shuttle connects Decatur to the Emory campus. Routes and are online at transpo schedules

day, free

after 6 p.m. Metered parking has a two-hour time limit enforced from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Saturda ing is free after 6 p.m. and all day Sunday y. Parkthan two hours? . Need more Choose one of the many downtown public parking decks and lots listed on the flip side.

Why parking meter


Parking meters are not intended to provide of revenue for the a source city. Instead, they are a form of parking management that discourages long-term use of the most conven ient on-street parking downtown employ ees and MARTA patrons by helps to ensure that . This these most desirab le spaces are available for our retail and restaur ant customers.

Meet our Pals


Our PALS (Parkin g, Assistance, Liaison with Mercha nts and Safety) staff monitors downtown parking and writes parking tickets, but among their primary respon sibilities is to serve as ambass adors for Decatur. PALS always carry retail directories to hand out to visitors .


rides on deMand

Catch a ride at the taxi stand at Church and Sycamore streets , just east of the MARTA call Checker Cab, plaza. Or 404-351-1111. Uber and Lyft | Reques t, ride, and pay via mobile phone. Go to, your , or download their smartphone apps.

Let’s Talk about Parking Pay during the

park it in

Zipcar | Visit zipcar.c om out more about Decatu to find r’s four Zipcar locations.


Decatur is recogn ized as “Bike-Friendly Commu a nity” and bicycle maps (great for pedestrians, too) are available at the Visitors Center.

Parking is plentiful, convenient, and affordable in downtown Decatur!

Decatur Visito rs Center

113 Clairemont Ave.

• 678-615-0915 visitdecaturgeorgia .com



Lots of lots, decks, and on-street parking with a total of 2,500 parking stalls – 300 metere d spaces, 2,200 off-stre plus spaces provid et – ed by individual merchants.

very city, no matter its size, has to deal with parking issues: where to put it, how many parking spaces to provide, and how to manage it. An endless amount of papers and studies have been written on urban parking because it’s a complex issue that continues to grow with our car culture. The City of Decatur is no exception. Although we’ve prioritized pedestrian and cycling infrastructure over the past 10 years, driving is still the primary mode of transportation in the city, which means managing parking is a necessity. Parking-in-Decatur-Br


decaturga g


6/16/16 3:08 PM

As Decatur has grown and become a vibrant city where people want to live, work, and visit, parking on the street directly in front of a business you wish to visit has become a thing of the past. This is not a bad thing because it indicates that the City of Decatur has a healthy economy. It has a population that expands during the work day and a dynamic nightlife scene, which places a high demand on desirable parking spots. Any city with an overabundance of street parking has a problem because it means there’s not enough demand to fill those spots. Too much parking is just as bad as too little parking, and Decatur has neither. That being said, there seems to be some growing confusion over parking in downtown Decatur. Below are five parking myths that we hear most frequently and explanations of what’s really going on.

Focus on Community Development

Myth: Decatur doesn’t have enough parking. What you may not know: There are more than 2,500 public parking spaces in downtown Decatur. That number includes the privately owned parking decks and lots as well as the 300 metered parking spaces that line the streets. There is plenty of parking, but not all of it is visible from the street. Due to downtown design standards, parking decks have to be wrapped and hidden by the buildings they serve. Also, developers are required to provide parking to meet residential, retail, and commerical uses in the project. So if a mixed-use apartment complex is built on a piece of land that was a parking lot, the development will include the same amount of public parking spaces in its newly built parking garage. Myth: Decatur charges a lot for on-street parking because it needs the revenue. What you may not know: On-street parking is not intended to provide a source of revenue for the city. Instead, it is a form of parking management that discourages long-term use of the most convenient on-street parking by downtown employees and MARTA patrons. When onstreet parking is taken up by business owners or employees regularly, they stand to lose thousands of dollars per year in potential revenue. Metered spaces are meant for high turnover and customers planning quick trips. Anyone who intends to stay in downtown Decatur for more than two hours should park in one of the public garages, which offer ample parking. See Parking 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 • SEPTEMBER 2016

Focus City of Decatur

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

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 Decatur Named Finalist in KaBOOM! $1 Million Play Everywhere Challenge


he City of Decatur was selected as a finalist in the Play Everywhere Challenge, a $1 million national competition that awards outsidethe-box ideas to make play easy, available, and fun for kids and families in cities across the United States. The Challenge is hosted by KaBOOM!, a national nonprofit dedicated to bringing balanced and active play into the daily lives of all children. The City of Decatur created an innovative plan for a Pedal to School Bike Bus and a renewal of the bus stop on Trinity Place as a play space. The project was selected as a finalist out of a pool of more than 1,000 applications nationwide. The Challenge, developed in collaboration with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Target, Playworld, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the National Endowment for the Arts, attracted an outpouring of creative ideas to spark kids’

imaginations and get their bodies moving. Decatur’s idea came from a passion for getting kids more involved in Safe Routes to School. Winners for the competition will be selected in fall 2016. To learn more about Decatur’s ideas for making play happen every-

where in the city, contact Cheryl Burnette, To learn more about the Play Everywhere Challenge, including a gallery of ideas for what Play Everywhere could look like across the country visit

