3-3-17 Brookhaven Reporter

Page 1

MARCH 3 - 16, 2017 • VOL. 9 — NO. 5


Brookhaven Reporter



► New progressive group attracts activists PAGE 5 ► Hundreds protest ICE deportations on Buford Highway PAGE 20

Taking root in Georgian Hills Park


City leaders seek path to funding Peachtree Creek Greenway BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

Chamblee High School senior Mark Haiden [right], of Brookhaven, plants a Black Gum Tree with Eric Dekeyser in an Arbor Day event at Georgian Hills Park. Trees were planted there on Feb.18 in an event hosted by Trees Atlanta and the City of Brookhaven Parks Department. More photos, page 13.►

EXCEPTIONAL EDUCATOR Classroom games, from math to Shakespeare Page 28

They should have projects where they are interacting with the Legislature. Students should know the process for getting bills passed. We need a more handson approach to civic engagement.

Residents grade schools on preparing students for careers and civic life See COMMUNITY SURVEY Page 14


OUT & ABOUT A very special performance of ‘The Wizard of Oz’ Page 6

Small cities seeking big money for major projects know they need to tap into deep pockets. Some cities, including Brookhaven, Dunwoody and Chamblee, recently have seized on the idea to fund some of their multi-million dollar plans by raising their city’s hotel/motel taxes to create a new revenue stream. The City Councils of all three cities have passed resolutions in recent weeks asking local state legislators to push through the required state bill for the tax increases. The extra money would go to pay for new parks, trails and green space in all three cities that would drive tourism and economic development to their areas. The cities are asking for their hotel/motel taxes to be increased from 5 percent to 8 percent. City leaders now are making a mad See CITY on page 18

Traffic crackdown begins in Brookhaven Heights BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

A traffic-calming plan is now being implemented in the Brookhaven Heights neighborhood, with police officers issuing warnings to motorists using neighborhood streets as a way to avoid congestion on North Druid Hills Road. Signs proclaiming “No Left Turn” from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. were recently installed at several intersections in the neighborhood and at the corner of busy Peachtree Road and See TRAFFIC on page 16

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The Brookhaven-Peachtree Overlay District is set to get a new look as part of a rewrite many residents living near the area have been seeking. City Council voted Feb. 28 to approve awarding a $135,000 contract to Atlantabased urban planning firm TSW to rewrite the Overlay District that includes Dresden Drive, Peachtree Road and Oglethorpe University. The rewrite will be finished by July. The main complaint residents have against the current Overlay District is density. Current code allows for nearly 60 residential/apartment units per acre while residents have argued that 30 to 35 units per acre is more in line with what they want, especially along Dresden Drive. The Overlay District rewrite is part of the city’s rewrite of the entire city zoning rewrite. In 2015, the city hired Duncan Associates to rewrite the city’s zoning code. Shortly after Mayor John Ernst took office, in 2016, he postponed the zoning rewrite until after a reworking of the city’s comprehensive plan was completed. Ernst said he wanted the comprehensive plan review because he heard from many residents saying they did not have enough input before it was adopted in 2014. As part of the comprehensive plan review, the city last year hired the Sycamore consulting firm to conduct meetings with residents to determine how they wanted the city’s neighborhood character areas to develop into the future. TSW will use those character-area studies and recommendations as part of its Overlay District rewrite, according to the scope of services provided to the city. TSW will also conduct at least four public meetings. Residents and developers have clashed at numerous public meetings on the proposed developments that include apartment buildings with retail on the ground floor on Dresden Drive. Homeowners living around Dresden Drive packed City Hall several times last year wearing red shirts to show their opposition to the proposed developments that they say encroach on their neighborhoods with increased density and more traffic. In August, Ernst called for, and the council approved, a six-month zoning moratorium in response to the community backlash. It expired Feb. 19. In January, the council approved the controversial Dresden Village mixeduse development that has about 48 units per acre. It is being built on Dresden Drive on the current site of the DeKalb County tag office.

TR EE FUND BA L A NC E AT $2 1 ,0 0 0 To wrap up February as Tree Month, the mayor and City Council received an update on the city’s Tree Fund showing a balance of slightly more than $21,000. The fund balance can only be used for the purchase, installation and maintenance of trees in parks, rights of way and other city property, as well as the promotion of a healthy urban forest. “It is imperative that we protect the rights of property owners as we facilitate responsible land development to promote canopy preservation, tree replacement and economic development,” said Brookhaven Mayor John Ernst in a prepared statement. “The Tree Fund gives Brookhaven a vital tool to protect the many environmental benefits to provide both economic and ecological vitality to the city and its citizens.” The Tree Fund contains money that property owners and developers pay rather than complying with the city’s tree ordinance. Brookhaven began its celebration of Tree Month a little early, beginning on Jan. 24 with the approval of an intergovernmental agreement to purchase and preserve 33 acres of green space at PDK airport. The Brookhaven City Council also learned Feb. 15 the city’s tree canopy had increased 1.9 percent over the past five years.

C O UNC I L FO R M A L LY O KS M A R TA R E ZO NING WI THDR AWA L The Brookhaven City Council unanimously approved Feb. 28 a request by MARTA to withdraw its rezoning application to build a transit-oriented, mixed-use development at the Brookhaven station on Peachtree Road. “The city is appreciative of the tremendous amount of work that MARTA has put into this project,” Brookhaven Mayor John Ernst said in a prepared statement. “However, the MARTA TOD needs to function as the residents of Brookhaven wish, and much more work is needed to make that happen. We look forward to partnering with MARTA on an innovative project that achieves a world-class city center.” MARTA announced in early February that it had canceled its contract with the current TOD site developer and was killing the project. That action followed a request by Ernst in January to suspend all staff work on the developer’s request for tax abatements. BK

MARCH 3 - 16, 2017

Community | 3


Fixing water billing will take years, DeKalb’s CEO says

18 candidates to vie for Congressional seat


term, immediate fixes.” He said an inBY JOHN RUCH Hill said it is likely that Gov. Nathan Deal dependent audit of the water-billing johnruch@reporternewspapers.net will call that special election for the same complaints due in May would assist in date as the Congressional election. Fixing DeKalb County’s current waThe magic number is 18 in the 6th Conoutlining specific ways to fix problems. Republicans also in the running include: ter billing “crisis” will take years and gressional District race, where 18 candiThurmond also noted that last year’s Mohammad Ali Bhuiyan, a Marietta econorequire rebuilding the county’s trust dates will compete in the April 18 special moratorium caused even more probmist; Bob Gray, a Johns Creek City Councilwith residents, according to CEO Mike election to replace U.S. Rep. Tom Price. lems with some 37,000 bills not being member; Karen Handel of Alpharetta, the Thurmond. With the qualifying period closed on sent out due to potenformer chair of the Fulton County CommisThurmond told the Board Feb. 15, the field of candidates includes 11 tial incorrect billing. sion and a former candidate for governor of Commissioners at a speRepublicans, five Democrats and two inBills are now being sent and U.S. senator; Amy Kremer, an early Tea cial called Feb. 23 meeting dependents. The district includes parts out and a third-party Party activist from Marietta; Dan Moody, his administration planned of Brookhaven, Dunwoody and Sandy mediation process will a former state senator from Roswell; and to concentrate time and reSprings. soon be set up, he said. Kurt Wilson of Alpharetta. sources to fix a problem that Three candidates are from Dunwoody: The mediation proDemocrats also in the race include: Raincludes earning the trust of Keith Grawert, a Republican Air Force picess will begin when a gin Edwards, whose qualifying statement residents. lot; Alexander Hernandez, an independent resident alerts the coundid not include an address; Richard Ke“This is a journey, not who works in the film industry; and Bruce ty to a problem with atley, a Tucker resident who is a Georgia an event,” Thurmond said. Levell, a Republican who had a prominent their bill, halting furState University professor of world lan“We have to learn from our role in Donald Trump’s presidential camther billing. A hearing guages and cultures; Jon Ossoff, who runs mistakes, but not dwell on paign as a diversity spokesperson. will then be scheduled a corruption-investigation firm and whose them.” Another three candidates are from Sanfor an attorney, serving qualification information does not include DEKALB COUNTY Thurmond said he and dy Springs: Republican David Abroms WilMike Thurmond as the mediator, to hear an address; and Rebecca Quigg, a Marietta DeKalb CEO his staff uncovered more liam Llop, a Republican accountant; and evidence from the counmedical doctor. than 20 reasons that have Ron Slotin, a Democrat and former state ty and the resident. The mediator will Another independent in the race is Anled to inaccurate water bills, with some senator. then render a final decision. dre Pollard of Milton, running in what he residents receiving bills for thousands Another candidate known well in SanThe intent is to resolve complaints calls the “Tech Party.” of dollars. dy Springs is state Sen. Judson Hill (R-Marias well as ensure a transparent process, Price recently took office as President Angry residents packed meetings etta), whose District 32 includes part of the Thurmond said. Trump’s new U.S. secretary of Health and and a town hall last year to voice their city. Hill must resign his Senate seat to enA town hall meeting is expected to Human Services. A runoff election, which complaints with their erroneous bills, ter the race. That means another special be scheduled soon to give a forum for seems likely in the crowded field, is schedleading the county to issue a moratoelection will be called to fill his Senate seat. residents to speak. uled for June 20. rium on disconnecting water to those with complaints about their bills. In a presentation titled “The New Day Project,” Thurmond explained the water billing difficulties are the result of decades of festering problems. “We have suffered and literally been victimized by a systemic deficit in leadership, management and oversight,” Thurmond said. Another significant issue is that water bill rates have jumped 212 percent between 2007 and 2015, Thurmond said, and the rate increases were not always told to customers. “Same consumption, higher rate, higher bill,” Thurmond explained about some of the surprising bills. Thurmond noted the county only has 14 meter readers, with five in training, to cover more than 180,000 meters in the county. While not all meters need reading, there is a disproportionate number of meters to meter readers, he said. Thurmond said he wants to implement a 90-day plan and also a plan to address issues over the next two to three years. But no specific timetable has been established, leading to frustration from Please call or come in Commissioners Jeff Rader and Nancy Jester. to see how we can be of “I have no clarity on solutions,” said assistance for your loved ones. Jester, of Dunwoody. “I think we really need something substantive about the process.” 690 Mount Vernon Hwy. NE, Sandy Springs, GA 30328 | 404-843-8857 | InsigniaofSandySprings.com Thurmond said there are no “shortdyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

