May this email find you healthy and may you have strength as we continue to deal with the deadly COVID-19 and the terrible injustices that permeate so many of our institutions and lives.
My name is Jan Costello, president of the Greater Hidden Hills Community Development Corp., an organization that encourages better business through the area. Here are three items of interest for our community.
DeKalb Launches Virtual Village Platform for Youth
The Youth Services Virtual Village is an online platform that offers resources, programs and activities to children and youth living in DeKalb County. Many children who normally attend recreational facilities and summer camps remain sheltered in place at home as a result of the current COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. The Virtual Village is an online platform that will provide information, classes and activities to parents and youth (from birth through 18 years of age).
More than thirty (30) classes and programs that are normally held in person have been converted to this virtual platform- connecting instructors with youth participants in a safe way. Class topics include dance, theater/film, arts & crafts, technology, media, cooking and more. Featured classes are free to DeKalb County residents; however, class sizes are limited and are available on a first come first served basis.
The Virtual Village also includes information about premiere fee-based youth programming and a limited number of scholarships are available for those who qualify. Parents can access the Virtual Village to learn about approved program providers for the DeKalb 2020 Youth Summer Voucher Program, which features in person camp options for youth. A limited number of youth vouchers will be made available through these approved program providers.
Virtual classes are taught by local experts in their perspective fields. Local film and TV veterans, Ben McIver and Karen Ceesay, with film credits such as Stranger Things, Black Lightning, and Greenleaf, have teamed up to bring real life experiences of Georgia’s burgeoning film industry to the youth through this platform. McIver notes that, “It’s important that we give students and youth a different avenue to tell their stories using tools that they already have.”
There is a loaner program for computers, tablets and other internet-based technology. Families in need may apply through the platform to borrow a loaner Chromebook in order to take advantage of the Virtual Village.
The Department’s Office of Youth Services is responsible for the oversight and management of the Virtual Village. To learn more about the Virtual Village and to register for classes, visit http://www.DeKalboys.org or contact Mr. Jashawn Williams, Office of Youth Services Division Manger via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rezoning Request for an Indian Creek apartment complex
Should a four-story apartment complex be built behind the CVS at the corner of Indian Creek and Redan? The man who owns the property, Sudhir Tejpaul, needs a rezoning in order to do it. The District 5 Community Council turned him down in February. It went through the hearing process and was sent back to Community Council. We heard the case on June 8. The council recommended the rezoning be granted by a vote of 7 to 1. Let me tell you why I am opposed.
In February, the Council asked Mr. Tejpaul why he had no community meetings prior to the public hearing. We asked him to provide renderings at the next public hearing of what he proposed to build. He never held the meeting and he never provided renderings.
I am not opposed to multi-family living, especially within easy walking distance of Marta. I am opposed to the community having no voice in how the project will look. Without accurate renderings, it is hard to know, but what he has shown us has no greenspace. The balconies will look out over a dreary parking lot. We know nothing about the quality of the construction, the types of materials that will be used, or how residents will access the 2nd – 4th floors.
Mr. Tejpaul hired Michele Battle, renowned zoning attorney, to represent him during this second round of hearing. She arranged a community meeting via Zoom regarding the rezoning application. You may read the application at:
Monday, June 22nd – 6:00 pm
Meeting ID: 857 1319 3736
One tap mobile: (646) 558-8656
Please make a note that the next public meetings are as follows, and they will be on Zoom. Details are on page 1 of the document found at this link:
Planning Commission Meeting Date – Tuesday, July 7, 2020 5:30 P.M.
Board of Commissioners Meeting Date – Thursday, July 30, 2020 5:30 P.M.
Slaughterhouse court date – rescheduled again
Slaughtering continues at Bradford Homes & Grounds, 1676 Rice Road, Lithonia, GA 30058. The company received a state license April 22, 2014, but the owner, Rudolf Bradford, never received a license from the county. DeKalb County issued a cease-and-desist order March 1, 2019. The slaughtering and sales continue, and according to state records, he slaughtered 3,254 cows, pigs, goats and sheep between January 2016 to April 2020.
The County has taken him to court, but there have been many delays due to Rudolf’s own delaying tactics and the virus. But now, we have a new court date. Thomas Kemp, II, DeKalb County senior assistant solicitor-general, has conscientiously kept us in the loop the whole time, and he says:
Pursuant to Chief Justice Harold D. Melton’s Second Extended Order Declaring a Statewide Judicial Emergency on May 11, 2020 and subsequent local emergency orders, the Motions Calendar and Calendar Call in Rudolph Brown’s DeKalb State Case 18C16630-3 were rescheduled by the trial court to July 6, 2020 and July 10, 2020, respectively. Specifically:
- State v. Rudolph Bradford(18C16630-3) – Motions Calendar – Rescheduled before Judge Wayne Purdom, Chief Judge, DeKalb State Court, DeKalb Courthouse, Courtroom 3-B, to Monday, July 6, 2020 at 1:30 p.m.
- State v. Rudolph Bradford(18C16630-3) – Calendar Call – Rescheduled before Judge Wayne Purdom, Chief Judge, DeKalb State Court, DeKalb Courthouse, Courtroom 3-B, to Friday, July 10, 2020 at 10:00 a.m.
Anyone and everyone is welcome to attend the Defendant’s Motions Hearing and Calendar Call on July 6th and July 10th, but I would recommend that you attend Mr. Bradford’s Calendar Call or Jury Trial (once the date is determined by the State Court) if you can only attend one appearance. I will contact you separately -or- send you a calendar invite if you are needed to testify at Mr. Bradford’s motions hearing on July 6th.
Meanwhile, State Representative Viola Davis, District 86, has taken up this issue even though the property is not in her district. We could not get the district representatives, Senator Gloria Butler (District 55) or Representative Karen Bennett (District 94) to help us. The Dept of Agriculture first told her they knew nothing about this property. Then, they said they can release no tax records or other items she requested because they were confidential.
The slaughter report is available for viewing at:
Thank you for reading. You can reach us with comments or questions at email@example.com .