DeKalb groups: EPA’s sewer mandate is weak

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The federal Environment Protection Agency’s mandate for DeKalb County to improve its sewer system is a “slap on the wrist” with little oversight and weak penalties, DeKalb residents said.
On Wednesday, six DeKalb environmental groups asked the EPA to issue stricter penalties for DeKalb’s continued sewage spills, hoping added pressure from the EPA would guarantee speedier clean up of affected rivers and streams.
In December, the EPA issued a consent decree, mandating DeKalb upgrade its sewer system after reporting more than 800 raw sewage spills in five years. The decree, which DeKalb spent 14 months negotiating with the federal government, also includes a $453,000 fine for the spills and an additional $600,000 to clean up the South River, Snapfinger Creek and the South Fork on Peachtree Creek near Emory University.
Since then, the county commission has authorized $1.35 billion in upgrades to its sewer system, which will be paid for by increases in residents’ water and sewer bills.
However, the county has not announced any timeline or clean-up plans for the spills, which continue to occur daily, residents said.
“My concern is that taxpayers are having to foot that huge bill in increased water rates. I feel there needs to be more accountability,” said Gil Turman, president of the South DeKalb Neighborhood Coalition. “We’re in this because of a lack of accountability. For 20 years, the county has been negligent and having sewage spills so regularly. And now they just get a slap on the wrist.”
Turman’s coalition, along with the DeKalb Soil and Water Conservation District, the Miners Creek Circle Civic Association, the Metropolitan Atlanta Urban Watershed Institute, the Newly Organized Citizens Requesting Aquifer Protection and the South River Watershed Alliance, submitted a 12-page letter Wednesday to the federal government demanding stricter oversight. Wednesday was the deadline for the public comment period.
A spokeswoman for the EPA said her agency and the U.S. Department of Justice will evaluate all of the comments and then make a decision as to whether to issue tougher penalties.
Ted Rhinehart, DeKalb’s deputy chief operating officer for infrastructure, said the county had not reviewed the residents’ comments, but said DeKalb believes the decree is “fair, reasonable and in the public interest.”
Federal law allows the EPA to charge the county up to $37,500 a day for spills, but the decree only says fines of up to $500 can be charged per spill.
“It doesn’t seem like they would have much incentive if they are not complying,” GreenLaw attorney David Deganian told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Greenlaw, an Atlanta-based environmental legal group, drafted the residents’ letter.
Residents said they worry DeKalb could end up like Atlanta, which signed a consent decree in 1998 committing to $4 billion in water upgrades, but has been given several extensions.
“This is a problem that has gone on for decades. As we have learned from the City of Atlanta, there are no simple solutions and significant oversight is very important,” said Justine Thompson, GreenLaw’s executive director. “We don’t think there are adequate assurances that the consent order terms will be met.”
DeKalb officials said they have been trying to avoid the high costs and legal battles that plagued Atlanta by moving forward with the work.

New Construction Underway at The Park at LaVista Walk

The Providence Group’s newest community, The Park at LaVista Walk  is now underway with 20 new townhomes currently under construction. The Park at LaVista Walk is a new upscale townhome community priced from the mid $200s located at the intersection of LaVista and Cheshire Bridge Roads. The community features a variety of three story, brick townhomes with two bedrooms and up to three and one half baths. Each home design offers a basement flex space ideal for a home office, exercise room or bonus room. The community offers convenient access to I-85, shopping, entertainment and a variety of restaurants.  The community is a short drive to Lenox Mall, Phipps Plaza, and everything that Buckhead and downtown Atlanta has to offer. Homeowners can also choose to walk to the many conveniences within the community which features an internet cyber cafe and coffee bar, two private pools, state of the art fitness center, plus a shopping plaza across from the community.

The Park at LaVista Walk Pool The Park at LaVista Walk offers extensive amenities including two private pools and state of the art fitness center.

The Providence Group is offering $7,500 in options to the first homebuyers at The Park at LaVista Walk. Interested homebuyers can register on The Providence Group website or contact the onsite agent directly at 770- 480-9993.

Board of Directors Class of 2012

We are excited to introduce to you the nominees for the Board of Directors Class of 2012. With your approval at our Annual Meeting on 11 November, these talented individuals will join the Class of 2011 (Henry Batten, Amanda Leech, Curry Roberts, Yuki Takahara) in leading LLCC in the coming year.
 

Courtney Harkness

A vice president in the Atlanta office of Edelman, the world’s largest public relations firm, Courtney develops and manages execution of comprehensive public engagement and marketing communications programs for large corporate clients, including ongoing corporate brand work and new product launches, and oversees the day-to-day operations of Edelman Southeast’s technology practice group.

