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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Council To Approve Millage Rate Increase.



Monies to cover necessary improvements for High School, others.

By Accessmilton.com

MILTON- A recent impromptu city council meeting was called last night to discuss covering the unexpected costs hitting the city for the new high school among others.

Prompted by citizen concerns regarding traffic flow through the Cogburn / Bethany Bend intersection,members were left with no choice but to approve a tax increase. "Regardless of what some might think, this was a very difficult decision, " commented one elected official who spoke to Accessmilton.com on the condition of anonymity.

"Immediate action is required now to make sure that the school opening in 2012 doesn't become a logistical nightmare for citizens and students alike,"commented another.

Location of the school was originally planned for Freemanville north of Redd Road but several active citizens fought that proposal with the BOE eventually relenting due to environmental concerns at the site.

Frustrations as of late have been a plenty when it comes to the Fulton County Board of Education. Ongoing meetings have taken place throughout North Fulton questioning numerous redistricting proposals.

Originally promised to be a "rural community" with no tax increases in sight, Milton has continued to sway away from that initial pledge. Little has been offered by council to give the open roads residents of Milton a voice to insure protection of that unique feel their properties provide.

Suggestions by citizens were not heard at the time of the meeting.

Inspiring.


Double Click To Enlarge Screen.
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Many thanks to JD lady for sharing this wonderful artist with Accessmilton.com!

Herman Cain: "A Real Black Man May Run Against Barack Obama"


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NOTE:Feel free to send material for others discussing running for President and we are more than happy to post them for you. Email is tmenloe@aol.com

Milton and Verizon present Recycling Rally April 14.

by Accessmilton.com


Bring electronics, appliances and more.

MILTON, Ga., March 31, 2011 - Gather up those old computers, printers, appliances, cell phones, soda cans and more, because Verizon Wireless and the City of Milton are partnering for a Recycling Rally on Thursday, April 14.


This free event, held from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., will take place at Verizon Wireless' South Area Headquarters, located at One Verizon Place in Milton (click here for directions).


Recycling Rallies are part of Verizon's year-round efforts to help protect and preserve the environment by giving employees and the community the opportunity to go "green" at both work and home. The organization managing the disposal of all items adheres to Verizon's zero-landfill criteria, which requires items donated to be either reused or recycled in an environmentally safe manner.


Acceptable items to recycle include:
Laptop and desktop computers (hard drives will not be wiped)
Cell phones and accessories
Alarm clocks
Printers
LCD monitors (no CRTs)
Cameras
Computer cables, mice and keyboards
Conferencing equipment
Gaming consoles
Remote controls
Small electronic appliances (coffee makers, toasters, toaster ovens, can openers, etc.)
Earphones
Stereo and audio equipment
Electronic toys (batteries removed)
Paper shredders
Telephones and answering machines
Aluminum cans
Glass
Plastics

Please note: Cell phones, cell phone batteries and accessories will be donated to Verizon's HopeLine® program, which provides wireless phones and airtime to survivors of domestic violence. HopeLine has kept more than 210 tons of electronic waste and batteries out of landfills and collected more than 8 million phones since 2001.

Items not accepted at this drive:
Hazardous waste (batteries, inks/toners, mercury bulbs). All batteries should be removed prior to turning in any items.· Units containing fluid (motors, pumps containing fluid)
CRT monitors
Refrigerators or freezers
Medical waste
Radioactive material (x-ray equipment)
Televisions

As an added incentive, each participant can win a Water-Eco Kit that includes water saving items such as a reduced water shower head, bathroom aerators, a toilet tank bank and water saving tips. Winners will be randomly selected.


"We all have old electronics sitting in closets and drawers at home," said Jeff Mango, president of the Georgia-Alabama Region for Verizon Wireless. "It's critical we work with partners like the City of Milton to keep these devices out of landfills and make sure they are properly recycled."

About Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless operates the nation's fastest and most advanced 4G network and largest and most reliable 3G network, and serves more than 94 million customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 82,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE, NASDAQ: VZ) and Vodafone (LSE, NASDAQ: VOD). For more information, visit www.verizonwireless.com. To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Redistricting Explained.


Double Click To Enlarge Screen.


Courtesy Protect Kids.

Milton's two new summer camps open registration to the public.

Courtesy Maggie West; The Examiner

The City of Milton has two new summer day camps this year: Camp Bethwell and Camp Joyful Soles.

Registration for Camp Bethwell is now open to the public as of yesterday. Non-residents can register during regular business hours (8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.) at the Milton City Hall located at 13000 Deerfield Parkway, Suite 107G. Space is limited, however, to 30 campers. So, time is of the essence.

The cost for non-Milton residents is $165 per week. Guardians may register for eight weeks or for a week at a time. Although there is a $50 per week, non-refundable, non-transferable fee to hold spaces in future weeks. And the remainder of the balance is due prior to the week reserved.

Registration for Camp Joyful Soles also began for non-residents yesterday. This camp considers Alpharetta residents as Milton residents, however. So, the cost is the same for Alpharetta residents as Milton's.

Again, non-residents must register at the Milton City Hall on Deerfield Parkway during regular business hours. And there is only room for 20 campers.

The cost for non-residents who wish to apply for Camp Joyful Soles is $187.50 per week. And the same guidelines apply for by-the-week registrations.

ABOUT THE CAMPS

Camp Bethwell will be held in the newly renovated Bethwell Community Center located at 2695 Hopwell Road (30004) and is an eight-week camp for children ages 6 to 12. It will open on June 6 and run until Aug. 5 (with no session the week of July 4). The hours will be 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Participants can expect days filled with arts and crafts, drama, treasure hunts, games, fitness and more.

Camp Joyful Soles, held at Cogburn Woods Elementary School, is for campers with mild disabilities. It is held in conjunction with Alpharetta's Camp Happy Hearts and is for children ages 12 to 18. Camp Joyful Soles will also open on June 6 and run until Aug. 5 (with no session the week of July 4). The hours will be from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, as well.

In addition to arts and crafts and games, campers can also experience a therapeutic equestrian program and sports programs.

Crabapple plans begin to form.

New streets, pedestrian facilities top list.

by Jonathan Copsey / Appen Newspapers

March 28, 2011

MILTON, Ga. - The first draft designs of a new Crabapple master plan were unveiled to the public during a meeting by Roswell-based planner Lew Oliver.


"I expect plenty of disapproval and discussion," Oliver said to the crowd at City Hall March 21.


Oliver's suggestions centered around adding several relief streets to the Crabapple area, including one branching north from Charlotte Drive to link up with Milton High School, in an effort to cut down on student traffic that helps clog the roads in the mornings and early afternoons.

A roundabout could be placed near Arbor Drive and Crabapple Road, turning Lacoma Trace into a major cut through for traffic trying to turn left up Birmingham Highway.


The main thrust of the efforts was to mitigate the effects of traffic in the area and to slow it down. Rerouting the traffic was not likely to happen, Oliver said.


"It's a very dismal future for North Fulton with traffic," Oliver said.

He added that traffic design in Atlanta for the past 50 years has been centered around the idea of using cars exclusively. Other modes of transportation – including bikes and walking – have been marginalized until fairly recently.

Through the use of wide sidewalks and trails, Oliver hopes to bring back the feeling of a small-town neighborhood, with plenty of people walking, riding bikes or driving golf carts.

Oliver also suggested the use of creek beds and waterways that converge on the old town as "green fingers" - that is, multi-use pathways for pedestrians and cyclists.


He noted there was no way to solve the traffic problems that plague the area, and that it will in fact get worse in coming years. Residents could expect the population to grow by at least another 12,000 if Milton goes by its standard one-house-per-acre policy to fill the remaining 6,000 acres in the city. The number could be much higher if density is higher and the surrounding cities continue to grow as well.


