__MAIN_TEXT__
feature-image

Page 1

MARCH 16 - 29, 2018 • VOL. 12 — NO. 6

FACEBOOK.COM/THEREPORTERNEWSPAPERS

Buckhead Reporter

TWITTER.COM/REPORTER_NEWS

► Community survey: Should teachers be armed? PAGE 12 ► Battling hunger, one backpack at a time PAGE 21

March 24-25 | See pages 16-18

Communities of Faith

Conservation group scores win in saving endangered amphibians

BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

EVELYN ANDREWS

Coping with a Crisis: Opioid addiction in the suburbs EXCLUSIVE SERIES

After eight O.D.s and a prison scare, a Dunwoody resident helps others on the road to getting clean

C

hris Zollman’s road to recovery started with a swift act of mercy, continued through a treatment program in Sandy Springs, and ended with him quitting drugs. Now the Dunwoody resident devotes his life to helping others walk down the same path — a path that for many is often muddied by shady operators, controversial treatments, and pricey therapies. Six years ago, Zollman was consuming $100 worth of opioids a day and sold

even more to support his habit. He’d survived eight overdoses — the last time, paramedics found him passed out behind the wheel of his car near Bobby Dodd Stadium. The streak would soon be broken: His drug charges carried a maximum sentence of 75 years in prison. “I was either going to get clean or kill myself,” Zollman thought. But a Fulton County judge offered Zollman probation as a first-time offender. “You’re very lucky to be alive,” the judge said. It came with a condition: finish treat-

Pages 24-25

Northside Drive bridge plan brings safety, traffic concerns

Mark Mandica, founder of the Buckhead-based Amphibian Foundation, holds a crested gecko, one of the reptiles and amphibians housed and shown off by the group. The conservation group says it has scored its first captive breeding success. Read story page 30.►

BY MAX BLAU

reporternewspapers.net

ment. He was sent up to a rehab center in north Georgia. That was followed by a stay at LifeLine Atlanta, a sober living residence founded by Trey Miller, a Sandy Springs resident who was also in active recovery. Zollman stayed there for six months as he strung together drug-free days earning minimum wage at a local Jimmy John’s. For two more years, Zollman worked at LifeLine, helping out with the new clients. Inspired by LifeLine’s mission, he started thinking about starting his own facility. See AFTER on page 26

Sandy Springs prepares to join hundreds of local governments in suing the opioid industry. See story, page 27 ►

Residents expressed safety concerns about the design for a new Northside Drive bridge over Peachtree Creek and are worried an I-75 detour won’t work and drivers will instead clog local roads. Over 200 people attended a Georgia Department of Transportation open house on the detours needed to replace the bridge held March 13 at Northside United Methodist Church. GDOT plans to close Northside Drive just north of Atlanta Memorial Park in 2020 to replace the aging bridge. The plan would also add a new, separate pedestrian bridge to have somewhere to locate water and sewer pipes, but it would be on the side used less by pedestrians, residents said. The plan calls for removing an existing barrier between the bridge sidewalk and road on the side used most by pedestrians, which could make crossing the bridge less safe, residents See NORTHSIDE on page 20

Neighborhoods fear possible East Paces Ferry interchange BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

Livable Buckhead has received funding to study a controversial idea to build a new Ga. 400 interchange at East Paces Ferry Road. The interchange could have major effects on the adjacent Peachtree Park and Pine Hills neighborhoods. One neighborhood group is already threatening to sue, while another major adjacent property owner, Lenox Square mall, says the interchange could help traffic and access. See NEIGHBORHOODS on page 32


2 | Community

Facebook.com/TheReporterNewspapers ■ twitter.com/Reporter_News

Local legislators to face challengers in May primary election BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

Almost all legislators that represent Buckhead in state and federal seats are set to face challengers in the upcoming election after candidate qualifying wrapped up March 9. Republican Rep. Deborah Silcox, who represents state House District 52, has drawn a Republican and Democratic challenger. Three Republicans have filed to run against Democratic incumbent Jen Jordan for the state Senate District 6 seat, a position she won in a special election last No-

U. S. H OUSE DISTRIC T 5 Democrat: John Lewis (incumbent) Lewis represents the southern half of Buckhead and most of the city of Atlanta in the U.S. House of Representatives. He has held the seat since 1986.

vember. State Rep. Beth Beskin, a Republican, is challenged by three Democrats. Beskin represents state House District 54. Fulton County Commission Chair Robb Pitts will be challenged by Keisha Waites in a rematch of last year’s special election held after former chair John Eaves resigned to run for Atlanta mayor. The primary election will be held May 22. The general election will be held Nov. 6.

U .S. HO US E DIS T R IC T 1 1 Democrat: Flynn Broady Jr. Republican: Barry Loudermilk (incumbent) Loudermilk has represented the northern half of Buckhead, part of Sandy Springs and other areas in northwest Georgia since 2014. Broady is a prosecutor for Cobb County, according to his campaign website.

F ULT O N C OUN TY C OMMISSI ON CHAIR Democrat: Robb Pitts (incumbent), Keisha Waites Pitts is defending a seat he won in a special election last year by beating Waites and former Sandy Springs City Councilmember Gabriel Sterling. Sterling said he is not running for any office this year.

21stcenturystem.academy 404•618•3599

Enrolling K-10 students for the 2018 school year now!

FU LTO N CO U NT Y C O M M IS S I O N DI S T R I C T 3 Republican: Lee Morris (incumbent) Morris has represented Buckhead and part of Sandy Springs since 2015.

STAT E S ENAT E DI S TR I C T 6 Democrat: Jen Jordan (incumbent) Republican: Leah Aldridge, Jamie J. Parrish, John Gordon Jordan drew attention last year for “flipping” District 6 from longtime Republican control in a special election. Aldridge was one of several Republican candidates who split the vote in that race, resulting in an allDemocrats runoff that Jordan won. Two new Republican candidates, Parrish and Gordon, join the race this year.

1549 Clairmont Rd, Decatur, GA 30033 st

21 Century STEM Academy is a globallyengaged, accredited, human-scale K-12 school in an inspirational environment led by accomplished teachers.

OPEN HOUSE DATES Grades

Date

Time

K-3

Thurs, Mar 1

1-3pm

4-10

Mon, Mar 5 (STEM)

9-11am

K-10

Thurs, Mar 8 (STEM)

6-8pm

Students thrive through individualized and personalized education, featuring UC Davis math and coding, recognizing the inter-dependency of STEM and liberal arts. Small classes and project-enhanced mastery-based learning with one-to-one tutoring motivate every child to achieve their highest potential.

STATE HO US E DI S T R I C T 5 4 Democrat: Betsy Holland, Robert Gibeling, Dan Berschinski Republican: Beth Beskin (incumbent) Beskin has represented south Buckhead in the state House of Representatives since 2015. Robert Gibeling has run against and lost to Beskin in both the 2014 and 2016 elections. Berschinkski is a veteran who now runs a manufacturing business, according to his campaign website. Holland is a longtime Turner Broadcasting Inc. employee and Garden Hills resident.

STATE HO US E DI S T R I C T 5 2 Democrat: Shea Roberts Republican: Gavi Shapiro, Deborah Silcox (incumbent) Incumbent Silcox, who won the seat in 2016, will face both a Republican challenger in the primary and Democratic challenger. Roberts is an attorney and Shapiro is a technology entrepreneur, according to the candidate filings. BH


Community | 3

MARCH 16 - 29, 2018 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Community Briefs

Celeb our 2 rating 5th Ye ar!

LO C A L L EGI SLATORS P RO PO SE N EW P ROP ERTY TA X EXEMPTIO NS

To deal with rising property taxes, two Buckhead state legislators, Sen. Jen Jordan and Rep. Beth Beskin, have authored legislation that would create and increase homestead exemptions and create new exemptions for seniors. Beskin’s bill applies to city of Atlanta taxes, and Jordan’s bill applies to Atlanta Public Schools taxes. Beskin’s, which is HB 820, would provide a new homestead exemption that caps annual assessment increases at 2.6 percent. Jordan’s, which is SB 485, would exempt residents from paying taxes to the school district on $50,000 of their property value. The current exemption is $15,000. Residents over the age of 65 would be exempted from paying the tax on $100,000 of their property value. There has been a floating homestead exemption on the Fulton County portion of property taxes since 2003, which limits the Fulton County tax increase to 3 percent annually. If the bills are passed by the General Assembly, they will be voted on by residents in the November election.

Soft or firm seats

Customizable furniture

Oh heck yeah, we’re way more than just chairs— and now we’re OPEN SUNDAY 12–5! Easy-to-clean fabrics

BELTLI N E SEEKS F I RM TO DESIG N S EG MEN T TH AT EN TERS BUCKHEAD

A BeltLine trail that will end at the Lindbergh Center MARTA Station in Buckhead has made it to the next step in the process. Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. issued a request for qualifications March 8 seeking a firm to design and engineer the Northeast Trail, a four-mile trail that would run from Monroe Drive, where the Eastside Trail ends, to the Lindbergh Center MARTA Station. Proposals are due March 29, according to a press release. Design work is expected to begin this summer and last approximately 30 months, ABI said in the release. According to ABI, the segment of corridor between Mayson Street and the Lindbergh Center MARTA Station will present the most difficult design challenge due to the configuration of I-85 and active rail lines in the area. The design will be done in coordination with ongoing Georgia Power work between Westminster Drive and Mayson Street, ABI said.

Reclining sofas

Incredibly comfortable sleepers

H ER ITAGE S O C I ETY, LOVETT TO H OST NAT IV E A M ER I C A N L EC TURE

A historian will discuss the two Native American tribes that settled in Buckhead at a March 22 event at The Lovett School. The lecture, called “Buckhead: The Edge of Two Nations,” is sponsored by Lovett and the Buckhead Heritage Society, a local historic preservation organization, according to a press release. David Crass, a director of historic preservation at the SPECIAL Georgia Department of Natural Resources and a Native David Crass. American historian, will discuss Buckhead’s place in the cultures of both the Creek and Cherokee tribes. The talk will explore how these tribes interacted, the effects of settlers on their cultures and ultimately their demise and removal through the land lottery system and the Indian Removal Act of 1830, the release said. The lecture will be held March 22 in Lovett’s Hendrix-Chenault Theater and is free and open to the public. The school is located at 4075 Paces Ferry Road. To RSVP, visit buckheadheritage.com.

Fabric & leather

Articulating headrests & adjustible lumbars

Small-scale sofas & chairs

770-518-8518

Power LIFT chairs

30 E Crossville Rd (Hwy 92 @ Crabapple), Roswell Tues-Sat 10-6, Sun 12-5 • www.TheComfortableChairStore.com DIRECTIONS: Take Roswell Rd N & continue 1.5 mi N of Historic Roswell, OR take Exit 7B/Holcomb Br off GA400 & we’ll be 2.7 mi on the right

Bariatric Innovations of Atlanta & General Surgery

404-250-6691 BariatricInnovationsAtl.com

Don’t let GERD continue to interrupt your life... Millions of Americans suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) caused by a weakeness of the muscle that separates the stomach from the esophagus. Symptoms could include chest pain, heartburn, regurgutation, sore throat and cough, which can impact sleep quality and interrupt daily activities. Our board-certified physician Dr. Srinivasa Gorjala and on-site dietician can help. We specialize in non-invasive, minimally-invasive and robotic techniques for general surgery that may alleviate GERD symptoms and improve quality of life. With a full spectrum of services, we provide onsite evaluations and a variety of treatment options.

M A R TA PI C KS F ORMER DI REC TOR A S CEO FINALIST

MARTA has selected a finalist in its search for a new CEO and general manager, it announced March 9. The finalist, Jeffrey Parker, has previous experience at MARTA, once serving as its senior director of transportation. Parker replaces Keith Parker, no relation, who left the agency to become president of Goodwill of North Georgia. Parker has previously overseen the transit agency in Boston, Mass., and the Connecticut Department of Transportation. He currently serves as the vice president of infrastructure and design firm HNTB Corporation and leads its Atlanta office, according to a press release. “His background, his familiarity with Metro Atlanta, and his ability to plan and execute big projects make Mr. Parker the perfect fit for this agency,” said Frederick L. Daniels, who chairs the MARTA Board of Directors CEO selection committee, in the release. State law requires a 14-day waiting period before the MARTA Board of Directors can vote to confirm his selection and extend an official offer of employment.

ACID REFLUX

HEALTHY STOMACH

GERD STOMACH

6135 Barfield Road, Suite 150, Atlanta, GA 30328 BH


4 | Community

Facebook.com/TheReporterNewspapers ■ twitter.com/Reporter_News

City to strengthen tree ordinance, planning chief says BY EVELYN ANDREWS Tim Keane, Atlanta’s planning commissioner, said his department is working to strengthen the city’s tree ordinance, making it less about paying fees to remove trees and more about protecting trees. “It is not about paying us to remove it. It’s about designing around the trees,” he said at the March 8 Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods meeting. The city is kicking off the development of an “urban ecology framework,” which will help determine what aspects of nature in Atlanta should be “preserved, restored and accentuated,” he said. Biohabitats, a conservation consulting group, will lead the effort, and will also be working on a rewrite of the city’s tree ordinance. In the meantime, Keane said the city is working on amendments that could strengthen the current ordinance while the new one is written. Keane wants to move to a tree ordinance that outlines what trees cannot be removed, instead of focusing on a fee structure that allows developers to clear cut entire lots.

EVELYN ANDREWS

Tim Keane, the city’s planning commissioner, speaks at the March 8 Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods meeting.

DO YOU LIVE IN A HOME YOU OWN IN FULTON COUNTY? You may be able to

reduce your City, County & School property taxes

with a homestead exemption. Learn More and Apply Today www.fultonassessor.org 404-612-6440 Ext. 4

The 2018 deadline to apply for Homestead Exemptions is

Monday, April 2nd

Fulton County Tax Assessors Office Locations Peachtree Center North Tower 235 Peachtree Street, NE, Suite 1100, Atlanta, GA 30303 Fulton County Government Center 141 Pryor Street, SW, Suite 1018, Atlanta, GA 30303 Fulton County Customer Service Center at Maxwell Road 11575 Maxwell Road, Alpharetta, GA 30022 North Fulton Service Center 7741 Roswell Road, NE, Suite 210, Atlanta, GA 30350 South Service Center 5600 Stonewall Tell Road, Suite 224, College Park, GA 30349

“The thing about the tree ordinance is it’s not about saving trees, but requiring people to pay fees to remove them,” he said. “That’s not a good transaction.” Instead, he wants developers to learn how to design around trees. The ordinance needs language that forces better protection of trees during development and regulates what type and species of tree can be replanted, he said. But, he said, a rewrite of the tree ordinance is going to take compromise from both groups that want to protect trees and those that want to remove them. “Both sides say ‘we’re not giving an inch,’ ‘we’re not giving an inch.’ That’s not a place we can be,” Keane said. He wants to add “common sense” to the ordinance, including making it easier for residents to remove a tree that is in danger of damaging their house. Also at the meeting, Keane discussed Buckhead traffic. Because the city has grown less in the past decades than the larger metro Atlanta area, a focus has been placed on providing ways for regional commuters to get to the city. Keane wants to see more focus on local trips within the city, he said. That focus on regional commuters was “what got us what we have today,” a complex interstate and highway system, but not public transit, he said. Gordon Certain, the president of the North Buckhead Civic Association, pushed back, saying there needs to be more planning for commuters. North Buckhead roads are constantly congested by regional commuters, he said. Keane replied that the city is not responsible for providing for the region, and building new roads would only bring more traffic. Instead, Keane is focusing on policies and regulations that could encourage people to use other routes. In response to a question about city planning staff not often taking the advice or using the recommendations of special public interest groups, or SPIs, Keane said that the city plans to development a more effective replacement. The city is also putting out a request for proposals for a new zoning ordinance that will, among other fixes, aim to improve the design review process. Keane led an effort to create the “Atlanta City Design,” a book that is meant to guide future development in Atlanta through projected population growth in the coming decades. “The quality of design will increase dramatically,” Keane said. “A city full of not so beautiful buildings gets tiresome.” BH


