Atlanta Intown - January 2022

Page 1

JANUARY 2022 Vol. 28 No. 1 ■

Client Testimonial

#1 Agent

“As a 24 yr. resident, we watched Ken over

in Morningside

the years sell homes in the neighborhood.

SINCE 2017*

We were so impressed with his knowledge

TrendGraphix, 2017-2021, Closed Single Family Homes, All Price Points

of the Morningside market. Immediately after our meeting with him, he put a plan in place that really made sense for our family and home. In the beginning, my husband and I felt very overwhelmed with the process, but he calmed us down with his strong plan and ability to make our our house look and feel fantastic. We could not

Ken Covers P r i va t e O f f i ce A d vi so r

be more thrilled with how the process went and results he achieved for us. We now call him the Home Sale Whisperer. Ken is super talented.” - Lyn McDonough

Direct: 404.664.8280 Office: 404.845.7724 ©2021 Engel & Völkers. All rights reserved. Each brokerage independently owned and operated. All information provided is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed and should be independently verified. If your property is currently represented by a real estate broker, this is not an attempt to solicit your listing. Engel & Völkers and its independent license partners are Equal Opportunity Employers and fully support the principles of the Fair Housing Act.

A Record Shattering Year! A True Leader Year After Year!

1664 West Sussex Road N. E. | Sold for $3,300,000 Your Life. Your Home. Your Realtor®. Outstanding results take planning. Call me to put a winning plan in place for 2022 because no other agents understand the home values in Morningside like me.

Wishing you & your Family a Happy New Year! 2 JANUARY 2022 |

At l a n t a I n t o w n Pa p e r. c o m

Contents JANUARY 2022

The Neighborhood Buckhead City Effort Stitch, BeltLine Grants Chattahoochee Brick Company Special Election MLK Day Events TimmyDaddy


SPARK Innovation Lab Start Spec Program Business Briefs

14 15 16

Sustainability Above the Waterline Waterworks Park Eco Briefs


6 8 10 11 11 12

18 19 19

Home & Real Estate

Real Estate Forecast 20 You’re Next Home Could Be In 22 Affordable Housing 23 Gardening 24 Real Estate Briefs 25

News You Can Eat



Winter Comfort Food New Restaurant Radar Westside Paper PCM Food Hall Expands Certified Pizza Truck Women + Wine


The Studio Editorial Collin Kelley Editor Contributors Sally Bethea, Kathy Dean, Erica Glasener, Sean Keenan, Donna Williams Lewis, Camille Russell Love, Kelly McCoy, Isadora Pennington, Sarah Pierre, Katie Rice, Clare Richie, Tim Sullivan, Amy Wenk Submissions Article queries should be emailed to Published By Springs Publishing Atlanta Intown • Reporter Newspapers Atlanta Senior Life

Steve Levene Publisher Emeritus Keith Pepper Publisher Amy Arno Director of Sales Development (404) 917-2200, ext. 1002 Rico Figliolini Creative Director Harry J. Pinkney Jr. Graphic Designer

Advertising For information call (404) 917-2200 ext 1002 Sales Executive Jeff Kremer Circulation Each month, 27,000 copies of Atlanta Intown are mailed to homes and distributed to businesses in and around ZIP codes 30306, 30307, 30308, 30309, 30324 and 30329. For delivery information,

Deborah Davis Office Manager

© 2021 All rights reserved. Publisher reserves the right to refuse editorial or advertising for any reason. Publisher assumes no responsibility for information contained in advertising. Any opinions expressed in print or online do not necessarily represent the views of Atlanta Intown or Springs Publishing.

Visit AtlantaIntown At l a n t a I n t o w n Pa p e r. c o m AtlantaIntown ATLINtownPaper

Spotify AtlantaIntown Newsletters

One Book, One Read Core Takes On Fieldwork Artist Bob Landstrom From the Crates Inside the Arts

26 26 27 30 30 31

32 32 34 36 36

Focus on Education 20 Under 20 Atlanta Angels Hopebound Harlem Globe Trotters Education Briefs

38 47 50 52 54

On the Cover

Galloway School students Darren Chase and Ariana Jones are two of our 20 Under 20 honorees. Find out how they are giving back to the community in our special feature startin on page 38. Photo by Isadora Pennington.

town 3


Fasten your seatbelts; it’s going to be a bumpy year of politics Editor’s Letter

#1 Company in Intown

#1 Agent in Druid Hills Peggy Hibbert

SOLD • DRUID HILLS • $1,250,000


Peggy Hibbert Your Neighborhood Expert with Global Connections cell 404.444.0192 office 404.874.0300 Atlanta Fine Homes, LLC fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Each franchise is independently owned and operated. Source: TrendGraphix, year-to-date.

4 JANUARY 2022 |

If you’re like me and sick of politics, the next 11 months will surely make you want to reach for the Pepto. Collin The 2022 Georgia gubernatorial race is Kelley already shaping up to be a nasty, bruising has been editor of Atlanta Intown for affair with former GOP U.S. Sen. David almost two decades. Perdue and former Georgia representative He’s also an Vernon Jones primarying Brian Kemp award-winning poet to see who will face resurgent Democrat and novelist. Stacey Abrams. While the Republicans duke it out amongst themselves, that will give Abrams the opportunity to continue building on the Democratic gains seen in the 2020 election, which put Joe Biden in the White House and flipped the U.S. Senate. I’m not a betting man, but my money would be on Perdue vs. Abrams in November. Stay tuned. And then there’s Buckhead City. I’m not going to get into the carpetbagging, fearmongering, conspiracy theory-laden politics of it all, but as a concept, it’s seriously flawed. The comparisons to Sandy Springs and Brookhaven don’t hold water; both were unincorporated towns inside Fulton and DeKalb counties, not neighborhoods inside existing city limits. Just before this issue went to press, a website called the Midtown City Exploratory Committee went viral on Nextdoor. The website highlighted the absurdity of breakaway neighborhoods preferring the most extreme solution rather than working with Atlanta’s leadership on issues such as crime. The surely fictious Midtown City plan proposes roping in the Ansley Park, Morningside, and Virginia-Highland neighborhoods, which must make Piedmont Heights nervous. Imagine being a small neighborhood trapped between two upstart cities? Look, I get that Buckhead residents are unhappy about crime. I live in the heart of future Midtown City and the Citizen app on my phone is constantly alerting me to car break-ins, shots fired, and people brandishing various objects at each other a few feet from my home. I’m fed up with it like everyone else, and hope incoming Mayor Andre Dickens and the city council can work with police to tamp down crime, but never once I have thought Midtown should secede from Atlanta. Judging by comments on various social media platforms and statements from the new-to-Atlanta chairman of the cityhood movement, I’m not sure all the proponents of Buckhead City understand just what they would be getting. Their kids might not have access to public schools, since it would require an amendment to the state constitution to allow them to attend Atlanta Public Schools. Buckhead City residents would see an immediate increase – as much as 36% – in their water bills, plus higher taxes due to the cost of starting a city from scratch. There would likely be lawsuits galore from bond investors and a chilling effect on attracting more business to the metro and state due to instability. If Buckhead City becomes a reality, then every other neighborhood across the state in a fit of pique will be petitioning for a referendum. Once that genie is out of the bottle, you can’t put it back inside. As for crime, I’m not convinced Buckhead City having a couple hundred police officers would be more effective at suppressing crime than Atlanta’s plan to add more officers to beef up patrols. Unless there’s a plan to build a wall around the new municipality that supporters haven’t mentioned in the literature, criminals aren’t going to be paying any attention to the “Welcome to Buckhead City” signs. Buckhead City organizers got a head start in the PR game, but counter organizations like Committee for a United Atlanta, made up of business leaders, and the grassroots Neighbors for a United Atlanta have picked up momentum. If cityhood comes to a vote, my hope is that Buckhead residents understand exactly what’s on the bill of goods their being sold. To paraphrase Bette Davis: Fasten your seatbelts; 2022 is going to be a bumpy ride.

At l a n t a I n t o w n Pa p e r. c o m

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“To sum Molly up in three words, I would say authentic, energetic, and creative. I believe her genuine enthusiasm and marketing skills helped us to sell our home for maximum value because she cares deeply about her work and clients.”

Molly Carter Gaines REALTOR®

c. 404.542.3120 | o. 404.480.HOME | MOLLY@ANSLEYRE.COM 404.480.HOME | ANSLEYRE.COM | 952 PEACHTREE STREET, SUITE 100, ATLANTA, GA 30309 All data believed to be accurate but not warranted. If you have any existing brokerage relationship, this is not intended as a solicitation. Equal housing opportunity *Represented Buyer

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News � Features

The First Challenge Can new mayor Andre Dickens stop the Buckhead City effort?

By Amy Wenk


hen Andre Dickens is sworn in as Atlanta’s 61st mayor on Jan. 3, he will be tasked with reuniting a city that’s grappled with a violent

crime wave. On Jan. 10, the Georgia General Assembly kicks off its 2022 session, where a high-profile discussion is expected to ensue — the effort to break Buckhead off from Atlanta and form a new city. State Sen. Brandon Beach, R-Alpharetta, pre-filed a bill in November that could lead to the creation of “Buckhead City.” If approved by state legislators, a referendum would be placed on the November 2022 ballot asking Buckhead residents to vote on whether to incorporate. Cityhood supporters say an independent Buckhead would tackle crime issues by hiring its own police force. But opponents say that breaking off would be disastrous to Atlanta and the region, impacting its finances, education system, bond ratings and national reputation. Perhaps no prior Atlanta mayor has dealt with such a division in the city, said political expert Charles Bullock, the Richard B. Russell Chair in Political Science for University of Georgia’s School of Public & International Affairs. “Certainly, no mayor previously has faced this kind of threat,” he said. “That the city may lose a chunk of its population, its tax base … this is a very new challenge that he faces.”

6 JANUARY 2022 |

In addressing the Buckhead cityhood effort, Bullock said Dickens would likely make “a play for time,” meaning he would come in and ask for time to make impactful changes. “He can’t come in and flip a switch,” he said. Dickens may say “Give me a chance to see what I can do as a new chief executive,” Bullock said. “This might be an argument which would resonate well with some members of the legislature.” In fact, Dickens told CBS 46 the day after his victory that he would ask state leaders for some “runway.” “Give me 100 days, 120 days, to bring down the violent crime wave and to make sure city services are up and running at the level citizens deserve,” Dickens said. “Buckhead will see that we’ll make them safe, and I’ll hear them.” Dickens, who voiced his opposition to the cityhood movement throughout his campaign, said the proposed “divorce” of Atlanta and Buckhead would be “an unnecessarily expensive one for both spouses, and the children will be who will suffer the most” in reference to one study that shows a projected $230 million annual loss for Atlanta Public Schools. The Atlanta Board of Education formally voted to oppose Buckhead City during its December meeting. Bullock said Dickens’ broader strategy could be to repair relations with the state government. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has had a “frayed” relationship with Gov. Brian Kemp, he said. “Brian might be quite receptive to those kinds of overtures,” Bullock said. “If it’s good

Top, Andre Dickens, above, Bill White

for Atlanta, it’s probably good for the rest of the state. Atlanta is the huge economic driving force in the state.” Kemp has remained neutral on Buckhead, but he’s facing a primary challenge from former GOP Sen. David Perdue, who has endorsed a cityhood referendum, plus a strong challenge from Democrat Stacey Abrams. Dickens was in attendance at two meetings of anti-cityhood groups in December, Committee for a United Atlanta

and Neighbors for a United Atlanta, and told a group of Buckhead Realtors that he was “hyper focused on Buckhead” and halting the city’s crime wave. Opponents of the cityhood effort said they feel optimistic about Dickens’ leadership. “I am very confident that Andre Dickens is the leader Atlanta needs,” said Billy Linville, a spokesman for the Committee for a United Atlanta, an opposition group led by former state representative Edward Lindsey and attorney Linda Klein. “Addressing the rise in violent crime and keeping our city united are his top priorities. He will be meeting with Buckhead residents and business leaders to listen, learn, and lead. I think the entire city will unite behind Mayor Dickens and that our best days lie ahead.” Jim Durrett, executive director of the Buckhead Community Improvement District and president of the Buckhead Coalition, said Dickens is committed to “lead, listen and attack” the challenges facing Buckhead. “He has a great deal of energy and integrity, and I’m confident he will address the issues we all care about,” Durrett said in an email statement. “In regard to those who are pushing to break Atlanta apart, I urge the people to give Mayor Dickens a chance. Atlanta has always come together in times of need. And that’s what we must do today.” Another cityhood opponent, Kevin Green, president and CEO of the Midtown Alliance, said it’s “time to lock arms and work together to solve problems and improve people’s lives.” He said Dickens understands that addressing crime isn’t just about hiring more police officers. “It’s also investing in longneglected communities … and it’s working closely with Fulton County and the D.A.,” Green said. “It’s bringing people along in an intentional collaboration … as we move toward unified action on justice and justice reform. So, this is an ‘all of the above’ moment.” The Buckhead City Committee, the group spearheading the cityhood effort, is showing no signs of slowing down. In an email statement sent the day after the runoff, CEO and Chairman Bill White, the face of the movement, said the mayoral election made it “clear to the families of Buckhead that our priorities of safety, education, infrastructure and zoning are no longer aligned with those in Atlanta’s City Hall.” White added that voter turnout in Buckhead was at an all-time low. “Buckhead is ready to and will vote yes for its independence on November 8, 2022,” he said. Collin Kelley contributed to this report. At l a n t a I n t o w n Pa p e r. c o m



$130M+ IN SALES, 2021



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Atlanta Fine Homes, LLC fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Each franchise is independently owned and operated. Atlanta REALTORS® Association, Volume Sold, 2020.

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News RoundUp The City of Atlanta has hired its first violence reduction director, a key initiative of outgoing Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ $70 million plan to combat crime. Jacquel Clemons Moore is serving as director of the newly created Mayor’s Office of Violence Reduction.

The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) has a new executive director. The ARC’s board voted in December to appoint Anna Roach, Fulton County’s chief operating officer since 2017, to head the 11-county planning agency.

Former U.S. senator and gubernatorial candidate David Perdue has filed a lawsuit seeking to inspect 147,000 of Fulton County’s absentee ballots from the 2020 election in an ongoing attempt to find election fraud in Donald Trump’s loss to President Joe Biden.

Shepherd Center has filed plans for a major expansion that will add housing for its patients and their families. The project at 1860 Peachtree Road will add about 160 housing units, more than doubling the current housing provided by the rehabilitation hospital.

Reconnecting Atlanta The Stitch, Atlanta BeltLine get millions in federal grant funding By Collin Kelley The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) has awarded Atlanta a $900,000 planning grant for The Stitch, the city’s ambitious plan to cap part of the Downtown Connector with a park, and $16 million for the Atlanta BeltLine’s Southside Trail project. The Stitch would consist of 14 acres atop a platform spanning the I-75/I-85 Downtown Connector between the Civic Center MARTA Center at West Peachtree Street and Piedmont Avenue.

