Voice – Winter 2004

Download as PDF (4.2 MB)

– Find out how the Joneses live and support your community (Tour of Homes)
– Civic Association award more than $40,000 to local organizations
– Letter from the President, by Kevin Cronin (opposing Piedmont Park parking deck)
– Orme Park drainage problems to be addressed
– MARTA oughta to be smarta, by Chip Gallagher
– Tour of Homes 2004 (description and picture of each picture)
This could be you: sad shamed and sued, by Chip Gallagher
– Five taxi stands should reduce traffic problems
– Civic association offers funds for off-duty police patrols, by Jean Ellen Jones
– The Good Neighbor (portrait of Cynthia Gentry, who led efforts to build Cunard playground at John Howell Park), by Nonie Daniel
– The Highland Hoer: Time for outdoor cleanup, by John Wolfinger
– Community survey form


Orme Park Cleanup

Saturday, October 16 at 3 p.m. We’ll work from 3 – 5:30 or 6 p.m. and then have a cookout. Kids from Hillside Hospital have volunteered to help clean the park and they’d love neighbors to participate! Bring your work gloves, clippers, etc. if you have them (if not, we’ll have extras) and then stay to enjoy a cookout! Side dishes are welcome, but mostly, we’d love to see you and your family there! Please contact Pete Bartlewski petebartlewski@hside.org or Dawn Shipp dawnshipp@pobox.com with any questions.


2004 Annual Meeting

VHCA thanks you for your participation at the 2004 Annual Meeting. More than 90 neighbors attended the dinner and meeting, along with City representatives and elected officials. Thanks to the Inman Middle School PTA for arranging the burrito dinner and tours of the newly remodeled school.


The 2004-2005 Board of Directors was elected during the meeting and includes:

John Craft
Kevin Cronin
Chip Gallagher
Rob Glancy
Moshe Haspel
Paula Hyman
Jean Jordan
Ken McDuffie
Wiley Sommerville
Barbara Touchette
David Vaughan

Alternate: Mike Harrison

2004-2005 Grant Recipients

VHCA did very well financially this year, due in part to a successful Summerfest. The organization is pleased to announce the grant recipients this year:

Morningside Elementary School PTA
Inman Middle School PTA
Grady High School PTA
Council of Intown Neighborhoods and Schools
Ponce Library
Trees Atlanta
Piedmont Park
Freedom Park
Zone 6 Police
Firehouse 19
Orme Park

1st Annual Aaron Gross Community Service Award

A very special award was introduced at the annual meeting — the Aaron Gross Community Service Award. In honor of the late Aaron Gross, a very active neighbor who was instrumental in the creation of Summerfest, this award honors a very special person who has gone above and beyond the call of duty for the Virginia-Highland neighborhood. We are pleased to announce Cynthia Gentry, the creator and developer of the Cunard Memorial Playground as the first recipient of this award. Cynthia received a beautiful Froebel award and $1,000 to donate to a charity. Congratulations, Cynthia! We appreciate all your hard work and dedication. You certainly created a beautiful park and addition to the neighborhood!

2003-02-24: Broken sidewalk? We can help!

by Chip Gallagher

Imagine taking a nice stroll from Amsterdam to Ponce on any side of the street in Virginia Highland. Now imagine that the sidewalk you’re on is perfectly smooth and pedestrian friendly: no cracks, no missing pavers, no sink holes. One of our main projects this fiscal year is to repair all or at least a sizeable portion of the sidewalks in our neighborhood. We will pay 50% of the cost of the sidewalk repair, up to $500.

Getting your sidewalk repaired is cheaper and easier than you can imagine because if you use the city to make the repairs you only pay for the sidewalk materials. I had a portion of my sidewalk repaved by the city for a cost of $280. The Virginia Highland Civic Association reimbursement would now be $140 (At the time the reimbursement was 25% so I received $70.) The board has allocated $10,000 of this year’s budget to fix our sidewalks.

