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Inside Eager ears builders like permits, inspections plan COMMUNiTY 3

Tough transit mArtA must change to better serve patrons COMMENTARY 8

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Brookhaven Reporter


jan. 25 — FeB. 7, 2013 • Vol. 5 — no. 2

Mixing it up

Dunwoody offices showcase local artists OUT & ABOUT 18

Cookie queen local Girl scout is tops in sales

City adopts strip club law; Pink Pony won’t sue yet BY MELISSA WEINMAN


Brookhaven City Council adopted a new ordinance that will prohibit the sale of alcohol in strip clubs and other adult businesses. The ordinance, approved Jan. 15, is similar to the one currently in place in DeKalb County, and will prohibit any contact between dancers and customers, among other regulations. The Buford Highway strip club Pink Pony is the only business in the city of Brookhaven that will be affected by the new ordinance. Currently, Pink Pony is able to sell alcohol because of a 2001 settlement agreement with DeKalb. The club pays the

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Biology professor Charlie Baube, left, creates cultures to test for bacteria in water as his son Cal, 11, watches, in Oglethorpe University’s biology lab on Jan. 12. Volunteers collected water samples from Nancy Creek at the Blue Heron Nature Preserve in Buckhead to test for oxygen, acidity and sediment. More photos on page 27.

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The city of Brookhaven started at lightning speed. The mayor and City Council members, elected just days before the city was scheduled to begin operations, relied heavily on the work of the Governor’s Commission on Brookhaven to make important decisions. They used the commission’s research to make decisions about everything from a location for City Hall to which firms should provide key city services -- though the council didn’t always take the commission’s advice. The five members of the commission were appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal to serve as a quasi-governing board that SEE CiTY, PAGE 28

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The Perimeter Community Improvement Districts are starting construction on a nearly $5 million project to upgrade Lake Hearn Drive, Perimeter Summit Parkway and Parkside Place in Brookhaven between Ashford Dunwoody Road and the Perimeter Center Parkway Bridge across I-285. Construction will be staged in zones with activity beginning in Zone 1 on Perimeter Center Parkway between Lake Hearn Drive and Parkside Place. “The Lake Hearn project will help facilitate Perimeter’s live-work-walk environment and promote the use of alternative transportation rather than the automobile,” said PCIDs President and CEO Yvonne Williams in a press release. Williams said the project will greatly improve the connectivity gap for commuters to medical facilities; Perimeter Mall, and other large employers. Construction is expected to be completed in nine months, officials said. “Pedestrian access will be available along at least one side of each roadway during the project construction,” PCIDs Program Manager Jennifer Harper said. The project is being funded by a $3.1 million Livable Centers Initiative Transportation Grant from the Atlanta Regional Commission as well as funding from the PCIDs. The work includes “complete streets” improvements to encourage pedestrian and bicycle use. A four-foot bike

Lake Hearn Drive (blue and gray), Perimeter Summit Parkway (tan) and Parkside Place (dark green) will gain new bike lanes, traffic signals or trees as part of a project to open the streets to cyclists and pedestrians. for a larger version of this illustration, go to


lane will be created on Perimeter Summit Parkway from Lake Hearn Drive to Ashford Dunwoody Road and “share the road” signage will be added to Lake Hearn Drive and Parkside Place. Traffic signals will be upgraded at all signalized intersections. Benches, trees, landscaping, light poles and trash bins will be placed along the streets and intersections, Williams said.

Brookhaven looking for input on garbage pickup City Council discussed proposed changes to DeKalb County’s sanitation fees at the city’s Jan. 22 meeting. Mayor J. Max Davis said the county is planning to raise rates for its twice weekly garbage pickup service. “That’s something we’re going to have to be talking about as a city,” Davis said. Councilman Jim Eyre said it now costs $265 a year for two garbage pickups, one recycling pickup and one yard refuse pickup each week. The proposed rate would be $40 higher for the same service. However, there is an option to stay at the current price of $265 for one garbage pickup a week. Davis said he’d like to hear input from Brookhaven residents.

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Contractors were eager to hear what the new city had to say about inspections and permits during an open house on Jan. 16.

Developers flock to City Hall to learn about permits BY MELISSA WEINMAN

Brookhaven’s Community Development Department is officially open for business. Jan. 18 marked the first day after a month-long moratorium on new building and zoning applications expired. On the new city’s first official day, Dec. 17, City Council members voted to enact a 30-day moratorium to allow time to get city staff in place. The city has hired Clark Patterson Lee to operate the Community Development Department, which handles city permitting. On Jan. 16, Brookhaven hosted an open house to introduce the development community to the Community Development Department, which handles permitting and inspections. About 120 builders, developers and contractors came to learn how the department will operate. City Councilman Jim Eyre said for many, the Community Development Department will be their first interaction with the city of Brookhaven. Council wants the department to run smoothly and efficiently, so people do not have any issues getting the permits or inspections they need for construction, he said. “It shouldn’t be an impediment to development,” Eyre said. “If their first impression of the city is their builder saying ‘the city is holding me up on my permit,’ that’s not good.” Contractor Mark Graffagnino said he is looking forward to working with the new city because of issues he’s had with

DeKalb County in the past. “I like some of the comments from council members and staff about making it more customer service friendly,” Graffagnino said. “I’m very happy to be dealing with the city of Brookhaven now.” Reiner Rietig, a residential builder and developer, has been doing work in the Brookhaven area for the past year. “We’re real excited. It seems like there’s a lot of good, not only elected officials, but staff in place,” Rietig said. It seems like they’re eager to work with residents and developers in the city.” Rietig said he has some Brookhaven projects that are already underway with DeKalb County. He said he came to the open house because he was interested in how those projects would transition from the county to the city. “So far we like what we hear,” Rietig said. Councilman Bates Mattison said the high turnout at the city’s open house is a positive sign for future development in Brookhaven. “It’s a hot area to develop in,” Mattison said. Mattison said the council wants to make the permitting and inspections process as smooth as possible for the development community. “The economic development of our city depends upon private enterprise’s willingness to invest in our city,” Mattison said. “We need to be aware of how we’re addressing their customer service issues.”

Brookhaven Government Calendar Brookhaven City Council usually meets on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at 7 p.m. at locations to be determined. for complete and up-to-date schedule of Brookhaven city meetings, go to . BK |

Jan. 25 – Feb. 7, 2013 | 3

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City Council prioritizes economic development BY MELISSA WEINMAN

Brookhaven City Council members say they want to make economic development a priority in the new city. So, council members on Jan. 22 dis5325 RIVERVIEW ROAD cussed the schedule of fees for business occupation taxes and licensing to make Offered at $1,799,000 sure the city remains competitive with Everything They Touch Turns to Sold! surrounding municipalities. Brookhaven adopted the same fee You Know Us...We Know Real Estate schedule as DeKalb County to keep ocAmy Barocas Eydie Koonin cupation tax levels equal to what busi404-790-0913 Cell 404-697-8215 Cell nesses are already paying the county. But Chris Pike, a financial consultant 4848 Ashford Dunwoody Rd • Atlanta, GA 30338 • • 770-394-2131 Office for Brookhaven, told the council that DeKalb recently updated its rates for 2013, raising them from the level the city adopted. 2009 Best Chinese-The Sunday Paper “Our rates are slightly less, rough2001-2002 Best Chinese by Atlanta Jewish Times readers ly 10 percent less than what DeKalb is 1998-2012 Best Chinese by Creative Loafing charging,” Pike said. “Mouth-watering Chin Chin spices things up”. –The Atlanta Journal Constitution Council members said that might be “Most Memorable Meal” –Where Atlanta Magazine - 21/2 stars–Knife & Fork an advantage for Brookhaven to attract businesses. • DELIVERY (LIMITED AREA MIN $10) “I think we should always revisit our • CARRY OUT • CATERING • FULL BAR SERVICE fees and make sure we’re competitive,” WATCH OUR OPEN KITCHEN & EXPERIENCE THE ART OF CHINESE COOKING!! pecial: Mayor J. Max Davis said. Lunch S 99 But Pike said the occupation tax is ll such a small expense for businesses, it o R g Rice, Eg 1 11-21-12_NormHughes_Layout 11/19/12 10:22 AM Page 1 . tion s Fried wouldn’t serve as an incentive for busia e c d o lu L c n In have . Brook nesses to move to Brookhaven. & Soup “It’s just not something that they conChinese Restaurant centrate on and really look at,” Pike said. Interim City Manager Marie Garrett said a Development Authority the theishome Luxury Remodeling NORM HUGHES Live incity planningofto create would help put together an incentive package for Within Your Budget your dreams NOW! HOMES businesses. Garrett recommended that NEW HOMES  REMODELING  DESIGN council members nominate members for the Development Authority by FOR ALL YOUR BUILDING & REMODELING NEEDS mid-February. Garrett said the Development Au3887 Peachtree Road, Buckhead/Brookhaven And Other Locations thority will act as an economic develop404-816-2229 | EXCEPTIONAL HOLIDAY GIFTS ment arm for the city. The authority is a QUALITY & SERVICE THAT KEEP GIVING! EXCEPTIONAL 11-21-12_NormHughes_Layout 1 11/19/12 10:22 AM Page 1 separate entity from the city that has the Substantially Belowbonds, buy and develop power to induce Luxury Remodeling QUALITY & SERVICE Start Planning for your NewGarrett said. land, and lease land, Large Company Prices Kitchen and Bath Today! Within Your Budget Substantially Below “They’re a very important tool,” Garin the home of Luxury Remodeling NORM HUGHES Live Start Planning for your New rett said. Large Company Prices WithinLive Your Budget your dreams NOW! HOMES in the Home of Following the discussions about makNEW HOMES  REMODELING  DESIGN Kitchen and Bath Today! ing Brookhaven attractive to businesses, your Dreams NOW! FOR ALL YOUR BUILDING & REMODELING NEEDS Davis asked Brookhaven Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Arthur EXCEPTIONAL HOLIDAY GIFTS QUALITY THAT KEEP GIVING! Freeman& SERVICE to speak about economic deSubstantially Below velopment. After Start Planning for your New Large Company Prices Kitchen and Bath Today! Before Before After


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Kitchen and Bath renovations, Additions and New Construction Riley Basements, Screen Porches and Decks Before Before Before

Interim Brookhaven Attorney Bill Before Before Riley was appointed as the city’s interim Kitchen and Bath renovations, Additions and New Construction solicitor Jan. 22. Basements, Screen Porches and Decks Mayor J. Max Davis said the city is taking bids for the position of solicitor, but “Mr. Riley is best suited right now to make sure we have all our “i”s dotted and “t”s crossed.” Kitchen and Bath renovations, Additions and New Construction, Basements, Riley also serves as solicitor for the Screen Porches and Decks • Over 20 years Experience • Licensed and Insured city of Sandy Springs and city attorney 770-616-9159 Over 20 Years Experience Free Consultation Creek. Licensed and Insured Free Estimates  for Johns 770-616-9159 After


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Freeman told council members that he believes the city will be able to attract new businesses by emphasizing parks, schools, transportation and other perks that make Brookhaven a nice place to live. “We have found ‘livability’ is a very high priority for companies in a relocation situation,” Freeman said. He said Brookhaven bumps up to Dunwoody and Sandy Springs in the Perimeter office area. Though Brookhaven has less office space in the Perimeter, Freeman said he believes Brookhaven has an advantage over its neighbors when it comes to attracting employees to live in the area. Freeman said he believes the Buford Highway corridor will be the biggest area of growth for businesses in Brookhaven. “Ultimately we want to concentrate in those areas where we’re not bumping up against our neighbors, but growing and expanding,” Freeman said.

