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reporternewspapers.net

MARCH 2019 • VOL. 11 — NO. 3

Brookhaven Reporter

MARCH

Sandy Spring s

Section Two

Dunw oody Brookh aven

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Survey: Are toll lanes worth taking homes? P18

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BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

EVELYN ANDREWS

Tim Matthews, a Georgia Department of Transportation program manager, discusses the Ga. 400 toll lanes project with the Perimeter Center Improvement Districts board at its Feb. 27 meeting.

House demolitions, access points cause rising concerns in toll lane plans BY EVELYN ANDREWS AND DYANA BAGBY

The Brookhaven Reporter is mail delivered to homes on selected carrier routes in ZIP 30319 For information: delivery@reporternewspapers.net

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Buckh ead

COMMENTARY

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2019

As the Georgia Department of Transportation prepares to release long-awaited details on its toll lanes projects on Ga. 400 and I-285, residents and officials are expressing concern over recently revealed house demolitions and questions about access ramps. One Sandy Springs neighborhood revealed that GDOT says 20 homes are slated for demolition. Residents worried it would “destroy” neighborhoods in Brookhaven and sink Dunwoody values. And Dunwoody City Council has raised concern that the

city is getting the short end of the stick after Sandy Springs has negotiated some access points off its streets. GDOT is working on two projects that would add four new toll lanes, called “express lanes” or “managed lanes,” along I-285 and Ga. 400 in the Perimeter Center area over the next decade, with the intent of improving overall traffic flow. Parts of the project are expected to be elevated toll lanes to use existing right of way. The toll lanes are part of a system being built metro-wide, including recently opened lanes on I-75 and See HOUSE on page 12

City leaders say they are ready to renew talks with the MARTA board of directors about a long-discussed redevelopment of the Brookhaven-Oglethorpe Station site. The efforts come two years after MARTA dumped a “town center” project that included an officer tower, more than 500 residential units and a small public park space. The abandonment of the plan followed months of community backlash over density and failed negotiations with the City Council over tax breaks. In a Feb. 8 letter to MARTA board chair Freda Hardage, Mayor John Ernst said the city “would like to advance the redevelopment of the MARTA properties” at the station, which is located on prime real estate in the heart of the city at Peachtree and North Druid Hills roads. “The city views this station as a strategically important development site within the region and would like to advance in a purposeful manner,” Ernst wrote. That is the “total reset” the mayor envisioned in 2017 when he directed city staff to halt any work on tax abatements for the planned transit-oriented development following several rezoning delays. Trouble between the city and Integral and Transwestern Development Company, which made up Brookhaven City Center Partners, the developers hired by MARTA for the project, had been brewing for some time before the mayor’s reset request. See CITY on page 15

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2 | Community

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CITY M AY B U Y B IL L B O A R D FO R G R EENWAY

The city of Brookhaven has entered into a letter of intent to purchase a miniature billboard sign at 2036 North Druid Hills Road, near the intersection with Buford Highway, from Railroad Outdoor for $375,000. The billboard sits in the first phase of the Peachtree Creek Greenway trail now under construction. The city is not sure whether it will remove or keep the billboard, City Manager Christian Sigman said. Now that the letter of intent has been signed, the city and Railroad Outdoor will negotiate a purchase agreement, according to Moe Trebuchon, project manager for the Greenway. The lease for the billboard expires in 2040. The city recently purDYANA BAGBY chased the property containThe drag queen bar Lips located on Buford Highway ing the billboard and a vacant is the current advertisers on the mini billboard the Georgia Sign building. The city of Brookhaven plans to buy on North Druid Hills billboard the city is purchasRoad to make way for the Peachtree Creek Greenway. ing stands only a few feet tall at a small driveway entrance for the site of the former Georgia Sign building. The property is slated to become a parking area to provide access to the Greenway. The first phase of the Greenway runs between Briarwood Road and North Druid Hills Road and is expected to be finished in September. Money to pay for the billboard is coming from the $10 million Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta paid to the city last October for the abandonment of all right of way adjacent to Tullie Road and Tullie Circle. The right-of-way abandonment will allow CHOA to close off the roads to public access once its medical campus, including a new $1.3 billion hospital, opens, which is expected in 2025. CHOA officials say it’s necessary to have a private campus to keep seriously ill children safe.

SEX TO Y SHO P IS IN C O NT EM P T O F C O UR T, R UL I NG S AY S

The Georgia Court of Appeals issued an opinion Feb. 20 stating that the sex toy store Stardust is in contempt for going against a lower court’s ruling to stop operations because it violates a Brookhaven ordinance regulating sexually oriented businesses. What this exactly means for Stardust, located at 3007 Buford Highway, remains unclear. Cary Wiggins, attorney for Stardust’s owner, Michael Morrison, did not have an immediate comment. City Attorney Chris Balch said in a written statement, “We are happy that the Court of Appeals reaffirmed that the City’s position was lawful, appropriate and just.” The Court of Appeals opinion this week follows the August 2018 ruling by a threejudge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals stating Stardust must comply with Brookhaven’s ordinance and stop selling sex toys. The ruling is part of a legal battle that has ensued since the days of the city’s incorporation in 2012, beginning in DeKalb Superior Court and working its way to date to the Court of Appeals. Weeks after the city was incorporated, Stardust began selling “sexual devices,” which the city labeled illegal under city ordinance. The city then began code enforcement against Stardust for selling sex toys. In 2013, for example, Stardust was cited by code enforcement more than 500 times. The city also states Stardust cannot operate legally because of its close proximity to another sexually oriented business, the Pink Pony, and also because it did not clearly define what kind of business it was when it applied for a business license. The business also violates city ordinance because it is near a residential area, according to the city. Representing the city in the Stardust lawsuit is Scott Bergthold, a Tennessee attorney who specializes in municipal laws cracking down on sexually oriented businesses. BK


|3

MARCH 2019 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

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4 | Community

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PDK master plan process is underway BY DYANA BAGBY dyanbagby@reporternewspapers.net

A new master plan for the DeKalb Peachtree Airport located on the Chamblee-Brookhaven border is underway and slated to be completed by July 2020. A major goal of the planning process is to determine better land use plans within the airport site as well as on surrounding property for the next 20 years. Airport Director Mario Evans said he wants to build closer relationships with city leaders in Brookhaven and Chamblee as rapid commercial and residential development continues to be built around the approximate 730-acre airport. A new townhome development in Chamblee, for example, is being built very close to the airport property line. Had there been some discussion between city and airport officials prior to the development’s approval, some noise mitigation materials could possibly have been required as part of construction, Evans said. Now, he said, when people move in to the townhomes, he expects the airport will begin receiving noise complaints from people who say they cannot sit on their new balcony because of the jets flying in and out of PDK. “Was that really a good use of that land?” he said. The airport’s infrastructure also badly needs repairs and to be updated, he said, which will be addressed as part of the master planning process. Office tenants want updated buildings, water and sewer facilities need rehabilitation, even air conditioning and heating units need to be fixed up, he said. The boiler still goes out at the airport, for example, Evans said. “We have some old property,” he said. “Sometimes you can repair, but sometimes you have to redesign and start over.” The master plan will also take aviation activity forecasts for the next two decades to provide a framework to guide future airport development, Evans explained. Flights into and out of the airport have actually been on the decline over the past approximate 20 years. As a general reliever airport, PDK Airport helps reduce congestion by providing services to smaller aircraft and allowing Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport to solely serve commercial aircraft. In 2000, PDK Airport recorded 244,879 operations; in 2007, the number of operations fell to 220,576; and last year, the number dipped to 151,132. Evans said the bad economy in recent years is likely the major reason for the falling numbers, but he expects numbers to move back up as the economy improves. PDK Airport recently installed a new system to quickly stop planes in their tracks dur-

DYANA BAGBY

PDK Airport Director Mario Evans points on a map where a new Chamblee townhome development is being built close to the airport. A master plan process now underway and set to be finished in 2020 will look at land use in and surrounding the airport.

ing emergency landings. The Engineered Material Arresting System, or EMAS, is the first in Georgia and cost the airport $8 million. EMAS technology uses a series of crushable blocks to decelerate the speed of an aircraft during an emergency overrun, Evans explained. The EMAS technology is placed 200 feet off the end of a runway to prevent an aircraft from running off the runway. EMAS is used in cases where there is limited land, such as PDK’s 6,100-foot primary runway for corporate tenants. The EMAS technology was designed and implemented to improve safety for flights using this runway. The Federal Aviation Authority actually mandated PDK Airport install the EMAS after a plane ran off the runway and through the chain link fence bordering Dresden Drive in 2012, Evans said. The incident was pilot error when he came in for a landing during a cloudy day and overshot the runway, Evans said. Rather than circle and try to land again, the pilot landed in the middle of the runway and was not able to stop in time before crashing through the fence. Nobody was seriously injured. As part of building the EMAS, the airport cut down about 19 acres of trees to dig up dirt to be used for its construction. That saved the airport from spending $1 million to truck in dirt. There has been talk about building more corporate hangars where the trees once were, but no decision has been made, Evans said.

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Education | 5

MARCH 2019 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

E

very year, the Professional Association of Georgia Educators Foundation, known as the PAGE Foundation, identifies top students at public and private high schools across Georgia. The foundation says its Student Teacher Achievement Recognition program, or STAR student and teacher honors, has highlighted the achievements of more than 25,000 students since it started in 1958. The program identifies high school seniors who post the highest SAT scores for their schools and rank among the top 10 percent or top 10 students in their class in grade-point average. Each STAR student then chooses her or his STAR teacher. Once school winners are selected, regional STAR students and teachers are chosen to compete for the state title. Here are the STAR students and teachers for high schools located in Reporter Newspaper communities. Atlanta Girls School

Elizabeth Becker Star Student

Suzy Beckham Star Teacher

Chamblee Charter High School

Alice Bai Star Student

Fred Avett (not pictured) Star Teacher

Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School

Will Scarborough Star Student

Chris Yarsawich Star Teacher

Mount Vernon Presbyterian School

Ivan Mo Star Student

James Roberts Star Teacher

Atlanta International School

Pablo Patel Star Student

Medad Lytton Star Student

Cross Keys High School

Jennifer Godoy Star Student

Watson Casal Star Student

Jake Eismeier Star Teacher

Thomas Cole Star Teacher

North Atlanta High School

Robert “Jake” Churchill Star Student

Daniel Gribble Star Teacher

Brandon Hall

Rabbi Daniel Estreicher Star Teacher

Tianya Zhan Star Student

Dunwoody High School

Noah Covey Star Student

Holy Spirit Preparatory School

Riverwood International Charter School

Michelle Stanek Star Student

Ecaterina Lungu Star Teacher

Atlanta Jewish Academy

Adam Brooks Star Teacher

Bradley Hendrickson Star Teacher

Samuel Rosner Star Student

Elaine Wen Star Student

Rowan Wiley Star Student

Gordon Mathis Star Teacher

Marist School

Kevin Randolph Star Teacher

Isabella Hay Star Student

North Springs Charter High School

St. Pius X Catholic High School

Mike Scirocco Star Teacher

The Galloway School

The Lovett School

Dylan Shapiro Star Student

Alexander Pike Star Teacher

Eric Smith Star Teacher

Pace Academy

Charlie Hirsch Star Student

The Westminster Schools

Jessica Lao Star Student

Brittany Loudermilk Star Teacher

Reanna Ursin Star Teacher

Gus Whyte Star Teacher


6 | Education

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Lucretia Gant, Chamblee Charter High Lucretia Gant is working to grow the robotics program at Chamblee Charter High, a school that serves Brookhaven students, helping it win a state championship in February. Gant, who teaches engineering and started at Chamblee Charter in 2010, has been involved in leading the program since 2013, working to get more students to participate and making sure they have the resources to explore robotics. The school’s team has won several tournaments and qualified for the VEX Robotics World Championship in the past two years. VEX Robotics, which runs competitions for elementary through university students worldwide, held the Georgia state championship in McDonough, Ga., on Feb. 8-9. Chamblee Charter, in a combined team with Tucker High, came away with the win in that competition, said Gant, who began her teaching career 18 years ago. “I am most proud that the teams have developed a community of passionate enthusiast for VEX Robotics and that we have had a focus on exposing underrepre-

SPECIAL

Lucretia Gant, right in black, stands with the robotics team she leads at Chamblee Charter High.

sented groups to robotics,” Gant said.

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Q: How common are robotics programs at public schools?

A: Robotics programs are becoming more

popular at schools. However, DeKalb has had a strong focus for some time, and I believe that this is commendable, in that students are developing skills that the workforce is looking for: problem solving, critical thinking, risktaking, teamwork, perseverance, research and dedication.

A: What keeps me going from year to year

is creating opportunities for students. I definitely love to hear from former students about how their doing in their classes or internships, what their involvement

Exceptional

Educator

ucator?

in school is like, and how their experiences in clubs and classes have helped them to be successful on the next level. Matching students to opportunities and experiences they otherwise would not have had is why I do what I do.

