MARCH 2019 • VOL. 13 — NO. 3
Sandy Springs Reporter
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comedy pioneer joins a movie theater’s new era ►Out & About ►Summer Camps
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Arts Center loses money in opening months as leadership changes
A TV co medy p ioneer joins
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Survey: Are toll lanes worth taking homes? P18
An Olympics champion finds a home at the MJCCA P20
BY EVELYN ANDREWS
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
The Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center was operating about $185,000 in the red at the end of 2018, despite receiving over $1 million in subsidies from the city. A foundation that was created to provide additional financial support has not yet done so after hitting some snags. The revenue between August to December was $1.9 million, including performances, private rentals, the city subsidy and parking income. Expenditures cost the city over $2.09 million, including parking, putting the PAC in the red by $184,803. The PAC was budgeted to bring in $5.2 million in revenue and spend over $3.3 million by July, the end of the fiscal year. The PAC experienced major leadership changes in its early months since opening last August. The general manager departed and the city has stopped using a thirdparty management company. The city has said it will keep tweaking the operations as it learns how to operate an event venue, including a recent action to make onstreet parking free. Financial records that end in December, the latest available, show PAC performances often post at least some profit, but vary widely in attendance and costs. In October, the Prague Philharmonic Children’s Choir, which only brought 146
See HOUSE on page 12
See ARTS on page 23
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.
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House demolitions, access points cause rising concerns in toll lane plans
BY EVELYN ANDREWS AND DYANA BAGBY
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.
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An illustration shows a proposed office building and hotel on Sandy Springs’ Barfield Road.
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PLANNI NG C O M M I S S I O N O KS BAR FIELD HO T EL , O FFIC E P R O JEC T
The Sandy Springs Planning Commission moved forward the project that would add a hotel and office building on Barfield Road and Mount Vernon Highway at its Feb. 26 meeting. The 14-year-old plan to bring two new buildings to Barfield Road at Mount Vernon Highway in Sandy Springs originally called for office buildings, but a hotel was later added, a change requiring city approval. The change initially drew heavy opposition from the Autumn Chace townhome community, but the developer agreed to regulations that garnered the residents’ support for the project. The 3.7-acre lot at 6403 Barfield Road sits west of Ga. 400 and is adjacent to the Promenade at Northplace condo development. The original plan, under the name NorthPlace, was for two multistory buildings that have office space and retail on the bottom floor. Under the new proposal, one of those buildings would become a 10-story Aloft hotel, a brand owned by hotel chain Marriott. The commission voted unanimously to recommend approval for the project. The City Council is scheduled to vote on the project at its March 12 meeting.
CITY CO U NCIL APPR O V ES BA C KYA R D S W IM L ES S O N P ER M I T
The Sandy Springs City Council approved a home swimming lesson business at its Feb. 19 meeting, legalizing it under a new permit created after the operation became controversial last year. Allison Dubovsky operates the business in the pool behind her house at 640 Weatherly Lane, in a cul-de-sac in the exclusive Riverside neighborhood. The business license was yanked by the city after complaints about noise and traffic. The controversy spurred the city to approve in July 2018 a new permitting process specifically for some types of backyard businesses. The council voted unanimously to approve the conditional use permit for the swimming business, Swim with Allison. Dubovsky’s business drew many supporters from the community to the meeting and 12 comments were submitted in support. One person spoke in opposition, saying the debate has been made unfairly about the merits of private swimming businesses and how they save lives. The problem is really with the traffic and noise changing and disrupting the residential neighborhood, the resident said. Dubovsky’s argued the decision to allow these types of businesses has already been made by the city when it approved the new permit system. Her business has complied with those regulations, so it should be approved, she said.
DALRYM PLE 1 8 - HO US E R EDEV ELO P M ENT D ENIED B Y P L A NNI NG C O M M I S S IO N
The Planning Commission voted to recommend the City Council deny a rezoning request to build 18 houses on Dalrymple Road. The proposal seeks to rezone the properties, which include 0, 309, 314 and 354 Dalrymple Road, from RE-1 to RD-18, lowering the minimum lot size from one acre to 18,000 square feet, less than half an acre, according to proposal documents. All lots fronting SS
Community | 3
Dalrymple would be at least one acre, however, to be similar to other lots on the road. City staff recommended the commission deny the request since rezonings for higher density in protected neighborhoods are discouraging in the city’s Comprehensive Plan. The commission agreed, and said there was not a compelling reason for the owner, James Self, the executor of his father’s estate, to need a rezoning to redevelop the property. Many nearby residents had opposed the proposed development, saying the new houses could have water runoff and traffic consequences and change the character of the neighborhood. The commission voted unanimously to recommend denial. The City Council is scheduled to take up the proposal at its March 12 meeting.
