03-17-17 Buckhead Reporter

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MARCH 17 - 30, 2017 • VOL. 11 — NO. 6


Buckhead Reporter



► State GOP chair candidates debate party’s future PAGE 2 ► Nowhere to run: Crime watches go high-tech PAGE 5


Church marks 25th year of serving others

Flying high with outdoor art



“The Kite Children,” one of several sculptures created by Gary Price around Tower Place, is just one example of the public art that graces Buckhead. About a dozen installations of public art are featured in the Buckhead Guidebook. Read story page 11.►

STANDOUT STUDENT Metro Atlanta’s first All-Ireland fiddle champ

Our fluffy cherry trees, our feathery dogwoods, our brilliant azaleas are smiling at us from all sides, causing us to smile in return. And sneeze. See Robin’s Nest page 9

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More than 1,000 volunteers are expected to join Peachtree Road United Methodist Church’s Great Day of Service on March 25. “For us, the Great Day of Service is the introduction to service,” said Rev. Bill Britt, the senior minister at the church at 3180 Peachtree Road, which is marking its 25th year of serving the community. “They come on this one day of the year, and it inspires them to get involved in other ways throughout the year.” More than 25 organizations will join in, along with members of the congregation and the community. The event provides volunteers for 39 projects that focus on children, the impoverished, health and education. It is timed to coincide with the Christian observance of Lent, a period of fasting, penance and self-reflection leading up to Easter. “As Christians, we are called to go out and serve,” said Beth Spencer, the direcSee CHURCH on page 12

Group forms to fight antiSemitism “I want to stand up and be as loud as the people making the bomb threats,” said Lauren Menis, founder of the new Atlanta Initiative Against Anti-Semitism.

OUT & ABOUT Cajun band heats up Sandy Springs dance floor Page 16


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Georgia GOP chair candidates debate party’s future


Michael McNeely answers a question during a debate at a Buckhead Republicans meeting on March 14. McNeely along with Mike Walsh, John Watson and Alex Johnson are running for chair of the Georgia GOP.

BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

Four candidates running to lead the Georgia Republican Party debated before Buckhead Republicans on March 14. They focused on strengthening the conservative base in Georgia, how to attract millennial and minority voters and how to fix the Georgia GOP’s poor financial state. Although the party won all statewide offices in the 2014 midterm elections and Republican President Donald Trump carried Georgia, federal financial disclosures show the party is in debt and had $56,000 in cash on hand at the end of 2016. Just a few years ago in 2008, they ended the year with $1.5 million. The party’s finances were a major topic throughout the debate at the Cross Creek Café and also the question chosen by moderator Phil Kent, a commentator on a Fox 5 Sunday morning talk show, to begin the discussion among the candidates seeking to chair the state party. The chair will be elected at the GOP’S state convention June 3 in Augusta. Alex Johnson, an Atlanta attorney in his third bid for the chairmanship, said they need not only to look at improving fundraising, but also to determine if there is overspending or mismanagement. Mike Welsh, the District 12 GOP chairman in Georgia, said the party needs to pay off all debts and build a cash reserve. Current Georgia GOP Vice Chairman Michael McNeely played down the importance of financial opinions and said the candidates are “not being elected to finance chair.” McNeely argued that he knows what the spending priorities need to be. In a later question, McNeely remarked on the abundant space in the party’s large office space in Buckhead. “When a chairman has two offices, there’s a problem there,” McNeely said. John Watson, a lobbyist and former chief of staff to Gov. Sonny Perdue, had the opposite opinion, arguing fundraising is a main part of the chairmanship. As chair, Watson said their “responsibility is principally to be a fundraiser.” Watson also expressed concerns that the Democratic Party is gaining power in Georgia. “Even after years of dominance [by the GOP], Democrats have more money than us,” Watson said. “They’re getting faster,

hungrier, meaner.” Although Georgia did go to Trump, two major counties that typically vote Republican — Gwinnett and Cobb — were carried by Democrat Hillary Clinton. Party members also see declining support from millennial voters. In exit polls reported by the New York Times, 55 percent of voters age 18 to 29 voted for Clinton and 37 percent for Trump. However, fewer young people voted for Clinton than voted for former President Barack Obama. An audience member, noticing that only a handful out of 75 people at the debate were younger than middle age, asked the candidates how they would attract millennials’ support. All the candidates agreed more needs to be done to reach young voters, citing the need to have a stronger social media and online presence. McNeely said the party needs listen to young voters’ ideas and keep them involved. On minority voters, Watson said they need to be reaching out to minority voters all the time, not only show up around election season. Welsh, who often focuses on technology’s benefits, said they need to use data analysis and voting engagement analytics to target minority voters to reach them more effectively. Johnson said they need to show minority voters they aren’t racist and that “we aren’t what the media says.” Kent, the moderator, said he is optimistic about the future of the party. He said he believes that losses in Gwinnett and Cobb had more to do with people staying home than large numbers switching to vote Democratic. He also thinks the Republican Party has since united around Trump. “A lot of Republican voters were split about Trump, but I think since then they’ve come together,” Kent said. All the candidates supported Trump for the presidency and frequently referenced him positively during the debate. As the only candidate in favor of gambling, Watson, although not directly addressed, immediately volunteered to take an audience question on the topic. As a lobbyist, one of his clients is in favor of legalizing gambling, Watson said. However, he said, his personal beliefs will not be part of his role as chair if he were elected. “I am the ‘L-word’. I am the lobbyist in this bunch,” Watson said. “You will not hear from me one promotional item as chairman.”


MARCH 17 - 30, 2017

Alliance Theatre to stage plays in local venues BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

Atlanta’s Alliance Theatre is taking its 2017-18 season on the road to smaller venues — including ones in Buckhead, Brookhaven and Dunwoody — as its Midtown home undergoes renovation. Part of the Woodruff Arts Center, the Alliance is a top metro Atlanta theater company. As its 1968 theater space is rebuilt and expanded, the Alliance will produce each of the season’s plays in different venues, starting in June. Perimeter-area venues include the Atlanta History Center and the Galloway School in Buckhead; Oglethorpe University’s Conant Performing Arts Center in Brookhaven; and the Marcus Jewish Community Center in Dunwoody. “If we do this work right, each work will feel inevitably matched to its venue,” Alliance artistic director Susan V. Booth said in a press release, “and we’ll be both taking our loyal supporters on a curated trip around their city, and meeting new audiences that we can hopefully bring home with us in the years ahead.” The Galloway School will be one of the hosts for the Alliance’s world premiere of “The Dancing Granny.” “It is our hope that through this performance, audiences will connect with the painter, poet, musician, storyteller, and dancer hidden within,” said Peggy Benkeser, the school’s director of the arts, in the press release. The Alliance may establish a longerterm presence in the Perimeter area. Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul recently said that Woodruff and Alliance officials have met with him about possible productions in a theater set to open next year in his city’s City Springs project.

Meanwhile, here are Alliance productions to be performed locally during the 2017-18 season:

THE DANCING GRANNY June 10-18, Conant Performing Arts Center, Oglethorpe University, and June 24-July 2, The Galloway School. A world premiere for youth and families based on a beloved children’s book about a clever spider of African folklore by 2017 Newbery Medal winner Ashley Bryan. BH

Community | 3


SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE Aug. 30-Sept. 24, Conant Performing Arts Center, Oglethorpe University. A new play based on the Academy Award-winning 1998 film about young Will Shakespeare finding his muse in Viola, a beautiful young woman who is Will’s greatest admirer and will stop at nothing, including breaking the law, to appear in his next play. The play will be directed by Richard Garner, artistic director of Georgia Shakespeare, which was formerly based at the Conant.

