Trees Atlanta Seeks Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum Tour Docents

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docent: volunteer educators who undergo intensive training to further the public’s understanding of cultural and historical collections 

Are you passionate about the Atlanta BeltLine and do you love sharing your passion with others? Are you an energetic and eager learner, and a lover of trees and plants? If so, Trees Atlanta has an awesome opportunity for you. Check out the following from TA’s Kate Baltzell:

As you may know Trees Atlanta is very involved in the Atlanta BeltLine and began planting the Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum with trees, shrubs, and native grasses in fall of 2012.  We will continue to plant and maintain the horticulture collection as well as incorporate signage along the Eastside Trail, but the best way to communicate all of these exciting additions is through knowledgeable volunteers leading Walking Tours, or Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum Docents.

We are actively recruiting for the third class of Docents to begin training on Thursday mornings in April and May.  During training, experts cover topics ranging from Atlanta BeltLine history & design to Arboretum horticulture collections.  Ideal applicants have experience with plants, an eagerness to learn, and the energy to lead tours/projects in the Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum.  If you or anyone you know anyone who is interested  in this great opportunity, contact me at kateb@treesatlanta.org for more information.

Seats are limited so if you’re interested, better to apply sooner rather than later. You can apply here:  https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dEY5RG02U0lIMllEY2pOejhSaEJhOGc6MQ#gid=0.

Editor’s Note: VaHi resident Kay Stephenson and I went through this training session last year and it’s incredible. The course is packed with lots of great information about the BeltLine, the Arboretum, history of the area surrounding the Eastside Trail, etc. Class members bring a tremendous diversity of backgrounds to the table and the exchange of information between attendees is another plus to the course. Kay is actively giving Arboretum tours – I haven’t been quite so dilligent in completing my studies yet – so if you know her and want to learn more, I’m sure she’d be glad to talk with you about it. I’d also be glad to answer any questions you may have about the course.

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Choices

IMG_5835For those who didn’t see resident Jett Marks’ post on VHLIST about the great cycling Saturday his family had this weekend, we wanted to share it with you. We thought Jett did a great job describing why he and his family love living in the Virginia-Highland area so much. You don’t have to be an avid cyclist  - as Jett and his family are – to appreciate his narrative. If you have thoughts on why you love living in VaHi that you’d like to share with your neighbors, send them to us at editor@vahi.org. Here’s Jett’s post:

My wife, daughter and I ran some errands today by bicycle. We took the BeltLine from Virginia through Old Fourth Ward and followed Edgewood next to the streetcar tracks over to the Sweet Auburn Curb Market. We couldn’t find an item or two there, so on the way back, we popped into Trader Joe’s. (There was also a side trip to Paris on Ponce, but we left there empty-handed; we made up for it by picking up some impulse ice cream at Trader Joe’s.)

We weren’t wearing a suit or a dress, but Atlanta does have its fair share of days where you can wear nice clothes. We were peeling off the layers today.

We did have traffic stuck behind us at one point, but where the streets are wide (Virginia), or there are bike lanes (Edgewood), traffic had no problem getting around us and more than one neighbor shouted out in greeting. One of the things we love about VaHi is seeing our neighbors when we’re out and about — thanks for putting your top down so we can see your face.

Folks on the BeltLine had their tops ALL the way down. Kids learning how to ride, families in a six-seat pedal-mobile, runners, dog-walkers, elderly pedestrians out for some sunshine. Us versus them? This is the true majority — not limited to those who are licensed to operate a motor vehicle.

We took nobody’s space in the parking lot, but the bike racks were full near the BeltLine. Although there were a lot of folks on the BeltLine, there weren’t as many as last weekend when we joined another couple to find dinner by bicycle in Inman Park. Snaking through the slow-moving crowd made us long for 20-foot wide pavement instead of just 14.

Perhaps we’ve underestimated how popular getting out of the car might be. Atlanta Streets Alive comes to mind.

It doesn’t appear that real-estate developers along the BeltLine intend to make the mistake of underestimating. New buildings and activity were everywhere along our route. Indeed, 60% of new development over the past five years has been in walk-able communities. This fits a trend of younger adults driving much less — per capita vehicle miles has fallen the past decade — and more focus on livability and local community.

Maybe we should pay attention to the trend developers and investors see.

Maybe we should notice we’re next door to the city’s best park, the city’s best multi-use trail, and yes, maybe we should notice that we’re already recognized as one of the most walk-able neighborhoods in the city.

Maybe we should notice that we’re situated directly between the only two bike-friendly universities in the country within the same city (Georgia Tech and Emory).

Maybe we should notice that Briarcliff and North Decatur were taken from four lanes down to three lanes and traffic flow and safety improved. (Safety for motorists as well as pedestrians, cyclists, and transit users.)

Maybe we should take note that when Virginia-Highland is ranked as a livable community, that the ability to drive 50 MPH down Monroe isn’t one of the criteria.

Old Fourth Ward, Inman Park, Midtown have noticed. They’ve noticed what it takes to draw youth and talent. They “get it” — errands in a car are just another chore, errands on a bike is building community, it’s keeping money local, it’s healthy, and it’s just plain fun.

~ Jett Marks

Inaugural BeltLine Wine Stroll Set for September 28

Beltline Wine Stroll logo jpegEditor’s Note: Passing along this notice from our friends in Inman Park. Organizers tell us that, in future years, plans call for this event to be extended further north on the Eastside Trail to include merchants in the Ponce City Market and Midtown Promenade areas.

Join us Saturday September 28 for the first BeltLine Wine Stroll, a mile long walk and wine tasting along the southern portion of the BeltLine’s Eastside Trail. Fifteen restaurants and businesses along the BeltLine – from Poncey-Highland to Inman Park to the Old Fourth Ward – will be serving one cup of wine each and light appetizers to participants.

Proceeds go to Friends of Inman Park, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, to support phase two improvement projects at Springvale Park. Tickets are $40 each and can be purchased at the event’s website: https://beltlinewinestroll.eventbrite.com/.

Participating restaurants and businesses include: Two Urban Licks, Authentique, City Issue, The Albert, Savi Urban Market, Pure, Barcelona Wine Bar, King of Pops, Inman Perk, Nandina Home Designs, Parish, Dockside Gallery/Kinectic Hive, Atlanta Beltline Bicycle, Irwin Street Market/Bell Street Burritos, and Serpas.

The idea is for participants to get a firsthand look at the way in which businesses along the BeltLine have brought the former stretch of abandoned railway to life and transformed it into a river running through the city. We’re grateful for the support of Art on the BeltLine and the folks at Atlanta BeltLine, Inc.

We hope you’ll support this event and tell all your friends, as well. The BeltLine Wine Stroll should appeal to anyone interested in urban planning, wine and exercise regardless of where they live.

A Taste of Art on the BeltLine

634992871904132500art-on-the-beltlineArt on the BeltLine 2013 kicked off officially on Saturday September 7 with the fourth annual Lantern Parade sponsored by the Krewe of the Grateful Glutton. This was a fun and inspiring event attended by an estimated 10,000 BeltLine enthusiasts – hopefully you had a chance to check it out. If you missed it, click here to view an album of images from the event.

