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MARCH 31 - APRIL 13, 2017 • VOL. 11— NO. 7

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Perimeter Business ► Agents deploy drones, hire models to sell multimillion-dollar homes PAGE 5 ► Cities jump on the logo brand-wagon

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Communities of Faith

REBIRTH OF A CHURCH | P16

New zoning code tackles affordability BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

PHIL MOSIER

The Sandy Springs Education Force held its seventh annual STEAM Showcase at North Springs Charter High School on March 15. More than 800 residents and students attended the public portion of the event, where students demonstrated projects in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics. Mercedes-Benz and Northside Hospital were among the institutions exhibiting their own tech. Lake Forest Elementary fifth-graders, from left, Dianna Farias, Victoria Ramos, Venessa Moreno and Emily Ramos demonstrate a model house they built and wired with battery-powered electricity.

EXCEPTIONAL EDUCATOR Bringing science to life Page 20

Our streets and our neighborhoods cannot handle the volume of cars that it’s going to take to move the people to the games. Are we prepared for Braves traffic? Residents speak out. See COMMUNITY SURVEY Page 14

OUT & ABOUT Author talks early aviation in Georgia Page 8

As the city drafts its new zoning code, housing affordability is emerging as a top goal and a new bonus system allowing bigger buildings in exchange for community benefits. Dozens of residents attended meetings at City Hall and in council districts over the past couple of weeks to review the draft “Development Code.” Lee Einsweiler of Austin, Texas-based Code Studio is the lead consultant writing the new code. As he said in a preview presentation nearly a year ago, his primary goals are customizing the code to Sandy Springs’ needs and making it easier to understand. When Sandy Springs was incorporated in 2005, it quickly adopted Fulton County’s 1970s-era code as its own, causing seemingly endless controversies and problems in the rapidly redeveloping city. “The fact of the matter is, the existing regulations are outdated,” Einsweiler See NEW on page 15

Police will soon wear body cameras BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

All Sandy Springs Police Department patrol officers will be wearing body cameras, likely this spring, as the City Council on March 21 approved contracting with TASER International for the equipment. The approximately 70 cameras and related gear will cost $179,275 — less than the department’s $200,000 bodycamera budget this fiscal year, according to Deputy Chief Keith Zgonc. After the first year, ongoing maintenance, liSee POLICE on page 22


2 | Community

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Facing a lawsuit, city ends sex-toy sales ban BY JOHN RUCH

clined comment, though he indicated he was unaware the city planned to kill the law in question. The city has ended its controversial The sex-toy law, enacted in 2009, ban on sex-toy sales, a move designed was part of a larger ban on distribution to avoid a legal challenge in a court that of “obscene materials.” Officially clasappeared ready to declare the law unsified as Article IV, Chapter 38, Section constitutional. 120, Subsection C of city code, the law The entire “sexual devices” section of read as follows: city code was deleted March 21 by the “Any device designed or marketed City Council via its as useful primar“consent agenda” — ily for the stimua list of several items lation of human approved by a single genital organs is vote without discusobscene material sion, explanations or The repeal of the ordinance, under this section. hearings on each. However, nothing That means “sex- which was never enforced, in this subsection ual devices” can now makes the lawsuit challengshall be construed be sold legally in Santo include a dedy Springs — includ- ing that ordinance moot. vice primarily ining directly across ... We expect that the court tended to prevent the street from City pregnancy or the Hall at Inserection, would dismiss the lawsuit. spread of sexualthe bookstore that, There would be no remaining ly transmitted disalong with two reseases.” idents, sued the city costs or liabilities for the city. Inserection over the law. claimed in its lawSHARON KRAUN “The repeal of the CITY SPOKESPERSON suit that the law ordinance, which violated the 14th was never enforced, Amendment of makes the lawsuit challenging that ordithe U.S. Constitution by depriving peonance moot,” said city spokesperson Shaple of the right to private, intimate sexron Kraun, adding that the city would ual decisions without due process of file a motion to dismiss the lawsuit. “We law. The bookstore’s legal challenge expect that the court would dismiss the was joined by two residents: Melissa lawsuit. There would be no remaining Davenport, who says she has multiple costs or liabilities for the city.” sclerosis and uses sexual devices with The sex-toy ban was part of a package her husband for sexual intimacy; and of laws enacted in 2009 in an attempt to Marshall Henry, an artist who says he rein in adult businesses, spawning a seuses sex toys in his artwork. ries of lawsuits challenging them as unIn an August 2016 ruling, three judgconstitutional. The legal challenge to the es of the 11th Circuit court wrote that sex-toy ban spun out into a separate case they were “sympathetic” to the bookthat two residents joined in 2014. The store and residents, but were forced to law’s deletion was added to the council’s uphold the law due to a 2004 case that agenda March 19, five days after the U.S. set a legal precedent. The judges noted 11th Circuit Court of Appeals threw out that their decision could be appealed to a previous ruling upholding the sex-toy the full 11th Circuit court, which could ban and agreed to re-hear the case. overturn that precedent, “and we enCity Attorney Wendell Willard comcourage them to do so.” mented briefly about the law’s deleThe bookstore and the residents tion during a short period between the made that appeal. On March 14, the full council adjourning and entering an excourt threw out the 2016 decision and ecutive session on another matter. He agreed to re-hear the case “en banc,” characterized the law — enacted less meaning that most or all of the judges than eight years ago and defended by assigned to the court will hear the case. the city in court ever since — as unnecEn banc hearings are unusual and typiessary and expendable. cally reserved for major decisions. “We don’t really have a problem with Besides the constitutional question, it in the city,” Willard said of sex-toy sales, the sex-toy lawsuit has been part of a so the city took the position, “Why confinancial dispute as well. In yet anothtinue with the litigation?” er lawsuit, a former insurer for the city In terms of adult bookstores, he addhas tried to get out of paying to defend ed, “We have a control through zoning some of the adult-business lawsuits. regulations” and thus can afford to delete Willard previously said the insurer likethe criminal law affecting them. ly would have to pay the city’s costs in Cary Wiggins, an attorney representthe sex-toy battle, depending in part on ing the Inserection in the lawsuit, dethe lawsuit’s outcome. johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

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Community | 3

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Community Briefs

CO N D EM N ED H OUSE SOL D, DEMOLISH ED

Four years after it was condemned, a fire-damaged house at 337 Hilderbrand Drive was demolished last week. The teardown was done by Swanton Davis, whom mortgage lender JPMorgan Chase finally allowed to buy the property after about 16 months of trying. “I got that eyesore out of the public eye,” said Davis, a property developer. He said the property will remain a vacant lot until around mid-2018, when his son will graduate college and start his own development career with a single-family house on the site. The Hilderbrand house was among thousands nationwide left in disrepair amid legal confusion in the wake of the 20072008 mortgage crisis. It was condemned after a February 2013 fire forced former owner Charles Farlow to move out. The fire caused extensive damage Farlow said he couldn’t afford to repair.

DEJ UL IO TO R UN F OR RE-EL EC TI ON

City Councilmember Tibby DeJulio will run for re-election this fall, making the first campaign announcement for this fall’s municipal election. DeJulio represents District 5 in southeastern Sandy Springs. He also serves as mayor pro tem, meaning he is acting mayor when Mayor Rusty Paul is unavailable.

CO UN C I L M EM BER STERL I N G MAY RUN F O R F ULTON C H A I RMA N

City Councilmember Gabriel Sterling is considering a run for the Fulton County chairman seat. Sterling, a Republican, already announced last year that he will not run for re-election to the council seat he has held since

2011. His original intent was to run for the state House District 51 seat that Wendell Willard is retiring from in 2018. But Fulton Chairman John Eaves’ recent decision to run for Atlanta mayor opened up a new possibility. Sterling said he likes “the opportunity to be able to affect things quickly and directly” on such issues as transit and homelessness offered by the chairmanship, which is the Fulton Board of Commissioners’ only countywide seat. But he said he has not yet decided and may run for state representative after all.

