02-16-18 Sandy Springs Reporter

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FEB. 16 - MAR. 1, 2018 • VOL. 12— NO. 4


Sandy Springs Reporter


Bowhunting in the ’burbs: Backyard deer-stalking draws fans and foes PAGE 18

► ‘Safest cities’ rankings don’t mean much, expert says PAGE 20


Perimeter Business

Hotel industry booms P 4-9

Library renovation plan draws applause, needs bigger budget

Dancing with Daddy

BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

Steve McCowan prepares to snap a selfie while dancing with his daughter Stevie, a third-grader at Spalding Drive Charter Elementary School, during the city’s annual Daddy Daughter Dance, held at the school Feb. 3.


The Sandy Springs Branch Library renovation plan drew applause from a crowd about 50 who attended a Feb. 7 community meeting. Construction could start sometime between April and July this year and would require a six- to eight-month closure. But first, Fulton County must approve a 15 percent budget increase to $3.346 million. Built in 1973, the library at 395 Mount Vernon Highway NE was last renovated 30 years ago. Joe Alcock, the lead architect for the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System’s renovations, said at the meeting, held at the library, that the branch managers have found ways to “make do” with the outdated spaces over the years. “This is the time we’re going to take those make-do’s and turn them into should-be’s,” Alcock said. See LIBRARY on page 12

AROUND TOWN A ‘family photographer’ for refugees


City prepares to map a north end redevelopment strategy BY JOHN RUCH

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


Redevelopment of the north end’s aging shopping centers and apartment complexes became an official city priority on Feb. 6. Now the city just has to figure out exactly what that means. Mass displacement and gentrification to lure chef-driven restaurants and shopping boutiques? Mixed-income housing? Apartments or condos? A See CITY on page 14

2 | Community

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Fulton overestimated TSPLOST revenue, but collections are rising BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

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Fulton County overestimated the revenue it will gain from a new transportation sales tax by about 10 percent due to flawed calculation, according to the county’s chief operating officer. But the TSPLOST may hit its funding goals anyway as tax collections are rising. An updated estimate is coming, says Fulton Chief Operating Officer Todd Long. But, he added, revenue actually exceeded the estimate in December – hitting 103 percent — and the five-year TSPLOST has plenty of time left to bring in the bucks. And, he noted, even a lower collection still means hundreds of millions of dollars for local roads, sidewalks and paths. “It’s still a lot of money. It’s not chump change,” said Long. And while he is working on that updated estimate, he said, “Let’s say we get another month with 103 percent. Maybe we should shut up.” The TSPLOST covers all of Fulton except the city of Atlanta, which has a separate TSPLOST. The Fulton TSPLOST boosted the sales tax from 7 to 7.75 percent starting last April. It was projected to raise at least $580 million, which would be distributed to Fulton cities in amounts proportional to population. Sandy Springs was expected to receive at least $103.7 million. But in its first month, the TSPLOST revenue was nearly a quarter less than expected. Through December — the last monthly data available — overall revenue is about 12.1 percent lower than expected at this point, Long said. Sandy Springs officials are among those expressing concern about the lower revenue and its impact on local transportation projects. Some city officials previously said the city’s TSPLOST share was even lower than the countywide revenue shortfall. Mayor Rusty Paul renewed longstanding fears that confusion over the names of border-area ZIP codes was causing some businesses to incorrectly send local taxes to the city of Atlanta, where officials report their own TSPLOST is meeting revenue projections. The Reporter confirmed cases of Starbucks and Staples miscalculating sales tax in that way, but it is unclear where the money literally went. Long said it is not true that Sandy Springs was getting even less revenue than the rest of Fulton. He said Sandy Springs’ share is pegged at 18.22 percent of the total, and that’s what the city is receiving. So far, he said, the county has collected $71,018,398 in TSPLOST revenue, and Sandy Springs got $12,940,714 of that. “I’m seeing stuff that concerns me when they say they’re getting less than everybody else. No, everybody’s in the same boat,” Long said. As for the ZIP code confusion, Long said it is a possible factor. He said another factor may be businesses simply not knowing they have to pay the new tax. He said stray cases of major businesses like fast-food chains not charging the new tax were noticed informally by members of a TSPLOST citizen advisory committee. State tax officials would catch that eventually and the businesses would have to pay, he noted. The big problem Long said he found in his digging was not on the revenue side, but on the estimate side. The original projection was done for free by experts at Georgia State University’s Andrew Young School of Policy Studies. Long said Fulton is paying for a new projection and that, while the experts cautioned against hasty conclusions, they acknowledged a problem with the original estimate. The projection relied too heavily on population as a factor and didn’t fully cope with the tricky business of separating the city of Atlanta from the calculation, he said. “What they ended up doing was saying, ‘Our assumptions were wrong about the split between the city of Atlanta and the rest of the county,’” Long said. The county has a new draft revenue estimate, but Long is still working with GSU on its details. He said Fulton cities haven’t seen it yet and declined to release it, but described the gist. “They’ve given us some new estimate [that] now is 10 percent lower,” he said. Meanwhile, collections are on the rise and construction costs on some projects have lowered, Long said, so it could all balance out.


