FEB. 16 - MAR. 1, 2018 • VOL. 12— NO. 4
Bowhunting in the ’burbs: Backyard deer-stalking draws fans and foes PAGE 18
► ‘Safest cities’ rankings don’t mean much, expert says PAGE 20
Hotel industry booms P 4-9
Park over 400 doesn’t need special taxes, board chair says
Healing on horseback
BY EVELYN ANDREWS email@example.com
Alan Schatten rides Tonka, a palomino quarter horse, under the instruction of Gail Wilson at Chastain Horse Park on Feb. 11. Alan and brother Todd are among the many people with disabilities who participate in the Horse Park’s therapeutic program, intended to improve participants’ cognitive, physical, emotional and social well-being. See chastainhorsepark.org for details. More photos, page 22.►
AROUND TOWN A ‘family photographer’ for refugees
OUT & ABOUT CELEBRATE BLACK HISTORY MONTH WITH MUSIC, STORIES & LECTURE Pages 16-17
I think movies that people actually saw and had a cultural impact should be honored. Which Academy Award nominated film should win the Oscar for Best Picture? See page 11
See COMMENTARY, page 10
The chair of a new nonprofit formed to oversee the creation of a park capping Ga. 400 in Buckhead said she does not anticipate raising or creating taxes for the project. “We do not want to raise taxes or anything like that for this project,” said Barbara Kaufman Fleming, an entrepreneur and former MARTA board member newly named as the park nonprofit chair. The Buckhead Community Improvement District, a group of self-taxing property owners who came up with the idea for the park, announced on Jan. 7 the members of the nonprofit that would manage the project’s fundraising, operation and construction. The placeholder name of the nonprofit is POG 400, LLC. The proposed park would cap Ga. 400 See PARK on page 14
Building owners sign on for solar power, energy-saving efforts BY EVELYN ANDREWS firstname.lastname@example.org
Some of Buckhead’s biggest buildings may go greener with energy use reduction programs and solar power, according to Livable Buckhead Executive Director Denise Starling. The organization recently recruited 10 Buckhead hotels to the Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge, a citywide effort to reduce See BUILDING on page 13
2 | Community
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FEB. 16 - MAR. 1, 2018 • VOL. 12— NO. 4
Community Briefs ATL A N TA P RESERVATI ON C EN TER TO U R TO V IS I T SEVERA L BUC K H EAD SITES The Atlanta Preservation Center will give tours of several historic Buckhead sites as part its annual program, The Phoenix Flies: A Celebration of Atlanta’s Historic Sites. The monthlong festival includes 200 events that highlight cultural and historical sites throughout Atlanta. All events are free, open to the public and include guided walking tours, lectures and open houses, according to a press release. This year, the event will be held from March 3 to 25, but reservations for some events opened Feb. 8 for Atlanta Preservation Center members and will open Feb. 23 for the general public. Buckhead events include tours of the Governor’s Mansion, the Cathedral of St. Philip and the Swan Coach House, which once served as the garage for the Swan House and is now a restaurant and art gallery. The Buckhead Heritage Society will offer a tour of Harmony Grove Cemetery, which it restored. A walking tour revisiting sites of the Battle of Peachtree Creek will include visits to the Old Mt. Zion Church, the Embry Plantation, Howell’s Mill, the Peachtree Creek ravine, Tanyard Creek Park, the Bitsy Grant Tennis Center, Collier Mill artifacts, Loring’s Hill and will end at Tanyard Creek Park. The Atlanta History Center’s senior military historian and curator Gordon Jones will lead a discussion on the “Battle of Atlanta” cyclorama painting, which is undergoing a major renovation. The Buckhead museum will offer several other events, including tours of the Swan House, the Cherokee Garden Library and the Kenan Research Center. According to the press release, this year’s event will highlight work by Atlanta’s iconic architects Neel Reid and Philip Schutze, including the Goodrum House and the Andrew Calhoun Estate, which are both in Buckhead. Priority reservations for Atlanta Preservation Center members began Feb. 8 and continue through Feb. 22. Atlanta Preservation Center members also will receive priority on reservation waiting lists. Reservations for the general public will open on Feb. 23. To see all the event listings and read more about the sites, click here. For more information, call 404-688-3353 or visit atlantapreservationcenter.com.
A PS SEEK I N G C A N DI DATES FO R LO C A L GOVERN A N C E TEAM S Parents, guardians, teachers and community members can declare themselves a candidate for Atlanta Public Schools’ “GO Teams” until Feb. 23, the district announced. Created in July 2016, GO Teams work to develop their school’s strategic plan, offer input on the budget and develop solutions to address student needs, according to an APS press release. More than 700 parents, educators and community members currently serve on the local governance teams. In June, approximately 400 of the member’s terms will expire, according to the press release. APS said it needs candidates to run for two parent/guardian seats and two educator seats at each school. Community members are also needed and can register to express interest in serving. The school principal would then nominate some candidates and they could then be approved by the team, the release said. No experience is necessary, and training and tools are provided. All current GO Team members who have completed their term are eligible to declare candidacy and seek re-election for the available two-year term positions, the release said. Parents, educators and community members interested in participating can register online at www.apsstrongschools.com through Feb. 23, the press release said. Online voting for declared candidates will open March 20 and close March 26.
Community | 3
4 | Perimeter Business
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Winter 2018 | Hotel Industry Booms
Focusing on business in the Reporter Newspapers communities
Why hotels are often in the mix of local mixed-use projects BY JOHN RUCH email@example.com
An office tower project planned next door to the Dunwoody MARTA Station finally moved along when it added a 10-story hotel to its blueprints — one of three such hotels in mixed-use projects proposed last year around Perimeter Mall. Meanwhile, Buckhead’s Phipps Plaza mall announced it was replacing a classic anchor store, Belk’s, with a hotel and an office tower. And hotels seem to show up in every major mixed-use plan, from Sandy Springs’ Pill Hill to Dunwoody’s High Street. Why are hotels so often in the mix of the mixed-use development trend? Financing, marketing, customer satisfaction — lots of reasons, in fact, says Scott Smith, managing director of Buckhead-based CBRE Hotels’ Consulting, a division of the national commercial real estate services and investment firm. “It makes [a project] more economically viable, as well as makes it more attractive,” Smith said of a hotel component. “It provides a synergy that is attractive to the primary developer and, most importantly, to users who are going to pay a premium rate.” The concept is not new — downtown Atlanta was transformed in the 1970s by John Portman’s Peachtree Center, a sprawling mixed-use complex including several hotels. But hotels do play a new role in serving today’s “live-work-play” trend by providing social events and other planned activities. “There always has been, historically, that kind of development. What’s new is the programming,” Smith said. Nationwide, a hotel-building boom is slowing and never quite reached the heights of the last cycle, which ended about 10 years ago with the Great Recession, according to Ali Hoyt, senior director for consulting and analytics at STR, a firm that compiles hotel business data. “We’re actually starting to see the first slowing or decline in the number of rooms under development,” Hoyt said. “In terms of hotel development, it’s certainly true that development has been slower than in other cycles.” But if it seems like hotels are popping up everywhere, that’s because they are. The metro Atlanta market has about 3,300 hotel rooms under construction, making it Number 8 in the nation by number of rooms, Hoyt said. The top 10: New York City; Dallas; Nashville, Tenn.; Los Angeles; Houston; Denver; Seattle; Atlanta; Orlando, Fla.; and Boston. Most of Atlanta’s growth is centered downtown or in suburbs farther north and
An illustration of Trammell Crow Company’s proposed office tower with a hotel in the rear planned next to the Dunwoody MARTA Station on Hammond Drive.
south, Hoyt said. But projects in the pipeline will bring some of that construction soon to Perimeter Center and Buckhead. The metro Atlanta market currently has about 96,600 rooms and average annual occupancy rates that have hovered in the 68 to 70 percent range since 2014, according to STR data. That makes for a $2.6 billion industry. When hotels are built within a mixed-use project, they are typically not an anchor, but rather a bonus, said Smith. One example is an Omni Hotel that opened last month as part of the mixed-use development around the Atlanta Braves’ new SunTrust Park in Cobb County. The hotel opened months after the Braves’ debut season at the ballpark and wasn’t there to drive the business, but can boost it now that it is in the mix. Paired with an office building, Smith said, “The hotel component provides amenities and services to the office workers.” There can be cost savings, too, as all of the buildings can share such common facilities as a parking garage, with the different uses takContinued on page 9
Concierges work to be the tourists’ tourist BY DYANA BAGBY Janice Dempsey likes to think her job includes being a tourist in her own city. As a concierge for the Mandarin Oriental Atlanta in Buckhead, one of her tasks is setting up itineraries for visitors who want a real Atlanta experience during their stay. Many of the places, events and restaurants she recommends are places she visits herself to see the venue for herself, taste the flavors of the menu and gauge the experience to determine if it is more fitting for a family with small children or a solo traveler. “You can’t just sit at a desk and look online. We’re not just reservation makers,” Dempsey said of the concierge title. “I go online and look and then I go
myself,” Dempsey said. “I go to SunTrust Park, the High Museum, the Atlanta Symphony ... and you look around and while you are enjoying the venues you are also learning about them,” she said. Visiting a location after renovations, visiting a restaurant during different seasons, taking different modes of transportation to a venue, taking a child along to an event, determining actual distance to walk (a “short stroll” as described online could actually be a six-mile hike, for example) — these are all part of the learning experiences Dempsey and other concierges put into their work to ensure they can give guests the best information. “We have the ability to give knowledge,” she said.
That knowledge is something guests appreciate and are willing to pay for at highend hotels that include concierge services. And despite the rise in popularity of Airbnb, an online marketplace which lets people rent out their properties or spare rooms, many people still want the personal service Dempsey and others in her line of work provide. “People are still looking for luxury and want to be pampered and have someone take care of them,” she said. Continued on page 6
Janice Dempsey, a concierge at the Mandarin Oriental Atlanta in Buckhead, is the new president of the Concierge Society of Atlanta.