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Lanes will be temporarily closed along Roswell Road Sandy Springs during a yearlong project to relocate utility poles, the Georgia Department of Transportation and Georgia Power announced. Approximately 100 existing power line poles will be relocated from near the curb to the back of the sidewalk along an eight-mile stretch of Peachtree and Roswell roads. The project began in Midtown and continues through Buckhead to Roswell Road at Windsor Parkway in Sandy Springs, Georgia Power announced in a Feb. 13 press release. The temporary lane closures will occur only in the areas immediately impacted by the pole relocation, the release said. GDOT and Georgia Power said in the release they will make every effort to limit lane closures related to the project, avoiding rush hour and heavy traffic-related events. The lanes will be closed outside of normal rush hours between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., according to the release. The project is the fifth time GDOT and Georgia Power have worked together on the “Clear Roadside Project” initiative in metro Atlanta that extends the distance between utility poles and traffic flow, the release said.
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New master plan calls for $105M in green space BY EVELYN ANDREWS email@example.com
Sandy Springs has adopted its new parks master plan, calling for a $105 million in upgrades, new parks and dog parks, a swimming complex and a community center. The update to the city’s existing recreation and parks master plan, which also calls for creating 437 acres of new parks by 2027, was unanimously passed by the City Council at its Feb. 19 meeting. “This master plan will give us the blueprint needed to plan and to optimize opportunities over the next ten years,” said Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul in a press release announcing the adoption. The update was drafted by an advisory group of local community members and led by a consultants over several months last year. The plan projects the city will need 437 acres of new park land by 2027 based on its expected population, and plans to fill that by buying new property to keep a range of park sizes and trails, said Mike Perry, the direction of recreation and parks. The main needs, the master plan process found, are more hiking trails, multi-use trails, dog parks, community gardens and an indoor pool.
A map shows the locations and areas served by current and proposed parks in Sandy Springs included in the updated parks master plan.
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The plan’s recommendations are expected to cost $90 million for new parks and trails and $14.5 million for existing park improvements. The plan budgets $350,000 for other “general improvements.” The city currently has 228 acres of parks and another 50 of undeveloped park land. Consultants that helped create the plan recommended 12 acres per each 1,000 city residents, which means the city will need a total of over 700 acres for the projected 123,000 population in 2027. The acreage totals include the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Areas. Regional parks created in partnership with neighboring cities like Roswell, Marietta and Brookhaven and Atlanta can also help fill the void, Perry said. Two in progress parks are Crooked Creek Park off Spalding Drive and a pocket park in the River Shore neighborhood. While many details will need to be worked out about most of the proposed projects and additional funding will likely need to be considered, Councilmember John Paulson said the plan is the start the city needed. “This is a good start,” Paulson said. “Without a plan, without a vision you don’t know where to start. I’m in favor of moving forward with this and then let’s see what we can do to make it happen.” The short-term projects that are expected to begin over the next 10 years include: ■ Purchasing new park property ■ Expanding Allen Road Park ■ Developing connectivity to neighboring cities ■ Building a natatorium/community center at the north end of the city ■ Constructing a cultural center in
the City springs area ■ Replacing the current dog and building new dog parks ■ Making improvements to Heritage Sandy Springs and Morgan Falls ballfields ■ Developing a community art plan. Long-term projects the plan calls for starting within 10 to 20 years include continuing to develop regional connections, trails and greenways; acquiring and developing new parks; renovating Ridgeview Park with new equipment; and working on recreation and parks branding. A second natatorium and community center is planned to be built on the south side of the city after 20 years. Councilmember Andy Bauman said the plan is “ambitious as it should be.” “I look forward to funding and doing every single one of these,” he said. One public meeting was held, but much of the public input came from a survey that asked over 500 residents their opinion of the current park service and what is needed, Perry said at the meeting. A particularly expensive project, the proposed natatorium on the north end, may be best funded by public-private partnership to buy the land and operate it, Perry said. The idea is one of major concepts proposed by the North End Revitalization Task Force that wrapped up its recommendations to spur redevelopment in the area last year. Another north end task force recommendation that dovetails with the master plan is the proposed multi-use path called the “Greenline.”
Education | 5
MARCH 2019 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net
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
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
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
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-
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
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?
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
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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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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.
Community | 9
Community Briefs L I B R A RY R EN O VATI ON SC H EDULED TO FINISH IN M AR CH
The Sandy Springs Branch Library renovation is scheduled to be completed March 21. A reopening date has not been set. The library at 395 Mount Vernon Highway N.E. has been closed since interior renovations started in August 2018. Exterior renovations, such as painting and roof work, began earlier that year. “As we all know, things can happen to delay that completion, but we are [hopeful] that it will be done on time and we can get to the business of moving back into the branch and scheduling an actual reopen date as soon as possible,” said Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System spokesperson Claudia Strange in an email.
F ULTON C OUN TY H OMESTEAD P RO P ER T Y TA X EXEMP TI ON F I L I N G DEAD LINE IS APR IL 1
April 1 is the deadline to file for new homestead exemptions to property taxes in Fulton County, according to the Board of Assessors. Applications can be made online at fultonassessor.org. Anyone who bought a new home or made changes to their deed at their primary residence in 2018 should apply. Also, several new homestead exemptions were approved by
voters last year; most will automatically apply to existing homeowners. One of the new exemptions is for seniors ages 65 and older, which increases their basic exemption from $30,000 to $50,000 for the county portion of property taxes. Homeowners who do not currently have a senior homestead exemption should apply. Applications can be made at homestead exemption offices, including one in Sandy Springs at the North Fulton Service Center, 7741 Roswell Road N.E., Suite 210. For more information, see the website or call 404-612-6440, ext. 4.
