Friday, April 2, 2010

Lewis Not To Return to DeKalb Schools

So much for no homework before Spring Break.  In an emergency board meeting held yesterday, the board gave DeKalb Superintendent Crawford Lewis a Spring Break assignment: Resign or Retire.

Either choice gets him out your kid's life in regards to education decisions.  With 30+ years with DeKalb (making the unusual progress from a gym teacher to a superintendent) he will be OK financially when retired.

The AJC now has the story. see here

Monday, March 29, 2010

Branding the City of Dunwoody

Take a look here at the Convention & Visitors Bureau of Dunwoody web site. The CVB and its branding contractor, Sky Design Graphics, is seeking input from residents in regards to the branding and logo for the city.

From the web site:
Thanks to the active involvement of its citizens, Dunwoody altered the course of its history when it became incorporated in 2008. Now the time has come to create a brand for our prosperous city. A brand and logo for Dunwoody will not only provide unity in signage and help lineate our boundaries, but it will provide an identity and positive message that will identify us all as proud Dunwoody citizens.

They are also seeking volunteers for a focus group.  One group will meet at noon (for an hour) followed by a 5:30 PM focus group.  The noon session promises lunch while the evening session lures you with light refreshments.  An inside source told me they will have a keg of Hoegaarden at the lunch time session so that's the one I signed up to attend.  I think the noon session will be mostly seniors so I'm thinking me and The Other Dunwoody guy will liven it up with some great ideas.

Here's a link to the Sky Design web site.  (I hope they don't use all that Flash nonsense on a new city web site). They have a section on there called 'civic wayfinding'.  This tells me they are indeed creative as this is a very fancy way to say 'street signs and road marking'. I'm looking forward (if selected) to serving my community on this focus group committee.  Note to Council and Mayor:  Although I will be busy for an hour or so (maybe) at this focus group meeting, I am still available for a committee spot, preferably the ZBA.

Even though we are paying $105,000 for this branding, I'm glad to see the fine folks at Sky are willing to listen to input from residents regarding branding.  After all, no one knows this city better than those of us living here.  Or not.

Remember to go take the survey I mentioned above, and give honest answers.  Say what you really feel, not what you've been told.  One question I found unusual was #15.  It asks,

"If you could choose any of the following, where would you most like to live?"
You are then given 14 local cities or the choice of 'other'.  I found it odd the question left off areas like Johns Creek and east Cobb.  Perhaps they lump east Cobb under Marietta (I consider Marietta the actual city, over by the Marietta Square, not the unincorporated section just to Dunwoody's west.  I think east Cobb and Johns Creek are two of our main rivals for attracting home buyers.  I think the results of this survey will be far more interesting than the survey results of the Comprehensive Land Use Plan.  I really look forward to seeing how we answer to some good questions.  I think this survey will be a real eye-opener to some.  So go take that survey!

I have posted here that I was against spending $105,000 on this venture, but since it is in the works, I'll leave it alone.  Perhaps some of you can contribute your thoughts to Sky via the survey or the focus group.

By the way, I found the survey on Facebook.  As of now no mention of it on the city's web site.  I'll reveal my logo idea for the city soon.  Later this week, as promised, I'll post my entries for the Lemonade Days poster contest (I'd post now but I do not want the judges to know which entries are mine).

One last thing: if you know management at Mudcatz or the Tavern, ask them to stock Hoegaarden.  As of now, Mellow Mushroom is the only place to have it on draft (or bottle). 

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Great Mystery of Dunwoody

Last week I posted about a Secret Society here in Dunwoody.  I've been forced underground for a while until things cool down a little.  I've had to start filling up the gas tank of the DunwoodyTalk vehicle at Costco (usually less expensive anyway, but no hot chocolate from a machine) instead of the AM/PM BP station to avoid any run-ins with the newly named Gates Posse.

In a quick PeopleSearch, I found a listing for a guy named Al Benjamin Franklin Gates (ABFG) living here in Dunwoody.  He masquerades about town as a person selling build materials, but I'm on to him and the Gates Posse (GP).  Seems ABFG is a descendant (fourth generation) of Mr. Al Spruill Murphy Candler Redfield.

After exhaustive research at the Atlanta History Center and additional reading of Valerie Biggerstaff, Picket Fence, and Cobb-lets articles in The Crier, I've found many clues to the purpose/goal of the Gates Posse. They are in search of a mythical treasure. The past four generations of ABFG have hunted for  the same thing: a war chest hidden by Confederate soldiers.  This war chest is said to have been moved from Chickamauga to modern-day Dunwoody, in an effort to keep Union soldiers (led by William Tecumseh Sherman) from finding it during the March to the Sea.  Legend has it that this war chest contains mostly gold coins.  The chest is said to be nearly four feet in length and three feet in height.