FEB. 16 - MAR. 1, 2018 • VOL. 12— NO. 4
Perimeter Business | 5
Buckhead’s school-to-work hotel career pipeline
BY EVELYN ANDREWS firstname.lastname@example.org
Anucha Wood works until 5 p.m. at a Buckhead hotel, his shift ending a halfhour before his classes in the graduate hospitality program at Georgia State University begin. He always makes it on time to class, however, because the program’s classes are held in the Tower Place building, a short walk from his human resources job at the Intercontinental Buckhead Atlanta hotel. With GSU’s Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality headquartered in Buckhead and its wealth of hotels, it’s a natural schoolto-job pipeline for people seeking careers in the hotel industry. “I have no idea how I would get a job at Intercontinental without the program,” said Wood, who moved to Atlanta from Thailand in August last year to get a graduate degree in hospitality in the hope of furthering his career back home. Debby Cannon, the director of the School of Hospitality, said the location allows professors to bring in industry professionals frequently and set their students up for internships in neighboring hotels. “We have wonderful partnerships with many of the top managers [who] come lecture,” Cannon said. Along with the Intercontinental, Tower Place’s hotel neighbors include the JW Marriott Atlanta Buckhead; the W Atlanta Buckhead; the Grand Hyatt Atlanta in Buckhead; and the Westin Buckhead Atlanta. Stacy McClouse, a former student, got her start in the hotel industry in Buckhead. She now works at the Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel & Convention Center in Cobb County. She said GSU’s program isn’t focused on reading about working in the hotel industry, but having their students experience it firsthand.
“Their focus wasn’t on textbooks. It was to send you out to meet people,” she said. She said Buckhead is a “phenomenal place” to learn the industry because of the amount of hotels. “There’s a lot of flagship properties and a wide variety of brands,” said McClouse. A class assignment tasked her with interviewing someone she admired in the industry. One of those people she interviewed was the then-general manager of The W Atlanta in Buckhead. The manager surprised McClouse with an interview of her at the end of their discussion, and McClouse got the job, where she soon got experience in almost every part of the hotel. “I was hired for the front desk, but I restocked minibars, did room service and answered phones. I did almost everything outside of engineering,” she said. “If you work at a small hotel, you have to know how to do everything.” GSU is one of the few universities that has its hospitality program in its business school, she said. Students learn all
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the core business skills, but also learn hotel management and event planning, McClouse said. The school teaches students how to cater to millennials and people from other cultures, Cannon said. They are taught how to make service flexible to cultural and generational preferences, such as that millennials want to have a memorable experience at a hotel, she said. “It’s about making some in their twenties as happy as someone in their seventies,” she said. The hotel industry is a test of flexibility for its employees. Both McClouse and Wood have experienced what it is like to work in an industry that truly never closes for business, even when most of the employees can’t make it to work in inclement Continued on page 7
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Concierges work to be the tourists’ tourist Continued from page 4
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Dempsey started her career first as a flight attendant for Trans World Airlines (TWA). When it was purchased in 2001 by American Airlines, she opted for early retirement. While at TWA, she traveled the world and stayed at many different hotels. The concierge at those hotels was always someone she relied on for the best information on what to do, where to go. “I didn’t go to the hotel and stay in the room. I explored and was a big traveler on my own, and still am,” she said. “And it was always the concierge who ... I would ask where to go from here, that always knew what was going on locally.” Going from flight attendant to the hospitality industry was a natural fit for her, said Dempsey, who began working at the Mandarin Oriental Atlanta five years ago. This year she became president of the Concierge Society of Atlanta, which boasts on its website, “Supporting the best Atlanta has to offer, one guest at a time.” She is also one of only six concierges from Georgia who are members of the exclusive Les Clefs d’Or USA (pro-
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nounced “lay clay door,” it translates as “the keys of gold”), the only international association for hotel concierges. The crossed gold key pins she wears on her collar signify that she is a member of the association whose members are only invited following a rigorous application process, numerous recommendations as well as written and oral exams. These associations give Dempsey access to other concierges throughout the world. For example, when guests at her hotel were traveling to Paris and looking for a special petit fours, Dempsey was able to call a colleague in France to ensure their petits fours were ready when they arrived. When a guest from Canada calls and asks Dempsey to get tickets to the Atlanta Braves for him and his grandson, she makes it happen. When an elderly guest needs colostomy supplies, she has made that happen, too. If a guest breaks a tooth and needs an emergency dentist, consider the problem solved. Recently, a guest tore a pocket in his pants. Dempsey sewed it up herself. “We make the impossible possible,” she said. But don’t expect her exploits to be as dramatic as M. Gustave, the infamous concierge from the Wes Anderson movie, “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” “He was pretty cool in a silly way,” she said with a chuckle. During last year’s solar eclipse, several guests booked rooms at the Mandarin Oriental to witness the historic event. But they didn’t realize they were staying in a city filled with history itself, Dempsey said. She often recommends guests visit the Atlanta History Center, the King Center and the Center for Civil and Human Rights. Other top spots for guests to visit include the Georgia Aquarium and the Atlanta Botanical Garden, she said. “Atlanta is a modern Southern city that still keeps its Southern charm,” she said. “You have to have a passion,” to be a concierge, Dempsey added. That includes pride in yourself, pride in your hotel and pride in how your city is represented. And concierges must also listen to their guests, study their body language, ask them questions to ensure they can provide them a memorable stay. “You have to always be willing to learn,” she said. “You have to be sincere. You have to have knowledge — about attractions, restaurants, locations, events, concerts, sporting events, the times places open, when the Braves are playing. “You have to be a tourist in your own city,” she said.
FEB. 16 - MAR. 1, 2018 • VOL. 12— NO. 4
Perimeter Business | 7
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Buckhead’s hotel career pipeline Continued from page 5
hotel during major snowstorms in 2014
weather. Wood works in the human resources department, where he helps with benefits, payroll and employee questions. But because not enough employees could come in during the snowstorm in December 2017, he was temporarily on the same assignment he once had at his hotel job in Thailand — the restaurant. “People are staying here all the time, so we couldn’t just close the restaurant,” he said. McClouse said she was trapped in the
and 2017, but she said it was a unique experience that brought her team closer. Several people who had been able to make it to work camped out in one room and slept in shifts. They bought wine and microwave dinners at a corner store and watched movies when they weren’t on duty, she said.
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Hotels by the room numbers
Reporter Newspapers communities boast 65 hotels with a combined total of nearly 12,000 rooms, serving a wide variety of business travelers, tourists, events and more. Here are the numbers for specific cities and neighborhoods.
11 hotels 1,617 rooms
27 hotels 5,776 rooms
7 hotels 1,754 rooms
20 hotels 2,844 rooms
Sources: Buckhead Coalition, Discover DeKalb, Dunwoody Convention & Visitors Bureau, Sandy Springs Hospitality & Tourism, Smith Travel Research.
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Perimeter Business | 9
Why hotels are often in the mix of local mixed-use projects Continued from page 4 ing advantage of them at different times of day. A hotel brand is also a way to add a familiar, respected name to the larger project, Smith said. That quality development kind of denotes the overall quality of office and retail space as well,” he said. In the long SIMON PROPERTIES term, hotels ofAn illustration of the Nobu Hotel and restaurant ten provide decoming to Phipps Plaza mall. velopers with the flexibility of converting the building into apartments or “Upper midscale” and “upscale” are incondominiums later in their lifespan or dustry jargon referring to average daiduring an economic shift. Smith said that ly room rates that fall on a spectrum of when the extended-stay hotel concept “economy” to “luxury.” was pioneered about 25 years ago, many A “limited-service” hotel means fewcompanies built the units with individuer amenities, such as having a bar rather ally metered utilities so they could make than a full restaurant; full-service means that flip if it didn’t work out. a full slate of such amenities as restauPartnering with a mixed-use developrants, fitness centers and event spaces. er can help hotels in today’s lending enIn a mixed-use complex, hotel guests can vironment and rising construction costs, get such amenities from other nearby Smith said. businesses. The hotel won’t get direct rev“It’s very difficult to build a standenue, but it also doesn’t have the expense alone, full-service hotel without public of building and maintaining them. assistance,” he said. While the national hotel boom may be Indeed, most of new hotel developcooling, the office/hotel combo in particment — 72 percent nationwide and 75 ular will remain popular, Smith said. percent in metro Atlanta — consists of “I think you’ll continue to see more of limited-service hotels of “upper midthat,” he said. scale” and “upscale” brands, Hoyt said.
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Community Survey / Picking the Best Picture winner isn’t easy Deciding which of nine Best Picture nominees should take home this year’s Oscar on March 4 was no easy ask for respondents to the latest Reporter Newspapers survey. And that may be a good sign for the Academy Awards, whose presenters have attempted to make the Oscars more diverse. Respondents still had plenty of suggestions for ways the Oscars could better honor their favorite films and filmmakers. “Dunkirk,” “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” and “Get Out” topped the list of Best Picture picks from the 200 respondents to the unscientific cellphone survey, conducted in Reporter and Atlanta INtown communities via 1Q.com. Some respondents said the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences did a good job of selecting Best Picture nominees. Others said they should nominate more often in such genres as action films and comedies. Some respondents suggested an element of popular voting. “I think the Academy has lost touch with what viewers find worthy. [It] would be interesting if they let average Americans weigh in on who should win,” said a 46-yearold Atlanta woman. If the Academy is anything like the survey respondents, its members will make a close call on Best Picture. For survey respondents, it was essentially a tie between three films: the true-story World War II movie “Dunkirk”; “Three Billboards,” in which a woman challenges local authorities for not solving her daughter’s murder; and “Get Out,” a racially charged horror mystery. Filling out the field were “Darkest Hour,” “Lady Bird,” “The Post,” “The Shape of Water,” “Call Me by Your Name” and “Phantom Thread,” which acclaimed actor Daniel Day-Lewis has said will be his last film. The Oscar nominees and winners are selected by a relatively small, elite, invitation-only group whose tastes have been criticized over the years as not representing all movies and audienc-
es. Several years ago, the Academy ended a six-decade practice of nominating only five films for Best Picture and moved to today’s longer, flexible slate to put more types of films in the running. A 2016 controversy over the Academy’s overwhelmingly older, white male membership led to a massive effort to diversify its ranks and the films it recognizes. Some survey respondents said the Academy has room for improvement on both counts. “They need to recognize the artistry and production value of sci-fi,” a 48-year-old Sandy Springs woman commented. “Not every movie that wins needs to be about a serious topic.” “I think breaking down the categories similar to the Golden Globes is a better way to honor multiple movies,” said a 41-yearold DeKalb County man who likes historical dramas and action/adventure films. “I love movies with strong female leads and true tales of feminist heroism. I also love to see an ethnically diverse talent pool,” said a 28-yearold Atlanta woman. “I would like to see the Academy recognize women and minorities with more regularity.” Others – especially fans of dramas – said the Oscar nominations are solid. “The awards shows seem to do a good job of honoring these. In fact I usually find out about good dramas from the ceremony even if the movies aren’t showing near me,” said a 51-year-old Atlanta woman. Some respondents love movies, but aren’t interested in the political moments that often arise on the Oscars broadcast itself. “I like movies that cause me to think, both during and after,” said a 51-year-old Atlanta man. But, he added, “I place zero emphasis on awards shows such as the Academy Awards. They exist primarily to generate revenue for the owners and have become platforms for celebrities to espouse their personal opinions about the world, no matter how biased and even hypocritical they may be.” Many others are ready to sit back, root for a favorite and see who wins.
