John Howell Park Work Day March 11th

by David Brandenberger, VHCA Board Member and Chair of the Parks Committee

The VHCA Parks Committee is happy to announce that our next volunteer work day for Parks will happen the morning of Saturday, March 11th at 9:00 am at John Howell Park.

The goal will be to do general debris clean-up and routine maintenance–with a particular focus on further repair of the soil erosion that has occurred on the slope near DeLeon Street so that vegetation can be planted there later this spring.

Any and all are encouraged to ‘pitch-in’ as workloads should be fairly light. Gloves, shovels, rakes/brooms and other such implements are welcome. We’ll kick off around 9am–weather permitting–and expect to be there around 2-3 hours.

Please reach out to with any questions and to notify us if you plan on being able to help. Thanks in advance.


Triangle Cleanup Postponed Until Next Weekend

Due to excessive water saturation in the soil and the possibility of additional rainfall this afternoon, the triangle island cleanup event originally scheduled for today has been postponed until next Sunday May 12 at 1 pm. We know that’s Mother’s Day but we can’t postpone the cleanup event any longer and we’re hopeful that at least some folks will be able to spare a couple of hours, even on this special day.

No RSVP needed. Bring a water bottle and garden gloves if you have a pair. Contact Nonie Daniels at with questions, comments or suggestions.


Starbucks Sponsoring April 27th Community Service Event at Grady High School

April is Community Service Month for Starbucks globally, and here in Atlanta the iconic beverage vendor’s teaming up with Atlanta Public Schools to do some sprucing up at Grady High. The event will be held April 27th from 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM.

“We’ll be doing some clean-up, painting and landscaping at the school,” says store manager Leigh Armstrong.

“There will also be football, basketball and art camps by Kids and Pros,” Armstrong says, “and those will be free for kids when parents volunteer.”

“We’re working alongside faculty, parents and students to invest in Grady,” Armstrong says, “and we’ll be holding an Executive Roundtable for seniors.”

Coffee, breakfast and a light lunch will be served to volunteers, according to Armstrong.

Armstrong says they’re shooting for 700 volunteers. Click here for more information or to register online.


Keep VaHi Beautiful Group Holds Successful Clean-Up Event

Volunteer Tim Langan does battle with weeds along N. Highland Ave.

Resident volunteers and local business owners joined forces on Saturday April 13 to spruce up several areas around the neighborhood in the most recent event sponsored by the Keep Virginia-Highland Beautiful group.

“We had about twenty volunteers and strong support from local businesses like Paris on Ponce, City Storage, Urban Body Studio, Java Jive, J. Christopher, Atkins Park, American Roadhouse, Intown Ace Hardware and Highland Tap,” said event coordinator Kay Stephenson.

Stephenson said workers focused on picking up trash and pulling weeds at three main areas: Maiden Lane, Orme Park, and N. Highland Avenue from Ponce De Leon Avenue to Los Angeles (and east on Virginia Avenue).

A long line of trash bags filled with weeds and trash is evidence of the clean-up's success along Maiden Ln.

“I can’t say enough about the support we’re getting from some local business and commercial property owners,” said Stephenson. “Property owner Lynn DeWitt worked side-by-side with us pulling up weeds from tree wells and Paris on Ponce owner Dennis Baker worked actively with the team on Maiden Lane.”

After the event, volunteers were treated to lunch and a cold beverage at Highland Tap.

Volunteers enjoy lunch at Highland Tap after the clean-up.



Keep VaHi Beautiful Volunteers Have Successful Clean-Up Day

By: Kay Stephenson

As the sky slowly lightened on a recent crisp fall morning in Virginia-Highland, volunteers assembled in the parking lots at the south end of the neighborhood. Tools were unloaded, bags and gloves donated by Keep Atlanta Beautiful were distributed, and, to the sounds of a leaf blower doing its thing outside Neighbor’s Pub, we were off.

From the MARTA stop on the north side of Ponce De Leon Avenue to the triangle at N. Highland and Virginia avenues, volunteers picked up bag after bag of bottles, food wrappers, cigarette butts and the assorted detritus that accumulates every day in our neighborhood. We whacked, raked, and sprayed weeds, and scraped off stickers while saying a big thank you to Intown Ace Hardware for donating scrapers.

Graffiti Task Force volunteers worked for hours to remove tags on three sides of the Hilan Theater building, and to repaint metal doors and dumpsters.  Kudos once more to Intown Ace for providing supplies and to Atkins Park and Surin for the use of their water.

Both the streetscape and the parking lots received much attention, including a few spots that haven’t seen any love for a very long time. Wellspring Treasures coordinated the participation of a youth group from Peachtree Presbyterian Church, and the kids were a bundle of energy making short work of the alley that runs between St. Charles and Greenwood. The pictures tell the clean-up tale better than any words can (see below).

When we were finished (for this day, as this is an on-going effort), Surin of Thailand had a delicious hot lunch waiting for us, and we all tucked in upstairs at the Indie-pendent. The best part is the knowledge that many business owners have made the commitment to keep their part of the neighborhood looking great. Some that could not join us for Saturday’s event still made an extra effort to get their own property ship shape for our clean-up day.

