Save the Date! December 7-8, 25th Va-Hi Tour of Homes

It’s Almost Time To Tour
Our committee has been working hard all year to make this 25th anniversary Tour a special one. Eight, beautiful properties will be featured on this year’s tour, as well as a pop-up history exhibition. Extend your tour of VaHi with the addition of a docent led history tour of our wonderful neighborhood. We also hope you enjoy revisiting some of the homes featured as part of previous tours through our Throw Back Thursday postings on Facebook over the next several weeks.  https://www.facebook.com/vahitour/

Please visit our special https://vahitourofhomes.org/Tour of Homes website for more detailed information on the times, the homes, the sponsors and the restaurants.  There’s a map of the tour and some “teaser” pictures of our 2019 featured homes. You can also purchase tickets on the website.


Volunteers Needed for the 2019 VaHi Tour of Homes
One of the most helpful things you can do for your neighborhood is to volunteer at the Tour of Homes. You get two free Tour of Homes tickets for working one shift in one of our beautiful neighborhood homes. And it’s also a great opportunity to meet other neighbors who will be working along with you. Signing up to volunteer is easy. Just go to the sign up page https://vahitourofhomes.org/volunteer/ and click on the green “Click here to sign up” button. We especially need volunteers for the Saturday afternoon shift and for Sunday. Volunteers working later shifts can pick up their tickets at the YWCA anytime during tour hours Saturday and Sunday and can go on the tour before their shift.

TOUR  EAT  SHOP
Our combination of wonderful homes and delicious food tastings is unique! The 2006 Tour of Homes began the tradition of including restaurants as part of our home tour.  In 2019, that tradition continues with food tastings at the YWCA and at each of the Tour homes. Favorites, such as Alon’s Bakery & Market, Atkins Park, DBA Barbecue, El Taco, The General Muir, Marlow’s Tavern, Murphy’s, San Francisco Coffee and Whiskey Bird will once again serve up delicious bites. We are thrilled to have the following restaurants new to the tour in 2019:  bar.bacoa, New Realm Brewing Company, Treehouse Milk, XocolATL and Varuna Napoli.
Another VaHi Tour of Homes tradition is to take advantage of the opportunity to stroll and shop locally while you tour!  Our Tour HQ is conveniently located at the YWCA (957 N Highland Ave), which is near many shops and restaurants.

Win Free Stuff!
Do you follow the Tour of Homes on Facebook?  https://www.facebook.com/vahitour/ Many people have discovered a wonderful facet of the Tour that’s been growing in popularity since its inception in 2014–giveaways from many of our sponsors.

Free tickets for the tour as well as a number of gift certificates for local businesses will be given away via the Tour’s Facebook page up until the weekend of the tour.  Within the next couple of weeks, win tickets or a gift certificate from  Bla Bla Kids, Callie’s Hot Little Biscuits, Cantoni’s, Highland Wine Shop, or The Great Frame-up. Other giveaways include gift certificates to restaurants such as Alon’s, Atkin’s Park, bar.bacoa, Canteen, El Taco, The General Muir, La Tavola, Marlow’s Tavern, Murphy’s and New Realm. The sooner you start following along, the more chances you have to win!

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Visit North Highland Park! – City of Atlanta Park Rules and Guidelines

For your safety and the safety of others please abide by these rules and guidelines at North Highland Park.

https://www.atlantaga.gov/government/departments/parks-recreation/office-of-parks/park-use-rules-and-guidelines

City of Atlanta parks are public spaces, and visitors to them should be respectful of themselves, others, and park property. There are some specific regulations governing behavior in parks that we would like to emphasize. Those statements are presented below, followed by excerpts from the City of Atlanta Code of Ordinances that pertain to City parks. Please consult the online version of the Code of Ordinances for more complete legal information. For information on reserving a pavilion or ballfield, visit the Office of Parks home page.

  • Parks are open from 6:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. daily.
  • Report illegal activities to 911.
  • Place all litter in receptacles.
  • All pets must be on a leash in a City park, except in designated areas. Persons with pets must clean up after the pet. No pets are allowed during A, B or C festivals. (For more information about festivals, go to Special Rules for Parks During the Festival Season.)
  • No horses or ponies are allowed in any park at any time.
  • No vehicles allowed off paved roads or on closed park roads.
  • No tents or canopies allowed without the expressed written permission of the Commissioner, Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs, and other permits required by the city.
  • No moonwalks, dunk tanks, or any equipment that calls for independent power(except by special permit).
  • All games and activities that could damage the lawns are restricted.
  • No glass containers allowed.
  • No amplified music allowed (except by special permit).
  • No selling of food or other items (except by special permit).
  • No alcoholic beverages (except by special permit).
  • Absolutely no drugs or illegal substances allowed on City property.
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Inman Middle School “Eagles” Soar with Support of Foundation

By Melanie Bliss, Inman Foundation board member and parent

When some of us imagine middle school, we picture dark years wedged between bright fun of elementary school and experiential learning of high school. However, a walk through Inman Middle is illuminating and surprising – there is brightness, fun, projects, and experiences. Energized students learn an array of subjects through state-of-the-art technology; every student has a dedicated Chromebook or laptop; and virtual reality technology allows excited students to explore the world. Moreover, teachers have additional certifications and training, enabling them to provide creative, cutting edge teaching strategies. A key partner in providing these tools and training has been the Inman Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that supports two key pillars of Inman’s strategic plan: technology and development.

The Foundation’s mission is to provide a stable, long-term funding source for the people, program, and technology that offer an exceptional learning environment. The Foundation builds infrastructure capacity to address physical and innovation needs of learning, largely through technology. Secondly, the Foundation funds teacher training, such as gifted certification and Google certification. The Foundation supports the Educational Advisory Foundation (EAF), which provides experienced tutors for in-school intensive instruction to students needing additional support. The EAF is a win-win for everyone as it assists teachers with staying on pace, lowers the student-teacher ratio, and participating students saw gains last year of 79% and 35% in their STAR reading and STAR math scores, respectively.

Inman Principal Dr. Kevin Maxwell and his staff consider themselves fortunate. Dr. Maxwell stated, “Inman Middle School is a special place that is thoughtful, caring, and student focused. Our highly skilled teachers stay current on research and Foundation funding permits them to keep their skills up-to-date and to acquire the latest in instructional quality, which is often not covered by APS.” Dr. Sparrow, a 7th grade life science teacher, stated she is “truly thankful for everything the foundation has done,” because when she started at Inman she needed classroom supplies and resources that were unavailable. She is also grateful for training she received at Georgia Tech that was made possible to her from a Foundation grant. Many teachers describe the confidence and excitement students feel when they meet with EAF tutors. “My kids absolutely love it,” said 6th grade teacher Ms. Lonza.  The Foundation truly helps all students, regardless of age, grade, and ability.

The 2018-2019 school year was a record year as the Foundation raised over $125,000. Our goal for 2019-2020 is $150,000. We hope all parents will consider a generous donation, but take note – donations do not just come from Inman families! If you are a community resident or business owner, please consider making a tax-deductible donation, and check to see if your business will match. Be assured your donation directly impacts the academic success of young students at our neighborhood school, setting them up for future success. Furthermore, your donation fortifies Inman Middle as an exemplary institution where students desire to attend and highly qualified teachers aspire to work, upholding Inman’s solid reputation locally and state-wide. You can learn more at www.inmanfoundation.org, where you can easily make your donation. For those of you who have already donated, thank you!

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Congratulations to the 2019-2020 Board of Directors!

Congratulations ~

David Brandenberger, Chip Franzoni, Cherry Frederick, Jenifer Keenan, Mike Lewis, Barry Loudis, Leah Matthews, David Taylor-Klaus, Katie Voelpel, Joshua Zane and alternate Ian Stedman!

