The Decatur Farmers Market is starting a series of "celebrity chef demos."
At 11 a.m. Saturday, Drew Belline of No. 246 will show how to cook using local ingredients.
The demos are one of the changes that have occurred since the management of the market changed. The number of vendors has also grown.
The market's email newsletter said blueberries and peaches will be available Saturday. Some of the vendors this week include:
The market will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at West Trinity Place and North McDonough, across from Chick-fil-A.
Here are five things to do this weekend. For a full list of ideas, look at the Patch calendar of events.
1. Going old school: Bands will perform music from groups like New Order and REM at the Rock and Role Revue at the Decatur High Performing Arts Center. All proceeds will go to the family of Angela Riley (DHS Class of 2006), who was hit by a drunk driver in Nashville and is in critical care at Vanderbilt University Hospital. 7 p.m. Friday and 6:30 p.m. Saturday. Minimum $5 donation.
2. Twain's presents SpringFest Music Festival. Gringo Star, Cute Boots and other bands perform at Twain's Billiards and Tap on Saturday to raise money for the Atlanta Community Food Bank. $10 in advance, $15 day of the show.
3. Happy birthday, Avondale Pizza. The restaurant will celebrate its 25th year from 3-7 p.m. Sunday with hors d'oevres, drink specials and a jumpy house for the kids. The Stiles Knight Band plays at 4 p.m. Free admission.
5. Silent auction. You could win a four-day Norwegian cruise, vacation getaways to Georgia resorts, Braves tickets and free meals at this annual event at the Avondale Community Club. Starts at 6:30 p.m. Saturday. $15.
Here are some recent health inspection scores performed by the DeKalb County Board of Health for restaurants and schools in our community. Readers can click on the score to see the actual report:
Avondale Estates holds it annual fishing derby on Saturday.
Residents will throw their lines into Lake Avondale and compete to catch the largest fish, the most fish and to be the oldest and youngest to catch a fish.
Patch caught Joe Bennett of Avondale Estates, a member of the American Bass Anglers, casting in the lake Thursday afternoon.
He won't be fishing in the derby--he's entered a competition at Lake Altoona--but talked about the variety of fish that can be found in Lake Avondale.
The derby is 8 a.m. to noon and it's free. The event was rained out a few weeks ago.
About this sponsorship: In honor of the 60th anniversary of Sir Edmund Hillary’s historic ascent of Mount Everest, Patch and Grape-Nuts are teaming up to highlight those who inspire people around them to climb their own mountains.
Laura Whitaker is the executive director of Extra Special People, a nonprofit in Watkinsville, GA, that enhances the lives of children with disabilities by offering them recreation, education and socialization. Whitaker has been the executive director of ESP since 2006, and was only 21 when she took on the job. Under her leadership, the nonprofit has grown from a summer camp program to a year-round one, providing after-school care and family counseling for more than 150 children throughout 10 counties in Northeast Georgia.
Whitaker talks here about the challenges of running the nonprofit and the ambitious goals she has for Extra Special People.
Q: What’s the biggest challenge you’ve ever taken on?
A: The biggest challenge taken on was by far in January of 2006, when I took over ESP. After the sudden passing of the founder and director, I wanted the kids to have camp. However, I didn’t understand at the time that I was taking over a nonprofit and was required to raise $300,000 in order to have camp. In many ways I feel like my job chose me, and I am so thankful it did. I quickly learned, made mistakes and then learned again. The last seven years has taught me how to be a leader and how to effectively lead an organization that is changing lives every day.
After taking over ESP I quickly realized that we were only serving a fraction of the number of children with disabilities and families that needed our services. We have a waiting list that grows each summer. Our small, 1,600 square-foot facility does not match the incredible program of ESP. And as the waiting list lengthens and the request for additional services increases, my heart felt more and more burdened.
The second biggest challenge was making the step to do something about this. In 2012 the board, the families of ESP and I launched a capital campaign to raise $5 million, to one day build a bigger facility to serve more children. It was the biggest leap of faith the organization has made thus far but we had to make it. The needs are great. We believe that our community will rally behind us and allow us to serve more people. Until then, many children will wait.
In the last year we've raised about $500,000 in gifts and pledges. We still have a long way to go, but I’m confident that the members of our community believe in the children of ESP and will want to leave a long-lasting legacy through ESP.
Q: What will you do when you succeed?
A: When we finally get our new facility, we will march into our new home hand-in-hand with the individuals we serve and do nothing other than what we always do, just bigger, and have one giant dance party!
Americans may be living longer, but our retirement plans aren’t keeping up. Which means people are living longer with smaller bank accounts.