Here’s what some respondents had to say I like comedies and drama. I also like films featuring all African American casts. The Academy Awards could be more inclusive of minorities. – 39-year-old DeKalb County woman
belle,” “Insidious” and many more. They should give a scary movie awards for those who are fans of it. – 18-year-o ld woman in north Buckhead/Sandy Springs
The Academy needs to get with the times and let the viewers choose the winners instead of allowing only the Academy members to choose the winners. – 50-year-old Buckhead man I like true stories. Dark [and] sad doesn’t bother me. Comedies are not my thing. I think the Academy Award already honors those. It’s definitely not about silly blockbusters. – 53-year-old Sandy Springs woman I like scary movies such as “Anna-
I really like original-content movies. I am tired of superheroes and reboots. The Academy could do more to honor them by highlighting more of the crew and writing talent who actually create the films. – 32-year-old Atlanta man I love action movies, and often the acting in them is not credited - Heath Ledger’s the Joker in “The Dark Knight” is one of the only superhero acting roles
credited with an Oscar. Yes, these movies win special affects awards or soundtrack awards, but I believe the acting should be more focused on as these movies become more and more complex. – 18-year-old woman in north Buckhead/Sandy Springs Give a voice to more independent films and documentaries by giving them a prominent position in the awards. – 51-year-old Atlanta woman I think movies that people actually saw and had a cultural impact should be honored. – 29-year-old Atlanta man
FEB. 16 - MAR. 1, 2018 • VOL. 12— NO. 4
Joe Earle is editor-at-large at Reporter Newspapers and has lived in metro Atlanta for over 30 years. He can be reached at email@example.com
A ‘family photographer’ for refugees When Lauren Hutson was little, she enjoyed watching her grandfather take their family’s photos. He was their Family Photographer, “the historian of our family,” Lauren’s mom recalled recently. “She was always amazed.” Lauren decided that someday she wanted to do that, too. When she was in the sixth grade, her parents bought a Canon Rebel that was supposed to be a “family camera” shared by everyone. That didn’t happen. “She took it over. It was a ‘family camera’ that no one else in the family touched,” her mother, Lisa Hutson, remembered with a smile. Lauren loved taking pictures. She took photos of her family at home and carried the camera to school and took photos of her friends. She had been introverted, she said, but after she transferred to St. Pius X Catholic School in the eighth grade, taking portraits of other students allowed her to open up. The camera let her talk to them. “Making pictures, what I learned is that even the most popular people I knew were insecure,” Lauren said. “I saw this as vulnerability. It opened me up to the idea that everybody goes through these things.”
She also could see how important photographs are to the people they depict. She tried hard to let her subjects present themselves as they wanted to be seen. “Middle school girls are the most insecure people on the planet,” she said. “Seeing they were excited [by the portraits she took of them], that was such a good feeling for me. It makes my whole day when they look at these things and they love them.” Lauren’s dad is a doctor. A couple of years back, one of his co-workers volunteered to help an African refugee family settle in Clarkston, a community in central DeKalb County where many refugees live. The refugees had no family photos; they’d been left behind when they fled their home country. Lauren agreed to take new photos for them. “When I got [to Clarkston] for the first time, everything changed,” she said. Lauren hadn’t known what to expect. She was a 15-year-old, blond suburbanite. “I had really based my cultural experience on my little suburban bubble in Atlanta,” she said. The people she met to photograph that day were quite different from her. They were black, had been uprooted from homes
Commentary | 11 on another continent, and had very little best face to the world, even when you’re to call their own. But they welcomed her starting over in a strange new country. Perto their home. “I was blown away,” Lauren haps especially then. “People,” Lauren said, said. “The entire fami“want to be acknowlly I was taking pictures edged and listened to.” of, they were so kind.” Lauren figures The refugee comshe’s photographed 40 munity lived in a difto 50 refugee families ferent world than she and has delivered 150 did. “It was a kind of to 200 framed photos culture shock,” she to them over the past said. “I was like, ‘This is several years. The phoin Atlanta and I didn’t tos are her gifts. She know anything about set up a fund to deJOE EARLE it?’ ” fray the cost of printLauren Hutson stands alongside some of her photos hanging on the She wanted to help ing and framing the walls of a preschool in Clarkston. them. She decided to pictures. To celebrate do what she knew how to do. She offered to her recent 18th birthday, she asked to have take photos of their families. “It’s hard to asa fundraiser instead of a party. similate into a new culture … What if I could Lauren’s photos of the preschool’s stugive them family pictures to give them a dents fill its walls. “She has a big heart,” Wilsense of belonging in this country?” liams said. With help from April Williams, director With the contributions raised during of Early Learning Scholars 2, a Clarkston her birthday fundraiser, Lauren plans to preschool with a large percentage of refhead back to Clarkston to take more phougee children among its students, Lauren tos. She thinks it’s important work, for the put out the word in the local community families and for her. They get a record of that people who wanted new family pictheir family. She gets to talk to them. tures could show up on a Saturday to have “I have a theory that pictures are taken their photos taken. “The families dressed up on both sides of the camera,” she said. “In in their best outfits,” she recalled. formal [portrait] situations, they open up to Lauren returned to Clarkston for more you. I am touched every time I make a picphoto shoots. Each time, more refugee famture for one of these families. My incentive ilies showed up. She’s become the families’ to take pictures just builds and builds and photographer. She thinks it’s important to builds.” have an image of yourself that shows your
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Buckhead Coalition touts apartment growth on new guidebook BY EVELYN ANDREWS firstname.lastname@example.org
Buckhead Coalition president Sam Massell is drawing attention to the growth of apartments in the neighborhood, saying they are a “two-edged” sword that can bring nearly as many problems as they do benefits. The coalition is touting the apartments in the neighborhood on the cover of this year’s Buckhead Guidebook, an annual publication by the coalition that gives a comprehensive look at the neighborhood. The cover of the book, which was distributed at the Buckhead Coalition’s annual meeting on Jan. 31, is a sprawling spreadsheet of 55 names of apartment buildings that have been proposed or constructed since 2012. “The multi-use buildings under construction in this region — enough to create a new skyline and surprise residents and visitors alike — has the economy all aglitter,” the coalition wrote in the book’s introduction. “Although we acknowledge impressive growth in Midtown, as well as real value-added improvements in Downtown, Buckhead doesn’t take a back seat to any of our neighborhoods,” it continued. There were 12,000 apartment units when the Buckhead Coalition started keeping track in 2012, Buckhead Coalition President Sam Massell said. Since then, 17,114 apartment units have been built or proposed, with 1,741 of those units later taken off the drawing board. “Too much of a good thing may have to have some control, but we see it as a major part of Buckhead,” Massell said. “It needs to be included in the community as a part of the formula for what makes it great.” Massell predicted the continued growth of apartments in his 2016 “State of Buckhead” speech, in which he encouraged audience members to embrace the changes they bring, including an influx of millennials. The cover of the annual guidebook highlights a different trend in the community each year. Last year, it highlighted Buckhead’s entrepreneur community and “idea incubators” like Atlanta Tech Village. The 2016 cover highlighted millennials. Massell said that some people are critical of apartments because of their potential effects on the community, but said the apartments are already in Buckhead, so they must be accepted. “It’s not a question of if we can have them or if we should have them. They are already here. They are us,” said Massell, who spent 20 years in the real estate business before entering public office. But Massell acknowledged possible downsides to density. “They are correct that density does generates problems in any community. It generates
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more crime. It generates more traffic. It generates more pollution,” he said. City Councilmember Howard Shook introduced legislation last year to deal with worsening traffic issues caused in part by the apartment developments in the Peachtree Road corridor. The legislation would create an overlay district with new limits on parking spaces. But lack of density can be even worse, Massell said. It can generate poverty, deterioration of buildings and lack of business expansion, he said. That eventually can trickle down to not having enough people living there to generate enough property revenue to provide amenities. “It’s a two-edged sword, definitely. I’m not trying to deny that,” he said. Apartments also provide more opportunities to create more affordable housing in Buckhead, which currently does not have many affordable options, Massell said. Apartments also draw millennials who are more likely to ride bikes or transit and could help push for more transit expansion and other forms of alternative commuting, he said. “We’re looking at it from the view of, ‘Here’s what we have. How do we make the best of it?’ ” he said. Another change noted in the guidebook is that the estimated Buckhead population has surpassed the 90,000 mark. The guidebook, which includes data for the previous year, has data that estimates 2017’s population was 90,390. The 2016 population estimated in last year’s guidebook was 87,314. Meanwhile, Massell is working on the next major event that follows the annual meeting — his “State of SPECIAL Above, Buckhead Coalition President Sam Massell. Buckhead” address. The speech will Left, The cover of the Buckhead Guidebook continue the same theme of the anis a sprawling spreadsheet of 55 names nual meeting, which was uniting of apartment buildings that have been Atlanta politically, he said. proposed or constructed since 2012.