FEB. 16 - MAR. 1, 2018 • VOL. 12— NO. 4


Community Briefs N EW M EM BERS N A MED TO C I TY Z O NING B O AR D S The Sandy Springs Planning Commission and Board of Appeals have lineup changes, with each receiving a new member. On the Planning Commission, Elizabeth Kelly has replaced Susan Maziar. On the Board of Appeals, Bill Thackston has replaced Ken Moller, and member Colin Lichtenstein was appointed to his second term. All terms are four years. The appointments were recommended by Mayor Rusty Paul and approved by the City Council on Feb. 6. The Planning Commission is an advisory board that reviews a wide variety of zoning and building design matters. Kelly is president of the Sandy Springs Society, a prominent local charitable organization, and Paul said he believes she will be an advocate for neighborhood preservation. Maziar had served on the commission since it was formed in 2006. “This one was a challenge for me,” Paul said of her leaving the commission, adding she had done an “amazing job” but that he believes membership changes are healthy. The Board of Appeals is a “quasi-legal” board that reviews requests for certain variances from the zoning code. Thackston is retiring from his career as a lawyer and was “very active” in the city’s formation, Paul said.

POLI C E BODY C A MERA S O FFER F BI S H OOTI N G EVI DEN C E, C HIEF SAYS The new body cameras worn by Sandy Springs Police officers recorded “instrumental” evidence in a Jan. 5 incident where an FBI agent shot an alleged gang member, according to Police Chief Ken DeSimone. The body cameras “were very instrumental in the FBI shooting” investigation, DeSimone told the City Council at its Jan. 23 annual retreat. “The FBI commented … this is one of the first shootings they’ve had with body camera evidence,” DeSimone added, because FBI agents typically do not wear their own cameras. Kevin Rowson, a spokesperson for the FBI’s Atlanta field office, declined to comment, citing potential evidence in the case. He said a “thorough investigation” continues. The FBI previously said the Jan. 5 incident happened as agents and Sandy Springs Police officers attempted to arrest Cedrick Hill, a Marietta resident accused of being a member of a drug-trafficking gang called Nine Trey Gangster Bloods. Hill is accused of fleeing the Wyndham Atlanta Galleria hotel on Powers Ferry Road and dragging and injuring an FBI agent with his vehicle. The FBI agent shot Hill, who survived. DeSimone said Sandy Springs officers with body cameras rode in the ambulance with Hill, “and you get a lot of evidence that way.” He told the City Council that other officers also rode with the FBI agent. All Sandy Springs patrol officers began wearing TASER Axon brand body cameras last year. The cameras are always on, recording briefly and then re-recording over footage, unless the officer is responding to a specific incident, when he or she triggers it to keep recording.


Lisa Crawford.



The City Springs Performing Arts Center has hired a sales and marketing manager with experience in some of the institutions that inspired the new artsoriented Sandy Springs civic center. Lisa Crawford, who starts work Feb. 12, will promote concerts and other events at City Springs “through partnerships, sponsorships and cross-marketing opportunities,” according to a press release. Crawford comes to City Springs from a seven-year stint in a similar job at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, S.C. She previously worked as a special events operations manager in Atlanta at CNN and the Woodruff Arts Center. She is an Atlanta native and a University of Georgia graduate.

Community | 3

4 | Perimeter Business

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Perimeter Business

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 johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

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

Stacy McClouse.


BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

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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8 | Perimeter Business

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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.








Sandy Springs

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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FEB. 16 - MAR. 1, 2018 • VOL. 12— NO. 4

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


Around Town

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

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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12 | Community

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Library renovation plan gets applause, needs bigger budget Continued from page 1 The renovation responds to most requests made at a previous community meeting last June and is aimed at created flexible spaces that will be useful for 20 to 25 years. The plan does not include any additions to the library, but involves a total renovation of both the interior and exterior. The interior would be reconfigured to create long-desired spaces for a teen section, a friends group’s bookstore, meetings and a children’s art room. Many of those amenities drew comments of “good” and “thanks” from the audience. The plan broadly rearranges the library’s two halves into a western “children’s wing” and an eastern “research wing” that includes adult and teen departments. Also on the to-do list: a $40,000 budget for 20 to 30 pieces of art that would be sought through an open call to local artists. The library would have a couple of gallery spaces as well for changing exhibits. “It’s like the cherry on top of the ice cream,” said Lionell Thomas, Fulton County’s director of arts and culture, about the public art plan. Before anything happens, the Fulton County Board of Commissioners must be asked to approve the budget increase to cover the final design. The Sandy Springs Branch project is

