Tuesday, February 21, 2017 Garcia Family Middle School, Knights Hall, 5th Floor
966 West Paces Ferry Road
6:30 pm Doors Open for Members’ Registration and Non-Members (please bring annual dues payment)
7:00 pm Annual Meeting
Topics for discussion
PLEASE PLAN TO ATTEND THE NEXT
WEST PACES NEIGHBORHOOD BOARD
When: Tuesday November, 15 at 7:00
Where: Fuqua Presentation Room – Pace Academy School
What: Mr. Phillip Fender, who has purchased property on Moores Mill at the intersection and behind that lot on Wood Valley will be present to discuss his request for a variance to construct a combined driveway in order to build 3 homes.
Please come, get information, ask questions and voice opinions.
Of all the positive attributes of a neighborhood one considers during home tours and online searches, the quality of the neighbors is an uncertainty. Sure, you see people showing signs of friendliness as you enter the street or waving, but you consider what the relationship would be like if you made this place your permanent home. One such small street in our West Paces neighborhood underwent a sort of relationship challenge this past month. The issue in question was what to do with a dilemma in the shared cul de sac space. You see, some forty years ago a set of plants was planted and thrived in the cul de sac. These plants became so healthy that they married to form one six foot high bush stretching eleven feet at its widest point. A small family of rabbits lived under this bush and would often be seen frolicking in the dusky light as families were preparing dinner. Remarkable as it was, the bush provided a problem. No one was able to see anything behind the bush. This may not seem catastrophic when all residents are above five feet tall and the legal driving age; however, this small street went from a population of one to ten children within the span of 18months. What a tremendous sign of continued life energy in a stable community. Small children come with a greater need for outdoor space in order to expel their wild appetite for movement. Several neighbors discussed the possibility of removing the bush since no car approaching would be able to see a gaggle of small children on the pavement behind this monstrous green habitat. The discussion remarks varied from the length and breadth of the bush's history to the well being of its' furry inhabitants. After much deliberation, several engaged neighbors polled their direct neighbors and all agreed that the safety of the current community outweighed the history of the bush.
Without any voiced objections, the bush was removed for a little over one hundred dollars. Fabulous, no obstruction at the base of the hill. Drat, no appealing feature or object to focus on when driving through the cul de sac. Action time. Each invested neighbor sought a landscaping company of their choosing to find bids, ideas, and material suggestions that would best suit our community. These bids, as you can imagine, ranged from under one thousand dollars to over four and a half thousand. Money led the decision, as it often does. We selected the long time landscaper of several homes on the street who envisioned a large simple grass segment with a mulched space for seating. Utilizing our resources, I was sent, on behalf of the street, to petition the board for a contribution to the project. My pitch was simple- the neighborhood shows support of the board through consistent membership rates and is seeking assistance to enhance and create beauty in a communal space. After offering written proposals from the landscape team, the board approved a contribution of two hundred dollars. With that two hundred in hand, I approached the landscape team to schedule sod and mulch installation. Neighbors eagerly awaited the next phase of the project. This empty land did not deter the children from turning it into imaginable spaces. Sod was installed for eight hundred dollars. Well, neighbors came out of the woodwork with fiscal contributions and ideas for seating options. We agreed on purchasing two five foot benches and almost over night, the sod settled in to it's new home, the mulch arrived a week later, and benches were assembled the following week. Neighbors even scoured nearby estate sales for planters. Then one Sunday afternoon, eureka, two concrete planters were found off Habersham at such a sale. For a little over one hundred dollars, two knee-high sturdy planters, with flowers I might add, were delivered to the end of our small street.
Neighbors reveled in this open yet inviting meeting place. The children began playing pick up soccer matches, a football game on the fly, and meeting in the circle. For New Year's Eve, a small fireworks display was held and five families gathered, bundled and carrying bubbly to ring in 2016 at 6:00pm. Remember, lots of small children! The week after, a fire bowl was added and many warmly dressed couples brought blankets and came to the circle for fireside conversation. Obviously, the completed circle has only been in action for several weeks, but already neighbors comment about the draw towards the space. This experience demonstrates the power of beautification. Through a series of compromises and generosity, our neighborhood now has a common space which bridges the needs of twelve families, stayed within a modest budget, and provides a long term solution to an existing problem.