A: I decided to become an educator while

Q: What are you most proud of in your

Q: Why did you decide to become an ed-

at Georgia Tech, pursuing my chemical engineering degree, after tutoring a local elementary student in math in the nearby Techwood Homes community. I recall being struck by how close in proximity this student was to Georgia Tech, but how far away the student was in skill level and ability. This made me reflect on my challenges pursuing my degree at Tech and the root causes for those challenges. I, along with two other students, started a group to look at how we could address this issue and change it while at Tech.

Q: What keeps you going year after year?

career?

A: I am most proud of the relationships

that I have with my students and some parents that span beyond the classroom. Many of my students come back to give to Chamblee even if they were students from another school. If I need help with volunteering, tutoring [or] judging, I can usually reach out and depend on students and parents to assist with whatever activity I am doing. I value these relationships and I love to hear about their pursuits beyond high school and how they are doing great things like I knew they would.


Education | 7

MARCH 2019 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Q:

What do you hope students learn from you?

A: I hope that students learn that they are great. I believe that this is my call to nurture the gifts and talents that all students have so that they can fulfill their purpose. When they learn and know that they are meant to make a valuable contribution to society, I believe they will better embrace opportunities in the classroom and in lessons.

Q: Why do you think technology and science are important for students to learn?

A: Technology is a vehicle to obtaining,

transferring and manipulating knowledge of nature to our benefit. Understanding how to use and leverage technology will help to secure a sustainable lifestyle in one’s future. Embracing science will allow students the opportunity to understand why nature works as it does and will afford them opportunities to work to shape and improve it to make the world a better place for everyone.

Q:

What is your favorite memory at your school?

A: This is really hard to answer, because

I have several, but, my fondest memory was when one of my students shared that I had been very integral in her success and the reason she had pursued engineering. She shared that I had been like a mother to her, since she had been in a single-parent home with just her father. This is one of my favorite memories because I had similar circumstances as a student growing up and teachers were very integral and the key to my success in life. So, it was nice to know that I have served their example well in the work that I do each day.

Riverwood school building to be reused, renovated BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

Some parts of Riverwood International Charter School will be saved and renovated instead of rebuilt to save money as the construction cost skyrockets. The change is expected save the district an estimated $10 million on a project that is already millions over budget. The Fulton County School System approved the changes at its Feb. 21 meeting, which include renovating the auditorium and performing arts spaces to reduce the costs of the already over-budget project. The physical education spaces, including the gym, would be identical to the approved design, but reoriented. The new design, if approved, still would go an estimated $3.8 million over budget rather than $14.6 million for the current design. The approved budget for the entire project is $102.9 million. Residents had a mixed response to the proposed changes in the Riverwood International Charter School reconstruction project at a Feb. 13 community meeting. While some thanked the Fulton County School System for shaving costs, others lamented features that would be lost. “This is just great. I really appreciate what you have done to be fiscally responsible,” one resident said at the meeting. An added bonus to the cost savings, officials said, is that the students won’t be without an auditorium for a year. Since it will only be renovated, the work would be done over two summers while school is not in session. “We do not have to take the auditorium away for a year with this proposal,” said Doug Carey, the district’s director of capital planning. The explanation of the change was originally described in meeting documents as building a smaller school build-

ing, but that was later corrected to say it would be actually be slightly larger, said Patrick Burke, the district’s chief operating officer. The changes come as construction costs for the project have skyrocketed. The board previously had to approve a $5 million increase for the second phase in 2018. Burke has previously said that the higher costs were being caused by the complicated nature of building the project in seven construction phases and how the project is being funded. Increased material prices and tariffs were also driving the increases. The school, located at 5900 Raider Drive, is being built in seven phases. Phases 3 through 7 are the ones that will be addressed with the change. The main school building and media center are already built or are in progress and are not affected. The shell of the existing performing arts areas and auditorium like the steel, walls, foundation and roof, will be reused instead of demolished, Burke said. “Everything one sees, feels and touches will be new, but we will not incur the costs associated with the steel and concrete,” Burke said. Some parts of the building would also be reconfigured with new interior walls. The gym and related physical education spaces are planned to still be new and identical to the approved design, but reoriented, Burke said. The new gym will be built farther north than under the original proposal to be next to the existing auditorium. The practice field becomes full size and moves behind the gym. School system officials discussed the project at Board of Education member Gail Dean’s monthly community meeting, which was held in Riverwood’s auditorium and attended by parents and res-

idents. Most concerns raised by residents at the meeting were about how the old and new parts of the school would look joined together. Carey said they plan to resurface the exterior of the old building with the same material used for the new construction, but details are still being worked out. Riverwood Principal Chuck Gardner said overall he supports the idea, but understands the concerns about how the exterior would look. “The aesthetics are the biggest things I’m worried about,” he said. The changes would decrease the length students would need to walk to get to different parts of the building. Accessing the auditorium, field and gym for evening events would also be easier and more secure, Gardner said. “Hats off to the team,” he said. The plan would also provide enough room and funds to build a full-size practice field, which the school has never had, Gardner said. “I can’t overstate how big of a deal that is,” he said. The practice field and tennis courts would be built close to I-285 and Raider Drive, where the Georgia Department of Transportation has discussed building an interchange for its toll lanes project. Patrick Burke, the district’s chief operating officer, said there is no information about how the project would affect the school. “We don’t have a clear picture from [GDOT] on the exact scope of what they’re doing,” he said. The district had to make changes to the project to lower the costs, and realized the auditorium is already in an ideal location on the campus, Carey said. “Why tear it out and put it right back where it was just for the sake of calling it new?” he said.

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8 | Education

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Education Briefs TWO SCIEN C E, TEC HNO LO GY EV ENTS ANNO U NCED FO R S A NDY S P R I NG S

Two science and technology events have been planned for Sandy Springs. The Sandy Springs Education Force has set its ninth annual STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) Showcase for March 13. Atlanta Jewish Academy will hold its event for Young Women in STEM event March 17. SSEF’s event, which is free, will be held all day and be open to the public from 6 to 8 p.m. at North Springs Charter High, 7447 Roswell Road. Sandy Springs’ 11 public schools will be showcasing their STEAM programs, SSEF said in a press release. AJA’s event will be held from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the school, located at 5200 Northland Drive. Held in partnership with the Jewish Women’s Fund of Atlanta, the event is only open to Jewish female high school students or rising ninth grade students, the press release said. Dr. Lori Zeltser, an associate professor of pathology and cell biology at Columbia University, will be the keynote speaker. There will also be mini classes, interactive presentations, career booths and networking, according to the release.

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ST. M AR TIN’S SCHO O L R EO P ENS FI R E- DA M AG ED B UI L DI NG

After 18 months of construction, St. Martin’s Episcopal School in Brookhaven opened its new Early Childhood Learning Center on Feb. 19. The new building, which serves children two through kindergarten, is double the size of the previous building. The building replacSPECIAL es the school’s Early Students explore the new St. Martin’s Episcopal School building, which was rebuilt after damaged caused by an arson fire. Childhood wing that was destroyed by an arson fire on in July 2017. “It has long been the school’s vision to create a larger, purpose-built space to meet the unique needs of the youngest students,” said Head of School Dr. Luis Ottley in the press release. “When the fire destroyed the home of our Early Childhood Program we embraced the opportunity to execute that vision.” The new building includes a “STEAM village” that intentionally connects a science lab, tinker space and art room, all geared to foster engagement and collaborative learning among young children. In the spring, the outdoor learning space and natural play area will be completed, and the garage doors in lower level classrooms will allow for a seamless transition between indoor and outdoor learning. “We are incredibly grateful to St. Martin-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church for graciously allowing us to share their space for the past 18 months,” said Early Childhood Principal Cindy Alexander. “And thank you to SMES parents, community members and the staff and crew at Evergreen Construction who all helped make this vision a reality.”

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Riverwood International Charter School students Madeline Chen, left, a sophomore harp player, and Nathaniel Stone, right, a freshman cello player, were chosen for the Georgia Music Educators Association’s All-State Orchestra and Fulton County High School Honor Orchestra.

Two Riverwood International Charter School students have been selected to participate in a statewide orchestra program, the school announced. Madeline Chen, a sophomore harp player, and Nathaniel Stone, a freshman cello player, were chosen for the Georgia Music Educators Association’s All-State Orchestra and Fulton County High School Honor Orchestra. For the 2018-19 All-State Orchestra, the students will travel to Athens for two days of workshops and practice, culminating in a performance March 2 in the Classic Center.


|9

MARCH 2019 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Spring Guide to Atlanta Highrises

If Youʼre Looking For An Amazing View in an Atlanta Highrise Read This

If youʼre looking for an amazing Atlanta Highrise, the Spring 2019 Guide To Atlanta Highrise Prices will be helpful for you.

- Detailed map of the Highrises in Atlanta

There are over 70 Highrises in Atlanta and you want to be sure to find the right Highrise for your needs. This guide gives you all the information you need to make a smart decision about which Highrise will be right for you.

- Pictures and details about each of the Highrise

buildings - Market Data on all the Highrise sales in Atlanta for the last 90 days

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- Price ranges and square footage for each Highrise building

- Info on building amenities and special services offered by each Highrise.

To get your Guide to Atlanta Highrise Prices, just call...

Here's what you get in the new Guide to Atlanta Highrises:

855.214.5690 code 1035 or visit

www.GuidetoAtlantaHighrises.com Guide provided by the Zac Team RE/MAX Metro Atlanta CitySide. If your home is currently listed for sale, please disregard our pro-active and aggressive marketing. It is not our intension to solicit the business of our colleagues. Zac Pasmanick, Zac@Zac.Biz 404.564.7272

BK


10 | Community

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Peachtree-Dunwoody/Windsor intersection remake is criticized

BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

Residents criticized Sandy Springs’ plan to remake the Peachtree-Dunwoody Road and Windsor Parkway intersection with new and extended turn lanes at a Feb. 7 open house, saying it would largely help commuters and make the area less safe. The city and consultants designing the concept said it would improve traffic flow and give better pedestrian access. “It seems like you’re moving traffic through the neighborhood at the detriment to the neighborhood,” one resident said at the meeting held in City Springs, which about 40 people attended. The intersection, near the city’s border with Buckhead and Brookhaven, is surrounded by single-family home communities and the Sandy Springs YMCA. It is often heavily congested and needs more room for turning cars, according to the city. The proposal, which is in the concept stage, would add a right turn lane on westbound Windsor and extend the left turn lanes on northbound and southbound Peachtree-Dunwoody. Pedestrian improvements are included, too, with a new sidewalk running from down Windsor from the intersection to Estate Way. It’s one of many city projects funded by the transportation special local option sales tax. Although there is enough extra room in the existing right of way for most of the improvements, the city would need some property from the YMCA’s lot. The homeowners association that

Above, an illustration shows Sandy Springs’ proposal to add new turn lanes and crosswalks to the PeachtreeDunwoody Road and Windsor Parkway intersection.

SPECIAL

EVELYN ANDREWS

Right, residents discuss Sandy Springs’ concept for the Peachtree-Dunwoody Road and Windsor Parkway intersection at a Feb. 7 meeting held at City Springs.

would be affected by the new right turn lane and sidewalk on Windsor is concerned the widening would cost them property value and said consultants were not being upfront about the changes. “Do they think the residents are idiots?” Brookhaven Estates HOA President Gail Newcomb said. “Get ready for a battle.” The concept would add a sidewalk several feet closer to Brookhaven Estates’ houses and remove trees, but would stay within the city’s right of way, consultant Bradley Cox said. The removal of trees would increase the traffic noise, Newcomb said. “This is a real problem,” she said. “It’s going to hit our values, increase traffic and be for other people.” Other residents were concerned noise would increase because there would be a general increase in traffic. “It is going to increase volume. When it becomes easier for people to come through there, they will,” resident Rob Wilson said. Wilson, and several others, said they believe Sandy Springs would be paying for improvements that would largely benefit commuters passing through the city. “Why should Sandy Springs residents pay for DeKalb County residents to get to [Ga. 400] faster?” Wilson said.

“It seems like there’s a lot more benefit to Brookhaven than Sandy Springs,” another resident said. The morning traffic brings “severe” congestion on northbound Peachtree-Dunwoody and Windsor, according to the city. Evening rush hour clogs southbound Peachtree-Dunwoody. There are typically too many cars to fit in the existing left turn lanes. Between 2013 and 2017, there were 53 crashes with 12 injuries, the city said. The changes would cut down travel times for nearly all directions, according to the consultants’ traffic study. Some said that congestion can make it safer for residents leaving their homes to turn onto the intersection’s roads by providing breaks in traffic. With the added traffic flow, some feared cars would be going too fast for them to safely leave, especially if they are turning left. Other residents believes the problem lies elsewhere. Some residents suggested the city take a look at the traffic light timing, which causes major problems at nearby intersections such as the Glenridge Connector, where red lights last so long traffic can back up to Windsor. “If you don’t fix the light at the Glenridge Connector, that’s not going to help,” one resident said.

