APRIL 2019 - Brookhaven Reporter

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APRIL 2019 • VOL. 11 — NO. 4

Brookhaven Reporter Home & Real Estate Local home sales near a peak, agents say P5



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Officials seek ways to influence toll lanes projects

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Naturalist keeps his eye on water and wildlife P12


United Methodists struggle with church’s LGBTQ decision P18 Check out our podcasts at ReporterNewspapers.net

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The Georgia Department of Transportation is considering building flyover toll lanes atop the Northridge Road overpass.

porate Square. But what about the remaining 11 miles of the planned multi-use path that will cross borders into Atlanta, Chamblee, Doraville and further north into unincorporated DeKalb County near Mercer University? While Brookhaven has already planned its second and third phase of the project to the Atlanta and Chamblee borders, the other municipalities have yet to

As neighborhood impacts of toll lanes planned along Ga. 400 and I-285 become clearer, city and state elected officials are seeking ways to influence the process with varying tactics. Some officials say they’ll fight the project, while others aim for smaller tweaks. Some call for community-wide meetings, while some work behind the scenes. “I know it’s been on the books for a long time, but we need to mitigate it as much as we can,” said Rep. Deborah Silcox (R-Sandy Springs), who said she’s trying to arrange a large-scale meeting of state engineers, local officials and possibly the general public. “This is very

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See OFFICIALS on page 14

Group pushes other cities to start Greenway work BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

The first mile of the planned 12-mile Peachtree Creek Greenway is slated to open in Brookhaven by the end of this year. Walkers and cyclists will soon be able to traverse a 14-foot-wide concrete path now under construction between North Druid Hills Road and Briarwood Road, including crossing a pedestrian bridge behind Cor-

BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net


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2 | Community

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Construction of new public safety HQ slated to begin this year BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

The city’s new public safety headquarters overlooking the Peachtree Creek Greenway is slated to begin construction this year and be completed by 2021, according to city officials. The facility will house the police department and municipal court, which are currently crowded into a leased space on Buford Highway. The public safety headquarters is being built on 19 acres on Briarwood Road, behind Northeast Plaza, that overlook the Peachtree Creek Greenway. The building will include balconies and outdoor seating for viewing the Greenway. Large windows are included in the design. Granite features are also included as part of the city’s branding effort with granite incorporated into park amenities and as a way to honor Oglethorpe University’s distinctive granite architecture. Total cost to build new headquarters is $15 million to be paid using special local option sales tax dollars approved by voters in 2017. The city issued $12 million in general obligation bonds last year to front a majority of the costs to build the facility. The city awarded an $800,000 contract to Rosser International, Inc., for architecture and engineering. Construction bids are due March 28 with a groundbreaking expected later this year and completion slated for early 2021. Rosser International presented final design plans to the mayor and City Council during their March 12 work session. The facility will include power from geothermal energy – energy tapped from under the Earth’s surface – as part of the city’s focus on sustainable energy. There will also be four electric car chargers on site for public use and another four in a secure area where police officers will park. The city is looking at adding electric cars to its police fleet and more chargers at the site are likely to be installed in the future. The courtroom will have a 150-seat capacity and can be used as a backup City Hall and City Council chamber space if necessary, according to city officials. Other city boards, such as the Zoning Board of Appeals and the Planning Commission could also meet there.

A A - A bird’s eye view of the new

public safety headquarters to be built adjacent to Northeast Plaza.

B - The front entrance of the new public safety headquarters.

C - An illustration of the main hallway as

seen from a small bridge within the facility that connects one side of the building to the other. The main entrance is seen at the back.

D - The city’s seal is emblazoned on the floor of the lobby area.

E - The courtroom that can also be used as a City Council chamber if needed.

F - Large glass windows and outdoor

seating overlook where the Peachtree Creek Greenway is being constructed.







APRIL 2019

Community | 3



Homeowners in Brookhaven could benefit from property tax savings beginning in 2020 as city leaders look to double the city’s homestead exemption over the next five years. The city is also seeking to significantly increase property tax relief for eligible senior citizens and those living with disabilities to address housing affordability, according to officials. Mayor John Ernst introduced, and the council approved a resolution at the City Council’s March 12 meeting to increase the city’s homestead tax from the current $20,000 to $40,000 by 2025. Residents age 65 and older and those with disabilities who make less than $15,000 a year are eligible for an additional $14,000 exemption. Under the city’s resolution, that $14,000 would jump to $160,000 over the next five years, or at an annual increase of $29,200, Ernst said. If approved by the state legislature, the proposed tax relief legislation will then be placed on Brookhaven’s Nov. 5 ballot for voters to decide. “We’re taking a stair-step approach to double our homestead exemption over five years and for the average homeowner that means a savings of almost $53 in property taxes a year,” Ernst said in an interview. For senior citizens and those with disabilities who qualify, the savings would be significant and even wipe out for most any payment of city property taxes, Ernst said. There are 724 of the 852 properties that are currently eligible for the senior/disabled exemption, he said. “In the end, 85 percent of those [seniors and disabled] who qualify would no longer have to pay city property taxes,” he said. For the remaining homeowners currently receiving the senior/disabled exemption, the average city property tax reduction would be $189.98 annually once fully implemented after five years, he said. When Brookhaven was incorporated in 2012, the city adopted DeKalb County’s property tax exemption limits for homesteaded properties and for seniors and disabled residents. Homestead exemptions must be applied for through DeKalb County and are not available for rental or commercial properties. A basic homestead is an exemption that can be claimed against the taxable value of a home as long as it is owned by the resident and is their primary residence. The proposed property tax reductions for seniors, the disabled and homestead properties will lower city revenue by $1.6 million over five years, according to city officials. The city’s Nov. 5 ballot will include the election of mayor and City Council Districts 1 and 3 seats. Ernst is seeking reelection as mayor, Jones is seeking reelection for District 1 and Councilmember Bates Mattison is seeking reelection for District 3.