Community | 5

MARCH 16 - 29, 2018 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Sexual harassment cases hit home in local government, business BY DYANA BAGBY AND JOHN RUCH The news of sexual harassment and assault allegations against movie moguls, elected officials and even celebrated architects continue to make headlines as part of a national “#MeToo” movement led by women to not be silent on the issue anymore. But the issue is happening in local communities as well, including a Brookhaven Police officer who was fired four years ago after a sexual harassment complaint was filed against him by a woman officer under his supervision. Tamara Holder, a former Fox News contributor who sued her employer for sexual assault, recently represented a woman in a federal lawsuit alleging an executive at Church’s Chicken based in Sandy Springs sexually harassed her for nearly a year before she quit. Holder says that sexual harassment and sexual assault cases are often discussed in terms of settlements. But that focus misses the lasting impact on the victims, she said. “Not only is it [that] money doesn’t compensate you for life, when a woman is out of work ... it affects her ability to get a [new] job.” That creates a “vicious cycle” that needs more attention, Holder said. Since the founding of Brookhaven in 2012, an open records search revealed, the city has settled one sexual harassment complaint: a 2014 case against a police officer who was later fired as a result. A woman officer filed the formal complaint with the city in August 2014, alleging a male sergeant and her supervisor sent her several sexually explicit text messages. She also alleged the sergeant sexually harassed her between November 2014 and May 2014. The city settled the complaint — which was never publicized — on May 12, 2015, for $10,000, which was covered by the city’s insurance, according to city documents. The officers who made the complaint resigned from her job in November 2014, according to documents obtained through an open records request. In November 2014, the woman filed an official complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) also alleging sexual harassment on the job at the police department before finally agreeing to a settlement agreement with the city. The $10,000 settlement meant the woman officer who filed the complaint would “withdraw or dismiss her claim and would enter into a general release and waiver of all claims against the city as well as all current and former officials and employees of the city,” states the minutes of the settlement agreement. The complainant received $5,000 and her attorney received $5,000, according to the city’s minutes. Chief Gary Yandura fired the male officer, saying in a Sept. 16, 2014, letter that the sergeant violated several departmental policies, including standards of conduct opportunity and the sexual harassment/discrimi-

nation policy. “It is quite evident that you violated the allegations listed, which cannot be tolerated by a supervisory member of our police department,” Yandura wrote. The male officer appealed his firing to the city manager and representatives from the Human Resources Department. At an Oct. 17, 2014, hearing, the male officer said text messages “could be easily manipulated” and denied sending the woman any inappropriate text messages. His firing was upheld by the city manager. Following the case, all employees with the Brookhaven Police Department began mandatory annual training on how to prevent sexual harassment. The current spotlight on sexual harassment has now spurred the city to mandate such training for all city employees. This month, Brookhaven employees began their first preventing sexual harassment trainings that will continue through May. At a recent City Council work session, City Manager Christian Sigman explained that the current “national climate” led administrators to implement the mandatory training each year. Former Brookhaven mayor J. Max Davis also got swept up in sexual harassment allegations in 2015 when an employee accused him of spraying an aerosol can at her buttocks. He apologized for the incident, but

the result was a breakdown in city transparency policies including the city’s attorney at the time trying to keep the sexual harassment complaint secret. Davis denied he meant to harm the woman. In 2015, a Brookhaven city employee filed an EEOC complaint against Davis, alleging he threatened to fire her if she did not change her story to be in his favor on the sexual harassment allegations. The complaint was dismissed in 2016. Davis said the complaint was “spurious” and “baseless.” Brookhaven, Dunwoody, Sandy Springs and Atlanta all have policies against sexual harassment on record that are provided to employees. In Dunwoody and Sandy Springs, no sexual harassment complaints or settlements have been filed in the past five years, according to city spokespersons and open records requests. The city of Atlanta did not respond to requests for comment.

News. Holder and her client were able to reach an undisclosed settlement agreement with Church’s Chicken. Holder said a mistake in discussing the issue of sexual harassment is focusing on the settlement amount and not what happens to the woman afterwards, especially if she was forced to leave her job anyway. People need to ask, “Where is she now?” Holder said. “People look and say, ‘You got $50,000, you got $50 million...What are you complaining about?’” But, according to Holder, “It’s not over once the woman gets money. It’s really the beginning.” The woman loses the income of the job and may have trouble getting another one. Victims often are left with mental health issues and lose health coverage with the job, she said. “Personally, I’m without a job in TV because I spoke out,” she said. Holder said men also need to take responsibility for their role in preventing sexual harassment. “I think there needs to be a spotlight on men and what they can do,” she said. This can include not blowing off harassment as “flirting,” she said, or that complaints are lies or involve consensual situations. “It’s not rocket science,” but it is a cultural decision, she said.

Settlement as ‘the beginning’

Last year, a woman filed a federal lawsuit against Church’s Chicken alleging sexual harassment by an executive at its Sandy Springs headquarters. Church’s Chicken said it investigated the allegation and fired the person responsible. The woman was represented by Holder, who was in the news last year for the $2.5 million settlement she reached following her own sexual assault complaint at Fox

Visit us Today to see how you may qualify for a

1,000 Rebate

$

Valid thru 6/30/18.

Sub-Zero, the preservation specialist. Wolf, the cooking specialist. You’ll find them at your local kitchen specialist.

SEWELL

7455 Trowbridge Rd, NE | Sandy Springs, GA 30328 404-255-0640 | www.sewellappliance.com


6 | Education

Facebook.com/TheReporterNewspapers ■ twitter.com/Reporter_News

Laura Miltner Ashford Park Elementary School Laura Miltner, who teaches Georgia’s first German dual immersion program at Ashford Park Elementary School, was honored as the Georgia Department of Education’s World Language Educator of the Month in January. “Truly, without the selfless and dedicated service of teachers like [Miltner], children would not be complete,” said Patrick Wallace, a department representative, according to a press release. In Georgia dual language programs, the students spend at least half of their school day in the target language and the other half-day in English, according to the Georgia Department of Education website. “Frau Miltner has the herculean task of getting 52 kindergartners to begin understanding and speaking German,” a parent said in a letter nominating Miltner for the award. “… While all of our teachers are fantastic, the work Frau Miltner takes on to get these children ready for a more demanding academic load should be recognized.” Miltner has been teaching at Ashford Park in Brookhaven for five years and has been a teacher for over 20 years.

Q: How does teaching a new language to such young students change the process?

A: I believe in starting young and giving

these children a real chance to master a second language. Teaching immersion German in kindergarten has demanded a whole new restructuring of my teaching skills. Let’s just say not every lesson I have taught was a complete success. I am always learning. I enjoy the challenge tremendously. Where else can you see such massive growth and development? The hugs are nice too!

Q:

What are you most proud of in your career?

A: I am very proud

of being part of the German Immersion Program at Ashford Park. I believe that immersion language learning is a great way to develop flexibility in the brain, promote cultural understanding, as well as seamlessly learn a second language. I have also felt very proud when former students

Your summer. Your adventure.

BEYOND CAMP

SPECIAL

Exceptional

Educator

write me a letter in German from Germany!

Q:

What do you want to see in your students?

A: I want them to feel comfortable ex-

perimenting with language. I want them to be inquisitive, open to other cultures, ask lots of questions, listen, think, work hard and love learning! I would, of course, love to see them all go on to visit, study in, and/or live in a German-speaking country. I would like for them to establish relationships with native speakers. My time in Germany and the friendships I have made there have been such an important part of my life.

Laura Miltner, a teacher at Ashford Park Elementary School in Brookhaven, using hand motions to help teach German to her kindergarten students.

Q:

What is your favorite memory at your school?

A: It always thrills me when a student

starts to put together his or her own sentences in German. The parents are also so supportive and kind here. There have been many times when they overwhelmed me with their kindness.

Q:

Why are you most interested in German?

A: German-speaking

countries play a huge part in world economics, science, technology, the arts and politics. I recently saw very impressive statistics in how much learning German can increase earning potential. The GerDo you have man community any special prois growing in Georgrams you use? gia. The number of German compaI have crenies here is always ated many magrowing. Chamterials because SPECIAL blee Middle School, Laura Miltner was honored as the Georgia teaching kinderDepartment of Education’s World Language Kittredge [Magnet garten math and Educator of the Month in January. School] and Chamscience in Gerblee [Charter High man to non-native speakers is so speSchool] have award-winning German cialized. What we do here is so differprograms preparing a place for our stuent than traditional language learning dents. classes and also the students are young-

Q: A:

Customize your summer camp experience. Galloway’s g360 Summer Camp is open to all children ages 3 and up and is held on our campus in beautiful Chastain Park.

Register now at gallowayschool.org/camp

er than most second language learners, so I haven’t been able to find the content I need in German. The German Immersion teachers all work very hard creating materials and piecing the curriculum together from many sources.

Editor’s note: Through our “Exceptional Educator” articles, Reporter Newspapers showcases the work of some of the outstanding teachers and administrators at our local schools. If you would like to recommend a teacher or administrator to be the subject of an Exceptional Educator article, please email editor@ReporterNewspapers.net.


Education | 7

MARCH 16 - 29, 2018 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Education Briefs

The Alfred & Adele Davis Academy

S EN . ALBERS P ROP OSES C OM M ITTEE TO STUDY SC H OOL SA F ETY

State Sen. John Albers (R-Roswell) has proposed a Senate committee that would study ways to improve school safety and recommend legislation. A similar House study committee was proposed this week. The resolution, which is SR 935, follows a Florida school shooting that has spurred a national conversation on school safety and gun control. “Based on current events, we feel that [it is] necessary to place a focus on school safety,” Albers said in a press release. After the 2018 legislative session ends, the committee would travel across the state meeting with teachers, students, parents, first responders, community leaders and experts to get input and learn how to best improve safety in different communities. The study committee would then make legislative recommendations to the Senate, the release said. “Right now we have some specific policies in mind, but are going into the process of evaluating school safety with an open mind,” he said in an email. He said “numerous” meetings would be held to get input from all parts of the state before any final policy decisions are made. A similar House resolution, HR 1414, was introduced March 5 by Rick Jasperse (R-Jasper) that would study problems and needs related to mental health concerns, infrastructure designs, equipment, personnel training and the availability of resources, according to the legislation.

SHOW TIMES:

Sunday, March 25, 1:00 p.m. & 7:00 p.m. Monday, March 26, 6:30 p.m. Rosenberg Performing Arts Theatre The Davis Academy Lower School 8105 Roberts Drive, Atlanta, GA 30350

For tickets and info visit us at www.davisacademy.org/musical

S A N DY S PRI N GS STUDEN TS TO VISIT J APAN

Students from Riverwood International Charter School and Ridgeview Middle School in Sandy Springs will visit Japan in a program sponsored by the Japanese government. The program is called the Kakehashi Project, which invites 200 American students on a nine-day study tour of Japan, Tomoko Ohyama, the consulate general of Japan in Atlanta said. The students will visit Japan from March 19 to March 27. The students will visit a number of historical and educational sites, experience traditional and cultural activities and participate in lectures and workshops, according to the program website.

W E ’ R E

LO O K I N G

Music by: Stephen Flaherty. Lyrics by: Lynn Ahrens. Book by: Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty. Co-Conceived by: Lynn Ahrens, Stephen Flaherty and Eric Idle. Based on the works of Dr. Seuss. Music Supervised, Adapted and Produced by: Bryan Louiselle. Presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI (mtishows.com).

F O R

E VERYDAY HEROES You may not see yourself as the hero type – but we do. We’re looking for adults who can spare a few hours each week. To a hero, it probably doesn’t seem like much. To our patients and families, your assistance means the world. Everyday heroes can do anything they set their hearts to. Set your heart on Grady, become a Grady volunteer.

Visit gradyhealth.org/volunteer


8 | Food & Drink

Facebook.com/TheReporterNewspapers ■ twitter.com/Reporter_News

Breadwinner’s Geoff Melkonian on baking and family BY DYANA BAGBY

much.

dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

During Thanksgiving 2005, Geoff and Katie Melkonian and Geoff’s sister Wendy were not sure what to do with the dozens of eggs left over from holiday cooking. After a few minutes, they had the answer — make pumpkin bread using Katie’s grandmother’s recipe. Wendy, who worked for the Souper Jenny restaurant at the time, sold the bread there and had a hit. The Melkonians decided to open their own shop in their hometown of Sandy Springs. Breadwinner Café and Bakery has operated for over 10 years across the street from what is now the new City Springs civic center. Now Melkonian has two new restaurants, both named Farm to Ladle, located at Ponce City Market and Avalon in Alpharetta.

Q:

Is there a long history in your family of running bakeries?

A: There is zero

history of baking in our famGeoff Melkonian owns Breadwinner Café and ily other than Bakery with his wife, Katie. The Sandy Springs our mothers and business has been open for 10 years. grandmothers baking for us at Geoff Melkonian has lived in Sandy home. However, my paternal grandparSprings since 1984 and is a 1988 Riverents and great-grandparents owned and wood International School graduate. He operated a deli/grocery store in Brooksaid his business is looking forward to lyn for two generations. The photos [on City Springs fully opening later this year. Breadwinner’s walls] are from the Brook“We want to stay in Sandy Springs,” lyn store. My great-grandparents eshe says. “In our way, it’s an investment in caped Armenia and Turkey around 1914. the city. We believe in They came to America and started a new what they are doing.” life. In the early 1920s, they opened their We asked Geoff store and lived in the apartment above. to tell us more about how Breadwinner came to be here. What is the process for making bread at the store in Sandy Springs? Early hours, lots of kneading? How did you decide on the name Our breads are quick breads. No Breadwinner? need for kneading. They are baked and packaged daily for sale and shipping for I wish I had a the next day. We still have a very active clever answer. We mail order business. wanted a positivesounding name. It fit our personalities. Of Do you remember eating loaves of course, within a year yummy bread as a child? What was it like of starting Breadwinfor you and your sister growing up and ner, the “no carb” fad being in the home kitchen? took off. Fortunately, it didn’t hurt us too SPECIAL Our mom made the best lemon blueSPECIAL

Q:

Q:

A:

A:

Party at My Place Pumpkin Bread.

make? What bread did you try but was unsuccessful and had to be taken of the shelf?

A:

My favorite bread changes with the seasons. In the warmer months it is “Be Still My Beating Tart” and lemon blueberry. But the rest of the year it’s a toss-up between “Papa Don’t Peach” and “Party At My Place Pumpkin.” For a short while, we had a bread called “Leave the Gun, Take the Cannoli.” It was delicious. It’s not that it didn’t sell. We just could not get it to bake consistently. After a while we put it on the back burner and haven’t yet gone back to it. But it was so good. Maybe we will try it again this year.

Q: A:

Breadwinner Café & Bakery offers customers a range of menu items, including sandwiches and soups.

berry bread, which is one of our flavors. Katie’s mom and grandmother made what is our pumpkin bread. It was the product that Breadwinner was created from. To this day, we still bake both of their recipes for these flavors.

Q:

Are you willing to share the recipe for the pumpkin bread that apparently got this entire business started?

A:

I wish I had a dime for every time someone asked for our pumpkin bread recipe. MICHAEL JONES

All local, all wonderful.

Voted AJC’s #1 “Best of Atlanta” art gallery!

Wed-Sat 12-6, or by appointment | info@ideagallerychamblee.com 5346A Peachtree Rd. Chamblee, GA 30341 (404)-308-0794

FILE PHOTO

Katie and Geoff Melkonian, owners of Breadwinner Cafe, won the Sandy Springs/ Perimeter Chamber’s 2013 ‘Sandy’ award for restaurant of the year. They are pictured above with that year’s SSPC Chairman Cory Jackson, left.

Q:

What was Katie’s grandmother like, whose recipe you followed for that first mass production of pumpkin bread?

A: Katie’s grandmother was a fiery and

small but mighty woman from Tulsa. She was very Midwestern. She shot squirrels in her backyard with a BB gun. You didn’t cross her.

Q:

What is your favorite bread you

220 Sandy Springs Circle Sandy Springs 30328 breadwinnercafe.com


Food & Drink | 9

MARCH 16 - 29, 2018 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Quick Bites

Ranked by U.S. Dept. of Education in

Top 20 Schools Nationwide for Tuition Value (in two-year private sector)

I L GIA L LO N A MES N EW CHEF

Brendan Keenan recently was named the new executive chef at il Giallo, an Italian restaurant in Sandy Springs. He previous served in that role at the Marietta restaurants Drift, Seed and Stem. Il Giallo is located at 5920 Roswell Road, Suite B-188, Sandy Springs. Info: 1992sharetea.com.

