Monday, January 15, 2018

Two-month closure planned for turn lane in front of Big Chicken

  • Staff reports
  •  MDJ Jan 15, 2018
MANAGED LANES 07.jpg
Signage facing the opposite direction of traffic going south on I-75, will direct motorists along the managed lanes.
Staff-Kelly J. Huff
A westbound turn lane on Roswell Road in front of the Big Chicken will be closed for the next two months while crews continue to work on the state’s managed lanes project.
The closure of the sidewalk and right turn lane on Roswell Road between Hagood Circle and Cobb Parkway began Monday morning to allow for drainage work and lane and sidewalk reconstruction, according to Tori Brown, spokesperson for the Georgia Department of Transportation.
Drivers will still be able to turn right onto Cobb Parkway northbound from Roswell Road, according to Brown.
Drivers are asked to use caution when driving through these areas. The dates of the closures may change depending on the weather.
The $834 million managed lanes project will add about 30 miles of “reversible” toll lanes through Cobb and Cherokee County, lanes which will run south in the mornings and north in the evenings. Northwest Express Roadbuilders, the company building the managed lanes, broke ground on the project in September 2014.
The lanes are expected to open in the summer of 2018.
Additional information about the project can be found at dot.ga.gov/DS/GEL/NWC.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Who is Who in Kennesaw? 
Note that Ms Yvette Daniel is already removed from the list.
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1/12/18

EDITOR'S PICK
Kennesaw Councilwoman Yvette Daniel has resigned


Shaddi Abusaid MDJ 1/12/18

See also:  http://councilmemberyvettedaniel.blogspot.com, http://yvettedaniel.blogspot.com/, http://catcherfreeman.blogspot.com/,


Following a number of absences from city council meetings during her time in office, Kennesaw Councilwoman Yvette Daniel on Friday informed the mayor and city manager she is resigning her seat effective immediately

Her colleagues said Daniel missed about 75 percent of council meetings last year as rumors circulated earlier this week that she planned to step down from her Post 2 seat.
Council attendance records obtained from the city clerk show Daniel missed a total of 29 meetings over her two years in office — 23 in 2017 alone.
When reached by phone Thursday in an attempt to set straight the rumors that she would resign, Daniel declined to comment. Friday morning, however, she tenured her resignation to the city, citing personal reasons and asking that her family’s privacy be respected. According to her Facebook page, Daniel has traveling back and forth between Kennesaw and Augusta recently to care for her mother.
Repeated attempts to reach her again Friday afternoon to ask what factored into her decision proved unsuccessful as she did not return calls, texts or emails by press time.
Mayor Derek Easterling and City Manager Jeff Drobney said council members plan to discuss the matter at Tuesday evening’s meeting, and a special, city-wide election will be called to fill the vacancy. Cobb Elections Director Janine Eveler said it is up to the city to call a special election in either March or May.
Daniel was elected to the council in 2015 and her term was set to expire at the end of 2019.
Former councilwoman Cris Eaton-Welsh, who served six years on Kennesaw’s council, said Daniel has been a “complete disappointment” since taking office two years ago.
“I have noticed considerable absences for the past year,” she said. “She would miss three and then come to one. It was ridiculous.”
Speaking ahead of Friday’s announcement, the former councilwoman said Daniel’s resignation would be “one of the best things that could happen for our city.”
Eaton-Welsh said she missed just one meeting during her time in office. Her former colleague Bill Thrash, who died in office after a long battle with cancer in 2013, missed just five meetings over three terms, she said.
“Even while dying of cancer, he would call in — he would make efforts,” said Eaton-Welsh. “(Daniel) could have done telephone call-ins. There was no reason for her to miss a meeting. There was no reason for her to just no-call-no-show. If she had been with an employer, she would have been fired.”
Councilman Chris Henderson, who took office this month, said he was irked by the frequency of Daniel’s absences when he started regularly attending council meetings early last year.
“I was very worried about the number of meetings council members could miss without any ramifications,” he said. “It’s frustrating because you take that position to serve the people, and if you’re only attending one out of every four meetings, that’s not doing justice to the people who have put you there.”
He said numerous constituents reached out to him frustrated that Daniel was being paid each month to do what they described as a quarter of the work.
Because of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday on Monday, next week’s council meeting will be held Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at Kennesaw City Hall, 2529 J.O. Stephenson Avenue.





Friday, January 12, 2018


YVETTE DANIEL - RESIGNS HER COUNCIL POST IN KENNESAW


Gee what a shame she is leaving, maybe she can pay the City back for all the money she wasted on courses etc?  Now I can update my blog sites about her: http://councilmemberyvettedaniel.blogspot.com,  http://yvettedaniel.blogspot.com/, http://catcherfreeman.blogspot.com/, 

Maybe we should be watching for more news stories, like maybe an indictment for something or other????

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BREAKING - Kennesaw Councilwoman Yvette Daniel has resigned

1/12/18 MDJ Staff reports 


Kennesaw Councilwoman Yvette Daniel has notified city officials that she is resigning her seat effective immediately.

"Ms. Daniel cites personal reasons as the cause of her resignation and asks that the privacy of her family be respected during this time," a press release from the city states.

The mayor and remaining city council members will discuss plans for a special election to fill Daniel's seat within the week, the city's press release says.

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Life in the Fast Lanes


A look ahead at the new Northwest Corridor Express Lanes, opening soon in Cherokee and Cobb counties.




Construction workers pour concrete for an express lanes slip ramp on I-575 at Barrett Parkway.

