January 2019 - Brookhaven

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JANUARY 2019 • VOL. 11 — NO. 1

Brookhaven Reporter

JANU ARY 20 19

Section Two

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Under 20 ►Exceptional Educator ►Raising money for music

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Brookhaven teacher tackles Civil Rights legacy with Super Bowl murals EXCEPT



Super Bowl brings business excitement, traffic worries P20


His life retiree changed, focus infinds new kids P2 helping 6


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Legislator lends personal experience to ‘fake service animals’ study P17








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Ronald McDonald House planned for CHOA campus BY DYANA BAGBY


Keeping it hyperlocal P14



This mural painted by Yehimi Cambron depicts portraits of Dreamers, or undocumented young people who were brought to the U.S. illegally when they were children. The mural is part of the “Off the Wall” public art project organized to highlight the city’s Civil Rights legacy when visitors come to the city for the Super Bowl.



BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

When tens of thousands of people flock to Atlanta for the Super Bowl next month, they will be greeted by dozens of colorful murals painted throughout the city that highlight the Civil Rights legacy. Two of the murals were painted by Cross Keys High School art teacher Yehimi Cambron, an artist willing to tackle controversy through her art by raising up the voices of undocumented immigrants. Cambron first made her mark in the

world of murals in 2017 with a colorful mural featuring large monarch butterflies on the side of the Havana Sandwich Shop on Buford Highway in Brookhaven. The mural was one of many murals painted on the sides of various businesses as part of a Living Walls and We Love BuHi collaboration to use public art to bring awareness to the immigrants living and working on Buford Highway. Cambron was selected to participate in the public art project in part because she is a “Dreamer,” a Deferred Action


See BROOKHAVEN on page 16

in the

New Year


AnnaMaria Cammilli exclusively at

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta is seeking to build a Ronald McDonald House — a short-term residence for patients and their families — at its new 70-acre medical campus at the I-85 and North Druid Hills interchange. And with plans to open its new $1.3 billion hospital in 2025, state and federal officials are studying what to do at the crucial interchange already notorious for heavy traffic and congestion. CHOA officials say their wish is for a diverging diamond at the interchange to help with flow of traffic into the campus and surrounding neighborhoods. CHOA is investing $10 million in local match money for the interchange improvements. The Georgia Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration will have final say on what will be constructed at the interchange, but when a decision will be made is unknown, CHOA officials said at a Jan. 3 community meeting. They did say they expect work to be completed in time for the hospital’s opening in six years. CHOA recently announced plans to build an up to eight-story building or hotel at the site of the nearly 4-acre site of the former Executive Park apartments at 2580 Briarcliff Road. The Ronald McDonald House facility would include up to 150 rooms. The property is currently zoned multifamily residential (RM-85) and CHOA is asking it to be rezoned See RONALD on page 15

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‘Gateway arch’ planned for Brookhaven Park entrance BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

An iconic “gateway arch” entrance on Peachtree Road is being planned for the Brookhaven Park and will be paid for with money from the recently approved $40 million parks bond. But how much the new entrance would cost remains unknown and getting buy-in from the state Department of Transportation is also necessary. The location and look of the entrance are key in defining the city’s overall aesthetic, according to Councilmember Linley Jones. She said she is seeking an iconic entrance into the city’s “premier park,” which spans some 20 acres at the corner of Peachtree and Osborne roads. “I don’t think [the city] views this as just a Brookhaven Park feature,” she said at the Dec. 11 City Council meeting. “[T] hat’s a major city feature.” The council approved the Brookhaven Park master plan at the Dec. 11 meeting, but were told by Parks and Recreation Director Brian Borden the new entrance was being designed separately. The council at its Jan. 8 meeting approved a $325,000 contract to Lose & Associates to complete engineering and design for Brookhaven Park. This more detailed plan will include design of the gateway arch, Borden said. A timeline of when it will be completed is not yet known, he said. The new entrance must first gain design approval from the Georgia Department of Transportation, because Peachtree Road is a state road, according to city officials. Discussions between city staff and GDOT officials are having about the entrance include ensuring it is accessible for those with disabilities and construction of a retaining wall. GDOT is expected to put out bids for a new walkable design of Peachtree Road in 2021, according to city officials. Design of the new gateway entrance is based on a years-old watercolor painting from the Brookhaven Park Conservancy. The painting, dating back to at least 2015, shows tall, granite columns with a black, wrought iron arch between them where “Brookhaven Park” is spelled out. City spokesperson Burke Brennan said the same painting discussed three years ago was provided to city officials by Mike Elliot of the Brookhaven Conservancy when public engagement began Sept. 13 on the current Brookhaven Park master plan. How much new community input was included for the gateway entrance is not clear. The illustration is conceptual, Bren-


Above, the Brookhaven Park master plan includes a bigger playground area, wash stands for dogs, improved parking and an expanded community garden area.

Left, city officials say this illustration dating back several years is being used as the basis for a new Brookhaven Park entrance on Peachtree Road. The illustration was submitted to the city by members of the Brookhaven Park Conservancy.

nan added. Borden said the gateway is intended to look like the massive granite and iron entrances at Piedmont Park in Atlanta. Councilmember Bates Mattison agreed with Jones that the entrance on the major Peachtree Road thoroughfare and across the street from the Brookhaven-Oglethorpe MARTA Station would serve as a major component of branding the city’s identity. He said the city should “spare no expense” in ensuring it portrays a positive image of Brookhaven. No estimate of the gateway arch entrance’s cost has been publicly stated. The Brookhaven Park master plan is to receive $6 million from the $40 million parks bond approved by voters in a November referendum. Slightly more than $2 million from the $6 million is being used to purchase from DeKalb County approximately 7 acres at the front of the park, fronting Peachtree Road and where the entrance will be built. That leaves about $4 million for the gateway arch and for any master plan renovations. The city’s website information for Brookhaven Park as part of the parks bond plans for each park states $4 million would go toward Peachtree Road access and improvements and programming for the dog park. City Manager Christian Sigman said Dec. 11 that constructing the gate-

way arch entrance is a top priority for the city. The city would likely have to phase the park’s master plan, he added. “I don’t believe this master plan can be funded with $4 million. We will have to come back [to council] on how to phase the work,” he said. What this process may look like is not yet known. The $6 million amount to approve in the $40 million parks bond for Brookhaven Park was hotly debated in July when members voted to put the referendum on the ballot. Brookhaven Park was originally budgeted to receive $8 million. But because the park did not yet have an approved master plan, the council voted to eliminate $2 million from that total; doing so also brought the total parks bond amount from $42 million to $40 million. Mattison, who voted against putting the parks bond on the ballot, voiced concerns about reducing Brookhaven Park’s master plan budget. Mayor John Ernst said he believed the $4 million would cover the master plan design and improvements. He said the city also built in $9 million in contingency funds in the parks bond that likely will not all be used. Some of those remaining contingency funds can be used at Brookhaven Park if needed, he said. Last year, the City Council approved dividing Brookhaven Park essentially into two parks by agreeing to fence

off the back 5 acres for an off-leash dog park. Dogs are allowed in all areas of the park, but only are allowed off-leash in the fenced off area. The final master plan for Brookhaven Park’s dog park area includes: replacing the existing pavilion and patio; adding restrooms and a grilling area; repaving the existing walk area and adjusting grading for Americans with Disabilities Act access; mulching the natural trail areas; adding a new pavilion with tables at the lower field; adding play equipment and washing and splash pad stations for the dogs; adding waste stations; and adding pedestrian-level lighting along paths and pavilion areas. At the front of the park, a concrete pad to be used as a stage during festivals will be added; a new full-size basketball court with timed lighting is planned; and the community garden area will get a cleanup and expansion with restrooms and storage space. A large open field remains essentially the same. The new playground will be ADA-accessible and much bigger than the one now and will include equipment for various ages. Landscaping will be added along the playground to provide a natural buffer between it and the dog park. Also included are an open play area, shaded seating, a new pavilion with restrooms, and a drinking fountain. Lose Design completed the master plan for Brookhaven Park and is designing the gateway entrance. BK

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An illustration of what a proposed redevelopment along Peachtree Road would look like, including a new office and retail building at 4362 Peachtree Road at far left where the current City Hall building now sits. A six-story hotel is also proposed at the corner of Hermance Drive and Peachtree Road.


A six-story hotel is included in revised plans for a proposed redevelopment on Peachtree Road where Brookhaven City Hall now sits. The project also would include a new office building, retail space and parking decks. Developer Taylor Mathis is seeking a municipal tax abatement, according to documents on file with the city. The Zoning Board of Appeals will take up requests for variances from the developer for the hotel at its Jan. 16 meeting. The proposed redevelopment of about 6 acres at 4362, 4364, 4370, 4392 and 4400 includes tearing down City Hall to make way for a new six-story office and retail building. The proposed hotel would go at the corner of Peachtree Road and Hermance Drive, where an urgent care center now sits. An existing five-story office building would remain. The city has a lease with the property owner, Delta Life Insurance, for the City Hall building until 2024. The lease agreement includes a provision that either party can get out of the lease with a nine-month notice. The city has not received any notice of when redevelopment may begin. The proposed hotel includes rooftop bar and other space that would be open to the public, according to Mike Irby of Taylor Mathis. The hotel would include outdoor café seating for the public, he said.


Anyone who lives, works and travels along North Druid Hills Road is invited to weigh in on the future of the busy corridor at two upcoming open houses hosted by the city. Identical public open houses for the North Druid Hills Corridor Study will be held on Monday, Jan. 14, and Wednesday, Jan. 16, from 6 to 8 p.m. The first open house on Jan. 14 will be held at City Hall Council Chambers, 4362 Peachtree Road N.E., and the second open house on Jan. 16 will be held at the Briarwood Community Center, 2235 Briarwood Way N.E. The public is invited to visit either public meeting at any time between 6 and 8 p.m. to learn more about the study and view preliminary ideas for intersection improvements, lane configurations and enhanced facilities for people walking, biking and using transit, according to a press release. The North Druid Hills Road Corridor Study is a visioning process to gain general consensus for a range of short-term, mid-term, and long-term options to improve traffic operations, safety and multimodal connectivity for the North Druid Hills Road corridor. The study will be completed simultaneously with the traffic analysis associated with the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Development of Regional Impact (DRI) and I-85/ North Druid Hills Road interchange improvement, according to the release. This project began in July 2018 and is expected to be completed in April 2019. A second round of public open houses will be held in March 2019. For more information, visit the project page at BrookhavenGa.gov/NDruidHills.


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Millar will miss ‘being in the game’ at State Capitol BY DYANA BAGBY

pundits, including Millar, agree her campaign pushed many down-ticket Democrats over the finish line to victory. Nowhere was that truer than in north Fulton and DeKalb counties, he said, where Democrats won traditional Republican strongholds not only in Dunwoody, but in Sandy Springs, Brookhaven and Buckhead. “This year it wasn’t a wave in the metro area, it was tsunami,” Millar said. That tsunami included thousands of voters from apartment complexes, where Democrats spent significant resources in their get-out-the-vote efforts, Millar said. Two years ago, during the presidential election, 75,000 votes were cast in his district that includes Dunwoody and portions of Sandy Springs, Brookhaven and Gwinnett County. During last year’s midterm election, he expected maybe 60,000 people would vote in his district. But the final number was again 75,000. The political truth now, Millar said, is that Republicans in metro Atlanta can no longer depend on single-family homeowners to win elections. Later, he added that what he meant was actually code for white single-family homeowners. As new people continue to move to Georgia, Republicans have to find issues that matter to Asians, Latinos and women, he said. “You’re not going to win over people coming to this state with guns and abortion,” he said.