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Ashford-Dunwoody Road corridor study receives more public input BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

More public input from residents into proposed plans for Ashford-Dunwoody Road is expected in coming weeks to address “confusion” surrounding the study. City staff is expected to make a presentation of the proposed changes to the City Council at its March 14 meeting and in late March ask the council to adopt the design. Director of Public Works Richard Meehan told the council earlier this month that staff was still getting input from the public about the proposed recommendations for the thoroughfare and said based on comments received there is a great deal of “confusion” on the study. “Basically what we’re doing right now is approving a vision,” Meehan said at the Feb. 15 council meeting. “There have the purchase of $25 or more been lots of issues commented on ... details that we are not asking for approval Sandy Springs on right now.” 5975 Roswell Road, Ste. A-103 Specifics of the vision for AshfordSandy Springs (404) 236-2114 Dunwoody Road – where to put sidewalks and trails, for example -- will be nothingbundtcakes.com made as the council approves a priorities list for various sections of the road that Expires 3/31/17. Limit one offer per guest. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Redeemable only at bakery listed. Must be claimed in-store during normal can be worked on as funding becomes business hours. No cash value. 07-29-15_PerimeterPediatricDentistryFinal_Layout 1available, 7/27/15 9:18 AM Page Meehan said.1

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“Those details can be addressed as each project is funded and approved,” he said. Meehan also noted the proposed changes would take years to complete and construction would not begin on any portion of the project without more public input. One major point of contention with the proposed draft plan made public late last year are changes made to the unusual intersection with Johnson Ferry Road, which is shaped like an elongated X and contains sharp turns and lane changes. The current concept is to let most north-south traffic circumvent the intersection completely by creating new roads behind the Publix grocery store and the Cambridge Square shopping center, where Kroger is the anchor store. The existing intersection would remain for shopping access and east-west traffic. A solid median is also drawn into details for the plan. Business owners in the Old Five Points strip mall located at this intersection, where the Righteous Room and Wing Ranch are located, have complained to the city their businesses would suffer if these changes were made and if the median was installed. They say in a petition posted online the changes caters to commuters and not the local businesses.

Also, homeowners near Montgomery Elementary School have criticized the proposed plans to put in sidewalks and paths along the road because, among other issues, the plans call for taking out dozens of feet of their front yards as part of city-owned right of way. That means trees that have been in their yards for years to buffer them from heavy traffic will be lost. City Manager Christian Sigman said the city wanted to make special efforts to allow for public input into the study before it goes to the council for approval, including “listening sessions” with the public. “We don’t want anyone to say there was a draft they didn’t see,” he said. Councilmember Linley Jones, whose district includes Ashford-Dunwoody Road, said allowing for more public input was important. “This sounds like a good time frame,” she said. A major north-south route through the city, Ashford-Dunwoody Road is a largely two-lane road often overwhelmed by traffic from the hotels, schools and parks that it serves. In 2015, the City Council hired Gresham, Smith and Partners for a $125,000 to come up with a “corridor vision” to improve the street.

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Community | 5


Perimeter Progressives political group draws crowd for debut

The Perimeter Progressives logo on display at the Feb. 28 debut meeting at Cafe Intermezzo in Dunwoody.

BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

Perimeter Progressives, a local group formed in response to President Trump’s election, drew more than 60 residents and several elected officials to its debut meeting Feb. 28 in Dunwoody. Joe Seconder, a well-known Dunwoody bicycling advocate who created the group, told the crowd that he intends to focus on local politics with an appeal to both Democrats such as himself and disaffected centrists. He spoke of city-level organizing as a way to push changes up to the federal level, though he didn’t specify any agenda. “We can meet in the middle,” Seconder said, kicking off the gathering at Café Intermezzo, a coffeehouse near Perimeter Mall. But he also joked, “This is the celebration party for Hillary [Clinton] winning Dunwoody” in liberal-rousing election results in the Republican-dominated area. State Rep. Sam Park (D-Lawrenceville) also spoke briefly, calling for making “Georgia blue from the statehouse to the White House.” Other officials in attendance included Dunwoody City Councilmember Lynn Deutsch, who declined comment, and Chamblee City Councilmembers Thomas Hogan II and Brian Mock. Stumping for


votes were Ron Slotin, a Democratic former state senator from Sandy Springs now running for the 6th Congressional District seat, and Keenan Pontoni, the campaign manager for Jon Ossoff, another Democratic candidate in that race. Sally Harrell, a Democratic former state representative who briefly joined the 6th District race, also attended. Residents of Brookhaven, Sandy Springs and Gwinnett County made the trip for the event. For longtime liberal activists like Keith and Nancy Kaylor of Dunwoody, the event was exciting. The Kaylors have both run for local and state offices and once formed a small Dunwoody chapter of the national political and socializing group Drinking Liberally. “I’m totally awestruck at how many people are here,” said Keith Kaylor, explaining that his group used to be lucky to draw five people. With Trump’s election, he said, “a lot of people really were complacent and we got a big shock.” Others were drawn by the group’s appeal to centrism and local politics. Robert Wittenstein, president of the Dunwoody Homeowners Association, noted that Seconder spoke of the group representing a spectrum of political opinions, and “I’m somewhere in the middle.”

Held on a covered patio with a buf“I’m seeing this all around the district,” fet and bar, and only brief remarks from Slotin said. “There are progressive groups Seconder and Park, the low-key event was popping up everywhere. … It’s almost formmore cocktail party than political party. ing neighborhood by neighborhood.” But where politics came up, they were de“This election cycle has more groups cidedly left-wing. than usual,” said Pontoni, who also served Tamara Johnson-Shealey, a Democrat who has unsuccessfully challenged Dunwoody Republican Sen. Fran Millar for the local state Senate seat, worked a table at the door, signing up people to volunteer on “progressive campaigns.” And the guest speaker announced for the group’s next meeting heads an effort to elect candidates who support abortion rights. The meeting opened with a Pledge of Allegiance playfully led by Carter Dyche, a Dunwoody Elementary School fifth-grader sporting a “John Lewis Speaks For Me” button, which he said he got from the congressman JOHN RUCH and Civil Rights leader durPerimeter Progressives founder Joe Seconder, left, holds the microphone for Dunwoody ing an office visit. When SecElementary student Carter Dyche, who led onder later mentioned Clinthe group in the Pledge of Allegiance. ton’s strong showing locally, Dyche called out, “She’s the president of as campaign manager for Michigan state Dunwoody!” Rep. Gretchen Driskell’s unsuccessful chalAt least 60 people attended the first lenge of an incumbent GOP congressman hour, and organizers later said a total of in the November election. 104 people signed in over the course of the “People are starting to pay attention, evening. Seconder said the group raised especially to local politics,” said Johnmore than $750 in donations at the door. son-Shealey. Several attendees noted that the group “Democracy is a muscle,” Park said in is part of a wave of new and revived grassan interview before the meeting. “To see it roots liberal groups that has followed beginning to flex and people beginning to Trump’s election. A very similar group wake up is very encouraging.” is the Roswell-based Needles in a HayPerimeter Progressives next will stack, founded in 2012. Other such liberstart monthly meetings at the Dunal groups mentioned by attendees were woody Branch Library. The guest speaka Gwinnett-area chapter of the “Indiviser at the March 8 meeting will be Melita ible” movement; the “Huddles” that have Easters of Georgia’s WIN List, a politicome from the Women’s March demoncal action committee aimed at electstrations in January; and “Team Seven,” ing Democratic women candidates who a group of progressive activists that has support abortion rights. quietly worked on Dunwoody and Sandy For more information, see perimeterSprings elections for a few years. progressives.org.

