2-3-17 Sandy Springs Reporter

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FEBRUARY 3 - 16, 2017 • VOL. 11 — NO. 3


Sandy Springs Reporter



► Perimeter Center bus, shuttle lanes proposed PAGE 4 ► Atlanta sales tax incorrectly charged by some retailers PAGE 10


Condemned house remains after 4 years

Jailing resident, citing bank have yet to work BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net


This fire-damaged house at 337 Hilderbrand Drive lingers in disrepair nearly four years after it was condemned.

STANDOUT STUDENT Top cellist in Emory youth orchestra Page 20

“Find ways to talk to people in the community, outside of a policing activity’s context.” Residents share their ideas for improving local policing. See COMMUNITY SURVEY Page 8

COMMENTARY Trump order inspires first-time protestor Page 9

Nearly four years after it was condemned, a fire-damaged house at 337 Hilderbrand Drive still stands vacant. The house attracts homeless people, while large trees out front drop limbs, most recently onto a neighbor’s roof and truck. And no one officially involved has been able to do anything about it. See CONDEMNED on page 11

Traffic projects top city’s 2017 agenda BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

Traffic tops the 2017 to-do list for Sandy Springs, the city made clear at its Jan. 24 annual retreat, and it’s willing to consider solutions that are innovative, daring, even downright taboo. Big ideas the council is at least thinking about include: turning the Abernathy/Roswell roads intersection into an overpass; creating dedicated alternative transportation lanes on part of Mount Vernon Highway; and widening part of Riverside Drive along with a roundabout at Heards Ferry Road. See TRAFFIC on page 12

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The historic spring that gave Sandy Springs its name will be better showcased in a new facility whose design will be unveiled at a Feb. 8 public meeting. The meeting is scheduled to run from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Heritage Hall, 6110 Blue Stone Road. The spring site on Heritage Green off Blue Stone Road is overseen by the historic and cultural organization Heritage Sandy Springs. Carol Thompson, the organization’s executive director, declined to preview any details of the new spring design. The spring is where religious revival meetings of the 1840s led to the establishment of a community. Today, the spring is, as a Heritage presentation bluntly puts it, “a hole in the ground covered by a metal grate.”


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An Acworth man was acquitted Jan. 13 of attempted murder and other charges related to a 2015 shooting at a Roswell Road pool hall. Adam Pina had been charged by Sandy Springs police in relation to the Nov. 30, 2015 shooting of Nickolas McCoy at Morgan Falls Billiards. Pina was acquitted of all charges, according to a Fulton County Superior Court disposition document confirmed by his attorney, Brian Steel.



Work on a new city street between Roswell Road and Boylston Street will begin later this month, after the City Council approved a $878,000 construction bid Jan. 17. The street, which the city is considering calling Denmark Drive after a revered local doctor, will run through what is now an alley and the former site of the Sandy Springs post office. It will run between two large mixed-use projects: Mill Creek’s redevelopment of the former Hilderbrand Court shopping center, which is already underway; and Davis Development’s forthcoming project at 6075-6077 Roswell Road, where an office tower now stands. The developers are partnering with the city on the project, which will largely be paid for with state grant money, city officials say.




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Just weeks after hosting its annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration with music and speakers, the city is considering scaling the event down to a “day of service.” The MLK Day event requires a large amount of staff time and over six months of planning, city communications director Sharon Kraun said at the City Council’s Jan. 24 retreat, and getting speakers can be difficult in competition with intown Atlanta’s MLK Day events. The city would still issue its annual Humanitarian Award, which has been announced at the MLK Day event. The city is considering changes to several of its celebrations, including expanding two new events that successfully debuted last year: a Lantern Parade at Morgan Falls Overlook Park and the Spooky Springs event at Halloween.

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A roundabout is one option the city is considering for the intersection of Mt. Paran and Powers Ferry roads.


Mt. Paran/Powers Ferry intersection redesign proposed BY ERIKA ELAINE WELLS The intersection of Mount Paran and Powers Ferry roads could become a roundabout or get a traffic signal, according to options presented at a Jan. 26 public meeting. The intersection improvement, presented to more than 50 residents at Holy Spirit Preparatory School, is proposed to ease bottlenecking and reduce accidents. Thirty-three accidents have taken place there between 2011 and 2015, mostly likely due to motorists failing to yield at the existing four-way stop sign setup, according to city spokesperson Dan Coffer. “So far, we haven’t had any serious injuries, but we’re pushing our luck,” said Megan Wilson, the city’s senior traffic engineer. Attendees at the presentation were asked to place a sticker to show the alternative of their choice. The roundabout appeared to be slightly preferred. However, some residents said they didn’t want any change, and that’s a possibility, too. The roundabout option could keep traffic flowing and force motorists to slow down on the curves, according to city representatives. The smart-technology traffic signal option could reduce the duration of traffic and respond to speeds and volume. The signal would require road widening for turning lanes. Either option could allow traffic to move more easily through the area, which backs up with commuters during morning and evening rush hours. They also include some new sidewalks, and either option could involve widening the road. SS

The city is moving forward with the roughly $2 million project now because it can be funded through a recently approved transportation special-purpose local-option sales tax. Under the TSPLOST, projects must begin within

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the next five years. Residents who chose the roundabout say it will blend in with the look of the neighborhood and be more efficient once motorists understand how it works. Those in favor of the traffic signal,

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such as Londonberry Road resident Sid Thanawala, said it would be better for walkability purposes. “With the roundabout, the pedestrian crossing isn’t always going to be manned. Walkers will have to hope a car stops,” Thanawala said. “A traffic signal is straightforward.” Others weren’t sure either option would work, in particular regarding traffic from the new Atlanta Braves stadium, which opens in March in Cobb County. Other concerns included rightof-way procurement and potential use of eminent domain. “You cannot build your way out of traffic,” said Patty Berkovitz, who lives near Powers Ferry Road and Crest Valley Drive. “If you do nothing, people will avoid coming this way and take other residential routes.” The next step is for city staff and City Council to consider resident’s comments. For more information, visit sandyspringsga.gov. Comments are due by Feb. 10.



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Maggie Maddox of the planning firm VHB explains the concept of dedicated lanes for alternative transportation.


Perimeter Center bus, shuttle lanes proposed BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

A network of road lanes dedicated to buses and shuttles is a main new proposal in a “Last-Mile Connectivity” study for Perimeter Center, whose rough-draft ideas were presented at a Jan. 26 open house at the Northpark Town Center complex in Sandy Springs. The study by Gresham, Smith and Partners was jointly commissioned by the Perimeter Center Improvement Districts and the cities of Brookhaven, Dunwoody and Sandy Springs. It began last summer and the team aims to present a final report by March. Much of it is a housekeeping effort to create a plan of plans, consolidating dozens of previous planning documents, but the planners also are putting forth some new ideas, such as the dedicated, or “managed,” bus lanes. The idea, said planning team member Erin Thoresen, is figuring out “how to consolidate projects or kind of blend them together,” as well as kill old ones that “just don’t make sense anymore.” Dunwoody Mayor Denis Shortal was in the audience. In an interview, he said the “limited lanes” in Perimeter Center make him question the dedicated lanes idea, but he wants to hear more information and says the area needs more transportation options. “I believe that mass transit is going to have to be part of the answer,” Shortal said. The “last-mile connectivity” of the study title refers to getting commuters out of cars by making sure it’s easy to get from mass transit stops to local destinations across the gap of the “last

mile” or whatever the distance may be. That connection could take any number of forms: another type of transit, a sidewalk, a multi-use trail, a taxi. In addition, Thoresen said, the planners decided to broaden the study scope to include improving Perimeter Center’s regional transportation options to nearby neighborhood centers or “nodes.” Those areas include Sandy Springs’ City Springs, the Brookhaven/ Oglethorpe MARTA Station area, and Dunwoody’s Dunwoody Village and Georgetown. Thoresen said the team reviewed more than 60 existing city and PCIDs plans, then focused on more than 40 of them containing more than 600 individual transportation projects. Many overlap or compete; as one example, she said, they found “at least eight different projects planned for Hammond Drive.” The study’s main goals, she said, are creating a unified project list and a look at “opportunities to introduce transit into the area.” To help prioritize projects, it will update cost estimates for projects and suggest funding sources, which are likely to involve both public and private money. The list will include not only infrastructure projects, Thoresen said, but “also policy recommendations and strategies” for alternative transportation. And the study will include placing all of the projects into a single mapping system that all of the cities can use. Thoresen said the study will include proposing or reviewing corridor studies for several specific key streets, such as Hammond Drive and Glenridge Drive.