SANDY SPR I NG S AG A IN R EC EI V ES ‘ TR EE CI TY US A’ DES IG NATI O N
Sandy Springs has been recognized for the 11th year as a “Tree City USA” community by the National Arbor Day Foundation. Sandy Springs joins more than 3,500 other Tree City USA communities across the nation in qualifying for this recognition. To receive the designation, a community must meet standards established by the Arbor Day Foundation, including maintaining a tree board or department, having a community tree care ordinance, spending at least $2 per capita on urban forestry and celebrating Arbor Day, according to a city press release. The designation ensures that a community achieves set standards for proper management of their forest resources, the release said. For more information, visit arborday.org/TreeCityUSA.
Visit us today to learn how you may qualify for up to
Valid thru 7/10/19
For the way it’s Made 7455 Trowbridge Rd. | Sandy Springs, GA 30328 404.255.0640 | www.sewellappliance.com SS
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City officials in Sandy Springs are joining Dunwoody and Brookhaven in raising a concern about a proposed state law that would prohibit many local government building design restrictions. The legislation, House Bill 302, would prevent local governments from regulating several design elements in one or two-family properties such as color, exterior material, windows, doors, number and type of rooms and foundation materials. The sponsor, Rep. Smith Vance (R-Pine Mountain) did not respond to a request for comment. Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul said at the Feb. 19 City Council meeting the bill would “strip local governments of a lot of abilities they have for control.” “This is a very profound piece of legislation,” Paul said. Dunwoody and Brookhaven city councils both passed resolutions formally opposing the bill. Several local state legislators have voiced their opposition. One of the key reasons Sandy Springs was incorporated was to govern land use, Paul said, and with this legislation, the city would lose a lot of the tools it uses. Only specific areas would be exempt, such as historic districts, but Sandy Springs does not have any, Paul said. “[Assistant City Manager Jim] Tolbert and his colleagues could go look for other jobs in other states because a lot of what we do wouldn’t be done anymore,” Paul said. Rep. Deborah Silcox (R-Sandy Springs) said she is “vehemently opposed” to bill and is “working hard” General Assembly members to vote against it. “All of our urban planning and work would be undone,” Silcox said. Rep. Josh McLaurin (D-Sandy Springs) also said in an email he is opposing it because it is “an attempt by the state government to take basic design standards out of the hands of local communities.” The legislation has been pushed for by homebuilder lobbyists, Silcox said. A similar version of the bill is working through the state Senate. Most of the sponsors for the each chamber’s bills represent rural communities. The Sandy Springs Council of Neighborhoods noted its concern in an email to members, urging residents to call elected officials if they share concerns. “The Next 10 Comprehensive Plan efforts that citizens engaged in will be unwound and existing code standards will be trumped by state regulations and standards that are inferior to those now in place,” the organization said. The organization said the design standards protect property values and prevent developers from using “inferior building materials,” the council said. Sandy Springs and Dunwoody heavily opposed a bill that passed last session that prevents local governments from prohibiting wood-frame apartments, eliminating an ordinance that had been on the cities’ books for years. State Rep. Mike Wilensky (D-Dunwoody), Sen. Sally Harrell (D-Dunwoody) and Rep. Matthew Wilson (D-Brookhaven), whose district includes a small part of Dunwoody, are also opposing the bill. “We became a city to keep decisions close to home,” Dunwoody Mayor Denis Shortal said before the vote. “We know what we want. We don’t need the state to tell us. … Please don’t try to push your will on us in Dunwoody, Georgia.” Dunwoody City Council member Lynn Deutsch, who drafted the resolution, said she felt the state legislature was becoming “more and more brazen” in recent years in its attempts to strip local control from cities and counties. “I’m really frustrated by this constant inching into local government,” she said. The bill “would completely remove the city of Dunwoody’s common sense ability of local control to set its own quality standards of single-family homes and may jeopardize the safety and lives of our citizens living and working in densely populated areas of our city,” the resolution says. Brookhaven Mayor John Ernst said the bill would wipe out the work done to create the new zoning ordinance rewrite that was passed recently and created overlay districts along Peachtree Road and Buford Highway.
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SR 400 Express Lanes
We Need Your Help Your Opinion Matters and Your Voice Counts
The SR 400 Express Lanes project is a regional transportation solution that will provide improved travel times and a more reliable commute in the SR 400 corridor. Future express lanes projects are a key part of Georgia’s answer for reduced congestion and improved mobility throughout the metro Atlanta region.
This is the Time to Share Your Thoughts
We need your input at an upcoming Public Information Open House for the SR 400 Express Lanes Project.