Beautification has made that difference. Our small street may have lost a small family of rabbits, but in return we have enriched our lives and the lives of our children for years to come.
Social Media Chair
Last fall, Police Chief George Turner hosted a public safety meeting. He started by saying that overall crime in Atlanta is down 86%, but he had to admit a fact that we in Buckhead all know, auto theft and home invasions are UP! Many of the criminals are repeat offenders, said Chief Turner, “young black males,(who) “are caught multiple times breaking into cars, keep getting released back into society to commit new crimes.” He blamed the revolving door handling of repeat offenders, especially juvenile ones, on laissez-faire judges. Complicating this, we also know that the response time to 911 calls is sometimes slower than we would like as officers are sometimes busy in higher priority calls.*
That is the situation we are faced with today. The obvious question is, what can we do to protect ourselves and our families? The answer is, we need to be better informed on what to do, we need to be more vigilant, and we need to take action when confronted with suspicious activity. In short, we need to prepare ourselves for the environment in which we live today, we can’t look the other way when we observe something out of the ordinary just because we are in a hurry, or don’t want to become involved.
I have written before that security is a three-legged stool, it takes the police, our security patrol and US to make our neighborhood safe. Working together we CAN make a difference. If you see something, DO something! Learn to trust our gut, after all, your gut feeling is a compilation of your prior experience. If you see something or somebody that doesn’t feel or look right, it probably isn't, CALL 911! The police WANT you to call. Calling 911 not only causes a response from the on duty police, it also alerts our security patrol of off duty and retired officers who carry police radios and who hear the dispatch. If patrolling, they can often respond quicker than on duty officers.
During the holidays, we were especially vigilant and fortunate. As is our policy, we increased our patrol hours by 50% from Thanksgiving through New Years.
We are very fortunate, our record of criminal activity is far below surrounding neighborhoods. Let’s keep it that way; be a tuned in neighborhood, one that is tuned into security, is alert to and takes action to report suspicious activity. Lastly, since about 90% of Association dues go to funding our security patrol, encourage your neighbors to join. More members means more security patrol hours!
* Excerpted from a public safety meeting 9-10-15 reportby TPCA President Mercy Sandbur-Wright
In 2015, the WPNA initiated what we hope will be a permanent series of Neighborhood Social Evenings with a Guest Speaker. The goal of each quarterly meeting is to learn something new while enjoying good food, good wine, and good conversation with our neighbors. The venue of the new Pace Academy Upper School Commons is ideal, and the hors-d'oeuvres, prepared and donated by Pace, have been incredible. Add in two special wines from Sherlock’s, and the congeniality flows!
In September, we hosted Sheffield Hale, the CEO of the Atlanta History Center. Then in November we welcomed Paul Morris, CEO of The Atlanta Beltline. Each speaker brought us up to date on developments with these important projects, and we also saw a glimpse of the future. Questions and answers followed the presentations.
The next Neighborhood Social Evening will be on Wednesday, February 17, 2016. The speaker will be Mr. Dan Rutz, a senior health communications specialist with the Division of Global HIV and TB, Center for Global Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the subject will be the History and Future of the CDC in Atlanta. We will start with our Annual Meeting at 5:45pm, followed by wine, cheese and hors-d’oeuvres at about 7pm, and then the CDC presentation.
An evite will go out soon by email to all members. We appreciate an RSVP for the food preparation. Please join us on February 17th at 5:45pm for a full evening.
Social Series Chair
Seymour W. Liebmann: Our Neighborhood
Association’s First President
Our neighborhood had the good fortune in 1968 to have Colonel Seymour Liebmann, his lovely wife, Hinda, and their sons, Peter and David, choose Rilman Drive as their place to live.