The transformative project would reconnect a portion of Downtown’s street grid broken by the interstate 70 years ago, provide a new greenspace, and spur transit-oriented development around the park, as well as affordable housing. The Stitch is not the only interstate capping project being floated for the city. The proposed Midtown Connector would stretch from 10th Street to North Avenue with a 25-acre park over the interstate, while the long-simmering park over Georgia 400 would provide new greenspace in Buckhead.

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Contact us to learn more: (404) 413 - 9308 • Nicotine patches and quitting advice are offered for free as part of this study. Participants must be at least 18 years old, smoke cigarettes, and be interested in quitting. • The study involves completing surveys that take up to 10 hours over about 6 months and coming to Georgia State University a few times over the course of the study. Some participants may also be asked to join online groups. It is being conducted by Dr. Claire Spears at Georgia State University (140 Decatur St. SE, Atlanta GA). Participants are paid for their time. • Participants will be paid for their time.

8 JANUARY 2022 |

The City of Atlanta Atlanta BeltLine Southside Trail and Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. were also awarded a $16.46 million RAISE grant from the USDOT for the construction of nearly two miles of the Southside Trail. The segment, which spans from Pittsburgh Yards in southwest Atlanta to Boulevard in the southeast, will be a big step for connecting the Westside and Eastside Trails. Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. A rendering of The Stitch. President and CEO Clyde Higgs said in a statement the organization was “incredibly appreciative to the USDOT and our congressional delegation for the recognition and support of the Atlanta BeltLine.” “This project is much more than public infrastructure,” Higgs continued. “With people at the forefront, the infrastructure investments like this one for BeltLine is improving connections to jobs, other vital transportation projects in Atlanta schools, and opportunities, enhancing equity and across our state.” and mobility, and fostering culture.” “This $16 million investment in the The RAISE grant will also leverage design BeltLine is going to substantially accelerate the and construction funding from the Special project and will help communities all around Service District and the Tax Allocation District Metro Atlanta,” Ossoff said. “When I was (TAD). The grant builds on $4 million in campaigning for the Senate, I made promises federal funding received earlier this year to deliver resources for the BeltLine, and I’m through the Atlanta Regional Commission keeping those promises.” Transportation Improvement Program. Construction is expected to get underway “When we connect our communities within approximately two years, following with pedestrian and bike trails, we provide the necessary preparations of brownfield a pathway for residents to enjoy local green remediation, utility relocation, and securing spaces and invest in small businesses,” said permits. Sen. Raphael Warnock, who helped secure the The 1.9-mile trail will include six ADAgrant along with colleague Sen. Jon Ossoff. access points, including ramps and retention “We bolster social and economic mobility for walls, and two enhanced at-grade crossings. The hardworking Georgians when we make strong total cost for construction of these segments federal investments in projects like the Atlanta of the Southside Trail is approximately $40 BeltLine, and I look forward to securing more million. At l a n t a I n t o w n Pa p e r. c o m


year after year! “Thank you for placing your trust in our expertise! In an ever evolving market, we are grateful to have helped over 80 clients celebrate a new year in their new home!” - ERIN

Atlanta real estate agent Erin Yabroudy knows what it takes to buy and sell homes in Atlanta’s premier neighborhoods. She has established herself as one of Atlanta’s top real estate agents. Erin continues to utilize her community connections and strong real estate experience to maintain her position at the forefront of the market.

ERIN YABROUDY | REALTOR® D: 404-504-7955 | O: 404-233-4142





CONNECT WITH US! @ErinYabroudyAndAssociates




BUCKHEAD OFFICE-532 EAST PACES FERRY ROAD, ATLANTA, GA 30305, 404.233.4142. HARRYNORMAN.COM The above information is believed to be accurate but not warranted. Offer subject to errors, changes, omissions, prior sales and withdrawals without notice. Equal Housing Opportunity. At l a n t a I n t o w n Pa p e r. c o m



Dr. Hogai Nassery with the IRC’s Fiona Freeman, Christopher Carpenter, Shannon McGuffey and Ayaz Ahmed








City moves to purchase, preserve Chattahoochee Brick Company site




By Collin Kelley



17A Film



15 10 JANUARY 2022 |




The Atlanta City Council approved a measure in December to purchase and protect the former Chattahoochee Brick Company property, notorious for its abuse of convict laborers forced to work on the site. Owned by former Atlanta Mayor James English, the brick company supplied material for the construction of houses and buildings in Atlanta after the Civil War. The factory relied on convict labor – mostly African American men – who endured inhumane The abandoned Chattahoochee Brick Company site. (Photos courtesy Georgia working conditions that Trust for Historic Preservation) often turned deadly. The property, located in northwest Atlanta on the banks of the Chattahoochee River and adjacent to Whittier Mill Park, was originally destined to become a fuel terminal for Norfolk Southern, which outraged the community. Through a partnership with The Conservation Fund, the property acquisition will restore greenspace and memorialize the historical significance of the site. The property was recently added to the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation’s “Places in Peril” list. “Our Administration has worked closely with The Conservation Fund and property owner, Lincoln Terminal Company, over the last several months to acquire the former site of the Chattahoochee Brick Company,” Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said in a statement. “It is our responsibility to protect the sanctity of this property and honor the thousands of victims who suffered and lost their lives on this land.” The property agreement will add 75 acres to the over 240 acres of greenspace protected with the help of The Conservation Fund. The City of Atlanta and The Conservation Fund have partnered in other property acquisitions before, notably the Lake Charlotte Nature Preserve purchase in 2019.

At l a n t a I n t o w n Pa p e r. c o m

MLK Day events, observances happening in January


By Collin Kelley Martin Luther King Jr. Day will be observed Jan. 17 and local organizations will honor the civil rights leader’s legacy with programs, volunteer events, and an annual 5K run. These were the events announced at press time, so be sure to visit for additional MLK Day events. The King Center The King Center in Sweet Auburn will host a series of events beginning Jan. 10 and concluding with the annual commemorative service at Ebenezer Baptist Church. There will be a number of virtual events including summits on teaching nonviolence to youth, a global community summit, youth book reading, service projects, and the Beloved Community Awards. Gymnast Simone Biles will be presented with the Yolanda D. King Higher Ground Award during the ceremony. For a full schedule of events, visit the MLK Days of Service Hands On Atlanta is organizing 75 community service projects from Jan. 13-17 as part of its observance of MLK Day. The nonprofit will partner with The King Center, National Center for Civil and Human Rights, Morehouse College, The Atlanta History Center, and Points of Light for an MLK Day collective that will feature special events Jan. 10-20. Some of those events including clothing drive, a human rights film festival, wheelchair restoration project, creating food-producing garden, and much more. Visit for more details. MLK Day 5K Drum Run The annual 5K race will be held Jan. 17 starting at 9 a.m. at First Baptist Church of Doraville, 5935 New Peachtree Road, across the street from the Doraville MARTA station. This 5K walk/ run will take place entirely on New Peachtree Road. The FLAT & FAST out & back USATF certified racecourse and Peachtree Road Race qualifier will have a 3.1-mile drumline all along the course. To register, visit

Spring special election for TSPLOST renewal, infrastructure bond By Collin Kelley The Atlanta City Council approved a resolution in December calling for a referendum in spring to renew the Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (TSPLOST). The renewal of the sales tax would address more than $3 billion in infrastructure needs over the next 20 years. If voters renew the TSPLOST, the city will have an estimated $350 million over five years to invest in Atlanta’s transportation infrastructure, including funding for streets, sidewalks and bridges. One of the big ticket items would be expanding and repairing Atlanta’s crumbling sidewalks with a price-tag of $102 million. Voters will also decide on a $400 million infrastructure bond to provide funding to replace and expand public safety facilities, recreation facilities, parks and greenspace, and the arts. At l a n t a I n t o w n Pa p e r. c o m

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Timmy Daddy

It’s early December and my back pain is right on schedule. The weekend after Thanksgiving I fished out the Christmas Tim Sullivan decorations from my 3-foot-high storage Tim Sullivan grew up nemesis to make merry around the house. It’s a in a large family in the tradition that I question year after year because Northeast and now lives with his small of the time it requires and the toll on my body. family in Oakhurst. He But there must be just enough time passing on can be reached at the calendar to render me nostalgic for the ritual tim@sullivanfinerugs. because I just can’t quit the Christmas crazy. com. As a kid I assigned tremendous meaning to the holiday trinkets that I can only guess were purchased at Sears. The re-discovery of these gems each year was magical. Then again, the bar for magic might have been set pretty low. It took years for my siblings and I to convince our mother to get an Advent calendar with chocolate inside. We then watched as the chosen child of the night would savor a thin, chocolate wafer. My kids are into it, too. Elliott quickly donned a Santa hat and helped me haul the boxes up the stairs. Hindsight is 20/20 but I can’t believe I didn’t have him and his young back drag all the stuff out of storage. Older yet no wiser, I am. He helped unpack until he became pre-occupied with the Jazz Santa that plays “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” on the saxophone. Margo fancies herself a Christmas aestheticist and contributes to the effort by telling me what I’m doing wrong. She came home from Target with a 6-foot-tall Buddy the Elf inflatable. Obviously, this detracts from my more tasteful woodland animal decorations, snowflake lights and antique Flexible Flyer sled. But arguing makes me look like Burgermeister Meisterburger so I set Buddy opposite the Holly tree from Santa. The bushes had grown in so much that he could barely be seen from the street. Honestly, this was fine with me but being ensconced in the Christmas spirit I grabbed the hedge trimmer and got to pruning as the sun went down. And damn if those green extension cords don’t blend right in. I don’t think I was electrocuted – probably not. Perhaps my aching back masked whatever pain is normally associated with electrocution. In the time I spent re-attaching a top hat and scarf to the cheeky Christmas fox, my neighbor Jeff completed the entirety of his outdoor display. Four big wreaths and a couple of potted trees, all artificial, pre-lit, festive and brilliantly simple. I was jealous. This year he added a 7-foot nutcracker by his front door which honestly could double as a terrifying Halloween display, but the point is he was done in about 15 minutes. Why can’t I just be like Jeff? The following weekend I panicked after visiting three places and realizing Christmas tree selections were slim. I need a big, full tree because, well, I’m a tree snob but also because we have a bazillion ornaments to hang. Stop number four was a winner though. It was a big box store but I’m not saying which one because then you’ll all beat me there next year. Only snafu was that the trees were clumsily stored in a bin and the self-serve option wasn’t for the weak. I found a good one and started hauling it towards the front when my back buckled. I fell to my knees in anguish and questioned everything in my life that had led me to this point. Through clenched teeth I fended off other would-be buyers from my beautiful tree that now lay in the aisle and managed to get a service member’s attention. In that moment it occurred to me that like our inflatable Will Ferrell, I am also 6-feet-tall with curly hair and that from a distance it might look to the neighbors like me – dressed as an elf, hiding in the bushes, and smiling like a maniac. |

Atlanta Fine Homes, LLC fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Each franchise is independently owned and operated.

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Over $50 Million in 2021 Total Sales T H A N K


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1 0 0 We s t Pa c e s Fe r r y R o a d | A t l a n t a , G A 3 0 3 0 5 Information believed accurate, but not warranted. E q u a l H o u s i n g O p p o r t u n i t y.

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Retail � Projects � Profiles

SPARK Innovation Lab to aid small businesses opens in Sweet Auburn By Collin Kelley


weet Auburn Works has unveiled SPARK Innovation Lab, focused on helping reimagine retail in the heart of the Sweet Auburn Historic District. Presented in collaboration with Bank of America and the Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD), the SPARK Innovation Lab provides existing small business owners in the district, as well as those who intend to establish a business there, with targeted technical assistance, funding, and community support. “We aim for shopping in the Sweet

Auburn Historic District to become as coveted an Atlanta experience as visiting the Jackson Street Bridge, Oakland Cemetery or the Atlanta BeltLine,” said LeJuano Varnell,

Executive Director of Sweet Auburn Works. Housed in revitalized retail space in the historic Odd Fellows Building at 228 Auburn Ave., the SPARK Innovation Lab is a hybrid office/retail test concept space to enhance the local retail experience with a focus on preservation, revitalization and promotion of Sweet Auburn.

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“We are thrilled to welcome the city to shop, dine and play in the heart of Sweet Auburn,” said Varnell. “We want to offer a truly authentic customer experience by shopping our array of local makers and vendors while getting a sneak peek of our visionary future of a reimagined retail corridor.” The SPARK Innovation Lab was born out of Sweet Auburn Works’ vision, Bank of America’s commitment to fund that vision, and SCAD’s new multidisciplinary course, GOOD 560 Design for Good. The Innovation Lab directly supports the mission of SCAD SERVE, the university’s service design studio that empowers the SCAD community to listen to the needs of its neighbors and local leaders, and to envision meaningful design solutions that improve quality of life in the university’s hometowns of Atlanta and Savannah. Bank of America announced earlier this year that it will provide grants of up to $25,000 per business to local entrepreneurs of color as part of its commitment to Sweet Auburn Works. The grant is part of Bank of America’s $1.25 billion, five-year commitment to advance racial equality and economic opportunity, which includes support to minority entrepreneurs. Sweet Auburn Works is committed to preserving, promoting and revitalizing the commercial and cultural legacy of the Sweet Auburn Historic District. The SPARK Innovation Lab is one of many programs instituted to realize this vision. In addition to SCAD’s commitment to Sweet Auburn Works, the university is also working directly with Sweet Auburn Bread Company to rebrand this Atlanta institution and favorite of former President Bill Clinton and Food Network Star Rachael Ray. The SPARK launch comes on the heels of the National Park Service issuing a report indicating that Sweet Auburn has lost nearly half of its historic buildings since being designated a National Historic Landmark in 1976. Sweet Auburn was considered the hub of African American prosperity during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It birthed some of the nation’s most successful Black businesses and contributed to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s formative development. At l a n t a I n t o w n Pa p e r. c o m

Start Spec speculative office part of reimagined Piedmont Center By Collin Kelley The Ardent Companies has announced Start Spec, a speculative office program at Piedmont Center, the two millionsquare-foot, Class-A campus that spans 14 buildings in Buckhead. Interested companies will be able to choose from several flexible, creative offices paces, ranging from 2,200 to more than 7,000 square feet at the site located at 3525 Piedmont Road. The first phase of Start Spec encompasses eight office spaces, each offering a unique architectural feature, such as wood ceiling tiles or jewel box conference spaces. Companies can furnish the space themselves or select a turnkey option.