An education you can afford for a future you can depend on! Call today to schedule tour and complimentary lesson!

TEA M - B UI LDI N G C OOK I N G EVEN T SPACE O PENS

Hal’s Kitchen, an event space that provides corporate team-building through culinary lessons and competitions, recently opened in Sandy Springs’ Belle Isle Square. The 1,600-square-foot space can hold up to 65 guests and features professional equipment and a pizza oven. It is located at 4969 Roswell Road, Suite 220, Sandy Springs. Info: halskitchen.com.

D UN WOODY JA M-MA K ER WI N S AWAR D

Dunwoody-based Regina’s Farm Kitchen, owned by Regina Nekola Hild, was among the winners in the “Preserves” category at the Good Food Awards in San Francisco in January. Her winning entry was her strawberry blueberry jalapeño jam. Info: reginasfarmkitchen.com.

TI N D R UM A S I A N K ITC H EN OP EN S IN SANDY SPR ING S

The fast-casual restaurant Tin Drum Asian Kitchen opened a Sandy Springs location with a ribbon-cutting March 1. The restaurant is at 5840 Roswell Road, Suite 1200, Sandy Springs. Info: tindrumasiankitchen.com.

S H A R ETEA OP EN S I N SA N DY SPR ING S

• Financial Assistance • Certifications • Accredited Curriculum • Job Placement Assistance • Day & Night Classes • English as a Second Language Program • GED Preparation

Associate of Science Degrees & Short-term Diploma programs in Accounting, Medical Office Administration, Human Resource Management, HVAC, Information Technology, Business Management

The tea and flavored drink franchise Sharetea opened a Sandy Springs location with a Feb. 26 ribbon-cutting. It is located at 5975 Roswell Road, Suite 209. Info: 1992sharetea.com.

5303 New Peachtree Road, Chamblee, GA 30341

S A N DY SP RI N GS C H I C K -F IL -A R EO PENS

www.ict.edu | Campuses in Chamblee, Morrow and Gainesville

770-216-2960

The Chick-fil-A fast-food restaurant at 8433 Roswell Road, Sandy Springs reopened in February after a complete reconstruction. Info: cfanorthridge.com.

B RO O K H AV EN WI N E BA R OF F ERS DAY TIM E CO FFEE, M ENU

Pour Kitchen + Bar, a wine bar at 1418 Dresden Drive in Brookhaven, is now offering coffee service and breakfast and lunch menus. The coffee is from Smyrna-based Rev Coffee Roasters. Info: pourbrookhaven.com.

CO F F EE S H O P OP EN S I N ATL A N TA H ISTO RY CENTER

The Atlanta History Center in Buckhead recently became home to a new location for BRASH Coffee, which joins a Souper Jenny restaurant as the museum’s in-house dining and coffee options. The museum is at 130 West Paces Ferry Road. Info: atlantahistorycenter.com.

PI Z Z ERIA OP EN S AT P ERIMETER M ALL

A Max’s Coal Oven Pizzeria opened in January at Perimeter Mall, 4400 AshfordDunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Info: maxsatl.com.

Got local food or drink news?

Submit your tips at editor@reporternewspapers.net

5

$

purchase of $25 or more Sandy Springs 5975 Roswell Rd, Suite A-103 (404) 236-2114 NothingBundtCakes.com

NEW ‘Bunny Bundt’ Decorated Cake now available.

Expires 4/1/18. Coupon must be presented at time of purchase. $5 off $25 before tax. Valid only at the bakery listed. Not valid for online orders. Valid only on baked goods; not valid on retail items. No cash value. Coupon may not be reproduced, transferred or sold. Internet distribution strictly prohibited. Must be claimed in bakery during normal business hours. Not valid with any other offer.

Perimeter North Family Medicine Welcoming new patients! Perimeter North Family Medicine is proud to serve the families throughout the Atlanta area. Dr. Mithun Daniel provides comprehensive, patient-centered care to patients of all ages, and offers a full range of medical services, including chronic disease management, preventative care, acute illness care, mental health services and specialized care for men and women’s health. We accept most insurance plans and offer a convenient location for the families of the Greater Atlanta area.

Mithun Daniel, DO

Call (770) 395-1130 for an appointment

Our services include: • Physical examinations and wellness care for men, women and children • General and chronic care for geriatric patients • Immunizations • Acute illness treatment for colds, fevers, flu and more • Comprehensive women’s health services

960 Johnson Ferry Road, Suite 300, Atlanta, GA 30342

pnfm.com


10 | Art & Entertainment

Facebook.com/TheReporterNewspapers ■ twitter.com/Reporter_News

BROOKHAVEN

BUCKHEAD

DUNWOODY

SANDY SPRINGS

EGG HUNTS SANDY SPRINGS EGG HUNT Saturday, March 24, 10 a.m. to noon

With so many things to do, we suggest getting an early start on your want-to-do list. There’s a lot to do at The Piedmont Retirement Community — clubs, events, socializing, and more. So, go ahead and make your want-to-do list. But please don’t include a bunch of chores. We’ll take care of most of those for you. We invite you to see all that The Piedmont has to offer (including assisted living services if needed) at a complimentary lunch and tour. Please call 404.381.1743 to schedule.

Guitar Under the Stars Wednesday, March 28th • 5:30pm Join us for dinner and a classical guitar performance on our terrace. Please RSVP to 404.381.1743.

Sandy Springs Recreation and Parks and the North Perimeter Optimist Club are teaming up for the annual Egg Hunt at Hammond Park. Egg hunting schedule: 10:30 a.m. for children ages 1-3; 10:45 a.m. for children ages 4-6; and 11 a.m. for children ages 7-9. The rain date is Saturday, March 31. Free. 705 Hammond Drive, Sandy Springs. Info: 770-730-5600 or sandyspringsga.gov.

EASTER EGG SCRAMBLE

Saturday, March 31, 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

The City of Brookhaven’s Parks and Recreation Department hosts its annual Easter Egg Scramble. The event includes light breakfast snacks and a visit from the Easter Bunny. Egg hunters will be split into age groups (3 and under; 4-6, and 7+) with separate areas for each. The egg hunt begins at 10 a.m. sharp. Free. Blackburn Park, 3493 Ashford-Dunwoody Road, Brookhaven. Info: brookhavenga.gov.

Tattoo Removal The Premier Alternative to Traditional Laser Tattoo Removal ®

I n de p e n de n t & A s s i s t e d L i v i ng

650 Phipps Boulevard NE • Atlanta, GA www.ThePiedmontatBuckhead.com • 404.381.1743

PicoWay is a high power laser with ultra short pulses that shatters tattoo ink, but leaves the outer layer of the skin intact. Before

The PicoWay

®

Difference

• Minimal discomfort • Better clearance • Treats a broad range of tattoo colors & types • Can be used on different skin types

Post 3 treatments Photos: Eric Bernstein, MD

5505 Peachtree Dunwoody Rd, Ste 412, Atl, GA 30342 (404) 459-9177 Office | (404) 389-0400 Fax www.perimeterdermatology.com


Art & Entertainment | 11

MARCH 16 - 29, 2018 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

GET INTO NATURE

FESTIVALS

NATURE CLUB: PLANT MYSTERIES

BROOKHAVEN CHERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVAL

Thursday, March 22, 7 p.m.

Join the Chattahoochee Nature Center’s Nature Club for a monthly potluck. At 7:30 p.m., hear Julie Hollingsworth Hogg, CNC’s Manager of Horticulture and Gardens, speak about the mysteries of plants. The Nature Club meets monthly on fourth Thursdays from January to October. Ages 16 to adult, $10; $5 CNC members. 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell. Info: chattnaturecenter.org.

Saturday and Sunday, March 24-25, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

This fourth annual event features live entertainment with nationally known acts, an artist market featuring 100 regional artisans, a classic car show, 5K race, Kidz Zone, and a food court. Free. Blackburn Park, 3493 Ashford-Dunwoody Road, Brookhaven. Info: brookcherryfest.org.

GET ACTIVE

PERFORMANCES

FREE FRIDAY NIGHT HIKE

MASS APPEAL

Friday, March 23, 8 p.m.

Under the light of the stars and armed with flashlights, Dunwoody Nature Center educators will guide groups through the hike, offering a chance to hear the nighttime sounds of owls, bats, and other nocturnal creatures as well as the gentle flow of Wildcat Creek. 5343 Roberts Drive, Dunwoody. Info: dunwoodynature.org.

FLASHLIGHT FRIDAY NIGHT AT ABERNATHY GREENWAY

Friday, March 23 to Sunday, April 15 Stage Door Players presents “Mass Appeal.” Father Tim Farley is highly popular with his parishioners due to his charm, wit, easy-going manner, and entertaining, if unchallenging sermons. Seminary student Mark Dolson is a young, passionate firebrand eager to change the church. North DeKalb Cultural Arts Center, 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Tickets and other info: stagedoorplayers.net.

CAPITOL CITY OPERA PRESENTS “LA TRAVIATA”

Friday and Saturday, March 23-24, 8 p.m.; Sunday, March 25, 3 p.m.

The timeless story of Camille is retold in Verdi’s classic of a Parisian courtesan who surrenders to love. $40; $30 for seniors, students and military with IDs. Conant Performing Arts Center at Oglethorpe University, 4484 Peachtree Road NE, Brookhaven. Info: ccityopera.org.

LEARN SOMETHING NORTH FULTON MASTER GARDENERS’ LECTURE SERIES Monday, March 26, 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Friends of Lost Corner hosts a presentation on sustainable vegetable gardening as part of the North Fulton Master Gardeners’ Lecture Series. Classes are conducted by the North Fulton Master Gardeners and the UGA Extension in Fulton County. $5. Lost Corner Nature Preserve, 7300 Brandon Mill Road, Sandy Springs. Info: friendsoflostcorner.org.

NE, Buckhead. Info: 404-814-3500.

PARTY WITH A PURPOSE ARTISTIC AFFAIR

Saturday, March 24, 6:30 p.m.

The 32nd annual Artistic Affair, a benefit for the Spruill Center for the Arts, is a festive evening of dinner, dancing and auctions with items donated by Spruill Center instructors and community supporters. Since its inception in 1986, Artistic Affair has raised over $1 million for art education and operating expenses for the Spruill Center for the Arts. $140. Atlanta Athletic Club, 1930 Bobby Jones Drive, Johns Creek. Info: spruillarts.org.

KIDS AND FAMILIES KIDS SPELLING BEE

Wednesday, March 21, 4 p.m.

Kids ages 7-12 will compete for a prize in a spelling bee at the Buckhead Library. Kids can pick up a list of the spelling words to study prior to the spelling bee at the library’s Information Desk. Free; registration required. 269 Buckhead Ave.

DIANA TOMA

Friday, March 23, 8:30 p.m.

Grab your flashlight and join the Heritage Sandy Springs Outdoors Club for a 3-mile hike through the sidewalks surrounding Abernathy Greenway Park. Advance registration is highly recommended. Info: heritagesandysprings.org. Click on Attend.

EMORY SAINT JOSEPH’S HOSPITAL RUN FOR MERCY 5K

CELEBRATE AMERICA AT THE WORLD’S LARGEST 10K

Saturday, March 24, 7 a.m. registration

The hospital hosts its second annual Run for Mercy 5K Run/Walk, a family-friendly Peachtree Road Race qualifier event. Beginning at 8 a.m., the race benefits Emory Saint Joseph’s and Mercy Care Atlanta. Dillard’s at Perimeter Mall, 4400 AshfordDunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Fees and other info: runformercy5k.emory.edu.

MARCH TWILIGHT HIKE

Saturday, March 31, 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Slip into the woods with a Blue Heron Nature Preserve naturalist and explore the sights and sounds of nature as the day animals go to rest and the night animals rise. Dress for the weather and wear sturdy outdoor shoes. Bring your favorite mug and complete the evening with hot cocoa or cold cider. $7; children 3 and under free. 4055 Roswell Road NE, Buckhead. Info: bhnp.org.

SUBMIT YOUR EVENT LISTING WITH US AT

calendar@Reporter Newspapers.net

Lottery Registration Open March 15-22 at AJC.com/peachtree


12 | Commentary

Reporter Newspapers 

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

C O NTA C T US Founder & Publisher Steve Levene stevelevene@reporternewspapers.net Editorial Managing Editor John Ruch johnruch@reporternewspapers.net INtown Editor: Collin Kelley Editor-at-Large Joe Earle Staff Writers Dyana Bagby, Evelyn Andrews Copy Editor: Donna Williams Lewis Creative and Production Creative Director Rico Figliolini rico@reporternewspapers.net Graphic Designer: Soojin Yang Advertising Director of Sales Development Amy Arno amyarno@reporternewspapers.net Sales Executives Jeff Kremer, Janet Porter, Jim Speakman Office Manager Deborah Davis deborahdavis@reporternewspapers.net Contributors Max Blau, Julie E. Bloemeke, Phil Mosier

Free Home Delivery 60,000 copies of Reporter Newspapers are delivered by carriers to homes in ZIP codes 30305, 30319, 30326, 30327, 30328, 30338, 30342 and 30350 and to more than 500 business/retail locations. For locations, check “Where To Find Us” at www.ReporterNewspapers.net For delivery requests, please email delivery@reporternewspapers.net.

© 2018 with all rights reserved Publisher reserves the right to refuse editorial or advertising for any reason. Publisher assumes no responsibility for information contained in advertising. Any opinions expressed in print or online do not necessarily represent the views of Reporter Newspapers or Springs Publishing, LLC.

Facebook.com/TheReporterNewspapers ■ twitter.com/Reporter_News

Community Survey / Should teachers be armed? When it comes to making schools safer, arming teachers doesn’t appear to be the answer many of us are willing to embrace. Some elected officials, including President Trump, have suggested arming trained teachers or school administrators after 17 people were slain in a school shooting in Florida last month. But the idea was not popular among 250 residents of Reporter Newspapers communities who responded to our latest 1Q.com survey. Conducted via cellphone, the survey is not scientific. When asked what safety improvements should be made at our neighborhood schools from a list of six suggestions ranging from more police to better sidewalks, only 4 percent of the respondents chose to back the idea of issuing firearms to trained teachers or administrators. Just as many respondents thought no action was needed because their schools already are safe. And when survey participants were asked directly whether some properly trained teachers or administrators should be issued firearms, their responses ran about two to one against the idea. The largest group — 36 percent of the respondents — backed a proposal to provide more counseling and psychological screening for students. Suggestions to place more police officers and metal detectors in schools each drew support from 18 percent of the respondents. “I believe that teachers should not be issued firearms for a couple of reasons —

one reason being that many teachers have already come out saying that they do not want to be held responsible for their students’ lives in such a way,” a 14-year-old Sandy Springs girl wrote when responding to the survey. “I, as a student, would not feel any safer knowing that all my teachers have guns. In fact it would make me feel less secure and more anxious and on edge. The answer is gun law reform plain and simple.” And a 14-year-old Sandy Springs boy argued that guns in the classroom actually would make schools less safe. “That would actually give students a greater chance at being injured or killed,” he wrote, choosing an option of installing more metal detectors at school entrances. But others saw arming trained teachers as a direct way to curb school shootings. “They may be the only defense the kids have,” wrote a 55-year-old Sandy Springs man. Others likened the situation to providing security on airplanes. “I believe there should be some highly trained, undercover people in the school that have the ability to carry [a firearm],” a 25-year-old Atlanta man wrote, “like a flight marshal that can take over if a situation arises.” Among respondents who opposed arming teachers, some seemed horrified simply by the idea itself, while others raised practical objections. “It will not allow the police to enter as quickly knowing there

Which of the following safety improvement ideas does your neighborhood school need the most? More counseling and psychological screening available to students Metal detectors at entrances More police officers in the school Other

33.6% 18% 17.6% 16%

More sidewalks for students walking to school

6%

None; my school is already safe

4%

Firearms issued to trained teachers or administrators

4%

Better playground equipment

0.8%

are multiple people with guns,” a 37-yearold Atlanta man responded. Another Atlanta man argued that shootouts in schools could end up hurting more people. “I believe we should strive to eliminate the number of guns in an educational environment,” the 27-year-old man wrote.

