Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Marlow's Tavern Now Open in Dunwoody

Marlow's Tavern in Dunwoody opened yesterday in Dunwoody.  The place was packed, as expected.  I saw quite a few familiar faces in the booths and at the bar. The crowd was a mix of young and old.  I saw some folks in their early 20's hanging out on the deck, and some seniors sipping whiskey at the bar.  The place is new so it's going to be very busy all week, so have some patience.

A new place to eat and drink is exciting for Dunwoody residents and I know Marlow's will be on the short list for my friends and neighbors.  The menu is more than just bar food and the kids' menu was well accepted by a 9 year-old at my table.  

The outside deck will be very popular once the weather cools down a bit.  I heard Marlow's may be the official Pittsburgh Steelers Fan Club bar for this NFL season - broadcasting all games for the Steeler Nation - excellent choice.  Live music out there will be nice. 

Back to the food - here a little PR piece from Marlow's:

 The newest location of neighborly Marlow's Tavern is sure to win the hearts of Dunwoodians when it opens Tuesday, July 31 at 1317 Dunwoody Village Parkway in a tree-shaded building reminiscent of a Williamsburg tavern. With its gourmet tavern fare, creative cocktails, generous interiors and patio space, and all-around fun atmosphere, the Dunwoody Marlow's is sure to become a regular stop for those who live or work in the top-end Perimeter city. What can the locals start salivating over? Marlow's varied menu packed with categories such as Start, Snack, Share; Crisp, Cool Salads; Tavern Favorites; Classic Tavern Burgers; Big Bar Sandwiches; Kid's Fun Foods and Sweet Stuff. Plates change seasonally, depending on what's fresh and local. Grilled turkey meatloaf, ahi tuna poke, a shrimp and crab nacho plate, and grilled chicken panini using Prestige Farms chicken are several current options. Marlow's extensive beverage menu features American and global wines, handcrafted cocktails and a simple but varied list of beers including local favorites such as SweetWater 420 and Terrapin Rye Pale Ale. Building community has always been important to Marlow's Tavern, both through local non-profit involvement and providing a comfortable, inviting place for guests to meet with big leathery booths, communal tables and plenty of covered patio seating. 
Competition makes everyone better, and having a new option in Dunwoody will keep established businesses on their toes.  The DunwoodyTalk staff dines out a few times a week, as do many other local families.  Marlow's is now in the rotation.

Stop in to Marlow's and have a drink and something to eat and support Dunwoody's newest restaurant.

Murphy Candler & Brook Run 2015

Now that we have a new city neighbor to the south, let's chat about parks.  Ever been to Murphy Candler Park for football, cheer leading, softball, or baseball?  Many of you raised your hand.  It's a nice park, but limited parking.  It serves a variety of interests and is a great place for active recreation - something most Americans equate to a PARK.  Can we work with Brookhaven city leaders (once they are elected) and talk about parks?

Here's a proposal for both cities. 

Murphy Candler: 
Two football fields removed
Three baseball/softball fields added
Parking added

Brook Run Green Space Park
Two football fields added
Two multi-purpose fields (lacrosse/soccer) added
Atlanta Colts move to Brook Run

Some long time Atlanta Colt people will not like the idea because of tradition.  Hey, even the Dallas Cowboys built a new stadium. The program's tradition remains, but a new chapter begins.

This change at Murphy Candler allows that park to focus on baseball and softball, and provide safe and adequate parking.  Additional fields allow for more games, practices and more flexible scheduling. Perhaps the new fields could be larger fields for senior baseball, and Dunwoody Sr. Baseball relocates.  Let the baseball/softball people discuss it.

Brook Run actually becomes something of use to a large portion of the community.  The fields could be used by local lacrosse teams and also have 'open' times for play.  Perhaps even the Concorde Fire group is still interested in a private/public project. 

Murphy Candler Now
Murphy Candler 2015
Brook Run
Brook Run Park

To answer a few questions:
Yes, trees will be cut. 
Yes, people living near the park will get to hear children playing and having fun
Yes, many more people will be visiting the park, and most will be driving a gas-powered automobile
Yes, the garden and orchard stays in its current place
Yes, we can solicit private funds to help fund these enhancements to Brook Run

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Dr. Ann Culbreath New Austin Principal

Dr. Ann Culbreath is now the principal at Austin Elementary in Dunwoody. That name sound familiar?  It should - she was an assistant at Austin back as recently as the 2005-06 school year.  Welcome Dr. Culbreath!

Dr. Culbreath, until yesterday, was principal at Briarlake Elementary, also in DeKalb.  Parents who spoke to DunwoodyTalk staff were pleased with the announcement. 

"I remember her from the good ole days of 2005", said a mom after hearing the news as she finished her doubles tennis match.  "I think it's great news", she added.

All but two vacancies have been filled at Austin, and those will be filled by the end of the week.

In summary, I think with all the changes that Austin is equally or better staffed now than it was last year.  

Also we hear that a new principal has been named at Chesnut, and parent there are equally pleased as their neighbors to the north.  We'll post that information soon.

All is well across Dunwoody this morning.  I think every one of the new principals hired in the Dunwoody cluster schools are great picks.  This is one of those moments where parents in Dunwoody should email the DeKalb Superintendent and express your feelings on the appointments.