For the first time in two decades, Fran Millar will not be headed this month to the State Capitol, ready to begin another legislative session. Instead, he’ll be wearing a pair of swim trunks and sitting on a beach in the Turks and Caicos Islands with other tourists seeking escape from their everyday lives. Don’t let that sunny image fool you, though. Millar would rather be sporting a tie and khakis and be seated in the Senate chamber listening for the hammer of the gavel to start another 40 days of debating policy and voting on bills. “When you do something for 20 years, you don’t just turn the switch,” he said while sipping a latte from an oversized mug a few days after the New Year at Crema Espresso Gourmet shop on Mount Vernon Road. Millar served in the state House from 1999-2011 and then in the state Senate from 2011 through this month when his term officially ended. He lost his first race ever on Nov. 6 to Democrat Sally Harrell in an election largely defined by anti-Trump sentiment, changing demographics in the affluent suburbs, and overwhelming Democrat voter turnout spurred by Stacey Abrams’ historic bid for governor. He said he has no plans to run for another elected office and is still searching for what to do in this next phase of his life. The Trump factor He has a Dunwoody office he goes to every day and works on Another major factor in his loss, according to Millar, is that finding online purchasing packages for clients like Piedmont many Republican women stayed home. When 55 percent of colHealthcare. lege-educated women can determine an election, this factor Millar plays golf, likes jigsaw puzzles and has five grandDYANA BAGBY was significant, he said. children living in Dunwoody to keep him busy. His dream right Fran Millar, 69, wrapped up 20 years “People came up to my wife, people came up to me, to say, ‘I as a state legislator this month. now is to work for the Georgia Board of Regents, where his expedon’t think I can vote for you because of Donald Trump,’” Milrience as chair of the state Higher Education Committee could lar said. be useful, he said. He’s also a member of the Southern RegionMillar, a 69-year-old lifelong Republican who backed John Kasich in the presidential prial Education Board. mary two years ago, said he voted for Trump because he wanted him to select the next “You have to have reason to get up in the morning, so I have to see what that’s going to be going forward,” he said. Supreme Court justices. He said he tried to stave off anti-Trump sentiment from affecting “I’m a person of faith and believe things happen for reason. I’ve still got my brains, and his campaign too much by telling voters he applauded most of the president’s policies but the opportunity to do something worthwhile,” he added. “Time will tell.” didn’t condone his behavior. “But it didn’t matter … because I’m a Republican,” he said. He added he is probably ready ‘It was a tsunami’ for Vice President Mike Pence to become president in 2020. The sting of defeat is still palpable two months after Nov. 6, Millar acknowledged. At 10 “Because I’ve probably had enough,” he said. “Give [Trump] four years. Maybe he’ll be minutes to midnight on Election Night, he was down by only 400 votes and three weeks of bored. Maybe he’ll be impeached by the House.” Dunwoody’s early voting ballots were yet to be counted. Polling by his campaign also had Kemp’s decision to tie himself closely to Trump — including a primary ad where he him in a slight lead. boasted about his “big truck, just in case I need to round up criminal illegals and take ’em But then the numbers rolled in and Harrell got 16,000 early votes to Millar’s 10,000, rehome myself” — likely turned off many metro Atlanta voters who may have supported Milsulting in a final tally of 40,956 to 33,842, or 54.7 percent to 45.2 percent. lar. “I got waxed by 6,000 [early] votes,” he said. “I have to give credit to Sally for running a But Millar stressed he supported Kemp’s campaign because he did what he had to do in good campaign.” rural Georgia to win. “And you can’t do anything without a majority,” Millar said. Although Abrams lost to Republican Brian Kemp in a squeaker of a race, many political “To me, it’s a lot more important that Brian Kemp is governor of this state than Fran Millar getting re-elected, because I believe this election was about capitalism versus socialism,” he said. “I don’t believe you can have free everything,” he said, noting Abrams promised to exChinese & Sushi Restaurant pand Medicaid and make college free to some. Best of Atlanta since 1998 “I come from a world of innovation and entrepreneurship, where you are rewarded for the effort you put forward, not that anybody owes you these things,” he said.

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Millar said he is proud of his service on the Higher Education committee and the bill he got passed through state Senate last year to fund testing school children for dyslexia. His support in the House and Senate for new cities including Dunwoody and Brookhaven are proud moments for Millar. He notes he received the Thurgood Marshall award from DeKalb NAACP for his role in changing the Georgia flag to remove Confederate symbols. Another controversial social issue state lawmakers continue to deal with is LGBT equality. In 2004, Millar supported the referendum to change the state constitution to ban samesex marriage, which was overwhelmingly supported by voters. The law was overturned in 2015 when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down all state bans on same-sex marriage. Millar said because of his faith as an active member of Dunwoody United Methodist Church, he does not support same-sex marriage, regardless of the SCOTUS ruling. He said he tried to “tread the middle ground” on the controversial “religious freedom” bills because he said he doesn’t believe in discrimination. The bills continue to be introduced by legislators despite a veto by Gov. Nathan Deal, but Millar predicts they will continue to get nowhere in the upcoming session. BK

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GDOT to talk toll lanes in meetings; property impacts unclear BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

The Georgia Department of Transportation will discuss its controversial plans for adding toll lanes along the I-285/Ga. 400 interchange early next year in meetings at Sandy Springs schools and the Dunwoody Homeowners Association. Possible property-taking is a major concern, but GDOT has repeatedly refused to release any proposed right of way taking information in response to Reporter open records requests — even general estimates of the number of affected properties, which David Hudson, an attorney on the board of the Georgia First Amendment Foundation, says would not be exempt from disclosure. GDOT variously cites open records law exemptions for real estate transactions, claims the information does not yet exist, or says the information does exist but is not ready for public presentation. Meanwhile, it has shown some projected property-taking details to Fulton County Schools and says a full estimate will be available at public meetings coming later this year. Meanwhile, two meetings at Fulton County schools will particularly address the district’s concerns about the possible property-taking and other impacts at local schools from the new toll lanes. The meetings are scheduled for Jan. 14, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Dunwoody Springs Elementary, 8100 Roberts Drive; and Jan. 16, 6:30-8 p.m., at Riverwood International Charter School, 5900 Raider Drive. The DHA will have GDOT at its board meeting on Feb. 10 from 7:30-9 p.m. at the North DeKalb Cultural Arts Center, 5339 ChambleeDunwoody Road. The influential community group represents a city whose officials are increasingly expressing concerns about how the toll lanes might impact such neighborhoods as Georgetown. GDOT’s “express lanes” or “managed lanes” project would add four new toll-only lanes along I-285 and Ga. 400 in the Perimeter Center area over the next decade, with the intent of improving overall traffic flow. The Ga. 400 lanes also would carry a new MARTA bus rapid transit route.



The early concepts for the toll lanes have already rattled some officials in Dunwoody and Sandy Springs for possible land-taking and the idea of putting the lanes on ramps towering 30 feet or higher over neighborhoods and plugging into new interchanges onto such local streets as Mount Vernon Highway. So far, GDOT has not held general public meetings about the toll lanes plans, but says that such meetings are coming in the “first quarter” of 2019 for the Ga. 400 plan and later in the year for the I-285 plan. GDOT has met off-and-on privately with “stakeholders,” such as the school system and the city of Sandy Springs, for over a year to get feedback on some details, and occasionally at local City Council meetings. GDOT also says it will meet with any local organization, such as a homeowners association, but it does not proactively notify residents who might be affected.

The new “managed lanes” for Ga. 400 run on elevated ramps in this sample concept design from the Georgia Department of Transportation. Similar lanes would be added to I-285.


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From Atlanta to Broadway A Q&A with Courtenay Collins of the hit musical ‘The Prom’ BY DOUG CARROLL

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Calling “The Prom” a “gay teen romantic farce,” as Vanity Fair did a few months ago, is like calling New York a big city — true, but demanding a fuller description. The Atlanta-born musical, which opened on Broadway to positive reviews in November, is making a lasting impression on audiences that goes beyond its peppy songs, energetic choreography, eye-popping costuming and satire of show business. It has something more to say, according to Courtenay Collins of Sandy Springs, who has a performing role in the production and is hearing nightly from those who are moved by it. “It’s a story with a heart,” says Collins, who was cast for the show’s local premiere at the Alliance Theatre in August 2016 and has moved on with it to Broadway. She is the only Atlantan to appear in either version. “It delights me that it’s being embraced in New York,” she says. “We had a hint of that in Atlanta. But people are coming to see it two, three, four times. It’s a joyous thing.” Back home, Collins is part of a wellknown Sandy Springs family. Mother Jan is a founder of many artistic and charitable programs, including the city’s mascot turtle sculptures and the new City Springs Theatre Company, which is focused on musicals. Brother Chip is a former member of the City Council and last year chaired the Sandy Springs Perimeter Chamber of Commerce. Courtenay attended the arts program at Riverwood International Charter School — where her son, Spencer Vise, is now a student — and also studied at the University of Georgia and The Juilliard School. In “The Prom,” Collins plays Mrs. Greene, a conservative woman in a conservative Indiana town whose lesbian daughter, Alyssa, hasn’t come out. Alyssa is outed when she and her girlfriend, Emma, are denied an opportunity to participate in the high school dance. When some Broadway opportunists parachute in to take up the girls’ cause, chaos ensues and the laughs start rolling. But the tension between Alyssa and her mother is as real as can be, and that’s one of many things Collins values about “The Prom,” which has an openended run at the Longacre Theatre. Its cast recording was released just before Christmas.

Courtenay Collins


We caught Collins on a recent day off to ask about “The Prom” and its place in her career.


Has the show’s reception on Broadway surprised you?

A: This business is crazy and fickle. You

can’t count on things in the arts as far as what will be a hit. But I’m not surprised. The story blew me away at the first table reading in 2016 at the Alliance. It had all the elements of something special — it was vibrant, current and exciting. Its success validates what I always thought.


You’ve had a lengthy career in theater that includes a touring production of “The Phantom of the Opera.” But “The Prom” represents your Broadway debut. Was it worth the wait?


I pinch myself every day. The walk to the theater from my apartment is a dream come true. We just did nine shows in five days. People leap to their feet, they laugh, they cry. When we come out for the curtain call, you can hear the roar of the crowd. To witness 1,000 people every night reacting that way is incredible. Making my debut on this end of my career means so much more to me. I’m at an age where I really appreciate things and take nothing for granted. I’m grateful for every show, and it will never get old to me.


You have a son who is still in high school He and your husband, Michael Eckardt, are back in Atlanta. How does the family make your stint on Broadway work?

A: They’re holding down the fort. And my mom [Jan Collins] is still in Sandy Springs. Everyone was here in New York for Christmas. We’re making it work. It’s not easy, but they’ve been very supportive. On opening night, I said the only thing I wanted was for Spencer and my husband to come to the show

Art & Entertainment | 7

JANUARY 2019 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net and understand why I had “abandoned” them. It was a magical night, with a lastminute snowstorm, an audience that was crazy and fabulous, and a bash afterward at the Copacabana. [Spencer] looked at me and said he was so proud of me.

seeing “Beauty and the Beast” at age 2. When the kids have it in them, their parents will call me and say, “I have a 4-year-old daughter who sings Broadway musicals all the time. What do I do?”


What will you remember most about “The Prom”? What has endeared the show to you?


With this show, you get on this train and it never stops. Maybe it slows down some, but it DEEN VAN MEER never stops Courtney Collins, center right, and Isabelle McCalla share a until the end. moment during a Broadway performance of “The Prom.” When it finally does, you’ve been on this incredible ride. Q: Talk about how you have ap- It kind of takes your legs out from underneath you. It stays with you. You leave proached the role of Mrs. Greene and the theater and you’re not talking about her struggle with her daughter’s sexuwhere you’re going for dinner. You want al identity. to keep talking about it. A: People sometimes say, “How does it feel to play the bad guy?” But I don’t see Q: Any prediction on how long it will it that way. She is a mom who wants the run? best for her kid but doesn’t have the perA: May it run forever! spective of what’s coming. All families and communities have people from different ends of the spectrum. Living in Atlanta and being an actress, I took my kids to shows at an early age and we’ve discussed this all along. They have many gay “uncles” and “aunts.”

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In Atlanta, the role was very stereotypical and it was a smaller role. At a lab in New York last winter, the writers created more scenes with her daughter. You see how much she loves her daughter and is so protective of her. There are these nuggets of compassion woven into her. I love the arc of the character. The writers didn’t want her story tied up in a neat little package. They wanted some of the tension between her and her daughter. So many parents and kids will say, “Your dialogue reminds me so much of what we’ve experienced.” Gay men and women will say that their mother said the same things. The writers were so precise in getting it right.

Q: What was your first introduction to musical theater?


At age 16, I saw “A Chorus Line” at the Fox in Atlanta. I didn’t know musical theater was a thing you could do. That lit a flame in me, and from then on it was, “How do I sign up?” It’s in me. I’m also a voice coach, and the kids come in younger and younger now. They’re

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We would like to thank our clients, friends, and family for their great support in 2018. We look forward to an even better 2019.

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I am not a cook A friend had — as women do — made dinner for our family when we were in a time of need, and her chicken cacciatore was so darn delicious that I asked her for the recipe. She graciously complied. I started reading it enthusiastically but stopped as soon as I saw “pound the chicken breasts.” There are lines in the kitchen that I will not cross, and pounding chicken breasts is one of them. Websites and cooking shows try to entice me into crossing my culinary line by presenting dishes that use just five ingredients, but I am not fooled. To me, it’s not the amount of ingredients that matters. It’s what I have to do with them. I’ll use 20 different ingredients if all I need to do is throw them into a pot. The number is inconsequential, as long as I don’t have to clarify, pulse, knead, crimp or spatchcock any of them, I also don’t want to brush anything with egg wash. I enjoyed doing it with my grandmother when I was ten, but the appeal has worn off. Perhaps it will be fun again when I have grandchildren of my own. And that brings me to another personal premise, which is that cooking is better with a partner. I need Robin Conte lives with someone to distract myself from the fact that I’m doing her husband in an empit. ty nest in Dunwoody. To I cannot, however, cook while I’m entertaining. For contact her or to buy her me, that’s like texting while driving. In my opinion, new column collection, if you are someone who unwraps a piece of raw meat “The Best of the Nest,” from its Styrofoam packing as your guests are walking see robinconte.com. in the door, you have achieved a level of confidence in the kitchen that I can only admire and will never attain. I need to focus heavily on the dishes I prepare, and I need to make them up to three days ahead if I’m having a dinner party. I also cannot experiment with something new if I’m entertaining; I need to use a recipe I have prepared 187 times before. I have four such recipes: a hot appetizer and roast for the fall/winter seasons, and a cold feta and grilled meat for spring/summer. That means that I can only invite you to dinner at my house twice. So, I think you’re getting the point that I’m not that great in the kitchen. I believe that there is a talent to cooking, and in that department, I have no talent. I do however have a talent for finding friends who excel at it. How good are they, you ask? When I take a bite of something that they have prepared, I have to put down my fork and compose myself. My food does not elicit that kind of response. Well it might, but for very different reasons. A good cook can sense his or her way around the kitchen, intuiting when to flip the steak and when to stop seasoning the sauce, in much the same way that a lost dog can find his way home. A true cook knows when the cake is done … just by listening to it. A true cook enjoys cooking. I am not a true cook, and the signs of that abound. I have no working food processor or juicer, no mandoline, no cream of tartar. I use a handheld mixer. My knives are dull. I have never, nor will I ever, brine poultry. And I will not pound a chicken breast. I do, however, love reading recipes and imagining how wonderful it would be if someone made them for me. If you’re interested, I’ll have a hot appetizer and a roast waiting for you.

