03-17-17 Sandy Springs Reporter

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MARCH 17 - 30, 2017 • VOL. 11— NO. 6


Sandy Springs Reporter



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


City’s first corporate street naming draws debate

A peek inside Ashton Woods’ Aria project

BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net


Workers prepare for the first phase of housing construction at the former Glenridge Hall estate, where 47 acres are being transformed into a three-site development with hundreds of units. Left: Looking toward Abernathy Road down one of the new Aria North driveways. In the background, site preparation for a mixed-use project is underway next to the new Mercedes-Benz USA headquarters. Read story page 22.►

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Faced with angering either a world-famous automaker or the Mormon Church, the City Council on March 7 split the difference on a controversial new “Mercedes-Benz Drive” street name. The city will rename only the piece of Barfield Road in front of Mercedes-Benz USA’s new headquarters and not the portion in front of the Mormon temple next door. Members of the temple had publicly opposed having a luxury car brand in its address. It appears to be the first corporatebrand street naming in the city’s 10-year history. At the council meeting, supporters said that naming a part of the street Mercedes-Benz Drive will help the city’s own global branding. Opponents said it paves the way for more private branding of public streets. Some opponents of “Mercedes-Benz Drive” also have comSee CITY on page 11

North Springs High School celebrates recording studio addition BY JACLYN TURNER

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

At a strategic planning meeting for North Springs Charter School two years ago, parent Shelly Michael poised the question: ‘How can we be a music magnet program and not have a music recording studio?’ Simultaneously, music department leaders James Landreau and Van Craven were talking about creating a music technology program to stay competitive with programs See NORTH on page 10

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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 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.

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.

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.” 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 approved 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.”

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Players with the AA Mets cool off with popsicles during the Opening Day ceremony


Sandy Springs Youth Sports celebrated Opening Day for its baseball and softball leagues on March 4 at Morgan Falls Athletic Fields. Among those attending the first pitch were Mayor Rusty Paul and City Councilmember John Paulson. Sandy Springs Youth Sports offers the leagues in the spring and fall season for youths ages 4 to 12. For more information, see ssysbaseball.com


The first test of traffic impacts from the new SunTrust Park in Cobb County will come Friday, March 31, when the Atlanta Braves play the New York Yankees in a 7:35 p.m. exhibition game. The stadium also hosts a college baseball game — University of Georgia vs. Missouri — at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 8. Then comes Opening Day on Friday, April 14, in a 7:35 p.m. game. The starting time for the Opening Day game was chosen in hopes of reducing the effects of rush-hour traffic.


The City Springs budget has freed up some funding for extra and “wish list” items, including a “waterwall” artwork; a wall-sized video screen; a fountain; more office space for the Parks and Recreation Department; and built-in water and electrical hook-ups for booths at future festivals, city officials say. The roughly $2.9 million cost comes from internal budget re-arranging and does not increase the project’s total budget of about $220 million. City Springs is a public-private, mixed-use redevelopment on Roswell Road between Johnson Ferry Road and Mount Vernon Highway that will include a new City Hall and a 1,100-seat performing arts center.

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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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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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Commentary / The role of public art in a community

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

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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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North Springs High School celebrates recording studio addition Continued from page 1 about to be offered at Tri-Cities and Centennial High School. North Springs has long been known for its choral and orchestral programs as part of its Performing Arts Magnet. But there’s another avenue to the music industry, and that’s the marriage of technology and the arts, as poetically termed by former North Springs English teacher and grant writer for the project, Judy Roseman. With the assistance of the Friends of North Springs, the music department began to seek funding to create the studio, which opened this year. “In my mind, the story of how this recording studio came to pass, really shows

the commitment and persistence of multiple community stakeholders, how that perseverance can have a positive impact on our school, and our students,” Principal Scott Hanson told the crowd at the March 7 ribbon cutting ceremony, which included Mayor Rusty Paul, members of the Fulton County school board and donors. “Sandy Springs is the embodiment of what a community focus on our students should be. This recording studio represents the best of what our community believes about our school and children, and how our students are second to none in our state,” Hanson said. Donations provided by the Sandy Springs Society, the city of Sandy Springs and the Sandy Springs Education Force

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Jonathan Bynoe performs in the recording studio while Justice Michael manages the audio equipment.