DeKalb Elections Error or DeKalb (Fernbank) Politics?

In Georgia candidates for office are listed alphabetically by law, but that's not the case in DeKalb on the July 31, 2012 ballot.  Why is 'O' before 'M'? Speaking of M's and O's maybe someone can answer this riddle. 

Never underestimate DeKalb politicians.  No matter if McChesney wins or loses, this should be a GBI (or perhaps Federal State Dept.) investigation because it smells like DeKalb.

Take a look at a story HERE

From the Albany Journal.........

Should candidates be alphabetical on the ballot screen in Georgia?

Chris McFadden, a candidate for an open seat on the Court of Appeals of Georgia, is arguing in support of proposed legislation that would change the way candidates are listed on Georgia ballots. The proposed legislation, which McFadden drafted, would rotate the order in which candidates are listed on electronic voting machines. Under current law, they are listed alphabetically.

“Almost every day, and usually several times a day,” reported McFadden, “I’m told I should change my name to Adams or Aardvark.”

McFadden was speaking at the midyear meeting of the State Bar of Georgia to its Committee on the Judiciary, of which he is a long-time member.

State Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver (D-Decatur), also a member of the bar committee, spoke in support of the proposed legislation and announced that that she will introduce it.

“Dozens of people have recounted to me the story of a race for an open seat on the Supreme Court in the 1980s,” reported McFadden. “The candidate generally considered least qualified was first alphabetically and first on the ballot. While the other candidates campaigned vigorously, he went on vacation. And he won.” McFadden provided the committee with summaries of numerous studies confirming that the ballot position advantage is real.

McFadden has been an appellate lawyer for more than twenty years and is first author of Georgia Appellate Practice, a reference book published by the West Group, the nation’s leading law book publisher.

In 2008 ,McFadden placed fourth in a field of seven candidates vying to succeed retiring Judge Jack Ruffin on the Georgia Court of Appeals.

“After the 2008 election, a lawyer I hardly knew, who wishes to remain anonymous, approached me and offered his analysis of the election results,” reported McFadden. “His written report argues that the deciding factors in the 2008 Court of Appeals election were ballot position and perceived race.”
According to the report, an advantage of approximately 20 percentage points was divided between the first two candidates on the ballot: the eventual winner, now-Judge Sara Doyle, and Tamela Adkins, who placed third, directly ahead of McFadden.

Adkins, who is white, performed best in counties with large African-American populations. (The candidate who placed second, Mike Sheffield, had run in 2004 and was backed by religious conservative interest groups.) Adkins, who had never argued in the Georgia appellate courts prior to the 2008 election, “used to hire me when she had appellate matters,” said McFadden. “She told me last month that she plans to run again in 2010, this time using her middle name, Lynn.”
The ideal way to construct ballots, McFadden explained, would be to randomly determine the order in which candidates are listed on each ballot. But even on electronic voting machines, randomizing the order turns out to be technically impractical.

The proposed legislation would accommodate that technical impracticality by adopting the less-perfect solution of rotating the order from ballot to ballot. The proposal would accommodate the financial impracticality of rotating printed ballots by adopting the even less-perfect solution of rotating only the electronic ballots.

The proposal would mitigate that second compromise by selecting the order in which candidates are listed by lot, rather than listing them alphabetically.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

T-SPLOST Will Fail for Same Reasons Dunwoody's Parks Bonds Failed

The Metro Atlanta T-SPLOST will fail today because a good idea got hijacked by politically motivated people and special interest groups, just like the Dunwoody Parks bonds from last November.

Those in favor of the T-SPLOST tax increase talk about 'untie Atlanta traffic'.  They say businesses will leave or not even come to Atlanta due to road congestion.  "I'm voting Yes for my children and grandchildren" says a grandma on the TV commercial.  But what does a 'yes' vote get you?

When people were promoting the Dunwoody parks bonds we heard many people saying to 'vote yes for the kids', yet the parks plan actually had very little in it for 'the kids'.  The parks bond had zero soccer fields, zero football fields, zero softball fields, zero gymnastic centers, zero this and zero that.  But it did have a theater, a revamped farmhouse, walking trails, and some green space.  We were asked to borrow $50 million yet we had no solid plan of what to expect.  No way were the residents of Dunwoody going to approve it with so little details and so few actual 'park' amenities added. 

Same for T-SPLOST.  If it passes will we see Cat bulldozers over at GA 400 and '285' in August? Nope, try in 2020, if there is still money?  An outer arc connecting 85 and 75? Nope. But 'we' will get an MLK trolley and Atlanta Beltline.  Not sure how those items untie Atlanta traffic.  Same for the T-SPLOST walking trails and bike lanes - these things are pet projects, just like Dunwoody's theater and farmhouse.  The pet projects are fine, but don't put them into a Transportation referendum or into a parks bond, because they don't fit. Let issues like these stand alone, and be discussed on their own merit.

The result of the failed Dunwoody Parks bonds will result in a revised plan, a plan that addresses specific amenities in short supply in Dunwoody.  It may be in 2013, or perhaps 2014.  Same for the T-SPLOST.  Perhaps a huge thump in the head will wake up the transportation planners and force them to put together a plan that addresses traffic and road infrastructure only, not pet projects and failed light rail.  For more information on T-SPLOST visit this other blog HERE.