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APRIL 2019 • VOL. 13 — NO. 4

Sandy Springs 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

FAITH

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

PHIL MOSIER

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

The Sandy Springs Reporter is mail delivered to homes on selected carrier routes in ZIPs 30327, 30328, 30342 and 30350 For information: delivery@reporternewspapers.net

Affordable housing advocates who co-chaired the city’s North End Revitalization Task Force launched an initiative opposing the task force’s final report with a community meeting on Feb. 28. At that meeting, several north end residents said they feared the recommendations would lead to displacement of

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 says she’s trying to arrange a large-scale meeting of state engineers, local officials and possibly the general public. “This is very upsetting.” The toll lanes, called “express lanes” or “managed lanes,” are proposed by the Geor-

See TWO on page 14

See OFFICIALS on page 22

Two groups launch to support, oppose north end concepts

BY EVELYN ANDREWS

evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

Two groups with opposing views on redevelopment concepts for the north end of Sandy Springs have organized to voice their opinions as city officials determine which concepts should move forward.

BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

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U .S. R EP. M CBAT H V I S I TS S A NDY S P R I NG S AS HAND EL A NNO UNC ES C A M PA I G N

U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath visited Sandy Springs shortly before Karen Handel announced her bid to retake the Congressional seat. McBath toured the city with Mayor Rusty Paul and attended the March 19 City Council meeting, where she made brief comments. She also held a transportation roundtable with elected officials, including Paul and Brookhaven Mayor John Ernst, according to a Brookhaven newsletter. On March 25, Handel, who formerly held the 6th Congressional seat, announced March 25 she is running again. Handel lost the seat in 2018, when McBath won and flipped the Republican stronghold to Democratic representation.

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Community Briefs

Rama Rao, M.D. MPH, FACOG

Sandy Springs is drafting a master plan for its trail system. The city has contracted with the PATH Foundation to create the plan, according to a presentation at the City Council’s March 19 meeting. The foundation will collect data, create design guidelines, estimate costs and recommend priorities. The contract with the PATH Foundation cost $79,200. The Sandy Springs Conservancy contributed $25,000, the presentation said. Public outreach will occur over the next four to six months. The master plan is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

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Sandy Springs firefighters push a new fire engine into its new station on March 6.

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NEW FI R E TR UC KS A R R I V E

The Sandy Springs Fire Rescue Department’s new trucks have arrived. A new fire engine was put into service March 6 with a traditional fire department ceremony. The new truck was sprayed with water from the retiring engine as firefighters pushed the truck into the station, the department announced in a Facebook post. A new tower truck, which has the tall bucket lift, has also arrived. Both trucks are for Station 52, located at 135 Johnson Ferry Road, down the street from City Springs.

G EO R G IA PO W ER S UB S TAT IO N O UTS I DE CITY SPR ING S TO B E HI DDEN B Y L A NDS C A P ING

The city will cover the Georgia Power substation across the street from City Springs as part of a multiuse path project. The City Council unanimously approved an easement agreement with the power company at its March 5 meeting. Landscaping and fencing will be installed around the substation as part of a construction project that will build a 10-foot-wide concrete path from Mount Vernon Highway to Hilderbrand Road. “We envisioned screening the substation across the street from the beginning and beautifying it as much as a substation can be beautified,” Mayor Rusty Paul said. The city expects to bid the path project in April, complete construction in August and install landscaping by October, said Marty Martin, the director of public works, at the meeting. In a study on bringing a hotel to near City Springs, consultants said the substation, located south of City Springs on Mount Vernon Highway, is a “visual hindrance” and should be, at the minimum, hidden by landscaping, according to a presentation at the City Council retreat in January. SS


APRIL 2019

Community | 3

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S C UL P TURE C OMP ETITION WINNER S TO B E R EV EA L ED AT C I TY GREEN CO NCER TS

The city announced a concert series on the City Green that will kick off with the unveiling of sculpture competition winners. The free concert series, City Green Live, will be held on several Friday nights this summer. The first concert will be held May 24 on Memorial Day weekend with the Steep Canyon Rangers, a bluegrass band known for touring with comedian Steve Martin, a press release announced. The concerts will be held on the City Green, the public park outside the City Springs complex. The city will debut Arts in the Open, a sculpture gallery in the park, at that concert. One of the city’s public art initiatives, the new public sculpture competition was created specifically to bring fine art to the parks and public spaces throughout the Sandy Springs and to the City Springs complex. The theme for this year’s sculpture competition is: “Inspired. By Nature.” There were 135 submissions with nine finalists chosen, the release said. For a complete list of bands and dates, visit citysprings.com.