Editor’s Note: Keeping up with our communities Local journalism has many our individual communities goals and definitions, but at and from such crucial beats as public safety, the arts, business Reporter Newspapers, we start with a simple one: Make and religion. It’s a lot easier to read on your phone, too. a newspaper that is as vibrant, And we have new kinds of smart and active as the communities we serve. stories to read there. As you can see elsewhere in this issue, Boy, is that easier said than done. In Brookhaven, Buckour editor-at-large, Joe Earle, is writing a new column. In head, Dunwoody and Sanis the managing “Around Town,” he will intrody Springs, the change and editor of the duce you to the intriguing peoexcitement is nonstop these Reporter Newspapers. ple and places who make our days. But it’s a challenge that we love as neighborhoods tick. Joe’s column will run every other issue, trading off with we change alongside our communities. We’ve made a number of innovations Robin Conte’s award-winning “Robin’s Nest.” Robin has been busy, too. We’re in recent weeks as part of that commithappy to finally reveal that a book of sement. We’re proud to announce the relected “Robin’s Nest” columns is coming soon. launch of our website, ReporterNewspapers.net. The old version was doing Of course, we have serious news to tackle as well, and few stories are more its job of drawing tens of thousands of serious than a drug epidemic sweeping monthly readers. The new version, however, better showcases local news from our cities and killing our neighbors. To

John Ruch

spotlight this nightmare, we brought on Max Blau, who is one of Atlanta’s best freelance journalists and a veteran of national reporting on the opioid epidemic. “Coping with a Crisis: Opioid Addiction in the Suburbs” is his four-part exclusive series for us, the second installment of which appears in this issue. The series is not only about the friends and family lost to the ravages of drugs, but also about people in our community who are facing this epidemic head-on and doing something about it. We’re proud to tell their stories. That’s a lot of change at the Reporter in the first quarter of the year. It’s only the start as we continue to evolve. As always, feel free to send me an email or give me a call at johnruch@reporternewspapers.net or 404-917-2200 ext. 113. Your ideas about what we do and how we do it are always welcome.

Have something to say?

Send letters to editor@reporternewspapers.net


Commentary | 13

MARCH 16 - 29, 2018 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Around Town

Joe Earle is editor-at-large at Reporter Newspapers and has lived in metro Atlanta for over 30 years. He can be reached at joeearle@reporternewspapers.net

Learning history, building community When Sheffield Hale open in the fall. Now that stepped into the bright sun construction on the cenoutside the Atlanta Histoter’s Buckhead campus is ry Center one recent afterwrapping up, Hale and his noon, he grinned widely staff and board are considat what he saw. A handful ering what comes next. He of people sat around long wants the organization to wooden tables on the paopen itself up in a differtio outside the center’s new ent way ☺— by looking outcoffeehouse. They drank ward, rather than inward. coffee and checked their “The next thing, in my phones. It was exactly what mind, is to do more proHale had hoped for. gramming all over Atlan“Look at these happy ta,” he said. people!” he said. “When Hale wants history cenother people figure it out, ter programs to bring new Sheffield Hale. this will be the coolest people in by focusing on subplace in Atlanta!” jects drawn from neighborhoods and ethHale, president and CEO of the Hisnic communities. He wants to go to the plactory Center, is on a mission. He wants es where people live. He pointed out that to lure more people to the Buckheadthe center’s “Party with the Past” series has based center and its programs so they popped up in places as varied as the Sweet can learn about Atlanta, and, he says, Auburn Curb Market, Oakland Cemetery figure out how to make it a better city. and Smith’s Olde Bar. To do that, the 57-year-old history-loverThe idea, Hale says, is to show Atlanturned-lawyer has overseen an opening tans how their community got to be what up of the museum on West Paces Ferry it is and to connect residents with the city’s Road. The center is being transformed, history and culture. Hale argues we should both physically and philosophically. better understand the past in order to live The goal? “To make it more relevant and together in the present and future. bigger than its footprint in Buckhead,” he Consider the Civil War. Atlanta is filled said. “To take the assets that we have and with monuments, streets and sites that carmake them even more available. … It was ry Civil War history. How their tales are told all sitting there, waiting to happen.” can make a difference. Hale, who recentOne of Hale’s first acts as president ly co-chaired a city committee tasked with was to take down a fence that blocked recommending what to do about the monuthe building from the view of drivers ments and street names, argues that it’s impassing on West Paces Ferry Road. Now portant not to elevate the myths that sprout passersby can’t ignore the place. around some historical sites like poison ivy. Hale knew his way around the history “You just talk about the truth,” he said. center long before taking over as its CEO “You talk about the facts, [about] what hapand president six years ago. He grew up in pened, to get people to look past the myths the Brookwood Hills neighborhood and his of what happened. What we try to do is take dad, a prominent Atlanta lawyer, chaired the temperature down, so we can talk about the center’s board at times. Sheffield’s colwhat happened. Yes, slavery was the cause lege thesis on longtime, powerful Georgia of the Civil War. That’s game, set, match.” politician Richard Russell Jr.’s election to Why bother to even talk about things the Senate was published in the center’s that happened generations ago? journal. He keeps a copy of the issue in his “What’s the ‘so what?’’” Hale said, “The office. “It’s on the cover,” he said after dig‘so what’ is to make a better community. ging out a copy. “I got the cover!” It’s not to preserve history in some saniThe younger Hale served on the board tized way, but to … use the history to make himself at times and raised money for the them more interested in the community. history center. Since he took over as presWhat that does is make a better Atlanta. … ident and CEO in March 2012, the center It’s by recognizing we have a common hishas made about $50 million in improvetory and we need to understand all of our ments to its 33-acre Buckhead campus. histories to move forward. New structures include a round hall vis“We need to show a holistic view of ible from West Paces where the still-beingcommunity. Your piece of it is part of a bigrestored Cyclorama painting of “The Battle ger piece.” of Atlanta” hangs; a glass-walled walkway In other words, we share the past. “We’re that houses a full-size, 19th century locoall in the soup together. Let’s understand motive called the “Texas”; a new entryway the different ingredients that make up the and atrium that are home to the coffeesoup,” Hale said. house, a new restaurant, a new bookstore, How to make a start? In Hale’s vision, and a new garden. maybe it’s enough just to sit down together The Cyclorama exhibit is projected to with a cup of coffee on a sunny afternoon. BH

CD Rate Specials

1.00 % 1.4 0 % 1.6 0 %

6 Month

APY*

12 Month

APY*

18 Month

APY*

$500 Minimum Deposit, up to $250,000 per Customer

We also offer Free

Personal and Business Checking**to Fit Your Needs

888.248.LION (5466) • LionBank.com *Annual Percentage Yield (APY) of 1.00% for six months, 1.40% for 12 months, and 1.60% for 18 months is accurate as of 2/28/2018 and is subject to change at any time. Minimum balance to open and obtain this APY is $500, with a maximum of $250,000 per customer. This offer is available for a limited time. Penalty may be imposed for early withdrawal. No public funds or managed funds are eligible. The CD must be opened with new money or monies not held at Fidelity Bank. **Minimum opening deposit for checking account is $50. Other fees, such as NSF, overdraft fees, etc. may apply. Fees subject to change. Refer to our current Schedule of Fees.

D

PEACHTREE DUNWOODY

Medical Associates

Welcome Dr. Michael Crowe! Peachtree Dunwoody Medical Associates is proud to welcome Dr. Michael Crowe, a boardcertified gynecologist with over three decades of experience practicing in the Atlanta area. Dr. Crowe offers comprehensive gynecologic care to women of all ages, serving with the same excellent, compassionate care you are accustomed to from Peachtree Dunwoody Medical Associates. Dr. Crowe is welcoming new patients, accepts most insurance plans, and offers a convenient location

Michael Crowe, MD Gynecology

near the Northside Hospital Atlanta campus.

Call 404-497-1020 for an appointment! 875 Johnson Ferry Road NE, Suite 200, Atlanta, GA 30342 PeachtreeDunwoodyMed.com


14 | Community

Facebook.com/TheReporterNewspapers ■ twitter.com/Reporter_News

Collier Hills transportation plan recommends safety fixes, traffic circle BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

Collier Hills, a neighborhood near Atlanta Memorial Park, has completed its transportation plan that recommends a variety of road and safety improvements, including a traffic circle at one intersection. District 8 Councilmember J.P. Matzigkeit is working to get the document incorporated into the city’s comprehensive development plan. It would then be used by the city when it makes improvements to the neighborhood. Neighborhood leaders are trying to make transportation improvements as the area undergoes development and density changes, the plan says. Most of the neighborhood is made up of single-family homes, but some areas are seeing denser commercial and residential developments, creating traffic problems. “We’ve been mainly trying to increase the safety in the neighborhood since we’ve experienced more traffic,” said David Gylfe, who worked on the plan with the Collier Hills Civic Association. The group is planning for increased traffic at the growing Piedmont Hospital campus nearby. Residents also had to contend with lengthy construction on North-

side Drive that included utility fixes, and is set to deal with an up to four-month closure of that road for the replacement of the bridge over Peachtree Creek. Residents have reported an increase of traffic and with that, an increase in speeding and running of stop signs, endangering both the safety of drivers and pedestrians, Gylfe said. “The streets are really poorly designed, especially a lot of the intersections,” he said. Former District 8 Councilmember Yolanda Adrean helped fund the study by giving the civic association $9,000, according to the ordinance. The city has already begun implementing several recommendations included in the transportation, many of them recommendations to make intersections two-way stops, such as the intersection of Walthall Drive and Greystone Road, Gylfe said. The plan, which was led by consulting firm TSW, found that residents’ main complaints and issues were: speeding; pedestrian safety; left turns; gridlock at peak times; and drivers running stop signs. The study recommends fixes that range from a cost of $180,000 to create a curb extension at Greystone Road and put in textured pavement to $1,000 to put in four-way stop signs at several intersections.

Streets (outlined in white) Buildings Parks Streams Spreed/Cut through issues Poor Road Conditions Turning Issues Running Stop Sgin Pedestrian Issues

ALL IMAGES COURTESY TSW

A graphic included in the plan shows the safety and traffic issues raised by Collier Hills residents.

Two photos included in the plan show examples of problems in the neighborhood.

One of the more major proposals in the plan is a traffic circle at Spring Valley Road and Meredith Drive, which would cost an estimated $40,000, according to the plan. The plan also calls for creating three new crosswalks to improve pedestrian access to Louise Howard Park, and two at the adjacent Tanyard Creek Park. The crosswalks would include striping, ADA curb ramps, flashing beacons and a median refuge island. The crosswalks’ projected cost ranges from $7,000 to $30,000. The plan recommends installing a radar speed sign on Collier Road to deter speeding, which have been installed by sev-

eral neighborhood associations around Buckhead. The estimated cost is $7,000. Collier Hills is one of the few Buckhead neighborhoods that the BeltLine will eventually run through, and the BeltLine’s Northside Trail runs through Tanyard Creek Park in the neighborhood. The city’s current transportation recommends making Collier Road a “complete street,” with better pedestrian and bicycle access, the plan says. The Renew Atlanta infrastructure bond program calls for resurfacing all of Collier Road.

Mexican Restaurant 2042 Johnson Ferry Rd NE

(at the corner of Ashford-Dunwoody Rd. in Brookhaven)

3887 Peachtree Road, Buckhead/Brookhaven • Delivery (Limited Area, Min.$12) Tel: 404-816-2229 • Fax: 404-816-5929 • www.ChinChinGa.com

(770) 452-9896

Hours: 11am to 10:30pm

$5 OFF

Lunch or dinner

Minimum $20 purchase Not valid with any other offers. Not valid on Fridays, must present newspaper ad to redeem. Expires 4/30/18 BH


Community | 15

MARCH 16 - 29, 2018 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Walking tour showcases Buckhead’s Civil War battlegrounds BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

A walking tour that snaked through southern Buckhead near Atlanta Memorial Park showcased the remaining signs of the Civil War that was fought there over 150 years ago. The March 11 walking tour began just outside of Buckhead at The Defoor Centre, a likely antebellum home, and continued along the war’s “Outer Defenssive Line,” including visits to Old Mt. Zion Church, the Embry Plantation, Howell’s Mill, the Peachtree Creek ravine, Tanyard Creek Park, the Bitsy Grant Tennis Center and Loring’s Hill, ending at Tanyard Creek Park. “When you ride in the car you don’t get

the feeling of what it’s like to be a soldier,” said Hoke Kimball, a local amatuer historian and relative of a Confederate general, as a he led a walking tour showcasing sites of the battle. Troops fought around all those sites and Tanyard Creek, an offshoot of Peachtree Creek. The Northside BeltLine Trail now runs along that creek. “It should really be called the Battle of Tanyard Creek, not the Battle of Peachtree Creek,” said Kimball. The event was part of the Atlanta Preservation Center’s annual “Phoenix Flies” event, a month-long festival that includes 200 events that highlight cultural and historical sites throughout Atlanta. All events are free, open to the public and include guided walking tours, lectures and open houses. The festival started March 3 and will wrap up March 25. Events in Buckhead that are still available include tours of the Philip Schutze designed Goodrum House, the Governor’s Mansion and Northside Drive Baptist Church. The

A

Buckhead Heritage Society will lead a tour of Harmony Grove Cemetery, which the group restored. All the spots in the remaining Battle of Peachtree Creek walking tours have been claimed, but a wait list is available. For more information, visit preserveatlanta. com. The battle showcased in the walking tour took place on July 20, 1864, two days before the Battle of Atlanta. The tour was limited to around 10 people, and they included mostly Atlanta Preservation Center members and avid Phoenix Flies attenders. One resident who attended the tour, Gordon Draves, said his great-great-grandfather was killed in nearby battle a few days before the Battle of Peachtree Creek and he wanted to learn more about that history. It was the first battle led by Gen. John Bell Hood, who had recently replaced Gen. Joseph Johnston. Confederate President Jefferson Davis thought Johnston was not aggressive enough, Kimball said. The change happened shortly before the battle and caused the troops to lose their morale, he said. The Confederate forces planned to attack the Union Army as it crossed the Peachtree Creek, but were too late. Instead, it was the Confederates who were attacked while crossing Tanyard Creek, Kimball said.

“It turns out the South got discombobulated because they had to come through the creek bed,” Kimball said. Northern forces had the high ground in what once was country land and rolling hills, but is now surrounded by homes. The troops shot down at the Confederate soldiers as they crossed Tanyard Creek, he said. “They were the smart ones. They stopped at higher ground,” Kimball said. The loss of morale, a time delay and sudden change of plans led to the Confederate force’s defeat, Kimball said. The tour stopped at an obelisk outside Northside Park Baptist Church on Howell Mill Road erected in memory of Sgt. William R. Moore, who died three days before the battle in skirmish, Kimball said. The church was known as Old Mt. Zion Church during the days of the war. Many soldiers were buried in unmarked graves around the site of the battle, and Moore’s was later located by his family. “They were supposed to take advantage of the terrain. They ended up being punished,” Kimball said. The tour also stopped at a display showing mill stones used in Moore’s Mill, a Civil War era mill along Peachtree Creek that was the site of its own battle the day before the Battle of Peachtree Creek. The mill stones are now displayed near Tanyard Creek Park at the intersection Collier Road and Redland Road.

B PHOTOS BY EVELYN ANDREWS

A] Hoke Kimball, a local amatuer historian and relative of a Confederate general, led the walking tour showcasing sites of the Battle of Peachtree Creek.

B] People walk along the Northside

BeltLine Trail, which runs along Tanyard Creek, where much of the Battle of Peachtree Creek took place.

C] A display near Tanyard Creek Park shows mill stones once used in Moore’s Mill.

D] An obelisk that stands outside Northside

C D BH

Park Baptist Church was erected in memory of Confederate Sgt. William R. Moore, who died three days before the battle in skirmish.


16 |

Facebook.com/TheReporterNewspapers ■ twitter.com/Reporter_News

What do you get when you mix

incredible live entertainment on a large, beautiful stage, a whimsical artist market featuring 100 regional artisans, a large Kidz Zone loaded with fun, the popular “Pet World,” a classic car show, a 5k race and a delicious food court – all set in a beautiful park? Of course, you get the Brookhaven Cherry Blossom Festival, which ushers in the springtime on March 24 from 10 am to 6pm and March 25 from 10am to 6pm in Blackburn Park, a true landmark of the hopping City of Brookhaven.

