03-17-17 Brookhaven Reporter

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MARCH 17 - 30, 2017 • VOL. 9 — NO. 6


Brookhaven Reporter



► 6th District candidates pitch for your vote VOTERS GUIDE, PAGE 12 ► New group aims to unite Atlantans against anti-Semitism PAGE 4


Senior home plan triggers clash between local residents, builder

A fine day at the ballpark

BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net


Softball season is in full swing at Murphey Candler Park, where the Bombers met the Predators for a tight game of fastpitch softball on Saturday, March 11. The Predators won 8-7. At bat, Bombers No. 2 Reese Presnall. Inset: Bombers No. 5 MacKinzie Cassidy. More photos, page 22.

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

A developer who grew up on Buford Highway wants to build an assisted living center across the street from his former home. But residents living in one of the last neighborhoods remaining off the busy corridor are pushing back against the plans, saying they have a 33-year-old zoning covenant that protects them from developments encroaching on their neighborhood. It’s a zoning case that highlights issues a young city like Brookhaven faces as it works through codes handed down from a prior government — in this case, DeKalb County. Arkadiy Yakubov said he and his family fled Russia in 1991, when he was a teen. They moved into an apartment where the Terraces at Brookhaven are now located and lived there for 13 years. Now a businessman and developer, Yakubov said he’s sunk more than $1 million into buying land and tearing down a building at 3523 Buford Highway, diSee SENIOR on page 10

Transportation, cooperation dominate Perimeter mayors panel BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

Finding better ways to move people around metro Atlanta was a leading topic of interest for mayors of Sandy Springs, Brookhaven, Dunwoody and Chamblee during a March 3 panel discussion of the Perimeter area mayors. Brookhaven Mayor John Ernst said interconnectivity was key to finding ways to See TRANSPORTATION on page 22

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Business owners, residents decry Ashford-Dunwoody Corridor Study BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

Business and property owners showed up in force at Brookhaven City Council’s March 14 meeting to speak out against proposed changes to Ashford-Dunwoody Road and specifically its tricky intersection with Johnson Ferry Road. A major north-south route through the city, Ashford-Dunwoody Road is a largely two-lane road often overwhelmed by traffic from the hotels, schools and parks that it serves. Last year, the council hired Gresham, Smith and Partners for $125,000 to come up with a “corridor vision” to improve the street. A draft of the study is available at the city’s website, brookhavenga.gov. The proposal offers a conceptual plan that the council will consider for approval perhaps as soon as next month. Recommendations for long-term changes to the unusual Ashford-Dunwoody Road and Johnson Ferry Road intersection raised questions and concerns from people at the March 14 meeting, including from representatives of the Publix grocery store and of the Cambridge Square shopping center, where a Kroger grocery is the anchor store. The draft plan shows most north-south traffic being able to circumvent the intersection completely by creating new roads behind Publix and Cambridge Square. The existing intersection would remain for shopping access and east-west traffic. At Cambridge Square, an existing rear driveway would be turned into a road aligned with Woods Drive, with a signalized intersection. At Publix, an existing partial driveway would become a full cutthrough road aligned with Blair Circle. “I realize this is a vision … but I can’t with good conscience call this plan not specific — it’s pretty specific from what I’m looking at,” Andre Kolazar, senior vice president for Regency Partners, told council members. Regency Partners owns Cambridge Square. “This road cuts through the rear of our property,” Kolazar said, adding the proposed road is “the total taking of our property.” “And while you may be talking in generalities, the reality is simply adopting this plan will severely and negatively impact our center,” he said. “We will lose tenants.” John Lundeen of Coro Realty Advisors, owner of the Publix property, said he and Regency Partners are frustrated over not being contacted by consultants and the city while the plan was being drafted. “I’ve been involved with shopping centers for 40 years and have never seen an entry from behind,” Lundeen said. “We can only conclude you want this area redeveloped — this is like telling our anchor tenant we want something else here.”

