Monday, July 15, 2019

Deja Do-Over

If it feels like we've been here before it's because we have. Dial the Way-Back-Machine to 2011 and look up the Dunwoody Village Master Plan. Now you do have to wonder how much this cost and why it didn't even endure for a decade because now the City is shoveling more money into what is being called a Master Plan Update. This is like build a McMansion by tearing down all but the side wall of the basement and then calling it a "renovation" because this "update" leaves almost nothing untouched or intact.

Some of this is explained by the context of the original master plan which was created when the City was relatively young, politically naive and not yet unduly influenced by outside economic forces. But now, when a developer wants the overlay in the dustbin and demands a building with floor-to-ceiling windows, stacked stone and other trendy veneers the parrots down at City Hall begin squawking "vibrant" incessantly. But this "update" is a great bit of theatre, a theatre City Hall will not vote to tear down. It is the embodiment of "practical impossibility" as it demands conversions of private property to public roads and paths (keep in mind that this City's idea of a "trail" is a super-highway lane of concrete) that is both prohibitively expensive, politically "unattractive" and more disruptive than desirable. At least if you live around here. But it may be attractive to those who will cash in on the re-development and keep in mind the very first impediment to this plan is "long-term property owners" who will have to be sated (or just pushed aside) in favor of new developers. Not likely to happen.

So what is going on? Well there will likely be limited re-development and things will need to be pushed aside to satisfy the developers' demands. The impediment in that case is the existing Village Overlay. Basically they are demanding trends that are getting close to their use-by date: new urbanism (being displaced by Avalon-type developments) and a faux-post-industrial look that peaked a couple years back. One has to wonder how long before a wave of developers descends pushing a "Williamsburg Style" as "vibrant" and "retro-trendy." Then there is the high pressure sales job--the kind that would make a Florida condo-pitch seem tame. When they are trying that hard they are either selling you something you don't need or they are distracting you from what they are really doing. Or both.

But it is the "Who's Responsible" slide that is the most odious, the most insulting, the most offensive. This characterizes "The Public" (us) as doddering old fools unable to comprehend what is going on and so stupid we are easily bamboozled by a myriad of special interests, all the while the aficionados of neo-urbanism (traffic enginerrs) are positioning themselves at the same level of honor and integrity as Girl Scouts. With an air of arrogant condescension they demean us as readily manipulated (by everyone but them) idiots and by commissioning this team and using OUR money to pay them, our elected officials are saying exactly the same thing.

Shame on them! For what they have done and for what they intend to do. 

Thursday, July 11, 2019

So The Mountain Goes

Trying to capitalize on the PD epiphany of the Parade where many eyes were opened and more than a few Police realized that Dunwoody actually has residents, some of whom own single-family homes, some members of the community have decided that what this City really needs is a government affiliated non-profit. In this case it is the Dunwoody Police Foundation which in addition to soliciting funds and picking winners to receive the proceeds will, perforce, be a liaison between the newly discovered residents of Dunwoody--lest they forget. And honestly, what could possibly keep the forgotten masses front-of-mind better than good ole greenbacks? Now a cynic might say this is just backfilling the likely loss of highly questionable asset seizures (Jeff Sessions is long gone taking his staunch support of a militarized police state with him) but if this does anything, even a minuscule amount, to keep the PD aware of the existence of our communities, then it is, if nothing else, a good start.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Officer Friendly

The Fourth of July parade was a momentous occasion for the Dunwoody Police. It was the first time in their ten year history that many, if not all, have actually entered the community at large. You know, where the residents reside.

Overheard during an interview for a local rag, Officer Friendly said "who knew so many people actually live in Dunwoody?" Unable to contain himself, Lieutenant Richard Head chimed in with "yeah, look at all those houses--I thought that whole 'home alarm' thing was just standard BS from on high but it's really just another excuse for us to stay at The Mall."

Clearly a great time was had by all but let's hope it doesn't take another year before officers wander into our neighborhoods.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Curb Your Dog

Tall Dog

Monday, July 1, 2019

Blue Bag Rag Goes To Onion

Though recently rescued from the dust bin by a local media outlet it appears that the Blue Bag Rag is being positioned as the Onion-esque imprint of the local mogul. The article on Georgia City of Ethics is a nifty bit of satire.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

The AJC And Disenfranchised Voters

Since the November elections where darling of the left, Stacey Abrams, lost a close race, the AJC has been beating the table about disenfranchised voters. As is often the case, they beat the table because they cannot flog their case. How so, you ask? Well the numbers don't support their claims of massive voter disenfranchisement.