Decatur Prepares for ‘Extreme Makeover’


he City of Decatur has launched a new website and communications program – dubbed “Extreme Makeover: Downtown Decatur Edition” – to keep residents informed and moving throughout an upcoming period of potentially disruptive construction projects. Between streetscape overhauls, infrastructure repair, safety enhancements, and development projects, there is a lot planned or in the works for the city’s downtown over the next 12 to 18 months. And much of it involves overlapping timelines, which amplifies the potential for inconvenience. Officials hope better, more accessible information will give residents the tools they need to plan ahead and work their way around any disruptions. From now until the planned projects are completed, the website will serve as the hub of a larger program to keep residents informed – offering timely, ongoing status updates, email and social media alerts, and overviews in the city’s Focus newsletter. Included are opportunities to: • Review a map of projects in various stages of implementation. • Read the latest status updates for what to expect and what to avoid. • Sign up for email alerts issued whenever new circumstances arise. • Follow the city on Facebook and Twitter. Residents are invited to visit the site and join the email list at SEPTEMBER 2016 • Decatur Focus | 3

City News Richards Named Deputy Chief


cott Richards has been promoted to deputy police chief, taking over for Deputy Chief Keith Lee, who retired in July. Richards grew up in Stone Mountain and joined the Decatur Police Department in 1994. He is a graduate of Georgia State University, with a B.S. in Criminal Justice, and a graduate of the University of Louisville Southern Police Institute’s Administrative Officer’s Course, where he achieved Dean’s List recognition for academic achievement. During his career with the Decatur PD Richards has worked as a patrol officer, field training officer, patrol supervisor, instructor, supervisor over the training division, and has served as captain over the patrol, special units, and support services divisions.

Parking continued from page 2 According to Donald Shoup, author of The High Cost of Free Parking, meters should cost more per hour than parking garages to encourage drivers to park off the street. Currently it costs $2 per hour to park at a meter in downtown Decatur, which is the same or less than most of the downtown parking lots and garages. Myth: Parking should be free. What you may not know: There’s really no such thing as free parking. Even if a driver does not have to pay for his/her parking spot, the cost is passed off elsewhere, whether it’s to the tenant or the customers. According to, one on-street parking space is valued at $20,000, an above-ground parking space costs an average of $22,688 to construct, and a subterranean parking space costs 4 | Decatur Focus • SEPTEMBER 2016

White House Task Force Highlights Decatur


ine months ago, through its Task Force on New Americans, the White House called upon big cities and small towns to join the Building Welcoming Communities Campaign and to commit to making their hometowns places that welcome immigrants and refugees, where all residents can thrive. More than 50 cities and counties responded, including Decatur. On June 30, the White House had a celebration of the communities who accepted the call to action. City of Decatur received an official certificate of participation and a copy of Bright Spots in Welcoming and Integration: A Report by White House Task Force on New Americans. Decatur’s Better Together Community Action Plan for Equity, Inclusion, and Engagement was highlighted in the “Bright Spots in Building Welcoming Communities” section. The city is honored to be among the 26 communities that were highlighted in the report (not everyone who participated was chosen to be in the report). between $34,000 and $45,000 to construct. Those numbers don’t even take into account the cost of land and maintenance of the parking spaces. While parking is a necessity in cities, free parking is not. Myth: Parking is hard to find in Decatur. What you may not know: Parking is abundant in Decatur, but not in the form of highly desirable street parking. You’ll find most parking spaces in one of the privately owned lots and decks around town. For a map of the downtown parking decks, visit decaturga. com/parking. Myth: The city’s parking attendants give you a ticket as soon as your meter expires. What you may not know: Decatur has one full-time and two part-time Parking Assistance Liaison with Merchants and Safety

(PALS) that work Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. They monitor all 300 of Decatur’s metered spaces and write parking tickets, but one of their primary responsibilities is to serve as ambassadors for Decatur. The turnarounds at North McDonough Street and East Court Square are the most in-demand parking spaces downtown and therefore the most highly monitored spots. Receiving a ticket for an expired meter can be a frustrating experience. Keep in mind, if you pay to park using the Park Mobile App, you’ll receive a text when your meter is about to expire and have the option of adding more time as long as it is under the two-hour limit. To learn more about parking in Decatur, visit and download the new parking brochure that lists locations and pricing for all downtown public parking. If you’d like to pick up a hard copy of the brochure, visit the Decatur Visitors Center, 113 Clairemont Ave.