While no definite plan was given for a possible city hall, if Oliver has his way, the gas station in the heart of Crabapple would be replaced with a town green where a city hall complex could be located.

The design process will continue in the coming weeks to create a complete master plan for Crabapple that the city can use to direct growth development in the area.

Mayors deliver meals to the elderly.

Mayor Joe Lockwood, center, and Senior Services North Fulton Executive Director Carrie Bellware with senior citizen Winnie Wright, after delivering her meal. More than 10,000 mayors participated in the annual Mayors for Meals to bring attention to the Meals on Wheels Program.

Lockwood chats with native Milton woman

by Jonathan Copsey / Appen Newspapers March 28, 2011

MILTON, Ga. – For many older Americans, the Meals on Wheels program and the volunteers who bring those meals are the only regular contact they have on any given day.

That is one of the reasons Senior Services North Fulton, a Meals on Wheels Association of America member, and the mayors from the cities of Roswell, Alpharetta, Milton, Johns Creek, Sandy Springs and Mountain Park participated in the national Mayors for Meals on Wednesday, March 23.

These mayors delivered meals and visited with senior residents in their respective communities to help support and raise awareness of the importance of senior nutrition.

Senior Services North Fulton is a community-supported, nonprofit organization helping senior citizens live independently and have a richer, fuller life. Senior Services Executive Director Carrie Bellware said senior citizens are living longer, but their families are often dispersed, their income is limited and their health is sometimes medically fragile. With all of this, they find it hard to continue to live independent lives.

"That is where Senior Services can help," she said. "One of the primary ways our organization does that is through the Meals on Wheels Program and the 450 volunteers in North Fulton who make it work."

Heidi Sowder, volunteer manager at Senior Services, said Meals on Wheels delivers meals to 230 clients on 16 routes. Last year, they delivered more than 48,000 nutritious meals. The program is funded by the Fulton County Office on Aging and Senior Services on fundraising.

"Malnutrition is a big problem in the senior population," Sowder said. "Many no longer have the strength to cook good meals. It may be they can't open cans or peel potatoes anymore because of arthritis or see to set the oven temperature."

Many need special diets due to diabetes, high blood pressure or other ailments that make it difficult to prepare the right meals. Meals on Wheels brings food that is prepared locally and quick-frozen that the seniors can heat in the microwave. "This is a big part of how seniors can remain in their own home for as long as possible," Sowder said. And there are social benefits for the seniors as well. "Many times, volunteers bringing a meal are the only person a senior may see or talk to that day," Sowder said. "It's a way to know they are doing all right." In addition, care managers make calls on the seniors. They and the volunteers are trained to notice for signs that some intervention may be needed – they may seem disoriented or their living space is getting messy. "Anything out of the ordinary," she said. "It is hard to lose one's independence, and that is why the program is so important to many of the seniors. They want to stay in their own home."

Volunteers work a flexible schedule and can deliver as little as once or twice a month. Yet many volunteers seem to enjoy it as much as the seniors, Sowder said.

Bellware and Milton Mayor Joe Lockwood visited 91-year-old Winnie Wright.

Wright was born and raised in what is now Milton, and has lived in the same home for more than 40 years, watching Milton change from fields and pastures to what it is now. "There was no money back then," Wright said of farming in North Fulton. She remembers local women fighting over empty sacks of chicken feed, because of fabric shortages during World War II. "It was a hard life. We worked hard every day," she said. "And if you were down on your luck, people would help you out.People today don't know what it was like," Wright added.

Wright's mother died of pneumonia when she was born, so she was raised by her father, who lived in rooms above the Hopewell Baptist Church, as well as by aunts and uncles. Her first husband was a farmer, and she remembers falling in love with him at first sight. "I said, 'when I grow up, I'm going to marry that man,'" Wright recalled saying at age 11. When she was 16, she finally did. He was 22 at the time. "I just fell in love with him."

At 91, Wright is small and fragile, and gets help from her grown son and extended family. She has one great-grandson. Everyday, she gets a meal from Senior Services North Fulton and their Meals on Wheels program. "It's the best thing that's ever happened to me," she said of the food.

Parks agreement with county irks some on Milton council.

City gains parkland, but at cost. by Jonathan Copsey / Appen Newspapers

March 28, 2011

MILTON, Ga. - The council re-approved four agreements with the Fulton County Board of Education that it had previously thought were a done deal.

At issue were the intergovernmental agreements between the city and the BOE over the use of school property as parkland. The city passed the resolutions approving the agreements March 8, thinking they had come to a consensus with the board. It turns out they were wrong.

"We got ready to sign them the next day and we got notes back from Fulton County.... that we needed to make changes," explained City Manager Chris Lagerbloom. "Some of the changes we could live with, some we could not."

The biggest difference was in the level of insurance required by the city and any third-party vendors who may operate on the property.

"So we worked to get to a place where both parties are comfortable with," Lagerbloom said.

The city initially entered into the agreements with the schools within Milton to allow use of the school facilities – especially playing fields – by the public after school hours. Once school lets out for the day, or on weekends or in the summer, the fields would become public parkland. Of particular interest was a two-acre plot of land between Northwestern Middle School and Crabapple Crossing Elementary School. That land would be developed by the city into a park.

The council showed concern over an early termination clause.

If the board pulls out of the contract within two years of entering into the agreement, they will pay $20,000 in fees. The problem is that the city plans to make about $110,000 in improvements to the land for parks. For the county to get such improvements for minimal penalty irked several council members.

"They need more skin in the game," said Council member Karen Thurman. Council member Alan Tart agreed, saying, "We could potentially put $100,000 worth of improvements in the property, and their penalty would be to give us $20,000." After two years, the BOE doesn't have to give the city anything. According to Lagerbloom, the $20,000 penalty was the best the city could get.

"We felt like we wanted to put something in there," he said. "The benefit and the risk is weighted toward this being the right thing to do for the community and our citizens. But we wanted them to have some skin in the game." He also noted that the chances of the county taking the improvements and breaking the contract are slim. The new agreements were unanimously approved by the council.

Also discussed at the meeting: **Stacey Inglis, the city's finance director, was awarded a certificate of achievement for the 2009 comprehensive annual financial report by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada. "By achieving this, Stacey makes the city of Milton look really good," said Mayor Joe Lockwood. **The city approved a new official zoning map. According to Community Development Director Lynn Tully, the city has been working off of an official Fulton County map from before incorporation that was hand-drawn. All other maps – including the maps online – are unofficial, even though they may be more up-to-date. By adopting a new electronic map and certifying it on an annual basis, the city can maintain a current map.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Herman Cain Doubles Down on Claim That He Won’t Appoint Muslims to Cabinet.

Courtesy The Blaze.



As The Blaze reported earlier today, possible 2012 GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain has been taking some heat for saying that he would not appoint any Muslims to his cabinet:



No, I will not [appoint a Muslim to my cabinet]. And here’s why. There is this creeping attempt, there is this attempt to gradually ease Sharia law and the Muslim faith into our government. It does not belong in our government. This is what happened in Europe. And little by little, to try and be politically correct, they made this little change, they made this little change. And now they‘ve got a social problem that they don’t know what to do with hardly.


Appearing on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto show today, Cain doubled down on this claim.



Here’s what Cain said:



I did say no and here’s why…I would have to have people totally committed to the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of this United States. And many of the Muslims – they are not totally dedicated to this country, they are not dedicated to our Constitution. Many of them are trying to force Sharia law on the people of this country.


