APRIL 2019 - Buckhead Reporter

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APRIL 2019 • VOL. 13 — NO. 4

Buckhead Reporter


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BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net


The Buckhead Reporter is mail delivered to homes on selected carrier routes in ZIPs 30305, 30327 and 30342 For information: delivery@reporternewspapers.net



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Exhibitions Director Dan Rooney and curator Sarah Dylla stand in the future home of the Atlanta History Center’s remade 1996 Summer Olympics exhibit. Rooney curated the original exhibit and Dylla is working on the remake.

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History Center’s next big exhibit: Rethinking Atlanta’s Olympics legacy


Crime concerns focus on changing bail system BY JOHN RUCH AND EVELYN ANDREWS Local crime concerns have reached a boil – dominating a mayoral town hall and resulting in a list of recommendations from the Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods – and most of the heat is gathering around possible changes to the way Fulton County

judges make bail decisions. But judges and the district attorney’s office are also pushing back on what they say are some incorrect claims and misunderstandings, and the BCN altered one of its bail-related proposals after hearing from City Council members. Chief Judge Robert C. I. McBurney of Fulton County Superior Court says he sees posSee LOCAL on page 22

Fresh from debuting a major exhibit reinterpreting the Cyclorama painting of a Civil War battle, the Atlanta History Center is hard at work on a similar “reinvention” of the display about another city cultural touchstone: the 1996 Summer Olympics. The original Olympics exhibit, which opened 10 years after the Games, was largely celebratory and packed with artifacts and memorabilia. The new version – set to open in July 2020 to coincide with the next Summer Olympics in Tokyo – will take a wider view. In part, curators say, that means highlighting lasting legacies like Centennial Olympic Park and the city’s global reputation. It also means giving space to previously underplayed protests about lack of transparency and equity, and a time when See RETHINKING on page 14



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2 | Community

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Loridans Drive park plan gets tweaked after larger cemetery discovered BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

As the community prepares to start work on a new park at Loridans Drive and Ga. 400 in North Buckhead, the design is getting a tweak due to a historic cemetery on the site turning out to contain roughly twice as many graves as expected. The 1.5-acre site of the park, known as the Loridans Greenspace, is nestled next to the Loridans Drive bridge over Ga. 400, just south of the Sandy Springs border. The 5.2-mile PATH400 multiuse trail will eventually run through the site. In community meetings last year, the nonprofit group Park Pride worked the public to develop a design vision for the park. Andrew White, a Park Pride landscape architect, reviewed the final design at the March 19 annual meeting of the North Buckhead Civic Association. The design packs a variety of uses into the relatively small space, including nature trails, a children’s play area, a lawn and a small entrance plaza. Another feature is protecting and memorializing a roughly 170-year-old cemetery with signage, a wrought-iron perimeter fence, and blank headstones erected on the largely unmarked graves. However, that part of the park will be significantly bigger than expected after a survey found at least 60 graves rather than the previously estimated 30. That will mean a design tweak, White said. Livable Buckhead, the organization conducting the PATH400 construction, commissioned a company called

New South Associates to perform an archaeological survey of the cemetery. It’s known as the Lowry-Stevens Cemetery after its few known burials, starting with James Lowry Jr., who is listed in historical records as having been killed by a neighbor in 1852 in a “property dispute.” Some park planners and residents speculate that “property” may have meant an enslaved person and that the unmarked cemetery graves may be those of slaves. Atlanta historian Franklin Garrett in 1930 estimated that the cemetery contained roughly 30 graves, but he did not conduct a thorough investigation. Some of the graves had marked headstones at the time, which have since been stolen, lost or removed. Others appear to be marked with blank fieldstones. New South’s survey report says it estimated a count of graves first by counting 28 fieldstones that appeared to be markers, and by noting depressions in the ground that are characteristic of burials. Surveyors also probed the ground with rods to A final design of the Loridans Greenspace, drawn by the nonprofit Park Pride.

check for looser soil underground that they say is also characteristic of graves. That led them to conservatively estimate 60 graves and to establish a gravefree “buffer,” 10 meters wide, around the known cemetery site in which nothing should be built in case there are more. The entire cemetery area is now roughly a half-acre. The city owns the property, but does not fund the design or construction of such neighborhood parks. Instead, res-


idents are expected to come up with a vision and form a nonprofit to hire someone to design and build it, often in stages. Park Pride specializes in leading the process. Gordon Certain, president of the civic association, said residents still need to form a Loridans Greenspace committee. Early volunteer work is already underway, starting with a site cleanup in late March.


APRIL 2019

Community | 3



Atlanta Tech Village has updated the design of the rooftop addition proposed for its tower at the intersection of Buckhead’s Piedmont and Lenox roads. The addition to the startup business center was first presented in July 2018 to the Development Review Committee of Special Public Interest District 12, a zoning area in central Buckhead. The concept is a one-story office of around 1,800 to 2,000 square feet. Architect Prem Kumar previously said Tech Village has a tenant specifically interested in rooftop space. While SPI-12 formal comments are not required, Tech Village has remained in contact for informal guidance. DRC member Denise Starling circulated a March 6 email in which Kumar provided updated designs for the addition based on a conversation with her. The changes include incorporating the Tech Village logo into the design and, rather than making just one wall all-glass, turning the entire addition into a “glass box similar to an Apple store look,” Kumar wrote. Kumar indicated Tech Village is proceeding for city approval.

Mexican Restaurant An illustration of Atlanta Tech Village’s proposed rooftop addition as provided to the Development Review Committee of Special Public Interest District 12.


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The plan to turn the Wieuca Road/Phipps Boulevard intersection into a roundabout is back on the agenda, with a public meeting scheduled for April 24. Long worked on by the city and the Buckhead Community Improvement District, the concept was last seen in a 2017 public meeting. It stalled over some community criticism, then funding shortfalls in the city’s TSPLOST and Renew Atlanta bond programs. The city recently recommended keeping the project on that funding list. The meeting is scheduled for April 24, 6-8 p.m. at Wieuca Road Baptist Church, 3626 Peachtree Road N.E.

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Electric scooters that have become popular and controversial in Atlanta recently appeared in Dunwoody and Sandy Springs. But Bird, the company that made and operates them, says it has not officially expanded into those cities and it is unclear what the scooters are doing there. The controversial rentable scooters have been touted as increasing transportation options, but criticized for creating public safety concerns. Atlanta has banned the scooters from sidewalks and set fees for companies, and Brookhaven also instituted a permit system and sidewalk ban for scooters on March 26. The city of Dunwoody is weighing options and Sandy Springs does not have an ordinance up for consideration. The Reporter recently spotted Bird scooters on the Dunwoody campus of Georgia State University’s Perimeter College and outside a vacant store on Roswell Road in Sandy Springs’ downtown district. A spokesperson for Bird said the scooters are not officially operating in those cities and that users sometimes drop the vehicles outside its areas. But the spokesperson was surprised to hear the Sandy Springs location had the scooters neatly lined up in the way the company has contractors set them up for use, and said the company would have to look into that situation further.





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Home & Real Estate | 5

APRIL 2019 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net


Local home sales market nears its peak, agents say BY DOUG CARROLL The white-hot housing market in Buckhead and top end Perimeter neighborhoods may be hitting its peak as prices rise above salaries, two experienced local real estate agents say. For now, Brookhaven is the hottest area, especially as long commute times drive some homebuying decisions. “Families are feeling priced out of Buckhead’s new construction and smaller homes,” says John Mason of Harry Norman Realtors’ Dunwoody-based Atlanta Perimeter office. “The Brookhaven market is much stronger than Sandy Springs or Dunwoody.” Kelly Marsh of Brookhaven’s Keller Williams Realty says the housing market has come back to where prices are even a little higher than they were in the boom of 2006, before the bubble burst in the global financial crisis. “Real estate is typically a nine- or 10-year cycle, and we’re back up at the top of the cycle,” she says. Inside-the-perimeter neighborhoods in Sandy Springs and Brookhaven appear to be enjoying new popularity with homebuyers who have had enough of the city’s notorious commuter traffic. What’s more, these home buyers seem willing — at least for now — to pay a premium for relief from the bumper-to-bumper grind. “The commute is now a major factor (in homebuying) that I haven’t seen before,” says Mason, who has been with Harry Norman Realtors for nearly 11 years. “Commutes in metro Atlanta are getting worse. We’re hearing of two hours one way, and that’s like New York and Los Angeles.” Mason says greater numbers of young famiJohn Mason lies, in particular, are choosing to live closer in — and that the price of a single-family home in inside-the-Perimeter Sandy Springs reflects this trend. The median price of $860,000 is up 23 percent in 2019 over the same first-quarter period a year ago, he says. In the past, Mason says, concerns about the quality of public schools have kept that market’s families at a distance. But now those families are buying homes in need of updating that “we practically couldn’t give away before,” in areas such as north Sandy Springs, where unit sales are up by 5 percent and the time spent on the market is down by six days. The median price in outside-the-Perimeter Sandy Springs is $570,000. “I see buyers reluctantly paying these prices,” Mason says, adding that salaries in the Atlanta job market might not allow the numbers to go too much higher. “I think we saw a bust in the fourth quarter of last year,” he says. “The [Federal Re-

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serve] started jumping interest rates. We hit a price cap for a lot of buyers.” Marsh has been seeing a surge in Brookhaven, where she has lived for the past 20 years. Although the community is still regarded as more affordable than Buckhead or Midtown, that may be changing. Brookhaven, which is served by a MARTA rail station, “has become the new VirginiaHighland,” Marsh says. “It’s a hot place to be. It’s a destination with the conveniences of restaurants, shopping and grocery stores.” Brookhaven’s single-family properties divide into three categories, according to Marsh: ■ Older, single-story ranch homes priced at less than $600,000 remain a seller’s market, often lasting only a week before being sold. Some of those are demolished after they are purchased, to make way for new construction. ■ Older, two-story ranch homes from $600,000 to $750,000 make up what real estate agents call a “balanced market,” with about six months of inventory. (Inventory is the time it would take to sell all listings at the current rate if no more properties were listed.) There are more homes in this range than there used to be, Marsh says. ■ Newer homes built in the last 10 years and priced at more than $750,000 are slowing in sales, creating a buyer’s market. “Brookhaven typically attracts people who Kelly Marsh live close by or are already in Brookhaven,” Marsh says. “There aren’t huge amounts of relocation people. Some people may be moving up or downsizing.” She says condos and townhouses — known in the industry as “attached” units — are difficult to find for less than $400,000 in Brookhaven. In north Sandy Springs, Mason says, the median price for attached housing is $194,000, which represents an increase of 20 percent over 2018 but remains considerably less than Buckhead’s median of $270,000. Mason says some sellers may have been waiting last year to see whether Amazon would locate its second headquarters in Atlanta, anticipating a spike in the value of their property. But the move didn’t happen.

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6 | Home & Real Estate

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Buckhead’s Historic Brookwood Hills home tour features mix of old and new A chance to view four homes located in Buckhead’s historic Brookwood Hills neighborhood takes place this month as part of an exclusive tour that only occurs every other year. The fifth biennial event is the signature fundraiser for the Brookwood Hills Friends group with this year’s proceeds going to Children Healthcare of Atlanta’s recently opened Center for Advanced Pediatrics. The Brookwood Hills Home Tour takes place April 27 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Registration is required to attend and can be made by visiting www.choa.org/brookwoodhillstour. Tour tickets are $35. The theme for the 2019 tour is “History Reimagined” and will showcase three homes renovated with 21st century updates that enhance their historic charm, along with a fourth more modern house that incorporates period design elements that blend with the surrounding neighborhood. Attendees will learn about the history and renovation process behind the current design schemes of each property during the tour. Descriptions of the four homes: Owned by empty nesters from Moultrie, Ga., this house is a mix of old and new and includes a large collection of antiques that provide variety to the modern interior design. Newly installed steel-cased doors open to a vast outdoor space designed by architect Gary Fowler and landscaper Carson McElheney.