FEBRUARY 3 - 16, 2017

Community | 5


The big new piece is the dedicated “Last-Mile Connectivity” study has dislane system for private shuttles, MARcarded rail options as expensive and foTA and GRTA buses, and maybe even cused on buses, though the right of way cars hired via taxi services such as might remain. Uber and Lyft. Those lanes would act as Tochie Blad of the Sandy Springs a circulator system through a grid mostly in the business center along Peachtree-Dunwoody Road, but also venturing into such areas as Pill Hill and Brookhaven’s Perimeter Summit. The lanes might be limited You can’t say, ‘I’m Dunwoody’ to such vehicles only during peak hours and usable by regular vehior ‘I’m Brookhaven’ or ‘I’m cles the rest of the time. Sandy Springs and I’m in A similar idea was recently proposed in Sandy Springs’ “Next Ten” my own little world,’ because land-use planning, which has a subwe’re all in this together. plan for that city’s piece of Perimeter Center. It included dedicatDENIS SHORTAL ed transit space that could be used DUNWOODY MAYOR for buses, but also allowed the possibility of a streetcar or more exotic options, such as a monorail. The

Council of Neighborhoods asked how the planners would handle the differences in the cities’ policies and guidelines on border-crossing projects. Thoresen acknowledged that’s a “fundamental challenge of the project. ... One jurisdiction’s priority is not [necessarily] going to be another jurisdiction’s priority.” Joe Seconder of the advocacy group Bike Walk Dunwoody said in an interview that recommendations should start with “carrots and sticks” to encourage people to not use cars. “Until you change the policies and/ or laws, I wouldn’t spend a dime on infrastructure. Otherwise, you end up with the Atlanta Streetcar,” he said, referring to the downtown Atlanta streetcar that has had low ridership since opening in 2014. Shortal said that traffic tie-ups related to the upcoming I-285/Ga. 400 in-

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terchange reconstruction project could be an opportunity to encourage mass transit use. “Maybe the inconvenience of riding in your car will get to a point where enough people will say, ‘This is a pain. I’m going to ride the bus,’” the mayor said. Whatever the final recommendations are, Shortal said, the cross-border collaboration is important. He pointed to another such effort, the Peachtree Gateway Partnership, where Dunwoody, Brookhaven, Chamblee and Doraville are jointly planning a multiuse trail network. One new concept recently floated in that group, Shortal said, is trail on North Shallowford Road under I-285. “You can’t say, ‘I’m Dunwoody’ or ‘I’m Brookhaven’ or ‘I’m Sandy Springs and I’m in my own little world,’ because we’re all in this together,” Shortal said.

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A BY MEGAN VOLPERT Maybe it’s because everybody who lives there is getting up early to go hiking and biking, but Asheville, N.C. has an incredible breakfast game. At the undisputed top of the heap is Tupelo Honey Cafe, where lines at the no-reservations downtown location usually stretch on to a two-hour wait on Saturdays, whether you like pancakes at 8 a.m. or 10 a.m. or noon. As a result, I have never eaten at THC because I’m

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B impatient. At long last, my wait is over, for Tupelo Honey Cafe has come to Sandy Springs. THC has been spreading slowly across many metro areas in the Southeast, with a total of 13 locations running from Arlington to Charlotte to Myrtle Beach to Knoxville. Here, you’ll find THC in the multi-use Gateway complex behind Chastain Park. If you like Flying Biscuit or OK Café, THC was made for you. Order up the fried green toma-

toes and you’ll immediately see why. Above all else, an establishment wishing to garner respect for its Southern cuisine must possess the ability to do a good fry, on the level of OK Cafe. Doesn’t matter whether it’s fried chicken or fried potatoes, fried avocados or fried green tomatoes – there’s got to be a golden brown color on a crispy outer shell that doesn’t break apart just trying to get the food onto the fork. I sampled all four of these menu items at THC, and dang, they’re nailing it. The chicken was plenty tender inside but firmly crispy outside; what they call potato cracklins are a crunchy, chunky delight way beyond regular french fries; if you have never eaten a fried avocado, you simply haven’t lived. The fried green tomatoes showcase the fryer skills of this place, but moreover, the goat cheese grits underneath got my attention. I think they can give those “creamy dreamy” white cheddar grits at Flying Biscuit a real run for their money, and as those are the hometown favorite for most of us, it’s not a point of comparison that I make lightly. You can find goat cheese all over the menu, most obviously in the pecan-crusted goat cheese – a spread for people who normally won’t touch the cheese plate. Here it’s so sweet and so soft, thanks to finely chopped pecans and a pearonion marmalade, there’s no problem piling it high on expertly thin and super salty crostini for a perfect balance of flavors and textures. They do a pretty good pulled pork, too, which you can get on top of the johnny


FEBRUARY 3 - 16, 2017

Community | 7



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D cake appetizer or as a meat-and-two entree plate. They slow roast it for 14 hours for a protein that melts in your mouth but falls short on smoke. Though the pork doesn’t pick up any wood flavor, THC is banking on two solid BBQ sauce options, a Western North Caroline smoked jalapeño and a South Carolina tangy mustard. Both sauces bring the heat and the flavor. If you’ve got kids in tow, note that Thursdays after 7 p.m. you can get four kinds of bottomless mac ’n’ cheese for 10 bucks. If you walk in a little early, enjoy $3 craft brews and $5 cocktails. Know why Tupelo Honey Cafe is truly great? Whiskey, y’all. Can’t get whiskey at Flying Biscuit or OK Cafe, plain and simple. THC has just as much ability to fry up all your Southern favorites and is equally full of all-day breakfast options even though they’re going by other names after sunset. But a proper bar sets it a cut above the rest. Have you ever tried that sake bloody mary at Flying Biscuit? It’s an abomination. THC doesn’t just have a decent bloody mary made with pepper vodka and a house mix, it’s even got a couple cocktails on A. Biscuits and blueberry jam B. Fried green tomatoes on a bed of goat cheese grits C. Johnny cake with pulled pork D. Coffee and dessert E. House bloody mary F. Fried chicken, mac n cheese, brussels sprouts

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E tap, including a Kentucky Mule, an Aviation and a moonshine daiquiri. If the liquor license doesn’t make you leap with joy, the coffee will – it’s Counter Culture. Based out of Durham, they get that smooth, chocolately mountain flavor that’s the only thing you want to wash down your buttermilk cheesecake or banana pudding. Welcome to town, THC! Tupelo Honey Café is located at 4600 Roswell Road, #110. For more information, visit tupelohoneycafe.com.

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8 | Commentary

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Community Survey/ Local police Question: Do you think local police and local governments are doing enough to protect you and your neighbors from crime? While crime is often in the local news, Here’s what some of those who responded to we seem to like our local police protection. the survey had to say: More than 60 percent of the respondents to our most recent 1Q survey said they thought “Find ways to talk to people in the police and local governments were doing community, outside of a policing activienough to protect them from crime. But they ty’s context.” also had plenty of ideas for improving the — 32-year-old Brookhaven man ways officers do their jobs. “My neighborhood is pretty safe in my “We need more cops, better trained, view, with a large amount of security and po[and] more community policing.” lice patrols around the nearby shops,” said a — 43-year-old Atlanta woman 26-year-old Buckhead man who was among 200 adults who responded to the cellphone“More surveillance, more cameras.” based survey. “I personally think that police — 36-year-old Atlanta woman presence does a great deal to combat crime.” Yes 122 (61%) A 45-year-old Brookhaven woman ex“Police are PLENTY present in our inpressed similar sentiments. “I think ner-city neighborhoods.” No 78 (39%) Brookhaven police do a great job,” she com— 26-year-old Atlanta woman mented in the survey of adults in communities served by Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta INtown. “They need to engage with the citizens But other respondents felt police themselves may create problems. “I think that police in the community they serve as citizens forces could do a better job distributing their patrols across the city, as well as reduce inand not criminals first. Build relationstances of racial profiling,” a 20-year-old Sandy Springs man wrote. “In addition, I think the ships to establish trust.” rate of fatalities involved with police encounters is grossly out of control, and steps should — 24- year-old Brookhaven woman be taken to address that issue by reducing the amount of deaths and shootings committed by officers.” “More late-night neighborhood paAsked what strategies or technologies police should use to better combat crime, respontrols.” dents offered plenty of suggestions. — 33-year-old Brookhaven woman Some proposed more community engagement with police. “I think there should be more proactive community outreach,” a 27-year-old Brookhaven woman said. “Build trust “In my neighborhood, there is a signifto build safety.” icant police presence and they are very “There should be more involvement between government, police and citizens [through] responsive. However, I am in Buckhead, events where all can interact and build trust,” a 41-year-old Sandy Springs man wrote. and it may get better service than some And a 26-year-old Buckhead man called for foot patrols and community engagement. other areas.” “Be a presence that isn’t in a car,” he said. — 68-year-old woman Others looked for high-tech solutions and suggested everything from increasing surveillance cameras in public places, to adding more car-tag readers to putting more eyes in the sky. “Autonomous drones for chasing might 1Q is an Atlanta-based startup that has developed a technology which sends quesbe good,” a 32-year-old Atlanta man noted. tions and surveys to a cellphone via app or text message from businesses and organizaNot everyone agreed, of course. tions across the country. Respondents are paid 50 cents per answer, through PayPal, for “Please don’t spy on me,” a 26-year-old sharing their opinions. Payments may also be donated directly to charity. Sign up to be inman said. cluded in our local community polls at 1Q.com/reporter or by texting REPORTER to 86312.