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Over 20 Years Experience Licensed and 25 Insured  | 4 | Jan. – Feb. 7, 2013

“i think we should always revisit our fees and make sure we’re competitive.”

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He served as the pro bono attorney for the Governor’s Commission on Brookhaven before taking on the position of interim city attorney for Brookhaven. “No one knows municipal law like Bill Riley,” Councilwoman Rebecca Chase Williams said. “I think we’re certainly blessed and lucky to have Mr. Riley available to do this.” BK


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Jester hopes DeKalb schools see ‘significant reformations’ The DeKalb school board been placed on accreditation probation by AdvancED, a non-governmental accrediting agency. As a result, the DeKalb board members were called to a hearing of the Georgia Board of Education Jan. 17. The hearing will be continued Feb. 21. The state board of education could recommend suspending the DeKalb school board members, an authority that rests with Gov. Nathan Deal if he chooses to do so. School board member Nancy Jester, who represents Dunwoody and Brookhaven in District 1 on the DeKalb Board of Education, shared her thoughts on the future of the school board. Reporter Newspapers asked Jester about the situation.

Q. a.

What do you think about the Jan. 17 hearing with the Georgia Board of Education? I expected that the state board would reconvene the hearing at a later date and they did so, setting the hearing for Feb. 21.

Q. a.

Do you feel the state school board listened to what you had to say? Given that both parties, the state and DeKalb, had acknowledged that the “hearing” on Jan. 17 would not contain a full review due to procedural constraints (notice for evidence, witnesses, etc.) a thorough examination of the report and facts did not take place. Many of the “facts” described in the AdvancED report were based on my research and writings regarding the financial malfeasance that I uncovered. I was pleased to hear the State Board of Education say publically that they believed that the DeKalb Board should be more “aggressive” in investigating improper spending and budgeting practices. They also questioned other BOE members regarding their support of my findings. Only two DeKalb board members supported me when I brought these matters to their attention -- Don McChesney (formerly the member from District 2) and Pam Speaks (District 8).

Q. a.


What do you expect from the Feb. 21 hearing? Any expectations I have at this point would be specu-


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“i hope this process will result in significant reformations in the governance structure within the district.” – nanCy jeSter DiStriCt 1 SCHool BoarD

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What effect do you think this will have on the DeKalb school system long term?

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I hope this process will result in significant reformations in the governance structure within the district. I am an advocate for autonomously run schools with no interference from the central office. I believe that parents and communities know best what their children need to be successful academically. If we can push all decisions, including policy, curriculum, calendars, budgeting and hiring to school governance councils, we have the opportunity to quickly and effectively inject innovation and flexibility into our schools. I believe this will result in dramatically increased student achievement results, happier parents and healthy neighborhoods. I hope this is the long term legacy of this process.

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If we can make significant reformations, as I discussed above, the students in DeKalb will receive a much better education and communities will be empowered to provide the unique solutions their students need.


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Our Lady of the Assumption’s Children’s Choir celebrated its 15th anniversary with a concert in the church sanctuary on Jan. 12 in Brookhaven. Above, front row, left to right, Betsy Bierbaum, Mariana Thomas, Ella Beck. Back row, from left, Anastasia Sutter, Leah Dorrien, izzie Wojna, Dakota Sims. Below, from left, Patrick Sheesley, Shug Bentley, Hudson feldman, Colby Greco. Center, left, Edie Plaia. Center, right, Brooke Cheney and Emmy Carragher, right. Bottom, Choir Director Natalie Codelli chats with members of the audience.

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Cars cause more harm than firearms do To the editor: Mr. Dan Whisenhunt’s commentary on gun control [Reporter Newspapers, Jan 11-24] is summed up in one quote... “A right to life without feeling the need to arm myself everywhere I go deserves equal consideration.” In other words, Mr. Whisenhunt feels scared because Americans can own firearms and he really wants to feel safe. In his mind (and other squeamish progressives and weak-willed liberals), his emotions trump my right to one of the basic tenets of natural law, the right to self-defense. But what is even worse, is that it is a selective and highly irrational emotion on his part. If his concern for his health and wellbeing were accurately placed, he would demand that cars be pulled from the road and banned forever, as far more deaths, injuries and overall misery is caused by auto accidents. His chances of becoming one of those traffic statistics is far greater than ever even seeing a private citizen with a gun in public, much less ever being hit by a stray or intentional bullet. If he used a little more logic and a great deal less emotion, he might just cry himself to sleep every night worrying about two tons of steel whizzing by his pretty little head hundreds (if not thousands) of times a day. But he doesn’t, because he feels OK about it. The comparatively high likelihood of death or dismemberment by driving (which is not a protected constitutional right) is fine, but lawful gun ownership by lawful citizens (which just happens to be the Second Amendment to the Constitution’s Bill of Rights) is cause for hysteria, hand-wringing and bed wetting. It just doesn’t ring true... because it isn’t. This is a political dogma, not a safety issue, plain and simple. Ill-informed

l ette rS to tHe e Ditor E-mail letters to

anti-gun advocates want us to ignore the vast experience of history about oppressive governments and tyrannical rulers. Instead, people like this want to pretend that an all-powerful government is going to take care of their every need by day, coddle them asleep at night and benevolently nurture them from cradle to grave. But human nature hasn’t changed in thousands of years of recorded history and the cliche is still true that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. The Second Amendment was written to give armed citizens the power to not only defend themselves, but to keep a power-hungry government from oppressing them and to physically and forceably resist that entity if necessary. And it is true that those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it. Ask the Poles, Jews and eastern Europeans during WWII, ask the Russians during Stalin’s purges, ask the Chinese during Mao’s rule, ask Cambodians about Pol Pot, ask the black man during the repressive Jim Crow era and ask every other disarmed people throughout history. The disastrous results were always the same when a government succeeded in removing firearms from the hands of the ordinary citizen. So please, I am unmoved by Mr. Whisenhunt’s need to feel good. I’d rather live with him being irrationally uncomfortable than for all of us losing our freedoms and liberties because we were too weak to defend them. Price R. Potter

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Jan. 25 – Feb. 7, 2013

MARTA needs to change with new year A new year means a new start, and MARTA is fortunate to have new leadership at the helm -- General Manager Keith Parker. The highly-acclaimed administrator has a good management record in which he worked to improve transit in his previous cities of San Antonio and Charlotte. Parker’s appointment couldn’t have happened at a more crucial juncture for MARTA, its patrons and its taxpayers, as MARTA’s financial stability remains in limbo. Just last week, MARTA said it was entertaining yet another 25-cent fare hike to balance its books. With new leadership at MARTA, it’s time for MARTA’s State rep. management and board of directors to embrace creative ideas mike jaCoBS to ensure the transit system is still with us in the future. The fiscal solution is not continued fare hikes or calls for taxpayer inGUEST COLUMN fusions of cash into the beleaguered system. Instead, MARTA needs to embrace the 114-page roadmap put before it by KPMG last fall in an audit that outlines smart choices to get its finances in order. For example, one of KPMG’s suggestions was that MARTA should outsource seven “back office” business functions to one or more private operators including payroll, employee records and accounts payable, for a projected savings of $17 to $27 million over five years. KPMG’s auditors also offered the idea that MARTA hire private contractors to operate five other services such as cleaning, customer care and the highly expensive paratransit bus service, which serves disabled citizens with a virtually personalized service. This could result in an additional $43 to $115 million in savings over five years. Of course, MARTA’s union is opposing such ideas including the concept of shifting the employees’ retirement plan to a 401k plan – the type of retirement system found virtually everywhere outside of government service and gaining widespread acceptance in government, as well. MARTA could save $59 million with modest changes to its healthcare plans and $34 million if it gradually moved to a 401k, according to KPMG. MARTA’s union contract expires this summer. Now is the time for its board to extract concessions to bring transformational change to a culture at MARTA that yields high absenteeism and a disregard for efficiencies. The board can’t expect to keep squeezing money from cash-strapped patrons, and state leaders have said they won’t consider funding MARTA until there is dramatic change in how it operates. And the future isn’t pretty for MARTA, either. MARTA’s debt service is 40 to 45 percent of its annual prior year sales tax revenues. In comparison, the state is constitutionally limited to a 10 percent debt service. The annual debt service for MARTA is projected to escalate annually for at least the next 10 years. Albert Einstein said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. With Keith Parker at the helm, we may get great ideas to lead MARTA out of its financial mess, but this requires a board willing to support those ideas. That’s why it is essential we restructure the MARTA board so that the new cities in Fulton and DeKalb counties have representation on the board. Cities are closest to the people in making transportation policy, and citizens in Sandy Springs, Brookhaven and Dunwoody have chosen to give their cities the power to speak on their behalf in this regard. Many of these much-needed changes could be led by Parker and the MARTA board. Other changes will require action in the General Assembly, which is likely to occur in this year’s legislative session. With MARTA’s union contract expiring this summer and a new general manager, the time is right to embrace change at the South’s largest transit system. MARTA cannot sustain itself with continued red ink. More of the same policies will only cause more pain for patrons and taxpayers. The time is right for MARTA and its leaders to truly lead MARTA into the 21st Century. State Rep. Mike Jacobs (R-Brookhaven) is chairman of the MARTA Oversight Committee (MARTOC), a joint committee of the Georgia House and Senate. Rep. Jacobs can be reached at (404) 656-5116 or

D o y o u h av e s o m e th in g to s ay ? Send your letters to

Q&A S t r e e t t a lk

Q: What would you do to improve MARTA? Asked at MARTA stations and stops in the Reporter Newspapers communities.