Thank you for your volunteerism and passion to make your neighborhood a better place for all to live. It really takes a village!

The next step is an organizational meeting, which should be held within 15 days of the election.

The next official Board meeting, with the new Board, will be Monday, October 14th, 7PM at Grace Lutheran Church, 1155 N Highland.
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Official Ballot 2019-2020 (absentee & In-person)

VIRGINIA-HIGHLAND CIVIC ASSOCIATION ABSENTEE AND MEETING BALLOT

BOARD of DIRECTORS 2019-2020

Following is the list of candidates for the Board of Directors of the Virginia-Highland Civic Association who offered to serve and declared their candidacy prior to September 3, 2019, following our By-Laws that require that candidates must announce their intent more than fifteen (15) days prior to our Annual General Meeting and Election, which, this year, is scheduled for Thursday, September 19 at 7pm at the Virginia-Highland Church.

Below are the list of submitted candidates, and, there are spaces for any write-in candidates who may be nominated from the floor. The term of office begins October 1, 2019, and ends on September 30, 2020.

You may vote for up to – but not more than – 11 candidates. You may vote for fewer than 11 candidates. The 10 candidates who receive the highest number of votes will constitute the elected members of the Board, and the person with the 11th most votes will be the alternate. Please place an “X” in the line next to the candidates for whom you are voting for. You may also write in a candidate below. Please note that any ballots with more than 11 votes will be disqualified in their entirety.

For those submitting absentee ballots, this document can be printed and mailed to P.O. Box 8041, Station F, Atlanta, GA 31106. To be counted, they must arrive in the P.O. Box by 5PM the day prior to the election, which is September 18. Absentee ballots may also be hand delivered, with proper residency verification, at the Annual Meeting by 7PM.

For absentee, please put your ballot in a sealed envelope with your residency validation. Account numbers and license numbers should be blacked out.

In alphabetical order:

_______ David Brandenberger (I)

_______ Chip Franzoni (I)

_______ Jenifer Keenan (I)

_______ Mike Lewis (I)

_______ Barry Loudis (I)

_______ Leah Matthews (I)

_______ David Taylor-Klaus

_______ Katie Voelpel (I)

_______ Joshua Zane (I)

_______ ______________________

_______ ______________________

(I) Indicates “Incumbent”

 

 

Download a copy here. 

 

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Candidate Bios for Sept 19th Election

These are the candidate bios that we have received thus far. If you live in the neighborhood and would like to run, please email a short bio with your name, contact info, and a brief statement of what you would like to accomplish as a VaHi Board member to communications@vahi.org.

In no particular order:

Barry Loudis

If allowed the privilege of serving on the VHCA Board, my number one goal is to work with all residents to unite, understand the needs of our changing community and keep Virginia-Highland the best neighborhood to live, work, do business and play in.

Moving to VaHi (Kentucky Ave) almost four years ago from New York City, my family (wife, Kerri and daughters, Sloan (5) and Saylor (2)) and I knew right away that we wanted to not only have an address but a home. Virginia-Highland afforded this opportunity early and I’ve been fortunate to meet and speak with many neighbors and city officials through my participation on the Planning Committee and other community activities.

I obviously enjoy our major events like Summerfest and Tour of Homes but experiencing our parks, taking in our commercial nodes, accessing Piedmont Park and enjoying the Beltline are really what make our corner of Atlanta special. I will continue to talk with neighbors in other parts of Atlanta (NPU-F and beyond) to hear about how they are facing their issues, learning what has worked, what hasn’t and how we can put those things appropriately into place from Ponce to Amsterdam, The Beltline to Briarcliff.

My areas of focus include neighborhood safety, neighborhood fiances, proper planning for both residential and business development and continuing to make VaHi’s voice heard on the city, county and state levels.

I currently am the Treasurer of the Civic Association, sit on the VaHi Planning Committee and have assisted with projects effecting the VaHi business districts, parking configurations and bike lanes. I live on Kentucky Ave.

Joshua Zane  

Joshua is a native Atlantan and has lived in the Virginia-Highland neighborhood on Monroe Drive since 2016. He has strong ties to the community with several family members living in various parts of the neighborhood. He has seen the city grow and develop over the decades and believes that retaining the character, safety, and usability of the neighborhood is critical to its continued success.

He has been a board member of the Virginia-Highland Civic Association and co-chair of the Traffic and Transportation Committee since 2018. He also served as a member of the Virginia-Highland Master Plan Update Steering Committee from 2017 to 2019.

Joshua has a background in management consulting and has experience growing small, medium and large companies. In his free time he enjoys outside activities including golf, running on the Beltline and in Piedmont Park, and skiing.

His interests in the neighborhood include traffic, transportation, and parks, however he has a breadth of skills that would translate well into other areas that may need help.

If re-elected to the board, he looks forward to shaping the future of the Virginia-Highland neighborhood and making sure Virginia-Highland continues to be a top residential, business, and social neighborhood in the city.

Chip Franzoni 

Chip Franzoni is a new-ish Va-Hi homeowner, and couldn’t be happier.  Living in Va-Hi is better than he or his family ever imagined!        

Professionally, Chip has held positions from Account Executive to Vice President for companies including Prentice Hall, National Data Corporation, TSI, and Harbinger. 

Volunteer-wise, he’s a past president of one of Metro Atlanta’s largest homeowner associations representing 30,000 +/- residents. He served on the board of a nearby YMCA for nearly 15 years. He established and ran a charitable foundation to support under-privileged children with special needs.  And he served four years in public office as an elected official – a school board member, his most challenging community service effort to-date. 

First elected to the VHCA board last year, Chip dipped his toe into a number of committees trying to find the right go-forward fit. The Planning Committee lit a spark. As did Safety. He volunteered time at Summerfest and Tour of Homes, as all board members do.  With Jenifer Keenan, Chip co-championed the Va-Hi street sign branding topper effort and really enjoyed that as a one-off project with measurable results.  While he’s still searching for the “fit”, his sleeves are rolled up and wants to do what he can to make Va-Hi even better than the incredible community it already is.

Jenifer Keenan

I am a mom, wife, lawyer, and community activist who has lived in Virginia-Highland for 15 years. I take great pride in our neighborhood and have been an active neighborhood advocate on the BeltLine and important neighborhood issues.

I have served on the VHCA board for over 6 years and have served on the Planning, Summerfest, Budget and Tour of Homes committees.  I was Co-Chair of Master Plan Committee and served as the Co-Chair of Summerfest in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
For the coming year, I would like to focus on planning issues, including development, traffic, and transportation. I would also like to focus on fundraising to help increase VHCA’s revenue so that we can fund more great initiatives in the neighborhood.
David Brandenberger

I have lived in Virginia-Highland on Rosedale Road for 20 years. I have served on the VHCA Board for the past six years–as a volunteer on the Planning Committee for the first two years, for the entire time as a member of the Parks Committee and as Chair of the Parks Committee for the past two years, and, as President during the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 terms.

As Chair of the Parks Committee, in addition to our regular efforts to work with qualified landscape professionals to augment landscape maintenance at Orme Park, John Howell Park, the Triangle at North Highland and Virginia Avenue and at the VHCA-owned North Highland Park, I have also been heavily involved in applying for, securing and implementing several matching grant applications with Park Pride that have resulted in significant improvements to our neighborhood parks. Looking forward, our Parks Committee is now taking initial steps with civil engineers (primarily for watershed management purposes) and the City Parks Department to begin planning to replace and renovate the aging playground equipment at the lower playground at John Howell Park.