Joe Gillis, the traffic manager for TSPLOST projects, said a system that coordinates signals is planned to come to the area that would help with those problems. People generally liked the idea to bring crosswalks to every direction on the intersection and the added sidewalks. The crosswalks would be signaled with a pedestrian refuge island at westbound Windsor and southbound Peachtree-Dunwoody. “The crosswalks are a no-brainer, everybody wants that,” Newcomb said. Some suggestions were thrown out by residents, including a roundabout, but others said the project is bad enough the city should scrap the whole idea and save its money. “I’d like to see you not do this and save your money for anything else,” a resident said. The proposal is in the early stages and many details have not been determined. The city will next meet with stakeholders, like homeowners associations, before moving forward, said Dan Coffer, the city’s community relations manager. For more information and to follow the project’s progress, visit sandyspringsga. gov/windsor.

BK


Community | 11

MARCH 2019 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

City approves first ‘cottage courtyard’ development

CITY OF BROOKHAVEN

The new residential development is targeted toward families who don’t want their own yards while also living in a smaller home, according to the developers.

Call today to schedule your FREE consultation! today to schedule your FREE consultation! Call Call today to schedule your FREE consultation!

BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

Brookhaven’s first “cottage courtyard” residential development allowed under the city’s recently revamped zoning code is set to begin construction in the next few months. The CoolSculpting® procedure is FDA-cleared for the treatment of visible fat bulges in the submental area, thigh,The abdomen and flank, along with bra fat, fat, underneath buttocks (also known CoolSculpting® procedure is FDA-cleared for back the treatment of visible fatthe bulges in the submental area,as thigh, abdomen and flank, bra fat, and backflank, fat, underneath (also as banana roll), and (also upperknown arm. It is The procedure is FDA-cleared for the treatment of visible fatsubmental bulges in the submental area,along thigh,with abdomen along withthe brabuttocks fat, back fat,known underneath the buttocks asalso The development on approximately 5 acres 3876 Road, curbanana roll), and upperat arm. It CoolSculpting® is also Chamblee-Dunwoody FDA-cleared to affect the appearance of lax tissue with area treatments. FDA-cleared affect the appearance of lax tissue with submental area treatments. banana roll), and upper arm. It is also FDA-cleared to affect the appearance of lax tissue with submental areatotreatments. rently the location of a vacant church, includes houses built around During the procedure you26 may bungalow-style experience sensations of pulling, tugging, mild pinching, intense cold, tingling, stinging, aching, and you cramping at the treatment site. These sensations subside as the During the procedure may experience sensations of pulling, tugging, mild pinching, intense cold,area tingling, stinging, During the procedure you may experience sensations of pulling, tugging, mild pinching, intense cold, tingling, stinging,ataching, and cramping at the treatment site. as These sensations subsideFollowing as the area aching, and cramping the treatment site. These sensations subside the area becomes the becomes numb. Following becomes the procedure, typical side effects include temporary redness, swelling, blanching, bruising, firmness, tingling, stinging, tenderness, cramping, aching, itching, or numb. skin sensitivity, numb. Following the procedure, typical side effects include temporary redness, swelling, blanching, bruising, firmness, tingling, stinging, tenderness, itching, or skin sensitivity, OLANSKY DERMATOLOGY procedure, typical side effects include temporary redness, swelling,cramping, blanching,aching, bruising, firmness, tingling, stinging, a central courtyard. OLANSKY DERMATOLOGY OLANSKY DERMATOLOGY and sensation of fullness inand thesensation back of the throatinafter a submental area treatment. Rare side effectsRare mayside alsoeffects occur. The CoolSculpting® procedure is not for everyone. You should not have the of fullness the back of the throat after a submental area treatment. may also occur. aching, The CoolSculpting® is not for everyone. Youinshould notofhave the after a tenderness, cramping, itching, or skinprocedure sensitivity, and sensation of fullness the back the throat CoolSculpting® procedure if you suffer from cryoglobulinemia, cold agglutinin disease, or paroxysmal cold hemoglobinuria. The CoolSculpting® procedure is not a treatment for obesity. Ask your doctor if 404-355-5484 submental area treatment. Rare side effects may also occur. The CoolSculpting® procedure is not for everyone. CoolSculpting® procedure if you sufferto from make cryoglobulinemia, coldfor agglutinin disease, or paroxysmal cold hemoglobinuria. The CoolSculpting® procedure is not a treatment for obesity. Ask your doctorYou if should 404-355-5484 The City Council unanimously approved rezoning the property way the cold 404-355-5484 is rightabout for you. To learn more about what to expect, visit www.coolsculpting.com.not have the CoolSculpting® procedure if you suffer from cryoglobulinemia, cold agglutinin disease, or paroxysmal CoolSculpting® is right for CoolSculpting® you. To learn more what to expect, visit www.coolsculpting.com. BUCKHEAD OFFICE: 3379 Peachtree RdRd NE,NE, Suite 500 500 Atlanta, OFFICE: 3379 Peachtree Suite Atlanta hemoglobinuria. The CoolSculpting® procedure is not a treatment for obesity. Ask your doctor if CoolSculpting® isBUCKHEAD right for first-of-its-kind residential development in the city at its Feb. 26 meeting. BUCKHEAD OFFICE: 3379 Peachtree Rd NE, you. To learn more about what to expect, visit www.coolsculpting.com. GA GA30326 30326 *CoolSculpting® is themost treatment doctors use fat most for nonsurgical fatAllergan. reduction. All ©2018 Allergan. All rights reserved. COOLSCULPTING® and its are registered trademarks of ZELTIQ Aesthetics, *CoolSculpting® is the treatment doctors use for nonsurgical reduction. ©2018 rights reserved. COOLSCULPTING® and its design aredesign registered trademarks of ZELTIQ Aesthetics, Suite 500 Atlanta, GA 30326 olanskydermatology.com Inc., an Allergan affiliate. IC03668-B olanskydermatology.com *CoolSculpting® is the treatment doctors use most for nonsurgical fat reduction. ©2018 Allergan. All rights reserved. A new “courtyard housing” provision included in the zoning code rewrite approved Inc., an Allergan affiliate. IC03668-B olanskydermatology.com COOLSCULPTING® and its design are registered trademarks of ZELTIQ Aesthetics, Inc., an Allergan affiliate. IC03668-B in November was designed to provide more housing affordability through smaller footprints. The concept was favored by residents participating in character area studies, according to city officials. But residents living in the neighborhoods in traditional cul-de-sacs surrounding the new Chamblee-Dunwoody Road development fear the smaller, less expensive homes will cause their property values to sink. The cottage-style homes are expected to be priced in the $675,000 range while the traditional neighborhood homes in cul-de-sacs are priced about $800,000. The cottage-style homes will be two stories with two-car garages and a road will encircle the development. Landscaping and fencing are being added to buffer between adjacent neighborhoods. The central courtyard will be about 400 feet long and include open lawn areas and landscaping. A small green space is slated to go near the development’s entrance fronting Chamblee-Dunwoody Road and will be open to the public. Guest parking is also included in the development. The cottage courtyard residents will also share costs on maintenance of the courtyard and the property. Houses in adjacent cul-de-sacs are typically priced in the $800,000 range and include individual yards. While several people from the area attended the meeting, no one spoke out against the project during the meeting. At a heated Planning Commission meeting last month with the commission voting in a rare split 4-3 vote to recommend approval of the project, residents criticized the development because they said having the houses facing in toward a courtyard does not fit in with surrounding, traditional neighborhoods and cul-de-sacs. The design of the subdivision would drive down property values of their homes, they argued. Discover over 50 shops, services and restaurants. Councilmember Linley Jones, who represents people living in the area, known as the Town Brookhaven is truly your one stop shopping and dining Lakes District, said current the zoning for the property allows for the development of up to four-story houses with only a 30-foot buffer. destination with a blend of interesting boutiques, A property owner could come in and build a house that would look over neighbordelicious restaurants and useful services. ing high-end homes, she said. If a property owner wanted to add on a deck, she added, the buffer between homes could shrink to much less than 30 feet. The courtyard development also requires landscaping, trees and fences to buffer between properties. No such amenities are required with traditional cul-de-sac neighborhoods, she said. “Any time we are faced with a rezoning, we have to consider what could go there as a matter of right if we do not approve rezoning,” she said. “What is proposed here what is what the character area envisioned.” www.townbrookhaven.net Mayor John Ernst congratulated Brookhaven-based Planners and Engineers CollabConveniently located on Peachtree Road orative Inc. and Harrison Development & Construction on the project after the vote. adjacent to Oglethorpe University. “You get the first taste of the rewrite ... and we look forward to more like it,” he said.

A Place Where You Belong

Spend the day or evening on the Town!

BK


12 | Community

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House demolitions, access points cause rising concerns in toll lane plans Continued from page 1 I-575. Public meetings for the Ga. 400 piece of the project, which begins at North Springs MARTA Station and runs north out of Sandy Springs, were set to begin after press time. GDOT said the meetings will answer many residents’ questions by providing the concept layout of the lanes, potential access points and anticipated right of way needs. But GDOT recently shifted the section of Ga. 400 south of the North Springs station into the I-285 toll lanes project, which is undergoing a separate planning process on a later timeline. That means many property impacts and access points – including those that are most controversial at the moment -- may not be discussed until that project’s public meetings start in December. The Ga. 400 lanes also would carry a new MARTA bus rapid transit route. Bus service was found to be feasible for I-285 by a study commissioned by top end mayors, but is not funded or approved. The toll lanes have become controversial for the limited information being released and the property impacts, some of which are privately being discussed with homeowners. Brookhaven, Dunwoody and Sandy Springs residents expressed skepticism at a Dunwoody Homeowners Association Feb. 10 meeting with GDOT that over 100 residents attended. Residents questions if the toll lanes would help alleviate the notorious traffic along the busy corridors. And, even so, some questioned if that is worth demolishing homes and impacting neighborhoods. “You’re going to destroy every single community along I-285 and you don’t care,” resident Mark Jeffers said. “You’re going to destroy our neighborhoods, our communities, our cities, so people can get to work faster?” Property impacts Twenty houses on a Sandy Springs street would be demolished for the Ga. 400 toll lanes project, residents say they were told by the Georgia Department of Transportation in a private meeting Feb. 7. Four of those homeowners, most of whom did not want to be named, spoke with the Reporter and said they felt the process has been too secretive and that they should have been contacted earlier. They said 19 of the targeted houses are on Northgreen Drive and one on Spalding Drive. “We feel extremely anxious that we’re certainly going to get the short end of the stick,” said Torry Alexander, one homeowner who was told her house would be taken. “[GDOT] is extremely powerful and has way more resources.” GDOT spokesperson Natalie Dale confirmed the meeting, but did not comment on the number of houses that may be taken. Two residents of Northgreen Drive, which runs south off Spalding Drive along the west side of Ga. 400, said they felt blindsided when they learned their homes

A photo taken of map displayed at the private Feb. 7 meeting and provided to the Reporter shows the current design of the toll lanes running over some of the 20 homes that are expected to be taken for the project. Ga. 400 is at the bottom of the map.

would be taken for the project. At the meeting, residents say, a map was displayed and they were told any property with a red dot over it would be taken. The map, a partial photograph of which was provided to the Reporter by a resident, shows a possible alignment of the new toll lanes, with one lane running directly over some of the houses. In addition to being told they’re losing their homes, residents expressed disappointment and frustration about what they feel has been a far too secretive process. “The outcome may be what’s necessary, but the process has been so cloaked and really cruel,” said a resident of Northgreen whose house would not be demolished under the current plan. Several homeowners at the DHA meeting said their property values are likely to sink as soon as the Ga. 400 maps are out and people start seeing where the toll lanes may go. And as word continues to get out about Ga. 400 and the I-285 top end projects, nobody is going to want to buy their homes, they argued. Robert Wittenstein, a former DHA president, asked GDOT officials what the city could do to stop the planned toll lanes. “This will create a dead zone that nobody will want to live near,” Wittenstein said. “How do we get you to change your direction? How can we get you to stop … [and build] something that is beneficial and useful and is a magnet to people instead of repelling them?” Residents fear the noise, pollution and toll lanes possibly towering up to 30-feet tall will devalue their homes and their quality of life. The Sandy Springs Council of Neighborhoods, which represents homeowners

associations in the city, is planning a strategy to help those who may be affected by the project. “As a board we are gathering as much information as we can from the affected parties (HOA’s or homeowners) so we can be most effective with any efforts we undertake to assist these parties in working towards mitigation,” president Ronda Smith said in an email. Smith said she expects most of the challenges to come from state officials who have more power to change GDOT’s plans. “Our city leaders have very limited influence in this arena with GDOT and are trying to effect change wherever they can,” Smith said. Sandy Springs Councilmember Jody Reichel, who represents a large part of Ga. 400 that may be affected, including Northgreen Drive, said the city is working to gather information to reduce the impact on residents and has met with GDOT several times. “Even though our influence is minimal, the GDOT has committed to continue meeting with the city as final plans are created and to listen to our feedback and input,” Reichel said in a written statement. “I want my constituents to know that I will stay informed and, together with the mayor and city council, will push GDOT as hard as possible to reduce the impact on our neighborhoods and to be transparent with our citizens as this project moves forward.” Access points Another big issue is access points for the toll lanes and the public transit that might use them. GDOT has said it wants the toll lanes to have completely separate access ramps from the normal highway lanes. The two toll lane access points on the Ga. 400 segment in Sandy Springs are at

