3-3-17 Dunwoody Reporter

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MARCH 3 - 16, 2017 • VOL. 8 — NO. 5


Dunwoody Reporter



► New progressive group attracts activists PAGE 5 ► Six businesses cited for selling alcohol to minors PAGE 30

Troupe stages very special ‘Wizard of Oz’


Higher hotel tax proposed to pay for green space, trails BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net


Susie Davidow, center, shares an onstage moment with Katherine Burnett, Shawn Wyatt and other Jerry’s Habima Theatre actors as they rehearse for their 24th annual musical production, “The Wizard of Oz.” The theatrical company, part of the Marcus Jewish Communty Center of Atlanta, is produced by professionals and almost entirely comprised of people with special needs. Davidow, retiring director of MJCCA’s Department of Special Needs, will be honored at the upcoming show, which opens Thursday, March 9. Read story page 16.►

EXCEPTIONAL EDUCATOR Classroom games, from math to Shakespeare Page 28

Get rid of Common Core. Go back to basics and [an] age-appropriate curriculum. Stop the testing. Residents grade schools on preparing students for careers and civic life See COMMUNITY SURVEY Page 14

OUT & ABOUT Atlanta Boy Choir at Dunwoody UMC Page 6

A proposed hotel/motel tax increase would mean $800,000 annually to pay for trails and parks throughout Perimeter Center that for years have just been plans sitting on shelves, according to city officials. Dunwoody, Chamblee and Brookhaven recently seized on the idea to fund some of their multi-million dollar plans by raising their city hotel/motel taxes to create a new revenue stream. The cities are asking for their hotel/motel taxes to be increased from 5 percent to 8 percent. City Councils of all three cities passed resolutions in recent weeks asking their state lawmakers to push through the required legislation 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. See PROPOSED on page 20

Spruill CEO: Time to focus on arts throughout city BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

The iconic “Everything Will Be OK” mural on the side of an old seed house at the corner of Ashford-Dunwoody Road and Meadow Lane Road puts the city on the map of art lovers for miles around. There’s more art like that just waiting to put the city on even more maps. That’s the message Spruill Center for the Arts CEO Bob Kinsey brought to the City Council Feb. 27 in making his pitch for expanded space at the North DeKalb Cultural Arts Center on Chamblee-DunSee SPRUILL on page 18

2 | Community

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Dunwoody Mayor Denis Shortal will give the annual “State of the City” address March 9 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Crowne Plaza Ravinia, Ravinia Hotel, 4355 AshfordDunwoody Road. The event is hosted by the city of Dunwoody and the Rotary Club. This is the eighth annual event. It is open to the public. Shortal will speak about his thoughts on the local, social and economic climate as well as his vision for the year ahead.



City Council on Feb. 27 voted to add $36,000 to its parks and right of way maintenance contract with Optech to have the company include landscaping of right of way along Dunwoody Village Parkway. The company’s original contract for maintaining the city’s parks and right of way properties totaled slightly more than $3 million. “Since the city’s investment in the landscaping along Dunwoody Village Parkway it has become apparent that the degree to which the landscaping is being maintained by the adjacent property owners varies noticeably,” Public Works Director Michael Smith said in a memo to the council. “In order to protect the city’s investment, provide consistent maintenance and project a positive image for the area the city has included funds in the 2017 budget to provide landscape maintenance within the right of way along the parkway.”


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Fixing DeKalb County’s current water billing “crisis” will take years and includes rebuilding the county’s trust with residents, according to CEO Mike Thurmond. Thurmond told the Board of Commissioners at a special called Feb. 23 meeting his administration planned to concentrate time and resources on fixing a problem that includes earning the trust of residents. Angry residents packed meetings and a town hall last year to voice their complaints with their erroneous bills, leading the county to issue a moratorium on disconnecting water to those with complaints about their bills. Thurmond said one issue is that water bill rates have jumped 212 percent between 2007 and 2015 and the rate increases were not always told to customers. Other issues include malfunctioning meters. No specific timetable was given by Thurmond to fix the problems, leading to frustration from Commissioners Jeff Rader and Nancy Jester. “I have no clarity on solutions,” Jester, of Dunwoody, said. “I think we really need something substantive about the process.” A town hall is expected to be held in the near future to give a chance for residents to speak. DUN

MARCH 3 - 16, 2017

Community | 3


A rendering of a 7,000-square-foot Nature Center building proposed to handle growth and demand for programming and resources, according to Dunwoody Nature Center Executive Director Alan Mothner.


Nature Center kicks off $2.6M capital campaign The Dunwoody Nature Center has initiated a $2.6 million capital campaign for a new building, pavilion and expanded programming. The new 7,000-square-foot building would include exhibit space, classrooms and community meeting space. The campaign begins as the center kicks off its 25th anniversary celebration, with 25 activities planned throughout the year. In a story that ran in the Feb. 17 edition, (“Dunwoody Nature Center asks city for $1m contribution”), it was incorrectly reported that the Nature Center was seeking $1 million from the city to build an overlook pavilion and expand programming.

A planned 1,800-square-foot pavilion, estimated to cost approximately $300,000 and to be built on the hill overlooking the center’s meadow, would serve as an extension of the Nature Center. The Nature Center is seeking funding this year for the pavilion through the city’s Facilities Improvement Partnership Program. Nature Center Executive Director Alan Mothner said the capital campaign would include renovating the current Nature Center building into office space. The new facilities are needed to handle growth and demand, he said. A feasibility study conducted last year by the Nature Center, located in cityowned Dunwoody Park, shows grants

from foundations of up to $600,000 are likely to help pay for the project with the rest coming from individual donations and corporate sponsors, but only if the city is willing to donate $1 million to show its commitment, Mothner said. The Nature Center has already saved up more than $400,000 for the capital campaign, Mothner said, but the $1 million is needed from the city to show its commitment. Naming rights for the new Nature Center building could result in a significant donation to the capital campaign, Mothner said. Plans are to have the new building opened in time for the new Austin Elementary School opening in fall 2019.

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‘Shape Dunwoody’ events spark conversations on city’s future BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

How do people want the city to grow in the coming years? That’s the main question being posed at a series of “Shape Dunwoody” events as city leaders seek input from residents about what they want to see for their city in the years to come. “This is intended to spark conversation,” said the city’s Economic Development Director Michael Starling at the Feb. 16 event with guest speaker Billy Parrish. Starling said the series was inspired by the Dunwoody Development Authority’s desire to find ways to take full advantage of the continuing development in the Perimeter Center to ensure quality growth. “Many community leaders already recognize that creating a better Dunwoody involves adaptation and growth in order to avoid stagnation and deterioration,” notes a description of the “Shape Dunwoody” series. Parrish, a Dunwoody resident who recently sold his home and is moving to North Carolina, is a consultant for downtown developments. He told attendees gathered Feb. 16 for breakfast at Maggiano’s Little Italy that Dunwoody is in a “sweet spot” for future growth.

Young people and those wanting to retire and downsize are wanting to be located in “urban centers like never before,” according to business and real estate trends, Parrish said. But “urban” does not necessarily translate into living in a big city. Amenities of big cities, such as being able to walk to shops and restaurants and have easy access to public transportation, are already available in Dunwoody and continuing that trend will attract a new generation of residents looking for an “affordable city life.” “If you look at major cities that are hot now ... who can afford to live there?” Parrish said. “This search for affordable city life is why places like Dunwoody are in the sweet spot.” Cities such as Brookhaven, Chamblee, Woodstock, Sugar Hill, Roswell and Duluth are competition for Dunwoody in attracting economic development that can fund and even create “affordable city life,” Parrish said. Suburban life is no longer the standard in today’s world, he said. In Dunwoody, the city’s parks as well as the thriving Perimeter Center offer residents ways to enjoy big-city life while also being minutes away from trails and green spaces. “The key here is ... Boomers, Millenials

07-29-15_PerimeterPediatricDentistryFinal_Layout 1 7/27/15 9:18 AM Page 1

and Generation X in particular want a place ... that is not an urban life, but a city continuum,” he said. “Where does Dunwoody fit on that continuum?” Parrish said for one thing, Dunwoody is in the “amazing position of being one of the most walkable citDYANA BAGBY Downtown consultant Billy Parrish said Dunwoody is in a ies” in the state – “sweet spot” for attracting future economic development an amenity strongby being able to provide “affordable city life.” ly desired by people of all ages searching for homes to beadded, saying that the people who are gin their families or age in place. loudest at city meetings are “not the fuIn the coming years, according to ture.” some business predictions, most workThe final “Shape Dunwoody” event ers will be freelancing, Parrish said. That is March 24 from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. at means people will not be locked into a Maggiano’s Little Italy. Cost is $20 to atplace to live that is near an office. Rather, tend and includes breakfast. The series people will be searching for a place where is sponsored by the Dunwoody Developthey can access some of those city-life ment Authority, the city of Dunwoody, the amenities without paying the high rents Dunwoody Perimeter Chamber and the and costs associated with a big city. Dunwoody Convention and Visitors BuBut change and growth and doing reau. For more information, see perimewhat best for the future is not easy, he terchamber.com.

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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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6 | Out & About

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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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• Dinner Party • Cocktail Party • Birthday Celebration • Retirement Celebration • Graduation Party • Office Party • Bridal/Baby Shower • GNO & GNI • Game Day • Holiday Party

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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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


Dunwoody Village plans to be more walkable BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

Business was brisk on an unusually warm recent Friday afternoon at Under the Pecan Tree, located in The Shops of Dunwoody. Nearly a half-dozen people were in the quaint shop, sauntering through the aisles looking at all kinds of jewelry — necklaces, bracelets, rings. “A lot of people walk to the store, especially on Saturdays,” said owner Amanda Scoles. Walking is part of the overall plan for the Dunwoody Village Overlay District where The Shops of Dunwoody are located. The area’s distinct Williamsburg architectural style, with brick exteriors, is designed to create a town center feel while attracting people to the area via restaurants and boutique shops. “We usually have plenty of parking because we’re open during the day and the restaurants stay open in the evening,” Scoles said. But now that a Vintage Pizza is opening across the lot (“Yay!” cheered Scoles), the parking may become even tighter. “Who knows what will happen?” Scoles asked. Parking has long been an issue with the Village Overlay District, approved nearly a decade ago. Recently, a string of businesses, including the relocated SunTrust Bank, have asked for and received special land use permits for more parking than is allowed by the Village Overlay. On Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, across the street from Under the Pecan Tree, the owner of the Chevron gas station sold his business to developer Jacob Lang so he can find a new, bigger location. Lang wants to put in a nearly 10,000-square-foot building with space for a 6,200-square-foot restaurant and 2,500 square feet of retail space. The site abuts the Dunwoody Village shopping center and its parking lot. To do what he envisions, Lang needs more parking than is allowed in the overlay district – 4.5 spaces per 1,000 square feet rather than 3 spaces per 1,000 square feet -- and he’s asking the City Council for a SLUP. The council is expected to vote on the request March 13. But the owners of the Dunwoody Village property, Regency Centers, are fighting against the SLUP because they believe no matter how much parking Lang gets, patrons to his development will end up parking in their lot, taking away already limited space for their tenants. Regency attorney Kathy Zikert said


in an interview most restaurants require 10 spaces per 1,000 square feet. If Lang redevelops the Chevron station, there is no way there will be enough parking for his customers and Regency tenants customers, she said. “And we can’t build a drawbridge or moat to keep them out,” Zikert said, half-joking. “We have wanted more parking for years,” she said. “The overlay standard is to get people to walk. But there isn’t enough [density]. Dunwoody Village will always be a vehicular attraction.” Ian McPherson, who owns Ruin Skateshop in Dunwoody Village and just around the corner from the Chevron station,

said his side of the shopping center rarely has too little parking. He said he likes Dunwoody Village because of its “neighborhood-centric feel.” “I like that it’s strict and looks oldschool,” he said. But the town center vibe the city wants is just not there, he added. Other than Bruster’s ice cream shop, the businesses surrounding Ruin are dentists and a dance studio – businesses that require appointments. He said he wished there were more retail stores where people can walk in and shop. “There needs to be something to do here, to bring people in,” he said. “Everything here is restaurants — that’s the only thing that survives here. We need more retail. Right now, it’s just us and Walgreens.” Lang said he’s a strong advocate for overlay districts in general, but until a new development comes along the problems with them may not always be readily apparent. “And that’s why you have a SLUP and variance process,” he said. The 3-to-1 ratio for restaurants may work better at urban Atlanta locations because of high density areas where people live in apartments close to restaurant


Top: In Dunwoody Village, the stores are noted with distinct exterior brick design. Above left: Amanda Scoles, owner of Under the Pecan Tree in The Shops of Dunwoody, said many of her customers walk to her store. Above right: Ian McPherson, owner of Ruin Skateshop in Dunwoody Village, wishes there was more retail.

and retail centers, Lang said. “There’s a lot more single-family homes in Dunwoody,” he said. Lang said Regency is trying to make his development an argument to the city

for why Dunwoody Village needs more parking. Zikert said, however, the city is “caught between a rock and a hard place.” “The city is not the culprit,” she said.

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14 | Commentary

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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 DUN

MARCH 3 - 16, 2017

Community | 15


18 candidates to vie for Congressional seat BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

The magic number is 18 in the 6th Congressional District race, where 18 candidates will compete in the April 18 special election to replace U.S. Rep. Tom Price. With the qualifying period closed on Feb. 15, the field of candidates includes 11 Republicans, five Democrats and two independents. The district includes parts of Brookhaven, Dunwoody and Sandy Springs. Three candidates are from Dunwoody: Keith Grawert, a Republican Air Force pilot; Alexander Hernandez, an independent who works in the film industry; and Bruce Levell, a Republican who had a prominent role in Donald Trump’s presidential campaign as a diversity spokesperson. Another three candidates are from Sandy Springs: Republican David Abroms; William Llop, a Republican accountant; and Ron Slotin, a Democrat and former state senator. Another candidate known well in Sandy Springs is state Sen. Judson Hill (R-Marietta), whose District 32 includes part of the city. Hill must resign his Senate seat to enter the race. That means another special election will be called to fill his Senate seat. Hill said it

is likely that Gov. Nathan Deal will call that special election for the same date as the Congressional election. Republicans also in the running include: Mohammad Ali Bhuiyan, a Marietta economist; Bob Gray, a Johns Creek City Councilmember; Karen Handel of Alpharetta, the former chair of the Fulton County Commission and a former candidate for governor and U.S. senator; Amy Kremer, an early Tea Party activist from Marietta; Dan Moody, a former state senator from Roswell; and Kurt Wilson of Alpharetta. Democrats also in the race include: Ragin Edwards, whose qualifying statement did not include an address; Richard Keatley, a Tucker resident who is a Georgia State University professor of world languages and cultures; Jon Ossoff, who runs a corruption-investigation firm and whose qualification information does not include an address; and Rebecca Quigg, a Marietta medical doctor. Another independent in the race is Andre Pollard of Milton, running in what he calls the “Tech Party.” Price recently took office as President Trump’s new U.S. secretary of Health and Human Services. A runoff election, which seems likely in the crowded field, is scheduled for June 20.

Letter to the Editor

I have lived adjacent to the Dunwoody Nature Center for 25 years and go into the park practically every day. The addition of the play grounds, boardwalk, hammocks and interior picnic tables (too many) were a welcome improvement and they maintained the “natural” setting. However, the space adjacent to the building and by the stream was not an enhancement as it removed the natural setting. It looks like every other outdoor space I have seen that caters to weddings and other events. Which I guess was its intention. (It also includes an old piano). I think making the pretense of a new pavilion for education, etc. is disingenu-

ous. They want the park to be an event facility to make money to maintain the park. Fair enough, but just say so. Perhaps prior to that, some money could be spent to get rid of the severe invasion of English ivy that has smothered the undergrowth in vast areas around the park. Get a good arborist in to cull dead trees and limbs that are a danger to walkers. Plant native hardwoods that have been replaced by hundreds of nasty pines that are unattractive, litter the park and fall at the first breeze. All this is basic maintenance that has been ignored at the park. Rich Reynell

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A very special performance of ‘The Wizard of Oz’ BY DONNA WILLIAMS LEWIS Bess Winebarger worked up a sweat as Dorothy, skipping down the Yellow Brick Road, chasing after her dog Toto and tangling with Cowardly Lion on a recent Sunday afternoon. She and her fellow actors were rehearsing “The Wizard of Oz” — the 24th annual production of Jerry’s Habima Theatre, which opens Thursday, March 9 at Dunwoody’s Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta [MJCCA]. Winebarger said she loves acting and the “iconic” role she plays. “I like playing somebody I’m not,” she said. Losing one’s self to get into character takes on special meaning here. Jerry’s Habima Theatre is a theatrical company produced by paid professionals whose cast is almost totally comprised of actors with special needs. Autism, Down syndrome and cerebral palsy are among the challenges faced by members of the cast. But, like the Wicked Witch of the West, those labels melt into insignificance in this environment of acceptance, patience and total group focus on creating one great show. Being Jewish is not a requirement for joining this troupe of adults 18 and older, which holds auditions for each year’s production. Many of the actors, who primarily come from across the north metro area, are now regulars. Winebarger is doing her 12th show. Most cast members have jobs or are in school, but all must commit to attending two- and three-hour rehearsals many eve-

nings and weekends over two months. The hard work pays off. Their performances sell out the 254-seat Morris & Rae Frank Theatre at MJCCA year after year. Luke Davis, who plays the Wizard this year and played Shrek last year, said their shows build the actors’ confidence “and help to break down barriers.” Susie Davidow has watched that happen for 16 years as director of MJCCA’s Blonder Family Department of Special


Needs, which produces the theater in conjunction with the community center’s Arts + Culture Department. Since its start, Jerry’s Habima Theatre has evolved from 15 minutes of Shakespeare with an audience of family and friends to having a reputation as “one of the go-to events in Atlanta,” Davidow said. The theatre company has received a Suzi Bass Award, which “celebrates the best of Atlanta’s theater,” and is a two-time recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts’ Challenge America Grant. “It’s been an amazing experience. It’s hard to put into words,” Davidow said. “They’re being appreciated, being valued. Their self-esteem, their pride, and that same feeling on the faces of their parents ... Each year, people come back out and say, ‘This show was the best. How are you going DUN

MARCH 3 - 16, 2017

C to top this?’ And then we do it again.” Davidow, of Sandy Springs, retires March 31. She is the 2017 production’s honoree for her “outstanding” service to MJCCA. Many say she will be missed. Among them is the Wizard, himself. “I love Susie,” Davis said. “She’s a great ambassador for us, and I’m proud to know her.” Davidow was raised in Richmond, Va., during the civil rights movement, and during a time when Holocaust survivors were moving to the city. Her parents both had master’s degrees in social work; her father was executive director of the Jewish Community Federation of Richmond. Davidow grew up feeling that everyone should have a voice and be recognized. She’s been happy to see that way of thinking carried forward in her two children and two grandchildren. She worked as a special education teacher in the Cincinnati Public Schools and worked in operations at the Coca-Cola Co. in Atlanta for 12 years before taking early retirement. After that, she was off to MJCCA, where she could meld her love of Judaism with her passion for enriching the lives of people with special needs. She leads a staff of four who produce educational, recreational and social programming for children and adults with special needs. Davidow works with the more than 100 adult participants, helping them plan and take yearly trips to places such as California, Nashville and WashingDUN

Community | 17



ton D.C. They bowl on Monday nights; have monthly “VSP (Very Special People) Cafe” trips to different restaurants; and choose from a wide variety of classes and sports. Jerry’s Habima Theatre has staged productions such as “Grease,” “Guys & Dolls,” “Disco Inferno,” and “Aladdin,” among others. Sometimes their shows go on the road, said Davidow, recalling a performance of “Honk” in Blue Ridge, Ga. “We were doing one show for the community and one the next day for schoolage children,” Davidow said. “There was a lot of concern that the children wouldn’t be respectful of the actors. We did the show. … They were a phenomenal audience.” Mary Nye Bennett, an actor and artistic director of Atlanta Lyric Theatre, has directed Jerry’s Habima Theatre for two years. “It’s just so inspiring. You feel every emotion when you watch this group perform,” she said. Googie Uterhardt, a familiar face on Atlanta’s professional theatre circuit, plays a hilarious Scarecrow in his first engagement with this troupe. “I’m very excited to be working with them, finally,” said Uterhardt, who will play King Herod in Atlanta Lyric Theatre’s April performance of “Jesus Christ Superstar.” “I’ve watched them for years, and it really is incredible what they have accomplished.” Barbara Kilbourne, of Dunwoody, said her son Davey, who has Down Syndrome, loves everything he does at MJCCA. He’s part of the ensemble in “The Wizard of Oz.” “We love that they take into consideration each of the young adults’ abil-


ities so that they can contribute,” she said. The Department of Special Needs is named for its benefactors, the late Jerry Blonder, and his wife, Lois. “It’s the talent and the enormous dedication of individuals like Susie Davidow that have made the program the success it is today,” Blonder said. Davidow, who turned 70 in January, plans to enjoy more time with her family when she retires and has lots of volunteering in mind. “I’ve always spoken out and stood up for what I believe in,” she said. Among the groups she plans to support are The Anti-Defamation League, the American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood. She wants to work with the special needs committee of Dunwoody’s Temple Emanu-El and would like to be a docent at Atlanta’s Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta. She also plans to stay involved with the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta. “I’m not walking away from that,” Davidow said. “I love the participants. I love the families.” PHOTO BY JENNIFER SAMI

Left: Susie Davidow, director of the Special Needs Department at the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta.

Jerry’s Habima Theatre actors rehearse on Feb. 19 for their 24th annual production, “The Wizard of Oz,” which opens March 9. The theatrical company, part of the

Marcus Jewish Communty Center of Atlanta, is produced by professionals and almost entirely comprised of people with special needs. A: From left, Shawn Wyatt [Toto], Googie Uterhardt [Scarecrow], and David Grayson {Tin Man] attempt to enter the gates of the Emerald City.

B - The Tin Man, the Scarecrow and Toto are joined by the Cowardly Lion, played by Patrick Robinson, center, and Dorothy, on right, who is played by Bess Winebarger. C - Bess Winebarger, leaning against her character’s Kansas home, breaks out into the classic song, “Somewhere Over The Rainbow.” D - Jordan Harris, on left, as Aladdin, and Katherine Burnette, as Jasmine, in the 2015 Habima production of “Aladdin.” Burnette plays Glinda the Good Witch of the North in this year’s show. E - Margaret Whitley, on left, as Princess Fiona and Luke Davis as Shrek in the 2016 Habima production of “Shrek the Musical, Jr.” Davis plays Professor Marvel and The Wizard in the current show. Whitley plays an apple tree and a castle guard at Emerald City. PHOTOS BY PHIL MOSIER


Jerry’s Habima Theatre presents its 24th annual musical production produced by professionals with a cast featuring people with special needs. Location: Morris & Rae Frank Theatre, Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta, 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody. Dates: Thursdays and Saturdays, March 9-18, 7:30 p.m.; Sundays, March 12 and March 19, 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Cost: General admission, $35; children 12 and under, $15. MJCCA members, $25; children 12 and under, $10. Tickets: Call 678-812-4002, or visit atlantajcc.org/boxoffice.

18 | Community

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woody Road and also for more public art throughout the city. “I think whatever we can dream we can hopefully create together,” he said. There is an immediate need for more space at the city-owned Spruill Center for the Arts located on Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, he said. The center, officially named the North DeKalb Cultural Arts Center, also is home to the Stage Door Players and Chattahoochee Handweavers Guild, which also have outgrown their spaces, Kinsey said. The Spruill Center would benefit greatly with more classroom space in a small, simple building that could be located in the back of the current site, behind the Dunwoody Library, and still leave room for a courtyard. “We are at the point of turning people away ... because there is no more room,” Kinsey said in an interview. “We don’t need any fancy construction – we’ve all been in schools.” The center serves about 6,000 students annually and offers more than 1,000 classes each year, according to Spruill Board President Rose Kirkland. More than 1,000 children attend summer camps at the center each year. The center is currently looking for short-term leases at off-site locations to alleviate space needs. But Kinsey sees the opportunity to not only add space to the current location, but to make the site a true arts and culture center for the city. “We hope to turn that complex into an arts and culture center for Dunwoody,” Kinsey said. “We think it’s a

great treasure already.” Kinsey did not have any financial information on the proposed expansion, but said the center is looking for about three more large classrooms with big windows for quality natural light. He said the center would also be willing to pay for a feasibility study for such an expansion, if the city desired. He did say that adding space would be cheaper than building a new facility. “These are wonderful problems to have,” Kinsey said. “And the city has been great in making renovations to the building.”

Public art in Dunwoody

Kinsey also broached a subject that has been discussed in the past, but hasn’t moved forward — the idea of installing public art in the city, and especially in the city’s parks. He said he agreed with the idea from Councilmember Terry Nall that some of the stained glass windows saved from the recently demolished theater at Brook Run Park could be installed in the Spruill Gallery’s sculpture garden. The Spruill Gallery is located at another site on Ashford-Dunwoody Road and is owned by the arts center. A mural painted on the long, blank wall in Brook Run Park would be just one place where public art could be placed, Kinsey said, and other public art could include sculptures. “Public art really helps identify a city, inspires people, amuses people, challenges people,” Kinsey told the council. “The Spruill Center is in the position DUN

MARCH 3 - 16, 2017

Community | 19


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to work with the city and other groups and participate financially to get this positioned through the city,” he said. Nall said the subject of public art could be controversial. “I think we all agree the [“Everything Will Be OK] mural is a beautiful piece of art,” Nall said. “But some examples of murals look more like ‘urbanized’ art. We have to remember we are not Chicago, we are not Midtown. [The art] might get on the edgy side.” Nall said he favored the concept of public art with plenty of public input. Councilmember John Heneghan said he strongly supported public art, especially in the city’s parks. “I don’t think we’re doing enough,” Heneghan said. “I don’t think we as a city are following through and moving to the next step” on public art. Assistant City Manager Jessica Guinn told council members there is a request for proposal yet to be finalized

concerning the 2015 Dunwoody Arts and Culture initiative begun by the city, the Dunwoody Perimeter Chamber and the Dunwoody Convention and Visitors Bureau. The idea was to have an arts plan coincide with the Parks Master Plan, but work on the Parks Master Plan has been delayed due to final action on the theater in Brook Run Park and also the negotiations between the city and DeKalb schools for new baseball fields at Peachtree Charter Middle School and a new Austin Elementary School at Dunwoody Park. Kinsey said in an interview he has tried for years to convince city officials to support the idea of public art and said the idea does not have to be controversial, but the idea is always treated as a “tricky subject.” “All great cities have public art,” he said. “I think Dunwoody is a great city.”


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20 | Community

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Proposed tax increase would raise $800K for green space, trails Continued from page 1 City leaders are making a mad dash to try to convince local state legislators to pass legislation backing the tax increase by the General Assembly’s March 30 adjournment. If just one lawmaker doesn’t sign on, however, there is no tax increase. Dunwoody Economic Development Director Michael Starling acknowledged the idea came to him and others to ask for the tax increase after learning Brookhaven and Chamblee were doing so. For Dunwoody, the tax increase would mean an extra $800,000 annually to fund trails and green spaces that have long been planned for Perimeter Center, including Perimeter Park at the Dunwoody MARTA station, an idea that dates back to 2014. The Dunwoody Convention and Visitors Bureaus would also receive $800,000 as part of the tax increase to go toward marketing and branding the new trails and parks in Perimeter Center “to give it a sense of place,” said CVB Executive Director Katie Williams. State Rep. Tom Taylor (R-Dunwoody) was not optimistic the city could get the support it needed from legislators and told the City Council Feb. 27 the proposal was likely “dead on arrival.” He said he was willing to introduce the bill but that state Rep. Meagan Hanson (R-Brookhaven), who represents both cities, would not sign onto it 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. She has only said previously via email that there was no legislation for her to sign onto. 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. CITY OF DUNWOODY “If I was against a SPLOST with no project list, how can City officials say increasing the hotel/motel tax from 5 percent to 8 percent could help pay for proposed trails I possibly support this?” Millar said of his vocal opposition and parks in Perimeter Center, outlined in this map. The large pink area signifies Perimeter Mall. to last year’s Special Local Option Sales Tax referendum for DeKalb schools. nearest trail to go for a run?” Millar and Taylor also criticized the city for the “haphazard” approach it took in Jim Sprouse, executive director of the Georgia Hotel & Lodging Association, said passing the resolution in the waning days of the session and with no specific plans his agency only becomes involved in issues such as proposed hotel/motel tax inof how to spend the money. The council approved the resolution in a 3-1 vote, with creases if hotel management asks for it. Councilmember Terry Nall voting no because he opposed the rushed process. He did say the idea of using a hotel/motel tax to pay for new parks and trails Millar also noted that because the hotels have already signed contracts with cor“does not seem to fit the intent” of what the money is designated for. porate clients for 2017, the tax increase cannot go into effect until next year. That The city of Atlanta, for example, is using its hotel/motel tax to help cover costs means the tax increase can wait, he said. He did, however, say a good thing about for the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium. As the home for the Atlanta Falcons and Unitthe proposed tax hike is that it does not affect those living in Dunwoody. ed FC, the stadium will attract tourists to the city. Regardless of what Taylor and Millar say, city staff, CVB members and Mayor DeParks and trails are “a gray area,” Sprouse said. “I would question how they drive nis Shortal said they are continuing full speed ahead in lobbying their legislators to tourism.” win support for the tax increase. Tammy Thompson, external affairs director for the PCIDs, said initial planning Starling, Shortal, Williams and Bill Grant of the CVB all came together recentfor several projects has been completed and it makes sense to prioritize the projects. ly to sit around a conference table at City Hall to stress the importance of the fund“Funds from the hotel/motel tax would expedite this process and allow for impleing. They say they have projects lined up and ready to go as soon as there is money. mentation of these much-needed projects,” she said in a statement. The park at the MARTA station is one, but there are also numerous Perimeter Jason Caughron, vice chair of the Dunwoody CVB and general manager of HampCommunity Improvement Districts plans, such as the 2012 PCIDs Commuter Trails ton Inn & Suites, said hotels are in a “tough position” because they would have to Plan that outlines multi-use trails throughout Perimeter Center that would connect pass costs on the tax increase to customers. But he and other hotel general managto trails in Sandy Springs and Brookhaven. ers in the Perimeter Center support the city’s initiative as a way to ensure money “These are real projects, on paper,” Starling said. goes toward attracting customers. Potential green spaces that would be funded by revenues from the tax increase “It’s Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday where we need some help,” he said. include one adjacent to the Perimeter Center Parkway flyover bridge and another “One of the biggest things that can be done is to drive more business to the market off Perimeter Center East at the Perimeter Center East exit off I-285. on the weekend.” Perimeter Center currently has no significant green space, a complaint made by Bill Grant, secretary and treasurer for the CVB, said the proposed tax increase is council members, residents and also people visiting the city. Shortal said there is an “almost a hidden source of revenue.” immediate need for outdoor activities, not only for those staying in hotels but for The need to offer something for visitors to do when the stay at a hotel in Perimeter residents living in Perimeter Center and throughout Dunwoody. Center is crucial in ensuring Dunwoody attracts tourism and economic development, Williams said a recent survey of visitors staying at Dunwoody hotels revealed the Grant said. Parks and trails do those things, especially for weekend travelers, he said. Number One question asked at front desks when visitors check in is, “Where is the DUN

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.

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

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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.

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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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CEMETERY PLOTS Arlington Memorial Park (Sandy Springs) Beautiful, Pine crest section, Plots 11B, spaces 3 & 4. Value $20,000. Price $15,000. Arlington staff will be happy to show plots. Call 913-7142499.

Drivers Wanted Senior Services North Fulton, a non-profit organization, has an opportunity for drivers in their transportation program. If you live in the Sandy Springs or Roswell area of north Fulton, would like to earn some extra money, set your own hours, like to drive, have a car, and like to be of service to seniors, please contact Mobility Manager at

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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

Reporter Classifieds HELP WANTED

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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Matthew’s Handy Services – Small jobs and chores are my specialties. Shelves, organizers, carpentry, drywall, painting, and plumbing. Member of BBB – 404-547-2079 Email: mwarren8328@gmail.com.

Security Deposit - Does your landlord owe you money? Did your landlord not return all of your security deposit? You may be able to recover the amount taken from you or more. We are actively seeking tenants who have had their security deposits taken by landlords in Georgia. Please call The Offices of Shimshon Wexler, P.C. at (678) 699-1938, 315 W Ponce de Leon Ave, Ste 250, Decatur, GA 30030.

Driveways & Walkways – Replaced or repaired. Masonry, grading, foundations repaired, waterproofing and retaining walls. Call Joe Sullivan 770-616-0576. Home Tending – Regular inspections of your unoccupied property. Call Charles, 404-229-0490. Cleaning Services - do you want your house cleaned at a reasonable rate? Would you like someone that is Dependable, Professional and can give you Quality Service? Charlotte’s the one for you - call 404-604-7866!

FOR RENT Townhouse close to GA 400 - N Ridge, Exit 6, 2000+ sq. ft., Open Living room, Kitchen & Dining area. 3 bdrms, Bonus Room, 2 ½ baths, Basement, 2 car garage and lots of storage. $1500 per mo. with $3000 deposit. For rental questionnaire: email leetrib@aol. com or call 770-887-8172.

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Classifieds | 29


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30 | Public Safety

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Police Blotter / Dunwoody From Dunwoody Police reports Feb. 17 through Feb. 23.

Several victims were able to describe the suspect as having a new red Toyota Camry or Corolla.


block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Feb. 22, overnight, someone tried to force his or her way into a car.

woody Road — On Feb. 22, two suspects were taken into custody and accused of shoplifting.

The following information was pulled from Dunwoody’s Police-2-Citizen website..

100 block of Perimeter Center — On

1200 block of Hammond Drive — On

Feb. 21, in the morning, a woman’s car was entered and coins were taken.

Feb. 22, in the morning, someone tried to steal 14 pairs of shoes, but the items were recovered.


B U R G L A RY & R O B B E RY 4300 block of Peachtree Road — On Feb.

23, there was a burglary at a gas station. The suspect drove a Hyundai Sonata.


block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Feb. 17, $185 cash was taken from a hotel safe. 4500 block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road

— On Feb. 17, an officer working at a department store recovered stolen items from the store and another clothing store. 4400

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Feb. 17, a woman was arrested and accused of trying to steal makeup. 4700 block of Ashford-Dunwoody

Road — On Feb. 18, a suspect was arrested and accused of shoplifting and running in front of cars. 6900 block of Peachtree Industrial

Road — On Feb. 19, a 2001 Honda CR-V was stolen during the night. 2300 block of Dunwoody Crossing —

On Feb. 19, six incidents of larceny from vehicles were reported between 1:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. The first involved a Michael Kors handbag taken from a parked car. The second, included a tablet, glasses, and children’s clothes. Others involved damage to their vehicles.


block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Feb. 20, a man was arrested and accused of trying to steal sunglasses. 100 block of Perimeter Center — On

Feb. 21, in the morning, a car was illegally entered. 100 block of Perimeter Center — On

Feb. 21, around lunchtime, sunglasses and a pistol were stolen from a car. 4700 block of Olde Village Lane — On

Feb. 22, a homeowners association reported that copper wire had been stolen. A similar occurrence happened Feb. 20 in Sandy Springs. 4500 block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road

— On Feb. 21, a man was arrested and accused of trying to steal a polo shirt. 4400 block of Ashford-Dunwoody

Road — On Feb. 21, a shoplifting incident was reported. block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Feb. 21, a laptop, a Nikon camera, an iPad, miscellaneous clothing items and sunglasses were removed from a woman’s Lexus.

On Feb. 22, the driver’s side door lock was forced to a car and a pistol was stolen from the vehicle. 4400 block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road

— On Feb. 22, a man and woman were accused of trying to steal a necklace. 5600 block of Roberts Drive — On Feb.

22, in the afternoon, a woman reported that someone forced a window to her car and took her purse, phone, cosmetics and several credit cards. 4400 block of Ashford-Dunwoody

Road — On Feb. 23, in the early morning, a woman was arrested and accused of felony shoplifting from a department store; 21 items were recovered from the previous day. 4400 block of


— On Feb. 17, a man was arrested during a welfare check. A doorframe was damaged. 4500 block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road

— On Feb. 18, a civil dispute occurred. 4400

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Feb. 18, an officer responded to a call about an intimidation threat. 5500

block of Chamblee-Dunwoody Road — On Feb. 18, a man was arrested and accused of aggravated assault with a gun. 4600 block of Peachtree Place Park-

way — On Feb. 19, in the morning, a civil dispute took place. 6800 block of Peachtree Industrial Bou-

levard — On Feb. 19 in the early morning, officers responded to a call about an armed person. The man was arrested.




4600 block of Chamblee-Dunwoody

Road — On Feb. 22, several prescription medicines and other miscellaneous items were stolen from a vehicle.


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Police cite six businesses for selling alcohol to minors

The Dunwoody Police Department cited six local businesses for selling alcohol to minors during a recent sting operation, according to a press release. The businesses cited by the police department: ■ BP Gas Station at 4368 North Peachtree Road ■ BP Gas Station at 4485 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road ■ Outback Steakhouse ■ Total Wine ■ Chuy’s Tex-Mex ■ Eclipse di Luna Undercover officers used an underage teenager to make attempts to purchase alcohol at the businesses as part of the operation, according to the press release. There were also eight businesses targeted during the operation that refused to sell alcohol: ■ Ruby Shell Station at 5020 Winters Chapel Road ■ BP Gas Station at 5418 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road ■ Peachtree Convenience Store at 6900 Peachtree Industrial Blvd. ■ Royal Food Mart at 4479 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road ■ Texaco Food Plaza at 4639 North Peachtree Road ■ Dunwoody Food Mart ■ Taco Mac ■ Tin Lizzy’s “The Dunwoody Police Department would like to commend each of these Dunwoody businesses for working to protect our community and keep our youth safe and sober,” the press release states. The operation is part of an effort to curb underage drinking in the city, according to the department. “[W]e will use various strategies to focus on increasing enforcement of, and compliance with, all state and local underage drinking laws,” according to the department. “The Dunwoody Police Department will regularly use alcohol sales compliance checks as a tool in our efforts to keep the city of Dunwoody safe.” DUN

MARCH 3 - 16, 2017

| 31




Sandy Springs is making changes to its Development Code to guide future growth in our city and effectively implement the planning priorities articulated in the Next Ten Comprehensive Plan. The new Development Code will unify existing development regulations—zoning, subdivision and environmental standards—into a single, graphically-rich document that is easy to use and understand. The document will bring more predictability and certainty to the development approval process.

WE WANT TO HEAR YOUR THOUGHTS... OPEN HOUSE AND PUBLIC MEETING You can view the Development Code framework from a city-wide perspective on Monday, March 20 at City Hall. The Open House starts at 4 p.m. followed by the Meeting at 6 p.m.

DISTRICT MEETINGS To learn more about changes in your neighborhood, we are hosting the following meetings based on City Council Districts: DISTRICT 1 MEETING Wednesday, March 29 at 6 p.m. Davis Academy - Lower School Media Center, 8105 Roberts Drive

DISTRICT 4 MEETING Monday, March 27 at 6 p.m. North Springs Charter High School Media Center, 7447 Roswell Road

DISTRICT 2 MEETING Wednesday, March 22 at 6 p.m. City Hall - Council Chambers 7840 Roswell Road, Building 500

DISTRICT 5 MEETING Wednesday, March 22 at 6 p.m. Church of the Atonement 4959 High Point Road

DISTRICT 3 MEETING Wednesday, March 29 at 6 p.m. SSUMC- Activity Center, Parlor Room, 85 Mt Vernon Highway NW

DISTRICT 6 MEETING Monday, March 27 at 6 p.m. Holy Innocents School 805 Mt Vernon Highway


3 6

4 5

1 If you are unsure what district you live in you can view a map detailing residential streets and Council Districts online: spr.gs/councildistricts

OPEN OFFICE MEETINGS AT CITY HALL If you are not able to attend the city-wide or district meetings, you can visit us at City Hall. Though walk-ins are welcome, you are encouraged to schedule a 15-minute appointment with staff to avoid waiting. Appointments can be made by emailing the Planner of the Day at pz@sandyspringsga.gov. These meetings will be held: April 3 from 1–5 p.m., April 5 from 8 a.m.–12 p.m., April 7 from 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Please enter City Hall through the front entrance adjacent to Roswell Road.



32 |

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Sandy Springs Office


















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