For the past two years, while serving as President, I have worked with the Board and our other committee volunteers to conduct yet another successful Summerfest, serving both on the Summerfest Committee and managing t-shirt sales operations, completed the 2nd-phase of a ~$100,000 capital improvement project at John Howell Park.

If elected to serve another term, in addition to continuing to organize and execute the ‘parks-related’ work above, I would like to continue to help to manage Summerfest t-shirt operations and work with the Summerfest Committee on the strategic planning analysis that will occur over the next few months to look at how we can make Summerfest even better and continue to ensure that the Virginia-Highland Civic Association has sufficient capital to continue to give back to this neighborhood in ways the Board and Association deem most critical.

I am fortunate to have been a part of this organization over the past six years and look forward to continuing with VHCA’s good work for another term, if so elected.

Leah Matthews

Leah Matthews moved to the neighborhood 7 years ago. She lives on St. Charles Ave with her husband Todd and two young children (Jonah and Lila). Leah is currently Co-Chair of Summerfest, the Street Captain for the lower half of St. Charles Ave, and in addition, she is on the Social Committee.

She moved to Atlanta in 2006, and immediately fell in love with Virginia-Highland and knew it was where she would make her permanent home. Leah owns 2 businesses, one local that partners with many of the schools, churches, and businesses in the neighborhood and surrounding areas, and one online that helps other business owners around the world. When not working, her interests include cooking, wine, travel, yoga, and volunteer work. Her interests in the neighborhood would be fundraising events, safety, and social activities and events for residents.

Leah hopes to become even more involved in the neighborhood and the VHCA to ensure that Virginia-Highland will continue to be a great place to live for years to come.

Mike Lewis

Mike Lewis moved to the neighborhood in 2014. He and his wife have two children; one attends Grady HS and the other Young Harris College in NorthGeorgia.

Mike has been active in VaHi through participation in neighborhood events and has supported the schools through volunteerism as well. Mikes background is in marketing. He has worked for agencies inSan Francisco and Atlanta and is currently the Creative Director/Strategist at Grady Hospital.

If elected, Mike would like to help the board address the needs of the changing community, supporting events and projects that help maintain the culture and vibrancy of our great VaHi neighborhood.

Katie Voelpel

Katie moved to the neighborhood 3 years ago, after receiving her Masters in Architecture from the Tampa Bay area. Since, she has been totally obsessed with Virginia-Highland; particularly its history, its walkable scale, the neighborhood vibe, and the diversity of people. She actually tried to move to Portland, Oregon after graduating, but was already addicted to the community here.

Over the last year, she took on the roles of the Communications Chair, Board Secretary, and member of the Social Committee. This included the monthly newsletter and monthly meeting minutes, the VHCA Facebook, an overhaul of VHCA’s website. In the daytime, Katie works with VaHi business owners and investors to beautify & activate the sidewalks of the VaHi business nodes with her nonprofit, Beautify VaHi.

If re-elected, she would like to continue her work with communications to engage as many neighbors as possible and work to bring more events and liveliness to our intown neighborhood.

 

David Taylor-Klaus

David Taylor-Klaus brings three decades of experience as a serial entrepreneur spending the last decade as a coach for successful entrepreneurs and senior executives. Through coaching, David’s clients shift from leadership competency to leadership mastery. The result: dramatic shifts in their performance and their career trajectory. David believes that a powerful leader exists in each of us. He empowers his clients – both individuals and teams – to unearth and unleash their leadership potential and take an active, intentional, and dynamic role in their professional and personal lives.

Prior to establishing DTK Coaching, David was CEO of an internet strategy and web development firm he co-founded in 1995 and sold in 2009. As it’s chief strategist, he worked with C-level executives, senior management teams and boards of directors, helping them to broaden their perspectives and see how interactive initiatives support corporate visions and values for positive growth. In the pre-internet age, David was a partner in a technology consulting and systems integration firm focused on advertising agencies, marketing/communications firms, public relations firms, and printers.

David holds such a wide array of professional certifications that he now has more letters AFTER his name than IN his name … He is driven by his passions for growth and creativity. Both his personal and professional worlds clearly reflect a journey in pursuit of excellence, always with a great deal of humor and heart. Known for his sharp intellect and incisive ability to see and say what others do not, David balances his fierce candor with genuine compassion. David and his wife are recent empty nesters, living in the heart of Atlanta with their dogs. A gold-medal rower in the Georgia State Games, an avid cyclist, and an enthusiastic wine-collector (and drinker), David also enjoys kick-boxing, really great dad jokes, laughing with others … and at himself.

Ian Stedman

I am a stay at home parent turned self-start-up small business owner, with all the chaos that comes with both.  I have been actively involved in my kids’ schools including active PTO member at SPARK, served as a liaison on the board for 2 years between my kids school and the larger institution that housed it, room parent for life, and general furniture builder/jack of all trades or anything else the schools may need.

My formal education is in fine art, in sculpture with an ongoing interest in art and design.  Before this I worked in technology, and before that served in the Army as a paratrooper.

As I stay at home dad, I am familiar with my presence in a non-traditional role.  I am comfortable with asking for things that may be novel, as well as showering gratitude for those who contribute.  I am direct in both my praise as well as constructive criticism (no BS).  I am known to be the last to speak in a room, as I wish to fully understand the situation before committing my thoughts.  That being said, I am not above the occasional stumble, and am the first to take responsibility for misplaced words.

If elected I would look forward to helping the Virginia Highland stay family friendly with outreach and support for all.

Cherry Frederick

Hi, neighbors.  I’ve lived in Virginia Highland for 20+ years now.  For many of those years, I lived at the corner of Virginia Ave and Briarcliff but after selling my condo, I couldn’t bring myself to leave the neighborhood so I moved to the opposite end of Virginia Ave at Monroe Drive.

My background is in real estate, specifically infrastructure projects such as fiber optic easements and other utility related projects. I recently started focusing on residential real estate. I’m an Associate Broker with Keller Williams Realty Metro Atlanta.

I served on the VaHi Board years ago, around 2010-2011… I think. (It was so long ago that I don’t remember exact dates.) I currently serve on the VaHi Planning Committee and I helped with the VaHi Communications a couple years back. I volunteer with VaHi Tour of Homes, usually registering guests and selling tickets. I try to volunteer every year at Summerfest, my favorite role is to serve the Friday night dinner for the neighborhood when I can.

It would be a privilege to serve the neighborhood again by sitting on the Board.  I would like to continue participating in the Planning Committee and other areas that need attention. 

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VHCA Annual General Meeting – September 19th @7pm

Join us on Thursday, September 19th at the Virginia-Highland Church to enjoy pizza, music by the Springdale choir, grant awarding, elections, and hopefully by-law voting! 

If you would like to be a candidate and run for the 2019-2020 VHCA Board of Directors, please email communications@vahi.org: Your name, contact information, a short bio, and a brief statement on what you would like to accomplish with the VHCA. The position is what you make out of it, we’d love to have you!

Absentee Ballot Casting: 

Ballots may be mailed to P.O. Box 8041; Station F, Atlanta, GA 31106. To be counted, they must arrive in the box by 5 PM the day prior to the election. Absentee ballots may also be hand delivered to the annual meeting by 7 PM.

Note: Please put your ballot in a sealed envelope and then attach the identification document to the outside of the envelope. Account numbers and driver’s license numbers should be blacked out, but leave your name and address visible. After your residency is verified, the identification documents will be removed and destroyed to ensure your ballot and personal data remains anonymous.

One week prior, on September 12th, you can download a copy of the absentee ballot.