“i think it works pretty well. My experience has been good.”

Robert James

“Extend it out to Exit 17. i have to drive all the way down here to get the train. it’s a pain in the shorts.”

Jeff Camp

“More trains and buses – especially on the weekend.”

Stacy Dallas

“More buses on this line [85 in Sandy Springs] because we wait for too long.”

Nelly Ekouba |



“It’s fairly reliable as it is. Some people have a better connection. They’ve improved technology [to allow you] to know when the bus is coming round, but some people have the money for the [phones and] apps. I’m one of the people that use it. People who don’t have it probably don’t have the same view as I do.”

“MARTA is just a train you ride. I don’t see a problem, except they’re constantly raising the fare. When they increase the fair, it’s never by 50 cents, it’s $7 or $5 [on a multi-ride ticket] and that’s hard for us. It’s not fair.”

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Perimeter Business A monthly section focusing on business in the Reporter Newspapers communities

High-end apartments lure new tenants By Joe Earle When Trisha Ring was an undergraduate at the University of Kansas two decades ago, she took a part-time job leasing apartments to students and professors. That turned into a career that’s taken her to jobs across the country. Now she works in Dunwoody, in the heart of the Perimeter business district, as project manager for JRK Residential, which recently purchased the 709-unit Wellesley at the Perimeter luxury apartment and townhome complex. Wellesley, located at 350 Perimeter Center North, is undergoing a $15 million renovation, she said, that will add granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, a new theater room, two new fitness centers, a meditation room and a cobblestone street lined by gas streetlights. Once renovation is done, she said, the complex will be renamed The London. “It’s all about the ‘wow factor,’” she said. “It’s going to be unlike anything in the Perimeter.” Luxury apartments have to work for attention if they want to stand out these days in the Perimeter, which experts rate as metro Atlanta’s third most desirable area for apartments, after Buckhead and Midtown. “The Perimeter market has evolved into one of the premier live/work markets in the entire southeastern United States,” said George Reid, who produces The Reid Report, a study of the metro area’s apartment market and who lives in Sandy Springs. Only 359 new units were built in the Perimeter area last year, Reid said. But work began in January 2013 on two new complexes on Hammond Drive that are to contain a total of more than 690 units. Construction of other luxury apartments is under way in Brookhaven, and more units are expected in Sandy Springs by the end of the year. Hundreds of high-end apartments already have been Continued on page 14


Page 12: Perimeter Profile Charlie Augello wanted to finally settle down with his family. So in 1986 he left the corporate world behind and opened the E. 48th Street Market in Dunwoody.

Page 13: New hotel opening in 2014 The first new full-service hotel to be built in the Perimeter submarket in 25 years is coming to Brookhaven.

Phil Mosier Michael Blair, managing director for development for Pollack Shores Real Estate Group, stands at a shopping center the company will replace with a luxury apartment complex. The complex is one of two planned at Hammond Drive and Peachtree Dunwoody Road in Sandy Springs.


Q & A on community banking: ‘We must pick our niches and do them well’ Reporter Newspapers asked local banker Chris Burnett a few questions about how he sees the future of community banks. Here are his answers.

banks typically live and work right in their own towns. They are the business and civic leaders in their communities and they have a personal, vested interest in seeing their towns succeed. But in bigger markets like metro Atlanta, it is difficult for community banks to be all things to all people. So, we must pick our niches and do them extremely well.


At a time banks seem to be growing bigger and spreading their branches across the region and country, what is the role of the smaller community bank? How do you compete with the big banks?


In large markets like metro Atlanta, community banks find it difficult to compete with the mega-banks on pricing and locations. Community banks must be specialists in specific niche markets and must provide a level of professional, personal service that is far superior to the big banks. Examples of niche markets include small business lending services like SBA-guaranteed loans and working capital, and asset-based lending services. Other niches can include wealth management, trust and mortgage services. On the deposit side, new technology like remote capture deposit machines (RDCs) allow smaller banks to compete with the big banks because we can now install machines at our clients’ offices that enable them to make deposits right at their desks, eliminating the need to physically go to a branch to transact business. This saves our clients time and money, and places us on a more level playing field with the big banks that have

Chris H. Burnett is the chief executive officer of Cornerstone Bank. He has more than 25 years of experience in community banking, has held leadership positions in several community banks, and has served as chairman of the Sandy Springs/ Perimeter Chamber of Commerce. large branch networks.


What do you see as the primary market for community banks?

In smaller towns throughout Georgia and the nation, local banks will continue to be vital members of their communities because many of the big banks do not want to operate branches in smaller communities because these branches do not offer the profit opportunities that the big cities offer. The shareholders and employees of community


How do you see the Perimeter business/ financial market today and over the next few years?


I am very optimistic about the long-term health of the Perimeter business market, which I believe is the epicenter of business for the Atlanta region. With over 30-million-square-feet of office space, we are home to a number of national companies, and we must continue our pursuit of professional office users to fill our available buildings. We also have some of the finest medical facilities in the Southeast, and we need to continue expanding our health care services by attracting more medical providers to the Perimeter market. I am also impressed with the quality of leadership within our city governments, our chambers of commerce and our civic associations. The future is very bright for the Perimeter market. And, a bright future for this market means a bright future for the banks that serve it. |

JAN. 25 – FEB. 7, 2013 | 11

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Augellos’ market provides a place where family and food is important By Joe Earle

hero sandwich or some pasta or a bit of the fresh mozzarella they made every day. In 1985, Charlie Augello found At their market in the Williamshimself facing yet another job-related burg at Dunwoody Shopping Center, move. Augello worked as a salesman the Augellos offer a variety of Italian for an engineering company. He and products – wine, cheese, meats. They his family lived in the Atlanta submake their own bread. They sell olurbs, but now his employers wantive oil by the pound, ed him to relocate to a and it’s cheaper if you new city. Again. He’d bring your own bottle. already moved nine They make sandwiches times. using bread they bake He decided he and themselves, Charlie Auhis wife and kids had gello said. No sliced bounced around the bread or pastrami on country long enough. the menu, he said. Their “I didn’t want to retop sellers: meatballs locate anymore,” he reand cheese, sausage and called recently. “Being peppers, chicken parmiItalian, family was algiana, prosciutto with ways important.” fresh mozzarella and a So he left the corpo- Charlie Augello muffuletta. rate world. In 1986, he “Saturday, we had a customer who and Anita, his wife, started a business was a Roman,” Charlie Augello said. of their own, the E. 48th Street Mar“He said, ‘I’m impressed. It’s just like ket in Dunwoody. They based their home.’ That’s a pretty good complimarket on the little groceries in the ment.” Italian neighborhood near the UnitThe place has changed a little ed Nations building in New York through the years. The Augellos addwhere they’d both grown up. Charlie ed wine sales after customlived on 48th Street. Anita, ers asked for the chance to he said, lived over on East 43rd. They met in grade P er imet er buy a bottle to take home with a take-out dinner, he school. P r o f ile said. They added tables “Being from New York, when customers asked for a first-generation Italians, place to eat their sandwichfood was always around es without driving away. But an efus,” Charlie Augello said. “We were fort to run a second market in Underalways looking for the food we grew ground Atlanta proved unsuccessful. up with. You’ve heard of ‘care packNow Charlie Augello, who’s 72 ages’? I traveled a lot, so I always and has cut back to working about came home with ‘care packages.’ “ five days a week, describes his famGrowing up, Charlie Augello ily’s market as “an Italian version of found work making deliveries and ‘Cheers.’” “When you come in, [we] doing other jobs for owners of the ask your name,” he said. “By the neighborhood markets. He learned to time you leave, you should hear your bone a chicken working for the neighname three or four times.” borhood butcher. He knew how a real Customers seem to take to it. John Italian market operated. “When you Bleacher of Dunwoody, looking over worked as a delivery boy and there the market’s stock of Italian wines were no deliveries, you learned how one recent morning, said he’s been to cut meat,” he said. shopping there for 17 years. The Augellos decided to start “It is a genuine, family-owned Italtheir Dunwoody shop after they realian experience,” Bleacher said. “It’s ized the north metro Atlanta suburbs like going to visit friends, like you’re lacked a real Italian market. going to visit family.” “We thought there was room for an In a sense, you are. The Augellos’ Italian specialty store,” Charlie Augkids just about grew up in the place, ello said. “There were a lot of gourtheir dad said, and daughter, Andrea met shops, but we didn’t want to be Augello, now runs it. Other Augello a gourmet shop. We wanted to be an children still pitch in now and then, Italian specialty shop.” Charlie Augello said. Gourmet shops, he said, pull in “I think the significant thing is customers looking to make purchaswe’re still a family and we’re still talkes for special occasions. He wanted a ing,” Charlie said. “In a family busiplace where customers could drop by ness, that’s an accomplishment.” two or three times a week to pick up a


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2013 chairman of SSPC installed The Sandy Springs/Perimeter Chamber of Commerce installed its new chairman, Cory Jackson, a branch manager with PNC Bank, at its annual meeting and luncheon Jan. 17 at Villa Christina. The speaker was John Brock, CEO of Coca-Cola Enterprises. In photo above, left to right: David Evans, Rotary Club of Sandy Springs; Tom Mahaffey, Executive Director SSPC; Fran Farias, Rotary Club of Sandy Springs; Cory Jackson; Sally Wyeth, past president Rotary Club of Sandy Springs; Sandy Springs Mayor Eva Galambos; Jim Squire, president-elect, Rotary Club of Sandy Springs.

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Second Childhoods


The Axis Apartments stand among luxury complexes in Dunwoody.