Also speaking out were Laurenthia Mesh and her daughter, Euegenia Viener, owners of Old Five Points, or “Mesh Corners,” a strip center with several restaurants located at the tangled intersection. The women and other business owners were troubled by a solid concrete median they believed was going to be installed at the intersection, blocking access to their business. They started a petition and gathered more than 1,000 print and online signatures opposing the study. Councilmember Linley Jones, whose district includes Ashford-Dunwoody Road, said, however, the two women were distributing wrong information. The draft plans clearly state that if the city decides to build a median at the intersection at a future date, there would be curb cuts to allow for access to the businesses, she said. Jones also addressed concerns raised by the property owners of the Publix and Kroger stores. Jones said shopping centers are known to have life spans and “sooner or later they tend to redevelop.” “This is a very long-term vision,” she said. “I look forward to having future discussions with them … about the plans.” The vision for the overall street is adding sidewalks and multi-use paths, as well as grassy medians in some spots. Much of the work could be done within existing rights of way, though that can still mean cutting down trees and taking a strip of land that that some residents now use as parts of their front yards. Andrew Simpson, who lives with his wife and two young children on AshfordDunwoody Road, just a short walk from Montgomery Elementary School, urged the council and consultants to listen to the many concerns raised by residents. “I echo the sentiments of some of the commercial property owners,” he said. “I don’t feel like we were included as much as we should be considering this project is going to come into my front yard a minimum of 25 feet, where my kids run through the sprinkler, where they learned to walk. “This is very emotional for me and my wife,” Simpson said. “I urge you guys to listen to the people. There is not a lot of positive feedback.” Nithin Gomez with Gresham, Smith and Partners, stressed to the council and public that the draft plan is simply a “starting point.” “This is not about specifics … neither is it a final plan,” Gomez said. When and if the city decides to implement any of the more than a dozen recommendations proposed, each will have to go through a design and public vetting process, he said. A major reason the city is paying for the study is so it can be eligible for state and federal money to be used to pay for improvements along the road. Comments on the draft can be made via email at ADCOrridorStudy@BrookhavenGA.gov.


MARCH 17 - 30, 2017

Community | 3


Alliance Theatre to stage season in local venues


Marian Liou, founder of We Love BuHi, is helping to organize an oral history project to document stories of the people and “foodways” along Buford Highway.

BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

Atlanta’s Alliance Theatre is taking its 2017-18 season on the road to smaller venues—including in Brookhaven, Buckhead 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.” Oglethorpe will host the Alliance’s production of “Shakespeare in Love.” “Our ongoing partnership with the Alliance helps to provide exceptional arts education for our students and the community, while bringing world-class theater to north Atlanta,” Oglethorpe President Larry Schall said in the press release. “As Brookhaven’s premier arts venue, the Conant Performing Arts Center promises to be an ideal ‘home away from home’ for the Alliance.” The Alliance may establish a longer-term 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.

Oral history project to tell stories of Buford Highway BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

The stories of the people and the food that make Buford Highway a destination are set to be documented in an oral history project. The Southern Foodways Alliance and We Love BuHi are teaming up to document oral histories of the people and “foodways” of the metro Atlanta corridor that runs through Brookhaven, Chamblee and Doraville. Interviews will begin the week of July 16 during the alliance’s oral history workshop, which brings students and professionals from across the country to Atlanta to study oral history methods and fieldwork.

“Our intent is that by sharing the stories of Buford Highway in responsible and respectful avenues, we support and promote a sustainable community that remains diverse and welcoming,” states a press release from the allliance and We Love BuHi. The alliance, an institute of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi, documents, studies, and explores the diverse food cultures of the changing American South. The SFA began documenting stories of Buford Highway in 2010. This year, a new phase of this project begins with the collaboration of We Love BuHi, a social enterprise that grew out of an Instagram account to document a unique community and share its untold stories.

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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.

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.