The Graffiti Task Force and the Keep Virginia Highland Beautiful team want to thank our volunteers and contributors for such a fun and productive event. We look forward to continued improvements to both commercial and residential areas of Virginia-Highland, and hope that the next time we plan an event the whole neighborhood can join in!

Here are pictures of the walls of the Hilan Theatre prior to graffiti removal:

And here are pictures of the same walls, after graffiti removal:

Graffiti Task Force chair Laura Voisinet works on a dumpster in the area behind the Hilan Theatre.

Volunteer David Berl scrubs down a wall of the Hilan Theatre building.

Volunteer Jimmy Lee needs a ladder to reach an especially bad section of graffiti on one of the Hilan Theatre walls.

Graffiti fighters John Wolfinger and Jimmy Lee take a break for some fun with the sprayer.

Here are some pictures of the trash-strewn areas around the St. Charles commercial node prior to clean-up:

And here are the same areas post clean-up:

Weed abatement specialist Bob Coomes – decked out in his best Louisville Cardinal red and with a jug of Roundup in hand – did his best to eradicate invasives along N. Highland from Ponce to the triangle at Virginia Avenue. Here are shots of Bob in action:

Volunteer Roger Harris cleans-up under a bench at the triangle while Bob Coomes chases down more pesky weeds.

No piece of trash escapes volunteer Roger Harris' discerning eye.


YWCA Gets Much Needed Makeover

Last Friday October 19, close to 200 volunteers descended on the YWCA on N. Highland Avenue to give the 88-year old building a much needed makeover.

Workers inside ripped out and replaced carpet, repainted walls and power-cleaned fixtures. Outside crews focused on pressure washing hard sufaces, trimming branches from trees, replacing rotten timbers in the playground and generally sprucing up the landscaping. Dignitaries were on hand for a dedication and morning photo session.

The volunteers were provided by the Building Owners and Managers Association of Georgia (BOMA) as part of their annual community service project. Scroll down to view photos of the clean-up as it happened. Click on any of the photos for a larger image.

Exterior shot before clean-up.

Volunteers were treated to coffee and pastries before getting to work.

Friendly staff greeted volunteers at the registration table.

These generous businesses sponsored the makeover.

BOMA staff and local elected officials posed for photographs before work began.

Work gets underway in the playground area along Hudson Drive.

Volunteers replaced rotten timbers in the playground area.

Out with the old carpet...

...and in with the new carpet.

Volunteers prep the inside for painting.

New paint going on the walls.

Volunteers had assistance reaching hard-to-get-to places.

Progress was made quickly with so many folks on hand to help.

Volunteers had to reach some tough to get to places.

All the old carpet was removed and new carpet was installed throughout.

Interior fixtures received a deep cleaning.

Stairwells were gutted and cleaned.

The lift was indispensable in reaching the tall ceiling.

Here comes the new carpet.

Pressure washing the front steps.

Trimming limbs from a large tree in the property's front yard.

Volunteers doing some repair work at the entranceway.

More playground work.

Landscaping and timber replacement near the corner of N. Highland Ave. and Hudson Dr.

Pressure washing front sidewalk.

Inside looking newer and cleaner.


'After' shot of front of building, pressure washed and with some spruced-up landscaping.



Volunteers Needed for Keep VaHi Beautiful Clean-Up Event

The recently-formed Keep Virginia-Highland Beautiful group is planning a Business Resident Clean Up Day for this Saturday October 20 from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. The group is seeking volunteers to assist with the clean-up effort.

The event is planned as part of a major cleanup of the neighborhood before the kick-off of the holiday season. A collaborative effort between residents and property and business owners, the group will work together to clear weeds, pick up litter, and remove graffiti from around commercial buildings in Virginia-Highland. About 30 teen volunteers from a youth group are already committed to help on Satruday, but the group desperately needs adult volunteers to help coordinate the activities of the young people.

Please visit the group’s Facebook page to sign up to participate. Click on Events, Business/Resident Clean Up Day, and Going. If you can help with coordinating youth volunteers by leading a group of 4-5, please contact Kay Stephenson directly at

Volunteers should meet in the Neighbor’s Pub parking lot at 8:00 a.m. this Saturday October 20. Please bring work gloves, rakes, clippers, and scrapers (for removing stickers from signs). If you own a gas powered weed whacker or leaf blower, this would be a real plus.

Keep Atlanta Beautiful is donating trash bags and latex gloves.


Reminder to Bag Fall Leaves for Removal

By: Peggy Berg

With the onset of fall, VaHi residents will once again be treated to the beauty of the seasonal color change – and the challenge of dealing with all those lovely little leaves when they finally fall from their branches.

As you implement your leaf removal plan this year, we’d like to remind you that it’s not only discourteous to your neighbors and bad for our ancient and over-burdened sewer system to blow leaves into the street instead of bagging them for city pick-up, but it’s illegal as well.