He did back-peddle a little bit when he told Cavuto that he would consider appointing a Muslim to his cabinet, if that Muslim denounced the imposition of Shariah law in the U.S.





According to CNN, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) was outraged by Cain’s remarks. CNN reports that to CAIR:



Cain’s words show how “right wing” conservatives are currently engaging in Muslim bashing….”Even post 9/11 you didn’t have this level of mainstreaming of anti-Muslim hate as you have now,” said Ibrahim Hooper, National Communications Director for CAIR.


Cain also said on Fox News today that “being politically correct isn’t something I’m going to spend a whole lot of my time worrying about.”


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Many thanks to Melissa for bringing this article to the attention of Accessmilton.com.

Be a part of Milton's Earth Day Festival April 16.

By Accessmilton.com

Vendors, sponsors, volunteers still needed


MILTON, Ga., March 29, 2011 - There is still time to volunteer, sponsor or have your business be a part of the 2nd Annual Milton Earth Day Festival Saturday, April 16.

If you are interested in becoming a sponsor or vendor, please click here to download a packet of information. This packet is also available at the City of Milton's Web site, www.cityofmiltonga.us, on the Milton Grows Green Committee events page, located in Your Government > Boards and Committees > Milton Grows Green > Volunteer Events.

To make sure you are included, please return the registration forms and payment, if applicable, as soon as possible.

Volunteers are also needed. Please e-mail mgg@cityofmiltonga.us if you can lend a hand.

The festival, sponsored by Waste Management, Republic Services and Optech and presented by Milton Grows Green (MGG) and the City of Milton, is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in pristine Birmingham Park (click here for directions).

Attractions will include:

  • Human "Hamster Balls"
  • Wagon rides
  • Horse drawn carriage rides
  • Electric car rides
  • Live music by Airsoft 360
  • Arts, crafts and games for children
  • Live animals at 11 a.m.
  • "Green Egg" hunt with environmental goodies
  • Gardening demonstrations with free vegetable seeds
  • Farmers market
  • Local vendors including caricatures, animal rescue, environmentally friendly products and services, food for picnicking and more
  • Guided history lessons
  • Hiking trails
  • Shoe recycling courtesy of Recycle for a Cure

For more information, contact Cindy Eade at 678-242-2509 or cindy.eade@cityofmiltonga.us.

About MGG MGG coordinates the efforts of individual volunteers and community-based organizations through the efforts of its own members, including Milton residents, business partners and those with an interest in the environment. For more information, e-mail mgg@cityofmiltonga.us.

Monday, March 28, 2011

4 area school districts looking for superintendents.

By Jaime Sarrio The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Over the next few months, school boards from four of the state’s largest districts will interview and select new superintendents, but the degree to which the public will influence those decisions remains unclear.

Cobb, DeKalb, Atlanta and Fulton are expected to have new leaders by July. Cobb board members are in the process of conducting interviews and DeKalb plans to announce finalists next week.

Each district has or intends to collect input from parents about characteristics a new superintendent should have. But when it comes to allowing parents to weigh in on the final decisions, districts have differing strategies.

DeKalb school board Chairman Tom Bowen said the board will hold public interviews where community members can submit questions to the finalists. The district is looking to hire a replacement for Crawford Lewis by early April. Lewis was fired and later indicted on charges he ran a criminal enterprise in the school system.

“Rather than going behind closed doors, we want to be as inclusive as we can,” Bowen said. “It goes to the bigger picture of changing the culture and changing perceptions. We want to make sure with anything major we do, we give transparency to it. The more people understand the process, the more comfortable they’ll be we’re doing things in the best interest of students.”

Cobb board members are in the process of interviewing candidates to run the state’s second-largest district and plan to have a selection before Fred Sanderson retires in June.

When Cobb last hired a superintendent in 2005 to replace Joseph Redden, at least four names surfaced prior to the board’s final decision. The board named Sanderson on a Wednesday and publicly introduced him at a Friday reception. He was formally approved after the 14-day public comment period.

Spokesman Jay Dillon said he expects a similar process this time around. Public input was gathered on the front end; the district organized an online survey and focus groups to determine the desired qualities of a new leader.

There are no planned community forums or meetings with the final pool of applicants, but that could change, depending on the preference and schedule of the finalists, said chairwoman Alison Bartlett. She said she will consider the community’s input once the names are released.

“If the community isn’t going to support whoever is chosen, then you’ve already got an issue,” she said.

Some recruiters argue openness is a deterrent to applicants who don’t want their current employer to know they’re looking for other jobs.

Identifying information about who applies for these high-profile positions is protected by Georgia law for a period of time. However, school boards are required to release the names of the top three finalists 14 days before the final vote. A finalist can drop out of the running to avoid being publicly identified.

Georgia’s open records law isn’t as revealing as that of other states such as Tennessee, where all applications are made public as well as interviews and board deliberations. But Hollie Manheimer, executive director Georgia First Amendment Foundation, said the law is still designed to allow for public oversight throughout the process.

“An informed public makes for the strongest communities,” said Manheimer. “It would seem to me, even the candidates themselves would not resist scrutiny. They want to know their community, and their community wants to know them.”

The Fulton County school board is on track to have a new superintendent by the end of May when Cindy Loe retires, said board President Linda Schultz. The district posted for several weeks a survey of what parents were looking for in the ideal superintendent.

“It’s going really well,” Schultz said. “We’re pleased with the candidate pool that we’ve got and still expect to have a new superintendent named before Dr. Loe retires May 31.”

The Atlanta school board hired an executive search firm March 1 to find a replacement for Superintendent Beverly Hall, who will step down June 30 after 12 years. A visit by the firm, Illinois-based Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates, is set for April 11-12 to collect public comments and insight. A community survey about finding an ideal candidate is already up and accessible on the system’s website (www.atlantapublicschools.us).

According to the firm’s schedule, board members will be on track to select a new superintendent by July 1.

Leisha Fleming, whose daughter attends school in DeKalb County, said she’s pleased with the open process outlined by the school board. She plans to attend the public interviews, but does not believe the decision should be left up to the public.

“It’s not an elected official, it’s an appointed position and I am all right with that,” she said. “But the onus is on the school board to find the right person.”


Atlanta Public Schools Number of students: 48,000
Superintendent: Beverly Hall
Time in job: 12 years
Status: Stepping down June 30
Salary: $332,230 (includes benefits).
Cellphone stipend $1,200.
What’s next: The district is conducting an online survey; search firm will collect public comment April 11-12

Cobb County Schools
Number of students: 107,000
Superintendent: Fred Sanderson
Time in job: Five years Status:
Retiring June 30 Salary: $208,000, plus $9,600 car allowance
What’s next: The district is interviewing candidates; board will select finalists in coming months

DeKalb County Schools
Number of students: 99,000
Interim superintendent: Ramona Tyson
Time in job: 13 months Status: Will spend six months working with new superintendent Salary: $240,000. Allowed $2,000 a month for expenses, $500 a month for transportation
Former superintendent: Crawford Lewis
Time in job: Six years Status:
Placed on paid leave in February 2010, fired in April and indicted in May on charges of running a criminal enterprise at the school system.
Salary: $255,000. Allowed $2,500 monthly for expenses and was furnished with a car What’s next: Finalists expected to be named this week

Fulton County Schools
Number of students: 92,000
Superintendent: Cindy Loe
Time in job: Four years Status:
Retiring at end of school year
Salary: $270,068
Staff writers Nancy Badertscher and Kristina Torres contributed to this article.

Lawmakers Want Fulton County Cities Dissolved.


Courtesy wsbtv.com


ATLANTA -- A group of African-American lawmakers has filed a federal lawsuit seeking to dissolve the cities of Sandy Springs, Milton, Johns Creek, Dunwoody and Chattahoochee Hills in Fulton County.