S A N DY SP RI N GS L I BRA RY PU SHES R EN OVATI ON F I N I SH DATE TO APR IL

The completion date for Sandy Springs Branch Library’s renovation has been pushed back to April 23. The previous estimated completion date was set for March 21. A reopening date has

not been set. The library at 395 Mount Vernon Highway N.E. has been closed since interior renovations started in August 2018. Exterior renovations, such as painting and roof work, began earlier that year.

INNO VATI O N C ENTER PA R T NER S WITH STATE’ S TEC HNO LO GY I NC UBATO R

The Sandy Springs Innovation Center has announced a new partnership with the state of Georgia’s technology incubator that will bring new programming. A shared workspace that serves as a start-up incubator, the Innovation Center was established by the Sandy Springs Perimeter Chamber of Commerce and opened its doors in 2017. In March, the center announced a new partnership with The Advanced Technology Development Center, the state of Georgia’s technology incubator. The ATDC was established in 1980 by the Georgia General Assembly which funds it each year. The Innovation Center, located at 1000 Abernathy Road in the Northpark office complex, is a nonprofit spun out of the Sandy Springs Perimeter Chamber of Commerce with major funding from the Sandy Springs Development Authority and Comcast. The ATDC’s programming at the Innovation Center is slated to kick off in March with office hours. Programming, including consultation with an ATDC “entrepreneurin-residence,” technology roundtables, and statewide webinars, will start in the following months, the release said.

NEW CITY REGULATIONS AFFECTING HOMES & BUSINESSES IN SANDY SPRINGS: TRUE VERIFICATION REQUIRED FOR MONITORED ALARM SYSTEMS JUNE 19, 2019 False alarms are a threat to your safety, diverting public safety resources when the alarm is nothing more than a sensor break. More than 99 percent of all calls to the city from alarm monitoring companies are false. To enhance the safety of its citizens, the City of Sandy Springs now requires audio, video or in person verification of an intrusion (burglar) alarm activation prior to the monitoring company calling 9-1-1. The Fire Department will respond to medical, residential, pulled station, sprinkler activation, water flow alarms and carbon monoxide alarms. All other fire alarms will require True Verification. Audio and video, or in person alarm verification moves the industry from simple notification to True Verification. Benefits to the Consumer

What Alarm Customers Need to Do

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With True Verification, calls made to 911 are confirmed emergencies = priority response from public safety

Contact your alarm company about measures they are taking to comply with the law

Fewer false alarms = more time for public safety to focus on patrols and other safety initiatives

Understand your options. In addition to alarm monitoring services, there are also self-installed and monitored audio and video systems

If you have an emergency, CALL 911. Public safety will ALWAYS respond to 911 calls from residents and business owners.

Public Safety will ALWAYS respond to panic, holdup, medical and fire alarms.

Fewer false alarm calls to administer = taxpayer dollars saved

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4 | Community

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City prepares alarm companies, residents for verification requirement BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

In June, Sandy Springs will require audio or video verification before responding to a security alarm, and the city is boosting outreach efforts to ensure alarm companies and customers are prepared. The new requirement is part of the city’s goal to reduce the number of false alarms that it says tie up public safety resources. “Our goal is to reduce the number of false alarms, and we’re well on our way,” city spokesperson Sharon Kraun said during a presentation at the March 19 City Council meeting. The city’s new alarm ordinance shifted fines for repeated false alarms to the security companies who service the alarm systems, rather than residents and business owners who use them. In 2018, the city added a requirement for alarm companies to provide direct confirmation that a burglar alarm call is a real crime – with audio or video devices or in person – before calling 911. That provision takes effect June 19. The city says it gets thousands of alarm calls a year, of which about 99 percent are false, tying up police officers and firefighters and costing enormous sums of money. The ordinance has so far reduced the number of alarm calls, but the percentage that are false alarms remains around 99 percent, according to numbers presented by Police Capt. Dan Nable at a council meeting. Kraun said that the city hopes the alarm companies are talking with their customers about what they both need to do to meet the new code. The city is ramping up educational efforts to ensure residents have accurate information, posting guidelines on social media and sending out mailers to residents. The city recommends residents contact their alarm companies if they have not heard from them to understand what they are doing to comply with the ordinance. Residents should also do research on what options are available through their com-