In a nutshell, the city requires that all property owners bag their leaves in biodegradable paper bags for pick up. There are penalties – including fines – for failure to bag leaves for removal appropriately. If you do your own leaf clean-up, please bag your leaves for city removal. If a yard service does it for you, please require them to bag the yard waste.

If you’re interested in perusing the applicable city code, follow this link. Enter the section of code you’re looking for in the search box in the upper right hand corner of the page. The applicable sections are:

Section 130-36: Removal of yard trimmings

Section 74-601 through 74-611: Unlawful disposal of litter


200 Volunteers to Give YWCA Much Needed Makeover

The Building Owners and Managers Association of Georgia (BOMA) is proud to assist one of Atlanta’s oldest institutions, the YWCA of Greater Atlanta, whose mission is dedicated to eliminating racism and empowering women.  BOMA will bring 200 volunteers to the YWCA on Friday, October 19, 2012 to provide a face-lift of the renovated church from the inside and out. The project will be completed in a single day.

Volunteers are scheduled to arrive at the YWCA around 7:00 a.m. Friday. Elected officials are scheduled to arrive between 7:30 – 8:00 a.m. for photographs. Confirmed elected officials that will be present include City of Atlanta Councilmember Alex Wan, Fulton County Commissioner Joan Garner,  State Representative Simone Bell, State Representative Pat Gardner and State Senator Nan Grogan-Orrock.

Built in 1924, the building was originally the First Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. The two-story, Neo-Classical, Revival-style brick building has Doric pilasters and a large pediment on the front facade, a large entablature and round-arched windows on the second floor. The YWCA has occupied the building since 1988.

Check back for a look at the spruced-up ‘Y’ after the project’s complete.


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 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.


Voice – August 2012 – A New Garbage Can Today; A More Beautiful Neighborhood Tomorrow

New Volunteer Group To Focus on Upkeep of VaHi’s Commercial Areas

By: John Becker
A shiny new garbage can made its debut last week on the southwest corner of North Highland and St. Charles avenues. The new receptacle – provided by Keep Atlanta Beautiful and paid for by Atlanta-based UPS – is the first tangible byproduct of the efforts of a new neighborhood group that seeks to spruce up VaHi’s commercial nodes.

According to its mission statement, Keep Virginia-Highland Beautiful is an informal group of volunteers committed to keeping VaHi an inviting and well-maintained neighborhood that residents, business associates and visitors enjoy – and criminals avoid. Specifically, the group plans to make sustainable improvements to litter control and weed removal around the neighborhood’s commercial districts.

Peggy Denby, Executive Director of Keep Atlanta Beautiful, (l) and John Wolfinger, Keep Virginia-Highland Beautiful member, apply a decal to the new garbage can at N. Highland and St. Charles avenues.

While it’s working loosely with the VHCA’s Public Safety Committee chaired by John Wolfinger, the group currently has no formal ties to the civic association. Wolfinger explains why the group formed.

“Many of the businesses and property owners in the commercial areas along North Highland do an excellent job of maintaining their property – not just the storefront, but all the way to the street. They keep litter picked up, sweep their sidewalks and curbs, maintain plantings, remove illegal handbills from poles, and more. Sadly, some owners do not share this focus.”

Wolfinger says the inconsistency creates a poor public image and contributes to the “broken window” theory that says poorly maintained properties send an inviting message to criminals. Wolfinger points out that, while a few dedicated residents have taken it upon themselves to periodically clean up problem areas to supplement the efforts of many business owners, a more sustainable solution is needed.

“Our goal is to expand the regularly scheduled clean-up services that occur in certain commercial areas to include all commercial properties in the neighborhood, including those where upkeep is lacking,” says committee member Kay Stephenson. “We plan to hold special resident and merchant cleanup days and will be contacting property owners – including owners of a few foreclosed storefronts that have become unsightly – to request help. We also hope to develop a kit of resources so that each property or business owner can easily maintain their part of the streetscape.”

Stephenson points out that the group is just getting started and cautions not to expect dramatic change overnight.

“Informally we’re looking first at the St. Charles node,” Stephenson says, “but over time we intend to address all the commercial areas throughout the neighborhood.”

Anyone who shares the committee’s vision of creating a more sustainably beautiful Virginia-Highland is encouraged to get involved. Send an email to Stephenson at or committee member Tim Langan at and you’ll be kept up to date on group activities. If you have thoughts about how the committee can accomplish its goals, Stephenson says, include them in your email.

VOICE tips its hat to the committee for checking the first item off its to-do list with placement of the new garbage can at N. Highland and St. Charles. We look forward to seeing more improvements in the weeks and months ahead.


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.


North Highland Avenue Trash Walk May 19th

Laura Voisinet, our VaHi graffiti task force leader, has announced a session to get our main street ready to welcome thousands of VaHi visitors to both Streets Alive! on May 20th and Summerfest on June 2nd and 3rd. Meet at the Intown Hardware parking lot at 9 a.m. on the 19th with your gloves ready to do some serious cleaning. Good opportunity for high school students needing community service hours and also a good family activity for all ages. This is all part of the “broken window” theory of crime prevention for our community.