SANDY SPR ING S CO NSERVANCY NAMES NEW EXECU TIVE D IR ECTO R

The Sandy Springs Conservancy, a parks advocacy organization, has named Melody Harclerode as its new executive director. Harclerode, who started the job March 13, is an architect with green space management experience. She is a past president of the Atlanta chapter of the American Institute of Architects and former director of programs at the Arabia Mountain Heritage Area Alliance in DeKalb County. She also writes an architecture column for Atlanta INtown, a sister publication of Reporter Newspapers.

CITY ANNEXES EX-HO M E D EPO T CEO ’S ESTATE FR O M B U CKHEAD

Sandy Springs is getting about 12 acres bigger as it annexes the estate of a former Home Depot CEO from the city of Atlanta. The annexation of 1250 and 1290 West Garmon Road in Buckhead includes the multi-million-dollar mansion of Robert Nardelli, the former CEO of Home Depot and Chrysler Corporation. Nardelli requested the annexation so that various properties he owns would all be in one city, according to Sandy Springs officials.

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4 | Perimeter Business

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Perimeter Business A monthly section focusing on business in the Reporter Newspapers communities

With new logos, Perimeter cities join the branding boom BY JOHN RUCH, DYANA BAGBY AND EVELYN ANDREWS

SPECIAL

The new Sandy Springs economic development marketing logo.

Many of metro Atlanta’s corporate giants, from Coca-Cola to UPS, attract customers with instantly recognizable brand logos. In turn, cities marketing themselves as hometowns for such businesses are trying to stand out with

their own brands, with new city logos popping up everywhere from Perimeter Center to Peachtree City. Dunwoody and Sandy Springs are among the local cities that have recently created new city logos at considerable cost in time and money that they figure will pay off with economic development. “A city is a business,” said Sharon Kraun, communications director at the city of Sandy Springs, which recently spent more than $175,000 on a package of logos. “We are a business. We are attracting other businesses to come.” The city of Atlanta is the old-school holdout, its post-Civil War emblem of a phoenix reborn from ashes remaining essentially unchanged from its adoption in 1887. That logo appears everywhere, including on the city’s economic development handbook that tries to sweet-talk businesses into moving to Atlanta and staying. But the city also built a distinct economic development authority, Invest Atlanta, that has a modern logo of a stylized “A” in the blue-and-green color scheme that is popular in recent city logos. Atlanta also had a “New Coke” moment of a branding change gone wrong, according to former Mayor Sam Massell, who now heads the Buckhead Coalition. During his administration in

the early 1970s, he said, the city introduced a redesigned phoenix intended to look modern and cosmopolitan, as Hartsfield-Jackson airport began running its first non-stop international flights. The logo didn’t fly, he said. “We weren’t really international,” Massell said. “We were talking bigger than we deserved.” Getting a city’s brand spoton is “just a hard, hard job,” Kraun said. Indeed, the new Dunwoody and Sandy Springs brands are in part replacements for previous logos that didn’t work so well. In Dunwoody in 2010, the city and the Convention and Visitors Bureau paid a branding company $105,000 for a logo that was immediately derided as a confusing copycat. It featured a star that looked like an asterisk and became known as the “Walmart logo” for its similarity to the discount retailer’s symbol. As much as the City Council wanted to change the logo, it was even more eager to avoid spending more money on another one. This year, three Dun-

NEW

OLD

woody residents who head marketing and branding firms — Jay Kapp of Kapp Koncepts, Mike Martin of Jackson Spalding, and Heyward Wescott of Custom Signs Today — did pro bono work to produce a new logo. Their final design is the city’s name in blue with a curving green brushstroke beneath it. “We went with a very safe design,” Wescott said, while Kapp added, “We didn’t want to see the city go through another round of a logo that people didn’t like.” A big difference city logos have from corporate counterparts is that they must try to represent an entire diverse community and their costs must be justified politically to city residents. Dunwoody was able to say its new logo was free, but the design team said their volunteer effort had a market value of around $30,000. Sandy Springs took some heat for spending nearly $100,000 on its new city logo, the primary version of which is three blue-and-green brushstrokes. That was on top of $77,000 spent on Continued on page 6


MARCH 31 - APRIL 13, 2017

Perimeter Business | 5

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A Buckhead estate that’s been on and off the market for three years, Chestnut Hall, is still the most expensive house for sale in Georgia. Listed at $48 million, it’s among the elite properties that requires creative sales techniques. The 17,776-square-foot mansion sits on an 18.6 acre lot, but it’s not the size of the land or the amount of bedrooms that drove the price up. With seven bedrooms and 11 bathrooms, the size of the house isn’t much different from many other houses listed in Buckhead for half the price. Rather, it’s the meticulously decorated rooms and curated pieces of fine art. According to ChestnutHallEstate. com, a website marketing the property, he estate features a pair of 17th-century limestone lions from France, a 19th century French chandelier and an original painting by Pablo Picasso. There’s also custom seamless carpeting, Venetian plaster walls and imported Jerusalem stone floors. Almost every room features a chandelier, even the gym. The property’s owner and real estate agent declined to comment about the sale. The house has been on and off the market since 2014 and hasn’t sold, but that’s part of selling multimillion-dollar homes, real estate agents say. Blaine Palmer, a real estate agent at Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty, said although homes in the luxury market have been moving quickly for the past couple of years, homes with higher prices are going

to take longer to sell. “The higher the price point, the longer it typically stays on the market, so you have to prepare the owner,” Palmer said. To sell a house like this, you have to be creative. “You’ve got reach out beyond the metro area to find a buyer for a $48 million home,” Andy Payne, a real estate agent at Sotheby’s, said. For houses with such a slim market as Chestnut Hall, real estate agents enlist creative strategies, such as getting a special on HGTV devoted to the home and pitching articles to magazines like Architectural Digest, Payne said. Debbie Sonenshine, another real estate agent at Coldwell Banker said international marketing is often vitally important in selling a luxury estate. They also target certain international markets depending on the features of the home. Sonenshine is currently selling a house owned by a landscaper who did the landscaping for Hong Kong Disneyland, so she is advertising heavily in China. Real estate agents also stage the house to appeal to target markets. When Sotheby’s real estate agent Chase Mizell sold filmmaker Tyler Perry’s house last year, he hired models to pose by the pool and in other parts of the home for photos and videos, Payne said. “You’re not selling a house, you’re selling a lifestyle,” he said. No one needs 10 bedrooms or a bowling alley in their house, but features like those are part of the lifestyle they’re looking for, he said.