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Robin’s Nest

Read Robin Conte’s debut book ‘The Best of the Nest’ “The Best of the Nest” offers 49 of Reporter Newspapers columnist Robin Conte’s witty essays on suburban family life, organized by seasons. They include some of the pieces that won Robin the first-place Lifestyle/Features Column award in 2017 and 2018 and first-place for Humorous column in 2018 from the Georgia Press Association.

Order the book at bestofthenest.net Follow Robin’s book-related appearances at robinconte.com.

Food & Drink | 9

JANUARY 2019 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Food for Thought: ‘Low and slow’ is the key for Chef Scott Serpas BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

rants. The love of food and cooking, however, is a family tradition.

Renowned Q: Who taught chef Scott Serpas you to cook? burst on the AtA: Well, growlanta restaurant ing up as one of scene more than five kids and I’m a decade ago, the youngest, we working as execdidn’t go out very utive chef at TWO much. Not sure if Urban Licks bewe couldn’t afford fore venturing it or if we didn’t out on his own behave very well! in 2009 with the (Just kidding!) renowned SerMy mom did all pas True Food in the cooking, red the historic Old beans on Monday, Fourth Ward. seafood on FriJust over one day and big famiyear ago, the ly dinners on Sunaward-winning day. We would chef opened Diwatch football xie Q in his own too — go Saints! Brookhaven My dad was in neighborhood charge of sliced SPECIAL where he’s lived meat po-boys on Chef Scott Serpas of Brookhaven opened Dixie for a decade. It’s Saturdays. We did Q just over a year ago on Caldwell Road, near just off bustling crawfish and crab the bustling food scene along Dresden Drive. Dresden Drive, boils too, which I where other notado as well over at ble restaurants make their homes, such Serpas True Food, my first restaurant in as Kaleidoscope Bistro & Pub, Verde TaOld Fourth Ward. queria and Haven Restaurant and Bar. Q: Do you remember the first meal you Dixie Q opened in the former Slice of cooked? Brookhaven site on Caldwell Road, next A: Wow, yes. Peanut butter and jelly, door to a planned mixed-use developwhich I still love! Soft white bread, stickment to be called Dresden Village. The to-the-roof-of-your-mouth peanut butter development is set to include a restauand clumpy grape jelly. Simple is good.

the kids and televisions inside for parents to catch the game.

Q: What do you love about being a chef?

A: Cooking. I’d rather cook than do anything else at my restaurants. Menu development, writing recipes, sourcing local food — these are the things that I truly look forward to each day.

come, the more I’ve found myself more interested in how people cooked in the past ... wood-fire cooking. It’s all about the balance of smoke, seasonings, sweetness, acidity. Comfort sides, as I call them — my [menu item] Meme’s Potato Salad, collard greens ... a good, old-fashioned family Sunday supper. Complete with sweet tea, of course!

Q: What is your opinion of the food

scene in metro Atlanta? A: I feel we are seeing restaurants move more and more north — more independent, smaller restaurants rather than chains … the culinary scene here is at its peak.

Q: What’s your go-to comfort food? A: Hands down, gumbo. Also, red beans, meatballs and lasagna.

Q: What other chefs in metro Atlanta or

the South do you admire? A: We have so many new, young chefs in town. Even my own chef de cuisine at Serpas True Food, Manual Lara, keeps us inspired, creative and positive with his ongoing energy. Pop-ups, special, intimate dinner events, cookbooks, and a tremendous amount of culinary events keep this industry interesting day-to-day for guests.


Ribs are a specialty at Dixie Q in Brookhaven.

rant called Dixie Moon, where Serpas would also be the chef. While Serpas declines to talk about Dixie Moon ahead of the project, a representative of the developer said he is still on board, and more announcements are expected this year. Serpas is a New Orleans native who learned his love of the restaurant industry as a busboy at New Orleans restauBK

Q: Why did you decide to open restau-

rants in Brookhaven? A: It is a close-knit, family community. The Dresden area, being walkable, is great to enjoy with my family. We wanted to fill a void in the community with a strong, family-friendly barbecue joint that is casual with great food and an appealing menu, choice-wise and pricewise. We have a swing on our porch for

Q: What’s the best way to cook barbecue

ribs? A: As the old saying goes, low and slow. There was a lot of trial and error when we were developing Dixie Q, and now that we have our feet under us, we are going strong yet still learning every day since we are new.

Q: What makes the best barbecue meal, including sides and beverage? A: I’ve noticed that the older I have be-

CHEF SCOTT SERPAS’ RESTAURANTS Dixie Q 2524 Caldwell Road NE, Brookhaven, 30319 dixie-q.com Serpas True Food 659 Auburn Ave NE, #501, Atlanta, 30312 serpasrestaurant.com

10 | Community

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State rules on wireless antennas would strip local control, say city officials BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

The General Assembly is expected to take up a bill this session that would reduce local regulations on placing smallscale wireless antennas, commonly called “small cells,” on existing or new poles in the public right of way. Supporters of such a bill say it would ensure high-speed internet access to rural Georgia. Such a statewide bill is supported by the small-cell industry, but some local officials say such legislation would strip cities of local control and clutter the cities’ right of way with ugly poles and boxes, while financially benefitting the wireless industry giants. “We don’t need Georgia to come in and offer a corporate giveaway to the smallcell industry at the expense of Brookhaven and of quality of life and safety of our citizens,” Brookhaven City Attorney Chris Balch said. Brookhaven’s City Council in December approved its own small-cell legislation written by Balch with input from representatives from the small cell industry. The ordinance puts restrictions on the size of small-cell “nodes” to be attached to poles as well as charges significant fees for access to the city’s right of way. Kimberly Adams is the Government Relations Manager for the South Area for Crown Castle. Crown Castle is the country’s largest provider of wireless technology that owns many of the cell towers and fiber infrastructure used by companies like AT&T and Verizon. She worked with Brookhaven on its ordinance and said both parties made compromises. But a state bill would eliminate having to meet different regulations in

different cities and simplify the process to getting high-speed internet access across the state, she said. “Our goal is to help ensure residents and businesses stay connected, and to that end we support state frameworks that create a predictable process with reasonable fees to streamline small cell deployments,” she said in a written statement. Sandy Springs was set to discuss smallcell technology recently but withdrew the item from the City Council agenda. Spokesperson Sharon Kraun said the city is working with the Georgia Municipal Association on the topic. Mayor Rusty Paul denounced last year’s bill as being part of an “assault on local government.” But the bill’s sponsor, state Sen. Steve Gooch (R-Dahlonega), said his legislation would actually give more control to cities than they currently have. Gooch prefiled another broadband internet bill in December, but could not be reached for comment for this story. The GMA is working with cities like Sandy Springs, county governments and the telecom industry to draft a bill regulating small-cell technology. The main priority is to encourage the installation of small cell technology on existing infrastructure rather than putting up new poles for the new technology, said GMA spokesperson Kelli Bennett. “This process is more cost-effective for the providers and is the least invasive in the public right of way,” she said in a written statement. The GMA is also advocating the legislation provide protections to residential neighborhoods and historic districts and also that different fees need to be charged based on a local government’s size and population, she said.


Left, a small cell node installed at the top of an existing light pole near the Georgia State Capitol.

Right, a new pole with a small cell node located behind the Brookhaven-Oglethorpe MARTA station.

The Dunwoody City Council approved in 2015 a small-cell ordinance limiting the height and size of nodes and is watching closely what happens on the issue at the Capitol as part of its 2019 legislative priorities. The Atlanta City Council is considering legislation on its small cell fee structure to note they are subject to the Federal Communications Commission rulings. Gooch’s bill last year was pitched as rapidly expanding broadband internet access — and all of the business opportunity that comes with it — to underserved areas of rural Georgia. But there are no customers in rural Georgia, Balch said, and he said such a

bill is purely a power grab by the massive wireless industry to “get something for nothing.” “If there was a significant market to deploy in those [rural] areas, they would already be there,” Balch said. Adams acknowledged small cells are currently predominantly located in cities with dense populations because small cells require fiber. Brookhaven’s ordinance determined the fair market value for use of city right of way is $1,000 for each wireless antenna, or small cell node. Other fees in the Brookhaven ordinance range from a $500 application fee to a $300 fee to install a new pole or replace a pole.

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Community | 11

JANUARY 2019 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Doraville ordinance intends to inspire other cities to protect LGBTQ people BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net


The city of Doraville recently approved an ordinance that prohibits local businesses from discriminating against various minority groups, such as African Americans and people with disabilities. But the new law also bans discrimination against people based on their sexual orientation and gender identity in a move that bucks “religious freedom” bills that have been debated at the General Assembly for the past several years. In November, Doraville became only the second city in Georgia to put such a law on its books to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination. The city of Atlanta passed the first such ordinance in 2001. Doraville City Councilmember Stephe Koontz, believed to be the first openly transgender person elected to office in the state, spearheaded passage of the ordinance, which was approved in a 5-1 vote in November. She said she’s worked with the city of Clarkston and Chamblee on their own nondiscrimination ordinances and she hopes other metro Atlanta cities follow Doraville’s lead. “The whole idea is to inspire other cities to join in the fight against discrimination which they should want to do,” she said. The city of Brookhaven and Dunwoody have no current plans to take on such an ordinance. In Sandy Springs, a spokesperson said the city has no authority to regulate private businesses. “Our policy is, and always has been, that we do not discriminate against anyone for any reason,” Sharon Kraun said in a written statement. “Local government policies against discrimination apply to the local government not discriminating against persons similarly situated, on any basis,” she said. “That is the city’s policy. The city has no authority to police complaints by private citizens discriminating against private citizens.” Koontz, who is from Sandy Springs, disagreed with her hometown’s decision. The Doraville ordinance is legal because it is tied to the occupational tax permit businesses must apply for to operate in the city, she said. The city’s nondiscrimination ordinance also prohibits discrimination based on race, religion, color, sex, disability, national origin, ancestry or military status. “By applying for the permit, they are agreeing to abide by our ordinances,” Koontz said. The city of Chamblee was expected to approve its own comprehensive nondiscrimination ordinance this month, according to City Councilmember Brian Mock. Mock, who is gay, said the city’s gay and lesbian population has “exploded” in recent years and the nondiscrimination ordinance would ensure their rights are protected. The local ordinances are representative of a shift in Georgia’s politics, he said.