We encourage all Va-Hi residents to attend the annual meeting and make your voice heard. (Please be sure to bring your ID or recent utility bill in your name as proof of residency). Also, be sure to check out our Proposed Redlined By-Laws below, per the By-Laws, at least 50 residents are needed to form a quorum to vote on these edits. 

The more residents we have at the meeting, the more the VHCA’s 2019-20 leadership will reflect the collective thoughts and goals of our community.

Below is the “redlining.” The different colors only represent different edits from different people. All crossed out items will looking to be removed, other wording will be added. Please submit comments prior to the Annual General Meeting to communications@vahi.org.

Hope to see you there! Thank you!    

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Keep Atl Beautiful – Last Recycling Event is August 3

Keep Atlanta Beautiful, Inc. (KAtlB) is phasing out our monthly recycling event. Live Thrive Atlanta’s CHaRM will move into the Buckhead area with a more comprehensive menu of recyclables to offer, including hazardous materials. Their goal is to open a permanent location in the Buckhead! The CHaRM monthly event is on the last Saturday of the month from 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon at Peachtree Presbyterian Church, in the Magnolia parking lot at Lakeland Drive and Roswell Road, NE, 30305. (Less than 1.5 mile from our current location.)

For more than a decade KAtlB has hosted monthly, community recycling programs throughout the city of Atlanta. Our Buckhead, Midtown, Old 4th Ward, and Edgewood locations served over 100,000 patrons, collected over 1.4 million pounds of electronics, shredded more than 650,000 pounds of paper, recycled 40,000 gallons of paint and diverted thousands of pounds of Styrofoam, metals, glass, textiles and books from our landfills.

Until 2008, the City of Atlanta had no recycling to offer except for an annual event sponsored by a member of the City Council. Recognizing the need for recycling, Keep Atlanta Beautiful, Inc. started the first regularly scheduled monthly recycling program in 2008 providing the City residents access and knowledge of proper waste disposal.

Over the next ten years the City started their curbside recycling program, and in 2015 Live Thrive Atlanta, opened the Center for Hard to Recycle Materials (CHaRM) in Chosewood Park. Now CHaRM is opening a once-a-month collection in Buckhead with plans to open a permanent facility open three days a week. This is fantastic recycling news for Buckhead! KAtlB recognizes this great opportunity to upgrade recycling services and fully supports CHaRM’s move to Buckhead.

Keep Atlanta Beautiful, Inc., wants to thank you, our loyal patrons, and we look forward to serving you again.

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The North Highland Corridor Survey – Results are in!

Survey was conducted by the North Highland Corridor Alliance, not the VHCA. Questions should be forwarded to richchey@gmail.com.

Thanks to the 349 residents of Morningside Lenox Park and Virginia-Highland that responded to the survey to help with visioning for North Highland through the two neighborhoods.  As advertised, everyone that took the time to provide input was entered into a drawing for a dining gift card.  Congratulations to Lori Peterson, the winner.

The survey found there is a profound sense of community in our neighborhoods, with more than 72% being very likely or extremely likely to recommend living or working in Morningside/Virginia-Highland to a friend. Only 6% were very unlikely or not at all likely to make that recommendation.  The top reasons noted for choosing to live in the area are that it is a walkable and bikeable; there are lots of dining options; there are great parks and open spaces; and the area is family friendly and a great place to raise kids.  Other reasons cited were the uniqueness, history, and safety of the area.

We were particularly interested in finding how our residents currently interact with the North Highland Corridor and their desires for improvements.  Now most folks frequent the area for its dining options, both at dinner and lunch, with dinner having a higher response rate.  Fewer tend to shop in its retail establishments and the use of professional services is very low with 74% claiming they never use such services along the corridor.  When asked why they didn’t use the corridor more often, the main reason mentioned was little variety in dining/retail options (30%).  Other reasons that figure in are lack of parking and traffic. 

When queried about the types of businesses they’d like to see in the future, restaurants (73%) was closely followed by grocers (68%).  It appears that most residents stick pretty close to home for their dining/shopping with almost half claiming to shop in Morningside/Virginia-Highland once a week or more.  Other areas frequented were Ansley Mall, the Beltline, and Midtown.

As far as vision goes, residents cited Safety, Schools, and the Business District as the most important issues facing the area.  An open-ended question that asked about their vision for the neighborhood 5 years from now also pointed to the importance of transportation, the business district, and housing rose to the top.  Transportation concerns include traffic and ways to mitigate its impact on our neighborhoods. There is a common desire to see the area improve in terms of walk- and bike-ability.  Respondents wish to see fewer vacant storefronts and more variety in our shopping/dining districts.  Housing concerns are focused around affordability and the influx of McMansions.

The North Highland Corridor Alliance again thanks all who took the time to respond.  You can rest assured that your comments will help us as we work to improve the vital neighborhood artery.

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Free Yoga in the Park

Free Yoga in the Park is coordinated by the VHCA & Highland Yoga every first Sunday of the month. Due to rain in April and May, June 2 was our first vinyasa flow with instructor Inna Milko and it was a great turnout. About a dozen people walked, scooted, and rode to North Highland Park to lay out their mat under a tree for one hour of yoga in the park.

The North Highland Park provided a fantastic ambiance and a light chatter of singing birds, cars passing by, leaves in the wind, and Inna’s little jambox.

Join us for our next session, July 7 at 2:30pm. For updates follow the Facebook event here.

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Free Parking in the Va/Hi Intersection – tell all of your friends!

You might remember in March, when the City & Atl Plus did a month-long trial period of “bagged” meters, well it worked!

The metered parking at the Virginia-Highland intersection has officially (& finally) been removed, an effort on behalf of our Councilwoman Jennifer Ide as well as feedback from the community residents and landlords. Councilwoman Ide mentioned that Midtown has seen an increase in metered parking and that has allowed for some relief from neighborhood, which was one of the first neighborhoods to have them installed. The plan is to keep the pressure to eventually move free parking into the Atkin’s Park node.

Please invite all of your friends into the intersection to enjoy this new perk to shopping local!

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Summerfest Success!

Another Summerfest is in the books! The VHCA would like to thank all of our wonderful sponsors and volunteers who made the festival possible.

The weekend was kicked off with a circus themed parade and showing of “The Greatest Showman” at our annual neighborhood dinner. Bright and early Saturday morning over 800 runners turned out for our 5K. As an added incentive, runners were offered a free beer or non-alcoholic beverage following the race. The popular tot trot sold out for the first time ever.

This year we welcomed over 200 artists in our juried market and 30 in our makers market. Summerfest had two new additions to the fun-packed weekend. The VHCA teamed up with Cornhole ATL to host a cornhole tournament, and our neighbor, Stephanie Coffin, held a walking tree tour.

Summerfest attendees also enjoyed an expanded Kidsfest area that featured bounce houses, a water slide, face painting, a petting zoo, police horses, and much more.

The Summerfest committee will be meeting next month in order to review the festival and discuss more exciting changes for the festival in 2020.

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How to Report a Pothole

Are you tired of hitting the same potholes every day?

Do you wish the city would fix those potholes?  Well, you can be part of the solution.  Let the city know about the potholes you encounter so they can prioritize them as they work to fix our streets.  It is quick and easy.  VaHi residents have experienced success getting potholes filled as soon as 2-4 weeks after submitting the request (results may vary).