Sy, as he was affectionately known by all, was always, at heart, a farmer. He grew up in upstate New York in the Hudson Valley on his family’s farm where they grew apples and livestock. Sy’s older brother Mel later ran an Army-Navy store for more than 50 years that still serves the community.
After earning his degree in mechanical engineering, Sy joined the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, retiring with the rank of Colonel. In the Corps, he handled logistics of the Berlin Airlift, and later served as a military engineer in Korea during the Korean War. In Atlanta, Sy would go on to become president of a large construction company, A.R. Abrams, and form a very successful engineering consulting practice, Liebmann Associates.
Shortly after he, Hinda and the boys moved to Rilman Drive, Sy became involved in the community. He became Chair of Neighborhood Planning Unit A (“NPU-A”) which reviews the planning and zoning matters for Western Buckhead, including the Nancy Creek area. Sy helped to organize the West Paces/Northside Neighborhood Association, and served as its first President. Sy also volunteered in community organizations, including one of his favorites, the Boy Scouts of America. A favorite weekend activity was to organize a fishing trip to Unicoi State Park or a hike on the Appalachian Trail.
Sy was an early advocate of neighborhood preservation in the 1970s when Atlanta was undergoing a huge transformation into a regional center, its zoning laws were an afterthought, and the Atlanta mascot was a bulldozer.
He was known for his intellect, his keen organizational abilities, his total selflessness in giving of his time to the neighborhood, and his brilliant critique of proposed development. If it were not for Sy’s relentless hard work, the development along West Paces Ferry Road and Northside Parkway would today be much like that on Peachtree and Lenox Roads.
As Chair of NPU-A, Sy’s leadership in establishing a citizen review procedure for proposed zoning changes and other community issues soon made NPU-A the standard that not only other Atlanta NPUs, but other cities around the country sought to emulate. NPU-A applicants knew that when they appeared before the board under Sy’s leadership they would face rigorous examination of their proposals. Sy often surprised applicants by recalculating their engineering proposals on the spot as they presented their proposals.
For our neighborhood, Sy was a great organizer of our opposition to many shoddy, ill-conceived proposed developments. We will not soon forget the time that Sy lead a turnout of well over 1,000 neighbors to attend a NPU-A meeting at Trinity Church to voice opposition to a proposed development on Northside Parkway.
On November 14, 2015, our community suffered a great loss when Sy passed away. Sy will long be remembered as a great leader who, while conducting himself as a gentleman, was quick to stand-up for our neighborhoods as our strongest advocate.
Perhaps Sy’s greatest contribution to the City of Atlanta was his leadership and training of others on how to make positive impact, and in particular, his strong moral compass of always stressing right from wrong, and looking far down the road to the consequences of actions that we take today.
Services for Colonel Liebmann will held at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, in March. He will receive full military honors, with a caisson, military band, troops, with a rabbi conducting his funeral ceremony.
Mr. James Nobles, JD
Mr. Henry Feinstein, JD
Seymour W. "Sy" Liebmann of Atlanta died November 14, 2015, age 87, after a period of declining health. Raised in the Hudson Valley of New York among cows, chickens, and apple orchards, he graduated as a mechanical engineer from Clarkson College in 1948 and was on a train to Army Officers Training Camp the same night. Lt. Liebmann supported the Berlin Airlift as a member of the 1st Infantry and later served as a military engineer in the Korean War. He rose through the ranks and retired as a full colonel. He served as president of the Atlanta Post of the Society of American Military Engineers, where a scholarship is named after him. In a life of civic engagement, Liebmann was called "guardian of our neighborhoods" and served as chair of Atlanta's NPU-A and on city review boards, was an active member of The Temple, and was awarded the Silver Beaver by the Atlanta Area Council, Boy Scouts of America. President of Liebmann Associates, Inc., he worked on commercial and residential engineering projects throughout the Southeast and garnered numerous professional awards and recognition. With a full career and volunteer life, nothing made him happier than puttering in the yard, napping on the couch, hiking with friends from the Georgia Appalachian Trail Club, or fishing Smith Creek in Unicoi State Park. Beloved husband, father, and grandfather, he leaves his wife of 56 years, Hinda, sons Peter and David, daughter-in-law Anna, and granddaughter Gracie. Funeral to be held at a later date at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia. Remembrances to email@example.com. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Nature Conservancy or the Liebmann Memorial Scholarship, Atlanta Post of the Society of American Military Engineers, P.O. Box 888501, Atlanta, GA 30356
Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Nov. 18, 2015 - See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/atlanta/obituary.aspx?pid=176546070#sthash.R7bkRlLe.dpuf
The final quarter of 2015 was quiet in our neighborhood with the exception of a targeted home robbery on Wood Valley Rd. in October. There was one reported theft from an auto on Pinestream Rd. in November. There were several burglaries and thefts from autos in our surrounding neighborhoods, so we were extremely fortunate. Our residents were very active in contacting 911 or the security patrol to report suspicious persons. Fortunately, when we received calls about persons in our neighborhood and we investigated, the people had legitimate reasons to be in the area.