Courtney’s experience includes strategic execution of public relations initiatives, direct consumer and business-to-business marketing, sales support and proposal development efforts, trade show and event management, and corporate internal and external communications.
Prior to joining Edelman in 2007, Courtney managed the Impact Marketing program for financial institution clients at CheckFree Corporation. (now Fiserv), where she was responsible for developing and executing consumer direct marketing campaigns.  Previously, Courtney served as marketing communications manager with NCR Corporation. and account executive on the BellSouth International account at Ketchum. She began her career as a press coordinator in the office of Georgia Governor Zell Miller.

Fluent in Spanish, Courtney holds both a B.S. in International Affairs and an M.B.A. from the Georgia Institute of Technology. She lives in Morningside with her husband and two children.

Harriet Hoskyns-Abrahall

Harriet is the Senior Business Development Manager for Public Broadcasting Atlanta, the local affiliate of National Public Radio and PBS, whose studios are in the immediate area, just off Cheshire Bridge Road.
Her previous experience has included teaching and research at the Department of Business Studies at the University of Edinburgh, legal practice in the Bahamas, positions with Shell Oil in HR and Finance, with Arthur Andersen in Market Research and international service on three continents with the YMCA. Her Swim School on Grand Bahama continues its work today. She is the Past President of the British American Chamber of Commerce and serves on the Board of the Georgia Friends of the University of Edinburgh, when she earned her degree in Law. Her hobbies include various sports, the performing arts,and her 1938 MG.
Harriet has served two previous terms on our Board of Directors, coordinating our Pedestrian Concerns Committee. She lives in the Lindridge Martin Manor neighborhood.

Dorean Neville

Dorean is Vice President & Branch Manager for Regions Bank – Cheshire Bridge Road Branch. She and her staff have been very active in the community for the last several years, participating as a sponsor in the Taste & Tour of Cheshire Bridge, and leading a Financial Literacy Program for the parents of children at the Easter Seals Early Learning Center on Sheridan Road.
She and her husband live in Fairburn.

Jason Stephenson

For the last eight years, Jason Stephenson has been on the staff of Westminster Church located in LaVista Park. He works with the church’s middle and high school students as Director of Youth Ministries, after previously serving as the Executive Director of Camp Westminster in Conyers.
Jason graduated from Belhaven College in Jackson, MS with a degree in Business Administration, spent his childhood in East Tennessee and Mississippi, and remains very close to his four siblings. He’s a huge sports fan, enjoys teaching and outdoor activities.
Jason has served as Treasurer for LLCC for the past two years.

Rosalie Townsend

Rosalie Townsend works for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta on the Scottish Rite campus as a pediatric rehabilitation nurse. She is currently coordinating the Hispanic ESL classes that will begin in January 2011, and is excited to have the opportunity to volunteer and help the LLCC community reach its full potential.
Rosalie and her family live in Tucker, and have been members of Westminster Presbyterian Church for many years.

The Reserve at LaVista Walk is sold to REIT

Behringer Harvard acquires ATL apartments
from the Atlanta Business Chronicle

Behringer Harvard bought Buckhead apartment community The Reserve at LaVista Walk from Atlantic Realty Partners.
The Reserve at LaVista Walk

The Dallas-based company did not report financial terms.
The 283-unit, 4.4-acre development was finished in 2008 and is two miles southeast of Lenox Square Mall.
Behringer Harvard Multifamily REIT I Inc. includes investments in 31 multifamily communities in 12 states with a total of 8,732 apartment units
Read more: Behringer Harvard acquires ATL apartments – Atlanta Business Chronicle

5% Day at Whole Foods Market Briarcliff

 

Shop for a cause at Whole Foods Market Briarcliff! On Wednesday, June 30, Whole Foods Market will donate 5% of their net sales to the Lindbergh LaVista Corridor Coalition. Funds will be used for the continual development of the Confluence Trail system along the North and South forks of Peachtree Creek. Stop by the Briarcliff location to show your support and help raise important funds for the LLCC!

Plan 2040 Neighborhood Forums: Steering transportation in the right direction

Now that we FINALLY have a plan for funding regional transportation improvements, how should we spend our money? More transit? More HOV lanes? Sidewalks? You tell us: Please join The Civic League for the first of four Neighborhood Forums on Plan 2040 on Thurs., June 10 from 6:45 to 9:00 p.m. in the Community Room at the Cobb Chamber of Commerce (240 Interstate North Parkway, Atlanta GA 30339).
Developed and administered by the Atlanta Regional Commission, PLAN 2040 is metro Atlanta’s evolving plan to accommodate economic and population growth sustainably over the next 30 years. In developing Plan 2040, we have an opportunity for assessment, evaluation and possibly redirection as we develop regional policies and actions that direct resources for transportation investments and provide assistance to local governments. Citizen input and feedback is essential to creating a plan that accurately reflects and effectively addresses the region’s needs.
As always, Civic League Neighborhood Forums are open to all, but registration is requested to ensure that we have adequate seating and materials. The remaining three 2040 Forums will be held in July in Henry County, September in the City of Atlanta and November in Gwinnett County; dates and locations to be announced.

