3-3-17 Sandy Springs Reporter

Page 1

MARCH 3 - 16, 2017 • VOL. 11 — NO. 5


Sandy Springs Reporter



► New progressive group attracts activists PAGE 5 ► Senior center’s namesake still an activist at 95 PAGE 4 SPECIAL SECTION | P22-27

Mercedes-Benz street renaming opposed by Mormon temple

Put me in, Coach!

BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net


Baseball fever is in the air and on a new field at Riverwood International Charter School, where the Riverwood Raiders beat the Galloway Scots 18-3 in four innings of varsity baseball on Saturday, Feb. 25. Above, Riverwood third baseman Joseph Tobia defends base. Read story page 20.►

EXCEPTIONAL EDUCATOR Classroom games, from math to Shakespeare Page 28

I think our schools need to have more focus on skills and subjects that relate to 21st century jobs and skills required for those jobs. We fall behind other states and countries when it comes to science and math.

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

A holy temple with a luxury carmaker’s brand name on its letterhead? That could happen if Mercedes-Benz USA succeeds in having a Sandy Springs street renamed for itself to celebrate its new corporate headquarters — while also forcing a new address on its neighbor, the Atlanta Georgia Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Mormon church will oppose the renaming of Barfield Road to Mercedes-Benz Drive, which goes before the City Council on March 7, according to metro Atlanta church spokesperson Bill Maycock. He called for a separation of church and brand. “The Mercedes-Benz brand is known for prestige and luxury and class status and all that sort of thing,” Maycock said. “In the Atlanta Georgia Temple of the church, we don’t do any of that. … It’s not what the Atlanta Temple is. It’s not what the Atlanta Temple teaches its members.” MBUSA met with church leaders, but See MERCEDES-BENZ on page 16

Mayor pushes for light rail system BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

Metro Atlanta must build a regional light rail system or become “secondclass” and “second-rate,” Mayor Rusty Paul said in his Feb. 28 “State of the City” address, in perhaps the strongest protransit commentary of his four-year term. In his previous three “State of the City” speeches to the Sandy Springs Perimeter Chamber of Commerce, Paul has evangelized for regional transportation planning. This year, however, he was specific about a regional rail network, a See MAYOR on page 19

2 | Community

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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.


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MARCH 3 - 16, 2017

Community | 3


Local state Senate race draws eight candidates BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net


From left, Big Trees board president Sam Hale; Karen Meinzen McEnerny; Leslie Burke; Sandy Springs Society president Carol Anne Hendrix; City Councilmember Gabriel Sterling; Margaret Forbes, wife of the late John Ripley Forbes; Randy Pollard; Anne Forbes Spengler; and Gary Jacobs of Jacobs Landscape Company prepare for the Feb. 9 tree-planting at the John Ripley Forbes Big Tree Forest Preserve.

More trees for Big Trees The John Ripley Forbes Big Trees Forest Preserve got greener on Feb. 9 with the planting of nine mature hardwood trees. The five white oaks, two tulip poplars and two maples replace trees lost in a 2014 storm and 2015 renovations at the park at 7645 Roswell Road. The replacement trees came thanks to a $3,000 grant from the Sandy Springs Society. Big Trees is a 30-acre forest and wildlife preserve. It was created when the late preservationist John Ripley Forbes succeeded in saving the land from a car dealership redevelopment in 1989.

Eight candidates — three Democrats and five Republicans — are contending for the state Senate District 32 seat in an April 18 special election. The district includes part of Sandy Springs. The Democratic candidates include: Exton Howard, a Marietta television director; Christine Triebsch, an attorney who did not list a filing address; and Bob Wiskind, a doctor who also did not list an address. The Republican candidates include: Hamilton Matthew Beck, a Marietta consultant; Matt Campbell, a train conductor from Roswell; Roy Daniels, a Cobb County doctor; Kay Kirkpatrick, a Marietta doctor; and Gus Makris, a Cobb attorney. The special election is to replace Judson Hill, a Marietta Republican, who resigned to run in the 6th Congressional District special election.

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4 | Making a Difference

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At 95, unstoppable Dorothy Benson focuses on seniors’ issues BY JOE EARLE joeearle@reporternewspapers.net

A little over three decades ago, as Dorothy Benson recalls it, there just weren’t that many activities for seniors in Fulton County. So Benson and other advocates banded together and set to work. They lobbied Fulton officials and found support among the commissioners. They organized surveys of other communities to see what sorts of services they provided. Finally, a group of about 40 of them, including Benson, paid their own way for a threeday bus trip to Baltimore to examine and experience that community’s senior centers. Their work eventually led to the creation of Fulton County’s senior centers, including the one in Sandy Springs that bears Benson’ name, the Dorothy C. Benson Mulitpurpose Center at 6500 Vernon Woods Drive. It’s a building where Benson herself, now 95 years old, regularly appears. She takes part in programs, dines in the cafeteria with other seniors — she’s particularly fond of “fish day” for the fried fish., joins

in the center bocce games and generally keeps an eye on things around the place. “She’s dynamite in a little package,” said Thomas Shoup, who was chatting with Benson at the center one recent afternoon. She’s around so much, she said, that some other senior center regulars say she should have her own parking place, but she doesn’t think that would be right. Besides, the walk to her car gives her exercise, she said. “She’s an everyday person,” Shoup said. “When she goes in [the center], she’ll wait in line like everybody else.” The center showcases only part of Benson’s commitment to Fulton County seniors. She chairs the Fulton County Council on Aging, was the first chair of

The sign outside the Dorothy C. Benson senior center.