The Galloway School

CROSSING DELANCEY Oct. 7-Nov. 18, Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta. The play that inspired the hit film, “Crossing Delancey” is a comedy about the clash between traditional Jewish-American immigrant culture and the more modern aspirations of the next generation.

Atlanta History Center

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NATIVE GUARD Jan. 13-Feb. 4, 2018, Atlanta History Center. Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning collection of poetry by former U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey, “Native Guard” will be staged this season amid the Atlanta History Center’s extraordinary Civil War collection. The play juxtaposes the personal experiences of Trethewey, a child of a then-illegal marriage between her African-American mother and white father living in 1960s Mississippi, with the experience of a soldier in the Native Guard, one of the first African-American Union units in the Civil War, which was charged with guarding white Confederate captives. For tickets and information, call 404-733-5000 or see alliancetheatre.org.

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Group aims to unify metro Atlanta against anti-Semitism BY JOHN RUCH

my community,” she said “I think what happened to me personally is, I started to feel a twinge of fear.” A Dunwoody homemaker’s outMenis described several influences. rage over recent anti-Semitic threats She has previously visited Whitefish, a and vandalism across the country has Montana resort town now notorious as spawned a rapidly growing advocacy ora home of the “alt-right” white nationganization that hopes to send a nationalist movement that gained publicity wide message against fear and hate. for supporting Donald Trump’s presi“I want to stand up and be as loud dential campaign and which Trump latas the people making er denounced. She was the bomb threats,” said angered by posts inLauren Menis, foundsulting Muslims made er of the new Atlanta on the Facebook acInitiative Against Anticount of a former DunSemitism. woody assistant city Menis’s text-mesattorney who said his sage chats with other account was hacked. Davis Academy moms The final straw, she last month snowsaid, was news reports balled into the crein February about deseation of AIAAS, which cration of a Jewish cemhas already won supetery in Philadelphia, port from the regionone of several such al chapters of the Anvandalism incidents ti-Defamation League around the nation. SPECIAL and the American Jew- Lauren Menis, founder of Atlanta “I thought to myself, Initiative Against Anti-Semitism. ish Committee. ‘I have to do something The group hopes about anti-Semitism,’” eventually to hold some kind of public Menis said. town hall forums. On March 30, it plans With her journalism background, a private organizing meeting that repreMenis said, “I wanted a media statesentatives of local governments and rement: ‘Atlanta decries anti-Semitism.’” ligious and cultural groups will attend, She acknowledged that AIAAS’s orincluding some Dunwoody City Counganizers have yet to come up with a cil members and the Sandy Springs pomore solid agenda, which will be a folice chief. cus of the March 30 meeting. “I am very impressed by the grassHowever, the effort seems to be taproots efforts that Lauren has creatping a desire for more discussion about ed,” said Dov Wilker, regional director anti-Semitism. The ADL and the Amerof the American Jewish Committee’s ican Jewish Committee have signed on Buckhead-based Atlanta chapter. “The as co-sponsors of the organizing meetgreater awareness we bring to the issue ing, and many prominent groups are of anti-Semitism, the better off we will sending representatives, including the all be. If we are able to create compleMJCCA, the Atlanta Jewish Film Festimentary efforts to combat anti-Semival, the Davis Academy and the Weber tism, we will be able to have a greater School. impact than by ourselves.” Sandy Springs city Communications Menis is Jewish, but “not particularDirector Sharon Kraun, who is Jewish ly religious,” and said she has not been and said she is well aware of the nationinvolved in advocacy organizing beal threats, will attend along with Police fore. Her background is in the media as Chief Ken DeSimone. a producer at CNN and a local newspa“We’ll go and listen,” Kraun said, per columnist. adding that city officials are curious to The north Perimeter area has a large hear AIAAS’ agenda. Jewish population and such cultural “As far as anti-Semitism, the city institutions as the “Anne Frank in the has been very vocal that we don’t tolerWorld” exhibit in Sandy Springs. Two ate any kind of behavior that is against local organizations — the ADL’s Southanyone,” Kraun said. “We support any east regional office in Buckhead and effort that is combatting hate and intolDunwoody’s Marcus Jewish Communierance.” ty Center of Atlanta — have received Menis said that one potential funcbomb threats recently. tion of AIAAS — whose founding group Menis said her activism is not in rehas a Muslim member — is bringing tosponse to any local anti-Semitic incigether leaders from beyond the Jewish dents, but rather to the nationwide rise community. in threats and general intolerance. “Anti-Semitism isn’t a Jewish prob“I have never had a problem with anlem,” she said. “It’s a community probti-Semitism and I feel perfectly safe in lem.” johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

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MARCH 17 - 30, 2017

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Crime watches go high-tech with apps, cameras BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

Neighborhood crime watches have been around since the 1970s. But these days, they’re increasingly going digital with apps and cameras, and local police departments are looking to plug in. Police in Sandy Springs are among those watching the rise of crime talk on such social apps as Nextdoor — and seeking ways to better use it for crime prevention. At a recent High Point Civic Association meeting, Capt. Steve Rose, the commander of the Sandy Springs Police Department’s South District, talked about seeing residents on Nextdoor sharing stories about a suspicious character, but then all forgetting to call the police. “The Nextdoor app seems to be the most popular app, and we have our own Nextdoor site as well as monitoring the individual community sites,” Rose said later in an email. “For us, the hope would be that we can almost directly communicate with any of the various HOAs or civic associations through their Nextdoor sites or their websites, because we can push out crime information, but also correct inaccurate information, which is all too common.” As a wave of car-breaks and burglaries appears to move northward from Buckhead neighborhoods, old-fashioned crime watches are popular, too. But they’re still talking technology. At a recent meeting of a Brookhaven homeowners association, according to one resident, the crowd was unusually large due to a number of car break-ins. The HOA discussed a new Georgia Power Co. program through which the power company plans to rent security cameras on its own power poles for surveillance of private property, with the feed accessible by police. The HOA was especially interested in a license-plate reader version of the camera. The Georgia Power camera program, set to launch this spring, is still being planned quietly, its existence apparently first revealed by a discussion at a January Sandy Springs City Council meeting. Dunwoody police said they were not aware of the camera program, while Atlanta police said they were. The company previously said the program will kick off with offerings only to commercial, not residential, property owners. Georgia Power spokesperson John Kraft said company officials “continue to study and develop the options customers say they want from a service of this kind, including a license-plate reader option.” Brookhaven police did not respond to questions. However, the department recently launched “Operation Plugged In,” a service allowing police access to private security cameras. While social media can bring neigh-

bors together, it also can cause potentially dangerous rumors to spread like wildfire. At the civic association meeting in Sandy Springs, Rose gave more details of a Brookhaven incident in January that began with a deliberately false report of a shooting. Sandy Springs officers were

FORMING A CRIME WATCH IN YOUR AREA BROOKHAVEN See brookhavenga.gov/police/neighborhood-watch. BUCKHEAD Call a Crime Prevention Inspector for the Atlanta Police Department’s Zone 2 precinct at 404-848-7231. DUNWOODY See nnw.org and follow up with Officer Mark Stevens, the neighborhood watch liaison, at Mark. Stevens@dunwoodyga.gov. SANDY SPRINGS South District residents can contact Community Service Officer Cory Begeal at cbegeal@sandyspringsga.gov. North District residents can call 770-551-3309. If you don’t know which district you’re in, call police headquarters at 770-551-6900.

among those responding as part of the regional North Metro SWAT team. Rose said that while police tried to figure out the situation, a resident on Twitter sent out a message about a supposed “active shooter.” That rumor, Rose said, led another resident to get out a shotgun for self-defense, which he then accidentally fired into his bed. SWAT members then surrounded that house, mistakenly thinking it was the non-existent gunman.