Tuesday, March 5
Thursday, March 7 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Forsyth Conference Center 3410 Ronald Reagan Blvd Cumming, GA 30041
DoubleTree by Hilton - Roswell 1075 Holcomb Bridge Road Roswell, GA 30076
City Springs 1 Galambos Way Sandy Springs, GA 30328
4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Current Project Activities
Project Timeline 2000
HOV System Plan
ARC and Georgia Environmental DOT adopt express process begins lanes strategy to mitigate congestion
Public Information Open Houses
Public Hearing Open Houses
Right-of-way (ROW) acquisition begins
Project Map LEGEND:
McFarland Parkway Union Hill Road
Project Length: 16 miles
Map is not to scale
North of Webb Bridge Road South of Haynes Bridge Road South of Holcomb Bridge Road
North and South of Northridge Road
North Springs MARTA Station
2024 SR 400 Express Lanes open to trafﬁc
Project Potential Access Points
Tuesday, March 12
www.dot.ga.gov/DS/GEL/SR400 email@example.com 404-556-9816
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House demolitions, access points cause rising concerns in toll lane plans Continued from page 1 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 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 neighbor-
hoods, our communities, our cities, so people can get to work faster?”
Special 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.
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 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
Community | 13
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 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.
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Our new Assisted Living community is opening in the spring. Come learn about us! FOX: Learn about the extensive therapy service, personal and community, exclusively offered only at The Mansions in Georgia! March 7, Thursday, at Marlow's Tavern, Dunwoody, 2 - 3:30 pm, 1217 Dunwoody Village Parkway, 30338 next to First Watch across from Ace Hardware. March 28, Thursday at Marlow's Tavern, Alpharetta, 2 - 3:30 pm, 3719 Old Alabama Road, Alpharetta, 30022 corner of Jones Bridge. April 18, Thursday at Redland's Grill, Peachtree Corners, 2 - 3:30 pm, 5245 Peachtree Parkway, Norcross, 30092 at The Forum, Spalding and Peachtree Parkway.
DAYBREAK PROGRAM for Memory Neighborhood lead by Director of Memory Care, Bridggett Bartlett. March 14, Thursday, at Marlow's Tavern, Dunwoody, 2 - 3:30 pm, 1317 Dunwoody Village Parkway, 30388, next to First Watch across from Ace Hardware. April 4, Thursday, at Marlow's Tavern, Alpharetta, 2 - 3:30 pm, 3719 Old Alabama Road, Alpharetta, 30022 corner of Jones Bridge. April 25, Thursday, at Redland's Grill, Peachtree Corners, 2 - 3:30 pm, 5245 Peachtree Parkway, Norcross, 30092 at The Forum, Spalding and Peachtree Parkway.
ACTIVITIES Learn about our vast options of events, activities, and outings to appeal to a variety of interests. March 21, Thursday, at Marlow's Tavern, Dunwoody, 2 - 3:30 pm, 1317 Dunwoody Village Parkway, 30388, next to First Watch across from Ace Hardware. April 11, Thursday, at Marlow's Tavern, Alpharetta, 2 - 3:30 pm, 3719 Old Alabama Road, Alpharetta, 30022 corner of Jones Bridge. May 2, Thursday, at Redland's Grill, Peachtree Corners, 2 - 3:30 pm, 5245 Peachtree Parkway, Norcross, 30092 at The Forum, Spalding and Peachtree Parkway.
COME HAVE A FREE LUNCH WITH US AND FIND OUT MORE!
Please RSVP Jyl at (470) 338-5064 or JBatterman@TheMansionsatSandySprings.com. SS
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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 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. SS
Public Safety | 15
Dunwoody police chief opposes alarm ordinances like one in Sandy Springs BY EVELYN ANDREWS email@example.com
As Sandy Springs prepares require verification before responding to security alarms, the Dunwoody police chief has appeared in an industry video against the practice. Two lawyers spoke out against the ordinance before theCity Council, calling it “unsafe.” The city’s attempt to crack down on false burglar and fire alarms includes fining alarm companies and requiring verification before responding. The city says it gets thousands of alarm calls a year, of which about 99 percent are false, tying up police officers and firefighters and costing enormous sums of money. Verification requirements that go into effect June 19 require alarm companies to provide direct confirmation that a burglar alarm call is a real crime – with audio or video devices or in person – before calling 911. Darryl Laddin, an Atlanta attorney, argued verification is “a big step backward” during public comment at the City Council’s Feb. 19 meeting. “The bottom line is this is a dangerous ordinance,” Laddin said. “It signals to criminals Sandy Springs is open for business.” The ordinance has been controversial with residents and alarm companies who say the practice could lead to increase burglaries because law enforcement response would be delayed. The city has set up a long webpage defending the alarm ordinance. The city argues residents and businesses can easily comply with the verification requirements. “Importantly, the technology for audio and video verification is available today, even for the individual homeowner to secure and place on his own,” the webpage says. “In fact, many alarm companies already offer these services.” The goal of the verification requirements is to reduce the number of false alarm calls, according to the city. The city says security alarm calls are already a low priority because the amount of false alarms. Once verified, the response would actually be a higher priority and faster. As the city prepares to put its verification requirements into effect, the police chief of its neighbor Dunwoody has appeared in a by the Security Industry Alarm Coalition backing its model ordinance, which Dunwoody uses. SIAC, which supported an industry lawsuit against Sandy Springs that the city won, says its model ordinance has reduced false alarms for the cities that use it and has won the support of many police chief organizations. The model ordinance calls for fining citizens for false alarms and is against verification. Dunwoody Police Chief Billy Grogan said in an email he helped implement the model ordinance when he worked for the Marietta Police Department and “was able to reduce false alarms significantly as have many other communities.” He participated in a SIAC video at the time about the model ordinance and agreed to be in the updated version released in January. “In Dunwoody, we also implemented the Model Alarm Ordinance several years ago and have seen a significant reduction in our false alarms as well,” Grogan said. Dunwoody requires registration and has escalating fines for false alarms that are billed to alarm system customers, like businesses or residents. Starting at $50 for the third false alarm, fines rise to $500 for 10 or more, according to the Dunwoody Police Department website.