High-end apartments try to lure new tenants with the ‘wow factor’ said. “Not the number of units you had in the go-go years.” built in the area. Their names are Some elected officials, especially in chosen to demonstrate their sophisthe city of Dunwoody, complain that tication – names such as the Windtoo many apartments have been alsor or the Goodwynn in Brookhaven; lowed in the area in the past, and that The Heights, The Drexel and others long-time residents have been forced in Dunwoody; The Stratford or Alta to watch as older apartments have Glenridge Springs and others in Sandeclined in value and hurt dy Springs. the community. “In the past 12 years, Co v er But Reid argues that kind Perimeter has developed of decline is unlikely in the St o r y from a heavily-congested, future because many of the primarily office, hotel and apartments now being built shopping district into a viare designed for young singles or brant, livable mixed-use community couples and won’t attract large famwith improvements in traffic flow, air ilies. “All the stuff being built now quality, economic development and is smaller,” he said. “Just by design, quality of life,” said Yvonne Williams, you are not going see as many famipresident and CEO of the Perimeter lies moving into the properties being Community Improvement Districts. built now.” Ron Cameron, senior vice presAnd the Perimeter ident in the investarea remains a strong ment services group at draw for renters and Colliers International, developers because of called the Perimeter “an its proximity to three area that is very vibrant, MARTA train stations, that has a lot going on I-285 and Ga. 400, and and is very sought-afdue to the community’s ter by institutional inurban feel, developers vestors.” say. Apartments in the “One of the appeals Perimeter market comto that market for a lot mand rentals of more of renters and homethan $1,000 a month owners is you feel like and can reach $2,000 or you’re in the city and Trisha Ring more a month, accord[still] you can get anying to listings. where you need to,” said Cameron, “The trend in the market now is, who has lived in both Sandy Springs you’ll hear the term ‘core communiand Dunwoody. “There’s certainly a ty,’” said Michael Blair, managing dilot of interest in it, for sure.” rector for development for Pollack Cameron predicts that more apartShores Real Estate Group. “For us, it ment projects will be developed in means [Perimeter offers] for our resthe area. “I see development continuidents’ experience a good core locaing through the year, but I think it’s tion, with good proximity to retail going to be very, very selective,” he Continued FRoM page 14

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PERIMETER BUSINESS uses, transit, the live-work-play experience right at their doorstep.” Pollack Shores, which is based in Sandy Springs, in January started work on a new apartment complex that will add 341 luxury apartments at Hammond Drive and Peachtree Dunwoody Road in Sandy Springs. Construction is scheduled to begin in the spring, with completion scheduled for 2014, Blair said. The project will create more than 300 construction jobs, he said. “When it’s completed, it’ll be contributing over $600,000 in taxes to the community,” he said. The apartments will be part of a PHIL MOSIER mixed-use develThe Drexel Apartments in Dunwoody. opment and will Center, is part of a larger, mixed-use replace parts of the development and will stand right existing Hammond Center developacross the street from Pollack Shores’ ment on the south side of Hammond project. Northwood Ravin says its Drive. When complete, the new apartapartments will feature 10-foot ceilment complex will offer a lawn where ings, tiled backsplashes, a private residents can socialize, a wellness and central courtyard, a saltwater pool, fitness center, a yoga area and a dog a fitness center and, of course, a pet spa, Blair said. grooming center. North Carolina-based apartment One recent afternoon, Blair stopped developer Northwood Ravin is buildby the 4.5 acres on Hammond Drive ing another new luxury apartment where Pollack Blair has begun work complex on the north side of Hamto replace a small strip shopping cenmond, according to the company’s ter with a taller building filled with website. new, luxury rental homes. “Why The project, called Perimeter Town here?” he said. “This location has everything you want from a multi-family residential perspective.” Restaurants, a grocery, a drug store operate nearby. And the developer’s offices, Blair pointed out, are nearby, too. “This, for us, is right in our backyard,” Blair said. “It’s a very homegrown, in-ourbackyard development. We’re going to be proud of it for A rendering of apartments Pollack Shores a long, long time.” plans to build in Sandy Springs.

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Cathedral Antiques Show

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Thursday, Jan. 31, 11 a.m.- 5 p.m. – The 42nd annual Cathedral Antiques Show is here! Over two dozen dealers of period furniture, jewelry, art and accessories, ranging from 17th-century antiques to mid-century modern pieces are gathered under one roof. Find that perfect piece, begin a collection, or simply enjoy browsing! Show continues Feb. 1-2, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. $20 admission for all three days. Funds benefit Refugee Family Services, which supports those resettling in the U.S. in becoming successful at work and school. Other on-site events include a book signing and appraisals room. The Cathedral of St. Philip, 2744 Peachtree Rd., NW, Atlanta, 30305. To learn more, call 404-3651107, email: khrhett@¬bellsouth.¬net or visit: www.

Tartan Trot Saturday, Feb. 2, 8:30 a.m. – St. Luke’s Presby-

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terian Church holds its annual 5K/10K Tartan Trot, benefiting outreach efforts close to home and around the world. 1-mile run goes off at 8 a.m.; Tot Trot at 9:45 a.m. Both 5 and 10K are Peachtree Road Race qualifiers. $30; $15 for 1-mile. Awards, t-shirts for entrants. Space limited to 1,500 participants. Rain or shine. Vehicle parking in Dunwoody Village; shuttle buses available. St. Luke’s Presbyterian Church, 1978 Mount Vernon Rd., Dunwoody, 30338. To register or to learn more, go to:

Bridge Party Thursday, Feb. 7, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. – Mark

your calendar to attend the St. Martin in the Fields’ Mary Magdalene Chapter’s annual benefit luncheon and card/game party. You don’t even have to play bridge! Cards provided. Any game may be played. Door prizes; lunch served at 12 p.m. Tickets, $15, with proceeds going toward community outreach efforts. RSVP by Feb. 3rd. For ticket information call Carole at 404-262-3570. 3110 Ashford Dunwoody Rd., Brookhaven, 30319.

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Sandy Springs Reporter 16


JAN. 25 – FEB. 7, 2013 |

Thursday, Feb. 2, 6 p.m. – Dr. Ethan Alexander discusses his book “Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife” at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church. Open to the community. $10 suggested donation, with funds going to the church’s youth ministries. Book signing at 6 p.m.; discussion at 7 p.m. 805 Mount Vernon Highway, Sandy Springs, 30327. Call 404-751-2907 for more information.

Mardi Gras Saturday, Feb. 9, 7 p.m. – The Cumberland

Academy of Georgia, specializing in the needs of children with high functioning autism, Asperger’s, LD, ADD and ADHD, hosts a Mardi Gras-themed gala and auction. $150 per person. Attire: carnival casual, masks encouraged. New Orleans-inspired dinner, drinks and desserts. 650 Mount Vernon Highway, Sandy Springs, 30328. Email: Annette_ for additional details or visit: www. to find out more and to purchase tickets.

Saturday, Feb. 9, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. – The Atlanta Tinnitus Support Group (ATSG) holds a meeting on “success stories,” how those with tinnitus, using TRT, neuromonic and/or masking overcame their tinnitus. Free. Family and friends are welcome. Dunwoody Branch Library, 5339 Chamblee Dunwoody Rd., Dunwoody, 30338. For more information, contact Erica at

Mental Health Sunday, Feb. 10, 3-5:30 p.m. – The Na-

tional Alliance on Mental Illness starts a 12-week family-to-family program designed to help caregivers understand and support those with mental illness, while maintaining their own well-being. Free. Peachtree Presbyterian Church, 3434 Roswell Rd., Atlanta, 30305. For more information, call 770432-4712, email: or go to:


Music at the MJCCA Monday, Jan. 28, 5-7 p.m. – The Mondays on Main Street music series at the Marcus Jewish Community Center Atlanta presents “The Baal Shem Tones,” an acoustic duo playing pop-influenced Americana songs, described as “100% American and 100% Jewish,” with “a powerful spiritual punch.” Free and open to the community. Food available for purchase. 5342 Tilly Mill Rd., Dunwoody, 30338. For more information contact Rabbi Brian Glusman at: or call 678-812-4161.

Hungry Ear Saturday, Feb. 2, 8-10 p.m. – Hungry

Ear Coffee House welcomes Karl Hepler, a guitarist, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter who mixes the styles of bluegrass, newgrass, country, folk and Americana to create “New Traditional American Music”; Kate and Corey, with two acoustic guitars and two distinct voices; and Kevin Spears, “The Kalimba Man,” with skills and creativity often compared to Herbie Hancock, Jimi Hendrix and Les Paul. $5, plus a canned goods donation for the Sandy Springs Community Assistance Center. 1025 Mount Vernon Highway, NW, Sandy Springs, 30327. Call 770-955-1408 or email: with questions.

Scottish Heritage Sunday, Feb. 3, 11 a.m. – St. Luke’s Presbyte-

rian Church invites the community to join in a celebration of Scottish heritage, with a Kirkin’ o’ the Tartans service. Various Scottish tartans - through banners and the wearing of tartans - will be presented for a blessing. The Atlanta Pipe Band (bagpipes and drum) will play during the procession. 1978 Mount Vernon Rd., Dunwoody, 30338. For more information, call 770-393-1424 or go to:



History Center Tuesday, Jan. 29, 5:30-8:30 p.m. – In cele-

bration of the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau’s 100 years of hospitality, the Atlanta History Center gives the public free after-hours access to the center and museum. Meet characters from Atlanta’s past who share stories about what life was like during some of Atlanta’s most pivotal moments! Open to all. Cash bar available. 130 W. Paces Ferry Rd., NW, Atlanta, 30305. To find out more, call 404814-4000 or visit: www

Writer’s Forum Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2-3:30 p.m. – Share

original creative writings in a safe, communityfriendly environment. Readings followed by audience feedback and discussion, led by writing coach Wayne Smith. Writers of every skill level encouraged to attend. Limit works to 500 words or five minutes of reading time. All readings must be appropriate for family audiences. No registration required. Open to first 20 participants. Free. For those 18 years and up. Brookhaven Public Library, 1242 N. Druid Hills Rd., NE, Brookhaven, 30319. Call 404-848-7140 to find out more.

Civil War Thursday, Jan. 31, 6-7:30 p.m. – George McDaniel, Ph.D., presents the third lecture in the Civil War series at The Lovett School. McDaniel, a Lovett alumni and former faculty member, tells the story of his great-grandmother’s Civil War experiences as a young Jonesboro, Ga. girl. Free and open to the community. Reservations required. Refreshments served at 5:30 p.m. Call 404-262-3032, ext. 1717 or visit: for reservations and details. Hendrix-Chenault Theater, The Lovett School, 4075 Paces Ferry Rd., NW, Atlanta, 30327.

Black History Month

Groundhog Day Tuesday, Jan. 29, 4-4:30 p.m. –

Groundhogs and shadows are the themes for this story time session, followed by a craft activity. Free and open to all. For ages 3-6. Northside Branch Library, 3295 Northside Parkway, NW, Atlanta, 30327. Email: comments@ or call 404-814-3508 for additional information.

Life as a Slave Friday, Feb. 1, 10 a.m. -1 p.m. – Understand what life was like for an enslaved person in a special school program at the Atlanta History Center. Meet Harriett Tubman, and learn how she helped enslaved people escape to freedom through the Underground Railroad. Hands-on activities and self-guided gallery tours included. Admission: $9 per student; one adult admitted free for every five students. Outdoor event; dress appropriately. 130 W. Paces Ferry Rd., Atlanta, 30305. For more, go to: or call 404-814-4000.