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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. BK

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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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Community | 7


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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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 Writer 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 Julie Davis, Jeff Kremer, Janet Porter, Janet Tassitano Office Manager Deborah Davis deborahdavis@reporternewspapers.net Contributors Robin Conte, Phil Mosier, Jaclyn Turner

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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Senior home plan triggers clash between local residents, builder Continued from page 1 rectly across the street from the apartment complex in which he once lived. Yakubov, who lives in Lenox Park in Brookhaven, and his attorney, Alex Yusopov, claim they were told by Brookhaven and DeKalb officials there were no restrictions on the property zoned for commercial use, so they were moving ahead to build the assisted living facility, including demolishing an old building at the site last year. As part of the development, however, the state fire marshal required Yakubov to build an access road south of the property, where a house now is located. To do so, he entered into a contract to buy the house on Afton Lane from the homeowner. He then went before the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals in January seeking a variance to do away with a 50-foot buffer between the house he was buying and the planned facility so he could build the mandated access lane via Afton Lane. But when residents living on the other side of Afton Lane and on nearby Folkstone Road caught wind of the variance request, they started organizing and meeting. They showed up at the January ZBA meeting with what they saw as a “silver bullet” — a DeKalb County zoning covenant dating back to 1984 that placed strict condi-

tions on any kind of development planned at 3523 Buford Highway, including a prohibition on access to the development property from Afton Lane. The variance request was withdrawn and all activity on the project was stopped in its tracks. “It was kind of epic, actually,” resident Rich Clarke said of the ZBA meeting showdown. Clarke lives on Folkstone Road and is the spokesperson for the neighborhood. “This is the story of Brookhaven now,” Clarke said. “People want to build here and people already live here, so there’s going to be conflict. Fortunately for us, we essentially had a silver bullet ... we had the law on our side thanks to the foresight of the people who lived here more than 30 years ago.” Yakubov said he was “shocked” when the covenants that included no curb cuts at all along Afton Lane and a mandatory tree line along the same road to buffer from any future development were presented at the ZBA hearing. He was given no choice but to seek rezoning of the property. He goes before the Planning Commission on May 3. “If I had known about the conditions, I would never have bought this property,” Yakubov said. “I’ve spent eight months on the design of this project ... I went back and forth with the city four or five times.


Above, a rendering of the assisted living facility being proposed to be built at 3523 Buford Highway. Right, An artist’s rendering of the site plan for the proposed assisted living facility.

Unfortunately the city is so new and I got viously knew about the restrictions.” caught in the middle. At the ZBA hearing, board members “I’m frankly puzzled at how the city bescolded Yakubov for not speaking to reprehaved,” he added. sentatives of the neighborhood about the He said he’s already threatening legal planned development, saying it is common action against the city if he does not get courtesy to do so. Since that time, Yakubov approval for his rezoning request and has said he and his attorney, Yusopov, have hired the powerful zoning firm of Prusley, Friese, Torgrimson to represent him at the May 3 Planning Commission meeting. The city denies any wrongdoing. Community Development Director Patrice Ruffin said a land disturbance permit was issued to the developer on July 26, 2016, for the demolition of the building on the DYANA BAGBY site. Alex Yusopov, left, and Arkadiy Yakubov want to build an “We are not aware of assisted living center on Buford Highway but are facing some pushback from residents living adjacent to the property. any meetings related to this project ahead of the official LDP and met a couple times with residents. He said, variance submittals in 2016,” she said in though, he has told them his name is Mian email. “However, as a matter of practice chael Snow because it easier to pronounce. the department does not ‘OK’ projects ver“They’ve always been secretive,” Clarke bally.” said. City spokesperson Ann Marie Quill said Yakubov said he sees himself as a “piin 2014 the city contracted with Pond & Asoneer” for the redevelopment along Busociates to research DeKalb zoning deciford Highway and believes his assisted sions and later found nearly 1,000 errors living facility fits in perfect with Brookhavand some that were missing records, inen’s plans for the stretch of the road corcluding some records for this Buford Highway property. ridor where many apartment complexes Clarke said he knew there was “finare located. Currently, PulteGroup is seekger pointing” going on and he did empaing to buy the land where the Terraces at thize with Yakubov to some extent. He Brookhaven and Northeast Plaza apartsaid there were two other planned dements are located in order to raze the comvelopments, one in 2000 and another in plexes and build townhouses and residen2007, before Brookhaven was incorporattial homes. ed, where the 1984 restrictions came into “Buford Highway is due for redevelopplay and DeKalb County prohibited develment and I’m willing to put up $20 million opment. for this project,” Yakubov said. “I’m a pio“It’s an unfortunate situation for the neer of that change.” developer,” Clarke said. “It sounds like the “This has been interesting and unusual city should’ve known because it paid a case,” Clarke said. “My hope is it works out company to import [zoning] data from the BK well for everybody.” county ... And somebody at the county ob-

MARCH 17 - 30, 2017


Resident alleges city used illegal procedure to approve development BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net


A resident is alleging Brookhaven City Council did not follow legal procedure when it approved a mixed-use development on Dresden Drive and is asking a judge to reverse the rezoning decision. Steve Pepmiller, who lives on Caldwell Road, filed suit in DeKalb Superior Court on Feb. 23, just a month after the council voted to rezone to PC-2, pedestrian community, the nearly 4 acres in the Brookhaven Peachtree Overlay District near the MARTA station and where the DeKalb tag office is located. The city has 30 days to respond. The rezoning makes way for the construction of a 5-story complex with 169 apartments and retail shops on the ground floor. The development will also include a six-level parking deck, seven for-sale townhomes facing Caldwell Road and the Dixie Moon restaurant on Caldwell Road. The rezoning is “rife with procedural defects,” said Pepmiller’s attorney, Lawton Jordan, of the firm Williams Teusink LLC. “We don’t believe the rezoning was validly passed,” Jordan said. “We’re asking the court to rule the rezoning was improper ... and revert back to the prior zoning.” Mayor John Ernst and each of the council members along with SSP Dresden, the company seeking to develop the property, are named as defendants in the lawsuit. “While the city cannot comment on the specifics of pending litigation, it is a right of any resident or developer to ask a court of law to review our processes as they have done in this case,” Communications Director Burke Brennan said in an email. SSP Dresden, part of the Connolly Realty and Investment development firm, did not respond to a request for comment. Pepmiller, who was one of dozens of people who showed up at City Hall to oppose the project, saying it would lead to a “concrete canyon” on Dresden Drive, says in his lawsuit that the rezoning decision is unconstitutional. “There is a lot of concern from many residents,” Jordan said. “There are many people who share Mr. Pepmiller’s reservations about this development.” The lawsuit alleges the city removed the definitions of “medium density,” “high density” and “very high density” in early 2016 from the zoning code without public input and without review by the Planning Commission. The lawsuit also questions the city’s definition of “contiguous” and the city’s approval of five stories for Dresden Village rather than the allowed four stories. SSP Dresden presented the city with a site plan that it states provides 32 percent contiguous public green space. The city zoning code states if a development’s site plan includes 25 percent or more “contiguous” public green space, the development is allowed to request an additional story. Pepmiller and his lawyers say the Dresden Village site plan’s greenspace is not contiguous and there are four areas where the greenspace does not touch and are divided by driveways and buildings within the development. “The various site plans submitted by the applicant attempt to achieve this open space requirement by adding up various segregated portions of the property,” states the lawsuit. “However, these various open spaces are neither singular nor contiguous as is required by the code.” Pepmiller in his lawsuit also alleges the city violated the zoning code by approving a revised site plan submitted just a few days before the council vote without posting it publicly in time for a thorough review by the public. The lawsuit also states the city’s approval for Dresden Village is actually “spot zoning” and not legal.

Community | 11


A rendering of the planned Dresden Village development along Dresden Drive, where the DeKalb County tag office is currently located.

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VOTERS GUIDE Meet the 6th Congressional District candidates

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A total of 18 candidates are competing for the 6th Congressional District seat in an April 18 special election. The district—which includes parts of Brookhaven, Dunwoody and Sandy Springs—was formerly represented by Tom Price, who left to become the new U.S. secretary of Health and Human Services. The Reporter asked all of the candidates for a biography and the answers to questions about their political stances. Nine candidates responded, and part of their answers appear below. For their full answers, including their positions on the Affordable Care Act, see ReporterNewspapers.net. The nine other candidates who did not respond to questions are: David Abroms, Mohammad Ali Bhuiyan, Bob Gray, Karen Handel, Judson Hill, Richard Keatley, Bruce LeVell, Dan Moody and Rebecca Quigg. Those candidates will be invited again to respond for the March 31 issue of the Reporter.

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KEITH GRAWERT keithforgeorgia.com Occupation: Former active duty US Air Force officer and pilot. Current member of the Air National Guard.

Why should the voters choose you for this position? I’m originally from Dunwoody and graduated from Marist in 1999. My 6th District roots run deep, and I’m excited to return home after serving my country in the military. I’m a committed conservative, passionate about returning public service to public office. My loyalties and priorities are not to party but to country. I believe we need to return to a model of citizen servants in Congress, hold our politicians accountable to their constituents and the Constitution, and get to work on enacting the small government reforms we need to grow our economy and shrink our government. BK

MARCH 17 - 30, 2017

Community | 13


AWARD WINNING STYLE ALEXANDER HERNANDEZ YourVoteGeorgia.com Occupation: Property Craftsperson

Why should the voters choose you for this position? Washington is broken because both parties put moneyed and special interest before the American people. My decision to run as an independent is to show voters that I will always put the people of Georgia’s 6th district before any special, moneyed or party interest. Our Congress is full of career politicians and moneyed and business folks. A large reason for the dysfunction in Washington is that there are no working-class Americans in Congress. Our campaign will show that we can send someone with working-class Christian values to Washington to represent the people, not the out-of-touch elites.


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AMY KREMER AmyKremerforCongress.com Occupation: Political activist

Why should the voters choose you for this position? Over the last nine years I have carried the values of the 6th District with me as I worked tirelessly to preserve freedom and liberty through electing conservatives like Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio and many others. I have been fighting for conservative issues and candidates across the country and I am now ready to fight directly for the 6th District.

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WILLIAM LLOP williamllopcpaforcongress.com Occupation: CPA

Why should the voters choose you for this position? I have a clear understanding of the hurdles facing today’s business owner and taxpayers. For over 30 years, I have been advising business owners and taxpayers on how to be fiscally responsible. I have a clear understanding of hurdles that face the people of our district. My career and volunteer work have given me the opportunity to see our whole community. From the homeless person who needs job training and food, to the single parent struggling to raise their family, the corporate employee and the entrepreneur. I work in this community to support them all. BK

14 | Community

VOTERS GUIDE JON OSSOFF ElectJon.com Occupation: Owner and CEO of Insight TWI: The World Investigates.

Why should the voters choose you for this position? I worked as a staffer on Capitol Hill for five years, specializing in national security and defense policy. I went on to earn a master’s in economic policy, and now I run a small business that specializes in anti-corruption and organized crime investigations. My experience is especially important for Georgia right now because Washington is more divided than ever. People are concerned about the level of corruption and lack of transparency, and my investigative experience will help me effectively provide a check to the executive branch’s actions.

RON SLOTIN VotinforSlotin.com Occupation: Chief Marketing Officer, BrightWell Talent Solutions

Why should the voters choose you for this position? I have lived, worked, owned a business, raised my family and volunteered in the 6th District for over 15 years. I want to stop the fighting and gridlock in D.C. — and get real results for our community. While in the state Senate, I helped pass the HOPE Scholarship, which has helped more than 1.4 million students gain access to a college or vocational education.

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Meet the 6th Congressional District candidates ANDRE POLLARD theTechParty.us Occupation: Computer Systems Engineer

Why should the voters choose you for this position? First, you should not need to raise millions of dollars to run for Congress. Let’s break the trend and send everyone a message by picking the better representatives. Based on my experiences, I represent more of District 6 residents than any of my opponents. I am married to a Latino. I have two teenage daughters, one in college, the other in high school. I have two smaller children, a 4-year-old daughter and an 18-month-old son. The same challenges many of my neighbors face, I also experience many of those and understand their cares, challenges and concerns.

KURT WILSON Kurt4Congress.com Occupation: Zaxby’s licensee, real estate company owner and cigar retailer

Why should the voters choose you for this position? I am an ordinary citizen who is tired of how things are going in Washington, and I have decided to take action. We need critical changes in our government, and I have the courage and conviction to do the right thing and make tough choices to give rise to a stronger America. I believe in the American individual, and I want to remove those bureaucratic systems that take away power and freedom from regular citizens in order to make room for ordinary people to achieve massive success.

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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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18 | Out & About

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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.

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

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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Transportation, cooperation dominate Perimeter mayors panel Continued from page 1 lessen the pain of people sitting in traffic for hours and mentioned his desire to see MARTA connect Brookhaven to Decatur. During the discussion sponsored by the Perimeter Business Association, Ernst praised Brookhaven residents and city officials for working on their own version of the Atlanta Beltline: the proposed Peachtree Creek Greenway. In the long run, the Greenway would connect the cities of Doraville, Chamblee and Brookhaven with Atlanta and the Beltline. “We’re looking to finish our Greenway before the BeltLine is completed,” Ernst said, saying trails and cooperation between cities can make metro Atlanta “a strong economic engine.” Cooperation between the Perimeter cities will also be crucial in ensuring the cities, and the region, continue to be economic successes well into the future, the mayors said. Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul reiterated his belief that he discussed at his recent State of the City address that more investments need to be made in other forms of transportation rather than just roads and cars, or metro Atlanta would lose prestige and be designated “second-rate status.”

From left, Brookhaven Mayor John Ernst, Chamblee Mayor Eric Clarkson, Dunwoody Mayor Denis Shortal and Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul gathered for a lunch panel on March 3 to discuss issues facing their cities.

Paul noted that the current I-285 and Ga. 400 construction will be challenging for the next decade or so. “We’ve got to rethink how we move people and maybe the pain of [Ga.] 400 and [I-]285 will get us serious about us extending transit further north and east and west,” he said. “The good news is we have alternatives,” Paul added. “Unlike Cobb County with their [new Braves stadium] project, you can always take MARTA to go north and south. And I aggressively encourage you to do that.” Sandy Springs will be receiving more than $100 million in transportation local option sale tax funding after Fulton County voters in November ap-

proved a 0.75-cent sales tax increase. Sitting with mayors of three DeKalb County cities, Paul said, “Unlike my colleagues, we have a TSPLOST.” “Thanks for throwing TSPLOST at us,” Chamblee Mayor Eric Clarkson joked. “Those of us in DeKalb County do what we can without a sales tax.” Dunwoody Mayor Denis Shortal said his city is investing money in sidewalks and trails as ways to provide other ways for people to travel, but said that traffic, especially the traffic that will come with the I-285/Ga.400 construction, is part of progress. “You’re going to have to leave earlier,” Shortal recommended as a way to


deal with traffic congestion. “And pack a whole bunch of patience. Progress requires patience.” Paul said that much of the criticism for the cityhood movement was that the new cities would “Balkanize the region” and no regional cooperation would occur. “My argument is that we have done more regionally since we municipalized because we work together,” he said, adding the cities work together like “Lego blocks.” Shortal praised leaders of different cities for being able to come together and take off their “city shields” and view themselves as being part of a bigger picture. “That’s very important as we move forward,” he said. “It’s key to our success.”

A day at the ballpark

The bats are swinging at Murphey Candler Park where the Predators bested the Bombers 8-7 in a game of fastpitch softball on Saturday, March 11. At left, Bombers Assistant Coach Jason Bahrto instructs, from left, No. 11 Mia Whealen and No. 8 Samantha O’Neil. At top center, Bombers Head Coach Robbie Whealan gives his team a pep talk after the first inning. At bottom center, Bombers No. 5, MacKenzie Cassidy, is up to bat. At far right, making an out on third, is Bombers No. 4 Reagan McCoy.



MARCH 17 - 30, 2017

Public Safety | 23


Police Blotter / Brookhaven From Brookhaven Police reports dated March 5 through March 12 The following information was pulled from Brookhaven’s Police-2-Citizen website.


Buford Highway — On March 6, items were stolen from a car. 2200 block of Lake Boulevard — On

March 8, two burglaries were reported. 2400 block of Briarcliff Road — On

3300 block of Clairmont Road — On

March 7, after midnight, a man was arrested and accused of public intoxication. 1800 block of Corporate Boulevard —

On March 8, a DUI was issued. 3200 block of Buford Highway — On

March 8, in the morning, items were stolen from a vehicle. 100 block of Perimeter Summit Bou-

levard — On March 8, a theft occurred. 1400 block of Briarwood Road — On

March 9, a burglary occurred at a residence.