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the North Springs MARTA Station and at Northridge Road, according to a basic, dotted map shown at the Perimeter Center Improvement Districts’ Feb. 27 board meeting. The only bus rapid transit access in Sandy Springs in the Ga. 400 project is at the North Springs station. The next would be at Holcomb Bridge Road in Roswell, said Tim Matthews, the program manager, at the meeting. GDOT has not released a list of access points for the I-285 project, but has said it is considering access points at North Shallowford Road and Mount Vernon Highway. The Mount Vernon option may be replaced with one at Crestline Parkway. The Crestline option, which would require demolishing eight homes, is being considered by GDOT at the request of Sandy Springs city officials, who pushed back on the Mount Vernon access point. That is still within Sandy Springs, but closer to Dunwoody. Dunwoody took issue with Sandy Springs negotiating to move some toll lane access points during a discussion at its annual City Council retreat Feb. 8. “I just don’t understand how Sandy Springs can say no [to access points in their city]. We don’t want it, but yet we are forced to take it,” Councilmember John Heneghan said. GDOT has been willing to change the access points on Sandy Springs Circle and Mount Vernon Highway after Sandy Springs voice opposition, but the same is not being done for Dunwoody, city officials argued. A North Shallowford Road access point is still in the plan, according to Dunwoody. “I just wish GDOT would say where they are going to put these and then move on,” Dunwoody City Manager Eric Linton said. BK


Community | 13

MARCH 2019 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

City cracks down on liquor taxes BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

The city has sent letters to some restaurants throughout the city where alcohol is served, claiming the businesses have not been paying their full share of liquor excise taxes. After two months, however, no further money has been collected by the city as business owners continue to dispute some of the amounts. In December, the city sent out the letters to 13 venues claiming they owed more in liquor excise taxes than what had been paid between 2016 and 2018. The letters asked the business owners to pay the stated amount in their letters within 10 days. But all businesses are disputing the amounts and the city is working closely to gather their cost and distribution data to determine if the city might revise the amounts owed, according to Steve Chapman, the city’s assistant manager and chief financial officer. “It’s an ongoing process,” he said. Letters sent and the amount the city says the businesses owe: ■ Rusty Nail – $5,609.93 ■ Villa Christina – $9,024.22 ■ Pancho’s Mexican Restaurant – $16,745.80

Jeff Landau, CEO of Hudson Grille in Atlanta, which manages the Brookhaven store, said his company believe the city is wrong in that it owes nearly $13,000 in excise taxes. He said the city used a $9 average cocktail price to determine taxes owed, but most drinks are actually sold in the $2, $3 and $5 range. “That $9 skewed it tremendously in a different direction,” he said. The Pink Pony strip club off Buford Highway owes the most of any business at more than $80,000 between 2016 and 2018, according to Chapman. The Pink Pony disputes the amount, said CFO Dennis Williams. “We have paid our excise tax and are appealing their notice and in discussions with the city on this matter,” he said in a written statement. “The city of Brookhaven Finance Department has been very open-minded and they have reviewed our point of sales [and] accounting structure for distilled spirits. The city of Brookhaven Finance Department is considering a compromised amount or dismissing the amount owed.” Chapman said there is not the ability to resolve disputes with any busi-

ness, there is the possibility of going to the city’s Alcohol Board. He said the city is giving the businesses “as much time as they need” to submit information on how they came up with the taxes they paid.

“But we are not saying they don’t owe additional taxes,” Chapman added. “We have not found any business yet that completed their reporting 100 percent accurately.”

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■ Red Pepper Taqueria – $4,448.48 ■ Medusa Lounge – $32,240.29 ■ El Porto Mexican Restaurant – $11,793.66 ■ Josephine Lounge – $48,334.92 ■ Kaleidoscope Bistro Pub – $9,069.69 ■ Hudson Grille – $12,723. 64 ■ Pink Pony – $80,237.72 ■ The Righteous Room – $7,604.12 ■ Verde Taqueria – $11,439.88 ■ XS Lounge – $18,443.88 Liquor distributors report to the city how many liters they deliver to businesses each month, Chapman said. The businesses also report monthly how much alcohol they sold on premises. The city then last year conducted an audit of all businesses that sell booze by hiring a consulting firm to search online information of these businesses, such as their websites and menus, to compile average costs per drink, he said. Using that information, the city determined a total amount of taxes owed and then measured against what had been paid. The result was these 13 businesses did not pay as much as the city believes they owe, he said. “We looked at how much was delivered versus how much they claimed they sold ... and we did the math,” he BK said.

Is Low Back Pain hurting your Golf Game? The Back Health and Golf Workshop Reveals How to Improve Your Swing Do you feel a back issue is lowering your golf score? Do you have back pain and leg pain when you stand or walk? Do you have pain when you sit for long periods or drive? Do you experience pain, numbness or tingling into your butt, groin or down your leg? Does your back ever “go out” if you move the wrong way? Are you afraid your pain will get worse if you don’t do anything about it? If you have answered YES to any of the above questions (or have a stubborn spouse who is in denial) – the GOLF and Low Back Workshop may be a life changing event for you….

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14 | Community

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Call 404-497-1020 for an appointment.

Officials gear up for U.S. Census count BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

Exit 26

28 Exit 28

Welcoming New Patients! I-285

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Emergency

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Dr. Butler Offers Services For ’s Saint Joseph

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875 Johnson Ferry Road NE, Suite 200, Atlanta, GA 30342 PeachtreeDunwoodyMed.com

Walk With Us!

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Brookhaven plans to take a proactive attitude when it comes to counting residents as part of the 2020 census, including specific outreach efforts to ensure immigrants living along Buford Highway are included in the population count. It’s the first Census for the city since its founding just over six years ago. The City Council and administrators discussed at its Feb. 16 retreat how they intend to work with organizations such as the Latin American Association, the Center for Pan Asian Community Services and Los Vecinos de Buford Highway as well as churches and other social organizations to ensure those living in apartments regardless of immigration status are counted. City Councilmember Linley Jones asked how the city could be sensitive given the current anti-immigrant political climate. City officials said they believe Buford Highway residents have been severely undercounted for many years due to the fear of being deported. That’s the reason for the city to be proactive, said City Manager Christian Sigman. Ideas include recruiting apartment captains to help ensure residents are counted, he said. No specific outreach plans have been formally laid out yet, however. The census, required by the U.S. Constitution, takes place every 10 years. The counting of every person in the country determines political representation at the state and federal levels and determines the allocation of public money to such entities as municipalities and schools. It also shows if the country is becoming older or younger, richer or poorer, and other demographics that give an overall picture of who the U.S. is. As the first census count for Brookhaven, ensuring as many people who are living in the city are counted is crucial to ensure the city receives an equitable shake at public resources, Mayor John Ernst said. “This is the key to the lifeblood of the city ... is to count all the people,” he said at the retreat. Buford Highway is the most-dense per acre in Brookhaven and DeKalb County, Sigman said in an interview. “That’s a lot of people to count and chances are given the national climate there is an undercount,” he said. “We don’t care if they are citizens or not.” One area immigrant activists are voicing concern about is the need for affordable housing in Brookhaven. Data pulled from census tracts – a very small, specific area of a municipality – are key in determining federal funding and determining average median incomes when it comes to housing affordability. Marco Palma, president of Los Vecinos de Buford Highway, said his organization is working with the Georgia Immigrant Alliance for Civic Empowerment, a collective of nearly 30 organizations, to ensure all immigrants participate in the census. No talks with Brookhaven have started, he said, but his group looks forward to working with the city on how they might be able to work together. “If Brookhaven wants to be proactive in making sure its residents along the dense portions of Buford Highway are counted, we also want to make sure they articulate proactive plans to preserve and even increase the current mix of affordable housing along the corridor,” Palma said The city did approve as part of its zoning code rewrite last year that new residential multi-unit developments will be required to include 10 percent “workforce housing” units based on federal housing numbers. According to the Housing Urban Development table for 2018, the metro Atlanta median household income, known as AMI, is $74,781. Eighty percent of the AMI for a four-person household is $59,850; for a one-person household it is $41,900. However, census tract data for Buford Highway shows the median income per household at approximately $25,000, according to Los Vecinos de Buford Highway. “We know federal funds are attached to census tracts, and we want to make sure that the residents who currently live on Buford Highway are also able to reap the benefits of those investments,” Palma said.

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An illustration from the planned 2017 Brookhaven-Oglethorpe MARTA redevelopment included more than 500 residential units, retail space, a park space and an 8-story office building. City leaders rejected that plan and are hoping to partner with MARTA to develop a unique “city center” vision.

Continued from page 1 Hundreds of residents packed City Hall in red shirts to protest the proposed density of the development, the traffic they thought it would create and its design. The MARTA board finally cut off talks and dropped the project. At the council’s Feb. 16 annual retreat, Economic Development Director Shirlynn Brownell said it’s taken about one year to rebuild relationships with MARTA enough move forward with potential redevelopment talks. The previous plans included an eightstory office building fronting Peachtree Road; a 125-room hotel; 100 senior housing units, 107 for-sale residential units; 340 apartments; and nearly 56,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space. “The first round was undervisioned, to be honest,” Brownell said. “We want to make this project community focused with what we want to see in a city center.” A MARTA spokesperson said in a written statement that, “MARTA enjoys a strong relationship with the city of Brookhaven and is open to discussions with respect to its land owned next to the BrookhavenOglethorpe station.” Brownell said the city is set to work with local architecture firm TSW on a pro bono basis to come up with another draft site plan for a “city center” vision, but the work is not intended to be a final design. No illustrations are yet available, the city said. The recent approval of the Peachtree Road Overlay District and North Druid Hills Corridor Study now underway are all steps being taken that could help Brookhaven and MARTA find common ground on density, according to city officials. Talks about tax incentives to fund infrastructure needs such as stormwater, sewer and green space are also open for negotiations, they said. The idea, said City Manager Christian Sigman, is to resolve such issues as traffic, infrastructure and green space before moving on to the aesthetics of the project. BK

The city has community input from some previous planning processes for the site, including a 2013 Atlanta Regional Commission report and a 2006 Livable Centers Initiative plan that originated an early version of the station redevelopment. Council members and city staff agreed another round of community meetings is desirable. The council also wants to be a partner with MARTA in selecting the developer when the time comes – a condition not granted two years ago. MARTA officials have been hesitant in the past to agree to such a request because the property belongs to MARTA. But the location is so central to Brookhaven’s identity, city officials said, that having a say in who develops the site as part of an exchange of tax incentives seems fair. Bill Roberts is president of the Brookhaven Heights Community Association, which includes neighborhoods adjacent to the station. Residents have long been interested in development at the station, where more than a dozen acres of empty parking lot exists, he said. Roberts said he’s been involved with MARTA planning for 15 years, long before Brookhaven became a city in 2012. “The city is relatively new to how long the project has been going on,” he said. Somehow a balance must be struck between the neighborhoods; MARTA, as owner of the property; the city; and developers, Roberts said. “One of the concerns neighborhoods always have is density, which is shorthand for traffic,” he said. The last MARTA project had more than 500 residential units and, according to many homeowners, that was too many, Roberts said. Perhaps the next version could scale that number back, he suggested. “We’re all interested in this project as citizens,” Roberts said. “We’re all wanting to see something transformative and spectacular done there. This project has the potential to be a dynamic and game-changing place that would forever change Brookhaven.”

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The Brookhaven City Council joined a growing list of municipalities including Dunwoody and Sandy Springs in vocally opposing proposed legislation that would strip municipalities of local control when it comes to regulating designs on single-family homes. The council unanimously approved Feb. 26 a resolution denouncing House Bill 302 and Senate Bill 172. The bills aim to prohibit local governments from regulating such design elements in one or two-family properties such as color, exterior material, windows, doors, number and types of rooms and foundation materials. This proposed legislation would “eliminate local government’s sovereign right for land use decisions including building design standards and create chaos in community development and shred the very fabric and character of neighborhoods across Brookhaven,” the city’s resolution reads in part. Mayor John Ernst said the city recently approved a zoning ordinance rewrite that included extensive input from residents on character area studies and the creation of overlay districts along Peachtree Road and Buford Highway. The new bills, if approved, would wipe out most of the work done by residents and local stakeholders to set these regulations, Ernst said. Ernst said it was important for Brookhaven to join cities like Dunwoody, which has also passed a resolution urging the General Assembly to vote down the proposed legislation, and Sandy Springs in speaking out against the bills. The Brookhaven resolution states the city was founded specifically to provide local representation and local control on zoning, building codes and building design aesthetics. The resolution also notes that the sponsors of HB 302 and SB 172 do not represent Brookhaven or DeKalb County. The bills are a “fundamental encroachment on the sovereign responsibility of local government and the desires of the local electorate,” the Brookhaven resolution states. In Dunwoody, City Councilmember Lynn Deutsch said she was frustrated by what she said were more and more “brazen” attempts from the General Assembly to strip away local control from cities and counties. “I’m really frustrated by this constant inching into local government,” she said. She pointed to when the state controversially legalized the sale and use of fireworks in 2015 with few limits on their use, regardless of the noise and fire safety differences between rural, urban and suburban areas. Dunwoody, along with Sandy Springs, also heavily opposed a bill that passed last session that prevents local governments from prohibiting wood-frame apartments, eliminating a city ordinance that had been on the books for years. Sandy Springs is also speaking out against HB 302. Mayor Rusty Paul said at the Sandy Springs’ Feb. 19 City Council meeting that the bills were “profound” pieces of legislation that would “strip local governments of a lot of abilities they have for control.” DeKalb County legislators whose who have voiced their opposition to the bills include state Sen. Sally Harrell (D-Atlanta) and state Reps. Matthew Wilson (D-Brookhaven) and Mike Wilensky (D-Dunwoody).