Senior Services North Fulton, is a member of the Fulton County Commission on Elderly Affairs, has advised Grady Hospital and regularly speaks out on senior issues. Her calendar remains filled with meetings related to seniors’ issues. “I’ve worked harder since I retired than I ever did before I retired,” Benson said. Local officials take note. Last year, the Georgia Senate named Benson a “Distinguished Older Georgian,” saying she is “omnipresent, advocating for seniors at the Capitol or at municipality, county, or regional commission meetings.” Fulton County Commissioner Bob Ellis calls her “consistently tenacious and persistent in her work and advocacy.” “She is passionate about ‘affordable housing’ within north Fulton,” Ellis said in an email. “She is a true advocate for seniors being able to remain in the community that they love. She is just tireless in getting it done!” She’s also a fixture around north Fulton County, where she’s lived for about 60 years. She was born in Pennsylvania, she said, but grew up in Miami. “My father retired when I was very young,” she said.


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Dorothy Benson and one of her stained glass creations.


Her husband’s job brought them to Atlanta and they settled in Sandy Springs, then just a country crossroads. The business district offered little more than a gas station and grocery store on Roswell Road, Benson recalled. “It was before any of this development happened,” she said. The Benson family lived on a farm, where Dorothy taught horseback riding. “I built the barn — literally,” she said. “I sawed the wood and hammered the boards.” She taught riding for 50 years, she said. She worked with the U.S. Pony Club, took the family’s horses for a swim in lakes on the Glenn estate, she said, “and we always rode horses in parades” in the area. “When they started building Ga. 400,” she said, “we could take our horses over there. It was like a race track.” For the past 40 years or so, she’s lived in Alpharetta. About 30 years ago, she took up working with stained glass. She’d studied art in college and painted with oils and pastels and other media, but found a new interest in working with the colored glass. “I wanted to learn, so I went out and took lessons,” she said. “I just liked stained glass.” Now she teaches classes twice a week to teach others how to work with stained glass. And pieces of her own work are permanently on display at the senior center that bears her name. She made six stained-glass panels for the center. Each panel shows images of native Georgia flowers. At the Benson Center, it sometimes seems Dorothy Benson’s work is never quite done. One recent afternoon, after showing a visitor around, she headed off for a quick conference with staff members. She wanted to find a place somewhere in the busy senior center to set up a Wii computer gaming system for interactive bowling, she said. That way, she said, the bocce players could continue their twice weekly games through the cold days of winter. SS

MARCH 3 - 16, 2017

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.”

“I’m seeing this all around the district,” Held on a covered patio with a bufSlotin said. “There are progressive groups fet and bar, and only brief remarks from popping up everywhere. … It’s almost formSeconder and Park, the low-key event was ing neighborhood by neighborhood.” more cocktail party than political party. “This election cycle has more groups But where politics came up, they were dethan usual,” said Pontoni, who also served cidedly left-wing. 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, as campaign manager for Michigan state Dyche called out, “She’s the president of Rep. Gretchen Driskell’s unsuccessful chalDunwoody!” lenge of an incumbent GOP congressman At least 60 people attended the first in the November election. hour, and organizers later said a total of “People are starting to pay attention, 104 people signed in over the course of the especially to local politics,” said Johnevening. Seconder said the group raised son-Shealey. more than $750 in donations at the door. “Democracy is a muscle,” Park said in Several attendees noted that the group an interview before the meeting. “To see it is part of a wave of new and revived grassbeginning to flex and people beginning to roots liberal groups that has followed wake up is very encouraging.” Trump’s election. A very similar group Perimeter Progressives next will is the Roswell-based Needles in a Haystart monthly meetings at the Dunstack, founded in 2012. Other such liberwoody Branch Library. The guest speakal groups mentioned by attendees were er at the March 8 meeting will be Melita a Gwinnett-area chapter of the “IndivisEasters of Georgia’s WIN List, a politiible” movement; the “Huddles” that have cal action committee aimed at electcome from the Women’s March demoning Democratic women candidates who strations in January; and “Team Seven,” support abortion rights. a group of progressive activists that has For more information, see perimeterquietly worked on Dunwoody and Sandy progressives.org. Springs elections for a few years.

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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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8 | Out & About

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

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Wednesday, March 15, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

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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.

We are now offering a variety of our specialty menu items including our “Healthy Options” for delivery* to your location or you can pick-up from ours.

TOSSED OUT TREASURES Friday, March 17 and Saturday, March 18, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

• 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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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


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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


Fulton chairman joins Atlanta mayoral race BY JOHN RUCH

major corporations as UPS and MercedesBenz USA in metro Atlanta. On public safety, he called for “a Fulton County Commission Chairfresh approach, one of collaboration” man John Eaves is joining the Atlanta among Atlanta police and counterparts mayoral race. in such cities as Sandy Springs, East “I’ve turned the county around from Point and South Fulton. being a divisive county along racial, parEaves also tisan and municipal lines,” touched on a big cityEaves said in a phone inwide issue in the race terview, pledging to con— a bribery scandal, tinue working as mayor involving the prowith Sandy Springs and curement of city conother neighboring cities. tracts, that is current“Now is the time for that ly roiling City Hall. type of leadership.” “I’m going to Eaves’s surprise anmake transparency nouncement shakes up one of my top issues,” an already crowded race Eaves said, adding heading into an election that in Fulton, “we this fall. It also opens the SPECIAL make our procureFulton County Commission question of leadership ment open online.” Chairman John Eaves. in Fulton County, whose Eaves was not government has recentmodest about his part ly developed unprecedented good relain newly improved relations with the north tionships with Sandy Springs and othFulton cities that began separating from er North Fulton cities on such issues as county government in 2005. “I think it’s transportation and mass transit. undeniable I played a crucial role,” he said, A southwest Atlanta resident, Eaves citing “my style and my demeanor.” But he has served as Fulton chairman for a deacknowledged that his run for mayor could cade. While the mayoral race is nonpartiproduce uncertainty about the collaborasan, Eaves notes that he is a Democrat with tion continuing. “good crossover support” — a pitch for “Even though I played a critical role what he calls his collaborative and region… some factors are in place that could al approach to running Atlanta. outlast me … [and run on] an autopilot In Buckhead, Eaves said, he sees busipace after me,” Eaves said, citing a likeness policy and quality of life — especialminded Board of Commissioners and ly crime-fighting — as top issues. Calling one recent product of unified politickhimself “fiscally minded,” he said his elecing — a transportation special local option would “bode well for businesses locattion sales tax increase — in place. ed in Buckhead.” He pointed to his revival He also pledged to continue such colof Fulton’s economic development agency laborations if he becomes mayor. The day and its role in attracting or expanding such of his campaign announcement, Feb. 23, he johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

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hosted a meeting with Fulton mayors and commissioners about possible mass transit expansion — a main product of that improved relationship. Such meetings will continue because the fates of the city and the rest of Fulton are entwined, he said. “As mayor of the city of Atlanta, one thing I’ll do is, I’ll be at the table with other mayors, because I get it,” Eaves said. “I think in the past, [there was] this visible or invisible line between Atlan-

ta and Sandy Springs,” Eaves continued. “I see Sandy Springs to our north as an ally or partner. … A strong Sandy Springs to the north only makes a stronger city of Atlanta.” Eight other candidates for mayor recently appeared at a brief Buckhead Coalition forum. They included Peter Aman, Keisha Lance Bottoms, Vincent Fort, Kwanza Hall, Ceasar Mitchell, Mary Norwood, Michael Sterling and Cathy Woolard.

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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 SS

Community | 15

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

Community Briefs REDES I GN OF C I TY’ S N A MESA K E SP RIN G M O VES FO RWAR D The redesign of Sandy Springs’ namesake spring by Heritage Sandy Springs may come as soon as January 2018, after the City Council gave its unanimous blessing Feb. 21. The historic spring on Heritage Green, a park between Blue Stone Road and Sandy Springs Circle, is currently hidden beneath a metal grate and wooden pavilion. The new design, commissioned by Heritage Sandy Springs and unveiled Feb. 8, would let the spring bubble up as a small, glass-enclosed fountain beneath an abstract, mirror-roofed canopy. Mayor Rusty Paul said he approached the project with caution, because “when you start messing around with something called the sandy spring … you’re dealing with something that is the heart and soul and reason for existence for the community.” The mayor was pleased with the result. “Start building,” he told Heritage officials after the council’s approval vote, which was required for construction in a city park. The estimated $350,000 project will be privately funded by Heritage Sandy Springs.

SA N DY S PR I N GS TEC H C EN TER GETS M O R E FU ND S The Sandy Springs Technology and Innovation Center, a long-planned effort from the Sandy Springs Perimeter Chamber of Commerce to boost tech start-up businesses and attract corporations, has received approval for up to $25,000 in additional funding from the Sandy Springs Development Authority. It aims to open later this month in the Northpark Town Center complex, according to Chamber president Tom Mahaffey. The center last year got $50,000 in start-up funds from the Development Authority. The additional funding is for furnishings and equipment and will be approved on a request-by-request basis, according to Development Authority chair Chip Collins.

M AY OR: C ITY SP RI N GS DRAWS WO ODRUF F A RTS C EN TER INTER EST Atlanta’s Woodruff Arts Center is among the major arts organizations interested in staging shows at the future City Springs site, according to Mayor Rusty Paul. City Springs, set to open in mid-2018, will include two theaters and spaces for indoor and outdoor art exhibits. The Woodruff includes the High Museum, the Alliance Theatre and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. At the High Point Civic Association annual meeting Feb. 15, Paul said he has met with Virginia Hepner, executive director of the Woodruff, a couple of times over the past year. Alliance Theatre representatives have “been out here two times already,” Paul said. Showcasing the High’s photography collection is another idea. “They’re calling us,” the mayor said of such major arts organizations, adding that they know many of their patrons live in the north metro area. “It’s the same reason the Braves came out here,” he said. Woodruff spokesperson Randy Donaldson did not have immediate comment.


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N OR T HPA RK L EGA L C A SE C ONTINU ES A S G A . 400 A C C ESS DI SC U SSED A year-old legal battle over developer Hines’ massive Northpark plan is heading to court again May 11. Meanwhile, city officials are looking into dedicated access to the site from Ga. 400 on the assumption some form of large development will eventually happen. Hines’ Northpark plan is for a 14-acre wooded site at the southeast corner of the Ga. 400/Abernathy Road interchange. Based on a 1987 zoning plan, Hines wants to build a roughly 25-story office tower and a 600-room hotel up to 8 stories tall, along with a “village” of mixed uses. But city development staff said the zoning plan the project application hinges on is no longer valid and rezoning is required. Hines took the city to court over the ruling last year and lost, but an appeals court will review the case in May, according to Hines attorney Doug Dillard. At the annual City Council retreat in January, City Manager John McDonough said his staff is talking with the Georgia Department of Transportation about building a Ga. 400 ramp into the site to prepare for its future traffic. GDOT spokesperson Jill Goldberg said that cannot be added to the massive I-285/Ga. 400 reconstruction project that just began, but could be part of a toll lane system GDOT is planning to add within the next 10 years.

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16 | Community

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The new Mercedes-Benz USA corporate headquarters under construction at Abernathy and Barfield roads.

Mercedes-Benz street renaming opposed by Mormon temple Continued from page 1

is driving ahead, according to company spokesperson Donna Boland. “We don’t feel that the road renaming has an adverse impact or implication on church beliefs, but understand if the church feels it must voice its disagreement to the city,” Boland wrote in an email. “We are focused on being a valued member of the Sandy Springs community and hopefully that will be a more important factor than what this particular road is called.” The road is currently called Barfield in honor of an old farming family, several members of whom also opposed the renaming idea when it was announced in late 2015. The proposal went quiet for over a year due to the controversy, but is back

now that construction on the new headquarters at Abernathy and Barfield roads is underway. MBUSA, which is relocating to Sandy Springs from New Jersey, said it has a 40year “tradition” of naming streets around its facilities for the company. Germanbased Mercedes-Benz is known for using its name in branding, including recently purchasing the naming rights of Atlanta’s new football and soccer stadium. While the Barfield Road renaming has yet to gain City Council approval, the city already agreed to pay costs associated with the renaming as part of a $3 million incentive and improvements package. The renaming targets the section of


Barfield between Abernathy and Mount Vernon Highway. About a third-of-a-mile long, that section includes some office buildings, townhomes and the Latter-day Saints’ complex. The LDS complex is right next door to MBUSA’s headquarters site. It includes the Atlanta Georgia Temple at 6450 Barfield Road and a meetinghouse, or church, fronting on Glenridge Drive on the property’s western end. In the LDS church, a meetinghouse is used for typical worship and church activities, and is open to anyone. A temple, however, is the holiest site in LDS belief, open to only certain members or for certain ceremonies, such as weddings or baptisms. The Atlanta Georgia Temple opened in

1983, predating the city’s existence by more than two decades. Maycock said that the LDS church opposes the street renaming on a variety of grounds, including the expense of changing documents and questions of whether it squares with city code. But the bottom line is a corporate brand name showing up on any temple document, from letterhead to wedding invitations. “I think it’s mostly the concept of being forced to use the Mercedes-Benz brand,” Maycock said. “The teachings of the church and the practices of the church [are] a non-materialistic view of life as taught by Jesus and the New Testament … [and a view of] equality, that we are all equal as God’s children.” The opposition is currently coming just from the church’s Sandy Springs location, but it is possible the situation will attract the interest of the mother church in Salt Lake City, Utah, Maycock said. Officials there did not have immediate comment. Maycock said the church sent a letter to MBUSA about a year ago declaring its opposition. He and Boland agree that MBUSA looked at alternatives. Boland said MBUSA put the renaming on hold during the consideration period. “Unfortunately, no alternative has proved to be viable, and so we have requested that the city move forward with its commitment to MBUSA to rename a portion of the road,” she said. However, Boland could not immediately say what alternatives were considered or why they weren’t deemed viable. Maycock said alternatives the church suggested included putting the company name on a private road MBUSA is building across its property, or giving the headquarters building an artificial “Mercedes-Benz Drive” name that could be used along with the regular street address. Maycock said the church will send a formal letter of opposition to the City Council. “A rancher is entitled to brand his own cattle,” he said, “but not to brand the cattle of his neighbor.”

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The Atlanta Georgia Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at 6450 Barfield Road.



MARCH 3 - 16, 2017

Community | 17


Comp Plan approved with some changes, dispute BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

Sandy Springs’ new Comprehensive Land Use Plan is in place after 18 months of work culminated in a Feb. 21 City Council vote to adopt it. Mayor Rusty Paul praised the new Comp Plan, as it’s commonly known, for bringing a fresh “stability and predictability” to city zoning decisions. But the adoption came with residents disputing an unannounced, unexplained change to the plan’s land-use map, similar to another controversy late last year. The plan is a 10-year policy and planning document guiding land use and redevelopment. Its vision serves as the basis for the city’s zoning code, which is being rewritten in a process that will kick into high gear with a series of meetings in March. The new Comp Plan also includes “small area plans” giving more detailed attention to areas along Roswell Road, in Perimeter Center, and around MARTA stations and Powers Ferry Landing. Under the new Comp Plan, about 67 percent of the city’s land area is designated as “Protected Neighborhood.” Higher-density redevelopment is limited to major road corridors and public transit nodes. The final draft of the Comp Plan had some tweaks before the adoption, according to city officials. The most significant was changing the wording in the Roswell Road Small Area Plan to specifically allow redevelopment to replace apartment complexes on the corridor’s northern section, according to a staff memo. The exact language was not presented at the City Council meeting. “I think this one of the crowning achievements of the last four years that we’ve done,” Paul said. “No plan is perfect, but all the issues we can foresee are dealt with.” However, the plan was again criticized for unpublicized changes to the land-use, or “character area,” map made internally by staff members. The first such controversy arose in November when residents realized eight properties along Johnson Ferry Road and Hilderbrand Drive were changed from singlefamily “Protected Neighborhood” to denser “Urban Neighborhood.” A proposal to replace the eight houses with 28 townhomes was one reason city staff changed the designation. The filing of that redevelopment plan was the first that neighboring homeowners learned of the land-use change. That change was reversed—also with-

out public notice—in the final draft. At the Feb. 21 council meeting, Dean Perry, the agent for a family trust that owns property on Hammond Drive and Lorell Terrace, complained of a similarly secret change in the opposite direction. In a Feb. 14 letter to city officials, Perry and several other local property owners complained that eight Lorell Terrace lots went from Urban Neighborhood to Protected Neighborhood, limiting the redevelopment potential. The change happened sometime between Nov. 17, when the city Planning Commission voted on the final draft, and Dec. 6, when the City Council voted. In the letter, Perry and other property owners suggest the city may have made the change for its own benefit. The city is studying a concept of widening nearby Hammond Drive and is already acquiring property there for right of way. The letter suggests that gives the city motivation to devalue the area’s land. But Steve Oppenheimer, president of the Glenridge Hammond Neighborhood Association, said the change was made after his group checked the map and notified the city that it prefers the Protected Neighborhood status. He suggested that Perry and other owners who had advocated for the Urban Neighborhood status were the ones being secretive. City spokesperson Sharon Kraun said the map changes were not secret. Revised maps were posted on the city website prior to formal votes, she said. However, there was no process of actively notifying property owners or neighborhood associations of the changes. Perry said that several developers have approached him and other local property owners to build as many as two dozen houses. One idea involves creating a new road off Lorell due to an assumption the city will widen Hammond and eliminate driveways to speed traffic flow. He indicated that he and others eventually will sell to one of the developers. At the council meeting, Paul told Perry to “hang tight,” saying that options for appealing the land-use designation are coming in the new zoning code. A milder Comp Plan criticism came from MARTA, which submitted a letter complaining about the lower-density uses planned around the existing North Springs and potential future Northridge stations on the Red Line. MARTA is in a burst of transit-oriented development around its stations to profit from redevelopment and boost transit ridership. Councilmember Gabriel Sterling noted the densities came from local residents’ input, so “I’m happy to pass this plan as is.”

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18 | Public Safety

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An Atlanta man has been found guilty of a notorious 2014 murder involving a drug deal gone wrong at a controversial college student housing site on Barfield Road in Sandy Springs. Patricko Mondrez Davis, 23, was sentenced to life plus five years in prison, according to a Feb. 23 announcement from the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office. A jury found him guilty SPECIAL of felony murder and possession of a firearm during commission Patricko Mondrez of a felony. Davis in a photo issued On July 24, 2014, Davis shot and killed Sandy Springs resident by Sandy Springs Tekeenen Williams, 23, at 6096 Barfield Road, which at the time Police shortly after the 2014 murder. was used as student housing by the Art Institute of Atlanta. Davis, an AIA student at the time, attempted to sell marijuana to Williams and two other people. After a dispute about the deal, Davis drew a gun and shot Williams five times during a struggle over the weapon, according to the DA’s Office. Williams collapsed in the parking lot of a neighboring office complex. Davis fled to California, where the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force found him. The student housing, named “Sandy Springs at the Hub,” was already long controversial in the neighborhood for allegedly violating the zoning code and drawing a large number of police complaints. AIA withdrew all students from the complex about five months after the murder. It is now a hotel.


On Feb. 22, Sandy Springs police and code-enforcement staff used undercover underage teens to see if they could buy alcohol illegally at several Sandy Springs businesses. Three adult clubs were in compliance and denied entrance to the underage persons, Sandy Springs Capt. Steve Rose reported. Citations, Rose said, were issued at the following establishments: • Shell Station, 5700 Roswell Road. The clerk and manager were both cited. In addition, the code enforcement staff noted graffiti, accessory structures, and window coverage. • Royal Package Store, 5325 Roswell Road. The clerk was cited. • Citi Wine & Spirits, 5861 Roswell Road. The clerk was cited. Code Enforcement cited the business for items blocking the fire suppression system. • BP Station, 5995 Roswell Road [at Hammond]. The clerk was cited. Code Enforcement staff issued violations for graffiti, gas cans in the electrical working space, and exposed wires in the bathroom. • Shell Station, 5866 Roswell Road [at Cliftwood]. The clerk was cited and the manager was arrested on a charge of disorderly conduct. Code enforcement issued citations for violations having to do with working space and trash. Among the businesses that Rose said were in compliance and deserve a “tip of our collective hats”: • Quick Shop Food Store, 156 Northwood Drive • Chevron Gas Station, 5600 Roswell Road • Citgo, 5645 Roswell Road • Valero, 5345 Roswell Road • Chevron, 5545 New Northside Drive

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Community | 19


Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul delivers his “State of the City” address Feb. 28 at the Westin Atlanta Perimeter North hotel.


Mayor pushes for light rail system in ‘State of the City’ address Continued from page 1 mass transit mode that won him over during a recent observation visit to Dallas with other state and Fulton County officials. “They got problems, too. But they do have a regional light rail system that takes people where they want to go,” the mayor said of Dallas in his speech to hundreds at the Westin Atlanta Perimeter North hotel. “So we’ve got to sell our partners on this large vision,” Paul said. “But I honestly believe if we don’t do something now … we are consigning the metropolitan Atlanta area … to second-rate status in the second half of the 21st century, and I am not willing to be responsible for that.” That comment got notably big applause from the crowd. Chamber members will be hearing more about transit; the speaker at the group’s next luncheon, on April 11, will be MARTA CEO Keith Parker. The mayor didn’t go into details, but the first steps for regional transit planning are already being taken. Paul is among a group of Fulton mayors and commissioners meeting regularly on various transportation issues, including a possible 2018 ballot question about sales tax funding for some form of regional transit. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed already helped shepherd through such funding for MARTA within his city’s limits last fall. Paul did say that Fulton County has agreed to pay for an initial study of a “grand, regional plan.” This year, Sandy Springs will start benefiting from a county transportation local option sales tax. Its projSS

ect list includes bicycle, pedestrian and bus facilities, but most of the projects are road-oriented. Paul said the city and region need more alternatives as the population continues to boom. On the recent Dallas trip, he said, he was also impressed by highway toll lanes where drivers get a minimum guaranteed speed of 50 mph. “But we cannot build enough roads to solve the traffic problem,” the mayor said. He pointed to the state spending $1.6 billion over the next decade on the I-285/Ga. 400 interchange — “only to make transportation 10 percent worse. Shocking, isn’t it?” He was referring to Georgia Department of Transportation figures showing that the Perimeter highways’ congestion would be 22 percent worse without the improvements, which will reduce the symptoms rather than providing a cure. Paul spoke urgently of the “imperative” need to begin transit planning now to ensure the area’s continued economic success. “We can’t do it in one-personvehicle increments, and I say that as [mayor of the] hometown of Mercedes-Benz,” the mayor joked, referring to the carmaker that is moving its U.S. headquarters to town. Paul said he wants to hear more comments like those from a Midtown resident he recently met who commutes to Perimeter Center by MARTA train. “She says, ‘I get home faster than most people get out of the parking garage at work,’” he recalled. An immediate traffic issue is the SunTrust Park, the new Atlanta Braves stadium opening in nearby Cobb

County in April. Questioned by an audience member, Paul expressed a mix of confidence that traffic eventually won’t be as bad as locals fear, and cautioned that it will be worse than the Braves predict. “I’m investing in a canoe” to cross the Chattahoochee River to the stadium, the mayor joked, while adding he is indeed going there to see its first major concert, Billy Joel. “Look, the Braves are going to be a net positive for this community. They are,” Paul said. The mayor also touched on a couple of nearly complete efforts that have defined his term. One is the forthcoming new zoning code that will make development rules “very understandable” and are intended to help revive places like Roswell Road, which he called an “old, broken tiara.” The city’s own massive City Springs project is going up on Roswell Road, a combo city hall, theater, park, restaurant spot and more. Noting that the project will go from dirt to nearly complete within his first term, Paul pointed to a table of city officials, praising City Manager John McDonough’s oversight of the plan and city councilmembers for daring to approve the $220 million budget. As the mayor spoke about how, one day soon, everyone in town will want to go spend a day at City Springs, Councilmember Gabriel Sterling crossed his fingers on the tabletop with a nod and smile to fellow Councilmember Andy Bauman. The Reporter was among the “State of the City” sponors.

20 | Education

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Play ball at Riverwood’s new field! Playing in great weather on Saturday, Feb. 25, the Riverwood Raiders varsity baseball players enjoy their first season on a new field, part of the continuing construction at their school campus. A - Riverwood players in the dugout during the second inning of the game. From left, Brian Smith, Joseph Tobia, Christopher Bauguss, Mikey O’Connell, Ben Miller, Dawson Vainer, Brandon Moore, Coleman Flom (background) and Harris Beckley. B - Riverwood is in the first phase of a more than $30 million project to build a new school without shutting down any current classrooms or programs. C - Jim Glueckert, and his 2-year-old twin sons Easton Glueckert [in arms], and Mason Glueckert, at left, watch the game near the Riverwood dugout. Jim Glueckert, a Class of 2000 Riverwood graduate, played baseball for Riverwood as a catcher. Head Baseball Coach Mike Cantoro’s first year was Jim’s senior year. He went on to play baseball at GardnerWebb University on a full scholarship. D - In foreground, Galloway players Sam Macey, Alec Evans, Michael Smith, and Joseph Clementi walk through post-game congratulations. E - Riverwood third baseman Joseph Tobia beats Galloway player Max Young to the bag.







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

22 |

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| 23



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| 25


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26 |

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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?


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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

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

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


One technique that I love to use is “stand

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A: Listen to them. Q:

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


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

Q: A:

Reporter Classifieds HELP WANTED


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

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.

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

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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MARCH 3 - 16, 2017

Classifieds | 29


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30 | Public Safety

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Police Blotter / Sandy Springs From Sandy Spring police reports Feb. 10 through Feb. 24. The following information was provided by Capt. Steve Rose.

R O B B E RY 6800 block of Hunters Trace Circle —

On Feb. 13, just after midnight, officers were called to a burglary-in-progress. They spoke with the resident who said his Comcast alert on his phone alerted that his basement door was open. The dogs began to bark as well. The resident said he could hear more than one person moving furniture around and he told his wife to call 9-1-1. The resident then heard his garage door open and so he went downstairs and out the front door to see what was going on. According to the resident, one of the suspects then fired a weapon at him, causing him to retreat to cover. The suspects were leaving in the resident’s Jeep Grand Cherokee and fired another shot in the direction of the house. The suspects then fled in the direction of Mount Vernon Highway. The residents believe about four shots were fired. The suspects took two flat screen TV’s, a document, wallet, and a purse. Neither the resident nor his wife was injured. This guy was kind enough to drop his cellphone that he was using as a flashlight, outside of the home when he took the shot at the homeowner. He is in jail this morning after APD fugitive detectives located him over on Allison Drive in southwest Atlanta. Property linked to this burglary and others was recovered. I believe Atlanta police will have charges (burglary) as well. That investigation is ongoing. 7840 Holcomb Bridge Road — On Feb.

23, just before 4 p.m., the SunTrust Bank branch was robbed after a man handed the teller a handwritten note demanding money and threatening violence if the money was not given to him. An undisclosed amount of cash was taken and the suspect placed it in a small cloth bag and left the bank.

B U R G L A RY 8100 block of Colquitt Road — On Feb.

10, an apartment was burglarized after someone came in through a window. The resident is missing four rings and a watch.

when three suspects in white masks attempted to break in. He walked to the door and the three jumped into a white Ford Escape vehicle and fled. 400 block of

Heritage Way — On Feb. 13, a witness reported that she saw a car park in front of a neigh- CAPT. STEVE ROSE, SSPD srose@sandyspringsga.gov bor’s home and watched a man get out and walk up to the home. The man later got back into his car and left, only to return a short time later, when he backed his car into the carport, opened the trunk, and then made several trips to and from his car. The officer arrived and found the home had been forcefully entered and several items taken. 7000 block of Blandford Place — On

Feb. 14, between 11:30 a.m. and 1:15 p.m., the resident said several pieces of jewelry were taken. Two back doors were unlocked and no forced entry was found. 8100 block of Colquitt Road — On Feb.