What you need to do if you are interested in fixing your sidewalk:

1. Call the city’s streets number at 404-330-6245 and set up an appointment to have someone inspect your property and write up an estimate and work order. Get a name and a direct number of your contact so you can follow up on your work order.

2. Make sure you have a receipt from the city for the work that was done on your sidewalk. We cannot reimburse you if you do not have a receipt. Make an additional copy for your records.

3. Send the receipt to Wiley Sommerville at 858 Adair Ave. or call him at 404-881-1003.

If you have any questions feel free to call me at 404-651-1853.

2004-02-24: Inside VHCA

Committees and Chairs

The VHCA and the Virginia-Highland neighborhood thrives through community activism and awareness. We need and welcome your involvement in any of our committees. You can join through any of the emails listed below or by expressing an interest at any of our monthly meetings.

Parenting and Education

As Virginia-Highland continues to be a favorite place to live, more and more families with children are part of our neighborhood. To ensure that VHCA addresses their needs as well as the rest of the community, this new committee will focus on family and children issues in the areas of play space, safety, accessibility and child-friendly neighborhood enhancements.

Chair: Jean Jordan



The VHCA seeks to preserve and maintain the neighborhood parks and other green spaces within our community. Specifically, we will:

  1. Support the efforts of the John Howell Park Projects in developing the park in accordance with the approved master plan.
  2. Provide input and support of the reviewed master plan for Piedmont Park.
  3. Encourage the planting and maintenance of trees along the commercial and residential rights-of-way.
  4. Oppose the proliferation of signs and billboards that encroach on trees and public green spaces.
  5. Provide an avenue for community interface with the City of Atlanta concerning the design, maintenance and safety of public parks, recreational facilities and green spaces in Virginia-Highland.

Scheduling Events at John Howell or Orme Park:

  • For what the City considers a park activity, a small gathering that doesn’t include tents, stages, alcohol or vending, visit the City of Atlanta Bureau of Parksonline. At the bottom of the page, you will see a link to the application form. The city can’t accept an application online, but they will accept a fax.
  • If you have questions about larger festivals or gatherings along the scope of Summerfest that utilize any of the items listed above, visit the City of Atlanta Office of Special Events online for more information.

Co-Chairs: Rob Glancy and Paula Hyman


Planning and Zoning

The goal of the VHCA as relates to planning and zoning is to ensure that the VHCA neighborhood maintains its popular “village-like” character, including maintaining the current mix of uses. The committee reviews zoning applications on the last Wednesday of every month at 7 p.m. at the Ponce de Leon Public Library.

Co-Chairs: John Craft and Chip Bullock


Public Safety

Through the Public Safety Committee, the VHCA will create communication about public safety issues within the neighborhood with an objective to maintain a safe environment throughout the community.

Chair: Chip Gallagher



Summerfest is Virginia- Highland’s annual festival to celebrate the official beginning of summer in the neighborhood. Held the first Saturday and Sunday of June, Summerfest offers art, food, music, entertainment and more – all in the park like setting along Virginia Avenue. Summerfest is loved by neighbors, visitors and professionals – it was voted the “Best Neighborhood Festival” both by critics and readers in Creative Loafing Magazine’s 1999 “Best of Atlanta” issue. For more information on Summerfest, visit the Summerfest section of this web site.

Co-Chairs: Kevin Cronin and Wiley Sommerville


Virginia-Highland Voice

The Voice is a free, bi-monthly newsletter produced by the VHCA to increase awareness and participation in community activities. Hand delivered to all homes, apartments, and businesses in the Va-Hi community, the Voice is funded through VHCA operating income and the generosity of area businesses who pay for advertising.

Chair: Barbara Touchette

Editor: Nonie Daniel
Business Manager: Kevin Grebe


Virginia-Highland Morningside Parents’ Association

Information about the VHMPA is available here.