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Community | 17

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At anti-Semitic bullying forum, expert panel offers advice, urges reporting BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

Over 100 parents, students and teachers attended a Feb. 10 forum on anti-Semitic bullying to question an expert panel put together days after a swastika was painted on a Roswell high school, rattling the north metro Jewish community. Local school officials said at the Sandy Springs event they have “strict” punishments and protocols for bullying and harassment and encouraged students to report it immediately. And a state representative said he is hopeful this legislative session will bring the passage of a hate crimes bill that could help reduce such incidents. “Anytime something comes up, you need to say something,” North Springs Charter High Principal Scott Hanson said at the event, which was held at Temple Emanu-El and attended by over 100 people. “That’s the most important thing. Don’t assume someone else is going to.” The panel, which also included representatives from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Anti-Defamation League, DeKalb County School District and a state representative, was held by the Atlanta Initiative Against Anti-Semitism in response to a recent vandalism incident at Roswell’s Centennial High School. Among the vandalism there was graffiti of a swastika near the front entrance. AIAAS was formed by Dunwoody-ar-

EVELYN ANDREWS

Director of Georgia Commission on the Holocaust Sally Levine, center with microphone, answers an audience question at the Feb. 10 event about incidents in schools. Joining her are, from left, Centennial High School Assistant Principal Dr. Bre Peeler; North Springs Charter High School Principal Scott Hanson; DeKalb Department of Student Relations Director Dr. Quentin Fretwell; Fulton County School District Assistant Superintendent Dr. Chris Matthews; Anti-Defamation League Regional Director Dr. Allison Padilla-Goodman; Marist School teacher Brendan Murphy; Georgia Bureau of Investigation Assistant Special Agent in Charge Andy Mossman; and state Rep. Josh McLaurin.

ea mothers in 2017 “amidst what felt like an explosion of anti-Semitic events,” said Lauren Menis, on the founders, when introducing the panel. They have held two previous events that discussed the rising incidents. AIAAS cites numbers from the FBI and ADL that say anti-Semitic incidents and hate crimes targeting Jews are on the rise nationwide. Incidents at North Springs in 2017 included a swastika drawn on a bathroom wall. To help deter these incidents, the AIAAS

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has been pushing for a state hate crimes legislation in partnership with the ADL. State Rep. Josh McLaurin (D-Sandy Springs) said the legislation is expected to be filed this session with bipartisan support. He is hopeful this can be the year it passes. The bill would create an additional sentence for crimes found to be against a protected class based on categories that often include race, religion, sexual orientation, gender or disability. Previous state hate crimes legislation has not gained serious traction or failed to pass, such as last year’s effort by former state Rep. Meagan Hanson

(R-Brookhaven). A sponsor to carry the bill has not been determined, McLaurin said. But he pledged that the legislation will be comprehensive and “not just a solution for one community.” “We cannot have hate crimes legislation that’s not comprehensive,” McLaurin said, a comment that received applause. The ADL regional director agreed that its “comprehensive or nothing.” “We feel pretty good about it this year,” Allison Padilla-Goodman said.

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Our mission is to provide our readers with fresh and engaging information about life in their communities. Published by Springs Publishing LLC 6065 Roswell Road, Suite 225 Sandy Springs, GA 30328 Phone: 404-917-2200 • Fax: 404-917-2201 Brookhaven Reporter | Buckhead Reporter Dunwoody Reporter | Sandy Springs Reporter www.ReporterNewspapers.net Atlanta INtown www.AtlantaINtownPaper.com Atlanta Senior Life www.AtlantaSeniorLife.com

C O NTA C T US Founder & Publisher Steve Levene stevelevene@reporternewspapers.net Editorial Managing Editor John Ruch johnruch@reporternewspapers.net INtown Editor: Collin Kelley Editor-at-Large Joe Earle Staff Writers Dyana Bagby, Evelyn Andrews Creative and Production Creative Director Rico Figliolini rico@reporternewspapers.net Graphic Designer Julie Murcia Advertising Director of Sales Development Amy Arno amyarno@reporternewspapers.net Sales Executives Melissa Kidd, Jeff Kremer, Janet Porter, Jim Speakman Office Manager Deborah Davis deborahdavis@reporternewspapers.net Contributors John Awtrey, Doug Carroll, Robin Conte, Phil Mosier, Judith Schonbak, Jaclyn Turner

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Community Survey: Are toll lanes worth taking homes? Are separate toll lanes alongside Ga. 400 and I-285 a good idea, especially if they require razing houses to make way for the new roads? Reactions to the proposal appeared sharply split in our most recent 1Q survey. Although more than four in 10 of the 200 respondents said they would use the proposed toll lanes if they were built, about a third of the respondents said they wouldn’t use the lanes and fully a quarter said they weren’t sure whether they would or not. The survey was conducted by 1Q.com via cellphones used by residents of Reporter Newspapers communities. The results reflect only respondent opinions. When asked whether private property should be taken and 20 or more homes razed to make room for the lanes, respondents were sharply divided, with a few more saying no than yes. “No one should be forced to give up their home for a toll road,” a 44-year-old woman commented. “The state should find an alternative.” “Please don’t do that [take private property for the toll lanes],” a 34-year-old Brookhaven man responded. “Let’s complete the existing projects and see how that impacts traffic flow and then we can move on.” State transportation officials are moving ahead with plans for building a new system of toll lanes along the Ga. 400 and I-285 interchange over the next decade. The four “express lanes” are intended to help move traffic through the area and to

work

toward

solving

con-

gestion issues. Not everyone will like the solutions, but letting fic

traf-

continue

to get worse is not an option if Atlanta is going to continue growing (which seems to be a given).” And

a

40-year-old Sandy Springs woman put it simply: “Twenty houses for the greater good of Atlanta traffic? Definitely!” But not all respondents were convinced the toll lanes would do any real, lasting good. “Toll lanes are stupid,” a 19-year-old improve traffic flow. The Ga. 400 lanes also would carry a new MARTA bus rapid transit route, which would require adding access points and stations. Although GDOT officials say they haven’t yet fully figured out how much land building the lanes will require, many homeowners in the area have said the state already says it must acquire some or all of their property for the project. Supporters of the project were quick to say that residents should be paid a fair price, or even a premium price, if their homes were taken for the project. Some suggested that any homeowners forced to move because of construction should be paid relocation costs in addition to the price of the property. A 33-year-old Brookhaven man said he would support taking the property “as long as a fair price is paid for the houses. The city is growing rapidly and needs to

Dunwoody woman commented. “I will not use them. Let them stay in their homes.” Other respondents thought the money could be spent better elsewhere, especially on expanding public transit. “Twenty houses isn’t a significant number, but I still don’t think that it’s worth it to build toll lanes,” a 34-year-old Brookhaven woman commented. “I think it would definitely be worth it to expand the rail and public transit options. More lanes won’t affect the number of cars on the road, and it’s not possible to add enough lanes to truly match the cars that want to be at that interchange. “The only long-term solution is to enable people to get from A to B without cars or without going through that interchange, such as enabling folks to live closer to where they work.”

Here’s what some other respondents had to say about taking homes for toll lanes: No! Toll lanes effect our community schools, neighborhoods and children. We do not want them built. – a 35-year-old Sandy Springs woman Yes. Atlanta traffic is among the worst in the country. We are getting more and more cars on the road and we have to do something. – 49 year-old Buckhead/Sandy Springs woman Civil engineers will tell you that increasing lanes doesn’t alleviate traffic in the long term. More cars come to fill them. The best way to reduce traffic is to do as other major cities in the world do -- invest in public transportation. – 38-year-old Atlanta woman

BE COUNTED IN OUR NEXT READER SURVEY

The toll lanes are a money grab with minimal traffic alleviating benefits. The fact they are taking people’s homes seems inherently wrong. – 34-year-old Dunwoody man While I would use them … I think expansion in Atlanta is so poorly done I don’t think I can support eminent domain from an incompetent government and GDOT. – 47-year-old Atlanta man No. We just paid off a toll road [on Ga. 400]. Why would we want another one? Push MARTA and expand that. – 37-year-old Atlanta woman

1Q is an Atlanta-based startup that has developed a technology which sends questions and surveys to a cellphone via app or text message from businesses and organizations across the country. Respondents are paid 50 cents per answer, through PayPal, for sharing their opinions. Payments may also be donated directly to charity. Sign up to be included in our local community polls at 1Q.com/reporter or by texting REPORTER to 86312.

1Q.COM/REPORTER OR TEXT REPORTER TO 86312


MARCH 2019

Commentary | 19

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Little What’s-Her-Name I choke at introductions. It doesn’t matter if you have lived next door to me for eight years, if we chaired the school auction together, if you have the same name as my first-born child, if you ARE my first-born child. If I have to introduce you to someone else, I will forget your name. It’s not that I’m uncouth. It’s just, as I admitted, that I choke at introductions. It’s like a mini-stage fright. Now, I recognize that the statutory grace period for forgetting someone’s name is 28 days or three meetings, whichever comes first. After that time, you are expected to know the name, and you can no longer ask for it. Moreover, if you’ve seen the same person at least four times and each encounter included conversation, hugs and cheek-to-cheek air kisses, the next time she happens along, you are charged with the responsibility of introducing her to the person standing beside you, or you are liable for crimes against etiquette. Those are the rules -- at least in the South. So, I have developed two (hopefully) face-saving introduction strategies, which I will share with you now: Strategy A. The Southern Strategy, a.k.a The Hey Stack This, of course, is the word “Hey,” uttered over a period of 23 seconds and inserting a veritable rollercoaster of inflections and a bell curve of vowels ranging from A to E to Y, then followed immediately with a warm embrace and a gleeful, “How ARE you!?” You then proceed directly to the introduction of the person you’re with, “This is my friend Jane…” (Odds are pretty good that if you are already together, you will remember your companion’s name at this moment.) And you wait in awkward silence for Nameless Friend to introduce herself, while smiling Robin Conte lives with brightly and pretending that you didn’t really forget her name. her husband in an empSometimes you can interject an intimate anecdote about ty nest in Dunwoody. Nameless Friend (“Liz is married to my brother”) as soon as her name is revealed, just to prove that you really do know her. Guys can’t pull-off the Hey Stack as well. They must resort to the Hey Slap, which is a slap on the back and a “Hey, buddy!” kind of greeting, I suppose. I really don’t know what guys do. If you’re a guy, please tell me. Strategy B. The Help Me, Rhonda, a.k.a. The Preemptive Prompt If you see Nameless Friend approaching in advance, you might prompt your companion and beg, “Please introduce yourself -- I forgot her name!” You then proceed as described above. After the niceties have ended and Nameless Friend has moved on, you and your companion can have a lengthy yet amusing conversation about all the other things you can’t remember. My daughter gets irritated by the fact that I can’t remember the names of all her friends, but she doesn’t realize that my forgetfulness is not spiteful, it’s a biological defect. I’m not going to attribute it to age, though that would be the easy, albeit discomforting, thing to do. I can’t remember directions, either, and I’ve always been that way. The fact is, if I happen to see you at any given time, chances are that I have forgotten your name. The Hey Stack still works very successfully in terms of a greeting in these instances, but with the unfortunate side effect that when you leave, I will still be clueless as to your name. If you are dating one of my sons, you will be referred to by me as “Little What’s-HerName.” I will remember your name if he gives you a ring … or if I hope that he will. If my accent were thick and syrupy enough to drip out of my mouth and attract bees as I speak, I could sidestep the use of actual first names by using generic “nom de bonbons,” such as Sugar or Honey or Puddin’, but it isn’t. Sometimes I use the more accent-neutral “Sweetie,” which can be uttered with an efficient clip, but is generally more appropriate for people who are younger than I am (which is increasingly turning out to be most people). So, if I see you at the grocery store and smile brightly and give you a hug and say “Hey,” please tell me your name.

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Read Robin Conte’s debut book ‘The Best of the Nest’ “The Best of the Nest” offers 49 of Reporter Newspapers columnist Robin Conte’s witty essays on suburban family life, organized by seasons. They include some of the pieces that won Robin the first-place Lifestyle/Features Column award in 2017 and 2018 and first-place for Humorous column in 2018 from the Georgia Press Association.