were used to buy equipment, create a computer lab and studio and provide training. North Springs students now can use cutting-edge technology to perfect their musical craft. North Springs is the only school in Fulton County to have a recording studio, according to Craven and Landreau. On March 7, two senior students, Justice Michael and Xavier Toodle-Jones demonstrated the equipment and explained its use while senior Jonathan Bynoe sang an original song in the soundproof studio. Craven said that sometimes these boys taught him how to work the software, as they already knew how to mix sound on computers. “We have many students who want to be part of a music program, but they don’t want to be part of an ensemble. But they have some sort of understanding, ‘Oh, I’ve already worked on [the] GarageBand [program] and can put together this, and I write songs, ‘and now they can actually have an outlet, and they can take the class and don’t have to sit in an ensemble,” said Craven. For those unable to fit the class into the schedule, the music department created a club called the Spartan Mixers to provide an afterschool outlet for those interested in getting involved with the technology. “The recording studio is the real life part of music technology,” Craven said. “Music technology, you can sit at any computer with a keyboard and learn how to use it, but that’s only one little portion of being able to do music technology.” The first big project for the class, in-


volved collaboration with the film department to create a PSA for the Sandy Springs Police Department about keeping cars locked and valuables hidden. The recording studio will allow students to use the space and software to make CDs if they want to apply to a music conservatory or a school for audio engineering or seek internships in the music and film industry. “One of the big benefits is that we can focus more on the industry side of it, and they (the students) can walk out of here with real world-knowledge and experience,” Landreau said. Paul related the growth of the recording industry to the recent rapid expansion of movie-making in Georgia. “One of the challenges for the state is having the trained talent that we need to be able to fulfill these new industries that we are having come into Georgia,” Paul said. “Having a facility like this to train the talent and get them prepared for the professional level is vital to the long-term success of the economy and Sandy Springs.” “These kids have amazing tools available to them,” said Paul, who took his own spin in the studio, singing Stevie Wonder’s ‘Isn’t She Lovely. “I have students all the time, who are having to go to a professional recording studio, and spending a good bit of money, just to put in an audition tape,” Craven said. “They have the ability to do that now. We have a studio that is comparable to any midlevel studio in Atlanta.”

Letter to the Editor I cringe when Mayor Paul starts talking about a light-rail solution to our traffic problem. (“Mayor pushes for light rail system,” Sandy Springs Reporter, March 3.) Light rail is an extremely costly, guaranteed money-losing proposition that always overpromises and under-delivers, and requires massive taxpayer subsidies to operate. You could run buses for probably 100 years for the cost of extending MARTA rail. There are other simpler solutions to alleviate traffic. Congestion pricing on highways. Incentives to businesses to encourage their employees to work from home. Or people can simply make a conscious decision to live closer to work. — Daryl Polster, Sandy Springs SS

MARCH 17 - 30, 2017

Community | 11


City’s first corporate street naming draws debate Continued from page 1 plained that the name may create confusion by applying to only 500 feet of a street. Councilmember Gabriel Sterling, who was credited with hammering out the quick renaming compromise, said the council tried to respect both church and brand after committing to allowing — and helping to pay for — the renaming more than a year ago as part of an incentive package to lure MBUSA here from its former New Jersey headquarters. “We had a commitment to Mercedes,” Sterling said. On the other hand, he added, “We do take our history seriously. We do take our religious institutions seriously.” Bill Maycock, a spokesperson for the metro Atlanta Mormon Church who led the opposition to the renaming, told the council he was “grateful” to the city and MBUSA for the compromise. “I’m in favor of it,” he said. MBUSA attorney Matthew Everitt said the company supports the renaming compromise, adding that he lives on nearby Cotswold Lane, “so I take a personal interest in making sure we get this right.” The city does not keep a single list of streets it has renamed or the reasons behind the decisions, but city spokesperson Sharon Kraun provided some examples. In nine previous street renamings, the main motivation appeared to be avoiding confusion by removing a compass direction from the name, or renaming a disconnected section of a long street. Two of the previous renamings were a form of branding for local schools: Colonel Drive became Pride Place in a reference to Sandy Springs Charter Middle School’s slogan and Heards Drive became Raider Drive to honor Riverwood International Charter School’s mascot. In the 2010 Raider Drive renaming, the council made a similar decision as it did in the MBUSA case, limiting the extent of the renaming in response to a neighbor’s opposition. However, while Raider Drive is a form of branding for the school, the underlying motive was reducing confusion at an intersection of three streets that all had “Heards” in their names. COMPROMISE VS. PRECEDENT The March 7 compromise — unanimously approved by the council, with Councilmember Andy Bauman absent — left several details unexplained, including why MBUSA rejected such alternatives as naming a private driveway, or whether it will use Sandy Springs rather than Atlanta in its business address. Also unexplained was why the counSS