Tenants will also have access to a 144-seat auditorium, 30,000 square feet of WiFi-enabled outdoor space, state-of-the art fitness centers, on-site cafes, dedicated rideshare pickup zones, a Relay Bike Share station. and more. The campus is surrounded by a 1.2mile nature trail, bridge connections, and links to adjacent properties are planned to enhance walkability to nearby housing, retail, and restaurants. Start Spec is part of

Ardent’s ongoing transformation of Piedmont Center into a mixed-use destination. Ardent began its investment into Piedmont Center in 2016, completing its acquisition of all 14 buildings in June 2021. “As we continue to make strides in revitalizing the campus into an amenity-rich destination, we’re confident the reimagined Piedmont Center will not only serve our diverse tenant mix, but also the entire Buckhead community,” said Mike Guynn, managing director with Ardent. For more information,

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▲Semiconductor manufacturer Micron Technology, Inc. will open a state-of-the-art memory design center in Midtown. The new center, set to open in January, will include offices, a data center, and research and development operations. The design center is expected to create 500 new jobs. Although the location of the site was not included in the media release, the space will have 93,000-square-feet. Individuals interested in career opportunities with Micron are encouraged to visit for additional information. The State of Georgia is the largest grant recipient from tech conglomerate Meta’s investment of $100 million in Black-owned small businesses, creators, and nonprofits serving the Black community. Meta’s

Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg announced during a round of virtual events in December that more than 1,400 Black-owned small businesses in Georgia each received $4,000 grants. Formerly known as Facebook, Meta’s investment in Georgia totals more than $5.6 million. Atlanta-based BK International Education Consultancy and Agape Gems were the local grantees.

in the lobby; large fitness area and pool; 2,600 square feet of meeting space; and proximity to Microsoft’s new eastern U.S. headquarters. The Interlock has announced that margarita bar Guac y Margys and payment processing firm SpeedChain are joining the lineup at the mixed-use center in West Midtown. Both are expected to open later this year.

Tech repair provider uBreakiFix by Asurion is now open in Midtown at 860 Peachtree St. offering professional repair services for almost anything with a power button, from smartphones, tablets, and computers to game consoles, smart speakers, and drones. For more information, to view a service menu, or to book a repair appointment, visit ubreakifix. com/locations/midtownatlanta. The Thompson Buckhead is now open in Buckhead, marking the hotel brand’s entry into the Atlanta market.The 10-story hotel, located on East Paces Ferry Road just a few blocks from the upscale shops of the Buckhead Village, has 201 rooms and amenities including a private rooftop club called Tesserae, exclusive to hotel guests and invited members. HipFit – a high intensity, low impact pilates studio – is now open inside the Training Room, 742 Ponce de Leon Place, on the Atlanta BeltLine Eastside Trail. The low impact workout is designed to reduce the risk of injury and is for all levels of fitness. Eyewear brand Warby Parker is open at Ponce City Market offering eye exams, full sun and optical eyewear collections, and its own brand of daily contact lenses.

▲Embassy Suites Atlanta Midtown and accompanying restaurant, Brickstone’s, are now open across from Atlantic Station. The 181-key hotel offers amenities such as suites with a private kitchenette and separate living room area; an Instagram-worthy “green wall”


Atlanta’s “Hollywood South” reputation continues to pay dividends as another movie studio is coming to the metro. A 17-acre site near Stone Mountain will be the site of Electric Owl Studios, which will include a six-stage, purpose-built 300,000-square-foot film studio. The studio plans to be the only LEED Gold-certified film and television campus in the world. Following a successful venture at Third Rail Studios, Capstone’s Michael Hahn and film industry veteran Dan Rosenfelt have partnered with Domain’s Chuck Taylor and Alex Lacher to lead the development and operations of the innovative studio. The campus should be ready for productions in early 2023.

After opening Guardian Studios this summer and signing agreements with 13 local artists, Lincoln Property Company has announced plans for a second phase that expands the number of studio spaces to 17 at Echo Street West, the 19-acre mixed-use village rising in English Avenue. Throughout the next phase, Lincoln will continue to partner with Black Women in Visual Art (BWVA), a local minority and women-led arts advocacy group, to manage the studio rentals and curate exhibits. Guardian Studios will also introduce a complete ceramics studio equipped with kilns and pottery wheels. To learn more about BWVA, including updates on Guardian Studios, available studio

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▲American ready-to-wear women’s brand Veronica Beard has opened its first store in Atlanta at Buckhead Village. Founded in 2010 by sisters-in-law Veronica Miele Beard and Veronica Swanson Beard, the brand began as a single rack of dickey jackets has now expanded into a full lifestyle collection, including dresses, tops, jeans, outerwear, shoes, swim and more.

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Recycling � Resources � Lifestyle

The next governor needs balance, diversity on environmental board



Above the Water Line Sally Bethea Sally Bethea is the retired executive director of Chattahoochee Riverkeeper and an environmental and sustainability advocate.


his year’s gubernatorial race in Georgia is shaping up to be a doozy with former Sen. David Perdue challenging incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp in the Republican primary set to take place in late May. The winner of that match will take on Stacey Abrams – voting rights activist, lawyer, and former minority leader in the

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Georgia House – on Nov. 8. Among the important issues that will likely be debated this year – from health care, jobs and crime to immigration and education – there is one issue that, unfortunately, may not get much attention: the environment. Yet, clean water and air, land protection, and strategies to combat climate change are critical issues that affect our health, our families, and our communities today and in the future. Whoever is chosen in November to reside in the Governor’s mansion will play a major role in shaping environmental policies and investments in Georgia for the next four or eight years. Nineteen people – members of the Georgia Board of Natural Resources – make policy decisions that affect you, your family, and your property, yet this group is not well-known to the general public. Board members typically serve at least one lengthy

term of seven years and, importantly, do so at the pleasure of the governor who appointed them. For the past eighteen years, Republican governors have installed individuals, usually major campaign donors, on this consequential board The Republican party, in Georgia at least, is not known to be pro-environment – quite the opposite in fact. Since 2005 – when both the Georgia House and Senate became Republican majorities for the first time since Reconstruction – the Republican leadership has largely been controlled by anti-environment interests, making efforts to protect the water we drink and the air we drink difficult, if not impossible, to achieve. There are sixteen white men, two white women, and one non-white man on the current Board of Natural Resources – people who look nothing like our growing, diversifying state. Nor do they exhibit much concern (that I have observed) for the plight of underserved communities that are disproportionately affected by pollution. Also unacceptable is the fact that these board members have little background or meaningful job experience in natural resource management, environmental science, regional planning, or other relevant fields of study. Examples of the sort of issues that might show up on the board’s monthly agendas include: whether or not hazardous sites near your home and business must remove all contaminants; whether industries must monitor and report all of the pollutants in their wastewater discharges and/or air emissions; whether studies must be conducted to evaluate impacts of climate change on all state residents and actions taken to reduce those impacts; and whether invasive mining will be allowed to impact spectacular natural areas like the Okefenokee Swamp. While federal laws thankfully govern many aspects of environmental protection at the state level, there remain a number of areas related to our water, air, land and wildlife in which board members have the authority and responsibility to make decisions on behalf of more than ten million Georgians. I know something about this board

because, in 1999, I was appointed to serve on it by then Gov. Roy Barnes, Georgia’s last Democrat governor. Barnes had campaigned on a promise to diversify the board – long dominated by monied interests and campaign donors, almost exclusively male and white. Being female and an environmentalist, he apparently thought I would bring some of his promised diversity. Barnes also appointed former Lt. Gov. Pierre Howard, a conservationist, in his effort to bring much-needed balance to the Board. When we joined the board, there were several other conservation-minded individuals already serving; however, our perspective and, most importantly, our collective votes were nearly always in the minority. I was reappointed to the board by a Republican named Sonny Perdue in 2006, during his second campaign for governor; he had won over Barnes in an upset election in 2002 and was running again in 2006. Once Perdue was “safely” in office, I was unceremoniously removed from the board by Republican leadership in the Senate: an unpleasant story to be told another time. The other – few – conservation-minded board members were already gone when I was dismissed, having not been reappointed or otherwise disposed of. Elections matter. Whoever wins the gubernatorial race this November will fill seats on the Georgia Board of Natural Resources, as they become available. No one that I’m aware of has suggested that this board should be filled solely with scientists, planners, and environmental advocates. Balanced representation is what we have been seeking for decades—people with diverse backgrounds, relevant skills, and broad experiences – instead of the Big Business and real estate development interests (almost always represented by white males) that have dominated the board for decades. Will our next governor continue the “tradition” of stacking the board with people whose interests are largely financially selfserving, or will he/she appoint individuals who will make the best environmental policy decisions for all Georgians, based on science, facts, justice, and equality?

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Two acres of Waterworks Park set to reopen after 25-year closure

support for the reopening, as did Mayor-elect Andre Dickens. Friends of Waterworks has advocated returning the land to the public for more than decade. “Friends of Waterworks is grateful to the Upper Westside Improvement District for taking the lead on moving the fences back,” said Friends of Waterworks co-chair Chris LeCraw. “Opening the hilltop has been a successful public, private and philanthropic effort, and we hope to continue to grow our relationship with Watershed to open even more of the Waterworks.” In 2018, UWID and Friends of Waterworks were instrumental in transforming fourand-a-half acres on the northwest corner of Northside Drive and 17th Street into public greenspace. In June, Park Pride awarded a $100,000 legacy grant to create a waterthemed learning landscape and amphitheater on the site. Residents, business leaders and planners have identified the waterworks campus as a solution to the lack of greenspace, which is reflected in local planning documents, including the Upper Westside masterplan. Work was expected to begin at The Hill in December, with accessible sidewalks and a crosswalk at intersection of Howell Mill and 17th Street.


By Collin Kelley Two acres of greenspace around the Atlanta City Water Works’ Hemphill Reservoir will reopen next year offering visitors sweeping views of Buckhead, Midtown, and Downtown. Fenced off in 1996 due to terrorism concerns during the Summer Olympics, “The Hill” will once again be open to the public. As one of the highest points in the city, the park at the corner of Howell Mill Road and 17th Street will be perfect for picnics and Instagram-worthy moments. Upper Westside Improvement District (UWID) and Friends of Waterworks have been negotiating with the Atlanta Department of Watershed Management for five years to get the fences pushed back and the park reopened to the public. “Upper Westside Improvement District has never given up on the effort to open the reservoir grounds,” said UWID Executive Director Elizabeth Hollister. “The residents and the businesses tell us they want more parks in the Howell Mill – Marietta area, and we have a huge, magnificent space which was once open to everyone and will be again.” The city determined it could maintain safe water treatment operations while opening some of the former parkland. Atlanta City Councilman Dustin Hillis also voiced his

Minority-owned electric car company, Derek Automotive Technologies, has opened its first Experience Center showroom at Atlantic Station. The 3,000-square-foot space at 232 19th St., Suite 7130, is the first brick-and-mortar location for the automotive company, allowing customers touch the brand and to fully customize available models. At the showroom, guests can purchase and customize various products, including the Avani Pure SUV, the company’s fully electric model, plus electric scooters and bikes, as well as a line of lifestyle products. Founder Derek Bailey said the company is currently developing a new gas-to-electric hybrid model titled ‘Proteus’, which will be available for purchase in late 2022. Find out more at The Georgia Water Coalition released its Clean 13 report for 2021 highlighting individuals, businesses, industries, non-profit organizations, and governmental agencies whose efforts have led to cleaner rivers. Locally, Georgia Audubon and Southern Conservation Trust were recognized for a joint project at Sams Lake Bird Sanctuary in Fayette County, while Atlanta retailer Patagonia was recognized for its environmental advocacy efforts. To see the full report, visit Atlanta Ballet dancer Keaton Leier has teamed up with other professional ballet dancers to launch the Artists Climate Collective (ACC), a non-profit that unites artists across North America in the fight against climate change. ACC said in a statement that it “hopes to use our tools and abilities to support climate activists pushing this cause forward by donating the profits from our projects to their on the ground, community driven, and socially responsible organizations.” Find out morea at artistsclimatecollective. org.



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Trends � Development � City Living

No Slowing Down Intown housing market expected to stay robust in 2022 will outpace 2021, according to reports reviewed by Valerie Levin, Managing Broker, Senior Vice President, Berkshire Valerie Levin Hathaway HomeServices Georgia. “So many people have moved here from California and New York City because of the opportunity, hospitality and easy living.” Levin said that listings priced at fair market value are subject to multiple offers and selling for thousands over list price. “My heart goes out to the buyers in this market as well as the agents representing them. They are working harder than ever to service their clients.”

More homes needed

By Kathy Dean


o matter who you talk to in Atlanta real estate, they’re looking forward to a strong 2022 – and with good reason. The BeltLine and Westside Park are attracting homebuyers, the city is drawing new industry, and housing remains comparably affordable. All current signs point to 2022 being another good year for real estate in Atlanta,” said Carolyn Carolyn Calloway Calloway, Senior Marketing Consultant, Harry Norman Realtors Buckhead Office. “Contributing to this positive outlook is the continued imbalance of supply and demand. Inventory remains historically low, and buyer demand is fueled by low interest

20 JANUARY 2022 |

rates.” Atlanta is the No. 7 metro in the U.S. for net migration, and the pace of growth for Atlanta is currently third in the country, she said. “Combine those factors with good employment opportunities and we should see continued strong interest in home ownership which will support a strong housing market in 2022.” Avery McMahon, Senior Vice President – Managing Broker, The Harry Norman, Realtors Intown Office Avery McMahon anticipates that the market will stay hot for a very long time. “Though our home prices are continuing to increase, we are still an affordable city compared to other major markets,” she said. She reported that Atlanta prices

increased 21.2% year-over-year (YOY) in September, according to the latest S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices, breaking the previous record annual gain of 20.8% set in April 2013. “Now is still a good time to buy because prices are going up, and it’s a great time to sell as well. I personally did both in 2021!” McMahon added. Jason Cook, Agent, Ansley Real Estate, is also optimistic. “People are moving here from other places in the country. Atlanta is still a good deal, as far as the housing Jason Cook market,” he said. “Our city is drawing a lot of people and companies from around the country. People from New York or California don’t blink at a $1 million price tag for a home, which is great for us.” The 2022 real estate market in Atlanta

Intown real estate professionals all have the same wish for the new year: more homes available to their buyers. According to Patti Junger, Realtor / Associate Broker, Dorsey Alston Realtors, a lack of inventory will continue to be a problem in 2022. “New listings are down 5.2% year-to-date in metro Atlanta, Patti Junger while the number of sales is up nearly 20%,” she said. The trend is holding across every submarket, including Buckhead, Intown and Sandy Springs. “We currently have less than two months of inventory in almost every submarket in metro Atlanta, where six months of inventory is considered a balanced market,” Jungers added. This indicates that 2022 will be a seller’s market as low inventory pushes prices upward. Bill Murray, Senior Vice President / Managing Broker, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Georgia Properties Buckhead Office, also stressed the low level At l a n t a I n t o w n Pa p e r. c o m

of inventory. “The First Multiple Listing Service (FMLS) reports the November level at 1.3 months; that’s down from Bill 1.5 months in Murray July,” he said. He added that the Average Days on Market has been at 10 days or less since February 2021 and is reported as eight days for November 2021. Closed sales have continued down since August, too. All of this is fueled by Atlanta’s low inventory, Murray explained. “A big problem is that the largest buying segment is first-time homebuyers,” he said. When first-time homebuyers

purchase a property, they remove it from the existing inventory without adding anything. Retirees looking to downsize, on the other hand, usually add to the inventory by selling their previous home.