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6 | Perimeter Business

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With new logos, Perimeter cities join the branding boom Continued from page 4

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branding its new “City Springs” downtown area anchored by a $220-million public-private development — a name that private developers are already imitating. Kraun said it’s true that various websites will design a custom logo for $500. But, she said, cities get what they pay for, including market research, vetting of designs and creation of alternatives and spin-off logos to use in other formats. Sandy Springs got six separate designs and a branding guide to using them. “If it was just to draw that one icon, yes, a hundred thousand dollars would be a lot,” Kraun said. “The cost for us was not just that icon. ... It’s not just something you put on a T-shirt.” Sandy Springs presented its branding companies with complex challenges. Its previous city logo, depicting a river and trees in shaded colors, was popular, but it was a nightmare to use in different sizes, colors and applications. The replacement had to be not only more flexible, but also had to match well with the new City Springs brand — an abstract, fountain-like image — that, in turn, has a more specialized goal of drawing residents and customers to downtown. The $100,000 included several designs integrating the new city logo with other images for such special uses as

the parks department and the city’s new performing arts center, which is set to open next year. One of the new logos is specifically for economic development marketing materials. It shows the city logo wrapped around the Concourse Center’s King and Queen skyscrapers, the icons of the city’s Perimeter Center big-business hub. The cost included “how we were able to take something so iconic and wrap it with the brand,” Kraun said. “From an economic development perspective, we’re tying all the pieces together.” Businesses ultimately base their location decisions on measurable factors such as demographics, community amenities and tax incentives. Does a city logo really matter? Are cities creating them mostly because everyone else is? Kraun likened the value of a city brand to a basic rule in the public relations business: “‘No comment’ is a comment. No logo is also a logo. ... It’s a calling card.” Kapp said the logo serves as a foundation for a city to build its brand value upon. “A logo is what you make of it, how you use it,” he said. “Of course you don’t want a logo with [the cartoon typeface] Comic Sans. But what’s in a brand? The reason Coca-Cola is as well-known as it is, is not because of a logo.”


MARCH 31 - APRIL 13, 2017

Perimeter Business | 7

www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Real estate agents get creative to sell multimillion-dollar homes Continued from page 5 Real estate agents are also taking advantage of technology such as 3-D walkthroughs, virtual reality headsets, drone videos and websites dedicated to individual estates, Payne said. Those technologies not only promote the home, but also reduce intrusion into owners’ homes because people can decide if they are interested in the home without touring it. People also can’t just call and come tour houses in this price range. The seller has to arrange the showing and verify the interested buyer could actually afford to buy the house. “This isn’t a museum,” Palmer said. Occasionally, showing a home requires real estate agents and interested buyers to acquire clearances, such as

when Palmer was showing a condominium in a building where superstar comedian Will Ferrell also lives. Instances like that are becoming more common as the filming industry in Georgia continues to increase, as well as the probability that agents will show a home to a celebrity. “With the movie industry in Atlanta and around Georgia right now, showing to celebrities is becoming more and more a reality,” Palmer said.

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8 | Out & About

Facebook.com/TheReporterNewspapers ■ twitter.com/Reporter_News 1548 Mount Vernon Road, Dunwoody. Info: palsonline.org or 770-698-0801.

EARLY AVIATION IN GEORGIA Tuesday, April 4, 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

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ARTSAPALOOZA ARTS FESTIVAL

Scenes from “Oh, the Humanity and Other Good Intentions” by Will Eno, and monologues from Leonard Cohen’s “Book of Mercy,” will be performed by the Performing Arts group at Dunwoody United Methodist Church. $10. Dunwoody UMC, 1548 Mt. Vernon Road, Dunwoody. Info: 770-394-0675.

Presented by The Atlanta Foundation for Public Spaces, Artsapalooza brings musicians and arts and crafts participants to the streets of Sandy Springs. 6100 Lake Forrest Drive, Sandy Springs. Info: sandyspringsartsapalooza.com.

Friday, April 7, and Saturday, April 8, 7 p.m. Sunday, April 9 at 3 p.m.

“URINETOWN”

Friday, April 14, to Saturday, April 29

Act3 Productions presents “Urinetown,” a humorous musical satire set in a Gothamlike city where a severe water shortage has led to a government-enforced ban on private toilets. The citizens must use public amenities, regulated by a single malevolent company that charges admission. Tickets: $15-$28. Act3 Playhouse in Sandy Springs Plaza, 6285-R Roswell Road, Sandy Springs. Schedule and ticket info: www. act3productions.org or 770-241-1905.

VISUAL ARTS THOMAS H. WILLIAMS: BRONZE, WOOD & STONE

Tuesdays through Saturdays, 11 a.m.to 6 p.m. through Saturday, May 6. Opening Reception: Thursday, April 6, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The work of sculptor Thomas H. Williams will be showcased in an exhibit at the Spruill Gallery. Williams teaches ceramic figure sculpting at the Spruill Center for the Arts. Free admission for exhibit and reception. 4681 Ashford-Dunwoody Road, Sandy Springs. Info: spruillarts.org/gallery or 770-3944019. THOMAS H. WILLIAMS

Saturday, Apr. 15, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, Apr. 16, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

AUDUBON SOCIETY OPEN HOUSE Saturday, April 15, 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Join the Atlanta Audubon Society for the kickoff event of Atlanta Bird Fest 2017 at the Blue Heron Nature Preserve. Guests can view the National Audubon’s 2016 Photography Awards traveling exhibit; tour the Amphibian Foundation’s new conservation laboratory; participate in a nature scavenger hunt; and meet Chris Wood, assistant director of information science at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Free. Drop-ins welcome. Registration requested. 4055 Roswell Road, Buckhead. Info and registration: atlantaaudubon.org/atlanta-bird-fest.

STEP ON IT!

Ongoing through Tuesday, June 13.

Senior Services North Fulton hosts Step On It!, an eight-week wellness program to help keep older adults active and independent. Any north Fulton resident age 60+ can participate. Free, and each participant gets a pedometer, while supplies last. Sandy Springs Senior Center, 6500 Vernon Woods Drive, Sandy Springs. Info: ssnorthfulton.org or 770-993-1906, ext. 227.

LEARN SOMETHING CLASSES FOR SENIORS

Mondays through May 15, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. No class April 10.

The spring quarter of Perimeter Adult Learning & Services (PALS) classes is underway at Dunwoody United Methodist Church. Class topics include: the Pacific Coast Indians, the 2017 real estate market, travel, Shakespeare, state and local politics, President Harry S. Truman, “The Black Experience 1800-1900,” bridge, mahjongg and “Examining Your Funny Bone I.” Classes are held on Mondays in three time slots. $45 for the entire spring session, or visit for $8 per day. Bring a lunch or purchase a meal for $8 with advance reservations.

Heritage Sandy Springs’ Titles@Twilight program for adults continues this month with Dan A. Aldridge, Jr., author of “To Lasso the Clouds: The Beginning of Aviation in Georgia.” Aldridge, vice president of the Friends of Georgia Libraries, set the historical record straight on the first airplane flight in Georgia, which he reveals was the first flight of a monoplane in the U.S. The Garden Room at the WilliamsPayne House, 6075 Sandy Springs Circle, Sandy Springs. Info: 404-851-9111.

SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL’S GREAT-GRANDSON LECTURES Wednesday, April 5, 7 p.m.

Jonathan Sandys, great-grandson of Sir Winston Churchill and the author of ”God and Churchill,” will be interviewed about the role spiritual beliefs played in the former British prime minister’s leadership on the world stage. Free. The Lovett School, 4075 Paces Ferry Road, N.W., Buckhead. RSVP: rsvp@ lovett.org.

ALL ABOUT BLUEBIRDS

Saturday, April 8, 10 a.m. to noon.

Learn about bluebirds and how to attract them to your yard, then go outside to observe Lost Corner Preserve’s resident bluebird family. Ages 6+. $12. Bluebird houses will be available for sale. 7300 Brandon Mill Road, Sandy Springs. Registration: registration.sandyspringsga.gov. Info: friendsoflostcorner.org or 770-730-5600.

KIDS & FAMILIES NATIVE PLANT SALE

Friday, April 7 and Saturday, April 8, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

ART AND PLANT SALE

Friday, April 7 to Saturday, April 9, 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Reception: Friday, April 7, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The Dunwoody Fine Art Association and the Dunwoody Community Garden Club will host a joint art and plant sale at the barn area in Brook Run Park. The April 7 reception will include affordable art work by local artists for sale. All events free. 4770 North Peachtree Road, Dunwoody. Info: bflexner@hotmail.com.