To submit a request use one of the following two methods:

Either:

  1. Navigate to: https://www.atl311.com/?page_id=115&atlId=1-3JRDP
  2. Click “Create Request”
  3. Fill out the form.  Provide as much detail on the location as possible in the “Customer Notes” section (direction of travel, lane)

OR

  1. Navigate to: https://www.atl311.com/
  2. Click “Report a Problem”
  3. Select “Streets and Sidewalks” from the drop down list
  4. Select “Pothole” from the next drop down list
  5. Select “Potholes” from the last drop down list
  6. Click “Submit”
  7. Click “Create Request”
  8. Fill out the form.  Provide as much detail on the location as possible in the “Customer Notes” section (direction of travel, lane)

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Summerfest Parking Passes for Affected Residents

  • Information letters and parking passes were mailed on May 20, 2019 to residents of streets that will be completely closed to traffic during Summerfest (such as Virginia Avenue from N. Highland to Park), Greencove, parts of Crestridge accessed from alley).  If your neighbor receives their letter and you don’t, please wait for another day to receive yours, as sometimes they are not delivered to everyone on the same day.
  • For residents of streets closed to residents only (Clemont, Los Angeles, Maryland, Vance), your parking passes will be hand-delivered by May 31.
  • If you live on one of the aforementioned streets and do not have your parking pass by May 31, then please contact Chip Franzoni at 404-357-2268.
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SUMMERFEST 2019

The 36th Annual Summerfest (5/31 – 6/2) is right around the corner! 

Summerfest kicks off on Friday, May 31 with the neighborhood parade, neighborhood dinner and movie for residents of Virginia-Highland.  The movie this year is The Greatest Showman and the parade has a fun circus theme.  We’ll have a few circus-related surprises this year at the community dinner and movie!

Friday also marks the start of the free Summerfest concerts.  Moontower will be playing from 8 – 11 at the stage at Virginia and North Highland and will cover the best of The Beatles and favorites from David Bowie, Led Zeppelin, the Grateful Dead and more.  The free music continues all weekend with bands on both the North Highland Stage and the Main Stage in John Howell Park.  Additional information on the bands can be found at: https://www.vahisummerfest.org/music/

On Saturday morning, we have the always popular Summerfest 5K and Tot Trot.  This year, the 5k, which is a Peacthree Road Race qualifier, includes not only a great race tee shirt, but a free beer as well!  More information on the race, which starts at 8:00 am on Saturday, can be found athttps://www.vahisummerfest.org/run/

The amazing Summerfest artist market runs Saturday, 6/1 and Sunday 6/2 from 10:00 – 6:00.  In addition to the juried artist market with some of the top artists in the Southeast, we have an expanded Makers Market where you will get to explore booths from 30+ artisans and vendors who offer one-of-a-kind items that ignite the senses.

We have some exciting changes this year as well.  There will be a Corn Hole Tournament on Saturday.  https://www.vahisummerfest.org/events/#cornhole We have also expanded Kidsfest and expect it to be the best one yet!

Additional details on Summerfest are available on our new Summerfest website: https://www.vahisummerfest.org/about/

We look forward to seeing you at Summerfest on 5/31, 6/1 and 6/2!

 

WHEN

·         Friday, May 31 from 8 to 11 p.m. – Acoustic Street Party only

·         Saturday, June 1 from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Artist Market and Makers Market close at 6:30 p.m.)

·         Sunday, June 2 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

WHERE 

·         Virginia Avenue between North Highland Avenue and Park Drive and John Howell Park.

COST

·         Admission to Summerfest, including all of the live music, is free.

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Annual Street Captain Mtg. Notes – May 4, 2019

SPEAKERS

Atlanta Police Dept’s Sargent Brian Wilkes and Captain Antonio (Tony) Clay

Representing Atlanta Police Dept. were Sargent Brian Wilkes who has been on the force for 22 years and with Zone 6th since 2012, and Captain Antonio (Tony) Clay also came by to field questions.

Sgt. Wilkes talked about use of the body cameras. After an initial adjustment, most officers now see the value and are willingly using the cameras; the video record provides a checks and balances for both officers and the public. It is part of his job to review the video from every officer’s camera assigned to his shift each day, and to ensure that officers are using the cameras. Video is retained in the cloud indefinitely. On APD servers it is retained for approximately six months unless there is an actual arrest associated with the video. As evidence for the prosecution of that crime, the video will be kept forever.

He also explained what he does on a typical day. He supervises 15-16 officers and attends calls as needed to assist his team. Each officer takes an average of 18-20 calls per day. There is a significant amount of paperwork required in Sargent Wilkes’ role as well as review of the videos captured daily on each call. 

We talked about the no (car) chase policy for the city of Atlanta. APD officers can only initiate a chase if they know that they are in pursuit of a suspect in a felony crime and that the crime has occurred shortly beforehand. Barring that, the potential threat of injury/bodily harm makes these pursuits too risky. The Sgt. is glad that we have this policy because he has seen too many people (including officers, suspects and innocent bystanders) seriously injured or killed as a result of high speed car chases.  He did note that State Troopers do not fall under this policy and can end up chasing suspects into these city jurisdictions.

We talked with Captain Clay about the reasons that the APD headcount is so far below plan. We are authorized to have 2000 officers but currently are in the range of 1550 -1600. Causes include many years of noncompetitive pay and benefits, and the fact that young people are less interested in serving as a police officers to which he believes the negative view of police by the public is contributing.

 

Anna Avato, from the International Brotherhood of Police Officers (IBPO) Union

Anna Avato, from the International Brotherhood of Police Officers (IBPO) union, represents APD officers, 911 operators and dispatchers, as well as officers from some other jurisdictions such as East Point. She noted that since APD began using body cameras and, as a result, the number of false allegations against police is down.

The investigation occurs whether an injury resulted or not. If the officer discharges his/her weapon, it is investigated by the GBI and considered an officer involved shooting. Anna shared the procedures and processes conducted when she is called out to an officer involved shooting, crash, or other incident. She meets with the officer or officers involved to understand what happened from their point of view. She walks the scene with the GBI investigators, and she helps to record in writing and with pictures the number of bullets in the firearm after the incident to help verify how many shots were fired. The role of the IBPO is to support the involved officers (Lt. and below in rank) during an investigation; they can provide  counselling services resources through the Employee Assistance Plan (EAP) and  IBPO staff attorneys with handle any necessary defense.

Anna stressed repeatedly the challenges 911 call operators and dispatchers face on a daily basis. Currently they are paid about $15/hour, but a competitive salary is $18 – $20/hour. The IBPO is working with APD to improve conditions for these civilian employees to ensure their mental health and to reduce the extremely high turnover we see for this high stress job.

We talked about how to report non-emergency incidents and the suggestion is to use the APD online reporting system. http://www.atlantapd.org/services/online-reporting

 

 Community Safety

We discussed that the #1 crime in our neighborhood is car break-ins.  Adair and Drewry both reported there have been multiple car break-ins recently.  As such, why it is important that residents are aware and complying with the ‘Clean Car Campaign’ as well as why it is critical that residents are not leaving guns in their consoles or gloveboxes.  

One Safety Captain inquired about options for addressing speeding issues. Kay Stephenson advised there were a variety of options that could be requested via 311:

  • a traffic study
  • request additional speed limit signs or trees to be trimmed so it is visible
  • install speed humps
  • install additional street lights
  • Call our new commander and request extra speed limit enforcement on the street

 VaHL’s has 75-80 captains which is a testament to how much residents care about the community and why we put such a high priority on safety.  Kay Stephenson reviewed crime trends from 2014 to current and crime is trending down moderately year over year.

There are 6,000 households in the neighborhood and less than 300 Fight Back Against Crime (FBAC) members. With this minimum # of participants, we can only afford 1 5-hr shift a day (VaHL Security Patrol).  Deborah Schwarz volunteered to put together an FBAC focused communication that Safety Captains can distribute to their individual blocks.   