Don’t miss

the incredible talent lineup at the FREE concert in Blackburn Park. The stage is set at the base of the natural amphitheater nestled into the park’s perfect hillside. Check out the lineup and be sure to come early to shop, eat, drink and soak up the spring sunshine! Get ready for hot new rocking guitars, country legends and internationally known stars—all right here in Blackburn Park!

The 2018 Festival has increased the number of parking spaces at shuttle lots and added larger, more frequent bus runs, so please take note of stops on the next page. There is no Festival parking at Blackburn Park or the surrounding retail areas, with the exception of ADA-designated spaces. Our shuttles are free and easy, so sit back and enjoy the ride on us!

Make sure to mark your calendars now for the exciting event, and tell your friends and neighbors!

SATURDAY

2:00 PM

3:00 PM

SUNDAY 2:45 PM

1:00 PM

4:45 PM

4:30 PM

100 Whimsical Artisans in the New Artist Market

The wonderful, whimsical and new artist market opens Saturday & Sunday,10am – 6pm. Artisans will line the picturesque street which runs through Blackburn Park, and shoppers will truly enjoy the colorful booths and lively arts and crafts displays.

CLAY CULINARY ARTS FIBER FOLK ART GLASS

JEWELRY LIVING PLANTS METAL MIXED MEDIA PAINTINGS

PHOTOGRAPHY SOAPS/LOTIONS/ BALMS WOOD

This event is Rain or Shine unless weather conditions present an unsafe environment.

www.BrookCherryFest.org

www.facebook.com/brookhavenblossomfest2018

www.SplashFestivals.com Go to SplashFestivals.com to volunteer.

BH


| 17

■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net XXX. xx -16 MARCH XXX. - 29, xx, 2018 2016 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

What to Know Before You Go

Shuttle

Free Parking and Shuttle Available at These Convenient Lots

Blossom Shuttle

(ADA Parking only at Blackburn Park) Montgomery Marist School 3790 Ashford Dunwoody Rd Elementary School

Ashford Green

Brookhaven Marta Station

YMCA - For 5K race only Runners walk to Park.

Brookhaven, GA 30319

3995 Ashford Dunwoody Rd Brookhaven, GA 30319

Follow signs for parking & dedicated buses. 4047 Peachtree Rd NE, Brookhaven, GA 30319

FREE Admission! Hours

Saturday, March 24, 10:00a.m. – 6:00p.m. Sunday, March 25, 10:00a.m. – 6:00p.m.

Directions

From I-285, take the Ashford Dunwoody Road exit and head south to Blackburn Park, 3501 Ashford Dunwoody Rd., Brookhaven, Georgia, 30319.

5K/1K Race

Runners (and walkers too) get ready to show the “spring” in your step. For more details and registration information, please visit www.BrookCherryFest.org.

4170 Ashford Dunwoody Rd Brookhaven, GA 30319

2002 Summit Blvd. Brookhaven, GA 30319

3693 Ashford Dunwoody Rd, Brookhaven, GA 30319

Kidz Zone

Children's Healthcare of Atlanta hosts the incredible Kidz Zone for inflatables, face painting, sand art, and much more!

Pets

Perimeter Summit

Pet World Returns! Dahlonega Action Dogs are back and ready for shows both Saturday and Sunday for a barking good time. Be sure to line up at 1:30 on Sunday for the ever-popular Cherry Blossom Pet Parade. There will be fabulous prizes for Best Costume and Fan Favorites. The Brookhaven Cherry Blossom Festival is proud to be a pet-friendly Festival! All pets must remain on a leash at all times.

Classic Car Show

Car lovers will certainly enjoy the classic car show on Saturday only. Don’t miss it!

Festival Cuisine

Make sure to come hungry, as foodie fans will find gyros, BBQ, gourmet corn dogs, Jerk chicken and lots more!

Adult Beverages

Beer, wine and vodka lemonade may be purchased by those 21 years of age and older with a valid ID. Soft drinks and bottled water are also available for purchase. No outside food or beverages may be brought into the Festival.

Discover DeKalb Stone Mountain Park Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Emory Healthcare Regency Centers LeafFilter Perimeter Summit Oglethorpe University Atlanta Braves

www.BrookCherryFest.org

www.facebook.com/brookhavenblossomfest2018 BH

www.SplashFestivals.com Go to SplashFestivals.com to volunteer.


18 |

Facebook.com/TheReporterNewspapers â– twitter.com/Reporter_News

PRESENTING SPONSOR

5K RUN

1K WALK

Sunday, March 25, Blackburn Park, 3493 Ashford Dunwoody Rd. FEES

EARLY BIRD UNTIL MARCH 17

$25 ADULTS $20 CHILDREN

REGULAR UNTIL MARCH 22

$30 ADULTS $25 CHILDREN

ONSITE (NO T-SHIRT GUARANTEE)

$30 ADULTS $25 CHILDREN

TIMES REGISTRATION & PACKET PICKUP

6:30-7:15 AM 5K START

7:30 AM 1K START

8:15 AM EARLY PACKET PICKUP AT BIG PEACH RUNNING CO. TOWN BROOKHAVEN FRIDAY, MARCH 23

Register at www.BrookCherryFest.org Convention & Visitors Bureau

This 5K is a certified 2019 Peachtree Road Race qualifier.

BH


Community | 19

MARCH 16 - 29, 2018 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

GARDEN HILLS NEIGHBORHOOD FOUNDATION

Left, a rendering shows the plan to add an upgraded sidewalk outside the Garden Hills Recreation Center at 335 Pinetree Drive. Right, a photo shows the current state of the street outside the recreation center, which the foundation says is dangerous.

Garden Hills raises funds to fix drainage, safety problems BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

To fix drainage issues and safety hazards in Garden Hills, the neighborhood foundation raised funds for three years. The project aims to fix the storm sewer drainage that currently causes hazardous flooding at the entrance to the Garden Hills Recreation Center at 335 Pinetree Drive, a

city facility, said Jeff Clark, who is spearheading the project with the Garden Hills Neighborhood Foundation. The civic association raised $150,000 over three years to split the cost of the improvements, which total $300,000, with the city of Atlanta. “In my opinion, these types of projects are the best to utilize city resources because the neighborhood is involved in the

process and the city gets a deal,” he said. The project will not only address long-standing drainage problems, but will add a pedestrian crosswalk and new speed hump to slow traffic in the hope of increasing the neighborhood’s safety and security, Clark said. The civic association renovated the pool house in 2013 and it has become extremely popular, drawing many children that walk

through the inadequate crosswalk, Clark said. The city is finalizing the plans and will control the actual project, Clark said. Clark expects the city to break ground on the project this summer and for it to be completed by the end of October. An ordinance by City Councilmembers Howard Shook and Matt Westmoreland that will allow the project to move forward was passed this month.

BeltLine tax district legislation won’t mandate affordable housing BY EVELYN ANDREWS

BH

An Atlanta legislator trying to create a tax district to speed BeltLine construction wanted to include an affordable housing mandate in the bill, but now says she was unable to do so. Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. and a BeltLine developer say enough affordable housing units will be built regardless and the tax district would not cause an increase in rent. The bill that would create a tax district to fund BeltLine construction was passed by the state House of Representatives in late February and is awaiting a vote by the Senate. The concept is similar to community improvement districts, where businesses voluntarily tax themselves to pay for improvements, but would include commercial residential developments. Rep. Pat Garner, the only Atlanta representative sponsoring the legislation, House Bill 642, said the concept’s main problem is that it could pass on extra taxes to residents in an area already struggling with a lack of affordable housing, but she couldn’t find a way to put an affordable housing mandate in the bill. “I tried really hard. There really isn’t a way,” she said. It was difficult to add that type of mandate to a statewide ordinance, and was also opposed by some property owners, Gardner said. “It belongs in a city ordinance,” she said. The city passed an ordinance in late 2017 that requires developers building in the BeltLine Overlay District, which spans the entire length of the planned BeltLine path and extends a half-mile in each direction from the

path, to set aside 10 to 15 percent of units for without contributing to it. affordable housing. “We view the BeltLine as a visionary proj“We are hopeful it will work,” Gardner ect that really needs the assistance of the said of that ordinance. broader community and warrants this sort The BeltLine is a planned 22-mile loop of support,” Tague said. ”It makes us feel like of multiuse trails, we’re just free ridparks and public ers.” transit that would The legislaeventually run tion has also been through south discussed as a way Buckhead and the to fund the park Lindbergh area. over Ga. 400, alTwo major segthough officials ments of the trail behind that projand other smaller ect say special taxpieces have been es or raising taxes built, but it is not is not needed and GOOGLE MAPS The AMLI Piedmont Heights development moving quickis not currently in Buckhead would be included in the ly enough for being pursued as proposed special tax district that would some developers a way to fund the contribute to BeltLine construction. who want to help project. speed up its progress. Johnson said that because of the city’s af“The interest comes from property ownfordable housing ordinance, the SID could ers around the BeltLine who want to see fasthelp bring more affordable housing to the er construction of the trail,” Jill Johnson, the BeltLine. The SID would allow the BeltLine BeltLine’s director of government affairs, to be built quicker, which would bring more said. developments that have to include affordPhilip Tague, the president of AMLI Resiable housing, she said. dential, is on the Atlanta BeltLine Inc.’s steer“By spurring construction of next seging committee to create the SID. He said he ments, you will also spur construction of feels like developers and citizens need to step new housing developments,” she said. up to help build the BeltLine. Tague acknowledged that the BeltLine Five of AMLI’s eight metro Atlanta prophas fallen short of the building enough aferties would be included in the SID. Two of fordable housing, and said he is in support those properties, AMLI Lindbergh and AMLI of the city’s ordinance and other measures Piedmont Heights are in Buckhead in the that could be used to bring more affordable Lindbergh area, he said. units. Without an SID, he believes his devel“We are in support of using big governopments are benefitting from the BeltLine ment to force more affordable housing,” he

said. But he said he doubts the SID would cause a significant increase of rent for properties around the BeltLine. Property owners charge the highest rent they believe people will pay, and paying additional taxes won’t likely contribute to raising rent, he said. “It’s not going to play much of a role,” he said. Financial studies done by the steering committee have shown that the properties who participate in the SID could be taxed at 3.5 mils and would bring in around $100 million, Johnson said. The SID would automatically terminate in 30 years or after the entire BeltLine is fully funded, according to the ordinance. The district area would span a half mile in either direction of the BeltLine. It would have to be approved by at least 51 percent of the property owners or of the properties owning at least 75 percent of the property value in the district, according to the legislation. Tague has been lobbying other apartment owners to be supportive of the legislation and join the SID if it passes. But he said if it was passed today, he doesn’t believe enough properties would decide to join. Most of the major property owners are on board, but smaller property owners are not supportive, he said. One challenge is convincing owners of properties that are located on the parts of the BeltLine that have already been built and are already benefiting from the trail, Tague said. He also expects the SID to be challenged legally and for property owners to sue if the legislation passes.


20 | Community

Facebook.com/TheReporterNewspapers ■ twitter.com/Reporter_News

Northside Drive bridge plan brings safety, traffic concerns Continued from page 1 said. Most residents were pleased to hear the amount of time Northside Drive is planned to be closed has been shortened to four months, shorter than the six to nine months projected in a previous GDOT presentation. GDOT officials are also still looking into the possibility of having crews work on a 24-hour schedule, which could bring the closure down to 90 days. The four month projection would be on a 50 hour per week schedule. GDOT would first work with the city and neighbors adjacent to the project before changing the schedule,” said Brian McHugh, the project manager. “Most people around the project want it done as quickly as possible, but people who live right next to it may have noise concerns,” he said. The official GDOT detour is planned to be I-75, which would have drivers travelling north getting on I-75 at Northside Drive. Drivers traveling south would enter I-75 at West Paces Ferry Road. The local detour GDOT expects most drivers to take includes the roads Howell Mill, Collier and Peachtree and Peachtree Battle Avenue. Many residents asked GDOT to urge the city to place “no through traffic” signs at

the entrance of local streets to deter traffic from drivers that don’t live in the area. While the official detour is the interstate, residents are concerned navigation phone apps like Waze will direct people through residential roads, similar to the issues the neighborhood experienced in 2016 during the I-85 bridge collapse closure. “We’re going to have to make the city be aggressive in limiting through traffic,” one resident said. GDOT previously proposed that option and an option that would build a temporary bridge for drivers to use while the new bridge is built. However, that option did not receive support from residents, would cost more and make construction take longer, according to GDOT. The plan with the I-75 detour is estimated to cost $6.5 million to $7 million. Building a temporary bridge would bring that cost up to an estimated $8 million to $8.5 million, according to GDOT. GDOT plans to do all utility work in 12 months beginning in 2019 before closing the bridge. The bridge and road would then be closed in 2020. “Our plan is to keep the road open as long as possible,” said Courtney Lovelace, a GDOT design engineer. Approximately 15,900 vehicles use the bridge daily, GDOT said.

GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

A rendering shows a view looking southeast at the Georgia Department of Transportation’s design for a new Northside Drive bridge over Peachtree Creek.

The existing bridge was built in 1926 and is nearing the end of its lifespan. The flow of water and the size and weight of present-day cars have contributed to the worsening of the integrity of the bridge, according to GDOT. The proposed bridge would have three traffic lanes. Both sides would have a shoulder and the western side would have a fivefoot sidewalk. A separate pedestrian bridge would be built on the eastern side. The new bridge has removed a barrier wall that currently exists between the western sidewalk and the road, a move residents frequently questioned at the open house. “It’s so dangerous. Cars sometimes go 50

fr ee book s a jEWISH THEMED BOOK FOR YOUR CHILD EVERY MONTH!

®

jewishatlanta.org/pjlibrary

sign up for fr toda ee y!

mph down the road. You have to have the barrier,” one resident said. The pedestrian bridge would not have easy access to existing sidewalks. People are also most often crossing the bridge on the western side because that is the side next to the Atlanta Memorial Park, said Katherine McClure, a resident. “People nine to 98 years old use that sidewalk. People are always pushing strollers and walking dogs. They can build the wall. They have to,” she said. “If there isn’t a wall, I won’t let my kids go to the playground anymore,” McClure said. The separate pedestrian bridge would be built before the new road bridge, but not open until that project is completed. The pedestrian bridge was originally conceived when GDOT realized it had nowhere to locate sewer and water pipes. The pipes now would run underneath the pedestrian bridge, McHugh said. The bridge’s design doesn’t allow for the pipes to be run underneath it, he said. When asked if GDOT had a plan for pedestrians before it realized it needed somewhere for pipes, McHugh said he did not know. He said the bridge was part of the project when he became the project manager. Residents also were disappointed that a crosswalk was not added in front of the bridge across Northside Drive. One doesn’t exist now, but most people still use that route. Lovelace said he did not know the reason one wasn’t added, but it is something GDOT can consider. The bridge is planned to be four-anda-half feet higher than the current bridge, which would minimize possible future flood damage, according to GDOT. Some residents were concerned that the amount the roads will need to incline to meet the new bridge will worsen flooding problems at their homes by causing more water to run the road. Lovelace said GDOT’s studies don’t indicate that it will be a problem. “I just need some assurance our house is not going to go out the window,” one resident said of flooding concerns. Comments can be submitted online until March 28. To submit a comment, visit dot.ga.gov/PS/Public/PublicOutreach. BH


Making a Difference | 21

MARCH 16 - 29, 2018 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Battling hunger, one backpack at a time Backpack Buddies provides weekend meals for elementary school students BY DONNA WILLIAMS LEWIS Ice and snow had paralyzed Atlanta for two straight days, but at the first sign of thawing, Ronald and Samra Robbins headed out on their weekly mission. They were off to a former storage room at Dunwoody’s Congregation Beth Shalom, a room filled with shelves of food and work tables. This space has become operations central for Backpack Buddies, a program launched by Ronald and Samra in November. Backpack Buddies provides six weekend meals for 50 children at Kingsley Elementary School, where 55 percent of 500 students qualify for free and reducedprice breakfast and lunch. “Twenty percent of all children in America go to sleep hungry at night. That’s an incredible number when you think of all the money sent overseas,” Ronald said. Kingsley Principal Melanie Pearch said Backpack Buddies has been “a great example of the community and school working together.” “Ronald reached out to us, and it’s just been awesome,” Pearch said. She says the program has helped show families that their school is a resource for them. She’s also happy with the way students have responded to the program. “What’s so cool is there’s like no stigma attached to it at all,” Pearch said. “There’s such a level of respect.”