The exact location of the treasure has of course puzzled the Gates clan since 1864. The most logical location for such a treasure was in the secret root cellar of the infamous Dunwoody Farm House.  (note: some historians have long tied the current day FarmHouser movement to the Gates Posse, but my detailed research has shown the Gates Posse pre-dates the FarmHouser movement by nearly 100 years).  The FarmHousers have kept a close guard on the root cellar the past few decades, but word has it ABFG slipped in during the current 'remodeling' of the FarmHouse.  This 'remodeling' was actually an effort by a few FarmHousers to beat the Gates Posse to the treasure.  Neither group found the treasure in the root/wine cellar.  This was not the first search of this property, but probably the last.

Clues of the whereabouts of the treasure have been documented around Dunwoody.  A former Gates Posse member shared some with me, and you are seeing them now for the first time ever revealed.
Carved into the concrete monument at Brook Run is the message:  "33.93 AT 84.34".  I believe these numbers to be latitude and longitude.
Behind this brick at Dunkin Donuts, a kid found a special pair of eye glasses.  He took them home, then his mother sold them at their yard sale. An antique picker grabbed them, then sold them on ebay to a guy here in Dunwoody.  I met him once, only briefly.  He told me that he was hired to buy those glasses on ebay, then deliver them to a guy here in Dunwoody.  His fee?  $5,000.

The guys pictured above are actually for-hire treasure hunters, following on a clue no doubt.  This photo was taken on Spalding, right near the spot on the map discussed above.  Note the guy in the orange vest checking a PDA for GPS locations for the right 'dig' spot.
 When standing on Mt Vernon Road and looking toward this signage, at sunset on the year's first equinox, the right side of this roof points directly to the 'potential archaeological resources' area as marked on the Pond map.

Thinking like a Confederate soldier, where would you hide such a valuable treasure?  With much of Dunwoody under development, the search has gone both underground and in the air.  How many of you saw the Remax balloon in front of their office on Chamblee Dunwoody Road this past Saturday?  It was secured to the ground for most of the day, but ABFG and a couple of other merry men took it afloat.  Why?  They were doing an aerial search of a new possible treasure location.  Google Earth and other satellite programs mysteriously have a blackout on certain parts of Dunwoody.  Conspiracy?  I do know (from Facebook) ABFG does have a contact at NASA.  Not sure what the balloon ride revealed, but a few of the Gates Posse were seen toasting each other, drinking from beautiful silver tankards, last night at Ye Olde Dunwoody Tavern.

Much speculation has put this treasure at the Donaldson Farm, Some think it is at the bottom of the old Village Public Well (see page 97 of The Story of Dunwoody book). Others think Joberry Cheek found the treasure and hauled it out on The Dinkey to Decatur.

The last 'clue' for the whereabouts of the secret treasure came from an unusual place - a recent Comprehensive Land Use Plan meeting.  At said meeting, maps were displayed showing Dunwoody's Cultural Resources.  All of a sudden, a Man with a Yellow Hat showed up and collected all copies of the map.  Well, he thought he collected them all.  On this map, by mistake or on purpose, shows a final clue in this 146-year old mystery.  Take a look at the map image above.  You'll find Historic Sites, Historic markers, Parks, Roads, then you'll notice in the legend something referred to as 'Potential Archaeological Resources'.

This is a very strange thing to find in Dunwoody, no doubt.  City of Dunwoody officials had 'no comment' as to the potential resource.  One gentlemen cited some Federal Code so and so to me then we were disconnected.  I know of some Indian settlements around here, but that shaded area is large, and mostly residential.  Federal law does allow for keeping this resource a secret - a way to keep ABFG and the Gates Posse at bay.

Was this a way for a Pond company employee to pass on the location of the treasure chest to contacts?  Was it simply a cartographer's error?  Only those long-gone loyal Johnny Rebs know for sure. And perhaps now, so do those of the Gates Posse.

DunwoodyTalk has been fed some new info on other members of the Gates Posse.  We are not here to 'out' anyone, but we also see the need to protect our resources.  If there is a hidden treasure in Dunwoody, it should be the property of the city.  The gold could be sold on the open market.  Funds are needed for sidewalks and paving so I think that's where the money needs to go.

Anyway, in addition to ABFG, two other merry men known to be treasure hunters, have been ID'd by Grogan's Heroes. These two guys not only share a name, but ties to the FarmHousers and the Gates Posse.  One lives on a historical site, presumably purchased as a potential location for the treasure.  The two guys bring car driving experience (much like moonshine runners of GA past) and master engineering experience; two skills needed to pull off a major heist.  Just like in the movie Kelly's Heroes (Clint Eastwood, Donald Sutherland, Telly Savalas, Archie Bunker, etc) and Ocean's Eleven, this Al guy has assembled a group of pros.