March 8, in the early morning, a man was arrested and accused of driving under the influence of alcohol.


block of Peachtree Road — On March 9, a woman was arrested and accused of driving under the influence of alcohol.

3400 block of Buford Highway — On March 9, a burglary occurred at a residence. Entry was not forced. 1000 block of Barone Avenue — On March 9, a burglary occurred at a residence. Entry was not forced.

block of North Druid Hills Road — On March 9, a man was arrested and accused of driving under the influence. 1300 block of North Druid Hills Road

— On March 9, a woman was arrested and accused of marijuana possession. 3700 block of Buford Highway — On

March 11, a woman was arrested and accused of driving under the influence of alcohol. Buford Highway/ Dering Circle — On

ARRESTS 3300 block of Buford Highway — On March 5, in the early morning, a man was arrested and accused of public indecency. 3300

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On March 5, in the early morning, a man was arrested and accused of disorderly conduct. Buford Highway — On March 5, in the

evening, a woman was arrested and accused of failing to yield.

March 11, in the early morning, a woman was arrested and accused of driving under the influence of alcohol.

1000 block of Warrenhall Lane — On

3700 block of Buford Highway — On

2600 block of Buford Highway — On

March 11, a man was arrested and accused of heroin possession.

March 6, in the early morning, a man was arrested and accused of disorderly conduct.

2900 block of Redding Road — On

March 5, a man was arrested and accused of obstruction and interference.

March 12, in the early morning, a man was arrested and accused of driving under the influence of alcohol.

1300 block of Briarwood Road — On


2700 block of Buford Highway — On


block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On March 5, there was a theft. 1900 block of Roxboro Road — On

March 6, a theft by conversion occurred. 3400 block of Buford Highway — On

March 6, a man was arrested and accused of battery and family violence. March 7, a man was arrested and accused of reckless driving. 1500 block of Nancy Creek Drive —

On March 8, a man was arrested and accused of damaging or removing vegetation from a park.

March 6, in the evening, parts were removed from a car. READ MORE OF THE POLICE BLOTTER ONLINE AT


The Brookhaven Police Foundation, Inc., the Capital City Club and the Historic Brookhaven Neighborhood Association are sponsoring the annual Brookhaven Police Foundation Scholarship Golf Tournament on May 22. Registrations are now being accepted. The tournament’s purpose is to provide for and expand a scholarship fund to support education for the men and women who serve in the Brookhaven Police Department and their immediate families. Participants will receive yard signs supporting the tournament and commemorative window decals for their cars. The foundation’s primary goals include: purchasing and donating equipment, facilities and property to the Brookhaven Police Department; providing volunteers for community support of law enforcement activities; providing funds for equipment, training and education for officers; to meet the emergency needs of police personnel; and to provide a separate scholarship fund for college education for sworn police officers and their children. The tournament is slated for May 22 at the Capitol City Club, 53 East Brookhaven Drive. Teams and individuals are welcome to register and corporate sponsorships are available. For more information, email J.D. Clockadale at jdclockadale@gmail.com or call him at 404-596-1492.


3400 block of




A rescue worker paddles out to the submerged car that drove into Murphey Candler Lake on March 5.

M EN SWIM TO S HO R E A FTER C A R DR I V ES INTO MUR P HEY C A NDL ER L A KE Two men crawled through a car’s sunroof and swam to shore after their vehicle drove into Murphey Candler Lake on March 5, according to Brookhaven police Brookhaven Police Major Brandon Gurley said officers were told the two occupants were out of the vehicle and standing on the roof of the car in the lake. “When officers arrived the vehicle had fully submerged into the water and both occupants swam to shore,” Gurley said in an email. Gurley said the driver told officers he was intending to park his car in front of the lake when it appeared the accelerator “got stuck” and the vehicle went over the curb and into the lake. “Both the driver and the passenger were able to exit through the sunroof and swim to shore unharmed,” Gurley said. DeKalb Fire and Rescue services responded and treated the occupants. There were no serious injuries. DeKalb Fire Dive team also responded and Brown and Brown was called to remove the vehicle.

24 |

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