But Marlene Konkoly will retire at age 50. How did she do it? She contributes a whopping 45 percent of the gross annual income she earns as a procurement officer for an automotive finance company to her retirement—all while owning a home and remaining debt-free.
Konkoly is actually well ahead of the retirement savings curve compared to many of her fellow Americans. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, fewer than half of Americans even know how much money they would need to retire. And nearly a third of employees who had access to a defined contribution plan such as a 401(k) did not participate in it.
“Save at least what your employer matches in your 401(k),” Konkoly said. “It’s like saying no to free money if you don’t.”
Konkoly, who lives in Royal Oak, MI, said she started saving at 22—but only because other people said she should. She saved a mere 2 percent at her first job out of college.
“I didn’t think I could afford much. I didn’t have any understanding of savings and how it would affect my future,” she said.
$17,000 in Debt
At 27, she had $17,000 in credit card debt—but this became a turning point in her financial history.
“I made the decision right then to get myself out of debt,” she said. “I took on extra work where I could. I started to learn how to research purchases before I bought items, and I began budgeting for the first time ever. I successfully eliminated my debt five years later.”
Once she was out of credit card debt, Konkoly, who is single and has no children, turned her focus to her golden years.
“I started to see people around me who simply could not afford to ever retire,” she said. “I knew I didn’t want to be in that position, so I started applying the same principles which got me out of debt toward saving more for retirement.”
How She Got Smart
Konkoly decided to get smart: She took graduate classes in personal finance to understand her portfolio and learn about retirement savings. She reads books, researches on the Internet and follows blogs about saving and investing. And she works with a financial adviser she trusts.
“Just because I can do it myself doesn’t mean I have to,” Konkoly said. “Having a professional adviser allows me to focus on other parts of my life without the time commitment of constantly researching the market.”
Maxing Out Her 401K
Konkoly “maxes out” on everything. She contributes the maximum to her employer’s 401(k), to other retirement investments such as a Roth IRA, and to her employer’s health savings account. She also has a personal investment account for everything else except emergencies.
Fitness for $12 a Month
“My favorite fitness trainer says, ‘Nothing that is easy is ever going to change your body,’” Konkoly said. “The same principle applies to finances. If it’s easy, it won’t move the needle. Yes, it does mean I have to sacrifice in other areas, and sometimes it makes me uncomfortable thinking of all the things I can buy with that money, but I remain focused on my goals to counteract that discomfort.”
To really maximize her savings, Konkoly uses coupons, and takes advantage of loyalty programs, travel miles and credit card points. She streams television on the Internet rather than paying for cable, and subscribes to a $12-a-month fitness video on-demand service instead of a gym membership.
She Pays Herself First
“I put savings at a higher priority than all of the other creature comforts,” she said.
Her One Splurge
She does, however, splurge now and then, and her ultimate passion is travel. For her 40th birthday last year, she spent 10 days traveling to Austria, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. She stayed in nothing but five-star resorts, and spent a total of $1,400 on airfare, accommodations, meals and train transportation.
In her retirement, Konkoly plans to continue to travel the world, and says she would love to relocate to Sausalito, CA “for the wonderful weather and gorgeous views of San Francisco Bay.”
About this series: As part of our Smart Spending reporting, Patch is profiling people across the country who have found creative ways to save money. Are you an extreme saver? We want to hear from you! Share your story here or in the comments section below.
Top headlines for the day on Patch.
Johnny Cash is an adult Beagle. He’s about five years old so he is passed the puppy and the juvenile stage; no chewing of shoes for him.
Johnny is calm and cuddly. He’s a sweet, gentle little fellow who is always happy to see you. You can see the smile on his face. He really needs to find a loving home because he’s in need of heartworm treatment.
If you can open your heart and home to this little sweetie and if you are willing to treat his heartworms; his adoption fee will be waived. You will have a great, healthy and happy pet. Johnny Cash will have a furever home. What a wonderful tradeoff!
Johnny weighs only 40 lbs so he won’t take up much room if you want to let him snuggle in bed with you. Please come to visit Johnny and spend some time with him; he could turn out to be your new best friend.
DeKalb County Animal Services
845 Camp Road
Decatur, Ga. 30032
Monday - Wednesday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Thursday 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Friday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Saturday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Sunday 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Check out pictures & details of all our wonderful dogs & cats available for adoption
Dog Adoption Fee: $95
Includes spay/neuter, vaccinations, and heartworm test
Cat Adoption Fee: $75
Includes spay/neuter, vaccinations, and FIV/FELV test
Dogs & Cats over 5 years old/Adopter over 55 years old: $40
This information comes from Decatur police reports.
Money stolen in vacant house. A woman said a man she knows only as "Dwayne" took $10 after they went to a vacant house to drink beer.
The woman said came to Decatur about 4 p.m. May 9 and met Dwayne in a park near the Marta station. They bought beer and went to a house under construction on East Ponce de Leon Avenue. Once inside Dwayne demanded oral sex but the woman refused.
Dwayne struck the woman in the head and upper chest. He tried to take her cell phone but she put it down her pants. He took $10 cash and some Japanese currency from her purse and pushed her down some stairs.
The woman took Marta to Northside Hospital, where Sandy Springs police contacted Decatur police about 11:30 p.m. She said she dropped her apartment complex key card in the house and Decatur police found it at 538 E. Ponce de Leon Ave.
The woman described Dwayne as a black male of average size with light skin. He has gold bottom teeth, a shaved head and was wearing a pink polo shirt, white pants and white shoes. He has a tattoo of a pistol on his chest and an AK-47 rifle on his right upper arm.
Phone theft off Decatur Square. A Renfroe Middle School student said a young male grabbed her iPhone and ran away.
An officer patrolling Decatur Square was notified about 4 p.m. May 6 that a robbery had occurred at East Trinity and North McDonough streets. He talked to the victim, who said she and friends left the school and walked up North McDonough to Starbucks.
A group of seven young men yelled at them across the street and then crossed over and continued to harass them. One of the young men "violently snatched" her iPhone and ran toward the Marta tunnel at the Swanton Way turnaround. The rest of his group scattered.
The suspect was described as a black male 12-16 years old with a slim build and a small Afro hair style. He was wearing khaki pants and a forest green polo shirt.
Melanie Hammet and Ben Holst want to make music that sets people free--literally.
They plan to record an album about Clarence Harrison, a man who was arrested in Decatur and imprisoned before the Georgia Innocence Project (GIP) helped free him. The GIP helps the wrongly convicted through DNA evidence.
Once the cost of making the album is covered, proceeds would go to to the GIP, which has offices in Suburban Plaza.
Harrison was charged with raping, kidnapping and robbing a woman in the Oakhurst section of Decatur, with the prosecution based partly on the victim's identification of Harrison.
He was sentenced in 1987 to life plus 20 years. When the DNA evidence surfaced and he was freed, he'd spent about 18 years behind bars.
Hammett, who is the mayor pro tem of Pine Lake as well as a working musician, said the album would be called "Life Sentence."
The musicians recorded three songs but need to raise $22,500 to finish the project. The money would pay for studio time, production and engineering, musician fees and audio mastering.
Every time one of these songs is played, an opportunity to learn about the plight of the wrongfully incarcerated gets generated. That’s why our goal is to get this music into as many hands as possible. 11 songs have been written, but writing them is only the beginning of what needs to be done to bring this project into being. These songs need to be converted into a fully produced album, recorded with a full band, mixed, mastered, pressed, distributed, marketed and promoted, and that requires funding.
We want to feature many of music’s brightest stars singing these songs; only then can we sell the albums in sufficient quantities to raise the funds necessary for the Georgia Innocence Project to fulfill its mission: securing the release of every innocent person in a Georgia and Alabama prison right now.
Go to the "Life Sentence" website if you want to contribute. Also go to the website to hear the three songs already recorded.
GIP Executive Director Aimee R. Maxwell said Harrison now lives in Marietta.
In 2005, the state agreed to pay him $1 million over the next 20 years. Former state Rep. Stephanie Stuckey Benfield (D-Decatur) spearheaded the legislation.
It’s that time of year again and you’re outside, enjoying your yard. Then you start nosing around—maybe you’re inspecting your plants, or reviewing the condition of your lawn or setting up your sprinklers—and before you know it, reality hits.
You need to paint the house.
A daunting task. An expensive task. A necessary task—because it's not just about how your house looks, it's about your home's value. Neglect is not an option.
Take heart, however. Information and resources have never been more easily available to help you through this project.
Know Your Options
Your options are to either hire a contractor or paint it yourself. Hiring a contractor is an expensive option, but if it's in your budget and you do the necessary research to find a quality contractor, you won't regret it.
The best method to find a professional painter is word-of-mouth. Ask a neighbor who's recently repainted, or go to a local paint store and ask for recommendations. You could also use a service such as the popular Angie's List. Once you've contacted the painter, ask for references before you even bother getting a quote.
Most professional contractors will give you a free estimate. They know what they're looking for and can point out important issues you may have missed such as carpentry work on deteriorated siding.
If your house is extremely tall or has dangerous gables, professionals have the equipment and insurance to handle this type of treacherous job. And many contractors guarantee their work for a year, so if something chips or peels, you’re covered.
Your DIY Checklist
If your budget—or your house—is smaller, and you enjoy a good do-it-yourself project, you can paint your house yourself. It's a multi-step process, and you’ll want to spend some time preparing for it. Here’s a brief game plan:
1. Decide when to paint. Spring and fall are the best times of year to paint. When outside temperatures are in the mid-50s and higher, the caulk, primer and paint cure properly.
2. Decide where to start your prep work. Do you need to scrape peeling areas? Do you have any rotten wood that needs to be replaced? Be sure to check the base of your columns and areas around and under gutters. Also check all window sills, especially windows that are in damp, shady areas. Replacing wood might require a handyman, and getting someone who knows what they are doing is worth every penny.
Do you have metal railings or awnings that need painting? This requires a whole different set of supplies and techniques.
3. Once all the scraping and potential rot problems are addressed, the next job is to pressure wash your house. Even if it's brick or stucco, wash it anyway to remove any mold or mildew that will compromise your new paint job. If you’re doing this yourself, you’ll need to rent equipment and plan a day (at least) to complete the task.
There is skill involved in pressure washing. Not too hard, not too soft. Make sure you find out which PSI setting the sprayer should be on for your particular house materials. To bleach or not to bleach? If your bleach is too strong, it will kill your plants, so consider holding off on new plantings until the job is done.
You can do this yourself—just do your homework first. Pressure washing is a very satisfying job, but it's not an easy one.
4. Now she's clean—sparkling even. Time to caulk and prime. You’ll want to get every joint, every crack, every piece of wood. Caulking makes your paint job appear seamless, and seals off your home from infestation of termites, bees, and other problematic invaders. It also makes your home more energy efficient.
If your house already has several coats of paint, you may only need to prime new or recently exposed wood. The quality and type of primer you use in those cases is important. Many new paints have built-in primer, but old-school painters don't go for that. Primer is an entirely different product from paint, so choose carefully. Primer not only protects your paint job, it can help you solve for lead-based paint issues and oil vs. latex.
5. Now for the fun part! The colors. If your house is brick and you only need to paint a few siding areas, shutters and trim, you might want to keep the colors that came with the house. But if you're open, a change can make it feel like a brand new home!
The newest software at Behr Paint offers color visualizer options that help you select both interior and exterior colors. You can view varying styles of homes and select swatches to make a virtual colorboard. You can also get sample bottles for a small fee at local Home Depot stores so you can try it before you buy it.
Home Depot’s website offers a wealth of information on all the brands of paint it carries, including Martha Stewart and Glidden paints, and the top-rated Behr. Speaking of name brand paints, do your homework here as well. Cheap paint won't hold up to sun and weather. This is an extremely labor-intensive job and you don't want to have to do it again for at least another ten years. Don't skimp on quality when it comes to exterior paint. If you are using a professional painter, make sure you find out what brand they prefer. Sometimes it's more about their bottom line than the longevity of the paint job. Make sure they are using quality products.
Looking to choose an entirely new paint palette? Take a ride through nearby neighborhoods on a sunny afternoon to see what others are doing. It's important to consider the colors of your roof shingles and any stone or brick on the foundation before you decide on a color. Reviewing exterior colors on other homes might change your ideas about what colors to choose for your own house.
If you just can’t make up your mind, hire a professional color consultant for a one-hour consultation.
Once you select your colors, you'll need to determine quantities and buy supplies. Ask the experts at the store. Paint department employees have extensive training and experience and they really know their stuff. They can talk you through brushing vs. spraying, rolling vs. brushing, and all the other possibilities.
It's a lot of work to paint your own house. But if you take your time with it, you can save thousands of dollars and take great pride in your finished product.
After an outstanding regular season, the Decatur High boys lacrosse team ended the postseason in disappointment.
The Bulldogs lost 6-5 on Tuesday night to Westminster in the semifinals of the state tournament. Decatur had beaten Westminster 10-7 during the regular season.
Coaches Wesley Hatfield and Don Rigger hoped the Bulldogs could win a state championshipin the A-AAAAA tournament.
Decatur finished with an 18-3 record, 16-2 in the regular season. Besides the loss to Westminster, the other two losses came to much larger schools.
The team was loaded with seniors, many who learned the game in recreation department leagues that Rigger formed about 10 years ago. Decatur High fielded its first varsity teams in 2007.
Fox Five produced a report on the semifinal game with some moving comments from Rigger about the players.
The day's top headlines in Patch.
Police in Decatur and Atlanta have issued alerts about a surge in catalytic converter thefts off SUVs, especially Hondas Elements.