“We’ve changed a lot as a state and are not nearly as red as we used to be,” he said. “This is one city, one step at a time.” More than 60 cities in Georgia have their own nondiscrimination ordinances that prohibit discrimination against city employees based on sexual orientation; approximately 20 cities also ban discrimination based on gender identity. By approving the nondiscrimination ordinance that applies to privately-owned businesses, Doraville is taking a bold step, said Jeff Graham, executive director of Georgia Equality, the state’s largest LGBTQ advocacy organization. “This really should not be controversial in 2019,” Graham said. But cities other than Atlanta have been hesitant to regulate any kind of law based on sexual orientation and gender identity based on a 1995 state Supreme Court ruling, Graham said. In that ruling, the High Court ruled partly in favor of Bill McKinney, a Democratic state lawmaker who sued the city of Atlanta saying it overstepped its authority after it implemented a domestic partner registry and offered some protections to same-sex couples. Grahams said he has heard from many cities citing this 1995 ruling for not approving a local ordinance such as the one

Doraville approved. But others interpret the ruling to only deal with domestic partners and nothing else, Graham said. “There is really nothing that prohibits this,” he said. Mock said Chamblee’s attorney said the 1995 ruling is relevant only in that it concerns issues of discrimination but does not apply to the city’s proposed nondiscrimination ordinance. The Georgia legislature, however, does not shy away from anti-LGBTQ legislation. The General Assembly last year approved an overhaul of its adoption code for the first time in 30 years. But the law only passed after a year-long fight with Republican senators who wanted to amend the bill to allow adoption agencies deny children to LGBTQ couples based on their religious belief. Republicans over the past several years have also tried to push through a “religious freedom” bill to essentially prohibit governments from restricting a person’s exercise of their religion. Opponents of the bill say the bill would lead to businesses discriminating against LGBTQ people. Jeff Graham, executive director of Georgia Equality, the state’s largest LGBTQ advocacy organization, said anytime there is a step forward such as the Doraville nondis-

crimination ordinance, there is the risk of backlash at the State Capitol. For the past several years, Democrats at the legislature have introduced a state civil right bill backed by Georgia Equality that would mirror federal law to protect Georgians against discrimination in hotels, restaurants, theaters and other public accommodations based on race, color, religion, natural origin or sex and including sexual orientation and gender identity, Graham said. “One of the reasons why we are so concerned about the passage of any form or ‘religious freedom’ law in Georgia is that without the state having a civil rights law to balance it, a RFRA bill is an automatic open door to discrimination of groups of people, particularly LGBT people,” he said. Georgia is one of three states without such a civil rights bill, Graham added. Alabama and Mississippi are the other two states. Koontz said Doraville’s ordinance protects LGBTQ people, but it also protects a Muslim woman wearing a burqa from being refused service at a restaurant, for example. “This isn’t just an LGBTQ bill, this is a bill protecting everyone,” she said. --- Evelyn Andrews contributed

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12 | Community

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199 senior apartments proposed in Lenox Park BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

A five-story multifamily residential development is proposed to be built on an approximately 5-acre undeveloped site in Lenox Park. The proposed project is described as a “senior living community” for people 55 and older and is also the first project to meet Brookhaven’s new zoning code that requires 10 percent workforce housing. The property at 1035, 1045, 1055 and 1065 Lenox Blvd. is owned by Bellsouth Telecommunications. The developer, Atlanta-based Greystar GP, is set to go before the city’s Planning Commission on Feb. 6 to seek approval to remove the current site plans for the property. The vacant property is currently zoned for two office buildings with six and eight stories, according to plans filed with the city. A community development plan for the office park does not include approval for apartments. The proposed development would include 199 apartments for seniors age 55 and older, according to a letter of intent on file with the city of Brookhaven. The development would be “an active adult residential community,” the document states. In 2017, a developer proposed to build a six-story apartment complex with 273 units on the same undeveloped site. The developer withdrew plans following backlash from residents living in the area


The approximately 5-acre park area in Lenox Park could soon have a five-story senior living apartment building on its site if plans are approved by the city of Brookhaven.

who complained of traffic and density. The five-building Lenox Park office complex, located near the Buckhead border, was bought in August by a real estate firm.

The 32-acre office park along Lenox Park Boulevard has long been occupied by AT&T offices. Bridge Investment Group, the new owner, says it will renovate 1277 Lenox Park Boulevard, a seven-

story tower that AT&T recently vacated. The renovation is for speculative office space geared for any type of potential tenant, a spokesperson said.


Twelve townhomes are proposed to be built on less than 1 acre of property at the corner of Dresden Drive and Camille Drive where three single-family houses currently sit. The site is just east of the Brookhaven Village restaurant and retail center. A rezoning request for the project goes to the Planning Commission on Feb. 6. The proposed development does not fall under the city’s new workforce housing mandate, according to Community Development Director Patrice Ruffin. The 10 percent workforce requirement is required for rezoning and special land use permits of multiunit developments and townhomes are considered single-family housing. “If you look at the definition [in the ordinance], we’ve interpreted it as a mix of units,” she said. “We apply [the mandate] to projects that have a mix of housing or are completely multifamily.” The applicant, Kenneth J. Wood of Planners and Engineers Collaborative in Peachtree Corners, is asking to have the properties at 2565 and 2575 Camille Drive and 1482 Dresden Drive rezoned from RS-75, a district that allows detached single-family homes to be built on 10,000 square foot lots, to RSA-18, a district that permits townhomes at 18 units per acre. The proposed development would be about 15.2 units per acre, according to documents on file with the city. The developers to tear down the single-family houses and build six townhomes fronting Dresden Drive and six townhomes facing the rear property line. A private park space including a dog park would be included in the proposed project.


NCG Cinemas is taking over a large space in Northeast Plaza on Buford Highway


An illustration of proposed townhomes fronting Dresden Drive at the corner of Camille Drive.

where it plans to open an 11-screen theater before the end of the year. The new movie theater will be opening in the 32,334-square-feet location where another movie theater was located years ago and where the Atlanta Peach Ballroom, a Latino nightclub, operated before closing about three years ago. The theater will show first-run movies and offer reserved seating with recliners and enhanced concessions. Plans are to open in November 2019, according to Kristin Moore, spokesperson for Brixmor Property Group, owner of Northeast Plaza. Brookhaven’s location will the seventh NCG Cinemas in Georgia, Moore said. NCG Cinemas has theaters in Acworth, Marietta, Peachtree Corners, Peachtree City, Snellville and Stone Mountain. NCG Cinemas is the brand name for Neighborhood Cinema Group, a movie theater chain headquartered in Michigan. The Northeast Plaza theater will also be the 25th location of an NCG Cinemas in the country, Moore said.


Community | 13

JANUARY 2019 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Security companies now on the hook for false alarms BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

Security companies will have to start paying hundreds of dollars in fines to the city of Brookhaven for repeated false alarms rather than their customers. The measure is intended to reduce the thousands of false alarms police respond to in a year, eating up resources and wasting taxpayer money, according to city officials. The new restrictions on alarm companies follows the lead of Sandy Springs, which implemented a similar ordinance that targets security companies and not homeowners and businesses. A bitter battle broke out last year between Sandy Springs and the security industry, which challenged Sandy Springs’ ordinance in federal court. In Brookhaven, security companies began receiving warnings starting Jan. 1 for the first two false alarms reported and will have to start paying $125 for a third offense and then $250 for the fourth and successive offenses. Previously, homeowners and businesses were paying steep fines for repeated false alarms. The fines are part of a new false alarm ordinance the City Council approved in 2017 to try to find some way to lessen the number of false alarms. Between 2016 and 2017, police responded to nearly 4,000 false alarms — more than 98 percent of total alarm calls — costing taxpayers close to $195,000, according to Police Chief Gary Yandura. The number of false alarms did not decline in Brookhaven throughout 2018, Yandura told the City Council at its Dec. 11 meeting, The city’s false alarm ordinance went into effect Jan. 1, 2018, but city officials later decided not to implement monetary fines later in the year. The false alarm ordinance also requires security companies to obtain a permit to operate in the city and to register their customers’ information with the city. Before Brookhaven could fully implement its false alarm ordinance, Sandy Springs got hit with a federal lawsuit in March by Georgia Electronic Life Safety & System Association and two Georgia alarm companies, which claimed the Sandy Springs ordinance violated their constitutional right to due process. Brookhaven officials, fearful of being dragged into the Sandy Springs lawsuit, voted in August to delay fining security companies until December to wait for a possible ruling in that federal lawsuit. On Dec. 12, the federal lawsuit against Sandy Springs was dismissed. An appeal is likely, according to a spokesperson for the plaintiffs. Alarm companies will also be fined by Brookhaven for other violations, including $250 for not verifying if an alarm is truly signaling an intrusion, $250 for not registering and providing a list of all alarms in operation in the city, and $100 for not notifying the city before installing a security alarm. Alarms are considered false when they come from devices that use automatic systems or call centers to contact 911 about a fire or crime emergency that turns out to be nonexistent. False alarms are a perennial and significant problem in the industry, especially because residents or business owners may accidentally trigger their own alarms in a variety of ways. The problem is common enough that a private company created a program — called “CryWolf” — to help cities register and track false alarms, a service that Sandy Springs and Brookhaven use.

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14 | Commentary

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Our mission is to provide our readers with fresh and engaging information about life in their communities. Published by Springs Publishing LLC 6065 Roswell Road, Suite 225 Sandy Springs, GA 30328 Phone: 404-917-2200 • Fax: 404-917-2201 Brookhaven Reporter | Buckhead Reporter Dunwoody Reporter | Sandy Springs Reporter www.ReporterNewspapers.net Atlanta INtown www.AtlantaINtownPaper.com Atlanta Senior Life www.AtlantaSeniorLife.com

C O NTA C T US Founder & Publisher Steve Levene stevelevene@reporternewspapers.net Editorial Managing Editor John Ruch johnruch@reporternewspapers.net INtown Editor: Collin Kelley Editor-at-Large Joe Earle Staff Writers Dyana Bagby, Evelyn Andrews Copy Editor: Donna Williams Lewis

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Publisher’s Note / Keeping it hyperlocal, and a change for the Reporter This month marks the start of our al excellence in the past two years. 13th publishing year. While that alone The second section of this issue offers a good example of is not cause for a special celebration, what we do every day. Our semi-annual special feature on edwe’re gratified that the Reporter Newsucation, “20 Under 20,” focuses on students who are making papers family has grown in size and a difference in their communities. The selected students were scope at a time of dramatic, and often culled from submissions by readers and school leaders, then inturbulent, change in the print media interviewed by our writers and editors. It’s one of our best-read dustry. sections each year. Today, our six hyperlocal publicaA local focus also attracts the hundreds of advertisers who tions serve many of the metro area’s use one or more of our papers to promote their products and most diverse and dynamic communiservices cost-effectively to customers and prospects within a Steve Levene ties. The four Reporter editions covfew miles of where their businesses are located. We appreciate Founder and Publisher er Buckhead, Brookhaven, Dunwoody this large base of advertisers who have made our publications and Sandy Springs; Atlanta INtown an integral part of their marketing efforts, and we encourage connects the city’s bustling intown neighborhoods (and is celyou to patronize them, which also helps to build economic staebrating its 25th publishing anniversary this year); Atlanta Sebility in each community. nior Life reaches the burgeoning local population of active oldWe’re always looking for ways to create more readable er adults. and relevant publications, including the changes introduced Our mission from the start has been to provide our 100,000this month. If you like the look and content of your Reporter plus readers with fresh and engaging information about their or have an idea for improving it, please respective communities. Over the past dozen years, let me know at stevelevene@reportHello, Sandy Springs! we’ve made a number of changes to our publicaernewspapers.net. We value your input tions to ensure that they remain relevant in a digiand use it to remain focused. clear-cut fix Tree ordinance: No tally-driven, information-drenched universe. Our initial mission is still intact, fuAs we begin 2019 with this issue of the Reporter, eled by the enthusiasm of a talHello, Buckhead! we’re making another change: The printed edition of ented and experienced staff. Reporter Newspapers will now be published monthAs a new year begins, let me Add your vision to Chastain Pa Conservancy’s survey seeks rk input into long ly and will arrive by mail direct to homes; copies will say thank you to our readers -range planning still be available for pick-up at hundreds of local busiand advertisers for helping our p Chastain Park grou t nesses and other public places. We think these changbusiness to grow and serve your inpu lic pub ing seek es will better serve both our readers and advertisers. community. Atlanta Internat School surviveional Tree Hugger In the past year, our editorial team has been foNPU-B zoning s battle cused on turning the ReporterNewspapers.net web. nks Ba gs rin Sp Reporter Newspapers started in Where Sandy site into a daily news source for Buckhead, BrookhavJanuary 2007 with Sandy Springs and Buckhead editions, left, and en, Dunwoody and Sandy Springs. Their digital efforts Tree Hugger has expanded into Brookhaven have been noticed, as the number of new online visiand Dunwoody. Atlanta INtown was acquired in 2013 and Atlanta tors has surged more than 30 percent last year. (Be sure Where Buck head Banks. Senior Life was launched in 2016. to sign up at the website to receive our daily and weekly emails with news about your community.) The monthly print edition will aim to help readers understand the big picture of the daily online stories. Brookhaven Whether our products are delivered Reporter Buckhead in print or on a digital platform, our loReporter Exhibit highlights ‘We rose to the occasion ‘Lynwood Atlanta in cal roots and focus are at the core of ev’ Integrators’ 50 objects s Day King Threeg a Latin honored for tradition ratin courage during Celeb erything we do. Some of our best stories desegregation over the years have come from local people and places: Friends talking at the SatAtlanta urday farmers market, a homeowner’s Sandy Springs dy group addressing a city council meeting, Reporter om’ law Dunwoo Survey: ious Freed Nationwide Survey: No to ‘Relig ReporterNo to ‘Religious Freedom’ law Stud Older adults find orts y supp search a school PTA fundraiser, a neighborhood planned creativity in clay An act of courag Presidential Retre on vaticity for new reno ats ay w Fire chief wants You Can Visit ka e ea man br of Broo agerk Run a on to refo rmshydr e’ Sh ter ant business owner. Usually, the local matters Thea inspections A Close-Knit we cover don’t make the headlines of the Group daily newspaper or fit the sound bites of radio and television news. Nor do they pop up in a Google search. Yet, they are Survey: No to ‘Rel s ’ law the cornerstone of our mission. We’re igious Freedom igious Freedom Opinions on park ’ law Survey: No to ‘Rel vary, as some feel they’ve been this also proud that our industry peers at the way before Georgia Press Association have validated our mission and efforts by honoring our The Atlanta Knitting Guild shares its love of craft and commun ity publications with 24 awards for editoriSandy Springs Plaza gets a face lift. –Page 14