SHEAR FAMILY FUN

Saturday, April 8, 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Atlanta History Center guests can experience the process of making cloth with demonstrations of sheep shearing, wool dyeing, spinning and weaving. Open hearth cooking, blacksmithing, candle making, live music at Smith Family Farm. Free for members; included with general admission. Tickets: $11 to $16.50. 130 West Paces Ferry Road N.W., Buckhead. Info: atlantahistorycenter.com.

SWEEP THE HOOCH

Saturday, April 8, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The seventh annual cleanup hosted by Chattahoochee Riverkeeper and its partners includes North Fork Peachtree Creek in Brookhaven. Since 2011, volunteers have removed 41 tons of trash from the Chattahoochee River. Volunteers can join in as walkers, waders equipped with their own boots, or paddlers who provide their own kayaks or canoes. Register: chattahoochee.org/sweep-the-hooch. Info: tbates@chattahoochee.org.

TAX HELP COMMUNITY ASSISTANCE CENTER Through Saturday, April 15

Attract butterflies, polliThe Community Assistance Center offers nators, birds and more free help with tax returns. CAC’s team of to your garden by adding trained and certified VITA [Volunteer Innative plants. More than come Tax Assistance] volunteers can help 120 species of plants, includfilers earning up to $55,000 in 2016. Aping herbs and veggies for the edible garpointments are available now. CAC is one den, will be available at the Chattahoochof many metro area VITA sites, an initiaee Nature Center’s Annual Spring Native tive of the IRS and the United Way. 1130 Plant sale. Horticulturists and knowlHightower Trail, Sandy Springs. Info: edgeable volunteers will be available to 770-552-4889, ext. 221 or contact VITA@ give advice. Free admission to the garden ourcac.org. area. 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell. SUBMIT YOUR EVENT LISTING WITH US AT Info: chattnatucalendar@ReporterNewspapers.net recenter.org.


MARCH 31 - APRIL 13, 2017

www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Out & About | 9

Farmers markets blossom for the season Like perennial flowers, farmers markets are making their return in the spring season. The following markets are blossoming now and will remain open into the fall.

PEACHTREE ROAD FARMERS MARKET Saturdays through mid-December, 8:30 a.m. to noon. Wednesdays, April 19 through late October, 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Located in the parking lot at the Cathedral of St. Philip, the market is open rain or shine. Each week brings chef demonstrations, live music and, on Wednesday nights, fresh meals ready to eat. The market accepts SNAP (food stamps) and doubles their dollar value. 2744 Peachtree Road, Buckhead. Info: peachtreeroadfarmersmarket.com.

HERITAGE SANDY SPRINGS FARMERS MARKET Saturdays, April 15 through early December, 8:30 a.m. to noon.

Nearly 50 vendors offer local and organic produce, pasture-raised meat, farm fresh eggs and dairy products, and a wide variety of specialty and prepared foods. Located at the Century Springs office park, 6100 Lake Forrest Drive, Sandy Springs. Info: sandyspringsfarmersmarket.com or 404-851-9111, ext. 5.

BROOKHAVEN FARMERS MARKET

Saturdays, April 22 through midNovember, 9 a.m. to noon.

The market is open rain or shine in the parking lot of the University Baptist Church, 1375 Fernwood Circle at the intersection with Dresden Drive, Brookhaven. Information: brookhavenfarmersmarket.com.

Introducing Three Sisters Catering “Catering to Go” Get out of your kitchen and be a guest at your own party... without the expense of service staff!

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

• Dinner Party • Cocktail Party • Birthday Celebration • Retirement Celebration • Graduation Party

• Office Party • Bridal/Baby Shower • Game Day

*Delivery charges are based on your location and time of day. No charge if you pick-up from our kitchen. We ask for 48 hours notice - 12-15 person minimum

404-488-4565 #tsccateringtogo CaterWithThreeSisters.com

What can you learn about senior living at our Lunch and Learn? A whole bunch. Ask questions. Take a tour. Ask more questions. Try the food. Ask even more questions. You get the idea. It’s casual, it’s complimentary and you’re invited. The Piedmont at Buckhead Senior Living Community’s next Lunch and Learn is on Saturday, April 8th from noon-2:00pm. Please call 404.381.1743 to RSVP.

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

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


10 | Community

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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. Part of the answers from five candidates appear below. Also at ReporterNewspapers.net are the answers from nine other candidates who previously responded: Ragin Edwards, Keith Grawert, Alexander Hernandez, Amy Kremer, William Llop, Jon Ossoff, Andre Pollard, Ron Slotin and Kurt Wilson. The candidates who did not submit responses are Mohammad Ali Bhuiyan, Judson Hill, Richard Keatley and Dan Moody.

For their full answers, including their positions on the Affordable Care Act, see ReporterNewspapers.net.

DAVID ABROMS AbromsforCongress.com Melissa Babcock, M.D.

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Occupation: CPA and energy entrepreneur

Why should the voters choose you for this position? I’m running for Congress to give the people of Georgia’s 6th District energetic, honest and conservative leadership. It’s time for conservatives to deliver on our promises and work to deliver real solutions for the American people. As your congressman, I’ll put Georgia values before Washington values, listen before I talk, and seek to understand before I disagree. I’ll bring the same work ethic and experience that allowed me to build a successful business with me to Washington to make sure your interests are represented.

BOB GRAY BobGrayGA.com Occupation: Technology Executive

Why should the voters choose you for this position?

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This race is essentially between two Republicans — an establishment Republican who has been in and out of office for the past two decades, and myself, a business outsider with more than three decades of experience as an international technology executive. We can’t expect different results from Washington, D.C., if we keep electing the same kind of people. Washington, D.C. has enough politicians who enjoy the ideological debate and get nothing done. Coming from the business world, I have a successful track record of coming up with effective solutions and getting things done. That’s exactly the approach I’ll bring to Congress!


MARCH 31 - APRIL 13, 2017

Community | 11

www.ReporterNewspapers.net

KAREN HANDEL

CREATE YOUR HAPPY PLACE

KarenHandel.com Occupation: Business Strategy Consultant

Why should the voters choose you for this position? There has been too much talk for far too long in Washington, and the people of the 6th District deserve a representative that they can trust to actually deliver results. As secretary of state, I successfully implemented photo ID for voting to prevent illegals from voting. As Fulton County Commission chairman, I stopped the Democrats’ proposal for a massive property tax increase and still balanced the budget. And, as CEO of the North Fulton Chamber, I led the organization out of near bankruptcy while also helping to create jobs right here in our community.

BRUCE LEVELL

See our design Portfolio at: MosaicGroupAtlanta.com Call us at (770) 670-6022 for a FREE consultation.

LeVellforCongress.com Occupation: Businessman

Why should the voters choose you for this position? I am the only candidate who has been loyal to President Trump since Day One. I am the only candidate who has not and will not take PAC or special interest money. To the homeowners, small business owners and voters of the Georgia 6th Congressional District, I say this: I am the only candidate who is for the people and by the people — I will not accept any special interest or PAC money.

Kitchens. Baths. Porches & Decks. Basements. Patios. Additions.

Pony Pals Summer Camp Chastain Horse Park - convenient Buckhead location! Boys and girls ages 4-8 – Mon-Fri 8am-1pm Many weeks to choose from during Summer 2017

REBECCA QUIGG QuiggforCongress.com

Camp activities for our younger riders include daily riding lessons, crafts and games!

Contact us at (404) 252-4244 or ponypals@chastainhorsepark.org or download registration form at https://www.chastainhorsepark.org/horse-camps

Occupation: Physician; Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Cardiovascular Diseases; Subspecialty in Heart Failure and Cardiac Transplantation.