Hot spots In addition to the BeltLine and Westside Park, other areas are drawing homebuyers. “We think anything around the BeltLine will continue to be hot this year. Summerhill, obviously, but that is spilling into Chosewood Park and Mechanicsville,” said Angie Ponsell. She and Shannon Parkerson are Realtors with Ponsell Luxury Group, Keller Williams. “We are continuing to see big mixed development projects such as The Commons in East Point. The Kourtney at Yates Road south

of the airport will be a 55+ community with retail and wellness services, and a residential component is being added to The Works on the Upper Westside,” added Parkerson. Buckhead’s luxury condo market is also bringing in new projects such as The Dillion, planned for the Peachtree Battle Area. “Of course, Intown is still extra hot, with neighborhoods like Morningside,

Angie Ponsell and Shannon Parkerson

Buckhead, Ansley Park, Virginia Highland, Inman Park and Old Fourth Ward,” Cook said. “Intown, which is mainly my market, has some condo developments in the works, and they’re more high-end.” He named The Roycroft as an example. “The Tri-Cities Area: East Point, College Park and Hapeville is growing faster than we can keep up! This area is still relatively affordable and the access to the airport cannot be beat,” said McMahon. She recommends keeping an eye on The Commons, an $111 million development in East Point with commercial, retail, residential, greenspace and public art. Levin said that one of her favorites is “the award-winning Trilith development in Fayetteville designed for the film and creative industries which continues to boom in Georgia.”

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Your Next Home Could Be In… Vinings

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By Collin Kelley Where is it? Just across the Chattahoochee River in Cobb County and adjacent to Buckhead. It’s a 20-minute drive from Downtown. What’s the history? The town was originally called Crossroads and then Paces, after ferry operator Hardy Pace who ran his boats back and forth across the Chattahoochee in the area. In the 1840s, the Atlantic and Western Chattahoochee River Railroad installed track to connect Atlanta to Chattanooga and one of its assistant engineers, William H. Vining, led the team laying track and building a critical bridge. The depot was named Vining’s Station in his honor, and it stuck. What about leisure, shopping, and dining? Along with its prime location along the river for fishing, picnicking, and exploring, the popular Silver Comet Trail passes Vinings for your hiking, walking, and biking pleasure. Busy Cumberland Mall is adjacent to Vinings and there’s also Vinings Jubilee has shops like Banana Republic, Talbots, Loft, and Fab’rik and plenty of restaurants to choose from like Another Broken Egg, Mellow Mushroom, Stockyard Burgers & Bones, and Café at Pharr. Big concerts and shows are regularly staged at Cobb Energy Centre.

Modern home in Vinings

How much are homes? Anywhere from $250,000 for a condo or townhome to well over $3 million for a singlefamily home. Townhomes in Vinings

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As his first term begins, Dickens draws affordable housing roadmap It’s unclear, however, where Dickens intends to find “renewable sources” to channel another $10 million a year toward housing Andre Dickens doesn’t want to be initiatives. “Yeah, we’ve got to find them,” he compared to Keisha Lance Bottoms, but the said, noting that Atlanta’s new tax on shortnew mayor doesn’t have much choice. As Dickens takes over from Bottoms this month, term rental properties could be one source. “I’ve got to work with the city council he’ll be charged with navigating the pandemic, to determine where all the short-term rental fighting crime, and pulling Atlanta out of money is going to an affordable go,” Dickens said. housing crisis “I suppose they – a daunting will be excited checklist that his to hear I want predecessor has to put some of it been chipping toward housing.” away at for years. Dickens While also envisions crime, policing, a new $250 and battling million housing COVID-19 opportunity stole the bond. To service spotlight during the bond debt, he election season, said, “I think we conversations have some TADs on housing that may see their affordability all end of life.” but fell by the Dickens wayside. Dickens Andre Dickens inspects was referring to says he aims affordable housing for police Tax Allocation to change that cadets in English Avenue. Districts, which when he’s sworn are designated in. areas where property tax revenue is used for “I’m just going to do it,” Dickens said local improvements. “Two of them will close in an interview with Atlanta Civic Circle. “I in my term, the Atlantic Station TAD and the don’t care about who did what, so I’m not Princeton Lakes TAD,” he said, referencing going to rate [Bottoms’] performance. We’re districts where TAD benefits will soon expire. going to be aggressive on housing. It won’t be “Eventually, there are some larger TADs a secondary issue—it’s going to be primary.” that we’ll close up,” he said. “Those dollars Although Dickens has promised the city can then be utilized to pay the debt service on will produce and preserve 20,000 affordable this $250 million bond, which will benefit the units over his potentially two terms as mayor whole city, not just those areas.” – a pledge Bottoms also made on the 2017 Boosting intown housing affordability campaign trail – he’s not marrying that also requires changes to how the city can be commitment to a dollar figure. developed – something the city planning Bottoms’ commitment came with a plan department’s ongoing zoning code rewrite to invest $1 billion toward building those aims to accomplish. affordable homes. To date, the city has routed Last month, the city council’s zoning almost $600 million to affordable housing, committee effectively shot down the initial but that financing has only propelled the legislation that would update the zoning code, construction and restoration of about 7,000 a proposal by Councilmember Amir Farokhi units. that would have allowed more dense and “I’m not going off of monetary amounts,” diverse housing development at historically Dickens said. “I’m going off the number of single-family properties. units that we build.” The timing wasn’t right for that legislation, “Dollars are a moving target in an Dickens said. “It came during an election with escalating economy,” he added. “The cost a whole bunch of people on the ballot that led of housing continues to go up, so I’m just to a whole bunch of runoffs in a time where thinking about units and people.” we’re dealing with a lot of other stuff.” Dickens said he’s been talking with local Farokhi’s proposal also wasn’t well received housing leaders over the past few months – by most of the city’s 25 neighborhood including officials at the city’s public housing planning units, because some members saw authority – “about my priorities and how fast allowing additional density as a threat to we need to move.” Urgency is the name of the game, Dickens single-family communities. “It didn’t travel the right way across the said, pointing to his goal of fast-tracking the city,” Dickens said of the legislation. “And I’m development of languishing Atlanta Housing (AH) sites, especially the Atlanta Civic Center. not blaming [City Planning Commissioner] Tim Keane or Farokhi, but I also know that None of these goals can be realized, there was a significant amount of unreadiness though, without financial support. One that didn’t even have to do with the actual element of his funding plan materialized on merit of the paper.” Monday, when the Atlanta City Council Dickens, who lives in a single-family approved the creation of an affordable housing trust fund that, once fully effective, will utilize home, said he wouldn’t be irked if a neighbor decided to build an accessory dwelling unit, a full 2% of the city’s general fund annually – such as a tiny home in the backyard, but about $14 million. Dickens co-sponsored the many residents didn’t fully understand the legislation. By Sean Keenan

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legislation’s potential benefits. “I just think that [legislation] was ahead of schedule,” he said. “We didn’t have enough time to explain it, so that the public can get a true reaction to it.” But some of Dickens’ affordable housing dreams can only come to fruition with support from other governments. For instance, housing experts have long called for reforming the way commercial properties are appraised and taxed by metro Atlanta counties, which could raise additional tax

revenue for affordable housing. Dickens said he’ll use his bully pulpit as mayor to encourage Fulton County to consider such changes. “I see that as something we really have to dig into, because if commercial properties are undertaxed, that tax comes at the expense of all the city services like public safety, Parks and Rec, even our schools,” he said. “So yes, this is not the newest conversation on the block, but it’s one that’s going to be repeated. It’s going to happen.” Atlanta Intown has partnered with nonprofit news organization Atlanta Civic Circle ( to bring our readers more in-depth coverage about the critical issue of affordable housing in the city.

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It’s time for delightful winter blooms, tree planting and garden cleanup The Environmental Gardener Erica Glasener is the Community Involvement and Events Manager for the Piedmont Park Conservancy. She also serves on the advisory board for Trees Atlanta.

While winter is not typically a time we think of for blooms, there are a few winter flowers I always look forward to including some of the camellias, snowdrops, and Japanese flowering apricot (Prunus mume). I was first charmed by Snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis) when I lived in Pennsylvania and brought some with me when I moved to Atlanta many years ago. While they didn’t persist in my garden I have since added more and am rewarded with a few sparse blooms every year. These tiny hardy bulbs are best to transplant “in the green.” In other words, if you know someone that has snowdrops growing in their garden and they are willing to share, move them while they have their foliage. There is a small clump that grow in my neighborhood in a patch of ivy (please note I don’t recommend planting English ivy) next to the sidewalk. Seeing them pop into bloom always brings a smile to my face. Japanese flowering apricot (Prunus mume) is a medium-sized tree that blooms in January to February in Atlanta. While it produces small fruits that are edible, they are not known to be tasty. It is the fragrant flowers on green stems that make this plant garden worthy. There are selections with pink, magenta and white flowers, both single and double. While I am admittedly a lover of trees during every season, in January I appreciate their spare beauty, whether I’m hiking in the north Georgia woods or strolling through Piedmont Park. This month is a great time to plant trees in Atlanta. Before you get out your shovel, it’s ideal to know what type of tree or trees you will plant and the best technique for planting. It also is important to plant the right tree in the right place. This will help ensure that your tree thrives. If you took photos throughout the year of trees you admired, this is a good place to begin. It’s also worth noting that you don’t have to start with large trees. A container-grown tree (usually a 15- or 30-gallon) is easier to manage than a large balled and burlapped tree. It will also catch up in a few years with trees that are of a larger size when they are planted. White oak (Quercus alba) is a fantastic tree for numerous reasons, but it need lots

24 JANUARY 2022 |

but only as deep as the container. It should be dug like a cereal bowl -- flat on the bottom, with sides of the hole that flare. of space and is ideal where a specimen tree is called for. This is true for most of our native oaks as well as hickories and tulip poplar. All of these are large canopy trees. Understory trees are smaller and include redbuds, fringe trees, dogwoods and Amelanchier species (also known as serviceberry or shadblow).

Tips for Planting Trees Atlanta has a great video that is worth watching in its entirety on “How to plant a tree.” The link is resources. It covers in detail the steps listed below. ■ Preparing the hole. Remove any grass, mulch or weeds before you dig the hole. The planting hole needs to be twice as wide as the container in which the tree is growing

■ Preparing the root ball. Often the roots are wrapped tightly around the soil ball. Use a hand cultivator to loosen them. Expose the root flare (the part of the tree at the base where it transitions to the root system, occurring at the surface level of the soil). The soil should reach this level when the tree is placed in the hole. ■ Backfilling the hole. Once you have placed the tree in the hole, fill with soil that you dug out, making sure there are no air pockets. It should be firm, but still allow water to get to the roots. ■ Building a berm. Once the tree is planted, use the excess soil to create a berm of soil that surrounds the tree. It should start at the periphery of the root ball and be at least 4 inches high and about 8 inches wide. This forms a basin to catch water that will then get to the tree roots easily.

■ Mulching. Add 2 to 3 inches of mulch. This insulates the roots, protects the tree from lawn mowers and helps suppress weeds. Keep the root flare exposed and keep a wide area around the trunk where no mulch touches the trunk. ■ Watering. Once the tree is planted, water it well. This helps the roots and the tree get established. The water should stay inside the berm. Two large buckets of water applied slowly should do the trick. Other garden projects for January include ongoing cleanup. Cut back perennials that have long been finished and remove diseased, dead or damaged wood from shrubs that will bloom next year. You can also renovate overgrown shrubs by removing one-third of the oldest branches from the base of the plant. January is also a good time to edge beds or add a stone border to delineate the lawn areas from your planting beds. If your garden is tidy, and you have no chores left to do, (or even if you still have chores) be sure to take a stroll in your neighborhood, favorite local park or in the mountains and enjoy the beauty that January offers. At l a n t a I n t o w n Pa p e r. c o m


Beckham Place, 1797 Piedmont Ave., will feature 60 townhomes beginning in the mid-$600s. The onsite sales center is already open. Visit for details on both projects. ►The Decatur Housing Authority (DHA), in partnership with Columbia Residential, was recently awarded a low-income housing tax credit from the

median income. For more information, visit The former 12-story office building at 1655 Peachtree St., which was capped with a peach-shaped advertising billboard during the 1996 Olympics, has been transformed into an apartment complex called The Peach. Overlooking

▲The City of Atlanta’s housing authority, Atlanta Housing, closed on $43.6 million in financing in December to build Madison Reynoldstown, with all homes reserved for affordable housing. The 116-unit building, designed by Praxis3, will be located at Memorial Drive and Chester Avenue, just steps from the Atlanta BeltLine’s Eastside Trail. There will also be $2,700 square feet of ground floor retail space fronting the BeltLine.

▲Toll Brothers has announced two new projects: Eloise at Grant Park and

the Downtown Connector and across the street from the AMTRAK station, the 107 luxury apartments are renting for $1,665 to $3,100. Amenities include pet park, rooftop deck and lounge, and workshare office spaces. For more, visit

HELLO ATLANTA! Georgia Department of Community Affairs to provide funding for the second phase of Columbia Senior Residences at Decatur East.The mixed-income community for seniors 62 and older will be located at 515 East Freeman Street in Decatur, adjacent to the Avondale MARTA station. DHA was also recently honored by the Atlanta Regional Commission and National Association of Housing Redevelopment for its transformations of Trinity Walk and Oakview Walk to provide affordable and workforce housing in the City of Decatur. ▼The 565 Hank apartment complex in Summerhill was 80 percent leased in December, just six months after opening to tenants. The building anchors the 80-acre redevelopment of the former Turner Field property, now owned by

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Restaurants � Wine � Events

Winter Comfort Food Warm your heart and fill your belly with these cold-weather classics By Isadora Pennington


t’s cold, it’s dreary, it’s month 2,139,095 of a global pandemic. I don’t know about you, but I think what I need is a little more comfort in my life. That means melted cheese, potatoes, soups, and decadent, rich flavors. Going out to eat is something I have sorely missed during the isolation and seclusion of the past two years,

so when I was presented with the opportunity to visit some of my favorite restaurants I jumped at the chance. This month, I am presenting four of the tastiest dishes that will fill your belly and warm your heart. These local eateries are staples of the local restaurant scene, and offer a casual, comfortable vibe. You can come as you are to share a meal with friends, a loved one, gather with family, catch a soccer or football game, and enjoy delectable dishes and cocktails to match.

The Bookhouse Pub ▲ 736 Ponce De Leon Ave. NE. (404) 254-1176 Grilled cheese sandwich with havarti and gouda on a bakeshop white bread, served with spicy tomato dipping sauce. Shown here paired with a bowl of creamy tomato soup, offered on special on the night that I visited. I also ordered some of their delicious fries because YOLO. Dipping fries in tomato soup is one of the greatest joys in life.

