Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Dunwoody Diversity

Let's be honest here, Dunwoody cannot really be characterized as a champion of diversity. Not before cityhood, and certainly not since--just look at the demographic makeup of the city council. Or city administration. Or the police force. Or...

So when folks in Dunwoody talk about diversity, they're talking age diversity--they're talking old farts. Specifically themselves. Actually, they're talking about themselves in the future tense, denial being what it is and all. And these discussions usually boil down to "Assisted Living" facilities.

One view of these is that they are a deceitful way to introduce high density into a suburban setting. And we all know what high density means. Bad Things[tm].

Another view, that of the aging Dunwoodian who did not adequately prepare for retirement at St. Simons, is they are wonderful things allowing life long Dunwoodians (approximately 3.2% of the current population) to remain Dunwoodians until their timely demise. They tout the wonderful addition old farts make to the community. After all, were it not for the blue hairs, who would attend council and zoning meetings? And who would give us those fifteen minutes of quiet time in queue at the post office drop off? These folks not only keep Wednesday grocery shopping cheap, they often fill the audience at local plays, and offer many opportunities for high schools students to pad resume's with "community service" activities. It's like having little self-storage facilities chock full of grandparents.

So what about the non-demented elderly? Has anybody bothered to ask them? You know who they are: the ones who can choose where to live rather than those moved close to a guilt-ridden child who "needs them nearby to take care of them" (translate: wheel 'em out on holidays so the kids have quality time with gramps which is probably about all the quality time gramps can handle).

Probably not, because anyone who has lived in the 'burbs for any length of time comes to understand this universal truth: suburbs are places dedicated to the worship of children. Every old fart out there knows this and most will gladly share the insight.

This is the way it should be, which is convenient since it's the way it is. And just because suburbs are great places to raise kids doesn't make them ideal for your golden years. Au contraire.

After all, who, who doesn't already have to, wants to put up with soccer moms? Nobody, especially not old farts. Not when they clog streets in their SUVs schlepping the buggers to school. Not when they're at "Ladies Night Out" fawning over some local bartender's exaggerated British accent, tempting him with cleavage that probably violates a city ordinance. And certainly not when they drag their little demons out to restaurants way past their bedtimes when all you want to do is enjoy one of the few nice evenings out left in your allotment.

Then there is the incessant public whining about schools--like they really matter. And the taxes fer crissakes. Why would anyone on a fixed income want to pay the outrageous taxes these incredibly dysfunctional schools demand? And we won't even discuss what having schools littering the city does to concealed carry. Then we have laws and ordinances designed to protect children from themselves and even the remote possibility of exposure to anything deemed "mature". The kind of things that keep old farts' memories alive.

Why would any adult without school age children put up with all this? The answer is: they wouldn't. At least if they can afford not to.

So do we, as a city, want to create public policy that expands this "age diversity" or should we stay true to the mission, the reality of suburban living? Truth be told, what we really want is enough old fart warehousing to support the needs of a demographic that started a family late and now finds itself wedged between raising children and "caring" for the elders. We have enough of that already.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Dunwoody Police Parade

Never one to miss a good PR opportunity, the Dunwoody Police Department made a show of farce during the Dunwoody 5K run. This fine morning bore witness to the largest police presence in Northwest Dunwoody, home to Dunwoody's very own Needle Park, in DPD's brief history.

But not without mishap. One patrolman, obviously unfamiliar with the area and unburdened by a map or a sense of direction, got lost and had to flag down a Sandy Springs police officer for directions. Perhaps in an effort to save face, or perhaps to show the DPD's adoring fans that they can indeed write citations, this patrolman wrote up the Needle Park Crosswalk Practice Dummy for jaywalking. No one from the city was available to comment on how this fine would be collected or the consequences of non-payment--one suspects the Dummy will be hauled off to jail for "failure to pay". Odds are this is the last traffic citation in this area until this time next year.

The PR event ended abruptly as the patrolmen had to take an emergency call. Seems one of their two fave councilmen were hosting "Donuts with Deputies" all the way across town. Where they live.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Doraville Falcons

There's been talk.

Talk of the Falcons moving to Doraville. Talk of a stadium where the GM plant now sits. Talk of how this is bad for Dunwoody.

That's right. Some folks seem to think this would be bad for Dunwoody. Somehow they believe this will bring more traffic than the GM plant ever did.  Really. That's what they are saying. Of course this is so silly on the very face of it that you're probably wondering what they're really thinking, or what might be their real agenda. Others are simply wondering if they think at all.

True, a stadium, even one near a rail station, would bring in its fair share of cars. On game day--not seven days a week like high density development. It would also bring more than its fair share of shoppers and hungry fans to descend on Dunwoody's Mall and Restaurant Complex. We, the citizens of Dunwoody, would all reap the tax benefits of this commerce and our Toll Trolls would rake in cash like bears catching salmon during spawning season. Yes, there will be some sacrifice. Some must suffer the inconvenience of avoiding Doraville about twelve times a year. But on the other hand, the Doraville cops must deal with the traffic and the City of Doraville must pay to clean up the tailgater's mess.

The most vocal opposition comes from Smart Growth Propagandists abandoned when the Left WingNut Nation moved on to Sustainability. Though "Smart Growth" was superficially stupid from the beginning and has now been proven a failure and contributor to the financial meltdown, they can support no other option for redevelopment of the GM facility. But that doesn't change the facts. A stadium in Doraville is one of the best things that could happen for Dunwoody. It's the kind of Win-Lose proposition we like--we win everybody else's money and well, they just lose.

Anyway. There's been talk.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Practice Makes Perfect

Apparently disappointed with the lack of accidents involving pedestrians along the stretch of Chamblee Dunwoody near the Dunwoody Needle Park the city has re-installed the Pedestrian Practice Dummy. A summer off has taken the edge off our drive-through commuters and this new dummy is expected to provide much needed honing of the skills needed to score some pedestrian hits. Rumor has it this model is improved, incorporating a rubber bladder that spurts a red dye on cars of drivers who serve up a proper windshield hash. This not only adds realism, but allows the city to offer awards to drivers demonstrating skill, agility and endurance. However, without vocal public support it is unlikely the city will allocate funds for this much needed driver recognition.

Also, though it is not official policy, the city is expected to turn a blind eye to motorists who inadvertently commit infractions while practicing in this area. Fact is they have their hands full serving the PCID and operating Toll Trolls.

So ladies and gentlemen...hit 'em with your best shot.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Lollipop, Lollipop...

...Oh lolli-lollipop!

"As easy as taking candy from a baby", the saying goes. Turns out it isn't so easy when the baby is the parent of a public school student and the candy is part of the largest entitlement in America. An AJC guest editorial recently suggested that just a small bit of the cost of educating each child be paid by the child's parent as sort of token tuition.  Though the amount was trifling, the outrage was anything but.

Letters to the editor excoriating the author generally fell along the lines of "We already pay for our children's education--it's called taxes". And they do pay taxes, but as we all know even well-to-do parents of two or more children are unlikely to ever pay an amount equivalent to the cost of educating their children. Not in property taxes, not in State and Federal Income Tax and not in all three combined. The fact that they are a burden to society is something they really don't like being pointed out.

They like even less the notion that they cannot do what they want (IE: have as many children as they please) without consequence. Doesn't matter if they have one child, ten children or none, it costs the same to educate them. Always has and to their way of thinking, as the entitled, always should. That's the way entitlements work.

These folks would embarrass even Veruca.