‘It’s a wonderful feeling’

At 10 a.m. on that frosty Friday, Ronald and Samra were in position at Congregation Beth Shalom, greeting nine volunteers, some familiar, most new. Some of the program’s volunteers come from the synagogue. Others have come from the community, hearing about the pro-

Making A Difference gram through neighborhood networks. The heavy lifting had been done before any of them got there. At least once a month, Ronald, 70, and Samra, 67, visit the Atlanta Food Bank to pick up 600 to 800 pounds of nonperishable food. They load the food into their SUV, then drive to the synagogue and unload it all. Today’s weekly task, normally done on Wednesday mornings, was to sort 16 specific foods into each of 50 small bins: four protein products, two vegetable items, two cereals, two fruits, two milks, two juices and two snacks. Once a month, a jar of peanut butter and crackers is added to the mix. This was the week. Carla Wertheimer, a self-employed landscape architect, was one of the newbie volunteers that day. “I’m not working so much anymore, and I like to volunteer,” she said. “I grew up volunteering, and that’s what we teach our kids — to give back.”

A Backpack Buddies bin of food.

Lidet Yilma packed food with her sons, Nebiyou, 7, and Henok, 6, who attend Vanderlyn Elementary School. “We just wanted to help out in the community, and this was a perfect opportunity,” Yilma said. “It’s cool,” Nebiyou said, “packing up food for kids who don’t have it.” Beth Shalom Rabbi Mark Zimmerman said people want to help each other, but they often need a structure in which to participate and channel their efforts. Backpack Buddies provides such a structure, he said. “It’s an awesome idea, and it affords

PHOTOS BY DONNA WILLIAMS LEWIS

us a wonderful opportunity to do good works in the community and help families out in this way,” Zimmerman said. “It’s a wonderful feeling.” By 10:45 a.m., the bins were filled and volunteers were bagging up their contents for delivery to Kingsley, where school personnel would place them in backpacks provided by Backpack Buddies. Students are called to pick them up from the office on Fridays and they return the backpacks on Mondays, so the Continued on page 22

IRA BUMP-UP CD Term 60 Month IRA CD 48 Month IRA CD 36 Month IRA CD

Interest Rate 2.95% 2.70% 2.46%

APY* 2.99% 2.74% 2.49%

Invest in an IRA Bump-Up Certificate of Deposit with Georgia Primary Bank. You may "Bump Up" or increase your interest rate twice during the term of the CD to our current rate for the same product and term. Minimum opening deposit $5,000.

404-231-4100

www.georgiaprimarybank.com Volunteer Carla Wertheimer loads nutrition bars into bins for the Backpack Buddies program at Dunwoody’s Congregation Beth Shalom, as program co-founder Ronald Robbins looks on.

3880 Roswell Road, Atlanta, GA 30342 *Annual percentage yield (APY) is accurate as of 2-16-2018. All CDs are single maturity. Product offering may be withdrawn at any time. Fees and other conditions may reduce earnings on accounts; ask for details. For other terms and conditions, please refer to account disclosures available at account opening and upon request. A penalty may be imposed for early withdrawals.


22 | Making a Difference

Facebook.com/TheReporterNewspapers ■ twitter.com/Reporter_News

Battling hunger, one backpack at a time Continued from page 21 cycle can begin again.

Filling the food gap

One in every four children in Georgia struggles with hunger, according to Feeding America, a national hunger-relief network of 200 food banks, including the Atlanta Food Bank. Backpack Buddies is far from alone in its efforts to fill the weekend food gap. Through Feeding America’s “BackPack Program,” bags of food are assembled at more than 160 food banks around the country and distributed to more than 450,000 children at the end of the week, according to the program’s website. The Atlanta Food Bank works to fill kids’ weekend food gap by partnering with

groups such as the one launched by Ronald and Samra and a Coweta County nonprofit organization, Backpack Buddies of Georgia. Launched in 2011, that group currently serves about 550 children “at risk” for hunger in 23 elementary, middle and high schools in the Coweta County School System, according to April Anderson, its founder and president. Ronald and Samra also have done Backpack Buddies since 2011, when Ronald initiated a program at their synagogue in Savannah, Ga. More than 25 similar programs are in operation there, they said. Childhood sweethearts at Atlanta’s Grady High School who married in 1969, Ronald and Samra moved around the country during Ronald’s 32 years with the Ford Motor Company, settling in Savannah after he retired.

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF US

Whatever you have in mind for your next adventure, take advantage of our travel experts to get you there. We’ll get to know and understand you, then do all the research and booking based on your expectations, personal preferences and lifestyle. Whether it’s a safari, cruise, a trip across Europe, a seaplane adventure in Alaska, or a getaway to a remote region of the world, our staff will plan a trip that will surpass your every expectation. And the best part...knowing we’ll handle every detail.

So come on, take advantage of us.

Above, Backpack Buddies cofounder Samra Robbins gives volunteers an orientation. Left, volunteers Jack Linder and Lidet Yilma bag sorted food for delivery to Kingsley Elementary.

Fabulous Offers! Avalon Waterways is a leading river cruise line with innovative ship designs, an upscale yet relaxed onboard atmosphere and an assortment of creative onshore activities that allow you to customize your experience. SAVE $2500 per couple on select 2018 or 2019 European river cruises OR 2018 Vietnam & Camboida Mekong river cruises OR Save $1000 per couple on 2018 Galapagos cruises. Must book by 4/24/18.

Time to plan your Summer ‘18 getaway on an AmaWaterways river cruise! You’ll sail past tranquil landscapes and cozy villages, green terraced vineyards and turreted castles. Plus, we’ve designed specially guided hikes and bike tours that will take you a bit off the beaten path and out into nature. An AmaWaterways river cruise offers a luxurious and relaxing way to sail through multiple countries in just one week.

ANNIVERSARY SALE Up to $600 PER STATEROOM FREE Onboard Spending Money PLUS - Free Specialy Dining Experience New Bookings Only. Book by 3/31/18.

The World’s Most Awarded Luxury Cruise Line™ SPECIAL SAVINGS up to $1200 per stateroom on River or Ocean Cruises Danube • Rhine • Rhone • Seine • Elbe Baltics • Med • Holy Land • Panama Canal Must book by March 31, 2018

770.952.8300 | Mon-Fri 9-6 • Sat 11-3 | tcava.com

Our Exclusive! Free roundtrip ATL airport limo for any Alaska CruiseTour or European Cruise.


Making a Difference | 23

MARCH 16 - 29, 2018 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net They moved back ed for the program beto Atlanta last April to cause it was close. Stuhelp one of their three dents were prioritized, daughters with her medparents signed releasical needs. They joined es, and on Nov. 1, BackBeth Shalom in June and pack Buddies was up right away set to work and running, serving proposing a Backpack 25 children. By JanuBuddies program. ary, they were up to 50, Quickly winning apand they hope to serve proval from the syn75 children by April. agogue’s board of di“We’ve had to move a rectors, they got busy Volunteer Richard Luftig fills bins. lot of boulders along the raising money, securing way,” Robert said. “We storage space and getting approved by the really don’t take ‘no’ for an answer.” Atlanta Food Bank, which charges a small Their goals are to serve 100 students handling fee per pound of food received. at Kingsley next year, increase volunBackpack Buddies also accepts food teer participation from their synagogue, donations, and Samra usually shops sevand to encourage others across the meteral times a month at grocery and dollar ro area to start similar programs. stores for items they need when the Food “I think people are surprised,” Samra Bank doesn’t have them. said, “at how little time it takes to do someKingsley Elementary was selectthing so important for so many children.”

I am a candidate for an open seat on the Fulton County Superior Court for the May 22, 2018 election. I decided to seek this position because the citizens of Fulton County should have a highly qualified judge to represent their interests. The citizens of Fulton County expect and deserve to be served by a judiciary that is transparent and fair. I will serve the citizens in an expeditious manner that is transparent and fair. My legal career of twenty-two years has afforded me a broad range of experience which includes private practice, Assistant Solicitor for the City of Atlanta, and most recently, supervising the largest division of the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office as a Deputy District Attorney. Each of these positions were in service to Fulton County Citizens, resulting in a wealth of knowledge, understanding and respect for the great people of Fulton County. As Georgia’s laws become more complex, there is a call for judges who demonstrate an understanding of how the law affects all citizens. More importantly, all judges should serve from the moral position that every citizen who stands before the court has both a legal and constitutional right to fair and unbiased proceedings and rulings. Having served as lead counsel on a gamut of case types, I am equipped with the years and variety of legal experience to ensure my ability to serve as your next Fulton County Superior Court Judge with wisdom, fairness and a work ethic that has gone unmatched. I have included a list of professionals from various fields who serve our community and who support my candidacy for this position. I am asking you to join them and vote for me on May 22, 2018. Early voting begins on April 30, 2018.

safe • gentle • thorough

ORIENTAL & AREA RUG HAND WASHING Atlanta's Only Unique Submersion Wash & Compressed Air Cleaning Serving Atlanta Over 30 years MicroSealfor of Atlanta A DIVISION OF S&S RUG CLEANERS

Restoration & Repair • Pet Urine Removal Pickup & Delivery Available EPA

Stoney Green & Steve Arroll, Owners 1710 Chattahoochee Ave., Atl, GA 30318 RATED NON-TOXIC & NON-ALLERGENIC

404.355.2126 | TheRugCleaners.com

ENDORSEMENTS

Bensonetta Tipton Lane Former Superior Court Judge

Brenda BJ Bernstein Attorney

William Boddie State Representative

Rev. Dr. Anton Rowe,

Fani Willis

Sherry Boston Dekalb County District Attorney

Page Pate Partner Pate & Johnson, Adjunct Professor University of Georgia School of Law, Legal Analyst for CNN and WABE

Keith Meadows Chief

John E. Floyd Dr. Reverend William Edward Flippin, Jr. Partner, Bondurant, Mixson, and Elmore Pastor LLP, Author Rico State Emmanuel Lutheran By State a Guide to Church ECLA Litigation Under the State Racketeering Statutes

L. David Wolfe Criminal Defense Attorney

Sam Park State Representative

Renee Rockwell Byron Amos Attorney Board Member Atlanta Licensed to practice in Public Schools Georgia, Louisiana and Texas, Legal Analyst for CNN, HLN, MSNBC, FOX

Sara Becker Trial Attorney Arora & LaScala

Marcia Mack Director of Accounting Southeast Region for a Fortune 500 Company

Judicial Candidate Fulton County Superior Court EDUCATION, MEMBERSHIPS, & PROFESSIONAL ACCOLADES • Lewis R. Slaton Award, 2005, 2006, and • Howard University, Bachelor of Arts, 2011(only three time winner in history) Cum Laude, December 1992 • Member, Georgia Bar Association • Emory University School of Law, 1996 • Member, Georgia Association of • Law and Justice Award, Woman of The Year, Women Lawyers Georgia's Most Powerful and Influential • Member, We All Value Excellence (WAVE) Attorneys 2017- 2018

Senior Pastor

Greater Solid Rock Baptist Church Attorney

ELECTION: MAY 22, 2018 - EARLY VOTING BEGINS APRIL 30, 2018 Visit us at: www.faniwillis.com

@electfaniwillisjudge2018

@electfaniwillisjudge2018

@electfaniwillis


24 | Faith

Facebook.com/TheReporterNewspapers ■ twitter.com/Reporter_News

New book makes ‘Case for Life’ against the death penalty BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

At the heart of the Christian story of Easter is an execution followed by a resurrection. It’s a story that Rev. Robert Wright, bishop of the Buckhead-based Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta, says tells us a lot about Georgia’s modern-day death penalty. The execution of Jesus involved, he says, “an indifferent governor, in collusion with religious people, put to death. There’s something about that collusion …

And they did it in a hurry so they could all get to church on time … We can’t trust the government to make this decision.” Wright was speaking at a Feb. 15 event unveiling “A Case for Life,” a slim book of essays arguing against the death penalty. He arranged the publication and wrote one of the pieces in it. Held at Sandy Springs’ Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church, the event included a panel discussion featuring Sister Helen Prejean, the famed author of “Dead Man

Communities of Faith Celebrate with us! Sunday April 1

9:15 AM Complimentary breakfast buffet & professional family photos 10:30 AM Worship Service Reporter Easter 2018.pdf 1 2/27/2018 4:05:52 PM

Dunwoody Community Church • 2250 Dunwoody Club Drive • www.dunwoodychurch.org

C

M

Y

Holy Week

Palm Sunday

9:30am Sunday School 11:00am Worship

Maundy Thursday

7:00pm Communion Service

CM

MY

Easter Sunday

CY

CMY

K

Northwest Presbyterian Church 4300 Northside Drive Drive,NW, NW 30327 404-237-5539  nwpcatlanta.org

EASTER SUNDAY April 1, 2018

8:45 AM

Traditional worship with choir, brass, and Holy Communion

9:45 AM

Modern worship with Holy Communion

All are welcome!

4400 Peachtree Dunwoody Rd. Atlanta, GA 30342 | 404.261.3121

10:55 AM

Traditional worship with choir and brass

stjamesatlanta.org thetableatlanta.org

Good Friday

7:00pm Choral Tenebrae Service 11:00am Easter Celebration 12:15pm Easter Egg Hunt

Childcare Provided.

Everyone Welcome!


Faith | 25

MARCH 16 - 29, 2018 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

12 MORE REASONS

why REPORTER NEWSPAPERS

ARE YOUR PREFERRED SOURCE

Atlanta Catholic Archbishop Wilton Gregory and Sister Helen Prejean sit among the audience for a portion of the Feb. 15 event.

JOHN RUCH

Walking,” along with other religious and that of victims and their loved ones. secular death penalty opponents. “We can do both. Vengeance and jusPrejean said the death penalty violates tice are two different ideas,” said Wright. the Christian Gospel by saying “we’re goHe suggested it is death penalty supporters ing to imitate the worst kind of violence.” whose view is lopsided: “We want the grace Wright led the discussion, which inof Jesus for ourselves. But we want an eye cluded Rev. Wilton Gregory, the Roman for an eye and a tooth for a tooth to others.” Catholic archbishop for Atlanta; forPrejean, a Catholic nun from Louisimer Georgia Supreme Court Chief Jusana, earned fame and sparked internationtice Norman Fletcher; and Susan Casey, al conversation with her 1993 book “Dead a defense attorney for Kelly GissendanMan Walking” and its Oscar-winning film er, a murderer controversially executed adaptation. The book is about her counselby the state of Georgia in 2015. ing of two rapists and murderers who were A theme of the discussion was abolishexecuted and her argument that they deing Georgia’s death penalty and pushing served dignity and redemption. for a system of “restorative jusThe death penalty violates tice,” a kind of mediation involvinternational precepts of huing criminals and victims rather man rights to life and against than a system of pure punishtorture, she said, as “Torture’s ment. inherent to the death penalWright said the intent of the ty.” She complained that many forum was to spur advocacy to Catholics proclaim the right to “kill the death penalty.” The book life against abortion and the he conceived is part of that efprotection of “innocent life,” fort. but support the death penal“A Case for Life” is a slim volty. “What about the dignity of SPECIAL ume of five essays he said is inguilty life?” she asked. Atlanta Episcopal tended “to create five doorways She acknowledged that such Bishop Robert Wright. into the issue so we might wake famous Catholic theologians as up.” He, Casey and Fletcher are Thomas Aquinas supported the among the contributors, along with Bishdeath penalty in certain cases, likening it to op C. Andrew Doyle of the Episcopal Diokilling a rabid dog or cutting off a gangrecese of Texas and Stephen Bright, former nous limb. But, Prejean argued, today such director of Atlanta’s Southern Center for extremes are unnecessary. Human Rights and an attorney who has “The people of Georgia don’t need to do argued many death penalty cases, includthat anymore,” she said of the death penalty. ing before the U.S. Supreme Court. The Gregory, the Catholic archbishop, book is available on the Atlanta Diocese’s agreed. “Once you begin to justify the website at cathedralbookstore.org. taking of a human life, you really are on Wright said he, like many people, a slippery slope” that leads to loss of the did not give the death penalty serious “dignity of human life,” he said. thought for years. Then he realized that One man in the audience politely prothe state’s death row, located in a Butts tested the claim that the death penalty is County prison, is within his diocese, anti-Christian. making everyone there technically his “With all due respect, I have to object religious “neighbor.” Among the inforto the notion … that I am not a Christian, mation that convinced him of the death that my faith is challenged,” he said, addpenalty injustice is the number of exoning, “I must confess I do not possess limiterated former death row convicts — 161 less divine forgiveness in my heart.” in the U.S. since 1973, according to the Wright noted the large number of Death Penalty Information Center, a death row exonerations. “I don’t know nonprofit organization that gathers data how much more answer we need,” het largely critical of the death penalty. said, and the audience member said Wright noted a frequent criticism that that’s the most convincing counterargudeath penalty opponents focus on the ment to him. suffering of the perpetrator rather than

for local news and information! We’re honored that Reporter Newspapers won 12 awards, including three first-place selections in its division, in the Georgia Press Association’s 2017 Better Newspaper Contest.