“The whole thing was a comedy of errors, but that can go sideways,” Rose said. Meanwhile, local police departments encourage the formation of crime watches. “We are going to review all of our current programs and jump-start those that have become inactive,” Rose said. “We are also going to design a new neighborhood watch sign. We will be replacing all of the existing signs with one uniform sign with our brand on it.”

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Fulton hopes to be transit expansion example for DeKalb officials “What’s missing … is, not only is there not a real transit plan for Fulton County, In Fulton County, officials are moving there’s not one anywhere close to looking forward with planning to extend mass tranat the region as a whole,” Paul said. “If the sit into unserved areas. And they hope to Regain Your Health & Mobility! political climate [in favor of transit] sudbe an example of political unity to leaders denly happened tomorrow … there’s still no We specialize in non-invasive, in neighboring DeKalb and other counties plan in place.” minimally-invasive and robotic that have rejected MARTA in the past with DeKalb County CEO Mike Thurmond techniques for advanced the aim of creating a reweight loss and general agrees there is no DeKalb gional transit network. surgery procedures. strategy on how to bring Fulton County, with more rapid transit to the Let Dr. Srinivasa Gorjala, a agreement from local county. He says that’s beboard-certified physician, and mayors, is funding an Atcause officials of DeKalb’s our on-site dietician help you lanta Regional Commisvarious cities, state offito live to your full potential sion study of extending with one of our medical or cials and business and rail transit northward surgical weight loss programs. community leaders have from North Springs Stayet to come together. For More Information: tion and southward from “It shouldn’t be a surthe airport, possibly with prise that we don’t have Call: (404) 250-6691 or visit: bus service branching BariatricInnovationsAtl.com a plan,” he said. “We have out to the east and west, to come together. The Our Location: said Sandy Springs May- Fulton County Chairman John Eaves first step is a meeting of or Rusty Paul. the minds.” 6135 Barfield Road, Suite 150 But a truly regional transit system is Atlanta, GA 30328 Fulton County CEO John Eaves, now needed, the mayor says, and that requires running for Atlanta mayor, said Fulton cooperation and planning among leaders has worked hard to build trust with elected from Fulton, DeKalb, Gwinnett, Cobb and leaders throughout Fulton. County officials Clayton counties. He also said there needs recently created a panel of mayors and the to be some kind of public transit that conboard of commissioners to discuss transnects Doraville and Cobb along the Perimportation issues, which produced a suceter. cessful transportation sales tax ballot question last fall. “We went through this long process of building trust and focusing in on opportunities before us,” he said. “And doggone it, we got there. [The TSPLOST vote] was the first major step toward conversation. The next piece is the transit piece.” But in DeKalb, there’s a different perspective. State Sen. Fran Millar (R-Dunwoody), whose district includes a large section of north metro Atlanta, says the counties shouldn’t have to finance transit plans. “I’m not opposed to MARTA – I’m just opposed to Fulton and DeKalb paying for it,” Millar said. He wants the state to put money into mass transit and not depend on individual counties’ taxes. Last month, Millar, a member of the Senate Transportation Committee, voted down a bill in committee that would have let local voters decide whether to raise the Visit us today to find out how sales tax by half a penny to fund MARTA to qualify for a rail and bus expansions in DeKalb County. The bill was backed by Thurmond and the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners. “We’re a constitutional republic, not a democracy,” Millar said of his committee Consumer Demonstration: Mar 25th vote. “MARTA doesn’t have a plan for what to do with the money,” he said. The veteran legislator said he understands the need for a “seamless” regional transit system that includes cooperation among all neighboring jurisdictions, but says Fulton and DeKalb can’t “compel” 7455 Trowbridge Rd, NE | Sandy Springs, GA 30328 Gwinnett, Cobb and other counties to help 404-255-0640 | www.sewellappliance.com come up with the money for planning such a system.

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As for Paul’s recent outspoken support MARTA CEO Keith Parker is well-liked, for light rail and mass transit expansion but, asked Paul, “How long is he going to be in Sandy Springs, Millar is not impressed. here? Will MARTA revert to its previous be“[Paul] also supports apartments everyhavior if someone new comes in?” where,” Millar said. The local officials acknowledged that There are members of the Fulton legisanother former block to MARTA expanlative delegation who don’t support MARsion in majority-white northern suburbs TA expansion like Paul does, Millar said. For was the often racially based perception Perimeter North Family Medicine is proud to serve the families example, the Johns Creek City Council voted that MARTA brings crime. throughout the Atlanta area. Offering a full range of adult and unanimously in 2015 to oppose any kind of Millar, however, said he doesn’t believe pediatric services, our physicians, Dr. Charles Taylor, Dr. Shetal Patel MARTA expansion into North Fulton. race plays a role anymore in MARTA deand Dr. Mithun Daniel offer the highest standard of care to keep Paul acknowledged Millar has valid bates. “I think we’re past that,” he said. “By you and your family happy and healthy. We accept most insurance points about DeKalb’s situation. and large, we’re past that. I don’t hear that plans and offer same-day appointments for sick visits. “I’m not saying Fran argument.” is parochial,” he said. “I tell you, 10 years ago Our Services Include: “He’s got some legitimate maybe, in Fulton Coun• Physical examinations & wellness care for men, women & children concerns in DeKalb on ty, but doggone it, it’s not • General and chronic care for geriatric patients whether they’ve got the there now … or at such a • Immunizations cooperative approach low level it’s not at noise we’ve developed in Fulvolume,” Eaves said. • Acute illness treatment for colds, fevers, flu & more ton County.” “You don’t hear this [talk Thurmond said about] MARTA’s going to DeKalb still needs to bring crime.” climb that first step in Paul and Millar agree bringing city and county on one major issue — leaders together. that the state needs to State Sen. Fran Millar “I just think we need to fund mass transit. build consensus around a “It may seem like a strategy for DeKalb,” he said. “Rapid transit snail’s pace, but the state is, for the first Mithun Daniel, D.O. Charles Taylor, M.D. Shetal Patel, M.D. is a regional issue, not a county issue ... and time, acknowledging there is a state role in DeKalb is just one component.” transportation beyond rubber-tired, singleEaves said he hopes he can help DeKalb occupancy vehicles,” Paul said. Call 770-395-1130 for an appointment County find a way to come together as “Pun intended, they’re starting to touch 960 Johnson Ferry Rd. NE, Suite 300, Atlanta, Georgia 30342 Thurmond, who took office in January, setthe third rail of Georgia politics.” PNFM.com tles into his new role. “At some point, we’ve got to be on the same page of, ‘OK, when is DeKalb going to have a plan?’” Eaves said. “My hope is my political influence and my outreach to DeKalb will help them in terms of getting to the level of Fulton, at least in terms of having the [transit] conversation.” And while it’s a Fulton plan at the moment, there really needs to be regional plan, Eaves said. “My hope is, it’s a true regional system that at some point connects with Gwinnett and Cobb,” he said. Paul calls the cooperation he now sees in Fulton “a sea change” in “putting aside racial, partisan and geographic differences.” He said he now views Fulton cities as “Lego blocks” connecting together. “It comes down to leadership … If you don’t have forward-looking leadership, if you only have people parochial in their viewpoints, you won’t get anywhere,” Paul said. Losing Eaves as chairman for the Atlanta mayoral concerns Paul. “Is someone goNOBODY A COLONOSCOPY ing to step up and continue the cooperative environment, or someone who drags BUT MANY COLON CANCER DEATHS COULD HAVE us back to the old dark days of us versus BEEN PREVENTED WITH ROUTINE SCREENING them?” Paul asked. Paul also said he hopes the cooperation in Fulton can serve as an example to DeKalb and other counties, but said, “I’m not Pollyanna, thinking everything is all March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month www.atlantagastro.com bright and sunny and perfect in the world,” Make the call that could save your life. 1.866.GO.TO.AGA [468.6242] he said. MARTA’s image is a challenge, Paul AGA, LLC and its affiliates are participating providers for Medicare, Medicaid and most healthcare plans offered in Georgia. We comply with applicable Federal said, noting that “governance is the key iscivil rights laws and do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex. ATENCIÓN: si habla español, tiene a su disposición sue” as well as MARTA’s “long history of inservicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. CHÚ Ý: Nếu bạn nói Tiếng Việt, có các dịch vụ hỗ trợ ngôn ngữ miễn phí dành cho bạn. competence and waste.”