By Woody Allen

pany and on their own. Residents can either use equipment provided by companies or use self-installed monitoring systems, like the popular door cameras Ring and Nest. Companies also have the option to use security guards. “Technology has advanced, and today, it is possible for an individual or a company to add these monitoring enhancements easily, which helps better determine if the activation is a potential break-in or the result of a non-emergency cause,” Kraun said. Verification is not needed for 911 calls, medical, panic and fire alarms, and the fire and police departments will still respond to immediately to those. The city has sent a survey to alarm companies with registered users in Sandy Springs to ask how they are planning to roll out required equipment and assist customers to comply with the new regulations. The city wants to ensure alarm companies have reached out to residents to let them know about the upcoming changes, and several responded that they have done so, the presentation said. “We can understand the apprehension of residents, especially if their alarm companies are not working with their customers to provide enhance verification or not talking with customers at all about the changes coming,” Kraun said. Several companies highlighted in the presentation reported on the survey that already offer audio and video verification equipment to customers and train them on how to operate it. Two of the companies already have video or audio verification built in to existing systems in homes, the presentation said. “A lot of them are already providing video and audio verification, and they’re doing the outreach we’ve asked them to,” Kraun said. Alarm companies initially fought back strongly to the city’s attempt to crack down on false burglar and fire alarms, saying the practice could lead to increase burglaries because law enforcement response would be delayed. Some residents have also expressed similar fears. Last year, the Georgia Electronic Life Safety & System Association and two Georgia alarm companies sued the city over the ordinance. The lawsuit was dismissed late last year, and alarm companies have become more cooperative and open to the changes the ordinance will bring, Nable said. EMC Security and Ackerman have said in meetings with the city they want to know the best way to make their systems compliant, Nable said. “They both indicated they want to work hard to be good partners with Sandy Springs,” he said. Mayor Rusty Paul said the city is willing to work with companies to ensure they are compliant and want to be “partners” with the companies. “It is going to take a while, we understand that,” Paul said. “As long as they’re being cooperative, I think we can be cooperative.”

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Home & Real Estate | 5

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Home & Real Estate A QUARTERLY SPECIAL SECTION

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

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

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6 | Home & Real Estate

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

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

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.

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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

LOOKING FOR A HOME WITH PERSONALITY?

SPECIAL

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

B UC K H EA D A PA RTMEN T C OMP LEX O PENS

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.

R EA L ESTATE AGEN TS WI N AWAR D S

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

www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Man shot, killed by Sandy Springs police, GBI says

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BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

A man was shot by Sandy Springs police March 21 and later died, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Erick Cruz Ramirez, 32, who was armed with a knife, was shot by police after he did not comply with verbal commands, the GBI said in a press release. Police responded to a 911 call around 6:15 a.m. reporting an armed person outside 145 Northwood Drive, a condo complex, according to the GBI. Northwood Drive is off of Roswell Road near I-285. After Ramirez did not comply, an officer discharged his firearm, striking Ramirez, the GBI said. Ramirez was transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead, the release said. No officers were injured in the incident, according to the GBI. The GBI, which regularly investigates officer-involved shootings, will continue the independent investigation. Once complete, it will be turned over to the Fulton County District Attorney’s office for review, the GBI said in the release. Two people were shot by Sandy Springs Police officers in separate incidents last year in May. The GBI investigated both cases and the District Attorney’s office said it did not have an immediate update on either. This is the 24th officer-involved shooting the GBI has been requested to investigate in 2019.

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10 | Commentary

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

Lime scooters is focused on data-gathering

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

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

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

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


APRIL 2019

Commentary | 11

www.ReporterNewspapers.net

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

JOE EARLE

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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Community | 13

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• • • •

insomnia narcolepsy parasomnia restless leg syndrome • sleep apnea • snoring

City approves hotel, denies 18-house development BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

A hotel and office building will come to Barfield Road after receiving final approval from the City Council. But the owner of Dalrymple Road land who proposed building 18 singlefamily homes was denied and will have to go back to the drawing board. The City Council ruled on these two major rezonings at its March 19 meeting.