14, the resident said someone entered the apartment and took a 32-inch Vizio TV, a PS3, and a laptop. The entry point was most likely a kitchen window. 5700 block of Long Island Drive —

On Feb. 16, someone stole a KitchenAid stove, valued at $10,000, from the kitchen area of a home under construction. It appears the crook got inside through the unlocked garage and then dragged the stove back through the garage. 900 block of Johnson Ferry Road —

Between Feb. 13 and Feb. 16, someone entered the office and took keys, belonging to the parking entrance machines; $603 in cash was stolen. 5920 Roswell Road — On Feb. 20, just

23-year-old student said she left the classroom, leaving her iPad and laptop bag behind. The bag was turned in by one of the staff but the iPad was missing. 2600 block of Spring Creek Lane —

On Feb. 11, a 24-year-old man said his car has been stolen although he admitted he was a few payments behind on it. 6690 Roswell Road — On Feb. 11, a

54-year-old man said that following his workout at a gym, he received a text from his bank that a $4,919 charge had been declined at the Apple Store. He checked his wallet, finding that his driver’s license and four credit cards were missing. On Feb. 12, a cab driver said he picked

up a woman at the Magic City Strip Club in Atlanta and took her to the Wyndham Hotel on Powers Ferry Road. She said she would get her money she owed from her room. She never returned. 4920

Roswell Road — On Feb. 12, a young woman reported she went to a grocery store and left her iPhone on the self-checkout lane. The store video shows someone picking it up and walking out with it. fore 10 p.m., the manager of a sports bar reported that a party of four ran out on a $72 tab. All four ran in different directions and absconded from the restaurant.

1110 block of Hammond Drive — On

On Feb. 14, a man reported that his exgirlfriend stole his computer tablet and changed the passwords on three Google accounts. She also sent his new girlfriend an email.

5900 block of Roswell Road — On Feb.

THEFT Fenwick

Place — On Feb. 10, the victim said the Veterans Administra-

deed stolen from DeKalb County. The car was impounded. 5600 block of Roswell Road — On Feb.

15, a 58-year-old woman reported that her 2015 Honda CRV with a NC tag was stolen. It was last seen in front of a tavern at the Prado. 1155 Mt. Vernon Hwy — On Feb. 15, a

63-year-old man reported he accidentally left his cellphone in a store. He left, and then later realized he left it there, then returned to discover that the phone was gone. The phone is a Samsung Edge 7 valued at $700. On Feb. 16, a 16-year-old student re-

ported that while at a baseball game, his wallet and its contents were stolen from his unlocked locker. 500 block of Enclave Circle — On Feb.

16, a 2007 Honda Ridgeline was stolen from the residence. 8100 block of Colquitt Road — On

Feb. 16, a maroon 2006 Chevy Malibu was stolen from the apartment parking lot. 8371 Roswell Road — On Feb. 17 ,a 26-year-old employee said that during a slow night at the restaurant where he worked, he sat at the bar doing his taxes and at one point placed his wallet on the bar, then left for a few moments. Someone stole the wallet.

400 block of Pearl Cove Court — On

5600 Roswell Road — On Feb. 12, be-

1145 Hammond Drive — On Feb. 13, a

the resident said someone entered his apartment through a rear window and took a PS4 an, iPad, an iPod Touch, and an HP laptop. 13, about 2:30 a.m. cops were called to a business where they spoke with an employee who said he was working inside

100 Embassy Row — On Feb. 10, a

before 3 a.m., two iMac computers were taken from a store. Video showed two men forcing the glass on the door and taking the stolen items. Feb. 23, a construction foreman said that someone entered the east side of a building through an unlocked gate, then forced open two storage areas and took several items. Several rolls of electrical wire were stolen.

100 block of Cedar Run — On Feb. 11,

tion shipped her medication to her mailing address on Feb. 7 at 4:30 p.m.; however, it appears the mail was taken before she received it.

36-year-old woman said someone stole makeup from her hotel room. 300 block of Winding River Drive —

A woman called police to say that she

Feb. 17, the victim said his mail was stolen from his mailbox between Feb. 12 and Feb. 17. 7000 block of Princeton Trace — On

Feb. 20, someone cut and then stole the copper wiring from 13 light poles at the tennis courts. 5501 Glenridge Drive — On Feb. 23, a

23-year-old man reported that his white 1982 Chevy S-10 was stolen during the night.

THEFTS FROM VEHICLES Between Feb. 11 and Feb. 14, there were

nine thefts from vehicles. Between Feb. 16, and Feb. 23, there were 14 thefts from vehicles.

purchased a car off Craigslist and believed it to be stolen. The ofREAD MORE OF THE POLICE BLOTTER ONLINE AT ficer checked it and it was in-



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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