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8 | Commentary

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Commentary / The role of public art in a community

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It seems everyone has an opinion about “public art.” And why not? It tends to have a major impact on communities. It inspires, amuses, and challenges people. It captures the time in which it is created and installed. Public art can help make parks and greenspaces especially distinctive and memorable. Public buildings and plazas can host modestly sized to monumental art installations that reflect the character of the community. Small nooks and mini-greenspaces can showcase small-scale wonderful works. One major issue with public art is that it is often controversial, sometimes wildly so. Government officials and public authorities seldom embrace controversy. That’s perfectly understandable. However, the flip-side can be bland and boring “safe” art that seldom merits much attention. In fact, the “safest” art usually is derided, being controversial because it is so uninteresting. Ideally, a piece of public art will capture the imagination and stir the souls of many people, whether through beauty, simplicity (or complexity), subject matter, its style, etc. But it may fail to connect with other people whose tastes are different or who just

don’t get it. Sometimes a piece of public art is universally embraced by a community; occasionally a work is overwhelmingly panned. But it attracts attention Bob Kinsey and generates diCEO alogue, and those Spruill Center are major attrifor the Arts butes of public art. Moving beyond issues of controversy, it is often said that all great cities have great art. That is undeniably true, as evidenced by cities throughout the world. But a community does not have to be New York City or Paris to have great art. Inspiring public art is also found from small towns to allsized cities. As CEO of the Spruill Center for the Arts, and a frequent traveler, I get to see the good, the bad, the ugly, and the “what were they thinking” when it comes to public art. I am a firm believer that key roles of public art are to: 1) capture the character of the community in which it is displayed; 2) make the people in that community feel

more a part of, and more proud of, the area in which they live; 3) be accessible to everyone at no charge; 4) enhance everyday life; and 5) help draw cultural tourists and economic development. The Spruill Center for the Arts, located in Dunwoody, is one of the largest community art centers in the southeastern United States. Thousands of students take art courses and workshops at Spruill Arts every year. There is also a professional artist gallery and gift shop in an historic 1867-1905 building on Ashford-Dunwoody Road. On a gallery outbuilding, a smokehouse dating from the 1840s, there has for years been a large mural that says, “Everything Will Be OK.” Originally a temporary exhibit piece by Jason Kofke, it has taken on iconic status as public art. Viewable from a major intersection, it is immensely popular and has changed lives: people struggling with cancer and other hardships have told us about the positive impact it has had on them. People also share with us the joy the mural has brought them. Engaged couples show up all the time to have their photos made beside the mural. So do many groups. It is amazing. Such is the power of public art. A new addition just behind the Spruill Gallery is a beautifully landscaped sculpture garden. Installations are being added, with many more planned. Some sculptures will be permanent; others will be displayed temporarily and then replaced with new pieces. While the garden is on private property, it is very accessible to the public. Spruill Arts will always do its best to foster a deep appreciation of public art. Please think for a moment what life would be like without public art: no Statue of Liberty, no Eiffel Tower, no entertaining roadside attractions. Let’s all take time in the hectic crush of every day to have our lives made richer and fuller by public art.

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At top, the trademark mural at the Spruill Gallery in Dunwoody. Above left, an image from a recent presentation by Spruill CEO Robert Kinsey shows graffiti taking the place of public art in Dunwoody’s Brook Run Park. Above right, an illustration of a sculpture by John Portman that soon will be installed in Buckhead’s Loudermilk Park as a major piece of public art.

MARCH 17 - 30, 2017

Commentary | 9


On Keats and pollen While at Trader Joe’s last week, I stopped to admire the display of flowers that were stationed outside the door, and I was successfully won over by the daffodils. I peered into the collection and pulled out a few pots, assessing their size and proportion of blossoms-to-buds, when a fellow shopper passed by. “Make yourself happy,” she said to me as she entered the store. She nailed it. That’s exactly why I was buying the flowers. Imparting happiness, injecting our world with buoyancy — that’s what flowers are for. Flowers are something like smiles. They are fleeting, but they brighten the world and lighten the spirit. They are gracious and elegant, yet attainable and commonRobin Conte is a writer place. They smack of indulgence, yet they are natural and mother of four who and gluten-free. During springtime in Atlanta, we are surrounded by lives in Dunwoody. She can be contacted at floral smiles. Our fluffy cherry trees, our feathery dogrobinjm@earthlink.net. woods, our brilliant azaleas are smiling at us from all sides, causing us to smile in return. And sneeze. They cause us to smile and sneeze and itch and dab our watery eyes. Don’t think I would fail to mention that. But back to the flowers. They also remind me of that famous line by John Keats (I looked it up), “A thing of beauty is a joy for ever: its loveliness increases; it will never pass into nothingness…” Well, you and I know that unless it’s laminated or made of some form of stone, a thing doesn’t physically last forever. Flowers certainly don’t. I love irises. I love their double triumvirate of petals — one set arching skyward and one bowing gracefully toward the earth — but when cut, they are the mayfly of flowers, in that they die in about a day.

Robin’s Nest Robin Conte

Still, I love them. I love both the sight of them and the memory of them. Not meaning to launch into a dissertation on Keats, but rather to confine this poetic moment to a single paragraph more, I will admit that Keats was right there with me. He was not intending to laminate beautiful things; rather, he was rhapsodizing about nature as well as the pleasant remembrance of things that naturally die, “but still will keep a bower quiet for us, and a sleep full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.” Obviously, though, Keats didn’t live in Atlanta, where all these things SPECIAL of beauty spew storms Robin Conte, reveling in the daffodils at her door. of ghastly yellow pollen that keep us sniffling and wheezing. There is no “quiet breathing” during spring in Atlanta, while we are gazing at our things of beauty. And that reminds me of another beauty-themed idiom, which is that beauty comes at a price. Thus, in my column for today, we have Keats on beauty, and pollen on flowers, and smiles on faces, and springtime in Atlanta. And I am going to attempt to tie all of these themes into a neat little bow and close by coining a phrase of my own: “A smile carries no pollen.” So this spring, plant flowers if it makes you happy. And smile.

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‘The Storyteller’ among many public sculptures to visit EVELYN ANDREWS


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Blue Breeze Cards

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“The Storyteller,” perhaps the most iconic sculpture in Buckhead, recently was moved from Charlie Loudermilk Park and installed outside Buckhead Library. At Loudermilk Park, formerly known as Triangle Park, the sculpture of a person with a buck’s head was positioned telling the history of the community to a group of turtles and dogs. In the sculpture’s new installation, the turtles have been removed. The cluster of sculptures now only features the dogs and occupies a much smaller area than when it was installed at the park. It will be replaced at Loudermilk Park this year with a new 12-foot abstract metal sculpture titled “Aspiration” by architect and developer John Portman. Portman is known for such landmarks as the Peachtree Center hoPHIL MOSIER “The Storyteller” in its new location tel and office tower complex outside the Buckhead Library. in Downtown Atlanta. While “The Storyteller” is among the most wellknown sculpture, there are several other pieces of art around Buckhead that the public can view. These sculptures are listed in the Buckhead Coalition’s 2017 “Buckhead Guidebook,” a product of the Buckhead Coalition, which can be read online at buckheadis.com.

