Monthly Archives: March 2014

COVEReport – March 27, 2014

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Private Social Network for Victoria Estates @

Please join fellow Victoria Estates neighbors at We have a private neighborhood site set up where you can easily connect with fellow Victoria Estates residents. This site is free, private, and secure. Use it to ask for recommendations on a contractor, borrowing an item, discussing a topic, reporting criminal activity, etc. Thanks to David Woolf for setting up our borders on the site. In the coming weeks, we’ll be reaching out to all neighbors to join. Check it out!  – Carl Lange

CDC Accepting Comments on Campus Expansion until April 10

CDC Campus Proposed Expansion







Mar 21, 2014 – Martha Pacini

Emily Koumans (COVE board member) and I attended the CDC public comment meeting last night.  It was a very sparsely attended event and featured some familiar faces:  John Bugge from Mason Mill Civic Association, Ron Faust, who lives on North Decatur Road across from Druid Hills High School, Bruce MacGregor, who lives in Druid Hills, David Payne from Emory, along with a few others I did not know.

I offered the attached comments, which I have also emailed to John Lewis, Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson.  You have to email them through forms on each website.

The CDC is taking comments until April 10, and it would be well worth your while to submit something.  Please identify your comments (especially on the portal) by Docket No. CDC-2012-0013.  Comments can be emailed to or mailed to George Chandler (George F. Chandler, Senior Advisor, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road, N.E., Mailstop A-22, Atlanta, Georgia 30333). To comment through the portal, go to, and find the CDC plans that are identified by Docket No. CDC-2012-0013.  There are instructions there for submitting comments.

I have a CD with the draft statement, should anyone want that, but it is pretty easy to download from the portal.

Emily asked CDC to make their boards and presentation available to the public, and they are planning to put these things on the portal as well.

Martha’s Comments on CDC Environmental Impact Statement

Political Candidates and Elections

Elections ahead

There are a number of political candidates running for office in the upcoming elections. Candidates who contact COVE will have their information posted on the COVE website with a link provided to the website in COVEReports. COVE is a sponsor of the Civic Association Network’s (CAN) Candidates Fair and Forum. This event will provide VE neighbors an opportunity to meet many candidates at one time and hear discussions on topics of importance. Candidates who contact COVE are being encouraged to participate in this forum. COVE does not endorse, sponsor or donate to any political candidate.

If there is anything you would like included, please forward it to COVE.

Voter registration deadline for primary election: April 21, 2014

Primary election: May 20, 2014

Primary run-off: July 22, 2014

General election: November 4, 2014

General run-off (if needed): December 10, 2014

Georgia Senate – District 42 Meet and Great: Candidate Elena Parent

Date: Tuesday, April 1, 6:30 – 8:00 pm

Location: Home of Sage and Geoffrey Hoare at 1712 Logans Knoll
Elena Parent

C.A.N. Candidates Fair and Forum

Sunday, April 27, 2014 – 1:30 – 5:30pm

All candidates appearing on May 20th central DeKalb County ballots for federal, statewide and local offices are invited to participate and meet with the residents of central DeKalb County. C.A.N.’s Candidates Fair+Forums








Mary Margaret Oliver’s Update


Mary Margaret Oliver             Happy Spring!

Law office: 404.377.0485

Legislative office: 404.656.0265 Coverdell Legislative Office Building

This is Mary Margaret Oliver’s FINAL email newsletter for the 2014 General Assembly Session which convened Monday January 13, 2014, and completed the annual 40 day Session at midnight March 20.  WHEW–OVER!!.

Thank you for your responses to my legislative newsletter  and “votes” on pending legislation.  I am very grateful for your thoughtful responses, I personally read all your answers, and you can read past newsletters and past questions asked under the Media section of my website . Also, please follow me on FACEBOOK and TWITTER for daily updates on House District 82!

Final 2014 question: The General Assembly failed to pass legislation to mandate insurance coverage for the diagnosis of autism, and failed to grant immunity from prosecution for possession of medical marijuana prescribed for children with seizure disorders.    But it did find time to pass legislation to expand gun carrying permission into churches, bars and government buildings.

Today’s New York Times describes the new Georgia gun law as a  “sweeping proposal”, but others state it made minor technical changes to the law.   Expanded access to medical marijuana for seizure disorders was complicated by the obstacles to distribution and the absence of research and FDA approval.  Insurance for autism in children was strongly opposed by the Georgia Chamber of Commerce that argues mandated insurance coverage raises the costs for everyone.