Welcome to a at new way to look your community 6 –Page

Vol. 1, No. 1

Jan. 26 – Feb. 8, 2007

Fire inspections

First month of Sandy Springs fire inspections challenges. to be go- uncover –Page 2 the collusion that seems homall are opposed to or- on is that they developers and single-family trees the provisions of the city between some “clear cutting” the Two major issues are percent tree canopy on ing on in the law so that By John F. Schaffner s.net and is resulting in the homeowners a 50 tions eowners that dinance that require loophole in the presenthigher price. Crime stats editor@reporternewspaper a properties under a city of residential properties and four recommenda blotter to a developer at made for from their ordinance for the and Advisory Committee then sell their propertymade by the Advisory Commit- police chief talks about The proposed tree a lot of discussion residents they can the Tree Ordinance Police tions many created has that included: recommenda ordinance city’s staff, Sandy Springs The four City ordinance by the between many concerned inclusion into the first six months. to see included but –Page 3 left out of the tree which would inan apparent breach but also among mem- in the community want 9 discussion. tee but event “historic tree” designation, a historic citizens and City Council,The question is which Council flatly rejected at its January •Create significant and with a well. members, city staff votes any tree associated group with historic significance; bers of council as The one issue council loudest when council be in concert clude or for large voices will be heard its February 6 meeting. most of the general public seem to section or life of a person tree designation See the center at gets on the ordinance •Allow for “landmark”immediate vicinity of structure; The Reporter calendar canin the in Sandy 20 percent of the tree pine trees not and you Out & About owners removing over • Require residential a tree removal permit; Board Springs and beyond. removal plan and obtain Conservatio n opy to submit a tree Tree a of and ordinance •Establishm ent new the under appeals City Council. hear to capacity to the during a straw serve in an advisory tions were voted down All four of the recommenda members voting against the “historic all council ber Karen Meinzen vote by council with District 6 Councilmem recommendations. only and three tree” designation for each of the other Mayor Eva Galambos set McEnery voting Jan. 9 work session, introductory statement. During the council discussion with an “I think the tone for the ensuingtable loves trees,” the mayor said. Ride the Peach we absolutely de“Everybody at this on the council that with meanyou have total unanimitymay be going on between a few, the Reporter and that –Page 3 plore any collusion who think they can sell their land faster is in , Street talk while the city spirited homeowners to cut down the trees” Do you feel safer now? collude with developers and trying to pass the new tree ordinance. –Page 6 law present the that,” the mayor statbetween to do something about the “So, I think we ought of the homeowners are reluctant to cut By John F. Schaffner Bullish on real percent The cure for that .1 estate hazard. ed. “Probably 99.9 a editor@reporternewsp have they Harry Norman unless apers.net To require homeowneight-month study trees on their own lawn ish on residential CEO bullworse than the problem. yard, after getting a leading The Chastain Park real estate up tonot should thebe the new master percent Atlanta History Center developm their own in locally. trees Conservancy (CPC) ent down of plan. Survey cut hosts has to collusion.” process of forging been is thee results will be collected The real responsibl is in the until February ers to get a permit Expanded facility problem for number of park ’ exhibits on Ben be overkill. nership with “One of 14. The an the awonChastain Park—thea new master plan for 238-acre master arborist, hopes may –Page 2 the city of plan by CPC ‘blockbusterimprovements in to have a final the meeting, plan completed back. and the park’s partJr. growAtlanta the help of residents city’s largest park—and wants As it grow. told those attending late summer movesTrees Thebymayor Franklin and MLK toward trees The of this is that developin 7 year. partners. south back.” g a new master operating–Page is a things the the CPCforget, priorities and the and users of the park in setting formed CPC derful about organizati non-profit like grow we wouldthey plan for the Buckhead Village to know from residents long-term vision by Chastain neighbors on But we cringe. visit Chastain To that end, the for the park. hance, of the two cities park, Tree Ordinance Park, whatAdvisory When they go down, to restore, en-tions of the Is new developm they like y about if they recommenda what doesn’t and put on its websiteConservancy has distributed Since maintain and ent just a responsibilit preserve the the park, andhas Addressing Chastain Park. what the council 2003, it has signed would out thatThose a survey to obtain said the park better. what works and around the corner? shemake mayor pointed put as part of the upthe interested For instance, over Committee, 1,000 information gathering public in- bers—almost evenly in mempassing when ingordinances. to the Conservan participating in the survey can split between the budget –Page 2 aspect of the Atlanta business to consider residents of cy’s website: www.chas care ofdo and residents so by Taking Chastain Park of Sandy Springs— tainparkconservancy. Directorgo5 and ues—som contains SSBA Executive TREES, Page org. on e of which are a great diversity Gathers finger a of facilities has independeDonna horse park, historic ntly operated— and venincluding a See the the pulse of local business. center, ball fields, golf course, pool center section –Page 10 gymnasium, walkingand tennis facilities, The Reporter calendar arts one of Atlanta’s trails, most popular and long standingpicnic areas and gets you Out & About The Conservan tain and preserve cy was formed in 2003 to restore, concert venues. Buckhead and beyond. in Chastain Park, enhance, mainthe park’s stakeholde and to serve as a forum for all rs. Since then, By John F. Schaffner s.net many projects of the Conservancy aimed atinmaking has completed the process editor@reporternewspaper the park safer, In cooperatio (CPC)n iswith Conservancy know youand all Park—the greener. the park stakeholde Didcleaner stalled Chastain The Chastain Park severe weather fora 238-acre plan rs, usthe master and detection CPC inFacts & Figures and warning system of forging a new the help of residents the park. wants Springs at key CHAST locavision for About Sandy AIN, Page city’s largest park—and and the long-term 10its web site put on ers in setting priorities has distributed and asTo that end, the Conservancy information gathering input as part of the the new Christopher North Number of households a survey to obtain publicstudy leading up to the development of CPC pect of the eight-month will be collected until February 14. The year. results by late summer of this master plan. Survey master plan completed size by Chastain neighhopes to have a final Average household Park tree organization formed , prunes a Chastain Chastain Park. Since The CPC is a non-profit Street talk of Odd Job Tree Specialists the trees and bors to restore, enhance, maintain and preserve Springs Guidebook employee maintain an Sandy to –Source: Can infrastruct Jesus Libogio, and equipment ure handle By John F. Schaffner Odd Job donates time new growth? way to give back for 10 on a mild January day. Thomas said it is his editor@reporternewsp CHASTAIN, page Company owner Eddie apers.net l area. –Page 6 walkways in the park. from the recreationa The Atlanta Internatio his family has received nal School, Buckhead leaders years of enjoyment and residents, won a beloved institution of most Buckhe Civic Associatio a struggle with ad profile n the Garden Hills BBA’s Sharon Silva victory came only over three zoning matters this past month, but after some heated the the long road home. takes board of Neighborh exchanges among ood Planning members of the The school had acquired Unit-B at its first meeting page –Page 11 backseeking Seewas of 2007. some additional to expand its operations. Those property and the school to obtain two separate plans required of nine pieces variances of property along and 2 to RG-3, Peachtree Avenue a rezoning both residential from RGgeneral sector One Zoning variance, zoning categories Piedmont Hospita which applied es of property . l to the same nine was Outpatient unit piecPeachtree Avenue, to allow for parking in Howell Mill Road. going on the the construction where it is otherwise prohibited front yard on of , The second zoning a new school building and to allow for –Page 14 parking deck. variance was to of a structure from increase the isting school and 35 feet to 41 feet to allow for an maximum height a special exception addition the off-street parking from zoning regulation to the exs to reduce All three of the requirement from 379 spaces requests had been to 150 ing committee approved by NPU-B’sspaces. 8-0-0 with 14 zoncondition by both the school and the Garden s that had been agreed to Did you know However, the Hills neighborh sticking point ood group. Christopher North was that the Facts & Figures ciation wanted Jesus Libogio, an neighborhood an About Buckhead assowhich would have additional covenant placed employee of Odd on the school, Job Tree Specialis on a mild January the next 17 years. required that the land be ts, prunes a Chastain day. Odd Job donates used as a school The school had for walkways in the Park tree As part of the time and equipme not agreed to park. Company nt to maintain the Number of househol mittee had told Nov. 28 approval vote, however, that covenant. owner Eddie Thomas years of enjoyme trees and the two parties ds the zoning comsaid it is his way nt his family has an agreement on to the covenant as go back and work on obtaining to give back for three received from the part of zoning matters. recreational area. By the Jan. 2 NPU the NPU’s approval of the Average househol board meeting, d size the two parNPU-B, page

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Jan. 26 – Feb. 8,



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JAN. 22 - FEB.

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ents are ►Mixed-use developm not for a hot trend, but they’re everyone draw business ►Perimeter hotels service, with MARTA access, attractions Pages 4-9



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OUT & ABOUT Puppetry Arts Center expands under Atlanta’s own puppet mast er

Page 18

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fire department,” Sanders said. “That way, I know all hydrants have been touched and have been inspected.” That will mean “more accuracy , more accountability,” Sanders said, adding it will also give firefighters hands-on edge of where knowlthe city’s hydrants case they need Page 18 are in to find them in an emergency. But those inspectio ns are where the department’s fire direct control of the crucial safety devices ends. The 2,910 hydrants on city streets are actually owned city of Atlanta’s by the Department of Watershed Management, which can take months to make repairs.

OUT & ABOUT Puppetry Arts Center expands under Atlanta’s er own puppet mast

Sanders called that situation a “challenge,” though he added he is not aware of any recent fire where firefighters had trouble finding a working hydrant on a public Continued on page 14


a on page currently have additional photos this season. See

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Reporter Newspap ers is working with a new mobile Atlanta-based 1Q, to survey market research residents of our topics of state firm, communities and local interest. periodically about In our first poll, Religious Freedom we ask about Restoration Act the proposed ture. Nearly two-third being considere d in the state s of 200 responde reactions to the Legislants said the bill law. Read more should be rejected. about the poll Here are two and local commen ts on page 11. ►

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Puppetry Arts Center expands City honors found er of nonprofit under Atlanta’s with Humanita rian of the Year r award own puppet maste Page 18