The Great Fish

After March 31, 2017

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At 65 feet in height, it’s hard to miss “The Great Fish” when driving down Pharr Road. The fish is a 50-ton freestanding copper-coated steel sculpture coming out of a small fountain next to Atlanta Fish Market. It was created by Martin Dawe and Randy Blain in 1995 and cost $500,000. Creating it now would set the Buckhead Life Restaurant Group, the owners, back $2 million, according to an article in Simply Buckhead. Atlanta Fish Market, 265 Pharr Road N.E.

South Music

Installed during renovations in 2007, the Angel Orensanz sculpture towers over the parking area of the Atlanta Decorative Arts Center. At night, the inside of each of the towers is lit with a different color. The center was founded by John Portman, an Atlanta architect and developer. Atlanta Decorative Arts Center, 351 Peachtree Hills Ave.


Unsuspecting professionals may stumble upon a pack of shiny gold foxes in a breezeway outside of Tower Place. Installed in 2008, these were created by R.E.M. lead singer Michael Stipe. In an information sheet outside the display, Stipe describes his piece. “Inspiration for the piece includes questions of permanence and ephemerality, and memorabilia; in this case, small plastic toys, their mass-produced uniformity, and challenging that, each of their individual markings,” he said. 3344 Peachtree Road N.E.

Endless Journey

Several sculpted tiles can be seen adorning the walls of the Buckhead MARTA station. The length of the artwork spans two football fields and is the largest art installment in any BH

MARCH 17 - 30, 2017

Community | 11


MARTA station, according to the artist’s website. The sculptures were originally created for the 1996 Olympic Games. Buckhead MARTA Station, 3360 Peachtree Road N.W.

Peace Tree

Inside the Atlanta History Center’s Swan Woods Trail is the Atlanta branch of the Gardens for Peace, an international network promoting gardens as a place for meditation and peace. The sculpture depicts five life-sized people holding hands around a tree and was done by Georgi Japaridze. The artist is from Tiblisi, Georgia, one of Atlanta’s sister cities. Atlanta History Center, 130 W. Paces Ferry Road.

Untitled sculpture at the entrance of Frankie Allen Park

Artist Jim Clover created the sculpture in 1973, which makes it one of the oldest sculptures still installed around Buckhead. It originally had a fountain in the base, but it was removed when it was moved from Charlie Loudermilk Park, then known as Triangle Park, to Frankie Allen Park, according to Buckhead Heritage. Frankie Allen Park entrance, intersection of Bagley Street and Pharr Road.

Millstones and spoke wheel from Civil War era Collier’s Mill

The stones and wheel were formerly equipment for Collier’s Mill, a Civil War era grist mill. Plaques around the Collier Mills neighborhood and Tanyard Creek describe the area around the mill as the site of a bloody Civil War battle in 1864. Across from Tanyard Creek Park, intersection of Collier Road and Redland Road.

St. Francis

The Cathedral of Saint Philip, an Episcopal church near the Garden Hills neighborhood, has a statue of St. Francis that was purchased in Rome in 1966. The cathedral itself is also has architecture worth seeing. Cathedral of Saint Philip, 2744 Peachtree Road N.W.

The Kite Children

This sculpture was done by Gary Price, who also created several others around Tower Place. He completed this bronze sculpture of three children running with kites in 1995 and later in 1998 created “Boy Holding Boy,” “Giggles” and “Wings” which are all nearby. Tower Place, 3340 Peachtree Road N.E.

They Will Soar on Wings

Paul Freundt, who typically makes metal furniture, created this abstract sculpture of wings coming off of arches. It was installed near the parking decks of Lenox Towers in 2008. Lenox Towers, 3390-3400 Peachtree Road N.E.

Terry Lee

The Paralympics athlete is immortalized in bronze outside the spinal rehabilitation center. Lee competed in the wheelchair sprint, swimming, archery, shot put and javelin. The sculpture, dedicated in 1986, depicts Lee throwing a javelin. The Shepherd Center also has two other sculptures on the campus — “ Water of Life” by David Sampson and “With Compassion He Listens to All” by Victor Salmone. Shepherd Center, 2020 Peachtree Road N.W.


A marble bust of the famed ancient Greek physician is installed outside of Piedmont Hospital. Piedmont Hospital, 1968 Peachtree Road N.W.


“South Music” rises high above the Atlanta Decorative Arts Center and at night illuminates the parking lot with different colors shining through the holes in each tower.



This untitled 1973 sculpture stands at the entrance of Frankie Allen Park.

Lindbergh City Center sculptures

They are several sculptures to see inside Lindbergh City Center. Installed in 2004, the sculptures include “Hydrogen” by Zachary Coffin, “The Spirit of Travel” by Wayne Trapp, “Linkage” by Phil Proctor and “Diversity” by Anthony Liggins. Lindbergh City Center, 575 Morosgo Drive N.E.

Urban Quartet

A grouping of modern abstract sculptures by John Scott can be seen outside Monarch Tower. Monarch Tower, 3424 Peachtree Road N.E.

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Church marks 25th year of serving others Continued from page 1 tor of local outreach and volunteer service. “We are a fortunate church and financially blessed as a congregation. It’s our moral duty to help our brothers and sisters in our city to help improve their quality of life.” The day begins with communion and breakfast at 8 a.m., followed by service projects across the city. It ends with a barbecue in the afternoon. In celebration of the 25th year, PRUMC will recognize those who have volunteered since 1992. Church leaders have invited back the two women who thought up the idea in 1992: Rev. Vickie Smith, originally a church member who has since became ordained, and Melanie Johnson. In the first year, Smith thought 100 congregants would participate. Instead, 500 showed to donate their time and energy. “In the early years it was meant to get us pew-sitters into service as true disciples,” said Claire Bowen, a longtime volunteer and human resources consultant. ““It has had a ripple effect of people who want to be involved in service since.”

The Great Day of Service also allows for the church to interact with different partners in the community and help those who are less fortunate, Spencer said. “Over the years, it becomes something you don’t want to miss,” Bowen said. “The camaraderie and feeling you get after you get in your car, knowing you made a difference, is something I look forward to. “ Spencer said that the event is inspired by the words of John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, who said, “Do all the good you can, By all the means you can, In all the ways you can, In all the places you can,


Youth volunteer Caeley Ellinger joins Rev. Bill Britt, senior minister of Peachtree Road United Methodist Church, at the PRUMC’s 2016 Great Day of Service last spring. Caeley was one of hundreds of volunteers who donated time at community service projects across Metro Atlanta.


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At all the times you can, To all the people you can … As long as you ever can.” “During Lent we often times are asked to give something up, or take something on … so we ask them to take time out of their busy lives to give back to their community, even if it’s just for an hour,” Spencer said. Projects include volunteer work with Habitat for Humanity, New Hope AME church, Covenant House, Police Athletic League and The Agape center. Volunteers will have a chance this year to work at two new sites: Urban Recipe, a food co-op in Grant Park where volunteers will help ready a garden for planting; and The Hollis Innovation STEM Academy, a school in its first year that PRUMC helped launch where volunteers will help work in a garden and on stage sets for the school’s upcoming musical production of “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.” “Worship and outreach is the heartbeat of our church,” Britt said. “It is the very life of everything we do. Otherwise, we just become insulated and would think only of ourselves.” To view the full list of community or for volunteer registration, visit prumc.org/greatday or call the church at 404-266-2373. BH

MARCH 17 - 30, 2017

Community | 13


Rendering of proposed apartment buildings with 273 total apartments proposed in Lenox Park.