Voices from the community I think if offenders have more than one or two offenses, they should have a harsher punishment. I know there is a lot of overcrowding in jails, but they shouldn’t be allowed back on the street. You also find a lot of juveniles doing the crime, so more serious consequences for them, too.

I haven’t heard of any crime or know of anyone affected by it. Bryan Hieser

I think [the police] are awesome. I’ve always had quick responses. They are always levelheaded and not reactionary. I have had to call them myself and I feel that if I do need to call the police, they will be here in very little time. Naponisha Sivad

Kim Mitchell SS

FEBRUARY 3 - 16, 2017

Commentary | 9


Why Trump order inspired my first political protest es, ethnicities and sire to move to the United religions, and placStates and our attitudes toes that attract peowards outsiders that I now ple of all races, ethhave a paycheck. Last week, nicities and religions the Brookhaven City Counbecome more attraccil appointed Michael Diaz, tive. It’s a virtuous a native of Colombia who cycle. Whether it’s is a Brookhaven resident German-owned Merand involved community cedes Benz moving member, to the Brookhavits North American en Planning Commission. headquarters to SanWhile my family has been dy Springs, or a new in the United States for genrestaurant concept erations, we can trace our like the Halal Guys heritage to both Ireland and opening its doors China, a combination that’s on Buford Highway possible here in the United in Chamblee, you never know States in a way it isn’t in most countries. where the next great business Diversity, openness and inclusiveopportunity will come from, but ness is our strength, both economicalthere’s a good chance it’ll come ly and culturally. We can either accept from abroad. that, and all of the opportunities and While I earn my living as an challenges that go along with it, or we SPECIAL investment manager and busican reject it and accept the certain stagThe Jan. 29 protest at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport as seen by Conor Sen. ness writer, this isn’t just a busination that accompanies it. ness view for me; it’s also personal. My BY CONOR SEN in a way that other communities in business partner happens to be an imConor Sen is a portfolio manager for the state and South do not. We’ve creOn Jan. 29, I did something for the migrant. His father was a technology New River Investments, a columnist for ated an open, inclusive environment first time in my life — I attended a poexecutive in Mexico, and business took Bloomberg View and a member of the that people want to move to where othlitical protest. their family to Florida. They lived here Brookhaven Planning Commission. He ers have not. In the 21st century, attracAlong with thousands of other metfor years on a green card before becomresides in Brookhaven with his wife and tive places will attract people of all racro Atlantans, I stood outside of Hartsing citizens, and it’s thanks to their dedaughter. field-Jackson International Airport to protest the Trump administration’s executive order impacting refugees and immigrants from seven countries in the Middle East and Africa. I attended the event both to register my opposition to the executive order and to affirm my support for the values that have defined the growth and progress of metro Atlanta over the past century. Atlanta owes its blessed position as the capital of the New South to two factors: having the greatest airport in the world and a reputation for being a beacon of civil rights and inclusiveness. Both were threatened by the Trump administration’s executive order. A successful airport is both a function of infrastructure and civic planning, something within Atlanta’s control that we’ve done well, and market forces — is a city a place people want to Visit us today to learn how fly in and out of, or not? you may qualify for a Airports in northern Kentucky and Memphis once were thriving hubs, yet due to changes in demand and market forces no longer are. A thriving airport, and the economic activity it generates, is a privilege, not a right. By increasing restrictions and increasing uncertainty on who’s allowed to come to the United States, and hence fly into the Atlanta airport, you’re negatively impacting the economy and business environment here. 7455 Trowbridge Rd, NE | Sandy Springs, GA 30328 As for civil rights, there’s a rea404-255-0640 | www.sewellappliance.com son why metro Atlanta, and particularly our part of the region, has thriving businesses and high home values

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10 | Community

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PUBLIC MEETING NOTICE Heritage Sandy Springs shares Upcoming Changes to the Heritage Green Parksite Wednesday, February 8, 2017 6:30 pm Heritage Hall 6110 Bluestone Road, Sandy Springs

Find senior living today! FREE service for seniors and families

770-891-5024 http://Roswell.OasisSeniorAdvisors.com CITY OF SANDY SPRINGS PUBLIC NOTICE QUALIFYING FEE NOTICE FOR GENERAL ELECTION A municipal General Election for the City of Sandy Springs will be held on November 7, 2017 to fill the offices of Mayor and the six (6) City Council Districts. Candidates shall qualify to fill the aforementioned offices in the office of the City Clerk at Sandy Springs City Hall, 7840 Roswell Road, Building 500, Sandy Springs, Georgia 30350; between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, on Monday, August 21, 2017, through Thursday, August 24, 2017; and between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. on Friday, August 25, 2017. Pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 21-2-131(a)(1), the following qualifying fees were set by the Sandy Springs City Council at the January 17, 2017 City Council meeting in Resolution No. 2017-01-06: Mayor ........................................$1,200.00 City Council Member ..................$540.00

Candidates may qualify by one of the following methods: a) Filing a Notice of Candidacy and paying a set qualifying fee to the Municipal Clerk/ Election Superintendent or designated agent for the desired office. b) Filing a Notice of Candidacy, a Qualifying Petition and a Pauper’s Affidavit affirming under oath the candidate’s poverty or inability to pay the qualifying fee as required by O.C.G.A. Sections 21-2-132(g) and 21-2132(h) with the Municipal Clerk/Election Superintendent or designated agent. Each candidate must meet the qualifications of the Charter and code of the City of Sandy Springs as well as applicable state laws.

Michael Casey City Clerk/Election Superintendent City of Sandy Springs

Starbucks, bookseller charge incorrect sales tax BY JOHN RUCH

to check tax collections against city-provided business registration lists, a spokesperson previously said. City leaders’ fears that an incorrect But now the city has at least two solAtlanta sales tax is added to some local id examples to investigate. The Starbucks purchases recently came true at a local on Peachtree-Dunwoody near Hammond Starbucks coffee shop and the online bookDrive, about 2.5 miles outside the Atlanseller Bas Bleu. ta border, was charging the 8 percent tax, In recent months, both businesses apReporter Newspapers confirmed with a plied the city of Atlanta’s 8 percent sales tax receipt for a coffee purchase there. The to local purchases, rather than the 7 pershop’s address on the receipt lists its city as cent tax charged in Sandy Springs. Besides “Atlanta.” overcharging customers, that could mean Sterling said he notified staff members the local share of the revenue is going to at the Starbucks, which opened last sumthe wrong city, though it’s hard to tell. mer, about the incorrect tax. “They said, “Right now, it’s not transparent or clear ‘It’s the software we got,’” he recalled. to me how the system works,” said City “You were correct. There was a miscalCouncilmember Gabriel Sterling, who culation,” Starbucks said he noticed the incorcorporate spokesperrect sales tax on his reson Reggie Borges said ceipt from the Starbucks on Feb. 1. at 6001 Peachtree-DunStarbucks fixed its woody Road in Sandy system on Jan. 31 to Springs. “The [state] Decharge the correct tax, partment of Revenue may Borges said. But he have all this figured out, could not immediately may be doing it right … I explain what the probjust don’t know.” lem was, including Starbucks acknowlwhether it was Staredged and fixed its inbucks’ own system or a correct tax in response third-party software isto Reporter Newspapers sue, though he said he questions. Bas Bleu did will look into it. Meannot respond to questions while, Borges said, cussent via its website. tomers overcharged Sandy Springs’ conthe 8 percent tax at the A receipt from Starbucks cerns date back to the shows the 8 percent tax. Sandy Springs store city’s 2005 incorporation can contact the state in ZIP codes that once were just called “Atfor a tax refund, or bring their receipt to lanta” or by other city names. While they the store for compensation --”likely a cup often carry a city name, ZIP codes are simof brewed coffee.” ply mail delivery route areas created by the Nancy Lesser, a resident of Spalding U.S. Postal Service for its planning conveHills Drive in the Sandy Springs panhannience. They rarely match actual city bordle, said she’s noticed the Atlanta tax rate ders, and Sandy Springs has several that applied to her purchases on Bas Bleu, an overlap Atlanta and other cities. online bookseller. “I’ve placed at least two City officials fear confusion about orders with 8 percent sales tax and sent which city a business is in — especially them a question both times asking them to when businesses use software that autocorrect it,” Lesser said in an email. “I have matically calculates sales tax rates based never gotten a response.” on ZIP codes, rather than a city map. A Bas Bleu order set up by Reporter Early on, Sterling said, the city had Newspapers to Lesser’s address — which is problems with license plate fees and propabout 7 miles outside Atlanta — confirmed erty tax bills. “That got fixed, but it took two the calculation of what the website calls years,” he said. “8.00% sales tax for Georgia zip [sic].” City officials recently have voiced reAccording to its website, Bas Bleu startnewed concerns because both the Fuled in Atlanta in 1994 and, according to state ton County and Atlanta sales taxes will inrecords, is still registered in that city. crease in April — to 7.75 and 8.9 percent, The Department of Revenue did not rerespectively — to pay for voter-approved spond to questions about how the Starprograms of local transportation and tranbucks slipped through the system and sit projects. where exactly revenues are going. Sterling The sales tax question has remained said the city has never gotten good explamore of a fear supported by anecdotes rathnations about the process, either, so “I don’t er than audits. After a recent City Counfully know, trust [or] understand that [propcil discussion about the issue, city officials er revenue distribution] is happening.” were unable to provide an example of a “Nobody’s being evil,” Sterling said, but business calculating the wrong sales tax. state officials have never explained how The Department of Revenue has a system the revenue goes from “Step A to Step F.” johnruch@reporternewspapers.net