OUT & ABOUT Puppetry Arts Center expands under Atlanta’s own puppet mast er

january 2019 • Vol. T 4 No. 1 | Atlant & ABOU OUT aSenior LIFE.com

road scholar

page 20


crowd Familiar sights at the Atlanthe new exhibit Georgia ta History Center. Wreck holds BY DYANA BAGBY Tech’s Ramblin’ eady dyanabagby@repor center stage. A billboard-r one ternewspapers.net in Chick-fil-A cow protests Eugenia Calloway away, a Varflipped through corner. A few feet pages of the 1968 the hangs from a Cross Keys High sity car-hop’s tray yearbook, glancing School Valiant. over the photogra door of a ’63 Plymouth of many white phs the items faces. But in It’s no surprise that the back of the show yearbook she museum found first the in this particular boys’ basketball team all part of and then the seem familiar. They’re girls’ basketba team. repto ll chosen Atlanta. Each was “That’s me,” feature of she said, pointing resent some important smiling girl at say. to the curators the far right the city, the exhibit’s in the girls’ varsity team in 50 Obphoto.apers.n etblack JAN. 22 - FEB. One other The exhibit, “Atlanta was on the 4, 2016 • VOL. rnewsp girl Jan. 16 and is reporte far left; all the 10 — NO. 2 jects,” which opened players and the TER_NEWS coaches in between July 10, is FACEBOOK.COM/THER TWITTER.COM/REPOR were white. to be on display through EWSPAPERS EPORTERNEWSPAPER way, “That’s EPORTERN own its when I had the show, in S to TWITTER.C FACEBOOK.COM/THER intended most fun, when OM/REPORTER_NEWS I was playing Atlanta. 2 basketball,” she reporte what makes Atlanta VOL. 7— NO. said. Calloway was thing is the FEB. 4, 2016 • rnewspapers.net one of 17 students “I think my favorite JAN. 22 -Jamie integrated Cross who t,” guest curator who Chatman, one of the “Lynwood ments are Keys High School King manuscrip integrated Cross Integrators,” ly 50 years ago, benear►Mixed-use develop not for attends a Rev. Keys High School ►Mixed said on the day part of that Martin Luther -useWilson nearly 50 years develop Amy first group King Jr. Day dinner trend, but they’re of black students ments she and by graduates of Lynwood High School, ago. The Jan. PHIL MOSIER a hotand celebration honoring opened, asare 18 program, a hot trend, Cross Keys High to attend an PHIL MOSIER fore the all-white butshow School and Chamblee held at Lynwood Park school in DeKalb they’re not for directhe 17 Recreation e Kings Day or County and now Charter High everyon Center, featured studentss everyoneHistory Center exhibitions during the Three School. See additiona as the “Lynwood known comments busines for a performance draw made last-minute l photos Integrators.” Group, prepares photos on page 15.► on page 13.► tor Dan Rooney eter hotels 10. See additional Danza Aztec Dance the Jan. ►Perim of pointon ►Perim She page Center member a 14, exhibit. History eter to thedraw service, Ana Avilez, 12 hotels tweaks Continued festival at the Atlanta businesseries | P17 on page 12 “Dia de Los Reyes” with MARTA access, with MARTA a case holding a s R: TARTAN TROT ed toward access, CALENDA yela service, from ons Reporter pages attracti Newspapers is attractions of handwritten working with Rev. Atlanta-based a new mobile pad on which the 1Q, to survey market research research firm, Pages 4-9low legal residents of ourP4-9 Jr. had writtopics of state firm, a new mobile market communities and local interest. Martin Luther King s is working with CALENDAR: TARTAN periodically about es periodically about In our first poll, Religious Freedom speech for his Reporter Newspaper of our communiti TROT | P17 we ask about ten the acceptance Restoration Act to survey residents ask about the proposed the proposed ture. Nearly two-third “It’s the original Atlanta-based 1Q, being considere our first poll, we 1964 Nobel Prize. d in the state local interest. In s of 200 responde in the state Legislareactions to the Legislatopics of state and nts said the bill being considered are two law. Read more manuscript.” Restoration Act should be rejected. be rejected. Here started about the poll Religious Freedom s said the bill should Here are two 11. ► and local commen Wilson and RooneyPage 18 of 200 respondent comments on page ts on page 11. in Novemture. Nearly two-thirds the poll and local ► work on the project Read more about beidea reactions to the law. ber 2014. The original – gathering BY DYANA BAGBY hind the exhibit imporI’m dyanabagby@reporte so sick of Georgi objects that represent histornewspapers.net events in looking like backw a Even having a l tant themes or BAGBY propos City in a few othEven having a proposalaw DYANA cials are BY offi BY JOHN RUCH preparing to pers.net ry – had been used foons. This is just ard bufof a religious freedom al look for by@reporternewspa a newdyanabag shows city manager I’m so sick of Georgiad bufjohnruch@reportern of a religious freedom law to replace Marie er high-profile museum legaliz ewspapers.net seems rett, who held Smiththe Gar-would backwar ed in “The to Theater as like discrim step be a step theng looking jobBrook and books, such sinceRun seems to be a Brookhaven’s inceptionRenovati and fit plain and simple ination, right direction... in the of America inA hole in the sidewalk . ately $7.5 million sonian’s History foons. This is just direction... to start . to If near a Dunkin’ that start comright cost approxim Donuts A national 14 page at 6060 Roswell isn’t enough, it’s search citya new of Dunwoody’s having more consid Continued Road marks where into thefor city ager was easily legalized discrimination, bad for a fire hydrant a new feasihaving more consider erg to manexpected to begin was knocked that e plan, accordin ation for religio as soon as state down by a the period. tails prehensiv econom hicle de-Consercenter’s of vea nearly religion, separatio plain and simple. If for History Brook Run ically. n, period. a year ago and The the The Atlanta ation for between studynfrom remains missin 50 ing. And city and Garrett bility could be reached. exhibition, “Atlanta for the last four A 44-YEAR-OLD A 34-YEAR-OLD isn’t enough, it’s bad unique, Council mem- that we months of 2015, WOMAN WOMAN bers metvancy. if Objects,” showcases fi refi 34-YEAR-OLD WOMAN know A behind ghters cally. you WHO LIVES WHO LIVES had needed water closed doors to let katana from IN BROOKH IN SANDY SPRING with Garrett y has a SANDY SPRINGS the state economi “I am pleased local items like this and a mediatio to battle a blaze there, they AVEN WHO LIVES IN TV show. S n attorney that Dunwood would have found “The Walking Dead” is sigto work out areannow certainon Jan. 20that to hydrant across try there a WOMAN fi re LD agreemen the street gone A 44-YEAR-O facility and as well. ity for need for this t. Mayor John BROOKHAVEN Such long repair Ernst and members in the commun WHO LIVES IN times and uncertain nificant support of City inspections for ncy President the city’s 4,000 states Conserva public and that need,” private fire hydrants Countinued on letter14to the couna Jan. 15page are an ongoing Danny Ross in cern for Sandy conSprings fire offi at cials. Fire cil. Rescue Chief t a new theater Keith Sanders is now gearThe cost to construc ing up a tighter, $24.5 milcost would size more accounta ble inspecabout the same tion system. Step one: bringing y study states. PHIL MOSIER lion, the feasibilit hydrant inspections in-house feasibility PHOTOS BY ncy sent its instead of using Cutno breaks The conserva recently vate contracto priplayer Anjanice a varsity rs, as the Council members court during High School basketball study to City has done since city come up at the At left, Dunwoody as she heads down her home Wolverines on Jan. 15. its is expected to pack and the issue founding. High School Lady away from the the Miller Grove 25 meeting. game against council’s Jan. is support talks “The Nash there that Angela 2016 Tillie O’Neal-Ky Coach les, founder of While Ross argues he may inspections Above, Lady Wildcats with her players. Every Woman named the city’s g Brook Run Theater, Works, a nonprofi 2016 Humanita over strategy for renovatin council. will be done rian of the Year, t that battle from the at the 10th annual helps achieve financial top, 62-37, and independence, still face an uphill Rev. Martin Luther s came out on by the San22 are 8-9 PHIL MOSIER King Jr. Day celebratiopersonal growth and family The Lady Wolverinerecord. The Lady Wildcats Continued on page 12- 8 leadership 15.► dy Springs

Get Fit with Silver Sneakers





hardships, discr

BY JOE EARLE aJoeearle@reporternewsp pers.net

page 8


Perimeter Busi

►Mixed-use develop ments are a hot trend, but they’re not for everyone ►Perimeter hotels draw business with MARTA access, service, attractions

Students faced

Senior Life



firm, market research with a new mobile periodically about ers is working communities Reporter Newspap the proposed residents of our we ask about 1Q, to survey LegislaAtlanta-based In our first poll, d in the state and local interest. are two being considere topics of state be rejected. Here Restoration Act the bill should page 11. ► Religious Freedom s of 200 respondents said comments on the poll and local ture. Nearly two-third about more law. Read reactions to the

a I’m so sick of Georgiard buflooking like backw foons. This is just ination, legalized discrim . If that plain and simplebad for isn’t enough, it’s ically. the state econom WOMAN A 44-YEAR-OLD AVEN IN BROOKH WHO LIVES

proposal Even having a law of a religious freedom in the seems to be a step start to right direction... erhaving more consid n, period. ation for religio





the city’s sound off on to The chance to 120 people more than parks drew on Jan. 12. library branch Dunwoody’s room, standinto a meeting They packed ideas on a to voice their ing room only, parks plan. city’s five-year rewrite of the n a bit familthe discussio Some found

iar. to all these ago, we went “A few years 12 Continued on page

© 2019 with 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 Reporter Newspapers or Springs Publishing, LLC.

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Ronald McDonald House planned for CHOA campus Continued from page 1

to industrial (M). The Planning Commission takes up the request at its Feb. 6 meeting. “This type of housing has been an important asset for our patient families for decades, so we are reserving this area for a potential Ronald McDonald House on our campus to enable families to be close to their children during treatment,” CHOA spokesperson Brian Brodrick said in a written statement. Planning for the new Ronald McDonald House is still in the early phases, he added. CHOA purchased the Executive Park apartments last year and included the property in the medical campus’ master plan approved last year by the Brookhaven City Council. Tenants were able to move out after their leases expired and once everyone moved out the buildings were demolished, according to Brodrick. In 2015, a Ronald McDonald House was opened at 5420 Peachtree-Dunwoody Road in Sandy Springs’ Medical Center area to serve families with children being treated at local hospitals, especially CHOA’s Scottish Rite. This 31-bedroom facility includes a three-story “treehouse” play area for children. Efforts to expand the house began more than a decade ago. Fulton County approved the project in 2005, prior to the existence

of the city of Sandy Springs. But a lawsuit from neighbors delayed it. Another 50-bedroom Ronald McDonald House is located at 795 Gatewood Drive near CHOA’s Egleston Hospital. Funding for Ronald McDonald Houses comes from individual donors and community grants with a small amount coming from local McDonald’s owners and operators, according to a spokesperson. CHOA is also asking Brookhaven to rezone nearly two acres of land at 2222, 2226 and 2228 North Druid Hills Road, where the former Piccadilly restaurant was located, from general commercial (C-2) to industrial (M). Plans are to construct a new main entrance into the medical campus on this site. Brodrick said final design plans for the entrance won’t be finished until the Georgia Department of Transportation completes a report on proposed changes to the I-85 and North Druid Hills Road interchange as well as completion of the city’s North Druid Hills corridor study. An updated site plan for the medical campus also includes modifications of internal roads and building orientations, such as a slight reorientation of the hospital towers to maximize views from the patient rooms, Brodrick said. CHOA’s understanding is these modifications do not need to be approved by the city, he added.

This highlighted revised site plan for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s campus at the interchange of I-85 and North Druid Hills Road includes the addition of a Ronald McDonald House in the bottom right and a new main entrance on North Druid Hills Road to the left. CHOA

The reorientation of the hospital building also provides for a slightly larger buffer area between the campus and adjacent residential communities. Two eight-story administrative “support” buildings and a seven-story parking deck are now under construction along the Northeast Expressway. The office buildings would house employees now working out of one-story buildings in CHOA’s office park on Tullie Road and Tullie Circle. Construction of a new $1.3 billion hos-

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pital on the site of the old office complex is slated to start in 2020. The new hospital will have 446 beds in two patient towers expected to be between 16 and 19 stories tall. The new hospital will replace the 235bed Egleston Hospital, located on Clifton Road near Emory University. Future plans for Egleston have not been determined, according to CHOA officials. CHOA recently opened its new Advanced Center for Pediatrics at the campus.

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Brookhaven teacher tackles Civil Rights legacy with Super Bowl murals Continued from page 1 for Childhood Arrivals recipient. Her parents moved to the U.S. from Mexico when Cambron was very young and they lived for many years on Buford Highway. The Buford Highway mural was a love song to her family and to other Dreamers and included the vow and hashtag “#heretostay.” But when vandals in October painted over the “#heretostay” declaration, Havana’s owner decided she did not want it replaced, saying her business was going to stay neutral when it came to the hotly debated topic of immigration and Dreamers. Cambron went against the owner’s wishes and repainted the “#heretostay” on her mural. Days later, the entire mural was painted over. In recent weeks, a new mural of the word “Atlanta” was painted on the side of the iconic yellow restaurant. An American flag is also now posted at the door’s entrance. “I don’t regret what happened,” Cambron said in a recent interview about her first mural being painted over. “My artwork is never going to be neutral.” That first mural also inspired Cambron to want to create more wall-size art. WonderRoot, an Atlanta arts organization dedicated to social change, announced in 2017 it was teaming up with the city’s Super Bowl Host Committee to create the “Off the Wall” public art project. The project selected 11 artists to create 30 murals with community input to paint murals in downtown Atlanta that tell the city’s story of the struggle for civil rights, human rights and social justice. The murals will be permanent fixtures in the city and after Cambron


Yehimi Cambron, a teacher at Cross Keys High School in Brookhaven, believes art can empower her students and others who look for inspiration in the struggle for justice and equality.

earned a spot in the project she again saw a chance to celebrate the stories of fellow Dreamers through art. Cambron’s mural under the Georgia State MARTA station at 170 Piedmont Ave. depicts portraits of Dreamers who attend Freedom University, a local college for undocumented students, and other students and undocumented immigrants. The words that surround their faces are words they told her during her talks with them, Cambron said. And the red and white of the American flag as the backdrop is a bittersweet symbol of the country they call home but also a country that currently rejects them and also views them sometimes as political foot-

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an image of young black people seated at a lunch counter as part of a protest sit-in and a Dreamer being arrested to protest deportations of undocumented immigrants. They tie together the fights for civil rights through acts of civil disobedience, she said. The NFL and Super Bowl are themselves controversial, much like art can be, she said. Cambron said she is inspired by former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s decision to kneel during the national anthem to protest police brutality, systemic racism and oppression. “He is unapologetic ... and for him, his voice is as an athlete, his canvas is the space on the football field ... he was using his platform to stand up to injustice,” she said. “For me, my canvases are these walls.” Cambron said she tells her students that controversy is not always something to be feared. Telling their stories — about being undocumented, about being LGBTQ, about being black or Asian or women — is important to share so others can see themselves, she said. This is the philosophy she uses when she creates her art. “Telling my story and being open ... is a way to resist and stand up to all the things that want to alienate and exclude me,” she said.

balls in the ongoing debate over immigration, Cambron added. The mural also includes three monarch butterflies, a tribute to her previous mural. But they also symbolize that all people have the right to flee danger to find a safe home, much like when millions of the butterflies migrate each winter from Canada to the warmer temperatures of the U.S. and MexiYehimi Cambron works on her mural at the The American co, with the vast Hotel Atlanta Downtown. Cambron is one of 11 artists selected to participate in the “Off the Wall” art project to paint 30 murals majority settling around downtown for the Super Bowl. The murals depict the at the Monarch city’s history in fights for social justice in the past and present. Butterfly Reserve in Michoacán, Mexico, during the summer. Cambron’s second mural, still being painted, is on the side of The American Hotel Atlanta Downtown at 160 Ted Turner Drive. It includes Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous quote, “If you can’t fly, then run; if you can’t run, then walk; if you can’t walk, then crawl; but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.” Surrounding King’s words are


Community | 17

JANUARY 2019 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Local legislator lends personal experience to ‘fake service animals’ study BY EVELYN ANDREWS

rants, grocery stores and apartments on the difference between the types of animals “as well as the fraudulent misrepreState Sen. Kay Kirkpatrick brought sentation of such terms and meanings,” her experience volunteering with her the report said. pet dog Dobie to the table to make recA service animal is trained to perommendations on how to curb the use of form specific tasks to help someone with “fake service animals.” a disability, such as a guide for someone “That’s why I am on the committee,” who is blind, according to the Americans said the senator, who represents part of with Disabilities Act website. Dogs are Sandy Springs. “I am an animal person.” the only animal whose use is fully proThe Senate study committee was adtected under the ADA, although miniadressing concerns about people passing ture horses are allowed under different off their regular pets as trained service regulations. The ADA allows dogs to acor emotional support animals to gain accompany their handlers anywhere they cess to public spaces that typically ban go, unless the dog is out of control or them, particularly restaurants and airbreaks safety rules, such as going in a lines, Kirkpatrick said. The issue often public pool. happens with pet dogs, sometimes causEmotional support animals provide ing safety issues or disruption, she said. comfort, typically to people with such People can buy certifications and vests psychological conditions as anxiety or for their pet online with little regulation, depression. The animals cannot accomKirkpatrick said, which are sometimes pany their handler to every public space, used to circumvent apartment pet bans but their use is protected under the Fair or fees. Housing Act and Air Carrier Access Act, “Everyone from airlines to grocery according to the committee documents. stores to apartment owners have conAirlines and landlords can ask for docucerns,” Kirkpatrick said. ments from a mental health professionThe confusion and debate revolves al that verify the need for the animal, a around at least three categories of anicommittee document said. mals: Kirkpatrick volunteered with her pet ■ Service animals: trained to perdog as a therapy animal, which only has form specific tasks to assist someone basic obedience training and can visit fawith a disability. cilities that pro■ Emotional vide permission support animals: to visit to comprovide general fort people, such comfort to people as patients in a with psychologihospital or resical conditions. dents of an assist■ Therapy aned-living facility, imals: provide she said. Theracomfort to peopy dogs were disple other than the cussed in some of handler in places the committee’s like hospitals and sessions, but are assisted living fanot usually used cilities. to pass off as a The committee fake service dog was created to reand are not mensearch possibly cretioned in the final ating a uniform cerreport. tification process or Ideas includcriminalizing the use ed requiring inof a fake service anstate physician imal, according to certification and the group’s final remonetary fines, port, which was isbut the commitsued in January. The tee backed away KAY KIRKPATRICK report called for more from this, saying STATE SENATOR awareness about the more research is difference between needed to ensure “service animals” and “emotional supthe state laws would not violate the ADA. port animals.” Similar laws in other states have be“The thing that was startling to me is come a “strong point of contention bethe lack of understanding of different antween lawyers and advocates, especially imals and regulations,” she said. “We’re in the housing industry,” the report said. trying to figure out how to clear that up.” Dawn Alford, the public policy direcRecommendations include drafting tor at the Georgia Council on Developlegislation that calls for public service mental Disabilities, warned in a commitannouncements and guidance for restautee meeting there could be “unintended evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

The thing that was startling to me is the lack of understanding of different animals and regulations. We’re trying to figure out how to clear that up.

Sen. Kay Kirkpatrick sits with her dog Dobie while volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House in Sandy Springs.

consequences that could result from any attempts to criminalize the misrepresentation of ‘fake’ service animals” that could harm people with disabilities, according to the report. The committee heard testimony from groups like Delta and the Georgia Restaurant Association who did not recommend state level legislative changes but encouraged more education and awareness, the report said. The committee was not looking into more regulations on pet ownership or allowing pets into public spaces, such as pet-friendly parks or restaurants. Kirkpatrick’s dog is in a separate category from a service or emotional support dog. Her dog, a golden doodle, served as a “therapy dog,” which has been screened for temperament, has passed basic obedience training and provides comfort to people other than its handler. Dobie typically visited the Ronald McDonald House that serves Sandy Springs’ Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite. The visits were coordinated and overseen by an Atlanta group called Happy Tails, which also uses pet cats and rabbits and therapy animals, according to its website. “It was great for him and great for families who were far away from home for months with their kids who are sick,” she said. She volunteered for five years and became a group leader for volunteers at the Ronald McDonald House, which is run by a nonprofit and provides hous-


ing for families during their child’s hospital stay. Dobie has gotten too old to continue the visits, but Kirkpatrick said she hopes to get another dog and continue volunteering. “It’s very rewarding,” she said. “It’s a win-win-win.” But therapy dogs are not permitted anywhere their owner can go, which service dogs can, Kirkpatrick said. “A therapy dog is a pet that has basic obedience training,” she said. “No selfrespecting therapy dog owner would try to pass their dog off as one that can go in a restaurant.” She said more education is needed to ensure everyone is aware of those differences in what the law allows. “There are possibly people gaming the system, but I think it’s more confusion,” she said. The committee’s report also calls for doing more research on the need to clarify the difference between the types of animals in state law. She expects other dog-related bills to come up this session, including one that allows people to attempt to save animals from hot cars, which was recommended by the committee, and a return of a bill to ban pet store sales of animals from breeders statewide. Sandy Springs and Atlanta already have a pet sale ban on the books. Opposition by major stores that sell pets is expected to try to “thwart local control,” Kirkpatrick said.

18 | Art & Entertainment

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tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the Studio Theatre at City Springs. This year’s event features the work of Los Niños Primero, an educational program serving at-risk Latino preschoolers and their families in Sandy Springs over the past 18 years. Meet the families and volunteers of this program and learn how you can get involved. Free. 1 Galambos Way, Sandy Springs. Info: sandyspringsga.gov.



Monday, Jan. 21, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The Atlanta History Center once again offers free admission and a full slate of special programming for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Events include a Freedom Ride simulation, museum theater performances and inspirational activities for all ages. Among the highlights is a 1 p.m. film screening and discussion of “Paul Laurence Dunbar: Beyond the Mask,” a regional Emmy Award-winning documentary by Frederick Lewis. At 3:30 p.m., author Adam Parker discusses his new book “Outside Agitator: The Civil Rights Struggle of Cleveland Sellers Jr.” Sellers, who was program director of Atlanta’s Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, will join Parker for this talk. 130 West Paces Ferry Road N.W., Buckhead. Info: atlantahistorycenter.com.


Monday, Jan. 21, 10 a.m. The city of Sandy Springs holds its annual

Monday, Jan. 21, 5:30 p.m. The city of Brookhaven hosts its fourth annual “MLK Dinner and Program,” an event appropriate for all ages, at Lynwood Community Center. Former Lynwood Park resident U.S. Army Brigadier General Richard Dix will be keynote speaker. Tickets can be purchased at the Lynwood Community Center, once the site of the segregated Lynwood schools, whose students integrated the DeKalb School System in 1968. $10. 3360 Osborne Road, Brookhaven. Info: 404-637-0542.


Monday, Jan. 21, 9 a.m. to noon. Dunwoody’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day of service kicks off at Brook Run Park. Volunteers check in at 8:30 a.m. and the morning begins with donuts, coffee, music and giveaways. Volunteers can either stay and work in the park or drive to their selected locations. Opportunities include: planting trees, cleaning up a park, daffodil planting and completing projects at the Community Assistance

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Art & Entertainment | 19

JANUARY 2019 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net Center (CAC). 4770 North Peachtree Road, Dunwoody. Info: dunwoodyga.gov.


Friday, Jan. 25 to Sunday, Feb. 17. Stage Door Players presents “The Last Night of Ballyhoo,” winner of a Pulitzer Prize and a Tony Award for Best Play. The play by Alfred Uhry is a comedy/drama set in an upper-income German-Jewish community in Atlanta in December 1939. College student Sunny examines her Jewish identity and begins to question the beliefs with which she has been raised. $15-$33. 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Info: stagedoorplayers.net or 770-396-1726.


Saturday, Feb. 9, 8 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 10, 5 p.m. The Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta presents “An Evening of Wonders” starring Vitaly Beckman, one of Canada’s top illusionists. From making drawings and paintings come to life to teleporting playing cards from one audience member to another, Vitaly’s illusions defy logic and belief. $20$28. 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody. Info: atlantajcc.org/boxoffice or 678-812-4002.


Friday, Jan. 18 to Sunday, April 21, Tuesdays through Sundays, noon to 5 p.m. Oglethorpe University Museum of Art presents “Stories Without an End: Power, Beauty and Wisdom of Women in African Art of the Mehta Collection.” The exhibit represents art from more than 25 ethnic groups spanning 12 countries and was inspired in part by the work of the Grandmother Project, an American nonprofit that works with elders in West African villages to fight the maltreatment of girls. $5; free for members, Oglethorpe University students and children under 12. 4484 Peachtree Road N.E., Brookhaven. Info: museum.oglethorpe.edu.


Saturday, Jan. 19 to Wednesday, March 6, Monday, Fridays and Sundays 9 a.m. to noon and by appointment. Opening reception Jan. 19, 6-8 p.m. Three fine arts painters — Laura Davis Shainker of Sandy Springs, Susie Stern of Dunwoody, and Deb Rosenbury of Marietta — jointly present a collection of their paintings at Gallery 4945 at Highpoint Episcopal Community Church. A portion of the sale proceeds will be donated to North Valley Animal Disaster Group, a nonprofit working to care for pets and farm animals displaced by the recent wildfires in northern California. 4945 Highpoint Road, Sandy Springs. Info: highpointepiscopalchurch.org.


Wednesday, Feb. 6 to Tuesday, Feb. 26 Featuring a diverse collection of international and independent cinema, the annual Atlanta Jewish Film Festival takes place at six metro Atlanta locations, including its new anchor venue, the Sandy Springs Performing Arts

Center at City Springs at 1 Galambos Way. The full lineup of events for the 2019 festival will be released on Jan. 10. Tickets go on sale beginning Monday, Jan. 28. Info: ajff.org.


Sunday, Feb. 10, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. This fundraiser for the Spruill Center for the Arts features the handmade creations of jewelry artists ranging from beginners to professionals using precious metals, glass, beads, gemstones and more. Metal sculpture and hand-forged items will also be for sale. Free. 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Info: spruillarts.org.

describes her struggles; her messages include the importance of respect and tolerance. Exhibit begins at 6 p.m. “Hope and Perseverance” starts at 7 p.m. Am Yisrael Chai is a nonprofit Holocaust education and awareness organization that focuses on the spirit of survival and success. Free. Byers Theatre, Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center, 1 Galambos Way, Sandy Springs. RSVP required: 2019remember.eventbrite.com.


Saturday, Feb. 9, 11 a.m. to noon. Join the Dunwoody Community Garden and Orchard group at Brook Run Park for a presentation on tomatoes by Richard Osterholtz — hybrids vs. heirlooms, disease resistance and tomato growing tips. Meet at the “barn” in the DCGO greenhouse complex, opposite the skate park. Free. Refreshments served. 4770 North Peachtree Road, Dunwoody. Info: dcgo.org.

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Saturday, Feb. 2, 1-2 p.m. In February’s edition of “Free First Saturday,” Nature’s Echo will do a birds of prey presentation in the Dunwoody Nature Center meadow. Learn what makes raptors different from other birds and how you can help protect them. Free First Saturday is a recurring event sponsored by Northside Hospital. 5343 Roberts Drive, Dunwoody. Info: dunwoodynature.org.


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Saturday, Feb. 9, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Refreshments, a DJ and photos are in store for this dance at the Lynwood Park Community Center. $25 per couple; $5 per extra child. 3360 Osborne Road, Brookhaven. Registration: brookhavenga.gov. Info: brookhavenga. gov or 404-637-0512.

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20 | Community

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Super Bowl brings business excitement, traffic worries BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

The Super Bowl comes to Atlanta Feb. 3, bringing a 10-day football festival that is stoking local excitement about hospitalityindustry money, and fears of “horrific” traffic and other congestion impacts that have the General Assembly likely to suspend its session. Buckhead is expected to be a center of activity, as many attendees of the NFL championship game are staying in local hotels, and the neighborhood is hosting many public and private parties. Farther north on Ga. 400, Perimeter Center is likely to be busy as well, though officials said hotels were not sold out there for the Super Bowl. “Buckhead businesses are excited to have the Super Bowl come to Atlanta and very enthusiastic about the economic benefits our area is expecting,” said Chris Godfrey, the president of the Buckhead Business Association, in an email. “Buckhead leads Atlanta in hospitality, fine dining and nightlife – so we expect a very busy month ahead. Hotels have been booked for many months and at premium rates! With Buckhead’s accessibility to MARTA, we are thrilled about our connectedness for the event.” The BBA was keeping an eye on traffic and other effects as well, including by hosting a breakfast speech from the Super Bowl host committee’s head of logistics that was scheduled for Jan. 10, after the Reporter’s press time.

Sam Massell, the former Atlanta mayor and current president of the Buckhead Coalition, said he is also a member of an advisory board for the Super Bowl. In a written statement, he praised planners for “proactive rather than reactive problems management.” “Having also been on the Olympic Committee for the 1996 games in Atlanta, and helped coordinate control of some community interests when the National Democratic Convention was held here in 1988, I’ve understood the importance of advance planning for crowds,” Massell said. “There’s no end to the amount of effort that can be exercised, and there’s always the potential for missed issues, even alongside of ‘overplanning.’ Still, it’s been my experience that our City Hall and its police department have been ready and able to confront the day-today activities.” Massell said that the advice to most residents is to “be prepared to be proud of your city and enjoy the excitement, and hopefully profit from the commercial impact.”

Policing and traffic

In Buckhead and the neighboring city of Brookhaven, officials plan to cover the main club and hotel districts with more police officers than usual as security for game-related events. Buckhead’s Lenox Square mall will house a police command center, said Robin Suggs, who manages the mall for Simon Properties, at a recent meeting of the



Buckhead Community Improvement Districts. Interim Deputy Chief Brandon Gurley of the Brookhaven Police Department said his force is “preparing to have additional officers on hand during the peak times to increase our police presence around our hotels and entertainment venues.” The last time Atlanta hosted a Super Bowl, in 2000, Buckhead became the scene of a notorious crime that crystalized crime concerns and helped to spark redevelopment of Buckhead Village’s old nightclub district. Ray Lewis, a star NFL player, and two other men were charged in a doublemurder by stabbing after a fight outside a West Paces Ferry nightclub. Lewis’s murder charges were dropped and the other men were acquitted. Meanwhile, the nightclub zone was remade into what is now the Shops at Buckhead Atlanta high-end shopping center and related mixed-use development. The Shops are among the local sites hosting Super Bowl events, including a Feb. 1 fashion show by the Off the Field Players’ Wives Association. For Buckhead’s business district, the downside of police coverage is typically offduty officers being pulled into service as part of the event’s massive security plan. The BCID hires such officers to direct commuters, especially out of parking garages during the 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. rush hour. BCID staffer Tony Peters said at the recent board meeting that means “we will, more than

likely, not be able to have our regular police officers” for the entire work week prior to the Super Bowl, Jan. 28 through Feb. 1. “So it’ll be a tough week,” said BCID chairman David Allman, who is also president of the real estate firm Regent Partners. He predicted traffic “will be horrific.” Denise Starling, executive director of Livable Buckhead, works with businesses on commuting alternatives. She said that many people are unaware that the Super Bowl is a 10-day event, not just the Sunday game. Her group is calling on employers to let people work from home. Starling said businesses should “treat it a lot like the Olympics.” The 1996 Summer Olympics, held in Atlanta, are widely remembered as a time of wide-open highways due to commuters being scared away from downtown and people leaving town to rent out their homes. In Perimeter Center, a similar program of off-duty traffic officers is run by the Perimeter Community Improvement Districts. That program shows no sign of being affected by Super Bowl security duty, according to PCIDs government relations director Linda Johnson. However, Perimeter Connects, the PCIDs’ commuting assistance program, is advising employers to consider letting employees work from home, especially those with commutes that run through the city of Atlanta. The crunch days will be Feb. 1 and Feb. 4, the Friday before and the Monday after the game, said Johann Weber, the assistant program manager at Perimeter Connects. Police departments in Perimeter Center cities are loaning small numbers of officers to the main downtown Super Bowl security team. Brookhaven is providing about 10 officers; Dunwoody is providing three, and Sandy Springs is providing 10. Most of those officers are SWAT team members and all of those departments say their regular patrols will not be affected.

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For the General Assembly, which is scheduled to begin its legislative session Jan. 14, sharing the Gold Dome area with Super Bowl fans raises “special logistical challenges” that could mean a hold in lawmaking, said Kaleb McMichen, a spokesperson for House Speaker David Ralston. Traffic is an issue; so is the tourist use of hotel rooms that otherwise are used by out-of-town legislators. The legislature has “got the lodging to consider as well as just the issue of traffic given the proximity of the Capitol to the event sites,” said McMichen, a spokesperson for House Speaker David Ralston. “The Super Bowl has a series of ancillary events taking place the entire week leading up to the game itself, so that adds to the considerations when it comes to traffic.” He said no decisions will be made until the House and Senate calendars are established after the session’s start. State Rep. Deborah Silcox (R-Sandy Springs) said the early talk was pausing for a couple of days. A full break in business is not the only option, she said. One possibility is holding appropriation hearings, which do not require the attendance of the full legislatures, so that some business is done.

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JANUARY 2019 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

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DeKalb Schools say protocols kept students safe during hoax threats BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

A recent rash of prank threats against schools in Dunwoody and Brookhaven put emergency protocols to the test and proved effective in keeping students and staff safe, according to DeKalb Schools officials. But some parents and teachers say the recent hoax threats that forced an evacuation and several lockdowns are disrupting students’ learning as well as creating undue trauma. “This needs to stop,” said Kimberly Sampson, a Dunwoody Elementary School teacher whose son also attends the school. “As teachers and parents, we want this to be over.” Sampson was one of approximately 70 people who attended a Dec. 20 community meeting at Dunwoody City Hall to hear from DeKalb Schools officials and local law enforcement about the investigation into the hoax threats that appear to be originating from the U.K. In November, Dunwoody, Vanderlyn, Austin and Kingsley elementary schools in Dunwoody were temporarily locked down after receiving prank threats. Police said the internet address used to make the threats was traced back to the U.K. In December, more hoax threats were made against Dunwoody, Vanderlyn and Chesnut elementary schools, Dunwoody High School and Montgomery Elementary School in Brookhaven. There were also threats made the same day at other schools in metro Atlanta. Local police said it appeared the same internet address used in the November threats were being used in the second round of prank threats. Dunwoody Police and DeKalb County Schools’ Department of Public Safety are working with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the FBI and U.K. law enforcement to track down the suspects, but no arrests have yet been made, Dunwoody Police Chief Billy Grogan said this month. Bomb threats against schools are not a new phenomenon, but in an era where school shootings and other mass shootings are so prevalent, the recent fake threats take on a new meaning. Nearly a year ago, 17 students and staff were killed in a mass shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. Rabbi Ed Harwitz is head of school at The Weber School, a private Jewish school in Sandy Springs. Jewish schools and synagogues are familiar with threats of violence, he said. He said he sympathized with the threats DeKalb Schools recently faced and said one way The Weber School deals with potential threats is to be

constantly proactive, including a visible security presence at the school meant to serve as a deterrent. A working relationship with the Sandy Springs Police Department also ensures the highest level of security, he said. Lockdown drills are also practiced regularly. “There’s unity with our school ... which is essential for our security and educational well-being,” he said. DeKalb Schools also hold practice drills to prepare for emergencies. DeKalb Schools Region I Superintendent Sherry Johnson, whose region includes Dunwoody and Brookhaven, explained that school administrators follow a protocol designed to keep students and staff safe and also calm fears. When asked at the Dec. 20 meeting why students weren’t automatically evacuated when there was a threat, DeKalb Schools Public Safety Director Bradley Gober said doing so is not necessarily safe. Mandating a mass exodus of students could funnel students into a “kill zone” where they are vulnerable to attack, he said. DeKalb Schools police and Dunwoody Police knew fairly quickly the recent threats were not credible because they were coming from the same or similar internet address as previous threats, Gober added. Dunwoody Detective Sgt. Patrick Krieg explained the emails and phone calls used to make the hoax threats appear to come from one group that is not just targeting Dunwoody, but also sites throughout metro Atlanta and approximately 200 sites across the country. “These offenders are a well-organized group,” Krieg said. Several parents asked about the trauma children are experiencing due to the constant threats that force lockdowns at various levels, from requiring students to remain in their classroom or younger students being told to hide in their cubbies. “This is trauma for our children,” one mother said. “This is leaving a mark on our children.” All schools have assigned counselors. Social workers and psychologists


Dunwoody Police Chief Billy Grogan, center, answers questions at a recent community forum about school safety following a recent string of fake threats to local schools. With him are, at left, DeKalb Schools Region I Superintendent Sherry Johnson and DeKalb Schools Director of Public Safety Bradley Gober.

are also assigned to schools. Student support staff members are trained in supporting students and understanding trauma, a spokesperson said. Mental health awareness is currently a major focus of professional development for staff members. Gober said DeKalb Schools works closely with Dunwoody Police and other local law enforcement to make sure no harm comes to students during a lockdown. “We are doing everything we can to keep your children safe,” he said. Many parents asked how they could help to hire a school resource officer to be stationed at every school in Dunwoody. School resource officers are currently housed in middle and high schools and respond to emergencies in elementary schools as needed. The Public Safety department is part of the Division of Student Support

and approximately $14.45 million is included in the 2019 budget for campus security, according to a DeKalb Schools spokesperson. DeKalb Schools includes more than 102,000 students at 138 schools. There are more than 14,000 full-time employees and 6,000 teachers. Any measures taken in Dunwoody to provide more resource officers would also have to be done district-wide to ensure the school district is treating all students fairly. “It would have to be feasible for everyone,” she said. “We have got to be equitable.” Police and school officials said responses to threats have to be measured and careful because those making the fake threats are seeking any kind of attention — on social media or on TV. “We don’t want to give them the satisfaction,” Grogan said.

D E K ALB S CHO O L S ’ P R O T O C O L F O R T H R E AT S 1. The principal or building manager is notified of the threat. 2. DeKalb Schools Public Safety Department is

then immediately notified of the threat.

3. School resource officers with Public Safety begin an

investigation and work with local law enforcement.

4. If the threat occurs during school hours, the school is immediately

placed on lockdown status until cleared by Public Safety. There are three levels of lockdowns that include limited access or restricted movement at the campus.

5. The superintendent, regional superintendent and communications

staff is also notified. BK

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Police Blotter / Brookhaven From Brookhaven Police reports dated Dec. 23 through Jan. 6. The following information was pulled from Brookhaven’s Police-2-Citizen website.

T H E F T A N D B U R G L A RY 1400 block of North Cliff Valley Way

— On Dec. 23, in the morning, an armed street robbery was reported. 3000 block of Clairmont Road — On

Dec. 23, in the morning, a forced-entry burglary to a residence was reported. 4400 block of Memorial Drive — On

Dec. 23, in the morning, a man was arrested and charged with theft by deception. 1400 block of Northeast Expressway —

On Dec. 23, in the afternoon, items were stolen from a car. 1200 block of Kendrick Road — On

Dec. 23, in the evening, an entering auto incident was reported. 3500 block of Buford Highway — On

Dec. 24, in the morning, a no-forced entry burglary at a home was reported. 2400 block of E. Club Drive — On Dec.

25, in the early morning, a theft was reported. 3600 block of Clairmont Road — On

Dec. 25, in the afternoon, a man was arrested and charged with shoplifting. 1300 block of North Cliff Valley Road

— On Dec. 26, after midnight, items were stolen from a car. 1300 block of Telford Drive — On Dec.

26, in the morning, a no-forced entry burglary to a residence was reported. 1400 block of Dresden Drive — On

Dec. 26, in the afternoon, items were stolen from a car. 1500 block of Dresden Drive — On Dec.

26, a man was arrested and charged with theft by receiving stolen property. 1300 block of Doublegate Drive — On

Dec. 26, at night, a man was arrested and charged with shoplifting. 2400 block of Cove Circle — On Dec.

27, in the early morning, two people were arrested and charged with burglary. 3500 block of Buford Highway — On

Dec. 27, in the morning, a no-forced entry burglary to a residence was reported.

Dec. 27, in the afternoon, a theft of services report was made. A woman was also arrested and charged with marijuana possession. 4300 block of Peachtree Road — On

Dec. 27, at night, items were stolen from a car. 3000 block of Clairmont Road — On

Dec. 28, in the afternoon, a forced entry burglary to a nonresidence was reported. 3000 block of Clairmont Road — On

Dec. 29, in the afternoon, a no-forced entry burglary to a residence was reported. 3000 block of Buford Highway — On

Dec. 29, at night, a robbery involving a gun at a business was reported. 2900 block of Clairmont Road — On

Dec. 30, at midnight, an entering auto incident was reported. 2000 block of North Druid Hills Road

— On Dec. 30, in the early morning, items were stolen from a car. 1000 block of Pine Grove Avenue —

On Dec. 30, in the morning, items were stolen from a car. 3900 block of Peachtree Road — On

Dec. 30, at noon, a woman was arrested and charged with shoplifting. 1700 block of Buckhead Lane — On

Dec. 30, in the afternoon, a no-forced entry burglary to a residence was reported. 2400 block of Briarcliff Road — On

Dec. 30, in the evening, items were stolen from a car. 2400 block of Briarcliff Road — On

Dec. 30, in the evening, items were stolen from a car. 2800 block of Clairmont Road — On

Dec. 30, at night, a street robbery involving a gun was reported. 2000 block of North Druid Hills Road

— On Dec. 31, in the early morning, a carjacking took place. 3800 block of Peachtree Road — On

Dec. 31, in the evening, a shoplifting incident was reported. 3800 block of Buford Highway — On

Dec. 31, at night, a theft was reported.

1500 block of Lake Hearn Drive — On








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JANUARY 2019 â– www.ReporterNewspapers.net

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