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Building owners sign on for solar power, energy-saving efforts Continued from page 1 water and energy use by 20 percent by 2020, and major building owners have shown interest in an effort to increase solar-powered homes and buildings in Atlanta, Starling said. Livable Buckhead is a nonprofit that works to increase green space and sustainability and is spearheading PATH400, the multiuse path along Ga. 400. Over 100 buildings in Buckhead are LEED certified, a sustainability rating system for buildings devised by the U.S. Green Building Council; 63 buildings are part of the Better Buildings Challenge; 21 buildings participate in Livable Buckhead’s recycling program; and electric vehicle charging stations are plentiful in Buckhead, Starling said. “If you ask most people what the greenest neighborhood in Atlanta is, the answer is not going to be Buckhead, but it is one of them,” she said. The 10 hotels that joined in February comprise 43 percent of the total hotel rooms in Buckhead and will more than triple the number of hotels actively participating in the challenge, which is part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge, according to the organization. Only three hotels in Atlanta and none in Buckhead were part of the challenge before the recent additions, Starling said. The hotels that committed are: JW Marriott Atlanta Buckhead; Westin Buckhead Atlanta; Atlanta Marriott Hotel and Conference Center; Hyatt Place Atlanta/Buckhead; Mandarin Oriental Atlanta; Grand Hyatt Atlanta in Buckhead; Hampton Inn Atlanta-Buckhead; St. Regis Atlanta; SpringHill Suites Atlanta Buckhead; and the AC Hotel Atlanta Buckhead. Each of the hotels has committed to reduce their energy and water consumption by 20 percent improvement by 2020, measured against their use in 2009 or the most recent data available, according to a press release. The city of Atlanta keeps track of buildings’ improvements and describes the progress in an annual report. “Through collaboration with our development partners, we work toward constructing and operating sustainable hotels from the initial hotel and business design to the guest’s experience,” Thomas Boyer, the general manager of JW Marriott Atlanta Buckhead said in the release. “It is the responsibility of those of us who work and reside in Buckhead to do the same for our Buckhead community ... for our residents, our hotels and businesses so we can all help to make a livable Buckhead.” To decrease energy and water use, hoBH
tels can implement recycling and towel reuse options or limit heating and air conditioning settings, according to the challenge website. Livable Buckhead is also serving as the sales arm and recruitment tool for Solarize Atlanta, a program formed through a partnership with a for-profit company, Solar CrowdSource, the city of Atlanta, and several organizations, including Environment Georgia. The program aims to bring down the cost of solar panels for house and commercial building owners through bulk purchases. About 50 people went to an open house held Jan. 2 in Monarch Plaza on Peachtree Road to provide information on commercial solar uses. Some major Buckhead building owners showed interested, Starling said, but she would not say which specific ones. “We’re really excited about getting interest from our big dogs,” she said. Livable Buckhead is also helping building owners figure out if solar could work for them. Some may have not enough exposure to the sun or too many obstacles on the roof blocking installation, Starling said. The solar panels don’t have to be on the roof, though, and there are some creative solutions buildings can use, Starling said. The owners of Tower Place office tower near Ga. 400 and Peachtree Road, for example, could cover the top of its parking deck, which often goes unused because it is uncovered, she said. Don Moreland, the founder of Solar CrowdSource, which has helped run similar initiatives in Decatur and Dunwoody, said the program brings the cost of outfitting an average home with solar panels down by more than $2,000, from $15,750 to $13,250. The panels have a 30-year life span and are expected to pay for themselves within a decade. Most installations still need to be connected to the electrical grid system to have power when there is no sun shining. The program is currently in a pre-registration phase and hasn’t officially started, but over 280 participants have signed up. Registration will close June 30 and Solarize Atlanta will send out a bid seeking the best and cheapest solar panels, Moreland said. Other than the aim of bringing the cost down, the program also tries to make installing solar panels understandable. There are a wide variety of types, manufacturers, warranties and technical specifications that deter people from signing up, Starling said. For more information, visit solarcrowdsource.com.
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Park over 400 doesn’t need special taxes, board chair says Continued from page 1 between Peachtree and Lenox roads, provide green space and bring a redesigned Buckhead MARTA Station. The budget estimate from a CID study is $250 million. The board hopes to raise $15 million by June 1 to hire engineers and other consultants to begin designing the park. “We’re not going to even start until we have that in the bank,” Fleming said. Fleming said the board anticipates funding the park with $75 million from private sources, including the philanthropic and corporate donations. The remaining amount, $175 million, would come from public money, including the city of Atlanta, the Georgia Department of Transportation, MARTA, federal funds and other grants. The board may use a funding mechanism similar to the brick campaign used to fund construction of Centennial Olympic Park in downtown Atlanta that allowed people to have their names etched into bricks used in the park, she said. “We want to get the entire city excited about it,” she said. A special tax district for neighbor-
ing residential and commercial tensame as previously released, with twoants has previously been floated in the and-a-half years of planning and deCID’s park studies. Fleming acknowlsigning the park, and two-and-a-half edged that the General Assembly is years constructing it, she said. considering legislation that could creMost of the newly named board ate new tax districts that could be used members hold high-level positions in to fund the park and other projects, but organizations including the automosaid neither the nonprofit or the CID is bile business, real estate, engineering behind it. and activism for women’s equality. Jim Since the park’s inception, it has Bacchetta, who represents Highwoods been referred to as the “Park over Ga. Properties on the CID board, is also a 400,” but discussing the name is on the member of the nonprofit. next meeting’s agenda, Fleming said. Other board members include Mark But they may decide to leave the name Hennessy, the co-owner of Hennessy as-is until someone Automobile Company; buys naming rights to Maxine Hicks, a partthe park. ner and head of the AtCoxe Curry & Aslanta real estate pracsociates, a consulttice at DLA Piper; Theia ing firm, is contacting Smith, the founding ex“major players” in the ecutive director of the city that could be incity of Atlanta’s Womterested in the namen’s Entrepreneurship ing rights, but FlemInitiative; and Jerry ing would not say who C. “Jay” Wolverton Jr., that could include. CEO of the engineering “We are fairly confirm Wolverton & Assofident we’ll be able to ciates. The board voted raise the money fairly Fleming to be its chair. quickly,” she said. “I am honored that The estimated these incredibly talSPECIAL Barbara Kaufman Fleming. schedule remains the ented Atlanta profes-
sionals are lending their expertise to the board that will oversee the development of Atlanta’s Park over Ga. 400,” Jim Durrett, the executive director of the Buckhead CID, said in the release. Durrett is a MARTA board member with whom Fleming served. Fleming, who described herself as a “serial entrepreneur,” is a motivational speaker who owns a small business consulting firm called BBK Enterprises. In the 1990s, she cofounded Chapter 11* The Discount Bookstore, a chain that has since closed. She is a member of Georgia State University’s Board of Advisors. Fleming said she is a strong supporter of the park because it would increase walkability in the area, provide connections to current and future trail networks and build a park in a part of Buckhead where there isn’t one. “This is a park for the city of Atlanta. It is not a Buckhead park,” she said. “It is going to bring people from everywhere.” “To use a space that is unusable by anything else is brilliant,” she added. She said the board plans to host more public meetings, create a project website and be active on social media to gather more input from the public.
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Fire chief wants Exhibit highlights to reform hydrant Atlanta nonprofit with Humanitarian of the Year award inspections Studen ts faced hardsh City honors founder of in ips, discrimination 50 objects and many challen ges
BY DYANA BAGBY reporternewspapers.net dyanabagby@ would Run Theater Renovating Brook and fit ly $7.5 million comcost approximate city of Dunwoody’s easily into the a new feasiaccording to prehensive plan, ConserThe Brook Run bility study from
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‘Lynwood Integrators’ honored for courage during desegregation
A hole in the sidewalk near a Dunkin’ Donuts at 6060 Roswell Road marks where a fire hydrant was knocked down by a veFamiliar sights hicle nearly a year ago and remains misscrowd the new exhibit ing. And for the last four months of 2015, at the Atlanta History if firefighters had needed water to battle a Center. Georgia Tech’s Ramblin’ blaze there, they would have found a fire Wreck holds BY DYANA BAGBY vancy. that we center stage. hydrant across the street gone as well. to let you know A billboard-re dyanabagby@ ady “I am pleased has a reporternewspapers.net Chick-fil-A cow Such long repair times and uncertain that Dunwoody protests in one sigis are now certain corner. A few there inspections for the city’s 4,000 public and Eugenia Calloway feet away, a Varfacility and that for need for this flipped through sity car-hop’s private fire hydrants are an ongoing conpages of the 1968 in the community the tray hangs Cross Keys High nificant support President door of a ’63 Plymouth from a cern for Sandy Springs fire officials. Fire yearbook, glancing School Conservancy Valiant. over the photographs that need,” states to the counIt’s no surprise Rescue Chief Keith Sanders is now gearof many white a Jan. 15 letter that the items faces. But in Danny Ross in in this particular the back of ing up a tighter, more accountable inspecthe yearbook museum show she found first at cil. seem familiar. the boys’ basa new theater tion system. Step one: bringing hydrant ketball team They’re all part and then the The cost to construct cost $24.5 milof girls’ basketball Atlanta. Each inspections in-house instead of using priteam. size would was chosen to about the same represent some important city vate contractors, as the study states. “That’s me,” she said, pointing PHIL MOSIER lion, the feasibility PHOTOS BY the city, the exhibit’s feature of its feasibility its since done sent has smiling to the girl at the far curators say. Cutno breaks The conservancy recently right in the The exhibit, player Anjanice varsity team founding. girls’ a varsity “Atlanta in 50 Council members photo. One other court during High School basketball the study to City Objects,” which to come up at black girl At left, Dunwoody as she heads down her home Wolverines on Jan. 15. 2016 “The was on the far opened Jan. 16 pack Lady issue is expected left; all the players the School and and High away from the is to be on display and the coaches in between inspections the Miller Grove 25 meeting. through July game against were white. council’s Jan. 10, is intended to show, Nash talks that there is support will be done “That’s when Coach Angela in I had the most While Ross argues Above, Lady Wildcats with her players. what makes Atlanta its own way, Theater, he may fun, when I was playing by the SanAna Avilez, 14, renovating Brook Run over strategy basketball,” she Atlanta. for a member of PHIL MOSIER said. “I think my favorite from the council. the Danza dy Springs Calloway was battle “Dia de Losface Aztec Dance Group, uphill top, 62-37, and anfestival thing is the one of 17 students was still Reyes” came out on and family leadership, prepares for a are 8-9 King manuscript, Jamie Chatman,fire departat the Atlanta on page 22 integrated Cross a nonprofit that helps achieve financial independence, personal growth who of Every ”Woman performance The Lady Wolverines ContinuedHistory Center Tillie O’Neal-Kyles, founder The Lady Wildcats one of the “Lynwood page 15.► guest Works, Keys High School during the Day celebration at City Hall on Jan. 18. Story onwho curator a 12- 8 record. PHIL MOSIER on Jan. 10. See integrated Cross Integrators,” on page 15.► SandWilson said of the Year, at the 10th annual Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. ly 50 years ago, 2016 Humanitarian ment,” currently have the city’sAmy nearnamed additional photos Three Kings Day or attends a Rev. Keys additional photos High School nearly on the day bepart of that by graduates on page 15.