Three nightclubs have dropped their federal lawsuit against the city of Brookhaven after succeeding in getting the city’s alcohol law changed in their favor. A federal judge dismissed March 21 the lawsuit filed last year by Josephine’s, Medusa Restaurant & Lounge and XS Restaurant & Lounge that alleged the city’s revamped alcohol

ordinance approved last year was discriminatory against the black-owned businesses. The ordinance had required certain venues to pay a $100,000 alcohol license fee and not sell alcohol on Sundays, but those restrictions were eventually eliminated by the City Council. “My clients achieved a good result in this case,” said Cary Wiggins, attorney for the plaintiffs. “This case forced the city to [over] haul its ordinances. Now small karaoke bars and family-owned cantinas can serve alcohol on Sundays and avoid paying $100,000 for their alcohol licenses.” The City Council in 2018 approved a new alcohol ordinance that created an “entertainment venue” category that mandated businesses with a DJ, dance floor or stage pay a $100,000 alcohol license fee. The new FILE ordinance also prohibited such businesses Medusa Restaurant & Lounge was one of three nightclubs that sued the city in federal from selling alcohol on Sundays and rolled court, alleging discrimination against back alcohol hours from 3 a.m. to 2 a.m. the black-owned business by increasing The city said the new ordinance was inalcohol license fees to $100,000, among tended to thwart what it says are rising other issues. The lawsuit was dismissed. crime statistics on Buford Highway while also forcing the venues to cover police costs through the new, much higher fees. At the same time the new ordinance was approved, the city was allowing the whiteowned Pink Pony strip club to remain open until 4 a.m. seven days a week and not pay a $100,000 alcohol license fee. The Pink Pony did pay an annual $225,000 fee to the city to cover police costs. These allowances were part of an “exit agreement” the city and the Pink Pony reached in 2014 that would allow the Pink Pony to stay open and sell alcohol in the city until the end of 2020. After the lawsuit was filed, a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction against the city, writing in his ruling there was “no rational reason for this selective enforcement” between the restrictions on the plaintiffs and the Pink Pony. Following the injunction, the city eliminated the “entertainment venue” category and no longer required a $100,000 alcohol license fee and allowed alcohol sales on Sunday. The city did has kept in place the 2 a.m. last call for all restaurants and nightlife venues, including the Pink Pony. City Attorney Chris Balch praised the dismissal, which did not include any payment of attorney’s fees, other monetary damages and did not determine the city was discriminatory. “This is a win for the residents of Brookhaven,” Balch said in a written statement. “Our current ordinance remains intact and in force, enhancing safety in the area and preserving the quality of life for those who live here.”

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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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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.

Real Estate Briefs G A R DENS FO R C O NNO IS S EUR S TO UR

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


Gurley named new deputy police chief BY DYANA BAGBY After a nationwide search that attracted 69 applicants, the city of Brookhaven found its new deputy police chief from within its own department. Chief Gary Yandura named Brandon Gurley as the new deputy chief at the City Council’s March 26 meeting. The promotion became effective immediately. Former Deputy Chief Juan Grullon resigned in November following a sexual harassment allegation made by a fellow officer, which Grullon denied. Yandura said Gurley was the first officer he called to help him start up Brookhaven’s police department shortly after the city incorporated six years ago. Hired as a lieutenant, Gurley was promoted to major in 2014. He has been the manager of the Uniform Patrol Divisions and the public information officer. Before joining the Brookhaven Police Department, Gurley was an officer at the Sandy Springs Police Department and served 13 years with the Paulding County Sheriff’s Department. The City Council approved at the meeting an amendment to the city code to authorize an amended position list for the pay ranges of major and deputy chief. The amendment followed the council’s decision in January to boost police pay significantly. The new pay ranges for major is a minimum of $70,471 and maximum of $121,500. The pay range for deputy chief is a minimum of $79,628 and maximum of $136,000. The new pay ranges for officers, sergeants and lieutenants approved in January bumped the minimum salary up by about 13 percent and the maximum by about 6 percent. That means the lowest pay for a rookie officer jumped from $42,406 to $48,500. The city hired the professional firm of Morris B. McDaniel to conduct a leadership assessment after a nationwide search was concluded. Four finalists were then vetted by a citizen panel of residents and subject matter experts, including: Assistant Chief Debbie Burnett of the Rome Police Department; Chief John King of the Doraville Police Department; Kim Gokce, founder of the Cross Keys Foundation and LaShawn McMillan, principal of Ashford Park Elementary School.


Police Chief Gary Yandura watches as Brandon Gurley’s wife, Alison Gurley, pins him as part of the ceremony promoting him to deputy chief during the March 26 City Council meeting. With them are their children, Alyssa Gurley and Austin Gurley. Mayor John Ernst and the City Council gave Gurley a standing ovation.