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An Olympics champion finds a home at the MJCCA

Liliyah Podkopayeva.

SPECIAL

When gymnast Liliyah Podkopayeva came to America more than two decades ago, she was just a teenager and the United States seemed “far, far, far, far away” from her home country, Ukraine. “The United

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States,” she said, “was like a different planet.” Here, everyone spoke English, a language Podkopayeva didn’t then understand. Everyone needed a car to get around. They had new computers. All sorts of things just seemed strange. Plus, she was a gifted young athlete at the top of international competition. She had taken top honors in the all-around competition at the 1995 World Championships. Then, in 1996, she represented Ukraine in the Atlanta Olympics and claimed the all-around gold medal, a second gold medal for floor exercises and a silver medal on balance beam. She was in the spotlight. In 1997, she said, she was named “Person of the Year” in Ukraine. That same year, she joined a bus tour of the U.S. with other Olympic athletes, including members of the celebrated U.S. team. The “Tour of Champions” did something like 70 shows, Podkopayeva remembers, and performed in front of thousands of people at a time. “You kind of felt like a pop star,” she said. Still, she felt like visitor in the U.S. “When you travel for competition you don’t see anything, you don’t see the culture,” she said. “It was hard because I didn’t speak English at all, but it was great. … It

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was a lot for a girl who was 18.” Besides, Ukraine was her home. Even after she moved on from gymnastic competitions, she was a celebrity there. She competed twice in the Ukrainian version of “Dancing with the Stars” and won that competition in 2007. Now, at 40 and a mother of two, she feels more comfortable in the U.S. than she did when she was younger. “Now it’s my home,” she said. She’s still moving around and spending time in gyms. Since the late 1990s, she’s continued shuttling from the U.S. to Ukraine for work, she said. “Gymnasts have gypsy blood,” she said. “We couldn’t stay home.” A little more than a year ago, she and her family settled in Atlanta. She recently started working as a coach for young gymnasts at the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta, which is located in Dunwoody. She’s among about 15 coaches at the MJCCA’s gymnastics center, where she primarily works with the older and more experienced girls, center director Stacey Harris said. “I’m thrilled [she’s here],” Harris said. “She’s a delightful person. Her presence in the gym is just amazing. Here knowledge of gymnastics and how to coach it is world

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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

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class. And it’s just fun.” Podkopayeva says she likes living in Atlanta. It reminds her more of her Ukrainian home than her previous residence in Florida. She likes the hills. And the seasons. It seems like a good place to raise kids. “It reminds me a little bit of Kiev,” she said. She feels other ties to Atlanta, too. There are memories of her gold medal performances in the Atlanta Olympics, of course. And she credits a doctor at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta with saving her daughter’s life when the child needed surgery related to blood vessels in her brain. Podkopayeva calls the doctor her own Olympic champion. “I consider myself a Ukrainian, but I really appreciate everything I got here in the U.S. When I was here [before], I was like 20 years old. When you’re in gymnastics, you know nothing but gymnastics. You practice seven, eight hours a day. You get used to it.” And even though she stopped competing, she couldn’t just walk away from gymnastics. Twenty years on, she can’t imagine herself as a pensioner, someone who doesn’t keep working and keep active. “I don’t like it when my cellphone doesn’t ring,” she said.

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Classifieds | 21

MARCH 2019 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

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Host a French Teen for 20 Days in July Twenty French teens, who speak English and are from professional French families (ages 14-18). Each student needs an American host family who will provide room and board (host families are compensated), hospitality, and friendship. They are fully insured, come with ample spending money for expenses. Contact: Linda Farmer - Retired French teacher - lgfarmer@aol.com or 770-9732452. Also, see www.lec-usa.com.

Graphic Designer (part-time)—Springs Publishing seeks an experienced graphic designer for a part-time position (approx. 15 hours per week) to work on print and digital products, especially ad design and page layout. You should be proficient with Adobe Creative Suite, specifically InDesign and Photoshop. Knowledge of web design (using WordPress), videography and social media is a plus. You must be available to work in our office on specific weekdays; with some flexible hours and remote work possible. Please provide your resume and samples of your work (via links, etc.) to publisher@reporternewspapers.net.

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22 | Public Safety

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Local dentist faces felony charges after SWAT standoff BY DYANA BAGBY AND JOHN RUCH A local dentist faces numerous felony charges -including family violence and false imprisonment -after he allegedly holed up in his Lynwood Park home for several hours before SWAT officers stormed in to arrest him. George Frank Roach, 48, was arrested at his home on Osborne Road by Brookhaven Police on Feb. 12. Members of the North Metro SWAT squad used tear gas and broke into the house before finding Roach in a hidden room, police said. A struggle ensued between Roach and law enforcement, but nobody was seriously injured, according to police. Roach is listed as a dentist with an office at 6063 Peachtree Parkway, Suite 201-B, in Norcross. The status of his dental license after such a high-profile arrest remains unclear. State investigations by the Georgia Board of Dentistry are confidential, according to a spokesperson. Roach did have his dental license suspended in 2007 for “alcohol dependency, among other findings,” according to public records. The suspension was lifted, but in 2009 Roach was suspended again due to “relapse” problems, according to public records. He has since completed a probation and has a valid dental license. Brookhaven Police said SWAT was used to make the arrest in the upscale Brookhaven neighborhood because Roach was known to have many firearms. The day after his arrest, police laid out 17 firearms, including rifles, shotguns and handguns on the driveway as they searched for evidence. Roach’s attorney admonished police for displaying the guns for the media. “It was gratuitous and self-serving to line up all the guns for a photo-op,” Justin Spizman said in a written statement. “Dr. Roach has been an avid hunter and fire-arm collector since he was a little boy growing up in the country. It is not illegal to own firearms in the United States.” Spizman also said the SWAT standoff could have been avoided because Roach was willing to turn himself in once warrants were issued. “When I learned of the allegations against him, I reached out to detectives in the Brookhaven Police Department and offered to arrange to turn in Dr. Roach to the DeKalb County Jail once the warrants were issued,” Spizman said.

DYANA BAGBY

Top, Brookhaven Police seized 17 firearms from the home of George Frank Roach following an hourslong SWAT standoff. Left, George Frank Roach in a photograph from the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department.

“The Brookhaven Police Department represented to us that they would advise us if and when warrants (were) issued. Unfortunately, that never happened. Rather, Brookhaven police showed at his residence with an armored truck with a 30-foot battering ram affixed to the end of it,” he added. Brookhaven Police declined to comment on Spizman’s statements. Roach is charged with false imprisonment, criminal damage to property, family violence and aggravated assault family violence. He is also charged with four charges of willful obstruction of law enforcement by use of threats or violence, possession of a firearm during commission or attempt to commit a felony, and possession of cocaine. Roach’s girlfriend reported to Brookhaven Police on Feb. 9 that about three weeks prior she was beaten by

Roach in his Lynwood Park home. She also stated that Roach forced her to sit in his bathroom and he fired a rifle on the right side of her head and the left side of her head, according to the report. The report states there were pictures of bruising to the victim’s face and scarring on her head.

Previous state dental discipline

Roach faced prior discipline from the Georgia Board of Dentistry, according to public records. In July 2007, he was determined to have “an alcohol dependency, among other findings,” and his license to practice dentistry was suspended indefinitely. In October 2007, the board lifted the suspension and placed him on a five-year probation, with terms that included monitoring by a physician, participation in a

recovery program and support group, to abstain from “all mood-altering substances,” to undergo random drug and alcohol screenings, to have limited work hours and not work alone, and to be reviewed by a supervising dentist. In October 2009, the board again suspended his license indefinitely because he had “relapsed on chemical substances.” In July 2010, the board lifted his suspension and placed him on a seven-year probation. In 2017, the probation was lifted upon his successful completion of its terms. Fiona Roberts, Georgia Department of Community Health spokesperson, said the state Board of Dentistry investigations are confidential and they are not able to confirm nor deny any action concerning Roach at this point. “The primary function of the board is to protect the citizens of Georgia. Any situation which may place patient safety at risk is taken very seriously and would be reviewed by the board,” she said. The board can start investigations on its own, or if someone files a signed, written complaint, Roberts said. Under state law, a felony conviction related to the profession could be grounds for discipline. Roberts indicated that includes drug charges or mental or physical health issues. According to Federal Aviation Administration database, Roach has a private pilot certificate issued in 2016 for single-engine airplanes. According to an FAA spokesperson, that certificate is not at risk for a case like this. BK


Public Safety | 23

MARCH 2019 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Police Blotter / Brookhaven From Brookhaven Police reports dated Feb. 11 through Feb. 24. The following information was pulled from Brookhaven’s Police-2-Citizen website.

Feb. 11, at night, an attempted burglary was made.

T H E F T A N D B U R G L A RY

12, in the early morning, a no-forced-entry burglary at a non-residence was reported.

„„1000 block of Barone Avenue — On

„„3500 block of Mill Creek Road — On

„„2000 block of North Druid Hills Road

Feb. 12, in the afternoon, a theft was reported.

— On Feb. 14, in the early morning, a theft by taking auto incident was reported.

„„3200 block of Buford Highway — On

Feb. 11, in the early morning, items were stolen from a car. „„100 block of Executive Park — On Feb.

11, in the evening, an entering auto incident was reported. „„1900 block of North Druid Hills Road

— On Feb. 11, at night, an entering auto incident was reported. „„3100 block of Buford Highway — On

„„3000 block of Curtis Drive — On Feb.

„„1100 block of Town Boulevard — On

Feb. 12, in the evening, a theft by taking auto incident was reported. „„1200 block of Executive Park Drive —

On Feb. 12, at night, an entering auto incident was reported.

„„1700 block of Tullie Circle — On Feb.

taking auto incident was reported.

13, in the early morning, items were stolen from a car.

„„3300 block of Buford Highway — On

Feb. 13, in the morning, a forced-entry burglary at a residence was reported.

Feb. 15, in the afternoon, a man was arrested and accused of theft by receiving a stolen vehicle. „„1000 block of Antioch Drive — On Feb.

15, at night, a theft from the mail was reported. „„3800 block of Peachtree Road — On

„„3800 block of Peachtree Road — On

Feb. 15, at night, items were stolen from a car.

Feb. 14, in the afternoon, a woman was arrested and accused of shoplifting.

„„3200 block of Buford Highway — On

„„3000 block of Buford Highway — On

Feb. 15, at night, items were stolen from a car.

Feb. 15, in the early morning, a theft by

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| 24

MARCH 2019 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

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MARCH 2019

WWW.REPORTERNEWSPAPERS.NET

Sandy Springs

FROM POTTERY TO SCARVES, LOCAL ARTISTS FEATURED IN AMERICAN CRAFT SHOW PAGE 26

Dunwoody Brookhaven Buckhead

SECTION TWO

SPECIAL AD SECTION ■ PAGES 32-38

A TV comedy pioneer joins a movie theater’s new era BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

Bill Tush became one of Atlanta’s beloved cult personalities in the 1970s with a late-night newscast that became the prototype for such shows as “The Daily Show” and launched the careers of such comedy stars as Jan Hooks. Tush (the name rhymes with “rush”) now is a manager at Springs Cinema & Taphouse in Sandy Springs, where he helped usher in a complete transformation of the former Lefont art house theater. Luxury, heated recliners have replaced beaten up and stained traditional movie seating. A

full bar with a wide selection of craft beer and menu items including chicken fingers have replaced a lonely hot dog warmer. The popcorn, candy and sodas remain, although with a wider variety. Working at a movie theater is a natural choice for employment in his “twilight years,” he says. His love of movies dates back to his childhood when he would charge neighborhood kids to watch 8mm films in the backyard of his Pittsburgh home, even serving up popcorn. “I think I watched too much ‘Little Rascals.’ They were always trying to start a business,” he says. The changes made by Brandt Gully, who

purchased the theater from George Lefont, are perhaps life-changing for people who want to go out for a movie experience but retain the comfort sitting in their living rooms, Tush says. “You can’t just show a movie anymore,” he said.

Bill Tush, who garnered cult figure status on Ted Turner’s fledgling local TV station in the 1970s, is now a manager at Springs Cinema & Taphouse. PHOTO BY DYANA BAGBY

Cult figure status

Before there was an art house theater, though, there was WTCG Channel 17, a local station purchased by Ted Turner. Tush got a job in the 1970s at the new station, where he became a jack-of-all-trades and Turner’s “yes man” and loyal “pal.” Turner filled his new station’s airwaves in the mid-1970s with Atlanta Braves ball-

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games and old sitcoms like “Gilligan’s Island” and Bugs Bunny cartoons. During the weekends on Channel 17, Tush’s love for movies was put to use as the host for film broadcasts ranging from Academy Award-winners like “Giant” star-

READ MORE PAGE 30


2 6 | Art & Entertainment

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From pottery to scarves, local artists featured in American Craft Show BY JUDITH SCHONBAK Lora Rust, a native Atlantan, grew up in a Buckhead home filled with beautiful original pottery. But is was not just for show. “We had many special pieces that we used every day, for the sheer enjoyment of touching them instead of just looking at them.” That enjoyment never faded, and it is the heart of her ceramics. She creates distinctive functional works -- bowls, vases, mugs and tumblers -- with lush, fluid surfaces that “beg to be touched,” she said. Rust is one of more than 230 artists showcasing their work in the prestigious American Craft Show in 2019, scheduled for March 15-17 at Cobb Galleria Centre. It is celebrating its 30th consecutive year in Atlanta. One of the largest juried fine craft shows in the Southeast, it features top contemporary craft artists nationwide in handmade ceramics, fine jewelry, textiles, wood work, apparel, home décor and furniture. Felting artist Debra Kidd is also among the 32 artists from Georgia this year. It is her fourth appearance in the annual craft show in Atlanta. Her Brookhaven studio is stacked with bins of yarns and fabrics in many colors from suppliers around the globe, rolls of bubble wrap and a stash of shortened swimming pool noodles. The space is dominated by two long tables – the stage where she creates her signature scarves and other wearable art. Kidd said she is pleased to return to the American Craft Show. “It has such high-quality artists and I like the energy of the people who come. They are so interested in the crafts and are art-savvy.”

