Author Archives: Stan Jester

Biden’s Executive Order Supports Reopening of Schools

On January 21, Biden signed an executive order supporting the reopening and continuing operation of schools and early childhood education providers.

“The United States is committed to ensuring that students and educators are able to resume safe, in-person learning as quickly as possible, with the goal of getting a majority of K-8 schools safely open in 100 days,” states the executive order which instructs various federal agencies to provide guidance on how to safely conduct in-person learning.

CDC Research

CDC researchers published in the Journal of the American Medical Association earlier this week, “there has been little evidence that schools have contributed meaningfully to increased community transmission.”

As reported by the Washington Post

“A new CDC study, also published Tuesday, looked at 17 rural K-12 schools in Wisconsin and found just seven out of 191 coronavirus cases resulted from in-school transmission. Researchers noted that students and staff in these schools wore masks almost all the time.

The conclusion here is with proper prevention efforts . . . we can keep transmission in schools and educational settings quite low, said Margaret A. Honein, the lead author of the JAMA report. We didn’t know that at the beginning of the year but the data has really accumulated.”

DeKalb Schools

DeKalb Schools administration seems to have decided back in December that students will be coming back for F2F (face to face) instruction. In January, in addition to the leave or accommodations granted to employees under Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and/or Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), further considerations for temporary hardship situations were given to all employees who requested it. I’m not aware of any accommodations or considerations granted to employees starting next week.

Chicago Public Schools

DeKalb Schools isn’t alone with grappling with teachers and employees over how and when to return. Chicago Public Schools (CPS) negotiations with the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) has been widely reported on in the media. CPS Administration announced plans to return to F2F instruction by next week. This Monday, the teacher’s union voted to refuse to teach in person. In response, CPS stated that teachers who do not show up for work will be “deemed absent without leave and will not be eligible for pay”. This week, 18% of CPS employees were no shows. As of this morning, media reports indicate that CPS students are learning remotely again while CPS and CTU return to negotiations.

Dangerous Intersection In Front of Dunwoody High School

In 2018 I wrote to the city about the dangerous intersection at Vermack/Womack. You can read my original email and the responses I received below. Nothing has changed since that time and accidents and near misses continue to happen with alarming frequency.

Just this past week, the Dunwoody Police Department posted about a serious accident that totaled a FedEx vehicle and a passenger vehicle. The mangled vehicle photos are below. Thankfully no one was injured. Between this intersection and the Tilly Mill/Mt. Vernon Place intersection, it’s a miracle more people aren’t injured or worse.

I am reiterating my call for the City of Dunwoody to do something about the intersection in front of Dunwoody High School before there is another accident.

Email To The City of Dunwoody
Mayor: Lynn Deutsch
City Council: Joe Seconder, Jim Ritcher, Tom Lambert, John Heneghan, Pam Tallmadge, Stacey Harris
Former City Council Member: Terry Nall
Police Chief: Billy Grogan
City Manager: Eric Linton
Assistant City Manager: Jay Vinicki

As you are well aware, last week there was another serious accident in front of Dunwoody High School at the corner of Womack and Vermack.

As commented by the mother of the young man who was hit,

“My sons car was hit in this accident, the FedEx driver ran through the stop sign, he said he didn’t see it😫
The air bags deployed, so grateful he wasn’t hurt.”

As you can see from the email chain below, a few years ago I asked the City of Dunwoody to reassess the traffic control measures at the corner of Womack and Vermack. To this day, several times a year I come within seconds of getting hit at that intersection. They aren’t rolling the 4-way stop, they flat out don’t see it, or choose not to stop.

I suspect there are additional measures that can be taken.

This time we were lucky there were no serious injuries. Please don’t wait until there is a fatality to do something about this intersection.

Email chain with the City of Dunwoody

From: Stan Jester
Sent: Sunday, November 25, 2018 1:35 PM
To: Terry Nall <Terry.Nall@dunwoodyga.gov>
Cc: Jim Riticher; Eric Linton; Jessica Guinn; B. Grogan
Subject: Re: Stop Sign DHS

These cats aren’t California rolling the stop sign, they are blowing through it at full speed.  My interpretation is that they don’t see it.  I would have been T-Boned at 40ish miles an hour if I didn’t see it coming.  Given the flashing red lights, I’m not sure what else can be done.

Just something to think about.  Thanks for listening.  Happy Holidays to you and your family.  –Stan

From: B. Grogan
Sent: Monday, November 26, 2018 9:57 AM
To: Stan Jester
Cc: Jim Riticher; Eric Linton; Jessica Guinn; B. Grogan
Subject: Re: Stop Sign DHS

Stan,

Thanks for bringing this to our attention. As Terry said, this is one of the areas that does get a lot of enforcement due to its location. I will definitely pass this on for some additional enforcement.

Have a great day.

Regards,
Billy J. Grogan

From: Terry Nall
Sent: Sunday, November 25, 2018 1:13 PM
To: Stan Jester
Cc: Jim Riticher ; Eric Linton ; Jessica Guinn ; B. Grogan
Subject: Re: Stop Sign DHS

Hi Stan,

Thanks for your note.

I cc’d Chief Grogan, but I am aware the intersection of Womack Rd at Vermack Rd is part of the active enforcement by Dunwoody PD and especially during school days.

Unfortunately, some of our drivers in and around the city treat stop signs more casually than they should.  Since I live on Vernon North Dr, we see it quite a bit at our 3-way stop on Mt Vernon Way, despite the regular enforcement of Dunwoody PD.

Unlike our 3-way stop intersection, Vermack/Womack has the added traffic control device of a flashing red light, as well as the stop signs, so it surely cannot be a question of unable to see the stop signal devices.

Hope you and your family had an awesome Thanksgiving!

Terry Nall
Dunwoody City Council Member (At Large)

From: Terry Nall; Jim Riticher
Sent: Sunday, November 25, 2018 12:57 PM
To: Terry Nall; Jim Riticher
Cc: Jim Riticher ; Eric Linton ; Jessica Guinn ; B. Grogan
Subject: Re: Stop Sign DHS

Terry and Jim,
I wanted to drop you a note about the stop sign at Womack and Vermack. 2 or 3 times a year somebody blows through that stop sign right in front of me.

It happened again this afternoon. I saw it coming and was able to blow my horn to tell another person coming the other way to stop.

Thanks,
Stan