The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 09/01/04

Who should be responsible for sidewalk repair? Atlanta’s sidewalks are falling apart, and it could be your fault.

The problem is that too many people don’t know this, so too many sidewalks are falling apart, said Pamela Wilson, spokeswoman for the Department of Public Works.

So if the sidewalk in front of your house is crumbling, it’s your responsibility to notify the city, get a permit and repair it.

To emphasize the point, the city is holding a “Walk for Sidewalks” at 10 a.m. Sept. 10 in Midtown. The route has yet to be determined, but the walk will end at Piedmont Park.

“There are a lot of sidewalks that are not in good condition, but people are not aware it’s their responsibility,” Wilson said.

About a month ago, the city started dispatching inspectors to eyeball sidewalks all over Atlanta. They are starting with the major pedestrian corridors but will soon come to a sidewalk near you. The inspectors will determine if repairs are required and, if so, notify property owners.

For now, people will get a friendly reminder. But if repairs aren’t made in good time, the city will make the repairs and bill the property owner, said Wilson.

A survey of a handful of contractors indicated their charges range from $2 to $10 per square foot. The city said it would charge $2.75 per square foot, with an additional $85 an hour in labor costs.

Wilson said there have been numerous instances in which people call the city to report a broken sidewalk, only to learn it’s their job to fix it.

The campaign to fix up sidewalks underscores Mayor Shirley Franklin’s call that Atlanta be a more “walkable” city.

“Like we did with the Pothole Posse, city government is committed to making this a safe city for pedestrians,” Franklin said in a written statement. “We are creating a walkable city for a casual stroll for senior citizens to children’s daily walks to school.”

Participating in the “Walk for Sidewalks” will be students, persons with disabilities, business people, pedestrian groups and crossing guards.

The city has even created a mascot for the campaign – a person dressed as a walking slab of sidewalk, replete with yellow hard hat and orange safety vest.

To report a problem sidewalk, call the transportation department at 404-330-6501.

Pushing people to repair their sidewalks helps the entire community, said Dianne Olansky, spokeswoman for the Atlanta-based Pedestrians Educating Drivers on Safety.

“When you’re out on foot, you get to meet your neighbors. . . . You notice things that are amiss in your neighborhood,” said Olansky, whose group will participate in the walk. Besides, she said, “It’s not safe to walk in the street.”

To view the full graphics and photographs accompanying this article, register for a free online subscription at www.ajc.com and visit the Metro Section.

VHCA Sidewalk Reimbursement Policy (2004, for historic reference only, no longer valid)


Voice – Fall 2004

Download PDF (3.7 MB)

– Vote for your Board of Directors on September 13
– Water restrictions underway
– Tour of Homes update
– President’s address, by Kevin Cronin (Summerfest success)
– Proposed amendments to VHCA bylaws
– Why we don’t use MARTA, by Chip Gallagher
– Highland Hoer: A gardener’s heart, by John Wolfinger


Highland Avenue Transportation Survey

Thanks for taking a moment to fill out this survey. It is only with neighborhood input that we can identify the public transit (trolleys, shuttles, MARTA bus service) needs of the residents and businesses along Highland Avenue.

Please tell us about your household:

Household Status:

# of children in household:

# of household members in the following age groups:

Under 20





Over 60

1. Check each purpose for which you have considered or would consider public transportation in the neighborhood on Highland Avenue:
Shopping at Sage Hill
Dining in Morningside, Virginia-Highland, Poncey-Highland, Inman Park
Meeting friends for coffee at one of the neighborhood coffee shops

Shops and restaurants at University Drive (Alon’s, Mambos, Natural Body)
Running errands at Amsterdam Avenue (pet supplies, haircut, post office)

Going to the movies and stopping at Market One
Taking in a game at Manuel’s Tavern
Visiting the YWCA
Downtown (5 Points, Hotels, etc)
Highland Ave. & Elizabeth (Soto Soto, Highland Bakery, Jake’s, Roman Lily)
Doing laundry