By now, you’ve probably had an opportunity to walk or bike the Eastside Trail and enjoy some of the more than 70 temporary exhibits that have been set up along 8 miles of paved and interim trails of the BeltLine’s 22-mile loop. If not, we biked the section of the trail from the Irwin St. access point into Piedmont Park and took photos of many of the exhibits. We even took pictures of the display cards so you can see who the artist(s) is/are and read a little about their creations. Scroll down for a few highlights; click here to view an online album with all the photos.

In addition to the temporary art exhibits you can also enjoy live performances at various venues along the BeltLine each weekend. For more information about Art on the BeltLine including a schedule of live performances, click here.

Titled Moving Elements, this creation from Ana Maria Paramo sits on the east side of the trail near the Kevin Rathbun Steak restaurant.

‘Moving Elements’ by Ana Maria Paramo sits on the east side of the trail near the Kevin Rathbun Steak restaurant.

These hanging 'sculptures' are crafted from plastic barrier fencing. Chris Jones and Bud Shenefelt's creation titled Tissue: Permutations can be seen under the N. Highland Ave. overpass.

These hanging ‘sculptures’ are crafted from plastic barrier fencing. Chris Jones and Bud Shenefelt’s creation titled ‘Tissue: Permutations’ can be seen under the N. Highland Ave. overpass.

This is a straight-on view of William Massey's The Object of Ma(tt)n. As you approach the exhibit from the south or north, it looks like nothing more than a pile of industrial junk. Not so when you reach the standing frame.

This is a straight-on view of William Massey’s ‘The Object of Ma(tt)n’. As you approach the exhibit from the south or north, it looks like nothing more than a pile of industrial junk (see online album for side views). Not so when you reach the standing frame. This exhibit is under the Freedom Pkwy. overpass.

Cecilia Lueza's Tower of Seasons was inspired by the four seasons of the year: Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring.

Cecilia Lueza’s ‘Tower of Seasons’ was inspired by the four seasons of the year: Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring. This exhibit is on the east side of the trail just across from the skatepark.

David Lewis Bean's If You Build It, They Will Come is a functional bike rack with tubular bells hanging above it that plays Georgia On My Mind when struck. Very cool.

David Lewis Bean’s ‘If You Build It, They Will Come’ is a fully functional bike rack with tubular bells hanging above it that plays Georgia On My Mind when struck. Very cool. This exhibit is on the east side of the trail near Two Urban Licks.

Terri Dilling's 'From Stardust to Us' is a creative timeline that explores how life developed over time - from stardust to us.

Terri Dilling’s ‘From Stardust to Us’ is a creative timeline that explores how life developed over time – from stardust to us. This exhibit sits just inside the Angier Springs access point.

'A Million Flecks of Light' from The Experience Collective adorns the fencing along the trail's east side just south of the Ponce bridge (between Ford Factory Lofts and Ponce City Market).

‘A Million Flecks of Light’ from The Experience Collective adorns the fencing along the trail’s east side just south of the Ponce bridge (between Ford Factory Lofts and Ponce City Market).

Misao Cates' 'Forest of My Three Words' is an interactive display in which visitors are challenged to express themselves by writing three words on a ribbon, then tying the ribbon to a post.

Misao Cates’ ‘Forest of My Three Words’ is an interactive display in which visitors are challenged to express themselves by writing three words on a ribbon, then tying the ribbon to a post.

 

 

Art on the BeltLine is Back!

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Photo from last year’s Lantern Parade. Photo courtesy of Krewe of the Grateful Gluttons website.

Since much of it will take place only a stone’s throw from our neighborhood, we want to make sure VaHi residents have all the particulars about what has become – in only four short years – the city’s largest temporary art and live performance exhibit: Art on the BeltLine.

If you’ve walked the Eastside Trail lately, you’ve probably seen several exhibits being installed or already on display. You’ll see more artists’ creations going up in the coming days along eight of the BeltLine’s 22 miles. The exhibits will be concentrated primarily in the following areas:

  • West Side: From Gordon White Park north to Washington Park
  • West Side: From Allene Avenue to Lee Street
  • Eastside Trail: From Lake/Irwin north to the intersection of 10th Street and Monroe Drive then north to Montgomery Ferry Drive
  • Eastside Trail through Reynoldstown: From Wylie Street south to Memorial Drive

When the event hits its stride, you’ll be able to enjoy more than 70 visual and live performance exhibits from September through November. Here’s a link to an article and pictures of the most recent addition to the 2013 collection. This Corinthian column made from railroad ties and other artifacts collected from the BeltLine was installed in the past few days near the Historic Fourth Ward Skatepark and will be a permanent exhibit. The artist is Phil Proctor. Scroll down to see a few images of a very creative exhibit under the Freedom Pkwy. overpass that looks like a pile of industrial junk as you approach it from the south or north, but eventually reveals itself to be a very distinct image of a man’s face – fascinating!

Art on the BeltLine kicks off officially on Saturday September 7 at 8:30 PM when the 2013 Atlanta BeltLine Lantern Parade takes place. Sponsored by the Krewe of the Grateful Gluttons, this is the parade’s fourth year and big crowds are expected. The event is free and open to the public and everyone’s invited to get creative and come help hold up a light for the BeltLine. The parade starts at the Irwin Street access point and winds it’s way down the Eastside Trail, ending in the Piedmont Park Meadow next to Park Tavern. Click here for more information on the Lantern Parade.

Art on the BeltLine’s live performance start Sunday September 8 and continue each weekend through October 12-13. Performances are scheduled for several locations along the BeltLine including venues in Reynoldstown, Gordon White Park, Adair Park and – closest to VaHi – Historic Fourth Ward Park (September 28-29). Click here for more information on Art on the BeltLine’s live performances including a complete schedule of performances and list of artists.

Click here to visit the Art on the BeltLine web page. You can follow Art on the BeltLine on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ArtontheAtlantaBeltLine.

Enjoy Art on the BeltLine 2013!

Approach from the south - what's this pile of junk lying under the bridge??

Approach from the south – what’s this pile of junk lying under the bridge??

Same things from the north - who the heck dumped all this junk along the trail??

Same things from the north – who the heck dumped all this junk along the trail??

Get a little bit closer from either direction and...

Get a little bit closer from either direction and…

...you start to see that this might actually be intentional. It looks like...

…you start to see that this might actually be intentional. It looks like…

...a man's face! It is a man's face! Unbelievable and quite impressive!

…a man’s face! It is a man’s face! Unbelievable and quite impressive!

Inaugural Atlanta BeltLine Southeast 8K Run/Walk Set for September 28

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Photo courtesy Christopher T. Martin

From our friends at the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership:

The Atlanta BeltLine Running Series is expanding its lineup of exciting events around the Atlanta BeltLine. The first annual Atlanta BeltLine Southeast 8K is a run/walk south of Grant Park, starting and ending in the Atlanta BeltLine’s Boulevard Crossing Park in Chosewood Park, and through D.H. Stanton Park. The race will take place Saturday, Sept. 28 at 9 a.m.

Also included in this event is the Atlanta BeltLine’s third “Youth 1K Fun Run,” designed to get children 12 and under excited and involved in running early, which takes place shortly after the 8K.

The Atlanta BeltLine Southeast 8K also will include exciting features such as:

  • Appearances by the Atlanta Silverbacks
  • Members of the Atlanta BeltLine Running Series Community will earn points redeemable for awesome prizes
  • Participants of the Atlanta BeltLine Active Lifestyle Challenge will earn points and can compare their results against other runners on the online leader board
  • Music by Power 96.1
  • Fun, creatively-designed t-shirts
  • Exciting, custom-designed award mugs
  • Course friendly to strollers and dogs as well

“Thousands of walkers, runners, bikers and more are enjoying our trails every day,” said Atlanta BeltLine Partnership Executive Director Valarie Wilson. “The addition of the Atlanta Beltline Southeast 8K extends the opportunity for increased health and fitness across new areas of the Atlanta BeltLine.”

Registration is $30 for the Atlanta BeltLine Southeast 8K and $10 for the 1K Youth Fun Run. Additional information is available at Run.BeltLine.org.

Proceeds from the Atlanta BeltLine Running Series support Atlanta BeltLine Partnership programs vital to the Atlanta BeltLine, including tours and other public outreach.

About the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership

The Atlanta BeltLine Partnership (ABLP) is a non-profit organization committed to raising funds from private and philanthropic sources to support the Atlanta BeltLine, working with the community and partners to raise general awareness and support, and serving as a catalyst to mobilize resources to address social concerns. For more information on the Atlanta BeltLine, please visit www.BeltLine.org.

Mayor Introduces New BeltLine Path Force Unit

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Mayor Kasim Reed addresses the crowd.

Mayor Kasim Reed formally introduced the new 15-person BeltLine Task Force bicycle patrol unit at a press conference today at Historic Fourth Ward Skatepark.

“The BeltLine will be secure,” Reed said during his comments. “We are going to do whatever we can in my administration to make it safe and keep it safe.”

The Mayor acknowledged the critical importance of the BeltLine to Atlanta’s social and economic future and pledged to do whatever is necessary to keep the project’s trails and parks safe, including additional lighting under bridges, video surveillance, and additional signage.

The BeltLine path force was funded by a $1.8 million federal grant which was contingent upon the APD using post-9/11 military veterans on the force. To comply with the grant requirement and still provide the most experienced possible force for the BeltLine, the APD promoted existing officers with military experience to the new Path Force while replacing those positions with recruits who also served in the military.

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The new BeltLine Path Force patrol unit (bicycle and mounted).

Other dignitaries who spoke at the press conference included Atlanta Police Chief George Turner, Parks Commissioner George Dusenbury, and new Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. President and CEO Paul Morris.

Click here to read an AJC article about today’s press conference.

Click here to read an article about today’s press conference from the Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. website.

Click here to read a VaHi Patch article about today’s press conference.

The Voice was the only media present in June when the Path Force unit went through bicycle training at the offices of Diversified Metal Fabricators on Pylant Street in VaHi. Click here to read an article about and see photographs from the training.

Scroll down to see a few pictures from today’s press conference, or click here to see the entire online library of pictures from the conference.

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Sign Up Today for the Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum Walking Tour

treesatlantalogoimage001Take a Unique Natural Journey Through Atlanta’s Living Past, Present and Future

The Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum (ABA) is an ever-changing, dynamic natural space that offers a unique glimpse into the horticultural history of the city. The Arboretum can be enjoyed in many ways, but the most fulfilling experience is provided by the Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum Walking Tour, guided by trained Trees Atlanta Docents.

DSC_0023Over time, the ABA will evolve into a 22-mile long horticultural collection. This one-of-a-kind linear expanse provides neighborhood connectivity along the Atlanta BeltLine, while showcasing unique natural characteristics within each community. Neighborhoods near the Arboretum will be identifiable by the surrounding trees, and visitors will be able to develop a greater appreciation for the value of trees in an urban environment. The exact number of trees planted will depend on space available, but the conceptual plan proposes several thousand trees. The Arboretum will be built over the next two decades.

DSC_0067Enjoy fresh air, new city views, fascinating Atlanta history, and every changing season of horticultural interest. Come walk the Atlanta BeltLine with a Trees Atlanta Docent and learn firsthand about the Arboretum from a well-trained expert. These walking tours explore the Eastside Trail with a strong focus on the horticultural collections and interesting facts about the Atlanta BeltLine. A walking tour of the Atlanta BeltLine is the best way to see the progress and be active at the same time.

DSC_0063The walking tour takes approximately 90 minutes and begins from an easily accessible trailhead in the Inman Park neighborhood at 9:00 A.M. on Fridays and Saturdays. Each docent prepares their own unique talking points to spotlight the native trees, architectural interests, key historical stories, and much more. Be sure to take advantage of this free walking tour, which is offered year round so you can experience every season of the Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum with an expert docent.

Click here to see a video about the Arboretum walking tour, courtesy of Atlanta Channel 26.

DSC_0038Registration for the following month opens at 9:00 A.M. on the 20th of each current month. Click here to register online. If you have questions or want to learn about special group accommodations, contact Trees Atlanta Education Coordinator Kate Baltzell at kateb@treesatlanta.org.

UPDATE: Come meet Trees Atlanta Education Coordinator Kate Baltzell who will be a special guest at the next monthly general meeting of the VHCA Board of Directors. Kate will be on hand to talk about the Arboretum walking tours and other fun stuff happening at Trees Atlanta. The meeting will be held Monday August 12 at 7 PM at the public library on Ponce.

Relocated BeltLine Cat Settles in VaHi

33081898b3e877df52249c7fc0767939Piper – the celebrity cat who, until recently, resided in a drainage pipe near Angier Springs Road along the BeltLine Eastside Trail – has apparently found a new home in Virginia-Highland.

According to an article in Patch, Piper was forced to relocate because of some grading that developer Perennial Properties must do. VaHi resident John Craft offered up his “unique rental” (see photo below) just two blocks off the BeltLine and Piper had her new home.

BPeLzJuCcAApThfHere’s a link to the article in Patch. You can also check Piper’s @beltlinepiper Twitter feed or Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/PiperBeltline) for more information.

Welcome to VaHi, Piper!

DMF and APD: Partnering to Improve BeltLine Safety

Longtime VaHi Business Provides Training Facilities for APD’s New BeltLine Path Force Bicycle Patrol

APD’s new BeltLine Path Force Bicycle Patrol trainees head out for a ride on the Eastside Trail.

OK, all you Virginia-Highland experts out there, raise your hands if you’re familiar with Diversified Metal Fabricators.

Now, all of you who had to Google the company’s name, put those hands down.

For VaHi residents not familiar with DMF, the company’s offices (which come with a spectacular view of the Midtown skyline, by the way) are located on Pylant Street. Pylant runs between Ponce de Leon Place and the new BeltLine Eastside Trail just east of Midtown Promenade.

With forty-two employees, DMF is possibly the largest single employer in Virginia-Highland. The company has an impressive manufacturing facility on Pylant where they fabricate a variety of solutions for the railroad maintenance industry (more on that in a minute).

More importantly, the company has a large parking lot and good-sized conference room with multi-media capabilities, both of which made DMF the ideal candidate to provide much-needed training facilities for the Atlanta Police Department’s new 15-man BeltLine Path Force Bicycle Patrol Unit.

Lt. Jeffery Baxter is the new unit’s commander. He spent the past year or so seeking funding for the unit and finding officers to man it.

“Last year we were fortunate to receive a $1.8 million U.S. Justice Department grant to fund salaries for officers in the new unit,” Baxter says.

A key requirement of the funding, though, was that the new officers had to be post-9/11 military veterans. In order to meet the requirement and still provide experienced officers for the new Path Force, the APD hired fifteen brand new officers who were veterans, then promoted existing officers – also veterans – to the new unit.

“All of our Path Force officers are military veterans with plenty of important APD experience,” Baxter says. “It was important for us to not only meet the requirements of the funding program but to provide citizens using the BeltLine with veteran officers to protect them.”

[Scroll down to read an interview with new Path Force Officer Hayden Butler to get his thoughts on his training and new assignment. Scroll to the bottom of the article for a link to an online album with photos of the unit's training.]

Baxter says many of the new Path Force officers have bicycle experience, but others had never patrolled on two wheels before.

“We knew we needed to provide a comprehensive bicycle patrol training program,” Baxter says, “but we didn’t have a place to do it.”

Baxter reached out to Virginia-Highland neighborhood safety watch captain John Wolfinger for help.

“We knew John had connections in the area and felt he could help us find the right place to do the training,” Baxter says.

“I checked first with Ponce City Market,” Wolfinger says, “but their conference room is being converted to another use and was unavailable.”

Wolfinger also checked with Paris on Ponce – which is providing other support services for APD officers patrolling the BeltLine – but the group was larger than they could accommodate.

“Then, I thought of DMF,” Wolfinger says. “I knew they’d be the perfect choice if the facilities were available.”

Wolfinger checked with DMF president Danielle Brooks who was more than happy to provide the available facilities. [Scroll down to read an interview with Brooks on her thoughts about providing a place for the officers to train.]

Training was held the week of June 17 with graduation last Friday. The officers began actively patrolling the BeltLine this week.

Baxter says trail users will see an immediate, noticeable difference.

“Anyone using the BeltLline should begin to see the new Path Force officers out patrolling,” Baxter says. “The visibility alone will be a huge crime deterrent.”

What’s next for the Path Force?

“In addition to the active bicycle patrol,” Baxter says, “we want to implement a trail watch program where residents who live near sections of the BeltLine can become trained observers and assist the APD in keeping crime on their part of the trail to a minimum.”

“We’re also planning to start additional community outreach programs in the near future to put is in even closer contact with the residents we serve,” Baxter says.

“You’re definitely going to see more of us out on the BeltLine,” he says, “not less.”

And that can only be a good thing.

APD Path Force Officer Hayden Butler

Interview with APD Path Force Officer Hayden Butler

29-year old Officer Hayden Butler has been with the APD for two years. He took a break from his training last week to share his thoughts on his new assignment with The Voice.

Q: What was your assignment before the new BeltLine patrol?

A: I was on uniform patrol, day watch, in Zone 3.

Q: How did you hear about this opportunity and why did you volunteer for the assignment?

A: I responded to a citywide call for officers who were post-9/11 military veterans to fill fifteen open positions on the new BeltLine bicycle patrol. Having served two and a half tours with the Marines in Iraq, I was qualified. I consider myself a very proactive officer and saw this is as a great opportunity to get directly involved with the community while also providing an important public safety service. The BeltLine’s an important part of development in Atlanta and, if there are people using it who are victims of crime, I wanted to be a part of doing something about that. I like to get out and catch the bad guys and felt this would be the best possible opportunity to do that.

Q: Tell us about the training you’re receiving and when we can expect to see the new unit patrolling the BeltLine.

A: This week we’re getting classroom training in the morning, with bicycle training and drills in the parking lot afterward. Then, we’re getting out on the BeltLine to familiarize ourselves with the area we’ll be patrolling and also continue our bicycle training. In addition to learning the tactics of patrolling on two wheels, we’re learning about bicycle safety – our own and that of the citizens we’ll be protecting. We expect to complete training this week and our unit should begin active patrolling of the BeltLine next week.

Q: What will your unit’s coverage of the BeltLine look like?

A: The Path Force Unit is specifically designed to actively police the entire BeltLine and watch the backs back of everyone using it. This includes both the trails that are open today and those that open in the future, and includes not only the BeltLine itself but also the streets and intersections immediately adjacent to it. We’ll be responding to any type of reported crime in these areas. As the program matures we’ll also be responsible for patrolling the parks and spur trails along the BeltLine. We’ll be all over the city and we envision the force growing in size as our coverage area expands.

Q: What’s your experience patrolling on two wheels and what are your thoughts about patrolling on a bicycle?

A: While some of the officers in the unit have experience patrolling on bicycle, it’s new for me, and I think it’s awesome. Getting us out of the patrol cars and onto bicycles really expands our ability to actively engage citizens in the fight against crime. This is more of a quiet, stealth-type of policing and being on bicycles lets us ‘see, hear and smell’ better than we can in a patrol car. We can respond more quickly and get to more places than we can in our cruisers and our ability to track down and capture a suspect on foot is greatly increased. It’s environmentally friendly and great exercise so you just can’t beat it for this type of patrolling.

Danielle Brooks on left, shown with John Wolfinger and DMF’s Lindsey De Santos

Interview with DMF President Danielle Brooks

Q: Can you tell us a little bit about DMF? What you do, how long in business, connections to the neighborhood?

A: My father, Doug Davis, started the business in 1972. The offices were originally downtown but in 1982 DMF moved to the current site of the Midtown Connection shopping center (where New York Butcher Shoppe is located). We moved to our current location in 1986 when that shopping center was developed. DMF is a metal manufacturer that makes products for the railroad maintenance industry. Basically, we adapt highway vehicles to run both on the road and on railroad tracks. If you’ve ever seen an otherwise road-worthy dump truck with a serious undercarriage and some large metal wheels on it riding down the railroad tracks, there’s a good chance it came from DMF. And I’m definitely a local girl, having grown up in Morningside where I still live (although not in the same house).

Q: Your business is located just off the BeltLine. How has this close proximity impacted DMF so far?

A: As a manufacturer, the impact of the BeltLine’s proximity to us isn’t the same as if we were a retail business. Pylant Street has no access to the BeltLine so we don’t anticipate, nor have we really seen, an increase in the number of cars parked along the street. Drewry Street has an “unofficial” access point to the BeltLine, but again we have not had any parking issues because the street doesn’t really have additional parking available. We have noticed a few people walking down Drewry to access the BeltLine, but since there is an “official” access point one block up on Greenwood, I don’t think we’ll see the foot traffic increase more than what we are currently seeing. We have a great view of the trail from the rear of our building and we’ve been fascinated watching the increase in people using the trail for walking, running, bike riding and all sorts of fun things.

Q: How did it come about that DMF offered to let the APD use its facilities for classroom training for the new bicycle patrol officers?

A: I received an email from John Wolfinger about the need. The APD had reached out to him, needing a place to host training for these officers. They needed a conference room where they could use different media to educate the officers, and they also needed a parking lot where they could set up the cones for their training course. It just so happens we have both and they were available so it was a no-brainer for us to help out. As a neighborhood business, we’re always looking for ways to give back to the community and we saw this as an excellent chance to do just that. We’ve seen the APD’s mounted patrol operating along the BeltLine and it seems like having more officers patrolling on bicycle will increase public safety and we’re definitely supportive of that. Our employees are starting to use the BeltLine on an increasing basis so we’re in favor of anything that makes the trail safer for anyone using it. When the BeltLine first opened we were uncertain of how it would impact everyone, but now we see just how transformational this project can be. We were thrilled to help out to make the BeltLine a safer place for everyone.

Click here to view an album of photos of the Path Force training at DMF and on the BeltLine.

Trees Atlanta Update

From announcing its first-ever native plant sale to planting native grasses and wildflowers along the Eastside BeltLine trail to kicking off walking tours of the new Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum, there’s a lot going on at Trees Atlanta these days. The organization’s communications manager Bethany Clark sent us the following update.

1st Annual Native Perennial Wildflower and Vine Sale

Trees Atlanta will hold its first-ever native plant sale Saturday April 6th from 8 AM to 1 PM at the organization’s Kendeda Center located at 225 Chester Ave. in Reynoldstown. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. is the event sponsor and proceeds from the sale will benefit Trees Atlanta’s youth education programs.

The sale will feature native, pollinator-friendly plants, and will also specialize in perennials that will be planted along the Atlanta BeltLine’s Eastside Trail. The full plant list can be viewed on Trees Atlanta’s website at www.treesatlanta.org.

Trees Atlanta’s big annual sale is usually held in October, but this year the local tree-planting non-profit is introducing a new plant sale to coincide with its new education program: Birds, Butterflies, and Bees.

New Eastside Trail Meadow to Feature Native Grasses, Wildflowers

Starting in March and continuing through May, Trees Atlanta will plant 109,000 native grass and wildflower plugs along nearly 8.5 acres of the Atlanta BeltLine’s Eastside Trail. These plugs will grow into a native meadow that will become a much-needed source of nesting sites, food, and protection for birds, butterflies, bees, and more. Replanting native meadows is a new sustainable landscape trend in the southeastern U.S. In addition to creating natural habitat, the maintenance of meadows requires less fuel, water, and pesticides.

Trees Atlanta needs plenty of volunteers to help plant the meadow. Anyone interested in volunteering can find dates and location details for the three-month project at www.treesatlanta.org/calendar.

The meadow Trees Atlanta is planting this spring will be unique because it is growing right in the central urban context of the Atlanta BeltLine and its new Arboretum (see item below).

BeltLine Arboretum Becoming Reality

The Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum (ABA) is a continuous loop of natural areas around the Atlanta BeltLine. An arboretum (pronounced ar•bor•ree•tum) is a botanical garden containing living collections of woody plants, such as trees and/or flowers. While most arboretums are located at a single address, the ABA will be a linear arboretum that encircles the entire city of Atlanta.

The ABA is a collective effort of Trees Atlanta, the Atlanta BeltLine, and members of the surrounding community. Comprised of trees, native grasses, wildflowers, art, and much more, the ABA forms a natural connection between 22 miles of Atlanta neighborhoods, trails, transit, and parks, while also attracting wildlife to a continuous corridor of habitat.

You may have already noticed the 600+ trees that Trees Atlanta planted last fall on the Eastside Trail: magnolias, sassafras, long leaf pines, hornbeams, oaks, elms, tulip poplars, hickories, dogwoods, redbuds, and more are all part of the ABA. And that’s just on the Eastside Trail! The arboretum will continue to develop as the Atlanta BeltLine itself continues to expand.

When fully planted, the meadow on the Eastside Trail will consist of more than 43 different species of grasses and forbs (forbs being herbs that are not grass or grass-like). The species will be planted and labeled in such a way as to make identification as easy as possible for visitors and native plant enthusiasts. In years to come, similar meadows will appear along the entire ABA, creating one giant outdoor classroom.

Planting a project this big requires teamwork! Trees Atlanta is partnering with Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center on a research component to the meadow. On March 1st and 2nd the Center conducted workshops to train community volunteers, contractors, and design professionals to properly install meadows and collect data for the ABA’s first research project and paper.

From March through May, the planting will take place. Hundreds of volunteers will be needed to help Trees Atlanta plant the meadow. If you are interested in volunteering, Trees Atlanta will lead plantings on select weekday and weekend mornings from 9 AM to 12 Noon in March, April, and May. Check the Trees Atlanta calendar for information and to RSVP: www.treesatlanta.org/calendar.

Docent Walking Tours of the BeltLine Arboretum to Start on April 12

Beginning April 12, Eastside Trail visitors will be able to register for an Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum Docent Walking Tour. The walking tours will be led by well-trained experts called docents who will help tour-goers explore the Eastside Trail while focusing particularly on the horticultural collections and interesting facts about the BeltLine. The walking tour takes approximately 90 minutes and begins from an easily-accessible trailhead in Inman Park. Each docent will prepare his or her own unique talking points to spotlight native trees, architectural interests, key historical stories, and more.

To take advantage of this free walking tour, which is offered all year so you can experience every season of the ABA with a trained docent, contact Kate Baltzell at Trees Atlanta at KateB@treesatlanta.org. Online registration will begin soon. Special group accommodations will be available.

Trees Atlanta thanks Kaiser Permanente for helping to make the Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum Docent Program possible.

For more information on these programs, please visit www.treesatlanta.org or contact Bethany Clark at 404-681-4892.

Beltline Eastside Trail Impacting Young and Old

By: John Becker

I can’t count the number of conversations I’ve had with fellow VaHi residents about the new Eastside Beltline trail and all the wonderful things it brings and will bring in the future to life in Atlanta’s urban communities. Most, if not all, of those conversations have been with adults, though, and I hadn’t thought about the impact the trail might have on the city’s younger residents.

Thanks to Brian Gross for posting on NextDoor Virginia-Highland this link to a blog post on the Beltline website (originally published on the Inman Park Advocator) written by Will Taber. Taber’s a student at Grady High who lives in Inman Park and when you read his blog you’ll have an even better understanding of how 2.5 miles of strategically-placed concrete pathway can be a complete game-changer for all of us.

Jonathan Peterson’s son is a friend of Taber and his post in response to Brian’s provides even more insight:

Will is one of my son’s best friends – they’re freshmen at Grady, and the Beltline is a total game-changer for them. When they first hit Inman Jr. High, the VaHi/Morningside and Candler/L5P kids didn’t know each other and couldn’t spend time together outside school without parents running the shuttle bus. With the fear mongering and helicopter parenting that you see all over, it’s great to see something that makes our kids more independent and makes their world bigger instead of locking them away in front of the TV.

If you haven’t done the Eastside Trail yet, I can’t encourage you enough to get out there and check it out. I can almost guarantee you’ll see someone else on the trail you know. If not, say hi to someone you don’t know and make a new friend.

Bike lanes, turn lane coming to Ponce

by Brian Gross

On Feb. 7, John Wolfinger and I attended the City and BeltLine’s Open House about the planned improvements to Ponce de Leon Avenue.

Here were the improvements discussed: note, #3 is a very big change!

1. Resurfacing of Ponce between Juniper and Briarcliff/Moreland (GDOT)

2. Pedestrian safety improvements between Piedmont and Briarcliff/Moreland (GDOT)

3. Improvements from Boulevard/Monroe to Freedom Parkway. (BeltLine)
This would reduce the number of traffic lanes from three in each direction, to two wider lanes in each direction but add:
a) a center lane for turns and with some pedestrian islands and
b) as far east as Ponce de Leon Place, a bike lane in each direction. The bike lanes will be buffered from the car traffic by barriers approx. 1 to 2 feet wide. Unfortunately, the road is not wide enough so that the bike lanes can stretch as far east as Freedom Parkway.

The City rep told us there is not a fixed date, but he expected the work to be completed in the summer.

4. Ponce City Market Plaza Interface (BeltLine)
- A plaza that will let pedestrians walk between the BeltLine and the rail shed along the east side of Ponce City Market. (The rail shed will be turned into retail and food outlets). The BeltLine is hoping that funding will also allow for a ramp at North Avenue.

Well, that will connect Ponce City Market – but what about access from Ponce itself, without going through the Market? (I asked). The City planning rep told me that there are plans for a ramp to the BeltLine from the CVS on Ponce and also the Ponce City Market is considering an elevator from the top level of the rail shed down to street level.

On a related note, here are some links to some additional projects underway in Midtown:  project descriptions on the Midtown Alliance website and a recent progress report published on the Midtown Patch site.

Please also see the full handout from the event below, and the map presented:
(note: a “HAWK” signal is a signal at a mid-block pedestrian crossing)

BeltLine Eastside 10K run

From the Atlanta BeltLine the VHCA has received the following information:

Atlanta BeltLine Running Series Opens Registration for Eastside 10K 

December 1 Event Features First Official Run on New Eastside Trail and Exciting Tailgate and Neighborhood Challenges

 ATLANTA (Aug. 23, 2012) The Atlanta BeltLine Running Series announces its second annual Atlanta BeltLine Eastside 10K on Saturday, December 1, kicking off at Stoveworks (112 Krog Street Northeast  Atlanta, GA 30307) at 10 a.m. This first official run/walk on the new Eastside Trail winds through the Inman Park, Midtown, Old Fourth Ward, Poncey Highland, and VirginiaHighland neighborhoods.  Participants will pass by the new Historic Fourth Ward Park and Skate Park, take in beautiful vistas of downtown and midtown Atlanta, travel an off-road stretch of the Atlanta BeltLine corridor, and enjoy a jaunt through Piedmont Park.

“We are so excited to get out and get active on the new Eastside Trail with the Atlanta BeltLine Eastside 10K,” said Atlanta BeltLine Partnership Executive Director Valarie Wilson.  ”We encourage Atlantans to take advantage of this awesome new trail and this exciting event to show their team spirit and get moving!”

Coinciding with the day of the SEC Championship and Championship Saturday, the Eastside 10K features an exciting Tailgate Challenge that encourages college football fans to represent their schools and enjoy a rigorous run before heading into the evening’s football programming. Teams are forming quickly, including representatives from Agnes Scott University, Auburn University, Georgia State University, Georgia College and State University, Kansas State University, University of Georgia, and Vanderbilt University, with more to come.

The race also features a Neighborhood Challenge, in which neighborhood associations will compete for a $1,000 cash purse to be awarded to the fastest, largest, and most spirited neighborhood teams.  “We are very excited to give Atlanta’s neighborhood associations the opportunity to compete for BeltLine bragging rights and potentially win some cash to support their community,” said Atlanta BeltLine Partnership Program Director, Rob Brawner.

More details about the Atlanta BeltLine Running Series – including the Atlanta BeltLine Eastside 10K, challenges and other races, can be found at http://run.beltline.org

Participants are encouraged to register by November 28th, when registration will increase from $38 to $45. Proceeds benefit the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership.

Special amenities offered to Eastside 10K participants include:

o   Tailgate Challenge including exciting prizes such as happy hour events from several local venues, the ability to setup your tailgate tent along the race route!

o   Neighborhood Challenge featuring a cash purse of $1,000 to be awarded to the neighborhood associations fielding the largest,, fastest and most spirited teams. The winning neighborhoods will get featured in Atlanta Intown

o   Great new start and finish location: Stoveworks

o   Long-sleeved technical shirts, thanks to Nike

o   Unique medals

o   Points earned toward Atlanta BeltLine Running Series Challenge prizes

o   AND, proceeds from the race support the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership! 

Registration is open and additional information is available at http://Run.BeltLine.org.

 About the Atlanta BeltLine

The Atlanta BeltLine is the most comprehensive economic development effort ever undertaken in the City of Atlanta and among the largest, most wide-ranging urban redevelopment and mobility projects currently underway in the United States. The Atlanta BeltLine is a sustainable redevelopment project that will provide a network of public parks, multi-use trails and transit along a historic 22-mile railroad corridor circling downtown and connecting many neighborhoods directly to each other. Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. (ABI) is the entity tasked with planning and executing the implementation of the Atlanta BeltLine in partnership with other public and private organizations, including City of Atlanta departments.

About the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership

The Atlanta BeltLine Partnership (ABLP) is a non-profit organization committed to raising funds from private and philanthropic sources to support the Atlanta BeltLine, working with the community and partners to raise general awareness and support, and serving as a catalyst to mobilize resources to address social concerns.  For more information on the Atlanta BeltLine, please visit www.BeltLine.org.

Improvements Coming Soon to Monroe/10th Intersection

According to the beltline.org website, significant pedestrian safety improvements will be made soon at the intersection of 10th Street and Monroe Drive. The improvements are designed to support the recent opening of the Eastside BeltLine trail which currently terminates a few feet from the east side of Monroe, just across from Park Tavern and Piedmont Park.

Here’s the pertinent text from the article on the BeltLine website and a drawing of what the intersection will look like after the improvements are made:

“The improved section of Eastside Trail ends at Monroe Dr. adjacent to Park Tavern and Piedmont Park. The City of Atlanta Public Works Dept. approved the design for traffic signal and pavement striping improvements for the intersection. Eastside trail users will be able to cross Monroe Dr. to Piedmont Park more easily with new pedestrian signals and a 28’ wide striped pedestrian crossing with new curbramps built into the sidewalks on either side of Monroe Dr. The traffic signals for the Virginia and 10thStreet intersections with Monroe will be re-timed and coordinated in anticipation of heavier pedestrian and bicyclist activity through the area. Construction on the improvement is slated to begin in early November and be completed by mid-December (weather permitting). While improvements will occur on all four “corners” of the intersection, we have requested that the contractor prioritize the interface between the Park Tavern corner and the Eastside Trail.”

 

Kanuga looking spectacular with new trees

Kanuga was already looking better than usual after a recent cleanup by the city (thanks to Jenifer Keenan for bird-dogging Atlanta Public Works). But now the Atlanta BeltLine Corridor Project has planted trees along the entire length! The trees are a test plot underplanted with buffalo grass, which should provide a drought-tolerant ground cover.

Looking up the full length of Kanuga from Monroe

Looking downhill from the middle of Kanuga

Looking uphill from the middle of Kanuga

BeltLine Master Plan for Sub-area 6

The BeltLine Master Plan for “sub-area 6″ includes the western edge of Virginia-Highland along Piedmont Park and Monroe Drive. These include proposals for improvements to the intersections of Monroe and 8th; Monroe and 10th/Virginia/Kanuga; and for converting Monroe to two lanes with a median/turn lane. Diagrams cover proposed bike access and transit.

The download can take a while as it’s 45 MB large: download main document here; there are also appendices (72 MB).

BeltLine master planning homepage

Here are some pictures from the document:




Streets Alive: Part II

Streets Alive returned to Virginia-Highland on Sunday October 7 for another four hours of closed streets and pedestrian-related activities. This time around not only was N. Highland Avenue closed to motorized traffic during the vent, but so, too, was Virginia Avenue.

A highlight of the event this time was the opening of the Eastside BeltLine trail to pedestrians and cyclists. For many, it was a chance to experience firsthand a part of what has been concept only for so long, but is now becoming reality. For more information on the trail’s official opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony scheduled for October 15, click here.

Here are some photos taken in and around VaHi during what most seemed to consider a very successful second installment of Streets Alive.

Opening Ceremony for BeltLine Eastside Trail Set for October 15

 

The long-awaited BeltLine Eastside Trail will be officially dedicated in an October 15 ceremony recognizing the generous donors who made the trail possible.

The ceremony will take place on the Atlanta BeltLine Eastside Trail next to the Historic Fourth Ward skate park (830 Willoughby Ln., Atlanta, 30312). Parking locations are TBD.  Organizers are encouraging attendees to walk or bike to the event.

Click here for more information as it becomes available.

 

BeltLine Lantern Parade

From the Atlanta BeltLine, info about the following event:

The long-awaited Eastside Trail is a marvelous accomplishment that will connect our communities – and that calls for a community parade!

Absolutely everyone is invited to participate in this Art on the BeltLine project by the Krewe of the Grateful Gluttons. We will follow the Seed & Feed Marching Abominables from Irwin Street all the way to Park Tavern!

The Lantern Parade is a big fun free good time for the community. Together, we will magically illuminate and celebrate our new public space! Participation in playful creative events fosters enduring bonds between people and place. The Lantern Parade is active creative placemaking. Come play and hold up a light for the Atlanta BeltLine! Make your own lantern or take one of our free workshops or grab that old Coleman!

Time: 7:30 pm-10:00 pm
Location: Intersection of Lake Avenue and Irwin Street, Inman Park

Details here: www.GratefulGluttons.com
Share on Facebook: http://tinyurl.com/bto6vzq

The Bamboo Grove Alongside The BeltLine

Sunday morning, August 5th, saw a small, but dedicated group tackle and begin to remove the bamboo grove north of Park Drive along the BeltLine. This has been a long-time hiding place and urban campground, and its removal has a positive public safety aspect. Most of the energetic volunteers were from Concentric Restaurants led by Shereen Herrington, general manager of Two Urban Licks. There will have to be several more such removal sessions to clean out this grove – look for the next one sometime in mid September. I’ll be letting you know and hope that we will have more community participation the next time (especially from the parkside section of VaHi).

Voice – August 2012 – Volunteers Needed to Help Boot the ‘Boo from the BeltLine

By: John Becker

If laying waste to a pesky patch of bamboo sounds like your idea of fun on a Sunday morning, we have one heck of an opportunity for you.

A major BeltLine clean-up effort – with emphasis on removal of an existing bamboo grove – is scheduled for Sunday August 5 from 9 AM until Noon. Efforts will be focused on the area from Park Drive northward to Evelyn Street. The area has long been a hiding place for urban campers and was the site last winter of an out-of-control campfire. As such, clean up of the area is considered a top priority for neighborhood security and safety.

Volunteers are needed to make this three-hour project a success and anyone who can help is encouraged to show up Sunday morning at 9 AM. The work area can be accessed from behind the Park Drive Bridge or from the Amsterdam Walk parking lot. If you park at Amsterdam Walk, please advise the security folks by putting a note on your windshield stating you are at the BeltLine cleanup.

Volunteers should wear long pants; loose-fitting, long-sleeve shirts; heavy shoes; and gloves and bring along a water bottle. If you have a pair of sturdy hedge trimmers, please bring them. The Atlanta Community ToolBank will provide other tools and supplies.

Anyone who can help with this important community project is asked to RSVP to organizer Shireen Herrington at sherrington@ctrxhs.com. Please RSVP so that organizers know how many tools to have on hand.

While this project represents a good chance for high school students to earn community service hours, the venue is not suitable for younger children.

On-going clean-up efforts such as this – sponsored by community groups who have signed up to be stewards of sections of the BeltLine through the Adopt-the-Atlanta BeltLine program – are an essential part of the ongoing progress of the BeltLine trail system, and contribute significantly to the safety of the trail’s users.

Adopt-the-Atlanta BeltLine is a partnership between Park Pride, the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership and the Atlanta BeltLine, Inc.

Help clean up “urban camper” site on BeltLine

The group that has adopted the BeltLine section north of Park Drive will meet at 10 a.m. at the entryway behind Amsterdam Walk. If parking in this lot, please put a paper on your windshield stating “BeltLine Cleanup” so the Amsterdam Walk security will know you will be gone at noon or shortly thereafter.

Wear long pants, sturdy shoes and bring along your gloves. Tools, trash bags and water will be provided by the organizers. They have arranged for a dumpster and weeds that are to be cut on Friday will need to be picked up, along with the usual litter.

This group is also planning to cut down the bamboo grove in a few weeks that also provides a hiding place for urban campers, and is a safety concern for Orme Circle residents.

BeltLine Northside 5K

 

“The 2012 Atlanta BeltLine Running Series presented by Internal Data Resources (IDR) will consist of three running/walking events located at three separate locations on the Atlanta BeltLine. Registered participants will receive a technical tee, enjoy a fun post-race environment, and connect with diverse communities through Atlanta’s first and only in-town running series. Proceeds from the races go to The Atlanta BeltLine Partnership to continue their efforts to raise awareness for the Atlanta BeltLine.”

More info at Atlanta BeltLine site

BeltLine Cleanups

Thanx to all of the folks who volunteered to help with the Earth Day BeltLine cleanups in our area – the 4th Ward Park area, here in VaHi and in the Ansley Mall area. This entire area is now walkable (with some caution), but is not a no-man’s land anymore. As you walk this area now, take a plastic bag along, pick up urban litter as you go and help keep the right-of-way clean as we all have a responsibility for this public property. Thanx also to the Piedmont Park Conservancy for cleaning the Park Drive bridge area the week before. There will be a project this Sunday, May 2nd to do prep work to prepare for Art on the BeltLine – meet at 1 p.m. on Somerset Terrace next to Barking Hound. Sign up at Hands on Atlanta at http://www.handsonatlanta.org/projects/viewProject.php?_mode=occurrenceView&_action=load&ixActivity=83708

BeltLine cleanup

Don’t forget the BeltLine cleanup this Saturday morning. Meet at Monroe Drive just south of Kanuga Street at 9 for a cleanup along the BeltLine southward to the Georgia Power property. Sign up at www.keepatlantabeautiful.org and bring your own gloves, wearing long pants and sturdy shoes. Teenagers are welcome – but please, no small children.