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“THE FARTHEST SHORE” Sunday, March 19, 7 p.m.







Thursday, March 9 to Sunday, March 19

Friday, March 17Sunday, April 9

Jerry’s Habima Theatre, part of the Marcus Jewish Communty Center of Atlanta, presents its 24th annual musical, “The Wizard of Oz.” Produced by professionJENNIFER SAMI als, the theatrical company’s cast is almost entirely comprised of people with special needs. Morris & Rae Frank Theatre, MJCCA, 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody. General admission: $35; children 12 and under, $15. MJCCA members: $25; children 12 and under, $10. Schedule and ticket information: 678-812-4002 or atlantajcc.org/boxoffice.

Stage Door Players presents “The Cemetery Club, ” a dramatic comedy by Ivan Menchell. Best friends for decades, three Jewish widows meet for tea and sympathy before their monthly visit to their husbands’ graves and find their friendships put to the test. North DeKalb Cultural Center, 5339 ChambleeDunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Schedule and ticket info: stagedoorplayers.net.

Dunwoody United Methodist Church and the Atlanta Boy Choir present Paul Mealor’s “The Farthest Shore,” a new oratorio for soloists, choir, brass quintet and organ. Based on Celtic legend, a stranger cast ashore during a storm weaves a spell over the inhabitants of a small village that entwines reality, morality and faith. Suggested donation: $10. 1548 Mt. Vernon Road, Dunwoody. Info: 770394-0675.


16TH ANNUAL PINK AFFAIR Saturday, March 11, 7 p.m.-midnight

The 16th Annual Pink Affair benefiting the TurningPoint Breast Cancer Rehabilitation nonprofit features live and silent auctions, dinner and dancing at the Westin Atlanta Perimeter North. $100. 7 Concourse Pkwy., Sandy Springs. Info: myturningpoint.org or 770-360-9271.

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EVENING IN THE GARDEN Friday, March 17, 7 p.m.

Garden Hills Elementary School holds its 28th annual fundraiser to benefit educational opportunities for every student at the Buckhead school. Silent and live auctions, entertainment, dancing and dining. $65 in advance; $75 at the door. Tickets and info: eveninginthegarden.com. 433 Bishop, 433 Bishop St. N.W., Atlanta.

MARCH 3 - 16, 2017

Out & About | 7




Saturday, March 18, 6:30 p.m.

The 31st Annual Artistic Affair “Spruill is Shining,” presented by the Spruill Guild, benefits Dunwoody’s Spruill Center for the Arts. The event features live and silent auctions, dinner and dancing. $125. Atlanta Athletic Club, 1930 Bobby Jones Drive, Duluth. Tickets: 501auctions.com/artisticaffair.

Thursday, March 9 and Monday, April 13, 6 p.m.

Informational meetings about the North DeKalb Blaze Track & Field Club’s 2017 outdoor season will be held at the North DeKalb Stadium behind Chamblee High School. Open to boys and girls ages 5 to 18, Blaze competes in AAU- and USATF-sanctioned events, including the National Junior Olympic Games. 3668 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, Chamblee. Info: leaguelineup. com/blazetrack or call 678-472-3827.

BRAVE A SHAVE FOR KIDS WITH CANCER Sunday, March 12, 4 p.m.- 6 p.m.

Shave your head in solidarity with kids who lose their hair during chemotherapy, donate or volunteer at this St. Baldrick’s Foundation event. Co-organizer and Dun-

woody resident Ciara Fleming is a 15-year cancer survivor. Ye Olde Dunwoody Tavern. 5488 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Info: stbaldricks.org/events/ tavern or 1-888-899-2253. Continued on page 8

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Facebook.com/TheReporterNewspapers ■ twitter.com/Reporter_News Continued from page 7

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

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The 26th annual “Tossed Out Treasures” resale market, a massive event that draws shoppers from outside the state, is back for two days at the City Center Crossing Shopping Center (former Marshall’s location). Hosted by the Sandy Springs Society to support community causes, the sale annually includes thousands of gently used, high end home decor, jewelry, silver, crystal, sports equipment, art, furniture, clothing and more donated by members of the 300-plus society and the community at large. Free. Preview party featuring silent auction, dinner and early bird shopping is Thursday, March 16, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Party tickets: $30 in advance, $35 at the door. 6337 Roswell Road, Sandy Springs. Info: sandyspringssociety.org.

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Sunday, March 19, 1 p.m.

Learn how to locate constellations at the Chattahoochee Nature Center’s inflatable planetarium. Two 25-minute presentations offered. Ages 6+. Starlab is in complete darkness at times. Included with general admission. $10 adults; $6 children; $7 seniors 65 and older and students 13-18; free to nature center members and kids 2 and under. 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell. Info: chattnaturecenter.org or 770-9922055 x238.




MARCH 28–APRIL 2 FoxTheatre.org/Bodyguard • 855-285-8499 The role of Rachel Marron will be played by Jasmin Richardson for the Saturday matinee and Sunday evening performances.


Wednesday, March 8, 7 p.m.

Olympian Tommie Smith speaks on succeeding against all odds in a fundraiser for the Riverwood International Charter School’s Boys and Girls Track and Field teams. He is best known from the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City when he stood on the podium to claim his gold medal and raised his fist during the playing of the U.S. national anthem in protest of civil rights injustices. $10. 5900 Raider Drive N.W., Sandy Springs. Info: RiverwoodICS.org and RiverwoodAthletics.org or 470-5359665.

MARCH 3 - 16, 2017

Out & About | 9

www.ReporterNewspapers.net els of care and how to pay for them. For anyone 18 and older. Free. Bring a lunch or order one [about $10] when you arrive. Register by the Thursday before each session. 4755 N. Peachtree Road, Dunwoody. Info: 770-455-6523.


Saturday, March 11, 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m.


Wednesday, March 8, 8 p.m.

Douglas Egerton, author of “Thunder at the Gates: The Black Civil War Regiments That Redeemed America,” will appear at the Atlanta History Center as part of the center’s Aiken Lecture Series. Egerton chronicles the formation and battlefield triumphs of regiments led by whites and composed of black men born free or into slavery. Egerton is the Merrill Family Visiting Professor in History at Cornell University and a professor of history at Le Moyne College. $10 public; $5 members; free to AHC Insiders. Info: 404814-4150.


Saturday, March 11, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m; Saturday, April 8, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Get tips on what to know and do before a health crisis, aging or death in two days of “Plannings for Landings” seminars and workshops at St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church. The first Saturday session is on making your desires known. The next session deals with lev-

Learn to navigate the process of divorce from a legal, financial and emotional perspective with Tommy L. Maddox, attorney; Debbie Dorman, financial advisor; Pam Griggs, investigator; and Erica Gregory, counselor. Free. Call or visit library branch to register. Dunwoody Library, 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. 770-512-4640.

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Wednesday, March 15 and Wednesday, March 29, 7 p.m.

Vino Venue’s wine experts will help you unlock your personal style through educational tastings at the Dunwoody Nature Center. Course includes four flights of two wines and nibbles such as cheese, crackers, and olives. A second class on March 29 pairs wine and chocolate. One class: $45 members; $50 nonmembers. Both classes: $80 members; $90 non-members. 5343 Roberts Drive, Dunwoody. Info: dunwoodynature,org or 770-394-3322.



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10 | Dining Out

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Ah, Yumbii: the original gangster of Atlanta food trucks, established in 2010 before the city was overtaken by the craze sweeping across our nation. Though the Atlanta Street Food Coalition now boasts well over 100 member vendors, Yumbii’s ongoing success provides a strong model for sustainable expansion of a food truck enterprise. Their first truck begat a second truck, and those trucks begat a minimalist brick and mortar location. Who knows how much more they may try to scale up; they’ve managed to do a lot in six years. As a food truck, Yumbii generally makes 11 a.m. lunch rounds and 7 p.m. dinner rounds. Their brick and mortar location likewise runs from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., with an extra hour before closing on Saturday nights. It’s located in a little Brookwood strip on Peachtree

at Collier, a residential neighborhood where the nearest quality Mexican competitor is Bell Street Burritos and the nearest quality Asian competitor is Tuk Tuk Thai. But if you hate to sacrifice your queso needs in order to get your sriracha fix, or vice versa, look no further than Yumbii’s Asian-Mexican blend. Their menu in the store is identical to the food trucks. There are four classic items: taco, burrito, rice bowl, quesadilla. These come with four protein choices: Asian ribeye beef, spicy pulled pork, chicken, stir-fried tofu. There are four specialty items: fish tacos, pulled pork sliders, and a philly or nachos with your choice of protein. Two options for sides: chips and fries. A combo of three tacos plus drink will cost you just $10. The other combo is also $10, but subs in fries for one of the tacos. Get the fries. These are not ordinary fries! But