The renovation plan’s reconfigured interior spaces as displayed at the Feb. 7 community meeting. The plan is oriented with the main Mount Vernon Highway entrance at the bottom. JOHN RUCH

part of the second and last phase of a system-wide renovation and construction program dating to a 2008 voter-approved bond. The local branch’s renovation budget in that program was $2,899,686, according to Fulton County. Al Collins, the administrator of the bond program, said that needs to increase by about $446,000 to cover the new design and today’s rising construction costs. The system-wide renovation budget can be tweaked to find the money, he said. Collins said there is no guarantee the commission will approve a budget increase, but added that he believes library officials “have a strong case … I believe that the commissioners will understand.” The budget, the refined design and the

juggling of the several remaining branch renovations have resulted in some uncertainty and delay to the Sandy Springs Branch construction schedule. The start is already a bit later and the estimated construction closure period a bit longer than officials estimated at last year’s meeting. Collins said that officials are still aiming for an April-to-October construction schedule, but Alcock indicated a construction start of May at the earliest and July at the latest. Another factor limiting some landscaping and parking details at the moment are the city’s proposals to widen Mount Vernon Highway for a multiuse path or multimodal lane and to reconfigure the street’s

intersection with Johnson Ferry Road. Those ideas remain in the concept stage. Among the possible impacts, officials said, are the loss of parking spaces and the relocation of existing public art. The following are some of the proposed improvements in the renovation:

Overall building upgrades

■ Complete exterior renovation, including all new windows and a new roof. ■ Complete interior renovation, including new furniture and shelving. ■ Self-checkout stations, two or three of them in different locations. ■ An improved Wi-Fi internet connection system and a “Technology Zone” with 30 public computers, up from 18 available today. ■ Conversion of the existing meeting room in the friends group’s bookstore, with space for on-site book storage, not offsite as it is today. The friends group’s area would increase from 416 square feet to 762 square feet. ■ A new meeting room created in today’s teen area and friends group bookstore area with a capacity of 90 to 100, about 50 percent higher than today’s meeting room. A kitchenette would be added. Two smaller meeting spaces would be created elsewhere in the building. ■ A vending machine area with seating. ■ A central information desk beneath decorative hanging ceiling features — “we call them lily pads,” Alcock said — to make it easy to spot. ■ Ramps on the eastern walkway to make it accessible to people with disabilities, and the replacement of the swinging entrance doors with automated sliding versions. ■ Expanded and upgraded restrooms. ■ Landscaping upgrades, including new signs on both Mount Vernon and Johnson Ferry. Some trees may be removed as unhealthy, Alcock said. ■ New safety equipment, including a sprinkler system and security cameras inside and outside.

‘Children’s wing’ upgrades

■ A new children’s computer lab in the building’s southwest corner. ■ A larger reading area created in an enclosed space at the front of the building, with about 1,000 square feet compared to today’s 325 square feet.


FEB. 16 - MAR. 1, 2018 • VOL. 12— NO. 4

Community | 13


Traffic signal, roundabout proposed for Dunwoody Club and Jett Ferry intersection BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

Plans to install traffic lights or build a roundabout at the Dunwoody Club Drive/Jett Ferry Road intersection received a mixed reaction from residents that attended a Feb. 8 public meeting. The cities of Sandy Springs and Dunwoody presented those two plans that they hope would curb the amount of wrecks at the intersection, which is on the cities’ border and is currently a fourway stop. About 100 residents attended the open house meeting at Dunwoody Community Church. There wasn’t a clear favorite proposal from the crowd. Several residents’ concerns centered on making sure this project is necessary by doing a traffic study on the effectiveness of recentlyinstalled flashing lights on the four stop signs in the intersection. The roundabout would be a onelane roundabout with a landscaped center median. It is designed to slow down traffic, but keep traffic flowing at a constant speed of around 15 mph, said Patricia Cooley, a consultant with engineering firm CALYX. The traffic signal plan would add dedicated left turn lanes to every side of the intersection. Each light would also have a left turn arrow, said Joe Gillis, the traffic manager for Sandy Springs projects funded under a transportation special local option sales tax. Crosswalks would also be added to the two sides that don’t currently have them. The roundabout is estimated to cost $1.5 million. The traffic light proposal would cost an estimated $1.2 million. The two cities plan to split the cost, Gillis said. The project was mostly prompted by the amount of accidents in the intersection, Gillis said. Drivers don’t always completely stop at the signs, and they can be overlooked, he said. Between 2014 and 2017, there were 40 accidents in the intersection, according to a handout distributed at the meeting. “The big thing we have to look at is safety,” Dunwoody Mayor Denis Shortal said at the meeting. Sandy Springs Councilmember John Paulson, like many residents, said he wants a study done to determine if the flashing, solar-powered lights that were installed last December have been effective at alerting drivers to the stop sign. The intersection is neighbored on the west by a residential area and immediately surrounded by a Chevron gas station, a CVS pharmacy and a Kroger supermarket. On the northwest corner of the intersection is the Dunwoody Country Club and a “butterfly garden” that is maintained by the Spalding Garden Club, which is concerned by the plans because they would destroy part of the garden. SS

The cities would have to negotiate with those commercial property owners for right of way they would need for both projects. However, neither project would need to take any property from residential owners, according to the designs. Barbara Meehan, SPECIAL One proposal by the cities of Dunwoody and Sandy Springs is to create a one-lane roundabout in the the chair of Dunwoody Club Drive and Jett Ferry Road intersection. The project would cost an estimated $1.5 million. the Spalding Garden flowing and would not be subject to sigdunwoodyclub. Comments on the proClub, which has maintained the garden nal timing issues. posals can be emailed to traffic@sanbetween the Dunwoody Country Club The proposals can be viewed at spr.gs/ dyspringsga.gov. and the intersection since 1989, said she is concerned by how much of the garden could be lost if plans move forward. “We think it should be considered when they are making decisions,” MeeCeleb han said. our 2 rating 5th Ye Sixty feet of the front of the garden ar! and 12 feet on the sides of the garden would be removed in either plan, Cooley said. Paulson said he will wait to review resident feedback before choosing a preferred proposal, but said he is not averse Soft or firm Fabric & leather to the idea of a roundabout like some are. seats “I’m not afraid of roundabouts,” he said. A nearby Sandy Springs resident, Lucy Lansky, said she thought a roundabout could not handle the high traffic in Reclining sofas Customizable that area. She feared a roundabout would Easy-to-clean furniture cause more accidents due the amount of fabrics cars that travel through the intersection. “I am not an expert, but I think a roundabout is better for light traffic,” she said. But she said she supports the plan to Incredibly comfortable sleepers add traffic signals, saying the stop signs do not move traffic through quickly enough and can be dangerous. “The stop signs are not good enough,” she said. Gillis could not provide exact numSmall-scale sofas & chairs Articulating headrests bers on how each plan would improve & adjustible lumbars Power LIFT chairs traffic compared to the current conditions, but said both proposals would pro30 E Crossville Rd (Hwy 92 @ Crabapple), Roswell vide enough of an improvement to be Tues-Sat 10-6, Sun 12-5 • www.TheComfortableChairStore.com considered viable solutions. DIRECTIONS: Take Roswell Rd N & continue 1.5 mi N of Historic Roswell, Another Sandy Springs resident, Bob OR take Exit 7B/Holcomb Br off GA400 & we’ll be 2.7 mi on the right Barnaby, said he favors the roundabout proposal because it would keep traffic

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14 | Community

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City prepares to map a north end redevelopment strategy Continued from page 1 magical mix of all the above and more? A discussion at the Jan. 23 City Council retreat clarified little. Ultimately, officials will wait for a report from Mayor Rusty Paul’s long-discussed redevelopment “task force,” whose members he said he will announce by early March. But there is one bottom-line answer: Any type of plan likely will involve significant public investment. “The numbers don’t work without some type of subsidy,” said City Manager John McDonough in discussing apartment complex redevelopment costs. Notably not mentioned at all was the recently revealed behind-thescenes concept for a large-scale mixedincome redevelopment proposed by a local philanthropic couple, David Couchman and Melanie Noble-Couchman, even though they were in attendance. Paul spoke in terms of rescuing the north end from imminent “collapse” and said the task force nominees will be people with practical development experience. One resident of the target area, Valeria Palmer, said in an interview that she’d rather see the city “support

what’s already here instead of remake it in a landscaped, bland image.” She’s owned a condo on River Run Drive for over 25 years, since before there was a city of Sandy Springs, and now fears its leaders aim to “super-gentrify” the area. “I think they’d like to redevelop all multifamily [housing] under $300,000 out of existence,” she said.

Visions and funding

At the council retreat, officials generally rehashed ideas and information gathered over the past several years by two largely dormant groups: an Economic Development Advisory Committee, comprised of many developers, and an informal group formed by former City Councilmember Ken Dishman, which included developers and some residents. Some of their ideas were codified last year in the city’s updated land-use plan. As presented by city Economic Development Director Andrea Worthy, the concepts maintain the perspective of higher-income property owners in the area who want higher-end retail closer to home. That essentially means changing the area’s demographics to higher-income, she said.

The concepts have some interest in housing affordability, largely couched in such coded terms as “missing middle” and “workforce” housing, meaning moderate- or middle-income affordability. The issue was raised with some sense of caution, as when Worthy said, “I like to tell people, apartments in and of themselves are not a negative thing,” but the current stock is aging. Conflicting goals of gentrification and affordability are tensions in the concepts. Another tension is that redevelopment might gain middle-income housing by displacing today’s lower-income housing, and in one of the city’s most racially and ethnically diverse areas, too. Complicating any resolution are already high property values. Worthy said acquiring and redeveloping a single apartment complex could cost well over $40 million. Officials discussed a wide range of financing and funding options, such as city-issued bonds, a self-taxing business district and public-private partnerships with nonprofits, schools and private developers. One example discussed at length was Marietta’s controversial $68 million bond-fund buyout of the Franklin Gateway area, where

apartments were gentrified and have been partly replaced by an IKEA store and a training facility for Atlanta’s new pro soccer team. Worthy said city staff have asked for a review of all possible methods, but especially “housing funds.” Those include impact fees charged to developers of large projects. They also include funds that could be raised under an “inclusionary zoning” program, which would require multifamily housing developers to make a certain percentage of units affordable or pay a fee in lieu of such units. Inclusionary zoning was briefly in a draft of the city’s new zoning code, and it remains unclear where it came from or why it went away, though Paul said in internal emails he unilaterally killed it as ineffective. Paul said he fears the north end is threatened with “collapse,” noting the recent closure of a Kroger store. “I think, morally and ethically, you have to try and figure out how you prevent the collapse, and you try to figure out what is doable and what’s affordable and what our community’s willing to support,” he said, adding that “this is a tough, difficult challenge, but I think we owe the community the best effort we got to figure it out.”

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FEB. 16 - MAR. 1, 2018 • VOL. 12— NO. 4

Community | 15


The Couchmans’ concept

A resident’s view

Last year, internal city emails show, Palmer, the River Run resident, isn’t the Couchmans and three high-profile so sure the neighborhood needs govaffordable housing development orgaernment intervention. nizations privately presented the may“Frankly, we’re not near-slums,” or and City Council members with a she said. “Most of the apartment comredevelopment concept for some of plexes are pretty well-kept, and conthe north end’s older apartment comdos, the same.” The housing is diverse, plexes, a large-scale idea featuring from Huntcliff’s mansions to affordmixed-income housing and a commuable units, she said. nity center. The emails show that the An IT worker, Palmer bought her Couchmans’ concept, while still in an condo in 1991, 14 years before the city early stage and not totally embraced incorporated. She said Sandy Springs by officials, has leaders never strongly influseemed to want the enced north end area to begin with, and affordable but that in recent housing policy for years gentrificaat least two years. tion seemed like Yet it went una goal. First came mentioned at the MARTA’s plan to retreat, as did one day extend the some sort of afRed Line, with lofordability and cal agitation getredevelopment ting that routed policy called “Rethrough hundreds alizing the Dream” of apartments raththat Paul is drafter than a few dozing. It remains unen single-family clear who else may homes. Then came have been aware the talk of redevelof the Couchmans’ oping for higherconcept. The ownend retail, she said. ers of several propPalmer said the erties in the targetcity’s “Next Ten” ed area, including land-use and zonapartment coming input meetings plexes and Fulton were held too earCounty Schools, ly in the evening did not respond to for her and many questions. Stream of her neighbors to Realty Partners, VALERIA PALMER attend after work, which owns the RIVER RUN RESIDENT and she questioned

Maybe I’m just not what Sandy Springs wants for its demographic, but I’ve been here for 20 years [and] I’m not going without kicking and screaming.

North River shopping center within the area, declined to comment on the record. The YMCA of Metro Atlanta, which Paul said has interest in opening a center in the area, also did not respond to questions. The Atlanta Apartment Association, a trade organization headquartered in the area, would not say whether it was aware of the concept, but spoke favorably about working on any city-backed plan. “We look forward to working with Sandy Springs on this concept if it moves forward,” said association spokesperson Russ Webb. New Councilmember Steve Soteres is a construction executive who was a member of Dishman’s advisory group and has now replaced him on the council. He said he was aware of the Couchmans’ concept, but has not seen a formal presentation, and added that redevelopment is complicated. “The city’s involvement will be key to the success of the north end redevelopment,” he said.

why the Couchmans’ concept had not been publicly discussed. She said she believes the city’s intent is to displace lower-income and minority residents to gentrify the area, adding, “I think their agenda is racist.” Palmer said she’s open to change by “market forces,” such as improvements that came to Dunwoody Place with the recent opening of Pontoon Brewing. She’s not happy that the city ended up opposing a new store from Lidl, a discount grocer, in North River. With Kroger gone, many residents who don’t own cars now lack a nearby grocery store, she said. “Why does Sandy Springs want to be a paved-over little suburb with no diversity?” Palmer said. “There’s a difference when the market does it and when the city says, ‘We want to get rid of those people and have one demographic instead of another.’ “Maybe I’m just not what Sandy Springs wants for its demographic, but I’ve been here for 20 years [and] I’m not going without kicking and screaming.”

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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.




Friday, Feb. 23 and Saturday, Feb. 24, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.



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.


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.


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.


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.


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.



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.


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




“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.



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.

Medical Associates

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

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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.


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.

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18 | Community

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Bowhunting in the ’burbs: Backyard deer-stalking draws fans and foes BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

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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 johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

“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


Reporter Classifieds


Affordable Senior Condo for Sale/Lease – Affordable Senior Living Condos. Purchase or Rent - Mount Vernon Village in Sandy Springs HOA includes: All Utilities, 1 Meal/Day, Housekeeping, Laundry, + lots more. Call today Kim at Dunwoody Brokers 404-414-8307 or kim@dunwoodybrokers.com

PETS FOR SALE 3 male registered Shih Tzu’s 7 months old. Call 404-386-3282.

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CEMETERY PLOT Arlington Memorial – 3 lots for sale in the Calvary Section located in lot 276D, spaces 2, 3 & 4. Asking $5,900 each or $17,000 for all. This section is almost sold out and prices through the cemetery would be $,6,900 each. Beautiful views and the most desirable section. will assist inad showing. PlaceCemetery your SERVICES here!

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FEB. 16 - MAR. 1, 2018 • VOL. 12— NO. 4

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22 | Community

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DEVELOPMENT CODE AND ZONING MAP UPDATE An informational meeting will be held Wednesday, February 21, 2018. Public hearings will be held: Planning Commission – Tuesday, February 27 Mayor and Council on Tuesday, March 20 All meetings will be held at

6:00 pm at City Hall Council Chambers 7840 Roswell Road, Building 500

Documents will be available at spr.gs/developmentcode




Tennis Center could lose parking in school plan BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

The Sandy Springs Tennis Center could lose parking spaces to a new private preschool in a deal that is drawing questions from city councilmembers and residents. A Primrose Schools franchise aims to buy the Junior Achievement of Georgia building at 460 Abernathy Road and turn much of its rear parking lot into a state-required playground, city officials said at a Feb. 6 City Council meeting. Junior Achievement and the adjacent city-owned Tennis Center share parking under a 17-year-old easement agreement. City staff recommended changing the agreement to give up the parking spaces and add others elsewhere, for a net loss of 11 spaces, which city Parks & Recreation Director Michael Perry said is roughly 10 percent of the total. But some councilmembers noted that Tennis Center parking today can be overfilled at peak times and that a new school could be traffic-heavy, and they questioned giving up a legal right to use of property without direct compensation. Other concerns related to the effect on some bigger-picture issues. The proposal comes as the Tennis Center is in the midst of a controversial contract rebidding that could mean a change in operator. There are also budding talks of better public access to a city-owned wild area behind the Tennis Center. And there were questions raised as to whether the original easement agreement — which was not immediately available for review — prohibits such language changes or property sales. “I just don’t want to make a mistake here,” said City Councilmember Chris Burnett, who was joined by Councilmember Andy Bauman in asking for more information before making a decision. They will have the time, as the deal was presented in a non-voting “work session.” The deal could return for a council vote as soon as Feb. 19. No one from Primrose, Junior Achievement or Tennis Center operator Groslimond Tennis Services spoke at the council meeting. But Perry and Mayor Rusty Paul said they all support the parking change, which also includes allowing Primrose the use of shared spaces an hour earlier on weekdays, at 6 a.m. “Without the playground area, their deal won’t work,” said Perry. Bill Pierquet, Primrose Schools’ senior vice president of development, said in a written statement that the company’s officials understand the concern and “are committed to being a good neighbor … We look forward to working with the City Council and the community in the coming months to finalize this agreement.” The main benefit to the city in the deal, Perry said, is Primrose’s projected $41,000 a year in new property taxes. Junior Achievement is a nonprofit that doesn’t pay those taxes. Primrose is an Acworth-based national company with more than 370 schools in 29 states, according to its website. One franchise already operates in Sandy Springs, at 5188 Roswell Road, and others operate in such nearby cities and neighborhoods as Buckhead, Brookhaven and Dunwoody. Primrose is owned by the Atlanta-based private equity firm Roark Capital Group, whose other holdings include the Sandy Springs-headquartered major food corporations Arby’s and FOCUS Brands. Paul said councilmembers have a right to any information they request, but noted the support from Groslimond and that Junior Achievement has been trying to sell the property for a long time. He called it a “closely worked agreement” that the other key parties support. City records indicate the deal has been worked on by city staff for several months and was nearly placed on the council agenda last September. Bauman and Burnett had unanswered questions about current and projected traffic and parking capacity if the new school came in. Questioned by Bauman, Perry acknowledged that most of the “new” replacement parking spaces the city proposes around the Tennis Center site are already informally used by visitors during peak times. Burnett noted the pending rebid of the Tennis Center contract, which came after Groslimond was awarded a renewal in an admittedly flawed process objected to by rival firm Universal Tennis Management. If a different firm wins the contract, it might have a different opinion about the parking situation or do something to draw more visitors. Bauman also questioned the waiving of the city’s right to use the current rear parking lot. “We should have an understanding of our value in the easement of that property” and whether giving it up could be considered giving a “gratuity” without compensation in violation of the state constitution, he said. Improvement of the wild area behind the Tennis Center, where a Marsh Creek tributary flows, is a concept recently raised by Bill Cleveland, president of the Sandy Springs Environmental Project, and Sandy Springs Conservancy Executive Director Melody Harclerode. They held a meeting on the site in early January with Bauman and some other councilmembers to open discussions about clearing invasive species and possible further green space enhancements. SS

FEB. 16 - MAR. 1, 2018 • VOL. 12— NO. 4

Public Safety | 23


Police Blotter / Sandy Springs Capt. Steve Rose of the Sandy Springs Police Department provided the following information, which represents some of the reports filed with Sandy Springs police between Jan. 28 and Feb. 8.

B U R G L A RY 400 block of Summer Drive — On Jan.

28, officers responded to a burglary-inprogress call just after 10 p.m. The male victim told police he and his girlfriend left around 5 p.m. and returned to find the front door unlocked. When they entered the apartment, they found two males standing inside. One of the suspects pointed a gun at the male who put his hands up and backed out onto the breezeway. According to the report, the two men then fled. The victim noted one of the men fell twice while running away. Some cash and jewelry was later reported stolen. 5100 block of Trimble Road — On Feb.

4, the resident of the home said she returned home just after 9 p.m. and found a bedroom window shattered. A rock was located inside near the window. The victim reported a 42-inch TV and various jewelry items stolen from the home. 200 block of Sandy Springs Place —

On Feb. 5, the complainant said someone entered the business and stole an electronic meter. 400 block of Wyncourtney Drive —

On Feb. 5, the resident said she returned home just before 5 p.m. and found her front door damaged from what appeared to be forced entry. Missing is an Apple MacBook desktop and a Nikon camera. Also reported stolen were several items of jewelry.

saw the safe to gain access but was unsuccessful. It was not known at the time of report if money was taken. The report noted that several Starbucks in the metro area have been burglarized recently. 1700 block of

6001 Roswell Road — On Feb. 6, just

after midnight, cops were called to an alarm at a Starbucks. A glass window had been removed, allowing the burglar to get in. It appears the burglar tried to SS

8700 block of Dunwoody Place — On

Feb. 6, the victim said two men stole his rental car while he was in a store. Yes, he left it running.

Captain STEVE ROSE, SSPD srose@san-

Northridge Road dyspringsga.gov — On Feb. 6, the resident said she returned to her home around 5 p.m. and found her front and garage doors open. Several items of jewelry and a small amount of cash were stolen.

R O B B E RY 250

Northridge Road — On Feb. 6, Waffle House employees said just before 10 p.m., a man wearing a gray sweatshirt with hood, red pants and red shoes, and purple gloves, pulled a gun and took a small amount of cash from the restaurant. The man was last seen walking in the direction of the shopping center behind the restaurant.

1155 Mount Vernon Highway —

On Jan. 30, a Starbucks employee came to the store just before 4 a.m. to empty the grease trap. He said he heard a noise that sounded like a saw. He assumed an employee of the next-door business was doing work so he gave it no thought. When he finished, around 4:30 a.m., he saw a skinny man about 6-feet2-inches tall, wearing all black, walk past. The manager arrived shortly after and noticed his office furniture was out of place. At the time of report, it was not known if or not money had been taken.

The suspect gave information on others working in conjunction to steal and then sell in Atlanta. She was arrested.

THEFT 6100 block of Roswell Road — On Feb. 3, a U-Haul was stolen.

200 block of Winding River — On Feb. 3, a resident of an apartment was expecting a package from Amazon and reported the package stolen by his neighbor’s son. He has video of the theft.

7000 block of Central Parkway — On

Feb. 8, a laptop was reported stolen.

THEFTS FROM VEHICLES vehicles were reported.

F R AU D 1400 block of Hampton Drive — On Feb. 3, the victim said she applied for a cash advance from a company called Cash Advance. The company representative told her that she needed to repair her credit by depositing funds into her account and then withdrawing those funds. He told her the check would be sent to her. The check was for $1,670. She returned $200, via iTunes card, to the company before

3, a 29-year-old male was charged with DUI. Northridge Road/GA-400 — On Feb. 3,

a 31-year-old male was arrested for being a wanted person. Ga. 400/Abernathy Road — On Feb. 3,

a suspect was charged with DUI . 6700 block of Roswell Road — On Feb.

3, a 48-year-old male was charged with prowling. 8100 block of Colquitt Road — On Feb.

7, a suspect was arrested for battery. 6400 block of Peachtree-Dunwoody

Road — On Feb. 6, a suspect was arrested for shoplifting something over $500.

OT H E R I N C I D E N T S A couple of weeks ago, a large fire at

1067 Pitts Road destroyed multiple units within the complex. The subsequent investigation showed that a 10-year-old child, cooking on the stove, accidentally started a grease fire. The girl, along with siblings 7 and 4, were in the apartment alone when the fire broke out. The 10-year-old sustained slight burns from the fire. CID is investigating the circumstances of the fire in order to determine whether charges will be brought.


Windsor Parkway to Old Windsor Parkway Due to the re-alignment of Windsor Parkway with Roswell Road, a remnant section of Windsor Parkway remains. This section is approximately 360 feet in length and it is this segment of the street that would be renamed.

6690 Roswell Road — On Feb. 6, a wal-

Road — On Feb. 6, a female loaded a shopping cart with power tools then passed all registers and headed out the customer service door. Stolen items include two hedge trimmers, a chainsaw and various items totaling over $1,000.

ARRESTS 8600 block of Roswell Road — On Feb.

There were a number of cars broken into at the 1155 Mount Vernon Shopping Center. The thefts occurred mostly in the evening hours with most businesses open. The LA Fitness and Regal Cinema are both located there and have been prime targets in the past. Don’t forget to remove everything of value from the car if possible. If not, hide them. Report any suspicious activity such as cars slowly cruising the parking areas or someone who walks around the cars, perhaps looking for an unlocked one.

Feb. 5, a delivered package was stolen.

6400 block of Peachtree-Dunwoody

Remember that if anything involving your financial transaction, especially from an unsolicited offer, has anything to do with a pre-paid card like an iTunes card, you need to back out because chances are it is a scam. Sending your money for a business at-home startup, or secret shopper, or anything that involves someone sending you a check for deposit with the stipulation you keep the bulk but send the rest to another address, is a scam.

Between Feb. 2 and 8, four thefts from

300 block of Carpenter Drive — On

let was stolen from a locker at LA Fitness.

the bank told her the check was fake.


City of Sandy Springs


0 to 200 Block Windsor Parkway

Public Hearings:

Mayor and City Council March 20, 2018 at 6:00 p.m.


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

24 | Education

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Atlanta Girls’ School

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 gradepoint 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.

Julia Platt Star Student

Atlanta International School

Emil Zakarian Star Student

Timothy McMahon Star Teacher

Dunwoody High School

Alex Joshua Eldridge Star Student

Mary Dee Sturken Star Teacher

Brandon Hall

Yourong Geng Star Student

The Galloway School

Max Palisoc Star Student

The Lovett School

Abby Shlesinger Star Student

MariaPaola Jimenez Star Teacher

Marist School

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

Meredith Many Star Teacher

Jerry Aull Star Teacher

Arial Strode Star Student

Sam Baroody Star Teacher

Pace Academy

Eric Nathan Miller Star Student

Thomas Henderson Star Teacher

Harrison Lewis Star Student

Weber School

Kevin Goldberg Star Teacher

Yuyan Ke Star Student

Rosa Brown 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

Cross Keys High School

Chamblee Charter High School

Michael Elenbaas Star Teacher

Jenny Cockrill Star Teacher

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