Why should the voters choose you for this position? I am a cardiologist, healthcare advocate, consultant and Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) expert. As the former Director of Heart Failure and Cardiac Transplantation at Northwestern University, I published over 70 clinical research articles and lectured all over the U.S. and around the world. I am running because the ACA is under threat and no other candidate has my expert knowledge of the healthcare system and healthcare reform. In short, “We Need a Doctor in the House,” who understands the successes of the ACA and wants to improve and expand it to provide healthcare coverage to all Americans.

www.chastainhorsepark.org

404-252-4244


12 | Community

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VOTERS GUIDE State Senate District 32

On April 18, citizens in Sandy Springs’ state Senate District 32 will choose from eight candidates looking to fill the vacant seat in a special election. The seat was formerly held by Judson Hill, who resigned to run for Congress. The Reporter asked all of the candidates for a biography and the answers to questions about their political stances. Seven candidates responded, and part of their answers appear below. The candidate who did not respond is Hamilton Matthew Beck.

For their full answers, including their positions on mass transit expansion and casino gambling, see ReporterNewspapers.net. One Hundred West Paces Ferry Road | Atlanta, Ga 30305 | dorseyalston.com Information believed accurate but not warranted. Equal Housing Opportunity.

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Because I am not a career politician. I am running because I want to make a difference and ensure the voters of the 32nd District elect someone who represents them and not special interest groups. I have made my living by working in the private sector and have seen how unnecessary government regulations and policies can adversely affect businesses and families. I am running because I want to make a difference and ensure our state continues to be a thriving economic hub.

MicroSeal of Atlanta

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ROYDEN “ROY” DANIELS DanielsforSenate.com Occupation: Physician

Why should the voters choose you for this position? I am a physician, small business owner and community leader who has gained first-hand experience over the past 20 years that will allow me to represent the district well. As a physician, I have always put the interests of my patients first, and as your senator, I will put the interest of my constituents first. No one can foresee all the issues that we will face in the coming years; as you cast your vote, choose someone who will make the best decisions for you and who has the experience to serve the citizens of Sandy Springs and East Cobb.

EXTON HOWARD ExtonHoward.com Occupation: Television Director

8 Concourse Parkway | Sandy Springs, GA Immediately off South GA400 Exit 4C

Why should the voters choose you for this position?

For more information, contact Tracy Meazell at tmeazell@wellbridge.com or 770.698.2090 today.

I’m a young Democrat who is looking towards the future. I have a plan to help the citizens of our district and I have a passion for helping people. I will work across the aisle where I can and I will oppose bills that encourage or legalize discrimination.


MARCH 31 - APRIL 13, 2017

Community | 13

www.ReporterNewspapers.net

KAY KIRKPATRICK KayforSenate.com Occupation: Orthopaedic surgeon

Why should the voters choose you for this position? I am uniquely qualified to lead change here in Georgia due to my combination of direct patient care and business experience. I ran the third-largest orthopaedic surgery group in the U.S. for 12 years while practicing full-time. I teach teamwork and communication in surgery and can use those skills to bring people together. I can help with solutions to our healthcare problems. I support the Georgia FairTax and exemptions for seniors from property tax. I am also a strong advocate for public safety and will work closely with the state and law enforcement to make Georgia a safer place.

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GUS MAKRIS MakrisforSenate.com Occupation: Senior tax counsel to Turner Broadcasting. Prior to joining Turner, he held the position of Tax Associate with the law firm of King & Spalding in Atlanta.

Why should the voters choose you for this position? I have visited thousands of homes, and people want a conservative reformer who is honest, principled and forthright. I believe conservative principles help lift people out of poverty, help people get jobs, help kids learn, and generally help people live independent, stable, productive, good, meaningful lives. People also want someone who is capable. As a tax lawyer, I have worked on acquisitions, financings, partnerships and other transactions at the highest levels of the economy; I do not practice in the courts. I also understand regulatory burdens. I want to bring my principles and capabilities to the Capitol to help people.

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CHRISTINE TRIEBSCH ChristineforGA.com Occupation: Attorney and small business owner

Why should the voters choose you for this position? I am a family law attorney married to a Cobb County educator. I have two children in Cobb County schools. I am not a career politician, but I do have 20 years of experience working within the legal system to help children and families in our community. I decided to run because we need balanced representation at the local and state level and elected officials who know how to find common ground to make progress. My perspective and legal training will help me be a strong advocate for the people of District 32.

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BOB WISKIND WiskindforStateSenate.com Occupation: Physician-Pediatrician

Listed by Phebe Etheredge |404-374-8458 Offered at $1,245,000

Why should the voters choose you for this position? As a leader of pediatric organizations, I have spent considerable time advocating with legislators and state agencies on behalf of children’s health issues across the state. I have seen first-hand how state government works and the impact that a knowledgeable and motivated individual can make. As state senator, I will be a voice of experience and common sense on critical issues, including healthcare, transportation, education and taxes.

Sandy Springs Office | 5290 Roswell Rd, Atlanta, GA 30342 | 404-250-9900 | HarryNorman.com The above information is believed accurate but is not warranted. Offer subject to errors, changes, ommissions, prior sales, and withdrawals without notice


14 | Commentary

Reporter Newspapers 

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

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

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

© 2017 with all rights reserved Publisher reserves the right to refuse editorial or advertising for any reason. Publisher assumes no responsibility for information contained in advertising. Any opinions expressed in print or online do not necessarily represent the views of Reporter Newspapers or Springs Publishing, LLC.

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Community Survey / Bracing for Braves stadium traffic Question: Do you think the Atlanta Braves and local governments have done enough to prepare for the traffic that will go to the new Cobb County stadium? Many of us believe a traffic tsunami is coming our way, and we don’t think we’re ready for it. The Atlanta Braves play their official Opening Day game in new SunTrust Park in Cobb County on April 14, and respondents to a recent Reporter Newspapers survey think local roads will be choked by cars filled with fans. “Our streets and our neighborhoods cannot handle the volume of cars that it’s going to take to move the people to the games,” a resident of the Buckhead/Sandy Springs border area commented. “We must develop a better and more efficient system of public transportation that covers a wider range of ‘home bases.’ ” The cellphone survey of 200 residents of the Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta INtown communities was conducted about a week before the stadium’s first event, a March 31 limitedattendance exhibition game between the Braves and New York Yankees. More than half – about 52 percent – of the respondents said that the Braves and local officials had poorly prepared for the coming waves of traffic headed to and from the stadium near the intersection of I-285 and I-75. Only about 4 percent thought they’d done enough. “What I know is they should’ve done a lot more than what they have done,” a 50-year-old man from the Sandy Springs/Buckhead area commented. “I’ve driven around the new stadium and there is no way the area is going to be able to handle all the traffic as currently configured.” But a 43-year-old resident of the same area felt things were going swimmingly. “The Braves traffic plan has been well stated and they have done a great job. I have been using Braves.com/parking to figure out my best options,” he wrote. “Uber will be my first choice.” Survey respondents selected their responses from among five choices, including that local officials “could have done

3.5% 9.5% 21.5%

14% 51.5%

They’re well-prepared to handle traffic 7 (3.5%) They’ve done the basics, but could improve 19 (9.5%) They’re poorly prepared to handle traffic 103 (51.5%)

ready,” a 31-year-old Brookhaven woman wrote. And a 27-year-old Dunwoody woman’s comment was simply, “MARTA.” MARTA, of course, doesn’t go into Cobb, where voters in the past rejected plans to make the county part of the transit system. Other proposals for improving transportation to the stadium ranged from better pedestrian access, to more shuttle buses and parking decks, to never having built the new ballpark in the first place. “Move the stadium,” one 26-yearold Atlanta man said. Whatever is needed to handle traffic around the stadiums, many respondents sounded frustrated that it hasn’t been done yet. “Prepare for the worst,” a 29-year-old Buckhead woman said.