City News Artway Phase II Getting Started in Oakhurst

Sunkissed, Nathan Pierce

Earth, Fire, Water, Wind, Hanna Jubran

Five new sculptures will be installed in the Oakhurst neighborhood in September and October, marking the second phase of Decatur’s Artway rotating public art project, administered by Decatur Arts Alliance. The sculptures will be in place for two years, and then a new batch of sculptures will take their places. The first five works, installed in 2015, are around the downtown square. Learn more about the works and the artists at Prairie Vane, Dan Perry The Geometry of Sol, Phil Proctor

Shelter (basics), Matthias Neumann

Members Wanted for Environmental Sustainability and Active Living Boards

September’s first City Commission Meeting will be Tuesday, Sept. 6

Looking for more community involvement? Positions are available on the Active Living and Environmental Sustainability boards. If you’d like to serve, fill out a statement-of-interest form, available in the City Manager’s office or at, and return it by Sept. 30.

The regular first-Monday City Commission meeting for September will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 6, because of Labor Day. Meetings are held in the City Commission Meeting Room at Decatur City Hall, 509 N. McDonough St. You can also watch online. Visit for more information.

Labor Day Solid Waste and Recycling Services Regular services for Monday, Sept. 5, will be on Tuesday, Sept. 6. Regular services for Tuesday, Sept. 6, will be on Wednesday, Sept 7.

SEPTEMBER 2016 • Decatur Focus | 5


electronics RECYCLING DAY

recycling day

Saturday Saturday April 2

Oct. 8, 2016 9 am-1 pm 9 a.m.-1 p.m.














City News






Electronics Recycling

Styrofoam Recyling

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

Your favorite recycling events — Your favorite combined!

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


Speakers Speakers Stereo Stereo equipment equipment Telephones Telephones Telephony Telephony equipment equipment 3-in-1 3-in-1 devices devices Typewriters Typewriters UPS UPS units units VCRs VCRs Workstations Workstations ZipZip drives drives

Since we started in 2005,

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 404-377-5571 or sean. at at 404-377-5571 or sean. woodson@decaturga. woodson@decaturga. com more information com forfor more information and last-minute updates, and last-minute updates, oror visit visit electronicsrecycling. electronicsrecycling.

Paper PaperShredding Shredding

Styrofoam Styrofoamrecycling recycling

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

6 | Decatur Focus • SEPTEMBER 2016

City News Decatur 101 Encore Calling all Decatur 101 graduates

The next Decatur 101 Encore classes will be held Tuesday, Oct. 11, and Tuesday, Oct. 18. The annual Encore classes are conducted in the fall and are open to any Decatur 101 graduate. Topics for the upcoming classes include: • Information about the Better Together Community Action Plan for Equity, Inclusion, and Engagement, and conversations across differences. • Meet the new deputy police chief and hear about the Police Department’s Strategic Plan. • What’s new with housing, with Decatur Housing Authority, Lifelong Community Advisory Board, cottage courts, greenspace planning, the Comprehensive Plan, and more. The morning classes will be 10 a.m.-noon and the evening classes 7-9 p.m. Classes are limited to 40 graduates so sign up soon. For information contact Linda Harris,, 678-553-6512. If you have not taken Decatur 101 and are interested in the 2017 classes, they will begin in late February. The class is filling up and there will soon be a waiting list, so be sure to sign up now.

Tourism Bureau Commissions Brochure Racks for Hotels


he Decatur Tourism Bureau commissioned Decatur artist/sculptor Phil Proctor to design brochure racks to hold a variety of Decatur brochures used to promote the city to visitors and tourists, including the Shopping, Dining & SerPictured with the new brochure rack are Sherry vices Guides, Specialty Jackman, Decatur Visitors Center manager; Thomas Harrison, director of sales; Mike Roling, Dining and Shopping general manager; Teadra Tarpley, sales coordinabrochures, and Go Lotor; and Darius McNair, catering sales manager. cal itineraries created by Decatur residents. The brochure racks can be found in the lobbies of the Decatur Courtyard by Marriott and the Decatur Police Department. The Tourism Bureau wanted the brochure racks to reflect Decatur’s unique character and its emphasis on the arts while providing the hotel and the police department a way to display the variety of brochures specifically related to the city. Atlanta sculptor Phil Proctor’s public works can be found across the Southeastern United States and Eastern Europe, including at least seven large-scale pieces in the Metro Atlanta area. Proctor has developed a professional reputation in the public art community by his involvement in public art planning. Examples include his role as board member for the development of a public art master plan for the city of Suwanee and his initiatives leading to the Decatur Artway outdoor sculpture project. To see more of his work visit

Who Is Your Hero?


t’s time to think of your favorite Decatur Hometown Hero – a friend, neighbor or co-worker – someone who works hard, often behind the scenes, to make our community a better place to live, work and play. There’s 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 2016 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, and this year the city will mark the 20th anniversary of that first ceremony. 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 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.

SEPTEMBER 2016 • Decatur Focus | 7

City News School News Sylvia Clark and William Davis work to remove invasive bamboo from Section Six.