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Sign up to be a ‘Host Home’ to end Youth Homelessness

Inspiritus Introduces New Thrive! Host Home Program

Inspiritus, formerly Lutheran Services of Georgia, has launched a new program focused on ending youth homelessness in Atlanta. The first program of its kind in Georgia, the Thrive! Youth Host Home program provides supportive, short-term housing in residential homes for youth ages 18-24 experiencing homelessness. 

The Thrive! Youth Host Home program creates welcoming spaces for youth experiencing homelessness to live safely in a home setting for up to nine months while they work toward transitioning into permanent housing. The program places special emphasis on being inclusive and supportive of youth who identify as LGBTQ and youth who have aged out of foster care. In addition to housing, youth in the program will receive ongoing support, including education and employment assistance and other case management services. Youth referrals will be coordinated through City of Atlanta’s coordinated entry system. 

Inspiritus is currently seeking compassionate individuals and families in the Metro-Atlanta area who are interested in opening their hearts and their homes to youth experiencing homelessness.  Individuals who would like to learn more are invited to attend an open house at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 16 at Episcopal Church of the Epiphany (2089 Ponce de Leon Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30307).  Registration is not required.

For more information on getting involved with Thrive! Youth Host Homes, visit  weinspirit.org/thrive or contact Inspiritus Youth Host Home recruiter Fran Patrick at fran.patrick@weinspirit.org

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Call for Local Artists! – Paint NHP utility box

Hey neighbors!

We know some of you are talented beyond belief…cough cough Stephanie Coffin cough cough..

So the VHCA is hosting a ‘Call for Local Artists’ for one lucky winner to transform a utility box into a work of art. As part of the VHCA beautification funding, we will be sponsoring a local Artist to paint the utility box located near the sidewalk at North Highland Park.

To Apply:

Email your name, zip code, short bio, instagram/portfolio (optional) and conceptual ideas to communications@vahi.org.

Winner will be chosen June 1, 2019.

 

Note: if this proves popular, more utility boxes may become available!

Also note: the VHCA is still requesting permission to paint said utility boxes, if you have any information or connections with AT&T please contact communications@vahi.org

 

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Beautify VaHi Spring Planting Day is this Saturday, April 13th!

Meet Beautify VaHi and other volunteers in the main VaHi intersection Saturday, April 13th at 10am for a few hours of Spring planting and beautification! Projects on the list include replacing winter vegetation in existing planters, adding another 10 pots to the main intersection, replanting the Amsterdam parklet, new planters for Atkin’s Park area, and more!!

This is just the Spring facelift we were looking for, and we’d love your help!

BONUS: VHCA has teamed up with a few major landowners to fund-match a Business Node Pressure Washing Project. Peach State Pressure Wash will be cleaning our curbs and sidewalks of gum and debris prior to the Spring Planting to ensure maximum Winter recovery!

We’ll see you out there.

To donate to the cause, please click here.

 

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Get involved with SUMMERFEST!

The popular VaHi event, Summerfest, is right around the corner (June 1 & 2) and just like every year before, we need your help!

Here’s a few ways to get involved:

Volunteer:

It takes over 200 volunteers to make Summerfest possible. Sign up to volunteer for 1,2, or all 3 days to get the most out of your Summerfest experience! Volunteers will each receive a free commemorative t-shirt.

Click here to sign up to volunteer

Sponsor:

Sponsorship opportunities are still available. If you would like to be a sponsor of Summerfest, please email Rick@mixitmarketing or visit the new Summerfest website and click on the ‘sponsors’ tab! Thank you, all money raised goes directly back into the neighborhood!

Like & Share the event online! Click here to follow us on Facebook

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Center for Civic Innovation is evaluating Atlanta NPU’s

Center for Civic Innovation Launches Multi-year Initiative to Evaluate Atlanta’s Neighborhood Planning Unit System
 
ATLANTA, GA –– On March 14th, 2019, the Center for Civic Innovation (CCI) launched an independently-led, multi-year study and review of the city’s historic Neighborhood Planning Unit (NPU) system. The NPU Initiative kicked off at the Old City Council Chambers of Atlanta City Hall, where more than 200 community and city leaders from across Atlanta were in attendance. CCI’s goal of this initiative is to strengthen community engagement in Atlanta in partnership with a growing coalition of community organizations and individuals. CCI spent the past year conducting historical research and meeting with key stakeholders, including elected NPU leadership, city council members, mayoral representatives, and community-focused organizations. Over the next two years, the NPU Initiative will educate our fellow Atlanta residents about the history of community engagement in our city, analyze what is how engagement is happening today, and evaluate improvements for making it better.
The kickoff event featured a primer on the history of the NPUs, created early in the administration of Atlanta’s first African-American mayor, Maynard Jackson. A panel discussion followed with some of the original civic leaders involved at the time, including: Bunnie Jackson-Ransom, the City of Atlanta’s first black “First Lady” during her marriage to Mayor Maynard Jackson; Leon Eplan, the City of Atlanta’s first commissioner of the Department of Budget and Planning; and Joseph Drolet, a founder and past president of the Citywide League of Neighborhoods, a coalition created to support pro-neighborhood candidates in the 1973 election.
“A Neighborhood Planning Unit is the kind of organization where people can go and get to know what’s going on in their neighborhood. They can be as involved as they want to be. They can take a leadership role, and many community leaders have come out of NPUs,” said panelist Bunnie Jackson-Ransom who worked as a planner for Economic Opportunity Atlanta, an important precursor to the NPU system established during her late husband’s first term as mayor.
“Atlanta’s residents should shape the future of our city, and NPU system was created to do exactly that,” said Rohit Malhotra, Founder & Executive Director of the Center for Civic Innovation. “That’s why it’s so important to make sure it is working how people need it to be. This initiative won’t be perfect, but we’re committed to being honest and authentic along the way. We have to remember why we’re doing this: for people whose voices are often overshadowed and unheard. That has real-life consequences.”
The next few months will continue to be focused on meeting with potential partners and forming a coalition of partners for support, guidance, and accountability. The next phase of the NPU Initiative will involve a city-wide survey of Atlanta residents on how they engage with local government, including interactions with the NPU system. Simultaneously, the coalition will attend meetings and conduct a thorough assessment of all 25 NPUs, work with key stakeholders to gain deeper insight into community engagement challenges and opportunities, and develop and implement a city-wide education program of “NPU 101” events.
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About the Center for Civic Innovation
The Center for Civic Innovation (CCI) is an Atlanta-based non-profit organization that empowers people to shape the future of our city. Our mission is to empower people to shape the future of our city by designing local public policy from the ground up.
Learn more about CCI: www.civicatlanta.org
About the NPU Initiative
The NPU Initiative is a multi-year study and review of Atlanta’s historic Neighborhood Planning Unit (NPU) system. While we forever love Atlanta, the NPU Initiative is independent from the City of Atlanta government. It is led by a growing coalition of partner organizations seeking to improve community engagement in our city.
Learn more about the NPU Initiative: npu.civicatlanta.org
Center for Civic Innovation
115 Martin Luther King Jr Drive SW, Suite 304
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
 
CONTACT:
Andrea Cervone
Programs Director
Mobile: (912) 704-7387
Kyle Kessler
Policy & Research Director
 
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BIG things with Beautify VaHi! ~ a list of projects

Hi Neighbors!
You might be thinking you haven’t heard much from Beautify VaHi in a while… BUT that’s because we’ve been planning MEGA for this year! We are taking last year’s momentum with the Perk’s Plus card, Winter Planting and VaHi Stocking Stuffer Market and were quadrulping it! We are so excited to announce a calendar full of neighborhood events and beautification efforts. 