First let's take a look at the total population 10,519,475 with the same source (the US Census Bureau) estimating 23.8 percent (2,503,635) are under 18 years of age. There is an estimated 422,000 illegal immigrants in Georgia, with indications that number is growing. Then there are supervised felons totaling 248,751 as of 2016. This gives approximately 3,173,386 folks in Georgia who cannot even register to vote. At least not legally. This leaves 7,345,089 potential folks who could register to vote. As of 2018 there are 6,935,816 registered voters in Georgia, giving a 94.4 percent rate of registration. This leaves 409,273 potential voters that Stacey Abrams' door-to-door, intentionally error-prone paper-only registration army have yet to find.

Just looking at available numbers, we in Georgia have more illegal aliens than unregistered voters, something you are not likely to read in the AJC. 

Monday, June 24, 2019

Rights Banned In Dunwoody

At least if you own residential property.

It all has to do with an odd-shaped 2.6 acre bit of property on Roberts, backing up to Fairfield condos and across from the new Austin Elementary site. There are some, not clear exactly who, but some, who want special treatment for this property allowing what would otherwise be high density housing, perhaps re-zoning to R50. Of course, being a HOA-on-steroids more than a local control, limited government city, Council wants to dictate what the property owner should/will/must do. With their property. At their expense. While this higher density would, perforce, dump more vehicles on a crowded thru-way, the city seems OK with that, having turned a blind eye to the triplex operating just up from Novo Cucina.

No less than the mayor himself takes umbrage at the property owner's rights suggesting if the hobnail boots of the city are not planted firmly on their throats these owners are "going to get five houses in there by right. And they're going to build what they want to build, and I don't think that's something that we want whatsoever." Who "we" kemosabe? You mean the property owner might actually build five homes on 2.6 acres? Unprecendented! NOT! One need only go to nearby Magnolia Walk where you'll find nine similarly spaced clutter-homes.

But this is Dunwoody and no way is anyone going to exercise their property rights in this town. Not while this mayor is large and in charge. 

Friday, June 21, 2019

Here's A Headline

From the AJC:
Creating East Cobb could cost residents
Really? What a shocker. Not!

One cost item the AJC points to is Franchise Fees an issue addressed time and again by TOD.

But, you say, they have a study from Georgia State saying this city is not only financially feasible but will run a surplus. Wanna bet?

Proponents, and there do not seem to be nearly as many as there are skeptics, roll out the standard lies:
according to their website they believe a new city would improve police, fire and zoning services and "create and preserve local identity" without raising taxes
So much wrong, so little time. In fact there is hardly a single nugget of truth in that statement (as printed in the AJC). Let's start with the "raising taxes" politi-speak. Those franchise fees? That's not a tax, it's a fee. See? No new "tax." "Raising" taxes means raising the millage rate. Ask any currently elected politico. We have a whole council full of them. Right now, if you are of a "certain age," you enjoy the best property tax relief in the entire state. Will your new city fall in line with the county or will that fall thru the cracks?

Then there is the "L" word : local. Their use is subtle but suggestive of the "local control" bromide. Local identity? What is that now and what do they expect it to become? You'll have to wait and see. Is their vision that Loch Highlands will carry the same identity as Indian Hills?

The implication that the city will provide fire services is ludicrous. As to police, without a significant infusion of money, from you, there will be no improvement. If Dunwoody is any guide, even with annual budget bloat, police services will degrade. And zoning? Often mentioned, but it has been nothing but a disaster in Dunwoody.

Don't you already have a HOA? Do you really want another, more expensive one? But if you're hellbent on getting a city, come on over, we've got one we'd love to give you.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Why?

Pave Paradise & Put In A Parking Lot
Why did council vote to approve this? Because the developers told them to.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Who Owns The FCC

The obvious answer is the correct answer: politicians. That's who own the FCC. Why is this relevant? Because it has taken so long and the technology has been available for decades. Consider this nifty little box produced by a long defunct company (yes, it is that old):

DASTalk Call Blocker
This attaches to hardwired landlines, processes caller ID, then automatically answers any blocked number holding the line to 20 seconds of silence. Waste the telemarketers' time, not yours. And you can wild-card entire exchanges or area codes. Don't know anyone in Idaho? Block all telemarketers who've taken up virtual residence in that state.

This bit of kit was built in the era of touch-tone desk phones. Now we live in the age of cell-phones, VOIP and online access to all manner of telephony features and services. All except one. No carrier allows subscribers a flexible, comprehensive white-list, grey-list, black-list capability. With today's technology subs should be a click away from building their own no-call lists, their own "always ring" lists and their own call diversion to voice mail.

The only reason we still suffer from floods of robo-calls is because the politicians don't want to empower us to block their campaign calls. Thank the gods of Silicon Valley that other communication technology is far ahead of the slow-witted politicians. We can mark their emails as spam and let AI automagically dump them in the spam bin. Where they belong.