Barfield hotel and office approved

The council gave final approval to the plan to build hotel and office buildings on Barfield Road and Mount Vernon Highway. The 14-year-old plan to bring two new buildings to Barfield Road at Mount Vernon Highway in Sandy Springs originally called for office buildings, but a hotel was later added, a change requiring city approval.The Planning Commission unanimously recommended approval at its Feb. 26 meeting. The 3.7-acre lot at 6403 Barfield Road sits west of Ga. 400 and is adjacent to the Promenade at Northplace condo development. The original plan, under the name NorthPlace, was for two multistory buildings that have office space and retail on the bottom floor. One of those buildings is now expected to be a 10-story Aloft hotel, an upscale brand owned by hotel chain Marriott. Under the zoning conditions, the hotel is limited to six stories and the office building to 10 stories. The developer’s traffic studies have estimated the hotel will generate 41 percent less daily trips than the previously planned office building, according to zoning documents. The Autumn Chace townhome community opposed the plan until language was added to ensure only one of the buildings would be a hotel and to limit the hours for hotel bars and live entertainment.

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Dalrymple houses denied

The family behind the Dalrymple proposal has owned the SPECIAL land for generations, An illustration shows a proposed office building and is now seeking to and hotel on Sandy Springs’ Barfield Road. sell them to a developer to build several new homes. Their hope was to get a rezoning to a smaller lots to build 18 new single-family houses. The proposal sought to rezone the properties, which include 0, 309, 314 and 354 Dalrymple Road, from RE-1 to RD-18, lowering the minimum lot size from one acre to 18,000 square feet, less than half an acre, according to proposal documents. All lots fronting Dalrymple would be at least 1 acre, however, to be similar to other lots on the road. The city Planning Commission previously voted at its Feb. 26 to recommend the City Council deny the rezoning request. City staff recommended the commission deny the request since rezonings for higher density in protected neighborhoods are discouraged in the city’s Comprehensive Plan. The commission and City Council agreed, and said there was not a compelling reason for the owner, James Self, the executor of his father’s estate, to need a rezoning to redevelop the property. “Our job is not to maximize their profits,” Councilmember Tibby DeJulio said. The conceptual plan and the fact that the owners would sell the land to a developer who could something different was also a cause for concern, Mayor Rusty Paul said. “If it had passed, I’d probably veto it,” Paul said. “I don’t like conceptual zoning. I think it’s incumbent upon this body to make sure we know exactly what’s going to go there.” Many nearby residents had opposed the proposed development, saying the new houses could have water runoff and traffic consequences and change the character of the neighborhood. Five people spoke at the City Council meeting and reiterated those concerns. At the required community meetings, residents were heavily opposed to the idea to extend Thornhill Lane, so a new cul-de-sac was part of the proposal. With the denial, Self expects to revisit the plan and move forward under the current zoning, which would allow about 15 lots instead of 18. The Thornhill extension is likely, and city approval is not needed to do that, Self said. “We’ll stick with what we have and likely will end up with a through street,” Self said at the meeting. SS

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14 | Community

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Two groups launch to support, oppose north end concepts Continued from page 1 apartment residents. Other residents, saying they were frustrated by the Feb. 28 meeting, started a new group showtly afterwards to support the report. “This plan is going to impact Sandy Springs, and it is going to alter people’s lives, we truly hope mostly for the best, but we also understand this is a delicate situation,” said Richard Merritt, who is part of Sandy Springs Together, the initiative opposing the report. “To us, the worst thing that could happen is the City Council turn their backs on us and say, ‘It’s too hard,’” said Suzanne Miell, a Huntcliff resident who helped start the North End Sandy Springs Improvement Coalition, the group that supports the report. The city-created task force worked for several months in 2018 to draft concepts to bring new development to the north end, ultimately deciding on six key proposals: build a multiuse trail; incentivize new mixed-use and mixed-income developments; make Roswell Road improvements; build new streets and pedestrian connections; create new access to the Chatta-

hoochee River; and build a community center and swimming complex. Now, city staff members are presenting summaries of the report to various city boards as it looks into the feasibility of the recommendations. The report is low on concrete funding options and costs, factors that can determine how redevelopment might change the area, which is what the two groups hope to sway.