A List of projects Beautify VaHi is working on:

  • First, we want to brag on the daffodils we planted by the median sign back in December. They JUST popped up, and somehow it feel like instant gratification. So beautiful.
  • Our Co-Founder, Katie Voelpel, is working with the Civic Association toward a Place-making grant from the City of Atlanta to spice up the Va-Hi median with tables and chairs under the existing trees. Application is due March 29th.
  • Spring Planting Day is April 13th at 10am. We will be meeting at Art Bath Soul for an afternoon of beautification and maintenance in the main VaHi intersection. Join us! To make a donation of money or supplies, please contact katie@beautifyvahi.com.
  • We are scouting a farmer’s market for our VaHi neighborhood residents, hopefully to open this Spring down by Atkin’s Park!
  • Looking forward to a pressure washing of the business corridors this month!
  • New Easter Wine Walk & Dine event is happening in the main intersection the Saturday before Easter (April 20th). Bring your friends for an afternoon of wristband-access to exclusive discounts, a VaHi commemorative wine glass, with wine and appetizers from local restaurants. Only $25, Sign up now on Event Brite!
  • Keep an eye out for a Beautify VaHi Quarterly Newsletter mid-April. Email katie@beautifyvahi.com to join the list! We will be using this platform to update residents and visitors on news and events of each upcoming quarter. You won’t want to miss this! For other updates follow our Facebook @BeautifyVaHi
  • A Mother’s Day Sidewalk SALE-bration is also happening. Similar to the Stocking-Stuffer Market we will be hosting independent artists & owners on the sidewalk of the main intersection. Bring your mom/graduate out to this free event on May 12.
  • A VaHi Restaurant Week in June? We really hope so! Ask your local restaurant if they are participating.
  • The 2nd Generation Perks Plus card is also in the works, set to launch this Summer/Fall.
  • Beautify VaHi is also working with Art Bath Soul to create a co-op/community workspace in the back Enrichment Lounge area. For activities like, book clubs, bead-bracelet making, office hours, small workshops, and more. Contact Ben or Kayla at Art Bath Soul For a free booking/tour during business hours.

And that’s about it…for now!
We are so excited, and hope that you will join us for all the fun.

Katie Voelpel
Beautify VaHi, President
Contact Katie@BeautifyVaHi.com with comments, questions, & ideas!

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Update on Sign-toppers – We’re up to 100+ signs

The feedback on what color the sign is going to be…. has been brought to the people! Thank you to everyone who participated in our Instagram and Facebook surverys.

Our designs were made with reference to neighboring examples such as:

 

We started with about 70 signs and have added a bunch more! No matter what the decision, these are sure to add a fresh pop to our streetscape. Make sure to keep an eye out for these, coming this Summer!

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Sign-topper Design Proposals Debut at Next Board Meeting – Feb 11

Top That!

They say that street sign toppers encourage a sense of belonging and neighborhood pride. While it’s hard to imagine how one can be more proud of our community, we’re now a few steps closer to having our very own sign toppers to promote our neighborhood’s identity.  A few design mock-ups will be headed to the VHCA board for consideration at their next meeting. Once a selection is made, it’s off to production and up they’ll go! 

content submitted by Chip Franzoni of the VHCA Board of Directors

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(UPDATED) Ponce Library Renovation Public Meeting – POSTPONED to Feb 20

Library Renovation Public Meeting –
Tuesday, January 29, 2019 – 6:30 PM-8:00 PM (POSTPONED due to weather – new date is February 20th)
Ponce de Leon Branch Library
980 Ponce de Leon Avenue, N.E.
Atlanta, GA 30306
Residents are invited to the library for a sneak peek at design plans for the Ponce de Leon Public Library renovation. The Design/Build team will be on hand to answer questions and share plans for the renovation of Ponce de Leon Library, which might begin this calendar year.  (Or not.)
Residents and patrons of the library will have the opportunity to provide comments and input on the design plans for the library.
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North Highland Park Tax Appeal – A BIG thanks to Mr. Hotz!

The Virginia-Highland Civic Association is pleased to report some significant property tax reductions that will result in material savings to the Association on the old library lots–now North Highland Park (at St. Charles Place and North Highland Avenue) that the VHCA owns thanks to some great efforts by past Treasurer George Zirkel and Walter Hotz, Esq., of BOE Tax Appeals in Tucker. Upon George’s request, Mr. Hotz appealed our 2018 taxes on the two parcels and physically attended the County Boards of Equalization hearings to present our case. The parcels were appraised at $174,000 and $157,000, respectively, in 2018 before the appeal and hearing. Mr. Hotz was able to get each lot appraisal down to $100, for a sum total of $200 appraisal value for the combined property/park. What an amazing job that the Association will reap benefits from for the next several years. These rates will be frozen/’locked in’ all the way until 2021 pursuant to the tax statute.

 

On behalf of the VHCA and all of its’ members, we would like to formally send a huge thanks out to both George Zirkel and Walter Hotz, Esq. Thanks so much!!

Article by David Brandenberger, President – Virginia-Highland Civic Association

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(UPDATED) Re-Prioritizing TSPLOST – Public Meeting – Survey deadline extended to Feb. 7

From Jennifer Ide’s Office: (Please join us)

The Renew Atlanta/TSPLOST programs, launched in 2015 and 2016, were created to help address the billion dollar infrastructure backlog facing the city. Though the programs have made much progress to date delivering key projects across Atlanta, they face significant budget challenges as we move forward to complete the full initial program scope. Moreover, the cost to deliver the full scope of the initial program considerably exceeds the funding available from the Renew Atlanta Bond and anticipated TSPLOST revenues.

We are working diligently to prioritize and re-baseline the initial program lists to deliver the greatest impact to Atlanta’s above-ground infrastructure and transportation network with the available funds. Through this re-baselining effort, we are dedicated to engaging all stakeholders to help inform the process in a transparent and meaningful way.

As a first step in that process, we encourage you to attend our Public Meetings associated with each quadrant of the city. Bring your neighbors to the first meeting for the Northeast quadrant will be at Grady High School (929 Charles Allen Dr. NE) on January 30 from 6:30 to 8:00 PM

(UPDATE) Public input via survey has been extended to February 7, 2019.

Presentation and Survey can be found here.

Subscribe to the District 6 Newsletter for monthly updates/news/events in our district!

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INMAN MIDDLE SCHOOL MOVES FORWARD ON THE PATH TO 1:1!

Submitted by Kim Meyer, Trustee, Inman Middle School Foundation

Atlanta Public Schools recently received the amazing news that all 6th and 7th grade students will benefit from the T-Mobile Empower Ed program.  What does this mean for Inman? Lenovo laptops will be issued to all 6th and 7th grade students in January. In addition, certain students will qualify for wireless “hotspots” to ensure the availability of WiFi service at home.

Thanks to donations from our Inman community that includes our Candler Park neighborhood, the Inman Middle School Foundation had already succeeded in funding over 400 Chromebooks that are already being used in classrooms every day across grades and subject areas. These devices, when added to the new T-Mobile laptops and existing Inman devices, mean that EVERY Inman student will have access to a dedicated device by February!

The Grady Cluster is aligned to support the College and Career Readiness platform for our students. These technology initiatives result in students gaining skills to best prepare them for their college and/or job experiences.  In the shorter term, increased exposure in the classroom helps increase students’ comfort level for the spring Milestones assessments which are conducted on a laptop or Chromebook.  Finally, this technology enables teachers across all grade levels to interact with their students in new and engaging ways while delivering real-time, differentiated instruction based on individual student needs and abilities.