Several budget amendments totaling nearly $835,000 for construction of the first mile of the Peachtree Creek Greenway were approved this month by the City Council. Officials say despite the new expenses the project remains within the $7.99 million budget approved last year. The council approved the funding March 12. The new expenses will be covered by a $1 million contingency fund built into the Greenway budget, according to Project Manager Moe Trebuchon. Trebuchon said work continues to stay on schedule with plans to open the “model mile” between North Druid Hills Road and Briarwood Road by the end of this year. Changes approved by the council: ■ A change order for Lewallen Construction for pedestrian bridge railing and lighting for the Peachtree Creek Greenway in the amount of $326,717.57. Lewallen was awarded the $7.99 million contract to build the first segment of the Greenway in October. ■ An agreement with Atlanta Gas Light to relocate an unmarked gas line in the Greenway construction area in the amount of $83,038.29. ■ A change order with Chattahoochee Consulting for enhanced soil field testing services in the Greenway construction area for an increase of $50,000. ■ A purchase agreement with Railroad Outdoor for the purchase of the billboard located near the intersection of Buford Highway and North Druid Hills Road in the amount of $375,000, as was agreed to with letter of intent authorized at the Feb. 12 council meeting. The billboard is located along the Greenway path. City officials are not yet sure what it will do with it. Money for this expense came from the $10 million Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta paid to the city for the abandonment of right-of-way on Tullie Circle and Tullie Road as part of the build out of its North Druid Hills medical campus. Trebuchon said about 500 feet of an unmarked Atlanta Gas Light gas line was discovered Call today to schedule your FREE consultation! during construction on Federal Emergency Management Agency flood plain property adjacent to the Jackson Square condos and near Peachtree Creek. The spot where the gas line was found is where the bridge will connect to that side of the creek from Corporate Square, and where columns and foundations need to be built. Moving and redesigning he bridge around the gas line would be a significantly higher cost than paying to relocate the gas line, he said. He said he was not sure why the gas line 3379 Peachtree Rd Ste 500 was not indicated on an Atlanta Gas Light survey of the property, but old infrastructure can Atlanta GA, 30326 The CoolSculpting® procedure is FDA-cleared for the treatment of visible fat bulges in the submental area, thigh, abdomen and flank, along with bra fat, back fat, underneath the buttocks (also known as DER MATOLO GY ASSOCIATES 404-355-5484 | olanskydermatology.com get lost in maps and surveys over the years. The citybanana is required the torelocation and roll), and upper to arm. pay It is alsofor FDA-cleared affect the appearance of lax tissue with submental area treatments. During the procedure you may experience sensations of pulling, tugging, mild pinching, intense cold, tingling, stinging, aching, and cramping at the treatment site. These sensations subside as the area AGL was responsible for finding the low bidder, Trebuchon said. The CoolSculpting® procedure is FDA-cleared the treatment of visible fat bulges in the itching, submental area,sensitivity, thigh, abdomen and flank, along with bra fat, back fat, underneath the buttocks (also becomes numb. Following the procedure, typical side effects include temporary redness, swelling, blanching, bruising, firmness, tingling,for stinging, tenderness, cramping, aching, or skin OLANSKY DERMATOLOGY banana andThe upper arm. It is also FDA-cleared to not affect appearance lax tissue area treatments. and sensation of fullness in the back of thebridge throat after a and submental area treatment. Rare sideknown effectsasmay alsoroll), occur. CoolSculpting® procedure is forthe everyone. Youofshould not with havesubmental the The city originally wanted to seek federal funding for the pedestrian lighting CoolSculpting® procedure if you suffer from cryoglobulinemia, cold agglutinin disease, or paroxysmal cold hemoglobinuria. The CoolSculpting® procedure is not a treatment for obesity. Ask your doctor if 404-355-5484 During the procedure you may experience sensations of pulling, tugging, mild pinching, intense cold, tingling, stinging, aching, and cramping at the treatment site. These sensations subside as CoolSculpting® is right for you. To learn more about what to expect, visit www.coolsculpting.com. but decided to forgo that process due to time constraints. The change order of $326,717.57 the area becomes numb. Following the procedure, typical side effects include temporary redness, swelling, blanching, bruising, firmness, OFFICE: tingling, stinging, cramping, aching, itching, BUCKHEAD 3379tenderness, Peachtree Rd NE, Suite 500 Atlanta, or skin sensitivity, and sensation of fullness in the back of the throat after a submental area treatment. Rare side effects may also occur. The CoolSculpting® procedure is not for everyone. You GA 30326 should have the CoolSculpting® procedure ifand you its suffer fromare cryoglobulinemia, cold agglutinin disease, or paroxysmal cold hemoglobinuria. The CoolSculpting® procedure is not a treatment *CoolSculpting® is the treatment doctors use most for nonsurgical fat reduction. ©2018 Allergan. All not rights reserved. COOLSCULPTING® design registered trademarks of ZELTIQ Aesthetics, adds that scope of the project to Lewallen to complete. olanskydermatology.com for obesity. Ask your doctor if CoolSculpting® is right for you. To learn more about what to expect, visit www.coolsculpting.com. – Dyana Bagby BK

Inc., an Allergan affiliate. IC03668-B

*CoolSculpting® is the treatment doctors use most for nonsurgical fat reduction. ©2018 Allergan. All rights reserved. COOLSCULPTING® and its design are registered trademarks of ZELTIQ Aesthetics, Inc., an Allergan affiliate. IC03668-B

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. BK

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.

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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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Education | 13

APRIL 2019 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

DeKalb Schools looking at tax increase to pay for school fixes BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

DeKalb County Schools needs about $2 billion to fix all the maintenance issues plaguing schools throughout the district and administrators say they are looking at a possible tax increase to raise the revenue needed. Talks are very preliminary, and no numbers have been decided, but if a decision is made to seek a tax increase specifically to pay for school repairs, a possible general obligation referendum could appear as soon as on the November ballot, according to Interim Chief Operations Officer Dan Drake said in an interview. Drake noted that in Gwinnett County last year, voters approved a $350 million GO bond for capital improvements. “We don’t have anything in detail,” he said. “We do know there’s a need for additional funding beyond [the special local option sales tax].” At a March 14 “On the Scene Green” community meeting at Dunwoody High School with Superintendent Stephen Green, Drake and other administrators, more than 100 people packed the school’s auditorium to vent their frustrations with ongoing overcrowding issues as well as the poor condition of so many schools. Many Dunwoody parents blasted the ongoing addition of trailers, or portable classrooms, on school campuses to alleviate overcrowding with no apparent longterm solution in sight. Parents said administrators seemed to fail to anticipate future growth and the increases of students to the schools due to ongoing development, resulting in new schools and new additions being already too small when they open. Advocates for Cary Reynolds Elementary School in Doraville in the Cross Keys cluster urged the school district to prioritize repairs to the school’s leaky roof over installing artificial turf this year at Dunwoody High School and other high schools. A Georgia State University student who attended Cary Reynolds and graduated from Cross Keys High School in Brookhaven said she hears the same complaints she had when she was a student in DeKalb Schools about poor school maintenance and overcrowding. She also noted the schools she attended are filled with mostly Latino students. “What do you have to say to students who have been in trailers all of their educational life?” she asked Green. Green briefly broached the idea at the meeting of the possibility of a bond referendum or even the idea of adding an extra penny to the next ESPLOST vote slated for 2021 to raise revenue to be used solely for maintenance. He said it’s not that the system does not have money but that the district does not have enough money. “We have competing interests across the county ... and the needs outstrip the resources that we have and then you have to prioritize,” Green told the crowd. “But there is going to come a point when we are going to have to face reality ... and [ask] what are we going to do as a community to tackle that.” Green said in an interview that he and BK