Thanks to those who are keeping Maiden Lane clean

After the cleanup we had on Maiden Lane two years ago now – this street has stayed remarkably clean thanx to Rad Slough of Urban Body, Doug Mongee of Squeegee Sharks T-shirt Printing, Carlton Condos, and St. Charles Avenue Street Captain Mike Boyle. If there are others who are also working to keep this street clean – let me know so thanx can be made publicly. This street does not stay clean without some help.


Halloween Weekend Events

This will be a busy weekend for family activities.

Saturday morning from 9 to 11 there will be a cleanup in Orme Park – bring your gloves, trimmers and pruners to clear out invasive shrubs and enhance the recent repainting of the bridge.

Saturday afternoon at 4 – get dressed up in Halloween garb (adults, children and dogs), and bring a potluck dish to share, at the annual Atkins Park Halloween party in the new parkland at North Highland Avenue @ St. Charles Place.

Sunday morning – the Atlanta Marathon will be coming north on North Highland Avenue, west on Virginia Avenue, and then turning onto Park Drive to go to Piedmont Park. Plan your Sunday morning driving route accordingly.

Sunday afternoon – get dressed up in your Halloween garb again to attend the Orme Swarm at Orme Park from 4 to 6. Bring a potluck dish to share as well as your drinks and blankets for seating.

Monday evening – traditional “trick or treat” night. Drive carefully this evening.

All of these events provide an excellent way to meet new neighbors.


Orme Park Bridge Cleanup

Our diligent VaHi graffiti czar, Laura Voisinet, has announced a graffiti paintover under the bridge to be held Monday 9/26 from 5:30 til dark. Laura also wants to clean out the underbrush from this area – so wear old clothes, bring along your gloves along with pruners to help in this effort to produce a safer environment at the edge of this very popular park. Cleaning out the brush in this area will make it a less hospitable place for local teens to gather. Please send a RSVP to Laura at if you can participate so she will have plenty of paint rollers and other supplies available. APD has responded to my requests for additional patrol checks under the bridge and the under-the-bridge gatherings seem to have greatly tapered off.

Residents of this immediate area and park users have a very obvious obligation to help keep this area safe and clean – so please support Laura in her efforts. This is all a vital part of the “broken window” theory of crime prevention.


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


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 and bring your own gloves, wearing long pants and sturdy shoes. Teenagers are welcome – but please, no small children.


Safety Team Report 5/1/09

Safety Team Street Captain Meeting

All Street Captains and interested neighbors are urged to attend this informative session on Saturday morning May 9th at 9 in the community meeting room at the Ponce library. Please come a few minutes early, using the back door via the parking lot, and get your pin on the neighborhood map for your street. Join us to discuss how we can collectively enhance our quality of life by reducing crime and promoting community neighborliness. We have to be out of the room at 11, so we will start promptly at 9. Be an active part of the Safety Team and help to make a difference in VaHi.

The Safety Team Distribution List

I keep getting a lot of requests to be added to this ever-growing list, and I am grateful for this. What I do ask, though, is that added names be willing to take on the responsibility of a Street Captain, connect with your neighbors and pass on this report to them. This enhances my theory of crime prevention, in that folks who know each other look out for each other, Granted, I could have a list of several thousand names – but these folks would still be strangers to each other. Being a Street Captain is not meant to be any sort of a huge time consuming job and is a win-win for all involved.

Neighborhood Cleanups

The regular monthly cleanup session will be this Saturday morning – meet at 9 in the parking lot of Intown Hardware for a couple of hours of worthwhile exercise on North Highland Avenue. Saturday morning, May 16th at 9 is the time set for a cleanup of the new parkland at St. Charles Place at North Highland. Both of these events give you the chance to show your pride for this place we call home.


Go to the neighborhood website at , click on Summerfest to view the plans for this year and sign up for your volunteer time slot on this fun-filled weekend.

APD Thank You Notes

Attached to this VaHi Report is the current Midtown Safety Report which details the events of a recent Charles Allen Drive arrest. Please consider commending Officer Michael R. Carter (Badge # 4185) for this arrest by going to and use the “Commend an Officer” section to express your thanks. In fact, use this system any time you want to make sure an officer receives recognition for a job well done. In spite of all the city budget problems – we have a wonderful group of folks looking out for our common safety.

Crime reports from APD

The following crime incidents are gleaned from the APD Zone 6 statistic reports, with emphasis on our Beat # 603, but with news from all around the Zone as it pertains to us. This report covers weeks # 16 and 17 of 2009. Read this with an eye as to how you can avoid becoming a victim and become more alert to your surroundings.