MARCH 3 - 16, 2017

Dining Out | 11



A also, they are normal enough that your children will eat them. And then you’ll be hooked for life because Yumbii’s sesame fries are completely crave-worthy. The sesame oil adds a gentle touch of the extra savory to everybody’s favorite comfort food. They smell great and taste great, offering a decent crunch in their golden brown exterior. Covered in salt flecks and an evenly distributed yet far from intimidating number of red chili flakes, these sesame fries are built to be distinctively tasty, as opposed to generically spicy. Fries come with a side of chipotle ketchup that is both delicious and utterly unnecessary due to the quality of the fries. And why would you dunk your sesame fries in ketchup when you could dip them in sriracha queso? You can order a stand-alone cup of the stuff for two bucks, or with chips for five bucks. The chips are nicely browned and plenty salty, but the sriracha cheese dip is the star of Yumbii’s show. There is nothing special or fancy about it; it just tastes awesome. It’s not too spicy, but does add a little kick beyond regular queso. Yumbii understands the true meaning of special sauce and you will want to take a bath in that sriracha cheese dip. In fact, their condiments generally are what have always kept Yumbii a notch above the usual food truck fray. Soy-sesame vinaigrette on the salad topper for the tacos? Nice flavor and just enough bite. Korean barbecue sauce on any of the classic orders? Strong flavor and great balance of sugar with spice. Cucumber kimchee on the sliders or the philly? So much more going on than your average pickle. Entree-wise, you therefore cannot go wrong. Yumbii sticks to what it knows, expanding slowly but surely. The brick and mortar location is 1,440 square feet — not much more kitchen space than a truck. The seating is comfort-

ably cheap and they’ve got some taller stools in the front patio so you can watch people walking by. All together, the place seats about 40. They’ve got ambient techno playing quietly in the background in the afternoon. You can sit there with a good book, sipping on a lime Jarritos soda and enjoying a never-ending stream of sriracha cheese dip, soaking up the sunshine for an easy hour.

Yumbii is an excellent reminder that slow and steady wins the race. The food truck’s fans asked to put the first permanent location in Brookwood, and they are obliging. Between those loyal followers of the trucks and the converts Yumbii will win through foot traffic in Brookwood, owner Carson Young is doing everything right. Expect a selection of local beer and wine soon, and maybe eventually a breakfast menu.

A. Two tacos and sesame fries B. Philly and chips with sriracha cheese dip


Open House March 10th


peachtree church Come check out The Nest and see our new look and programming! Drop in between 9am-1pm for fun and refreshments. Find out more: www.peachtreechurch.org/connect/nest or call 404.842.5839 Peachtree Church 3434 Roswell Road • Atlanta, GA 30305

12 | Out & About

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Dunwoody Nature Center celebrates 25 years with 25 activities The Dunwoody Nature Center is marking its 25th anniversary with a celebratory logo and 25 activities planned throughout the year. “The 25 for 25 concept grew out of our planning activities with our board and we have an incredible array of activities and park additions that we feel the community is going to love,” Executive Director Alan Mothner said in a press release. A ribbon cutting for the Wildcat Creek restoration project is set for March 10 as one of the 25 activities. Other activities include a Jewish Music Festival on March 12, “Wine on the Deck” on March 15 and March 29 and a 25 year anniversary reunion party on Oct. 28. “Every visitor to the park, every participant in a class and every volunteer at the Nature Center will have an opportunity to see environmental education in action,” Board President Amy McMorrow said in the release. The 25 events are: 1. First Saturday programming – the first Saturday of each month, the Nature Center features a free, season-themed program led by one of its educators. 2. Drop-in Weekends for “Grab ‘n’ Go” activities. 3. Wildcat Creek Restoration ribbon cutting set for March 10. 4. Play Me Again Piano – Make some music of your own on “Bennet,” a public art piano in the heart of the meadow. 5. Wine on the deck – Join friends and the experts from Vino Venue for two wine tastings on the Dunwoody Nature Center’s patio, set for March 15 and March 29.

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6. Gather: A Community Dining Experience – A farm-to-table style dinner catered by Alons is set for March 26. 7. Earth Day Weekend: Hike, Astronomy, Yoga, Paint Recycling – Celebrate Mother Earth all weekend long with a night hike and astronomy program, morning yoga, overnight campout and the annual paint recycling event. 8. A bigger Butterfly Festival – The annual Butterfly Festival expands this year with the addition of a third butterfly tent so guests will have more space and longer to linger with the butterflies. 9. Volunteer Appreciation Day – Celebrate DNC volunteers with their own special day in the park.

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10. Art in the Park – A public art exhibit and community building event called “Community Rocks” is planned, with opening day scheduled for Oct. 28. 11. This fall, enjoy spending even more time hanging out in the trees with the addition of “Tentsiles,” which are part tent, part treehouse. 12. Pavilion – Celebrate the DNC with activities at the North Woods Pavilion. 13. People can leave their own designs and marks on a chalk wall. 14. There are six concerts planned this summer and the Jewish Music Festival is scheduled for March 12. 15. The DNC collaborates with the Stage Door Players for Theater in the Park this fall, with a spooky history of Dunwoody staged during the play, “Legends and Lore.” 16. For the first time, the DNC is offering summer camp scholarships to families in need, thanks to the support of partners from the Dunwoody Rotary Club. 17. Travel with the Nature Center to the Len Foote Hike Inn on Nov. 11. 18. Check out the DNC’s new website. 19. The entire community is welcome to a 25th year reunion party planned for Oct. 28. 20. The Nature Center is expanding its Milkweed Project by extending the program throughout the state at elementary schools, and locally at several retirement

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and assisted living communities. 21. The Nature Center is adding lights to the meadow to make sure guests are safe and to allow for more evening and nighttime activities. 22. This summer, more interpretive signage will be added in the park so that visitors can learn about the natural world and the various habitats of Dunwoody Park. 23. The Tap into Georgia Beer Festival returns to Brook Run Park on May 20 with that will showcase Georgia brewers. 24. An additional camp week at Island Ford on the Chattahoochee River will be held. 25. This spring, there will be a working demonstration beehive and enhancements to the park’s teepee classroom area.

MARCH 3 - 16, 2017


Community | 13


Planting trees for Arbor Day at Georgian Hills Park


A Trees Atlanta and the City of Brookhaven Parks Department hosted an Arbor Day Tree planting at Georgian Hills Park on Saturday, Feb. 18. A - Trees Atlanta organizer Susan Pierce-Cunningham, in foreground, demonstrates proper tree planting techniques. Pierce-Cunningham and Craig Sprinkle [far right], also of Trees Atlanta, plant an American Beech Tree. Behind Sprinkle is the City of Brookhaven’s new arborist, Steven Strickland.


B and C - Volunteers get information and get to work planting trees. D - Eric Dekeyser prepares to plant a Black Gum Tree. E - Pierce-Cunningham gives Jonny Berry a Trees Atlanta Green T-Shirt. Berry is the newest Club inductee, which means he has volunteered at six plantings. PHOTOS BY PHIL MOSIER



14 | Commentary

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

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Community Survey/ Grading our schools Question: How good a job are your areaʼs schools - public or private doing to prepare students for careers and civic life? While federal and state leaders propose 2.5% various types of education reform, local res6% idents say our schools deserve decent grades 16.5% — but could be teaching more practical skills. Although 44 percent of the respondents 31% to our most recent 1Q survey said local public and private schools are doing an “average” job of preparing students for careers and civic life, nearly twice as many respondents said the schools were doing a “good” or “great” job 44% as felt they were “poor” or “terrible” in readying graduates for the future. Still, when asked what skills or subjects local schools should teach more, the 200 respondents to the cellphone-based survey had Great job 12 (6.0%) plenty of suggestions. And their ideas seemed to cover about every position in the educaGood job 62 (31.0%) tional debate. Some of the 200 adults in communities Average job 88 (44.0%) served by Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta INtown thought the schools needed to better Poor job 33 (16.5%) prepare graduates for jobs. “I think our schools need to have more foTerrible job 5 (2.5%) cus on skills and subjects that relate to 21st century jobs and skills required for those jobs,” a 46-year-old Sandy Springs woman said. “We fall behind other states and countries when it comes to science and math.” A 52-year-old Atlanta woman called for “technical skills to fill skilled labor jobs where there is a void of qualified personnel, such as plumbing, welding and electrical training.” And a 36-year-old Dunwoody woman saw a need for “real-life work experience.” Other respondents thought the schools should better prepare students for everyday life. A 37-year-old Buckhead woman proposed “more ‘real-life’ education scenarios: finances, investing, budgeting. A lot of kids graduate and don’t know how to balance a checkbook, but know how to do some math problem with only symbols.” Still others thought the schools should provide classes to make graduates better citizens. A 53-year-old Brookhaven woman saw the need for “journalism, because it would clean up the ghastly writing in America. They should have projects where they are interacting with the Legislature. Students should know the process for getting bills passed. We need a more hands-on approach to civic engagement.” Not every response was quite so serious, however. One 23-year-old Atlanta woman said that what the schools need to emphasize is simple: “Frisbee.”