Lindbergh LaVista Corridor Coalition Inc. Receives a 2009 Constant Contact All-Star Award

Constant Contact recognizes the Lindbergh LaVista Corridor Coalition for commitment to best practices in email marketing
ATLANTA, GA — 19 April 2010 – The Lindbergh LaVista Corridor Coalition, today announced that it has received a 2009 All-Star Award from Constant Contact®, Inc., a leading provider of email marketing, event marketing, and online survey tools for small organizations. The Lindbergh LaVista Corridor Coalition was selected for meeting Constant Contact’s best-practice standards for the use of Email Marketing throughout 2009.
The Lindbergh LaVista Corridor Coalition received a 2009 Constant Contact All-Star Award for demonstrating best practices in the effective use of Constant Contact Email Marketing in the following areas:

  • Frequency of campaigns
  • Open rates
  • Bounce rates
  • Click through rates

“Our customers work hard to build strong relationships with their customers through email marketing and some, such as the Lindbergh LaVista Corridor Coalition , truly excel in this effort,” said Gail Goodman, CEO, Constant Contact. “We created our All-Star Awards to highlight those customers who are passionately committed to following our best practices as they work to improve their customer communications. We’re proud of the role we play in helping the Lindbergh LaVista Corridor Coalition be successful and we look forward to continuing to assist the coalition with its marketing efforts.”

Come to LLCC’s Electronics Recycling Event May 2! – Spring Cleaning Part 2

  

Harriet Hoskyns-Abrahall
Harriet Hoskyns-Abrahall

 
by Harriet Hoskyns-Abrahall  
Do you have old electronics hanging around the house? LLCC is organizing a recycling event on Sunday afternoon, May 2nd, 2:00 – 4:30 pm, to help you protect the planet and get rid of them painlessly at no, or the least possible, cost. Proceeds will benefit Tommy Nobis Center (TNC) in Marietta, which employs people with disabilities to dismantle the equipment for recycling so that nothing goes to waste. You will be given a blank receipt to complete for tax purposes.  
Free pastries and soft drinks will be served at the event, and there will be a clown and balloons for the kids. Come and meet your neighbors – and your tri-neighbors!  
Drop off location:
We will be collecting these items in a U-Haul truck in the parking lot of Peachtree Baptist Church at the intersection of Briarcliff Road and LaVista Road (parking lot entrance on LaVista Road). You will be given a blank receipt to complete for tax purposes).  
There’s no charge to drop off:
Cell phones, telephones, computers, CPUs, stereos, toasters, laptops, copiers, printers, VCRs, alarm clocks, remote controls, MP3 players, disk drives, can openers, camcorders, floppy drives, speakers, cameras, modems, mice(!), CD players, fax machines, game systems – we could go on!  
$5 EPA charge to drop off:
TVs with a Cathode Ray Tube (CRT), CRT computer Monitors. Both these have a $5 charge per CRT. We ask that you bring a check made out to TNC for us to pass on.  
Volunteers needed!  
This LLCC endeavor is part of the Spring Clean-up Initiative led by Sarah Hailey. Ricky Ram and I are also on the committee. Volunteers are needed to check in equipment, load the truck for TNC and serve cookies and drinks. All these jobs are great ways to meet your neighbors, too. We will not say no to passing trade! To sign up or ask questions, e-mail me at hh_a@bellsouth.net.

Cub Scouts help clean up creek

Rich Sussman
Rich Sussman, LLCC Environment Coordinator
from Rich Sussman
March 20, more than 35 Cub Scouts and parents from packs in Garden Hills and Toco Hills attacked the exotic plants and picked up trash on the Meadow Loop Trail along the North Fork of Peachtree Creek. This was the second time the scouts helped clean up the trail. Thanks to them and many neighbors, you can now walk the entire loop starting from the two exposed manholes to the overpass and then back along the stream to Lindbergh. Lots of that nasty kudzu, privet, multiflora roses and honeysuckle have been cut down, pulled up, and eliminated from the meadow. During the two workdays, nearly 20 bags of trash were collected along with tires, chairs, mattresses and a steel ammo box. As soon as Georgia DOT gives its permission, we will erect a sign heralding the trail as part of a longer trail system along the North and South Forks of Peachtree Creek. As the weather is finally brightening and getting warmer, please take the opportunity to stroll the trail – and feel free to pick up some trash during your walk!
See our website (www.lindberghlavista.org) to view more photos from this event.

Welcome, new Board Member: Yuki Takahara

Yuki Takahara
Yuki Takahara
Yuki Takahara is Assistant Manager of Nakato Japanese Restaurant. She also coordinates the Taste & Tour of Cheshire Bridge and organized the Cheshire Bridge Business Association (CBBA). Yuki graduated from UGA with a BA in Finance in 2006 and worked at an LA-based private equity fund and a software firm before returning to Atlanta in 2008 to manage the restaurant, her family’s business for three generations.