NEW RESTAURANT RADAR Saints + Council is open in Colony Square offering “seasonally tailored” menus for breakfast, lunch, and dinner with soups, salads, sandwiches, shared plates and entrees. More at

26 JANUARY 2022 |

Pielands, a new neighborhood pizza and sub joint from local restaurateur Billy Streck is open at 1021 Virginia Ave. in VirginiaHighland. The restaurant is serving whole pies, individual slices, salads, and Italian-style subs, plus beer, wine and specialty bottled cocktails. Find out more at

CheeseCaked is now open at Underground Atlanta with a menu of paninis, milkshakes and individually-sized cheesecakes in unique flavors such as French toast and bacon, strawberry shortcake, cannoli and even margarita. Visit @cheesecaked on IG for more.

Juniper Café, from the team behind Lazy Betty, is now open at 2260 Marietta Blvd. NW, Suite 100 offering modern Vietnamese fare including pho, noodle salads, banh mis, shaved ice, housemade pastries, a full beverage program and more. Check Instagram @juniper_cafe for more. At l a n t a I n t o w n Pa p e r. c o m

Brick Store Pub 125 E. Court Square, Decatur (404) 687-0990 Chicken pot pie with locally sourced, all natural chicken breast, carrots, and crimini mushrooms. Available after 5 p.m. only, this dish is definitely worth waiting for. The crumbly, flaky crust is not only delicious but also fun to break with a spoon, and inside the chicken and vegetables are nestled in a creamy, rich sauce.

Thinking Man Tavern 537 W. Howard Ave., Decatur (404) 370-1717 Mound of rounds, you say? A giant pile of potatoes smothered in hot, gooey cheese, you say? Why, yes, it’s exactly as delicious as it sounds. Add on some fresh pico and sour cream, and definitely add bacon, for one of the most indulgent savory dishes I’ve had recently. I paired the dish with a cup of tomato soup which is garnished with a dollop of goat cheese and comes with grilled bread slices. This is one of those flavor combinations that keeps me coming back again and again, I just can’t bring myself to order anything else on the menu because it’s just that good!

Westside Paper development announces first restaurants

Hampton + Hudson

By Collin Kelley

299 N. Highland Ave. NE (404) 948-2123 Baked hash scramble, featuring a delectable concoction of scrambled eggs, mixed cheeses, red potatoes, roasted peppers and onions, and topped with bacon. Served in a mini cast iron pot, this dish is heavenly and rich. Gooey hot cheese is infused throughout the scramble, providing a dreamy unity for the ingredients therein.

Westside Paper, the adaptive reuse of a more than 70-year-old industrial site in West Midtown, has announced four restaurants will be opening at the development in the new year. Located at 950 West Marietta Street, across from the King Plow Arts Center and adjacent to Puritan Mill, the joint-venture from Third & Urban and FCP is set to be a 245,000-square-foot mixed-use project primarily focused on the adaptive reuse of the 1950s warehouse. The restaurants are: Pancake Social The second location of the all-day brunch concept will open in late spring with a menu that includes breakfast favorites, sandwiches, healthy bowls, fresh juices, specialty coffees, and brunch cocktails. The first Pancake Social opened in Ponce City Market three years ago. Glide Pizza Atlanta native Rob Birdsong will open a new location of his BeltLine pizza joint inspired by his time working in New York and eating the famous slices.

Pollo Supremo is serving Sinaloan-style chicken at792 Moreland Ave. in East Atlanta with quarter, half, and whole roast birds served with fresh tortillas, rice and beans, street corn, chicken soup, and churros. Visit for more.

Incoming For Five Coffee: Specialty coffee roasting and café coming to 1105 West Peachtree development. (early 2022) Yalda: Persian concept opening in Sandy Springs and West Midtown. (spring-summer 2022) Ford Fry Concept: JCT Kitchen & Bar closed after 15 years, but the chef is opening something new in the Westside Provision space. (sometime this year)

Girl Diver The Asian seafood restaurant from Richard Tang, who opened the first location last year at Madison Yards, features Chinese-Vietnamese seafood dishes and comfort foods. Boxcar Betty’s With locations in Charleston, Chicago and Charlotte, Westside Paper will be the first Boxcar Betty’s in Atlanta serving up fried chicken sandwiches, fried pickles, and sweet potato fries. “Having great restaurants sets the tone for Westside Paper and the environment we are creating,” said Chris Faussemagne, Partner, Third & Urban. “With all of Third & Urban’s projects, we understand the importance of building retail destinations with local operators who value community at both the project and also for the surrounding neighborhood.” For more information, visit JANUARY 2022 | INTOWN


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The Pratt Pullman District development in Kirkwood will have a rotating roster of chefs and pop-ups starting this spring in Building 7 along Rogers Street. The space was originally slated for the Bellsmouth Café before the pandemic began, but a lease was never signed, according to Eater Atlanta.

QUICK BITES Chef Billy Allin shuttered Proof Bakeshop in Inman Park at the end of December after six years in business. Allin told the Atlanta Business Chronicle that the pandemic and staffing issues were behind his decision to close. ►After changing its name to Apotheos in 2020, San Francisco Roasting Company is returning to its original name. Owners Doug and Tanya Bond said, “many lessons were learned, and we have listened closely to the people we care about the most – our customers.” With locations in Virginia-Highland and Candler Park, the coffee shops have been mainstays since 1992.




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Atlanta Pizza Truck earns global certification By Collin Kelley The Atlanta Pizza Truck has made history by becoming the first mobile pizzeria to be certified by the Associazione Verace Pizza Sofia Arango and Alessio Lacco. Napoletana (AVPN), the Italy-based organization that gives the stamp of approval to Neapolitan pizza makers around the world. In the past, AVPN would only certify brick-and-mortar pizzerias making classic Neapolitan pizzas, but Atlanta Pizza Truck owner Alessio Lacco, a Naples native, wouldn’t take no for an answer. And his persistence paid off. “Being from Naples, I’m very particular about the kind of pizza I want to give to customers,” Lacco said. “The truck is from Italy, the oven is from Italy, the ingredients we use for our Neapolitan pizza are from Italy. I asked AVPN, why can’t we be associated with you guys? Now is the time to start recognizing mobile pizza makers. They saw the world is evolving and said yes.” Atlanta Pizza Truck’s certification number is 900, which Lacco points out is the exact temperature in which an authentic Neapolitan pizza is baked. Lacco had studied with AVPN before moving to America and opening his first certified pizzeria in Dallas. He was a Neapolitan pizza consultant to chefs around the world before arriving in Atlanta in 2017. Lacco lost his job as a pizza maker during the pandemic, so he and his wife and business partner, Sofia Arango, decided it was time to go out on their own again. They had purchased the vintage Piaggo ApeCar three-wheeler in 2019 planning to someday to start their own mobile pizzeria. They sourced and mounted the wood-fired oven to the back of the truck, installed a sink, and started popping up in neighborhoods and using social media as a marketing tool. Atlanta Pizza Truck was an instant hit, and in less than two years has become a favorite at festivals, pop-ups, weddings, private parties, and corporate events. “It’s really become popular now,” Lacco said. “We are doing so many parties and have so much fun.” Lacco said he’s proud that he can connect his home country to his adopted city and “bring a true Neapolitan pizza and experience to Atlanta.”

Ponce City Market’s food hall grows with restaurants, shops By Collin Kelley Ponce City Market’s Central Food Hall is growing with the opening of new restaurants and shops. Nani’s Piri Piri Chicken from Chef Meherwan Irani, JJ’s Flower Shop’s new space and Vietnamese restaurant VIÊTVANA all opened in December. Also newly opened is LaRayia’s Bodega, which offers a grab-n-go takeaway counter vegan fare including organic fruits and vegetables, teas, juices and more. This is the first location to open outside of its base in Los Angeles. Coming later this year is Umbrella Bar, a food kiosk inspired by Korean night markets from Poke Burri’s co-founder Seven Chan, and Spicewalla, the first-ever brick and mortar location for Meherwan’s acclaimed spice brand. The expanded wing at the Old Fourth Ward shopping and dining destination adds over 5,000 square feet of space to the Central Food Hall with communal seating throughout. At l a n t a I n t o w n Pa p e r. c o m

Make your new year sparkle Women + Wine

Katie Rice & Sarah Pierre Rice owns VinoTeca in Inman Park and Pierre owns 3 Parks Wine Shop in Glenwood Park.

As wine professionals, we are often asked what our desert island bottle is. Many tipplers are surprised that the answer is so often sparkling. Effervescent wines bring about joy, whether you’re at a wedding, celebrating a victory or just have a Tuesday off – bubbles evoke a sense of fun and festivity. To start the new year off, we sat down with two wildly knowledgeable wine professionals – Karen Ulrich, Director of National Sales for T. Edwards Imports, and Emily Towe, co-owner and cowinemaker at J. Brix winery in California. Karen summed up the love for sparkling perfectly: “It’s zippy! It dances on the tongue and sends a shimmer through my body. It’s an all-encompassing experience. Texture, evolving aromas and a lingering pallet. It’s transcendent.” Who wouldn’t find this enticing? There are many types of sparkling wines, and it can get confusing. In this month’s column, we hope to give you some insight into this category that is revered for so many insiders.

A little history The most primitive form of sparkling has seen a resurgence, especially due to the natural wine movement. As far back as 1531, monks in the region of Limoux, France were writing about the wines created when fermentation is stopped early, and wine undergoes a secondary fermentation causing CO2 to be trapped in the bottle. Voilà – sparkling wine! This “Ancestral Method” was thought to be an accident; the winter chill stopped fermentation and as spring approached, the yeast awoke and began to do its magic. Sparkling wines were the result, and the monks were pleased. Cremant de Limoux is still produced today and offers wine that tends to be a great value (Try: NV J. Laurens Blanquette de Limoux) The popularity of Ancestral Method today is seen in wines called Pét-Net or Pétillant-Natural. These wines often have quirky names and labels, and Emily At l a n t a I n t o w n Pa p e r. c o m

Towe explains, “Pét-nat, simply put, is a naturally sparkling wine. It’s bottled at the very end of fermentation, when the yeast has converted most (but not quite all) of the grape’s natural sugars to alcohol, releasing carbon dioxide in the process. Once bottled, the grape sugar continues to ferment, but the released carbon dioxide is trapped in the bottle, creating natural carbonation, [and] those chunks you sometimes see in a pét-nat are a harmless byproduct of fermentation – as we say on our label, embrace the cloud of delicious!” (Try: 2020 J. Brix Cabolorum Riesling Pét-Net)

And then came Champagne The development of this style led to the most well-known and highly soughtafter wine, Champagne. Again, monks are involved. Karen notes, “The first time I really read about how Champagne was made, I shed a few tears, for the commitment and care that goes into making it.” In the 17th century a monk named Dom. Pierre Pérignon planted grapes in the region of Champagne in hopes of duplicating what they were doing down in Limoux, but died before any commercial wine was made. The house of Ruinart adopted the style and was the first to start selling sparking in 1764. In 1774, Madame Clicquot of Veuve Clicquot helped to create the process we know as Méthode Traditionnelle or Traditional Method. As explained by Emily, “the traditional method used to make Champagne (Methode Champenoise), where a base wine of either Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier or a combo of the three is fermented fully to dryness, and then a combination of yeast and sugar is added to create a second fermentation in bottle. In both methods, sediment (lees) is created in the bottle as the byproduct of the fermentation. This sediment can be removed by a process

called disgorging, where it is allowed to collect in the neck of the bottle; frozen; and ejected. All traditional method sparkling wines are disgorged to remove the sediment.” A dosage (another mixture of still wine and sugar) is often added to the wine to finish it. The sugar amounts are what dictates a classification of style – from dry to sweet: Brut Nature, Brut, Extra Dry, Dry and Demi-Sec. (Try: NV Champagne André Heucq ‘Heritage’ Blanc

de Meunier) This method and the region are synonymous if a wine is labelled as Champagne. For other wines made utilizing the same unique process, consider Cava, specifically from the region of Penedés, Spain. Wines here are often made in the Brut Nature or Brut style. (Try: 2019 Bodegas Naveran Dama Cava)

Italian flavor Sparkling wines are also traditional in Italy. Prosecco is specifically made in Veneto principally with the grape Glera. First referenced in 1754, originally made with a method known as Col Fondo, a process similar to ancestral method, that is still employed today by natural winemakers (Try NV La Vigne Alice ‘A Fondo’) However, the most popular way of making Prosecco is the Charmat or Tank method – in Emilia-Romagna, Lambrusco is often made with this process as well. This method involves a large steel tank where still wine has a liqueur de tirage added to promote the secondary fermentation. The wine is held under pressure causing the CO2 (bubbles) to remain in the wine. The wine is then filtered, bottled and a dosage is added. This usually brings about a wine that tends to be sweeter than others with bubbles that are softer. (Try: 2019 Mongarda Prosecco Valdobbiadene Superiore Brut / NV Fattoria Moretto Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro Secco) Cheers to 2022 and we look forward to popping more bottles with you!


SHOPPING | DINING | PICK-UP | EVENTS DOWNLOAD ON THE APP STORE & GOOGLE PLAY @poncecitymarket Agarista — evergreen shrubs surround tree trunk JANUARY 2022 | INTOWN



Arts � Culture � Music

Fulton County Library System launches One Book, One Read club with ‘Caste’ By Collin Kelley


he Fulton County Library System, in collaboration with the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library Foundation, will launch One Book, One Read – a county-wide book club designed to get residents reading, promote critical conversations, community building, and literacy. The program will begin with “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents” by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Isabel Wilkerson. The book’s core resides in comparisons between the caste system in India, the American race system, and the rise of the Third Reich in Germany. It also examines the current state of race politics as well as its harrowing history. The 2022 One Book, One Read program will kick off in January with the goal of engaging community members to host book clubs across the county. Additionally, many of Fulton’s 34 libraries will host book clubs around “Caste.” A reading guide will be available this month with additional resources, guiding questions, and background on the author. Book clubs will meet in January and February independently and in March with the author herself. Community leaders from organizations in sectors such as education, business, not-for-profit and more will be asked to lead book clubs. Sign up at your local library to be a part of their book club or start your own book club by emailing to sign up. The culminating book club will be a lecture by Isabel Wilkerson at the Auburn Avenue Research Library on March 27 at 3 p.m. The event is free. You can find tickets at by searching for Isabel Wilkerson.