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.

Here’s what some of those who responded to the survey had to say: “Life skills, cooking, computer programming.” 36-year-old Brookhaven woman “While I do believe in the core math, science [and] English, I believe that a broad understanding of history, civics, basic logical skills and other language skills are important. Critical thinking is important to be able to make decisions.” 62-year-old Buckhead man “Actual life personal expenses and finance. I graduated not knowing what a mortgage was.” 25-year-old man Atlanta “Why it’s important to vote in local elections and how to make your voice heard at the state and local levels.” 26-year-old Atlanta man “Just keeping up with the ages. Computers need to be taught much earlier, starting with typing.” 49-year-old Atlanta woman “More technical and general business transactional skills.” 27-year-old Brookhaven man “Wood shop, auto [and] construction jobs that need some skills, but not a college degree.” 55-year-old Buckhead man “Get rid of Common Core. Go back to basics and [an] age-appropriate curriculum. Stop the testing.” 47-year-old Sandy Springs woman “Chinese.” 48-year-old woman

Letter to the Editor Bravo to Conor Sen, on his thoughtprovoking commentary, “Why Trump order inspired my first political protest” [Reporter Newspapers, Feb. 3]. A mean-spirited exclusion order not only denies a lifesaver for those in need, as were my parents after World War II, but damages our economy. I still have my parents’ green cards to

remind me that this inspiring country welcomed them from Holocaust hell, after my family lost everyone, everything and hope. They were refugees; they were immigrants; and they purchased homes, paid taxes, raised a family and loved to their deaths their adopted country. I have no doubt that my parents, as other immigrants before

and after them, made this country a better place. Today, in addition to rejecting families running for their lives, we face a brain drain and medical practitioner deficiency with harsh and forbidding immigration practices. Thank you, Conor Sen, for protesting. — Edith Fink BK

MARCH 3 - 16, 2017

Letters to the Editor On Wednesday, the city of Brookhaven unanimously passed the necessary resolution to request the Georgia General Assembly allow an increase in the city’s hotel/motel tax. Currently the city maintains a 5 percent hotel/motel tax, lower than neighboring jurisdictions such as DeKalb County and the city of Atlanta. The city’s request, if granted, would put Brookhaven on par with DeKalb, Atlanta and others, at 8 percent. How does this impact Brookhaven residents and businesses? City hotel/motel taxes such as this one must be designated for projects that drive tourism to a jurisdiction. Atlanta is currently using a portion of their hotel/motel tax to fund the development of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Brookhaven residents and future users of the much-anticipated Peachtree Creek Greenway will be excited to know that half of the new revenue from this increase (1.5 percent of the 3 percent) will provide much of the needed funding to make the greenway a reality. The other 1.5 percent will, by law, be used to promote tourism to the city. The greenway, a 3-mile linear park and multi-modal path, will connect Brookhaven to the Atlanta BeltLine and PATH400 along Peachtree Creek. The project, first proposed by DeKalb County in 1999, is anticipated to bring much-needed park space and bike/pedestrian infrastructure to Brookhaven residents as well as draw visitors and tourists to our city via arts, sport, and cultural programming. In Brookhaven, many hotels and motels will have frontage and/or be a short walk to the greenway. According to the fifth annual Lodging Tax Study by HVS Consulting (2016), a hospitality intelligence firm, hotel owners rarely oppose such taxes dedicated to tourism promotion, stating “for hotel owners, tourist-oriented public facilities and advertising serve as drivers of room demand. All of the hotels in a given market can benefit from programs that bring tourists … to a city.” And Brookhaven residents benefit from the halo effect of visitor spending and this associated tax revenue that tourism generates in local shops, pubs, and restaurants. Support the city of Brookhaven, support the greenway! You can help secure this funding revenue for our city and for this project by contacting your local state representatives and telling them that you support the city of Brookhaven’s request to increase the hotel/motel tax to 8 percent. — Sarah Kennedy Board vice chair Peachtree Creek Greenway

Regarding the article “ICE arrests on Buford Highway draw criticism, activism” (Brookhaven Reporter, Feb. 17), kindly let me add another noun to your headline: “optimism.” You note that the ICE law enforcement actions have drawn both criticism and activism. I, for one, and many with whom I speak (of multiple nationalities and races), have a sense of optimism that our government officials finally are doing more to fulfill one of their foremost responsibilities and duties. Indeed, we are thankful, encouraged and feel some relief that they are protecting and defending the citizens of the U.SA. Ms. Dyana Bagby, you did a satisfactory job of reporting — unlike so many others, you resisted the temptation or arrogance to editorialize. I would have rated you higher had you given “the other side of the coin” opinions as well. In your article, you made two clear distinctions for anyone who cares to notice: 1) the actions taken were limited, legal and targeted at criminals; and, 2) far too many legal immigrants and illegal aliens (yes, that is the factual term) pay too much attention to allegations and rumors, and too little attention to facts. Indeed, I much prefer that criminals of all varieties have fear. I do like the fact that criminals of any kind and those who break the law are worried about the law being enforced. The previous administration utterly failed at immigration — so, from the very top to the shoes-on-the-street representatives, they said, “Just ignore the laws.” Hopefully the “ignore the problem and ignore the law” days are over. The U.S.A.’s legal immigration system works — millions of people, including some of those mentioned in the article, are literally living proof as legal U.S.A. citizens. — William Joseph


Commentary | 15



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Traffic crackdown begins in Brookhaven Heights Continued from page 1 North Druid Hills Road. The signs are meant to thwart motorists, especially users of the popular Waze app, who use the neighborhood as a cut-through to avoid congestion.

a dozen people while we walked our dog,” Jones said. Officers are not enforcing the signs every day, Nino said, but the city’s 2017 budget includes $145,900 to hire three police officers as part of a dedicated traffic unit. That unit has not yet been established.

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“I sympathize with those who see the streets of our neighborhood as a way to get to Starbucks, to Kroger and even to work ... but it’s a good thing to have a lessening of cars,” said Michael Jones, who has lived on Thornwell Road for approximately 20 years. City Council in August approved the traffic-calming plan worked on by many residents in the neighborhood who complained the cut-through traffic was becoming intolerable as well as unsafe. They said speeding cars wind through the streets where people walk dogs and children play because there are no sidewalks. The No Left Turn signs in the Brookhaven Heights neighborhood are located at the intersections of Oglethorpe Avenue and North Druid Hills Road, Thornwell Drive and North Druid Hills Road and Standard Drive and North Druid Hills Road. On Thursday and Friday, Feb. 23 and 24, the police department had several cars parked in the neighborhood watching for violators. Officers began issuing warnings to those who ignored the No Left Turn signs. On Thursday, 30 warnings and one citation were issued; on Friday, 50 warnings were issued. Department spokesperson Officer Carlos Nino said during the first few days of enforcement, only warnings were to be issued to motorists. Officers planned to keep track of drivers receiving warnings and if they were stopped a second time, they would receive a citation for approximately $200, Nino said. The crackdown proved so successful that the activity was reported on the Waze app to warn drivers to avoid the area. “I saw one officer at the corner of Thornwell and North Druid Hills pull over

Giles Stevens, president of the Brookhaven Heights Civic Association for the more than two years the traffic-calming plan was developed, said the police crackdown is just the first step in the plan approved by the council last year. Waiting to be installed and implemented are 12 new speed bumps; a roundabout at Oglethorpe Avenue and Colonial Drive; and 19 “bump-outs,” or curb extensions, which narrow streets. Restriping of the bridge on Colonial Drive to create narrower lanes was recently completed, Stevens said. “We’re excited,” he said of the work being done, adding he has already noticed less traffic in the neighborhood. “We’ve been working with the city to make sure the plans are implemented and designed correctly from the start,” he said. “We’re looking forward to our project being a model for other interactions with the city.” The plan being implemented now, however, is a compromise after some in the neighborhood voiced opposition to the original proposed traffic-calming measures, which included partially closing access to certain streets. Jones said he believes the compromise overall will work for everyone in the neighborhood. “The root of the problem for all of us is the traffic congestion at North Druid Hills and Peachtree,” he said. “There was a lot of discussion [about traffic calming measures] and the signs are a compromise, which seems reasonable other than blocking streets. “I think neighbors are generally supportive and are happy to see action being taken,” he said.


MARCH 3 - 16, 2017

Community | 17



A mural by street artist 3TT in Summerhill created for Living Walls.