Practice SAT Saturday, Feb. 2, 1-6 p.m. – Get practical ex-

perience taking the four-hour long SAT test sponsored by Kaplan. Free and open to the public. Registration required. Kaplan requires a minimum of 15 students to present the test. For high school students. Sandy Springs Branch Library, in the Meeting Room, 395 Mount Vernon Highway, Sandy Springs, 30328. Call 404-303-6130 or email: to find out more and to register.

Romance Writing Saturday, Feb. 9, 12-2 p.m. – Boy trouble! Girl

trouble! Romance can be as difficult on paper as it is in real life. Meet a member of the Georgia Romance Writers Association who will help you explore the complexities of a character’s feelings in your work. Free and open to the public. Registration required. Appropriate for middle and high school age. Sandy Springs Branch Library, in the Meeting Room, 395 Mount Vernon Highway, Sandy Springs, 30328. Email: or call 404-303-6130 with questions or to sign up.

Father-Daughter Dance

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Saturday, Feb. 9, 6-8 p.m. – Dance features music, geared for dads and daughters, provided by a live DJ, and event includes dance contests, musical games, complementary snacks and refreshments, keepsake photo, door prizes and a goodie bag for each girl. Attire is business casual to semiformal. $35 per father-daughter; $10 each additional daughter. For all girls attending school in Sandy Springs. Space is limited; registration open until Feb. 8 or when full. Woodland Elementary School, 1130 Spalding Dr., NE, Sandy Springs, 30350. For more information and to register, visit: or call 770-730-5600.

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Friday, Feb. 1, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. – Through-

out the month of February, during library opening hours, check out the special bulletin board collages, unique items in the display case, and the book display featuring famous African Americans. Free. Appropriate for all ages. Buckhead Branch Library, 269 Buckhead Ave., NE, Atlanta, 30305. Email: or call 404-814-3500 for additional information.

Partner Violence Saturday, Feb. 2, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. – The Part-

nership Against Domestic Violence organization is widening the conversation about intimate partner violence with its 4th annual Teen Summit. The summit, themed “Expect More, Be More,” welcomes teens and concerned adults interested in learning how to recognize and address teen dating violence. Free. The Lodge Café, 3417 Roswell Rd., Atlanta, 30305. To find out more, visit:

Personal Finance Wednesday, Feb. 6, 6-8 p.m. – Participants

will learn how to obtain and analyze credit reports; how to negotiate debts successfully; and how to understand a credit score rating. Free and open to all. Recommended for adult audiences. Sandy Springs Branch Library, 395 Mount Vernon Highway, Sandy Springs, 30328. Email: comments@co.fulton. or call 404-303-6130 with questions.

Wildlife Gardens Saturday, Feb. 9, 10 a.m.- 3 p.m. – Join nationally-recognized naturalist Jerry Hightower for a workshop to help create and enjoy wildlife sanctuary gardens at homes and schools. The workshop covers: evaluating and developing a plan; feeders, nesting boxes, birdseed selection, and “quick fixes” for adding food and shelter; working with flowering vines, trellis, arbors and living walls; butterfly gardens and water features. Open to everyone. $10. There will be a “lunch & learn” session, so bring a lunch. Blue Heron Nature Preserve, 4055 Roswell Rd., Atlanta, 30342. To learn more or to register, call 404-3451008 or visit:

The World-Famous

Chinese New Year

Adam Ray

1/24 - 1/26

From, ABC’s “According to Jim”

Wednesday, Feb. 6, 4:30 p.m. – Celebrate Chinese New Year with Atlanta Chinese Dance! Ribbons, fans and handkerchiefs! Students will perform several dances from across China. Free and open to the community. Appropriate for ages 6 and up. Sandy Springs Branch Library, 395 Mount Vernon Highway, Sandy Springs, 30328. Call 404-303-6130 or email: leah. with questions.

Turtle Tours Saturday, Feb. 9, 11 a.m.-12 p.m. – Heritage Sandy

Springs continues its “Turtle Tours,” an educational series appropriate for children ages 2-5 in the Heritage Sandy Springs Museum. Through stories, hands-on exhibits and crafts, museum mascots “Sandy” the chipmunk and “Spring” the turtle introduce preschoolers to history. “Critters from Seedpods” is scheduled for Feb. 9. Free; donations encouraged. 6075 Sandy Springs Circle, Sandy Springs, 30328. For additional details, visit:, call 404-851-9111 or email:

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JAN. 25 – FEB. 7, 2013 | 17


Dunwoody artists show their works in local businesses BY JOE EARLE

It looked at this stage like somebody’s living room was being redecorated. Ceiling tiles sat in a neat stack next to a stepladder at the center of the small, outof-way shopping center storage room. Freshly painted walls gleamed. “We’ve been cleaning and painting and getting things ready to go,” Julie Marshall said. “It’s been fun to see how the whole business looks. We started looking [for a place for the gallery] in November and got in with the paint last week. It’s a process.” Once completed, this process will produce a new art gallery where Dunwoody artists can show and sell their work. The Dunwoody Fine Arts Association is calling its new showplace a “pop-up” gallery because it’s intended to be open only for a few months, starting in February. “We should have some jewelry and paintings and hopefully some sculpture,” Marshall said. “It’ll be fun. It’ll be a place in the community [for association members] to display work and hopefully people will come see it.” The new gallery – being cleaned and decorated by volunteers from the association – will be up and running in conjunction with the group’s annual “Art Walk” through the community. During the walk, which starts Feb. 1 and continues through the month, local artists display their work on the walls of

dozens of local businesses. The association has put together the event each of the past several years, Marshall said. “Our goal is to bring awareness of the arts to our community and to showcase the terrific talent of artists right here in Dunwoody,” Susan Proctor, president of the association, said in a press release. “Throughout the month, all of us will find our shopping to be a more beautiful experience, thanks to the artists who have created stunning watercolors, oils, acrylics, pen and ink, and collages, as well as the businesses that are showcasing them.” Marshall, a painter and member of the association, said about 200 pieces of art will be displayed during the citywide exhibition. At least 30 businesses and public offices have signed up to show works. All the works will be offered for sale, the association said. “I think the businesses feel happy to see some new work on their walls,” Marshall said. “All artists have works in their basements and are happy to get it out for people to see. At least people who come in for a dentist appointment have something new to see.” Jennifer Howard, financial advisor for Edward Jones, said her office has taken part in the association’s show for the past three years and will again this year. “I was an early adapter,” she said. “It’s worked out great. I really enjoy it. It’s

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something to show my clients. I get to meet some new artists. It’s a very nice way to give back.” Last year, she had two landscape paintings hanging in the office, she said. “I’m a big nature fan, so the landscapes work well,” she said. The assoJOE EARLE ciation’s temLocal artist Julie Marshall, at the Dunwoody Village porary gallery storefront where the Dunwoody Fine Arts Association will present plans to open a new “pop-up” art gallery in February. additional works for sale in the small room off the Courtyard at Dunwoody Village. “We’re hoping Dunwoody Fine Arts to get everyone’s work in there,” MarAssociation “Art Walk” shall said during a chat at a local cofand “pop-up gallery” fee shop. When: Artworks are displayed The association plans to launch the at various Dunwoody businesses gallery with a party Feb. 23 and then in February. Gallery holds open it to the public on Feb. 25, Maropening party Feb. 23 and shall said. The 1,000-square-foot galopens to the public Feb. 25. lery, installed in what had been a storage How much: Free room at Dunwoody Village, is scheduled to remain open at least through the For more information: end of April, Marshall said. “Hopefully, it won’t close,” she said.

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Sandy Springs Girl Scout tops the cookie charts BY MELISSA WEINMAN

It’s that time again. last few years.” You can expect a knock on the door, And the troop has been able to do an order form passed around the office, some pretty amazing things as a result of perhaps a booth in front of the grocery all those sales. store where your friendly, local scouts Meghan said the troop at Holy Spirwill be offering those delectable Girl it, which has been together since most Scout cookies. of them were in eleWhen it comes to mentary school, has Do you know an organization or cookie sales, few can used the money from outdo Dunwoody cookie sales to travel individual making a difference resident Meghan to Switzerland. This in our community? Email Devine. summer, the troop Devine has regularis saving money to ly ranked as one of Attravel to Costa Rica, lanta’s top cookie sellers, often selling more where they will form a partnership with than 1,000 boxes each year – and around a troop of Girl Guides, the Costa Rican 13,000 over the course of her scouting caanalogue for scouts. reer – to earn money for her troop. Meghan said she’s learned a lot about Devine, a junior at Holy Spirit Preparaherself from selling cookies. tory School in Sandy Springs, said her am“I think the thing I like most about bitious cookie sales are rooted in a comit is I’m kind of shy, and cookie sales petitive spirit and a philanthropic nature. bring me out of my box and forces me As a fifth grader in 2006, Devine to talk to other people and smile, and be signed up to sell cookies at a booth outfriendly and outgoing,” she said. “I can side of a Walmart. But the store accidenkind of be shy and close up with people tally double-booked Meghan with anI don’t know. It’s like a whole other me other scout, who seemed to be making when I’m selling cookies. Its shown me a all the sales that day. side of me I didn’t know was there.” “I was like, ‘I want to outsell her Meghan said her cookies sales may now,’” Meghan recalls. have been driven by competition in the That scout happened to be one of Atlanta’s top sellers, and Meghan decided to try to top her. That year, Meghan sold 2,802 boxes. Meghan was also driven to sell cookies in hopes of helping the Girl Scout camp she attended. She had heard that due to financial troubles, the camp would have to sell some of its horses because they could no longer afford to care for them. “I wanted to sell a bunch of boxes and save the horses,” she said. “I was a little girl with big dreams.” Meghan said it was rewarding to learn that through money earned by the local Girl Scout Council that year, they were able to keep all the horses at the camp. “They were able to save the horses, they didn’t have to sell any of them,” she said. Each year after, Meghan continued to think big. In 2007, she set her personal record, selling 3,111 boxes of cookies. And the competitive spirit has been contagious. “There have been a couple of other girls that have sold 1,000 [boxes] with me,” Meghan said. “Now my troop -- every year, we’re one of the top selling troops in our service unit.” Meghan’s mother, Anne Devine, said it’s been amazing to watch the girls push each other to sell more. “When Meghan started selling a whole bunch of cookies, she showed the other girls in her troop that it was actually possible. No one else had thought that big,” Anne Devine said. “It caught on and other girls in her troop started selling more and more. …When girls see that things are possible, they start to believe that they can do it, too. Girl Scout cookies sales have skyrocketed over the