To reply to the weekly question, please click “reply” or email me at  Thank you!!


mmoOne of the good things we did this year is recognize Elaine Myers on her retirement from 30 years working in the Capitol.  She helped everyone, and represents how many good people there are under the Gold Dome, despite some of their legislator bosses, who are loved and appreciated by all.   Thank you, Elaine, for all your service.


DeKalb County News –The proposed the DeKalb sales tax increase  by referendum to allow 8 cents did not reach the House floor on Day 40 despite last minute efforts and personal lobbying by CEO Lee May, and the DeKalb School Board is finally and officially reduced from nine to seven members based on past legislation I authored and this year’s HB 949 to complete the new district maps.  Elections for all seven Board members will be May 20th–an important election day for the DeKalb School System. to run for the new seven seats.

By local legislation, annexation legislation  proposed for Avondale, Clarkston, and Doraville, moved forward, and City of Decatur is annexing individual properties in procedures that do not require General Assembly action.  Most significantly, no new cities were created in 2014 despite fierce political fights by Tucker, Lakeside and Briarcliff.  I am relieved that nothing passed this year because the groups continue to work in competition, and not in any coordinated fashion or in a manner that represents good planning.   There will be extensive and ongoing work towards new cities before the 2015 Session, and I will be reporting on ways you may become involved in these efforts.  We need a coordinated effort from leaders of existing cities, proposed cities and the county working together–no I am not naïve or overly optimistic.   We can make a plan for growth and cities that is fair and smart.

HB 654 —At the request of the State Bar of Georgia I introduced HB 654 to close a gap in Probate Court procedures relative to appointment of testamentary guardians that are named in wills when both parents are deceased leaving orphan minor children, .   HB 654  passed as an addition to a Senate bill.  Many bills, including mine, were blocked initially in the Senate based on the House’s failure to pass legislation on privatization of more foster care services–another long story for another day.

HB 923  relating the Child Fatality Review Commission, formerly pre-filed  as HB 705, was enacted as part of the Governor’s SB 365,and this was a major project and focus for me.   An Op-Ed I wrote on the fatality review process was published in the AJC March 6, and can be viewed on my web-site media section along with all other news items in which I am quoted. On website, you can also review TV and radio interviews from this legislative Session.  I have given multiple WABE interviews on gun legislation, pending DFCS legislation, and to the AJC on procedures relating to Day 40 conference committee reports.

On the day after SINE DIE I appeared before the LINKS group on a forum on Child Welfare Reform and on Saturday, March 22 I was invited to discuss Guardianship Law with allied medical providers working with Senior Citizens.   At the Capitol the last week of the Session, I hosted DeKalb disabled citizens who had excellent questions about supportive housing, and greeted the Georgia bicycle ride to the Capitol organized by the Georgia Municipal Association.  Thank you all for visiting your Capitol!  Please come again.



‘I’m Extremely Sorry’: DeKalb Commissioner on Use of County Credit CardElaine Boyer

DeKalb County Commissioner Elaine Boyer said she intended to reimburse the county for all personal purchases she made using a county credit card.

Posted by Deb Belt (Editor) , March 25, 2014 at 06:56 PM

Emory Concerts and Events – Potential Noise – April 4, 5, and 11


From: “Garrett, Matt” <>

Subject: Emory University: Spring Concerts and Events

Date: March 20, 2014


Dear neighbors,


Emory University’s annual Dooley’s Week celebration will be occur on Friday, April 4th and Saturday, April 5th. This year’s celebration includes the annual Dooley’s Ball to occur on Friday night from 9pm until midnight. A second concert will occur Saturday from 8pm until 11pm. In addition, our annual Relay for Life (fundraiser for the American Cancer Society) event will occur on Friday, April 11th from 4am- 4pm. These events are some of the most anticipated celebrations of the year, bringing over 3,000 students to celebrate Emory and build community. Unfortunately, because of the size there is no indoor space on campus that will accommodate the events. Emory students who plan the event work closely with the administration to ensure that each event throughout the weekend is carefully planned and executed and follows the DeKalb County Noise Ordinance.


In the last few years since the new concert stage was built on campus, noise pollution from concerts has caused concern for those neighbors who live close to campus. Emory has done a number of things to mitigate that noise, including limiting all outdoor events planned by the student concert committee to no more than six large scale concerts, and only two annual balls can last past 11pm (one occurs in September, and the other occurs in March/early April). Last semester, a sound engineer was engaged to work with the committee to arrange the speakers at such an angle that the majority of the sound is absorbed by buildings on campus and the ground around the stage. Emory will continue to do everything possible to minimize the impact of these events and appreciates your understanding of the importance of large community building events to the life of a University.