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Living Walls, an annual street art conference, returns this summer with an expansion to Buford Highway. The conference and installations of art are set for September. Monica Campana founded the organization in 2009. Since then, Living Walls has painted more than 100 murals and hosted more than 30 lectures and other educational events in Atlanta. This year, Living Walls is bringing its bigger-than-life public art to a stretch of the corridor known for its multi-ethnic residents and restaurants. “When she was ready to relaunch and hoping for a new place, I was ‘yes, yes, yes!’” said Marian Liou of Brookhaven, founder of We Love BuHi, who became fast friends with Campana as fellows through the Center of Civic Innovation. Liou, who was also working on the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Livable Centers Initiative for Doraville and Chamblee, said a main SPECIAL component of the LCI was to focus on safety Monica Campana (above), a founder of for pedestrians for a portion of the boulevard Living Walls, and Marian Liou (below), to be called “Buford Highway Walk.” founder of We Love BuHi, are working together to bring the street and public The idea of incorporating street and pubart installation to Buford Highway. lic art as part of that initiative melded easily with Campana’s desire to locate Living Walls outside Atlanta’s city limits in a “big and bold way,” Liou said. The “epicenter” of Living Walls art will be focused in Doraville between Asian Square and Pine Tree Plaza all the way to Doraville City Hall, Liou said, and to ensure it has a “big visual impact.” “Buford Highway Walk is a much bigger idea, but by centering [Living Walls] it will help people see the impact in one central location,” she said. Campana said the Buford Highway’s stretch of plazas and businesses do not offer as many large walls for murals, so artists will adapt to the environment to create sculptures and add other cultural touches. There will be 10 artists, most of them local, who this summer will embed themselves with community organizations and residents to get feedback on what kind of art they would like to see, Liou said. “They will get a good sense of the community and the people locally and will hear their stories, their histories and their dreams,” she said. Campana said Living Walls decided to slow down on producing murals in the metro Atlanta area and is now striving for sustainability and more community missions. The first stop of its renewed efforts is Buford Highway. “The intentionality is different,” Campana said. “We want the artists to work with people who know and live on Buford Highway and work together as problem solvers.” “The area is so special,” Campana said. “Local artists will engage with community groups and schools from the Buford Highway area to develop the concept for the artists to execute.” For more about Living Walls upcoming events, visit livingwallsatl.com.

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City leaders seek path to funding Peachtree Creek Greenway Continued from page 1



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PHOTOS BY PHIL MOSIER Peachtree Creek Greenway Board Chair Betsy Eggers led a walk along the Greenway in November and points on the map how the linear park would connect the city to Doraville and Chamblee and also to Buckhead PATH400 trails and eventually the Atlanta BeltlLine. ato the BeltLine along Peachtree Creek. Eggers explained, “This is the ABCD of the creek, our trail will connect Atlanta with Brookhaven with Chamblee, and with Doraville.”

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with the Brookhaven Chamber of Commerce! Date: Tuesday, March 14, 7:30-9 a.m. Time: 7:30-9 a.m. Place: DoubleTree by Hilton 2061 North Druid Hills Road, Brookhaven This month’s Chamber Breakfast features Cameron Clayton, CEO of The Weather Company. Come hear about the world’s largest private weather enterprise, soon to be headquartered in Brookhaven.

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dash to try to convince their lawmakers to pass legislation backing the tax increase by the March 30 Sine Die deadline. If just one lawmaker doesn’t sign on, however, there is no tax increase. For Brookhaven, the estimated extra $650,000 a year from the tax increase would go to kickstart the Peachtree Creek Greenway, a linear park and trail system designed to connect to Buckhead’s PATH400 trails and eventually to the Atlanta BeltLine. The council approved the $35 million Greenway master plan last year to a room full of supporters who brought party horns to toot in celebration. “If this doesn’t go through [at the General Assembly] then there will have to be a tax increase on our residents” to pay for the Greenway, said Mayor John Ernst. At a recent Dunwoody City Council meeting, state Rep. Tom Taylor (R-Dunwoody) said state Rep. Meagan Hanson (R-Brookhaven), who represents both cities, would not sign onto the Dunwoody bill because she did not want to be perceived as a legislator who raised taxes. Hanson did not return a request for comment about Taylor’s statement by press time, but has said in the past via email that she has received emails and other communications from Brookhaven constituents who support and oppose the tax increase and wanted to continue to hear from residents. State Sen. Fran Millar (R-Dunwoody), whose district includes parts of Brookhaven and Chamblee, said he has serious reservations about Dunwoody’s

resolution because it does not include a specific project list. And while Brookhaven may have a specific project, the bill must first come through the House of Representatives, he noted. State Rep. Scott Holcomb (D-Atlanta), whose district includes Chamblee and Brookhaven, said via email he was unaware Chamblee was seeking a tax increase. Holcomb also said he was speaking to Brookhaven city leaders and listening to constituents to get their feedback on the proposed tax increase. Chamblee Councilmember Tom Hogan was surprised to hear Holcomb was not informed the city passed a resolution asking for the tax increase. He said the council has passed a resolution asking for the tax increase for the past several years to fund parks and trails to no avail. Chamblee wants to create more connectivity among its trail system to bring tourism to the area, but does not have a specific project in mind, Hogan said. There is a “tremendous amount of political pressure” on politicians to not support tax increases in a climate that supports “mudslinging,” Hogan said. “They are browbeaten to vote against tax increases,” he said. “Our hope was that with Brookhaven and Dunwoody also passing resolutions this year, that pressure would be subsided.” Brookhaven Councilmember Bates Mattison agreed that fiscally conservative politicians tend not to support tax increases because they don’t want to give challengers any ammunition. “Politicians worry about what future opponents will use against them,” he said.


MARCH 3 - 16, 2017

Community | 19


The extra money coming to Brookhavthe home for the Atlanta Falcons and en from the proposed hotel/motel tax inUnited FC, the stadium will attract tourcrease is estimated at $650,000, giving ists to the city. the city resources to finance a $9 million Parks and trails are “a gray area,” revenue bond. Sprouse said. “I would question how they That $9 million would be used to pay drive tourism.” for permits, easements and right of way Residents staying in hotels near the costs and as well as pave some trails on Greenway benefit by having a park to the section of the linear park between visit. But most of all, the residents of the North Druid Hills Road and Briarwood city benefit by having a multi-use, linear Road. park that will one day connect to the AtState law requires that half of the holanta BeltLine as well as to Chamblee and tel/motel tax increase be used to build Doraville. some kind of projIt would also be ect to bring tourthe first park in Disism into the city. trict 4 and CouncilThe other half goes member Joe Gebbia to Discover DeKalb, has said for every $1 the county’s conthe city spends on vention and visitors’ the park, the park bureau, to promote will generate some tourism in the area. $6 in revenue for What makes the the city. tax increase helpJames Tsismanaful to a young, small kis, executive direccity is that the revtor and CEO of Disenue comes from cover DeKalb, said non-residents, Ernst hotels would not said. Paying for a lose business due to major project from a tax increase. “It’s an outside revenue not a selling tool beJOHN ERNST, source means more BROOKHAVEN MAYOR cause no one asks locally raised dolif the tax is 5 perlars can go to pay cent or 8 percent,” for paving, parks and police, he said. he said. The linear park will bring tourists to The 8 percent rate would put the areas, much like the Atlanta BeltLine Brookhaven at the same rate with most has tourists to Midtown, Ernst said. That cities across metro Atlanta, he added. means more money to the city as well. “We want to do anything to bring ecoJim Sprouse, executive director of the nomic development to the city and counGeorgia Hotel & Lodging Association, ty,” he said. “The Greenway brings more said his agency only becomes involved in people to town … and brings connectiviissues if hotel management ask for it. ty to parks. This is a very good project.” He did say the idea of using hotel/moBetsy Eggers, chair of the Peachtree tel tax to pay for new parks and trails Creek Greenway board, thanked the “does not seem to fit the intent” of what council for its support. Paved trails for the money is designated for. running, biking and walking was the No. The city of Atlanta, for example, is us1 “most wanted” item in the Brookhaven ing its hotel/motel tax to help cover costs Parks & Recreation master plan, she said. for the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium. As

If this doesn’t go through [at the General Assembly] then there will have to be a tax increase on our residents.

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Hundreds of people rallied Feb. 16 on Buford Highway as part of the ‘Day Without Immigrants’ to protest ICE raids. Dulce Esquivel of Chamblee, below, holding her infant son, waved the American and Mexican flags during the protest.