I haven’t heard enough details to know 28 (14%) We won’t know until Opening Day 43 (21.5%) more” (about 10 percent) and “I haven’t heard enough details to know” (14 percent). About 22 percent said they’d wait until Opening Day to decide. Fears of game-day traffic jams have raised protests from Sandy Springs residents and members of Sandy Springs City Council for months. The Braves have argued that the road network around SunTrust Park is better able to handle game traffic than the one around their old home, Turner Field in downtown Atlanta. The team is offering advance sales of reserved parking and has made changes to try to stagger fans’ arrivals and departures in order to avoid massive traffic tie-ups. Games will start later, at 7:30 p.m., in an attempt to avoid rushhour traffic, and the team believes many fans will delay their departure from the new park after the game to check out restaurants and other businesses in the surrounding mixed-use development. But many responding to the survey said nothing would be better than more and better mass transit to the stadium. “I cannot believe the lack of public transportation to the stadium. The roads aren’t even

1Q is an Atlanta-based startup that has developed a technology which sends questions and surveys to a cellphone via app or text message from businesses and organizations across the country. Respondents are paid 50 cents per answer, through PayPal, for sharing their opinions. Payments may also be donated directly to charity.

Letter to the Editor

HERE’S SOME OF WHAT OTHER RESPONDENTS HAD TO SAY “I am not sure that the organization and local governments can determine the necessary work to be done at this point. While I believe they are doing all that they believe is appropriate today ... the true tests will not come until game days begin to occur. Success will ultimately be determined by how they react to the issues at that time.” 41-year-old Buckhead man “Building a stadium without easy access to mass transit is simply idiotic.” 61-year-old Atlanta man “They’ve chosen a location that is in the Top 10 congested traffic intersections in the entire U.S. and added 81 baseball games a year to the mix. I intend to stay away from the entire area whenever there is a game.” 60-year-old Sandy Springs man “[They should do] something other than routing traffic through local neighborhoods on surface streets! This probably should have been planned for from the beginning!” 52-year-old Sandy Springs/Buckhead woman

Sign up to be included in our local community polls at 1Q.com/reporter or by texting REPORTER to 86312.

COUNCIL SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF MERCEDES STREET RENAMING

The handling of the Mercedes-Benz Drive street renaming matter by the mayor and City Council was disgraceful and pathetic. (“City’s first corporate street naming draws debate,” March 17.) But, for years, these “leaders” have prostrated themselves at the feet of the rich and powerful, and they have patronized or simply ignored the citizens whom they allegedly serve. The mayor and the City Council should be ashamed, but none of the rest of us should be surprised. Kevin Best, Sandy Springs


MARCH 31 - APRIL 13, 2017

Community | 15

www.ReporterNewspapers.net

New zoning code tackles affordability Continued from page 1 said at a March 20 meeting. “You borrowed Fulton County’s mess … and it’s past time that gets shuffled into a filing cabinet somewhere” and updated. The new code is scheduled to be in place sometime this fall. For its full text and more details, see thenext10.org. Public comments are accepted on the site through April 10. The code is based on the city’s new Comprehensive Land Use Plan, recently approved after an 18-month public process. One of the Comp Plan’s main features is designating roughly 67 percent of the city as “Protected Neighborhoods”— low-density, single-family housing. “The number one issue I got hammered into my head the most … was that the neighborhoods need protection,” Einsweiler said, explaining how his code will help do that and create transitions in border areas. But preserving traditional suburbs also conflicts with LEE EINSWEILER other city redevel- CODE STUDIO opment goals, such as avoiding overdevelopment in the remaining high-density parts of the city, or adding middle-income “workforce” housing as real estate prices skyrocket. To incentivize such “public benefits,” Einsweiler proposes various bonus systems allowing taller buildings in exchange for them. Einsweiler sketched out possible bonus systems for Perimeter Center, the “Pill Hill” Medical Center and the apartments-heavy stretch of northern Roswell Road. For older apartment complexes, Einsweiler also proposes a bonus system, in part to resolve varying, sometimes conflicting city incentives and attitudes about their future. City officials have indicated they view such apartments as outdated and crime-ridden, with Councilmember Tibby DeJulio at one of the zoning meetings describing some local complexes as hubs of “murder, rape, kidnapping.” But Mayor Rusty Paul has spoken of a moral and civic duty to provide income-diverse housing, as have some residents at recent meetings and on social media. Likewise, the city sees older apartment complexes as opportunities to redevelop into new affordable housing.

However, the city also demands higher-quality construction and wants to mix for-sale and rental housing, which pushes construction costs higher. In particular, a recent code change requiring new, large apartment buildings to be built of steel and masonry “pretty much guarantees” the older complexes won’t be redeveloped, Einsweiler said. Under his bonus system proposal, the code would allow apartment buildings in residential areas to be up to three stories tall. Developers could gain two additional stories in exchange for two big trade-offs: 1) 25 percent of the project’s land area is made for-sale, single-family housing, either attached or detached; and 2) half of the bonus floor area must be units priced as “affordable” to middle-income households. That affordable section in turn is split into two different levels of affordability: half of the section must be affordable to people making up to 80 percent of the area median income, and half to people making up to 120 percent of the AMI. The area the median income calculation would be based on was not defined; Sandy Springs’ and metro Atlanta’s median household income is in the range of $64,000 to $68,000, according to U.S. Census data. “This is not the lowest-value affordable housing,” Einsweiler said, adding those would be left to federal and state subsidy programs to provide. Fulton County has a years-long, frozen wait list for such programs. Unlike some similar affordable housing set-aside programs in other cities, the Sandy Springs proposal does not specify a particular percentage of affordable units. Asked after the meeting whether he has seen this type of an incentive program succeed elsewhere, Einsweiler said no, because no one else has tried it. “This is new … This is unique,” he said, describing it as a “cobbled-together” version of City Council priorities. At a March 22 community meeting in the High Point area, one resident was not impressed. “That’s nothing,” she said of the affordability percentage, adding about the formula used to calculate it, “That’s really confusing.”

The number one issue I got hammered into my head the most…was that the neighborhoods need protection.

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16 | Faith

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Communities of Faith

Rev. Lang Lowrey, center, shares a laugh with congregants and Rev. Ruth Pattison, left, after Sunday service.

PHIL MOSIER

As Easter arrives, a church attempts its own resurrection BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

At a church in the wooded Sandy Springs neighborhood known as High Point, it’s Easter season in more ways than one. As the congregation celebrates its members’ belief in the mystery of Jesus Christ’s resurrection, the Church of the Atonement is undergoing one of its own.

EASTER SUNDAY celebration April 16 11 a.m.

2715 Peachtree Road, NE Atlanta 404.266.8111 | www.spdl.org

After dwindling to a dozen worshipers in a near-death experience a year ago, the 50-year-old church is attempting a comeback under a new name, Highpoint Episcopal Community Church, and new leadership that puts community above rule-making. “We’re having a great rebirth,” said Ralph Edwards, a 40-year church member, after a recent Sunday service. “We got roots and we also have buds.”