individual school board members were the school district’s website. Drake said one issue facing DeKalb having initial conversations about “testing Cary Reynolds is budgeted to get a new schools is the number of small schools it the waters” to see how people would react roof in 2022, so school administrators said has. DCSD currently has 102,000 students to the idea of a bond referendum or adding they are forced to do patch work until that in 140 schools and centers, according to its another penny to the ESPLOST. time as a way to use tax dollars efficiently. website, while Gwinnett County has 140 “I sense a bit of impatience that it’s takWith new schools under construction – schools for 180,000 students. Drake said ing too long and the only way to accelerate including a new 900-seat Austin ElementaDeKalb Schools is intentionally building is with an infusion of additional dollars,” ry in Dunwoody opening early next year large, 900-seat elementary schools as part Green said. “We’re reaching the nexus of and a 900-seat John Lewis Elementary in of a strategy to reduce maintenance costs. where we may have to find out what is the Brookhaven opening in fall 2019 — overBesides the new middle schools in Dunpublic’s will.” crowding in the area is expected to be sigwoody and Brookhaven, a new Cross Keys The current ESPLOST funding apnificantly reduced. High School is slated to be built in unincorproved by voters in 2016 porated DeKalb County at the site of the is expected to bring in former Briarcliff High School. about $561 million over Dunwoody High School is expectfive years with $100 miled to get a 29-classroom addition by lion dedicated to capital 2022. DHS is also slated to get new artirenewal projects such ficial turf athletic fields as part of the Eas maintenance repairs, SPLOST spending. Drake said. Dunwoody City Councilmember Tom The school system Lambert said his son would soon gradumakes school repairs as ate from Chamblee Charter High School quickly as possible and and has been taught in trailers the entire in February closed more time he’s been in DeKalb schools. than 2,300 work orders. “You have to forgive our skepticism … But there were still more that they are considered a short-term sothan 2,600 work orders lution,” Lambert said. remaining open at the Green said administrators also are end of the month. The unhappy with overcrowding and the use largest number of work of trailers. orders include carpen“The math is simply the math,” he DYANA BAGBY try, heating and air consaid. “It took us a long time to get into DeKalb Schools Region 1 Superintendent Sherry Johnson, far ditioning, plumbing this situation and we are now climbing left, with Chief Operating Officer Dan Drake and Superintendent and roofing, according our way out.” Stephen Green field questions about local schools at a March 14 community event at Dunwoody High School. to documents filed on

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14 | Community

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Officials seek ways to influence toll lanes projects

An illustration shows the alignment of the proposed toll lanes, the highest on the outsides; the Crestline Parkway access point lanes, in the middle; and the collector distributor lane being built as part of the Transform 285/400 project running on the right along a townhome building.

Continued from page 1 upsetting.” The toll lanes, called “express lanes” or “managed lanes,” are proposed by the Georgia Department of Transportation in two projects that would add four new toll lanes along I-285 and Ga. 400 in the Perimeter Center area over the next decade, starting with Ga. 400 in 2021. Around 40 properties, many of which are houses, would need to be demolished in one section of Ga. 400, GDOT has already said. And the Northridge Road area is pushing back on a plan to build flyover lanes atop the road’s overpass. Residents and elected officials said at the project’s the final open house held March 12 in Sandy Springs City Hall that it will be important to make a push for buffers, such as parks, trees and sound walls, between neighborhoods and the toll lanes. Although it’s a project by a state agency and outside city officials’ control, some said they do have advocacy plans. Sandy Springs City Councilmember Andy Bauman said the call for aesthetic improvements and sound barriers was “clearly a common thread” among discussions at the meeting. Although the City Council has no formal vote or approval of the project, their input is used, and he plans to continue to push for those mitigations. “City Council has a say, but we don’t have a vote,” he said. “We’re in the ‘make the most of it’ phase.” Sandy Springs Councilmember Jody Reichel, who represents the neighborhoods where most displacements are expected, said she will help push for a park on Northgreen to “make it look beautiful afterwards.” Sandy Springs Councilmember Chris Burnett also said in an email that the can push for GDOT to donate land and fund greenspace projects. “While this won’t ease the pain for those losing their homes, it will certain-

ly improve the quality of life for those residents who remain,” he said. The toll lanes projects are expected to start with Ga. 400, which would add two new barrier-separated express lanes in both directions alongside regular travel lanes in a project estimated to cost $1.2 billion and begin construction in 2021. The I-285 Top End Express Lanes project, estimated to cost close to $5 billion, would add similar lanes and is expected to begin in 2023. Ga. 400 south of the North Springs MARTA Station was recently shifted to the I-285 project and impacts won’t be known until late this year. GDOT has said the project is expected to lower travel times for both drivers in the toll lanes and the existing lanes. Public input is vital to the project and will be used as the design moves forward, GDOT says. State officials, who do have some oversight over GDOT projects, are taking different approaches on how to deal with the toll lane impacts.

Seeking ‘straight answers’

Silcox has been calling for a meeting between GDOT, state and local elected officials to get “straight answers.” She recently said she is still working on arranging that, as well as ways to mitigate some of the impacts and make the project better for neighborhoods. State Rep. Mike Wilensky (D-Dunwoody) said at a March 19 town hall at Dunwoody City Hall that the lanes can’t be stopped, and residents and officials will need to work with GDOT to try to get mitigation. “I haven’t learned of anything we can do to stop this, so we have to work with [GDOT],” Wilensky said. But state Sen. Sally Harrell (D-Dunwoody) encouraged a more aggressive approach, saying it will take organization to “fight” the lanes. “We all have to band together across communities,” Harrell said. Dunwoody has concerns about the placement of access points and mak-

ing sure they equally distribute traffic, but overall, the project is needed to improve traffic in the area, City Manager Eric Linton said in a May 2018 letter to Tim Matthews, GDOT’s toll lanes project manager. The letter, which was obtained through an open records request, was about the access points. “The city appreciates the state’s commitment to improve mobility in the Perimeter Center area, which is a vital economic engine for the region and the state,” Linton said. “With more than 120,000 people commuting daily to jobs in the Perimeter business district, these improvements are important to the continued vitality of the region.” Dunwoody spokesperson Jennifer Boettcher said in an email that the city wants to help mitigate “land impacts, noise and any other negative impacts, as much as possible.” “The Perimeter Center is a powerful economic engine, and transportation solutions are important. But the protection of our neighborhoods is also important,” Boettcher said. “We intend to work toward the best solution for the residents and businesses in Dunwoody.” Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul said during a discussion on access points at the March 19 City Council meeting that the city and GDOT “have got a good relationship and “a good dialogue going.” “GDOT is focused on the cheapest, simplest solution. It may not be the best solution for community, and that’s where we come in,” Paul said. Paul later said in a written statement that the city has offered “several” suggestions to GDOT for how to improve the toll lanes for residents. “The city’s focus is on reducing, wherever possible, any negative impacts on our citizens and our community at large,” Paul said. “As GDOT develops its final plans, we will continue to evaluate them and pose additional alternatives if we believe they will lessen any negative effects on our residents.”