Core Dance will lead global Fieldwork program for artists By Collin Kelley Decatur-based Core Dance has been named the lead organization for the global Fieldwork Network, a program that supports the creative process for choreographers, playwrights, composers, poets, vocalists and other artistic disciplines. Initiated by New York’s The Field in 1986 by its artist and founder Steve Gross, Fieldwork is a lauded peer-to-peer feedback methodology. Over its 35 years, Fieldwork has helped thousands of artists in 10 cities around the world via the National Fieldwork Network. The Network is a community of sites across the country from Miami, Chicago, Atlanta, Portland and more that produce Fieldwork feedback performances and programs. Jennifer Wright Cook, current

32 JANUARY 2022 |

Executive Director of The Field said, “We are delighted to transition Fieldwork to our long-time partner and colleague Core Dance. We couldn’t imagine a more

vibrant home for this unique and crucial program.” Since its inception, The Field has been a key partner for more than 40,000

artists with a wide range of communityoriented initiatives and vital support programs including Fielday performances, Field Leadership Fund, Economic Revitalization for Performing Artists and more. As they enter their 42nd season, Core Dance will provide artists space to connect, collaborate and explore. They will house all archived content associated with these resources and facilitate connections with Fieldwork Network sites around the globe, including maintaining regular meetings of Network member sites, both virtual and in person and working toward a cross member mentoring program. For more information about Fieldwork and the National Fieldwork Network, contact outreach@coredance. org. At l a n t a I n t o w n Pa p e r. c o m

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c. 404.431.1384 | o. 404.480.HOME JASON@ANSLEYRE.COM 404.480.HOME | ANSLEYRE.COM | 952 PEACHTREE ST. SUITE 100, ATLANTA, GA 30309 All data believed to be accurate but not warranted. If you have any existing brokerage relationship, this is not intended as a solicitation. Equal housing opportunity

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Photos by Isadora Pennington

Transmutation and Evolution

Matter painter Bob Landström changes the game By Isadora Pennington


n the outside, Bob Landström’s house is a nicely updated midcentury ranch like many others on the block. Large picture windows reveal a modern interior, and the walls showcase vibrant paintings everywhere you look. When I arrived on a cool winter day, I was greeted by exuberant dogs before being led downstairs into Landström’s bright studio space. There, in the welcoming and cool space, completed works grace the walls. Evocative symbols and high key colors entice viewers to draw near. Up close the texture of the material of Landström’s paintings adds a sort of energy to the space. Considering himself an abstract painter, his works often contain a mix of segmented lines, partially obscured figures, both existing and imagined symbols, and snippets of prose and formulae. The numbers and words in a given work might not always be related, explained Landström. He often uses these components alongside his own language of invented symbols as graphic elements within the plastic space of his composition, rather than all directly related in an effort to express a complete thought. Leaving phrases and computation unfinished lends an added evocativeness to his pieces, asking the viewer to seek out their own interpretation of the story and meaning of the work. “I am interested in the things behind things,” explained Landström. “I like to take

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what’s normally unseen and make it seen.” His interest in metaphysics and alchemy comes to life in his art. Landström’s current body of work “Multiverse” plays on the concept of multiple realities coexisting outside of our ability to perceive them, so in his paintings figures are often mostly obscured, existing in two places at once, and layered atop and between symbols and iconography. “It’s almost impossible for it not to be the case,” he continued. Captivated by the idea, he has been “playing” with the concept in a series of between 35 to 40 finished works. The curiosity and playfulness that Landström brings to his paintings also pushed him to consider alternate materials beyond the typical paint and brush. For many years he used traditional mediums to create his works, but increasingly he felt compelled to infuse pigment with soil in a way that more accurately spoke to his interest in transformation and transmutation. Oftentimes that meant that he would literally collect dirt from wherever he was painting and mix it into his paint. “Thinking about it and developing the technique and everything, I came across the idea of using volcanic rock, igneous rock, because of the state change that’s involved. It’s sort of an alchemical process because at one point it’s liquid inside the earth, and now it’s a solid as I hold it in my hands,” explained Landström. “The state change and that alchemical nature of it really resonated

with me. I’ve painted that way ever since, and that was 25 or 30 years ago.” Sourcing from deposits deep underground beneath the Navajo Nation

lands in the American Southwest, the igneous rock Landström uses in his work is estimated to be around 30 million years old. While the material is typically used At l a n t a I n t o w n Pa p e r. c o m

for commercial purposes, with some convincing he was able to secure regular deliveries of smaller quantities for his artwork. Size: 10"x8.25" Publication: ATL in town40 paintings a year, Completing roughly

each one taking no longer than 3 or 4 days, Landström estimates that he purchases around 150 gallons of raw material annually. Once it arrives in his studio, he processes the grey, granular stone and adds his chosen pigment. A rainbow of colored rock is then carefully portioned out into Tupperware containers which are neatly stacked on shelves in his workspace, ready to become art. Describing his compositions as if they were pages from the mental notebook that lives in his head, Landström says the ideas occur to him at random throughout his daily life. “It’s a big distraction, quite frankly,” said Landström wryly. He carries sketchbooks everywhere he goes, and it’s common to find those notebooks filled with ideas on

his bedside table, in his car, and scattered throughout his home. An electrical engineer by trade, I interviewed Landström at a crucial moment in his career: mere weeks before he officially quit his day job to pursue his art full time. “I’ve been mostly in my own head, working in my studio,” said Landström. Pulling long hours working late into the night after his shifts at work have proven to be rather draining, and the shift to full time artist is a welcome one. While Landström’s process is, to a certain extent, fluid and changeable, the application of his matter paint to canvas is time-sensitive and requires forethought and planning. You see, when mixed with polymer emulsion, the igneous rock exists in a liquid form. It can be deposited onto the surface of a work with palette knives and other similar tools. Soon after application the material begins to dry and

loses its flexibility, becoming solid and immovable after only a few days. In addition to relying on pre-planning in his digital sketches, Landström also employs a reductive technique in which he scrapes away portions of the design. This allows him to add the layered effect which is so evident in his works. The figures, which he refers to as ‘totems,’ offer a contrast between the abstract iconography and phrases that flow through his pieces. “I like that kind of tension,” said Landström. Landström is represented by Alan Avery Art Company locally, as well as the Whiteroom in New York City, and Chase Edwards Contemporary in Palm Beach, Florida. Landström is currently working on his Multiverse collection as well as a twoperson show in Los Angeles debuting this summer. For more about the artist, visit




Robert Fairer, Model Mariacarla Boscono backstage at John Galliano’s Spring/Summer 2002 runway show

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When seeing really big events meant going to Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium few times after that I’d shout, “Murph” when I’d see him on the field, and we’d get a genuine smile and friendly wave. He came and sat with us for a few minutes one

From the Crates Kelly McCoy

Kelly McCoy is a veteran Atlanta broadcaster who writes about the days popular music only came on vinyl records, which often were stored in crates.

As I’m writing this in late 2021, Atlanta can claim only one championship team. My Georgia Bulldogs haven’t played yet. So, the champion team I’m talking about, of course, is our Atlanta Braves. In all honesty, I haven’t really been a serious Braves fan for decades, but I watched the entire 2021 World Series. Back in the 70s and 80s, Atlanta Fulton County Stadium was home to not only the Braves and Falcons, but a multitude of events that included everything from motocross to major concerts with world-famous artists. One of the most famous “Quixie” disc jockeys, Tony Taylor, even got to introduce the Beatles there! I don’t think that one can be topped. I’ll touch briefly on my Braves days, and other things I did at the old stadium. Let’s go back to the days of Dale Murphy and Bob Horner. I was dating a young lady at the time whose father had season tickets. The seats were directly behind the dugout. We’d

literally place our beverages on top of the dugout. As luck would have it, I heard Dale Murphy was going to be at WQXI cutting a commercial. I thought, here’s my chance. Everyone in the place was excited he was there, and he could not have been any nicer. After telling him we attended games on a regular basis with the dugout-level seats, I coerced him to join me on the air for a few minutes. Once we were in the studio, this big baseball star was like a nervous little kid. I told him he’d be fine; I would make it really easy. We weren’t on the air any longer than 15 or 20 minutes. I jokingly asked how a player of his stature — who crushed home run balls in front of thousands of people — could be anxious about talking to people who he couldn’t see. Not too long after our meeting, I met Nancy, his wife, who was pregnant with their first child. Just like her husband, she was as nice as humanly possible. That first child is now the oldest of eight children! Quite a

pregame. Later during that same season, we sponsored an event with a company who had created a flying-disc-type toy. They were trying to get a little of the Frisbee market, I guess. I was the emcee for the event, so that put me on the field. The contest would award some huge prize to anyone who could throw this disc out of the stadium like a home-run ball. I think we had second- and third-tier prizes for hitting upper-level centerfield seats and even to the homerun fence. No one won anything. I can’t even remember the brand. That same evening, Bob Horner had an amazing night. I do remember two homeruns, but not his other hits. After the game, my date and I were at TGI Fridays on Roswell Road. (By the way, it was the only Fridays in small-town Atlanta.) All of a sudden, there were cheers, and applause filled the room. It was Bob Horner, and his wife! After they had been there for a while, I introduced myself and told him about the flying disc promotion

earlier…he said he remembered seeing me. After asking the server what they were drinking, we sent a congratulatory round of four beers. He nodded thank you. A few minutes later, our server came to our table with four beers. She said, “these are from the baseball player.” We nodded a thank you and cheers to them. I swore I’d never lose that American Express receipt, but I did. A couple of other cool events at the stadium included the Quixie Quackers Softball Team playing the Atlanta Rhythm Section in a charity match. Pictures on the Matrix, running those bases, and just being there was another cool thing we all experienced. I also had the pleasure of introducing the 60s music groups Gary Puckett and the Union Gap, The Association, and Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels at another concert event the station sponsored. In the bowels of the stadium, I saw Ted Turner’s parking place with the sign, “Don’t Even Think About Parking Here.” The Braves and Falcons shared the stadium for 26 years. The Falcons moved out to the Georgia Dome in 1992. Five years later, the Braves moved to Turner Field. The old stadium was demolished in 1997. All that remains of it is a piece of outfield wall, preserved to memorialize Hank Aaron’s record-setting 715th home run. I saw Dale one more time at a charity event a few years later. Shortly after that, he left town for another team. He’ll always be a Hall of Famer in my world.

A new day for the arts in Atlanta Inside the Arts Camille Russell Love

Camille Russell Love Love has been executive director of the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs (@atlantaoca) for more than two decades.

When Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms informed Atlanta and the country in May of last year that she would not seek reelection, the race to hold the City of Atlanta’s highest elected office began. In the following months, fourteen candidates would toss the proverbial hat into the ring. Ultimately, two candidates, Felicia Moore and Andre Dickens, faced each other in a run-off election in November. Andre Dickens prevailed. From the beginning, Mayor-elect Dickens’ campaign signaled not only that he would support arts and culture as many

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mayors before him had done (to greater or lesser degrees), but that he would center arts and culture as critical tenets of his campaign’s platform. On the “Andre Dickens for Mayor” website, Mayor-elect Dickens outlined a bold plan that included the following points: 1. Codify an Atlanta Arts, Culture & Creative Economy Advisory Committee to the Mayor, 2. Establish an Arts District Exploratory Commission, 3. Provide greater support for artists, 4. Increase the annual grant-making capacity within the City’s budget, and 5. Provide additional dedicated revenue streams for the arts. The plan, while ambitious, aspires to realize these goals: 1. Make the arts accessible to everyone, 2. Support individual artists, 3. Ensure equity in arts funding and support, 4. Reinvigorate the creative economy after the impacts of COVID, 5. Further cultivate the Atlanta arts community for future generations. Together, the plan and its goals are reminiscent of Mayor Maynard Jackson. In his first term, Mayor Jackson created the Bureau of Cultural Affairs and tapped Michael Lomax to run it. The Bureau was given department status during his second

the founding CEO of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights and, more recently, the former Woodruff Arts Center CEO. An Arkansas native, Shipman came to Atlanta thirty years ago to attend Emory University. In an interview with ARTS ATL last March, Shipman said, “Having led two arts and culture organizations, I deeply believe in the Artist Romare Bearden with Mayor Maynard Jackson importance the arts have in (Courtesy GSU Archives) a city’s economy and culture. term and former Mayor Shirley Franklin It’s important that we support the arts.” served as its director. As Atlanta residents settle into the new In the early seventies, Atlanta was on the year, we look forward to its promise. A year verge of becoming an international city. No that will bring change to City Hall and a less important than a world-class airport, new vision for how its resources benefit those Mayor Jackson believed that a vibrant arts who call Atlanta communities home. We and culture community was integral to secure welcome two leaders as they assume their Atlanta’s reputation as a forward-thinking city posts – committed, as they have said, to a in which business could thrive. city in which arts and culture are central. It The November 2021 election also is, indeed, a new day for arts and culture in changed Atlanta City Council leadership. Atlanta. Council President-elect Doug Shipman is At l a n t a I n t o w n Pa p e r. c o m

WISHING YOU A HAPPY NEW YEAR! 2021 was a great Real Estate year! In addition to The Harry Norman, REALTORS® Intown Office having multiple record-breaking sales, we also added 19 REALTORS® to our team! Please join us in welcoming these amazing professionals.

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Our annual recognition of students who give back to the community in extraordinary ways returns after a pandemic pause. Frankly, we are in awe of the ingenuity, resilience, and time management skills this group of honorees brings to the table. From creating nonprofits and fundraising to mission trips and mentoring, the 2022 class of 20 Under 20 are a beacon of hope in our troubled times. This year, Atlanta Intown and Reporter Newspapers joined forces to select the honorees from our coverage areas, which was no easy task. But we think you’ll agree that these students deserve all the accolades for their efforts to help better their communities. – Collin Kelley and Amy Wenk


urtis has spent countless hours sorting thousands of donations for the homeless at the Atlanta Mission, but it’s the interaction with the people he’s met there that has left the lasting impression. “Obviously. donations for the homeless are important, but so is sitting with them and having a conversation,” Curtis said. “Many of them sit all day being ignored by almost everyone Midtown High School who passes by, while we talk to dozens of people every day. Some are so deprived of human interaction that a simple conversation can be worth just as much as any amount of money someone can hand out their car window.” Along with his volunteer work in Atlanta, Curtis also travelled to Ecuador to help build a school and interact with the students. “Building a new school is amazing, but what is the point if the kids in the school are not happy. Little kids are far more likely to remember their first kickball game, rather than those who put the last brick on their school.”

Curtis Harris, 17

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harlie is busy at school, (marching band, student government, named Mr. Sophomore at homecoming, to name a few), but he’s also active in the community. He’s a volunteer in the Princeton Way Neighborhood Association, where he assists in neighborhood activities and special preparation for community events. Charlie also serves as a Youth Lay Delegate for the Atlanta College Park District of the North Georgia United Methodist Church Annual Conference and serves as Senior Teen Chaplin for the Atlanta Chapter of Jack and Jill of America Inc. “Through serving others, I have learned that being kind is its own gift,” Charlie said. “Just by showing kindness, I can make someone’s day better and then, suddenly, my day is better, too. You never know what kind a day a person may be having, so it’s best to lead with ol ho Sc h ig respect and H s ill Druid H kindness.”

doo III, 15 Charlie Edward McA

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sa member of

Woodward’s Service Leadership Board, Zach helped organize care packages and created a performance recording to send to the elderly residents at a local nursing home during the pandemic to help them feel connected to the outside world. He also initiated and spearWoodward Academy headed the Prison Library Book Drive and hosted a letter writing event to support veterans. “To me, service is not just an act, it is an attitude, it is a way of life,” Zach said. “Every day, I try to think of ways I can help others. It can be as simple as holding the door open for someone or asking them how they’re doing, and it can be as complex as organizing a drive or volunteering at a service initiative. Service to me is placing the interests of others before my own. It is the image of Jesus washing the Disciples’ feet.”