FEBRUARY 3 - 16, 2017

Community | 11


Condemned house lingers in disrepair after 4 years Continued from page 1 Not its former occupant, Charles Farlow, who says legal tangles prevent him from selling. Not one of the world’s biggest banks, JPMorgan Chase, which may or may not hold the deed, but definitely won’t fix the property. Not city inspectors, who at one point were reduced to issuing a blanket citation to “whichever entity is responsible.” Neighbors circulated a petition last fall that pushed the city to take more legal action, which still is pending, and they say they’ll believe in results when they see them. “No one will stand up and say, ‘That’s my property. I’m sorry it happened and I’ll make it right,’” said the neighbor whose truck was smashed by the fallen limb, and who asked not to be named. The Hilderbrand house is among thousands nationwide left in disrepair amid legal confusion and finger-pointing in the wake of the 2007-2008 mortgage crisis. Some major cities, such as Los Angeles, have sued or prosecuted big banks over vacant homes. Sandy Springs has taken Farlow, Chase or both to court several times — even jailing Farlow at one point — with little result. City Code Enforcement Manager Yvonne Smith said she wishes state or federal laws would offer “more clarity … and more responsibility placed on the lien-holder” in such cases. At a Jan. 6 court hearing, the city won the ability to demolish the house if it’s deemed a safety hazard, according to City Attorney Wendell Willard, but an official decision was not expected until another court hearing on Feb. 3. If the city does tear down the house, it will seek reimbursement, Willard said-but it remains unclear who, if anyone, would foot that bill. Farlow, who runs Authentic Beauty Salon on Roswell Road, said he understands the neighbors’ frustrations. “It’s been in some crazy — I don’t know what the word is — Catch-22, some kind of limbo,” Farlow said. “I’ve been stuck between a rock and a hard place.” Farlow said the 2007 mortgage crisis caused him to lose several rental properties in Florida and elsewhere in Georgia, and put him in danger of foreclosure on 337 Hilderbrand, where he was living. He said he stopped making mortgage payment to the lender, Chase, and put the house’s ownership in the name of his mother, Myrleen. Then came the house fire on Feb. 16, 2013. City inspectors condemned the house six days later after finding “ceiling and walls are missing in certain areas,” among other damage, according to city Code Enforcement records. Farlow said he couldn’t afford to repair or demolish the house. So he continued what he called a financial SS

“game” with Chase, who he said previously refused to refinance his loan. He said he filed bankruptcies, sued the bank and tried various loan modification schemes, including a $1,000 “scam” deal with a Las Vegas man. “I guess I’m a little vindictive,” Farlow said. “The government bailed banks out, but didn’t do anything to bail us out. … I thought, ‘If you’re going to play this game, I’m going to play this game, too, but I’ll play it even better than you.’” In May 2014, the city arrested Farlow for continuing code violations, according to city records, and he said they jailed him for nearly 10 days. At the time, the city contracted jail services in the south Georgia city of Pelham, more than 230 miles away. Farlow said the jailing hurt his business and did nothing to solve his financial troubles, and he still is considering bringing a lawsuit. “I run a business in Sandy Springs,” Farlow said. “I disappeared off the face of the Earth for nine-and-a-half days.” The jailing did not fix the property’s condition. Farlow, who said he still sometimes picks up mail at the property, confirmed neighborhood reports of homeless people recently breaking in. “They left me a note asking if they could stay the winter,” he said. Around the time of his jailing, and in the years since, Farlow attempted to give Chase the deed or arrange a sale, he said. He said he currently has a potential buyer, but that Chase has not agreed and wants a higher price. But Chase’s exact role with the property remains unclear and in dispute. While Fulton County property records and City Attorney Willard say Chase current holds the deed, Chase spokesperson Elizabeth Seymour said that’s not true. “We will work with the city toward a meaningful resolution for this property,” she said in an email. “Currently, we do not own the property and, as such, have no legal right to perform work on the property.” In an interview, Seymour could not explain why county records say otherwise. She said Chase considers the property to be in “pre-sale,” meaning a foreclosure could be pending, but that Farlow’s complex legal situation might be delaying that. “We would have been

more proactive if we had foreclosed on it,” she said. Code Enforcement officials began focusing on Chase in January 2015, city records show, and over the next six months got contradictory answers and actions from the bank. At first, Chase said it didn’t even hold the loan. After inspectors found Chase’s name on the deed, the records say, the bank said “service” for the property was done by a Texas company that never answered inspectors’ phone calls. In May 2015, Chase agreed to do such maintenance as lawn-mowing, but reversed that decision a month later. City Councilmember Chris Burnett, who heads the local Bank of Sandy Springs, said he recently called Chase officials about 337 Hilderbrand and reminded them of the industry’s recent bad reputation for various big-bank scandals. “I said, ‘This would be a great opportunity for your bank to avoid a negative public relations issue’ … and most


Top: A tree limb fell in a recent storm from 337 Hilderbrand Drive onto a neighbor’s truck. (Special)

Above: A city condemnation notice on the front door of 337 Hilderbrand Drive.

importantly, they solve an issue that should have been solved years ago,” Burnett said. Burnett said he also brought up a recent program where Chase gave $4 million in grants for housing and other revitalization in Atlanta and Gwinnett County. “I pointed that out and said, ‘How about pulling out a little of the 4 million [dollars] and get this one house resolved?’” he said, adding there has been no solid answer from Chase. The house’s unnamed neighbor says the city should treat a “deep-pocketed corporation” as strictly as it did Farlow, “even if it’s a bank and it’s hard. You need to step up and do the right thing and make the right decisions.” “The property is an embarrassment to the city,” the neighbor said.

12 | Community

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Traffic projects top city’s 2017 agenda Continued from page 1 Mayor Rusty Paul noted that he and the City Council had requested outsidethe-box solutions to traffic congestion. “You did what I asked,” he said, even if he and the councilmembers were balking at some of the ideas. The retreat is the annual gathering of the city’s leadership to sketch out the upcoming year’s policy agenda. This year’s edition, held at the city’s Lost Corner Preserve park, ran for more than nine hours, with at least half the time devoted to transportation talk. This is the year the city will begin collecting revenue from a transportation-focused special local option sales tax approved by voters in November. City officials got updates on some of its local TSPLOST projects as well as fielding some of those new, bold proposals. They also heard some statistics about why traffic is such a problem. Patrick Bradshaw, a planner at the Atlanta Regional Commission, gave some demographic information about area commuting. Data from 2014 showed that, over the previous decade, the amount of people both living and working in Perimeter Center increased 119 percent — which is good for reducing commuter traffic. But in the same period, the number of people living in Perimeter Center and working elsewhere increased even more, by 153 percent. With metro Atlanta’s population expected to grow by more than 2 million by 2040, that’s a lot of traffic. Even with major roadway projects like the I-285/Ga. 400 interchange reconstruction, ARC’s projections are that overall travel times by vehicle will get worse, making the area less desirable to people, unless alternative and mass transit options are created. Assistant City Manager Bryant Poole reviewed some alternative transportation technologies that may solve problems and maybe create new ones, such as autonomous (or “self-driving”) cars, electric vehicles and shared vehicles. City planning should take them into account proactively, he said. The following are some of the big projects and updates that got the mayor and council’s attention: ABERNATHY/ROSWELL BRIDGE The Abernathy/Roswell intersection is one of the city’s biggest commuter-traffic crossings and, according to city staff, among its most congested, with significant rush-hour delays. Its various lanes currently handle around 600 to 1,600 cars per hour at peak times and that volume is projected to increase. The best solution, according to a cityhired consultant: putting Abernathy onto a four-lane overpass above Roswell Road there. The estimated cost, including significant right of way takings on nearby properties: $49.5 million.