Safety Team Report 4/13/09

I have held off sending out a new report awaiting more crime state reports from Zone 6, but didn’t want to wait any longer ( this is a subtle hint to Zone 6) to let you know what is happening. I have not received a Zone 6 report since week # 12.

AJC Articles

The AJC today has a story about yet another pedestrian assault on Briarcliff Road in DeKalb County. Read the story at http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/dekalb/stories/2009/04/12/briarcliff_area_crime.html The April 10th AJC had a revealing story about the backlog problem in our Fulton County court system – read this http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/atlanta/stories/2009/04/10/fulton_court_backlog.html No wonder the Fulton County jail is overcrowded.

There is also another story on 4/13 in Metro, page B6 that is not online, concerning a movement to start a local chapter of the Guardian Angels here again to patrol downtown streets. On the surface this all sounds good, giving APD more sets of eyes and ears, but I also wonder if they do establish a downtown chapter and start chasing panhandlers, thugs, etc from those streets where do they go to? We already seem to be having more and more aggressive panhandlers on our VaHi streets and I wonder if this Guardian Angel movement may send more vagrants to our neighborhood. No word yet, according to the article, as to when or if, a chapter will be set up here in Atlanta. Stay tuned for this.

Arrest and Jail Report

Frederick C. Stranahan, the subject of the alert I put out last week, was arrested on 4/10 at the Intown Suites on Piedmont Circle, N.E. by Zone 6 Officer Britt. See his jail report at http://www.fultonsheriff.org/Jail/individual.asp?BookingNumber=0911777

Michael Corley, arrested on 3/25 here in VaHi after a home breakin on Orme Circle and leaving a stolen Jeep on Crestridge Drive, had his case deferred last Thursday morning in court. He is still in jail – his report at http://www.fultonsheriff.org/Jail/Individual.asp?bookingnumber=0909923

Phone Numbers

Don’t forget the back-door number to call from your cell phone for an Atlanta 911-type emergency call which is 404-658-6666 while you are calling from within the city limits. This helps to eliminate the problems with cell phone calls bouncing off towers outside the city limits that may direct your call to a suburban 911 call center. Also – don’t forget the phone number for our VaHi Security Patrol on Friday and Saturday nites from 10 til 2 for non-emergency calls – this number is 678-772-0448. Use this number for non-emergency quality of life matters that APD may not have time to respond to.

PEDS Problem Sidewalk Survey

Find the details of this sidewalk initiative at www.peds.org as to how to send reports on our many stretches of unwalkable sidewalks during the month of April.

Neighborhood Trash Cleanups

A small group assembled by Victoria Hathcox, our VaHi “trash queen”, cleaned up litter and illegal signs along North Highland Avenue Saturday morning, the 11th. Victoria hopes to make these cleanups a monthly affair – watch for a date for May.

BeltLine Cleanup

A cleanup of these tracks from Freedom Parkway southward to DeKalb Avenue is scheduled for Saturday morning, April 18th, from 8 til noon. Sign up at www.keepatlantabeautiful.org and to get more details. This will be the second leg of BeltLine cleanups that we had in our area last November.

The Edgewood Target Store

I recently received this message from our Major Propes of Zone 6 about shopping at the Edgewood Target store. She states – “If anyone ever has a problem at the Edgewood Target or is concerned about a suspicious person in the store, please make contact with the Target security team. The Executive Team Leader of Assets Protection at Edgewood Target is Kachavias Rodgers. He works closely with us here in Zone 6 and I assure you, he will jump on anything bought to his attention by a customer of the store. Target has an incredible camera system that we access often during a variety of follow-up investigations.” They have red wallphones all over the store that you can use to call security if you have a need to contact them. Mr. Rodgers was a big help with our VaHi National Night Out event last August.

Let Me Know

I have been getting reports about urban camping behind Church of Our Savior on North Highland Avenue – does anyone else know about this potential problem? I am also getting new reports about the valet parking at the Wachovia Bank parking lot on Virginia Avenue, and the problems associated with them – let me know if you have a report to make also. These are things I’ll tackle after I hear more reports from you. Any new incidents concerning the neighborhood kids firing bb guns?

Crime reports from APD

The following report is for only week # 12 of 2009 taken from the crime stat report from Zone 6, with emphasis on our Beat # 603, but with news from around the Zone as it pertains to us.

  • Aggravated Assault – On 3/21 on Rockledge Road – 2 acquaintances were involved in a fight.
  • Auto Theft – Vehicles were stolen from Briarcliff Place, Cooledge Avenue, and 3 from PDL Avenue, including one from the Briarcliff Summit parking garage which had the keys left in the ignition.
  • Larceny From Auto – Cars were broken into on Amsterdam Avenue, PDL Avenue, Vance Avenue and Virginia Avenue. Please remember the Clean Car Campaign and keep your car cleaned out and don’t tempt the guys who wander our streets looking for opportunities. In all of Zone 6 in just this one week period – there were eleven GPS systems stolen.
  • Auto Theft Recovery – Stolen cars were found on nearby Monroe Place and Linwood Avenue.
  • Larceny Other – A female victim lost $500 in cash from her (quite obviously unwatched) purse at the bowling alley on Piedmont Circle. When I checked with the victims last week, the dognapping from Virginia Avenue is still unsolved. See the report at http://www.myfoxatlanta.com/dpp/news/Dog_Stolen_for_Ransom_032009 A PDL Avenue Kroger shopper left her wallet at the checkout counter, and it was found it was taken by an employee (ex-employee I would assume now).
  • Pedestrian Robbery – On 3/17 at 1:20 a.m. a male was robbed of his cellphone by two armed b/m on Lindberg Drive who fled in a Chevy Blazer. On 3/15 at 7:30 p.m. a Briarcliff Road resident was approached on Seminole Avenue by 3 suspects who asked for a cigarette – and then demanded money. As the victim was giving them his cash – one perp struck him, and then showed a pistol. One perp was located and arrested.
  • Residential Burglary – An Elkmont Drive home was entered via a front window. Two apartments on Piedmont Avenue were entered – one through an unlocked front door.

Voice – Summer/Fall 2005



Download as PDF (4.1 MB)
- President’s Address, by Kevin Cronin: Summerfest success
- Atlanta Development Authority (ADA) announces BeltLine transit panel
- Virginia-Highland Historic District listed in National Register, by John Craft
- About Virginia-Highland Historic District, from the Georgia Dept. of Human Resources
- Highland Hoer: Gardens and parks around the neighborhood, by John Wolfinger
- Renovation of the Piedmont Park Active Oval begins
- VHCA Board opposes school rezoning, by Chip Gallagher
- Take steps to protect your family — and your computer, by John Stanford
- City begins online water/sewer bill payments
- Be a neighbor: sponsor and win (donate for Tour of Homes)