Meghan Devine, a Girl Scout from Holy Spirit Preparatory School, has consistently been one of the top cookie sellers in the Atlanta area.

beginning, but now it’s something she does because she loves it. “I love selling cookies, I love being interviewed because of my cookie sales. I actually did the first pitch at the Atlanta Braves game. I’ve just been award-

ed so many opportunities because of my cookie sales,” she said. Then, as the conversation was winding down, Meghan said, “Now, I have a question for you: Would you like to buy some Girl Scout cookies?” |

JAN. 25 – FEB. 7, 2013 | 19


Parrots can be great pets, but make sure to read up first BY MELISSA WEINMAN

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JAN. 25 – FEB. 7, 2013 |

When you ring the doorbell at Marie Frank’s Dunwoody home, she barely cracks the door. “Come in quickly,” she says, opening the door just enough for you to squeeze through. Once inside, the reason for her caution is clear. Frank has three pet cockatiels that fly freely about her home. Dixie perches on the handle of her oven, singing to his reflection in the stainless steel appliance. Lucky hops over to the table where Frank is sitting, curiously inspecting her coffee mug. Frank said her birds are always entertaining her. But she said most people don’t know what they are getting into when they buy a parrot. “These are the best pets,” Frank said. “But if you don’t treat them well, they can be your worst nightmare.” Frank is passionate about teaching people about responsible bird ownership. Frank said when she got her first gray and yellow cockatiel, Dixie, she assumed it would be happy living in its cage. “I had a 5-year-old son who wanted a parrot,” Frank said. “I think people think – like I did – that you can buy a big cage and look at him because he’s pretty.” But she soon learned that her bird needed to spend time outside of his cage, flying and interacting with her family. “Dixie is kind of the one who trained us on how he wanted to be treated,” Frank said. “To treat them properly, you have to give them little or no cage time.” Since getting her first cockatiel, Frank has rescued three more and has traveled to Arizona to volunteer with a bird rescue sanctuary. She said there are many things people don’t know about parrots – the family of exotic birds that includes macaws, cockatoos and Amazons. If birds are bored or unhappy in their cage, they can be very loud and destructive, she said. Some birds will even pick out their feathers and bite their skin with their beaks if they are confined to a cage. “People need to know they are social creatures, they do need stimulation, they do need interaction,” Frank said. Frank said many people give away their parrots, annoyed by the noise the birds make. There are only a few bird rescue groups around the country, and there often isn’t much space. “The rescues are bursting at the seams. They’re so overcrowded,” Frank said. One reason those rescues are so crowded: birds have incredibly long life spans. Smaller parrots like cockatiels can live up to 25 years. But some larger birds, like


Above, Dunwoody resident Marie Frank with one of her cockatiels. Below, admiring a coffee mug.

macaws and African Grey Parrots, have a life span of up to 100 years. Ron Johnson, owner of Feathered Friends Forever, cares for 1,400 birds at his rescue facility near Augusta. He said birds come to the rescue from around the country for a variety of reasons. Some have owners who have died, or owners who have moved and can no longer keep them. Some people turn their birds in because they are simply tired of being bitten by the birds or hearing them chirp. Johnson said the problem is that breeders continue to sell the birds for a large profit. “Breeders and pet stores don’t care what people buy so long as they collect their money,” Johnson said. Johnson said someone recently dropped off a bird that was only six months old. “A breeder convinced this lady that this was a quiet, lovable bird,” Johnson said. “She paid $900 for the bird, $300 for the cage, and had it 48 hours because she couldn’t stand the noise that it made.” He said it’s important to keep in mind that parrots are wild animals. They still have natural instincts that can make them unfriendly. “They’re in a sense “domesticated” in that they will take food from your hand and they will talk to you,” Johnson said. “When it’s breeding season, you have Dr. Jekyll.”


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BY J.D. MOOR Her leash taut with anticipation and her tail wagging wildly, 3-year-old Amberley pulled her owner into a hallway at the Plantation South Assisted Living home in Dunwoody. Resident Sarah Baker gingerly maneuvered her walker one step at a time and spotted Amberly. Baker then was all smiles and Amberley was all affection. “This is the best part of the week for me,” Baker said. “I used to have a Rottweiler I loved. I look forward to this because it’s so special.” Amberley, a 3-year-old Hungarian bird dog, is certified as a service dog and constant companion to Doris Beardsley, who recently recovered from spinal surgery. Amberley also is a member of the Pet Therapy Program at St. Martin in the Fields Episcopal Church in Brookhaven, which has trained 72 dogs since 2009, eight of them specializing in visits to three nursing homes. Amberley has already made 17 visits to Plantation South. Preston Bentley is another Amberley fan who’s been at Plantation South for two years. “I have lots of free time here and she’s a nice break,” he said. Beardsley actually received a pet-topeople outreach herself before deciding to get involved in the program. Her husband brought Amberley to brighten her day while in a rehab facility that doubled as a retirement home. “I was there after my back surgery and I remember how during therapy, it helped me emotionally to work harder through the pain,” Beardsley said. “But then the retirees living there wanted to pet her, too, and asked me when Amberley would come back again.” That was all the motivation Beardsley needed to sign up for the Canine Good Citizenship class at St. Martin’s Pet Ministry. The five-week class trains

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Doris Beardsley, left, and Amberley, visiting Sarah Baker at Plantation South Assisted Living in Dunwoody.

animals to be obedient and stay calm around strangers, including those in wheelchairs. Usually dogs with good temperaments do better in passing the 10-step test, but the ministry also offers a basic class for dogs that may not be quite ready to become canine good citizens. Ingrid Siegert devotes her free time to running the pet ministry whenever she isn’t busy as St. Martin’s music director. She has her cat, Maggie, living fulltime in her church office, plus two dogs at home. “We do this out of love for the animals, and it’s fun to meet others who share that feeling,” she said. The pet ministry has blossomed from the early days when the first feature was prayers for animals through its website. It was a huge success with requests for prayers coming in from all over the world. “I think our pet ministry is unique because we do so much,” Siegert said.

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JAN. 25 – FEB. 7, 2013 | 21

Here’s Looking at You!

To view photos from your community visit To submit your photos email SPECIAL

Building relationships Sophia Academy middle school students went on an overnight, spiritual retreat in the north Georgia mountains, where they took part in activities to build teamwork, conquer fears and build confidence. Far left, Madison Parker, left, joins Noelle Marchais in cheering on their peers during a competitive game of “Ga,” modeled after an ancient game played in Greek and Roman times. Left, Matthew Wallace challenges his agility and balance on the high ropes course.

Restaurant Guide

View these listings online with a map of each location at Another Broken Egg Café


Now Open in Vinings! 4300 Paces Ferry Rd Vinings GA 30339 770-384-0012 Open 7 days a week 7 AM – 2 PM Come by to see our beautiful renovated facility. Great for hosting business or private functions or just stop by and try one of the delicious menu items. Receive 20% off the month of January.

The Original Brooklyn Water Bagel Co.

McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood & Steaks

600 Ashwood Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30338 770.399.9900 | M-Th: 11-9, Fri: 11-10, Sat: 4-10, Sun: 4-9 From fresh seafood and shell fish to aged steaks and garden fresh salads, our goal is to exceed your dining expectations. Our menus reflect seafood from the Pacific Rim, Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. We also source products from local ranches, farms and wineries to showcase regionally inspired dishes.

McKendrick’s Steak House

2955 Cobb Pkwy SE, Suite 240 – Akers Mill & Cobb Pkwy Akers Mill Shopping Center | 770-988-9991 Open 365 days: 6 AM – 4 PM New York Style Gourmet Bagels, 3 egg breakfast sandwiches, over-stuffed bagelwiches, pizza melts, scooper melts and fresh baked muffins. Beverages consist of a coffee station that has everything you need to customize your perfect cup of coffee including unique blends, creamers and U-Bet syrup along with fresh squeezed orange juice and soft drinks. Try the Cubsta® - iced coffee made with frozen coffee cubes. Catering services also available.

4505 Ashford Dunwoody Rd., Atlanta, Georgia, 30346 770-512-8888 | Lunch; M-F 11-2:30 Dinner: M-Th 5-10, Fri/Sat 5-11, Sun 5-9 Selected by Zagat as the number one rated steak house in Atlanta, McKendrick’s serves only prime cuts of meat as well as the freshest seafood all of which is complimented by an extensive wine list. McKendrick’s has been a steak house tradition for Atlantans and visitors alike since 1995.

Chin Chin Chinese Restaurant

Featured Restaurant

3887 Peachtree Rd, Buckhead/Brookhaven & other locations 404-816-2229 | Mon-Thurs 11:30-10:30, Fri/Sat 11:30-11, Sun 12-10:30 Fine Asian Cuisine - Its atmosphere, service and quality of food are above reproach. You can sit in the dining area and watch the preparation of food through a large plate glass. The menu is extensive, offering items in every category including chicken, seafood, pork, beef and duck. There are also vegetarian dishes for those who prefer.

Flavor Restaurant & Bar

236 Johnson Ferry Rd. NE, Sandy Springs GA 30328 404-255-7402 | Mon: 10.30am to 3.00pm Lunch only Tue: to Fri 10.30am to 10.00pm Lunch and Dinner Sat and sun 8.00am to 10.00pm Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Flavor with a twist. Taking traditional dishes and giving them a new twist. Babaganoush * Tabuli * Hummus * Lambchop Kabob * Jumbo Shrimp

Los Bravos Mexican Restaurant

2042 Johnson Ferry Rd NE, Atlanta 30319 770-452-9896 | Mon - Fri 11 - 10:30, Sat 12 – 10:30, Sun 12 – 10 Mouth-watering agave margaritas, carne asade, taco salads, fajitas, poblanos, quesadillas, taco salads, Mexican soup, guacamole…. It’s all at your fingertips regardless of what part of Atlanta you live in.


Uncle Julio’s created a unique restaurant concept around original recipes that demand only the freshest ingredients tailored after Uncle Julio’s family tastes. Beyond tacos, enchiladas and tamales, Uncle Julio’s specializes in marinated and mesquite grilled beef and chicken fajitas, ribs, quail, frog legs, and jumbo shrimp. 1860 Peachtree Rd, Atlanta 30309 | 404-350-6767 1140 Hammond Dr NE, Sandy Springs | 678-736-8260 Sun-Thurs, 11–10; Fri & Sat, 11–11 These restaurants are paid advertisers.