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Multi-generational owners have updated this childhood home designed by famed Atlanta architect Francis Palmer Smith. Renovation architect Frank Neely and builder Patrick Davey reimagined the downstairs layout with a connecting family room by adding 10 feet to the back, enclosing a deck and adding a side porch. Jessica Bradley Interiors combined heirloom furniture with new furnishings using a soft color palette to create a continuous design theme throughout the house. This 1920s home bridges modern and classic touches. D. John Design and Atlanta Construction King eliminated the conventional dining room to create more flexible space and a constructed a cedar porch flanked by a stately hearth to reflect the homeowners’ edited aesthetic. Landscaping was completed by Ed Castro who re-designed the driveway and rear yard. Clean lines, elegant lighting, wall-to-wall glass and contemporary furnishings highlight this home. Nina Nash and Don Easterling of Mathews Furniture oversaw the complete renovation, while Viking Works constructed the outdoor expansion, transforming an empty backyard into an urban oasis complete with pool house overlooking a saltwater pool. The tour is organized by volunteers with the Brookwood Hills Friends group, one of more than 30 community volunteer groups supporting Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Brookwood Hills Historic District, east of Peachtree Rd., is roughly bounded by Huntington Rd. to the south and east, Northwood Ave. and Montclair Dr. on the west, and Brighton Rd. to the north. The houses in the district are private residences and are not open to the public. The Brookwood Hills Historic District is a National Register of Historic Places located east of Peachtree Road encompassing approximately 90 acres and includes more than 250 residences, a large recreation area and two distinctive bricked and landscaped entranceways to the subdivision, according to its website.

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Benefiting the Atlanta Botanical Garden, the 35th annual “Gardens for Connoisseurs” tour will feature nine gardens at private homes in Buckhead, Sandy Springs, Decatur and Midtown on May 11-12. A special stop on the tour will be late designer and event co-founder Ryan Gainey’s garden. The self-guided tour will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. rain or shine. Tickets are available at atlantabg.org.


Ryan Gainey’s garden will be featured as part of a home tour benefiting the Atlanta Botanical Garden.


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Brookhaven’s first “cottage courtyard” residential development allowed under the city’s recently revamped zoning code is underway. The development on approximately 5 acres at 3876 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road includes 26 bungalow-style houses built around a central courtyard. The City Council unanimously approved rezoning the property to make way for the first-of-its-kind residential development in the city at its Feb. 26 meeting. A new “courtyard housing” provision included in the zoning code rewrite approved in November was designed to provide more housing affordability through smaller footprints. The concept was favored by residents participating in character area studies, according to city officials. The cottage-style homes are expected to be priced in the $675,000 range. The homes will be two stories with two-car garages and a road will encircle the development. Landscaping and fencing are being added to buffer between adjacent neighborhoods.

Home & Real Estate | 7

APRIL 2019 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net



The Ashley Gables Buckhead is the first apartment complex to offer full-time amenities to residents through its custom app, Amenify.


New apartment community The Ashley Gables Buckhead at 530 East Paces Ferry Road is officially open. The Ashley is the first apartment complex to offer full-service amenities to residents through a custom app, powered by Amenify. The app will offer residents concierge services including dog walking, spa treatments, personal styling, home doctor visits and more. Additionally, The Ashley has partnered with Buckhead neighbor, Antica Posta, to provide residents with door-to-door catered lunch opportunities. The Ashley offers studios to three-bedroom flats and townhomes, beginning at 476 square feet for studios and ranging up to 2,588 square feet for townhomes. For more, visit theashleygablesbuckhead.com.


The top individual agents of Harry Norman, Realtors Buckhead office were saluted at the firm’s recent awards luncheon. Senior Vice President/Managing Broker Betsy Franks congratulated these associates for “impressive production and exemplary service to clients and customers alike throughout the year 2018.” The honorees included Kay Settle, Alden Treadway, Patty Webb, Madeline Sater, Debbie Shay and Hilary Young. For the 11th year, Travis Reed, of Travis Reed & Associates of the firm’s Buckhead office, captured the highest honor as Harry Norman’s “Top Agent, Small Team, Company-Wide.”

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APRIL 2019

Community | 9


Oglethorpe student helps Buckhead Heritage curate historic landmark map BY EVELYN ANDREWS

interns over the years, and found Dowdy through an experiential learning program at Oglethorpe, which is located in Brookhaven, Beach said. At a Feb. 19 community meeting to solicit more historic entries from the Garden Hills, Peachtree Heights East and Peachtree Hills neighborhoods, Beach discussed some of the ways the society hopes to diversify its database. It may add entries for individual trees that predate the 1821 forced displacement of Native Americans from the area, he said. He also said the group is rethinking the notion of who SPECIAL counts as a significant local Nyree Dowdy is an Oglethorpe University student figure for historical mention, who interns at the Buckhead Heritage Society and works at the Atlanta History Center. noting that many Americans may know Buckhead best self, Dowdy said. from watching Phaeda Parks, the forA lot of the organization’s membermer star of the reality TV series “Real ship is older, white men because that is Housewives of Atlanta.” who is typically interested in societies Virginia Groves Beach, John Beach’s like this, but it’s not specifically what mother, at the meeting recalled some Buckhead Heritage wants, she said. dramatic moments on Garden Hills’ “They kind of want to dispel that image,” Dowdy said. Dowdy, who is from Virginia, said she was interested in the internship due to her history major and background. But she has also found it’s helped her learn the city better after experiencing some “culture shock.” She’s also learned about the city through her ambassador position at the Atlanta History Center, a museum in Buckhead that recently opened a revamped and restored “Battle of Atlanta” Cyclorama exhibit. As part of her position, she occasionally gives the speech about the history of the painting to visitors. Beach said Buckhead Heritage has had conversations about how to be more inclusive, and that the interns “bring new, fresh and diverse ideas to how we do things.” Buckhead Heritage has had several


An Oglethorpe University student is leading an effort to make standards for what should be included in the Buckhead Heritage Society’s wide-ranging map of historic community landmarks. The “Buckhead Historic Treasures” map, available online at buckheadheritage.com, has more than 675 entries, from historical markers to cemeteries to notable houses. The map was made based on an ongoing survey of area historic resources that started in 2009. “This is a project that’s been in the works for the 13 years we’ve been in existence,” said John Beach, the secretary of Buckhead Heritage. As the map continues to grow, the college intern, Nyree Dowdy, is trying to make a standard for what should be included. She’s been looking at the guidelines for the National Register of Historic Places and of other history societies like Buckhead Heritage as she tries to answer the question of what’s historic to one resident and what should be included on the map. Buckhead Heritage has been making efforts to try to grow the map, including by hosting a public meeting to get input last year. The map includes hundreds of places and properties, like the Buckhead Theatre, Pace Academy and various stores and houses, some designed by famous architects. The landmarks are broken into categories like religion, transportation, social history, architecture and black heritage. The map was created with the goal of making the community more aware of Buckhead’s history and getting the organization’s files out of the archives. “We’re trying to make history more actionable so we can learn from it,” Beach said. Dowdy is also looking into ways to bring more diverse landmarks to the map, like ones tied to Native American or black history. Doing so could help more diversity to Buckhead Heritage it-

Rumson Road, where she grew up. The family that owned downtown’s Winecoff Hotel, scene of the U.S.’s deadliest hotel fire in 1946, lived on the street and residents held a candlelight vigil in the yard after the blaze, she recalled. She also recounted a 1930s incident where the Ku Klux Klan “came down the street like an army” to intimidate or possibly harm someone in an apartment building; the KKK was long headquartered at what is now the Christ the King Cathedral complex. The program, called the Atlanta Lab for Learning, or, more commonly, the A-Lab, seeks to connect students with real-world career experience. Beth Concepción, who leads the A-Lab, was Dowdy’s advisor and knew her interests well, so Concepción connected her to the Buckhead Heritage internship, she said. The A-Lab also pairs students with other area groups like the Peachtree Creek Greenway and Dresden Elementary school, both in Brookhaven, Concepción said. “I want to be the bridge, the matchmaker, between nonprofits and organizations and our campus,” she said. – John Ruch contributed

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10 | Commentary

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Commentary: Electric scooters are here to stay Public policy will catch up with scooters’ benefits

Lime scooters is focused on data-gathering

The mere mention of electric scooters elicits visceral responses unlike any I have seen in over 30 years of working on transportation safety. Technically known as micro-mobility, or dockless electric mobility devices, scooters appeared in metro-Atlanta about one year ago. Scooters are located near where you need to pick one up and using it is as simple as logging in with your smart phone. When your trip is done, no need to return the scooter -- you leave it at your destination. While scooters are a great source of recreation for many, it’s their potential for transforming how we travel short distances which make them revolutionary. Think about how using a scooter for a ride to a transit, work or play destination can avoid the need for a car or bus to get you there. Scooters, like dockless electric bicycles, smooth out the hills and lower the temperature, thus making them viable commute alternatives; aka, I won’t be sweaty when I get to work! The congesBOB DALLAS tion and air quality benefits are significant, in addition to eliminating the need for parking a car. Because scooters share the public space, their use -- like drivers of any vehicle, bicyclist or pedestrian -- should always be lawful. Users riding on sidewalks, obstructing passage of sidewalks or roads, or violating traffic safety laws is prohibited. However, given too many roadways need substantial repair, roadways lacking bicycle lanes or multiuse pathways to accommodate shared use, or due to roadways with vehicles driven in excess of the speed limit, we see scooter use on sidewalks that compete with pedestrian use. This reality suggests we should be investing more to improve roadway segments to accommodate multiple modes of use. As with any form of transportation, the goal is to take advantage of its potential benefit and reduce its harm. For example, we know cars and commercial trucks provide us great benefits, but their use has tragically resulted in over 35,000 crash deaths and tens of thousands more serious injuries in the U.S. per year. Throughout the U.S., billions of dollars are spent each year to make our infrastructure, vehicles and driving behavior safer. Uniform traffic safety laws have been enacted in every state and jurisdiction to ensure safe and lawful behavior is known by all transportation users, and the laws should be enforced. Decisions by federal, state and local safety policy makers should always be guided by supporting data and best practices that make our transportation infrastructure and behavior as safe as possible. For example, by analyzing crash reports, we know how and where impaired driver crashes, excessive speed crashes, or distracted driving crashes occur. Analysis of crash reports also provide data on when vehicle occupants are injured or killed in a crash due to failure to wear a safety belt or vulnerable road users such as pedestrians or cyclists become crash victims due to unsafe behavior or infrastructure. From this data, we have developed best practices that save lives and prevent injuries on our roadways.Without data analysis, the effectiveness of monies spent or laws enacted is more often a guess. The importance of this cannot be overstated: data analysis to produce best practices which govern our laws and policies is what prevents injuries and saves lives on our roadways.Several respected organizations, which include Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Injury Prevention Research Center at Emory, are currently analyzing scooter crash data in order to develop best practices for policy makers to consider. I believe not only are scooters here to stay, but other not-here-yet micro-mobility vehicle-users will seek to occupy our shared roadways. Our collective goals for their usage, as with all other transportation uses, is to ensure their benefit is maximized, and harm minimized.

Lime has been sharing its mobility data with the city of Atlanta and city of Decatur for more than a month now and both our data and third-party findings demonstrate scooters are providing many benefits to riders and cities. Data is a valuable tool that can be tremendously useful in understanding and improving transportation ecosystems, which is why we share our mobility data with the more than 100 cities and college campuses we serve in some 21 countries around the globe. Combining the quantitative data around scooter movement, distance, routes and times with the qualitative data collected during rider surveys, we begin to really see the true and powerful narrative about micro-mobility. For instance, 40 percent of our Atlanta riders surveyed reported using Lime to get to or from work or school during their most recent trip, and 37 percent of Atlanta Lime riders most recent scooter trip displaced what would have been a car trip. NIMA DAIVARI This shows Lime is shifting people away from cars and providing them with greener, more affordable transportation alternatives when they need it most. And that’s not just true for Atlanta. In North America’s largest city, Mexico City, Mexico, a whopping 64.2 percent of Lime riders used our scooters to connect to or from public transportation, giving them a reliable first- and last-mile solution. But as with all things, there are some externalities and, the onus is on us to address, innovate and educate. We know scooter parking and keeping them off sidewalks is a serious issue for many cities. That’s why each and every day Lime’s 30-plus person local operations team in the Atlanta-Decatur region oversees a fleet of more than 2,000 scooters in neighborhoods as far reaching as Buckhead, Druid Hills, Downtown and Old Fourth Ward, ensuring our scooters are effectively meeting demand, are in safe, working order, and are properly parked at all times. The safety of our riders and the community is our number one priority. That’s why every day we’re innovating on technology, infrastructure and education to set the standard for micro-mobility safety. We’re dedicated to working with local governments around the world to support infrastructure for shared scooters and bikes. It’s clear consumers want micro-mobility infrastructure, too-52.2 percent of Lime riders ranked a protected bike lane as their number one choice for riding. We believe continued government investment in protected bike lanes and paths is critical. Given the safety threat cars present to vulnerable road users, this shift away from cars may help improve road safety. It’s vital that today’s new micro-mobility options can coexist safely with cars and Lime remains committed to advancing safety by partnering with communities to help make our streets safer for all people. Lastly, when it comes to parking, scooters are in fact properly parked the majority of the time. In fact, last month, right here at home, Lime received a less than 1 percent complaint rate (complaints vs. trips) in Atlanta across all reported complaints -- not just parking. We’re proud of the partnerships we’ve built with Atlanta and Decatur and of the more than 30 fulltime employees and hundreds of Juicers here who effectively rebalance and manage our fleet, maintain and repair our scooters, and charge and deploy them each day. The entire shared scooter industry is less than 18 months old, and Lime’s Atlanta-Decatur service has only been operating for nearly half that time, but the positive changes we’ve experienced in cities across the US and throughout the world are exciting and tangible. We can’t wait to see what the data has to show in the coming months and years, and so far, the findings are very promising.