A traffic software simulation of what Abernathy Road would look like turned into an overpass over Roswell Road.

“I’ll tell you exactly what people in Sandy Springs are going to say … ‘This is insane!’” responded Councilmember Tibby DeJulio, noting that is a lot to spend to “help Cobb County commuters.” A smaller Abernathy overpass and a vice-versa version with a Roswell Road overpass were rejected as ineffective, and a tunnel rather than an overpass was deemed too expensive. Other rejected alternatives included a roundabout and a giant cloverleaf-style intersection.


MOUNT VERNON ROUNDABOUTS CHANGES Another TSPLOST project will turn the Mount Vernon/Johnson Ferry Road intersection into dual roundabouts. But exactly how and where has been a headache for the city and some neighboring property owners. Under previous federal funding, the project bogged down in historic preservation requirements triggered by properties

At the retreat, officials presented three options for shifting the eastern roundabout to take less Mount Vernon Towers property, as well as an option for building a grid-like intersection instead of roundabouts. The mayor and council preferred two options that would move the roundabout to the southeast, one about 50 feet and the other about 190 feet. Both options mean taking varying amounts of property from the Sandy Springs Branch Library to the east and MOUNT VERNON a bank and houses to MULTI-MODAL LANES the south. One option The city is already comwould take part of the mitted, on its TSPLOST projlibrary’s parking lot. ect list, to building a multi-use “This is almost a path on Mount Vernon Highzero sum. … Someone’s way between Roswell Road going to be impactand the Sandy Springs MARed one way or anothTA Station. Now, in addition er,” said City Manager to the path, city staff proposed John McDonough. adding “multi-modal lanes” Paul suggested a for bikes, shuttles and alternapossible major trade tive transit. with the Atlanta-FulThe lanes would be dedton Public Library icated to those non-car opSystem. “I’d be willtions, but are flexible in their ing to talk to them use. They could be restricted about a new library only during certain hours, or … an opportunity to be made reversible to match have a better-quality rush hour demands, Poole library in a different said. location,” he said. In one option, the multiCouncilmemuse path would run on the ber John Paulson SPECIAL south side of the roadway, suggested making One of the city’s conceptual designs for Mount Vernon Highway while the street features a the roundabouts at has two “multi-modal lanes,” marked with diamonds, flanked multi-modal lane in each least slightly smaller. by a sidewalk to the left and a multi-use path to the right. direction alongside normal City staff will refine travel lanes. within the project area. And residents and the two options for later council review. The proposal has no cost estimate, exmanagement at the Mount Vernon Towcept it would be more than the $11 milers senior home objected to losing much of RIVERSIDE/HEARDS FERRY lion TSPLOST budget, and would require its front lawn and driveway in early drafts. WIDENING, ROUNDABOUT significant right of way acquisition from Now the city is funding the project itself Riverside at Heards Ferry, just north of houses and institutions, possibly includand can ignore the historic issues, but it the I-285 interchange, is another big coning a cemetery. The mayor and council still faces alternatives that all involve takgestion point. Even the consulting firm called for further study. ing someone’s right of way. A&R Engineering was surprised when


FEBRUARY 3 - 16, 2017

two standard solutions — better turn lanes or conversion to a roundabout — wouldn’t help. Another surprise: a claim that a significant amount of the traffic there is local, not cut-through commuters. City staff floated a new possible solution: create the roundabout, but also add capacity by widening Riverside to two lanes between 285 and River Valley Road. While staff presented a drawing of the idea, it is a preliminary concept, not a formal design or plan. Paul and Councilmember Chris Burnett, who lives in the area, balked at the idea. “We had a longtime commitment not to widen Riverside Drive and this would be perceived as the nose of the camel under the tent,” the mayor said. Burnett called a roundabout “extremely problematic” as possibly worsening back-ups and also cited the no-widening pledge. “If we back off from that, our credibility is shot,” he said. However, the promise was based on dislike of cut-through traffic. Paul and Councilmember Gabriel Sterling said that if a large portion of the traffic is indeed local, that could change minds. McDonough said he knows the topic is extremely sensitive, but he also noted that city staff have to focus on data. The original intent was to present design alternatives at a council “work session,” but that was never formally scheduled and became moot when none of the alternatives were viable. The current roundabout and widening idea is very preliminary and McDonough said that “small group” discussions are his preference over more work sessions for now. City spokesperson Sharon Kraun explained that means answering councilmembers’ questions about the limited existing data and ideas, while further engineering is done to create an actual new proposal that would go to public meetings and council hearings. “This is one of the hottest spots in the community, Mayor. … This is the reality of what the results are,” McDonough said, adding that the question is: “Is it worth studying [the proposal] with the involvement of neighborhoods or not?” The mayor and council called for solid stats on where traffic there is going. City staff said viewing traffic flow from the air was one method used to determine the significant local component, but they could not provide solid numbers. “We can put the helicopter back up and get the count,” McDonough said. Kraun later said the city is now planning how to do that data-gathering and it will be some time before any new alternative plan is ready for public meetings– if the idea even proves viable. “We’re a long way out from that,” Kraun said. “It may turn out to be a nonstarter.”


Community | 13


POWERS FERRY/285 INTERCHANGE The new Atlanta Braves stadium opening in nearby Cobb County this spring is a

major traffic concern for Sandy Springs. But one of the city’s most desired traffic mitigation measures is now “on indefinite hold,” Poole said: a rebuilt I-285/Powers Ferry Road interchange on the Cobb side of the Chattachoochee River. A long-awaited feasibility study was reviewed by the state, Poole said, “but, unfortunately, it didn’t pass the smell test with GDOT.” The state determined the project would help traffic locally, but not regionally, so it won’t move forward, he said.

lic input meetings could come late this year, Goldberg said. Paulson pushed GDOT to consider building the lanes on elevated doubledecker ramps instead of widening the road, especially on 400. “You’re going to take a lot of back yards along that whole strip,” he said. Mayor Paul emphasized ensuring there is still room to add mass transit lines on both corridors, which GDOT said will remain possible.

285/400 MANAGED LANES The state’s reconstruction of the I-285/Ga. 400 interchange will begin in earnest over the next couple of months and is so massive it won’t open until mid-2020. But it’s also only the beginning of more than a decade more road work. After it’s done, the state plans to add “managed lanes” — toll lanes — to both highways. Georgia Department of Transportation officials gave the city an updated on the managed lanes idea, including a new rough timeline. The lanes on 400 would run along the median from Perimeter Center to Alpharetta’s McFarland Parkway, but still require overall road-widening, and could open in 2026, said GDOT communications manager Jill Goldberg. The 285 managed lanes are still in a rough design phase and the first pub-

ASHTON WOODS MARTA CONNECTOR BRIDGE A roadway connecting the Glenlake Parkway area to the North Springs MARTA Station via a new bridge over Ga. 400 is climbing up the city’s agenda. Glenlake is home to such major businesses as UPS’s world headquarters and is just across the street from the forthcoming new Mercedes-Benz USA headquarters. It’s also the rear entryway for the new Ashton Woods housing development going up on the former Glenridge Hall estate. As part of the rezoning, Ashton Woods agreed to leave driveway connections for the future MARTA connection. The concept is a roadway that could handle bikes, pedestrians and possible shuttles. Officials said it remains a preliminary concept with no cost estimate, but talks are underway with UPS and other local interests.

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14 | Out & About

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Join Oglethorpe University women’s sports teams for a clinic to celebrate the 31st annual National Girls and Women in Sports Day. Lacrosse, golf, soccer, tennis, volleyball, track & field and cross-country will be represented. Oglethorpe Track & Field Complex (inclement weather - Schmidt Recreation Center). Following the clinic, cheer on the OU women’s basketball team, the Stormy Petrels, as they take on conference rival Millsaps College at 1 p.m. in the Dorough Field House. Meet the team after the game. Admission free to all participants and teams who RSVP. 4484 Peachtree Road N.E., Brookhaven. Info: calendar.oglethorpe.edu or 404261–1441.


Sunday, Feb. 12, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

The Spruill Center for the Arts’ Ninth Annual Student & Instructor Jewelry Market features handcrafted jewelry in precious metals, glass, beads, gemstones and more at prices for every budget. Glassblowing demonstrations and workshops for all ages are included in this fundraising event for the Spruill Center and the Spruill Metals Jewelry Program. Free. 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Info: spruillarts. org or 770-394-3447.