The Northwest Corridor Express Lanes are scheduled to open to commuters this summer. As we watch signs go up and construction in the final stages, we asked a representative of the Georgia Department of Transportation to give us a primer. If you have more questions about this endeavor, email candi@aroundaboutmagazines.com and we’ll do our best to get your questions answered.
The express lanes will be optional toll lanes running alongside the regular or general lanes on I-75 and I-575. The key word here is optional: No driver will be required to use the toll lanes at any time. The lanes will give travelers the option to pay a fee in exchange for a more reliable trip time, while transit riders benefit at no additional costs to them.
“Making it to appointments, picking up kids, getting home to let the dog out — drivers often need an option to suit their schedule and life,” said Jill Goldberg, external affairs/communications program manager for the Georgia DOT. “Travelers may choose the express lanes one day and stay in the general purpose lanes the next. Use of the lanes is completely customizable.”
The lanes will be reversible, operating southbound in the morning and northbound in the evening. This means the lanes will offer more travel capacity during peak times and in peak directions — which will improve the flow of all traffic, inside the lanes and out.
Toll rates will rise and fall with traffic demand. Dynamic-rate pricing helps regulate the amount of traffic within the express lanes, providing dependable trip times for drivers, vanpools and transit riders who choose to use them.
Xpress buses and registered vanpools will have toll-free access to the express lanes. You can find routes serving your area at GaCommuteOptions.com and xpressga.com.
Commuters will need a Peach Pass. The pass is placed on a car’s windshield and includes a barcode that is scanned to deduct tolls for each trip. There’s no fee to get or keep the Peach Pass — drivers only pay for the trips they take in the Georgia Express Lanes. Peach Passes (and more information) are available at PeachPass.com.
The Northwest Corridor Express Lanes are a part of the Georgia Express Lanes system, a network of toll lanes that run alongside existing interstates in some of the most congested corridors around metro Atlanta. In addition to the Northwest Corridor, the Georgia Express Lanes system includes the existing I-85 Express Lanes and the I-75 South Metro Express Lanes project, which opened in early 2017.
The reversible I-75 South Metro Express Lanes in Clayton and Henry Counties surpassed all expectations, serving more than 1 million trips since opening. Northbound morning commute trips in the express lanes are traveling on average 13 mph faster than those in the general purpose lanes, and southbound evening express lane commutes are running on average 21 mph faster. In addition, the general purpose lanes have seen less traffic during the morning and evening commutes.
More express lanes are coming throughout the Atlanta region to build out the connected Georgia Express Lanes system. An extension to the I-85 Express Lanes began construction in summer 2016 and is scheduled to open in 2018. Four additional express lanes are being planned as part of the Georgia DOT’s Major Mobility Investment Program (MMIP). This program is moving forward 11 significant transportation improvement projects designed to reduce traffic congestion and improve mobility options statewide.
• How will drivers know what to do?
There will be plenty of signage to alert motorists when they will need to exit the express lanes to use a regular existing exit/interchange on I-575. Closer to the time that the lanes open, a sign tutorial will be posted on the website (www.dot.ga.gov/DS/GEL/NWC) with more guidance on the signs motorists can expect to see, approximate mileage points where drivers will see the signs, etc. “This will allow those who want to use the express lanes to familiarize themselves with the signs and times to exit prior to the system opening,” spokeswoman Jill Goldberg said.
• How much time will the lanes save drivers?
Data is available that projects how much time a driver could save using the express lanes. For example, it would take 16 minutes using the express system to travel south on I-75 during morning rush hour — from where the toll lanes start at Hickory Grove Road in Cobb County to where they end just inside the Perimeter. Compare that with 39 minutes in the general purpose lane, or 40 minutes if the project had not been built.
• What will it cost?
Toll rates will be set by the State Road and Tollway Authority (SRTA) Board of Directors approximately 6-8 weeks before opening. Rates of the two existing systems range from 10 to 90 cents per mile.
“If you look on the web at stories of the I-85 toll, you will see that, at the very peak periods of about an hour a day, some people pay tolls in the $14 to $15 range for the entire system, but the average toll paid is less than $2,” Goldberg said.
“I-85 is a mature system that has built up many dedicated users after six years of operations. The I-75 South [Metro] Express lanes users have much lower toll rates, as it hasn’t even been open for a year yet. The overall average fare on I-75 is just 60 cents. The peak period sees tolls around $1.15 to $1.30. So, you can see that the range of rates is great between the two systems – part of that due to the time each has been opened and part of it due to when people choose to use it and get in/get out.”
• What’s the price tag for this project?
The cost is about $826 million.



Crews work on completing a bridge deck pour on an express lanes bridge traveling over Barrett Parkway.