Bob Dallas chairs the Dunwoody Planning Commission, is a past chair of the pedestrian advocacy group PEDS and was director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety from 2003 to 2011.

Nima Daivari is community affairs manager in Atlanta for Lime, one of several companies providing rental scooters in metro Atlanta. BH

APRIL 2019

Commentary | 11


Into the Robin-Verse

likes to iron, do laundry and sew on buttons. If her young child comes to her asking for her to sew the nose back onto his reindeer slipper, she won’t hide the items in the closet until he’s 19. If her daughter comes to her with a stain on her sundress, she won’t give her a sweater and tell her that the dress is now winter wear. Nordic Robin is 5-feet-7-inches, has never broken a leg skiing, and has no unwanted facial hair. Kardashi-Robin is an Instagram influencer. Immuno-Robin can endure in a 10-hour plane ride next to a 3-year old with a cough and a runny nose, and not get sick.

2 W To GA 018 in p Pr & ne C e 2 r ol ss 0 um A 17 ni ssn st !

When one of my twins was home And now I’ll throw the question to on break (sorry, boys, I don’t rememyou: Are there variations of you out ber which of you it was), we went to see there, in other You-Verses, taking entirea movie together and agreed on “Spiderly different shapes? Man: Into the Spider-Verse.” I, for one, like to think that in a parThis is a bit of a spoiler alert, but since allel universe somewhere, there is a verthe movie’s been out for several months sion of me that is competent. Compenow, I feel like it’s fair game. tent Robin can balance her I’ll cut to the chase and tell checkbook, arrives on time, you that the movie plays on and can go bowling without the premise that there are injuring herself. Her garden alternate universes full of flags always match the seaalter-ego-Spideys. We are insons. She has a first-aid kit troduced to a cast of them. completely organized in a Besides our protagonist, a tackle box, and is, of course, boy who’s been freshly bita morning person. ten, there’s a beer-bellied But it doesn’t stop there. Spider-Man with a 5 o’clock I also imagine Danica Robshadow, a gumshoe Spiderin, who can parallel park. Man Noir in a black cloak, She also drives a stick-shift an anime-type Spider-Girl and is not afraid to turn left Robin Conte lives with named Peni Parker who zips against traffic. Plus, she can her husband in an emparound with her own rodrive 10 mph over the speed ty nest in Dunwoody. bot, a butt-kicking blonde limit without getting a tickknown as Spider-Gwen, and a Spider-Pig. et. It’s a fun flick. Creative Robin is a burly fellow who Plus, the whole parallel-universe has an armful of tattoos, a nose-ring, and premise provided a subject for lively hapis making replicas of the Seven Wonders py-hour conversation with the neighborof the World out of marzipan. hood gals. Domestic Robin is always perky and

Robin’s Nest

There’s also X-Acto-Robin, who, besides wielding super powers with her trusty X-Acto knife, can make a Halloween costume out of duct tape and a pair of funnels. And somewhere, there is a universe where I’m still me, only I wear a C-cup bra. Since animals are included in the UVerses, there might as well be Robin-Robin, who flies over the Connector at 5 p.m. and gloats. And though I typically don’t play Bait the Readers, I really want to know…who are you in your parallel life?

Read Robin Conte’s debut book ‘The Best of the Nest’ “The Best of the Nest” offers 49 of Reporter Newspapers columnist Robin Conte’s witty essays on suburban family life, organized by seasons. They include some of the pieces that won Robin the first-place Lifestyle/Features Column award in 2017 and 2018 and first-place for Humorous column in 2018 from the Georgia Press Association.

Order the book at bestofthenest.net Follow Robin’s book-related appearances at robinconte.com.

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12 | Commentary

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Land and water shaped a local nature-protector

Around Town


Alan Toney collects a water sample at Sandy Springs’ Lost Corner Preserve.

Sandy Springs naturalist Alan Toney admits to a fondness for box turtles. “They’re just pretty cool little animals,” he said. “They just don’t handle cars or lawn mowers very well.” His affection for the reptiles started when he was about 12. This was back during the 1950s, in the days Lake Lanier was just filling up. His dad liked to take the family boating there. As the younger Toney watched Lanier’s water rise over time, he was startled by what he saw. “I realized things were drowning,” he said. “Things like box turtles. We rescued 169 box turtles, my dad and brother and I. I ended up keeping about 20 of them.… When I got to 14 or 15 and discovered girls, I let my turtles go.” Toney grew up in Buckhead’s Garden Hills. He spent hours playing in the lake now known as the Duck Pond. He found turtles there, too. “I lived in the Duck

Pond. I was there about every day,” Toney recalls. At age 72, Toney now has a pair of dogs as pets. But he hasn’t given up on seeing the natural world up close and doing what he can to try to save it from disappearing beneath floods of people and the cars and lawn mowers they bring with them when they move into newly developed areas. “I love nature. I think nature sort of makes us who we are,” he said one recent morning during a stroll through Lost Corner Preserve, a 24-acre woodland park near Toney’s present home in Sandy Springs. “If you live in an isolated world of buildings and air-conditioning, you just miss a lot. I think you’re unhappy, too. We need to make sure [nature’s] protected. Right now, it’s under siege …what you can do locally is really important.” Locally, Toney does a lot. He chairs the

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

Fulton County Soil and Water Conservation District, which is charged with protecting soil and water resources; has been trained as a naturalist and lectures at Lost Corner on Sandy Springs’ natural history; serves as treasurer of the Friends of Lost Corner, which supports the preserve; and collects water samples each week for testing by the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper. “He’s been of our most active volunteers with Chattahoochee River over the past eight years,” said Chattahoochee Riverkeeper Jason Ulseth, who’s also a member of the board of the soil and water conservation district and says he’s known Toney for about 15 years. “The amount of work Alan contributes has been invaluable for us in terms of getting data.” Ulseth said that since 2012 Toney has collected more water samples – something like 1,400 of them – than any of the Riverkeeper’s other 100-or-so volunteers. “It’s vital work for us,” he said. “Without people like Alan, we wouldn’t half of what we know about these waterways.” Toney, who’s retired from a career in corporate finance, stays in close contact with nature in other ways, too. For five or six recent winters, he’s headed west to Yellowstone National Park to watch the ecosystem there after the re-introduction of wolves in the park. He enjoys studying ecosystems, he said, and learning how the animals interact. At Yellowstone, he said, he’s sighted wolves, eagles, bears, beavers, otters and bighorn sheep. In Sandy Springs, his lectures about the local eco-system often start with a reference to Appalachiosaurus, a dinosaur that may have roamed the area millennia ago. But, he said, discussion often turns

quickly to more familiar scary creatures, copperheads and coyotes. Figure you have both in your neighborhood, he said. His advice: for the most part, leave them alone. They’re part of the system. They eat rats and other rodents. Besides, he said, most people bitten by a venomous snake were trying to kill the snake at the time. And coyotes? “If they’re not causing trouble, leave them alone,” he said. “If they’re not eating your cats or harassing your dogs, they’ll keep other coyotes away.” One recent Thursday, Toney carried a plastic bag down the hill to the creek that runs through Lost Corner. He wore a fisherman’s getup: Georgia Naturalist cap, shorts and a yellow rain jacket. The early spring sun shone brightly and birds carried on conversations in the trees. Toney said he was near a place he’d seen a turtle laying its eggs. Falling Branches Creek was to be his first stop of the day. He planned to collect water samples from a half-dozen creeks and the Chattahoochee by day’s end. He takes the little bags of water to the Riverkeeper’s office for testing. It’s something he does every week. It’s paid off. Samples he’s collected from local waterways have helped identify and locate four or five sewage spills that were damaging the creeks, he said. “Why do it?” he asked. “I don’t understand why people wouldn’t be concerned about water quality. Unless somebody’s doing it, water quality will suffer.” And he wants these creeks to stay healthy. “My goal,” he said, “is to keep these creeks so my grandson can come play in them the same way I did.”

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APRIL 2019

Community | 13


Officials discuss airport takeover bid, FAA probe BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

A legislative attempt for the state to take over Atlanta’s airport drew criticism from some elected officials at a Buckhead meeting March 19, but also some sympathy for how ongoing City Hall scandals are helping the debate to take flight. Meanwhile, the Federal Aviation Administration has confirmed it selected Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport as one of only two to four facilities nationwide to undergo a “financial compliance review” this year. In a written statement, the FAA did not specifically address the latest controversy: a former top City Hall employee who was temporarily given an airport job title and paycheck despite not working there. But the agency did say: “Our objective is to gain reasonable assurance airport revenue is being and has been utilized solely for the capital and operating costs of the airport.” “I think a lot of the practices that we’ve had have certainly given ammunition to anyone who wants to shoot us down about the airport,” said City Council President Felicia Moore, speaking at the annual meeting of the North Buckhead Civic Association at St. James United Methodist Church on Peachtree-Dunwoody Road. “And it’s really troubling and depressing for me be-

cause I’ve served with the city for 20 years being a representative and I don’t like to see the news headlines… But I believe the culture in city government needs to change.” The office of Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms did not respond to questions about the airport takeover proposal, the related controversies and the FAA probe. She has said a City Council-authorized investigation into her administration’s hiring practices violated the city charter, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The NBCA, an influential civic association with a nearly 50-year history, traditionally hosts elected officials and other community figures at its annual meeting for policy updates. While the airport is on the other side of town, recent media attention made it a talking point for audience members and some of this year’s guests, including Moore, state Rep. Betsy Holland (D-Buckhead) and Fulton County Commissioner Lee Morris. Another guest was Bottoms’ former mayoral election opponent, Mary Norwood, who chairs the Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods. Norwood spoke briefly about her group, but did not mention the airport and left before it was discussed. A controversial attempt by some Republican state legislators to wrest ownership of the airport from the city – or at least make it a joint city-state operation – continued

alive in the Gold Dome as the session headed toward its planned end on April 2. Adding heat to the debate is a still-unfolding contract bribery scandal involving officials in the administration of former Mayor Kasim Reed, as well as hiring practices during the transition to the Bottoms administration. Last year, the AJC revealed that the Reed administration used airport funds to help pay for law firms that were responding to grand jury subpoenas in the City Hall corruption investigation. The AJC recently revealed that Bottoms’ now-departed chief of staff, Marva Lewis, was temporarily given an airport job title and salary as part of an attempt to secure city jobs for key campaign staffers before Bottoms took office. Holland expressed concern about the attempt to put the airport under state control. “I’m not sure I believe the state is better equipped to run the airport than the city currently is, and I’m very concerned about the precedent that anytime the state wants to take over a smaller entity, it can,” she said. “That could be school systems. That could be municipalities. I don’t really think it’s necessary. I don’t think it really solves a problem. It feels a little bit like a power grab.” Morris said he understood why takeover talk was back amid another corrup-

tion scandal. He recalled his service as a City Council member in the 1990s, when two other council members went to prison for airport-related bribery. Bill Campbell, the mayor at the time, later was convicted of tax evasion amid further corruption investigations. “It feels like déjà vu all over again, as Yogi Berra used to say,” Morris said. “…It’s no wonder folks are talking about the airport. I think as long as we have a mayor’s race they raise millions of dollars for, and people feel like they’ve got to pay to play, we’re always going to have a problem with culture at City Hall.” On March 18, the City Council authorized an independent report on the temporary hiring of Bottoms’ campaign staffers. Moore said she looks forward to that report, but already knows the city needs to codify the way new administration employees are hired during a mayoral transition. The current process is improvised, she said, and she is unsure whether Bottoms campaign officials knew they had such alternatives as requesting a one-time salary appropriation from the City Council. “Unfortunately, it’s a bad practice the city has where they just up and hire somebody, they slip them in a position, and then they will finally get around to doing whatever is legislatively correct…,” said Moore.