Dunwoody Police Chief Billy Grogan appears in a video supporting the false alarm model ordinance supported by the security industry.
Marietta Police Chief Dan Flynn, who serves as the alarm systems committee chair for the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police previously said the group opposes requiring verification before a law enforcement response. Laddin argued elderly people may not be able to afford verification equipment, and some people do not already have smartphone that can be used to connect with many of the security camera systems. “It leaves the perpetrator with as much time as they want,” he said. “This is a seri-
ous, serious problem that doesn’t make sense.” Jay Abt, who said he is a criminal defense attorney, asked Sandy Springs to reconsider the ordinance and instead implement higher fines like Atlanta or Dunwoody. Abt said he knows how criminals operate due to his career. “I’ve probably met more burglars than people in law enforcement,” he said. “I know you are incentivizing publicly and telling them [Sandy Springs] is a great place to commit crimes.”
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Religious leaders back housing nonprofit’s lawsuit with prayer vigil
*You must take advantage of this during your first 12 months on Medicare.
Mary Lucy of the Sandy Springs-based group Sonflower Ministries speaks in support of Mary Hall Freedom House before leading a prayer at a Feb. 22 vigil held at Rivercliff Lutheran Church.
LEGAL NOTICES FOR THE CITY OF SANDY SPRINGS Effective immediately, legal notices for the City of Sandy Springs are published: • In our monthly e-newsletter distributed by the City. You can sign up at spr.gs/enewsletter • Inside the Sandy Springs Neighbor newspaper Information related to upcoming meetings can always be found online at sandyspringsga.gov.
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Some top local religious leaders joined a prayer vigil Feb. 22 to support a housing nonprofit’s lawsuit against the city of Sandy Springs. The nonprofit also recently launched a website directly targeting Mayor Rusty Paul called “shameonrustypaul.com.” MHFH, which helps women with homelessness and addiction issues, in 2017 bought more than a third of the 90-unit condo complex at 9400 Roberts Drive, drawing criticism from other residents and legal challenges from the city. Following several code citations, MHFH sued the city in December 2018, saying it’s trying to push out minorities and disabled people. Now, MHFH is prepping for the lawsuit hearings to begin by pulling its partners at religious organizations, including Temple Emanu-El and Sandy Springs United Methodist Church, which was the first church in Sandy Springs and led to the community’s founding. About 50 people, including some of the women who use MHFH services, attended the event held at Rivercliff Luteran Church, where the nonprofit also uses space. Lucy Hall, who founded MHFH, said the nonprofit originally planned to host a rally at City Hall to try to show the city is has community support and has been successful at helping women recover. But the attorneys said that could lead to other legal problems, so the prayer vigil was held instead. MHFH has also launched a petition website called shameonrustypaul.com, referencing the mayor of Sandy Springs. A hearing for the lawsuit was scheduled for Feb. 25, but was postponed at the city’s request to March 12, Hall said. “It’s a little disappointing to me on my end, because I’m really ready to get this over with,” she said. City spokesperson Sharon Kraun said the hearing was moved due to a witness illness. Kraun did not comment on the holding of the vigil. The city began citing the nonprofit for code violations after other residents in the condo complex complained the nonprofit was causing additional noise, all-hours activity and van traffic. Kraun has previously said the city’s citations are based purely on the belief MHFH is violating the zoning laws. MHFH provides transitional housing for women and children, career development services, mental healthcare, daycare and medical care. The city has cited MHFH for providing treatments at the condos, but the nonprofit has said all services are done at other locations and the condos are used only for housing. Temple Emanu-El Senior Rabbi Spike Anderson, who introduced the vigil, said MHFH has been a partner since beginning over 20 years ago. “We think Mary Hall is very well-run,” Anderson said. “Our congregation is very invested in Mary Hall’s success.” He said the Temple supports MHFH because the Jewish mission is to “take care of our neighbors.” Church members regularly provide food to MHFH clients, Spike said. “To be even a small part of helping people get back on their feet, there is nothing more meaningful than that.” Other organizations included Sonflower Ministries, a Sandy Springs-based group, Mount Paran Church and St. James United Methodist Church, Hall said. “We are honored to stand with Mary Hall at this time,” said Mary Lucy with Sonflower Ministries before her prayer. “You’ve done an honorable job.” MHFH counts many major organizations and companies among its donors, including the Sandy Springs Society; the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development and Department of Veterans Affairs; such large corporations as Wells Fargo, The Home Depot and Coca-Cola; and the governments of Atlanta and Fulton County. SS
Community | 17
At anti-Semitic bullying forum, expert panel offers advice, urges reporting BY EVELYN ANDREWS email@example.com
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-
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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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
gestion issues. Not everyone will like the solutions, but letting fic
to get worse is not an option if Atlanta is going to continue growing (which seems to be a given).” And
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
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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.
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Commentary | 19
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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An Olympics champion finds a home at the MJCCA
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
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
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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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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Heritage Sandy Springs gears up to execute master plan BY EVELYN ANDREWS firstname.lastname@example.org
Heritage Sandy Springs has added new faces to the team as the nonprofit dedicated to preserving city history gears up to execute its updated master plan. City projects have changed some of the nonprofit’s plans, including having to move some major events. “We’re trying to be forward-looking and not be that little, sleepy nonprofit down the hill,” Executive Director Carol Thompson said. “Our goal is to increase visibility of Heritage within the community, as well as let people know what a worthy cause we are celebrating.” The plan calls for a new band shell for the amphitheater, outdoor restrooms and creating better entrances and connections the streets. City staff said at the City Council’s Jan. 22 retreat that it had reviewed the master plan and thought the recommendations were appropriate. Some other city projects in the works intended to improve and add to the City Springs district are affecting some of Heritage’s programs and plans. Heritage is located 6110 Bluestone Road, a
block away from the city’s massive City Springs civic and arts complex. Added to the master plan by the city is a proposed “cultural center,” which would hold several community groups and potentially a new Holocaust memorial. Heritage Sandy Springs once pegged part of the site for its own museum. The city has eyed replacing a car repair shop currently on another part of the site during planning for City Springs. Heritage is not officially a partner on the cultural center project and would not have space inside it, but it will work to connect the two, Thompson said. A building that was previously used as Heritage office space will be removed, she said. “We look forward to being part of it,” she said. The nonprofit plans to emphasize its historic programming “because that’s really who we are,” Thompson said. Heritage will put a focus on its artifacts, oral history and museum, she said. As more groups offer outdoor concerts and entertainment programs, including the Sandy Springs Performing
Arts Center, there is less need for Heritage to host them, she said. But the popular “Concerts by the Springs” and other music events will not be going away, she said. And the nonprofit is still “excited” about and planning to build the new band shell. “We are doing things a little differently,” Thompson said. “We’ve seen all this coming with City Springs changing the neighborhood.” The Sandy Springs Circle streetscape project, which is part of the 2012 City Center Master Plan, required Heritage to move its annual Sandy Springs Festival last year and will need to again this year due to the construction. The nonprofit had to change the footprint of the arts and culture festival, and it did not work as well as expected last year so they are working on a new configuration, she said. “That was a main thoroughfare, so that’s caused some changes,” she said. “We certainly did our best, but in reality it didn’t flow as well.” The city also requested Heritage move its popular farmers market to City Springs and provided additional
funding. There have also been some changes in the city agreement allowing Heritage to operate on the land. A five-year operating agreement will replace a 30-year lease the city had signed with Heritage after incorporating in 2008. Mayor Rusty Paul said at the Feb. 5 City Council before the change was approved that the new agreement would allow more coordination between the Heritage and City Springs programming. The city and Heritage will know in advance what is planned to avoid conflicts, such as a wedding at Heritage and an outdoor concert on the City Green, Paul said. “We see them as one big happy location,” Paul said. “We want to make sure everybody has an enjoyable experience.” The city had to tweak the agreement due to state law change, Thompson said. The only other major change Thompson expects is for the city taking a more active role in maintaining the park. Improving the Heritage site is on the project list for the new recreation and
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Community | 23
parks master plan the City Council approved at its Feb. 21 meeting. Other recent changes include reopening the museum after renovations and adding new staff members. Heritage announced in January it has hired a new marketing manager and event sales coordinator. It also created and filled a new position of chief external affairs officer. “We are so pleased to bring this talent to our staff,” Thompson said in a press release announcing the staffing changes. “Everyone hired is on point with expanding our mission and making Heritage a thriving place for the community to gather.” The museum is within the WilliamsPayne House, an 1860s farmhouse that was relocated to 6075 Sandy Springs Circle, now part of Heritage’s historic site. The renovations, all interior, included changing the layout and upgrading systems to better protect historic objects. The museum reopened in September 2018 and in January, Heritage announced it would expand open hours and offer new guided tours. Reconstructing the city’s namesake spring, a project that was originally expected to be finished by early 2018, is expected now to be done by the end of 2020. Issues getting approvals from the city and needing to wait until the popular summer season is over have led to the delay, Thompson said. The new design would replace the metal grate covering the spring with a glass-enclosed fountain and abstract canopy. “We are excited about that project and making it a point of pride,” she said. “It just seemed time to make sure the spring was relevant as City Springs opens.”
Arts Center loses money in opening months Continued from page 1 people into the 1,070-seat Byers Theatre, lost $556. “The Fun Show with Cat & Nat,” held Sept. 29, was attended by 688 people and had revenue of $15,441. The PAC’s revenue through December included a $1.16 million subsidy that came from the city’s general fund and parking income of $185,120. Parking expenditures cost $370,858. The Performing Arts Center is expected to be subsidized for five to 10 years by the general fund, city spokesperson Sharon Kraun said. “The city planned for, and the city’s monthly financials incorporate, a subsidy for the performing arts center to enable the PAC team time to learn the entertainment and rental mix most appropriate for the venue and community,” Kraun said in an email. By the end of December, the PAC received $358,923 from events ticket sales and revenue. Revenue from facility rentals for private events totaled $188,815. “Miscellaneous income” totaled $7,833. No performance through December appears to have completely filled all 1,070 seats in the Byers Theatre. But most shows still posted at least some profit. Eight of the 24 individual shows were less than half full, according to the attendance numbers provided through a records request. Three events had over 900 people in attendance. The attendance for individual shows produced by the City Springs Theatre Company, including the “Nutcracker” and “Elf: The Musical,” are unclear because city numbers for the multiple performances were totaled together. The financial records, which were available for August to November and obtained through an open records request, show many events make some amount
of profit, although some lose money. The PAC also has other expenditures not caused directly by events, including overhead and parking costs. Many banquets and meetings held made thousands of dollars, according to records, such as a preview party for “Elf” that made $14,770. Events hosted by the City Springs Theatre Company generally appear to make the most money, such as the “42nd Street” performances bringing in close to $50,000. “Girl With No Job,” a show hosted by a social media celebrity, had an attendance of 827 people and brought in $10,208, according to records. The PAC’s opening event on Aug. 11, a performance by Branford Marsalis achieved a profit of $47,841 and was nearly sold out, with 987 in attendance. A National Geographic event later in August lost $133 with 335 people attending. The city hosted a big-ticket event in February with the performance of worldrenowned violinist Izthak Perlman. To help afford the Perlman performance and keep ticket prices low, the city enlisted several sponsorships. Contributors included the Sandy Springs Society; Atlanta Jewish Film Festival; Sandy Springs Development Authority, an independent agency that supports city economic development; RBM of Atlanta, a Mercedes-Benz dealer; Northside Hospital; and BB&T Bank. “It was absolutely what the PAC was intended to be: a stage where world-class performers come in and we could sit there and just enjoy it,” Councilmember Tibby DeJulio said during the Feb. 19 City Council meeting. The Sandy Springs Arts Foundation, which was was set up to handle naming rights, fundraising, arts education and
subsidizing some City Springs programs, did not contribute to the Perlman performance. The foundation has hit some snags and only recently began re-emerging with a new website and fundraising strategy after deciding to cut ties with the city and become private in September 2018. Since then, the foundation has contributed a $100,000 grant to the arts programs implemented by the privately run City Springs Theatre Company and approved a major donation, Executive Director Emily Hutmacher said in an email. A brick-naming fundraiser has not been launched yet, but is expected to in the “coming weeks,” Hutmacher said. The city will take on more of the responsibility of managing the PAC after the city and the third party company hired to operate City Springs parted ways in February. The contract was not expected to end until 2022, but after “extensive discussions” the two decided mutually to end the relationship, the city said. Most employees chose to stay working at City Springs and were absorbed under existing city contracts. Seven people employed in the events or food and beverages staff were taken on under the city’s contract with Collaborative, a Boston-based firm that also provides staffing for the communications and community development departments. Two finance staff members are now employed under the Inframark contract, Kraun said. The city has continued to tweak other parts of the City Springs operation. The complex opened with paid parking along the streets to keep spots open for retail customers, but it is now free now free after a change approved by the City Council at its Feb. 5 meeting.
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FROM POTTERY TO SCARVES, LOCAL ARTISTS FEATURED IN AMERICAN CRAFT SHOW PAGE 26
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A TV comedy pioneer joins a movie theater’s new era BY DYANA BAGBY email@example.com
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-
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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.
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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Q&A with Clint Harp How Dunwoody shaped a famous TV woodworker
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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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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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
50 YEARS OF
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Open March 15-31 at AJC.com/peachtree Members register at atlantatrackclub.org/peachtree All others register at ajc.com/peachtree
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Play your part! SPRING BRE AK & SUMMER CAMPS
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Each Primrose School is a privately owned and operated franchise. Primrose Schools is a trademark of Primrose School Franchising Company. ©2019 Primrose School Franchising Company. All rights reserved. Ages for Summer Adventure Club program vary by location.
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Special Section | 33
CAMP REGISTRATION OPENS JANUARY 21ST!
You don’t want to miss out! Sign up at WWW.WESLEYANSCHOOL.ORG/SUMMERCAMPS
Summer Academy at UGA
1&2 week sessions for ages 6-16!
Experience a world of learning and fun in Athens!
On top of Lookout Mountain on the banks of Little River...
Only 1.5 hours east of Huntsville and 2 hours from Atlanta, Nashville & Birmingham
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We l c o m e t o R i v e r v i e w C a m p f o r G i r l s ! Yo u r Aw a r d Wi n n i n g C a m p E x p e r i e n c e ! C o n ﬁ d e n c e , C h a r a c t e r, Ad v e n tu r e , I n s p i r a t i o n ! When you attend our summer camp or our mother-daughter weekends, you will have an amazing time on a mountain top, sharing moments of fun, faith, and adventure! Recognized as one of the South’s favorite private summer camp for girls, Riverview’s exciting programs are appreciated by both campers and parents! Girls from the South and International campers as well, are among our camp families!
Dr. Larry and Susan Hooks, Owners/Directors For more information and a free DVD: www.riverviewcamp.com 800-882-0722
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Camps in June & July Summer Academy at UGA is an exciting series of specialty academic summer camps in Athens for middle school and high school students who want to do amazing things. Camps include Mini Medical School, Culinary, Engineering, Game Design, and many more. We offer a residential option for students to stay with us all week in a college dorm.
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/ �4iXPLORE. CONNECT. ACHIEVE. HAVE FUN;
Session I: Session 2: Session g:
June 3 - �une 21 June 24 - �ulY. 12 (No Camp July 4th) JulY. 15 - �ugust 2
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JUNE 3 – AUG 2, 2019 Members receive 25% off camp!
Explore art, get messy, and have a blast!
Register your artists for a weeklong art camp at the High. We offer camp options for grades 1 through 8. Campers will explore the collection, sketch in the galleries, and create artwork.
For class descriptions, times, and pricing, visit high.org/camp. Atlanta Intown Feb 2018 _CAMP_4.94x5.6297.indd 1
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AGES 5 – 17
Sports, Music Technology, Fun & Games, Choral Music, STEAM Camp, SAT/ACT Prep, College Essay Start-Up, After Camp Care, and more...
Special Section | 35
• Sports • Gymnastics • Science • Technology • Engineering • Nature • Arts & Crafts • Theater
CAMPS THAT ENGAGE, ENTERTAIN AND EDUCATE YOUR CHILD We offer a variety of quality summer day camps in Sandy Springs that encourage positive character development! Our staff are committed to providing a safe environment where campers can be challenged and achieve success.
Things are heating up outside—and inside—the studio. This summer, we’ll explore dance from ballet and tap to jazz and hip hop. Plus, arts, crafts and dance-themed games. Camps run from June through August for dancers of all ages and skill levels. Come dance with us! Enroll today at elitestudiosatl.com/summer-camp THE EXCHANGE AT HAMMOND 5962 Roswell Road, Sandy Springs, GA 30328 ELITESTUDIOSATL.COM 404.500.1738 © 2019 Elite Studios, LLC
Learn more at registration.sandyspringsga.gov.
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Preschool Camp (2s–PK) and Adventure Camp (K–6th) • Returning Camps include Circus Camp, Drone Camp, Art, Drama and Sports • New Camps include Steam Quest (STEAM Challenges and more!) • Before and After Care available • Multi-Week Discount • Half Day or Full Day programs
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Make a splash this summer.
Your summer. Your adventure.
Traditional day, sports, and specialty camps for children 3-18 years
Learn more at westminster.net/summer
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Register now at gallowayschool.org/camp Come to CAMP CHATUGA for your best summer ever!
To receive a $50 DISCOUNT off your 2019 registration, email us at mail@ campchatuga.com by May 1st and mention this Reporter Newspaper advertisement! BMX (Bikes) • Horseback • Waterskiing • Crafts • Drama • Archery • Riflery Sports • Animal Care • Frisbee Golf • Outdoor Living Skills • Campfire Cooking Fitness (Yoga, Zumba®) • Canoeing • Guitar • Nature • Survivor • Diving Swim Games • Swing/Line Dancing • Cheerleading • Tubing • Creative Writing
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Special Section | 37
Horse Lovers Summer Camp Chastain Horse Park - convenient Buckhead location! Boys and girls ages 4-8 â€“ 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 firstname.lastname@example.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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PERFORMANCES URINETOWN, THE MUSICAL
Explore, connect, create change for a better world. A welcoming community with local roots and global reach, composed of families from over 90 countries. • An intellectually stimulating environment for inquisitive, hands-on explorers who learn by doing and questioning • Full immersion preschool and partial immersion primary programs in French, German, Mandarin and Spanish • International Baccalaureate curriculum, Grades 3K - 12 2890 North Fulton Drive Atlanta, Georgia, 30305 404•841•3840
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.
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.
Thursday, March 8 through Sunday March 17 Directed and choreographed by Tony Award Recipient Baayork Lee, the 10-time Tony
H I G H
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
HIGH MUSEUM OF ART ATLANTA | HIGH.ORG
Enjoy free admission and special programs on the second Sunday of each month.
Designed for little kids, big kids, and the whole family, Second Sundays are for everyone. Visit us each month and experience new interactive, innovative family activities inspired by our collections and ever-changing exhibitions. Second Sundays are sponsored by the Lettie Pate Evans Foundation.
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.
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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MADAME FOURCADE’S SECRET WAR
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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Experience Metro Atlanta’s Most Exciting Spring Festival Artist Market • Pet World Kidz Zone • Classic Car Show
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