Brookhaven Planning Commission rejects plan for new Lenox Park apartments BY DYANA BAGBY


A split Brookhaven Planning Commission voted 5-2 at its March 1 meeting to recommend denial of a developer’s rezoning request to build a 273-apartment complex in Lenox Park. The request to rezone the land, located just east of the northern border of Atlanta’s Buckhead neighborhood, now goes before Brookhaven City Council on March 28. Voting to deny the request were Planning Commission Chair Stan Segal and Commissioners Shannon Cameron, Bert Levy, Michael Diaz and Madeleine Simmons. Voting not to deny were Commissioners John Funny and Conor Sen. Members voting for denial said they did so because the community development master plan currently in place makes no mention of building apartments at the site. A representative of WSE Development said at the meeting the project is valued at $65 million. The company is seeking to build two six-story buildings on an approximate 5-acre piece of property in Lenox Park, one with about 24 apartments and the other with the remaining 249 apartments. The two buildings would be connected by an aerial bridge. The development also would include a 2,000-square-foot coffee shop on the ground floor. Several residents of Lenox Park spoke out against the proposed apartment complex. They cited concerns about increased traffic and said they did not want more apartments in the area, saying it has thousands of apartments already. They also said the community development’s master plan calls for commercial development in the area. The property is located within the Lenox Park character area, which was designed to include high-rise office towers, multifamily residential units, mid-rise hotels and significant open space. A representative of AT&T, which owns some of the property, spoke at the meeting in favor of the proposed development and said no commercial developers were interested in the property, leading the company to accept WSE Development’s plans for apartments. The developer also stated they withdrew plans for a drive-through lane for a coffee shop in response to residents’ concerns. The vacant property is currently zoned for two office buildings, one six stories tall and the other eight stories tall, according to plans filed with the city. The Lenox Park office park area takes in about 21 acres.

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Students from Warren Technical School were awarded the Volunteer of the Year award from the Carl E. Sander’s Family YMCA.

Buckhead Y honors Sutton student The YMCA’s Buckhead location, the Carl E. Sander’s Family YMCA, presented the Volunteer of the Year award to students from Warren Technical School interested in early childhood learning. Sutton Middle School student Honor Crandall was named Teen Leader of the Year for her involvement with the adaptive swim program at the Sanders Y. Students at Chamblee’s Warren Technical School who are interested in early childhood learning volunteered in the play center and in the Parents Morning Out and Learning Academy programs. Warren Technical School, which provides special needs students with instruction in job readiness and life skills, teamed up with KAT GODUCO the Sanders Y to give the Honor Crandall, center, received the Teen Leader of the students an opportunity Year award from the Carl E. Sander’s Family YMCA. to work with children. “To see our students implement what has been taught in the classroom is inspiring,” said Tavia Miller, early childhood education vocational teacher at Warren Technical School. “They have fun while learning skills that will help them enter the workforce after graduation. The students have said that they would volunteer again – even after graduation.” Crandall, a lifelong member of the Y and a volunteer since she was 9, received the Teen Leader award in recognition for her work with the adaptive swim program, which is designed for children with special needs. She is also active with the summer swim camp and with tennis and swim teams at the Y. “The Y is a place that I grew up going to and still love to go to,” Crandall said. “The most important reason I continue to be involved with the Y is the children. During the school year and during the summer, the thing on my mind the most is how I can help them continually learn new things.” They were honored at the “Celebration of Community Champions” dinner on Jan. 26. BH

MARCH 17 - 30, 2017

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16 | Out & About

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Mondays to Saturdays, 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Sundays, noon-5:30 p.m. This traveling exhibition created by the Belgian National Institute for Veterans and Victims of War will tour during the centennial of the U.S. entry into World War I. Now at the Atlanta History Center, the exhibition honors the sacrifice of more than 116,000 U.S. military in the war. 130 West Paces Ferry Road N.W., Buckhead. Ticket info: atlantahistorycenter.com.



Friday, March 24 to Sunday, March 26 Friday and Saturday, 8 p.m.; Sunday, 3 p.m.

Capitol City Opera Company presents the Tony Award-winning musical “Man of La Mancha,” sung in English and accompanied by a five-piece chamber orchestra. Based on Cervantes’ 17th-century novel, “Don Quixote,” the musical is about an old man’s journey through a tale of knights, faithful companions, and infallible love. $40 general admission; $30 military with ID, seniors 60-plus and students with current ID. Conant Performing Arts Center at Oglethorpe University, 4484 Peachtree Road N.E., Brookhaven. Info: ccityopera.org.

BROOKHAVEN CHERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVAL Saturday, March 25 and Sunday, March 26, 10 a.m.- 6 p.m.

“THE CEMETERY CLUB” Through Sunday, April 9

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

A children’s village, classic car show, 5K race, 1K walk, pet parade and costume contest, arts and crafts market, music, food trucks and more are in store at the third annual Brookhaven Cherry Blossom Festival. Free. Blackburn Park, 3493 Ashford-Dunwoody Road, Brookhaven. Event registration and other info: www.brookcherryfest.org.

VISUAL ARTS HWAHYUN KIM: DREAM STATE Tuesday, March 21 to Saturday, March 25, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

Through layers of pen markings, paint and thread, mixed-media artist Hwahyun Kim walks the line between reality and the subconscious in her solo exhibition, “Dream State.” Free. Spruill Gallery & Gift Shop, 4681 Ashford-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Info: spruillarts. org/gallery or 770394-4019.

CAJUN DANCE WITH FEUFOLLET Saturday, April 1, 8 p.m.-11 p.m.

The Atlanta Cajun Zydeco Association presents the high-energy Cajun dance music of Feufollet. Cajun food for sale. Free dance classes in jitterbug and Cajun dance begin at 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. No partner necessary. $18; $14 active military; $5 students. All ages welcome. Dorothy Benson Senior Multipurpose Complex, 6500 Vernon Woods Drive, Sandy Springs. Info: aczadance.org or 877-338-2420.

SATELLITE RIDE FOR THE LIVING Sunday, April 2, 8:30 a.m.-10:45 a.m.

The Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta is partnering with the JCC Association to offer Satellite Ride for the Living spin classes. The classes are a local celebration of a 55-mile bicycle ride from Auschwitz-Birkenau to JCC Krakow that celebrates the vibrancy of Jewish life in Poland today. Free to the community and to members. MJCCA Zaban Park, 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody. Info: atlantajcc.org or 678-812-4022.

MARCH 17 - 30, 2017

Out & About | 17


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Celebrate Earth Day at the Chattahoochee Nature Center with the Back to your Roots Farm Fair, presented by Northside Hospital. Crafts, music, food trucks and information on farmer’s markets are in store. Baby farm animals on site until 3 p.m. Visit the Unity Garden to see chickens and plants from the annual spring native plant sale. General admission applies: $10 adults; $7 seniors ages 65+ and students ages 13-18; $6 children ages 3-12. Free for children 2 and younger and for CNC members. 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell. Info: chattnaturecenter.org. PHOTOS BY CHRISTY COX

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Lectures are presented by Friends of Lost Corner and will take place on the 4th Wednesday of the month.