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History Center’s next big exhibit: Rethinking Atlanta’s Olympics legacy Continued from page 1 the Olympics world is shaken by corruption scandals and criticism of financial and social impacts. “As we’re looking 20 years down [the road], it’s a different story,” says Sarah Dylla, the curator of the new Olympics exhibit. The concept will be less about the “day-today or medal count” and more about “social and cultural change,” she said. “The historical perspective is different,” said Dan Rooney, the History Center’s exhibitions director and the curator of the original Olympics exhibit. “We recognize as time passes, perspectives change.” The former Olympics exhibit in the History Center’s 130 West Paces Ferry Road museum, featuring a wide range of artifacts and memorabilia ringing an artificial running track, is already gone, disassembled partly to make way for the new Cyclorama wing. For now, the space serves as an oversized corridor between the gift shop and the Cyclorama. Its walls are sparsely hung with a note about the forthcoming exhibit and some images of Atlanta Olympics venues, and even that took some careful thought, the curators say, as they didn’t want to commit to a particular narrative or angle early on. But as the work continues and the 2020 deadline looms, the theme is boiling down to one of the favored buzzwords of the International Olympics Committee, the Switzerland-based nonprofit that controls and runs the Games. “In the Olympic world, they talk a lot about the word ‘legacy,’” said Dylla, referring to the IOC’s jargon for buildings and programs that are supposed to provide lasting improvements to a host city. In the broadest terms, she said, the exhibit will look at “what it means to be an Olympic city,” a status that puts it in a “small group of Olympic cities around the world looking in terms of legacy and impact.”

Original exhibit

Right after the excitement of hosting the 1996 Games, that legacy looked easier to process. The focus was on the triumph of Atlanta winning what was by any account an improbable bid for the historic 100th edition of the modern Summer Olympics, led by Dunwoody real estate lawyer Billy Payne. Downtown Atlanta was rapidly transformed by such major projects as the park and a stadium that later became Ted Turner Field and is now Georgia State’s football field. One intended legacy of the Games was a tribute to the Olympics itself – a museum planned for Centennial Olympic Park. A financial study determined the museum was not feasible, Rooney said, so in 1996, the committee of business leaders that organized the Olympics donated more than 6,000 objects and records to the History Center instead. The History Center purchased the items in 2001 and opened the Olympics exhibit in 2006 as part of a 10th anniversary celebration. Rooney said his concept for the exhibit was marking the 100th anniversary of the modern Summer Olympics, put-

ting it in historical context, and showing how the Games addressed “gender, race and war and world politics.” As viewers moved around the tracklike path, they saw ancient artifacts from the 1,000-year history of the Greek Olympics, displays about the modern Games, the 10-year life of Atlanta’s bid and hosting, and day-by-day events from the 1996 competitions. “The exhibit was about times and hours and minutes and records being broken,” Rooney said. One disturbing event the exhibit had to address was the infamous bombing of the park by a right-wing terrorist as part of a campaign against abortion and gay rights, followed by the misidentification of a heroic security guard as the culprit. That will be an even bigger challenge to tackle in the new exhibit, and Dylla says they’re looking at how other museums are dealing with such “difficult history” and making appropriate space for victims. But, as Dylla and Rooney think about how to arrange a 2,600-square-foot exhibit space for 2020, that’s just one of many challenges. There’s no shortage of items in the vast collection, but anything going on display has to pass what Rooney calls the “so what?” test. “I always believe that museums are about objects, but first they’re about ideas,” he said, explaining that the curators must figure out the key stories that will resonate with the public and choose objects that illustrate them.

Reinterpreting the Games

The sheer number of stories to tell about the Atlanta Olympics is daunting for an event that sprawled across metro Atlanta to such venues as rowing on Lake Lanier and horse events in Conyers – among places that the History Center may coordinate with, Rooney says, so the exhibit may “grow beyond four walls here.” And there was the international bidding process that included Atlanta defeating Athens, Greece,


A 1993 concept illustration for Centennial Olympic Park is currently on display at the History Center. It included an Olympics museum that was never built.

the historic home of the original ancient Olympics, in internal voting. “Really, I’m struck by the breadth of connections the story has,” said Dylla. “You can see so many parallels to things happening in other Olympic cities and thing happening in world history in the 1990s.” “[There’s] a big story of technology that’s one of our favorites right now,” added Dylla — the World Wide Web was new and the Atlanta Olympics was the first to have a website and online ticket sales. Looking back at that now-clunky tech could be fun, as is going through a collection of “a lot of funny-looking old pagers and cellphones.” “You do not want to drop that cellphone on your foot,” joked Rooney about one of the brick-like models used by the Atlanta Games committee. Some of the simplest legacies of the

Games – like a widely acknowledged boost in civic pride – requires creativity in turning into a museum display. “I think Atlanta is touted as overcoming an almost insurmountable quest, which is to win an IOC bid… And to a certain extent, I think it’s fair to say Atlanta does have this recurring persona of being able to rise to the occasion beyond all expectations,” says Rooney. But how can he show such an intangible emotion? A presentation of oral histories from people involved might be one element. At the same time, the curators want to avoid truisms and clichés. Citing one of the favorites, Rooney said they need to “be careful saying, ‘Atlanta became more international because of the Olympics,’” when it really was among a “complicated series of causes” to demographic changes.


APRIL 2019

Community | 15


Then there are the aspects of the Atlanta Games that didn’t look so glorious to many people at the time and don’t tend to show up in museum exhibits or other commemorations. The mass displacement of residents from Summerhill and the Georgia Tech area, mostly lower-income and African American, for Olympic facilities drew protests at the time. Lavish gift-giving by bid committee members prefigured a major IOC bribery scandal a couple of years later. The city was sued over laws intended to drive homeless people away from Olympics venues and tourists. Some venues later became money-losers or were demolished. And globally, the Olympics’ legacies of corruption, secret planning and white-elephant venues have caused a major reinterpretation of the Games themselves and new IOC promises of reform. The 2024 and 2028 Summer Olympics hosts were chosen in an unusual double-award desperation move as the IOC faced cities dropping out amid concerns over financial costs, budget secrecy and social impacts – and the winning cities, Paris and Los Angeles, both have protest movements hope to force out the Games. Various Olympics officials are caught up in yet another round of bribery investigations. The U.S. Olympics Committee is mired in scandal over cover-ups of sexual abuse of hundreds of young athletes dating back to Atlanta’s Olympics era. Part of the new exhibit, Dylla says, will be putting the Atlanta Olympics in the context of the “lack of participatory planning” that’s become a global issue, and the inclusion of “more different stories of resistance and dissenting voices.”

Rather than relying solely on the existing collection, Dylla is speaking with some of the residents involved in Atlanta Olympics protests, including from the anti-displacement activism. Another movement she’s studying is Olympics Out of Cobb, an LGBTQ protest that successfully got that county shut out of all Games venues and programs after its commission issued a resolution condemning gay people. “They made a bunch of cool schwag,” she adds. The remake of the Olympics exhibit bears similarities to the History Center’s reinterpretation of the Civil War-themed Cyclorama painting: a public entertainment that became a lens through which Atlanta saw itself, and which the museum is now putting in a deeper context, along with puncturing some of its pernicious myths. It’s the last of the center’s permanent exhibits scheduled for a major makeover, but Rooney says the real point is how “permanent” never is. “People talk about permanent museum exhibits, but we want to correct that,” says Rooney, explaining that long-term but subject to inevitable change is more accurate. As the History Center preps a new look at post-Olympics Atlanta, he says, “museums don’t have all the answers, and maybe there was a time museums presented themselves as being the authority, and maybe sometimes that was delivered without community dialogue and community participation. “Communities need museums,” Rooney said, “but museums need the community as well.”


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16 | Community

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Atlanta Child Murders evidence to get modern DNA tests BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

Authorities have announced new DNA testing on evidence from the Atlanta Child Murders, the collective term for at least 25 African-American children and adults found dead in 1979 through 1981 around metro Atlanta, including in the areas of Brookhaven and Buckhead. The Atlanta Police Department also opened a tip line for the cases at 404-546-2603. The DNA review follows Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ announcement in her March 14 State of the City address of a task force to study a memorial to the Atlanta Child Murders victims. Bottoms announced the new review of the controversial case on March 21, saying she hopes it will give some “peace� to surviving family members and “let the world know black lives do matter.� Her announcement – backed by Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields and Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard – came on the eve of the release of a new true-crime documentary series about the case on the Investigation Discovery network. The wave of murders terrorized the city as the victims, most of them boys, began appearing in vacant lots, rivers and wooded areas. One victim who was found in a local area was Patrick Rogers, 16, whose body was discovered in the Chattahoochee River on the Cobb County side of the Paces Ferry Road bridge on Dec. 7, 1980, according to media

reports at the time. Another was Patrick Baltazar, 11, who was found dead Feb. 13, 1981 in the Corporate Square office park in what is now the city of Brookhaven. Wayne Bertram Williams, an African American man, became a prime suspect after police allegedly heard him dump a body off the James Jackson Parkway bridge in northwest Atlanta. In 1982, he was convicted of killing two of the adult victims in the murder wave. Police alleged that evidence connected him to most of the other killings as well, including those of Rogers and Baltazar, but he was never charged with those crimes. Williams, still serving a life sentence in state prison, has maintained his innocence of any killing. Various police officers, journalists and family members over the years have suggested that other killers are responsible for some or all of the murders, and one theory involves hate crimes by the Ku Klux Klan. At the time of Williams’ trial, DNA testing did not exist. He and his attorneys have long challenged the forensic evidence that helped to convict him, mostly involving analysis of hairs and carpet fibers. About 10 years ago, a limited form of DNA testing showed that Williams could not be confirmed or ruled out as the source of hairs found on Baltazar’s body, according to media reports. Similar results were reportedly returned for dog hairs found on Baltazar and other victims that authorities alleged came from Williams’ pet. Bottoms said that Atlanta, state and Fulton County authorities will review all remaining evidence in the Child Murder cases for possible modern DNA testing.

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Education | 17

APRIL 2019 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Riley and Jack Buehner Riverwood International Charter School Riley and Jack Buehner, two Riverwood International Charter School students, spent their winter break hand delivering 11 suitcases of shoes to children in Uganda. The trip was part of a school project and a Boy Scout program meant to form connections with fellow Scouts on the other side of the world. Riley collected over 450 pairs of shoes with the help of his Scout troop and his brother Jack to fulfill Riverwood’s “Middle Years Programme,” which is required for the International Baccalaureate curriculum. The shoes were delivered to Uganda as part of the Boy Scout program. Jack and Riley, who have been Scouts since first grade, embarked on a journey over Christmas break with several other scouts as a part of the partnership program, The Scout Bridges. Each Ugandan who was given shoes received a pair of closed-toed shoes and a pair of sandals, according to a press release announcing the program. The Community Assistance Center in Sandy Springs received all of the extra donated shoes. The brothers’ idea for the donations started after Jack’s first visit to Uganda on a Scout trip. Jack was first inspired when he noticed the number of basic necessities that school children in Uganda lacked, especially shoes. During their time collecting, Jack and Riley were able to collect about 1,000 shoes, all of which were donated. In order to collect as many shoes as they did, Riley made fliers to advertise the drop off all over the community. He advertised at his school, his church, Saint James United Methodist, and local businesses. “We talked to the people who worked there asked if we could put up the donation box, and they were all very supportive,” Riley said. After returning from Uganda, Riley showcased his work in Uganda as his Middle Years Program Project. This is an ongoing program at Riverwood where stuSPECIAL dents are asked to work Riley Buehner, on the back row, gives towards or research a shoes to children in Uganda. topic that sparks their interest and later present on it. Riley said many other students were impressed that he’d actually gone thousands of miles to deliver the shoes he collected rather than just shipping them. “My MYP Project and the trip to Uganda have extended my knowledge of the struggles that many people face on a daily basis,” Riley said in the Riverwood press release. “I realize that not everyone is as lucky as I, and that many often live – and live happily -- with very little. The gratitude expressed by the Ugandans for what, to me, was a relatively simple gift, was overwhelming. This project helped show me what friendship means and highlighted that people’s beliefs and values are similar, no matter one’s socioeconomic status or geographic location.” During the two week visit, the Scouts did various activities and trips together, such as visiting the source of the Nile and the area of the equator. “It’s kind of unique in that we’re actually staying with them overnight, whereas most people who visit Africa go back to their hotel rooms,” said Jack, who was participating in the program for the third year. “I am so proud of Jack and Riley for their willingness to serve, their hard work to plan and implement their shoe drives, and am grateful for the impact that their initiatives have had, and will continue to have, on our scout friends in Uganda,” said Fontaine Kohler, director of The Scout Bridges Program.