1

Business Writing First Place - Managing Editor John Ruch Lifestyle/Feature Column First Place - Robin Conte, “Robin’s Nest” Page One First Place - Designed by Creative Director Rico Figliolini

2

Hard News Writing Second Place - John Ruch News Photograph Second Place - Phil Mosier Special Issues: Second Place - Fall 2016 Education Guide Humorous Column: Second Place - Robin Conte

3

General Excellence: Third Place Local News Coverage: Third Place - Staff Writers Religion Writing: Third Place - Staff Writers Serious Column: Third Place - Robin Conte Newspaper Website: Third Place

These awards are especially meaningful to us since they are judged by professional journalists and include respected, large-circulation community newspapers across the state. However, what’s most important is that they validate what you have already told us in our readership survey: Reporter Newspapers are your preferred source for local news and information. That’s the “prize” we value most. Thank you for helping to make us the most preferred and most-awarded local newspapers in our communities.

www.ReporterNewspapers.net Published by Springs Publishing LLC


26 | Community

Facebook.com/TheReporterNewspapers ■ twitter.com/Reporter_News

Coping with a Crisis: Opioid addiction in the suburbs

EXCLUSIVE SERIES

After eight O.D.s and a prison scare, a Dunwoody resident helps others on the road to getting clean Chris Zollman visits a sober living residence he operates in Chamblee.

Continued from page 1 He got his chance in early 2015 after LifeLine closed following Miller’s relapse. Zollman, with two drug-free years under his belt, opened Stepping Stones in the likeness of LifeLine. Since then, Zollman has overseen three six-person residences in north DeKalb County. The scruffy 27-year-old spends his days visiting each facility to collect mandatory drug tests and offers counsel to residents if they’re struggling. It’s for a simple goal: survival. On a recent evening in one of Stepping Stones’ facilities, a 21-year-old aspiring photographer played chess to take his mind off of cravings for heroin, which recently landed him in trouble with the law. “A lot of places sell you this hope and dream,” the resident said. “Here, it’s all about the people in this program that charges a fair price.”

Entering the treatment minefield

Only 10 percent of the estimated 2.2 million Americans who need opioid-use disorder treatment actually get it, according to a 2016 report from the U.S. Surgeon General. The kind of treatment available across metro Atlanta varies greatly, from five-figure inpatient pro-

grams that resemble summer camps to doctors offering $1,000 monthly injections to block opioids from interacting with the brain. But the struggles faced by America’s addiction industry — from the high price tag and scarcity of evidence-based treatments — means that finding treatment that works is about as easy as walking through a minefield. Growing numbers of drug users flock to sober living residences — paying a few hundred dollars to $1,500 a month — that are quietly located in houses or apartments in Brookhaven, Dunwoody and Sandy Springs. This model of housing offers people in recovery a drug-free place to live accompanied by access to the 12step programs, a strict curfew, and work or treatment obligations. Zollman embodies one of the biggest draws of these facilities: Operators are often recovering users with success stories from the very same programs. But some critics also see it a weakness. The operators aren’t usually trained medical professionals, and such facilities sometimes embrace treatment programs based on anecdotes rather than scientific evidence. Sometimes the medicine shown to be most effective in reducing the risk of relapse is banned outright from facilities like Stepping Stones. But Zollman swears by Stepping

Stones’ hardline approach. “You’re buying time until you have a moment of clarity,” he said. After all, it worked for him. The first time Zollman tried opioids, he was a 15-year-old student at Chattahoochee High School. A doctor prescribed an opioid painkiller called Lortab after a car accident. By the time he enrolled at Georgia State, he advanced from taking pills to selling thousands each month. He graduated with a business degree even though he transitioned from pills to heroin. Three years ago, taking advantage of his second chance, Zollman rented a house from a man who lost his son to an overdose. He converted the house into a sober living residence. One residence led to two more — all within a short drive from where Zollman lives in Dunwoody. He now works with 18 men who found the program by court referrals, online searches and word of mouth. They typically pay around $800 a month. The monthly rent for one of his residences — a three-bedroom apartment in a Chamblee complex — runs about $1,400, according to the management group’s website. Zollman said he has experienced some neighbors who were irritated that a sober living residence was on the block. But he believes “we’re some of the best neighbors to have.” He says that’s because of the program’s rules, which include a 10:30 p.m.

PHOTOS BY MAX BLAU

curfew, mandatory drug testing, and a requirement to either get treatment or a job. Local cities loosely regulate sober living residences, if they do at all. To get his launched, all Zollman had to do was obtain business permits and work within the codes already on the books. That still wasn’t always easy: some cities prevent more than three people who aren’t bloodrelated from living in the same unit. But he found a loophole: If his clients perform some sort of “staff role” — from doing chores to admitting new patients — they don’t count against that three-person limit. As it is, many sober living residences already dole out housekeeping responsibilities to help clients readjust to society. “Zoning has always been an issue, and is still an issue [in some cities],” he says. “I think they should be more welcoming. If we had a house full of cancer patients, this conversation would be totally different.”

Shady operators

For every above-board provider of addiction care — whether it’s an inpatient or outpatient program — stories of shady facilities are not hard to find. Zollman’s heard of facilities that charge people “relapse fees” to stay after a major program violation. One of his clients, who asked not to be identified, said he once attended a treatment program where drug deal-


Community | 27

MARCH 16 - 29, 2018 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net ers moved in across the street to lure former users back to using heroin. Even providers with medical credentials can pose hazards to the clients. Dr. Michael Fishman, one of the top addiction doctors at Talbott Recovery — which has several metro locations, including an outpatient program in Dunwoody — had his medical license suspended after being charged with the illegal possession of dozens of oxycodone pills in 2017. State Sen. Renee Unterman (R-Buford) has received reports of some Georgia facilities paying a referral fee to a headhunter to get patients into their facilities — in hopes of overcharging their insurers. “People are taking advantage of people struggling with addiction,” said state Sen. Kay Kirkpatrick, a Republican representing Marietta and Sandy Springs, who has co-sponsored Unterman’s bill to clamp down on the practice of patient brokering. “It’s a matter of finding addicts and offering them services that aren’t really services at all.” The model embraced by most sober living residences — no use of medication that includes opioids — has drawn criticism from many doctors. Scores of studies have found that opioid-based medicines such as buprenorphine, best known by the brand name Suboxone, can reduce the likelihood of relapse better than other methods of treatment. Yet Dr. Stuart Gitlow, former president of the Ameri-

can Society of Addiction Medicine, says many sober living residency operators like Zollman ban their clients from taking buprenorphine because of the longstanding misconception that those treatments “substitute one drug for another.” “If they’re taking buprenorphine as prescribed, they’re not using it for addictive reasons, so it should be fine to take there,” Gitlow says. “Instead, folks in those facilities are not allowed to take the treatment that’s most likely to lead to long-term recovery.”

Zollman cites stories of potential abuse — not science — as grounds for banning these treatments at his residences. If the 12-step program worked in his experience, it can work for his clients, he figures. Despite his confidence in his methods, he says long-term recordkeeping about relapse rates is difficult in part because some clients fall out of contact. “A year out, a majority of my clients graduate,” he said. “After that, it’s hard to keep track.” It’s been six years since Zollman got his shot to turn his life around. He

stayed clean. He’s engaged to someone he met in recovery. He now wants to expand the number people he’s helping. To do so, and to avoid zoning restrictions of DeKalb cities, he’s moving his residences to Cobb County. He believes the higher concentration of treatment options there — as documented in the latest season of the popular TV show “Intervention” — will best serve his clients as they try to improve their lives. “I see people going through living hell,” he says. “Everyone deserves a shot.”

Max Blau is an Atlantabased journalist who has written about healthcare, drugs and addiction for such outlets as the Boston Globe and CNN.

Second of a 4-Part Series

A 21-year-old Stepping Stones resident, who asked not to be named, plays chess to take his mind off of cravings for heroin.

The combination of prescription painkillers, heroin and synthetic opioids is killing people around the nation, including within Reporter Newspapers communities. In this exclusive four-part series, we will look at how local families, nurses, prosecutors, recovering addicts and others are responding to a growing epidemic that already kills more people than cars, guns or breast cancer each year. To share your thoughts and stories, email editor@reporternewspapers.net. To read previous stories in this series, visit ReporterNewspapers.net.

Sandy Springs prepares to sue opioid industry; other cities may join BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

Sandy Springs is preparing to sue prescription drug makers and distributors over the opioid addiction epidemic. And its attorney says other local cities — including Atlanta, Brookhaven and Dunwoody — are considering suing as well. Dunwoody is “discussing” the possibility, while Brookhaven has “no plans at this time” to sue, spokespeople for the cities later said. Sandy Springs’ strategy is to join hundreds of other local governments — including DeKalb and Fulton counties — in lawsuits that are being heard by a single federal judge in Cleveland, Ohio, to speed them along. The City Council’s consensus for City Attorney Dan Lee to draft a lawsuit for formal approval came March 6, the day after U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the Justice Department will support such local lawsuits. “I don’t have to tell you all, it is an epidemic, especially through north Georgia,” Lee told the City Council about opioid addiction. Opioids are a class of addictive, often easily lethal drugs that include opium, morphine, heroin, oxycodone and fentanyl, among others. Together, they

are estimated to kill over 50,000 Americans a year, and addicting many others, in a crisis that is trending upward. Streetdrug versions now kill the most people through overdoses, but the gist of the lawsuits is that major drug manufacturers, distributors and pharmacies sparked the crisis with deceptive marketing and overuse of prescription painkillers. Lee, speaking after the City Council meeting, called the opioid addiction crisis “a social problem that was generated by bad players.” He said he’s heard the situation likened to crack and meth — if they were sold with TV ads and other mainstream industry marketing. The lawsuit, Lee said, would present the city as an “injured party” due to its costs in caring for people addicted to and overdosing on opioids. He said lawyers have created a formula to estimate the city’s cost in such areas as police and Fire Rescue Department resources. Police Chief Ken DeSimone said those costs are real and frequent, with officers responding to overdose calls “weekly.” Just days earlier, DeSimone said, police responded to a man-and-woman couple who overdosed on opioids in a home with about six children. The woman survived, he said, but the man died. The lawsuit would become one of

many bundled for review — but not literally combined, as in a class-action lawsuit — in the Cleveland federal court, where they could see possible settlement or return to local jurisdictions, according to Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. The judge and the strategy of bundled lawsuits were profiled March 5 in the New York Times. Lee likened the strategy to the tobacco industry lawsuits of the 1990s, where many states sued cigarette-makers for years of false advertising and hiding data on health dangers and addiction risks. Lee, a former state senator, recalled that Georgia balanced its budget with a tobacco lawsuit settlement payment. Lee said he has discussed the lawsuit strategy with city attorneys of other jurisdictions expressing interest in doing the same, including Atlanta, Brookhaven and Dunwoody. Sandy Springs City Councilmember John Paulson said he supports suing for the financial reimbursement, and on the theory that the more cities that join up, the more likely a solution to the crisis becomes. Mayor Rusty Paul recalled a meeting of north Fulton mayors about a year ago where the scope of the opioid crisis was discussed and two heroin addicts

in recovery spoke. “I was just astonished at the story of families … upscale families in north Fulton,” who had faced addiction and dead family members, Paul said. The city of Atlanta did not immediately respond to comment requests about possible opioid lawsuits. Dunwoody’s city government “is discussing the issue, [and] the suits and actions being taken in the region, but no decision has been made,” according to spokesperson Bob Mullen, who added that the police department has saved lives with the opioid overdose antidote naloxone. The city of Brookhaven is not joining the lawsuits for now, according to spokesperson Burke Brennan. “We are aware of its existence,” said Brennan about the lawsuits and the strategy. “However, Brookhaven does not provide emergency medical services in response to the crisis. There are no plans at this time to participate in this lawsuit.” Brookhaven does not have a city fire department or ambulance service, with DeKalb County providing both services. However, it does have a police department, whose officers have carried naloxone since 2015.


28 | Community

Facebook.com/TheReporterNewspapers ■ twitter.com/Reporter_News

Thousands of students join walkout protests

BY EVELYN ANDREWS

evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

Thousands of students at local schools in Buckhead, Brookhaven, Dunwoody and Sandy Springs participated in a nationwide protest on March 14 to call for gun control measures a month after 17 people were killed in the Parkland, Fla., school shooting. At North Atlanta High School in Buckhead, students gathered in the football field held signs that “resist violence, promote peace” and “never again.” Other students played marching band drums and led chants, according to video distributed by Atlanta Public Schools. At Chamblee Charter High School near Brookhaven and Cross Keys High School in Brookhaven, students carried homemade signs demanding an end to school-related gun violence and engaged in passionate chants as they walked around campus, according to the DeKalb County School District. Students at Chamblee Middle School near Brookhaven held an assembly in the gym run by the student council president and vice president. They read a biography of each of the 17 victims from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and held a moment of silence. About 80 percent of the school’s students participated, the district said in a press release. Hundreds of Dunwoody High School students participated in the walkout, and a small subgroup of students also counter-protested, the school district said. The Atlanta Jewish Academy in Sandy Springs also planned a walkout. The walkout came a month after the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Top, North Atlanta High School students hold signs while sitting on the football field bleachers during the protest. Right, North Atlanta High School students hold signs during the March 14 gun control protest. ATLANTA PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Northside Cardiology & C.P.N.A.

Northside

Heart

Partnering For Your Care

. Cardiovascular screening . Cardiac Ultr asound . Stress Testing

NorthsideHeart.com (404) 256-2525 or (770) 343-8565

. Cholesterol & Hypertension Management . Arrhythmia Evaluation & Treatment . Cardiac Cath/Coronary Stent


Classifieds | 29

MARCH 16 - 29, 2018 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Personal & Professional Services Directory

Reporter Classifieds HELP WANTED

REAL ESTATE Affordable Senior Condo for Sale/Lease – Affordable Senior Living Condos. Purchase or Rent - Mount Vernon Village in Sandy Springs HOA includes: All Utilities, 1 Meal/Day, Housekeeping, Laundry, + lots more. Call today Kim at Dunwoody Brokers 404-414-8307 or kim@dunwoodybrokers.com

SERVICES AVAILABLE 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…”0n market or just away”. Call Charles at 404-229-0490.

CEMETERY PLOT Arlington Memorial Park – 3 lots in the Calvary Section. Asking $5,900 ea. or $17,000 for all. Email: mrmccabe@hotmail.com

TUTORING

Plan Ahead for Fall with Summer Tutoring - ACT/SAT Prep, Several Subjects. Visit: www.bobsayetutoring.com Email: sayebob@yahoo.com 404-723-9892.

Time for new headshots?

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, Roswell, Alpharetta or Johns Creek area of north Fulton and 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

(770) 993-1906 ext. 242

Administrative Assistant – Performs full administrative and general support duties to assist the manager and Board of Directors. Proficiency in MS Word, MS Excel and MS Outlook. Excellent people skills required. CINC experience a plus. Excellent starting compensation with benefits. Sandy Springs area. Email resume to: SandySpringsCondominium@gmail.com

The Quick Shot Corporate Package (Reg. $175) $145 for the month of March, in-studio

POSITIONS AVAILABLE

• Window Cleaning • Gutter Cleaning • Pressure Washing • Family Owned • Licensed and Insured • Free Estimates

Shelves • Organizers • Carpentry Drywall • Painting • BBB rated

since 1968

Small Jobs & Chores are My Specialties!