For concerns during the events, please feel free to contact Emory Police directly at (404) 727-8005. Emory Police is aware of DeKalb County guidelines, and they will ensure the event is in compliance with the noise ordinance.


For any members of the Emory Community who are interested in joining a Relay for Life team or participating in this fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, please find more information here.



J. Matthew Garrett, Ph.D.  |  Assistant Dean for Campus Life and Director

Office of Student Leadership & Service | Division of Campus Life | Emory University

605 Asbury Circle | Drawer C | Room 340E | Atlanta, Georgia 30322

Tel. 404.727.6169 | Fax. 404.727.2066

Life-Long Learning | Integrity | Polyculturalism | Social Justice


Embrace your passion. Unleash your potential. Learn more about Campus Life at Emory.








COVEReport March 15, 2014

Join Us Monday! – House Committee to Vote on Lakeside

On Monday, March 17, 3:30 – 5:00 pm, the House Governmental Affairs Committee will be voting on City of Lakeside Senate Bill 270. This is the last week of the 2014 Legislative Session and your presence at the meeting can have an impact. Please join COVE and other Victoria Estates residents at this meeting. If you would like assistance in getting to the meeting, please contact COVE president, Martha Pacini.

The meetings will be held in room 606 of the Coverdell Legislative Building at 18 Capitol Square SW (across from the Capitol). Early arrival is recommended.

This is the current version of the map as of March 12 which shows Victoria Estates and the southern portion of Mason Mill excluded.








Last Week to Voice Your Opinion


The legislative session continues and officials are counting your calls and emails. They should be directed to [more]

“I am writing to show my support for Briarcliff as my preferred city.” [more]
“My community needs and wants the opportunity to vote on creating the city of Lakeside.” [more]
“I support City Moratorium” [more]

COVEReport – March 5, 2014

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House Committee to Hold Hearings on Lakeside and Briarcliff

Lakeside mapThe House Governmental Affairs Committee will be holding a hearing on the City of Briarcliff on Thursday, March 6 from 1-2 pm and Lakeside from 2-3 pm . Supporters and opponents are invited to attend and may be given a 1-2 minute opportunity to voice their opinions.

The meetings will be held in room 606 of the Coverdell Legislative Building on 18 Capitol Square SW (across from the Capitol). Supporters are planning to arrive by 12:00 pm to obtain limited seating. Early arrival is reccommended.



Public parking is available at several nearby lots for approximately $5 but may be limited.

Pete Hackney Parking Deck (directions provided below), 162 Jesse Hill, Jr. Drive

Steve Polk Parking Plaza, 65 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive

90 Central Parking Lot, Accessible from Central Avenue & Courtland Street

MARTA: The “Georgia State” MARTA Station, which is on the East-West Line, is located in the Floyd Building, diagonally opposite the Capitol. Exit station onto Piedmont Avenue. Turn LEFT and walk two blocks to Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive. You can enter the Capitol at any one of the Security checkpoints.

CAR (Directions are to the Pete Hackney parking deck, which is located two blocks from the Capitol.):

I-75/85 Southbound Exit #248A Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive. Turn RIGHT onto MLK Jr. Drive; turn RIGHT onto Jessie Hill, Jr. Drive. Pete Hackney deck is 2nd garage on the right.

I-75/85 Northbound Exit #246 Fulton Street. Turn RIGHT onto Fulton St.; then left onto Capitol Avenue. Cross Memorial Drive; then turn RIGHT onto MLK, Jr. Drive. Turn LEFT onto Jessie Hill, Jr. Drive. Pete Hackney deck is 2nd garage on the right.

I-20 Westbound Exit 258A Capital Avenue. Turn RIGHT onto Capital Avenue and follow to MLK, Jr. Drive. Turn RIGHT and go to the first traffic light. Turn LEFT onto Jessie Hill, Jr. Drive. Pete Hackney deck is 2nd garage on the right.

I-20 Eastbound Exit 256B Windsor/Spring Street. Go straight on this street to Central Avenue (3rd traffic light). Turn LEFT onto Central Avenue; turn RIGHT on Memorial Drive. Go to second traffic light and turn LEFT onto Capitol Avenue. Turn RIGHT onto MLK, Jr. Drive. Turn LEFT onto Jessie Hill, Jr. Drive. Pete Hackney deck is 2nd garage on the right

House Governmental Affairs Committee Agenda


Lakeside near VE

SB 270 – Act to incorporate the City of Lakeside in DeKalb County

if you are unable to attend, voicing your opinion by phone or email is recommended.