Zach Gardner, 17


addie is passionate about the environment and social justice issues. As co-president of the Environmental Club, she helped organized a cleanup of Nancy Creek, which runs through the Marist campus. She’s also extensively involved with the Campus Ministry program, leading retreats, as part of the Peer Leader program, and volunteering in the community. “Inspiring people to care about the environment requires not expecting them to agree with me on everything, but rather meeting them where they are,” Maddie said. “In order to accomplish things like an improved recycling program at my pool, I learned to work together with others, many of whom held differing opinions. Experiences like this one taught me the importance of teamwork in all aspects of my life.”

Lamm, 17 Madeline ‘Maddie’ Marist School




Half Day 3 - 5 year olds January 10, 2022

Kindergarten - 12th February 1, 2022

Celebrating 50 Years “ S c h o o l s h o u l d b e a p l a ce o n e l o o k s fo r wa rd to go i n g to i n t h e m o r n i n g a n d i s s o m ew h at re l u c t a nt to l e ave at t h e e n d of t h e d ay.” Dr. Newt Hodgson

PAIDEIASCHOOL.ORG 1509 Ponce de Leon Ave . Atlanta . 404/270-2312 Paideia does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, ethnic group, gender, or sexual orientation.

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arah and Ben co-founded PRISM, an initiative designed to challenge Lovett’s curriculum, programming, and leadership decisions to be more inclusive for all things LGBT+. They visited department heads to discuss opportunities in the curriculum, presented a program on National Coming Out Day, and are formalizing the initiative so that underclassmen can take the reins when they graduate. Ben was honored with the Nancy Fraser Parker Citizenship Award to honor well-rounded students who are actively involved in school-sponsored program, while Sarah leads the Student Diversity Leadership Council and Girl Talk Club and was named the state leader of March for Our Lives, the student organization against gun violence. “Through my work in PRISM and March for Our Lives, I’ve definitely learned the importance of The Lovett School taking things one step at a time,” Sarah said. “The big end goals of comprehensive The Lovett School education about LGBTQ+ topics and stopping gun violence will only be achieved at the end of each “climb,” and I’ve come to realize just how important each small step is (meetings, events, assemblies, emails, you name it) to reaching those goals. No effort I’ve worked on could have been accomplished without the help and support of other people with a shared passion for equity.” Ben, who also served with Sarah on the Student Diversity Leadership Council said, “I have learned how to navigate conversations with individuals holding differing opinions than my own. After having countless conversations on race, sexuality/gender, and other forms of diversity, I feel confident expressing my own opinions and beliefs, but I am also aware that my personal experiences do not apply to every conversation on diversity. “

Sarah Dowling, 17


very week for the past three years, Asha has been a volunteer tutor at New American Pathways (NAP) working with middle school students in DeKalb County. During the pandemic, she increased those hours to help students struggling with academics, specifically math, while trying to learn from home. Students constantly calling Asha The Paideia School outside of her tutoring time to ask questions and no matter how busy she is or what time of day she always stops to help them. Asha is also a longtime UNICEF volunteer, creating multiple fundraisers for international humanitarian efforts specifically for COVID vaccinations and to support Afghanistan refugees. She recently completed a fundraiser called “Trick or Treat for UNICEF” where she sold candy grams at school where she raised almost $1,000. “I sincerely value the friendships I have made with the students at New American Pathways, gaining both perspective and understanding of the challenges they have overcome,” Asha said. “I have a deep respect for their perseverance and work ethic, qualities that I hope I can emulate.”

Asha Nadig Ahn, 16

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Ben Foster, 17


n 7th grade, Carly’s dad was diagnosed with a rare occurrence of breast cancer. The experience heightened her interest in medicine and research, leading her to intern for three summers with the at Houston Methodist Hospital’s ALS and Alzheimer’s research lab. In 10th grade, she was asked to participate in the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Students of the Year competition and raised over $7,000 as a team Pace Academy member. Her junior year, she co-led a Secure the Cure team that raised over $233,000, the most in metro Atlanta. Carly personally raised over $62,000 and funded the Evan Appel Immunotherapy research grant in honor of her father. Last summer, she spent a week shadowing doctors and nurses at Whiteriver Indian Hospital and making home visits on the Ft. Apache reservation in Arizona. “Through my involvement at Pace and my work with LLS, I learned that adaptable leadership is the key to success,” she said. “I discovered that motivation isn’t a one-size-fits-all affair, and as a leader it’s necessary to understand what motivates each of your team members.”

Carly Appel, 18

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eorge is a member of Youth Leadership Sandy Springs, a program that develops the next generation of leaders. Over a 10-month period this year, George is working with local leaders to learn more about service, local businesses, government, and citizenship. As a member of the Young Men’s Service League, he has packed lunches for MUST MinHoly Innocents’ Episcop istries, served al School meals for Feeding the Homeless, completed a recycling and outdoor equipment cleanup with Keep North Fulton Beautiful and the Chattahoochee Nature Center, and spent time with seniors at Mount Vernon Towers. At Holy Innocents’, George serves as executive president of student council and is president of the UNICEF Club. “Through my volunteer and charity work, I have learned to identify and respect the unique situations of people in my community and to specifically target their needs,” he said. “In addition, I have realized that collaboration with others is crucial to problem solving and that even small acts of kindness can have a major impact. “

George Wray, 18


hether it’s responding to a call on NextDoor to help clean up her community, gathering donations for the Friends of Disabled Adults and Children thrift store, collecting reading material for Books for Africa, volunteering at animal shelters, or her devotion to Girl Scouts, Sheridan has been giving back to the community since she Capstone Academy was a child. She was accepted into the UPenn Social Innovators Entrepreneurship program and is working on starting a nonprofit that assists the needs of the senior community “Charity and volunteer work provides so many valuable lessons, but the most rewarding lessons are lifelong in the relationships that I have built by engaging in these activities,” Sheridan said. “I have always been an extrovert, the more people I get to know within my community, the more I learn about life and myself. My goal as I continue on this journey is to be strong, optimistic, faithful, caring, and open to new experiences and points of view as I share my own.”

Sheridan Stevens, 17

bold thinking

Grades 9-12

big results Redefining High School

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404 405 2173 JANUARY 2022 | INTOWN



s leader of herschool’s community service club, Jennifer organizes projects for students, including helping Atlanta’s homeless community in Atlanta with food and clothing drives. She’s also the leader of the Green Club, which, under her guidance, is growing vegetables for people who do not have access to healthy food. Her other volunteer work Academe of the Oaks includes hurricane relief, Medshare, American Red Cross, tutoring students, and is a principal member of the school’s Amnesty International chapter, which advocates for human rights. “Volunteering to me is a way of expressing gratitude towards those who have shown me kindness and passing that kindness forward to others,” Jennifer said. :As a volunteer, I’ve learned how a small act of kindness can have a big impact on someone’s life. Volunteering is full of self-discovery, developing new skills, creating friendships, and bringing joy to peoples’ faces.”

Jennifer Van Par, 17


his year’s youngest honoree may not have her driver’s license yet, but she is already giving back to the community by volunteering at the Center for Puppetry Arts and at Zoo Atlanta. At the zoo, she answers visitor’s questions about the animals and recently applied for the high school volunteer program where she’ll commit a minimum of 160 volunteer hours at North Springs Charter School the zoo over the course of a year. “I have learned to be willing to assist others no matter how small it seems because you never know how much of a help it is to the other person,” Tatiana said. “There were times in my volunteer work that I was asked to do things that I thought were insignificant because they didn’t take me a lot of time or effort to do. And many times, I would find out later how much of a help it was to someone and how grateful they were for my assistance.”

Tatiana Plummer, 14


n the midst of the pandemic, Darren Chase and Ariana Jones started Socializing for Senior Citizens, a non-profit organization that aims to connect teens and young adults with senior citizens who have experienced physical and emotional isolation during the height of the pandemic. The students recruited classmates to check in and connect with seniors using Zoom, phone calls, FaceTime, emails, cards, and more. As of November, Socializing for Senior Citizens had held 169,915 minutes of calls and sent 9,734 emails and cards. The duo also served on the student committee that helped Galloway earn a No Place for Hate School designation two years in a row. “When my friend Ariana and I decided to start our non-profit, we had no idea the impact we would have on both the community and our own lives,” Darren said. “One of my favorite experiences with the non-profit was how close I got to one of my seniors. I soon started calling him twice a week and eventually took socially distanced, masked walks with him.” Ariana said the disregard for senior citizens had always angered her, and the pandemic motivated her to act. “While I have been and still am a part of many organizations and movements to fight for change, I had never started one myself. Starting this non-profit and seeing its success helped me realize that I am much more capable of being a leader than I thought I could be.”


hase, 1 C n e r r a D | 7 1 , Ariana Jones ool The Galloway Sch

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lijah has been a L.E.A.D. Ambassador for four consecutive years. L.E.A.D. (Launching, Exposing, Advising, Directing) has partnered with Atlanta Public Schools since 2010 to empower an at-risk generation by using baseball to teach Black boys how to overcome three curveballs that threaten their success: crime, poverty and New Schools at Carver racism. Elijah leads baseball practices and is co-creator of a signature Adidas shoe and cleats. He also Eserves as a mentor for over 200 boys in the L.E.A.D. Middle School Character Development League and has helped increase the number of high school recruits to join the organization from his school. “A personal lesson I’ve learned from volunteering is that the small things that I contribute could impact someone’s entire day, and their smile will let me know I did my part,” Elijah said.

Elijah Grant, 17


homas has also been a L.E.A.D. Ambassador for four years, transforming himself into a dependable leader, including serving as senior class president at Booker T. Washington High School. He also serving as a mentor in the L.E.A.D. Middle School Character Development League, regularly attends formal galas with the organization’s director, and assists with donor relations as a part of L.E.A.D.’s fundraising efforts. “My personal lesson learned from volunteering is how good it feels to be really helpful to someone else,” Thomas said. “Waking up every day knowing that someone else is happy makes me feel joyful.” Booker T. Washington High School

Thomas Fennell, 17

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K TOGETHER we are more At Whitefield, we understand the importance of community. That is why we are dedicated to bolstering Christian families in rearing young people who go on to college and life with a passion for learning, for others ahead of self, and for the living and active Jesus. A Christ-centered College Preparatory School for PreK through 12th Grade located in Smyrna, Ga.

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ara’s cousin, Logan, was born with Down’s Syndrome. Inspired by him, Kara and her older sister, Brooke, started volunteering with Special Olympics and became interested in Unified Sports programs, where able-bodied athletes compete alongside individuals with disabilities. In 2017, the sisters founded the Play Unified Club at The Westminster School Westminster s to promote the social inclusion and acceptance of individuals with disabilities by providing opportunities for students to engage in sports, music, and STEM activities with them. Kara has been the president of the Play Unified Club since 2020. In 2021, Kara was selected for a mentorship summer program sponsored by KPMG and Special Olympics. She’s also actively involved GiGi’s Playhouse, a Down Syndrome Achievement Center that provides free programming and services to families, including creating a lending library of multisensory therapeutic equipment. “I learned that I could make a much greater and deeper impact by focusing on one cause in our community,” Kara said. “Because I am passionate about helping people with disabilities, I was motivated to partner more closely with Atlanta organizations to make a difference.”

Kara Stevens, 16


mmanuella’s interest in own family history led her to serve at the Haitian Institute of Atlanta—a mission focused on helping Haitian immigrants transition into American life. There, she helps run educational seminars and workshops for families on a wide variety of topics, from coping with trauma to community problemsolving. In Haiti, she served as a Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School counselor at a children’s camp, while also teaching science classes and assisting with health checks. “I was raised by a deeply rooted Haitian immigrant family living in the United States, emphasizing education and supporting the people around you,” Emmanuella said. “Through my volunteer work, where I spent countless days in Haiti working with the kids, I connected to Haiti. I gained a love for my country and its people. I realized that immigrating to a new country does not mean completely erasing the country of origin. I learned never to forget where I come from.”

Emmanuella Buteau, 17

With the most cocurricular and athletic opportunities of any private school in Atlanta.


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aylor volunteers at the Hi-Hope center, which cares for adults with developmental disabili- ties, and packs Operation Christmas Child boxes for less fortunate families with her mom every holiday season. She’s also been a student ambassador for two years, volunteering to lead new and prospective students around campus. She’s also an active participant in the school’s marching band, which she calls her second home. “Among the most profound lessons I have learned during my time serving are the importance of humility and gratitude,” Taylor said. Greater Atlanta Christian School “Ultimately, the greatest gift obtained through service is the inevitable joy it brings to the community. Seeing how these acts bring so much joy to people who have so little makes me significantly more grateful for the blessings I have been given in my life.”

Taylor Leslie, 16

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oe has volunteered at Sandy Springs Mission (SSM) in person, on Zoom during the pandemic, and at their summer camp. To help with her tutoring at SSM, she went through structured literacy training to teach her how to better teach reading. Zoe is also part of the ESOL (English as a Second Language) tutoring program at Riverwood and a tutor in the school’s writing center, where she leads the virtual tutoring program. “Through my volunteer work, I have become a kinder and more patient person,” Zoe said. “I have learned to remain grateful for Riverwood High School everything in my life, and I have also grown my passion for education.”

Zoe Van de Grift, 18




s a freshman in high school, Kira got involved with Friendship Circle and Gigi’s Playhouse where she helped a young girl with Down Syndrome to enter mainstream classes. She also teaches music and dance therapy classes for adolescents with Down Syndrome. Helping the underprivileged in her ancestral home of South African included donatThe Weber School ing clothes, cooking dinner for an all-girls shelter, and bringing dinner to homeless individuals while on family visits. She also volunteers at the Bremen Jewish Home, helping serve meals, playing bingo, and reading to residents. Kira also worked with Am Yisrael Chai to plant daffodils around the world to honor those that perished in the Holocaust. Each year, she runs an annual 5k to remember those who perished and assists Holocaust survivors to light candles at the annual Holocaust Remembrance Program. “I’ve noticed that when you shift the focus from yourself to serving others, you are able to experience a more gratifying form of joy,” Kira said “The experiences, love, relationships, and skills I have gained through my volunteering will stay with me forever and will continue to influence my actions.”

Kira Berzack, 18


atherine spent three years creating Troop Hope, a web-based program launched last winter allowing girls of all ages undergoing long-term medical treatments in the hospital to participate in Girl Scouts and earn special badges. Started at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta hospitals, Troop Hope has expanded to 10 hospitals in six states, with others expressing Coastal Carolina University interest in offering the program once pandemic regulations ease. With Troop Hope, Catherine earned her Gold Award, the highest achievement in Girl Scouting, completed by only 6% of Scouts. In addition, she received the Scouts’ highest honor as Woman of Distinction. “Volunteering and giving back to my community has given me so many opportunities to expand my horizons and has always made me feel empowered knowing that my efforts are making a positive impact on someone else’s life,” Catherine said.