Wednesday, Feb. 15, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

The Friends of the Brookhaven Library hold a “Mini Book Sale.” Park behind the library and enter at the lower level. 1242 N. Druid Hills Road N.E., Brookhaven. Info: 404-848-7140.


Wednesday, Feb. 15, 7-8 p..m.

Philip and Matt Moulthrop discuss the art of wood turning using native Southeastern woods, a craft practiced in their family for three generations. An exhibit of their work, “Moulthrop Vessels: A Selection from the Firestone Collection,” is on view through June 11 at Oglethorpe University Museum of Art. Adults $5; free for children under 12 and OUMA members, students with Petrel Pass and members of military and their families. Info: museum.oglethorpe.edu or 404-364-8555.


Saturday, Feb. 11, 6:30-11 p.m.

The Stage Door Players theater company presents its largest fundraiser of the year with food, entertainment, casino gaming and a silent auction. Tickets $125. Dunwoody Country Club, 1600 Dunwoody Club Drive, Sandy Springs. Info: stagedoorplayers. net or 770-396-1726.


Saturday, Feb. 11. 6:30-8:30 p.m.

This third annual Valentine’s Day event hosted by Brookhaven Parks and Recreation includes music and dancing with a live DJ, SS

FEBRUARY 3 - 16, 2017

keepsake photos and light snacks. $25 per family. Walk-up registration is permitted. Lynwood Community Center, 3360 Osborne Road N.E., Brookhaven. Info: 404637-0512.


Wednesday, Feb. 8, 11:15 a.m.

Cindy Cepko, outgoing chair of the NAHB Professional Women in Building Council and founder and co-owner of Pennsylvania-based Granite Homes, is keynote speaker for the quarterly luncheon of the Atlanta Chapter of Professional Women in Building, a council of the Greater Atlanta Homebuilders Association. Hyatt Regency Atlanta Perimeter at Villa Christina, 4000 Summit Blvd., Brookhaven. PWB members $35; non-PWB members $45; non-HBA members $55. Register: atlantahomebuilders.com or 770-938-9900.

Thursday, Feb. 9, 6:30 p.m.


Tuesday, Feb. 7, 6:30-7:30 p.m.

Heritage Sandy Springs continues its educational programs for adults, promoting local stories of the South on the first Tuesday of each month. This month’s program is “A President in our Midst: Franklin Delano Roosevelt in Georgia,” presented by archival consultant Kaye Minchew. Free. Garden Room at the Williams-Payne House, 6075 Sandy Springs Circle, Sandy Springs. Info: mswindell@heritagesandysprings.org or 404-851-9111 x2.


Tuesday, Feb. 7, 6:45-8 p.m.

“The Sunday Philosophy Club” by Alexander McCall Smith will be discussed at the Dunwoody Library, 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Info: 770-512-4640.

MASTER CHEFS COOKING SERIES Wednesdays, Feb 8 and Feb. 15, 7-9:30 p.m.

Celebrated chefs share recipes and cooking tips at the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta. On Feb. 8, cookbook author Cynthia Graubert presents Southern cooking, and on Feb. 15, former “Top Chef” contestant Eli Kirshtein teaches about winter vegan dishes. $50 per class for MJCAA members; $65 per class for the community. Advance registration required. MJCCA-Zaban Park, 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody. Info: atlantajcc. org or 678-812-3798.





We are the only blow out salon that uses Phyto product, all organic botanical base product from France. Hours of Operation Tues- Sat 9-7 Sunday 12-5 Closed Mondays

Lee Fisher, president and CEO of CEOS for Cities, will speak about CEOs as catalysts for community change at Leadership Sandy Springs’ third annual Live Learn Lead event. $25 for LSS alumni donors; $30 for LSS alumni and the public. Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church, 805 Mt. Vernon Highway N.W., Sandy Springs. Info/ registration: leadershipsandysprings.org.

• gentle •Wash thorough Atlanta's Only Unique safe Submersion & Compressed Air Cleaning


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Saturday, Feb. 11, 11 a.m.

Snag some tips from Richard Osterholz on starting, transplanting and growing organic tomatoes at the Dunwoody Community Garden & Orchard’s next Master Gardener session. Refreshments served. Sessions are held monthly on second Saturdays. DCGO Greenhouse, opposite the skate park at Brook Run Park, 4770 N. Peachtree Road, Dunwoody. Info: dcgo.org.



404.252.9099 5920 Roswell Road Suite C-205 Sandy Springs, GA 30328 (Located next to Tuesday Morning just outside of 285 off Roswell Road)

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TheRugCleaners.com EPA RATED NON-TOXIC & NON-ALLERGENIC Mention this ad for Winter cleaning discounts!

Tuesdays and Thursdays monthly, 6:30.-8 p.m.

The Community Assistance Center offers classes ranging from computer basics to enhancing life and job skills to its clients and to the general public. Free, registration required. Two locations: CAC, 1130 Hightower Trail, Sandy Springs, and the North Fulton Service Center, Room 234, 7741 Roswell Road, Sandy Springs. Info: ourcac.org SUBMIT YOUR EVENT LISTING WITH US AT or 770-552-4015, calendar@ReporterNewspapers.net ext. 239.


Out & About | 15



fabrics & home

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16 | Community

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BEYOND CAMP Galloway’s g360 Summer Camp is open to all children ages 3 and up and is held on our campus in beautiful Chastain Park.

Register now for Summer 2017! gallowayschool.org/camp

Josh Powell Camp has been getting kids active in the great outdoors every summer since 1972.

Great SUMMER activities: swimming, archery, canoeing, arts and crafts, fort building, gaga ball, and more!

Registration currently open for current K-2nd graders.

1&2 week sessions for ages 6-16!

On top of Lookout Mountain on the banks of Little River...

(Houston’s Rest.) from 8:10-8:25 am and drop-off at 3:00 pm

Weeks of May 30-June 2, June 5-9, June 12-16, June 19-23, June 26-30, July 10-14, July 17-21, July 24-28, and July 31-August 4. 5242 Wade Green Road, Acworth, GA 30312 (678) 369-0780 (call or text) Hey@JoshPowellCamp.com WWW.JOSHPOWELLCAMP.COM

Only 1.5 hours east of Huntsville and 2 hours from Atlanta, Nashville & Birmingham

ACTIVITIES Horseback Riding Swimming (Heated Pool) Ropes Course Climbing Tower Tennis Canoeing Golf Gymnastics Dance Cheerleading Flag Twirling Archery Arts and Cras Knitting Chorus and Drama Outdoor Living Skills Basketball Volleyball Soccer Riflery Trip Day River Water Blob Campfire every night Counselor-In-Training Christian Leadership

We l c o m e t o R i v e r v i e w C a m p f o r G i r l s ! Yo u r Aw a r d Wi n n i n g C a m p E x p e r i e n c e ! C o n fi d e n c e , C h a r a c t e r, Ad v e n tu r e , I n s p i r a t i o n ! When you attend our summer camp or our mother-daughter weekends, you will have an amazing time on a mountain top, sharing moments of fun, faith, and adventure! Recognized as one of the South’s favorite private summer camp for girls, Riverview’s exciting programs are appreciated by both campers and parents! Girls from the South and International campers as well, are among our camp families!

Dr. Larry and Susan Hooks, Owners/Directors For more information and a free DVD: www.riverviewcamp.com 800-882-0722

Spring & Fall Mother-Daughter Weekend Also Available! Sign up online!


has an extensive Frequently Asked Questions section for first-time camper families and several enjoyable videos!

FEBRUARY 3 - 16, 2017

Community | 17


CAMPS Fun & Games Sports Camps JUNE 5 – JULY 23, 2017

SAT Prep More! AGES 5 – 17

Register Now! maristsummercamps.com


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June 5th–30th, 2017 Adventures for 2-year-olds to 8th grade • • • •

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New and Returning Favorites for 2017 • Circus Camp • Engineering For Kids • Ukulele Camp • Cooking Camp • And Much More!


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V I S I T U S O N L I N E AT E P S T E I N AT L A N TA . O R G / E S A

18 | Community

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SUMMER CAMPS Register by March 2nd to





is back for our 10th year in Atlanta


July 17-21, 2017

Boys and Girls 10-18 will have an opportunity to learn from the Pros Meet Sports Celebrities

Creativity rules at the High!

Join one of our camps for children ages 6–8, 9–11, and 12–14 to explore art, get messy, and have a blast! Sign up now for your chance to flex your art muscles in one of our awesome weeklong workshops. For information or to register, visit high.org/camp.