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18 | Faith

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Local pastors await possible United Methodist Church split over LGBTQ rights BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

Senior Pastor Skip Smith stood at the front of Brookhaven United Methodist Church on a recent Sunday morning and delivered his sermon holding the UMC’s Book of Discipline in one hand, the Bible in the other. “When I held the books up, I said, ‘These aren’t really equivalent,’” Johnson said he told his congregants. He describes one book as God’s words as stated through scripture, while the other contains the doctrine of the church as legislated by the UMC’s governing bodies. Johnson’s sermon came days after the UMC’s global legislative body – the top governing body of the denomination known as the General Conference -- voted in February to uphold and reinforce the denomination’s ban on samesex marriage and LGBTQ clergy from serving. The vote also ensures the passage, “Homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching” remains in the Book of Discipline. In the wake of the controversial vote, local churches in Dunwoody, Brookhaven, Buckhead and Sandy Springs are struggling with the divisiveness in their own congregations. Pastors are ministering to LGBTQ members deeply wounded by the stern message while also caring for their parishioners who support the vote. And through it all the entire denomination is facing a glaring reality that its

Senior Pastor Skip Smith

against same-sex marriage and LGBTQ clergy. The leader of the West African Conference is calling for a split. A 2018 survey by United Methodist Communications and Research NOW found that 44 percent of respondents identified as “Conservative-Traditional,” according to a story in the Christian Post. Progressive churches are stepping up as well. The United Methodist Church in Germany has announced it will not abide by the General Conference’s vote. More than 1,000 clergy and members of the Iowa Conference signed a statement denouncing the vote and clergy members said they will conduct samesex marriages despite the ban. Johnson, however, said he is hopeful the church can find a way to come together and remain as one. He and many other Methodists follow the methodology of taking tradition, reason, experience and then scripture to begin and

Pastor Sara Webb Phillips

decades-old clash on human sexuality may never be resolved. The local churches are also having to respond to the real threat of a schism. More and more traditional and evangelical churches are banding together to draw a line in the sand

have conversations as they “seek to understand what God is asking us of this time,” he said. “The church been here before,” Johnson said, including a time when women could not serve as clergy. The for-

mer Methodist Church’s General Conference voted in 1956 to allow women to become pastors. The UMC, founded in 1968 as a union of the Methodist Church and The Evangelical United Brethren Church, has always allowed women ministers. “This is something we’ll move beyond,” he said. Sara Webb Phillips, pastor at North Springs UMC in Sandy Springs, publicly denounces the vote, but said she will abide by the rules. The vote angered and hurt her personally, she said. “It doesn’t send a welcoming message that God loves all people equally,” she said. North Springs UMC is a multiethnic, multicultural church that welcomes all people and includes LGBTQ members and also supporters of the General Conference’s vote, Phillips said. But Phillips said she doesn’t understand why the UMC focuses its bans on homosexuality. “I believe if you are going to do a literal interpretation of scripture, you need to do it across the board. Scripture doesn’t single [homosexuality] out.” The UMC is the second largest mainline Protestant denomination with approximately 7 million members in the U.S. and nearly 6 million members in Africa, Asia and Europe. The United Methodist Church is a denomination of Methodism that was founded by John Wesley in the 1700s as part of a movement within the Church of England. There is no one Methodist church, rather churches belong to numerous denominations, such as the United Methodist Church. Other denominations include the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the Wesleyan Church and Church of the Nazarene. The North Georgia Conference of the UMC includes 800 churches including those in metro Atlanta with approximately 350,000 members. Keith Boyette of Virginia is president of the Wesleyan Covenant Association, an evangelical group founded in 2016 to support the UMC’s conservative stances, including the anti-gay legislation

approved at the General Conference. The group has a North Georgia contact person who referred calls to Boyette. The group did not know how many members they have in Georgia, but Boyette boasted the group includes 1,500 churches worldwide. “We formed to encourage in this

Rev. Dan Brown

season of conflict and controversy the work for the church is in upholding its historic stances,” he said. “Gratefully, the General Conference reaffirmed the historic position of the church.” Boyette said because the UMC is a global church with 40 percent of its congregants living outside the U.S., other cultures play key roles in the debate over LGBTQ rights. He did not go so far as to say a split was imminent, but that he did not know believe there could be a meeting of the minds by those on opposite sides of the issue. “I personally believe our difference are irreconcilable and that it is very hard to hold together such diametrically opposed understandings of the church,” he added. Rev. Dan Brown of Dunwoody Methodist Church served as an ordained member of the North Georgia Conference for 38 years before joining Dun-

Anne Burkholder

APRIL 2019

Faith | 19


woody UMC in 2014. In a written statement, Brown said the UMC denomination has been struggling with this issue for more than 40 years. The response of United Methodist churches all across the nation to the decision has been strong and mixed, he said. “We have had that same mixed reaction at Dunwoody United Methodist Church. Many feel deeply wounded by the decision. Many others agree with it,” he said. “In my experience at our church, I find that all are looking to the authority of scripture for answers, but they often interpret the Bible differently.” Although the General Conference has ruled on banning LGBTQ clergy and same-sex marriage, Dunwoody UMC will continue to operate as it has with “open hearts, open minds, and open doors,” Brown said. The vote is slated to go into effect January 2020 unless other compromises are reached. Anne Burkholder, Associate Dean of Methodist Studies at the

Candler School of Theology at Emory University, is hopeful a schism can be avoided. “It’s not over until it’s over. And it’s really not over,” she said. Emory University was founded by the former Methodist Episcopal Church which later became the United Methodist Church. The university is LGBTQ-friendly and its president, Claire E. Sterk, wrote in an open letter that while the university remains close to the UMC, she “passionately disagree[d]” with the General Conference vote. The General Conference meets again in May 2020 and all kinds of events could happen, Burkholder said. The Judicial Council meets in April and could rule the February vote was unconstitutional because some delegates voted that were not supposed to vote. In Buckhead and Brookhaven, where there is a lot of diversity, there are going to be churches that are not going to support the decision, she said. Of course, there are some conservative

churches that are pleased with what happened, she said. Many General Conference delegates come from countries where being gay is illegal or where gays are persecuted, Burkholder wrote in a piece for The Christian Century. In the U.S., 60 per-

cent of Methodists support same-sex marriage, according to studies. The differences seem at times too wide to be able to close the gap, Burkholder said. “I think we’re all very tired of this regardless of the position and don’t see a compromise,” she said.

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Cross Keys High football gets funding from NFL coach’s foundation BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

Cross Keys High School in Brookhaven has received $10,000 from the foundation of renowned NFL Coach Bill Belichick to fund its football program and draw its diverse students that are more interested in soccer. The money will be used in part to “debunk safety myths” about the sport, according to language on an agenda item approved by the DeKalb Board of Education. The grant comes from the Bill Belichick Foundation, a nonprofit formed by the longtime coach of the New England Patriots, who has a record six Super Bowl wins. The money was approved by the DeKalb Board of Education at its March 4 meeting. The money is planned to be used to purchase equipment, like footballs, uniforms and dummies, and provide stipends for to hire and certify coaches, Cross Keys football Coach Mark Adams said. Adams also hopes to start up football summer camps. But he also hopes it further his bigger goal of exposing a largely international community at the school to an American sport.

Cross Keys football Coach Mark Adams, left, stands with Bill Belichick Foundation Executive Director Linda Holliday, center, and Cross Keys Assistant Principal Roberta Gibson, right.

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boasts one of the best teams in the district, but Adams hopes the money will help him start camps and recognition ceremonies that could help interest more students. The school will also host parent education sessions to “debunk safety myths” about football. Adams said he does believe that some of the fears about safety risks are overblown. “Done properly, football is not a brutal sport,” said Adams, who also teachers health and physical education and coaches baseball and wrestling. “A lot of fears parents have come from things they hear or see without proof.” Under a well-trained coach, football is no more dangerous than any other contact sport, Adams said. “It doesn’t involve high-impact collisions regularly,” he said. “A lifetime of super violent football is completely different than high school career coached under a well-studied coach.” Football and the NFL have faced controversy for the many concussions, head injuries and other risks that the sport can cause. The concern for concussions has trickled down to high school athletics in recent years after several retired NFL players sued the league in multi-billion dollar lawsuits alleging they were not warned of the serious risks of brain injuries. A Georgia high school football player died last year after a head injury caused cardiac arrest, according to media reports. The Georgia High School Association in 2015 set limits on the amount of full contact during practices as one way to reduce the number of concussions. Janelle Driscoll with a public relations


firm representing the foundation said the safety education is not a requirement of the foundation and that it cannot comment on it. School Board member Marshall Orson, who represents that area, said at the March 4 work session that the “safety myth” education will not downplay actual dangers. “I want to ensure people that we are very cognizant of the concerns about safety,” Orson said during the meeting, which is archived in video online. “We’re trying to separate fact from fiction. There are legitimate concerns around a number of sports.” Adams said football is “unique in what it can offer a student athlete.” The sport is one of the few opportunities to learn about “sacrificing yourself to potential physical pain to protect another teammate,” he said. Linda Holliday, the executive director of the Bill Belichick Foundation, said the school received the grant because it checked all the boxes for what the foundation looks for applicants. Holliday visited the school in February and was “even more impressed and proud to support their growing football program,” she said in a written statement. “We were drawn to Cross Keys Football’s needs to grow their program at a school that has such a high demand for soccer,” Holliday said. “We want to help schools be able to provide proper resources giving their students opportunities to play and learn new sports.” Belichick filmed a video congratulating Cross Keys on the grant and said the foundation was “happy to support” the school’s program.

APRIL 2019

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22 | Public Safety

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Crime concerns focus on changing bail system Continued from page 1 sible legal changes as especially likely on the issue of allowing judges to see the juvenile records of defendants who are seeking bail – a change he personally prefers. “More information is always better for everyone involved,” he says. McBurney said he understands public concern about repeat offenders, but also notes that defendants are “presumed innocent – [a point] often lost in this debate” and that crime comes from a larger social context. When deciding whether to grant bail, he said, judges have to sort the “scary person” from the “sick person” – those with drug addictions, mental health issues or both. SPECIAL Fulton County Superior “What we Court Chief Judge have are folks Robert C. I. McBurney. entering the system again and again because we aren’t treating the underlying causes,” McBurney said. “It requires a community investment to address some of those situations.” Buckhead has been gripped with various crime concerns for about a year as the burglary rate rose last year, particular due to thieves stealing money, guns and other valuables from cars. Violent crime has been a concern as well, and local discontent with Fulton judges has simmered since last summer’s murder and robbery at the Capital City country club. In that case, a 17-year-old suspect was on the streets from a previous armed robbery conviction due to a controversial private probation order from a judge. Among the results was an “Adopt a Judge” program started by Taryn Chilivis Bowman, a local business owner and sometime political candidate, and now endorsed by the BCN. The “Fulton County Judicial Accountability Task Force,” its official name, right now is a basic sign-up sheet where a resident agrees to follow a particular judge in any Fulton court, learn about their background, show up in their courtrooms, and find out when they are up for election or who appointed them. Various elected officials, including City Councilmember J.P. Matzigkeit, have since met with McBurney and other judges to learn more about how the system works or doesn’t work. “If you are a repeat offender and you’ve continued to commit these acts…if you have an ankle bracelet when they catch you, in my view, you are a threat to the community and you need to stay in jail,”

Matzigkeit said at the March 14 BCN meeting, calling for judges to have defendants’ complete criminal record available during bail hearings. At a Feb. 28 town hall held by Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms at the Atlanta History Center, Police Chief Erika Shields blasted Fulton courts and prosecutors for allegedly allowing criminals to return to the streets while the department was successfully lowering crime rates. “These crimes are not being prosecuted,” Shields repeatedly claimed about car break-ins and similar incidents she said drive Buckhead’s crime rate in comments that drew loud applause. “APD is locking those folks up… We’re the easy one [to criticize] because we’re going to sit here and take the beating.” District Attorney Paul Howard later said through a spokesperson that Shields’ claims are just not true. In fact, he said, the DA’s Office has prosecuted 95 percent of the 431 car break-in cases that APD officers brought in 2016 through 2019, and already has secured guilty pleas in nearly half of them. Howard said that of the 431 car break-in cases, the DA’s Office secured indictments on 411 cases and declined to prosecute 13 of them. Of the 411 cases where a defendant was charged, 306 have already had a judgment, including 206 that resulted in guilty pleas, Howard said. The remaining 105 cases are either still in court or have a defendant who failed to appear. Failure to appear is among the concerns local officials and residents have with the judicial system, as they say too many repeat offenders get out on bail or “signature bond” without money. Maj. Barry Shaw, commander of APD’s Buckhead-area Zone 2 district, said at the BCN meeting that the public scrutiny of judges was paying off. “I think people have begun to listen,” he said. “I think it’s very safe to say the judges in Fulton, you have their attention. We have already begun to see…people sitting up straighter.” McBurney acknowledged that judges sometimes grant bail to defendants who are already out on bail or probation for other cases. He said that is part of judicial discretion and, while he won’t “second-guess” other judges, he’s not a fan of such cases. “That’s the revolving door that really frustrates folks and frustrates me and makes me wish all cases came before me,” he said. But McBurney added that “what we don’t have are people who are out there shooting someone and immediately out on bond and shoot[ing] someone else… That doesn’t happen because I think everyone out there realizes, ‘This is a scary person, not a sick person.’”

What may change in Fulton, McBurney said, is the ability of judges and prosecutors to see a defendant’s juvenile records at the bail hearing stage. Right now, juvenile records are sealed under the presumptions that people should not have a rap sheet for life due to childhood delinquency. McBurney said it is increasingly a “legitimate question” whether that should change, especially for defendants who recently turned 17 and thus became adults in the eyes of the criminal law, and where “what have you been up to in the past year?” would be useful for a judge to know. “So I think folks need to think deepSPECIAL ly [about the Atlanta Police Chief question], Erika Shields. should we make juvenile records open to bail decisions?” said McBurney, adding that there are strong arguments either way. The city’s own bail and jailing practices have been controversial, too, in a situation that highlights how public education is becoming part of the crime debate. At Bottoms’ town hall, she was heavi-

ly booed when she mentioned her executive order last year that ended the practice of housing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainees in the city jail in exchange for fees. And some residents indicated they thought Bottoms’ general plan to turn the jail into more of a social services center means criminals are left to roam the streets, which she and Shields said is not true. Bottoms previously signed a City Council ordinance that eliminated cash bonds for people charged in Municipal Court with petty crimes, which has reduced the city jail’s inmate population. The intent is to avoid jailing people who simply cannot afford bail on minor charges. Shields says APD never sent people accused of felonies to the city jail and that it has been primarily “something of a mental institution, a rehab facility.” In its list of proposed crime-related reforms, the BCN initially supported state legislation that would have wiped out that Municipal Court change. However, it removed the item at the March 14 meeting, partly because the legislation appeared to be dead and partly after City Council Matt Westmoreland explained the intent that it only involved petty crimes like jaywalking. The BCN’s recommendations continue to include a call for the city jail to house arrestees until they get a probable cause hearing in Municipal Court.


Two men are in custody and charged with murder in the Feb. 9 killing of a man at a Buckhead bar, according to the Atlanta Police Department. Sean Mobley was shot to death in an early-morning incident outside the Hole in the Wall bar at 3177 Peachtree Road in Buckhead Village. Barrett Green, 24, and Rodney Hammond, 25, were recently arrested and accused of murder, according to APD. Green was also charged with hit-and-run, tampering with evidence, and aiding or permitting another to escape, police say.


Five suspects – including a mother and her son – have been charged in relation to a Feb. 17 Buckhead jewelry store burglary and a Cobb County home invasion that police say helped the robbers pull it off. Police say a group of robbers emptied two safes at Icebox Diamonds & Watches at 3255 Peachtree Road after forcing their way into a manager’s Cobb home at gunpoint and gaining keys and lock combinations. The robbers stole jewelry, cash and an SUV from the home as well, police say. On the morning of March 22, Atlanta Police arrested the following people at two locations in the city: Gregory Andrews, 34; Tameka Lashon Croskey, 44; Jose Hernandez Pearson, 38; and Meisha Sims, 31. Also charged in the case is Crysell Croskey, 29, who police say is Tameka Croskey’s son and was already in Fulton County custody on an unrelated charge. All the suspects face “numerous felony charges,” including burglary, theft and narcotics and weapons violations, police say. The Atlanta and Cobb County police departments are collaborating on the investigation and say that further charges will be forthcoming in Cobb.


APRIL 2019

Community | 23


Parents push for sidewalks outside North Atlanta High BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

Parents of North Atlanta High students are leading a push for sidewalks outside of the school, saying walking along the busy Northside Parkway will inevitably lead to an accident. Sidewalks are planned to fill a gap between Mount Paran Road and Northgate Drive. But parents said those plans are moving too slowly and they fear they won’t get funding. “It just doesn’t make sense to me why we would invest in this school without creating walkways to it,” said Doug Allvine, one of the parents behind the push. District 8 Councilmember J.P. Matzigkeit, who represents the area, said he supports the effort to build sidewalks outside the school, which is located at 4111 Northside Parkway. “I’m 100 percent behind this effort,” Matzigkeit said in an email. “Sidewalks that allow students (and non-students) to walk/bike to school are important to me. It is a project that’s ‘in the works,’ though there are several issues we need to solve for to get funding and break ground.” Although there are sidewalks right at the entrance to the school and on the campus, there are none near it along Northside Parkway. “It’s impossible to get there without walking literally in the road to get to the school,” Allvine said. “It’s really dangerous and just really scary.” Allvine spoke about the issue at Mayor Keisha Lance Bottom’s February town hall in Buckhead and had set up an upcoming meeting with city administrators to discuss it. He’s also started an online petition that has received over 500 signatures. North Atlanta Principal Curtis Douglass said in a letter to the city that the school administration supports the project because student safety is “always a priority.” “Currently, we have students walking through the woods to get to school, since there is no sidewalk from their apartments to our school,” he said. Atlanta Public Schools and the Atlanta mayor’s office did not provide comments in response to a request. Lisa Reynolds, whose child is a freshman at North Atlanta, said she doesn’t want this stretch of the road to only get attention after a “catastrophe” has happened. Reynolds said she remembers three years ago when officials started measuring the area to draft the sidewalk plans, and, since then, it seems like the plans haven’t made much progress. “It’s frustrating,” she said. Allvine said he feels like they’re “stuck.” “At this point the sidewalk project is not funded and there are no guarantees it will be approved and built despite strong support from ‘across the board,’” Allvine said. The project has received funding for the design and additional funds are needed for construction. The project is estimated to cost $4.5 million, with $3.2 million for construction, $1 BH

million for right-ofway acquisition and $300,000 for utilities. The city is applying for funding through the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Transportation Improvement Program, which allocates federal funding to projects, said Barrington Brown, the city’s director of capital projects. The city expects a decision on funding by around mid-2020, Brown said in an email. “Since the project received funding for design, I believe it is likely (not guaranteed) to receive some type of funding for the remaining portion,” he said. Reynolds, who has been involved in the school’s Parent Teacher Student Association for years, said she estimates about half of the students who can drive are able to afford a car. They rely on walking to the school, the MARTA bus stop or using ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft to get them to the many off-schedule activities,


A Google Earth image shows the lack of sidewalks outside the entrance to North Atlanta High, located at 4111 Northside Parkway.

off-campus classes at colleges or part-time work some students are eligible to do. “It’s all before buses, so you have to find alternative transportation,” she said. And students who lives less than one mile from school can’t take a school bus, so they need alternative transportation as well, Reynolds said. “We’re trying to help them get to where they need to be,” she said. Linda Mazzeo, the president of the

PTSA, said in a letter to the city that almost 2,000 students attend North Atlanta manor of those students live within walking distance to school or take MARTA. “The lack of sidewalks has made it dangerous for those nearby who would like to take advantage of proximity to school,” Mazzeo said. “It is especially dangerous for those who have no other choice but to walk along Northside Parkway as part of their daily routine.”

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APRIL 2019


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Wall to Wall Art



An art fan maps street murals in Atlanta and beyond


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BY DOUG CARROLL It took a harmonic convergence of social media, an engineer’s retirement and an unmet need to launch a website mapping more than 500 street murals in metro Atlanta. Fittingly, a guy named Art was the one to locate all of the art. “I’ve always had an interest in art,” Art Rudick says, “but I’ve never been an artist myself. I once did woodworking as a hobby, making custom furniture.” The design of a new hobby took shape for Rudick, 61, about three years ago when he and his wife visited family in New York City. While there, the Atlanta couple took a guided tour of street art in the workingclass Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn

— and everything changed for Rudick. “It was an eye-opening experience,” he recalls. “This was amazing stuff.” On the same trip, Rudick’s niece introduced him to Instagram, and he returned home to his Old Fourth Ward neighborhood full of curiosity. He wanted to take photos of Atlanta’s street murals to post on his new Instagram account, but where were the murals? How could he find them? Necessity became the mother of invention when Rudick realized that a decent map of the city’s street art didn’t exist. So, with no previous experience in doing a website, he took it upon himself to create an online guide to Atlanta’s street murals and the artists who put them up. The result is the Atlanta Street Art Map at StreetArtMap.org, which has interactive

maps covering 14 neighborhoods and such outlying cities as Dunwoody, Brookhaven and Sandy Springs. The site also provides six self-guided walking tours of street art and includes bios of 16 muralists. Rudick, an engineer who retired at the end of 2016 after a 32-year career with Coca-Cola, finds most of his content by following local artists on Instagram. He also has a contact page on his site, and artists sometimes reach him that way. Twice a year, he says, he drives around to check on every mural, as part of making sure that the site is current. He’ll often spot new work while making the rounds. Rudick says his favorite mural is one by the artist known as Jerkface, based on the Tom and Jerry cartoon characters. The mural is the first stop on the Little Five Points


walking tour. “It’s partially because I grew up watching that cartoon,” Rudick says, explaining the attraction. He says his favorite artists are Yoyo Ferro, who uses a technique known as blind contour drawing, and five who are part of a collective known as the Lotus Eaters Club, which does “a lot of interesting and amazing work.” He also admires the work of Donna Howells, a Cabbagetown artist in her seventies who began creating murals only recently. Rudick keeps his eyes open for murals in suburban cities, too. Ferro’s work appears on Brookhaven’s Cross Keys High School, and the website notes artwork in such locations as the parking garage of


26 | Art & Entertainment

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A Buckhead mystery inspires top novelist Q&A with Mary Kay Andrews BY JUDITH SCHONBAK

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Just in time for beach reading, New York Times bestselling author Mary Kay Andrews will be talking about her new book “Sunset Beach” at a launch party at the Atlanta History Center May 5. The book, which goes on sale May 7, was inspired by one of Buckhead’s unsolved mysteries – the 1965 disappearance of a woman from the parking lot of Lenox Square mall. Mary Kay Andrews – the pen name of Kathy Hogan Trochek -- marks her 27th mystery novel with “Sunset Beach.” The successful novelist, who divides her time between Atlanta and Tybee Island, worked 14 years as a newspaper reporter for the Savannah Morning News, the Marietta Daily Journal and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. She left the AJC after 10 years to stay home with her two children and got the bug to write a mystery novel. The result was a popular series of eight books featuring the exploits of feisty woman detective Callahan Garrity. Ten years after her first Callahan Garrity mystery was published in1992, Andrews reinvented herself and took a new name and a new direction, women’s fiction. It has taken her and her readers to Savannah and to southern beach and island locales with intrigue, twists and turns in the plot and, usually, a murder. To date, her novels have been published in German, Italian, Polish, Slovenian, Hungarian, Dutch, Czech and Japanese. Although her books have a Southern vibe, the characters and their experiences relate to people across many cultures. For details about the launch party, see AtlantaHistoryCenter. com. The Reporter spoke with Andrews about her journey from reporter to bestselling author. Q: Tell us about your newest book. A: “Sunset Beach” is set in St. Petersburg, Florida, where I grew up. It is a valentine to my hometown, and, yes, there is a real Sunset Beach

in St. Pete. The protagonist is a flamboyant woman who inherits a beach house. The book is based on a true mystery in Atlanta that has always intrigued me, the disappearance of Mary Shotwell Little in 1965. Q: You have a degree in journalism from University of Georgia and began your writing career as a newspaper reporter. Did you always aspire to write novels? A: No. Fiction writing was not my goal. I I thought I would stay with newspapers, specifically, the AJC, where I worked for 10 years. But in the late 1980s newspapers had changed and I wanted to be home with my two kids, so I retired as a reporter. I thought that maybe I could write a book. Q: How did you get started writing your first book? A: I gave myself a do-it-yourself course in fiction writing and I also joined a small writers group of AJC people. That gave me structure and support, and I started writing in secret. Q: What led you to write mystery novels? A: I have always loved mysteries. When I was in junior high, my two sisters and I acted out Nancy Drew mysteries. It seemed natural that the first book I wrote was a whodunit with a woman detective as the main character. Q: When was your first book published? A: My very first book was not accepted when I submitted it in 1990. From October 1990 to May 1991, I rewrote it, then submitted it again. This time it sold and was published in 1992. That was “Every Crooked Nanny.” The main character is a woman detective, Callahan Garrity. She became very popular, and I wrote a series of eight Callahan Garrity books. They are still out there and are widely read. Q: You wrote those books under your

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Art & Entertainment | 27


real name. What led you to take on the pen name Mary Kay Andrews? A: In 2002, I had an idea for a different kind of novel: women’s fiction with a Southern and beach vibe. It was a big departure, and I decided to reinvent myself. I combined the names of my two children, my daughter Mary Kay [Mary Kathleen] and my son, Andrew. People are still surprised when they find out I am Kathy Hogan Trochek and am still alive. Some fans have said that they thought I had died since they had not seen new Callahan Garrity books, nor my name on new novels.

Q: Most of your books are set in Southern and islands beach towns. What is your connection to the beach? A: I was born in St. Petersburg, Florida and the beach is a part of me. Tom, my husband of more than 40 years and counting, and I have two homes, Breeze Inn and Ebbtide, on Tybee Island [in Georgia], which we have restored and rent out and where we stay. We live in Atlanta and go back and forth. Q: The count is just about a book a year. Do you have a writing regimen you stick to?

A: I try to have a quota of 2,000 words a day rather than a number of hours per day. But the discipline becomes more strict as the deadline approaches. I do usually complete a book a year. A couple times I wrote two books in a year, but I hope never to do that again. Q: What inspires your novels? A: I usually have a protagonist in mind – a woman facing life-changing challenges. Readers have to care about her as she faces the twists and turns of her life, even if she is not always pleasant. I especially like to write about cranky old ladies. I have known some and am inspired to become one myself someday. Q: How have you developed/evolved in your book-writing career?

thors, I take pride in my work. I want every book to be different with distinctively individual characters and some surprises in the plot. My goal is to give readers a big, juicy, delicious barn-burner of a book. Q: What do you do when you are not writing? A: I am a serious junker and house fixerupper. I love to go to estate sales, and I have a few secret places I go to find treasures. My family, including my grown children and grandchildren cook together almost every Sunday. Our love of cooking and being together inspired “The Beach House Cookbook” (published in 2017). It is filled with family recipes and many that we developed especially for the book.

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Arts Q&A: A Sandy Springs magician on his mysterious trade purchase of $25 or more

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You would think that a magician who authored a children’s book has always been at ease performing tricks for kids. Not necessarily. “When I first started out, I did a children’s show at an open house for a daycare,” says Sandy Springs magician Clarence H. Pearsall III, whose stage name is C Magic. (For more information, see cmagichappen.com.) “It unnerved me and had me sweating profusely. From that point on, I had to really hone my craft and be aware of my audience. Now children’s shows are among the best shows I do.” Pearsall, 54, a retired firefighter who is president of the International Association of Black Magical Artists, recently talked about how he became practiced at the art of illusion. Q: How did you get started in magic? A: When I was in the Navy, a shipmate fried my brain with a card trick. I had to know the secret. It cost me a pack of cigarettes, a Pepsi and $20 — and I had to wait until everyone had gone to bed be-

fore he would show me. I took magic up again in 2015 when I retired and moved to Chicago. A guy there who went by “Magic Sam” took me under his wing. Q: What did you learn from Magic Sam about performing? A: He taught me to be patient, to be natural. You don’t try to force anything. It’s about having fun — if I do, then the audience does. It’s important to understand the audience. Some tricks work better with kids, others with adults. And I dress to impress. I wear a blazer that’s somewhat flamboyant, and people remember that. Q: Tell us about your show. A: I try to pack small and play big. The case I travel with contains my show, and all I need is a table or two. I can do a show that goes 15 minutes up to an hour or more. When I bring audience members into the show, they appreciate it. I’ll practice a trick anywhere from a few days up to a month. There are some tricks I’ve never put into a show because I’m not comfortable with them yet.

APRIL 2019

Art & Entertainment | 29


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Q: You’ve written a children’s book, “Mama May I?” How did that come about? A: I actually wrote that before becoming a professional magician. All my children are grown and now I have grandchildren. I wanted to leave a legacy for them. “Mother May I?” was a game we played as children, and I incorporated it into a book that teaches patience, listening skills and life skills. You receive your reward after a task is done — but not before then. It’s a great read for children who are 4 to 8 years old. Q: Any outside projects you’re working on?

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Q: Are you ever badgered to reveal how certain tricks work? A: Most of the time, children are very inquisitive. I try to stay away from saying too much about my tricks. But I’d like to do a summer day camp to teach some easy ones. Magic shows are overwhelmingly put on by older people, and we need to get the younger ones involved.

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Friday, April 12 and Saturday, April 13, 7 p.m. Sunday, April 14, 3 p.m. This Andrew Lloyd Webber musical reimagines the Biblical story of Joseph, his father Jacob, 11 brothers and the coat of many colors. Dunwoody United Methodist Church, 1548 Mt. Vernon Road, Dunwoody. $15. Info: dunwoodyumc.org or 770-394-0675.

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Call for an appointment: 404-257-0170 960 Johnson Ferry Road NE, Suite 400, Atlanta, GA 30342

Saturday, April 13- Sunday, April 28 Based on a celebrated novel and an acclaimed film directed by Tim Burton, “Big Fish” tells the story of Edward Bloom, a traveling salesman whose incredible, larger-than-life stories thrill everyone around him. But his son Will, about to have a child of his own, is determined to find the truth behind his father’s epic tales. Act3 Playhouse, 6285-R Roswell Rd., Sandy Springs. Tickets: $15-$23. Info: act3productions.org or 770-2411905


April 19, 8 p.m. The world-famous comedy company’s latest show takes shots at heartbreak, missed connections and the mire of human relationships in “It’s Not You, It’s Me, The Second City.” City Springs, Byers Theater, 1 Galambos Way, Sandy Springs. $35 Info: citysprings.com/events/its-not-you-itsme-second-city


Sunday, April 28, 4 p.m. The Choral Guild of Atlanta performs its final concert of the season and will include Cantatas Nos. 4, 79, and 140. Northside Drive Baptist Church, 3100 Northside Drive, Buckhead. Tickets: $15 Adults/$12 Seniors/$5 Students. Info: 404-223-6362 or info@cgatl.org



Friday, April 5 to Sunday, April 7, 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. The Dunwoody Community Garden & Orchard and the Dunwoody Fine Art Association partnered for a joint event that supports the arts and the community garden. Local art from artists who regularly exhibit in galleries, juried shows and regional/national events will be available for purchase in the barn 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Residents can take this opportunity to buy affordable plants and local art. Brook Run Park, 4770 North Peachtree Road, Dunwoody. Info: dcgo.org


Ongoing through April 15 The Community Assistance Center in Sandy Springs continues to offer free tax return preparation and filing for the 10th year through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA),available to anyone with an income of up to $55,000 in 2018. Appointments are available, call 770-552-4889 Ext 233 or email vita@ourcac.org


Thursday, April 11, 7:30 pm Instagram-famous home organizers, Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin, join Mara Davis, a local media personality for an evening of lively conversation about everyone’s favorite topic: how to organize your home and your life – celebrity style. Clea and Joanna bring their signature approach to decluttering in their new book, Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta - 5342

APRIL 2019

Art & Entertainment | 31


Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody. Member $30/Community $36 (includes paperback copy). Info: atlantajcc.org/bookfestival


Thursday, April 18, 7- 8:30 p.m. Alan Toney, master naturalist, gives an exciting glimpse of what is happening in our parks and our own backyards each spring. Learn to listen for and identify what might be propagating, growing and foraging right before our very eyes. Lost Corner Preserve Cottage, 7300 Brandon Mill Road, Sandy Springs. Cost: Suggested $5 donation to the Friends of the Lost Corner. Info: friendsoflostcorner.org


Saturday, April 27, 9 a.m.- 2 p.m. A plethora of nature-inspired activities to celebrate Mother Earth at the Blue Heron Nature Preserve, including a bird walk with the Atlanta Audobon Society, Plein Air art workshop, native plant walk, trail tours, scavenger hunts, yoga with Ronald Dill and an outdoor performance by the Green Theatre Group. Blue Heron Nature Preserve, 4055 Roswell Road, Buckhead. Free, registration encouraged. Info: bhnp.org


Sunday, April 28, 3-7:30 p.m. Attendees will hear little known stories and fun facts about Buckhead featuring historical Buckhead figures in period costume who will entertain and inform participants at various stops along the way. At the end of the tour, guests will return to the school for a casual dinner and compete for prizes in a Buckhead Secret History competition. Proceeds from the event will benefit Buckhead Heritage Society. The Atlanta International School, 2890 North Fulton Drive NE, Buckhead. $125 Buckhead Heritage members/ $150 non-members. Info: buckheadheritage.com Get Active:


OVARIAN CANCER Join us for a live ovarian cancer educational event. Saturday, May 4, 2019 Registration: 9:30 AM Start Time: 10:00 AM

Courtyard by Marriott Atlanta Decatur Downtown/Emory 130 Clairemont Avenue, Decatur, GA 30030

Becky Lynch, BSN, RN, OCN TESARO Oncology Nurse Educator

Kim S-E., Patient Ambassador, Living with Ovarian Cancer

Call 1-844-747-1614 to


Register for this Free Event!


Saturday, April 6, 9 a.m.- 12 p.m. This annual day of service at the Chattahoochee River watershed, mobilizes volunteers on foot, in waders, or kayak/canoe paddlers to remove trash at various locations throughout the watershed. Free. Registration required. Info: chattahoochee.org

Complimentary parking and refreshments will be provided. Friends and family are welcome!

Continued on page 32

©2019 Tesaro, Inc. All Rights Reser ved. PP-DS-US-0085 | 02/19

A Place Where You Belong

Spend the day or evening on the Town! Discover over 50 shops, services and restaurants. Town Brookhaven is truly your one stop shopping and dining destination with a blend of interesting boutiques, delicious restaurants and useful services. • DINING • APPAREL & ACCESSORIES • HEALTH, WELLNESS & BEAUTY • HOME FURNISHINGS & DÉCOR • GROCERIES • SERVICES • SHOES • ELECTRONICS • MUSIC & ENTERTAINMENT

www.townbrookhaven.net Conveniently located on Peachtree Road adjacent to Oglethorpe University.

32 | Art & Entertainment

Facebook.com/TheReporterNewspapers ■ twitter.com/Reporter_News Continued from page 31


Sunday, April 14, 8 a.m. The Chastain Chase, a Peachtree Road Race qualifier, is a chipped race that features a DJ and delicious food from The Fresh Market. There is also 1-mile run/walk that immediately follows the 5K. Proceeds will support Cancer Support Community Atlanta and help cancer patients in the area receive the support they need both during and after treatment. The Galloway School, 215 West Wieuca Road NW, Buckhead. $25-$35. Info: cscatlanta.org/chastainchase


Saturday, April 6, 12-7 p.m. The premiere outdoor chicken wing festival will feature restaurants from all over the Atlanta area slingin’ chicken wings and beer for your tasting pleasure! Attendees will also find live music, contests and activities to keep you entertained. A portion of event proceeds will benefit Releash Atlanta, an organization that works to rescue dogs from high kill shelters in Georgia. Heritage Sandy Springs 6110 Blue Stone Road, Sandy Springs. Tickets: $17-$35. Info: slinginwingsfestival.com


Saturday, April 13, from 10 a.m.- 12 p.m. This new event will provide special considerations for visually and hearing-impaired youngsters as well as those using wheelchairs and who are sensory-sensitive. Activities will include beeping eggs, magnetic eggs with wands to help find them, a bean bag hunt for sensory-sensitive children, face painting and a photo op with the Easter Bunny. Lynwood Park, 3360 Osborne Road, Brookhaven. Free, bring your own basket. info: brookhavenga.org


Saturday, April 20, 9-11 a.m. A morning of food trucks with breakfast fare, an Easter Bunny photo opp and a musical performance from the Brookhaven Innovation Academy Chorus will conclude with an easter egg hunt, split into age groups (3 and under; 4-6, and 7-plus). Blackburn Park, 3493 Ashford Dunwoody Road, Brookhaven. Free, bring your own basket. Info: brookhavenga.org

PCCATL.net 960 Johnson Ferry Road NE, Suite 500 Atlanta, GA 30342

Expert care for your lungs. Our expert staff of board-certified physicians diagnose and treat patients with pulmonary disorders and critical care needs with the highest standard of care, offering leading-edge therapies and technology through a patientcentered approach. We offer a wide range of surgical and nonsurgical treatment options, clinical studies and on-site advanced diagnostic capabilities in a convenient location.

It's Patio Season! Enjoy al fresco dining this spring. Join us for Brunch Sat & Sun with bottomless mimosas.

Accepting new patients! For an appointment call: 404-257-0006 Our specialties include: • Asthma • COPD • Interstitial lung disease • Lung cancer • Occupational lung diseases

• Pulmonary embolism • Pulmonary hypertension • Respiratory failure • Sarcoidosis • Sepsis

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APRIL 2019

Art & Entertainment | 33



Saturday, May 4, 4- 9 p.m. Featuring Kentuckyh Derby themed cocktails, live music from the Mike Veal Band, raffles, a hat and bowtie contest, “betting” at the “Sportsbook,” and a live-streaming of the 145th horse race, this fundraiser directly supports Heritage Sandy Springs. Heritage Sandy Springs Museum and Park, 6110 Blue Stone Road NE, Sandy Springs. $75. Info: heritagesandysprings.org


Saturdays, April 6 through Nov. 23, 9 a.m. to noon. The market is open rain or shine, and features local musicians. 1375 Fernwood Circle N.E., Brookhaven. Information: brookhavenfarmersmarket.com.


Saturdays, May 4 through September, 8:30 a.m. to noon More than 25 vendors. Brook Run Park, 4770 North Peachtree Road, Dunwoody. Info: dunwoodyfarmersmkt.com.


Saturdays, April 13 through Dec. 14, 8:30 a.m. to noon. (Opening time shifts to 9 a.m. in October.) Nearly 50 vendors and live music. City Springs, Mount Vernon Highway between Sandy Springs Circle and Roswell Road. Info: sandyspringsfarmersmarket.com or 404-851-9111, ext. 5.


Through Dec. 14, 8:30 a.m. to noon (Opening time shifts to 9 a.m. beginning Sept. 28.) The market, which got an early start this year in March, is open rain or shine. Each week brings chef demonstrations and live music. The market accepts SNAP (food stamps) and doubles their dollar value. Cathedral of St. Philip parking lot, 2744 Peachtree Road N.W., Buckhead. Info: peachtreeroadfarmersmarket.com.



Enjoy free admission and special programs on the second Sunday of each month.

With dining this good your friends may show up at lunchtime and stay through dinner. Once upon a time, dining at a retirement community did not bring forth words of praise. But not so any more. At The Piedmont at Buckhead the reviews for our restaurant-style dining are in, and they range from wow! to yummmmmm! Call us to set up a time and taste for yourself.

Join us for a complimentary lunch & tour. Please call 404.381.1743 to schedule your visit.

It’s a great way to get to know us.

APRIL 14 • MAY 12 Designed for little kids, big kids, and the whole family, Second Sundays are for everyone. Visit us each month and experience new interactive, innovative family activities inspired by our collections and ever-changing exhibitions. Second Sundays are sponsored by the Lettie Pate Evans Foundation.

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

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

34 | Special Section

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1&2 week sessions for ages 6-16!

Kids Make Great Designers

On top of Lookout Mountain on the banks of Little River...

Only 1.5 hours east of Huntsville and 2 hours from Atlanta, Nashville & Birmingham

ACTIVITIES Horseback Riding Swimming (Heated Pool) Ropes Course Climbing Tower Tennis Canoeing Golf Gymnastics Dance Cheerleading Flag Twirling Archery Arts and Cras Knitting Chorus and Drama Outdoor Living Skills Basketball Volleyball Soccer Riflery Trip Day River Water Blob Campfire every night Counselor-In-Training Christian Leadership

Creative kids love campMODA. It’s where they learn to think like designers while using STEM tools to make cool stuff!

We l c o m e t o R i v e r v i e w C a m p f o r G i r l s ! Yo u r Aw a r d Wi n n i n g C a m p E x p e r i e n c e ! C o n fi d e n c e , C h a r a c t e r, Ad v e n tu r e , I n s p i r a t i o n ! When you attend our summer camp or our mother-daughter weekends, you will have an amazing time on a mountain top, sharing moments of fun, faith, and adventure! Recognized as one of the South’s favorite private summer camp for girls, Riverview’s exciting programs are appreciated by both campers and parents! Girls from the South and International campers as well, are among our camp families!

Dr. Larry and Susan Hooks, Owners/Directors For more information and a free DVD: www.riverviewcamp.com 800-882-0722

Spring & Fall Mother-Daughter Weekend Also Available! Sign up online!

Design Engineering Robotics Circuitry Minecraft Architecture Music 3D Printing Storytelling



has an extensive Frequently Asked Questions section for first-time camper families and several enjoyable videos!

NEW 2019 Summer Camps at Dunwoody Baptist Church

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at Dunwoody Bapt ist Church For children ages 6 years by week of camp - 12/13 years 9 am - 4 pm each day

For more information and weekly summer schedules visit DBC.ORG/CAMPS

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APRIL 2019

Special Section | 35


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36 | Special Section

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• Sports • Gymnastics • Science • Technology • Engineering • Nature • Arts & Crafts • Theater





Members receive 25% off camp!

CAMPS THAT ENGAGE, ENTERTAIN AND EDUCATE YOUR CHILD We offer a variety of quality summer day camps in Sandy Springs that encourage positive character development! Our staff are committed to providing a safe environment where campers can be challenged and achieve success.

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Atlanta’s Best Summer Camps

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Register your artists for a weeklong art camp at the High. We offer camp options for grades 1 through 8. Campers will explore the collection, sketch in the galleries, and create artwork.

For class descriptions, times, and pricing, visit high.org/camp.

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• Food Truck Science • LEGO Robotics

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The Galloway School | Atlanta | Jun 3-Aug 2 | M-F | 7:30am-6pm | Ages 5-12

Summer Camps June 10 - August 2

Kindergarten to Grade 12

French • German • Mandarin • Spanish • English as a Second Language • Arabic • Greek • Filmmaking and Editing • Art Factory • TechnoScience Fun • 3D Printing and CAD Creations • Minecraft • Star Wars Lego Adventure • Natural and Scientific World • From Garden to Spoon • Modeling Clay Creatures • Stardust • Comic Creations • Rugby • Wild and Wacky Science and more!

www.aischool.org/summercamps 2890 North Fulton Drive | Atlanta, Georgia 30305 | 404.841.3840

Special Section | 37

APRIL 2019 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

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SOCCER CAMPS May Development Camps Futsal & Summer Camps Sparks & Flames Camps Session I: Session 2: Session g:



Academic, specialty, and sports camps for children ages 4 to 13! June 3–28 | July 29–August 2

trinityatl.org/summercamp 4301 Northside Parkway NW, Atlanta


p 404-231-8117

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38 | Special Section

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Your summer. Your adventure.






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

Register now at gallowayschool.org/camp

REGISTER NOW: thegymatpeachtree.org

Make a splash this summer. Traditional day, sports, and specialty camps for children 3-18 years Learn more at westminster.net/summer


WESTMINSTER Love. Challenge. Lead. Change.

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Each Primrose School is a privately owned and operated franchise. Primrose Schools is a trademark of Primrose School Franchising Company. ©2019 Primrose School Franchising Company. All rights reserved. Ages for Summer Adventure Club program vary by location.

Education | 39

APRIL 2019 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Education Briefs S TEA M S HO WC A S E

The Sandy Springs Education Force held its ninth annual STEAM Showcase at North Springs Charter High School March 13. The annual event showcases STEAM, science, technology, engineering, arts and math, project and allows students to experience interactive exhibits from business and educational leaders in the field. PHOTOS BY DARK RUSH

A student works on a project with food coloring at the STEAM Showcase held at North Springs Charter High School March 13.

Students use robots at the STEAM Showcase.


Cross Keys High in Brookhaven is partnering with a Hispanic-owned construction company to teach students new construction skills and find jobs. P2K, a company located in Chamblee, is offering the students hands-on workshops and internships. P2K specializes in civil infrastructure projects, such as roads, pedestrian paths and airport runways, among others. SPECIAL The construction compaCross Keys High students learn basic construction skills during workshop with the company P2K. ny initiated the collaborative program with the Center for Technology Career Education at Cross Keys High, a press release said. “P2K has a strong commitment to provide young people with educational opportunities and job opportunities,” said Guiomar Obregon, co-owner and General Manager of the company. “This is why we have started the partnership with Cross Keys, through which we offer professional internships and employment to students interested in starting their career in construction.”


Two teachers at Ison Springs Elementary in Sandy Springs have merged their classrooms and teach as a team. The two fifth-grade teachers, Summer Mallory and Nick Thompson, were approached

by their principal Sara White a year ago with an unusual proposal to eliminate the wall dividing their rooms and create a team-teaching environment in one large space, according to a press release. “We took it and ran with it,” said Thompson in the press release, and they began to create what they now call the “21st Century Classroom” with funding from a Fulton Education Foundation grant. While student scores on the Georgia Milestones, the state’s standardized test, have begun to rise over the years since the class began, the most noticeable improvements is increased positive attitudes towards attending school, Thompson said in the release “Our students are more engaged in instructional activities and have become more collaborative, and notably, there are fewer behavioral concerns,” Thompson said. Funds supported the wall removal and purchases of wheeled chairs and tables for flexible seating configurations, shelving and instructional materials to support the curriculum, according to the release. In keeping with Ison Springs’ “Kindergarten to College” schoolwide theme, Mallory and Thompson created learning stations identified by various college and university flags. The class gathers in the “lecture hall,” followed by group work at one of the “universities.” Each learning area focuses on specific skill-building through games and technology. Rewards include regular high-fives, getting to shoot baskets in a sports arcade or wearing a superhero cape. “Our goal was to establish a nurturing environment to support inquiry-based learning, problem solving, and critical thinking, and to enhance student collaboration,” Mallory said in the release.


Six Epstein School students in Sandy Springs placed took home awards March 9 at the 2019 Georgia Student Technology Competition, a statewide competition now in its 18th year. Students Heather Grant and Marion Kogon took home first place in the productivity design category for grades 5 and 6, according to an Epstein press release. Jordan Cohen, Ilan Bachar and Naomi Brager were awarded second-place honors in the device modification category. Leo Silver won third place in the multimedia applications category for grades 5 and 6. Over 1,200 students competed, representing over 850 projects, the release said.



From ballet to hip hop, Elite Studios summer camps are fun for dancers of all ages and skill levels. Come dance with us! Enroll today at elitestudiosatl.com/summer-camp THE EXCHANGE AT HAMMOND 5962 Roswell Road, Sandy Springs, GA 30328 ELITESTUDIOSATL.COM 404.500.1738 © 2019 Elite Studios, LLC

40 | Art & Entertainment

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Wall to Wall Art

Continued from page 25

Sandy Springs’ Prado shopping center. Tracking the artists also involves tracking the controversies that sometimes follow them. Rudick stays on top of those things, too. Earlier this year, several intown murals by Ray Geier, an artist known as Squishiepuss, were covered up when allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct surfaced against Geier, whose work also appears in several Sandy Springs locations. And when a mural by Fabian Williams depicting Muhammad Ali and Colin Kaepernick was obliterated in the demolition of an abandoned building right before the Super Bowl, other artists rallied to create murals of Kaepernick, the NFL quarterback controversial for his protests during the national anthem and other political activism, all over the city. When new artists reach out to him, Rudick says he often refers them to Won-

derRoot, a nonprofit arts organization, or to Stacks Squares, a Cabbagetown mural project. Who knew that a retirement hobby — one that began in a most unexpected way

An art fan maps street murals in Atlanta and beyond

— would place Rudick in the middle of Atlanta’s arts scene? “It’s been a lot of fun,” he says. “I’m going to keep doing the site for as long as I live in Atlanta and as long as I enjoy doing it.”

ART RUDICK’S MUST-SEE MURALS BUCKHEAD (section cover) Artists: Dr. Dax and The Loss Prevention. Location: Behind Binder’s Art Supplies, 3330 Piedmont Road, No. 18. A hidden gem that pays homage to the famous Limelight disco, located in the same plaza during the early 1980s. Andy Warhol supposedly hung out there. The Kroger in the plaza is still known to locals as “Disco Kroger.”

A - BROOKHAVEN Artist: Yoyo Ferro. Location: Cross Keys High School, 1625 North Druid Hills Road. One of Ferro’s larger works and typical of his use of bright colors and blind contour drawing style. If you don’t have a child attending the school, you might not know it exists.


B - SANDY SPRINGS Artist: Mr. Totem. Location: Inside the parking deck of the Prado, 5600 Roswell Road. These murals are a pleasant surprise to anyone new to the Prado. The bright colors are a stark contrast to the drab concrete of the rest of the parking deck’s interior.


Art Rudick, creator of the Atlanta Street Art Map.

Artist: The Loss Prevention. Location: Intersection of Auburn Avenue and Jesse Hill Junior Drive. A 70-foot-tall mural honoring Civil Rights icon John Lewis looms over the southbound Connector and announces that Atlanta is the birthplace of the Civil Rights movement.


D - CHAMBLEE Artist: Mr. Totem. Location: Chamblee-Dunwoody Road underpass at Peachtree Road. Two long murals, across from each other on retaining walls of the underpass, provide an immersive street art experience for anyone driving through. One side pays homage to the area’s railroad origins. ALL IMAGES COURTESY ART RUDICK