Immigrants protest ICE deportations on Buford Highway BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

“Sí, se puede!” (“Yes, we can!”) members of the crowd chanted while standing at the top and bottom of a steep hill adjacent to the Plaza Fiesta parking lot on Buford Highway. Hundreds of Hispanic and Latino people, many with small children, waved poster board signs, American flags and flags of their home countries as cars drove past along the busy corridor, many honking in support. Three Chamblee police officers parked their vehicles alongside the protesters to keep them from filing into the road. Feb. 16 was a national “Day Without Immigrants” and hundreds of people lined up along Buford Highway, renowned for its immigrant population, as part of a grassroots movement to protest recent Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrests and President Donald Trump’s executive action targeting illegal immigrants for deportation. Although no national group organized it, the grassroots campaign that called for people to stay home from work and school and not to make any purchases gained traction across the country. Protests were reported in New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

Many of the businesses in Plaza Fiesta, a mostly Latino mall located on the Brookhaven border in Chamblee at Buford Highway and Clairmont Road, closed to show solidarity with immigrants. Numerous other metro Atlanta restaurants and shops closing for the day were also reported. “I support the cause,” said Luna Mora, 32, who attended the protest with her 12-year-old daughter, Yadi. “I want them to stop deportations and separation of families.” Holding a sign that read, “Ni una mas” — “Not one more” — Mora said she was born in Georgia and lives in Doraville. She and her daughter have no fear of being arrested, but she said she knows of many people who fear deportation. “I do feel for them,” she said. “This is all happening because of Trump’s election.” Dulce Esquivel of Chamblee, holding her infant son, waved American and Mexican flags during the protest. She said she has her green card and works, but fears her legal status may not be enough to keep her from being deported. “We are trying to make our voices heard,” she said. “People are afraid to go out their door. We are not doing any harm.” Trump’s Jan. 25 executive order on immigration was followed days later by Immigration and Customs Enforcement

raids in cities, including metro Atlanta, which led to hundreds of arrests, including nearly 90 in Georgia. ICE officials said the arrests were part of routine targeted operations to arrest undocumented people who have criminal records. “These ICE operations target public safety threats, such as convicted criminal aliens and gang members, and individuals who have violated our nation’s immigration laws, including those who re-entered the country after being deported and immigration fugitives ordered deported by federal immigration judges,” said Bryan Cox, ICE spokesperson for the southern region, in a prepared statement. However, the metro Atlanta Mexican consulate said Feb. 16 that three of the 21 Mexican nationals arrested last week in Brookhaven, Norcross, Savannah, Moultrie, Duluth and Augusta did not have criminal records. Manuel Rivera stood in the bed of his Toyota Tundra truck parked under the

Plaza Fiesta sign and shouted into a microphone, leading the crowd into chants while blasting music from a large speaker. “I don’t have papers, but I have a business,” said Rivera, who is from El Salvador. He said he has lived in the U.S. for decades and now runs a furniture store on Buford Highway in Doraville. “All my customers are immigrants. If there are no immigrants, I don’t have business,” he said. Cross Keys High School student Nicole Herranz, 16, whose family is from Brazil, said she brought a group of other students with her to take part in the protest. “I decided if I was going to skip school, I should do something important,” she said. “I support the movement.”


Education | 21

MARCH 3 - 16, 2017 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Big designs on engineering

Standout Student

Emily Moseley

Mount Vernon Presbyterian School, senior Emily Moseley discovered her interest in engineering during her sophomore year, when she took a technology, engineering, and design class. “I’d always been good at math and science, but I never really had an end goal,” says Emily. “This class really opened my eyes to the field of engineering.” Emily has pursued her interest through her school “iProject.” The “I” in iProject stands for “inquiry, innovation, and impact,” all of which Emily demonstrates through her work. She inquires about new programs; learns to use new technology, such as 3D printers; innovates; and makes an impact by using her engineering skills to help others. Emily loves being able to fix things and make things for people. She finds it most rewarding when she gets to see people’s reactions to what she has made. “I love tinkering around, but I always have to show someone!” she says. Last year, Emily, along with a group of fellow students, worked with a nonprofit called e-Nable, which helps pro-

vide prosthetic hands to those who need them, to create a fully functioning prosthetic hand for a college student named Alex. This year, Emily has continued to work on improving her designs for prosthetic hands. “There’s no reason that a girl should love math or science any less than someone else,” Emily said. “If you love it, do it.” T.J. Edwards, Emily’s Technology, Engineering, and Design teacher, saw Emily’s passion from her first year in his class. He is constantly impressed by Emily’s strength in science, technology, engineering and math concepts, as well as her artistic ability and collaboration skills. “I think engineers are sometimes stereotyped as ‘math people’ or ‘builders.’

but the really good ones are able to do that and have a creative side that really spurs innovative ideas. Emily definitely has that potential. She can dream up beautiful sketches and ideas that require a new approach to engineering,” Edwards said. Emily says that Edwards has had a great impact on her life. “He saw my passion and kept feeding my process,” she said. “He has taught me so much about engineering and got me into

amazing projects like my current prosthetic hand project.” Edwards has watched Emily grow since her first year in the class 2 1/2 years ago. “It has been extraordinarily exciting to see the seeds of Emily’s initial curiosity grow into what will undoubtedly be a successful college and work career,” says Edwards. Outside of the classroom, Emily had a summer internship at SpaceWorks, an engineering enterprise focused on space exploration technology. She also attended the Governor’s Honor’s Program last summer for engineering. Besides engineering, Emily plays volleyball for her school and is a stage manager for the drama department.

What’s next?

Emily has committed to attend Georgia Tech in the fall and plans to major in aerospace engineering. She hopes this knowledge will serve as a doorway for working with automobiles. Her dream job is to engineer race cars for NASCAR. This article was reported and written by Dori Balser, a student at Riverwood International Charter School.

19th Annual Montag Family Community Lecture Series Dr. Michele Borba, Ed. D. World-renowned educational psychologist and expert on strengthening children’s empathy, social-emotional intelligence and character


How to Raise Caring, Successful Kids in a Plugged-In, Trophy-Driven World: Practical, Proven Ways to Raise Good Kids Today’s parents are dealing with technology and digitally driven challenges that no previous generation has faced. What really matters in raising successful, happy, and compassionate and socially responsible children in a hyper-competitive, plugged-in world? Dr. Borba cites the latest research to identify nine crucial habits and one invaluable life skill: empathy. In this game-changing “how to” presentation for parents, you’ll learn proven strategies to give your child the Empathy Advantage and cultivate their social and moral competence.

Thursday, March 16, 2017 7:00 pm Atlanta Speech School Love Auditorium

There is no charge to attend but space is limited. Reserve online at atlantaspeechschool.org/montag by March 14. Contact Pam Crockett at pcrockett@atlantaspeechschool.org for more information.

This event is made possible by the support of the Montag family, our faithful friends and supporters of the Atlanta Speech School.

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

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Camp Kingfisher Summer 2017

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Creativity rules at the High!

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

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

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| 25


Registration for Dunwoody UMC

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School Break Camps offered in the Spring!

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The Atlanta Speech School offers a wide variety of summer programs, including the Summer Explorations enrichment camp for children ages 2-1/2 to 6 years, as well a broad range of other language and academic camps. All of our camps keep the child’s learning experience at the forefront — encouraging them to explore new skills, new experiences, and new information in a camp-like atmosphere of fun and creative learning! To learn more about the many Atlanta Speech School summer programs, visit atlantaspeechschool.org/summer, or call 404-233-5332.

SPORTS BROADCASTING CAMP is back for our 10th year in Atlanta

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| 27





Crafts Market









Costume Contest

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28 | Education

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Lenny Dutton Atlanta International School Through our “Exceptional Educator” series, Reporter Newspapers showcases the work of some of the outstanding teachers and administrators at our local schools. If you would like to recommend an Exceptional Educator, please email editor@ReporterNewspapers.net. At Atlanta International School, Lenny Dutton serves as Digital Innovation Coach. She teaches other teachers about technology they can use in their classrooms. She started teaching in 2009, she says, but began working in schools in 2005 as a volunteer, including helping with an educational vegetable garden at a primary school in London. One teaching device she’s promoted is the use of “Breakout EDU,” which she says was inspired by escape room games, in which people solve puzzles in order to break out of locked rooms. Kits for the classroom are available through the BreakoutEDU.com website, she says. She describes the classroom program this way: “Students arrive to class to find a large box, or two, with lots of different types of padlocks on them. There may also be clues and props hidden around the room. Students have to use teamwork, problem solving and communication skills, along with subject knowledge to solve cryptic clues to break into the box. ... “We’ve played games covering everything from general math skills to Shakespeare. The games are created by teachers across the world and uploaded for others to use. I’ve created several including one about owls and another about the digestive system. ... We also have started to get students to make





their own games!”


What attracted you to teaching at first?


My degree was based on museum studies. I originally wanted to work in an education role in a museum, but needed teaching experience first. I spent my time as a student volunteering in a museums archives which also gave me experience suitable to being a librarian. My career started off as a school librarian and I fell in love with working in the classroom.

Q: Has the appeal changed? A: Originally teaching seemed a route

into working in another educational role, but I fell in love with working with teaching. Every day is different and I am in an environment where I am constantly challenged and learning.

Q: What keeps you going year after year? A: I get excited to collaborate with

other teachers. Working with technology means that my job changes constantly. I’m excited to bring new tools to the classroom that help light up the classroom. I also get involved with clubs which I enjoy a lot. I’ve had experience with everything from debate club to coding clubs.


What do you think makes a great

I think I am multifaceted, so am able to bring resources to teachers of all subjects. Although my job involves using technology, I also use a lot of my knowledge of global issues, alongside debate skills, to engage my students.


What do you want to see in your students?


I want to see my students develop strong approaches to learning. I want them to be good communicators and problem-solvers. I want them to want to learn — and I want to learn with them!

Q: How do you engage your students? A: I use lots of different teaching

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Is there a “trick” that works to get students involved?

A: Listen to them. Q:

What do you hope your students take away from your class?