  • Aggravated Assault – On 4/21 at 2:30 p.m. a b/m attempted to rob a victim who was sitting in his car in a Woodland Avenue parking lot – but his gun failed to fire and he fled on foot. The 4/19 three a.m. Taco Mac incident that was reported in my last report is in this category. The perp entered the business demanding money – the alert armed manager shot the perp and he fled in a stolen vehicle from Frederica Street, which he crashed on Highland View and escaped on foot. I have not heard of an arrest yet.
  • Auto Theft – A vehicle was stolen from Virginia Avenue. Elsewhere – two Proof of the Pudding catering trucks were stolen from their parking lot on Monroe Drive. Cars with keys in the ignition or door were stolen on Piedmont Road and Chantilly Drive. This is an interesting story from Inman Park – on Waddell Street the victim honked his horn at skateboarders and they in turn cursed and spat on his car. The victim stopped his car, confronted the skateboarders and a fight ensued – the victim and his friend got golf clubs out of the trunk and in the meantime – one of the skaters jumped in the car and sped off, hitting another vehicle at Druid Circle and Dixie Street – the car was recovered on Old Wheat Street with the keys still in the ignition and the engine running. You decide what the moral to this story is.
  • Auto Theft Recovery – A suspicious persons 911 call on Rockledge Road resulted in a stolen car recovered and one arrest. The license plate scanner in a patrol car on Moreland Avenue detected a stolen car with two arrests made after a foot chase.
  • Commercial Burglary – A witness saw a perp breaking a rear window at Fontaines on North Highland Avenue. Pura Vida on North Highland Avenue in Poncey Highland was entered via a damaged front door. The Taqueria del Sol on Cheshire Bridge Road was entered thru a smashed front glass door, and Urban Body was entered thru a pushed in window.
  • Larceny From Auto – Smash and grabs were reported on Amsterdam Walk, Frederica Street (2), PDL Avenue, Arlington Place, Greenwood Avenue, Los Angeles Avenue, Monroe Drive, North Highland Avenue, and PDL Place. Of these 10 reported incidents – 7 of the owners were from outside of VaHi. Please remind your visitors of the Clean Car Campaign to make sure their VaHi visit is not marred by a smash and grab. An arrest was made on Virginia Circle due to a suspicious person 911 call – the arrestee had been looking into cars along this street. All around Zone 6 in this time period there were TWENTY GPS systems stolen, 7 license plates taken off, 4 in-dash radios ripped out and 3 more handguns were added to the arsenal on the streets. Keep walking behind your car to make sure you still have a license plate.
  • Larceny Other – The Eros Tapas Bar on Monroe Drive lost a lot of food when padlocks were cut on outside storage bins. A cellphone was stolen from an Amsterdam Walk bar patron. A package was taken from a Drewry Street front porch. A bike seat was taken from a bike parked in front of the PDL Publix – the perp was caught and arrested. The Ansley Blockbuster had a shoplifter. An MJQ Club patron on PDL Avenue lost items from her unwatched purse. A Briarcliff Road resident lost credit cards, and a Drewry Street resident lost her wallet from her purse in the choir room at St. Phillip’s Cathedral in Buckhead – no, nothing is sacred anymore. This story I really hate to hear – a 75 y/o/f victim on University Drive let 3 suspects who claimed they were from the water department into her home to check her system – after they left a watch and $1000 in cash was missing. Please, please, if you have elderly neighbors – make sure they understand not to let unknown persons into their home!! The Target store at Edgewood caught 5 shoplifters as well as an employee who took a gift card from another store, activated it and got caught using it.
  • Pedestrian Robbery – On 4/25 at 12:30 a.m. two female Virginia Avenue residents were robbed at gunpoint in the 800 block of Virginia by a b/m and b/f who fled in a white vehicle. I had not been notified as to this scary incident – so do not know any other details. I hope the victims were not harmed.
  • Residential Burglary – A Bonaventure Avenue residence was entered via a smashed window. On St. Charles Avenue, entry was made thru a smashed basement window at 2:40 a.m. – the victims who were at home, confronted the intruder and he fled. South of here, on Faith Avenue, S.E., entry was made into a residence by removing a window a/c unit. If you know of folks who have window a/c units – make sure they have the units bolted into the window frame so they cannot be easily removed. All around Zone 6 in this time period, entry into residences was made via kicked-in doors 12 times.

Be alert and stay safe!!



Safety Team Report 4/16/09

I know, I know – I just sent out a Report a few days ago, and here is another one already. Somehow or another, I was left off the distribution list at Zone 6 – but all is well now, so am getting you caught up.

The Safety Team Distribution List

I keep getting more and more requests to be added to this list, and I am grateful for this. What I do ask though, is that added names be willing to take on the responsibility of a Street Captain, connect with your neighbors and pass on this report to them. This enhances my basic theory of crime prevention – in that folks who know each other tend to look out for each other. Granted – I could have a list of thousands of names sent out individually – but, these folks would still all be strangers to each other. This is not meant to be any sort of a time-consuming activity, and is a win-win for all involved. I am also looking for more businesses to be involved – so contact me if you know of businesses and a contact person that should be more aware and alert. Speaking of Street Captains – don’t forget the discussion and training session set for Saturday morning, May 9th at 9 at the library. Become an active part of the Safety Team and help to make a difference!

Saturday, April 18th

This Saturday morning offers a lot of opportunity for you to be involved in Earth Day cleanup activities. Sign up for the BeltLine cleanup session at , which will enhance the BeltLine cleanup from last fall and add more mileage of walkable linkage. Our Orme Park Friends will also be cleaning up this neighborhood greenspace this same morning. Contact Alice Gepp for details at A city-wide recycling event will also be held this same day til 4 in the afternoon at Turner Field parking lot. They are accepting e-waste and old tires and auto batteries.