Sandy Springs also helped negotiate room for extending PATH400, a multiuse trail, from Buckhead through the I-285/Ga. 400 interchange in the current reconstruction project. Ann Hanlon, executive director of the Perimeter Center Improvement Districts, has been featured in a GDOT video expressing support for the project. “The new capacity and express lanes on Ga. 400 is really going to be one of the critical steps that helps solve congestion relief and traffic coming into the Perimeter market from lots of other parts of metro Atlanta,” Hanlon says in the video. One concern of residents is where sound walls will be built to mitigate noise pollution. GDOT is collecting input on where they should go, and residents will be able to later vote on their location. “I think it’s absolutely essential that if there is any increased noise, we have adequate buffers,” said Rep. Josh McLaurin (D-Sandy Springs).

Flyover lanes at Northridge

Many residents of Northridge Road, where GDOT has planned flyover lanes atop the overpass, said the lanes could change the character of the area and bring more noise and pollution. GDOT has said the flyover lanes are needed due to space constraints and complications such as a Fulton County water line that would need to be relocated. Northridge is where the lanes transition from being on the outside of the regular lanes to the center. Because the bridge is not wide enough to fit the lanes underneath it, the lanes have to go over the top, said Tim Matthews, the GDOT project manager. Although three other bridges are being rebuilt for this reason, GDOT does not want to do the same at Northridge because it was only completed in 2015, Matthews said. Sandy Springs Councilmember John Paulson said residents are in an “uproar” over the lanes. He is pushing GDOT to move the lanes to the center at BK

APRIL 2019

a point farther south, possibly at Spalding Drive. Also, due to the flyover design, a Northridge Road transit station in Sandy Springs that has been on the table for years is not part of the toll lanes project, according to MARTA. A Northridge heavy rail station, which would have been part of a Red Line extension, was a key section of the city’s Comprehensive Plan for the area, which was approved in 2017. Fulton leaders approved focusing on bus rapid transit in early 2018, a decision that they say does not preclude future heavy rail. Paulson also is trying to help preserve four homes that would be taken for the Pitts Road bridge replacement, which has to be rebuilt to be wide enough to fit the toll lanes beneath it. To keep access to the bridge open during toll lane construction, GDOT is planning to build a temporary bridge for drivers to use. This means the bridge would be realigned, which would require the demolition of four single-family houses. Another option GDOT is presenting would close the bridge for six months while it’s demolished and rebuilt, which would allow the homes to stay. Amar Doshi, one of the homeowners, said he is not prepared to give up on his home and wants to make sure GDOT fully evaluates all the options. Doshi said he feels GDOT has not made it clear enough that closing the bridge, and saving the houses, is being considered. “It’s almost like they’re showing that’s the only option,” he said of demolishing the homes. “It’s kind of shady.” Paulson said “several neighbors” he spoke with didn’t realize closing the bridge was being considered, perhaps in part because it was on a separate board. GDOT spokesperson Natalie Dale said all information is set up equally at meetings. The Pitts Road homes are just four of more than 40 properties in Sandy Springs that GDOT says would need to be demolished for the project. Reichel, who represents much of those areas, said the most concerns she’s heard from the residents who own those properties are questioning how the acquisition and appraisal process works. “After speaking with [GDOT], I feel good GDOT is going to work with them to get the best possible price for their house,” she said.

Access points

Another major concern from cities is where the separate toll lane access points will go. GDOT has not released a full list of locations, but has said Perimeter Center Parkway, North BK

Community | 15

www.ReporterNewspapers.net Shallowford Road and Mount Vernon Highway are under consideration. Sandy Springs has also negotiated to have Johnson Ferry Road added. Sandy Springs officials have been privately negotiating with GDOT about a possible access point on Crestline Parkway, which would require the demolition of an eight-unit townhome building, documents obtained by Reporter Newspapers revealed. GDOT says it is willing to consider using Crestline, rather than its preferred proposal to use Mount Vernon Highway, if the city agrees to cover the extra expense of around $23 million. The idea for a Mount Vernon interchange, needed because GDOT wants the toll lanes to have separate access points, has long been a concern for officials in Sandy Springs, where the interchange would be, and in Dunwoody, where the street crosses the border about a half-mile away as Mount Vernon Road. The PCIDs is comparing the Mount Vernon and Crestline traffic impacts in a study that will wrap up by this summer, when Sandy Springs will have to tell GDOT its decision. Paul said the city is trying to make the project better for the community, but are limited in what it can be done. “[GDOT has] been very clear: if it delays the timeline, the answer’s no. If it costs more, get out your checkbook,” Paul said at the meeting. “They’ve listened to our case. We haven’t convinced them yet.”

Residents’ reaction

Several people whose houses are not targeted for demolition said at the March 12 open house that they wish GDOT would buy their homes anyway so they won’t have to deal with potential increased noise, loss of property value and bad aesthetics. Chuck Sliker, who lives in Stratford Manor near Northridge Road, said he understands the need for the project, but hopes GDOT is able to fund improvements that will help neighborhoods deal with the fallout. “We’re not saying that this is not an important project, but if it is so important, let’s throw the money at it to make sure our residents can live comfortably,” Sliker said. Paul Young, a resident on Northgreen Drive, where 19 homes are targeted for demolition, said his house is not planned to be taken, but he is concerned about how his neighborhood will look after most of the houses on the street are gone. The neighborhood wants to push for some kind green space and beautification, he said. “Our main concern is what’s left behind,” Young said. -Dyana Bagby and John Ruch contributed


The City Council approved funding for two sidewalk projects at its March 12 meeting, one for East Drew Valley Road and another on Cheshire Way. Contracts with DAF Concrete Inc. were approved for $34,000 to install a sidewalk on East Drew Valley Road and a $38,000 contract for Cheshire Way from Caldwell Road to Green Meadow Lane. Each sidewalk will consist of 330 linear feet, and will include as needed site grading, erosion control measure, utility adjustments and adjusting existing granite curbs, according to city officials. These sidewalk installations are part of the city’s 2019 sidewalk installation plan. The city has instituted a citywide sidewalk and multi-use path installation program to encourage walkability and connectivity.