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Three join Kennesaw City Council


  • Ross Williams
  •   MDJ  12/29/17

Kennesaw replaced three of its five City Council members in November’s election, so a majority of the 2018 edition of the council will be newcomers.
When the new council holds its first meeting next year, the city will welcome business development manager Pat Ferris, Georgia Tech senior research engineer Chris Henderson and Kennesaw State University materials management professional David Blinkhorn to the seats for Posts 3, 4 and 5 respectively.
PAT FERRIS






+2  
Pat Ferris.jpg
Pat Ferris
Ferris received 56.6 percent of the votes in the election, defeating two other candidates for the spot. This is Ferris’ second go-round in City Hall, having served on the council from 1985 to 2001.
Ferris and the other two new officials have been meeting with city staff to come up to speed before they take office Jan. 2. Ferris said the biggest changes he has seen compared to his first stint on the council have been technological.
“There’s a lot more paperless type stuff,” he said. “The internet was there, but we didn’t use it as much. Email was there, but we didn’t use it. It was relatively new, and everything was on paper … I’m fairly technical, so that’s not going to be a big jump. The basic ordinances, rules and procedures — those things have changed slightly, but it’s still basically the same as how it was when I left.”
Ferris said his top priorities in office will be getting a handle on SPLOST projects and producing a balanced budget that does not include borrowing to make up for shortfalls.
He said he also wants to work with the city’s parks and recreation department to create facilities accessible to people with disabilities. Also on his agenda: changes to the rules for council meetings.
“Right now, people are not allowed to speak on regular agenda items,” he said. “That just tears me up. I think the mayor and current council members can come to an agreement on how to handle that. I’m hoping that is not going to be a fight right from the start.”
Ferris spoke in highly complimentary terms about his new colleagues and city staff.
“I think that the city is about to get a mayor and council that’s going to be able to work together and actually be able to get some results,” Ferris said. “I like all the other guys, I like the staff. We seem now to be able to get along and share some common goals.”
When he’s not in the office, Ferris said he enjoys working with his hands, dabbling in carpentry and home repair.
“There’s always something that needs to be fixed up,” he said. “Between my family, my friends, my girlfriend — they always have little projects.”
In his younger days, Ferris said he made a living as a private DJ for weddings and other events.
“It goes so far back, I used to spin records,” he said with a laugh. “I still remember one party, there was a little kid — this was close to the time I got out of it — she pointed at my records and said ‘What are those?’ At that point, I kind of decided it was time to step away, but that was an awful lot of fun for a lot of years.”
CHRIS HENDERSON






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Chris Henderson MUG.JPG
Chris Henderson

Henderson will take office after an unusual race.
Henderson defeated incumbent Councilman Jimmy Dickens as well as Councilman James Sebastian, who stepped out of the race for his Post 5 seat to challenge Dickens in an attempt to show the flaws in Kennesaw’s election system, which elects all candidates citywide as opposed to electing them to represent wards or districts.
Sebastian was hoisted by his own petard after Henderson took 51.8 percent of the vote to Dickens’ 28.4 percent and Sebastian’s 19.8 percent.
“Running against two incumbents was not what I signed up for,” Henderson said, “but it worked out in the end with a lot of legwork and meeting a lot of people, knocking on over 800 doors.”
Henderson said he has been working with the city staff to learn the ropes, and on his free time, he has been reading over the city charter, city code, the budget and various rules and regulations.
He said his first goal is to learn everything he can about his new job.
“The first year, I have to be honest, it’s a lot of learning,” he said. “I hope to be able to stand on my own two feet by the end of the year and not have to consult the code so much, to know off the top of my head. I know a lot of my answers (to constituents’ questions) at first are going to be, ‘Let me go research it’ … I hope to be able to more fluidly answer questions instead of always having to do the research.”
Henderson said his top priorities will include ensuring fiscal accountability from the city and accountability from elected officials. He said that means keeping track of what money is being spent and who is and is not attending city meetings.
“Me and the other two guys that are going to be taking the dais agree on a lot of the issues that we’d like to see changed,” Henderson said. “Unfortunately, the existing mayor and council have not been able to make any changes to the charter, so I think that’s one (of the priorities for the new council).”
When Henderson is not working as an engineer or preparing for his new office, he said he enjoys all kinds of cooking, but especially barbecue.
“I’ve got a smoker, and I like getting new recipes for different kinds of Boston butt or basically any other kind of large meat I can throw in there,” he said. “I like to watch the smiling faces of my friends and family as they come over and taste it, or sometimes their frowning faces if I screw up.”
Henderson said people are surprised to learn the he is actually quite introverted.
“Nobody that I graduated high school with would ever say that I’d be in political office, much less half the stuff I do for my day job,” he said. “I’ve forced myself to become more social, learned to talk to people and everything.”
Henderson said he was once quite shy, but working with others and attending conferences as an engineer has taught him to appreciate being a people person.
“I really enjoy meeting new people and getting new perspectives,” he said. “If I don’t talk to new people, I’m not going to get more information and learn more about how people think and how the world works, so I’ve really come to enjoy it.”
DAVID BLINKHORN






+2  
David Blinkhorn.jpg
David Blinkhorn
Blinkhorn defeated his write-in challenger Bobby Copeland with about 86 percent of the vote.
He said he has been keeping busy preparing for his new job.
“There is a lot to learn in a short amount of time, so most of my time has been taken up by reading the material and attending as many meetings as possible,” he said.
Blinkhorn said he is looking forward to following the strategic plan the previous council had laid out, calling it “a fantastic vision for the future.”
He said his other top priorities will include creating more citizen involvement in meetings by reaching out to groups like homeowner associations. He also said he wants to attract more visitors downtown.
“We’ve done a great job of bringing business throughout all of Kennesaw,” he said. “Now there will need to be a focus on making a downtown where families will want to come, with restaurants, craft stores, things along those lines.”
Blinkhorn said his hobbies include reading about history and studying his family’s genealogy.
He and his wife also enjoy the outdoors, hiking together on Kennesaw Mountain and at Swift Cantrell Park when the weather is nice.
The incoming councilman said one thing most people don’t know about him is that he dabbled in thespianism.
“I did quite a bit of theater when I was younger, which I guess makes me comfortable talking in public,” he said. “I can’t sing, but I would love to sing. It’s my dream that will never come true.”