JAN. 25 – FEB. 7, 2013


MoSaiC Restaurant

3097 Maple Drive, Buckhead 404-846-5722 | Mon–Thur 11:30–10, Fri/Sat 11:30–11, Sun Brunch, 10:30–3, Dinner 3–9 MoSaiC is a popular neighborhood, Buckhead eatery, located between Peachtree & Paces Ferry. Visit this hidden gem for a charming escape from city living. Our eclectic wine list and seasonal menu is sure to please the palate.


4920 Roswell Rd, Sandy Springs/Buckhead, 404-255-6368 5071 Peachtree Industrial Blvd, Chamblee/Brookhaven, 770-451-1112 1815 Briarcliff Rd, Emory area 404-474-9444 Mon-Thurs. 10:30–10; Fri/Sat, 10:30–11; Sun, 11–10 | pignchik.netTreat your friends and family to the best food in town at Pig-N-Chik. From barbecue ribs and pork to turkey and chicken wings, our irresistible dishes will have your taste buds begging for more. And don’t forget our delicious desserts!

Tantra Restaurant

2285 Peachtree Rd. N.E., Atlanta, GA, 30309 404-228-7963 | Tantra restaurant in South Buckhead features a contemporary American menu highlighted with the exotic flavors of Persian & Indian cuisine. The menu is crafted by Executive Chef Terry Dwyer and his staff. Popular items include: mussels in roasted pepper broth with chipotle and star anise, large plump scallops caramelized in a basil rub with a dried lime beurre blanc to compliment, grilled Australian lamb served with crisp eggplant frites and horseradish-ghost chile aioli.

Sophie’s Uptown

54 Pharr Rd, Atlanta GA 30305 404-812-0477 | Mon. – Fri. 10 – 7 Sat. 10 – 4 Closed on Sun. People treats – Animal love. Your community café and bakery dedicated to saving Atlanta’s Homeless Animals. Gluten free and sugar free desserts. Homemade bakery favorites, coffee, ice cream, sandwiches, salads and more, all in a great atmosphere

Advertise in the Restaurant Guide and reach 130,000+ discriminating diners. Call 404-917-2200 ext 130.

Here’s Looking at You!

To view photos from your community visit To submit your photos email


Colorful celebrations mark the new year Left, Sofia Polar, 7, a first grader at Atlanta International School, gives the paper dragon she just created at the Sandy Springs Library an admiring look. Sofia attended a Chinese New Year celebration at the branch on Jan. 19. Right, the program included making crafts out of paper, stories and other Chinese New Year-related activities.


Making the center sparkle Georgia Perimeter College students got together to help beautify the Dunwoody Nature Center on Jan. 21, creating a new trail, cleaning and remulching an existing trail, and clearing the forest of evasive plants. The students participated as part of a school-sponsored civic engagement project. Clockwise, from left, Krishna Chatla and Cristian Morales, right, drag broken limbs away from a trail. Center, Tiffany Robinson, majoring in pre-nursing at the GPC Dunwoody campus, removes her work gloves and takes a break. Right, Krishna Chatla clears brush. At left, from left, Cristian Morales, Usman Bako, Martin Kovombele and Elizabeth Gats pick up small twigs and branches while they clean the path. |

JAN. 25 – FEB. 7, 2013 | 23


Standout Students

Student Profile:

 Ferra Pinnock  Atlanta Girls’ School, senior

Grand Opening!

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There is never an idle moment in Ferra Pinnock’s life. She plays three sports – soccer, softball and basketball. She hikes. She’s president of the Circle of Sisters, the equivalent of the student council at Atlanta Girls’ School. In fact, she so busy, she’s learned to dedicate a half-hour to an hour each night to relaxation, no matter how busy she is. She’ll watch a TV show, listen to music or read a book. “I try to spare myself some ‘me time’ as often as possible, just to maintain a reasonable amount of sanity,” she said. “Nothing is worth running myself into the ground, and it is this understanding that keeps me motivated and grounded in spite of the many obstacles that come with being a student-athlete.” Ferra transferred to the Atlanta Girls’ School, an all-girl school in Buckhead, when she was in the seventh grade. She enjoys the laid-back environment an allgirl school offers. “We all look the same, and there are no social standards that you always have to worry about it,” she said. “It leaves a lot of time and sanity for focusing on what is important like school, and just becoming a good person.” At the same time, Ferra misses aspects of being in a coed school, such as pep rallies and football games. At school, Ferra is a member of the Outdoor Club, which organizes outdoor trips, including excursions to go rafting and rock climbing. She’s active in both student affairs and sports. Sports teams mean a lot to her. As an only child, she feels that her teammates are like her family. And being president of the Circle of Sisters has helped make her a better leader and a more patient person, she said. Ferra’s favorite subjects are math and chemistry. “I like them both because they are very practical and I am a very realistic

person,” she said. “I like studying concrete ideas.” At AGS, students are required to complete an internship during the summers before 11th and 12th grade. Two years ago, Ferra shadowed emergency room residents at Grady Hospital as she was considering a career in medicine. Ferra then decided that she was interested in engineering and completed the Yerkes Internship at Emory University this past summer. “My favorite part was interacting with a variety of people,” Ferra said. “Being a witness to the dynamic variation of cultures and perspectives was often enlightening and especially entertaining.” Amy Conlee is the internship counselor at AGS and has gotten to know Ferra well during the past three years. “She is full of leadership and humanity,” Conlee said. “She has a great character that is displayed in everything she does.” All in all, Conlee describes Ferra as “the girl who is kind to the person who others aren’t.”

What’s Next: Next year, Ferra hopes to attend a college with a great engineering program where she will study chemical engineering. –Stacy Bubes

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eDuCation Student Profile:  Carson Waln  The Galloway School, Senior Carson has been involved with athletics since he was 4 years old. When he was in middle school, he decided he wanted to play baseball in college. “I played a ton of sports like every little kid does, but baseball was the only sport that every year I looked forward to,” said Carson. His dad encouraged him to play catcher from the start, a position he has kept throughout his career. He has always admired retired Florida Marlins and Detroit Tigers catcher Ivan Rodríguez, and as a young player tried to emulate his performance as a defensive catcher. When Carson joined the East Cobb Baseball club at 14, he was able to grow his skills as a catcher. Some summers were filled with over 80 games. When he was 16, the East Cobb Titans won a national championship under coach Chance Beam. “He was my favorite coach. He made me a better player and, at the end of the day, we won some really big tournaments,” said Carson. As high school approached, Carson was in a bind. He wanted to go to The Galloway School, but at the time the school did not have an active baseball team. Carson chose to work with the coach-

es to start up a program which has continued to grow over the past four years. And his work paid off: He’s going to Wofford College next fall and will play baseball there. Not only has Carson excelled at base-

ball but also at running. He has been a member of Galloway’s cross country team since freshman year. This past season, the team earned a fifth place finish in the state meet. “Carson is a true student-athlete,” said cross country and track coach Denny Beatty. “Carson demonstrates outstanding leadership, and leads his teammates by example. He does what is asked of him and more. His dedication and work ethic is superb, and yields positive outcomes, championship results,” Beatty said. In attempts to garner support for Galloway’s teams, Carson initiated and led a new spirit

committee. “Since we don’t have a football team, it can be difficult to get the students out to other games,” said Carson. “I’ve tried to get more people out to support all the teams at school.” Carson has a great group of friends at Galloway with whom he shares an intense academic competition. “It’s a good competition - we are either working together or working against each other to get a better grade,” said Carson. “We’ve got a great, smart bunch of people.” One of his favorite memories of high school was a mock presidential debate for AP Comparative Government class, in which he acted as Mitt Romney for an hour. He argued political points in front of the entire school. Although he does not plan on being a politician, he thoroughly enjoys debating.

What’s Next: Carson has signed to play baseball for Wofford College where plans to pursue a pre-med degree. He hopes to be an orthopedic surgeon someday to help get injured players back on the field. –ElizabethWilkes

Do you know a standout high school student? Send nominees to

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State Rep. Edward Lindsey, a Buckhead Republican, says his proposal making it easier to convert an existing school into a charter school is about getting parents involved in education. Lindsey’s “parent trigger bill” would allow a majority of parents or teachers at a school to petition to have their school become a charter school. Charter schools usually have more independence from a local school system, but the freedom comes with heightened expectations for students. “I find it interesting that some people are concerned that parents may actually spend more time talking to their school board about the quality of their children’s education. That’s inherently a good thing,” Lindsey said during a Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education symposium on Jan. 11. Not everyone is convinced Lindsey is on the right track. Rep. Stacey Abrams, an Atlanta Democrat, said at the same symposium that Lindsey’s bill sounds like a good idea at first, but “the devil is in the details.” “You don’t want it to become a tool that is used to bludgeon schools into behavior that perhaps may not represent the full sense of what’s best for those kids,” Abrams said. “There have been states where it’s been used fairly improperly.” So parents could have a clearer idea of what Lindsey is proposing, Reporter Newspapers asked him a few questions about the proposal. Here are his answers.

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What is a ‘parent trigger’ law?

You have a traditional public school. The parents believe that converting it to a charter school would improve education in their school. They would get a petition together and would have to get a majority of student households. (My wife and I constitute one student household. My neighbor down the street, who’s a single mom, she’s a student household.) If you get a majority of the student households to request the charter, it then goes to the school board for their consideration. There’ll be certain factors for the school board to consider, or reject, the petition. It has to be rejected by twothirds of the school board. The whole idea is to keep it local. My friends who opposed the state charter amendment last year made a big deal about “we believe in charter -- it just needs to stay at the local level.” Let’s

State Rep. Edward Lindsey

see if they can prove that. Right now, it’s a lot more of a convoluted process to go to a charter school, a lot more hoops they have to go through.


How do you think a parent trigger law could improve

schools? I’ve sat on the House Education Committee for eight years, and one thing I’ve learned over the years is any kind of education reform must touch on one of the following three aspects of education: an engaged student, an inspiring teacher or an involved parent. This bill brings parents into greater involvement in their children’s education.

Q. a.

Why do you want to introduce this legislation?

You know, we need to be working on a whole series of education reforms in this state. The fact of the matter is, the state of public education in Georgia today is not where it should be. When you’ve got a graduation rate of 67 percent and if you drill it down to low income households, it’s in the low 50s. That’s morally and economically unacceptable.

Q. a. Q.

Are there similar laws in other states? There are seven other states that have similar laws.

Do you think recent events with the Atlanta and DeKalb County public schools may create more interest in this bill?


North Atlanta High School and DeKalb County provide excellent examples for why this is necessary. But the need is statewide. The need isn’t confined to our local area.

Reporter Newspapers Email updates Be in the know BK


photos by phil mosier

Checking the health of our water Top, back row, from left, Christine McKay, Kayla Hughes, her brother Steven, Don McAdam, Evelyn Quinones and Randy Gragg, with, front left, program instructor Maura Dudley and Spencer Gragg, gather water samples from Nancy Creek on Jan. 12 to take to Oglethorpe University for study. Center, left, Steven Hughes, left, Christine McKay and Maura Dudley, right, in the creek at Blue Heron Nature Preserve. Above, Spencer Gragg, at Oglethorpe’s biology lab, peers at collected organisms through a magnifying glass. Below, left, the group closely inspects water samples. Below, Kayla Hughes, an Oglethorpe alumni, Randy Gragg and right, Oglethorpe Biology professor Charlie Baube, look for life forms.

BK |

Jan. 25 – Feb. 7, 2013 | 27


City did not always take the recommended bidder for services Continued from page 1

would help set up the new city until a mayor and council members were in office. One of the commission’s main responsibilities was to post requests for proposals to private sector firms interested in partnering with Brookhaven to provide municipal services. After reviewing all of the submitted bids, the members of the Governor’s Commission wrote a report recommending five vendors to operate city departments, such as municipal court and public works. But City Council chose to deviate from the commission’s recommendations on two major contracts, those for finance and administration, and community development. Mayor J. Max Davis said City Council members wanted to do their own analysis before awarding any bids. “We took our job very seriously and we were all of the opinion that we need to make our own decision because we were elected, and we can’t shirk our responsibility to the voters of Brookhaven to ... look out for their best interests,” Davis said. “Saving nearly $1 million on our first contract award deviating from the Governor’s Commission was, I think, one of the benefits. After we awarded the bids, we continued nego-

“You can still look at the same information and come up with different conclusions.” – j.D. Clockadale Interium deputy city manager

tiations and the prices continued to go down.” J.D. Clockadale, now Brookhaven’s interim deputy city manager, was a member of the governor’s commission who was heavily involved in the procurement process. He said as a body with no authority, the commission’s report was only meant to serve as a guide to City Council. “The biggest part of the commission, our biggest job, was not so much making recommendations as it was getting information together so the council and mayor would be in a better position to make a decision,” Clockadale said. He said he is not surprised that the mayor and City Council made a few different choices than the commission. “We were a group of six individuals who vetted the proposals. Council was

a whole separate group of individuals,” Clockadale said. “You can still look at the same information and come up with different conclusions.” For finance and administration, the commission recommended Brookhaven hire a company called Severn Trent, which estimated it could operate the department at an annual cost of about $1.7 million. The commissioners noted that Severn Trent had “current, very relevant local experience rated ‘exceptional.’ Staffing detail addresses all required job functions.” However, the City Council voted to award the bid to UHY, a firm that estimated its annual costs would be just under $1 million. The commissioners noted that UHY’s references were “limited only to audits and special projects, thereby lim-

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Jan. 25 – Feb. 7, 2013 |

iting performance confidence.” But Davis said City Council felt very comfortable with UHY’s local experience. Dunwoody’s Finance Director Chris Pike is employed by UHY, for example. “The bidder recommended by the commission was nearly twice as much in cost as the vendor we awarded the bid to. That caused us to look further and deeper into things,” Davis said. “We reviewed who the people are, what their experiences are and if you have people on your team who have vast experience or superior experience within the county which you are situated, I think that does figure into your decision.” However, when it came to Community Development, which handles zoning and permitting, City Council awarded the bid to a more expensive vendor than the one recommended by the commission. The Governor’s Commission selected the Collaborative as its top recommendation to the City Council. In its report, the commissioners said the Collaborative’s “satisfactory proposal includes current, very relevant performance confidence. Price is 35 percent below next higher bid.” But City Council chose Clark Patterson Lee to run its Community Development Department, taking another cue from the city of Dunwoody. That firm, which also heads Dunwoody’s Community Development Department, estimated it could do the job at a cost of $1.5 million. The commission noted that although Clark Patterson Lee’s proposal included “current, relevant references with substantial performance confidence,” the proposal was about $400,000 more than the Collaborative’s bid of $1.1 million. The commission did not recommend the low bidder, saying its proposal was “inconsistent” with the city’s needs. Davis said all five companies that submitted proposals for community development were asked to give a presentation to City Council members. “We came to believe that Clark Patterson Lee would be the best fit for the citizens of Brookhaven and would be in the best interest, too,” Davis said. “Community development is something where you’re going to have a staff interacting directly with your public and development community. You’re going to have to have a firm of people dealing with the public that you have 100 percent confidence in.” Many of the companies that submitted proposals for city work donated to the political campaigns of Brookhaven politicians or the advocacy groups that campaigned to create the city. State campaign disclosure records show that Kevin McOmber of Clark Patterson Lee, who was named the head of Brookhaven’s Community Development Department, donated $1,000 to Brookhaven Yes and $1,000 to the Brookhaven Ballot Committee. Lowe BK

Community Engineers, which will operate the city’s public works department, donated more than $2,000 to Brookhaven Yes in addition to in-kind contributions. And Charles Button of Jacobs Engineering, who will head the city’s Municipal Court, donated $250 to Davis’ campaign for mayor. Davis said political contributions were not considered at all when City Council voted to award contracts. “The fact that a company or individual contributed to anybody’s campaign had zero bearing on any decision we made and that’s how it should be,” Davis said. “Making a decision based on a campaign contribution to me doesn’t even enter my mind. It doesn’t even come up on my meter. It’s not how I operate. My word is the most important thing to me and my integrity.” Clockadale said he feels confident the mayor and council had a good foundation to work from when they took office. “The best thing (the Governor’s Commission) could have ever done, and I think we did it, was get good information in the hands of council so they could make decisions,” Clockadale said. He said remarkable progress has been made since officials took their first steps into City Hall on Dec. 15. “We were able to go from Dec. 15 to Jan. 18, when we were able to fill potholes and issue business licenses,” Clockadale said.

Read all of our editions online

Brookhaven adopts strip club law; Pink Pony not planning to file suit yet CONTiNUED fROM PAGE 1

county a $100,000 annual licensing fee to sell alcohol on site. Brookhaven City Council members took up the matter after attorneys advised them that DeKalb’s existing ordinance was poorly written and unconstitutional. “Our ordinance does the same thing DeKalb’s does, it’s just written in a more thoughtful way,” said Mayor J. Max Davis. “We’re not trying to run anybody out of business. We hope everybody stays in business, including those that may be affected by this ordinance.” Aubrey Villines, an attorney for the Pink Pony, has argued that the city is bound to honor the settlement agreement that allows the club to sell alcohol. Pink Pony stakeholders say if they can’t sell alcohol, they will not be able to compete with clubs and surrounding areas, and will be forced to close down. “We are convinced the ordinance is unconstitutional, unenforceable and indefensible in a court of law and public opinion,” Villines said. Though Pink Pony attorneys have threatened legal action, Villines said the club is not yet ready to file suit against the city. “We’re not going to file a lawsuit to-

“We’re not going to file a lawsuit tomorrow. We think City Council will continue to work with us and at some point do the right thing.” – auBrey VillineS pink pony attorney

morrow,” Villines said. “We think City Council will continue to work with us and at some point do the right thing.” Though at the council’s public hearing Jan. 14, attorneys made it clear they were prepared to take the city to court over the ordinance. Attorney Alan Begner said he had been retained by the Pink Pony should legal action become necessary. He told council he has successfully represented clubs in similar lawsuits against the attorney who drafted Brookhaven’s law, Scott Bergthold. “Scott Bergthold and I have had four litigations in Georgia. All of those cases, which happened in Floyd Coun-

ty, Coweta , Sandy Springs and Bartow County, my clients have all stayed open and remained open every day of the time. Three of those cases are over and we have all of the uses we wanted. The Sandy Springs case remained ongoing,” Begner said. Dennis Williams, the Chief Financial Officer for the Pink Pony, pleaded with council members to consider the many people who would suffer if the club were put out of business. He said there are many long-time employees who have been able to buy homes and raise their kids in the community because of the income they receive from the Pink Pony. “By taking away our non-conforming status and not keeping us in the format we’ve agreed to all these years with DeKalb County, … it’s going to take money out of their pockets. Their income is going to be dramatically affected,” Williams said. “You’ll probably put 280 to 300 people out of work. Competitively, with the city of Atlanta and surrounding clubs, the format that you’ve introduced is not competitive. It’s somewhat unfair to the people that have worked there all these years.”

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Jan. 25 – Feb. 7, 2013 | 29

puBliC SaFety

Police Blotter From police reports dated through Jan. 16. The following information was pulled from DeKalb County Police Department’s Crimetrac system (www.crimemapping. com/map/ga/dekalbcounty) for the zip code 30319 and the lower Buford Highway corridor. The information on the website is presumed accurate.

AS S A U LT  3000 block of Dickson Street – Simple battery was reported on Jan. 6.  1100 block of Standard Drive – simple assault/simple battery was reported on



 3600 block of Ashford Dunwoody Road – theft by deception was reported on Jan. 5.

 1500 block of Crossway Drive – Credit card fraud was reported on Jan. 4.

 3100 block of Mae Avenue – Theft by taking was reported on Jan. 8.

 500 block of Oglethorpe Drive – Credit card fraud was reported on Jan. 8.

 2100 block of Johnson Ferry Road – theft by deception was reported on Jan. 9.  3600 block of Ashford Creek Place – theft of lost or mislaid property was reported on Jan. 12. Jan. 10.  1400 block of Bates Court – battery was reported on Jan. 15.

A UTO TH EfT  3800 block of Peachtree Road – theft by receiving a stolen vehicle was reported on Jan. 4.

OTHER  1600 block of Danbury Parc Place – Criminal trespass resulting in damage to private property was reported on Jan. 9.

V EH i CLE BR EAK - i N / LAR CEN Y  4000 block of Peachtree Road – entering an auto was reported on Jan. 7.  4000 block of Peachtree Road –A larceny of articles from a vehicle was reported on Jan. 11.

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5,787 Reasons to be Thankful! Atlanta Perimeter

Thank you to our clients and customers who allowed us to make a difference in their lives by entrusting us with their Real Estate transaction in 2012. 5,787 Units Closed by Harry Norman, REALTORS in 2012. 5,787 reasons why choosing Harry Norman, REALTORS is “the best move you’ll ever make.” Harry Norman, Realtors Atlanta Perimeter • 4848 Ashford Dunwoody Road • Dunwoody, GA 30338 Office: 770-394-2131 • Toll Free: 800-314-8621 • Fax: 770-396-6695 www. •



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Dunwoody Ad - Thank you for 2012.indd 1


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