Brookhaven officials are using its land-taking authority to acquire a small piece of land where Corner Pizza stands to make way for traffic improvements at the tricky intersection at Ashford-Dunwoody and Johnson Ferry roads. The council approved a resolution at its Feb. 26 meeting to use eminent domain for the tip of the triangular piece of land where the pizza restaurant stands at the notorious intersection known for its X-shape. City Attorney Chris Balch said the city has tried for about two years to purchase the land from the property owner, Laurenthia Mesh, and in September 2018 and again in January offered the city’s appraised price of $60,300. Balch said Mesh has not responded to repeated requests from the city about the property. When reached by phone, Mesh said she had no comment. The intersection improvements are part of the Ashford-Dunwoody Corridor Study the council approved in 2017. The city plans to extend the right lane on northbound AshfordDunwoody Road from south of Publix, behind Corner Pizza, to Johnson Ferry Road. Plans are also to restripe existing lanes on Ashford-Dunwoody Road to create one dedicated left-turn lane, one regular lane and one right turn lane. New overhead signs and pavement markings will also be added and optimizing the traffic signal at the intersection to help with the flow of traffic is also part of the plan. An existing concrete median divider in front of Publix will be relocated to the center line of Ashford-Dunwoody Road to prevent left turns into and out of the grocery store complex and to separate northbound and southbound traffic to ensure access to Kadleston Way, according to city plans. Sidewalks will also be installed along the west side of Ashford-Dunwoody Road and gaps on the east side will be filled.


Karen Handel announced March 25 she is running for the 6th Congressional District seat, months after losing it narrowly in a historic loss to Lucy McBath that flipped the Republican stronghold to a Democrat in a movement to “flip the Sixth.” Handel, a Republican from Roswell, announced her bid Monday morning for the seat in a video and press release “to take back Georgia’s 6th” in next year’s election. The district includes parts of Brookhaven, Dunwoody and Sandy Springs as well as other sections of north Fulton and Cobb counties. Brandon Beach, a Republican state senator from Alpharetta, previously announced his bid for the seat. SPECIAL Karen Handel Handel, a former Georgia secretary of state and Fulton County Commission chair, held the seat for about 18 months after winning an epic special election battle in 2017 against Democrat Jon Ossoff. Last year, she lost to McBath, who made the national scene as a gun control activist after her son was murdered in an infamous shooting. Handel’s campaign announcement video included attacks on national Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris of California, who was in Atlanta over the weekend as part of her presidential campaign. The video includes news clips of Pelosi saying no money would go for a wall to be built at the southern border, U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York touting her “Green New Deal,” U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan using an epithet to call for the impeachment of President Trump, and U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota being interviewed about a tweet criticizing the Israeli government. “I am determined to STOP Nancy Pelosi, specialist interest groups and the coastal liberal billionaires that only care about promoting their self-serving liberal agenda,” Handel said in her announcement. Handel said in the video her focus will be on jobs, the military, the opioid crisis and stopping human trafficking.

16 | Community

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Electric scooter regulations now in place BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

Electric scooters have not flooded Brookhaven’s streets like they have in nearby Atlanta, but city officials say they know they are coming. Anticipating their arrival, the City Council unanimously approved March 26 an ordinance that includes requiring companies obtain permits to place scooters in the city limits as well as limiting each company to 50 scooters each. Brookhaven’s ordinance follows the Atlanta City Council’s recent passage of its own e-scooter restrictions that also includes a permit system. Councilmember Joe Gebbia initially opposed the ordinance, saying they pose serious safety risks. He requested the city wait for reports on scooter injuries such as one requested by the city of Atlanta before ap-

proving any kind of regulations. Councilmember Bates Mattison said putting a law on the books regulating scooters and other dockless mobility devices now is better than waiting to deal with the city being overrun with scooters and no enforcement mechanisms in place. “It is just a reality that we live in metro Atlanta. We’re going to see more and more of these,� Mattison said. Gebbia eventually voted to approve the ordinance after an amendment was made to limit the number of scooters per company from 100 to 50. The scooter companies Bird and Lime distributed their battery-powered vehicles around Atlanta last year without permission or notice. The scooters, which can be picked up and left anywhere, became popular with riders, while drawing city attention for safety hazards and sidewalk block-

ages. Atlanta and the city of Brookhaven almost immediately began discussion about regulating the vehicles. 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 Bird spokesperson could not immediately explain why the scooters were there, but said the vehicles are not officially operating in those cities. A spokesperson for Bird said the scooters are not officially operating in those cities and that users sometimes drop the vehicles outside its areas. Brookhaven has been forced to impound dozens of scooters left in the middle of sidewalks and city right-of-way, creating safety hazards for pedestrians as well as people in wheelchairs and with strollers.

Scooters are required by the new ordinance to be parked only in the “furniture zone� in pedestrian areas – areas where benches, newspaper kiosks, utility poles, tree pits and bicycle parking are located. Users are also required to ride the scooters in bike lanes and not on sidewalks. If bike lanes are not available, users may ride scooters in roads where the speed limit is 35 miles per hour or less. Helmets are required for riders younger than 16. Councilmember Linley Jones said there might be some concern the city is possibly legislating for something that is currently not a problem now, but it was wise to anticipate scooters becoming prevalent in the city just as they are in Atlanta and across the country. “I do think it’s important to regulate this as soon as possible,� she said.

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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.

The school is located in an area with a historically high Hispanic and immigrant population. Most students are more drawn to soccer, and the school


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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

Classifieds | 21


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Group pushes other cities to start Greenway work Continued from page 1 firm up final plans on how they plan to connect. Betsy Eggers, chair of the Peachtree Creek Greenway advocacy nonprofit, said she and her board have focused heavily on ensuring the trail is built in Brookhaven. Now with the first mile nearly complete, it is time to start recruiting Greenway supporters in the other municipalities to ensure the plan is on their radars, and on future planning maps, she said. Planning and advocacy must start now if the Greenway is to become a true regional trail plan that will connect to the Atlanta BeltLine and more than just sketches and lines drawn on maps, Eggers said. “We are looking for good people who have time and can commit,” she said. “There are several challenges to this plan because it will be incremental and over an indeterminate amount of time.” Eggers and her board hosted a March 7 recruitment meeting in Chamblee at the Century Center Office Park. More than a dozen people showed up, including two Chamblee City Council members. The meeting followed a social media dust-up Eggers and Chamblee Mayor Eric Clarkson had over Eggers’ concern the city was not including plans for the Greenway in its multi-modal transportation plan expected to be completed by next month. The Chamblee portion stretches about one mile through the Century Center office park along the city’s southernmost tip from the Brookhaven border to the Doraville border. Chamblee City Councilmembers Thomas Hogan and John Mesa reiterated at the March 7 meeting the city’s commitment to making the Greenway a reality in its city. But, they said, the city’s focus right now is on its popular Rail Trail multi-use paths in its downtown area. And, Hogan said, the Greenway slices through private property in his city. “There’s a lack of understanding that almost all of area is entirely on private property,” Hogan said. “This is not something the city can necessitate unilaterally even if we wanted to.” Eggers noted that all of Brookhaven’s portion of the Greenway is located on private land but that did not stop the City Council from funding and approving a master plan and then buying the private property for the project. Brookhaven was able to purchase the property for the first mile of the Greenway using $9.3 million of the $10 million that Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta paid to the city for the abandonment of the right-of-way of Tullie Road and Tullie Circle. CHOA is building out a 70-acre medical campus at North Druid Hills Road and I-85 and those roads will be private roads when the campus is complete. If the Greenway – which is located a

significant distance from the city’s downtown area -- can be promoted as a connection to Chamblee’s Rail Trail extension, then it could get the support of local residents, Mesa said. “If you look at the Greenway by itself, you lose 75 percent of the citizens of Chamblee,” he said. “This is a tiny little piece down at the south of city and is just one mile of the Greenway,” Eggers said. “But for rest of the community it is really important to provide connectivity. It is a priority to the rest of us interested in connecting this whole long trail.”

The A, B, C, Ds of the Greenway

Once considered a linear park, the Greenway has evolved over the years to become part of a regional trail plan for all of metro Atlanta. The Greenway master plan includes a 12-mile multiuse trail connecting Brookhaven, Chamblee, Doraville, Mercer University in unincorporated DeKalb County and eventually the Atlanta BeltLine. Those are the “A, B, C, Ds” of the Greenway. The Greenway has been on the books in some form since 2000 when it was included in a “DeKalb’s Greenway Trails” master plan for multi-use trails throughout the county. The master plan was prepared by the PATH Foundation and included public input to finalize the 74page document. The map included in the master plan shows the Greenway traversing the North Fork of Peachtree Creek behind Northeast Plaza in what is now Brookhaven, to Mercer University and up to the Doraville MARTA station. The current plan remains on essentially the same path. DeKalb County Commission Presiding Officer Jeff Rader the county currently has no definitive plans for building and connecting to the Peachtree Creek Greenway. He said he expects as the Greenway takes shape in Brookhaven and Chamblee, users will begin to appreciate it and at that time informed discussions can begin on building and funding. “Segments in nonresidential areas may be easier to build consensus around, and every improvement will generate awareness and support for extensions,” he said. Doraville Mayor Donna Pittman said no adopted design or funding plan has been established in the city for the Greenway, but the city envisions it starting at the Doraville MARTA station and including a trail or path going along Park Avenue as part of the city’s downtown redevelopment. “Most likely, we will start with a bicycle path, with future enhancements later that include a walking path,” she said in an email. “We will have to identify how we cross Buford Highway as well as I-85.” In Brookhaven, the Greenway became


A map included in the 2000 DeKalb Greenways Trails master plan shows red dots where the Peachtree Creek Greenway was planned then. The current Greenway currently goes along much of the same route.

a priority for the City Council more than three years ago when it approved a $36 million master plan for the city’s approximate 3-mile stretch. The nearly $8 million in construction costs for the first mile of the Greenway is being paid for with the Brookhaven’s hotel-motel tax revenue generated when the city raised the tax from five to eight percent two years ago. Brookhaven’s second mile of the Greenway is being built between North Druid Hills Road to the North Fork Creekside Trail in Buckhead, a mile-long paved trail from Lindbergh Drive to Cheshire Bridge Road. It will be from this planned path, currently in the study phase by the city of Atlanta, that cyclists and pedestrians would reach the planned northern edge of the Atlanta BeltLine. A request for proposal for planning and engineering services for the second phase of the Greenway is expected to begin later this year, according to Greenway Project Manager Moe Trebuchon. This portion of the Greenway is included in the Atlanta Regional Transportation Improvement Plan, with 80

percent funded via federal funding, according to Brookhaven Fund Development Director Patty Hansen. The 2017 estimate of building out the second mile is $7.5 million. The ARC has already granted the city a $2.7 million grant for this phase. The city plans to begin acquiring property next year for the second phase and complete construction of the second mile by 2021. Trebuchon said right now it looks like the local match of the second mile will be paid for using hotel-motel money. The final phase of Brookhaven’s portion of the Greenway extends about a mile from Briarwood Road to the Chamblee border. Nothing beyond what was approved as part of the Greenway’s $36 million master plan has been planned for this section, Trebuchon said. The city hopes to be included in the ARC’s Transportation Improvement Plan to receive 80 percent funding, Hansen said. Getting that approved within the next two years would be needed if construction is to start in 2023, she said. BK

APRIL 2019

Community | 23


Parks bond projects to begin this summer; oversight committee meets BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

Construction of a gateway arch entrance and new fencing outside Brookhaven Park and a new swimming pool at Briarwood Park could begin this year as part of the city’s $40 million parks bond, according to city officials. A preliminary timeline to finish projects included in the parks bond approved by voters in November is between three to five years, with plans to start construction on some of the smaller projects in six to nine months, members of the Park Bond Oversight Committee were told at their March 5 meeting. “Bids should be on the streets before summer and we should be pushing dirt by the summer,” City Manager Christian Sigman said. Brookhaven hired Jacobs Engineering Group for $1.22 million over five years to oversee construction of the park projects. Design changes and higher-than-originally estimated costs are being planned for as more detailed work on site plans bergins, the committee was told. The city also hired Clark Patterson Lee for nearly $1.19 million to complete designs for the parks approved in the bond package: Ashford, Blackburn, Briarwood, Lynwood and Murphey Candler parks. Brookhaven Park designs are being completed by Lose Design. The City Council unanimously approved both contracts at its Feb. 26 meeting. Representatives from both firms and city administrators met with members of the oversight committee to explain their process moving forward. They said no specific timeline for all projects was yet available. An architect with Clark Patterson Lee said final designs might require buildings or features having to be relocated or renovated. If sewer pipes or other infrastructure is found once construction begins, other changes may have to be made later. Committee member Mickey O’Brien, a Lynwood Park resident who works as a landscape architect and urban planner with AECOM, asked about what happens if major changes are made to the current park plans. He said Lynwood Park residents were “surprised” when they learned about new additions to the park as part of the bond referendum package. The plans included a “lazy river,” a shallow pool that flows like a river, that were not in original master plan designs. Jimmy Baugnon, chair of the committee, is a developer of large mixed-use communities with ECI Group who also lives in Brookhaven. He asked that committee members be provided summaries of changes to parks plans. “I’m getting questions from everybody,” he said. “Can we get a good summary of where we started, where we are now … so we can field those questions intelligently when people ask?” Sigman said the city’s website contains information on each park and the planned projects. A community outreach plan is BK

being established that likely will include email blasts and a quarterly newsletter as well as updates to City Council members, he said. “We’re transparent. We’ll get it there,” Sigman said. “We don’t want anyone hysterical at this early stage.” The public illustrations, or “vision boards,” used to “sell the bond” to residents will likely be much different than the final plans that landscape architects develop after actually looking at the parks and the surveys, Sigman added. Sigman acknowledged there will also be “stumbles” along the way, and the city’s goal is to be transparent about major changes. However, there is no room to slow down any projects included in the bond due to increasing construction costs. A 25 percent contingency fee is built into the parks bond, but the intent, Sigman said, is to stay as close to the original budget as possible. Jennifer Harper of CPL lives in Brookhaven and told committee members she was part of creating the city when it was founded in 2012. She said her children play at all the city parks and her company is invested in Brookhaven’s park system and doing its job within budget. Some of the first projects expected to be completed include adding a splash pad and perimeter fencing at Ashford Park, renovating the parking area at Blackburn Park, and constructing multi-use trails at the ballfields at Murphey Candler Park.

Lee Croy, project manager for Jacobs, said the plan is to complete all projects within 36 to 48 months. Fencing along Peachtree Road for Brookhaven Park, including a gateway arch entrance, is nearing design completion and an RFP for the project DYANA BAGBY Brookhaven City Manager Christian Sigman discusses should be ready dredging Murphey Candler Lake with members in three months of the Park Bond Oversight Committee. with construction slated to begin this fall, Parks and Recreation Director Brian Borden told the committee members. ever, he said. When a permit will be grantBids for dredging Murphey Candler ed to begin dredging and other lake work is Lake, approved at $1 million in the parks not yet known. bond as part of the Nancy Creek WaterWork on a new pool at Briarwood Park shed Improvement Plan, are currently unis slated to begin in September, after Lader review. Sigman is recommending the bor Day weekend, with plans to complete dredging, construction of a boardwalk at it to be open in May 2020. RFPs for the pool the park and bank stabilization also inwill be issued separately from other renocluded in the bond, be completed togethvations planned for the park because toer. Obtaining permits from the state Envital costs are already expected to go over the ronmental Protection Division to conduct original estimate, Sigman told the commitwork in the lake is proving difficult, howtee.

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| 24

APRIL 2019


Sandy Springs


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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

APRIL 2019

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.

A: I want each book to give me and my readers a new challenge. Like most au-

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28 | Art & Entertainment

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

Sandy Springs 5975 Roswell Rd, Suite A-103 (404) 236-2114

NothingBundtCakes.com Expires 4/30/19. Limit one (1) coupon per guest. Coupon must be presented at time of purchase. $5 off $25 before tax. Valid only at the bakery(ies) listed. Valid only on baked goods; not valid on retail items. No cash value. Coupon may not be reproduced, transferred or sold. Internet distribution strictly prohibited. Must be claimed in bakery during normal business hours. Not valid for online orders. Not valid with any other offer.

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ATLANTA UNITY SEDER Wednesday, April 10 Join diverse ethnic, religious, and international leaders to experience the Jewish holiday of Passover.

Reserve your seat at the table AJC.org/atlanta/2019unityseder For More Information: 404.233.5501


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


Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF), a Disease of the Lungs Join us for a FREE educational event sponsored by Genentech. • Discover more about IPF, a condition affecting up to 40,000 new Americans every year • Hear from a speaker who has IPF and a doctor who specializes in the disease • Meet other people living with IPF • Educate yourself on tips and information about proactively managing your IPF

DATE: Saturday April 13, 2019

PRESENTERS: Lanier O'Hare, MSN, CRNP Expert in IPF

Doors open at: 9:30 AM Program starts at: 10:00 AM

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?

A: I’ll do some consulting. I was a consultant for Clayton State University, which was doing a school play and needed help with a student’s tricks. I’ve been working on a fire safety show that uses magic to teach safety messages and awareness to children.

Living with IPF

LOCATION: Atlanta Marriott Perimeter Center 246 Perimeter Center Pkwy NE Atlanta, GA 30346

Complimentary refreshments and parking validation will be provided. Wheelchair accessible.



©2019 Genentech USA, Inc. All rights reserved. ESB/080515/0385(1)a(3) | 01/19

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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30 | Art & Entertainment

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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.

BIG FISH • Annual Well-Woman Exams • Menopausal Care • Cervical Cancer Screenings • HPV Vaccinations

• Hormone Replacement Therapy • Minimally Invasive Hysterectomies • Contraception Management • Other Gynecological Issues


Dr. Eva Arkin • Dr. Sujatha Reddy • Dr. Laura Cummings Dr. Nadine Becker • Dr. Jennifer Lyman

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

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

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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

Camp Unite

for Preschoolers For children ages 2 yrs - f inished kindergarten 9 am - 1 pm each day


Camp All-American

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


a High-energy, hands-on stem camp

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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

SciKidz Where Sc ience & Te chnology Co nnect!

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

June 3 - �une 21 June 24 - �ulY. 12 (No Camp July 4th) JulY. 15 - �ugust 2

F.ouni::lea 1973 I Roswell, G� 7Z0.993.':"/.975 I higtimeaaowscamP..org

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.

Dream it. Plan it. Make it happen. SUMMER ADVENTURE CLUB

Now Enrolling! At Summer Adventure Club, children discover the joys of Design Thinking: a fun and innovative way to learn. Engineering

• Program Dates: May 28-Aug. 9 • Flexible Schedules • Space is Limited - Call Today!

design challenges, hands-on experiments and themed activities await as children

Primrose School of Atlanta Westside

unlock new ways of thinking—all while

2260 Marietta Blvd., Suite 114

having a blast! It’s our way of teaching them to think more ways always.

Atlanta, GA 30318 404.565.0257 PrimroseAtlantaWestside.com

Learn more at PrimroseSummer.com

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



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