Seven catalytic converters, which are part of a vehicle's exhaust system that help convert pollutants to less toxic emissions, were stolen in 72 hours in Decatur.
Last week, 19 were stolen in Grant Park, East Atlanta Patch reported. Authorities said the parts are valuable because of the platinum inside. Honda SUVs are targeted because it's easy to reach the part.
Decatur police issued this alert Wednesday afternoon.
The Decatur Police Department is investigating the theft of catalytic converters from (7) vehicles in the past 72 hours. All of these thefts occurred during the overnight hours.
Six of the thefts were from Honda Elements and one was from a Honda CRV. These thefts occurred on Jefferson Place, Adair Street, Fifth Avenue, Spring Street, Cambridge Avenue and Feld Avenue.
Some vehicles were parked in driveways and some were parked on the street. Please pay extra attention to these types of vehicles if you or a neighbor owns one and call police immediately if you see or hear anything suspicious.
If you have information related to the thefts, please call Sgt. Jennifer Ross 404-373-6551.
Patch asked Ross why the thieves were targeting Honda SUVs. She replied by email: "It appears that catalytic converters can be removed on Honda Elements and CRVs using basic tools. However, that does not mean suspects won’t bring heavier tools and cut them off other cars. This spree seems to be targeting what the suspects know they can get fast and quietly."
The building project will be financed with $58 million in general obligation bonds. A referendum will be held Nov 5.
This board voted for a plan that doesn't call for construction of a new Renfroe Middle, which was one of the options considered.
Patch emailed Board Chairman Marc Wisniewski and asked how the board came to a decision. He said by email that the board discussed enrollment projections (the student bodies are expected to double in five years at those schools), decided they were accurate and went from there.
Having affirmed the enrollment, we then focused on our formally receiving the master plan report. In so doing, the board sought to narrow the options presented so as to give direction to Dr. Edwards and staff on how to proceed. The consensus of the board was that:
(a) for DHS, the phased effort would first build out primarily the 'commons' area (with additional space built, as required in the future should additional enrollment merit, in the area at the east and north sides of the current building).
(b) for RMS, the phased effort would first renovate and expand upon the existing school footprint, retaining a College Avenue orientation, with additions in the areas around the new gym, conversion of the previous multi-purpose area (aka "old gym") and in and around the cafeteria and media center (and additional space built, as required in the future should additional enrollment merit, in those areas within and near the footprint of the current building).
This in effect took off the table the building of a mostly new RMS oriented towards King Highway, as well as emphasizing phasing of building as recommended.
The board delayed the decision-making process a few months ago because residents complained they hadn't had enough input. More public meetings were held so residents could weigh in.
In 2018, Decatur High's enrollment is expected to hit 1,891 (it's now about 925) and Renfroe 1,666 (783), according to plans on the school system website.
Here are some previous Patch stories about school enrollment and expansion.
Avondale Estates may try to reduce crime with a "mobile neighborhood watch."
The city commission will talk about Citizen Patrols during a work session that starts at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in city hall.
A memo to the commission says, "The program is entirely non-confrontational, having members contact 911 and report their observations."
Though the commission hasn't decided whether to authorize the idea, a 10-page policy and procedure manual has already been compiled. (You can read it by going to the City of Avondale Estates web page and clicking on the "agenda items" link for the May 15 meeting, found in the meetings/agenda/audios/minutes section.)
The manual says Citizen Patrol members would be volunteers who graduate from the Citizens Police Academy, a free, multi-week class in which residents learn how the department works. Decatur also offers a citizens public safety academy in September.
Patrol members would drive a decommissioned city police car around town during four-hour shifts.
The car would be marked "Citizen Patrol" and have an amber-colored light bar but be stripped of other police equipment.
Patrol members would not carry weapons of any kind. They'd have to supply light tan or khaki pants and shorts and black or brown shoes with black or navy socks. The clothing would be worn with an issued navy shirt.
The city would issue identification cards to be returned when they leave the program.
Decatur has a program called Citizens Assisting Public Safety (CAPS) comprising some graduates of the citizens academy. They help police during festivals and other public events, assist in disaster response and provide a presence in the business district.Do you think it's a good idea to put Citizen Patrols in a city car?
This week: How much do lawn services cost?
How much do you pay for your lawn service? And what does that cover - just mowing, or does it cover weeding, pruning, planting? Please share in the comments below - we promise we won't judge you! And if you've got a lawn service you love, tell us that too.
This is the first of an ongoing series, "What's the Going Rate for..." where Patch seeks to uncover how much things cost so you never have to ask again.