Do not let this deter you from placing a call to the security patrol or 911. As always, we would rather receive a call and have the police investigate than to not receive a call and have a crime committed. Please continue to be vigilant this year. Keep your eyes open and report ANY suspicious activity.
We did increase the security patrol by fifty percent between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day.
As a constant reminder, we would like to ask everyone to stay vigilant and call 911 FIRST if you see any suspicious activity or persons in the neighborhood.
The security patrol is looking forward to another successful year of serving this neighborhood.
Thank you for your continued support.
In 2015, we set an all-time record for membership at West Paces Neighborhood Association -274 Members!
70% of most residents paid their dues. Special congratulations and thanks goes to Kilby, West Paces Ferry Court, Montana, and Rilman Dr. who had 90% or higher! We have come a long away from the 1990’s when about 35% of our residents were members of the association.
Your continued financial support has allowed West Paces Neighborhood Association to slightly increase its security patrols and to continue having one of the safest neighborhoods in Atlanta. Security alarms force criminals to get in and out of our homes quickly and it is our security patrol that deters criminals from making our neighborhood an easy target.
Your support has also allowed us to continue funding neighborhood beautification projects and begin our neighborhood lecture program. In the next week or so, you will hear more about our next lecture which will feature a speaker from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. We are finalizing a date and it will be one night in mid-February at Pace Academy''s Upper School.
The 2016 dues are $285 and, in order to encourage early renewal, we are offering a discount of $25.00 to those who pay prior to January 15. For new residents, those who moved in after July 2015, a first year membership fee is $137.50.
Among the most difficult things your board faces every year is keeping our data base accurate. As you can imagine, the only way we can do this is with your help. Our new website (www.westpaces.org) allows members to change their personal information. We also need everyone's help in letting us know when new families move into the neighborhood so our New Neighbor Committee can welcome them and give the family relevant information regarding our community.
Thanks for your support and best wishes for a great 2016!
Craig Perry—Membership Chair
Please email me at the below email address with any corrections you may have or questions regarding your membership status.
West Paces Neighborhood Members,
I hope you had a great holiday season and are looking forward to a
2015 was banner year for your neighborhood association. We had more
members than in any year since our founding. We initiated a new
website, logo, and E- newsletter. In 2016, we will continue to
focus on increasing membership ensuring increased security patrol.
Security will continue to be our number one priority
in 2016, as that was the primary reason for this association's
founding in 1991 and continues to be a chief concern among neighbors.
If you have already joined in 2016, thank you. Please do what you can
to get encourage your local friends and neighbors to join!
While security is our number one priority, we are
always looking for additional ways in which we can enhance the
neighborhood and make living here as unique and beneficial as
possible. Your input and involvement is critical to making that happen
at the highest level. We are all very busy people, but there is
something that we can all contribute to make West Paces Neighborhood a
better place in which to live.
Thank you all and I look forward to seeing you out and about around
© 2015 West Paces Neighborhood Association Website by Nicasio LLC