Monthly VaHi Litter/Trash/Graffiti Cleanup Sessions

We will now have litter walks the 1st Saturday of every month, meeting at 9 in the parking lot of Intown Hardware. Get to know some of your neighbors as we strive to make VaHi cleaner and safer – enhancing the “broken window” theory of crime prevention – on the next walk on May 2nd.

The April 13th Windstorm

Our thoughts and prayers are with our neighbors who lost their homes on this day.

NPU “F” Meeting

This monthly meeting will be held as usual at 7 at Hillside School, and is a good chance to learn what all is happening in our northern end of APD Zone 6.

Crime reports from APD

The following crime incidents are gleaned from the APD Zone 6 stat reports, with emphasis on our Beat # 603, but with news from all around the Zone as it pertains to us. This particular Report covers weeks # 13, 14 and 15 of 2009, and is not meant to scare anyone – but simply to inform you and let you learn how to avoid being a victim. Granted, we’re in the middle of a big city, and we can’t avoid all criminal activity – but some alterations in your daily activities can increase your safety.

  • Aggravated Assault – There was a domestic fight on 3/22 at Amsterdam and Monroe, and an altercation between two St. Charles Avenue residents on this street on 4/7.
  • Auto Thefts – Vehicles were stolen from PDL Avenue, St. Charles Avenue and North Highland Avenue.
  • Auto Theft Recovery – Stolen cars were found on Kings Court and Virginia Avenue. Be sure to call 911 about unmoved cars on your street.
  • Commercial Burglary – The Circuit Tan Salon on Piedmont Avenue was entered thru a smashed glass front door, as well as the Righteous Room Restaurant at the Plaza on PDL Avenue, and the Highland Pub on North Highland Avenue where 3 flat screen tv sets were taken.
  • Commercial Robbery – The Uptown Novelty store on Cheshire Bridge Road was robbed at gunpoint.At the Edgewood Kroger store at 1:15 p.m. a suspect pulled a handgun out when approached for shoplifting – he fled on foot. And, amazingly, the A+ Cleaners on Memorial Drive was held up by a guy brandishing a broken broom stick – and, yes, they gave him their cash. At the Peek A Boo on Piedmont Circle (yes, there is such an adult business – I had to drive over there to see for myself) the perps turned off the power to the store and after the building was vacated – the perps went in and stole a flat screen tv.
  • Larceny From Auto – Vehicles were broken into on Amsterdam Walk (2), Los Angeles Avenue, North Highland Avenue, PDL Avenue (8), Vance Avenue, Virginia Avenue, Amsterdam Avenue, Bonaventure Avenue, Frederica Street, Maryland Avenue, and St. Charles Avenue.A license plate was stolen on Glen Arden Way. Of these 19 reported smash and grabs – 13 were vehicles owned by folks from outside of VaHi. Please remind your visitors of the Clean Car Campaign, especially if you are in the hospitality business. And keep checking to make sure you have a license plate and sticker. In this 3 week time period all around Zone 6 there were TWENTY ONE GPS systems stolen (are they really that worthwhile?), 3 license plates and stickers taken off, 9 in-dash radio/stereos ripped out, and 3 more hand guns added to the arsenal already out on the streets.
  • Larceny Other – The tip jar was stolen from the StarBucks on Piedmont Avenue. A check was stolen from Illuminations on Cooledge Avenue, and used to make more checks. A cell phone was stolen during a domestic argument in a vehicle traveling on Amsterdam Avenue. A wallet was stolen from an unwatched purse under the chair of a diner at Surin on North Highland Avenue.The Outback Bike store on Euclid Avenue let a prospective customer take a bike out for a trial spin and he never came back. I would assume this will be the end of test rides. At a church on Euclid Avenue – a credit card was taken from the victim’s purse while she was making an offering. A wallet was stolen from behind the counter at 10 High on North Highland Avenue. Another trailer stolen – this time from Berkshire Road.

    A Chevron station on PDL Avenue reported a shoplifter. A purse was snatched at an ATM on PDL Avenue at 5:30 p.m. – a witness chased the perp and held him for Zone 6 to arrive. At the PDL Avenue Kroger store, a wallet was stolen from a male customer when the perp bumped into him. At this same store, a perp concealed items in a bag, then tried to get a refund (unsuccessfully) for them at the customer service counter. The following incident is amazing – a 76 y/o female victim’s purse was stolen while she was at Crawford Long. Later, the female suspect, wearing white scrubs, knocked on the victim’s Piedmont Avenue front door, and said she had her wallet and would return it for $50, if the victim would follow her out to the street. The victim refused – the perp returned later with the wallet, the victim grabbed the wallet and the suspect grabbed the money.

  • Our PDL Avenue Kroger and Publix stores nabbed 7 shoplifters – the Edgewood Target caught 3 illegal shoppers, and the Edgewood Kroger caught 6.UPS packages were stolen from a Drewry Street front porch – this could have been prevented if they would have had these packages delivered to Intown Hardware’s safe address. Stop by at this friendly hardware store to find out how you can use them to receive your UPS and FedEx deliveries.
  • Pedestrian Robbery – At Ansley Mall at 8:45 a.m., a female getting into her car was robbed at gunpoint of her purse, the perp then pushed her to the pavement, kicked her in the stomach and fled on foot.
  • Residential Burglary – On Wessyngton Road at noontime, with the victim in her home, she did not answer the front door bell, so the two bell ringers went to the back glass door and threw a brick through it – the victim yelled (quite naturally), called 911, and the two b/m juveniles were caught. A Greenwood Avenue apartment was entered via a damaged front door, and a PDL Avenue apartment was entered through a pried open front door. A Morningside Place home burglary is attributed to Frederick Stranahan – the subject of last week’s BOLO, and who is now behind bars. The previously reported 3/25 burglary of the residence on Orme Circle by Roger Corley is listed. Corley also is behind bars – thanx to the 911 call by the alert homeowners who kept him in sight til Zone 6 arrived. Corley also left a stolen vehicle on Crestridge Drive.All around Zone 6 in this three-week time period – eleven residences were entered via kicked-in doors.

Be alert and be safe!!



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 The April 10th AJC had a revealing story about the backlog problem in our Fulton County court system – read this 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

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

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 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 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 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.

Safety Team Report 3/20/09

Be On The Lookout!!

There was an attempted break-in at the Colonnade condo building on North Highland Avenue early Sunday morning the 15th. The alert owners were at home at the time, awoke and scared him away – but just because he failed this time does not mean he won’t try here again. His physical description is as follows – white male in low to mid 30’s, about 5’10”, with jet black wavy hair and long sideburns. He was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt at that time. If he hasn’t shaved his head and cut off the sideburns – he ought to be very easy to recognize.

Your UPS/FedEx Deliveries

Don’t forget to stop by Intown Hardware on North Highland Avenue to sign up to have your packages delivered to their safe address, and avoid package thefts from your front doorstep. This is a wonderful good neighbor service.

North Highland Cleanup March 28th

Victoria Hathcox has stepped up to assume leadership for monthly cleanup sessions, and has scheduled the first session to make sure North Highland is really clean to welcome the ING Marathon on the 29th. Bring your gloves and meet at the Intown Hardware parking lot at 9 a.m. ready to do some serious pickingup. Trash bags, etc. will be supplied. We will also be painting over or erasing any graffiti along this street also. Contact Victoria at for any questions or further details. Thank you Victoria for your leadership! This can be a great family event.

ING Marathon March 29th

Don’t forget to alter your driving plans for this race day to avoid frustrations. Go to for details and race routes.

Safety Team Street Captains Meeting

Eleanor Barrineau has agreed to chair this helpful and informative training session again this year. This is scheduled for Saturday morning, May 9th at 10 at the PDL Avenue library. Those who attended last year know this is a way to learn how to better serve your neighbors and keep your corner of the world a little safer. Contact Eleanor at if you would like to help her organize this event.

National Night Out Event

If you attended this event last August or heard about it – you know this was a great community bonding event. Michelle Reid has stepped up to head up the event this year and is ready to start planning toward August 4th – e-mail her at to volunteer to help her make this year’s event bigger and better. We are bound to get a lot of media attention this year, since I am sure we will be an important campaign stop for city office candidates. Thank you Michelle for your leadership!

Crime reports from APD

The following incidents are gleaned from our APD Zone 6 crime stat reports for weeks # 10 and 11 of 2009, with emphasis on our Beat # 603, but with news from over all of the Zone as it pertains to us in our everyday lives. Read these reports to learn how you can alter your daily routine to lessen the chances of your becoming a victim. Granted, we can’t avoid everything, but alert and aware folks are far safer in the long run.

Aggravated Assault – There was a domestic altercation in a parking lot in the 700 block of PDL Avenue involving folks from Stone Mountain. A fight in Freedom Park resulted in a homeless male being hit on the head with a beer bottle by a female. He was taken to Grady on our tax dollar.

Auto Theft – A vehicle was stolen from the garage of the Briarcliff Summit building on PDL Avenue.

Commercial Burglary – A unit was entered at the storage facility on Kanuga Street at Virginia Avenue. Burkhart’s Bar at Ansley Square on Piedmont Avenue was entered through a broken rear door window. (Yes, you’re right – liquor was stolen.)

Larceny From Auto – Vehicles were broken into on Amsterdam Walk, Adair Avenue, Frederica Street, Los Angeles Avenue, Pylant Street, Arlington Place, PDL Avenue (4), PDL Place, and Virginia Avenue. One of the thefts from PDL Avenue involved the loss of parking and fog lites – your guess is as good as mine as to why something like this would be stolen. Half of our smash and grabs were from vehicles owned by folks outside of VaHi. Remember to remind your visitors and neighbors of the Clean Car Campaign – an empty car is not much of an invitation to the guys who roam our streets looking for opportunities. All around Zone 6 in this time period – TWENTY GPS systems were taken, 5 in-dash radio/stereos were ripped out, 5 license plates were taken off and one ammo clip was stolen. Keep looking to make sure you still have a license plate.

