January 2019 - Sandy Springs

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JANUARY 2019 • VOL. 13 — NO. 1

Sandy Springs Reporter

JANU ARY 20 19

Section Two

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Super Bowl brings business excitement, traffic worries P20 COMMUNITY

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

Shuttered strip clubs catching developers’ eyes BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net








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Shopping center buyouts soar as Prado loses tenants BY EVELYN ANDREWS


Keeping it hyperlocal P14



The Exchange at Hammond, located at 5980 Roswell Road, is one of three Sandy Springs shopping centers that have recently sold after attracting developers’ attention due to their prominent location and the city’s urbanization.



After the forced closure of Sandy Springs’ three strip clubs, one is being considered for a new assisted living facility and another appears to have a new tenant.

A developer is considering building an assisted living facility at the former location of the Coronet Club/Doll House on Roswell Road. The space that held Mardi Gras, which is tucked behind a shopping center anchored by Publix on Powers Ferry Road, is listed as having a new tenant on the ownSee SHUTTERED on page 10


in the

New Year


AnnaMaria Cammilli exclusively at

As the Prado Shopping Center takes a hit with two major tenants, Publix and 5 Seasons Brewing, announcing closures, three other shopping centers have recently been sold to developers, attracted to their location in Sandy Springs and the city’s urbanization, an expert says. The Sandy Springs Crossing shopping center at the intersection of Abernathy and Roswell roads was sold in December 2018. Neighboring Roswell Road centers The Exchange at Hammond and Parkside Shopping Center were sold in October 2018. No major renovations are planned for now, the new owners say. Amoson, the director of research at real estate firm Colliers International’s Atlanta office, said part of developers’ interest is likely due to Sandy Springs becoming more urban with more walkable areas and a “new identity for the area created by City Springs,” the city’s new art and civic complex, which drives more interest in shopping centers. The new apartment complexes coming online along Roswell Road are also expected to add more foot traffic to the centers, he said. City officials are encouraging mixeduse developments like those along Roswell Road that replaced similar See SHOPPING on page 16

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Community Briefs CIT Y C OUN C IL TO H OLD A N N UA L RETR EAT J AN. 22

The City Council plans to host its annual retreat where it sets the year’s priorities on Jan. 22. The retreat is planned to be held at 8 a.m. in City Hall at 1 Galambos Way, city spokesperson Sharon Kraun said in an email. Items that are expected to be up for discussion include the North End Revitalization Task Force’s report and the design for the new “cultural center” that could house local groups and an art exhibit. Every city department also makes some form of report on the past year’s accomplishments and work to come in 2019.


The City Council approved reversing a property’s change to a residential designation, an agreement reached with the property owner as part of a court-ordered mediation agreement. The property at 80 Johnson Ferry Road was initially placed in a “City Springs” zoning category, which allows for a high-density mixed use, during the implementation of the city’s new Development Code in 2017. But it was later changed by city staff to an exclusively residential category intended for townhouses. The owner, Stephen F. Johnston, claimed in the lawsuit that the city rezoned his property as “revenge” for an earlier eminent domain dispute. The council Dec. 18 approved changing the property to the “City Springs Character Area,” which allows for commercial uses. Mayor Rusty Paul said that he “shares everybody’s concern about this,” but that the city was unlikely to win the lawsuit and is required to change the zoning. “It’s with a certain degree of concern that we are taking the required steps,” Paul said.

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Councilmember Chris Burnett added, “I think we are all sort of holding our nose with this one.”


Gabriel Sterling, a former Sandy Springs City Council member and political consultant, will serve as chief operating officer for newly elected Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. Sterling will be the office’s “overall director of budgetary, human resources, and administrative operations,” according to a press release. “Gabriel’s political and business accomplishments throughout his career will prove beneficial to all Georgians,” said Raffensperger in the press release. “I am excited to work with him and my team is equally excited to benefit from his experience.” “I am humbled that Secretary of State-elect Raffensperger asked me to serve and look forward to hitting the ground running to help achieve Raffensperger’s vision for the Office of Secretary of State,” said Sterling in the press release. Sterling is currently vice chairman of the Sandy Springs Development Authority and long ran a consulting business called SSH. He also serves on the boards of the Sandy Springs Conservancy, Heritage Sandy Springs and the Phoenix Patriot Foundation. He also recently served on Sandy Springs’ North End Revitalization Task Force. Sterling served as the District 4 city councilmember from 2011 until early this year after deciding not to run again. Last year, he made an unsuccessful campaign for chairman of the Fulton County Commission. A Republican, Sterling became involved this year as a complainant in his party’s unsuccessful legal challenge to Democrat Josh McLaurin’s candidacy for Sandy Springs’ District 51 state House seat.


Sandy Springs has entered contracts to relocate its emergency operations center to City Springs. The City Council Dec. 18 approved two construction contracts worth $750,000 to build out a room with a large video wall on the complex’s fourth floor. The emergency operations center is currently located at facilities provided by the city’s private 911 service, the Chattahoochee River 911 Authority or ChatComm, at an office building on Mount Vernon Highway. “An EOC brings together the departments and people needed to oversee necessary operations, so it is a command center we are able to utilize on an ongoing basis,” city spokesperson Sharon Kraun said. “Currently, we utilize space allocated at ChatComm, but the move will provide added space and enable us to better configure the area to meet the needs of our community.” The center, which was proposed to move to City Springs in May, is used most often for emergencies such as hurricanes, severe storms that knock down trees and power lines, and winter storms, Kraun said. The proposed project to relocate ChatComm and its backup center is still under review, Kraun said.


Sandy Springs has bought another piece of property for its Roswell Road sidewalk project. The City Council approved at its Dec. 18 meeting a $15,100 purchase at 174 Osner Drive. The purchase includes 77 square feet of right of way and 1,581 square feet for a temporary construction easement at the property, an office building. The project is the third phase of sidewalk improvements the city has built out using federal funds from a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development program.


Sandy Springs has renewed its agreement with the city of Atlanta to provide or receive extra fire emergency services if needed. Sandy Springs has mutual aid agreements with several other jurisdictions. The agreement with Atlanta was nearing expiration, and Atlanta asked Sandy Springs to renew, Fire Rescue Chief Keith Sanders said. The agreement provides assurances that if an emergency or events exceeds the immediate resources, skill and equipment capacities of the city’s fire department, Atlanta will assist.


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Development code changes to return to City Council BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

The city’s second major update to the new development code has hit snags, with the Planning Commission balking at some recommendations and the City Council later holding up others. Some of the proposals — including changing the way building heights are restricted and requirements for public spaces — will return to the council at its January meeting after being deferred last year. This second major amendment comes over a year since the adoption of the Development Code. The first major amendment occurred six months after passing the code, including changes to key components of the code, such as the lot coverage and grading in setbacks in singlefamily districts. The city’s planning staff said in the summary of its proposals that the changes are minor error corrections and “other changes that are not expected to generate much discussion.” But several have been contentious among city boards and residents who have spoken out against them in meetings. The changes are part of the second round of proposals. The city has passed

a few items this round, including changes to allowing the renovation of drivethroughs and decreasing bicycle parking requirements for private schools. The council on Dec. 18 deferred changes to change building height requirements and decrease outdoor amenity space requirements. On Nov. 20, it deferred proposals to allow townhome infill developments and increase the allowed size of building signs. The Planning Commission held up the building height change for a month and recommended the City Council deny allowing renovation of drive-throughs and the infill development changes. On the table is switching from an overall building height limit to a limit on the amount of stories. The current height limits are a holdover from Fulton County code, said Catherine Mercier-Baggett, the planning and zoning manager. That change would solve problems with developers not being able to build the number of stories they want to because of the overall height limit, she said. The change in building height would apply to office, Perimeter Center and mixed-use residential districts. “I want to make that abundantly clear. We are not touching the lower residential districts,” Mercier-Baggett said.

“Obviously, no one wants a looming building over their backyard swimming pool. That’s what the maximum height concept was all about in the beginning,” Paulson said. “At the end of the day, I’m not ready to vote on this,” he said. Joe Heins spoke against the change as a representative of the Sandy Springs Council of Neighborhoods, saying increasing the height in protected neighborhood buffers would harm residents. “You made a promise to protect neighborhoods,” Heins said. The current outdoor amenity space requirements have been “found to be more punitive for some properties than others,” Mercier-Baggett said. The amenity space is provided for social and recreational uses, such as a pool at an apartment complex or an outdoor plaza at a shopping center. Other than houses and townhomes, all developments are required to have outdoor amenity space equal to 15 percent of the development size. The change would instead tier that amount based on the development’s size. In effect, the tiers would lower the required space for all sizes of developments. The highest tier, 2 acres, would be lowered to 10 percent. Less than 1 acre would 2 percent, and between that, the city would require 5 per-

cent. This would go against the city’s goal to be more walkable and have more green space, said Ronda Smith, with the Council of Neighborhoods. The city should keep the 15 percent for large developments to encourage developers to give back to the community, she said. Mercier-Baggett said she was not sure why the planning staff chose to reduce the 15 percent to 10 percent. “There’s nothing magical about those numbers,” she said. Those proposals will return to the City Council meeting on Jan. 15, along with the infill development and building sign proposed changes. The infill development proposal would allow townhomes in the city’s existing cottage court pattern, which allows for smaller houses centered around green space. The building sign change would allow a 360-square-foot sign, double what is allowed now, on a building 10 stories or more. The building would also have to be visible from I-285 or Ga. 400 and abut the interstates. The current restriction is a 180-squarefoot sign on buildings four stories or taller.