Catherine Friedline, 18

46 JANUARY 2022 |

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A Perfect Match

New event center, foster care nonprofit join forces for good painting, dinner and a service project. Guests filled “Love Boxes” with family night-type items for foster care families. “It’s important to hold those types of events, but we like to reserve as much of our finances as possible to go into our programs. So, to not have to use that money to pay for an event space is really incredible. We’re super grateful for that,” said Simons, Atlanta Angels’ executive director. “We wanted the whole evening to be really just incredible and memorable and the space really lended itself to that. The space is amazing.” The 6,000-square-foot venue is in renovated 1950’s-era warehouse space

in the Blandtown neighborhood on Huff Road. It features 17-foot-high black ceilings, brick walls, and a white wall used for projection. Nonprofits are charged “very nominal” fees for security, valet parking and cleaning, Pelissier said. Willis’ clothing store, Willis and Walker, occupies 6,000 square feet on the other side of the building. Collaborating with Atlanta Angels was appealing to Pelissier and Willis, who both have long experience in youthrelated nonprofit work. In 2002, Willis co-founded the Atlanta Children’s Foundation, which Continued on page 48

By Donna Williams Lewis Christie Simons was looking for event space for Atlanta Angels, a nonprofit she co-founded in 2020 to serve the foster care community. At the same time, event planner Lauren Pelissier was eager to fulfill her vision for 42West, the event space she recently created with former Atlanta Hawks player Kevin Willis (#42) on Atlanta’s Upper Westside. Focused on creating high-end occasions such as red-carpet film premieres, 42West was designed to also give back to the community. Its paid events are a funding stream allowing Atlanta nonprofits to rent the space at zero rental cost. Simons and Pelissier found each other through mutual social media connections and the result was “incredible,” Simons said. Atlanta Angels became the first charity hosted at 42West, launching its “Until Every Child is Reached” campaign at the venue on Nov. 11. The “Influence for Impact” event featured live music, live artist At l a n t a I n t o w n Pa p e r. c o m

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This page and next: Atlanta Angels’ “Until Every Child is Reached” was the first charity event hosted at the 42West event space. (Photos by Beri Irving)

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Lauren Pelissier of 42West, right, and Christie Simons, founder of Atlanta Angels. 5389 epst SSR ad_f.indd 1



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supports children living in long-term foster care. Pelissier, a Southern California native now living in Decatur, ran a camp for homeless children for 18 years. She’s the founder of S’more Smiles, a nonprofit

that provides a camp experience for children in hospitals. The Atlanta Angels event “literally filled our walls with love,” Pelissier said. “They’re lovely humans, doing amazing work.” A counselor by training, Simons



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started thinking about helping foster care families while attending an Atlanta Braves game with her husband and the daughter they adopted through the foster care system. “That’s one of our favorite things to do and I was kind of reflecting on how grateful I am,” Simons said. “Then I thought about the fact that there are still thousands of children in foster care in the metro Atlanta area whose childhoods are not filled with fun, happy memories … and I wanted to do something about that.” Georgia had about 12,000 children in foster care as of August 2021, according to the state Division of Family & Children Services. Simons said more than 50 percent of foster families close their homes within the first six months to a year because they feel overwhelmed. Children in foster care move an average of seven times every two years, she said. Atlanta Angels is a chapter of National Angels, which began in Austin, Texas in 2009 and has more than 20 chapters around the country. Simons co-founded the local chapter with Alex Brownfield, current Board chair. Through the Angels’ Love Box program, volunteers deliver boxes filled with items tailored to the specific needs of their matched families every month and spend intentional time with the families, building relationships with them. Simons shared a message an Atlanta Angels Love Box leader received from a foster mom in their program. “Beth” had taken in a sibling set with a medically fragile child who would need intensive care and frequent hospital stays. Despite the challenges she faced, Beth wrote: “I had no idea fostering could be this good. We feel so loved and supported. With previous placements, every day was a struggle, and I didn’t know if we would make it. With the boys and all the support we have, I am positive we can give them everything they need for as long as they need us.”

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How you can help Atlanta Angels has served more than 250 children through its Love Box foster family support program, a Dare to Dream youth mentorship program and special initiatives. For information on volunteering or donating, visit To find out more about the 42West event space, visit

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Talking It Out

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It’s not easy being a middle or high school student today with 24/7 social pressures and the uncertainty of a persistent pandemic. And adolescents who have marginalized identities such as being lowincome, youth of color, and/or LGBTQ+ youth are more likely to experience mental health stressors and less likely to access help, especially in Georgia, which ranks last in the nation for access to mental health care. Hopebound seeks to bridge that gap by providing weekly one-on-one teletherapy to underresourced adolescents, ages 10-17 in Atlanta (and Newark), during the school year. “Hopebound isn’t too good to be true,” said founder Christina Guilbeau. “We provide our services at no or very low cost because our supervised clinicians are pursuing licensure. Our mission is to make mental health support more accessible to adolescents in need.” The nonprofit works with schools, afterschool programs and families for referrals. Hopebound staff meet with each caregiver and youth client to explain their services, complete the intake process and provide devices/hotspots, if needed. The adolescent is then matched with a supervised pre-licensed clinician. “We also have monthly caregiver sessions,” said Cayla Winn, Hopebound

Programs and Operations Manager. “We want parents to be as involved as possible – not breaching any confidentiality – but to check in on how their child is progressing.” While teaching middle school in Baton Rouge, Guilbeau became aware of the lack of mental health support for adolescents. “I saw how it made my students unable to show up in the way they really wanted to because of everything they were dealing with outside of the classroom,” Guilbeau said. She also experienced burnout trying to plan individual lessons for “100 students on almost 100 different proficiency levels,” so she sought mental health support for herself. “I had been dealing with what is called ‘high functioning anxiety and depression’ since I was 14.” Guilbeau said. That’s the age at which 50 percent of lifetime cases of mental illness begin. Her “aha” moment came later while pursuing her MBA in nonprofit management at Stanford Graduate School of Business. “During that time, one of my former students with whom I’m very close almost took her own life,” Guilbeau said. “I was the only adult who knew what was going on. I needed to do something.” Meanwhile, Guilbeau’s friends and family members who were pursuing Continued on page 52 At l a n t a I n t o w n Pa p e r. c o m

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mental health professional degrees were struggling to earn their clinical hours. This sparked Guilbeau’s idea to virtually connect adolescents in need of mental health support with supervised clinician interns. “I knew there were so many other kids out there like my student who needed accessible one-on one mental health care,” Guilbeau said. “So I thought, let’s make these two come together. I applied for and received the 2019 Stanford Social Innovation Fellowship and with that funding, launched Hopebound.” Hopebound’s clinicians are graduate students – studying counseling, social work, clinical psychology, or marriage and family therapy – required to complete supervised hours for licensure. Through the nonprofit, they provide talk therapy services and meet with a licensed mental health clinician weekly to review and support their cases. “I tell them, ‘This is as authentic as it’s going to be’,” Winn said. “These are real clients; these are real kids. It’s preparing them for what they are going to do after school.” Current Atlanta clinicians include Brenau University graduate students and a post-graduate clinician from Clark Atlanta University. For the 2021-2022 school year, the nonprofit is serving 42 adolescents in Atlanta, coming from SLAM! Atlanta

charter school (grades 4 - 6), Paideia (financial scholarship students) and caregiver referrals. “We will be launching a virtual group in January with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta, with an estimated 8-10 participants,” Guilbeau shared. Research indicates that clients can show improvement within a few months of starting therapy. This is consistent with Hopebound’s initial results; all clients reporting a 21% average improvement in their mental health functioning. “I have learned how to identify and cope with sudden feelings of anxiety, and that I am not as alone as I would think,” a client shared. “My children adore their therapists (as do we) and seem to have a much greater understanding of their emotions” a caregiver shared. “I think having a neutral, relatable third party in their corner helps them feel heard and understood in a way that they hadn’t felt before.” The nonprofit is seeking more Atlanta partners to reach more adolescents and prelicensed clinicians. “We try to be responsible with our growth because we know how fragile this is, “Guilbeau said. “We were unable to serve all interested families and community partners due to limited capacity. We are excited to be able to expand next school year.” Caregivers, schools, and community partners learn more at

A different approach

makes all the difference

52 JANUARY 2022 |

Harlem Globetrotters visit Cumberland Academy By Amy Wenk

The students of Sandy Springsbased Cumberland Academy of Georgia were treated to some impressive basketball skills. Torch George and Moose Weekes of the Harlem Globetrotters took part in the school’s annual Faculty vs. Students basketball game. The Globetrotters joined the student team, and former NFL player Lee Woodall played with the faculty members. Other celebrities From left, Torch George of the Harlem Globetrotters; Debbi Scarborincluded Gina ough, founder and head of school for Cumberland Academy of Georgia; Eddie Lee Wilkins, a former Atlanta Hawks player; and Moose Weekes Kavali, a radio of the Harlem Globetrotters. (Photos courtesy of Cumberland Academy personality for of Georgia) Cumulus Media, who acted as the sports commentator. Former NBA player Eddie Lee Wilkins refereed the game. “The game was full of dunks, three For 70+ years, pointers, intensity and fun,” said a The Howard School Cumberland Academy spokesperson. has been providing “Torch demonstrated her Guinness World EXCEPTIONAL Record move for the most basketball LEARNING EXPERIENCES under the leg tumbles in one minute, and Moose landed an impressive long shot for students with basket in a single attempt. Ultimately, the language-based learning disabilities students brought home the win with a and learning differences score of 52-15.” Cumberland Academy serves students in grades 4 through 12 who have highfunctioning autism, Asperger’s syndrome, n K-12 attention deficit disorder (ADD), n Personalized Instruction attention deficit hyperactivity disorder n Interdisciplinary Team of Experts n State-of-the-Art Assistive Technology (ADHD) and learning disabilities. n Spacious 17-acre campus in the heart “We are blessed to have such of Atlanta’s vibrant Westside district influential people take time out of their busy schedules to be a part of these memorable events and serve our students,” said Debbi For more information about Scarborough, founder and head of The Howard School, please visit school for Cumberland Academy. “The Globetrotters’ natural talent to combine entertainment and skill provided the 1192 Foster Street, N.W. encouragement even our most introverted Atlanta, GA 30318 404.377.7436 students needed to keep trying until they succeeded.” At l a n t a I n t o w n Pa p e r. c o m


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▲Two Atlanta students have been selected as Rhodes Scholars for 2022. Sarah A. Skinner, a senior political science major at the United States Naval Academy, and Ahmed Aljohani, a senior biology major at Emory University, have earned the prestigious academic award. The scholarship provides all expenses for up to three years of study at the University of Oxford in England.

Atlanta Public Schools has rescheduled a virtual community meeting to receive input on the district’s Facilities Master Plan. The meeting will now be held on Tuesday, Jan. 25, 6 to 7:30 PM. This informational meeting will share the background of the work to date, current enrollment data, estimated future enrollment, and the potential impact those projections have on school buildings.The completed Facilities Master Plan will make recommendations to address capacity and enrollment in APS facilities over the next five (2025-2026 school year) and next 10 years (2030-2031 school year). It will include recommendations for the best and highest uses for district properties, as well as a property disposal plan. For additional information about Facilities Master Planning, visit, FMP. Captain Planet Foundation and Delta Air Lines have partnered with a Project Learning Garden contest to bring gardens to elementary schools. The contest will be open to submissions in Atlanta, Seattle, and New York City where Delta employees will volunteer time to help students install and plant the gardens at all schools selected under this program. The application deadline is Jan. 14. More information can be found at A religious studies scholar at Georgia State University has received a grant from the


The Atlanta-Journal Constitution is committed to facilitating conversations on the topics important to aging well in Atlanta and providing you resources to live your best senior life — especially in today’s challenging environment.

Visit us at to access recordings of our virtual events, sign up for the newsletter, and learn more about our special print sections. You’ll find plenty of 55+ focused content there as well as links to our previously published sections and events. Aging in Atlanta will return this spring with new monthly print sections featuring more local content than ever.

supported families, teachers, and students through funding for school supplies, learning support and teacher childcare grant contributions.

Henry Luce Foundation to develop digital and physical archives to highlight Black women religious leaders’ contributions to religious communities and activism in the United States. Monique Moultrie, associate professor of religious studies at Georgia State, and Rosetta Ross, professor of religious studies at Spelman College, are co-principal investigators on the threeyear project, which kicks off in January. The project, named The Garden Initiative for Black Women’s Religious Activism, will also include an intergenerational mentorship program, an oral history project, an international scholarly conference and a special journal issue.

Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School students participating in the school’s Corporate Work Study Program (CWSP) settled into a new Remote Work Hub thanks to the support of Banyan Street Capital and Colliers International. Approximately one-fourth of the school’s CWSP students will be temporarily working within Downtown’s Marquis Two at Peachtree Center, which will serve as a satellite office for students until the program’s corporate partners return to work and can host the students in person.

Marist School presents the Marist Evening Series, three evenings (Jan. 24, Jan. 31, and Feb. 7) of courses for adults taught by the school’s faculty and staff. Registration for the Marist Evening Series is open now through Jan.21. Course topics include art history; religion and spirituality; virtual reality; history and culture; college planning; ceramics; natural dye workshop (art); music; creative writing; and more. Register online at C5 Georgia Youth Foundation, a fiveyear leadership development program serving under-resourced middle and high school youth, has been approved by the Georgia Department of Education to receive funding through the Building Opportunities in Out-of-School Time (BOOST) grants program. “Our goal is to expand access in order to serve more youth, including students and communities most impacted by the pandemic. This past year, that has included increasing programmatic quality and enhancing the supports we offer,” said Jackie Cannizzo, C5 Georgia, executive director. Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA) was named as Atlanta Public Schools’ 2021 Partner of The Year at the recent APyeS! Awards Reception and Ceremony. MBUSA was nominated following their longstanding commitment to APS, specifically the work they’ve done with partner schools Michael R. Hollis Innovation Academy and Leonora P. Miles Elementary School. As part of their partnership, MBUSA has

54 JANUARY 2022 |

◄The Atlanta Board of Education extended the contract of Superintendent Dr. Lisa Herring through the 2023-2024 school year at its December meeting. “I am thrilled by this vote of confidence in this team from our Board,” Dr. Herring said. “We know that we have a lot of hard work ahead of us, but I look forward to continuing our efforts to meet those challenges by fostering academic excellence for all of our students, building a culture of student support, equipping and empowering leaders and staff, and creating a system of support for schools.”

▲The Atlanta Hawks and Clorox are honoring teachers from Atlanta Public Schools as a part of a special campaign called Year of the Teacher. At the Dec.5 game versus the Charlotte Hornets, the Hawks recognized Dorothy Chu, first grade English teacher for the Dual Language Immersion Program from Morris Brandon Elementary and Charles Astin, second grade teacher from F.L. Stanton Elementary. At l a n t a I n t o w n Pa p e r. c o m

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