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These 3 join 2 duds already on the council.

Yvette Daniel is by far the worst of them. For details on her see: http://catcherfreeman.blogspot.com/

Doc Eaton is well past his prime and prone to such nonsense as wanting to use the City cemetery as a 'dog park'.

So 3 fresh faces will have to pull together if they want to do anything, the 2 they join on the council can't be counted on for any serious work, over the past 2 years they have repeatedly shown they are incompetent.

One thing they should look at is getting a City Attorney who actually knows some law.

Bentley needs to be replaced. Just look at how screwed up the City Traffic Court is!

As to financial issues, far far past time to let people in K know how much money has gone down the rat holes of the Civil War/Railroad Museum and the Gardens.

The old timers want to keep tossing $ into these losing operations, the 'newer' residents really have no idea how much is being wasted of their tax dollars. If they knew they would be royally pissed off.

The current Mayor is a nice guy, when in K I voted for him, but he is no sparkplug and not up to much more than opening new businesses. He is nice but NOT someone you turn to for LEADERSHIP, that will have to come from some (or all) of the new council members. (photo: Kennesaw City Hall)





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Cobb community reacts to child abuse scandals, conviction

Ross Williams MDJ 12/28/17

A plaque mounted on the wall of Kennesaw City Hall commemorates the expansion of the building that took place in 2004. The expansion took place while former Mayor Leonard Church was leading the city. The Kennesaw City Council aims to remove Church, who pleaded guilty to child molestation and other related charges in 2015, from the plaque and others like it.

Former Cobb County Republican Party Chairman Joe Dendy pleaded guilty in June to child molestation charges and was given a life sentence, with 30 years to be served in prison.

The 72-year-old Dendy admitted to multiple sexual offenses against two boys between 2004 and 2011 before prosecutors had the chance to call several other individuals as witnesses who alleged they had been molested by Dendy between the late 1950s and the spring of 2016. Prosecutors alleged Dendy had molested six boys and two girls over a nearly 60-year period.

One victim, now an adult, testified that he had recurring nightmares about his experiences, but also told Dendy that his trauma had inspired him to protect others by becoming a military police officer.

“I want to help people, and I picked that because I was sexually abused. Moving forward is important. I’ve gone through police academy, and I’m going to be a police officer because of you, so thank you in that regard,” he added. “I won’t let this get to me. I’m stronger than you.”

In Kennesaw, city officials also had to decide how they would deal with the memory of a leader who admitted to abusing children.

Former mayor and City Council member Leonard Church left office in disgrace after pleading guilty to child molestation charges in 2015. He is currently serving an 18-year sentence at Long State Prison southwest of Savannah.

In November, the council voted to remove his name from five plaques on government buildings that were dedicated during his tenure. A portrait of Church has already been removed from City Hall, where it previously hung alongside the city’s other former mayors.

Councilman Jim “Doc” Eaton said he spearheaded the effort because he had heard from constituents who did not like seeing Church’s name or picture on city property.

Mayor Derek Easterling said casting five new plaques will cost the city an estimated $10,000 to $11,000. The city’s budget has already been approved for the year, but Easterling said the city will “find it in contingencies and move money around,” and that the city manager had been tasked to do so.
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All the info about Pedophile Church is at:  http://leonardchurch.blogspot.com
Read about Pedophile Dendy at:   https://josephdendy.blogspot.com/
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12/5/17
Those keeping up with the West end of the Marketplace Mall and the 55+ housing going up there might be interested in a few photos of how this is progressing.









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11/29/17
CRIME:

Putting out the 'fake package' again this year.  No one stole it last year so perhaps they will bite this time around?




COBB POLICE: Package thefts - Cobb County Police Department’s Precinct
    MDJ 11/29/17

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following appeared in the Cobb County Police Department’s Precinct 2 PENS Bulletin.

With the holiday season approaching, we need to be aware of the increased frequency of package thefts. Thieves are on the lookout for packages left at the front door of residences and businesses. This is a low risk crime and frequently very lucrative. Please take a moment to safeguard the delivery of your packages.
Below are some tips to help:
Get a tracking number. Track your packages and try to be home at the time of delivery. When you’re placing an order, try to schedule shipment for a day you expect to be home, if possible.
If your employer allows it, have packages delivered to your workplace.
Have your packages delivered somewhere else. If you know you won’t be home when your package will be delivered, have it delivered to a family member or a neighbor who will be home.
Have your packages delivered to a retail store or locker. They will stay safe until you can pick them up at your convenience. Use a secure mailbox service. Sign up for a P.O. Box. You can have all packages delivered to these locations. They will be held securely until you stop by and pick them up.
Designate a specific delivery location. Some shippers allow you authorize them to leave packages at locations other than the porch. They could include a back door, side door or even a garage.
Install a security camera at your front door. Having a video surveillance camera pointing at the front door, hallway or driveway is better than no camera at all.
Require a signature on delivery. Make sure your valuable package requires your signature upon delivery so that it is not left for someone to steal.
Require a vacation package hold. If you are going away for the holiday, you can place a hold on your package to keep your parcel safe.
Insure your upcoming packages. Insuring your package in the first place will guarantee you reimbursement if unfortunately your delivery was stolen or lost before you lay your hand on it.
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KENNESAW PUBLISHES INFO ON CHEROKEE ST MIXED USE PROJECT

Posted today (11/27/17) this project affects 57.64 acres on Cherokee Street and is a vast mixed use project which has 850 ‘Dwelling Units’.