A: I hope that students feel their opin-

ions and ideas are valued, and I hope that they will want to pursue skills or knowledge about things started in class.

methods, so that students don’t get bored in class. I also involve them with making decisions that impact them. What do they want to learn? How do they want to learn? Last year I taught an ICT/Robotics class, and for the last project, as a class we devised a point system, where all students had to achieve 50 experience points, but they had many different ways to doing that. This gave them lots of choice, but also a good amount of support and guidance.


Do you have a project or special program you use year after year?

A: One technique that

I love to use is “stand

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your ground.” We will put a statement on the board, and students stand if they agree and sit if they disagree. This is a really simple way to start discussions, and has every student participate. I’ve done this sometimes with only a handful of statements and it has turned into a debate that lasts the whole lesson.

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30 | Public Safety

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Police Blotter / Brookhaven From Brookhaven police reports dated Feb. 18 through Feb. 25. The following information was pulled from Brookhaven’s Police-2-Citizen website.

POSSESSION AND DUI 3700 block of Buford High-

way — On Feb. 18, at night, a woman was arrested and accused of driving under the influence, with an impairment of .08 more than three hours later. 2800 block of Os-

borne Road — On Feb. 19, after midnight, a woman was arrested and accused of driving under the influence, impaired more than three hours later. 3300 block of Buford Highway — On

Feb. 20, in the early morning, a man was arrested and accused of public intoxication and consumption.

2700 Georgian Drive — On Feb. 22,

in the morning, a woman was arrested and accused of driving under the influence of alcohol. 3300 block of Peachtree Road — On

Feb. 25, in the morning, a man was arrested and accused of cocaine possession.

T H E F T A N D B U RG L A RY 2400 block of Briarcliff Road — On Feb. 20, in the early morning, a forced entry burglary occurred at a non-residence.

2000 block of N. Druid Hills Road — On Feb. 20, in the early morning, a theft occurred. 500 block of Brookhaven Avenue —

On Feb. 25, in the evening, a man was arrested and accused of shoplifting.


Feb. 18, in the afternoon, a man was arrested and accused of obstruction and interference. 3000 block of Buford Highway — On

Feb. 18, a man was arrested and accused of driving without a license and failing to obtain one within 30 days. 2600 block of Buford Highway — On

Feb. 19, in the morning, a man was arrested and accused of driving without a driver’s license. 3200 block of Buford Highway — On

Feb. 20, in the afternoon, a woman was arrested and accused of driving with a suspended license. 2600 block of Buford Highway — On

Feb. 20, in the evening, a man was arrested and accused of creating false statements and writings and concealing facts. 3200 block of Buford Highway —

On Feb. 20, a man was arrested and accused of driving without a license. North Druid Hills/ I-85

3400 block of Buford Highway — On

Ramp — On Feb. 21, in the afternoon, a man was arrested and accused of begging and soliciting alms. Clairmont Road/ North-

east Expressway — On Feb. 22, after midnight, a man was arrested and accused of driving without a license.

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22, in the evening, a man was arrested and accused of aggravated stalking. 3600 block of Buford Highway — On

Feb. 22, in the evening, a man was arrested and accused of failing to obey headlight requirements. 3800 block of Granger Drive — On Feb.

23, just after midnight, a man was arrested and accused of disorderly conduct. Another man was arrested and accused of drugs, gambling and prostitution. 3200 block of Buford Highway — On

Feb. 23, in the morning, a man was arrested and accused of driving with a suspended license. 3200 block of Buford Highway — On

Feb. 23, in the evening, a man was arrested and accused of driving without a license. 2100 block of N. Druid Hills Road — On Feb. 24, in the morning, a woman was arrested and accused of driving with a suspended registration.

3600 block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Feb. 25, in the morning, a man was arrested and accused of simple battery. 1800 block of N. Druid Hills Road —

On Feb. 25, in the evening, a man was arrested and accused of driving without insurance.

Feb. 22, after midnight, a man was arrest-

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Community Briefs N AT IO N A L PA RK SERVIC E A PPR O VES TR A N S F ER RI N G PA RT OF BROOK HAVEN PAR K The National Park Service has approved the transfer of the back portion of Brookhaven Park to the city, but DeKalb County must again review the details before the deal is final. City Attorney Chris Balch told the City Council during is Feb. 15 work session that the park service recently approved the transfer with a few small changes to the deed, which the city accepted. Because a Veterans Hospital was once located on the property, the park service must OK the transfer from the county to the city. Due to the minor deed changes, however, the transfer must again be reviewed by the DeKalb Board of Commissioners. The county approved the transfer previously in October. Balch said he was unsure if the county commissioners would have to take another vote. The back portion of the park on Peachtree Road is 12 acres. The city will pay the county $100 an acre for the property. Because the park is separated into two parcels — the “back” 12 acres of passive park space, including a children’s playground, community garden and open fields, and the “front” 8 acres, where the DeKalb Services Center is located — negotiations have proved difficult between the city and county. The city has been paying for maintenance and upkeep of the park since 2013.

CIT Y G ET S $ 5 . 7M LOA N TO BUY P DK AIR PO R T LAND The city has received a $5.7 million loan from the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority executive committee to purchase 33 acres of forested land next to DeKalb-Peachtree Airport. The city is buying the property to preserve as a green space. The DeKalb County Commission approved the purchase for the $5.7 million fair market value of the land in January. The City Council approved the purchase of the property in December and approved the loan at its Feb. 15 meeting. “We are grateful to GEFA for awarding us this loan, which includes $500,000 in principal forgiveness, for the financing of the PDK Greenspace,” said Mayor John Ernst in a GEFA press release. “It helps us keep the promise we made to our residents to keep Brookhaven green and vibrant.” The loan will finance the acquisition of 33 acres of forested land adjacent to the airport and help protect the watershed of Peachtree Creek. The land will be publicly accessible and will include unpaved walking trails as part of the green space. The city will pay 0.89 percent interest on the 20-year loan. The loan will finance an eligible conservation project, which qualifies for a reduced interest rate, and includes principal forgiveness up to $500,000, if all funds are drawn.

POLI C E REC EIVE C VS GR ANT F O R DRUG C OL L EC TION UNIT The Brookhaven Police Department has received a grant for a drug collection unit as part of CVS’s Health’s Medication Disposal for Safer Communities Program, according to a city press release. The new unit will be located in the lobby of the police department’s headquarters at 2665 Buford Highway and will provide residents with a safe and environmentally responsible way to dispose of unwanted, unused or expired medication, including controlled substances. “Safely disposing of unused medication is critical to preventing prescription drug abuse and keeping pharmaceuticals out of our waterways,” said Brookhaven Police Chief Gary Yandura in the press release. “The Brookhaven Police Department is proud to partner with CVS Health and we thank them for their commitment to helping residents reduce the amount of unneeded medicine in our community.” Brookhaven’s new Drug Collection Unit site is open to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and drugs can be dropped off with no questions asked. BK

Community | 31

M ETR O ATLANTA M EX I C A N C O NS UL AT E O FFI C E CO NFIR M S 21 IC E A R R ES T S I N B R O O KHAV EN, A R EA C IT IES The metro Atlanta Mexican consulate office has confirmed 21 arrests of Mexican nationals living in Brookhaven, Norcross, Savannah, Moultrie, Duluth and Augusta in early February by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. The information follows news and statements from ICE officials that it conducted enforcement operations in several states resulting in 87 arrests in Georgia. While ICE officials denied they conducted random arrests and were only targeting those “posing public safety risks” such as convicted felons, the metro Atlanta Mexican consulate said three of the 21 Mexican nationals they interviewed did not have any criminal records. “Three of those arrested do not have criminal or immigration records whatsoever,” according to a statement from the Mexican Consulate. “They were only detained for being in the U.S. undocumented.” The consulate office said it had no information of arrests along Buford Highway in Brookhaven. From the consulate’s office: — All of those arrested agreed that there was no excessive use of force by ICE officers during the detentions; — All have had the opportunity to establish communications with their families or attorneys; — All were interviewed by the Mexican Consulate in Atlanta and each was asked about any health-related issues, whether he or she needed special assistance or if he or she could have access to an immigration attorney to review their case. “This office is in constant communication with ICE authorities in this region, to assure they comply with the obligation of notifying the Mexican consulate when so requested by the detainee,” according to the statement. The metro Atlanta Mexican consulate office is located on Chantilly Drive, just across I-85 from Brookhaven and Buckhead.

Ashford Dunwoody Corridor Study Draft Presentation March 14 Public invited to comment at 7pm meeting

CITY COUNCIL TUESDAY, 3/14 3:30pm & 7:00pm

Brookhaven City Hall 4362 Peachtree Road Brookhaven, GA 30319

Additional public comment opportunities to be announced. View draft at:


32 |

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Sandy Springs Office | 5290 Roswell Rd. Ste A, Atlanta, GA 30342 | 404-250-9900 | HarryNorman.com | Diane Smith Senior VP, Managing Broker BK

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