Atlanta Intown April 2017.indd 1

Make Sports Anchor Tapes

Nation’s #1 Sports Broadcasting Camp

Make Play-By-Play Tapes of the Super Bowl & NBA Finals Make Reporting Tapes from a Pro Stadium Participate in Sports Talk Radio and Pardon The Interruption (PTI) shows and much more

Day/Overnight options available. For more info: 800.319.0884 or www.playbyplaycamps.com facebook.com/sportsbroadcastingcamps • youtube.com/sportsbroadcastcamp

1/3/17 4:25 PM

The Atlanta Speech School offers a wide variety of summer programs, including the Summer Explorations enrichment camp for children ages 2-1/2 to 6 years, as well a broad range of other language and academic camps. All of our camps keep the child’s learning experience at the forefront — encouraging them to explore new skills, new experiences, and new information in a camp-like atmosphere of fun and creative learning!

Creative, Visual, Performing & Studio Arts Camps for ages 5g1g

MondaygFriday, g:ggamggpm Before & After Care, 8amg6pm

5ggg Chamblee Dunwoody Road Register Online at spruillarts.org ggggggggggggggg

School Break Camps offered in the Spring!

To learn more about the many Atlanta Speech School summer programs, visit atlantaspeechschool.org/summer, or call 404-233-5332.

Atlanta International School

Summer Camps 2017 Language Camps and more! June 12 - July 28, 2017 French • German • Chinese • English as a Second Language • Spanish • Orchestra • Song Writing • Theater • Chess • MOD Design • Filmmaking & Editing • 6th Grade Study Skills • Keyboarding • Track & Field • Taekwondo • Rockets & Racecars • 3D Character Design • 3D Printing • 3D Game Design • Server Design • Ecology • Drone Camp • And More!

Register now at www.aischool.org/summercamps Convenient Buckhead location 404.841.3865

FEBRUARY 3 - 16, 2017

Community | 19


Swing into


Camp Kingfisher Summer 2017

Traditional day, sports, and specialty camps for children 3-18 years Learn more at westminster.net/summer



Love. Challenge. Lead. Change.


Give your child the best summer ever!!! with exciting weekly camps for children, ages three through thirteen. Sports, Fine Arts, Academics, Robotics, Cooking, Spanish, Hogwarts, Willy Wonka, All American Girl, Chess, Ninja and

Wild ANIMALS • CANOES • Cool POOL time Crafts • Survival Skills • Science


770-992-2055 x222 • chattnaturecenter.org/camp-kingfisher


Visit our website at www.stbs.org for information and registration assistance!


P.O. Box 769769, Roswell, GA 30076 • 9135 Willeo Rd., Roswell, GA 30075

May 31-August 5 Space is limited. Register today!

Patricia and Coach K are Back! Have a Blast! with us this summer!


Our professional staff has prepared another exciting summer of fitness and educational fun. We will encourage each child to express his or her own creativity as well as explore and discover new activities.

For more information contact Patricia Alvarez at 770.698.2017 palvarez@wellbridge.com

March 3 and April 14 for Reporter Newspapers March issue of Atlanta INtown 97,000 copies distributed to homes and businesses in five great communities. Now is the time! Parents sign up in early spring. Make sure your camp gets the visibility it deserves.

For more information, contact Amy Arno at (404) 917-2200, ext. 112.

Summer fun is just around the corner! www.paceacademy.org/SummerPrograms 404-240-9130

20 | Education

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A dedication to music Ben Rau, senior The Lovett School

GRAND OPENING An Open House for the Community.

The Davis Academy has expanded! Please join us for a tour of our new 600+ seat state-of-the-art performing arts theatre, full-service dining hall & kitchen, chapel, choral & instrumental classrooms, innovation & design studio and recording studio.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017 | 8:00–10:30 am

Tours of the new space leave every 30 minutes, beginning at 8:15 am.

The Davis Academy Lower School RSVP’s requested by Feb. 10: davisacademy.org/openhouse

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

Ben Rau found his passion for music in playing the cello. His most recent accomplishment is being selected as principal chair to the Emory Youth Symphony Orchestra, an ensemble selected from talented musicians who are juniors or seniors in high school. Dr. Richard Prior, who teaches at Emory and leads the Emory University Symphony Orchestra, conducts the group. “It’s where I am playing all the difficult professional pieces.” Ben said. “I can spend hours working on technique or tedious movements of pieces, but at EYSO we are playing incredible professional pieces as a group of high school students.” Ben started playing cello in the third grade at The Lovett School, after his second-grade teacher revealed to him that the music to the “Star Wars” theme song included cello. He contin-

Friday February 17th from 1-7pm Monday February 20th from 1-7pm RSVP on our website!

Personalized Education. Project-Based Learning. Now enrolling grades K-10 for our full-time program, starting August 2017! From Lego STEM projects, to our incredible flight simulator, we offer the most unique K-12 learning experience in the Atlanta area!



ued to practice and advance throughout elementary and middle school under several music teachers. Teacher Mary Beth Bryant attributes Ben’s success in music to his grit and resiliency. “When he doesn’t get the results he wants,” she said, “he figures out what he needs to do better next time and moves on.” Ben furthered his passion for music at Green Mountain Music Festival in Burlington, Vt., where talented young musicians are connected with professional string professors for a month during the summer. Students are able to practice and improve their skills while being instructed by professors from around the world. While attending Green Mountain for two summers, Ben observed other student’s dedication to music and began to more seriously dedicate himself to the cello. “I was surrounded by so many likeminded people, and seeing how dedicated they were, made me realize cello is something I really want to pursue.” After returning home, Ben stopped his other extracurricular activities, including the robotics and engineering clubs, to focus on music. He now spends roughly four hours on weekdays practicing, and logs seven hours of practice each day on the weekend. His hard work clearly has paid off.

Standout Student


Small Class Sizes.

Ben Rau

What Will Your Child Accomplish?

Also offering STEM FIELD TRIPS and PART-TIME CLASSES starting January 2017! Visit www.21stcenturystem.academy to RSVP for our next open house!

What’s next?

Ben plans to further his musical talents in college. He has been auditioning for several different music-oriented schools with plans to attend one in the fall. He says he is most interested in The Cleveland Institute of Music. This article was reported and written by Amanda Gibson, a student at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School.

FEBRUARY 3 - 16, 2017

Classifieds | 21


Reporter Classifieds HELP WANTED Atronix Engineering, Inc. seeks a Controls Engineer to – Participate in the design and implementation of future control systems, system integration and implementation for new equipment and processes - designing Control System Architectures; Provide support to project teams, relative to design standards, responsible for installation, commissioning and validation of control systems; Making programming changes to PLCs (Allen-Bradley, Modicon, Siemens) under supervision of a senior engineer; Making programming changes to HMI systems under supervision of senior engineer; Troubleshoot and debug control systems and programs; Provide standby support for automated systems; Operate computer-assisted engineering or design software or equipment to perform engineering tasks; Confer with engineers, customers, or others to discuss existing or potential engineering projects or products; Design, implement, maintain, or improve electrical

instruments, equipment, facilities, components, products, or systems for commercial, industrial, or domestic purposes. Must have Master’s Degree in Engineering. Please send resumes to Attn: Sarah Campanelli, 3100 Medlock Bridge Rd. Suite 110, Norcross, GA 30071 Vernon Woods Animal Hospital in Sandy Springs – Looking for an Animal Care Attendant. Full or Part-time, some weekends included, must have own transportation and live within 20 minutes of Sandy Springs area. Please send resume to: vernonwoodsah@ gmail.com.




Matthew’s Handy Services – Small jobs and chores are my specialties. Shelves, organizers, carpentry, drywall, painting, and plumbing. Member of BBB – 404-547-2079 Email: mwarren8328@gmail.com.

Arlington Memorial Park – Serenity section is sold out! I have two lots available under Dogwood trees at $4,000 each. Call 404-816-2099.

Quinn Windows – Family owned and operated. Home remodeling company since 1980. Visit QuinnWindows.com or call 770-939-5634. Driveways & Walkways – Replaced or repaired. Masonry, grading, foundations repaired, waterproofing and retaining walls. Call Joe Sullivan 770-616-0576.

Arlington Memorial Park – Sandy Springs Beautiful Pinecrest section, Plots 11B, spaces 3 and 4. Value - $15,000. Price - $8,000. Arlington staff will be happy to show plots. Call 913-714-2499.

Reporter classifieds work for you!

Home Tending – Regular inspections of your unoccupied property. Call Charles, 404-229-0490.

Commercial Real Estate Services – Have a Commercial Building to Sell or Lease? Call Rick 678-209-3100. Proven local results.

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22 | Public Safety

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Police Blotter / Sandy Springs From Sandy Springs Police reports filed from Jan. 14 through Jan. 24. The following information was provided by Capt. Steve Rose of the Sandy Springs Police Department.