An ‘aha moment’ in pottery

Rust first put her hand to a pottery wheel in high school, when she opted for pottery for her required art course. The experience with the wheel stayed with her. After graduating from Tulane University, she took a job with a fast-growing young company and ultimately became

Top, Debra Kidd in her studio. Above, Lora Rust at work. Above left, One of Lora Rust’s artworks. Left, a scarf created by Kidd.

SPECIAL

the head of human resources. Some years later, married and with two thenteenage girls with busy school and gymnastic schedules, she left the corporate world to be a full-time mom. With more time for herself, she took the opportunity to tap into her creative side and enrolled in a pottery course at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center. She found her passion in ceramics. Rust studied for four years under Glenn Dair, former director, now retired, of Callanwolde’s acclaimed pottery department, who shares her studio space. She entered a two-year internship in pottery at the arts center where she developed her signature style. She had an “aha” moment that led to that style. While using the end of a ruler to make a design in a mug, the tool slipped and bunched up the clay. It was a fortuitous mistake. It gave the design texture and depth, she said. When she starts creating the design by pushing the surface of the clay on the form, she calls it “loralizing.” Her pieces have an Art Nouveau design. “I was drawn to that type of design before I knew it had a name,” she said. “I love its fluidity.” She is also influenced by designs and patterns found in Gothic architecture, from her days as a choirgirl, staring at the architecture in cathedrals, notably the Cathedral of St. Philip’s in Buckhead, she recalled. She is inspired, too, by the fall and drape of textiles and fashion design. They provide movement to the texture on the clay form. Rust has created her own tools that each make a special design element in


Art & Entertainment | 27

MARCH 2019 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net the clay and she has borrowed shapes for tools like a bear’s leg puzzle piece and an oar for a pirate ship puzzle, among others. She recently developed a basic set of tools that went on the market in February this year. Using fine white porcelain clay, Rust throws her pieces on the wheel in her studio in the Zonolite complex in Atlanta. Once they are set to what is called “leather hard,” she begins pushing the design into the clay. When she has pieces ready, she packs them up for a trip to her soda kiln in Blue Ridge, Ga., where she and her husband have a second home. Science and chemistry meld with artistry to create certain glazes and colors on all the pieces. It’s a complex process that requires careful placement in the kiln; the use of just the right amount of glazing chemicals – her favorite is copper; the proper spraying in the kiln with a mixture of water, baking soda and soda ash; proper venting and, of course, temperature. The sodium vapors glaze the exterior of each piece. She is always experimenting and recently began looking beyond her functional vessels to create decorative wall pieces. “I want to keep on going,” Rust said, “and be a very old lady potter.” She has been teaching at Callanwolde for 10 years and holds workshops nationwide. This is her fifth year in the American Craft Show in Atlanta. “I love being a local artist and connecting directly with customers. The Atlanta show is a big draw,” she said, “and it is an opportunity to meet other artists as well as to connect with potential art centers, galleries and workshops.”

Show are light in weight, airy, colorful and rich in texture. Kidd is an architect with a boutique firm in the Old Fourth Ward. She works every day with glass, steel and concrete and exact measurements. “The softness and freedom of felting is a totally different experience and a kind of escape,” she said. She discovered felting by way of a gift of a felted scarf from her sister and, she said, “I became obsessed with how to do it.” When the last recession hit the architectural community hard, Kidd was temporarily laid off. The silver lining was that she had time to pursue her obsession. Through experimentation, she taught herself the art of felting. She continues to experiment to discover new effects. The obsession is alive and well, and she has gone on to teach workshops in felting and win awards as a fiber artist. Felting is an ancient process that has been used around the world for millennia. There is dry and wet felting. Kidd does both, but wet felting is her specialty. She lays out carded or combed and hand-dyed wool fibers -- choosing among alpaca, merino, cashmere, angora, mohair, yak and more -- on top of a length of fine natural fabric like silk or chiffon. Bubble wrap protects her work tables in this wet art form. With a practiced eye for color and de-

The freedom of felting

For many of us, the word felting may suggest a wool fabric in jackets and hats, and Kidd has created those, but her scarves featured at the American Craft

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sign and an intimate knowledge of fibers, she is in her element. For design, she adds other fibers, like silk, ribbons or mixed fibers of various thicknesses. She then sprays the piece with warm soapy water that shrinks the fibers. A 10-foot length of silk can shrink to 6 feet long. “Wool is the glue that holds it all together. It is a living fiber that entangles

and migrates through the layers,” she says. “Agitation -- rolling the assembled piece with a plastic-covered noodle -- and compression cause the fibers to hook together and make a single piece of fabric.” It’s a long process that can involve hours to lay out and hours of rolling. “Good for the arm muscles,” she said with a laugh.

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28 | Art & Entertainment

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Q&A with Clint Harp How Dunwoody shaped a famous TV woodworker

BY DOUG CARROLL

STEPHANIE BLYTHE & FRIENDS ing!

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For those who believe there are no coincidences in life, we give you Dunwoody’s Clint Harp and two occasions when his life took a fortuitous turn. You might know about the first one, when Harp bumped into Chip Gaines at a gas station in Waco, Texas, seven years ago. At the time, Harp was broke and trying to make a go of his passion for custom furniture-making. One thing led to another, and within months the woodworker and Chip and Joanna Gaines were filming a pilot for “Fixer Upper,” which became a hit show for HGTV, airing for five years. You probably don’t know about the second one, which happened way back when Harp was a teenager and part of a youth group at Dunwoody Baptist Church. Allen Jackson — then the church’s youth minister, now its senior pastor — had a soft spot for Harp, and both of them were part of the church’s mission trip to inner-city New Orleans. “Somehow, we ended up at Café Du Monde together,” Harp recalls of the trip. “As we talked, he said, ‘Clint, there’s three types of people: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen and those who wonder what just happened.’ And he also said, ‘Your integrity is the most important thing about you.’ “Those words of wisdom define me today. I’m a person of integrity, and I’m one who makes things happen.” Harp’s ability to make things happen — by making things — has resulted in a measure of national

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Art & Entertainment | 29

MARCH 2019 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net fame and will bring him to the 41st annual Atlanta Home Show for speaking appearances on March 22 and 23 at the Cobb Galleria Centre. (For more information, go to AtlantaHomeShow.com.) None of Harp’s success — he’s also the author of a book, “Handcrafted: A Woodworker’s Story” — comes as a surprise to Jackson, who says he remembers a boy earnestly “trying to figure out his family” in the wake of his parents’ divorce. “He was in the process of deciding to live a life of integrity, no matter where his journey took him,” Jackson says. “I remember picking him up so that he could be at church on Wednesday nights. I remember him being easy for everybody to like. He was friends with everybody. “Clint is such a good, good guy. He was authentic then, just like he is now.” We explored Harp’s Georgia days with him in a recent phone interview.

Q: How does Dunwoody fit into

your life story? A: I’ll always consider Dunwoody

home. I was born at Piedmont Hospital in 1977, and in about 1980 I moved with my mom and stepdad to Asheville, North Carolina. For about eight years, I spent every other weekend back in Atlanta with my dad. At age 11, I moved back to Atlanta. I went to Woodland Elementary School, Ridgeview Middle School, Peachtree Junior High School and Dunwoody High School, graduating in 1996.

Q: What are some of your favorite memories of those days? A: One of the best memories is the

time I spent with my family on my dad’s side in the Paces Ferry and Vinings area. My granddad on my mom’s side, I got my genes for building from him. He built a house off Spalding Drive on the Chattahoochee River. I was constantly canoeing on the river and playing on a rope swing and hanging out on the sandbars. There

were peacocks walking around the yard. My grandmother, Ann Callaway Martin, worked for President Carter at his library and knew the Carter family.

Q: What’s the first thing you ever built? A: In shop class in the ninth grade, I built a trashcan out of pine for my mom.

Q: When you speak to an audience, as you will at the Atlanta Home Show, is there a message that you try to leave with them? A: I try to tell a story. I believe that as

we share, we find that we have a lot in common. Everyone has themes in their life, and family struggle was a theme in mine. But people stepped up in my life, as well. I’m where I am because of all the things that happened in my life. I’ve used all of it to get to where I am today. I was married with two kids when I quit a six-figure job (in medical sales) to go for

my dream. We went for it. I chose years ago to make something happen with no promise of anything. I never would have met Chip Gaines if I hadn’t been going for it.

Q: What are the Gaineses like? A: Joanna is just as talented as you

think she is. She’s the real deal, insanely gifted and a great person. Chip is just as funny in person [as he is on TV]. You want to have barbecue and a beer with him. He has an energy that attracts people to him.

Q: What are your thoughts about coming back to Atlanta for the show? A: I’ve wanted to do the Atlanta Home

Show for a long, long time. I told them, “I don’t care what date it is, put me down for it!”

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A TV comedy pioneer joins a movie theater’s new era Continued from page 1 ring James Dean and Rock Hudson to Hollywood classics like 1935’s comedy “Ruggles of Red Gap” starring Charles Laughten, who went on to star as Quasimodo in 1939’s “Hunchback of Notre Dame.” “We ran the gamut … it’s like what TCM [Turner Classic Movies] does now,” Tush says. Tush also started hosting a 3 a.m. newscast on Channel 17, where he and a few crew members incorporated silly skits into a regular reading of events of the day. There was the episode where Tush was literally dragged off the set by a “kidnapper” as part of a sketch highlighting news of diplomats being kidnapped around the globe, he said. “There was fake panic from the crew,” Tush remembers as he actually screamed while being forcefully removed from behind his news desk. Then there was the addition of a new, award-winning weatherman from Cleveland, Ohio. Tush and his crew promoted his start date for a week. On the day the new weatherman started, Tush said, he grabbed an older announcer who worked elsewhere in the station, positioned him in front of a weather map, and gave him his cue that he was on the air. The star weatherman introduced himself, then grabbed his chest as part of the gag and died on air, creating another fake panic on set. “That was the joke!” Tush laughed. Nothing was written down other than the weatherman would die on air after a week of anticipation, he said. Late-night viewers were instantly amused and Tush achieved a cult following of fans captivated by this new niche entertainment. The success led him to becoming a face of Turner’s media empire during its fledgling years. He still receives an invitation to Turner’s birthday bash every year. Tush’s 1970s newscasts are considered by many TV pundits as a pioneer in late-night TV. In 2002, renowned Associ-

Bill Tush, in rear, with Jan Hooks, at left, and the rest of the crew of the sketch comedy show “Tush” that aired on what is now TBS in 1980-81. The show helped launch Hooks’ career, including on “Saturday Night Live.” SPECIAL

ated Press TV writer Frazier Moore wrote of Channel 17 and Tush’s brand of humor, “Here, a quarter-century ago, was Comedy Central’s ‘The Daily Show’ stripped down to raw abandon, on zero bucks.” “People always say it was ‘The Daily Show’ before ‘The Daily Show.’ But it wasn’t,” says Tush with a headshake. “It was a crazy, all ad-libbed, [a] whatever goes, goes show. There were no writers, no scripts.” Tush says he still writes jokes and humorous musings on one of his six typewriters in his Atlanta apartment. He keeps the pages and pages of ideas, with nowhere yet to go, in boxes of stationery paper he finds at Goodwill stores. The success of his newscasts led Turner to give Tush his own one-hour sketch comedy show aptly named, “Tush.” The one-hour show aired from 1980-81 on what is now the multichannel TBS network. The show helped launch Hooks’ career, as well as the careers of writers Bonnie and Terry Turner, who went on to