Tenecia Powe, Inman’s Instruction Technology Specialist, said “The most powerful aspect of being one to one is the unique learning experiences that will now be offered to our students. They will be able to interact with content in a way that’s just not possible with the traditional paper and pencil method. Skyping content experts, virtual field trips, and other digital activities take learning beyond the borders of our brick and mortar school. With effective and efficient integration, we will not only engage and instruct our students today, but we will also prepare them for future success in college and careers.”

The success of this initiative will continue to require support in the areas of teacher professional learning, educational software, and technology updates/accessories. Continued financial contributions from our Inman families and community are therefore critical to maintaining the great momentum we’ve built so far.

Please visit www.inmanfoundation.org to learn more on how you can support our Inman Eagles!

 

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2019 Monthly Meeting Calendar

Each month the volunteer board members of the VHCA, come together with Va-Hi residents to make motions, pass variances, and mold the future of our wonderful historic neighborhood. We invite you to join us for the conversation. Mark your calendar for the year ahead!

VHCA Monthly Board Meetings 2019
January 14, 2019
February 11, 2019
March 11, 2019
April 8, 2019
May 13, 2019
June 10, 2019
July 8, 2019
August 12, 2019
September 9, 2019
October 14, 2019
November 11, 2019
December 9, 2019
NPU-F Monthly Meetings 2019
January 21, 2019
February 18, 2019
March 18, 2019
April 15, 2019
May 20, 2019
June 17, 2019
July 15, 2019
August 19, 2019
September 16, 2019
October 21, 2019
November 18, 2019
December 16, 2019

 

 

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2018 TOUR OF HOMES – RAIN OR SHINE, IT WAS A WONDERFUL TIME

Capping off another successful year, the 2018 Virginia-Highland Tour of Homes raised more than $30,000 for the Virginia-Highland Civic Association. Every year we’re reminded of what an incredible neighborhood ours is to call home, and this year was no different! Seven generous neighbors opened up their homes to more than 1,700 visitors over the weekend of December 1st and 2nd, showcasing their art, furnishings, and renovations, as well of some of the neighborhoods favorite restaurants. Despite one day of heavy rain, more than 170 volunteers came out to showcase wonderful homes from across Virginia-Highland. Luckily, Sunday brought beautiful weather – and with it a record number of visitors. 

Raising more than $380,000 for the neighborhood over the last six years, the Tour of Homes is a true community effort. We’d like to thank, first and foremost, our homeowners for hosting this year’s tour. We couldn’t have done it without YOU! We’re also very grateful to our advertising and restaurant partners who continue to be so generous each year. Many thanks to those who volunteered throughout the weekend and to our house captains who managed volunteers at each home.

The Tour of Homes Committee works all year long to put together an outstanding event. We’d like to thank each of them for their efforts:

  • Home Selection: Jeannie Lightsey (Co-Chair), Robin Ragland (Co- Chair), Pam Bullock, Julie Farmer, and Mary Hallenberg
  • Public Relations:  Kitsy Rose PR
  • Restaurants: JoAnn Zyla (Chair), Alison Hutton, and Robin Ragland
  • Volunteers: Brittany Thacher (Co- Chair), Meghan Pendergast Dean (Co-Chair), Elanor Barrineau, and Karen Murphree
  • Graphic Design: Lori Z Joslyn
  • Website: Centner Consulting
  • Tour Operations:  Sean Davey, Cherry Frederick, and Holle Gilbert
  • Signage and Flocking: Cherry Frederick

Last but not least, thank you to Robin Ragland for dedicating your time for the last six years as Tour of Homes Chair. Your hard work and dedication are invaluable and we’re grateful to have you as our neighbor!

If you really enjoyed this year’s Tour and want to be part of an important fundraising effort for our neighborhood, please note that the 25th annual Tour of Homes will be held December 7-8, 2019. We’d love to have you join our team! Or, maybe you’d like your home featured on next year’s tour? It’s a great way to connect with neighbors and finish up that list of projects around the house! For details on how to get involved, contact Chase Johnson at chasevhca@gmail.com.

Contributed by Chase Johnson

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Sponsor a Family in Need for the Holidays!

Are you interested in ‘sponsoring’ a family in need this holiday season? In Atlanta, DFCS reports that, this year, there are more families than ever who are in need of some of the most basic items such as food, clothing, etc. I work with DFCS each year to obtain a list of families who would like to be matched with a sponsor. For those of you who have never done this, it can be a great / meaningful experience.

Sponsoring a family is easy to do, can provide a personalized giving experience, and is a great educational/ volunteer opportunity to share with children.

You have a choice to either deliver the basket personally to your assigned family or drop it off at a DFCS warehouse and have it delivered for you.

All you need to do is:

1. Email me back (lindabrenner@mac.com) and tell me how many families you’d like to sponsor. Specify large or small and I’ll try my best to match you accordingly (feel free to sponsor a large family with another group / friends.)

2. I will then send you specifics about your sponsor family (number of people, ages, address/phone, and wish list – if available)

3. Call the family, let them know that you are their holiday sponsor and confirm the information you’ve been given about them. Let them know that you are planning on purchasing a few items for them. You may choose to be direct and ask what kinds of groceries or small gifts they’d most like. Or, you can simply let them know that you’ll be bringing by some surprises based on the information that you were given. Arrange a mutually convenient time to drop off your basket at the family’s home – or let me know that their basket will be delivered to them. (Regardless of what a family requests, you should buy what you’re comfortable buying.)

4. Put together a basket / box (or a big plastic tub that they can re-use is a good option) with as many food and/or gift items that you feel comfortable giving. A gift card (in any amount) to either Publix or Kroger is a good idea instead of (or in addition to) other items. Make a holiday card for the family.

5. Deliver between now and Christmas. If you want to drop it off at DFCS so they can deliver, let me know and plan on doing that by mid-December.

Note – baskets should not include second hand/used clothing or toys. (If you have women’s/children’ s clothing or supplies that you want to get rid of – I can connect you with one of several organizations nearby which are in constant need of such things.)

PLEASE send this message to friends or co-workers who also might like to participate – there are many, many families in need – so the more, the better.

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Here are some comments from some of the folks who have done this in the past:

<<I just wanted to thank you for arranging the holiday sponsoring
program this year. I dropped off the family’s stuff yesterday and it
was a very moving experience. The young girl (with two little kids)
was very sweet and appreciative and she definitely needed our help.
The only gifts under the tree were from our family and we increased
the food items in her kitchen by about 20-fold! >>

<<I wanted to let you know that I dropped off gifts for my host family
last Saturday. It was a mother and daughter and they were very nice
and appreciative. I included a $20 publix gift card so that they can
pick something out themselves. Thanks for arranging this!>>

<<We dropped our gifts and food off on Sunday and the family was very
appreciative. The overall experience was good for our family and made
us realize once again how fortunate we are. I wish we would have
done more, but not having done this before I just wasn’t sure what to
do and what to expect. I think the next time I would add other items
to the gifts, such as books for the 7 year old and probably more
food. Thank you so much for coordinating this and we will definitely
do this again.>>

<<My little 4 year old and I delivered our basket to our family this
past Saturday. The mother in turn gave us a thoughtful card and two
candy canes. She met us at her apartment and she welcomed us with
hugs. The whole experience was wonderful.>>

<<We just returned from delivering our basket. We took our two
children (5 and 2) as a Channukah ‘good deed’ activity – and it was
great. They had two little girls so the kids played while we talked
to the mother. They had a very small apartment and no gifts in
sight. Even though the mother was quiet and reserved, I could tell
she was really happy and appreciative. It’s got to be hard to be in
that situation! Thanks for arranging it and put us on the list for
next year.>>

Thank you and happy holidays!

Article contributed by Linda Brenner
lindabrenner@mac.com

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