The details are available on the City of Kennesaw site. Those interested can take a long long look at the documents.

Go to: http://www.kennesaw-ga.gov/document-center/ Scroll down to Pending Zoning Applications for downloading the 3 documents.

Since I no longer live in K, I am simply providing info as to how you can download the 3 docs.

My comments are simple, looks like another great idea which most likely will turn into another ‘Revival on Main Street’ boondoggle.


I can’t see how downtown K can support another 850 housing units in addition to other housing already in the pipeline.

Go take a look for yourself. I don’t have a dog in this fight, which as far as I can see is really all over.

The in color maps can be blown up so you can see details.

3550 Cherokee St. Mixed Use Project Site Plan

November 27, 2017 159, pages

3550 Cherokee St. Mixed Use Project Agenda Doc

November 27, 2017, 160 pages w/ colorful maps

3550 Cherokee 14 Rezoning 11-8-17HT Amended11-2

November 27, 2017



11/24/17
EASTPARK VILLAGE IS GOING IN ON CHEROKEE STREET on 57 acres
In The Matter Of: 

EastPark Village the City of Kennesaw, Georgia held Special Called Meeting, November 15th, 2017, at 6:30 p.m. for a public hearing for authorization for approval of ordinance of a master plan development requested and submitted by Sanctuary Development, LLC for properties identified in   Land Lot 99 along Cherokee Street. 
   This project will be known as EastPark Village.  The applicant has presented to the City of Kennesaw a master plan, of a mixed-unit, mixed-use development over 57.64 acres. 
   It will incorporate 850 residential units, as well as a hotel, outdoor market village, a grocery store, office space and retail as part of a master plan concept.
   The transcript of this meeting ran 35 pages and those interested in this Cherokee Street development can read the transcript of the meeting at the City site of:http://www.kennesaw-ga.gov/agendas-minutes/council-agendas/ and then downloading the ‘11-27-17 Work Session Packet’.
   The property is one of 13 areas targeted for redevelopment.  The special called meeting was one of three public hearings. The first one was November 8th in front of the planning commission. 
   Then Nov 15th was the second public hearing and the third and final public hearing is December 7th, when Mayor Council will have to take action.
   My Misc Comment: Several area residents have concerns about the matter, however it seems that it is pretty much a decided issue at this point. Dec. 7th is your last chance to have public input on the matter.
   See: http://www.kennesaw-ga.gov/agendas-minutes/council-agendas/
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FEATURED

Former Kennesaw mayor’s name to be removed from building plaques

  • Ross Williams
  •  MDJ  11-24-17

The Kennesaw City Council voted Monday to remove several reminders of a part of the city’s past that officials described as shameful on government buildings around the city.
Councilman Jim “Doc” Eaton spearheaded the effort to remove former mayor and council member Leonard Church, who left office in disgrace after pleading guilty to child molestation charges in 2015, from several building dedication plaques around the city.
Though Church is currently serving an 18-year sentence at Long State Prison southwest of Savannah, his name remains on five plaques on Kennesaw buildings, and, until recently, his photo was in a place of honor among the city’s other mayors in the council chambers. The council approved removing his name and photo on Monday.
His photo has already been removed from the council chambers, but fixing the plaques will take more time.
“I brought it back up again because I’ve had a number of our constituents in town say that having his name, being a convicted felon, to have his name in public on city property was something that they would like to see changed, in addition to removing his picture from the council chambers,” Eaton said.
Eaton’s daughter, former Councilwoman Cris Eaton-Welsh, served alongside Church on the council. She remembered it as a trying time to serve the city, and said she will be happy to see the plaques come down.
“His actions weren’t just illegal, they were morally reprehensible,” she said. “I got a lot of phone calls from citizens when they would see the plaques up.”
Welsh said she introduced the idea of removing the plaques during her time on the council, but said other councilmembers dismissed the idea. She said they thought he was innocent.
Mayor Derek Easterling said he isn’t sure why these actions weren’t undertaken earlier.
“We had talked about it, and it was brought back up again, and we felt it was something we needed to do,” Easterling said.
The mayor said casting five new plaques will cost the city an estimated $10,000 to $11,000. The city’s budget has already been approved for the year, but Easterling said the city will “find it in contingencies and move money around,” and that the city manager had been tasked to do so.
Councilman Jim Sebastian voted against the consent agenda, which contained the authorization to remove the plaques. He said it is an economic issue for him.
“Basically, they want to spend $12,000-plus for a couple plaques that nobody really notices, and my point on that is not necessarily because of who it is, but we can’t afford to fix potholes, much less fix expensive brass plaques that nobody sees or notices,” he said.
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THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2017



TURKEY DAY LUNCH
at Pickadilly on Cobb Pky in Marietta. Very busy today, 15 min. in line to get my lunch.
Probably will dine there Xmas and New Years Day also.

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Two Large Developments Under Consideration in Kennesaw



Ross Williams MDJ 11/21/17

Kennesaw could soon be home to a $268 million, 68-acre mixed-use development if approved by the City Council on Dec. 7.

Intended for 3550 Cherokee St. near McCollum Parkway, EastPark Village would contain mixed-use retail, an active-adult community, single-family townhomes, restaurants, a park and senior living.

Sanctuary Development plans a total of 850 residential units, including 235 market-rate apartments, 525 senior age-restricted apartments and condos, and 90 townhomes. Square footage for the residential units will range from 850 to 3000 feet, said Kennesaw planning and zoning administrator Darryl Simmons.