Voice Your Opinion on Cityhood

01 Your Voice CountsIf you are unable to attend the House Committee hearings on Lakeside and Briarcliff, calls and emails should be directed to:

House Speaker Ralston – 404.656.5020

Gov. Nathan Deal –  404-656-1776

House Governmental Affairs committee (GAFF) Chair Amy Carter- 404.656.6801

GAFF Members

Rep. Buzz Brockway, Vice Chair – 404.656.0188

Rep. Darlene Taylor, Secretary – 404.656.0178

Rep. Dustin Hightower – 404.656.0152

Rep. Howard Mosby – 404.656.0287

Rep. Barry Fleming – 404.656.0152

Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver – 404.656.0265

Rep. Tyrone Brooks – 404.656.6372

Rep. Larry O’Neal – 404.656.5052

Rep. Hugh Floyd – 404.656.0314

Rep. Jay Powell – 404.656.7855

Rep. Rusty Kidd – 404.656.0202

Rep. Alan Powell- 404.463.3793

Rep. John Meadows – 404.656.5141

Rep. Bruce Williamson – 404.656.0152

Rep. Alisha Morgan – 404.656.0109

Rep. Mark Hamilton – 404.656.5132

Dekalb State House Reps

Sample Letter from Briarcliff Initiative

Email Subject: Please Support Briarcliff!!

Dear Representative,

I am a resident of unincorporated DeKalb County. I am writing to show my support for Briarcliff as my preferred city. I am urging you to vote to allow Briarcliff to continue the legislative process.

Briarcliff presents the best solution to cityhood and solves cityhood for inside the perimeter while being respectful to the outside the perimeter community of Tucker and other existing cities.

I realize you face a hard decision from other cityhood groups, Lakeside specifically inside the perimeter. I hope you look at the overall picture for the future of DeKalb, including that one city does not solve cityhood for everyone. It leaves people behind inside the perimeter and ruins the history of communities outside the perimeter such as Tucker.

Please help residents like me by continuing to give Briarcliff a voice.


Sample Letter from Lakeside Initiative

SUBJECT LINE: I Support Lakeside!

Dear Representative:

Please vote yes on Sen. Millar’s SB 270 when it comes before the Governmental Affairs Committee for consideration.  I live in the boundaries of the proposed city of Lakeside and ask you to allow me and my neighbors the opportunity to vote on how our community governs itself.

Please hear ordinary residents like me over the refrains of high-paid lobbyists hired by other cityhood groups to stop our voices from being heard.  These outside forces are trying to run out the legislative clock on my desire for a vote on cityhood with false statements about imminent behind-the-scenes deals.  We are ready to move forward now with the bill in its present form, and I respectfully request that you not allow others to hold up our legislation or to attach poison pill amendments.

The truth is that the Lakeside City Alliance has held over 75 community meetings during the past year, leafleted every neighborhood in the boundary area and maintained a positive message and vision for an efficient, responsive local government.  Unfortunately, other city groups have chosen to focus most of their efforts on attempting to stop Lakeside.

My community needs and wants the opportunity to vote on creating the city of Lakeside.   There are no secret negotiations for a megacity and no reason not to proceed ahead.  We ask you to allow SB 270 to move forward without delay.   After over a year of voicing their desires, we, the residents of Lakeside, deserve the opportunity to vote on the referendum for self-governance.

Please help us by voting YES on SB 270.

Thank you.

Your name and address

Sample Letter for Moratorium

Email Subject Line: I support City Moratorium

Dear Representative,

I’m asking to you to vote against Senate Bill 270 concerning the proposed city of Lakeside and support a cityhood moratorium.

I’d like a more sensible opportunity to review city options and how they might impact my neighborhood, surrounding neighbors, and DeKalb.

The proposed Lakeside does damage by splitting our immediate neighborhood, separating us from our economic center and surrounding neighbors, and unlike other recently formed cities such as Sandy Springs, Dunwoody and Brookhaven, has no shared sense of community.

The Lakeside Initiative and Senator Millar have made last minute changes to the borders of the proposed city in and around my neighborhood with no public transparency or the decency of advanced notice. We have actively engaged and interested neighbors who have requested involvement in a democratic process, and instead have confronted a strong-arm campaign for a rush to mega-city vote.

Independent of my personal preference, all citizen affected by the proposed changes should have advance notice and time to weigh in on the process.  Fair evaluation and hearing of other proposals for cityhood is essential to representative government, and the efforts of Lakeside to drown out other opinions should not sway elected officials from representing all of their constituents.

Address (Victoria Estates)
Atlanta, GA