A Season of Giving/ Christmas Decatur Seeks Volunteers

A Old Tombstones Lead to Discovery


n 2014, Laurel Wilson, a master’s candidate in the Heritage Preservation program at Georgia State University, discovered an archaic word on a 19th century stone. Questioning its use led her a little deeper into research at the Decatur Cemetery. Section Six – the historic African-American burial ground – has become her focus as she works to document the gravesites and family connections of the people buried there. Through interviews with Sylvia Clark, Kenneth Bussey, and Barbara Bussey Williams, and reviewing census records, she is beginning to draw a picture of the history of Decatur’s AfricanAmerican community, particularly those residents who were integral to the Beacon Hill area of the city. She hopes to preserve information on many of those buried in Decatur Cemetery – their roots, lineage, property and occupations. Many of the graves in Section Six have suffered from neglect over the years, as family members have moved or passed away. Some are remembered only as records in the cemetery office. In her conversations Laurel Wilson has touched on a deep desire to preserve the heritage of these people. If you have information to share, contact her directly at The Friends of Decatur Cemetery has been working to document the lives of all those buried in the cemetery. The “Shared Memories...” research project is ongoing, because “every life is worth remembering.” For more information contact Friends of Decatur Cemetery, 8 | Decatur Focus • SEPTEMBER 2016

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

113 Clairemont Ave. DropSherry by or check out the Jackman Visitors Center Manager Visit Decatur 113 Clairemont Ave.

blog for news about events, Decatur, GA 30030 shopping, dining, and 678-615-0915 performances.

visitdecaturgeorgia. com



News from Inside the Firehouse Decatur Fire and Rescue Receives New Triage Packs

Decatur Fire and Rescue welcomed 12 new firefighters and announced two promotions at a recent City Commission meeting. First row (from left): Firefighters Justin Sardine (acting officer), James Hutley, and Joseph Keck. 2nd row: Lt. Corey Jay (newly promoted), FAO Bernard Tarplin (newly promoted), Deputy Chief Stephanie Harpring. 3rd row: Firefighters Jeremy Storey, LaShawna Bussey, Ryan Curtis, and Adam Bostic. Top Row: Firefighters Jeffrey Calvert, Garrett Range, and Chris Nelson. Not pictured: Firefighters Gary Menard, Beth Sanford, and Michael Soto.

Decatur Fire and Rescue has received a grant from the Georgia Trauma Commission for eight triage packs. The packs have several items for a mass casualty scenario, including gloves, tourniquets, triage tape, emergency trauma dressings, nasal pharyngeal airways with lube, vent chest seals, compressed gauze, and shears. The packs will be utilized by first responders in the event that a large number of people are injured and need to be sorted for treatment, care and transport. The grant also included a triage and tag system, and an educational video. Daphne Hall (second from left) received a Life Save for her brave actions to save the life of Susan Taylor (far right). Pictured with them are (from left) Firefighter James Hutley, City Manager Peggy Merriss, Firefighter Joseph Keck, and Firefighter Chassidy Brown. Decatur Fire and Rescue Department awards the recognition to an individual or group who saved or attempted to save a life through the use of knowledge, actions, and/or skill.

Woodlands Garden Moves Ahead with Master Planning and Construction

SEPTEMBER 2016 • Decatur Focus | 9

Business & Nonprofit News Students Create ‘Community Peace’ Exhibit at Decatur Library


aint Love, an Atlanta-based nonprofit, partnered with Camp PEACE to challenge 40 students to illustrate real ways they could create peace and make their community better. The outcome was an imaginative art exhibit at the Decatur Library. The exhibit told a story of meaningful and safe spaces in our community, creating peace within ourselves, and how to spread that peace through our families, communities and the world. The whimsical buildings and colorful spaces represent the children’s favorite spots and imagined locales that come together to build a peaceful community. This project is an example of how Paint Love works with local Atlanta organizations to provide supplies, artists, and high-quality programming so students can learn about art in a safe environment that teaches self-expression and acceptance. For ways to get involved with Paint Love, whether to volunteer, teach or become a partner organization, visit

Amplify Decatur Raises $30K for DCM


he 2016 Amplify Decatur concert series raised $30,000 for Decatur Cooperative Ministry (DCM), a Decatur-based, nonprofit organization that works to prevent and alleviate poverty and homelessness in Decatur and DeKalb County. Amplify Decatur has raised and donated more than $110,000 to DCM since 2011. The Grammy-nominated duo The Milk Carton Kids co-headlined the outdoor festival along with bluegrass upstarts Elephant Revival. Also performing were Penny & Sparrow, Eliot Bronson, The Bitteroots, Kristen Englenz, The Dammages, and Magic Birds. The concert series was presented by Lenz, a Decatur-based marketing agency, and produced in partnership with Eddie’s Attic.

Private Bank Welcomes New Staff Private Bank of Buckhead has named Mark Weber as vice president and relationship manager. He will split his time between the Decatur and Buckhead locations, serving clients across the metro Atlanta area. He is a graduate of the University of Georgia, with a degree Mark Weber Barry Marlin Latrece Robinson in business administrationmanagement. Barry Marlin has joined Private Bank of Decatur as vice president and relationship manager. A Nashville native, he graduated from Middle Tennessee University with a BS in business administration and a minor in finance. Latrece Robinson has been named loan administration specialist at Private Bank of Decatur. A seasoned professional with more than 20 years of experience, Robinson graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Long Island University. 10 | Decatur Focus • SEPTEMBER 2016

The Big Shift is Coming to Decatur


rofessional coach Wendy Watkins will launch her first signature event – The Big Shift – at the Decatur Marriott Courtyard, Saturday, Sept. 10. She is bringing her “Mind Body & Business” approach to teach people how to make time in their business for a rich life. This event is for business people that feel like their business is running them rather than them running their business. Visit for more information.

Business & Nonprofit News Lotus of Life Chiropractic Celebrates 10 Years

DPC Celebrates Agnes Scott Campus Ministry

Lotus of Life Chiropractic is celebrating their 10th anniversary in practice. The practice has grown from a tiny startup into a wellness center at 603 Church St., which also includes a massage therapist and life coach. The staff extends a thank you to the Decatur community for its support. They have cared for expectant mothers, infants, children of all ages, and all the members of many families over the years. Lotus of Life has added nutrition response testing to its services. This approach to healing through nutrition as a complement to chiropractic care allows them to address the whole body. For more information visit or call 404-377-7743.

Decatur Presbyterian Church and Agnes Scott College will hold a special worship service on Sept. 18. The service will highlight the connection between the two organizations, celebrate the impact of campus ministry at Agnes Scott, and discuss the plans that Decatur Presbyterian Church has for deepening this connection as the church fulfills its mission. Reverend Kate Colussy-Estes, chaplain at Agnes Scott College, and Reverend Lucy Strong, Presbyterian campus minister for UKirk, will speak. Decatur Presbyterian Church is at 205 Sycamore St. For more information, contact Betty Scott Noble,

Decatur to Host 9-11 Interfaith Gathering

DPC Blessing of the Animals

Ebster Pavillion • Sunday, Sept. 11 • 3-5 p.m. On Sunday, Sept. 11, bring a favorite dish to share, a lawn chair, and an open mind and heart to an interfaith gathering to recognize the 15th anniversary of 9-11. The event will start at 3 p.m. with a pot-luck and an interfaith service right after. The event will take place at the Ebster Pavillion, 404 W. Trinity Pl., between the Decatur Police Station, City Schools of Decatur central office, and the Ebster Recreation Center.

Decatur Presbyterian Church invites members of the community to join Dr. Todd Speed and his yellow lab, Chevy, for a blessing of the animals. The blessing of pets and animals is celebrated on Oct. 4, the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, or near that date. The event will take place in the Terrace Garden of the church at 205 Sycamore St., corner of Church and Sycamore streets. In case of rain it will be moved to Slack Fellowship Hall. For more information about the event contact Decatur Presbyterian, 404-378-1777.

Saturday, Oct. 1 • 10:30 a.m.

DBA Annual Golf Tournament Thursday, Sept. 29 The DBA will host its annual DBA Golf Open on Sept. 29. The registration fee is $125 per player. Raffle tickets are $5 each. There will be beer, lunch, range balls, cart fee, greens fees, raffle, and a cookout after the event. 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-in-one 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, Georgia. Registration begins at 9 a.m. The deadline for registration is Sept. 15. Visit for more information.

SEPTEMBER 2016 • Decatur Focus | 11

DBA News DBA ts Presen

usiness Decatur B ud to on is pro Associati uare with fill the sq er. Septemb music in

The Blake Group

Concerts on the Square Saturdays at the Bandstand 7-9:30 pm

Royal Johnson

Sept. 10 The Blake Group Sept. 17 Royal Johnson Sept. 24 Victoria Canal

Blue Sky Concerts

Veronika Jackson

Wednesdays at the Bandstand • Noon-1 pm Sept. 7 Sept. 14 Sept. 21 Sept. 28

Veronika Jackson The Beulah Boys Matt Hires Nerdkween

Victoria Canal

The Beulah Boys

Matt Hires

September 27 Decatur Library 215 Sycamore St. 5:15 p.m. Networking reception 6 p.m.

Meeting Reminder


Sponsor: DeKalb Library Foundation Visit for details.

12 | Decatur Focus • SEPTEMBER 2016


Thank you to DBA sponsors

Decatur Events Madison Avenue Soapbox Derby Returns Saturday, Oct. 1 • Races begin at 1 p.m.


adison Avenue neighbors’ sixth annual soapbox derby, on Saturday, Oct. 1, features food and drinks, live music, and soapbox derby racing. The derby is a charity fundraising event that was created by a group of Madison Avenue neighbors in 2011. Each year the Derby donates all proceeds to children’s charities in the city of Decatur – donating nearly $70,000 to date. Last year the Derby crew gave $20,000 to Hagar’s House. This year’s beneficiary will be REAP (Reading is Essential for All People), a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving reading proficiency in public school students through teacher training and enrichment. REAP provides public school teachers with specialized training that reinforces the foundations of reading. These training approaches are helpful for any child, in any classroom, small group, or one-on-one situation, and are especially critical for struggling readers. REAP is located in Decatur. There are many great ways to participate in this year’s event: build a car with your kids and race, come to the event as a spectator and have a blast, become a corporate sponsor to support the derby and this year’s beneficiary, or volunteer on race day. Visit for the event schedule, registration, and additional details.

Beer Festival Tickets on Sale Sept. 15 – Online Only


he Decatur Craft Beer Festival will be Saturday, Oct. 15, noon-4 p.m. Tickets to the event will go on sale Thursday, Sept. 15 at noon. 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. No tickets are available for purchase at the gate. You must be 21 or older to attend. No children or animals al-

lowed 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. For more information, visit

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. SEPTEMBER 2016 • Decatur Focus | 13

Decatur Events

Real Stories, Real People


oin Decatur photographer Beate Sass for the opening of her exhibit Real Stories, Real People at the Decatur Arts Alliance Gallery in the Visitors Center, 113 Clairemont Ave. The exhibit is a series of photo essays depicting the lives of individuals living with a developmental disability (DD) and their families. The

Jazz Nights at Scottish Rite Music will fill the air during the September Jazz Nights at Scottish Rite. All concerts are free, but for an elegant front-row view of the concert, candlelit tables for four can be reserved for $25 per concert. are available. Each table seats up to four and comes complete with chairs, fresh linens, and a candle-lit centerpiece. Email 14 | Decatur Focus • SEPTEMBER 2016

stories offer insights into the challenges individuals with a DD and their caregivers face in their daily lives. Real Stories, Real People runs through Oct. 7, with an artists reception on Saturday, Sept. 17, 6-8 p.m. The gallery is open Tuesdays through Saturdays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

PERFORMERS Sept. 1 Glumson Brothers with Jeff Holt Sept. 8 Mace Hibbard Quartet Sept. 15 Tito Gato with Reece Harris Sept. 22 Darren English Quartet Sept. 29 Bonaventure Quartet

Photography Exhibit at Decatur Visitors Center through Oct. 7



Maker Faire Atlanta Returns to Downtown Decatur Oct. 1-2


akers from all over the Southeast show off their projects and give handson demonstrations for the whole family at Maker Faire. The event will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Expect to experience a little bit of everything from the worlds of STEM education and making, ranging from circuit soldering tutorials to a giant vortex cannon. Maker Faire Atlanta started as a Mini Maker Faire in 2011 and grew into a featured Maker Faire in 2014, drawing more than two hundred makers and more than 30,000 attendees. Since its small beginnings, Maker Faire Atlanta has included events like Drone Racing challenge and the powerracing series. If you are a maker and would like to participate in Maker Faire Atlanta, there is still time to answer the Call for Makers, which is currently open. If you are interested in volunteering and helping out before or during Maker Faire Atlanta, registration for volunteers is also open. More information is available at atlanta. Whether you are an expert maker or a dabbler, come to Maker Faire Atlanta to experience making resources and meet other makers from around the Southeast. Attendees are advised to take MARTA if possible. Parking will be limited, but the Decatur stop is only a few minutes away from the fairgrounds. Attendees can register for free both online and on site.

Fifth Avenue 5K and Mayor’s Mile Run/Walk Kickstart your fall fitness goals by running or walking the Fifth Avenue 5K or the Mayor’s Mile on Saturday, Oct. 8, in Oakhurst. 9 a.m. – 5K Race starts at F.AVE and ends in the Oakhurst Village 9:45 a.m. – Mayor’s Mile starts and ends in the Oakhurst Village Prices are $25 for adults, $18 for 18 and under, $20 for CSD or COD employees The 4/5 Academy at Fifth Avenue (F.AVE) and the Decatur Education Foundation (DEF) have teamed up to organize the Oakhurst Fifth Avenue 5K, an event that has taken place for more than 20 years. This year’s event will feature a new addition – the Mayor’s Mile, a new twist that will offer a shorter distance to appeal to all ages and abilities. Run and walk alongside your city commissioners in the Mayor’s Mile as they challenge participants to do their best and be healthy. Registration includes a race T-shirt, age group awards and a post-race party in Oakhurst Village. Prizes will be awarded to the overall open and master male and female finishers, as well as to all age groups. Proceeds will benefit F.AVE and the DEF. This event is also part of the Team Decatur Grand Slam of Fitness series. Register at SEPTEMBER 2016 • Decatur Focus | 15

Kickstart your fall fitness goals by running or walk

Decatur BusinessEvents & Nonprofit News Your Input Needed:

Oakhurst Arts & Music Festival –

Haints and Saints Halloween Parade Sunday, Oct. 30 • 4 p.m.

To Be or not to Be in 2017?


he Decatur Arts Alliance needs your help in determining whether to hold the Oakhurst Arts & Music Festival next year. The festival took a hiatus in 2015 and 2016. Music and art are alive now in Oakhurst with the YEA Event, PorchFest, Jazz Nights at Scottish Rite, the Decatur Artway, and more. Is the Oakhurst Arts & Music Festival still important to the community? If so, are you willing to be a part of the volunteer planning committee to raise sponsorship dollars and help with the details related to this event? Is there interest from the neighborhood associations, businesses, and Decatur nonprofits who would like to partner to bring it back? Let us know your opinion and whether you are willing to help. Contact Angie Macon,, or call 404-371-9583.

SEPT. 24 • Noon-5 pm

Treat yourself in Decatur and enjoy prizes, pop-ups, snacks, specials and oh-so-much more at participating local shops when you Keep It Indie-catur at this special shopping event. Stay tuned to for details. 16 | Decatur Focus • SEPTEMBER 2016


e a part of HomeGrown Decatur’s annual Halloween Haints and Saints parade. Wear your costume and strut your stuff amongst hearses and classic cars, community groups, floats, and a lineup of local bands. For business sponsorships, volunteer opportunities, and band lineup, visit or call HomeGrown Decatur, 404-373-1147.

Decatur Events

Moves to Harmony Park in Oakhurst Saturday, Sept. 24 • Noon-4 pm


eturning for its fourth year, and moving to Harmony Park in Oakhurst, this popular one-day arts event 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 or enjoy live performances at a stage in Harmony Park at Oakhurst Village. Tents lining the newly redesigned Harmony Park will feature student artists selling jewelry, paintings, photography, drawings, culinary delights, and handcrafted goods. A 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. “The quality of the applications for YEA! continues to amaze us. It’s exciting to see how much talent Decatur students possess,” says Angie Macon, executive director of the Decatur Arts Alliance. “We are so proud to provide a venue that connects our creative students with an arts loving public and get students to consider art as a career.” The young artists gain practical experience in event organization, marketing, and sales of their art work.

Book as Art Exhibit Closes Sept. 30


ake the time to see this unique exhibit of artworks exploring the form and concept of books. This juried show at the Decatur Library celebrates the book with a varied collection of inventive work that challenges expectations. The exhibit is open during library hours, and is presented by the Decatur Arts Alliance with the assistance of the Decatur Downtown Development Authority, the DeKalb County Public Library, and the Georgia Center for the Book. For more information, visit


Decatur Book Festival hours Saturday, Sept. 3, 9 am-6 pm Sunday, Sept. 4, noon-5 pm

Book of Hours: Tire Trough by Cynthia Brinich-Langlois

White Glove Nights Carefully handle selected works Thursday, Sept. 15 and 29, 7-9 pm

Book Making for Kids Thursday, Sept. 22 4-5:30 p.m.

SEPTEMBER 2016 • Decatur Focus | 17

Decatur Events Woodlands Garden to Host ‘Fairies in the Garden’ Celebration


he fairies are coming to Woodlands Garden, 932 Scott Blvd., on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2-4:30 p.m. Woodlands will partner with Skyland Trail for its annual ‘Fairies in the Garden’ event to celebrate art within nature. Skyland Trail artists will create tiny fairy houses using moss, bark, twigs, branches, seed heads, leaves and other natural materials, and tuck them in throughout the garden. With hints provided by Woodlands, visitors can find fairies of all kinds – as well as trolls – tucked into sheltered nooks along the wooded trails. Wear your best fairy costume and join in on an afternoon of hide and seek. This event is free and open to children of all ages. It will take place rain or shine so come prepared. For more information, visit

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Decatur events

Decatur Events

it’s a Date to Stay up late!

Decatur Farmer’s Market


ll Decatur residents, and everybody else, too, are invited to walk in the Decatur Lantern Parade on the evening of Friday, May 15. This is one of those “the-more-the-merrier” events, so plan now to participate and be a part of helping to make this lantern parade memorable. Make your own lantern at home or come to a lantern-making workshop where supplies and guidance are provided. Find out where and when by visiting To participate, line up at Color Wheel oin the Decatur Farmer’s Market on Studio at 508 E. Howard Ave. after 8 p.m. the First Baptist Church lawn, 308 The parade steps off at 9 p.m. led by The Clairemont Ave., for a barbecue party to Black Sheep Marching Ensemble and pabenefit the food access programs. Enjoy rade guru Chantelle Rytter. The parade grilled market veggies, boiled peanuts, lemonwill wend its way to the community ade, and of course, barbecue. bandstand in front of the Old CourtThe party begins at 5 p.m. and ends when the house on the square. market closes at 7 p.m. There will be live music The parade is sponsored by Color and games for the young and young at heart. Wheel Studio, Decatur Arts Alliance, Bring your picnic blanket and your appetite. Decatur Education Foundation, and Vegan and gluten-free options available. the Decatur Development Authority.

Barbecue Fundraiser Sept. 28 • 5-7 p.m.


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Decatur Events Holy Trinity Parish Hosts ‘Voices for the Earth’ Event Saturday, Nov. 5 • 7:30 p.m.


Solar panels at Holy Trinity

he Green Team of Holy Trinity will host a free musical titled “Voices for the Earth, a Musical Revue of Word and Song,” at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, 515 E. Ponce de Leon Ave. The event will feature songs about creation and the environment. The Rev. Woody Bartlett of Holy Trinity, a Green Team member, has written a narrative joining the songs into a story of concern and hope. A number of local artists will lead the music and there will be numerous sing-along opportunities. Featured performers include Decatur resident and nationally known singer/songwriter Caroline Herring and popular local musicians Charles Absher and Kaitlin Curtice. Herring’s song “Black Mountain Lullaby,” about a mountaintop removal mining tragedy in Virginia, is on the song list, as are “Big Yellow Taxi,” by Joni Mitchell, and “Cool of the Day,” by Jean Ritchie. Holy Trinity’s Green Team invites Creation Care ministries and Green Teams from churches in Decatur and the surrounding community to participate. For more information about the event, contact Holy Trinity Parish, 404-377-2622, or go to

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School News Agnes Scott Welcomes New Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students


gnes Scott College welcomes Karen Goff as the new vice president for student life and dean of students. Karen has 15 years of higher education and nonprofit leadership experience, including eight years as the chief student affairs officer at Georgian Court University in New Jersey. In 2003, she founded InsideOut International, a nonprofit organization that offers leadership training and mentoring to emerging women leaders. She has conducted leadership development workshops in Croatia and participated in short-term mission trips to Jamaica, West Indies, Guatemala, Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Russia. She has also served on the boards of the Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore, United Way and the Morris and Sussex County Youth Advocate Program. In 2007 she received the Soroptimist International Women of Distinction award. Karen holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and history and a Master of Divinity with a concentration in counseling, both from Georgian Court. She earned a certificate in leadership development from the Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro, North Carolina, and is completing a doctoral degree in higher education administration from Northeastern University. She is married to Roger Goff, who is active in the U.S. Army National Guard.

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School News DEF Boil & Brew Turns Up the Heat in October


oin the Decatur Education Foundation at its 14th annual DEF Boil & Brew, Oct. 13. This signature DEF event has evolved from a grassroots, backyard affair to a festive celebration for the entire community. This year the Boil is moving to a new location — the ballroom at the Courtyard by Fund-a-Need Challenge, and Marriott in downtown Decatur Heads-or-Tails raffle. — and will feature boil tastes All proceeds from this event DEF supporter Linda Duque distributes from four Decatur restaurants are reinvested in Decatur party beads at last year’s Boil & Brew. – Leon’s, Makan, Steinbeck’s, schools. Each ticket purchase and Truman, the new pub from helps DEF support teacher inCalle Latina’s Michael Condon, novation in the schools; purslated to open soon on East Court Square. chase much-needed tools, technologies and instruments for learning; Tickets are $70 ($50 for City Schools of Decatur employees). Guests and helps Decatur students experience the world in entirely new ways. can also purchase a ticket for their favorite CSD employee. Tickets Visit to purchase tickets and to preview auction packinclude food, drinks, and a chance to participate in the Live Auction, ages. Email with questions.

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Around Town


Oakhurst Book Club

DFD Salutes Myles Baker, Hero

Myles Baker

Local author Liz Lazarus spoke to the Oakhurst Book Club about her debut novel, Free of Malice, which they recently read. The story is a psychological, legal thriller based on a crime Lazarus experienced as a student at Georgia Tech. Find out more at


100 ‘Likes’ Leads to 100 Pushups

Thirteen-year-old Myles Baker was recognized by Decatur Fire and Rescue in July for noticing smoke and alerting occupants at 615 S. McDonough St. that the house was on fire. Myles and his family were invited to eat dinner with the firefighters, where he received a challenge coin from the department for his determination in investigating the cause of the smoke and persistence in notifying persons in the home that the house was on fire. Myles was also awarded a certificate at a City Commission meeting.


New in Blue, and Deputy Chief Lee Retires

Keith Lee The Decatur Fire and Rescue Department celebrated the first 100 “likes” on the new “City of Decatur Fire and Rescue” Facebook page by inviting the community to join them in completing 100 pushups. The page is at facebook. com/Decaturfireandrescue, You can also visit the Decatur Firehouse blog,


The City of Decatur Police Department recently welcomed three new police officers – Alejandro Santiago, Ambakisye Adams, and Christopher Johnson – and wished Deputy Police Chief Keith Lee well on his retirement after 27 years of service to the city.

#retired SEPTEMBER 2016 • Decatur Focus | 23

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Decatur Focus Newsletter, September 2016  

September 2016 edition of the Decatur Focus newsletter, official publication of the City of Decatur, Georgia