Retail will include 39,000 square feet of specialty shops, a 4,500-square-feet, outdoor multipurpose market with village green, a 36,000-square-feet grocery store, 32,500 square feet of chef restaurants, 81,800 square feet of office, a 102-room hotel, and a 5.46-acre public park.

The project will be connected to Historic Downtown Kennesaw and adjacent existing communities via a new multipurpose pedestrian path being installed in conjunction with the Cherokee Street SPLOST improvement projects, starting construction in 2018.

The average density of the project is 15.65 units per acre. The area currently contains a mix of mobile homes, residential houses, vacant lots and commercial structures. Sanctuary expects to pay over a million dollars just to demolish existing buildings and infrastructure.

Approximately 20 households will be relocated during the development period, according to a Sanctuary document posted on the Kennesaw website. Most are occupant owners and will be moving after the sale or closing on their property, the developers say.

Simmons said construction could begin as early as the third quarter of next year and is expected to be complete in 2022.

Another planned development, this one by Marietta-based Venture Homes, that includes 83 homes on Pine Mountain Road has been delayed until December. The plan would have a total average density of 2.6 lots per acre and the planned homes will be 2,400 to 3,600 square feet and cost between $350,000 and $400,000, though details could change before the Dec. 6 planning commission meeting.

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Saturday, November 18, 2017


REVIVAL ON MAIN ADDS 1 RESTAURANT

REVIVAL WILL BE THE SITE OF THE NEW GASTRO PUB

Scheduled to open in Late January 2018, interior construction is now well under way.

Hale Realty said 2 months ago that the ground floor will incorporate restaurants.    'Gastro Pub*' is at least one of the coming retail occupants taking up 2 of the 5 retail units. 

The pub will be a corner unit on Watts Dr. at Main Street (kitty corner from the Kennesaw City Hall) and it is taking up units 6001A and 6001B for a total of 2,796 sq ft.  The patio area is adjacent and has an additional 498 sq ft.

3 units remain available for lease on the South side of the Revival. These are units:
7001 with 1,904 sq ft
7002 with 1,647 sq ft
7003 with 3,616 sq ft



Photos show work under way:







*A gastropub or gastrolounge is a bar and restaurant that serves high-end beer and food.  The term was coined in the 1990s, but similar brewpubs existed during the 1980s.

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Kennesaw's McCollum Field is Unlikely to be affected
By Jon Gargis jgargis@mdjonline.com MDJ 11/19/17

While a potential opening of Dobbins Air Reserve Base’s runway to commercial or civilian aircraft remains up in the air, several Cobb officials say such a move is unlikely to land any negative effects on another Cobb airport.

Karl Von Hagel manages Cobb County International Airport-McCollum Field in Kennesaw, about 10 miles northwest of Dobbins via Cobb Parkway.

“If you have to pay a whole bunch of money as rent, guess where’s it going to go? It’s going to go right on top of the procurement of C-130s and F-35s and other things. It’s like robbing Peter to pay Paul,” Blackwell said. “One way or the other, the government’s going to pay for it. If it can provide facilities, which is what it’s doing with Air Force Plant 6, that’s the better option probably for Lockheed.”

Current Lockheed Martin officials declined to detail how a BRAC or other negative impact on Dobbins would affect the company’s future in Cobb.

“We have enjoyed a long and mutually beneficial relationship with Dobbins Air Reserve Base for many years,” said George Shultz, Lockheed Martin site general manager and vice president of Air Mobility and Maritime Missions. “Any change in that relationship would have an operational impact on us, but it would be premature to speculate about specific details.”

EFFECTS BEYOND COBB COUNTY

Beyond Cobb, Connell says Lockheed Martin’s site in the county has an effect on the entire state.

He points to the latest data from the Department of Defense’s Office of Economic Adjustment, which shows Lockheed Martin was the top defense contractor in Georgia in fiscal year 2015, having been awarded $2.6 billion of the $12.6 billion in defense spending in the state.

“The real challenge is not just the jobs, but it’s the multiplier effect,” Connell said.  For example, Connell said, those working at the plant are likely to purchase a home in Cobb, buy vehicles at local dealerships and get their food and staples at local grocery stores.

“Downstream, there’s always a ton of things that get impacted by one job that could translate to many, many jobs. And there are suppliers to Lockheed in Cobb County — how many, I don’t know,” Connell said.

But Connell said he believes Lockheed Martin will remain in Cobb for the long haul.  “My view is that Lockheed is here to stay and they’re committed to this community unless something happens to make it uneconomical to build airplanes here,” he said. “We’re doing everything we can as a community to continue to make Lockheed appreciate and do their business as inexpensively as possible.”

Hughes, the 94th Airlift Wing official, said he believes Lockheed Martin’s connection to Dobbins helps the base as much as Dobbins plays a beneficial role for the aeronautics firm.  “With Lockheed being the largest (tenant) out there, because of the work they do for the Air Force, building C-130s or the C-5 (aircraft) modernization program, it’s a symbiotic relationship,” he said.

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3 OPEN SEATS AND 3 NEW COUNCILMEN IN KENNESAW
Ross Williams  MDJ 11/8/17

KENNESAW — POST 3

Pat Ferris will return to Kennesaw’s City Council after being voted out in 2001. He knocked out two challengers for the win: small business owner Antonio Jones and brewer Jeffrey Oparnica.