R O B B E RY On Jan. 15, three men set off camera

signals after trying to break into an ATM that was monitored by bank staff. The 911 call was made and as the cops pulled up, the three ran toward Hilderbrand Drive. Two were caught in a construction area and the third was scooped up near the bank itself later. One subject, who gave a false name, was later properly identified and wanted in Atlanta. 100 block of Northside Drive — On

Jan. 22, a woman and man reported that around 9:15 p.m., two men approached them in the apartment parking lot. One of the men pulled a gun and took the woman’s purse and necklace from her. Her purse contained $2,000 in jewelry and $2,000 cash. The male victim said his iPhone was taken along with his credit cards.



block of Stone Mill Trail — On Jan. 16, a resident said someone stole his bike from his garage at some time between Jan. 1 and Jan. 16.

which was evident by the window that was not damaged, but pushed in. Nothing was taken. 1100 block of Weldstone Court — On

100 block Gil-

ford Way — On Captain Jan. 16, a resident STEVE ROSE, reported that just SSPD before 10 p.m. srose@sanhe heard a crash dyspringsga.gov sound coming from the front of the home. He saw a newer model gray Honda Accord, backing out his driveway. The front door window had been shattered. The responding officer found a shoe print and blood that came from the burglar. A DNA swab kit was used to obtain and seal the blood sample. Nothing was taken. 4400 block of Treelodge Parkway

— The days between Jan. 13 and Jan. 18 when the resident was out of town, a woman reported someone came in,

Jan. 18, the resident said when he returned home he saw glass that had been broken out of the rear door. He reported a laptop and other electronic equipment taken from his kitchen area, and a gun and jewelry taken from the bedroom area. 23, a work shed was burglarized. 4000 block of Riverview Road — On

1500 block of Windridge Drive — On

Jan. 23, a house under construction, two washers, two dryers, and a 40-inch TV were taken. 500 block of Granite Ridge Place —

On Jan. 23, sometime during the day, the victim’s home was entered by force through a sliding glass door. A PS4 video game system, 20 games, a Nintendo 3DS and a backpack were reported to be missing. 200 block of Forest Hills Drive — On

Jan. 24, responding to an alarm, two of-


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4600 Roswell Road — On Jan. 24, be-

tween 8 a.m. and 7:30 p.m., someone entered an apartment by kicking the door in. Some items were taken.

200 block of Northwood Drive — Jan.

Northside Cardiology & C.P.N.A.


ficers were in a home when they heard a crashing sound from another room. They realized that the burglar was absconding from the home. They were not able to get a look, so they set up a perimeter and called in the nearest K-9 unit, which picked up a track but soon lost it. No arrest was made. No forced entry was found and nothing appears to be missing.

Jan. 26, the victim reported that between Wednesday and Thursday, when he was away from the apartment, someone came in by forcing a window, and took an engagement ring, five iPhones, Apple Watch, Christian Louboutin shoes, Versace sunglasses, and a Louis Vuitton purse. A Hookah pipe is also missing.

THEFT 100 block of Brinkley Lane — On Jan.

14, the resident reported his 2016 Subaru Outback had been stolen from his home.

NorthsideHeart.com (404) 256-2525 or (770) 343-8565

. Cholesterol & Hypertension Management . Arrhythmia Evaluation & Treatment . Cardiac Cath/Coronary Stent


FEBRUARY 3 - 16, 2017

He said that he was burglarized on the previous Thursday and it appears the intruders took his keys as well as spares. 1000 block of Brentwood Way — On

Jan. 17, a red Suzuki GSR-R600 motorcycle was reported stolen sometime overnight. 1155 Mount Vernon Highway — On

Jan. 16, a juvenile reported someone stole his iPhone 6S from his gym bag while he was on the basketball court at a health club. 2000 block of Spalding Drive — On

Jan. 17, the resident said someone stole two packages of gastrointestinal low-fat dog food from his door. The suspect left in a newer small blue crossover type car. 6300 block of Roswell Road — On Jan.

17, a pharmacy employee reported that around 7 p.m., a man came in and shoplifted items including five Crest 3D white strips and other Crest whitening products totaling $495. The suspect drove away in a 1990’s model Camaro driven by a woman. 8 Concourse Parkway — On Jan. 18, a

45-year-old man said he placed his Rolex and ring in the electronic locker at an athletic club and returned to find those items gone. He said he was half asleep when he put the items in the locker and did not lock it. Another theft from the same athletic club was reported by a 58year old man on Jan. 19. He was at the gym from 2 to 5 p.m. He said he placed a money clip with $1,100 cash, ID, and credit cards in his locker. When he returned, they were gone. *These are electronic locks so someone has figured how to bypass them since the lock had no damage and functioned normally. I would refrain from putting good stuff in any gym locker. 1100 block of Hammond Drive — On

Jan. 18, the victim said his yellow Suzuki SRK motorcycle was stolen overnight. 600 block of Windsor Parkway — On

Jan. 18, the complainant said that three AC units were stolen from a home under construction. 7000 block Stonington Drive — On

Jan. 18, a resident said he was home when he discovered that a juvenile had jumped over his patio gate and was crawling toward the patio door. The young man saw the resident and ran away. The resident ran in pursuit. As the resident chased the juvenile, he heard him say, “I have a gun.” He continued to chase him until he lost sight. Police set up a perimeter and used K-9 units but the juvenile was not located. Officers and detectives have a good idea who the juvenile is and are investigating. 500 block Northridge Road — On Jan.

18, the resident said a package containing Garcinia Elite, an herb prescribed SS

Public Safety | 23

www.ReporterNewspapers.net by her doctor, was stolen from her door. She listed the loss at $1,750. I know what you’re thinking. $1,750? This stuff sells for as little as 10 bucks, so I’m not so sure why she loaded up. 1400 block of North Riverside Circle

— On Jan. 18, a UPS package containing an iPhone 7 was stolen from the doorstep. 6690 Roswell Road — On Jan. 22, the

victim placed his iPhone 7 inside his sweatshirt next to the basketball court at a health club while he played. An hour later, he discovered someone took it. Sound familiar? We have a real problem with thefts at this location, specifically on the basketball court.

the evening. He activated the GPS where he discovered the phone’s location in Powder Springs. 1100 block of Mount Vernon Highway

— On Jan. 23, a man reported that sometime between the 20th and 21st, his trailer was stolen.

5600 block of Roswell Road — On Jan.

block of Hammond Drive — On Jan. 23, the complainant said a woman stole his rented 2017 Kia Optima from the Hampton Inn. 9000 block of Carroll Manor Drive —

On Jan. 22, a 19-year-old man said that he and his now ex-girlfriend broke up but remained friends. (Clue.) He said he had left property, not described, in her car, and she won’t give it back. She denied it and refuses to answer his calls. Young man, you’ve learned an important lesson in life. When you split up, circle your wagons and if the word “friends” comes up in any shape regarding your now ex, know that it’s false impression. A trap of sorts. Many of us know this first-hand because I still miss my golf clubs.

Between Jan. 14 and 19, there were 18

thefts from vehicles. Between Jan. 21, and Jan. 24, there were six thefts from vehicles.


24, the resident said his black 2009 Acura MDX was taken from the driveway.

Brandon Place — On Jan. 22, a male

7000 block of Roswell Road — On Jan.

24, a gold Dodge Durango was taken from the parking lot of

suspect was arrested after a domestic dispute.



Petition Number:



FM Glenridge, LLC

Property Location:

6045; 6065; 6085; 6095; 6105 Glenridge Drive

Present Zoning:

R-2 (Single Family Dwelling District)


Request to rezone from R-2 to R-5 for the development of singlefamily homes, with concurrent variances.

Public Hearings:

Planning Commission November 17, 2016 at 6:00 p.m.

22, the victim said his black 1998 Honda Civic was stolen overnight. 700


200 block of Zeblin Road — On Jan.

Another theft apparently occurred at

the same health club on Jan. 25 around 6 p.m. The victim said he got a call that his Discover card was being used to purchase something at a discount department store in Kennesaw for $800. He then looked in his wallet and found that the card was gone.

the victim’s apartment complex.

Mayor and City Council February 21, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. Location:

Sandy Springs City Hall Morgan Falls Office Park 7840 Roswell Road, Building 500 Sandy Springs, Georgia 30350 770-730-5600

Dad’s a Real Bird-Brain

4900 block of Roswell Road — On Jan.

22, a dance instructor said that her wallet was stolen from her purse, which was left on the front desk while she taught at a dance theater studio. A student’s mother informed her that two women, who were not in the group, were in the studio. They said they were interested in the classes as they left. She said they appeared to leave in a hurry. A short time later, her AMEX card was used at a grocery for $1,000 and at a discount store for $2,000. She’s also missing gift cards totaling $400, $140 cash, a checkbook, and ID. Hide your stuff. 6700 block of Powers Ferry Road —

On Jan 22, a man reported he accidentally left his iPhone 6 at a restaurant sometime between 7:15 p.m. and 9 p.m. He realized it after the restaurant closed for

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24 |

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