► Martin Luther this season. See fore the show 50 years ago. first group of Lynwood said. of black students ers High School, The Jan. 18 program, King Jr. Day dinner and opened, as she Cross Keys High to attend an celebration honoring PHIL MOSIER and History Center all-white School and Chamblee held at Lynwood Park school in DeKalb “That way, I the 17 students exhibitions direcRecreation Center, County and now Charter High featured comments tor Dan Rooney School. See additional as the “Lynwood known know all hymade last-minute photos on page Integrators.” Reporter Newspapers firm, tweaks to the 13.► drants have exhibit. She market research is working with point- Reporter Newspapers is working with a new mobile market research firm, Atlanta-based a new mobile a new mobile ed toward a case Continued on page been touched 1Q, to survey periodically about is working with market research holding a series 12 residents of our about communities periodically topics communities our our of fi of residents rm, of survey to of 1Q, Reporter Newspapers handwritten proposed state Atlanta-based been communities and have the residents and local interest. pages from a Reporter Newspapers periodically about we ask about 1Q, to survey In our first poll, Religious Freedom yel- topics of state and local interest. In our first poll, we ask about the proposed low legal pad LegislaAtlanta-based In our first poll, is working with inspected.” we ask about in the state Restoration Act on which the Atlanta-based and local interest. a new mobile the proposed are two ture. Nearly two-thirds Rev. Religious Freedom Restoration Act being considered in the state Legisla1Q, to survey being considered being considered Martin Luther topics of state market research That will mean be rejected. Here residents of our Restoration Act King Jr. had in the state topics of state of 200 respondents fi rm, two the bill should are Here Freedom rejected. be ► said communitie should bill reactions writthe 11. Legislasaid and local interest. ten the acceptance Religious on page said the bill should ture. Nearly two-thirds of 200 respondents to the law. Read s periodically “more accuracy, more Religious of 200 respondents In our first poll, about local comments speech for his more about the be rejected. Here on page 11. ► Freedom we ask about it 1964 Nobel Prize. ture. Nearly two-thirds more about the poll and said, adding poll and local Restoration Act Page 18 reactions to the law. Read more about the poll and local comments are two accountability,” Sanders ture. the proposed comments on “It’s the original law. Read being considered Nearly two-thirds page 11. ► manuscript.” reactions to the hands-on knowlin the state of 200 respondents will also give firefighters reactions Legislasaid the bill should to thein law. Read more Wilson and edge of where the city’s hydrants are be rejected. Here about the poll Rooney started Page 18 are two and local comments BY JOE EARLE Page 18work on the project case they need to find them in an emers.net on page 11. ► rternewspaper in Novemjoeearle@repoI’m so sick ber 2014. The proposal gency. a of Georgia original idea Even having beEven having a proposal off on the city’s hind the exhibit law looking I’m so sick of Georgia sound But those inspections are where the fire Even having a like – gathering The chance to backwarto BY DYANA BAGBY proposal of a religious freedom crucial objects that I’m so sick of Georgiad bufthan 120 people d bufof a religious freedom law department’s direct control moreThis foons. looking like backward bufof a religious freedom represent imporI’m ofsothe in the dyanabagby@ parks drew sick of Georgia on Jan. 12. is just reporternewspa tant themes safety devices ends. The 2,910 hydrants seems to be a step start looking like backwar library branch law pers.net seems to be a step in the or events in legalized foons. This is just seems to be a step Dunwoody’s looking by the Even having a histoto room, standdiscrimin ry – had been on city streets are actually ownedlike backward bufinto a meeting proposal ation, used in a few City officials right direction... a foons. This is just ation, right direction... to start They packed are preparing othplain legalized discrimination, right direction... in the their ideas on foons.of This Watershed er high-profi of a religious freedom voicesimple. city of Atlanta’s Department toand to look for a new city manager le museum shows is just to start If that plan. ing room only, having more considerlegalized discriminIf that having more considerlaw to replace Marie and books, such take months to isn’t city’s five-year parks plain and simple. If that having more considerManagement, which can legalized seems to be a step period. rett, who held Garas “The Smithdiscrimination, rewrite of the enough, it’sa bad bit familthe job since for sonian’s History plain and simple.bad for ation for religion, Brookhaven’s make repairs. ation for religion, period. the discussion inception. isn’t enough, it’s bad for the state plain and “chalation for religion, of America in right direction... in the Some found economically. Sanders called that situation a simple. to start If that period. isn’t enough, it’s D WOMAN A national search Continued page iar. A 34-YEAR-OL isn’t enough, the state economically. having more considerally. A 34-YEAR-OLD WOMAN went to all these of for a new city 14 not aware it’s A 44-YEAR-OL ago, we A 34-YEAR-OL lenge,” though he added he is IN SANDY SPRINGS ager was expected bad for manD WOMAN “A few years the state economic D WOMAN WHO LIVES WHO LIVES IN SANDY SPRINGS to trouThe Atlanta History ghters had firefistate ation for religion, WHO LIVES Continued on page 12 any recent fire wherethe WHO LIVES tails of a separation begin as soon as deA 44-YEAR-OLD WOMAN economic IN BROOKHAV IN SANDY SPRINGS ally. period. D WOMAN exhibition, “Atlantacenter’s between the city EN ble finding a working hydrant on a public A 44-YEAR-OL BROOKHAVEN IN Garrett in LIVES EN WHO 50 could Objects,” showcases A 44-YEAR-OL be reached. Council and A 34-YEAR-OL IN BROOKHAV unique, D WOMAN 14 D WOMAN WHO LIVES Continued on page local items like bers met behind memWHO LIVES this katana from WHO LIVES closed doors with IN BROOKHAV IN SANDY SPRINGS “The Walking and a mediation Garrett Dead” TV show. EN attorney on Jan. 20 to try to work out an agreement. Mayor John Ernst and members of City Countinued on page 14
OUT & ABOUT
law Surve om’try y: No to ‘Relig on parks Puppe ious Freed ious Freed Arts Opinions
Survey: No to ‘Relig
Center expandsvary, as under Atlanta’s they’ve been this own puppet maste e way r befor
OUT & ABOUT om’ law
Puppetry Arts Center expands under Atlanta’s own puppet master
OUTlaw Survey: No to ‘Religious Freedom’ & ABOUT
Puppetry Arts Center expand s under Atlanta’s own puppet maste r
Survey: No to ‘Relig
Nationwide search planned for new city manager
FEB. 16 - MAR. 1, 2018 • VOL. 12— NO. 4
Community | 15
Arts center, condos and affordability on table for Buford Highway BY DYANA BAGBY
tween $300 million and $400 million. Gebbia also wants to establish an arts commission to determine what kind A performing arts center, high-end of performing arts center is viable for condominiums and finding ways to inBrookhaven and Buford Highway, should clude workforce and affordable housing the City Council agree they want to move in new developments are ideas that could in that direction. be coming to a section of Buford HighFunding for an arts commission way, just across the Buckhead border. could come from the city’s recent sale of The ideas were proposed by Brookhav6.27 acres of right-of-way to Children’s en City Councilmember Joe Gebbia Healthcare at a council retreat in a presentaof Atlanta for tion on what he would like to see $10 million. on Buford Highway. The right-ofThe city can also use its leverway for Tullie age, likely through the Brookhaven Road and TulDevelopment Authority, to assemlie Circle are ble and purchase property along to be used by the rapidly changing corridor to CHOA as part ensure certain kinds of developof its massive ment are included, he said. hospital camGebbia, whose district includes pus expanpart of Buford Highsion at North way, made a preDruid Hills sentation he titled Road and I-85. “Controlling Our City ManDestiny” to the City ager ChrisCouncil and city tian Sigman is recadministrators at ommending to the the council’s Feb. council that of that 3 retreat at the Hy$10 million, the city att Regency Atlanput $6 million into ta Perimeter at Villa the city’s general Christina. The prefund balance to earn sentation laid out points toward a AAA some specific ideas bond rating. Of that he’d like the city to $6 million, a restrictake an initiative on tion would be put on this year as develop$2 million to serve ers continue to eye JOE GEBBIA as a something akin ways to build along CITY COUNCILMEMBER to a trust where an the corridor. estimated $20,000 “We’ve been talka year in interest could be used to fund ing about development here for years ... an arts commission to see if a performand I’ve continued to be disappointed ing arts center is viable for Brookhavwith products developers have brought en, he said. The remaining $4 million to Brookhaven,” he said. would be used for the construction of Gebbia said he would like to see a perthe Peachtree Creek Greenway that runs forming arts center built at North Drualong Buford Highway. id Hills Road and Buford Highway, in the Gebbia said the North Druid Hills quadrant where a Chevron gas station is Road and Buford Highway intersection currently located. is also a great place for high-end condos There are five parcels of land in this “with a phenomenal view of downtown.” area owned by three different properHe also said he’d like to see the city ty owners, he said, and an assemblage find a way to assemble the property, perof the property by the city in some way haps also through the Brookhaven Devel— perhaps through the Brookhaven Deopment Authority, from the North Druid velopment Authority — could help make Hills intersection along Buford Highway the performing arts center a reality. up to where the Lips nightclub is located, “On this plot ... a developer has asked and decide what to put on the property. me about putting up townhomes here,” “My recommendation is we handle he said. “But does that make the best use this property as MARTA attempted to of the land? No. What do we do with Buhandle its property [at the Brookhavenford Highway? You set the tone for what Oglethorpe MARTA station]. We put out you want. If you do townhomes, you set a request for proposal and get control of the bar low. Let’s put the bar high, put the our destiny,” Gebbia said. message out ... and that’s why I suggest a “This area is defining for our city. This performing arts center.” is ground zero [for redevelopment],” he He has estimated in the past that a said. performing arts center could cost beMany of the apartment complexes firstname.lastname@example.org
We’ve been talking about development here for years ... and I’ve continued to be disappointed with products developers have brought to Brookhaven.
along and near Buford Highway are 40 and 50 years old, Gebbia noted, and will likely be sold to developers in the coming years. He said the Park Towne North apartments on North Cliff Valley Way just north of Buford Highway is for sale for about $50 million, for example. The complex, built in 1964, has 492 units and is in dilapidated condition. “It’s gonna go,” Gebbia said. And with it, the many people living there. The city can use its leverage to request developers include work force and affordable housing in any new development on this site, he said. And the city should also require developers to give residents a standard 120-day notice to move out. “The downside of a project is relocation. When you give short notice, [the residents] end up moving into worse conditions ... and that impacts education and poverty,” Gebbia said. “We owe it to [the city] to try to take steps to protect the people staying there and also to make it possible for the owner to sell,” he said. Gebbia estimates Buford Highway will see up to $3 billion in investments in the next decade. CHOA’s construction of its Center for Advanced Pediatrics and
recently approved plans to build a $1.3 billion hospital at its North Druid Hills campus will bring investments and redevelopment along Buford Highway, he said. More development will also come with the future development of Executive Park, he said. In 2016, Emory University purchased 60 acres of Executive Park but has not revealed to the public what it plans to do with the property. Emory Healthcare and the Atlanta Hawks teamed up to build a new 90,000-square -foot sports medicine and practice facility in Executive Park that opened in February. Corporate Square will also see new development, he predicted, and with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention planning a massive expansion on its Chamblee campus on Buford Highway, more development will come. “What is setting this whole thing ablaze ... is the Peachtree Creek Greenway,” he said. Plans are to break ground perhaps as soon as April on the first mile of the Greenway between the Salvation Army headquarters property at Corporate Boulevard to the REI at Briarwood Road.
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16 | Art & Entertainment
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$15 ages 12 and under. $25 and $10 ages 12 and under for MJCCA members. Morris & Rae Frank Theatre at MJCCA, 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody. Tickets: 678-8124002, or atlantajcc.org/habima.
TOSSED OUT TREASURES
Friday, Feb. 23 and Saturday, Feb. 24, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
GET ACTIVE ATLANTA AUDUBON SOCIETY BIRD WALK
“THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR”
Thursday, Feb. 22, 8 a.m.
Join Mary Kimberly, an Audubon Society Leader, to look for raptors, waterfowl, waders and perching birds on this Audubon Society field trip at Murphey Candler Park. Suitable for adults and children over 14 years old. No dogs. Plan footwear accordingly for steep spots, uneven surfaces and possibly muddy or slippery trail. Free. 1551 West Nancy Creek Drive NE, Brookhaven. Info: atlantaaudubon. org/field-trips. Cell contact on morning of walk: 404-308-6279.
WINTER OWL PROWL
Saturday, Feb. 24, 6:30 to 9 p.m.
Join the National Park Service for a campfire, guided night hike and live owl programs presented on the upper deck of the lodge at the Chattahoochee River Environmental Education Center. Wear comfortable shoes, dress in layers and bring a flashlight. Free. 8615 Barnwell Road, Johns Creek. Reservations required: 678538-1200. Directions: nps.govchat.
Through Sunday, Feb. 25
FAMILY FLASHLIGHT FUN RUN Sunday, Feb. 25, 6 to 9 p.m.
This third annual event featuring a nearly 1-mile course in Buckhead’s Garden Hills Park benefits Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. After the run, there’s a pizza celebration donated by Blue Moon Pizza in the Garden Hills Recreation Center. The event is organized by Garden Hills/ Peachtree Park Friends volunteers. $20 in advance; $25 on run day. 335 Pine Tree Drive NE, Buckhead. Register: choa.org/flashlightfunrun.
“SANKOFA — A SALUTE TO THE MUSIC OF BLACK COMPOSERS” Sunday, Feb. 25, 7:30 p.m.
Capitol City Opera Company presents a concert at Highpoint Episcopal Community Church. “Sankofa” is an African word from the Akan tribe in Ghana that translates to “Go back and get it.” Free. 4945 High Point Road NE, Sandy Springs. Info: ccityopera.org/performances.
FAMILY NIGHT HIKE AND CAMPFIRE
Saturday, Feb. 24, 7 to 9 p.m.
Take a journey with a Chattahoochee Nature Center naturalist along the river boardwalk or hike into the forest. A campfire wraps up the evening. $12; $10 nature center members. Register by Feb. 22 to save $2. 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell. Info: chattnaturecenter.org.
STRIDES FOR SURVIVORS Saturday, Feb. 24, 11:30 a.m.
This 2.7-mile walk around Chastain Park’s PATH benefits Turning Point Breast Cancer Rehabilitation, a Sandy Springs-based nonprofit. The event is hosted by sisters Lauren, Samantha, and Emilie Scalise, in honor of their mother Stephanie Scalise, a breast cancer survivor. Walk day registration opens at 10:30 a.m. Fee: $40. Opening/closing ceremonies are at The Galloway School, 215 West Wieuca Road NW, Buckhead. Registration: stridesforsurvivors.org.
Act3 Productions presents “The Merry Wives of Windsor,” a comedy set in the 1950s that channels iconic sitcoms such as “I Love Lucy.” Two women have been receiving love letters and their husbands are determined to find out what’s going on. $15-$23. 6285-R Roswell Road, Sandy Springs. Tickets: act3productions.org or 770-241-1905.
CHATTAHOOCHEE 5K/10K ROAD RACE
BROOKHAVEN COMMUNITY YARD SALE Saturday, March 3, 9 a.m. to noon.
Find deals and sell your unwanted items at the Brookhaven Parks and Recreation Department’s annual Community Yard Sale. Free. Cost to vendors is $20 for one 8-foot table or $30 for two tables. Briarwood Park Gym, 2235 Briarwood Way, Brookhaven. Info: 404-637-0512 or email Philip Mitchell at philip.mitchell@ brookhavenga.gov.
AUTHOR LECTURE: MAURICE J. HOBSON, “BLACK MECCA”
Saturday, March 3, 7:30 to 10:30 a.m.
Register through the Community Assistance Center (CAC) for a 15 percent discount on this 35th annual event that serves as a Peachtree Road Race qualifier. CAC assists people with basic needs and developing self-reliance in Sandy Springs and Dunwoody. The race also benefits Riverwood High School athletics and the Chattahoochee Road Runners social club. More than 1,100 runners participated last year. 5585 Sandy Springs Circle, Sandy Springs. Fees and registration info: ourcac.org.
This 27th annual upscale resale event presented by the Sandy Springs Society returns in a new space, offering deep bargains on gently used home decor, jewelry, silver, crystal, sports equipment, art, furniture, clothing, and more. Free. $10 for Early Bird Sale on Friday from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. 6450 Powers Ferry Road NW, Sandy Springs. Tickets: sandyspringssociety.org.
Wednesday, Feb. 21, 8 p.m.
“THE ADDAMS FAMILY”
Thursday, March 1 through Sunday, March 11
Jerry’s Habima Theatre, a theatrical company directed and produced by professionals that features actors with special needs, presents its 25th annual production. Jerry’s Habima Theatre is an award-winning program of the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta. Based on the characters from the ‘60s television series, “The Addams Family” is suitable for all ages. $35;
Maurice J. Hobson discusses his book “Black Mecca,” which portrays a schism between Atlanta’s black political elite and poor city-dwellers, complicating the view of Atlanta as a mecca for black people. Hobson is assistant professor of African American studies and history at Georgia State University. $10; $5 for History Center members. 130 West Paces Ferry Road NW, Buckhead. Info: 404-814-4150 or atlantahistorycenter.com/lectures.
ZYDECO CONCERT AND DANCE Saturday, March 3, 8 to 11 p.m.
Hailing from the Carolinas, Zydeco Ya Ya brings a Louisiana dance hall sound to the Dorothy Benson Center. Authentic Cajun/Creole food for sale. Ticket covers beginner’s dance lesson at 7 p.m. No partner necessary. Sponsored by the Atlanta Cajun Zydeco Association. $18; $14 active military; $5 students. 6500 Vernon Woods Drive, Sandy Springs. Info: aczadance.org.
FEB. 16 - MAR. 1, 2018 • VOL. 12— NO. 4
Art & Entertainment | 17
“PHOENIX FLIES: A CELEBRATION OF ATLANTA’S HISTORIC SITES” Saturday, March 3 through Sunday, March 25
“ADDY CELEBRATES BLACK HISTORY MONTH” Saturday, Feb. 24, 10 to 11:30 a.m.
This month’s meeting of Heritage Sandy Springs’ American Girl and Boy Club focuses on the Underground Railroad and the story of a girl who grew up in the South after the Civil War and risks her safety for the safety of others. Each monthly club meeting includes an activity, craft and snack. Kids are invited to bring their favorite doll. Best suited for ages 5 to 12. Advance registration recommended. $8 Heritage Sandy Springs members; $10 nonmembers; $15 at the door. 6075 Sandy Springs Circle, Sandy Springs. Info: heritagesandysprings.org. Click the education tab.
“VOTING IN A POLARIZED ERA”
The Atlanta Preservation Center presents its 15th annual monthlong festival celebrating Atlanta’s cultural and historical resources. The festival showcases 99 Preservation Partners offering 200 free events across the city, including guided walking tours, lectures, storytelling and open houses. One of this year’s highlights is a focus on Atlanta’s iconic architects Neel Reid and Philip Schutze, including tours of Buckhead’s Goodrum House and the Andrew Calhoun Estate. Info: preserveatlanta.com or 404-688-3353.
Welcome Dr. Michael Crowe! Peachtree Dunwoody Medical Associates is proud to welcome Dr. Michael Crowe, a boardcertified gynecologist with over three decades of experience practicing in the Atlanta area. Dr. Crowe offers comprehensive gynecologic care to women of all ages, serving with the same excellent, compassionate care you are accustomed to from Peachtree Dunwoody Medical Associates. Dr. Crowe is welcoming new patients, accepts most insurance plans, and offers a convenient location
Michael Crowe, MD Gynecology
near the Northside Hospital Atlanta campus.
Thursday, Feb. 22, 7:30 p.m.
Noted political analyst Alan Abramowitz delivers his forecast on the nation’s 2018 midterm elections year as part of Temple Emanu-El’s annual “TE TALKS” series. Abramowitz, an Emory University political science professor, is author of “The Polarized Public: Why American Government is So Dysfunctional.” His 30-minute presentation will be followed by a Q&A with the audience. Free. 1580 Spalding Drive, Sandy Springs. Info: templeemanuelatlanta.org.
AUTHOR LECTURE: STEVEN PINKER, “ENLIGHTENMENT NOW”
Friday, March 2, 7 p.m.
Cognitive scientist Steven Pinker discusses his book “Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism and Progress” at the Atlanta History Center. Pinker has been named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World Today and one of Foreign Policy magazine’s 100 Global Thinkers. $10; $5 for History Center members. Reservations suggested. 130 West Paces Ferry Road NW, Buckhead. Info: 404-814-4150 or atlantahistorycenter.com/lectures.
Call 404-497-1020 for an appointment!
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18 | Community
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Bowhunting in the ’burbs: Backyard deer-stalking draws fans and foes BY JOHN RUCH email@example.com
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“Ten years ago, we discovered a secret, a secret that was hidden in plain sight in the suburbs of Atlanta,” says the narrator of a deer-hunting video from a Brookhaven-based outfit called Seek One Productions. The secret: Backyard bow-and-arrow killing of supersized suburban bucks that is perfectly legal in such cities as Dunwoody and Sandy Springs. “They call it urban archery,” says Sgt. Eric Brown, the supervisor of state game wardens for Fulton County. “They’ll hunt virtually a quarter-acre tract.” Thanks to publicity on social media and in Georgia’s hunting press, the long-camouflaged practice of suburban bowhunting is growing in popularity, game wardens and hunters say. Like all hunting, it sparks some disputes, but they can flame hotter due to the close quarters of cul-de-sacs and office parks. Some people like hunting; some people hate it. Some people like deer; some people consider them pests. Arrow-wounded deer often run onto property where hunting is not allowed. Poachers trespass in yards and roam in parks. Marie Brumbach is among those who aren’t fans. “By word of mouth, this area has been targeted by poachers and bowhunters,” she says of her cul-de-sac off Spalding Drive in the wooded panhandle of Sandy Springs along the Chattahoochee River. She has stories about arrows and wounded deer found in yards and hunters lurking in tree stands. She thinks bowhunting is “disgusting and appalling.” The deer bowhunting season in DeKalb and Fulton counties ended Jan. 31, and Brumbach would like to see it gone from Sandy Springs before the next season arrives in September. “How can we be a progressive city while allowing bowhunters in our back yard?” she asked. “I don’t want to sit on my deck and watch a bowhunter next to me try and kill deer with arrows. I encourage all citizens of Sandy Springs to put pressure on [the city] council members and get this stopped immediately. We live in a city!” State law broadly allows licensed hunters to stalk deer on private property with the owner’s permission. In the northern suburbs, firearm deerhunting is banned for safety reasons, but bowhunting is allowed, and there’s no limit on getting close to houses, game wardens say. Some cities say they have found ways to indirectly ban bowhunting. Buckhead may have been named for a deerhunter’s trophy, but shoot an arrow in Atlanta today anywhere outside of an archery range and the cops may lock you up. Brookhaven bans shooting a bow except in defense of life or property. Roswell requires a permit, weapons training and safety requirements for bow use. Dunwoody and Sandy Springs, on the other hand, don’t restrict private-property bowhunting. Illegal hunting can be a problem, both on private land and in such parks as the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. “We have several [poaching] incidents that are in the investigation stage,” said Bill Cox, the national park’s supervisor. Brown said state game wardens are also investigating a poaching incident this season near the park, though he could not say which city it was in. Cpl. Chad Cox, a state game warden responsible for the Sandy Springs area, said he made no citations or arrests in the 2017-18 season. The lack of legal hunting in some northern suburban cities means more and bigger deer. That means more hunters attracted to the neighboring cities that do allow it. Hunters can find really big deer – a buck that “doesn’t look real, it’s so huge,” says Brown. “In my opinion, the biggest deer in the state of Georgia are within [Interstate] 285,” said Brown. “They’re well-fed. They eat everybody’s pansies. People feed them. Among the hunters attracted to the big bucks is Lee Ellis, who makes videos of his hunts under that Seek One Productions banner. According to state records, Seek One is registered at an address is Brookhaven and Ellis’s address is given as a Sandy Springs cul-de-sac off Johnson Ferry Road. Ellis did not respond to an interview request.
FEB. 16 - MAR. 1, 2018 • VOL. 12— NO. 4
Community | 19
Opposite page, The logo of Seek One Productions’ “Suburban Bowhunter” series. Above, A buck brought down by an arrow in an image from Seek One Production’s series on the 2016-17 suburban bowhunting season.
Last fall, Ellis took possibly the biggest buck killed with a bow in state history somewhere in the northern suburbs, an enormous 15-pointer he had nicknamed Zeus. As reported by Georgia Outdoor News, controversy followed, as Zeus was a beloved visitor to the back yard of a resident who fed the buck and who denied Ellis permission to hunt on his property. Ellis killed the deer elsewhere and the resident claimed, apparently falsely, to have raised the buck as a baby and at one point given it a bell collar. Ellis’s parade of big-buck kills also drew scorn from some rural hunters who suggested that suburban hunting is like shooting fish in a barrel. Some of the Seek One videos are available on the company’s Facebook page. The page describes suburban bowhunting as a “lifestyle,” and the videos show it is certainly complex, time-consuming and challenging. “It’s opening day of bow season 2016 and we are headed to the ’burbs, baby!” Ellis proclaims at the start of a series of videos about the 2016-17 hunting season. The videos never reveal exactly where the hunting happens, though Ellis says it is around the Chattachoochee River and its tributaries, which the deer follow. Ellis and friend Drew Carroll are shown laboriously knocking on doors to gain permission to hunt the “giants of the suburbs” and strapping cameras to trees to track targeted bucks, sometimes for years. The videos suggest that a special challenge of suburban hunting is the relatively small chance that the buck will pass through yards and lots where the hunters have permission to be. The videos depict some of the controversial points about suburban hunting. On opening day, the hunters encounter an apparent poacher in a lot behind an office building. In one episode, Ellis shoots a deer, which then flees the property, leaving Ellis to wait for hours to see if it reappears on property he has permission to hunt. The hunters also visit a Peachtree Corners City Council meeting to stave off a proposed weapons law that could have affected bowhunting. Suburban deer populations likely need to be controlled, including by hunting, says Brown, the game warden. For residents who don’t want to attract hunters or poachers, they may want to keep deer sightings to themselves. “Even people taking pictures [of deer] in parks and putting it on Facebook – people see that and they want to go hunt,” said Cox, the game warden.
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20 | Public Safety
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‘Safest cities’ website rankings don’t mean much, expert says BY JOHN RUCH email@example.com
“Safest cities” rankings promoted by websites and often touted by local governments have little value as crime analysis, according to a Georgia State University criminologist. One site has acknowledged its ranking is made by non-expert staff as part of a marketing business driving customers to security companies and Amazon.com. Joshua Hinkle, an associate professor at GSU’s Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, said such rankings are flawed in both method and concept, because most stranger-on-stranger crime is “incredibly concentrated” in small areas of any given city. “It’s not a matter of bad neighborhoods, much less safe or unsafe cities, [but] more the idea of a bad [or] unsafe street block here and there driving crime rates,” Hinkle said. Two similarly named websites, Safehome.org and SafeWise.com, get a lot of free press around the nation for their annual lists of each state’s “safest cities.” Safe Home’s latest was issued in December and SafeWise’s in January. Brookhaven issued a press release touting its appearance in the latest list from Safe Home, describing it as a “professional organization” and quoting the police chief about crime-fighting. Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul posted a Facebook message noting his city’s appearance on the list, and the Sandy Springs city website includes a 2014 SafeWise list on its “Awards and Honors” page. Typically unmentioned in news stories and press releases is that the websites offer little or no information about who operates them or creates the rankings. The primary content of both sites is security system reviews. And while they describe complex methods of calculating the rankings, each site produces significantly different lists. The Georgia top 10 on Safe Home’s latest 25-city list: Peachtree City, Johns Creek, Milton, Kennesaw, Roswell, Alpharetta, Newnan, Sandy Springs, Statesboro and Brookhaven. Dunwoody is Number 18. Meanwhile, the Georgia top 10 on SafeWise’s 50-city list: Summerville, Milton, Johns Creek, Senoia, Peachtree City, Alpharetta, Tyrone, Dallas, Flowery Branch and Grovetown. Sandy Springs was Number 15, Dunwoody was Number 28, and Brookhaven did not appear at all. Safe Home’s site lists no staff members or physical location and is registered through Domains By Proxy, a company that allows website owners to remain anonymous. The site broadly describes Safe Home as “an organization dedicated to making communities safer.” But in fine print, it also says, “We are a professional review site that receives compensation from some of the companies whose products we review.” Safe Home did not respond to questions submitted through the site. SafeWise has the same Utah office suite address as Clearlink, a marketing, sales and technology company whose clients, according to its website, include the security company ADT. According to spokesperson Sage Singleton, SafeWise makes money by earning a portion of some sales made to customers who buy from security system companies or Amazon.com via reviews on the site. The reviews cover both security brands that SafeWise is “affiliated” with and ones that do not have a sales deal, Singleton said. “It depends on the product and brand if we make money or not,” Singleton said. “We have brand relationships with different alarm companies, but we are not paid by the companies to rank or promote them on our site.” And what expertise does SafeWise bring to those “Safest Cities” rankings? “Our data team does not have an educational background in criminology or law enforcement,” Singleton said. “They simply analyzed existing data from the FBI and came up with interesting conclusions based on that data.”
Above, the homepage of Safe Home, at safehome.org, is focused on the review and sales of security systems. Below, on SafeWise.com, the company’s list of Georgia’s “Safest Cities” is paired with security system sales packages.
Hinkle said that FBI-collected crime statistics are a solid starting point, though some categories of crime, such as rape, have underreporting problems. But he questioned the weighting toward some types of violent crime. “I’d also argue that using aggravated assault, rape [and] murder isn’t necessarily the best way to measure the safety level of cities,” he said. “Assaults, rapes and murders are largely committed by people the victims know — friends, family and acquaintances —rather than being random acts in the community.” Safe Home pitches its ranking as advice on finding a safe place to live. But, Hinkle said, people making a move should be most interested in “more random crimes like street robbery and residential burglary.” The bigger problem with “safest cities” lists, Hinkle said, is that crime is not citywide. “We have tons of research evidence supporting the notion of the ‘law of crime concentrations’ — essentially we know that crime is incredibly concentrated in a few small areas,” he said. “… For instance, studies in a variety of nations and cities have consistently found that between 3 to 6 percent of addresses in a city account for 50 percent of the crimes reported to police, and 20 percent of places generate 80 percent A criminologist’s view of the crime. SPECIAL “Thus, comparing cities isn’t particularly useful,” Hinkle said, beHinkle, the GSU professor who does have that criminology expertise, Joshua Hinkle, cause living on a “bad” block in a top-ranked city could be more dangerused a different description for the Safe Home and SafeWise method: It criminology professor ous than living most places in a lower-ranked city. “isn’t particularly useful.” Hinkle said that people seeking online crime information for their city have a Both sites publish a complicated method for determining the “safest cities” rankbetter online option: the local governments’ own crime-mapping sites. He said that ing, involving crime statistics reported to the FBI, crime rate trends, population, deduring his latest move, he used the DeKalb County Police Department’s CrimeTrac mographics and, in Safe Home’s case, crime fear perceptions. Safe Home’s method site to look at crimes reported on the blocks immediately around addresses where gives more weight to murder, rape and assault than to burglary and vehicle theft. he considered moving. SafeWise says it is also focused on violent crime: “We evaluated and ranked each “That’s much more useful and informative than any rankings of safe cities or city based on its violent crime rate. If there was a tie, we also considered the numeven neighborhoods,” he said. ber of property crimes.”
Classifieds | 21
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22 | Community
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Healing on horseback
C Alan Schatten [A] and his brother Todd [C] take a ride on Feb. 11 at Chastain Horse Park. They are among the many people with disabilities who participate in the Horse Park’s therapeutic program, intended to improve participants’ cognitive, physical, emotional and social well-being. See chastainhorsepark.org for details.
A - Alan Schatten rides Tonka. B - Victoria Pantoja, 2, pets Tonka while
being held by father Diego. The Pantojas live nearby and frequently visit the horses.
C - Todd Schatten pets the ear of
Apache while preparing to ride under the guidance of Gail Wilson.
D - Todd Schatten leads Apache back to the stable after their ride.
PHOTOS BY PHIL MOSIER
FEB. 16 - MAR. 1, 2018 • VOL. 12— NO. 4
Buckhead neighborhoods propose security camera systems
BY EVELYN ANDREWS
Public Safety | 23
and prove to be effective by helping the police find accused criminals, the association would try to garner support from the neighborhood for a more robust system that would cover the neighborhood in chunks. “To be successful, we need to focus on smaller areas,” he said. “The philosophy would be to break the neighborhood into small hunks or cells which would have a camera at every cell exit.” The NBCA is exploring two pilot programs: one on Old Ivy Road, which has about 100 homes, and another on Alexander Road. Alexander Road turns off of Phipps Boulevard opposite the entrance
Neighborhood representatives are proposing security camera programs in Pine Hills and North Buckhead in the hope of curbing property crime. “Our crime levels are usually very low, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to get them lower,” said Gordon Certain, the president of the North Buckhead Civic Association. The Buckhead Coalition is also planning a program and will announce details on a security camera program next month, said Sam Massell, the president of the organization. The cameras North Buckhead is considering could capture color video of vehicles as well as license tag numbers. It is looking into how to connect its system into the city’s comprehensive security camera system, the Loudermilk Video Integration Center, which links approximately 10,400 publicly and privately owned cameras. The Pine Hills NeighborSPECIAL hood Association is planning A slide from Gordon Certain’s presentation shows to install 10 cameras that a proposed camera installed at the beginning would also link into the sysof Alexander Road near Phipps Plaza. tem. Certain estimates North to the Phipps Plaza and includes hunBuckhead’s program would cost $6,000 dreds of homes, including a condominfor two years. Pine Hills’ program, which ium building and two apartment comwould be run by Georgia Power, would plexes. The two are both dead end roads be much steeper at $700,000 for three that could be monitored with a simple, years, its website said. one-camera set up, Certain said. The Atlanta Police Department sup“These two pilot projects would let us ports neighborhoods purchasing camera acquire real-world experience in having a systems because they can collect “valusecurity camera system. We could learn able evidence,” said Maj. John Quigley, how to best respect the privacy needs of the executive officer for strategy and spethe residents while helping protect them cial projects. from crime,” he said. “We feel that a camera is the next best The cameras would be pointed at the thing to having a police officer,” Quigley street and not at homes, and capture vidsaid. eo only when it detects a car or pedestriThe cameras have to be compatible ans, Certain said. with the software used in the center. A for-profit corporation would own, The center only records video from cityinstall, and operate the cameras and owned cameras, and it keeps the video have access to the images, which will be for 14 days. Video from cameras operated stored for 30 days, Certain said. Members by other entities, including private comof the neighborhood association’s secupanies on behalf of neighborhood associrity committee would also have access, ations, are not recorded and stored by the but the association has not determined center, but can be accessed by its officers under what circumstances yet, he said. if needed, Quigley said. Neighbors may also be provided access to Certain presented several proposals the images if a relevant police report has for the camera system at the Feb. 8 Buckbeen filed, he said. It hasn’t decided what head Council of Neighborhoods meeting, company would operate the cameras. which he later described in an interview. Residents would also be able to opt out North Buckhead may move forward of the recording of their cars being saved with a pilot program that would install by submitting a request to the camera optwo cameras in two parts of the neigherator. The car would be initially recordborhood, Certain said. ed by a camera, but the video would be If the pilot programs move forward deleted when the software identifies its
license plate as belonging to a resident who has opted out of the program, Certain said. NBCA would fund the two pilot programs if it continues to move forward with them, but will encourage the residents who live there in those areas to contribute. It would cost about $6,000 to fund both cameras for two years, he said. If other areas of North Buckhead want to join the camera program, those residents would need to raise the funds, Certain said. “Those areas in the neighborhood that aren’t interested or don’t have sufficient numbers willing to pay will be free to do without. While the overall system won’t fail if some areas don’t join, the more camera cells we have, the safer the neighborhood will be,” he said. Pine Hills is entering into a partnership with Georgia Power to install and maintain 10 surveillance cameras at major entry points and roadways that would
integrate with the city of Atlanta’s camera surveillance systems. The cameras would be installed on Canter, Ferncliffe and East and West Wieuca roads, according to a map on the association’s website. Association president Nancy Bliwise said the program needs more residents to commit to the project so it can be fully funded. “We are in the campaign development phase as we need more members in order to afford this. So, it is approved but not implemented,” Bliwise said. The association will need about 300 members to contribute a combined $700,000 to the program to have sufficient funds for the camera installation and to fund the program for three years, according to the website. Access to the surveillance records will be granted only to police for the purpose of solving reported crimes, according to the association’s website.
Police Blotter / Buckhead The following information, involving events that took place in Buckhead between Jan. 21 through Feb. 3, was provided by the Zone 2 precinct of the Atlanta Police Department.
AGGRAVATED ASSAULT 1900 block of Piedmont Circle — Jan. 22 500 block of Martina Drive — Jan. 24 2500 block of Piedmont Road — Jan. 25
BURGLARY 2000 block of Hollywood Road — Jan.
22 700 block of Defoors Landing — Jan. 24 700 block of Defoors Landing — Jan. 24 600 block of Defoors Landing — Jan. 24 400 block of Mount Paran Road — Jan.
24 2000 block of Noble Creek Drive — Jan.
25 1300 block of Westminster Walk — Jan.
26 800 block of Chattahoochee Avenue —
Jan. 27 2400 block of Paul Avenue — Jan. 28 4400 block of Northside Parkway —
Jan. 29 900 block of Canterbury Road — Jan. 29 400 block of Loridans Drive — Jan. 29 1000 block of Lindbergh Drive — Jan. 29 2800 block of Parkland Drive — Jan. 30 100 block of West Paces Ferry Road —
Jan. 30 1200 block of West Paces Ferry Road —
Jan. 30 900 block of East Paces Ferry Road —
Jan. 31 3200 block of Paces Ferry Place — Jan.
31 500 block of Wimbledon Road — Feb. 1 200 block of Derring Road — Feb. 2
700 block of Collier Road — Feb. 3 1800 block of North Rock Springs Drive
— Feb. 3 500 block of Pelham Road — Feb. 3
ROBBERY 1100 block of Woodland Avenue — Jan.
21 3100 block of Mathieson Drive — Jan. 21 3500 block of Peachtree Road — Jan. 22 800 block of Martina Drive — Jan. 23 2400 block of Piedmont Road — Jan. 23 2900 block of Peachtree Road — Jan. 23 2500 block of Piedmont Road — Jan. 26 2900 block of Grandview Avenue — Jan.
28 3300 block of Peachtree Road — Jan. 29 2400 block of Peachtree Road — Jan. 30 1600 block of Marietta Boulevard — Jan.
31 2300 block of Cheshire Bridge Road —
Jan. 31 2000 block of Cheshire Bridge Road —
Feb. 1 2400 block of Cheshire Bridge Road —
LARCENY Between Jan. 21 and Jan. 27, there were
61 larcenies from vehicles reported across Zone 2 and 37 reported cases of larceny and shoplifting. Between Jan. 28 and Feb. 3, there were
44 larcenies from vehicles reported across Zone 2 and 38 reported cases of larceny and shoplifting.
AUTO THEFT There were eight reported incidents of
auto theft between Jan. 21 and Jan. 27. There were 11 reported incidents of
auto theft between Jan. 28 and Feb. 3.
24 | Education
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very year, the Professional Association of Georgia Educators Foundation, known as the PAGE Foundation, identifies top students at public and private high schools across Georgia. The foundation says its Student Teacher Achievement Recognition program, or STAR student and teacher honors, has highlighted the achievements of more than 25,000 students since it started in 1958. The program identifies high school seniors who post the highest SAT scores for their schools and rank among the top 10 percent or top 10 students in their class in grade-point average. Each STAR student then chooses her or his STAR teacher. Once school winners are selected, regional STAR students and teachers are chosen to compete for the state title.
Atlanta International School
Emil Zakarian Star Student
Timothy McMahon Star Teacher
Dunwoody High School
Alex Joshua Eldridge Star Student
Mary Dee Sturken Star Teacher
Yourong Geng Star Student
The Galloway School
The Lovett School
Abby Shlesinger Star Student
MariaPaola Jimenez Star Teacher
Heidi Gray Star Teacher
Jack Maley Star Student
Rahim Ghassemian Star Teacher
St. Pius X Catholic High School
Nicholas Poulos Star Student
Maria Kepler Star Teacher
Brian Kang Star Student
Larisa Tulchinsky Star Teacher
Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School
Jack Patterson Star Student
Jerry Aull Star Teacher
Meredith Many Star Teacher
Arial Strode Star Student
Sam Baroody Star Teacher
Eric Nathan Miller Star Student
Thomas Henderson Star Teacher
Harrison Lewis Star Student
Kevin Goldberg Star Teacher
Rosa Brown Star Student
Jenny Cockrill Star Teacher
Cross Keys High School
Yuyan Ke Star Student
Christina Holtzman Star Teacher
Holy Spirit Preparatory School
David Sullivan Star Student
Paulina Faraj Star Teacher
North Atlanta High School
Mount Vernon Presbyterian School
North Springs Charter High School
Jared Matthew Coffsky Star Student
Julia Platt Star Student
Chamblee Charter High School
Michael Elenbaas Star Teacher
Max Palisoc Star Student
Atlanta Girls’ School
Richard Hill Star Student
David Ehrman Star Teacher
Riverwood International Charter School
Jason Smith Star Teacher
Saya Abney Star Student
Daniel Gribble Star Teacher
The Westminster Schools
Phoebe Liu Star Student
Nurfatimah Merchant Star Teacher
Alan Xu Star Student
Jennifer Dracos-Tice Star Teacher