Ferris received 671 votes, good for 56.6 percent, to Jones’ 386 votes, or 32.6 percent, and Oparnica’s 129, or 10.9 percent, according to unofficial results.

Speaking earlier in the day, Ferris thanked his campaign volunteers and said early planning played a big role.

“I’ve had just an absolutely wonderful campaign committee that’s helped a lot, and we got started early,” he said. “Those are the two big things and then being a previous council member of course gave a me a little bit of name recognition, so that helps a lot too.”

KENNESAW — POST 4

Chris Henderson, a senior research engineer at Georgia Tech, is set to join Kennesaw’s City Council.

Henderson defeated incumbent Jimmy Dickens as well as Councilman James Sebastian, who stepped out of the race for his Post 5 seat to challenge Dickens in an attempt to show the flaws in Kennesaw’s election system, which elects all candidates citywide as opposed to electing them to represent wards or districts.

The gambit did not pay off for Sebastian: Henderson won with 634 votes, or 51.8 percent, to Dickens’ 347 votes, or 28.4 percent, and Sebastian’s 242 votes, or 19.8 percent, according to unofficial numbers.

Speaking as polls were getting ready to close, Henderson said his campaign’s greatest strength was getting out and meeting the people. 

“Here in Kennesaw, it’s all about shaking hands and representing the individuals,” he said. “I’ve knocked on over 800 doors.”

KENNESAW — POST 5

David Blinkhorn, a materials management professional for Kennesaw State University, will become the new City Councilman representing Post 5 in Kennesaw.

Blinkhorn defeated his write-in challenger Bobby Copeland with an unofficial tally of 936 votes to 152 write-ins, or 86 percent to 13 percent. The number of write-in votes that were specifically for Copeland won’t be known until the results are certified, but Blinkhorn won the seat by receiving a majority of the votes.



Speaking as polls were closing, Blinkhorn said his campaign’s biggest strength was “getting out and meeting the people and letting them find out who I was, as well as being a good listener. People want to have their representatives listen to what they have concerns about. My biggest strength is being a good listener in the process.”

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My Misc Comment:

The big surprise of the night was NOT that Jimmy Dickens lost, but that Sebastian really got skunked.  Frankly I thought he would win.  I have said for several years that he was probably the smartest one on council BUT he did so little of note, guess the voters thought so also.

So we have a whole new crop for 2018:  Ferris, Henderson and Blinkhorn.

I sure hope that out of that bunch there will appear someone with LEADERSHIP.

The last leadership we had was with the Mathews cabal and that leadership was greatly flawed, maybe this time around a real leader will emerge?



KENNESAW




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Q)  WHO VOTED IN KENNESAW?

A)  Not very many

There are 18,832 registered voters in the 5 Kennesaw precints
(unofficial results from Cobb County Elections)
Line 1 - Registered Voters
Line 2 - Votes Cast
Line 3 - % voting
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Kennesaw 1A
2120
165
7.78%
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Kennesaw 2A
3317
199
6.00%
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Kennesaw 3A
5088
167
3.28%
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Kennesaw 4A
3307
263
7.95%
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Kennesaw 5A
5000
480
9.60%

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10/27/17
KENNESAW: MY GUESS ON WINNERS FOR THE 3 CITY COUNCIL RACES
Let's start with the easy one first.
POST 5
David Blinkhorn
Bobby Copeland (write-in candidate)
Generally 'write in candidates' are NOT going to win, so it will be Blinkhorn getting Post 5.
Let's skip over to POST 3
Antonio Jones
Jeffrey Oparnica
Pat Ferris
Antonio Jones probably won't win this time around, but you will likely see him again, unless he decides to go for a County post instead. I expect Pat Ferris will get it based on his past experience on the Kennesaw Council.
Last and by far the only really interesting race is POST 4 
Jimmy Dickens, Sr. (incumbent)
Chris Henderson
James Sebastian
It isn't that far fetched to say that this Post has 2 Incumbents, in that Sebastian decided to not run for re-election in his Post 5, but to move over to Post 4 to make sure Dickens isn't back again.
Sebastian clearly wants Dickens OFF the council and most likely it is due to his lack of performance on Council AND Dickens' very checkered background of arrests both in Cobb and with 2 check issues from NC.
Had this arrest record been known he would never have gotten elected to finish off the Debbie Williams term
Keep in mind that Kennesaw is the only city in Cobb where there will be no runoff for any post. Candidates just have to win by 1 vote to get the job. Most other races require run offs if no candidate gets more than 50% of the votes.


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Davey Crockett See also: http://jimmydickens.blogspot.com/

Jimmy Dickens is currently representing Kennesaw in Post 4 of the City Council. In the November election he…
JIMMYDICKENS.BLOGSPOT.PE

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JUST WONDERING IN KENNESAW -
How exactly does a mayor tell his spouse that he has this great idea where he gets dressed up in sexy lingerie and goes out in public to 'raise $' for a good cause.
Does it start out:  "Hey honey, can I borrow your garter belt and hose", or does the mayor already have some stuff in the closet he can use?
Well, Halloween is coming so the outfit can get some more usage, if it isn't already getting some.
I wonder if this is part of that Legacy Park swingers club?  4+ years ago it was almost in the news when a disgruntled resident sent around some photos of their antics, most showed one of the K councilman having a good time.
They went to the MDJ, me and who knows how many others, no one used them.  I learned that the seven I got were not even the most interesting.  I felt very left out, my feelings were hurt that I didn't get the really good stuff.
Anyway that councilman did his 6 months of fill in council stuff and lost big time when he ran for the position on his own.
So who knows, maybe the Legacy Park Swingers Club is still up and running, maybe now they have a transvestite group?