Larceny Other – YSM Design on Dutch Valley Place reported several computers are missing with no signs of forced entry. A wallet was taken from an unwatched purse at the Varsity, Jr. on Lindberg Drive. The North Highland CVS had a shoplifter caught by an officer at the corner of Greenwood and Highland. A female patron forgot her purse at closing time at the MJQ Club on PDL Avenue – her credit card had already been used by the time she checked with her bank. A Briarcliff Summit resident was missing a cellphone after a visitor left their apartment. Our PDL Avenue Kroger and Publix stores caught 4 shoplifters, and the Edgewood Target caught 3 illegal shoppers.
At the Bank of America branch in East Atlanta, someone left their ATM card in the machine’s slot – and yes it was used again. Also at this same bank, a suspect tried to cash a stolen check – the police were called, but the suspect fled before the officer’s arrival. The suspect though, left the check and their I.D. at the bank.

Residential Burglary – A Highland Green Way condo was entered through a smashed rear window. Bicycles were stolen from a Monroe Drive garage via an unlocked door. Two different apartments on Piedmont Road were entered through unlocked doors. Elsewhere around Zone 6 in this time period, 4 residences were entered via kicked-in doors. In case you missed seeing the scary video of a recent Henry County door-kicking incident

I have not heard anything lately about the naked male prowler on Briarcliff Road – any news or sightings about this problem? Let me know so I can keep the rest of the neighborhood informed. And for those of you who jog or walk solo in darkness – keep in mind the stabbing attack on Briarcliff Road in DeKalb County this week. Need I say more?

Be alert, be aware, keep your car clean, and stay safe!!


Voice – Spring 2004

Download PDF (1.8 MB)

President’s Address, by Kevin Cronin
– City council honors Aaron Gross for his leadership
– City council passed sewage and water bill
– Sidewalk reimbursement program
– Grand opening of Cunard Memorial Playground March 28, 2004

Parking and transportation are major issues for the business community, by Tinka Green, VHBA president
– permit parking may be introduced in Atkins Park

What’s happening at Inman Middle School (renovation), by Liz Coyle
– Virginia-Highland Tour of Homes planned
– Remember to recycle, by Nan Hunter

Why cities don’t matter and why Virginia-Highland does, by Chip Gallagher
– Cities are losing out to suburbs in political power
– VaHi and intown neighborhoods will weather the fiscal storm due to social organization

Atkins Park Garden Club celebrated 75th anniversary, by Tinka Green
– The Southeastern Flower Show provides great landscaping ideas, by John Wolfinger
– Anatomy of a property tax assessment challenge
Cunard Memorial Playground park cleanup and grand opening
– How can I remove graffiti?


Voice – Summer 1995

Download PDF (2.5 MB)

– Showtime again, Summerfest ’95 just around the corner, by Deborah Cox
– Many thanks, Steve Jagger (profile of Steve Jagger) by Debbie Skoczynski
– President’s corner: Storage facility at Virginia and Kanuga turned down, permit vetoed for “Hilan Billiards” at 800 N. Highland
– Atkins Park thanks supporters of landscaping of gate area
– Bike Stuff by Mike Goodman
– Girl Scouts do more than sell cookies, by Roberta and Sarah McQuade
– Neighbors and city team up to clean up (Ponce at St. Charles)
– Environmental potpourri
– Col. Mustard reviews Harry and Sons
– Green with energy (tips to lower water use), by Sarah Tomaka
– John Howell Park project, by Tinka Green
– Easter egg hunt at John Howell Park, by Sunny Williams
– Ponce Coalition update, by Jett Marks
– VaHi tree planting continues, by Stephanie Coffin


Voice – Summer 1993

Download PDF (2.8 MB)

– Volunteers needed for Summerfest success
– Tim Shirley’s neighborhood outreach
– 911…operator this is an emergency (how to use 911), by Joyce Gross
– Keep your lights on (for safety), by Swan McKnight
– Buy a brick for John Howell Park, by Jerry Bright
A guide to buying art in VaHi (review of VaHi’s galleries), by Tinka Green
– Mike’s rules on buying a bicycle, by Michael Goodman
Col. Mustard reviews Fleeman’s Drugstore
– Help make our neighborhood beautiful
– Recycle today, by Nan Hunter
– Crime statistics
– Kidsfest ’92 (photo essay)
– A neighborhood-wide off-duty police patrol (will not happen for now), by Yvette Weatherly


Voice – Winter 1989

Download PDF (1.2 MB)

– Adair Ave. residents led by Nan Hunter help raise awareness of recycling
– Voice starts publishing again after two year hiatus
– Council of Intown neighborhoods and schools (CINS), by Barbara Van Dyke
– First annual VaHi Christmas 5K run
– Update on John Howell Park: parkland dedicated, within City parks system, plan being developed
– Preserving VaHi’s character; possible historic district designation
– Wanted: nosy neighbors: neighborhood watch, SCGNA enters into PAC with police Zone
– Report from Highland View neighborhood watch