Lost Corner Preserve 7300 Brandon Mill Rd. 30328

(Located at the corner of Brandon Mill LECTURE SERIES: HISTORY OF SANDY SPRINGS Road where Riverside Drive turns into

Fourth Wednesdays through 7:30-8:30 pm May, 7:30-8:30 p.m.

Dalrymple Road)

Join local historian Clarke Otten at Lost SECRET HISTORY OF LOST CORNER Corner Preserve and learn about the

Sunday, April 2, 3-4 p.m. history of Sandy Springs. It has a rich Localand historian Clarke Otten presents the hisunique history dating back to the tory settlement of Sandy of Springs inina the lecture series at the area mid-1800’s Lost and Corner Preserve. the Civil War. Topic for March 22 is

“Oak Grove (Sandy Springs) to the Civil War January 25: Indian Trails and Pioneer 1861-1865.” Friends LostADCorner presents Tales 6,000 BC toof1800 this February series, along with a “Secret History of 22: From Frontier Settlers to Lost Corner” lecture followed by an hour-long Open House.History Visitors can learn Corner how preSecret of Lost Community 1800-1860 viousMarch owners22: of Oak LostGrove Corner’s 20th century farmhouse helped shape the Sandy Springs Lecture and Open House (Sandy Springs) area.inSuggested donation: $5. 7300 Brandon Mill Road N.W., Sandy Sunday, February 5, Springs. March 5Register: & April 2 the Civil War 1861-1865 registration.sandyspringsga.gov. Info: to 770-730-5600. 3-4:00 pm: Lecture April 26: Post-war Reconstruction Bedroom Community 1870-1960

IDENTITY THEFT May 24: Roads,AWARENESS Churches and Schools,

Learn the history of this unique property and about the previous owners and how they helped to shape the Sandy Springs area. Cost: $5.00 suggested donation to FOLC

Thursday, Marchof30, 10:30-11:30 a.m. Milestones Community Development Learn1820-1960 how to prevent identity theft in a presentation by the Taxpayer Advocacy Service, 4-5:00 pm: Open House

an independent organization within the IRS. Free. Dunwoody Library, 5339 ChambleeCost: $5.00 suggested donation to FOLC Visit with members of the Friends of Lost Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody 30338. Info: 770-512-4640. Corner organization and tour the early 20th

KIDS & FAMILIES sandyspringsga.gov


century farmhouse complete with charming architectural touches inside including a large gas fireplace with built-in benches and detailed “KAYA’S leaded glass windows.


Call 770-730-5600 Saturday, March 25, Min/Max: 5/40 10:30 for a.m-noon more information Heritage Sandy Pre-registration requested but not required. Springs continues its Sign up at friendsoflostcorner.org monthly American Girl Club programming with the story of Kaya, a young girl from the Nez Perce Native American tribe living in the Pacific Northwest. RSVPs requested and recommended. Best suited for ages 5-12, and girls can bring their favorite doll. $8 members; $10 nonmembers; $15 at the door. Heritage Sandy Springs, 6075 Sandy Springs Circle, Sandy Springs. Info: heritagesandysprings. org or 404-851-9111, ext. 2.

Programs are provided by FOLC as an independent contractor and the Sandy Springs Recreation and Parks Department.


Fridays, March 31 and April 7; Saturdays, April 1 and April 8, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, April 2, noon-5 p.m.

Attract butterflies, pollinators, birds and more to your garden by adding native plants. Over 120 species of plants, including herbs and veggies for the edible garden, will be available at the Chattahoochee Nature Center’s Annual Spring Native Plant sale. Horticulturists and knowledgeable volunteers will be available to give advice. Free admission to the garden area. 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell. Info: chattnaturecenter.org.


Saturday, April 1, 3 p.m.

The Junior League of Atlanta offers kids an interactive reading with related crafts and a copy of a book to keep. Immediately afterward, the Junior League will host Kids in the Kitchen, a program that promotes a handson, healthy foods kitchen environment for kids and their parents. Free. Sandy Springs Branch Library, 395 Mount Vernon Hwy., Sandy Springs. Info: afpls.org or 404-303-6130.

MARCH 17 - 30, 2017


Out & About | 19


AARP FOUNDATION’S TAX-AIDE Saturday, April 1, 10 a.m.

Free tax preparation services for people who are 50 and older and can’t afford tax preparation help is offered by AARP Foundation’s Tax-Aide. Buckhead Branch Library, 269 Buckhead Ave. N.E., Buckhead. Info: 404-814-3500.


The Community Assistance Center offers free help with tax returns. CAC’s team of trained and certified Volunteer Income Tax Assistance volunteers can help filers earning up to $55,000 in 2016. Appointments are available now. CAC is one of many metro area VITA sites, an initiative of the IRS and the United Way. 1130 Hightower Trail, Sandy Springs. Info: 770-552-4889, ext. 221 or contact VITA@ourcac.org.



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20 | Education

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Metro Atlanta’s first All-Ireland fiddle champ Patrick Finley, junior Atlanta International School Patrick Finley shows a gift for music. He plays fiddle, piano, a traditional Irish drum, guitar and flute. He enjoys playing in a number of different styles, but his focus is on traditional Irish music. Patrick became interested in Irish music at an early age through his mother’s side of the family. His uncles both play the Irish fiddle and his aunts both play the Irish flute. At age 6, Patrick joined the Atlanta Irish Music School and became the youngest member of the Atlanta Junior Ceili Band, an Irish music group affiliated with the school, according to a press release. Patrick was so dedicated to becoming a better musician that he sought out Irish fiddler Oisin Mac Diarmada for lessons over Skype. Mac Diarmada, from Sligo, has won world championships. He is also an internationally known recording artist and teacher. This is also the first time that Oisin has taught a student over Skype, rather than in person. Patrick’s work paid off. Last year, he was one of just a few Americans to receive a first place award at an annu-

al Irish music competition held in Ennis, County Clare, Ireland. He took first place in the 15-18 Irish fiddle contest at the All-Ireland World Music competition, which attracts musicians, singers,

Standout Student and dancers who have previously placed in competitions around the world. “I am very proud of Patrick,” Mac Diarmada said. “He is a wonderful young man and he gave a fantastic performance at the competition. Patrick is developing his own style of Irish music, something that the judges look for in a competition of this standard.” Along with being one of five Americans to win an award at the competition, Patrick is also the first All-Ireland Champion from Atlanta. Winning this competition has given him a sense of accomplishment and has helped motivate him to keep improving his music and to spread Irish culture wherever he goes.

The Davis Academy


When asked about the competition Patrick said, “It is always an excellent experience to see so many of my friends and hear so much great music.”

What’s next?

Patrick plans to play music throughout his life. He also has an interest in engineering, computer science and business. He doesn’t yet know where he’ll attend university, but he does know that he would like to major in mechanical engineering or computer science. This article was prepared by Anna Thomas, a senior at Riverwood International Charter School.