404-547-2079 Mwarren8328@gmail.com

www.WindowCleanAtl.com

www.paintingplus.com

Handyman Services Moving & delivery too!

Cornell Davis, Owner BH

Personal & Professional Growth Opportunity in Atlanta, GA

678-565-8800

www.HydyInc.org | info@hydyinc.com Naima Lewis, Ph.d.,C-IAYT, E-RYT

To Advertise, call 404-917-2200 ext 110

404-910-3969

www.RemodelingExpo.com

• Family Owned since 1972 • Fast, Dependable Service by Professional, Uniformed Electricians

770-455-4556

justTRASHit!

We Haul Away: We Clean Out: *Furniture *Appliances *Construction *Pianos *Hot tubs *Paint cans

and follow us on

Call Kevin 24/7

JUNK REMOVAL & RECYCLING

*Basements *Garages *Attics *Offices *Storage units *Estate sales

(770) 314-9867 www.justTRASHit.com

48 KING STREET ROSWELL, GA 30075

Belco Electric

• PAINTING

• ROOFING

SHOWROOM

IN HOME CONSULTATION

Appliance Repair

• GUTTERS

803-608-0792

Comprehensive mind/ body/spirit curriculum, Yoga Alliance, 200 hr. certification, CEUs

“Serving Metro Atlanta Since 1998”

• WINDOWS • SIDING

No job too small References Available

March 31st 2018

Certify to Teach all adult populations:

Check out our new website www.BelcoInc.com

404.355.1901

770-971-1577

Yoga Teacher Training

REPORTER CLASSIFIEDS WORK FOR YOU!

Showroom, Design, Build

Atlanta’s Premier

REGISTER FOR SPRING 2018

resume • letter • salary interest ceo@ourcac.org | www.ourcac.org No telephone calls please

Kitchen Bathroom Basement

Matthew’s Handy Services

We travel. Corporate, Group, Portrait, Environmental.

Customer Service / Information Coordinator Full time. Responsible for reception desk operations, supervising volunteers. Manage and maintain client records and databases.

Home Services Directory

Spring Clean-up Special

BUCKHEAD STUDIO PHOTOGRAPHY www.thebuckheadstudio.com Peachtree Rd NE, Atl, GA 30326 • (404) 462-2385

Food Pantry Coordinator Full time. Oversee daily operations, manage volunteers, purchasing, inventory, deliveries, stats. Includes driving and off-loading trucks, heavy lifting.

ALL WORK GUARANTEED

770.885.9210

• All Major Appliances & Brands FREE Service • Stoves, Ovens, Dishwashers • Refrigerators, Disposals Call with • Washers, Dryers Repair or $25 Service • 30 Years Experience Charge Servicing All of Metro Atlanta

Tranquil Waters Lawn Care Aeration Leaf Blowing Power Washing Free Estimates . Senior/Veteran Discount No Contract Necessary . Commercial Residential

678-662-0767 Call Mike

Come Visit us in

Chamblee! WINDOWS

• Windows • Doors • Siding and more! • BBB A+ • Free Estimates • Family Business Established in 1980 3660 North Peachtree Road - Chamblee, GA 30341

770-939-5634 • www.quinnwindows.com

With two professional in-house polishers, we can make your silver flatware, tea sets, bowls and trays more beautiful than ever before. Bring it by or call us for an estimate today!

The Handyman Can • Plumbing • Electrical • Sheetrock • Floors • Tile • Framing • Kitchens • Painting • Roofwork • Concrete • Stained Glass • Antique Door Restoration as well as many other issues...

John Salvesen • 404-453-3438 thehandymancanatlanta@gmail.com


30 | Community BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

A Buckhead-based conservation group says it has scored a win in its effort to save a native species of newt that is in danger of going extinct. The Amphibian Foundation this month was able to successfully breed the striped newts for the first time, founder Mark Mandica said. “This is really our first native, captive breeding success,” he said. The newt has been bred in at least one other facility in the past, but the foundation has been working to breed the species for less than a year, he said. The success is “a huge step towards that goal” of introducing a new population of newts into the wild, Mandica said. The foundation started in Mandica’s basement and since 2016 has occupied a sprawling space in the Blue Heron Nature Preserve at 4055 Roswell Road. Several research labs and holding areas for animals are downstairs. Upstairs are the offices and the tanks for snakes, lizards, the newly hatched striped newts and many other animals. The foundation has four conservation programs for the flatwoods salamander, gopher frog, striped newt and tiger salamander. The foundation will eventually release populations of those species into the wild into controlled and monitored habitats in the Southeast, Mandica said. “The goal for all of our priority projects is to release these animals back in the wild,” he said. It hasn’t tried to breed flatwoods salamanders yet; the gopher frogs they have are too young; and they are still trying to build a big tiger salamander population, he said. Almost 40 percent of the world’s amphibian species — which are cold-blooded vertebrates including frogs, toads, newts and salamanders — have been documented as in decline or already extinct, often caused by urban development and climate changes, Mandica said. Flatwoods salamanders are one of the most endangered, having suffered a 90 percent reduction in population since 2000, placing them at imminent risk of extinction in the next five to 10 years, according to the foundation. Despite being named the Amphibian Foundation, the organization also houses several types of reptiles, including turtles, snakes and lizards, mostly for the camps and educational programs the foundation holds throughout the year at the foundation headquarters and other locations for children and adults. The foundation is not open to the public and is not open for visits like a zoo, however. The foundation owns a variety of

Facebook.com/TheReporterNewspapers ■ twitter.com/Reporter_News

Conservation group scores win in saving endangered amphibians Left, An albino burmese python lies in its tank at the Amphibian Foundation. The snake is used for educational classes. Middle, Mark Mandica, the founder of the Amphibian Foundation, stands in front a several tanks holding a variety of reptile and amphibian species used for research and education at the organization’s headquarters at the Blue Heron Nature Preserve. Bottom, Two tiger striped monkey frogs sit on leaves in their tank. EVELYN ANDREWS

snakes, including an albino burmese python and an Eastern diamondback rattlesnake, which they use for the snake handling classes. They also have several species of poisonous frogs they use for the children’s camps. The frogs can only make poison when eating a natural diet. On a captive diet, they are harmless, Mandica said. The foundation counts the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources among its research partners. It also works with Zoo Atlanta on its gopher frog conservation program. Mandica recommends residents make

their backyards more amphibian-friendly, including by not removing fallen leaves from the ground and installing devices that helps amphibians trapped in a swimming pool get out.

People can also join a reporting program that has residents keep track of the amphibians they see in their backyard so agencies can use those records for conservation programs, Mandica said. The foundation moved to Blue Heron, a sprawling wildlife campus that also holds the headquarters the Atlanta Audubon Society and the Da Vinci International School, in late 2016 shortly after Mandica founded it. Mandica founded the organization after leaving his previous research job at the Atlanta Botanical Garden in its amphibian conservation program when the program was closed. He kept much of his research and amphibians in his basement at his home in Decatur while looking for a new location. The foundation was set in 2016 to be mostly funded by the federal government, but when the administration changed in early 2017, the funding for foundation was mostly cut, Mandica said. Some funding did eventually come, but later and less than expected. The organization, which is run by four staff members and 28 volunteers and interns, is now mostly funded through other grants, donations and the revenue from children’s camps and classes. “We’ve had to get creative,” he said. Because of the funding changes, Mandica has not taken a paycheck since starting the foundation, he said. “Obviously, that’s not why anyone would do this,” he said. Mandica had always been interested in amphibians, but didn’t see many in his home state of New Jersey. While at college at the University of Miami, he learned not much is known about amphibians. “That’s when I started my journey,” he said. But the foundation is working on significantly expanding its educational programs and developing a model for those programs to fully fund the foundation. It’s already working on expanding its summer camps, which have been popular, he said. The camps started in one location two years ago, and this summer will be held at five locations. Mandica’s long-term goals are to start new conservation programs for other species, eventually serving the global amphibian community. Mandica said it is possible that North America has never had a single amphibian species go extinct, and he doesn’t want that to start now. “They are vital as prey and as a predator,” he said. For more information, visit amphibianfoundation.org. BH


Community | 31

MARCH 16 - 29, 2018 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Neighborhoods fear possible East Paces Ferry interchange Continued from page 1 Denise Starling, the executive director of Livable Buckhead, announced at a Buckhead Business Association meeting that her organization has received funding from the Atlanta Regional Commission to study the interchange. The idea is controversial and is in Buckhead’s master plan, “Buckhead REdeFINED,” as a concept, not a recommendation, Starling said. The BUCKHEAD REDEFINED ARC funding will go toA concept design shows the potential new Ga. 400 interchange at East Paces Ferry Road. The purple arrows ward a feasibility study to show the general area on East Paces Ferry Road that the see if the new interchange on and off ramps for the interchange would be located. would work, she said. “At this level of planning, it looks like a good idea, but we’ve got to get to the next level to make sure it would achieve the things we think it would achieve,” she said. The idea for a new interchange came out of discussions and public meetings held when making Buckhead’s master plan, Starling said. Buckhead currently has a single Ga. 400 interchange, at Lenox Road. Drivers with destinations in southern Buckhead take local roads back down to their destination, causing worse traffic, Starling said. “In addition to enhancing mobility to and from Ga. 400, the new ramp would distribute traffic and reduce congestion at Buckhead’s only existing Ga. 400 interchange on north Lenox Road,” the master plan says of the interchange. District 7 Councilmember Howard Shook, who is also on the Buckhead CID board, said the study not only has to determine if it would be beneficial, but if it could feasibly be funded. “It will be very costly, I’m sure,” he said. “We’re definitely going to have to know what problems it solves for some neighborhoods and what problems it creates for other neighborhoods.” Shook said he thinks it could be built only within the existing right of way. Buying up private properties would be too costly, he said. Nancy Bliwise, the president of the Pine Hills Neighborhood Association, said her neighborhood expressed several concerns about the impact the new interchange could have on the neighborhood in master plan meetings. “Given the need for alternative transit in Atlanta, we do not understand why a car-based, highway solution is being proposed to address traffic problems in Buckhead,” she said in an email. “It seems to be yesterday’s solution to today’s problems without considering the anticipated revolution in transportation with the advent of self-driving vehicles.” Bliwise wants the study to consider how traffic could back up on East Paces Ferry Road and examine how navigation apps could reroute more traffic into Pine Hills as a result of the new interchange. “We are concerned that a more limited study will miss how directing traffic off Ga. 400 at East Paces Ferry will impact our adjacent neighborhood,” Bliwise said. Lenox Square mall could benefit from the interchange if it works as intended and reduces traffic congestion, said Robin Suggs, the manager of the mall. Suggs also serves on the board of the Buckhead Community Improvement District, which helped fund the master plan. “We are in support of any project that would help relieve Buckhead traffic congestion and improve upon traffic flow. Regarding the potential impact to area businesses, eliminating traffic congestion would certainly serve to benefit all of Buckhead,” Suggs said in an email. Cathy Muzzy, the president of the Peachtree Park Civic Association, said the neighborhood would sue if an interchange ramp was proposed for Peachtree Park, which is on the west side of Ga. 400. East Paces Ferry Road runs directly through the neighborhood. “It would destroy the neighborhood,” she said. “They can study it all they want. If they try to run if through the neighborhood, we will sue them.” North Buckhead is one of the neighborhoods that could benefit from the new interchange, said Gordon Certain, the president of the North Buckhead Civic Association. Cars come farther north than they need to into North Buckhead since the only interchange is there, he said. “Today those cars clog up traffic by coming north to go south again,” he said. The neighborhood could see an improvement of traffic on Lenox Road, he said. “A traffic study is clearly needed to quantify the likely impact on the various parts of the area and is especially important to let the Pine Hills neighborhood have a better idea whether or not that interchange will have a particularly negative impact on their part of Buckhead,” Certain said. BH

Police Blotter / Buckhead From Buckhead Police reports dated Feb. 26 through March 2. The following information was pulled from Atlanta Police Department’s Zo 2 Open Data Database.

„„2600 block Piedmont Road — On

Feb. 26, larceny from a non-vehicle was made. „„2400 block Parkland Drive — On Feb. 26,

B U R G L A RY / R O B B E RY „„500 block Lindbergh Place — On Feb.

27, a residential burglary was reported. „„1000 block Lindbergh Drive — On Feb.

28, a burglary in a non-residential area was reported. „„3300 block Peachtree Road — On Feb. 28,

a suspect was charged with larceny from a non-vehicle. „„700 block Lindbergh Drive — On Feb.

26, a report of larceny from a vehicle was made. „„300 block Peachtree Battle Avenue —

a pedestrian robbery was reported.

On Feb. 26, a report of larceny from a non-vehicle was made

„„3700 block Ivy Road — On March 1, a

„„600 block Morosgo Drive — On Feb. 26,

residential burglary was reported.

larceny from a non-vehicle was reported.

„„1000 block Lindbergh Drive — On

March 2, a burglary at Varsity Jr. was reported.

A S S AU LT „„500 block Main Street — On Feb. 26, a

„„600 block Phipps Blvd. — On Feb. 27,

larceny from a vehicle was reported. „„3500 block Peachtree Road — On Feb.

27, a report of larceny at Target was made.

suspect was arrested and charged with aggravated assault.

„„3300 block Peachtree Road — On Feb.

„„2500 block Piedmont Road — On Feb.

„„3300 block Peachtree Road — On Feb.

27, a suspect was arrested and charged with aggravated assault. „„2400 block Piedmont Road — On Feb.

27, a suspect was arrested and charged with aggravated assault. „„1900 block Piedmont Road — On Feb.

27, a suspect was arrested and charged with aggravated assault.

27, an auto theft was reported. 27, larceny was reported. at Lenox Mall. „„4000 block Peachtree-Dunwoody Road —

On Feb. 27, larceny from a vehicle was reported. „„990 block Lindridge Drive — On Feb.

27, a report was made on larceny from a non-vehicle. „„2500 block Piedmont Road — On Feb.

LARCENY/THEFT „„700 block Lindbergh Drive — On Feb.

26, larceny from a non-vehicle was reported. „„2600 block Piedmont Road — On Feb.

26, a report of larceny from a non-vehicle was made. „„3500 block Peachtree Road — On Feb.

26, a report was made in reference to larceny from a non-vehicle. „„2500 block Piedmont Road — On Feb.

27, a report was made in reference to larceny from a non-vehicle. „„3300 block Peachtree Road — On Feb.

27, larceny from a non-vehicle was reported. „„2600 block Piedmont Road — On Feb.

27, larceny from a non-vehicle was reported. „„800 block Loridans Circle — On Feb.

27, larceny from a non-vehicle was reported.

26, larceny from a non-vehicle was reported.

„„1200 Pasadena Ave. — On Feb 27, lar-

„„500 block Dutch Valley Road — On Feb.

„„2400 Camellia Lane — On Feb. 27, lar-

26, larceny from a non-vehicle was reported. „„800 block Collier Road — On Feb. 26,

larceny from a non-vehicle was reported. „„3500 block Piedmont Road — On Feb.

26, larceny from a vehicle was reported. „„2800 block Lenox Road — On Feb.

26, a report of larceny from a non-vehicle was made.

ceny from a vehicle was reported. ceny from a vehicle was reported. „„20 block Normandy Court — On Feb 27,

a report was made on larceny from a vehicle „„2500 Piedmont Road — On Feb. 28, a

report of larceny was made at a Target

READ MORE OF THE POLICE BLOTTER ONLINE AT

www.ReporterNewspapers.net


32 |

Facebook.com/TheReporterNewspapers ■ twitter.com/Reporter_News

Pediatric urgent care right in your neighborhood Children’s at Chamblee-Brookhaven opens April 2018 You’ll soon have convenient access to pediatric urgent care in the Chamblee-Brookhaven neighborhood. So the next time your child’s doctor is unavailable, ours will be standing by, including evenings and holidays.

CHILDREN’S AT CHAMBLEE-BROOKHAVEN

©2018 Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Inc. All rights reserved.

5080 PEACHTREE BLVD, STE 100, CHAMBLEE

choa.org/urgentcare

In the Parkview on Peachtree shopping center

BH

Profile for Reporter Newspapers

03-16-18 Buckhead  

03-16-18 Buckhead  

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded