Thursday, May 7, 2015

Theater Update Brook Run

For those of you not in the know, this blog is part satire and parody, and part unofficial news, and once in a while, real news.  When it comes to school stuff, we keep it serious, most of the time.

When discussing local businesses we keep it light and respectful, promoting local restaurants.  We've promoted Mellow Mushroom (Hoegaarden on draft and fresh hot pizza) for years.  We plug Marlow's, The Tavern, Cafe at Pharr, and more.  

For politics and city issues, we're all over the place.  

Yesterday we posted a piece about the CVB, and well, a few people didn't like it.  Many did.  

Here's the story:

There's a building in Brook Run Park that used to be a theater.  The theater went dark 15 years ago.  Dunwoody has grown and thousands of people have moved here, even though this building was left to decay.  The lack of a theater has not hurt Dunwoody one bit.  Homes are selling, businesses are opening, and we have sidewalks and freshly paved roads.

Although we lack a real theater (no offense to SDP, but we mean real as in a dedicated theater), we also lack usable green-space parks.  Dunwoody has zero soccer fields, zero lacrosse fields, and of course no softball fields.  We do have two baseball fields, used exclusively for Dunwoody Metro Atlanta Senior Baseball. If you want to reserve those fields, don't call the city.  Dunwoody Sr. Baseball officials handle the bookings.  Good luck with that. 

But let's get back on task - the CVB and the abandoned building in Brook Run. 

Brook Run Park was granted to DeKalb County over a decade ago, with some restrictions.  Seventy percent (70%) of the park must remain as urban green-space.  An asphalt parking lot is not green-space.  A concrete sidewalk (or trail) is not green-space, and a brick building is not green-space.  A concrete skate park is not green-space.  The skate park, roads, sidewalks, parking lots, existing buildings, and the trail consume much of the allowable 30% non green-space. If you knock down a couple more buildings, you have more space available for green-space.

The big battle here is if Brook Run becomes a park like Murphy Candler, Hammond Road park, and Morgan Falls,  or remains mostly dormant and unused.  It's a task the mayor and city council will handle in 2016 when the Master Parks Plan is revisited. 

There is a small group (DT staff says 50, but the group probably claims thousands) that wants the theater preserved, rebuilt, and used again.  If Dunwoody had the same money and space and existing park assets as Sandy Springs, and there was no deed restriction at Brook Run, I'd be 100% in favor of a theater remake.  But we don't have parks like Sandy Springs, and we certainly don't have the annual income of Sandy Springs (their annual budget is 5X ours but only double the population). In summary, Dunwoody has to prioritize its needs and wants.

So this group of Dunwoody residents wants to save the theater.  Please note there is not a majority of votes on council to rebuild the theater.  I think the issue has one, two at most, votes on city council.  Put to a vote today, it fails 6-1. To end this entire issue, someone on council should put an RFP to demo the theater building on the next meeting agenda.  Knock it down and move on.  Put a lacrosse field in its place and don't look back.

So, back to the CVB, we promise. 

The SaveTheTheater group wants to spend other people's money on a study on the costs to save the theater.  Our city council said no to funding the study (an obvious hint that there is no support for a theater in Brook Run).  The SaveTheTheater group solicited the Dunwoody CVB for money.  According to a CVB board member, the CVB "did agree to partially fund a research study to determine the feasibility of this theatre (sic) as it relates to the CVB’s ability to successfully promote this attraction outside of the area".  However, according to the member, "And finally, while we have committed to this financial participation, no payments have yet been made as we are awaiting clarification on a few items."  Clarification?  Why hand over $5,000 if things weren't clear? 

In the opinion of the DunwoodyTalk staff, the abandoned building in Brook Run is NOT an issue the Dunwoody CVB should address.

After posting the original CVB Theater blog post, we received the following comment:
The comment and our response:

As xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx and xxx of the CVB, I would ask you to report the facts and not fiction relative to the CVB’s involvement with the theatre at Brook Run Park.

DT: Fiction?  You confirmed the Board voted to fund the SaveTheTheater posse.

I understand that your comments are simply your opinion but if you choose to quote someone, please quote a real person and not the two fictitious persons (Kimmie Knight and Kathryn Drawicle) with fictitious quotes.

DT: Sounds like a good idea.  Thanks for providing us with direct quotes.  But please note that we don't always put the names of folks out there.  We felt no need to include real names here, even though our original post in on the first second page of a Google search.  If the CVB folks want us to use their real names we can edit the post.  Have them contact us.

The CVB serves an extremely important role in bringing tax dollars to Dunwoody so you as a resident can benefit from this source of revenue.

DT:  Partially accurate.  It's hotel guests bringing tax dollars to Dunwoody, not the CVB.  The CVB, via the hotels, serves as our tax collector.   Yes, we do benefit.  Looks like the city brought in $800,000 or so in hotel taxes in 2014, maybe 3% of the budget?  The CVB share of the take is a million or so? I hope you don't think the CVB is responsible for bringing in the revenue.  It's the marketing efforts of your hotel staff and the other hotels that do most of the leg work.  Our city's location sure helps.  If the CVB disappeared I doubt your vacancy rates would change much, if it all.  But I'm not in favor of ridding ourselves of the CVB because then DeKalb CVB would take over.

As Board members, we volunteer our time to help the CVB team in their efforts to promote Dunwoody.

DT:  Thanks for volunteering! I've done a little of that here as well.  Feels good to help others.   Here's a link to volunteer outside of the hotel industry. 

To this end, your false reporting of the facts combined with the denigration of the new CVB logo is insulting to me as both xxxx and a hospitality business leader in the community.

DT: Nothing false was reported.  A little satire, yes.  But the fact is your Board voted to give away $5,000 after a guy showed up and asked for it.  I suggest you go back and read some other blog posts from the past five years.  Lots of good stuff.  Here's one of my favorites.  RecycleRedShirts. We Luv Vandy and VB. Gangs.

DT: Denigration of the logo?  LOL. Don't blame me on that one - blame the ad firm that designed it.  We at DT had no involvement with Smart City, the * debacle, or the new dippin dot CVB logo. You need to take ownership for that piece of work.  Dunwoody is full of creative people.  You and the city both should have opened up the logo designs to all residents as a contest.  Lots of high schoolers and college kids would have loved to participate. And besides, adding 'dance, drama, and display' is a nice touch. 

To set the record straight, the Board did agree to partially fund a research study to determine the feasibility of this theatre as it relates to the CVB’s ability to successfully promote this attraction outside of the area. 

DT: So, we did not report false information?  An attraction?  it's an empty building with asbestos and a decent piece of stained glass. One of the finest theater organizations Atlanta has ever seen, the Georgia Shakespeare, folded in 2014.   The theater business is tough.  Not something a small city or CVB needs to invest in.

As always, the goal of the CVB is to sell rooms. The question then becomes, would the theartre help the CVB sell more hotel rooms in Dunwoody? Without proper research, I certainly cannot answer that question. 

DT:  I'll help you with that question.  No, a theater in Brook Run will not result in a single hotel room booking - ever.

Perhaps the venue will not attract outsiders to our hotels for plays but perhaps the venue can be used as convention space which would then greatly impact our hotels. Is that a possibility….maybe.

DT: Finally, something that is worthy of discussion.  Yes, convention space is #1 to filling your rooms.  We agree.  But a room to hold 20 or 30 people is not your answer.  Those folks over at Spruill sold out to Big Biz, too bad.  That site was perfect for a convention center.  I suggest the CVB staff go to the GWCC web site calendar for a couple hours a day. Not even Mr. Walt Disney himself could make today's Dunwoody a weekend getaway.  Move on.  The CVB needs to find out what's going on around metro Atlanta, then solicit those groups.  MARTA goes to the GWCC so focus all efforts in that direction.  On the GWCC web site there is a link for convention attendees.  it says: "Where to Stay".  It points to Dunwoody is NOT listed.  Send them the $5,000 and get listed there. 

 A research study would help us in answering this question. 

DT: Your researcher will tell you what you want to hear, nothing less.  Especially when you hand pick the 'researcher'.  

And finally, while we have committed to this financial participation, no payments have yet been made as we are awaiting clarification on a few items.

DT: Thanks for visiting DunwoodyTalk, a Top 10 Dunwoody blog.

Nova Cucina Open in Dunwoody

The wait was worth it, Nova is open in Dunwoody.  It's a soft opening, as is normal in the industry, so be patient.  The menu has many pizza offerings, antipasta, salads, grilled entree salads, and more.

The inside is beautiful and high-tech.  Nova is located on Dunwoody's Main Street, in the Publix shopping center.  

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Dunwoody CVB Grant Program Open to All Dreamers

Ever have an idea for something, but you didn't have the money or own the property?  Or, maybe you want to start a new program that Dunwoody doesn't offer (but Sandy Springs or Brookhaven does)?  Well, sharpen your pencil and send your grant proposal to the Dunwoody CVB.  They have money for the taking!

"We want to put heads in beds, and nothing does that more than a local theater," exclaimed Kimmie Knight, CVB's Director of Operations.  "We envision buses from as far away as Social Circle, GA coming here to our local Grange hall.  Those folks will need a place to put their head down after an evening of Moe's burritos and Sylvia (a modern romantic comedy)."

The CVB recently awarded $5,000  (confiscated from hotel guests, not money from us Dunwoodians) to fund a feasibility study for saving rebuilding  remodeling the theater in Brook Run Park.  "Our mission statement is to generate economic development for Dunwoody, and as they say, you can't make money without spending money!" laughed Kathryn Drawicle, the CVB's marketing guru. "Our Board of Directors really has a pulse on the community.  A new theater almost cracked the Top 50 list on the city's parks survey a couple years ago."

Those interested in handouts grants are encouraged to contact the Dunwoody CVB.  The CVB will cut short their "Girls Day Out at Harbor Freight" program to fund the grants.  According to the CVB's press release, they are keen on seeing proposals for a second theater (because two is always better than one), an art gallery featuring Tweets and SnapChats from Dunwoody High students, a bingo hall, and anything catering to those aged 65 and older.  Applicants are discouraged from submitting anything to do with sports fields, courts used for sports, and other sports/active adult resources.  In conjunction with city leaders, the CVB will favor amenities that serve metro Atlanta residents (think regional dog park, regional skate park, regional tree swinging attraction, regional theater, regional baseball league, etc.), not specifically those of us paying taxes and residing in Dunwoody.To get on the agenda of the CVB, simply send them an email.  It's that easy.

The Staged Gate Playas, a local theatrical group, would be the biggest beneficiary of a new theater.  "We are hoping a new theater would help lower our costs, even though the theater proponents claim the a new venue will generate lots of revenue.  We are paying the City of Dunwoody $1,600 a month for over 5,000 square feet, so this new Brook Run place better match these rates," stated Henrik Ibsen, a theater representative.  

Another group looking to benefit from a new theater is DaMan Dance & Disco Company.  "Nothing brings in a crowd like our 7-8 year-olds Beginner I-II ballet class," boasted Dan DaMan, managing director.  "You want heads in beds?  Wait until you see the crop of kids in our pre-ballet and pre-tap classes! I promise, they will dance circles around those wannabes from Brookhaven and Sandy Springs."

Monday, April 20, 2015

Dunwoody High International Week

For the past eight years, the language students of Dunwoody High School have hosted a week of cultural activities called International Week. Through food, decorations, and games, students step into the many different cultural footprints found at Dunwoody High School. The students do everything from creating the fun games to contacting speakers to come and talk at the school. This year’s theme is “Step into Culture”, where we focus on each of our cultural footprints from around the world, and show how these footprints come together to explore the diversity found every day in the halls of Dunwoody High School. International Week culminates with International Night, which is on Friday, April 24 from 6:00 PM-8:00 PM at Dunwoody High School (5035 Vermack Road) in the cafeteria. Families are invited to come share a potluck dinner featuring performances by students. Tickets are only $6.00 per person. The unique T-Shirts are designed by the hardworking students of Dunwoody High, and will only be on sale from April 15 through 17, 2015 for $10.00 each. The proceeds will go to the Dunwoody High School language department and clubs, in addition to a local charity. Tickets may be purchased from students at Dunwoody High School who are in World Languages. If you are interested in purchasing tickets to this special event you can also contact us at dunwoodyinternationalweek2015@gmail.comDon’t miss this opportunity to step into culture! Buy tickets now!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Dunwoody 2015 Swim Season Schedule

The 2015 swim schedule has been released, with DunwoodyTalk bringing it to you first.

Looks like Dunwoody North will finally host a few meets.  Did they fix their pool to allow for diving off blocks?  A tough schedule for DN.  Look for a 2-3 season.

Georgetown, welcome to the big leagues.  There schedule looks almost like a Vermack schedule of prior years. 3-2

Kingsley - the best schedule of all teams, all Dunwoody meets.  Perfect for travel and car pool.  We predict a 1-4 season.

Mill Glen will go 4-1 this season

Redfield  2-3, possibly 1-4.  Hosting Wynterhall is always a nice night.

The Branches - tough schedule.  Let's see how creative their swim team lady can get with lineups.  2-3 at best.

Vermack has three wins for sure, against the Dunwoody teams.  4-1 and will repeat as Dunwoody city champs for the 27th consecutive year.

Village Mill - The starwberry kids have a nice schedule, keeping it local all season.  2-3

Best of luck to all.  Keep your head down, kick those feet, and look out for outside smoke!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Dunwoody Tournament First Round Part II

The Do-Gooders Bracket Round 1

Dunwoody YoungLife versus Pebble Tossers
YL doesn't have a home court; they have hundreds.  Their location varies week to week.  They are loosely organized on the court, rotating from a 1-3-1 defense to a box-in-one.  Pebble Tossers has a different roster every week. Their roster is full of volunteers. 

AhaConnection versus Lemonade Days
AhaConnection is the favorite here, playing an Auburn style game.  They like being on the big screen and this game will be broadcast live on movie theater screens across the 30338 and other Dunwoody ZIPs. Email here for free tickets.  Lemonade Days wanted the game played at Brook Run, where the annual carnival sets up, but they were reminded Brook Run doesn't have a basketball court. 

Dad's Bucket List versus Dunwoody Police
We think DBL is more of a hockey group.  We've all seen how wrestlers play basketball, so we assume hockey players are just as bad. The police will win this one easily.  We hear the department gets new Glock 43s if they win it all.

Dunwoody Homeowners versus Dunwoody Chamber
Tough game here.  The DHA is no longer the perennial powerhouse of old.  Gone are the days of Kenny Wright running point, dishing it to power forward Farmer Bob.  Now we have Witty (a nice 3 point shooter) running point but not much support. No big man inside for DHA.  The Chamber is an up and coming squad. 

Open Bracket Round 1
DunwoodyTalk versus Jerome from Costco
Jerome's a fast-talker and quick on his feet, but not match-up for DunwoodyTalk.  Jerome likes the perimeter game but lacks a rebounder.  DunwoodyTalk has a deep staff, and they practice on their indoor bunker court. 

DannyTheaterRoss versus TreeTopZippers
A 10% discount off your ticket for this game if you show your official Dunwoody ID.  No need for a waiver.  The Zippers, as expected, play above the rim.  They are young, quick, and move the ball well.  DTR is out of retirement, pulling out his old-school Chuck Taylors and bringing his bayou style to Dunwoody. 

BrookRun1984Cameras versus Dunwoody Bycyclists
Many of you are not aware of the BrookRun1984Camera team.  It's Big Brother at its finest.  This team takes a photo of your license plate when you enter Brook Run.  No one knows for sure what/where/how long this data is stored, but don't you worry about it! Mr. Charrington is the team's point guard (the team is nicknamed the Ministry of Hoops).  The bicycle posse only appears to be a duplicate of a team in the Twitter bracket.  This squad is made up of the actual bike riders, not their unsocial media friends. DB runs lots of screens, getting in your way constantly.  They will cause lots of traffic in the paint, at mid court, in the concessions area, and all around the arena. 

Dunwoody City Council versus The Other Dunwoody
TOD has been dreaming of this game since 2008.  Expect lots of questions at the pregame press conference as TOD is rarely seen in public.  He plays hoops over at some Catholic school (Saint A's), usually schooling AL-TD in H.O.R.S.E. City Council put out an RFP for new team players, promising new vehicles, annual bonuses and raises.

Best of luck to all in Round 1.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Dunwoody 2nd Annual March Madness

Madness is a daily way to describe life and politics in DeKalb County and Dunwoody.  To help reduce stress DunwoodyTalk is again hosting a March Madness tournament.

See last year's HERE

Last year's theme was city-manager based, and apparently we have one of those now.  This year's tournament is geared to raise funds for a new theater.  The ice cream of the past future, dippin dots, is a corporate sponsor, but more money is needed.  It has been suggested the city manager use his power to fund it with a series of purchases under $50,000, but that idea failed to pass mustard with community council.

This year's tournament will be played at venues in Sandy Springs and Brookhaven as Dunwoody has sparse offerings when it comes to active adults and youth sports.  We thank our neighboring communities for your hospitality.  Please continue to bring your dogs to Brook Run and send your skate-boarders as well.  The door is always open at Brook Run.  We'll take a simple photo of your license plate as you enter so we can mail you a coupon for the metro Atlanta tree zip line (rumor has it you get a glimpse of the dog park when you zip from station 3 to 4).

Before we get into the match-ups, we need to discuss who didn't break the bubble.  The SaveDunwoody league had no teams qualify.  The league is on the verge of folding.  Also, Captain Kingsley failed to qualify this year, as did perennial favorite GaryRay.  GaryRay moved on to the Amsterdam Copperheads, a start-up in the EU league.  Many new faces this year, some quite controversial.

Round 1
Twitter League.  The Twitter League is quite the group.  Some names will be new to you, so please check Twitter for these folks.

DunwoodyCriers versus CRS19
CRS19 listens to talk radio all day, complains about the Tech and the Bulldogs, and is knowledgeable about all things Dunwoody.  CRS19 likes to eat at VB and take walks on DV Parkway.  DunwoodyCriers is new - just moved up from Division3, but will be well known soon.

ViewFromWise versus BikeWalkDunwoody
Wow, VFW really mixes it up on Twitter.  Once accused of being a robot, VFW spits out the same things daily.  Wise or not, a tough opponent is BWD.  We're not sure where BikeWalkdaWood came from, or whom plays on this team.  We do know they promote a variety of things like walking and biking.

Dunwoody Community versus Dunwoody PC
These two Twitter powerhouses put out lots of info on unsocial media.  DunwoodyCommunity is the favorite in this game, as long as a car doesn't zip around a bus and hit him.  DunwoodyPC is an unbalanced team, with a narrow focus on cleaning viruses from tennis moms' laptops. 

dhswildcatpride versus YourDunwoody
YourDunwoody is quite the retweeter, but does have some original content, mainly coupons and discounts.  He'll need help to get by the local high school team.  dhswildcatpride has youth on its side and will run n gun all game.

 Round 1 DeKalb Conference
New this year is a bracket filled with some of our favorites from our own DeKalb County.

TeamJester versus District5BOC.
Looks like TeamJester gets a bye in Round 1 as there is no D5 commissioner.  We just need an iris scan, large toe prints, a DNA sample, and proof of being born on Earth from Stan to complete the entry paperwork.

Andrew@TheChampion versus NeonFlagChidi
These two teams used to be in the Twitter league, but both deserted after last season.  NeonFlag enters the tournament after national attention during the DeKalb commissioner race.  Andrew is the anti-Dunwoody team, looking to wreck havoc in da Wood.

MelvinJohnson versus MikeyThurmond
A great early match-up, this game will be live on DCTV.  Not since Dr Walker versus Jay in 2008 have we seen powerhouses of DeKalb meet this early.  Thurmond likes to apply the full court press early and often.  No textbooks in his locker room, but lots of friends and family to help him along the way. Melvin has requested finger print scanners at the gates, but will allow felons in.  Children will be seated in the viewing cottages as indoor seating reserved for friends and family of the teams.

BurrellEllis versus I-CEO May
This game was scheduled to be played at the South DeKalb YMCA, but ticket demand has moved the game to the gym at Miller Grove.  Residents of District 5 not allowed to attend, however.  Michael Bowers will referee the game.  Elliss is a point guard by nature, and is a great floor general. May did not originally qualify for the tournament, but earned a spot after another team was disqualified.