Hospital and CVS

Going to church and/or synagogue
Attending Virginia Highlands Summerfest


2. What days and time frames would you likely ride public transit? Check all that apply.
Monday through Friday
Good weather only

Rain or shine

3. What is the distance from your home to the nearest transit stop along Highland Avenue or Johnson Road?
Less than a 5 minute walk
A 5-10 minute walk
More than a 10 minute walk

4. Assuming schedule reliability, what frequency would a transit schedule need to be on to meet your needs to consider public transportation to neighborhood businesses?
Run every 10-12 minutes

Run every 12-15 minutes
Run every 15 minutes
Run every 20-30 minutes

5. Do you currently pay for parking when you visit local businesses along Highland Avenue?

I go out of my way to find a free parking spot.
I’ll pay for parking but $ is my limit.
Paying for parking is part of intown living and I deal with it.

6. Regarding parking, please check the following:
I never have trouble finding a parking spot.
I sometimes have trouble finding a parking spot.
I always have trouble finding parking and I’ve about had it.
I valet park and don’t worry about it.

7. What is the MAXIMUM fare you would be willing to pay for hassle free, reliable, convenient public transportation along the Highland Avenue?
$1.75 per person per ride
$1.00 per person per ride
$1.75 per person unlimited ridership for a 4 hour time period
$1.00 per person unlimited ridership for a 4 hour time period

8. Please comment on transit stops in their current form:

I am fine with the current stops.
I would like to see shelter at the stops.

Other comments:

9. If an express service were offered from the corner of Virginia and Highland, where the final destination was a MARTA Rail Station, which station would you like it to serve:


Arts Center

Inman Park

10. Everyday transit needs
Have you taken public transit to for your everyday needs (work/school/rehearsals/meetings)?
If yes, how often?

If no, why?
Distance to transit stop
Time / transfers to destination

Would you like to be informed of our progress:
Email address:


Help us increase Virginia-Highland’s green space!

VHCA is concerned about quality of life in our neighborhood and Atlanta. To maintain as much green space for our residents and children, the association has pledged money to purchase the lot located at North Highland Avenue and St. Charles Avenue, and convert it into a small city park. The lot is currently on the market for $700,000. VHCA has pledged $15,000 as seed money for this project.

How can you help?

We need your help to buy this space and keep it green! While we are looking to raise funds from foundations, corporations, the City of Atlanta and other NGO’s, we are asking neighborhood residents for contributions as well!

Please make your tax deductible donations out to Park Pride, and note St. Charles Park on the check. Mail your donations to:

The Virginia-Highland Civic Association
P.O. Box 8401
Atlanta, GA 31106

Many thanks for your consideration and donations. We look forward to continuing to keep our neighborhood as green as possible for the benefit of our residents, their children and visitors. Please contact Rob Glancy, Parks Co-Chair at (404) 467-9922 ext. 100 with any questions or if you would like to volunteer your time and effort to this project. You may also contact Rob by email at parks@vahi.org.


Summerfest 2004 artists


Albin, Mike & Patty
Albright, Dan
Anderson, Jason
Andrews, Terry
Angers, P.R.
Aspe, Pablo
Atkinson, Pauline
Ayers, Emily & Alicia Long



Baisley, Victor
Bannen, Kelleigh
Barber, Margaret
Basiago, Kay & Jack
Baynes, Maija
Beairsto, Greg “Earl”
Benson, Kathy & Leah Barr
Beswick, Karen
Betker, Mikki & Mike Bush
Blank, Michele
Bobian, Virginia
Bond, Angela
Boone, David
Borden, David
Botkin, Chris
Brennan, Marianne & Kathy
Brown, Herb
Broz, Cecile
Bryant, Michael
Buckley, Deeann
Burkhardt, Bob & Peggy Dana & Jack Simonetta
Burnworth, William & Michael Callaghan



Campbell, Tish
Cantrell, Kimmy
Carlin, Enid Susan
Cavanah, Doug
Cecil, Charles & Cindy
Chandler, Suzette Barton
Chrzan, David
Chung, Stasia
Claughton, Lee
Clayton, Susan
Cline, Thad
Clinkenbeard Jeannie
Cohen, Arlene
Colburn, William
Coleman, Katherine Allen-
Colin, Jeanne
Collins, Derek
Collison, Richard & Michael Fowler
Cook, Joe
Cooke, Margie & Don
Cooper, Ted
Cordell, Carolyn
Covington, Daphne
Cox, Marlys Lenz
Curtis, Gary



Daniel, John Paul“Bebo”
Darrah, Bill
Dauth, Virginia
David, Steve
Davis, Sheron
Dean, James
Dean, Rick
DeLaCruz, Dave
DeLaCruz, Katie
DeMent, Katy
Deprez, Mary Patricia
DeWalt, Richard
Dickerson, Stephen
Dillon, Mary-Margaret
Dionne, Celia
Disharoon, Denise
Douglas, Chuck
Dykes, Jimmie Lynn



Ebendorf, Anne
Epstein, Jana
Eubank, Kim & Will Armstrong
Evon, Suzanne



Fadool, Ed
Farley, Debra
Fine, David
Fletcher, Mark
Frankenfield, Phyllis



Garrett, Erica
Garrett, Lindsay
Grant, Robert & Janice
Greene, Cecillia & Johnny
Griffith, Brenda
Gruber, Marie
Gutierrez, Teresa



Haase-Schaefer, Heather
Habib, S.A.
Hand, Earnest
Hanson, Jennifer & Stephen Ramsey
Happe, Molly
Harrison, Ben
Hartmann, Krista
Hartsfield, Chris
Hausner, Martin
Hayward, JD
Hendley, Anastasia
Henninger, Daniel
Henry, Tom
Hill, Graham
Hirt, Cindy & Jim
Hirt, Jenna
Hofman, Marirosa Angeles
Homer, Louis
Hubbard, Elliott



Issenberg, Mark
Ivory, Isabeau Jennifer



Jacobus, Richard
Janke, Matt
Jean, Lorna
Jonas, Albert
Jones, Chris
Jones, Maria Reyes
Juneau, Pat



Kaufman, Lulu & Ran Shealy
Knott, Mark
Kou, Kuansoi
Krueger, Curtis
Kunkel, Richard & Marlys



Laine, Philippe
Lamassonne, Karen/Donjenna Yokley
Lambert, Amy
Lee, Tracy
Leffel-Massengil, Karen
Leino, Ian & Tammy
Levy, Linda & Debbie Graham
Lincoln, Daniel
Lindberg, Judy Clark
Linn, Katherine
Lombardo, Carol
Long, George
Love, Vicki
Lucas, Marc
Lupton, David
Lynch, Scott



Martin, Dawn Kinney
Matabele, Emerson
McCarthy, Kristi
McDonald, Augusta
Meiss, Marilyn
Miller, Yvonne
Mitchell, Shannon
Moody, Lourdes Aguilar
Moore, Cindy C.
Morgan, Lynn & Maureen Burke
Mosey, Chris
Murtha, Carrie



Nichols, Ginny Ganong
Norwood, Yolande & Michael



O’Brien, Ken & Chrystal E.
Odil, Barbara
Odom, Doug
Oliver, Wade



Pack, Anthony
Page, John
Parker, Phil
Parks, Arthur, Jr.
Peyton, Mark
Phillips, Lynette Wood
Plate, Kathleen
Prahler, Michelle
Preston, Suzanne
Pritchard, Gayle
Proctor, Mary
Pryor, Haley