Saturday, April 15

Sunday, April 16

7:30 pm Easter Vigil Mass

8:00 am Mass 10:00 am Mass 10:15 am Mass 12:00 pm Mass 1:30 pm Mass in Spanish 7:00 pm Mass in Portuguese

Sunday, April 16

6:30 am Sunrise Mass

7171 Glenridge Drive Sandy Springs, GA 30328 770-394-3896 www.judeatl.com


Faith | 17

www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Communities of Faith peachtreechurch.org

Point Road. Duffy Hickey, a church member for more than 20 years, recalls the days when the church had up to 250 members and a full-time priest. “Over time, and probably through demographics … we dwindled. We dwindled way down,” Hickey said. By late 2015, Atonement was in crisis mode and essentially leaderless, with longtime pastor Rev. Chris Starr moving to an out-of-state church. In early 2016, the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta sent Lowrey in. His official title there is “Canon for Christian Enterprise,” but he described the hat he was wearing in simpler terms: “I’m the real estate guy for the church.” “Most bishops would close it down, mow it down [and] sell the land,” he said of Atonement. “We thought it was going to be a lights-out situation.” From his business career, Lowrey recalled first seeing Atonement from the air as he flew out of DeKalb-Peachtree Airport in a corporate jet and wondering why it was located on a side street, hidden behind trees. In the sheer business point of view, that location helped save the church, because rights of way for a fuel pipeline and Ga. 400 limit its redevelopment potential. But Lowrey also saw potential in those strong community connections. Pattison noted the diversity of those ties, from a popular men’s supper club to the Capital City Opera performing regularly in the church hall. There’s also the responsibility of hosting Our Lady of Guadalupe, a Hispanic mission congregation with an active membership larger than Atonement’s. The two congregations sometimes host joint services in Spanish and English, and Guadalupe members provide many of the volunteers keeping the church running.

Palm Sunday: April 9

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Maundy Thursday: April 13

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Peachtree Presbyterian Church | 3434 Roswell Rd. | Atlanta, Ga 30305 | 404.842.5800

Northwest Presbyterian Church JOHN RUCH

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Chastain Park | 10:00 am–12:00 pm

Continued on page 18

Rev. Ruth Pattison in her pop-up art studio, where people explored religious and personal themes through painting.

Sunday parking onsite & via bus from 7:30 am– 1:00 pm.

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Part of that optimism comes from the church’s energetic — if still only parttime — leaders. Rev. Ruth Pattison, the day-to-day pastor, has added pop-up art classes to standard Sunday fare. And Rev. Lang Lowrey, the new vicar, is a professor of church leadership at Emory’s Candler School of Theology and recently launched a thousand-member congregation in Smyrna with a start-up sensibility he honed in a long career as a corporate investor. “When I walked in, it was like that old [novel and movie] ‘The Land That Time Forgot,’” said Lowrey of his first visit to the church at 4945 High Point Road. “The light had not gone out, but it had definitely diminished.” Atonement is hardly the only church struggling in an era of increasing secularism. But, Lowrey said, it has avoided some real church-killers like debt or religious schism. While the remaining congregation is small, it’s growing again — to more than 40 members —with a closeness that Pattison likens to the Christian church’s early days. “It has that feel to it … that sense of spiritual energy,” she said. The church has a big asset, too, that’s reflected in its new name: significant connections to the larger community. It hosts everything from government meetings to a popular community garden. “We are the High Point community center. We are their town hall,” said Lowrey. “I’m really glad it’s going to stay as a church,” said City Councilmember Tibby DeJulio, who represents the neighborhood. “It’s a real asset to the community.” The church came to the community more than a half-century ago, in 1962, as a mission of Holy Innocents’, a church that remains a powerful Sandy Springs institution today. In 1967, the congregation broke ground for its own building on a nearly 8-acre site on High

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18 | Faith

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As Easter arrives, a church attempts its own resurrection Continued from page 17 Bishop Rob Wright, who heads the Atlanta Diocese, agreed to save the church. While the church was stripped of its parish status, it was allowed to survive as a “worshiping community,” which essentially means it operates with a start-up’s lack of hierarchy and usual rules. Pattison that makes the church appealing for people who want something more family-like than “modeling on corporate America,” while Lowrey says, “We’re just a bohemian church.” Part of the rebirth is shedding the old “Atonement” name. Internal church history says the name was chosen partly as a pun suggesting unity — “At-One-Ment.” But in Christian theology, “atonement” refers to Jesus suffering on the cross for all of humanity’s sins. Pattison and Lowrey call that a “dark” interpretation and would rather have the revived church focus on love and community. “I think the doctrine of atonement is just too dark, especially for a church going through a post-World War II … era of secularity,” said Lowrey, adding that some of his Candler School students say the name is off-putting. “Sometimes a rebranding is necessary.” The name change is still in the works.

Meanwhile, the church is playfully advertising its new initials with a street sign reading, “What the HECC?” While the church is getting a second chance, it’s not an unlimited one. Lowrey said the diocese has set certain benchmarks and expectations, including a goal of reaching 75 to 100 members by year’s end. “I don’t know where we are in five years,” said Dickey, the longtime church member. “We may close shop. We may have a hundred members and a full-time priest.” But, he added, “There is a blessing to [the challenge], in that we’re tighter together.” Lowrey said that sense of community helps to support the congregation’s faith and hope. “These are Easter people,” he said.

PHIL MOSIER

The congregation of Highpoint Episcopal Community Church gathers for the Sunday service on March 19.

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Education | 19

MARCH 31 - APRIL 13, 2017 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

S TUD EN T S JOI N SA F E-C RA C K I N G CO M PETITIO N Safecracking is the unusual hobby of five Weber School students, who won fifth place on March 29 in an international science competition where they matched wits with othSPECIAL er students. From left, Safe-Cracking Club members Justin Cobb, The safes Levi Durham, Ross Williams, Eric Lieberman and in question Becky Arbiv with their confounding device. aren’t the steel-and-combination-lock variety. They’re physics experiments where students build devices with clever locking mechanisms, such as lasers, that they challenge others to unlock with only a few hints. The Safe-Cracking Club at the Sandy Springs private Jewish school includes members Becky Arbiv, Justin Cobb, Levi Durham, Eric Lieberman and Ross Williams. The team was among many, including the Atlanta Jewish Academy in Sandy Springs, invited to join an annual safe-cracking competition at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. The Weber club was the top U.S. finisher. “Our team is ‘Coca-Cola’ since we’re from Atlanta,” said Spencer Roby, a math teacher who serves as the Weber club’s faculty sponsor. Likewise, he said, the treasure locked in their safe is Coke’s fabled secret formula. Spoiler: It’s actually just a document reading, “Love.” --John Ruch

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20 | Education

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Claire Marie Huff Atlanta Classical Academy Editor’s note: Through our “Exceptional Educator” series, Reporter Newspapers showcase the work of some of the outstanding teachers and administrators at our local schools. If you would like to recommend an Exceptional Educator to be included in our series, please email editor@ReporterNewspapers.net with information about the teacher or administration and why you think he or she should be featured. Claire Marie Huff teaches seventh grade science and Advanced Placement biology at the Atlanta Classical Academy, a public charter school located in Buckhead. She’s been teaching for seven years.

Q:

What attracted you to teaching at first?

A:

While at Georgia Tech, my chemistry fraternity visited an Atlanta area middle school to perform some science demonstrations for the students. Their excitement and curiosity were infectious. I loved being a part of that day, guiding the students, answering questions and sharing their enthusiasm for science. After I graduated, I went to work in the adhesives industry as a chemist, which felt

Exceptional

fore. I want to be more thorough, more exciting, more challenging, and it is important to me to be as up-to-date as possible with what is happening in the global scientific community. Another thing that I look forward to is finding new ways to illustrate scientific concepts with demonstrations, activities and hands-on explorations. Teaching is a work in progress and I love trying to make my science classes more engaging and enriching year after year.

Educator

anti-climactic after my college career. My days were monotonous. Fortunately, I was given the opportunity to teach eighth grade physical science and I left industry to become a teacher. As soon as I started, I saw that every day in the classroom is different than the day before. It was extremely rewarding. I haven’t looked back since.