Patrick Finley


SANDY SPRINGS NOTICE OF COMMUNITY MEETING Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH) The City of Sandy Springs is working on completing its Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH) as required by the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). This assessment aims to identify any barriers to housing opportunities within the City of Sandy Springs. The City will host a community meeting in three locations where you will have the opportunity to review data and share your opinions. As identified in the Sandy Springs “The Next 10” comprehensive plan, the community wants balanced housing choices for the future. The following are the meeting locations: Monday, April 3rd at 6 pm Church of Atonement 4959 High Point Road (Location in Southern Sandy Springs)

Wednesday, April 5th at 6 pm Community Assistance Center 1130 Hightower Trail (Location in the Northern Sandy Springs)

Friday, April 21st at 1:30 pm Dorothy C. Benson Senior Multipurpose Complex 6500 Vernon Wood Drive (Location in Central Sandy Springs)

There will be a children’s activity table prepared for every meeting. Additionally, citizens in need of translation services or materials in alternative formats should call 770-730-5600 seven calendar days prior to the regularly scheduled meeting. To access HUD’s Fair Housing Data please visit: egis.hud.gov/affht/ Information about the Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG) can be found at spr.gs/housing To view adoped housing goals, see the City’s comprehensive plan at thenext10.org For additional questions, please contact Louisa Tovar at ltovar@sandyspringsga.gov

Reporter Classifieds To Advertise, call 404-917-2200 ext 110

Sunday, March 26, 2017 | at 1:00 pm & 7:00 pm Monday, March 27, 2017 | at 6:30 pm Rosenberg Performing Arts Theatre

The Davis Academy Lower School, 8105 Roberts Drive, Atlanta, GA 30350

Order tickets online at: davisacademy.org/peterpan Music and Lyrics by: Sammy Cahn, Sammy Fain, Michelle Tumes, Xavier Atencio, George Bruns, Jack Lawrence, Frank Churchill, Winston Hibler, Ted Sears, Oliver Wallace and Ray Kelley. Music Adapted & Arranged and Additional Lyrics by: Eric Svejcar. Book Adapted and Additional Lyrics by: David Zellnik. Based on the screenplay by: Ted Sears, Erdman Penner, Bill Peet, Winston Hibler, Joe Rinaldi, Milt Banta, Ralph Wright and William Cottrell. Based on the play by: J.M. Barrie. DISNEY’s PETER PAN JR is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI.

770-671-0085 davisacademy.org



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

Buckhead Multi-Family Sale – 2957 Hardman Ct, Atlanta, 30305. Sunday, March 26 (10 AM – 5 PM). Everything goes! Antiques, lots of great and fun furniture, accessories, jewelry, dishes and china, electronics, salon furniture, drafting board and accessories, silver plate serving pieces, two air conditioning window units, lawn equipment, music CD’s, VHS movies, books, lots of great stuff – cash only.

Driveways & Walkways – Replaced or repaired. Masonry, grading, foundations repaired, waterproofing and retaining walls. Call Joe Sullivan 770-616-0576. Home Tending – Regular inspections of your unoccupied property. Call Charles, 404-229-0490. Caregiver Available – Looking for a dedicated caregiver, to take care of your sick loved ones? Look no more. I have 15 year’s CNA.CPR and 1st Aid Experience. Call 404-717-6052.

REAL ESTATE Commercial Real Estate Services – Have a Commercial Building to Sell or Lease? Call Rick 678-209-3100. Proven local results. Room Needed – Foreign doctor focusing on acquiring his American credentials, seeks basement apartment/in-law suite. Prefer utilities included. No stairs. Need ASAP. Contact Beatriz 404-259-4543.

MARCH 17 - 30, 2017

Classifieds | 21


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22 | Community

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The Shops Buckhead Atlanta will be a host for the open air painting invitational for the second year.



Call (404) 497-1020 for an appointment.


Peachtree Dunwoody Internal Medicine & Rheumatology is proud to announce the addition 28 of Dr. Elizabeth D. Butler Exit 28


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Buckhead to host an expert painting event in citywide invitational Expert painters will practice their craft on the streets of Buckhead on April 4 as part of the Olmstead Plein Air Invitational, an annual open-air painting competition and exhibition. Part of the event will take place in Anne O Art Gallery and Buckhead Art Gallery, but there will also be music and food along Buckhead Avenue from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. The exhibition is hosted by a nonprofit and profits from the silent auction at this event will help fund their youth scholarship program. The Shops Buckhead Atlanta will be one of the hosts for the second year and it will the first year paintings can be purchased directly off the easel. Tickets for the Buckhead event are $100 and can be purchased from the website, www.olmstedpleinair.com, but there are also several free events throughout the invitational, which lasts from April 2 to 9 and is held in several parts of Atlanta. The invitational will open with a free event in Piedmont Park. The artists will paint and art will be available for viewing from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Throughout the day on April 6 artists will paint the cityscape around Decatur on McDonough Street. A “Best of Decatur” award will be presented and the public will be able to purchase the paintings.

Landscape painter Phil Sandusky will host a free lecture from 1 to 3 p.m. at Trinity Mercantile, which is located at 116 E. Trinity Place in Decatur. Sandusky will discuss his experience living in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina and how he chronicled the damage to the city in paintings. The public can also view paintings in Olmstead Linear Park from 7 a.m. to 4 a.m. on April 7 and 8. There will also be a painting sale and a competition in the park on April 9. The two-hour competition can be entered by painters of any skill level for $25. Participants have the chance to win money or art supplies and the paintings from the competition will be for sale. New this year is a petite art sale, which will be held in Olmsted Linear Park or, in the case of inclement weather, the Druid Hills Golf Club. The paintings will be painted on small canvases by the competing artists throughout the invitational. There are a few more evening events that require a purchased ticket, including other lectures and opportunities to meet the artists and attend the award ceremony. More information about the invitation and ticket purchasing can be found at olmstedpleinair.com. BH

MARCH 17 - 30, 2017

Public Safety | 23


Police Blotter / Buckhead The following information, involving events that took place in Buckhead between March 1 and March 7

900 block of Collier Road — March 6

was provided to the Buckhead Reporter by the Zone 2 precinct of the Atlanta Police Department from its open data records.

CO M M E R C I A L B U R G L A RY 3405 Lenox Road — March 3


3151 Maple Drive — March 6

4300 block of Glengary Drive —

March 6

R E S I D E N T I A L B U R G L A RY 1100 block of Lavista Road — March 1 900 block of Lindridge Drive — March

1 500 block of Northside Circle —

March 1

(x2) 1800 block of Emery Street — March 7

1510 Piedmont Avenue — March 7

LARCENY Between March 1 and March 7, there

were 27 larcenies from vehicles reported across Zone 2 and 19 reported cases of larceny and shoplifting.

AU TO T H E F T There were seven reported incidents

300 block of Pharr Road — March 5

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1700 block of Ridgeway Avenue —

March 5

B OM B TH REAT TA RGETS A N TI -DEFAM ATIO N L EAGUE OF F I C E The Anti-Defamation League’s Southeast office in Buckhead was among four ADL locations that say they received bomb threats March 7, part of a nationwide wave of antiSemitic threats. Telephoned bomb threats also targeted ADL offices in Boston, New York and Washington, D.C., according to a statement issued on social media by ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt. Several Jewish community centers were targeted as well, Greenblatt wrote. “This is not ‘normal.’ We will not be deterred, or intimidated,” Greenblatt wrote in the statement. At the ADL’s Southeast regional office on Piedmont, staff evacuated the office and Atlanta Police found no bomb after sweeping the building, according to APD. “The threat was on a loop repeating, ‘There is bomb’ several times,” according to Officer Lisa Bender of APD’s public affairs division. The federal Department of Homeland Security also responded and “obtained information for a follow-up investigation,” according to Bender. Atlanta ADL staff referred questions to the New York-based national office, which did not respond to a request for comment. Jewish community centers and organizations around the county have received similar threats over the past few months. Among them is the Marcus Jewish Community Center in Dunwoody, which reported bomb threats on Jan. 9 and March 14. The ADL says it has documented more than 120 threats nationwide since January. “It is time for action, and we call on the [Trump] Administration and Congress to take concrete steps to catch those threatening the Jewish community,” wrote Greenblatt in his statement. The ADL is a nonprofit advocacy organization that opposes anti-Semitism and any other form of bigotry. – John Ruch and Dyana Bagby BH


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24 |

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