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Doraville ordinance intends to inspire other cities to protect LGBTQ people BY DYANA BAGBY

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 The city of Doraville recently approved an ordinance that prohibits local businesses cities also ban discrimination based on gender identity. from discriminating against various minority groups, such as African Americans and peoBy approving the nondiscrimination ordinance that applies to privately-owned busiple with disabilities. But the new law also bans discrimination against people based on their nesses, Doraville is taking a bold step, said Jeff Graham, executive director of Georgia Equalsexual orientation and gender identity in a move that bucks “religious freedom” bills that ity, the state’s largest LGBTQ advocacy organization. have been debated at the General Assembly for the past several years. “This really should not be controversial in 2019,” Graham said. In November, Doraville became only But cities other than Atlanta have been hesitant to regulate any kind of law based on the second city in Georgia to sexual orientation and gender identity based on a 1995 state put such a law on its books Supreme Court ruling, Graham said. In that ruling, the High to protect LGBTQ people Court ruled partly in favor of Bill McKinney, a Democratic from discrimination. The state lawmaker who sued the city of Atlanta saying it overcity of Atlanta passed the stepped its authority after it implemented a domestic partfirst such ordinance in 2001. ner registry and offered some protections to same-sex couDoraville City Councilples. member Stephe Koontz, beGraham said he has heard from many cities citing this lieved to be the first openly 1995 ruling for not approving a local ordinance such as the transgender person elected one Doraville approved. But others interpret the ruling to to office in the state, spearonly deal headed passage of the ordiwith donance, which was approved mesin a 5-1 vote in November. tic partShe said she’s worked with ners and the city of Clarkston and nothing Chamblee on their own else, Granondiscrimination ordi- STEPHE KOONTZ ham said. SPECIAL nances and she hopes other DORAVILLE CITY COUNCILMEMBER “There Doraville City Councilmember metro Atlanta cities follow Stephe Koontz. is really Doraville’s lead. nothing that prohibits this,” he said. “The whole idea is to inspire other citMock said Chamblee’s attorney said ies to join in the fight against discriminathe 1995 ruling is relevant only in that tion which they should want to do,” she said. it concerns issues of discrimination but The cities of Brookhaven and Dunwoody have no current plans to take on such an ordidoes not apply to the city’s proposed nonnance. In Sandy Springs, a spokesperson said the city has no authority to regulate private discrimination ordinance. businesses. The Georgia legislature, however, “Our policy is, and always has been, that we do not discriminate against anyone for any does not shy away from anti-LGBTQ legreason,” Sharon Kraun said in a written statement. islation. The General Assembly last year “Local government policies against discrimination apply to the local government not approved an overhaul of its adoption SPECIAL discriminating against persons similarly situated, on any basis,” she said. “That is the city’s code for the first time in 30 years. But the Georgia Equality Executive policy. The city has no authority to police Director Jeff Graham. law only passed after a year-long fight complaints by private citizens discrimiwith Republican senators who wanted nating against private citizens.” to amend the bill to allow adoption agenKoontz, who is from Sandy Springs, cies deny children to LGBTQ couples based on their religious belief. disagreed with her hometown’s deciRepublicans over the past several years have also tried to push through a “religious freesion. The Doraville ordinance is legal bedom” bill to essentially prohibit governments from restricting a person’s exercise of their cause it is tied to the occupational tax religion. Opponents of the bill say the bill would lead to businesses discriminating against permit businesses must apply for to opLGBTQ people. erate in the city, she said. The city’s nonJeff Graham, executive director of Georgia Equality, the state’s largest LGBTQ advocacy discrimination ordinance also prohibits organization, said anytime there is a step forward such as the Doraville nondiscrimination discrimination based on race, religion, ordinance, there is the risk of backlash at the State Capitol. color, sex, disability, national origin, anFor the past several years, Democrats at the legislature have introduced a state civil cestry or military status. rights bill backed by Georgia Equality that would mirror federal law to protect Georgians “By applying for the permit, they are against discrimination in hotels, restaurants, theaters and other public accommodations agreeing to abide by our ordinances,” based on race, color, religion, natural origin or sex and including sexual orientation and Koontz said. gender identity, Graham said. The city of Chamblee was expected to “One of the reasons why we are so concerned about the passage of any form or ‘reliapprove its own comprehensive nondisgious freedom’ law in Georgia is that without the state having a civil rights law to balance crimination ordinance this month, acit, a RFRA bill is an automatic open door to discrimination of groups of people, particularSPECIAL cording to City Councilmember Brian ly LGBT people,” he said. Chamblee City Councilmember Brian Mock. Mock. Georgia is one of three states without such a civil rights bill, Graham added. Alabama Mock, who is gay, said the city’s gay and Mississippi are the other two states. and lesbian population has “exploded” Koontz said Doraville’s ordinance protects LGBTQ people, but it also protects a Muslim in recent years and the nondiscrimination ordinance would ensure their rights are protectwoman wearing a burqa from being refused service at a restaurant, for example. ed. The local ordinances are representative of a shift in Georgia’s politics, he said. “This isn’t just an LGBTQ bill, this is a bill protecting everyone,” she said. “We’ve changed a lot as a state and are not nearly as red as we used to be,” he said. “This -- Evelyn Andrews contributed. dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

The whole idea is to inspire other cities to join in the fight against discrimination which they should want to do.


Community | 5

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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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Thank You!

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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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

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

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

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.

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.

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

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 become, 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!

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.

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

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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

Canton St

Serpas is a New Orleans native who learned his love of the restaurant industry as a busboy at New Orleans restau-

Q: Why did you decide to open restau-

GA 400

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.

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10 | Community

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Shuttered strip clubs catching developers’ eyes Continued from page 1

er’s website. The owners of Flashers, located on Roswell Road, are in the midst of a lawsuit against the city for a 2016 raid and redevelopment plans have not been announced. All three strip clubs closed in September 2018 after losing a court battle that allowed the city to shut them down.


Mardi Gras was located in the Powers Ferry Village shopping center at 6300 Powers Ferry Road. GOOGLE EARTH

The strip club Coronet Club/ Doll House was located at 5275 Roswell Road.

Mardi Gras

The owner of the shopping center Mardi Gras was located in has listed a new tenant, “Mickey G’s” as occupying the strip club’s former building. Mardi Gras was located in Powers Ferry Village, a shopping center at 6300 Powers Ferry Road owned by Regency Centers, in a separate building to the side. It is unclear what kind of business Mickey G’s would be, and the leasing agent for the center, Leslie Mintz, said in an email that there is “nothing to confirm at this time.” Nothing appeared to have changed on the exterior of the building as of early January.

Coronet Club/Doll House

A developer shared his plan to build an assisted living facility on Coronet Club/Doll House’s lot at 5275 Roswell Road during a Dec. 20 community meeting. Nearby residents shared concerns about the use and potential increased traffic the development could bring. Stephen Pistorius, the developer, said at the required preliminary meeting held at the Church of Scientology that he is under contract for the 2-acre front lot, which was the location of the strip club, and was in discussions with a different landowner to buy the larger 4-acre lot behind it. If he is able to use the back lot, the assisted living facility could be 150 units, he said. If the back lot is used, Pistorius hopes to bring a restaurant to the ground floor and a medical building to the front lot. Without the back lot, a medical build-

ing would not be built and there would be around 100 units, he said. But Pistorius said the development use could still change. To build a multiunit residence, the developer needs a zoning change to a character area that allows that use. The change wouldn’t be major since an adult business was already a commercial use, Pistorius said. The property’s character area was changed from commercial to “Neighborhood Village,” which allows for office uses, during the city’s development code update. “The use was commercial,” he said. “I know it wasn’t everyone’s favorite use, but it was commercial.” The strip club has previously been proposed for other redevelopments that have been rejected by the city’s Planning Commission or not moved forward. Some residents at the meeting worried a large residential building could bring more traffic than an office building. Pistorius disagrees and said he

A Place Where You Belong

would do a traffic study. Pistorius said he is willing to adjust the proposal to accommodate residents’ concerns. But some of them won’t be able to be completely resolved, including traffic. “You’re basically arguing for it to be nothing,” Pistorius responded to one resident’s concerns that new developments could bring more congestion. But one resident thought an assisted living facility could be especially bad for traffic. “You’re going to have medical staff, lunch staff, dinner staff, visitors and residents,” the resident said. Some residents threw out other ideas, like building a “boutique hotel” or having the city use the land as a park. Another joked another strip club should come, saying it was a good use because it brought traffic limited to evening hours

when congestion is lower. “Could we get another strip club?” the resident said. “At least they were good neighbors and didn’t take left turns during the day.” Pistorius said he is planning to talk to the city about going through the zoning process in a way that ties the development plan to the zoning use so that residents know what they will be getting if the character area is changed. “I know it’s a sensitive subject for anyone who lives here, but somebody’s going to redevelop it,” he said. The developer is required to host a second community meeting, which has not been set yet, before appearing at the Planning Commission in March. For more information, visit sandyspringsga. gov.

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Community | 11

JANUARY 2019 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Strip club owner sues Sandy Springs for 2016 raid BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

The owner of a closed Sandy Springs strip club has sued the city for forcing it to close temporarily following a December 2016 raid. The club, Flashers, has since closed permanently after losing a legal battle against Sandy Springs. The lawsuit, which is against the city and Fire Marshal Doug Brown, said Sandy Springs “searched and closed Flashers without meaningful notice or an opportunity to be meaningfully heard.” A company that owned the strip club, 6420 Roswell Rd., Inc., filed the suit. Sandy Springs spokesperson Sharon Kraun said the city has not yet seen the complaint and cannot comment. The club, along with the city’s two others that also closed last year following the

lawsuit loss, Mardi Gras and Coronet Club/ Doll House, was searched in an unannounced raid in December 2016 that led to arrests on charges of “solicitation of an illegal sexual act,” according to a Reporter story. Several citations for violating city codes were issued. “The timing and conduct of the ‘night inspection’ was purposely calculated to scare away Flashers’ performers and patrons so that Flashers was unable, or severely crippled in trying, to reopen its business after repairs were made,” the lawsuit said. “Five days after the inspection, the fire marshal ordered Flashers to shut down and cease operations,” according to the lawsuit, which was filed Dec. 14 in federal court. Flashers was ordered to complete electrical repairs following the raid, and the lawsuit alleges the city unjustly delayed

certifying the repairs and allowing them to reopen. The club was not able to reopen until the Superior Court ruled in their favor two weeks after the raid, the lawsuit said. “While Flashers was closed, it was prevented from offering First Amendmentprotected entertainment, and it suffered economic damages, including lost profits and loss of goodwill,” the lawsuit said. Kraun said in a statement in 2016 that the closure was needed because the violations were life-threatening. “This is an older facility with no sprinkler system in place, and among the violations are serious electrical hazards, constituting an imminent threat to human life,” Kraun said. The lawsuit challenges that, saying the violations were “minor or technical” and that the city “knew that there were no se-

rious code violations at Flashers, and they knew that Flashers did not pose an immediate threat to the health, safety or welfare of the community.” The lawsuit is seeking compensation and reimbursement for attorney’s fees, it said. The lawsuit alleges the city’s ordinances lack safeguards that could prevent businesses from being unexpectedly closed indefinitely. The city never closed other businesses based on alleged violations of its building or fire safety ordinances, the lawsuit said. “This systemic shortcoming is especially troublesome here, where the ordinances were applied because of a distaste for erotic messages offered by a nude dance establishment located on a high-profile corridor of the City,” the lawsuit said.


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12 | Community

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State rules on wireless antennas would strip local control, say city officials

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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.

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 small-scale 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 small-cell industry at the expense of Brookhaven and of quality of life and



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Community | 13

JANUARY 2019 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Georgia Power pole on Standard Drive.


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 small-cell 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. 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 cit-

ies 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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14 | Commentary

Reporter Newspapers

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 Where Sandy Reporter Newspapers started in site into a daily news source for Buckhead, BrookhavJanuary 2007 with Sandy Springs en, Dunwoody and Sandy Springs. Their digital efforts and Buckhead editions, left, and Tree Hugger has expanded into Brookhaven have been noticed, as the number of new online visiand Dunwoody. Atlanta INtown tors has surged more than 30 percent last year. (Be sure Where Buck was acquired in 2013 and Atlanta 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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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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imination and

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

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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


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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

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City mulls allowing developers to pay instead of burying utilities BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

The city is mulling a proposal that could allow developers to pay a fee instead of burying their utility lines for aesthetic reasons. The recommendation was made by a special committee and is seen as a possible way to spur redevelopment in the city’s north end. The city rules require all new subdivisions and developments over 20,000 square feet that touch utility lines to relocate utility lines underground. The requirement applies only to utilities that directly service a building, not to massive transmission lines like those running on tall metal poles along Roswell Road. The city prefers to put utility wires underground for aesthetics and to re-

... the costs from Georgia Power are very prohibitive. There’s no rhyme or reason. It’s just a number that they give you with no breakdown. JIM TOLBERT ASSISTANT CITY MANAGER

duce accidental power outages, but there has been concern in the development community about the increased cost, Jim Tolbert, the assistant city manager, said during a presentation in the City Council’s Dec. 18 non-voting work session. “There’s been a lot of consternation about that, a lot of issues,” Tolbert said. The idea is to allow developers to pay a fee to the city of $2,000 per foot of utility line. The city would then place the money in a fund to be used to pay for utility burial in a target area. The concept was created by a committee put together by the Sandy Springs PeSS

rimeter Chamber of Commerce, Tolbert said. Areas where the city might bury utility lines itself are the City Springs district and the north end, Tolbert said. In the north end, the city could pay for half the cost of the burial to encourage redevelopment in the area, which has been the subject of a special “revitalization” task force that produced a report expected to be reviewed by the City Council at its Jan. 22 retreat. “You could do half-price in the north end, when elsewhere you may have to pay full price,” he said. The fee of $2,000 per linear foot was taken from the average costs of burying the lines, Tolbert said. Committee members did not approve the amount and were “reluctant” to give a solid number, he said. The cost is more than what was paid for utility burial already done at City Springs, but is about an average, he said. Sandy Springs paid AT&T and Georgia Power Co. $950,000 to bury the lines around City Springs. “As we know from our own experience with City Springs, the costs from Georgia Power are very prohibitive. There’s no rhyme or reason. It’s just a number that they give you with no breakdown,” Tolbert said. And waiting for Georgia Power to perform the work can make scheduling and budgeting difficult for developers, Tolbert said. The logistics of burying the utilities on a small lot can also be prohibitive and can affect other properties, he said. “They get it to when they want to get to it,” he said. He said Georgia Power has told the city that “undergrounding is not a priority to them and they would rather we not do it.” The City Council instructed Tolbert to continue working on the proposal, and it is expected to return for a vote at an upcoming meeting. Councilmember Andy Bauman said he thought January may be too quick to vote. “I want to chew on this a little bit,” he said. “I would be concerned about some unintended, unforeseen consequences, particularly given the magnitude of $2,000 a foot.”

A map shows the utility burial priority area around the City Springs district recommended by the city planning staff to the City Council.

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Shopping center buyouts soar as Prado loses tenants Continued from page 1 shopping centers. City Springs itself replaced a vacant Target store. Amoson said he doesn’t anticipate major renovation or addition due to the lack of space at the shopping centers, but they could use some type of facelift, he said. Multifamily developments, like apartments, could add significant value if developers have the room, he said. The lack of vacant parcels available for development drives interest, making developers more likely to jump at the chance when they see a shopping center come on the market, he said. “When you have an existing property with a good mix of tenants, I think people are going to be interested,” he said. “That type of investment doesn’t come too often.” The shopping centers also have a strong mix of stores that aren’t challenged by the internet, like medical offices, restaurants and nail salons, Amoson said. A long-term lease from a satellite campus of Gwinnett College at Sandy Springs Crossing is also a bright spot, he said. “Between those three types of tenants, [the shopping centers] are gold,” he said.

person. There are “no plans for redevelopment at this point,” he said. “This area is so well-established that we believe it will only get better with increasing density in Sandy Springs and continued employment growth in Central Perimeter,” Lindemann said in a release. It is anchored by an LA Fitness, and other tenants include several restaurants and a satellite campus of Gwinnett College. “This retail node has really solidified in the last several years largely in part due to the apartment growth in Sandy

The Exchange and Parkside

The Exchange at Hammond and Parkside Shopping Center were sold earlier this year to Jamestown, creating the biggest sale in the metro area in 2018, Amoson said. Parkside went for $39.1 million, and The Exchange for $54.7 million, according to Fulton County property records. Michael Phillips, the president of Jamestown, the developer behind Ponce City Market, said the tenant mix and location were driving factors behind the purchases. He agrees Sandy Springs is becoming more urban, and said the grocery store, movie theater and various stores were draws. Parkside lost a few businesses last year, including comic book and clothing stores and the Sandy Springs Visitor Center. Phillips said he doesn’t expect major changes, but does envision bringing more local businesses and restaurants, including “fast casual” food and modernizing the centers. Trying to combine the two to seem more line one shopping center is also on the table, Phillips said.

Sandy Springs Crossing

FCA, the new owner of Sandy Springs Crossing, plans to fill vacancies with “services and food tenants,” said Albert Lindemann, the managing partner of FCA Partners, through a spokes-


Springs and the staggering job growth within Central Perimeter. Being on the ‘going home’ side of Abernathy also benefits our tenants,” Lindemann said. Sandy Springs Crossing was last sold by Coro Realty in 2015 to RCG Ventures for $23.4 million, according to Fulton County property records.

The Prado

The Prado, owned by North American Development Group, lost a restaurant and grocery tenant that anchored the center in December. “After nine years at the Prado Shopping Center, Publix has decided to close this location because it has been underperforming for some time,” said Brenda Reid, a spokesperson at Publix’s Georgia office, in an email. For Amoson, the Publix closure doesn’t signal a wider trend, especially since the store was known to have had low sales. “I just think it’s part of maybe too much saturation of grocery stores in certain areas of our market,” Amo-

Top left, The Parkside Shopping Center, located at 5920 Roswell Road, was sold in October 2018. Bottom left, The Publix that was located in The Prado Shopping Center at 5600 Roswell Road closed in December 2018. Bottom right, The Sandy Springs Crossing shopping center, located at 6690 Roswell Road, was sold in December 2018.

son said. “The ones that are well-located and up-to-date, and offer the newest and best experience to meet customer preference will always be the winners.” He thinks the vacancy should fill quickly due to its high-traffic location. Publix was one of the anchor tenants at The Prado Shopping Center located at 5600 Roswell Road. Other businesses there include Target, Taco Mac, Starbucks and, until recently, 5 Seasons Brewing Company, a restaurant and brewery. The brewpub announced in a Dec. 31 Facebook post that it would not reopen. “As many of you know, tonight marks the end of our lease here at the Prado location and we will be closing our doors here in Sandy Springs at midnight,” the

business said in the post. The second location in Atlanta at 1000 Marietta St. will remain open. 5 Seasons Brewing had been open in The Prado since 2001, according to the business’ website. Following the redevelopment of the shopping center in 2007, 5 Seasons Brewing sued the developer, Sembler, fearing the restaurant would go bankrupt if it did not receive compensation for losing business during construction. The redevelopment opened also opened with a Staples, which closed in 2014. Restaurants have come and gone, including Mexican fast food restaurant Barberitos, which closed last year. But main anchors Target and Life Time Athletic have remained. SS

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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Sunday, Jan. 20, 6-8:30 p.m. In commemoration of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Am Yisrael Chai presents an event featuring Holocaust survivor speaker Marion Blumenthal Lazan. Lazan’s memoir “Four Perfect Pebbles” vividly

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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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22 | Public Safety

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New penalties added to false alarm ordinance following lawsuit dismissal BY EVELYN ANDREWS AND JOHN RUCH Following a federal court’s dismissal of the security industry’s lawsuit against Sandy Springs’ new false-alarm ordinance, the City Council approved adding new notification requirements and fines. The court dismissed the lawsuit Dec. 12, saying there is no evidence it violates the company’s constitutional rights by fining them for customers’ mistakes. A security industry official says an appeal of the dismissal will be filed. The following week at the City Council’s Dec. 19 meeting, the city moved forward with new penalties for companies if they do not notify customers they have been placed on a “nonresponse” list. The city’s attempt to crack down on false burglar and fire alarms with a new ordinance passed last year has shaken the security industry as a possible national model. The city says it gets thousands of alarm calls a year, of which about 99 percent are false, tying up police officers and firefighters and costing enormous sums of money. “The city maintains that it is trying to resolve a public safety crisis created by the alarm industry,” said a city press release. The core of the new ordinance is a system of fining security systems who service the alarm systems, rather than residents and business owners who use them, for repeated false alarms. The city says the new ordinance already has significantly reduced false-alarm responses, due to both fines and alarm companies canceling a police or fire dispatch after an initial call. The security industry strongly opposed the ordinance. In March, the Georgia Electronic Life Safety & System Association and two Georgia alarm companies sued the city, claiming the ordinance violates their constitutional right to due process. In a Dec. 12 order, Judge Amy Totenberg dismissed the lawsuit before trial, saying there is no basis for assuming a due-process violation. She said the city showed a rational basis for its ordinance and that the law allows this type of civil penalty to be placed on a company for actions involving its users. “Of course, we’re disappointed the judge would not allow the case to be heard,” said Stan Martin, executive director of the Texas-based Security Industry Alarm Coalition, a nonprofit organization that is advising the Georgia plaintiffs in filing the lawsuit. “We certainly, respectfully don’t agree with the judge’s opinion.” “We believe we have sufficient legal support for our position and case law is on our side,” said Martin, confirming an appeal filing. In the face of the legal challenges, the city repeatedly tweaked the false-alarm ordinance, including to reduce fines and increase an appeal period. But, Martin said, the core due-process concern remains for his group. Earlier this year, it added a requirement for alarm companies to provide direct confirmation that a burglar alarm call is a real crime — with audio or video devic-

es or in person — before calling 911. That provision takes effect June 19 of next year. If a location has unpaid false-alarm fines or other excessive false-alarm issues, the city can place it a “non-response” list, meaning 911 dispatchers will ignore calls generated by its alarm system, but will still respond to direct calls from a person there. On Dec. 19, the City Council added requirements for alarm companies to notify customers by U.S. Postal Service certified mail and copy the city on the letter within seven days of being placed on the list. If the company fails to do, it will be fined $100 each time, according to the ordinance. Martin says his group has a model ordinance that would reduce falsealarms by better training users and improving their equipment, as well as fining them directly. That ordinance has support from national associations of police chiefs and sheriffs, he said. The Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police is among those who have endorsed it, said Marietta Police Chief Dan Flynn, who serves as the alarm systems committee chair. Flynn said the GCAP believes false CITY PRESS RELEASE alarm ordinances should fine citizens instead of the alarm companies, and opposes requiring verification before a law enforcement response. “In our view, it’s not fair to fine the alarm companies,” he said. Ordinances that require verification hinder crime prevention, he said. Flynn believes law enforcement should arrive as soon as an alarm goes off, not when a crime is in progress, he said. “I want to get there as soon as I can,” he said. Marietta has an ordinance that fines citizens for false alarms, which have dropped by 70 percent since adopting that strategy, Flynn said. “It’s manageable for us, and the crime rate has gone down,” he said. But Sandy Springs says it used a previous model ordinance from the industry in 2013 and saw little improvement in false alarms, leading the city to adopt the new system. The new ordinance is already inspiring such neighboring cities as Brookhaven, which passed a similar code last year but put enforcement on hold pending the outcome of the Sandy Springs lawsuit.

The city maintains that it is trying to resolve a public safety crisis created by the alarm industry.

Can’t Find Your Home in Sandy Springs? Call Me!

New Listing 770 Edgewater Trail 5BR 3Full Baths Charming Home in the heart of Sandy Springs!

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Carol Reynolds

Property Location:

5790 Mountain Creek Road Parcel # 17 007000040047

Present Zoning:

CS-3 (City Springs, 3 stories maximum height)


Request for a Conditional Use Permit for a personal care home for up to 8 residents.

Public Hearings:

Planning Commission February 26, 2019 at 6:00 p.m.


Sandy Springs City Hall 1 Galambos Way Sandy Springs, Georgia 30328 770-730-5600


Public Safety | 23

JANUARY 2019 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Police Blotter / Sandy Springs The following crime information is provided via the Sandy Springs Week in Review Report for the week ending Dec. 21. North District Crime: The unit report-

ed six entering autos, which occurred primarily at apartment complexes. One burglary was reported at a storage unit at an apartment community. South District Crime: The unit report-

ed 10 entering-auto incidents. There was one attempted robbery of a pedestrian in the area of Roswell Road and I-285. A suspect was apprehended and arrested. There was one burglary reported at a multiunit housing building on Hammond Drive, where a package room was unlawfully entered. Street Crimes Unit (SCU): The unit re-

ported six felony arrests, two misdemeanor arrests and three city arrests. The unit conducted 20 traffic stops, issued five citations, located five wanted persons, and made seven field contacts. The unit investigated nine suspicious persons/vehicles, conducted one vehicle search, worked two drug complaints and conducted 36 surveillance hours. The unit conducted five knock-andtalks and seized 11 grams of marijuana and 1 gram of heroin. The unit worked an entering auto detail at several points along Roswell Road. The unit assisted the DeKalb County Police Department K-9 unit with a security detail at a veterinary hospital. A suspicious person wanted on three outstanding warrants was arrested. An individual wanted on an outstanding warrant was arrested related to drugs. The unit provided patrol assistance related to threatening calls to Dunwoody Springs Elementary School. Traffic Unit: The unit made one felo-

ny arrest and six misdemeanor arrests; conducted 88 traffic stops; and issued 98 citations. The unit made two DUI and four traffic arrests.

K-9 Unit: The unit reported one felo-

ny arrest and one misdemeanor arrest; conducted 11 traffic stops; and issued nine traffic citations. The unit worked two suspicious persons/vehicle calls, and conducted two K-9 tracks and nine K-9 searches. The unit worked eight drug complaints, conducted six knock-andtalks, and issued six search warrants. The unit seized 8 pounds of marijuana, 1,855 grams of THC oil, and $82,697 in cash. The unit assisted with two FedEx parcel sniffs and seized 325 grams of marijuana, 27 hash sticks, 1,855 grams of marijuana edibles and 74 grams of BHO after a search warrant was executed. Two traffic stops resulted in arrests. Criminal Investigations Division:

Lockton Place — A victim has recovered all of her property from an enteringauto theft. 5500 block of Roswell Road — A suspect was accused of selecting $91.97 worth of clothing at a store, changing into it, and leaving the store without paying. The accused was a known suspect due to previous arrests and shoplifting convictions, making this case a felony. Wesley Oak Road — Approximately $186,325 in jewelry, silver bars and silver coins was taken from victim’s unsecured garage during a burglary. The theft is believed to have taken place between the months of September 2018 and December 2018. 5700 block of Roswell Road — Unknown suspects entered two vehicles and took clothing, nursing equipment and a digital camera. Terroristic Threats — An unknown male called the Dunwoody Springs Elementary school threatening to kill people. The same phone number was used to call approximately nine locations that day, including another police department’s headquarters.



Petition Number:



Allison Dubovsky

Property Location:

640 Weatherly Lane


Request for a Conditional Use Permit to allow outdoor home occupation. (Sec. 7.8.8)

Public Hearings:

Mayor and City Council February 19, 2019 at 6:00 p.m.


Sandy Springs City Hall 1 Galambos Way Sandy Springs, Georgia 30328 770-730-5600




NorthPlace Associates LLC The Galloway Group LLC

Property Location:

0, 6401, 6403 Barfield Rd

Present Zoning:



Rezoning from PX-10/12 to PX-10/12 to amend zoning conditions to allow a hotel use

Public Hearings:

Planning Commission February 26, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. Mayor and City Council March 19, 2019 at 6:00 p.m.


Sandy Springs City Hall 1 Galambos Way Sandy Springs, GA 30328 770-730-5600




Jim Self

Property Location:

309, 314, 354, and 0 Dalrymple Rd.

Present Zoning:



Request for rezoning from RE-1 to RD-18

Public Hearings:

Planning Commission February 26, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. Mayor and City Council March 19, 2019 at 6:00 p.m.


Sandy Springs City Hall 1 Galambos Way Sandy Springs, Georgia 30328 770-730-5600

SANDY SPRINGS 2019 ANNUAL ACTION PLAN NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING FEBRUARY 19, 2019 The City of Sandy Springs, GA has begun preparations to submit its 2019 Annual Action Plan for the CDBG Program to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) by May 15, 2019, tentatively. To meet the requirements of Consolidated Submissions for Community Planning and Development Programs, Sandy Springs will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, February 19, 2019, at 6:00 p.m. in City Hall located at 1 Galambos Way, Sandy Springs, GA, 30328. In 2019, Staff will continue working on the implementation of South Roswell Road Multiyear Sidewalk Project, specifically the area south of Interstate 285 (Phase III). Citizens can offer input on this project at the public hearing, as well as other needs in their community relative to the CDBG Program. The CDBG program assists cities with developing viable urban communities by providing decent housing and a suitable living environment and expanding economic opportunities principally for low- and moderate-income persons. Citizens in need of translation services or materials in alternative formats should call 770-7305600 seven calendar days prior to the regularly scheduled meeting. Additional CDBG Program information can be found on the City’s CDBG webpage at http://spr.gs/cdbg1

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JANUARY 2019 Sandy Springs Dunwoody Brookhaven Buckhead

20 20 UNDER


His life changed, retiree finds new focus in helping kids P26


North Atlanta High teacher, orchestra to perform at Carnegie Hall P27


Honoring students who give back to the community

The question arises every year as we consider nominations for our annual 20 Under 20 honors: How do these students find the time to give so much back to the community? As you will see, this year’s list is filled with young people who somehow manage to juggle their busy lives with doing extraordinary things to make Reporter Newspapers communities and the world a better place to live. As in previous years, we asked public and private schools along with service organizations and the general public to nominate students who have been active volunteers in their communities. These students have accumulated thousands of hours of volunteer time, traveled to other countries, created nonprofits and worked with the underprivileged as part of their service. We hope these uplifting stories will inspire you to find ways to give back to the community.



26 | Education


Around Town


Joe Earle is editor-at-large at Reporter Newspapers and has lived in metro Atlanta for over 30 years. He can be reached at joeearle@reporternewspapers.net

His life changed, retiree finds new focus in helping kids Two moments changed Steve Wadley. Taken together, they convinced him to spend part of his retirement devoting his time, talents and experience to raising money for local organizations that support education in Atlanta’s innercity schools. The first moment came when Wadley was a boy. He played football then on a team based in Buckhead. His team played in a citywide league and when he and his teammates played away games in poorer Atlanta neighborhoods, he saw that those players had nowhere near the level of support — the new equipment, the uniforms, the practices — that benefited him and his teammates. “We would kill ’em,” the 61-yearold said. “It’d be 56-to-nothing. It just wasn’t a fair fight. It just wasn’t fair. It stuck with me.” His second insight arrived decades later, when, as a father, he was grieving the death of his son. By then, Wadley had founded and operated a few restaurants, including Café 290 in Sandy Springs, and moved on to create an internet marketing firm. In 2012, Wadley’s son, Nick, suddenly died from respiratory failure two weeks shy of his 25th birthday. “He died on a Friday. We buried him on a Tuesday,” Wadley recalled one recent afternoon. “On Wednesday morning, we were sitting at the breakfast table saying, ‘What the hell are we going to do now?’” He decided he should remember his son by helping others. Nick loved to play guitar, so Wadley looked into music-based charities. He found the Atlanta Music Project, which provides free music education to underserved Atlanta youth. Wadley joined the organization’s board and helped raise money for it, setting up events such as a golf tournament named for his son. Wadley’s fundraising work has made a significant difference for the group and made him one of the largest individual donors for the Atlanta Music Project, Co-founder and Executive Director Dantes Rameau said. “He works hard on behalf of our organization. He does it because of his love for the kids we serve,” Rameau said. “He’s one of our most dynamic board members.”


Through the music project, Wadley learned of another group working to improve education in Atlanta public schools, The Kindezi Schools, which operates charter schools. Kindezi says it takes its name from a Bantu word describing “the act by which a community educates, loves, and values every child.” Wadley began raising funds for Kindezi, too. He said working with the two organizations has convinced him there could be a better way to raise money for them and similar organizations. He’s now starting a new organization he believes will create a simpler way to raise money for local charities. He thinks his new group, called Think Local Atlanta, will broaden, and stabilize, fundraising for such small, local groups. His idea sounds a bit like a small-

Above, the AMPlify Choir at The Kindezi School West offers an intensive choral education with classes in vocal training, general music, and music theory. THINK LOCAL ATLANTA

Left, Steve Wadley, founder of Think Local Atlanta, a nonprofit that contributes to the Atlanta Music Project and The Kindezi Schools.

scale United Way: Instead of going to a few rich folks to give large chunks of cash through traditional fundraisers such as a charity golf game or auction, Wadley wants to convince large numbers of donors to pledge relatively small amounts of money so that, together, the effect will be large. Think Local Atlanta asks donors for a dime a day — about $3-plus a month or $36.50 a year — to be distributed to the charities it supports. “Every charity does the same thing. They try to raise a lot of money from a small number of people,” he said. “It kind of reminds me of a 6-year-old girls’ basketball team: they all were after the ball. Raising money like this means it

comes in fits and starts. … [We] try to get small amounts of money from large groups of people … 12,500 people giving 10 cents a day each is [nearly] $500,000 a year.” As of now, Think Local Atlanta is set up to contribute to the Atlanta Music Project and The Kindezi Schools. But Wadley thinks the fundraising could expand to support additional charities. Why shouldn’t potential donors give directly to the charities, rather than to Think Local Atlanta? Wadley argues that many people don’t give because they don’t know enough about which charities are effective and deserve support. The volunteers operating the fundraising group, he said, will do the legwork and get the word out. “I think if people are aware of what’s going on,” Wadley said, “they’ll have the ability to support it.”

Education | 27

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Stephen Lawrence, North Atlanta High Buckhead’s North Atlanta High School orchestra will perform at the world-renowned Carnegie Hall next month under the leadership of director Stephen Lawrence, the Atlanta Public Schools’ high school Teacher of the Year. “It was surreal! Having the chance to be recognized is beyond believable,” Lawrence said of the award. “There are so many inspiring educators out there. The fact that I was chosen is both humbling and exciting.” Lawrence, the director of orchestral activities and the chair of the Fine and Performing Arts Department, has been an educator for 11 years and has taught at North Atlanta High, his alma mater, for seven years. He is also involved in the orchestra program at Buckhead’s Sutton Middle School, which he typically visits once a week during his planning periods to help provide extra instruction.



Q: What are you most proud of in your career? A: Receiving this recognition has got to be the biggest moment thus far. The amount of support that has come from this is amazing. Being a part of this process has also made me reevaluate my own teaching for the better.

Q: Why do you think music is important for students to learn? A: Music is a skill that can go with you for a lifetime. When you think of some of the most important events of your life, music is there. It is a skill that teaches discipline and dedication. It involves elements of math, science, history and reading that all have to be utilized at the same time. While music may not be the career choice for many, having the opportunity to explore music will always have lasting effects.

Q: How common is it for public high schools to have orchestras? A: As budgets fall, the number of high school orchestras falls with them. Luckily in Georgia we have some of the strongest orchestra programs in the nation. The North Atlanta High School Symphony Orchestra will travel to New York in February 2019 to perform at the world-renowned Carnegie Hall. This is an exciting opportunity that most musicians do not get to see in their lifetimes.

Q: What do you hope students learn from you? A: Follow your dreams! At a young age, I did not think it was possible to have a career in

music that I, as a black man, could be successful in. Today, I stand proud to be a violinist with a thriving career in music. I get to wake up every morning and share a skill that at one point was only a hobby. I believe my dreams came true and have the ability to grow into opportunities that I never imagined I would have.

Q: Why did you decide to become an educator? A: In the sixth grade, I started playing the violin and immediately took an extreme interest in it. It became my passion and the one thing I dedicated more time to than any-

thing. Combining the love for education in my blood and the love for music that was in my heart made choosing a career easy.

Q: What keeps you going year after year? A: I meet my students while they are at Sutton Middle and get the opportunity to see them grow into young adults. Having this opportunity also comes with the commitment to help each student grow musically as well. Each school year brings a group of students that I make it my personal goal to see them through to the next phase of their lives. I have a special interest for the students here and use myself as an example of where dedication can take you if you work hard.

Q: What are the biggest challenges you face as a teacher? A: Every student has the ability to learn no matter their socioeconomic background or

skill level. While this is true, a big challenge currently being faced in education is the ability to reach low-income and minority students.

Q: What is your favorite memory at your school? A: Each year the spring concert is conceived and produced by the senior class. Last year’s theme was a music battle between an orchestra and a DJ. The battle was on oldschool versus new-school music. The orchestra played some of their favorite pop songs, and the DJ responded with some of his own. There was a flash mob, skits and surprise performances. This is the first orchestra concert where I’ve witnessed parents dancing in the aisles and students laughing uncontrollably. It was amazing!

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Stephen Lawrence, the director of North Atlanta High’s orchestra, conducts a performance.

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28 |




A four-year-old may ask constant “why” questions to understand the world.

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Education | 29

JANUARY 2019 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Honoring students who give back to the community

A REGINA MUNOZ, 18 Holy Spirit Preparatory School


or her Girl Scout Gold Award, Regina chose to address problems with self-image and self-esteem in young Latina girls. She created the program En La Amistad Nos Encontramos, or In Friendship We Stand. It offered 12 classes to middle-school-aged girls that focused on health, beauty, and professional development. Regina hopes to keep the program going once she graduates. “I was very blessed to have worked with these girls because they taught me to appreciate what and who I have in my life,” she said. “At the final meeting, one of the girls proudly told me that she had stopped inflicting self-harm and that she was in a happier place in her life. Another girl, who had been shy from the beginning, hugged me and thanked me for helping her move on from depression. These girls will forever hold a special place in my heart. My goal for my project was to help these girls avoid depression and not become another story on the news. After completing my project, I have a sense of how much can be accomplished by helping others, individually and in a community setting, and I will move forward in life knowing that I have the power to create social change.”

liza volunteers weekly with Friendship Circle to work with a young adult who is developmentally delayed. Aliza visits the girl at her home, takes her on outings and engages in her favorite activities. Aliza also volunteers with Friends of Refugees, tutoring elementary-aged refugee children in English, math and social studies in Clarkston. She serves on the advisory board of Peace by Piece, an interfaith alliance connecting Muslim, Catholic and Jewish high school students in Atlanta. She also leads workshops for her peers about sexuality and body image. Aliza recounts a story of seeing three women weight-

H-MAGDER, 18 ALIZA ABTheUSC Weber School ed down with groceries waiting for the bus in the cold: “I popped the trunk and I handed a sweater of mine to one of the women who was wearing only a T-shirt. Driving home, I began to process what had just happened and recognized that I could have, if only for a moment, bridged the gap of inequality that I had just witnessed. I turned around and came back to the three women and drove them each home, losing an hour of study time but gaining an immeasurable understanding of community, growth and God.”

M MALINI DESAI, 18 The Galloway School

20 20 UNDER

BROOKE STEVENS, 17 The Westminster Schools


nspired by a 3-year-old cousin born with Down syndrome, Brooke in 2017 started a chapter of Play Unified, a national organization through Special Olympics that encourages people to work with those who have disabilities. In 2017, the Westminster club attracted 54 members. It expanded to 62 members in 2018. Club members have joined with Top Soccer to play soccer with kids with special needs and volunteered with the North Atlanta High School Unified Basketball team to help at practices; with GiGi’s Playhouse, a development center for kids with Down syndrome, to teach science classes in the STEM program; and with Blaze Sports to play indoor sports games with special needs students. One of the club’s projects was to build three portable bocce courts for Atlanta Public Schools. “I was able to see the kids use the courts in a citywide bocce competition,” Brooke said. “It was so exciting to see that all of our hard work was bringing happiness and excitement to those that were competing. The athlete’s oath for the Special Olympics is: ‘Let me win. If I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.’ In my eyes, every athlete was a winner that day.

alini loves animals and has known since she was 7 that she wants to be a vet. She has logged hundreds of hours volunteering at Zoo Atlanta and local veterinarian practices. At Zoo Atlanta, she has served both as a representative to the public on conservation issues and has helped care for the animals by fixing meals in the kitchens or working in the petting zoo. She is also a certified wrangler and counselor for the Girl Scouts horseback riding program at Camp Meriwether and is a founder of The Galloway School’s Animal Welfare Club, which organizes fundraisers for local pet charities like Furkids. Malini also has interests in mentoring and tutoring younger students, which she does currently as co-president of Galloway Girl Talk, and as co-leader of Lead to Learn, a mentorship and tutoring program pairing Galloway high schoolers with Sutton Middle School students. She was selected to be part of Giving Point’s social innovators academy and was recently recognized through that organization with a Presidential Volunteer Service Award.



The Lovett School

arson, a soccer player himself, realized that many talented and deserving children couldn’t afford the fees associated with club soccer teams, so he set out to change that. Building on a partnership The Lovett School has with Agape Youth and Family Center, Carson created the Golden Goal Soccer Camp. He has run the camp for three years, pulling together volunteers, resources and equipment to provide students aged 8-11 with soccer clinics that teach fundamentals, teamwork and character. He has also established a plan for the camp to continue after he graduates from Lovett. Carson was recently honored as a Teen Volunteer of the Year Award by the Atlanta chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Carson recounts working with a young student at the camp who managed to score a gamewinning goal. “She had the biggest smile on her face and you could see how much it meant to her,” he said. “You could tell that she’d be telling everyone she knew about that goal for weeks. It was really incredible to see such a small thing made everybody so happy, and it capped off a fantastic end to the week and was a fitting conclusion to an incredible threeyear journey for me with the camp.”

30 | Education




ast fall, Bailey earned her Girl Scout Gold Award for her Edgy Veggie project. She led workshops around Buckhead for kids, teens and adults to teach about healthy eating and body image. Through fun16 , ND MO draising, she was DIA Y ILE BA North Atlanta High School able to distribute printed reusable canvas bags to encourage environmental sustainability with her workshop attendees. She created a Clean Eating Club at North Atlanta High School and used leftover funds raised to donate to the Peachtree Road Farmers Market for supplies from their wish list. Bailey was honored as a 2018 Teen Volunteer of the Year by the Greater Atlanta Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals during National Philanthropy Day. “Throughout my Girl Scout Gold Award Project, I taught people about the importance of eating healthy food and treating your body right, and hearing about the way people were impacted was very meaningful to me,” she said. “On more than one occasion, people shared that they were struggling with eating issues and that my workshops helped them to develop a new mindset. Hearing that I had struck a chord with these people had a definite impact on me, and I’m so thankful that I could give back to them through volunteering.”

MATT BARTEL, 18 HANNAH HAGENAU, 18 Mount Vernon Presbyterian School


annah began her service work in the seventh grade, when she raised money to purchase soccer nets for a girls’ soccer tournament in Zambia. Once in high school, she began a scholarship fund for high school students in Lusaka, Zambia, and raised $3,000 in the first year to cover tuition costs for 18 students. During the past two years, Hannah has raised more than $5,000 to pay tuition for 22 students. She has also been active in helping to feed and provide necessities for the homeless and with Family Promise, an organization that houses homeless families in religious communities until they can get back on their feet. “My most memorable moment was when I got to meet the first graduate of the scholarship program for high school students in Lusaka, Zambia,” she said. “He just received a full-ride scholarship for college and started his own clothing line. His name is Steven and he is an incredible artist and very nice.”

As the oldest Montessori school in the Southeast, Springmont’s hands-on, experiential learning includes multi-aged classes, specially-designed materials and highly-experienced teachers who guide students’ curiosity towards meaningful discoveries.

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Call 404.252.3910 to Schedule a Tour.

Dunwoody High School


att is deeply involved in his community. He is in his second year as a member of the student board advising State Superintendent of Education Richard Woods, meaning he represents more than 100,000 DeKalb County students in discussions at the state Capitol on education. “The Georgia [Department of Education] is really good at listening to us,” Matt said, “and they even passed a couple bills last year in response to collaboration with this board.” Matt also has served as the youngest senior patrol leader of Troop 764 at St. Luke’s Presbyterian Church. For his Eagle Scout project, he planned and oversaw construction of the “Wildcat Pride” gazebo at Dunwoody High School.



Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School

n the spring of 2016, Brett co-founded the Community Outreach Club at Holy Innocents’. The club organizes opportunities for students to volunteer their time in helping others. It has attracted more than 75 members and is one of the most popular clubs on campus. Members accumulate from 10 to 50 total hours of community service on a monthly basis. Brett also worked with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and most recently raised $1,800 for research. He also serves as a Peer Mentor, counseling and providing advice to freshman in weekly organized meetings, as well as in informal encounters whenever students need guidance. Brett has served as a camp counselor with the Dunwoody Nature Center and YMCA Camp High Harbor over the past three summers, and he is a three-year starter on the HIES varsity baseball team, playing a significant role in the team’s success during the past two seasons.

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JANUARY 2019 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Open Open House House Saturday Saturday January January 26, 26,2019 2019 at at 10:00 10:00 am am www.heritageprep.org www.heritageprep.org 1700 1700 Piedmont PiedmontAvenue, Avenue, N.E., N.E.,Atlanta, Atlanta,GA GA 30324 30324 (404) (404) 815-7711 815-7711

The Lovett School congratulates Atlanta INtown’s 20 Under 20!

weekly tours!

Inspiring Early Learners through 12th grade

We applaud Lovett’s Carson Calahan and Isa Williams, Class of 2019.



Open Houses Lower School on 1/26 Middle & Upper School on 1/27 Primary School on 2/2

32 | Education




Explore, connect, create change for a better world. A welcoming community with local roots and global reach, composed of families from over 90 countries. • An intellectually stimulating environment for inquisitive, hands-on explorers who learn by doing and questioning • Full immersion preschool and partial immersion primary programs in French, German, Mandarin and Spanish • International Baccalaureate curriculum, Grades 3K - 12 2890 North Fulton Drive Atlanta, Georgia, 30305 404•841•3840

hese three Westminster juniors created START, Inc. (Science to Action Road Trips), a nonprofit that offers experiential learning opportunities to students who might not otherwise receive them. Instead of the traditional method of teaching, Anup, Daven and Zander embrace hands-on learning and ask kids to connect math ANUP BOTTU, 16 and science with their ZANDER KASABIAN, 17 own lives, building positive connections between DAVEN YADAV, 16 science and fun in their The Westminster Schools brains. Last year, they took 70 students from Scott Elementary to Sky Zone, where they bounced on the trampolines and embraced Newton’s laws of physics. The group looks to build on that success this year with five field trips — involving more than 320 elementary school students — to places such as Sky Zone and iFLY to bring science to life for the students they work with. Daven said it has been “heartwarming” to how excited the young students are to connect having fun with learning about science. “The fact that kids can learn for fun fascinated and continued to drive my passion for my volunteering,” Zander said.


Bright, young minds

thrive here.

Trinity is elementary only, age three through Sixth Grade, by design. Research reinforces our belief that this configuration best supports children’s growth and development. Our entire focus – expertise, facilities, resources – is devoted to these young learners and helping them flourish.

Come see for yourself. To schedule a tour or for more information: 404-231-8118 or trinityatl.org Application Deadline: February 1



Atlanta Jewish Ac



hen her mother successfully battled breast cancer in 2014, Caroline decided she wanted to do something to help others facing the illness. She paired with Sharsheret, a Jewish organization that provides support to women with breast and ovarian cancer, and to their families. Caroline co-chaired Pink Day, a nationwide two-day event designed to raise awareness and funding for Sharsheret. She also started a health-conscious food drive at her school to provide healthier options for people in need. After the food drive showed great success, she decided to continue this project into her senior year, and paired with a Jewish food donation organization, continuing her efforts to bring healthy food to those in need. “After the end of my first food drive, as I started packing the food into bags for each family, I was so incredibly happy,” she said. “I had spent countless hours planning the drive and hoping loads of healthy food would be donated, and my dream came true. Each bag was packed with a healthy meal and a fun greeting card. As I passed out the bags, I felt an extreme happiness, and I knew I had to continue doing this!”

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Atlanta International School


ofia has positively impacted young students through her work with Aprendiendo Inglés Sólido, an organization that reaches out to support underserved Latin and Hispanic students. As one of the largest student service organizations at Atlanta International School, Sofia coordinates a group of 50-plus tutors who work with local public school students. She also works as a counselor at TEC Camp, offering attendees an introduction to technology, engineering and computing. Sofia was instrumental in bringing in female engineering professors to talk to AIS’s middle school students about the disparity between men and women in STEM fields. “The reason why I love leading the Aprendiendo Inglés Sólido service group alongside my peers at my school is because I get to witness the impact that a connection makes for the students that we tutor,” she said. “I believe that everyone, no matter their background, should have access to a high-quality education; by volunteering for this group, I have the opportunity to share my knowledge and excitement about education with other students.”

The Galloway School


imone’s goal is to showcase the importance of swimming as a life skill, not just a sport. As a lifeguard and competitive swimmer at The Galloway School, she started a group called A Swimmer in Every Girl to help girls aged 10 to 18 have a support system and the resources to get the basic skills of swimming. Last fall, participants in the Learn to Swim program received private lessons at a reduced rate and she helped girls begin the yearlong training session with her swim team. She does a monthly session to help prepare girls to transition into the swimming world. Simone plans to change the social norms of swimming “one stroke at a time.” She also is active in volunteering for other causes, having earned a Presidential Volunteer Service Award for service at Hands on Atlanta, Action Ministries, Social Change Foundation, Atlanta Community Food Bank and other volunteer organizations. Simone particularly remembers a volunteer event with Action Ministries when she was helping to collect food for Feed the Hungry. “The atmosphere of everyone wanting to give back to their community was uplifting,” she said. “This was the time when I truly became invested in giving back and helping others in any way.”


he seniors can’t escape the pull of the Dominican Republic city of Puerto Plata and an organization called Project Esperanza, which provides education, social aid and community development for the city’s Haitian immigrant population. Abigail and Davis participated in study tours in 2015 and 2016 and were so taken that they planned their own summer camp session in 2017 to teach vocabulary and music. They reDAVIS MATHIS, 17 mained connected to Proj18 , ND ABIGAILAcaLU ect Esperanza throughout Pace demy the school year by sponsoring a student through the organization, and they returned once again in 2018, this time incorporating STEAM and robotics into their camp’s curriculum. “Our time with the children in Puerto Plata has broadened our horizons, helped to put our lives into a global perspective and taught us to better understand cultural differences,” they said.


Share in the Spirit Serving grades 7–12, Marist School provides an education where achievement exists within a spirit of humility and generosity. Students are challenged by an extensive college-preparatory curriculum while an array of extracurricular activities inspire exploration and uncover hidden talents. Through it all, students gain a unique strength of character and skill and a joy of serving others that prepares them to be compassionate, confident leaders.

Come visit to experience Marist’s spirit yourself. Learn more at marist.com An Independent Catholic School of the Marist Fathers and Brothers

34 | Education




Language Exploration Advocacy Responsibility Jewishly New Ideas @Epstein


Explore our new Pay It Forward tuition reduction program at www.EpsteinAtlanta.org/20Chai

Leadership Identity Values Experiences


O, 17 CYNTHIAaratLIA ory School

Marist School


Holy Spirit Prep




his past summer, Cynthia held an art exhibit titled “To Seek” in her hometown of Shenzhen, course she was takChina, to support the World ing called Leadership and Society told Wildlife Fund. She and a friend who of his work in the fight against human lives in Boston curated the exhibit with sex trafficking. During the same term, their own work, paintings and photographs with themes of nature and wildMarist students held a civil discourse life. Through sales of prints on postcards day that provided more information and bookmarks, Cynthia raised $1,000 about the topic. Lindsey was inspired for the fund. The idea for an art exhibit and decided to create her own nonprofto support WWF stemmed from her freit, called Stop the Madness HST, to raise quent visits to Zoo Atlanta, a place she awareness among youth and to combat feels is “personally important to [her] for inspiration.” She’s gone to the zoo with human sex trafficking in Atlanta. Proher art class and on her own to photoceeds from sales through her website, graph the animals for study and as the stopthemadnesshst.org, go to Wellbasis for paintings. In the future, spring Living, an Atlantashe hopes to work in city based organization that planning or landscape deseeks to transform the sign. This past summer, Cynthia interned in Beilives of human trafjing with the China Arficking victims. She UNDER chitecture Design and has raised more than Research group to create $6,000 so far. In addia design guideline for the tion to starting her own Beijing waterfront, taking nonprofit, Lindsey has into consideration the surrounding ecosystems and been involved in athletcommunities. She also attended a ics, the arts, student government three-week summer program where she and campus ministry. This year, Lindvisited hospitals and assisted living facilsey was selected to be a Teen Court volities to analyze their operating systems. unteer for the DeKalb County Juvenile For her final project, she created a design Court. for a shower spa for those who cannot shower by themselves. was a sophomore, one of the speakers in a

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Space Currently Available In Mothers Morning Out and Pre-K Classes • Mother’s Morning Out Through Pre-K • Afternoon Enrichment Program • Summer Camps 335 COLEWOOD WAY NW | SANDY SPRINGS, GA 30328-2956 EPSTEINATLANTA.ORG

301 Johnson Ferry Road

Corner of Abernathy & Johnson Ferry Road



“A preparatory preschool providing preschool age children an environment of warmth and acceptance to grow socially and academically within the framework of Judeo Christian principles.”

| 35

JANUARY 2019 â– www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Be Amazed.

By and Beyond the Education.


6:1 Student to Faculty Ratio

student retention rate, which surpasses national average (90%) for independent schools.


Davis Academy students reside in different metro Atlanta zip codes.


Of our middle school students, nearly


are outperforming the top quartile of independent school students on standardized testing.

individualized learning experience for every child.

Amazed by the Numbers? Join us for a Mechina Parent Information Session Monday, February 4, 2019 | 10:00 am – 11:30 am RSVP: davisacademy.org/events or 678-527-3300

Connecting learning to life at every level. APPLICATION DEADLINE FEBRUARY 1, 2019

8105 Roberts Drive, Atlanta, GA 30350 770-671-0085 | davisacademy.org

Monthly Forest to Farm Tours, check website for details


36 | Education



Success in School … Success in Life

UPCOMING OPEN HOUSE DATES Wednesdays at 9:00am January 23, February 13, March 13 RSVP: www.millsprings.org/OpenHouse

• Grades 1-12, Small Classes • Structured, Supportive Environment • College Prep • Laptop Program • Competitive Athletic Programs

• Extended Day Program • Art, Band, Chorus, Drama • SACS/SAIS Accredited • Participates in the GSNS/SB10 Program

13660 New Providence Road, Alpharetta, GA 30004

“If a student can’t learn the way we teach … we should teach the way a student can learn.” –Tweetie L. Moore, Founder

770-360-1336 • millsprings.org

Discover the blessings of a Catholic education. Learn about our academic excellence, STEM focused curriculum, certified teachers, service learning projects, enrichment programs, extracurricular activities, and athletics.

APPLY NOW 7171 Glenridge Drive NE | Atlanta, Georgia 30328 770.394.2880 x423 | www.saintjude.net/admissions


E BALABAN, 18 ISABELLnta Girls’ School

Lovett School




rompted by her own experience, Isa Williams decided to address sabelle’s personal commitment to the deterioration of self-esteem social justice and service to others in middle-school girls for her has culminated with the creation Girl Scouts Gold Award project. Isa creatof her own nonprofit called Cycle of ed a mentoring program for girls transiChange, which raises money to purchase tioning to middle school at Agape Youth bicycles for the low-income children at and Family Center. The program Tongabezi Trust School in Livingproved successful, so she stone, Zambia, who must translated it into Spanish walk for hours to get an for five schools in Latin education. She also startAmerica. Isa said that ed a new service project each day of the week— called Books to Prison UNDER long program, she and — at AGS to collect books a group of other high and school supplies for school girls she selectinmates and children of ed and trained would inmates at the Arrendalead activities and share le women’s prison. “For personal experiences with me, the most memorable the younger girls. “The moment of giving back to goal of the program was to discuss somy community was delivering over 400 lutions to problematic situations surbooks and coloring sets to the Arrendarounding friendship, bullying, social mele women’s prison for the inmates and dia and stress ahead of time, in order to their children,” she said. “I have always minimize future conflict,” she said. “By been passionate about criminal justice the end of the program, the girls develreform and this was an amazing way to oped meaningful connections with their put a face to an issue that has meant a mentors and skills to successfully navilot to me.” gate middle school.”

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Registering now for 2017 > Ages 12 mos. through Kindergarten > Ages 12 mos. through Kindergarten > Hours: 9:00 – 12:30; Kindergarten

enrichment 2 days until 2:30pm > Hours: 9:00 – 12:30; Kindergarten enrichment 2 days until 2:30pm > Early Bird Drop off at 8:30am

> Early Bird Drop off at 8:30am

> Discovery Days After School

> Discovery Days After School Program until 2:30pm for students Program until forclass students enrolled in2:30pm 3-yr old or older enrolled in 3-yr old class or older

> ASPIRE After School ages 4-11,

> Accredited by AdvancEd Until 6pm (formerly SACS)

> Accredited by AdvancEd

> Certified School of Excellence by (formerly SACS) N. GA UMC Preschool Association

> Certified School of Excellence by

> Developmentally Appropriate N. GA UMC Preschool Association Curriculum

> Developmentally Appropriate > Community Registration for Curriculum 2017-18 in January 2017; tours begin in October! > Community Registration for 2019-20 in January;

Limited spaces available in the currentTours yearavailable!

For more information call 404-250-9455 85 Mt. Vernon Highway, Atlanta 30328 | www.ssumc.org | email: nnadolski@ssumc.org Limited space available. For information call 404-250-9455 6150 Sandy Springs Circle, Atlanta 30328 | www.ssumc.org | preschool@ssumc.org

Kindergarten Open House! Jan. 17, 9:30 am!

National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence 2003 | 2014

Education | 37

JANUARY 2019 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net


SCHOLARS Holy Spirit Prep embraces the traditions of Catholic education to form students of deep faith, advanced intellect, and heroic virtue.


Preschool Wednesday, January 23 Kindergarten Tuesday, January 15 K-7th grade Thursday, January 24 8th-12th grade Wednesday, January 16 RSVP at holyspiritprep.org/visit.

18 JULIA STAHLMAN, ter School

Riverwood International Char


ulia has successfully channeled her love of art into creating and directing Art for Art, a nonprofit that supports the arts in both developed and underdeveloped communities. Julia raised money by selling her own art and partnered with an international charity to provide art classes for over 100 children in underserved communities in Africa. A strong environmentalist, Julia also founded Action for Clean Tap Water in America (ACTWA.org) to address the health threat posed by specific chromium levels in tap water. Julia has gained recognition from the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards and the U.S. President’s National Volunteer Service Awards programs. “In creating Art for Art, I hoped to use my love of the arts to help communities in need around the world,” she said. “I am very proud of the work we have done and the funding we have been able to provide for positive, esteem-building art classes for children who live in poverty in communities without running water, electricity or sanitation.”

Read our other community publications

Pick up a copy or read online at ReporterNewspapers.net


HSP’s Upper School is expanding its 9th grade enrollment for 2019-2020. Applications start at holyspiritprep.org.

An independent Catholic school in Chastain Park, forming students 6 months-12th grade. holyspiritprep.org

BEYOND LEADERSHIP Congratulations to Galloway 20 Under 20 Honoree visit gallowayschool.org Simone Dixon ’20!

38 | Education



ELINOR ‘ELLIE’ MUNSON, 18 The Atlanta Girls’ School



January 26 | 9 - 11 a.m. 2-year-olds - K January 27 | 2 - 4 p.m. 1st - 8th Grade Learn more about how we create a well-balanced educational experience for students: 2-year-olds through 8th grade Personalized attention and instruction  Unique opportunities to pursue interests and passions  Strong spiritual formation 

stmartinschool.org | 404-228-0737

3110-A Ashford Dunwoody Rd. | Atlanta, GA 30319

llie has traveled to Honduras five times in the past five years to help doctors with medical exams, dentistry and providing hearing aids. She also has worked with the Georgia Epilepsy Foundation to give presentations about neurological disorders such as epilepsy and to inform her peers about first aid procedures involving neurological medical emergencies. She participated in a Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Explorers Program that shadows doctors and nurses to learn about the professions offered in medicine; in The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Students of The Year program, winning the mission awareness scholarship; and in the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Circle of Hope Leadership Committee, which assists with youth programs. In addition to her medical-focused work, Ellie serves as a member of the Decatur Youth Council and serves on the United Way Youth Board.

20 Under 20 Runners-Up Baird Kazazian, 18: A senior at The Westminster Schools, Baird founded the Atlanta Junior Chapter of The Society for Orphaned Armenian Relief, serves on the executive committee of the UNICEF Southeast Youth Board and received the Congressional Gold Medal for his volunteer efforts in 2018. Alex Allen, 17: An active volunteer at the Center for Civil and Human Rights, the Pace Academy senior helped lead the creation of new teen programming at the facility. Nathan Posner, 18: Nathan serves as a volunteer photographer for the Human Rights Campaign and Atlanta Pride to document events and program. The We-

Education | 39

JANUARY 2019 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

ber School senior has also worked on anti-bullying efforts at the school.

thology, and culture to students age 4 to 15.

Elye Robinovitz, 18: He started the Weber Vols, a student volunteer organization to engage in service projects around Atlanta. He’s also worked with Breast Cancer Awareness, the Anti-Defamation League and volunteered at Aurora Day Camp.

Colette Blackmon, 18: The Atlanta Girls’ School senior teaches aerial dance and choreography and uses her talent to raise money for local organizations such as Grant Park Conservancy, Paint Love and Horizon Theatre.

Mary Elizabeth Marquardt, 18: Passionate about social justice, the Atlanta Girls’ School senior logged 330 hours campaigning for Stacey Abrams, interviewed Sen. Cory Booker for Facebook Live and is co-founder of the school’s Committee For Social Justice and Equity.

20 20 UNDER

Travis Harper II, 17: He has volunteered much of his time as Mock Trial Team Captain at Atlanta International School to recruit, mentor and coach younger members. He’s also been on the Student Council since 9th grade and currently serves as co-president. Christian Porter, 17: Christian is a leader within student government and Atlanta International School organizations like the Student Culture Club and Science Olympiad. He is co-captain of the varsity swim team, serves as an acolyte in his church, and teaches local children how to swim. Katherine Atkinson, 17: An actress, singer and director, the North Atlanta High School senior works with Sutton Middle School students on theatrical productions, including co-directing a recent production of “Mamma Mia!”

Aaron Yu, 16: The Westminster sophomore has volunteered with Meals on Wheels, tutors in mathematics, performs music at local retirement homes, and helped students hone their debate skills. Jessica Lao, 17: She co-directs the student-run nonprofit Circle of Women at Westminster that increases access for secondary education for girls around the world. She served as director of fundraising last year and helped the organization collect $15,000. Sydney Pargman, 17: The Riverwood senior received the Princeton Prize in Race Relations in 2018 for his RALI (Race Across Lines Initiative) Project. His goal was to better understand and ultimately improve race relations. Nadera Herbert-Bey, 17: The Atlanta International School senior works with A Better Chance (ABC), a national leadership program that places and supports high performing students of color in independent schools. She mentored prospective ABC students while she was in grades 9 and 10, and was selected to be a leader this year with ABC New Student Orientation.

Students at North Springs Charter High School will participate in a reading program made possible by a grant from the Sandy Springs Society. The $12,000 grant will provide funding for 130 students who are non-English speakers or in special education programs to participate in an online reading program, a press release announced. “We appreciate this grant from the Sandy Springs Society as a vital seed fund to launch and embed this program in our curriculum at North Springs,” Principal Scott Hanson said in the release. “We expect it to significantly help many students with this most important life skill.” This is the fifth grant the school has received from the Sandy Springs Society in the past five years, according to the release.


The program that provides a free camp for children with cancer has opened its first office at the Davis Academy. The program, Aurora Day Camp, is run by the Sunrise Association and started a camp at the Sandy Springs school in 2018. Following the success of the inaugural summer, Aurora Day Camp has named the Davis Academy as its first office location, a press release announced. The camp will also be returning this summer, the release said. “The Davis Academy has been an incredible partner to Aurora Day Camp and has been instrumental in making our day camp a reality for the Atlanta community,” said Greg Hill, Aurora Day Camp’s executive director, in the release. “Our new office location will further our efforts to impact the lives of children affected by cancer in the metropolitan Atlanta area.” For more information, visit auroradaycamp.org.


Fulton County school transfer applications will be due Feb. 28. The deadline applies to students and parents seeking a hardship transfer for medical reasons, curriculum differences and child care situations or for employees’ children. To apply for a hardship transfer or to renew a current one, parents can use a form on the district’s website, at fultonschools.org. Hard-copy applications are only required for medical transfers, which require medical providers’ signatures and documentation. The deadline for submitting a transfer application is Feb. 28, 4:30 p.m., with no exceptions or extensions granted. For more information, call the school district at 470-254-5550 or visit fultonschools. org.


Atlanta Jewish Academy, a school in Sandy Springs, has opened its new gym. The school held a ribbon cutting for the Vivian Zisholtz Sportsmanship Center and Ida E. & Harry Minsk Gymnasium on Dec. 14, followed by the gym’s first basketball game the following day, the school said.

Advertise in our


February, March & April For information call 404-917-2200 x112

Camps Summer and Classes Offered Learn to make games, apps with technand create ology! Grade


Decatur / Toco Hills Shopping Center

Start Code is an after-sch ool, weekend, and summer program that teaches computer programming and technology to students.



(404) 507-2772

music camp on you r schedule Who wants to plan month

s in advance? Our allow you to make camp passes music with us whene ver you want. Led exper t music educa by tors, for ages three and up. Join us! piano jazz guitar folk ukulele Broadway winds classical drums pop/rock voice ...and more! 404-537-1382



Yannie Tan, 17: A gifted pianist, the Atlanta International School student has performed at multiple benefit concerts, including one to support the children of St. Jude’s Hospital. She also uses her music talent to give motivational speeches hoping to inspire students to appreciate classical music. She has spoken at many different conferences and music camps in the United States and Europe, reaching over 10,000 students and counting.


a sit *Vi

William Schulman, 15, and Christian Rubio, 15: William and Christian created the Classics Club at Centro Catolico, a subsect of Holy Spirit Catholic Church that serves the Latino communities in Sandy Springs. The duo teaches about Latin and Greek language, my-

Albert Liang, 17: The Westminster student created Chess Buddies Foundation, a nonprofit that teaches the game in both English and Spanish. He’s also traveled to Guatemala to build homes and regularly volunteers to help tutor and mentor in Spanish.

Education Briefs


c. o

rg/c a

mps for full



Summer Camps at Woodward Academy May 31 - July 29,



df 1 2/8/2016 4:00:25 PM

Woodward Academy offers Summer Odyssey Day Camp as well as a wide variety of specialty camps including athletic, academic , and enrichment camps. C If you want your child to have fun, make friends, and learn somethin g new this summer, M Woodward Academy’s Summer Camps offer a broad range Y of experiences at two locations, Main Campus in College Park and Woodward North in Johns Creek. CM • Bus service available MY (seven metro Atlanta stops). • Swimming in a heated, CY indoor pool on Main Campus. CMY • Camps feature weekly themes and entertainment. K

www.woodward.edu/c amps

Atlanta Internation al School

Summer Camps 2016

Language Camps

June 13 - July 22,


and more!

French • German • Chinese • English as a Second Langua Science & Technol ge • Spanish • Orchest ogy Through Photogr ra • aphy •

40 |



At Mount Vernon, we believe

Children have BIG ideas

and when teachers know their students’ curiosities and passions, incredible things can happen. Now Accepting Applications Preschool - Grade 12 Apply today mountvernonschool.org/learn

Blessed Trinity Catholic High School - 11320 Woodstock Rd., Roswell, GA 30075 - (678) 277-9083 - www.btcatholic.org



Tours can be scheduled at www.btcatholic.org/Admissions Blessed Trinity Catholic High School invites prospective students and their families to tour our facilities, meet our students, and speak with our teachers and coaches. Applications due February 1, 2019

28 Advanced Placement classes ~ Curriculum delivered on an A/B block schedule that maximizes instructional time ~

The 236 members of the class of 2018 earned more than $24.4 million in college scholarship offers in addition to Georgia’s HOPE and Zell Miller scholarships ~

A fully-funded Fine Arts program that includes a symphonic band, a theater program that performs four first-class productions each year, including a musical, and one of the most highly honored dance programs in the state ~ A student-teacher ratio of 13:1; average class size of 19 ~ A comprehensive community-service program where students average more than 100 hours of volunteer work during their time at Blessed Trinity ~ An athletic department that fields more than 50 teams in 22 sports, and has won numerous state championships

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