Q: Has the appeal changed? A: Every year there are differ-

Q:

ent challenges, but I still love What do you think everything about teaching and makes a great teacher? feel so lucky to share every day A great teacher loves with my students. Every year, I SPECIAL the subject they teach. A try to find new ways to engage Claire Marie Huff great teacher loves learning in my school community. I have just as much as teaching. A great teachtaught and sponsored the Atlanta Classier respects their students. And, perhaps cal Academy string ensemble for the past most importantly, a great teacher does not two years as well as sponsored the ACA take herself or himself too seriously. science club. We have just begun a school-

A:

wide service project to rehabilitate some land into an Atlanta city park.

Q: What keeps you going year after year? A: What I look forward to the most ev-

ery year is having another opportunity to make my lessons better than the year be-

Q:

What do you want to see in your students?

A:

I want them to look at the periodic table [of elements] and think of it as the pantry in the universe’s kitchen, containing the ingredients of all matter

around them. I want them to grow into adults who have a working knowledge of different branches of science and can critically read a scientific article with understanding and insight. I want them to be smart and kind stewards of the world they live in because they understand and have great respect for life and the world around them.

Q: How do you engage your students? A: We have a new science laboratory at

ACA where my AP biology students engage in weekly scientific inquiry. Throughout the year, the seventh-graders may be found using microscopes in the lab, making their own periodic table, burning magnesium on the tennis court or classifying household acids and bases in the classroom. Bringing science to life in the classroom or lab is a guaranteed way to engage students.

Q:

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

A: No, I do not have a trick. Q:

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

A:

I hope that students leave my classroom having a respect for the breadth and depth of science, curious to learn more. I want students to see that science is all around them, present in every aspect of our lives.

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Classifieds | 21

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22 | Public Safety

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Police will soon wear body cameras Continued from page 1

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censing and video storage is expected to cost around $62,000 a year, he said. TASER, an Arizona company known for its electric stun guns, was chosen over competing bids from Motorola Solutions and Utility Associates. The decision was made by an evaluation committee of police and city IT officials, along with input from the city’s legal, financial and purchasing departments. The process included officers field-testing the companies’ cameras in December and January. According to a presentation by Zgonc, TASER’s technical scores were slightly lower than Utility Associates’ and its bid was about $44,000 cheaper. Zgonc said that TASER’s cameras “not only were easy to use, but the back end [of video storage] … was very userfriendly, easy to train officers for. They should serve us quite well.” Big questions for victim privacy and police transparency is how long that video will be stored and who will be allowed to see it. Zgonc said the department has a draft policy on camera use and video storage that will be refined and finalized. Councilmembers Tibby DeJulio and Gabriel Sterling requested the police demonstrate the cameras and present the policy at a future council meeting. However, the bottom line is simple for residents wondering when a police body camera might be filming them. “Whenever you have an interaction with police,” Police Chief Ken DeSimone said in an interview, adding that means everywhere from public streets to private homes. A nationwide push for police to wear body cameras has been underway in the wake of controversial police killings of civilians, such as the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., in 2014. Police in Atlanta, Brookhaven and Dunwoody are already either wearing body cameras or are in the process of rolling them out. Sandy Springs previously tested TASER body cameras in a 2010 pilot program, but ended up going camerafree since then. A specific date for starting the Sandy Springs body camera program was not announced, but Zgonc has previously said the department would like them in use by late April. The council’s decision allows city staff to negotiate and sign a formal contract with TASER.


MARCH 31 - APRIL 13, 2017

Public Safety | 23

www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Police Blotter / Sandy Springs From Sandy Springs police reports March 20 through March 23. The following information was provided by Capt. Steve Rose.

Spring Break — This is a good time for burglars to work the suburbs so if you are leaving, go to sandyspringsga. gov and, on the police section, make arrangements by filling out the form to have your home checked while you are gone. Also, if you are staying home, we’re urging folks to keep a close eye on suspicious activity, mostly foot traffic and slow-cruising cars in your neighborhoods. Most residential burglaries are daytime so don’t second guess yourself. Call 911 if something looks suspicious.

R O B B E RY „„100 block of North-

wood Drive — On March 20, a 19-yearold said he was robbed at about 5 a.m., after he saw two men looking into cars. The two spotted him and then took $5 from the victim at gunpoint. They left in a 2000 model Honda Civic, brown in color.

B U R G L A RY „„7100 block of Peachtree Dunwoody

Road — On March 20, someone entered the maintenance shed at an apartment complex sometime between 4 p.m. March 18 and 9 a.m. March 20. AC repair items were taken. „„1100 block of Hammond Drive — On

March 20, a pizza delivery shop employee said she opened the store for the day and found that the money in the safe was missing. There was no forced entry to the store or the safe. The camera facing the safe had been turned downward.

THEFT „„3900 block of Treelodge Parkway —

On March 20, the resident said a package was taken from the doorstep between 1 and 6 p.m. „„5580 Roswell Road — On March 20,

an iPad was stolen from an area behind a gym building. An instructor was setting up equipment and left the area for five minutes. During that time, someone took the iPad. „„227 Sandy Springs Place — On March

22, an 82-yearold woman said someone took her wallet from her purse while she shopped at a grocery store. A man approached her and asked about directions on a box of pasta. She said after he left, her wallet was missing.

SANDY SPRINGS NOTICE OF REZONING Petition Number:

RZ16-0103

Petitioner:

Lefko Properties, LLC

Property Location:

1170 Hightower Trail

Present Zoning:

R-2 (Single Family Dwelling District)

Request:

Request to rezone from R-2 to C-1 to allow office use.

Public Hearings:

Planning Commission March 16, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. Mayor and City Council April 18, 2017 at 6:00 p.m.

Location:

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

CAPT. STEVE ROSE, SSPD srose@sandyspringsga.gov

1100 block of Hammond Drive — On March 22, a patrol officer spotted a black Nissan Rouge parked in the shopping center lot around 10 p.m. The Kansas tag indicated the car was stolen from Hertz rental. No driver was with the car. It was impounded.

„„

THEFTS FROM VEHICLES „„Between March 20 and March 23 there

were nine thefts from vehicles.

ARRESTS „„5610 Roswell Road — On March 20,

security officers at a discount department store detained a woman and accused her of stealing $99 in items, all the while on camera. She was taken to the Fulton Jail annex in Alpharetta. A second arrest was made on March 23 when a woman was accused of stealing $34 in makeup and other related items. She was charged with shoplifting.

SANDY SPRINGS NOTICE of ATLANTA REGIONAL COMMISSION METROPOLITAN RIVER PROTECTION ACT CERTIFICATE Petition Number:

RC-17-01SS

Petitioner:

Thom Ingram, DC Enclosures 2031 Baker Court Kennesaw, GA 30144

Location:

9800 Huntcliff Trace LL 29, 17th District Council District 2 City of Sandy Springs Fulton County, GA 30350

Site Acreage:

1.007 Acres

Request:

The owner of the property proposes the construction of a sunroom addition to the existing residence. The total area of added impervious surface is 288 ft2. The site is 1.007 acres located in vulnerability category “C” with a maximum allowed area of impervious of 19,739 ft2.

Public Hearings:

Mayor and City Council April 18, 2017

Location:

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

„„1000 block of Hammond Drive — On

March 23, detectives arrested a 20-yearold woman and charged her with prostitution. She was booked on city ordinances including Solicitation for an Illicit Act.

OT H E R T H I N G S „„A 23-year old man said someone call-

ing himself Mr. Max Romoleroux, who offered him a job as “secret shopper,” contacted him on LinkedIn. The 23-yearold agreed and the suspect said he would send directions on what to do next. He later sent a package with a Remsen, N.Y., return address, instructing him to buy several items from “any Apple Store.” Also enclosed was a check for expenditures plus $300 for the victim. He took the check to the bank, where bank employees informed him the check was fake. He did not lose money on the deal.

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24 |

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Heritage Sandy Springs

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03-31-17 Sandy Springs Reporter