They argue that lawmakers in those areas circumvented the process to get bills passed to create those cities without input from the Fulton and DeKalb delegations. They also argue the vote of minorities in those communities has been diluted.


The group told Channel 2’s Mike Petchenik the lawsuit is one way to prevent the formation of Milton County. “What you have is predominantly African-American delegations in both Fulton and DeKalb counties being circumvented by the Republican Legislature," said state Sen. Vincent Fort.


“As the movement to create a County of Milton moves forward, it’s absolutely critical that this lawsuit be in place at this time,” said Fort. State Rep. Wendell Willard, who was instrumental in Sandy Springs' charter, told Petchenik the lawsuit has no merit and that lawmakers followed the rules, even getting approval from the U.S. Justice Department, before forming the cities.


“When the charters were passed, one of the requirements we met was to have the preclearance of the bills by the Justice Department, and all of them were in fact cleared,” Willard said.


“Formation of the cities dealt with allowing the people in those areas a right to have some local control and say-so about services delivered to them, just Senator Vincent Fort sees the city of Atlanta as the local government to provide his services,” Willard added.

North Fulton Parents Fight Redistricting Plans.

Courtesy wsbtv.com


ROSWELL, Ga. --

Some north Fulton parents are planning to fight plans to redistrict their children. Their concerns were sparked by the county school board’s plans to build a new high school in Milton.

The three proposals on the table could potentially shuffle thousands of students in north Fulton. “You're basically breaking apart a community fabric that’s really been established over three or four generations here,” concerned parent Mark Campbell told Channel 2’s Petchenik.

Campbell’s two sons attend Roswell High School, but redistricting could send hundreds of Roswell Hornets to rival Milton High School.

“Roswell High School stands to lose in all three of the plans on the table right now,” Campbell said.

The Fulton School Board plans to open a new high school called Bethany Bend in August 2012. To fill seats at the school, the district will have to redraw attendance lines, shuffling thousands of students.

The first proposal on the table affects all seven high schools in north Fulton County, sending students from Alpharetta and Milton high schools to the new school.

Two other plans affect all but one school. Campbell said he's concerned about the commute times for students uprooted from their neighborhoods. “You’re going to increase the travel risk for a number of students who live less than two miles from this building and 10 miles from the next closest building,” Campbell said. Another parent is rallying a group of Roswell parents to take their fight to the Fulton School Board.

“There are two kinds of fights: the ones you can win and the fights that need fighting,” said the Roswell Organizing Committee’s Mike Nyden. Nyden said concerns have fallen on deaf ears. “They are asking for input but the narrowness of the answers is such that you may as well not have any at all,” Nyden said.

Firefighters begin spring inspections.

Bi-yearly inspections ensure adherence to fire code.

by Jonathan Copsey / Appen Newspapers

March 25, 2011 Milton, Ga.

- Milton fire engine companies are now conducting bi-yearly life safety inspections of businesses, schools and non-residential occupancies, said Milton Fire Marshal Matt Marietta, so expect to see them in the community. "This helps to promote public safety in our community, ensures basic code compliance and also allows the firefighters who protect Milton's businesses to become familiar with their layouts and hazards, so they are better prepared to respond to an emergency should something unfortunate occur," said Marietta.

Among other things, firefighters are looking for working emergency lights (push the test button to make sure they are operational), properly lighted exit signs, current annual inspection tags on all fire extinguishers and accessible emergency exits. If you have any questions about this inspection process, contact Marietta at 678-242-2570 or matthew.marietta@cityofmiltonga.us.

Obscene Text Messages Hit Milton Teen.

By Accessmilton.com

A "music producer" who supposedly lives in California is the prime suspect regarding some obscene images been sent to a sixteen year old Milton girl. The teen states the she has not responded since the images began. The Milton Police Department is investigating.

Identity Theft Back Again.

By Accessmilton.com

If it is not enough that Milton has been a hot spot for burglaries as of late, four more residents have had to deal with another form of crime; identity theft.

Victims have been all over the city; from Hopewell Plantation to the Deerfield area. The fraud is varying in amounts from a few hundred dollars to several thousands.

While the IRS has been notified, the Milton Police Department will continue to work each case.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Gas Prices Sunday.


Courtesy Gasbuddy.com


1. Costco / Windard: $3.39


2. Sam's Club / Mansell: $3.39


3. Racetrac / McFarland: $3.42

If You See A Milton Officer, Thank Them.

The Athens police officer shot to death Tuesday has been identified as Senior Police Officer Elmer “Buddy” Christian, a father of two.

NOTE: On behalf of Accessmilton.com, our thoughts go out to the family and friends of the slain officer above. Every day, police across the country put their lives on the line for those they serve. If you see a Milton Officer out and about, please thank them for looking out for the citizens of Milton.

Courtesy Atlanta Journal Constitution

ATHENS, Ga. — Thousands of people mourned a slain Georgia police officer whose killing led to a days-long manhunt for a suspect who surrendered live television.

Almost 2,500 people — including law enforcement officers from Georgia and elsewhere — packed the Classic Center theater for the funeral of Athens-Clarke County Officer Elmer "Buddy" Christian, the Athens Banner-Herald reported.

Hundreds more lined the streets as a horse-drawn hearse took his body to Evergreen Memorial Park for burial. One of Christian's hobbies was shoeing horses for friends and family.

Jamie Hood, 33, fatally shot Christian on Tuesday and also shot and seriously wounded Officer Tony Howard, police say. Hood was taken into custody late Friday after requesting that a news crew document his surrender.

Hood had been holed up with nine hostages at an Athens apartment. Five exited the apartment along with him. Hours earlier he had released four others.

Randy Crowe, pastor of Hull Baptist Church, where Christian was a member, cautioned relatives, friends and co-workers against letting anger consume them.

"Does (Hood) know the devastation he caused?" Crowe asked. "Does he know what he has taken away from this family, from his friends here today and from his comrades?"

As Hood was being taken into custody late Friday, he told WXIA-TV in a brief videotaped interview, "I regret killing that officer."

When asked what he meant, a handcuffed Hood said, "That officer. That innocent officer. I regret that ..." Asked for more details, Hood said, "You know, they killed my brother. They were going to kill me."

Hood was sentenced to 12 years in prison in 1997 for armed robbery and released in 2009. In 2001, while Hood was serving time, his 22-year-old brother Timothy Hood was shot and killed by an Athens police officer. Investigators said at the time that Timothy Hood pulled a gun on an officer and was shot when the weapon jammed.

"Buddy has already forgiven the man who shot him," Crowe said. "Buddy has already talked to the Lord about him."

Christian, who was 34, leaves behind Melissa, his wife of 15 years, and two children — 2-year-old Wyatt and 5-year-old Callie.

Christian became a police officer in 2002, fulfilling his lifelong dream, Crowe said.

"He knew the danger," Crowe said. "He knew the risk. But a police officer is what Buddy wanted to be. He wanted to help people.

Christian started out as a beat officer and then moved to traffic enforcement, said police Chief Jack Lumpkin.

"He demonstrated exceptional skills and abilities at helping people solve problems and an excellent work ethic," Lumpkin said.

Athens-Clarke County has established a memorial fund at Athens First Bank & Trust and Lumpkin assured Christian's wife and children they would not be forgotten.

"The Athens-Clarke County Police Department will be there for you over the long haul," he said.

Hood is also suspected in the December slaying of county employee Kenneth Omari Wray, Tom Smith, the assistant police chief in Athens-Clarke County, told the Banner-Herald. Tuesday's shootings happened as officers were seeking Hood in connection with a kidnapping. Smith says the person kidnapped 31-year-old Judon Brooks, was connected to Wray but wouldn't elaborate.

Police said Hood lured Brooks to his parents' home Tuesday telling him he wanted to "show him something." Brooks arrived at the home to find Hood and four masked gunmen inside, police said.

The men bound Brooks' feet and hands and Hood asked him for addresses of people Brooks knew and threatened to kill him, police told the newspaper. The men may have wanted information linked to Wray's slaying, which police think was drug-related, police said.

The men forced Brooks into the trunk of a car and drove off, police said. Brooks freed his hands, popped the trunk and escaped when the car stopped at a red light, police said.

Police issued an alert for Hood and Howard spotted Hood's brother driving an SUV and pulled him over. Jamie Hood got out and shot Howard, police said.

Christian, who was in the area on an unrelated call, stopped to assist a third officer who had Matthew Hood in custody. Hood ran up to Christian's car and shot him through the window and then shot Howard a second time, police said. Howard remains hospitalized but is expected to recover.

Hood then fled on foot, carjacked a car and disappeared, police said, sparking a massive manhunt that came to its end late Friday evening after a seven-hour standoff.

Hood was arrested and charged with murder and 13 other felonies. Police say more charges are likely.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Parks and recreation programs ready for warm weather.

By Joan Durbin
Neighbor Newspapers

With warmer weather gradually taking hold, now is the time to take advantage of the numerous recreational opportunities offered by north Fulton municipalities.

Of special interest are some of the cities’ newest projects and facilities.

“We are getting ready to begin renovation of the Bethwell Community Center,” said Milton’s director of Parks and Recreation, Cyndee Bonacci.
“This is a building built in the early 1950s that has been used over the years for community gatherings, meetings, family functions and programs.”

The renovation project to the 1,300-square-foot building on Hopewell Road should be awarded in early April and should be complete by late May, Bonacci said.

The city is negotiating agreements with the county Board of Education to allow scheduled use of Hopewell Middle School, Birmingham Falls Elementary and Cogburn Woods Elementary for parks and recreation programs and activities.

The city is working on an agreement to develop a two-acre city park on school-owned land between Crabapple Crossing Elementary and Northwestern Middle School. This park will be used by the schools during the school day and be available to the public outside of school hours. The park will be maintained by the City of Milton.

The city also recently purchased a one-acre parcel at the corner of Deerfield Parkway and Webb Road for a pocket park. Other upcoming capital improvements include additional Bell Memorial Park improvements and trail implementation.

In Alpharetta, a Wills Park baseball field and a multi-purpose field at North Park are being transformed into synthetic turf fields.

“Wills Park Youth Baseball Association is planning opening day festivities on March 26 to celebrate the opening of the new field,” said Lisa Cherry, deputy director of Alpharetta recreation and parks.

During the winter, the disc golf course at Wills Park was redesigned to enhance course playability and provide a safer environment for all park users.

“It has been a big hit with disc golf players,” Cherry said.

Construction on an .8-mile extension on the north end of Big Creek Greenway continues, Cherry said, and it may be open by summer. The trail will extend from Webb Bridge Road north to Marconi Drive off of Windward Parkway.

One of the most popular recreational features in Roswell, the Riverside Park Sprayground, had more than 40,000 visits last year.

“So we constructed another sprayground at East Roswell Park. Both will open Memorial Day weekend,” said Bobbie Daniels, public relations coordinator for the Recreation and Parks department.

The Roswell Alpharetta Mountain Bike Association has constructed pump tracks at Big Creek Park.

Additionally, an outdoor sand volleyball court has been built off Riverside Road along the Riverwalk.

Summer Camp job applications due Monday.

By Accessmilton.com

Attention all those looking for a great summer job: applications for employment with the City of Milton’s two summer camps are due Monday, March 28.

The City of Milton Parks and Recreation Department is hiring nine part-time, seasonal positions – directors, lead counselors and counselors – to run and staff Camp Bethwell and Camp Joyful Soles. Interested applicants need to have graduated high school by June 1, 2011.

Full information on job qualifications, pay and more is available at the City of Milton’s online Career Center. You may also access this information by clicking “careers” at the bottom left of the home page or choosing “Apply for a job” from the “I want to” drop down menu located at the top left of the home page.

Click here for more information.

Milton, Alpharetta spar over park fees for youth softball.

By Patrick Fox
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Non-resident recreation fees are creating a stir in north Fulton County.

In February, Alpharetta was turned down when it asked Johns Creek for a break for its youth participating in athletic programs at Ocee Park. Now, Alpharetta is denying a request by Milton officials for the same consideration.

At issue is the girls softball program at Alpharetta's North Park. The activity draws from 350 to 600 kids each spring, roughly half of them from Milton. The 100-acre facility on Cogburn Road lies completely within Milton's city limits.

"Alpharetta did improve and buy the park from Fulton County, but it is kind of painful for the girls to have to pay that additional piece," said Kurtis Brown, commissioner for the Alpharetta Youth Softball Association, the non-profit group that runs the program for the city.

The charge to participate is $125 for Alpharetta girls age 6 and 7 and $135 for girls 8 and above. Non-residents pay an extra 75 percent.

That extra cost has Milton officials pondering whether to form their own program.

Until last year, the 5-year-old city didn't have a parks department. It has only one active park, Bell Memorial, which features four baseball fields, a playground, concession stand and picnic pavilion on 15 acres.

But city officials have been busy this year. They have budgeted $1.3 million in capital improvements for parks after spending no more than $51,000 on them over the past three years.

City Council members just this week agreed to build a park on a two-acre site between Northwest Middle School and Crabapple Crossing as part of an agreement with Fulton County Schools. The city is also looking to develop Birmingham Park, a 205-acre tract with limited access on Hickory Flat Road.

"The last thing we need are two diluted [softball] programs," Milton City Manager Chris Lagerbloom said.
"We should at least explore a cooperative program. Otherwise, we may have to go with our own."

Such a move would hurt the existing organization, Brown said.

"Neither city would then have the critical mass required to have an independent league," he said.

Alpharetta officials say local residents have poured between $7 and $10 million into North Park in its 25 years of existence. The city spends close to $1 million annually for its operation and upkeep, said Mike Perry, Alpharetta's parks and recreation director.

Residents also passed a special $24.9 million bond in 1997, with about half of the proceeds committed to parks.

James Drinkard, assistant city manager, said Alpharetta is interested in forming partnerships with neighboring communities to develop quality recreation programs.

"But they have to be partnerships in which all parties are bringing resources to the table so that our citizens are not subsidizing a benefit to citizens of another community," he said.
"It has to be somewhat of an equal partnership."

Alpharetta and Milton recently collaborated to sponsor summer camps for special needs children in their cities. Alpharetta's Camp Happy Hearts will serve children ages 6-12 and Milton's Camp Joyful Souls will serve children ages 12-18. The programs will honor resident pricing for both Alpharetta and Milton citizens.

Brown would like to see a similar effort made for the softball program.

"I'm an Alpharetta resident, so yes, there should be something they should pay," he said.
"But that number and what it's based on in terms of what goes into the budget is one of the big questions."

Summer Camp job applications due Monday.

By Accessmilton.com

City hiring nine part-time positions


MILTON, Ga., March 25, 2011 - Attention all those looking for a great summer job: applications for employment with the City of Milton's two summer camps are due Monday, March 28.

The City of Milton Parks and Recreation Department is hiring nine part-time, seasonal positions - directors, lead counselors and counselors - to run and staff Camp Bethwell and Camp Joyful Soles. Interested applicants need to have graduated high school by June 1, 2011.

Full information on job qualifications, pay and more is available at the City of Milton's online Career Center. You may also access this information by visiting http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=fsk9m7bab&et=1104953972773&s=255&e=001yokeNXcFM45JfKjJPeT8oe0YHO_Xc2fW8BWXo8CsYWmXmBR9xD8bp0ju6q0wzR-tr0BAj4QF0BfQ9i43kiPMsM1z7vFgkhHw1-yfZt_ikPuOV1S8-ciGjA== and clicking "careers" at the bottom left of the home page or choosing "Apply for a job" from the "I want to" drop down menu located at the top left of the home page.

Camp Bethwell, to be held in the newly renovated Bethwell Community Center (click here for directions), is an eight-week camp for ages 6 to 12 open June 6 to Aug. 5 (with no session the week of July 4) from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Camp Joyful Soles, held at Cogburn Woods Elementary School, is for campers with mild disabilities. It is held in conjunction with Alpharetta's Camp Happy Hearts and is for children ages 12 to 18. Camp Joyful Soles will be open June 6 to Aug. 5 (with no session the week of July 4) from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Update on School redistricting.

Courtesy Mike Nyden.

Quick update;

Q. How many children do you have to move to fill 1,600 seats in a new school?

A. 3,500 -- At least that’s what the spokesperson from the board said during a TV interview.

Not a whole lot to report this week. We’ve had some press as the result of a press release. The article can be found here: http://roswell.patch.com/articles/fulton-schools-dispute-groups-claims-about-redistricting . There’s a great deal of dissembling in the article… and I’ll leave it at that. Please let me know if you’d like some clarification.

There have been other articles as well, but I don’t have links to them. We’re also expecting some TV time well in advance of the next scheduled school board meeting. We’re trying to keep this “story” in the news (by trying to get a couple of releases out every week.) . If you have ideas for an “angle” on the redistricting, please let me know.

I don’t know how many of you sent the “second” question, but apparently no one has received an answer. If you asked, and have received an answer, would you let me know please?

Senators Chip Rogers and John Albers are holding a town hall meeting at the Mountain Park City Hall located at 118 Lakeshore Drive in Mountain Park this morning at 11. Among various committee assignments, Senator Rogers sits on the Education and Youth Committee (Ex-Officio) as does Senator Albers. Senator Rogers made a pretty compelling speech on crossover day that you may watch here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=skiI4sjjQd0 . The senators may not be able to do anything now, but it’s my experience with them that they at least listen. And let’s face it, there’re quite a few of us who have something to say. (I hope to see you there.)

I’ll send more if/when something exciting happens.

Mike

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Community Speed Watch.


Double Click To Enlarge Screen.

Milton City Council gets earful from Mayor for a Day.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Nick Tucker doesn't have a lot of political experience, but he was ready Monday night. The 11-year-old left his post beside Mayor Joe Lockwood to address the City Council about road repairs in his neighborhood. Then, the youth "Mayor for a Day" returned to his seat beside Lockwood on the dais.

Tucker was selected for the honor in February by winning an essay contest the city sponsors each year. The Birmingham Falls Middle School student spent a day last month touring city facilities with the mayor. This week, he got to help preside over the City Council meeting.

Hoping to pursue a career in politics, Tucker said he's been interested in the subject "since I could talk."

Introducing "THE ENLOE SHOW."

by Tim Enloe; Accessmilton.com

Accessmilton.com has become the #1 website for all things Milton Georgia due to input from our readers. Much of what we post is information being forwarded to us or suggestions sent our way.

Recently, a reader asked us if we would be willing to interview
a certain person on video. As we spoke, the discussion evolved to not just doing a video interview on one individual or topic, but for numerous.

With that in mind, Accessmilton.com is proud to announce "The Enloe Show." This segment will focus on video interviews regarding any and everything about Milton. We will post the upcoming interview subject here prior so that citizens can weigh in on what questions they would like to be included.

This addition also enhances our slogan; that being "Accessmilton.com; where YOU choose the news!"

Feel free to make suggetions below on who or what you would like to be interviewed and we will do our very best to make it happen.

Thanks for being a part of Accessmilton.com.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Media Release - The Fulton County School Board's redistricting plan robs students of their time and their heritage.

Courtesy Mike Nyden

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

CONTACT:

The Roswell Organizing Committee---Preserving the Community

Mike Nyden – ROCNorthFulton@gmail.com – (770) 642-6133

Claire Bartlett – claireabartlett@gmail.com – (404) 384-3256

The Fulton County School Board’s redistricting plan robs students of their time and their heritage

“The plan to add the eighth general high school in North Fulton shows no compassion or common sense. This plan will move 3,500 children in order to fill a new school with 1,600 students. It crosses city lines, causes traffic jams, and diminishes a community’s identity,” said Mike Nyden, head of
“The Roswell Organizing Committee.”

The Fulton County School Board is engaged in a controversial process to realign all the schools’ boundaries, based primarily on proximity, they say. They have submitted three such plans. But citizens groups see it differently. Spokeswoman Claire Bartlett said, “There’s no logic in their proposed maps. We could live three blocks from Roswell High, but next year our kids may have to travel forty minutes to a new educational palace---even though ‘proximity’ is supposed to be the main consideration for redistricting. This raises huge concerns for child safety.”

The problem is the same throughout the state. School Boards are not conceived to be an inherent part of a city. School districts are without boundaries within a county. In North Fulton there are five cities—Sandy Springs, Roswell, Milton, Alpharetta and Johns Creek. But now there will be eight high schools, seemingly scattered randomly. For example, a student might live in Johns Creek and go to Centennial High School (in Roswell) with kids from Alpharetta. But friends across the street may go to Chattahoochee High School (in Johns Creek).

This will be the largest redistricting venture in North Fulton County history. It started a few years ago when the county bought a property near its northern border of Forsyth County, for millions of dollars. It was decided to build a state-of-the-art high school there to alleviate the crowding of existing schools.

The new school is being referred to as “Bethany Bend High School,” on a road by that name near the Forsyth County line in the city of Milton. Nyden said, “No roads lead to Bethany Bend. And the intersection---at Cogburn Road---will be a parking lot to nowhere.”

The process is supposed to continue, with one more meeting requesting citizen input. But there seems to be little communication with the School Board and any of the North Fulton City Councils. Nyden adds that this is a prime example of taxation without representation and a terrible manifestation of the unintended consequences of when one political body works independently from another.

In most of the USA, a city’s high school is the primary source of identity and community pride. Is that ceasing to exist here in Georgia?

“Bethany Bend will suck the guts and soul out of Roswell, Alpharetta, and Milton,” said Nyden.

“Why doesn’t the School Board try listening? Why aren’t the city councils standing up for their communities? And doesn’t the school board care about disrupting kids’ lives by making them prisoners in cars and buses for hours each day?”

About The Roswell Organizing Committee---Preserving the Community:

The Roswell Organizing Committee is a motivated group of citizens in North Fulton County dedicated to having Concern for Children and the Community integrated into any school redistricting process. For more information, contact Mike Nyden or visit the group’s Facebook
page at www.facebook.com/groups/roswellredistricting.

17th Annual Golden Games begin May 4.

By Accessmilton.com

Download event applications and schedules at www.cityofmiltonga.us

MILTON, Ga., March 23, 2011 - For the second year, the City of Milton Parks and Recreation Department will be a partner in the North Fulton Golden Games, held in May at locations throughout North Fulton.

This 17-year program for adults 50 and older features a wide range of events for every activity level, including golf, 3-on-3 basketball, tennis, track and field, and much, much more. It will kick off with Opening Ceremonies May 4 at the Roswell Adult Recreation Center and wind down May 26 with an awards luncheon at the Dorothy C. Benson center in Sandy Springs.

To download information and applications for the numerous events and tournaments, plus a calendar, click here. This information is also available at the City of Milton's Web site, www.cityofmiltonga.us, under Your Government > Parks and Recreation > Programs and Activities > 17th Annual North Fulton Golden Games.

Registration is just $12 for as many events as you would like; however, additional costs apply for the golf and bowling tournaments and 5K run.

For more information, contact Tom Gilliam, Milton's Recreation Programs Coordinator, at 678-242-2519 or tom.gilliam@cityofmiltonga.us.

In addition to Milton, the 17th Annual North Fulton Golden Games are sponsored by: the Alpharetta Recreation and Parks Department; Roswell Recreation, Parks, Historic and Cultural Affairs Department; Sandy Springs Recreation and Parks Department; Johns Creek Recreation and Parks Division; and the Fulton County Department of Human Services, Office of Aging.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Milton students take over council.

Mock meeting held by government class.

by Jonathan Copsey
Milton Herald

Milton High School students held a "mock council" meeting Wednesday, March 16, where AP Government students took over both the mayor and council positions as well as the city staffers. Mayor Connor Bourff, center, led the meeting. Jonathan Copsey.

March 21, 2011


MILTON, Ga. - The Milton council meeting began as per usual March 16 at 10 a.m. Mayor Connor Bourff called it to order and led the council and citizens in the Pledge of Allegiance. From there, City Manager Parker Smith and his fellow city staffers ran through the quick and easy meeting.
For those keeping up, this was not a typical council meeting. In actual fact, it was a "mock council" meeting, with students from Milton High School's AP Government class filling the roles of both city council and staff.

"They did a great job. It looks like they could take our jobs," said Mayor Joe Lockwood.
"What a great experience."

Students filled the mayor and six council positions, as well as numerous city staff roles and citizen participants. They worked off an actual city agenda and used all the information provided to council and staff, including presenting a proclamation, delivering the results of Milton's Parks and Recreation Needs Assessment Survey and determining the city's ad valorem tax rate (4.731).

Staff presented their reports on the items and fielded questions from the council.

"It's just not something they read their book on the way here this morning, there was such a great level of detail," said Chris Lagerbloom, the city manager.
"This was a success story for the first one, and I hope we do it again."

While this was Milton's first mock council, teacher Jackie Angel said the idea for such a program has been around for a long time at Milton High School – the old Milton High School on Milton Avenue.

"When Milton was in the old building, we worked with the city of Alpharetta," said Angel.

Robbie Rockovitz, the assistant city manager at that time, worked together on ways to get "students involved with the closest level of government to them," she said.

Bourff, the acting mayor, said he enjoyed the chance to be mayor.

"We made it look good and had a good time doing it," he said. He enjoyed it so much, he intends to enter politics someday, or practice law.
"Everyone glazes over local government as not as significant as state or national government, but there's a lot of more relevant stuff that comes out of local government."

Angel said it was a valuable experience for the students.

"I don't want the students to see government as far away from them," said Angel.
"They need to see that government officials are just like them, that they could someday be an elected official or a department director. Government people are no different from us."

Milton scheduled the planning process for the Crabapple section of the city.

Courtesy The Examiner.com

Residents of Milton, the schedule for the Crabapple section of town was announced this week. It includes an open comment session on mutiple days and times. And all the meetings will be held at Milton City Hall at 13000 Dererfield Parkway in suite 107.

The city welcomes any input and/or comments on Crabapple's future plans.

Design open houses
Non-structured design open houses will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. starting Thursday, Mar. 17 and through Tuesday, Mar. 29. The public is invited to stop by and talk during these times. Comment cards will also be available for written input.

Please note: These open houses are the first step. They lead into the meetings on scheduled on Mar. 21, 22 and 25 listed below.

Working professional and family night

This meeting will be held on Monday, Mar. 21 at 7 p.m. following the regularly scheduled City Council meeting. Prior to the meeting, design sketches will be posted at the City of Milton's Web site, www.cityofmiltonga.us, on the home page and linked from the day's calendar event.

Progress meetings

There are also two progress meetings scheduled for Tuesday, Mar. 22, and Friday, Mar. 25, at 4 p.m. city hall. These meetings will include drawings and presentations on how the planning evolves based on input from previous meetings.

This process, presented by Lew Oliver, Inc. Whole Town Solutions, is aimed at updating and retooling the existing Crabapple Crossroads Master Plan to more accurately reflect the economic, transportation and growth realities of the area.

For more information on any of these meetings or open houses, please contact city planner Michele McIntosh-Ross at (678) 242-2538 or e-mail michele.mcintosh@cityofmiltonga.us.
For residents who are unable to attend the meetings, your input can be given through the e-mail address set up for the planning process at crabapple@cityofmiltonga.us.

Milton pushing forward with meetings for town center.

Courtesy Appen Newspapers

MILTON, Ga. - Milton has begun the process of remaking the Crabapple area into more of a town center than a traffic headache.

The city has hired Lew Oliver and his company, Whole Town Solutions, to create plans and ideas for how to redesign that area around the intersection of Crabapple Road and Birmingham Highway.

Oliver held a brief summary meeting on March 14 for the public to see how he intends to approach the challenge and to make clear that not everyone will be happy with his eventual suggestions.

One such suggestion is higher density.

Oliver is a proponent of "new-urbanism." That is, using a combination of high-density housing, decorative streetscapes and small retail or offices to create a very mixed-use environment in a small area. One such example could be Atlantic Station downtown.

However, Milton has stood by its one-house-per-acre motto for several years now, which has led to many new developments being built. Oliver pointed out that a lot of developers do not use their land wisely and, with 6,000 acres open in Milton, it could mean at least that many people could be added to the population in the next generation. Oliver suggested a solution to allow higher density in areas where it makes sense, in exchange for developers leaving other areas empty.

For instance, historic downtown Charleston, S.C. has a density of five units per acre. However, few would argue Charleston is undesirable. Savannah is similar, which feeds to Oliver's point that it's not the density that makes it undesirable, it's the management and use of the area to promote more walking and less focus on roads.

Resident Jack Burns, who lives in the Crabapple Station townhomes, said that while he likes what he's heard so far about future plans, he's cautious about mixed-use. His neighborhood was designed to be mixed-use, with the residents within easy walking distance of the shops on Crabapple Road.

Burns said that while it's convenient to be able to walk to a restaurant whenever he feels like it, that path goes both ways.

"I was getting my mail and nearly tripped over someone's food they threw away," he said. Parking and patrons of the nearby restaurants often impede on the lives of the residents, especially on Friday and Saturday nights. Dog handlers use the nearby dog park, despite it being private property for the residents.

Crabapple Station was made to allow people to move around easily and safely, but because there is no dividing line between those who live there and those who are visiting, it can create tension.

Of major interest in Oliver's suggestions will be a possible city hall for Milton. Currently, the city rents office space on Deerfield Parkway. For many residents, if Crabapple were to be a town center, it would be the perfect location for a new city hall.

Oliver provided sketches of his preliminary suggestions for the public on Monday after deadline, and reaction will be in next week's issue of the Milton Herald.

Milton's two new summer camps take form.

Courtesy Appen Newspapers

City hiring camp directors, counselors; Registration opens March 16 and 17


Milton, Ga. - Planning for Milton's two new summer day camps – Camp Bethwell and Camp Joyful Soles – is in full swing, with the city hiring staff and opening registration for residents March 16 and 17.

The Milton Parks and Recreation Department is hiring nine part-time, seasonal positions – directors, lead counselors and counselors – to run and staff Camp Bethwell and Camp Joyful Soles. Interested applicants need to have graduated high school by June 1, 2011. a

Complete information on job qualifications, pay and more is available at the city of Milton's online Career Center at www.cityofmiltonga.us. Click "careers" at the bottom left of the home page or choose "Apply for a job" from the "I want to" drop down menu located at the top left of the home page.

Applications are due March 28.

Camp registration

Resident registration for the two camps will open March 16-17. Registration for Camp Bethwell will begin Wednesday, March 16 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in Suite 107G of Milton City Hall, located at 13000 Deerfield Parkway. It will continue during regular business hours (8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.) after that date. Non-residents must wait until March 28 to register, and can do so during regular business hours at Suite 107G of Milton City Hall.

The cost is $110 for Milton residents and $165 for non-Milton residents (a 50 percent increase) per week. Guardians may register for all eight weeks or for a week at a time. There is a $50 per-week, non-refundable, non-transferable fee to hold spaces in future weeks. The remainder of the balance is due prior to the week reserved.

Registration for Camp Joyful Soles will be Thursday, March 17 from 5:30 to 7 p.m., also in Suite 107G of Milton City Hall and is open to Alpharetta residents as well. It will continue during regular business hours (8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.) after that date. Non-Milton and non-Alpharetta residents must wait until March 28 to register, and can do so during regular business hours at Suite 107G of Milton City Hall.

The cost is $125 for Milton and Alpharetta residents and $187.50 for non-residents (a 50 percent increase) per week. Guardians may register for all eight weeks or for a week at a time. As with Bethwell, there is a $50 per-week, non-refundable, non-transferable fee to hold spaces in future weeks, and the remainder of the balance is due prior to the week reserved.

Camp Bethwell will be held in the newly renovated Bethwell Community Center. It is an eight-week camp for ages 6 to 12 open June 6 to Aug. 5 (with no session the week of July 4) from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Participants can expect days filled with arts and crafts, drama, treasure hunts, games, fitness and more.

Camp Joyful Soles, held at Cogburn Woods Elementary School, is for campers with mild disabilities. It is held in conjunction with Alpharetta's Camp Happy Hearts, and is for children ages 12 to 18. Camp Joyful Soles will be open June 6 to Aug. 5 (with no session the week of July 4) from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

In addition to arts and crafts and games, campers can also experience sports programs and a therapeutic equestrian program.

Milton signs agreement with Fulton schools for park space.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Milton continues to expand its park space. City officials signed a 10-year agreement Monday with Fulton County Schools to share a 2-acre plot along Birmingham Highway between Crabapple Crossing Elementary and Northwestern Middle School as a community park. Under terms of the arrangement, the city must make about $110,000-worth of improvements to the field, including a fitness trail, a basketball court, a pavilion and a playing field.

City Council members approved the agreement, despite misgivings about a provision allowing the school district to pull out of the arrangement at any time with a 90-day notice. The district would have to pay the city $20,000 if it cancels in the first two years.

Car Chase has it All: Pot, Child and 85K.

Courtesy Beaconcast.com

Car Chase has it All: Pot, Child and $85K

On March 15 an officer stopped a car for speeding on Deerfield Parkway. Then chaos ensued. As officers approached the White Dodge Charger, they noticed that it smelled like marijuana. Officers asked the suspect – identified as Monroe LeBeau III – to exit th car. However LeBeau refused to leave the car telling officers that his 6-year-old son was in the car and he did not want to leave him alone. However, eventauly LeBeau did exit the vehicle. While being questioned by police, LeBeau took off and began running toward a local subdivision, leaving his 6-year-old in the car. Police went after Lebeau and they eventually found him in the backseat of a Toyota Avalon that belonged to an Alpharetta man. Once police caught up with him, LeBeau went on the lamb again, eluding cops and running away. LeBeau would try to outrun police two more times before finally being caught thanks to a police dog who bit LeBeau twice. When police finally were able to search LeBeau's car, they found seven pounds of marijuana, $85,000 in cash and a "Marijuana Grower's Bible." LeBeau was arrested and charged with robbery by intimidation, drug trafficking, reckless conduct, resisting arrest, speeding, failure to maintain lane, failure to wear a safety belt and driving with a suspended license.

$2K Worth of Jewelry Stolen From Milton Woman's Home

On March 12, officers were called to an address on Hopewell Lane in reference to a burglary. According to the homeowner, she left her house around 1:15 pm and returned around 9:15 to find the glass panel on her front door broken. The homeowner also told police that the house seemed to be in fine shape except for the master bedroom, which was in complete disarray. Officers noticed an overturned mattress and dresser drawers that had obviously been rummaged through. Police also found empty jewelry boxes. According to the homeowner, $800 worth of earings, $150 worth of watches, $100 worth of earrings and a $1000 pearl necklace were all stolen. The homeowner also reported that two handguns had been stolen. Police currently have no suspects in the break-in.

"I Drunk"

On March 8 an officer pulled over a car for driving 85 mph in a 45 mph zone. When the officer approached the driver and asked him how he was doing tonight, the driver – identified as Luis Hurtado-Espinosa – only had two words for him, "I drunk." When the officer asked Hurtado for his address, Hurtado again only offered the the officer two words, "I drunk." The officer then asked Hurtado to step out of the car, to which Hurtado replied, you guessed it, "I drunk." Hurtado eventually stepped out of the car and admitted to the officer that he had drank 17 beers on the night. The officer then asked Hurtado if he would like to take some alcohol evaluations, but Hurtado said he didn't want to, "no need to examine, I drunk." The officer asked if Hurtado would like to take the roadside Breathalyzer, Hurtado's reply, "I drink too much beer." Hurtado was arrested for speeding and DUI.

Milton; BOE Partner For Two Acre Park.

By Accessmilton.com

With a constant plea from residents being the need for more park land, it appears as though council is listening.

Recently, they agreed to develop and use of a 2 acre park located between two Fulton county schools located within the city.

Officially, the BOE ownes the property, but the new partnership will allow the citizens use during off school hours in exchange for the city covering some of the maintenance costs.

The park will be located between Crabapple Crossing Elementary and Northwestern Middle schools.

To be specific, the agreement is as follows:

1. BOE has control of the park from Monday through Friday; 7 a.m.-4:30 p.m., throughout the regular school year.

2.Milton must make a request to use the park via the Crabapple Crossing's principal one week prior in order to use the park from 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

3. However, during this same time frame, Milton will have have the upper hand and use of the park on Monday through Friday from 4:30 p.m. until dusk, and on Saturday and Sundays from 9 a.m. until dark.

4. Non-city sponsored groups cannot use the park.

Milton's Population Higher Than Expected.

By Accessmilton.com

Thanks to help from the Atlanta Regional Commission and Georgia Power Company, the 2010 census states that Milton's population is an estimated 32,661.

At the time of the study, Milton harbors 12,328 homes with 669 currently vacant.

2010 Census Data

Population
32,661

One race
31,995

White 25,012

Black
2,936

American Indian & Alaska native
62

Asian
3,399


Hawaiian, other Pacific Islander 11

Some other race 535


Two or more races 706

Hispanic or Latino 1,959

Click here to see the March 21 Crabapple presentation.


Courtesy Accessmilton.com

On March 21 at 7p.m. the City of Milton and Lew Oliver, Inc. Whole Town Solutions held a public meeting to discuss and plan for the future of Crabapple.


Below are links to a PDF slideshow and audio of Lew Oliver discussing the slides. You may use them in tandem to recreate the presentation.


Click here to view last night’s presentation (PDF)


Click here to listen to last night’s presentation (WAV)