So there isn't much else to do in Kennesaw, swap wives, dress up, get drunk and run for office.

Kennesaw Mayor Responds to Critics After Dressing in Drag for Charity Event
by: Tom Jones  Oct 23, 2017 
KENNESAW, Ga. - Pictures of Kennesaw's mayor dressed in drag for a benefit concert are causing controversy on social media.
  Channel 2’s Tom Jones spoke with the mayor Monday night, and he said it was all done for a good cause.
  Mayor Derek Easterling said he would do almost anything if it would help raise money for a good cause.  When he put on makeup, a wig and a risqué outfit, it had some people questioning his ability to lead this city.
  “I try to put the fun in fundraiser,” Easterling told Jones. “I dressed up as Christina Aguilera.”
  The racy costume had people on and off social media commenting about the mayor's appearance.  “It definitely bothers me,” one resident told Jones.
  “As a mayor, I think there's other things that he could do to get a message out there,” another resident said. 
  Some people say dressing in drag is unfitting for the office of the mayor.  Easterling said he did it for a good cause.   “I have 250,000 reasons why I did it,” he told Jones.
  Easterling participated in the Lip Sync Battle that raised $250,000 for Alzheimers research during the Battle for the Brain fundraiser last Thursday.
  Some people had no problem with the costume.  “I don't have a problem with it at all,” said Poopak Bagheri, whose mother recently died from the disease. “I will do anything to stop Alzheimers.”
  Easterling said his critics need to focus on things more important.   “He didn't bother anybody, he just wanted to raise money,” Bagheri told Jones.  The mayor said he would do it again if it's for a good cause.

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Opinion - AROUND TOWN: Kennesaw’s ‘Madam Mayor’ dresses up for a good cause

MDJ 10/24/17
   HEY SISTA, GO SISTA: Kennesaw Mayor Derek Easterling said he had a blast dressed as Christina Aguilera while lip-syncing “Lady Marmalade” at an Alzheimer’s fundraiser on Thursday at the Buckhead Theatre.
   Dressed in a blond wig, red lipstick, garter belt and feather boa, Easterling battled it out against nine other competitors, from Atlanta Falcon cheerleaders to Delta Air Lines performers.
   Kennesaw Mayor Derek Easterling stands on stage at the Buckhead Theatre dressed as Christina Aguilera.
The event billed itself as the inaugural Battle for the Brain to raise funds for the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s of Greater Atlanta.
   Easterling said it took him about an hour and 15 minutes to dress up. He settled on Christina Aguilera because “It was something the audience was familiar with. Something that would be a little over the top … I gave it my best shot. You know, I’ve got a good sense of humor and was hoping people would find entertainment value in it. I didn’t want to do what everybody was expecting: Some stiff up there mouthing a song. I took it to the next level to raise awareness for the 5 million people that suffer from Alzheimer’s disease.”
The mayor said when he stepped out on stage, the audience roared so loud he couldn’t hear the music.
“They were cheering, everyone was standing on their feet, pumping their fists, and they continued to cheer. So I think it’s safe to say they had a good time and they enjoyed it,” he said.
Alzheimer’s is the sixth-leading cause of death in the U.S. and the only disease among the top 10 causes that cannot be cured, prevented or even slowed. Additionally, more than 15 million family and friends provide care to people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias in the U.S. In Georgia alone, there are more than 140,000 people living with the disease and 519,000 caregivers, according to the fundraising group.

In fact, Easterling said his grandmother succumbed to the disease.
“She didn’t know who her son was. She didn’t remember me. To know that there are people, 5 million of them, it’s horrendous and there’s no cure,” he said.
Not everyone was pleased with the performance however. Posting on Facebook Friday, Debra Williams, who ran against Easterling for mayor in the last election and who serves as 3rd vice chair of the Cobb Republican Party, denounced his performance as an embarrassment for the city.

“So this is how the Mayor of Kennesaw chooses to represent the city and the school he teaches at Awtrey Middle School. It was for (sic) Lip-sync fundraiser for Alzheimer’s. However, there was SSSSOOO many other costumes he could have chosen besides a Drag Queen!

“When you represent a City and her people, as well as a school of children, you should be able to make better choices/decisions since you are representing them in your role,” Williams posted.
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10/2/17
April 12, 1862 - The Great Locomotive Chase

My only comment is that the very nice engine on display at the Southern Museum in Kennesaw, Ga. has only 2 large heavy pieces of the original under carriage, the rest of this handsome engine is the result of many make overs since 1862.
My various readings on the topic of this engine indicates that during the 1850+ era of locomotives in the South that names were given to the engines, such a 'General' 'Texas' etc.

That was what was in place during the Great Locomotive Chase.

The engine was partly destroyed to keep it out of Federal hands at the end of the war. It was rebuilt, later put into service by a railroad and given the number 39, which was just the next number assigned as there were 38 locomotives already in that railroads inventory.

Later it went to a different railroad where it was given the number 3 indicating that it was the 3rd oldest of that railroads engines.

The number 3 is on the General to this day, but it had no association with the engine of the 1862 chase, that engine bore no number, just the name 'General'.

While the engine on display is indeed a great looking engine it is not the 'General' of the 1862 Great Locomotive Chase (except it seems, for 2 large heavy parts of the undercarriage).




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