cil committed to the renaming without consulting other property owners beforehand. The company and the city did not respond to follow-up questions later. Originally, MBUSA sought to rename about a third-of-a-mile of Barfield between Abernathy Road and Mount Vernon Highway. The compromise scales the renaming back to rename only about 500 feet of Barfield at the Abernathy intersection, where MBUSA’s headquarters is under construction. That leaves the Mormon temple — the car-maker’s direct neighbor — with its current address of 6450 Barfield. MBUSA’s public rationale for the renaming was a company “tradition” of branding streets around its facilities. (Its former hometown of Montvale, N.J., is in the process of de-branding one of those streets.) Local supporters of the renaming suggested it could help the city’s brand as well, and was a harmless favor to a charitable company. Jan Paul, the executive director of Leadership Sandy Springs and the mayor’s spouse, was among them. “Mercedes-Benz has been a very good community partner,” she said, presenting herself as speaking on behalf of all Sandy Springs nonprofits. She called the compromise “good and fair.” Tom Mahaffey, president and CEO of the Sandy Springs Perimeter Chamber, said the street renaming would “give us a global identity.” “Can you imagine Mercedes employees traveling around the world and when asked, ‘Where do you live and where do you work?’ [the answer is] Mercedes Drive, Sandy Springs, Georgia?” Mahaffey asked, drawing some chuckles and snorts from the audience. One speaker opposing the decision said that renaming “even for a small fraction” of Barfield sets a precedent for allowing “Starbucks Street” or other corporate rebrandings to come. Natalie Barfield of Gainesville, who says she is a descendant of road namesake William Barfield, was among them. She noted that Mercedes-Benz already put its brand name on Atlanta’s downtown stadium and asked whether the city would similarly rename a Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. In an automotive pun, she asked MBUSA to “recall” the renaming, adding, to applause, “This is for my ancestors and for my family name.” Andrea Ferrara, an owner in the Granville condos on Barfield, was among those in favor of Barfield’s history and questioning why one of the world’s most famous corporations needs to rename a city street as marketing. “Mercedes-Benz does not need more commercialism, nor does Sandy Springs,” she said.

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Meet the 6th Congressional District candidates

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.

RAGIN EDWARDS RaginEdwards.com Occupation: Senior Manager, Global Sales Operations

Why should the voters choose you for this position? I am a professional and a mother. I have worked for the federal government as well as in the private sector. I graduated high school at Pope High in the 6th, and received the HOPE Scholarship and attended Georgia Tech. I am the only candidate who not only has a plan to effectively deal with the current issues at hand, but I also have a plan that will revolutionize the way our elected officials interact with their constituents. I will be a fighter for transparency in government and make sure the voice of the people is heard.

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.

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.

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.


MARCH 17 - 30, 2017

Community | 13


WILLIAM LLOP williamllopcpaforcongress.com Occupation: CPA

RON SLOTIN VotinforSlotin.com

Why should the voters choose you for this position?

Occupation: Chief Marketing Officer, BrightWell Talent Solutions

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.

Why should the voters choose you for this position?



I have lived, worked, owned a 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.

Occupation: Owner and CEO of Insight TWI: The World Investigates.

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

Why should the voters choose you for this position?

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.

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.


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-monthold son. The same challenges many of my neighbors face, I also experience many of those and understand their cares, challenges and concerns. SS

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14 | Community

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City to launch meetings about new zoning code BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

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The city of Sandy Springs is launching a series of public meetings to gather input on its new zoning code. An overview meeting on March 20 kicks off the process, followed by locally focused neighborhood meetings. The new “Development Code” will be the first completely revised and rewritten zoning rules since the city incorporated in 2005 and largely imported Fulton County’s 1970s-era code, which has proven troublesome. The Development Code also folds in all development regulations into one document. The city aims to have the new code in draft form this summer and approved by fall. The code will be based on the new Comprehensive Land Use Plan, which was recently adopted after an 18-month public process. During the March 20 meeting at City Hall to launch the new process, planners are to present an overview of the new code. An open house begins at 4 p.m. and the meeting at 6 p.m. Six neighborhood meetings — one in each City Council district — will follow:

March 22:

District 2 meeting, 6 p.m., City Hall, 7840 Roswell Road, Building 500; District 5 meeting, 6 p.m., Church of the Atonement, 4959 High Point Road.

March 27:

District 4 meeting, 6 p.m., North Springs Charter High School, Media Center, 7447 Roswell Road; District 6 meeting, 6 p.m., Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School, 805 Mount Vernon Highway.

March 29:

District 1 meeting, 6 p.m., Davis Academy, Lower School Media Center, 8105 Roberts Drive; District 3 meeting, 6 p.m., Sandy Springs United Methodist Church Activity Center Parlor Room, 85 Mount Vernon Highway.

City planners also will hold open office hours at City Hall on April 3, 5 and 7. For more information, see the city’s website at sandyspringsga.gov or the planning process website at thenext10.org. SS

MARCH 17 - 30, 2017

| 15





City of Sandy Springs


An Ordinance to Amend Article III (Definitions), Article IX, Section 9.1.2 (C-1 Community Business District, Use Regulations), and Article XII-B (Sandy Springs Overlay District), Section 12B.7 (Prohibited Uses) of the Sandy Springs Zoning Ordinance, revising certain provisions relating to definitions and prohibitions of convenience stores

Public Hearings:

Planning Commission April 20, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. Mayor and City Council May 16, 2017 at 6:00 p.m.


Sandy Springs City Hall Morgan Falls Office Park 7840 Roswell Road, Building 500 Sandy Springs, Georgia 30350 770-730-5600




Mount Vernon Presbyterian School

Property Location:

510 Mount Vernon Highway NE

Present Zoning:



Request to revise use permit conditions to increase the allowable square footage, reallocate footprints, and redefine enrollment allocation, with concurrent variances.

Public Hearings:

Planning Commission April 20, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. Mayor and City Council May 16, 2017 at 6:00 p.m.


Sandy Springs City Hall Morgan Falls Office Park 7840 Roswell Road, Building 500 Sandy Springs, Georgia 30350 770-730-5600





Hadeel Masseoud


606 Old Cobblestone Dr


Variance from Section 5.1.3D of the Zoning Ordinance, to allow a recently constructed pavilion that encroaches into the minimum rear yard to remain.

Public Hearings:

Board of Appeals April 13, 2017 at 6:00 p.m.


Sandy Springs City Hall Morgan Falls Office Park 7840 Roswell Road Building 500 Sandy Springs, Georgia 30350 770-730-5600



Crafts Market









Costume Contest

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Michael R. Wise


6455 Colebridge Road


One (1) Variance from the Zoning Ordinance R-3 (Single Family Dwelling District), 6.4.3. Development Standards. C. Minimum Side Yard. 10 feet. The variance would allow a reduction in the minimum side yard setback from 10 feet to 7 feet. And one Variance from 6.4.3. B. Minimum Front Yard: 50 feet. The Variance would allow a reduction in the minimum front yard setback from 50 feet to 45 feet.

Public Hearings:

Board of Appeals April 13, 2017 at 6:00 p.m.


Sandy Springs City Hall Morgan Falls Office Park 7840 Roswell Road Building 500 Sandy Springs, Georgia 30350 770-730-5600



Convention & Visitors Bureau DiscoverDeKalb.com

The 3rd Annual Brookhaven Cherry Blossom Festival is sponsored by

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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.

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

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22 | Community

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A peek inside Ashton Woods’ Aria project

An image from a video tour of the future Aria North homes, showing on-street parking, sidewalks and street trees.


BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

On the hills and ridges of the former Glenridge Hall estate in Sandy Springs, Ashton Woods’ massive Aria housing development is taking shape. With sales of units in the first construction phase now underway, Mike Busher, senior vice president at Ashton Woods Atlanta, led a March 8 tour of the 47-acre site on Abernathy Road. Aria is a complex, three-site development with hundreds of units. It also includes housing that will go up alongside the new Mercedes-Benz USA headquarters across Abernathy Road, and a townhome site on Glenridge Drive. “Aria North,” the section north of Abernathy where the historic Glenridge Hall mansion once stood, eventu-


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ally will include a sizable public park after construction wraps up about 2020. Approved in 2015, the project was controversial for replacing Glenridge Hall, which was demolished by its owners, and for cutting down a large forest. Busher said many of the trees will be replaced with on-site plantings and he noted that Ashton Woods has retained most of the property’s rolling topography. The first phase of about 125 units is readying for housing construction, with 47 units sold so far at prices ranging from roughly $300,000 to $1.1 million. “We’re averaging close to one sale a day,” Busher said. “That’s incredible.” The site is attracting buyers who work at the area’s major corporations, including some relocating from such areas as East Cobb, Ashton Woods broker Vicki Polo said. All Aria homes are designed with architecture intended to echo English manor houses. The first phase includes a manor-like “iconic building” with a ground-level café and a gym built into a bridge overhanging the main driveway. Two new drives have been built into the property atop large stone walls. An existing pond between them was drained for construction and will be refilled later. The new streets will have music-themed names such as Aria and Cadence, and include on-street parking to supplement interior garages. While Aria will cover three separate properties, all of its streets will connect with one another and include sidewalks open to the public. The future park will be given to the city for public use as well; while it was previously discussed as 14 PHIL MOSIER acres, Busher said it The site of the first phase of Aria’s construction will include a likely will be closer to community green and pool in the middle ground of this photo. 10 to 12 acres. The 10 Glenlake Parkway office building rises in the back. “It will be a non-gated community,” Busher said, adding that accessibility is a must “if you really believe in the pedestrian-centric idea” that is part of the development’s design. A second phase of sales and construction will focus on the former site of the Glenridge Hall mansion, which is now almost entirely plowed flat. One piece of historic architecture remains: a pergola that once covered an unusual garden seating area featuring an oversized chess set. When it was a wooded private estate, the site was insulated from traffic noise despite being only a few hundred feet from Ga. 400. Even with many trees gone and the new houses yet to be built, the property remains notably quiet — not counting the noise from construction activities underway. A sales office is open on the property at Abernathy near Glenlake Parkway, and a website, including a video tour, is available at ashtonwoods.com/atlanta/aria.

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Public Safety | 23


Police Blotter / Sandy Springs From Sandy Spring police reports Feb. 25 through March 8 The following information was provided by Capt. Steve Rose.

R O B B E RY 100 block of Calibre Springs Way —

On March 1, a 19-year-old man reported that just before midnight, he was approached from behind, struck on the head and knocked down. The suspect took his wallet, containing $80, and ran. 215 Northwood Drive — On March 8,

cops were dispatched to a store shortly after midnight. The two employees said a man rushed into the store and pulled a gun on them. He directed one employee to the restroom and the other behind the counter. He demanded all the money in the register and put it in a black plastic bag. He then ordered the employee from behind the counter to the restroom and then fled. No one was injured. 5645 Roswell Road — On March 8, a

38-year-old man said that he was outside a gas station just after 11 p.m. when he was approached and robbed by a man who took his iPhone. The suspect got into a late model Honda minivan occupied by two other men. The van drove north on Roswell Road.

B U R G L A RY 900 block of Woodcliff Drive — On Feb.

27, a resident called police saying that he saw someone inside his home, via camera images on his phone. Officers arrived at the scene while the resident continued to say the man was in the home. The suspect was dressed in a white hoodie and had a white plastic garbage bag. No one was found. The officers discovered the camera had a 15-minute delay. The resident said he thinks the suspect is someone his son knows and has done this before. The suspect was not located. 8100 block of Colquitt Road — On

March 3, sometime between 7:30 p.m. and 11:45 p.m., someone entered the victim’s apartment and took two rifles, a cellphone, and a computer. The burglar missed an envelope that contained $1,000 cash. Entry was made by forcing open the front door.

and gave his pass code for the register to the suspect to work the reception area. The suspect was soon gone, having not clocked out, and apparently vamoosed with the cash. The witness tried to call him but was blocked. 700 block of Hammond Drive — On

Captain STEVE ROSE, SSPD srose@sandyspringsga.gov

300 block of Johnson Ferry Road — On

March 3, a resident said she left her home around 10 a.m. and returned two hours later to discover someone had entered via a back door (that had been forced open). The home was ransacked and several items taken, including a 9mm pistol, camera equipment and a laptop. The report indicated good fingerprints were lifted.

THEFT 250 Northridge Road — On March 1,

three backpacks belonging to employees were stolen from the back room of a restaurant. The back door was ajar. An employee noted that a black BMW sped from the location just prior to discovery, being just after 3 am. The stolen items included $785 cash, ID, wallet and clothing. 6189 Roswell Road — On March 1, a car

rental company reported a car that was rented on Feb. 10 was never returned. 7505 Roswell Road — On March 1, the

manager of an oil change business said a co-worker stole the cash register cash totaling $240. The complainant (witness) said he saw the suspect make change for a customer and the cash was in place. All other transactions from that point were by credit card. Just before closing, the witness was busy on an oil change

M A N C H A RGED WITH I MP RI SON ING WO M EN I N MA N SION The man accused of imprisoning eight women in a Sandy Springs mansion and forcing them to work as strippers is facing 14 felony charges, according to the Sandy Springs Police Department. Kenndric Roberts, 33, was arrested by the police and the FBI on March 7 after a woman made a 911 call from 100 Strauss Lane saying she was being held against her will. Roberts faces charges of false imprisonment and trafficking persons for labor. He also faces two charges of possession of a firearm during commission of a felony, as police say they found a pistol version of an AK-47 rifle and a .45-caliber Glock handgun. Police have accused Roberts of promising to help the women with modeling careers while pressuring them to have plastic surgery and dance in local strip clubs. SS

March 4, a 24-year-old woman said she took a taxi from her job on Buford Highway to her home on Hammond Drive. She made one stop at a convenience store, then home, where she noticed that $750 cash was missing from her wallet. She confronted the taxi driver who became angry and sped off without payment for the ride. 4000 block of Harris Trail — On March

4, a patrol officer spotted a pile of mail on the corner of Harris Trail and West Garmon Road. Some of the mail, including packages and letters, were opened. The addresses included North Harris Ridge, North and East Chambord Drive, and Finch Forest Trail. He located the items around 9 a.m. indicating the thefts took place overnight or the previous day. 3800 block Teesdale Court — March 5.

This started with parents out of town. The 21-year old complainant said she invited five friends over. Another person, not invited, showed up and was allowed to come in. The complainant later noticed he was gone and assumed he called Uber. The following day she discovered her car was gone, keys missing from the hook. She called the suspect’s brother who said the suspect had been in an accident in Atlanta and was hospitalized briefly before being arrested. Her car had been impounded. She told the officer her wallet had been left in the car and unauthorized charges were made on her cards at two gas stations in Atlanta. 4900 block of Northland Drive — On

March 6, a contractor reported roofing materials had been stolen sometime over the weekend. The value of the theft was just over $7,000. 6200 block of Peachtree-Dunwoody

Road — On March 7, a 54-year-old woman said she left her wallet and phone holder on her lunch tray at the company cafeteria. She canceled her phone and cards and was informed that the phone had been sold to someone for $180. The buyer called the victim’s home phone that was on a sticker on her cellphone, complaining that the phone didn’t work. She told him the phone was hers and stolen. He hung up. The caller ID captured the number. 7300 block of Roswell Road — On March

7, the complainant said a truck was stolen from his business. The

lock box had been pried and the keys taken. Another car was listed stolen after the renter failed to return a 2017 Dodge Caravan to Budget Rental. 100 block of Spring Creek Lane — On

March 8, a 2017 Toyota Camry rental car was reported stolen. 1000 block of Hammond Drive — On

March 8, while checking the parking lot at an extended stay hotel, officers spotted a car with a stolen license plate. The car was not occupied. It was impounded and the tag removed as evidence.

THEFTS FROM VEHICLES Between Feb. 25 and Feb. 28, there

were two thefts from vehicles. Between March 3, and March 8, there were 11 thefts from vehicles.

A S S AU LT 5000 block of Spring Creek Lane —

On March 7, a 21-year-old reported she was assaulted by her roommate after an argument over the roommate getting a job and helping with the rent. According to the report, slapping ensued. One person was arrested. 5000 block of Long Grove Drive — On

March 8, a 25-year-old woman reported that she engaged in an argument with her girlfriend at the couple’s residence. During that time, the suspect pulled a pocketknife and stabbed the victim in the lower abdomen as the victim retreated to another room. The other party (suspect) was still at the location and arrested on assault charges associated with the Georgia Domestic Violence Act. The victim was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

F R AU D A 54-year-old woman said a caller rep-

resented herself as an IRS agent and said the woman owed $2,600 in order for warrants to be cancelled. She did so by purchasing iTunes cards to pay. She did so before learning that the call was fraudulent. A 28-year-old woman said someone

opened a Comcast account in her name. She tried to open a new account when she learned that someone in the Richmond Hill, Ga., area had already done so in her name. A 57-year-old man was contacted by

as credit monitoring company and told someone had attempted to open a bank credit card account in his name. The account was declined.



24 |

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