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create such massive hit sitcoms as “3rd Rock from the Sun” and “That ’70s Show.” Hooks was a master of many personalities, Tush says. On “Tush,” her character Tammy Jean pleaded in a sugary sweet Southern accent for viewers to donate money to save humanity from the evils of hang gliders. She sang the song “I’m Commercial,” a satire of Helen Reddy’s “I Am Woman,” with the chorus, “I’m inane, I’m an imbecile, I’m commercial.” She played Tootsie Plunkette, the diva of the popular “Captain Space” skit, where Tush and others wore weight loss sauna suits as uniforms and oversized water bottles as helmets. Sometimes Tammy Jean was so convincing, people would send in $4 or $5, he said. Back then, that was enough for a lunch. “She was the star of the show,” Tush said of Hooks. During a recent afternoon in the Springs Cinema lobby, Tush, 70, took out his cellphone and nervously played the last

message Hooks left him, the date stamp showing March 2014. Hooks died Oct. 9, 2014, at age 57, of throat cancer. “I’m deathly afraid of erasing this darned thing,” Tush said, visibly frustrated as he taps his phone’s screen. After a few seconds, “Biiiilllll!” in Hooks’ familiar voice, although a bit scratchy, finally played. “It’s Jan. You’re probably away across the ocean, but, um, I haven’t talked to you in a while and I just wanted to check in … and I’ve been thinking about you,” she says. “I hope all is well. OK. Bye.” “I don’t know what to do with this,” he says of the message, which came when he was working in Nigeria as a consultant for a new TV network. “When I came back, she was already dead ... and I had this message.” When “Tush” was axed after one season, Turner landed Tush a job as host of a new entertainment show, “People Now,” on CNN. The new gig meant packing up and moving from Atlanta to Los Angeles. Tush and Hooks were roommates along with a former “Tush” writer; all three decided to take their chances and head to Hollywood together. “She’s out there, doing her thing, getting nowhere. Then [“People Now”] is canceled, and I’m left drifting,” he says. “She’s struggling. And she’d call me and say, ‘I can’t take it anymore. I’m calling you to tell you I’m killing myself. “I’d say, don’t do it! And meet me at Alan Hale’s Lobster Barrel,” he says of what became a tradition for the duo. The two would meet at the small restau-


Art & Entertainment | 31

MARCH 2019 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net rant where Hale, the skipper from “Gilligan’s Island,” would come out every night at 6 p.m. and make an appearance. “And we’d go there and drink and laugh,” Tush says with a smile. “And a week later, I’d call Jan and say the same thing, and we’d meet again.” Tush then got a gig at CNN’s “Showbiz Today” in New York City and Hooks called a few months later to say she was coming to New York to do “Saturday Night Live.”

She also went on to do “Designing Women” and also “3rd Rock from the Sun,” a show created by former “Tush” writers Bonnie and Terry Turner. “So, we went from Atlanta to L.A. to New York together. We were always together,” he says. “We’d call each other four times a week to talk about stupid things. And then I go to Nigeria and she gets sick.” Hooks was a heavy smoker and Tush said he later learned she smoked right up

to the end, removing her oxygen mask to take a drag and to drink her wine. “We always had this running gag where she’d go, ‘Biiiillllll!’ he said. “We had so many crazy fun times together.” A few months ago, another close friend and “Tush” alum, Bob Gillies, died. Gillies had starred in “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh In” in 1967 before becoming teaming up with Tush and Hooks. Gillies is now in an urn on a shelf in

Tush’s apartment. Tush said he’s not sure what he’s going to do with him. Sneaking his ashes on an upcoming trip to London on the Queen Mary luxury cruise ship and dumping them into the ocean may be a good idea, he says. “He’d like that,” Tush says. “He’s got nowhere to go. Like me, I’ve got nowhere to go. Throw me over the side.”

Springs Cinema & Taphouse renovation gets rave reviews BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

At a Feb. 7 VIP reception, more than 100 people gathered to see for the first time the extensive renovations to Springs Cinema & Taphouse movie theater, formerly the Lefont. Plenty of “oohs” and “ahs” were expressed at everything from the new rug in the lobby area, the tasty food, bartenders slinging cocktails and such details as movie reel fixtures throughout the lobby. Attendees were able to catch a free screening of now Best Picture Oscar-winner “Green Book” while checking out seats that heat up or extend into recliners with a push of a button. “This theater is important to Sandy Springs,” said Howard Mavity at the reception. As a 16-year city resident, he said he watched movies at the theater when it was operated by George Lefont and plans to attend even more screenings at its sequel under the helm of new owner Brandt Gully. “I loved George, but it was time,” Mavity said. “What’s [Gully] has done is very unique. It’s a home run. This place has been embraced by the city.” A full bar where people can grab a Jack and Coke and watch a basketball game, a venue where nonprofit organizations can hold fundraisers, and even a place where a pre-teens can have celebrate birthdays and play “Fortnite” on the big screen – these are all now available at what Gully says is “different than your typical chain movie theater.” But make no mistake, movies – art films, foreign films, blockbusters -- are the top priorities, he said. “First and foremost, this is a movie theater,” Gully said, “and it is when people come to the movies that they discover what else we have.” Gully purchased the theater in 2017 from Lefont, who retired after a career that spanned more than 40 years of making Atlanta movie history as the owner of the Silver Screen in Buckhead; the landmark Plaza Theatre, still Atlanta’s oldest continuously operating theater; the Screening Room; and the Garden Hills Cinema. The theater is located in the Parkside Shops shopping center at 5920 Roswell Road, in the rear facing Sandy Springs Circle. Gully is no amateur when it comes to running a movie theater. For years he’s worked in securing funding for construction and renovation of movie theaters and other entertainment venues, including at the large corporation GE Capital, and working with such major chains as AMC and General Cinemas. In 2009, he started his own business,

EFA Partners, to help venues broker funding. Among local companies he has worked with are the CineBistro at Town Brookhaven theater and the Topgolf golf-oriented entertainment complexes. Lefont gave him an office at his theater about three years ago and Gully said he fell in love with the place and in love with the loyal customers. But the movie theater was falling into serious disrepair. Dirt and muck caked the floors, hot dogs sold from behind the register came with buns that were hard as a rock, and over the summer the air conditioning units went out in two theaters. Gully wanted to take his experience and transform the theater he knew was important to the community. “I think the location is fantastic for an entertainment venue ... and there’s tons of exciting growth in the area,” Gully said. For more information, see springscinema.com

Springs Cinema & Taphouse boasts new luxury recliners as seating in the renovated movie theater.

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Horse Lovers Summer Camp Chastain Horse Park - convenient Buckhead location! Boys and girls ages 4-8 – Mon-Fri 8am-1pm Many weeks to choose from during Summer 2019 Camp activities for our younger riders include horsemanship instruction (grooming, safety and more), riding lessons, crafts and games! Contact us at (404) 252-4244 ext.1001 or camps@chastainhorsepark.org. More information regarding summer schedule dates and registration form can be found at chastainhorsepark.org, select Riding Services, then select Summer Camp!

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BROOKHAVEN

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Thursday, March 7 through Saturday, March 9, 7 p.m. A satirical musical about a world where a corporation controls restrooms, performed by Chamblee OnStage students. Chamblee Charter High School Auditorium, 3688 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road Chamblee. Tickets $10. Info: cchsurinetown.bpt.me.

XANADU, JR.

Thursday, March 7 through Sunday, March 17 Jerry’s Habima Theatre, Georgia’s only theatrical company featuring actors with special needs, presents a musical about a Greek Muse coming to California. Morris & Rae Frank Theatre, Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta, 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody. Members: $25, Non-members: $35. Info: 678-812-4002, or visit online at atlantajcc.org/habima.

SOUTH PACIFIC

Thursday, March 8 through Sunday March 17 Directed and choreographed by Tony Award Recipient Baayork Lee, the 10-time Tony

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DUNWOODY

SANDY SPRINGS

Award winning musical comes to Sandy Springs. Set on a tropical island during World War II, the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic tells a story about love transcending the harsh realities of war and prejudice. Presented by City Springs Theatre Company. Byers Theatre, Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center, 1 Galambos Way, Sandy Springs. $30-$62, Info: citysprings.com.

POETRY OUT LOUD

Sunday, March 17, 1 p.m. A high school poetry competition incorporating the dynamic aspects of slam poetry, spoken word, and theater into the English and drama class. The Georgia winner competes at the National Finals in Washington, D.C. Atlanta History Center, 130 West Paces Ferry Road, Buckhead. Free. Info:  atlantahistorycenter. com.

ANASTASIA AND PETER PAN

Saturday, March 23 and Sunday, March 24 Roswell Dance Theatre and Atlanta Dance Theatre present “Anastasia, Once Upon a December” and “Peter Pan, Pirates and Pixie Dust.” Byers Theatre, Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center, 1 Galambos Way, Sandy Springs. $20-$28, Info: citysprings.com

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Art & Entertainment | 39

MARCH 2019 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

ARIEL RIVKA DANCE COMPANY

Saturday, March 23, 8 p.m.; Sunday, March 24, 5 pm The all-female contemporary group based in New York/New Jersey uses emotional movement, precise technique and harmonized collaboration in their critically acclaimed performances. MJCCA – Zaban Park, 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody. Members: adults $25, children $15; Non-members: adults $36, children $20 Info: atlantajcc.org/arielrivka.

MUSYKA, MUSIQUE, MUSICA, MUZIK, MUSIC

Sunday, March 24, 4 p.m. The Atlanta Concert Band and Synagogue Ahavath Achim is present a concert of influences on the American sound. Synagogue Ahavath Achim, 600 Peachtree Battle Avenue, Atlanta. Free. Info: atlantaconcertband.org.

LISTEN: WORKS BY WOMEN

Sunday, March 24, 4 p.m. A special chamber performance by Atlanta Symphony Orchestra musicians honors Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day with chamber music written by women. Skylight Gallery, Oglethorpe University Museum of Art, Lowry Hall, 3rd Floor, 4484 Peachtree Road NE, Brookhaven. Free. Info: connect.oglethorpe.edu.

VISUAL ARTS SEVEN POINTS OF VIEW

Saturday, March 9, 6-8 p.m., through April 17 An exhibition of paintings by the collective “Seven Points of View,” based at the Chastain Arts Center, featuring works from Claudia Earnest, Brenda Hinton, Cindy James, Margot Longreen, Helen McSwain, Twinkle Nelson, Sheryl Pressler, Sallie Ritter Smith and Kay Summers. Gallery 4945, Highpoint Episcopal Community Church, 4945 High Point Road, Sandy Springs. Info: gallery4945.weebly.com or Clara Blalock at 404-434-9606.

LEARN SOMETHING

EXPLORING MARS

Thursday, March 14, 8 p.m. National Geographic Live hosts NASA mechanical engineer Kobie Boykins, a supervisor of the mobility and remote sensing teams for the rover Curiosity and winner of a NASA Exceptional Service Medal. Studio Theatre, Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center, 1 Galambos Way, Sandy Springs. $35. Info: citysprings.com.

SWARM SCIENCE: HOW HONEYBEES MAKE DECISIONS

Saturday, March 16 and Sunday March 17, 10 a.m. Is it really true that the queen bee calls the shots? How do honeybees communicate and make the best decision for the hive community? Come for a fascinating close-up look at the latest honeybee research, complete with hive observations, a honey tasting, and an outdoor experience part of the Atlanta Science Festival. Blue Heron Nature Preserve Field Research Center, 3931 Land O’Lakes Drive, Buckhead. $12. Info: atlantasciencefestival.org

FESTIVALS ATLANTA JEWISH MUSIC FESTIVAL

Thursday, March 7 through Saturday, March 16 The Atlanta Jewish Music Festival shares and celebrates Jewish heritage through music and artist experiences, this year featuring Grammy-winning artists, up-and-coming bands and history presentations on the theme of “Jewish Contributions to American Music.” Performers include Bill Charlap Trio (March 7, Atlanta History Center) and soul-pop band Lawrence (March 9, Vinyl @ Center Stage). Various locations and prices. Info: atlantajmf.org.

WHAT’S ON THE DARK WEB?

Tuesday, March 12, 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. At the Sandy Springs Perimeter Chamber Signature Luncheon, Dr. Donald Hunt, a cybersecurity expert and former National Security Agency and FBI consultant, will bring the “dark web” of unlisted internet sites to life and chat about how criminals operate. Westin Atlanta Perimeter North, 7 Concourse Parkway, Sandy Springs. Members: $40, nonmembers: $45. Info: business.sandyspringsperimeterchamber.com.

THE ASTROBIOLOGY OF STAR WARS

Wednesday, March 13, 5-7 p.m. Gather for this all-ages Star Wars adventure, where Professor Jay Dunn and Dr. Jessica Parilla will lead a discussion on how the worlds and aliens of the “Star Wars” films compare to known planets and life in our solar system and beyond. Part of the Atlanta Science Festival. Georgia State University Perimeter College, Dunwoody Campus, Building NC, Room 1100, 2101 Womack Road, Dunwoody. Free. Info: atlantasciencefestival.org.

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Monday, March 11, 8 p.m. Author Lynne Olson discusses her book about the leader of a Resistance intelligence organization, during World War II. Atlanta History Center, 130 West Paces Ferry Road, Buckhead. Members $5; non-members $10. Info: atlantahistorycenter.org or 404-814-4150.

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SMASH MOUTH

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March 30-31, 2019 Blackburn Park 3493 Ashford Dunwoody Rd.

SPIN DOCTORS

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Profile for Reporter Newspapers

March 2019 - Brookhaven Reporter  

March 2019 - Brookhaven Reporter