Radtke, Steve & Beth
Rawlins, Jack
Richards, Ron
Ritz, Jerry
Rosebrook, Collin
Rothman, Mitzi
Rowell, Barbara Gurry
Royale, Doug
Ruby, Kurt
Ryon, Christophir & Chellisa



Sackman, Carol & Blake White
Saggus, Frank
Saidi, Chouaieb
Sanders, Amy
Santiago, Julie
Saville, Laura
Seidel, Garry
Senesac, Peter
Sexton, Victoria
Sharp, Jill
Sherrill, Polly
Slesnick, Les
Smith, Greg “Hank”
Smith, Larry
Smith, Michael
Soble, Ali Royce
Sperry, John
Stanton, Diane
Stephenson, Jeanie
Stoddart, Jack & Jason Stoddart
Sykes, Brian



Taylor, Russ
Tchumburidze, Nino
Teague, Harry
Tesla, Cat
Thibodeaux, Carol
Thompson, Mary Margaret
Trahan, Drew
Turner, Bill
Turner, Steve
Tuttle, Emily



Urban, Rick



Vanderwolf, Ed
Voivedich, Jamie
Vrooman, David & Nissa



Wagner, Carl
Wahl, Karl
Walton, Linda
Way, James
Weber, Mark
Wedegis, Sheila
Weeks, Carol & Dave Goldman
Wells, David
Welty, Pamela
Wender, Molly
Wetherell, Brian
Whiting, Russell
Wilkinson, Gene
Williams, Lizzy
Willis, Joe Don
Wilshire, Jim
Wilson, Simone & Jen Cleere
Winchell, Rhona
Worsham, Wendy Detrick





Yankus, Tom
Ye, Zhiyong
Yowell, Charlie



Zeman, Mary


Grand opening of the Cunard Memorial Playground

Sunday, March 28th at 2pm: Opening Ceremonies (rain or shine), 2-5 pm

Join us for the Grand Opening Ceremonies of the Cunard Memorial Playground. We’ll have a few words from Mayor Shirley Franklin, Councilwoman Ann Fauver, Commissioner of Parks Dianne Harnell Cohen, a special presentation to Brad Cunard, and the unveiling of the Cunard Memorial. Then there will be music, food, balloons, fun, surprises, and ice cream!

Background: On July 10, 2003, the Virginia-Highland community was shocked by the sudden loss of three neighbors – Lisa Cunard and her two sons, Max, 3, and Owen, 5-months-old – when a tree fell on their car during a storm. Brad Cunard was driving the car and he survived, but was left with the devastating loss of his wife and sons. Neighbors, friends and loved ones have rallied around Brad offering love and support, and are now paying tribute to the loss by opening the memorial playground in John Howell Park, for which they helped raised more than $150,000 to build.

(photo missing)

Brad is in photo with Cynthia Gentry, who headed the playground committee, at the November 15, 2003 installation day.

Saturday, March 27th:
Park clean-up day:
10am-12noon: Kids’ Clean up
1-4pm: Adults Clean up

Help clean up the park to get it ready for the big day. The committee is encouraging neighbors who would like to help to sign up in advance at playground@vahi.org, especially if you’re bringing a group, but it is not mandatory. Feel free to bring along rakes and brooms. We’ll have some, but could always use more.

The children will be there from 10am until noon, with ice cream served at noon. They will be picking up sticks, washing the playground equipment, sweeping, raking, pouring new sand in the sand box, unpacking sandbox toys, etc. We will welcome all ages. All children must have an adult that is responsible for them; i.e. no drop-offs. The adults will work that afternoon from 1 until around 4. (They get ice cream, too.)

For more information, please contact Cynthia Gentry by email at cynthiagentry@mindspring.com, 404.853.4878 or leave a message at 404.222.8244. Contributions to the playground are still encouraged and can be made payable to “Park Pride,” and please write “for Cunard Memorial Playground” on the memo line. Mail checks to the Virginia-Highland Civic Association, P.O. Box 8401, Station F, Atlanta, Ga., 31106.