Gentrification and displacement David Couchman and Melanie NobleCouchman, who have long been involved in affordable housing advocacy and served as task force co-chairs, launched Sandy Springs Together out of their philanthropic Couchman-Noble Foundation. They both opposed the task force’s final report because they believe it would drive gentrification and displacement. Sandy Springs Together was created to “raise awareness” about social and community issues, Merritt said. The group first focus will be on housing and the north end report, but programs will be “ongoing” and include other topics, he said. Merritt said Sandy Springs Together is working to

EVELYN ANDREWS

Suzanne Durbin, a member of Sandy Springs Together, standing on the right, leads a discussion on the north end plan at the initiative’s launch on Feb. 28 at North Springs United Methodist Church.

put “social pressure” on the city, but is also looking into other “legal options.” Miell and Josh Conklin, residents who said they felt the Sandy Springs Together event was one-sided, helped launch the North End Sandy Springs Improvement Coalition. “The coalition wants to promote investment opportunities that will attract busi-

nesses and build employment opportunities for all,” Miell said. “We feel that the City Council is on the right track with a catalyst project outlined in the Task Force Strategic Initiatives that will provide a variety of housing options for people of all incomes as well as addressing other environmental and quality of life issues in the area.” Mayor Rusty Paul defended the north

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end report in a written statement and said his instructions to the task force were “to avoid gentrification that displaces longterm working-class families.” “The city’s goal is to create a healthy, vibrant retail environment that serves, first of all, existing citizens,” Paul said. “Second, the city has no plans to purchase apartments and displace residents, as has been alleged. Third, the city’s focus is on transforming failing retail sites to include affordable middle-class homeownership opportunities for young families, teachers, police officers, firefighters, nurses, hospital workers and others who today can’t afford a home in Sandy Springs, because homeownership remains the greatest source of family wealth creation in our country.”

Opposition group Sandy Springs Together launched with a community meeting held Feb. 28 at North Springs United Methodist Church that was attended by about 100 people, including apartment renters and homeowners. Sandy Springs Together is trying to build a coalition to oppose the task force’s recommendations on housing. Discussions at the meeting included presenting the report and what the Couchmans believe to be its flaws; getting residents’ feedback on the concepts; and asking what residents would need to help oppose it. Several residents said they want information about what city meetings they should attend and what officials to contact. Some argued Sandy Springs Together should push for the entire report to be redone. Will Lance, who lives in a north end apartment, who said he believes the city should “scrap” the report and seek more community input. “It shouldn’t be someone cramming it down our throat,” Lance said. Many people had some concepts they agreed with, including providing more access to greenspace, building a community center and improving pedestrian and bicycle facilities on Roswell Road. One resident said he liked the stated mission of the report, which includes improving the area while maintaining its “mix of ages, incomes and backgrounds,” but said it “does not deliver that.” A resident of a townhome on Dalrymple Road, who asked that her name not be used, said that although she is not worried about being directly affected by the recommendations, she has “general concern for the community” and fears it could displace the city’s workforce. The city has already been challenged by a north end group who claims the city is trying to push them out. Mary Hall Freedom House, a north end nonprofit, sued the city in December, claiming discrimination and saying it’s trying to push out minorities and disabled people. In March, around 30 supporters of the nonprofit protested at a City Council SS

Community | 15

www.ReporterNewspapers.net meeting. The group wore orange T-shirts that said “We Are ‘You People’,” referencing a statement a top city official is alleged to have said. The nonprofit has been embroiled in legal challenges brought by the city for more than a year, alleging it is violating zoning rules by operating a drug treatment facility.

Supporting group

out and the catalyst project will have housing for all incomes. “Everyone will benefit from it,” she said. But Miell did acknowledge that some apartments likely will be removed or significantly changed to make a successful project. “We want a mix of incomes, but to say we’re not going to touch a single apartment is not realistic,” she said.

The people behind the improvement coalition quickly started another new group to show fity officials there is support for the task force report in the north end. Many of the members are residents of the upscale Huntcliff neighborhood, but membership is becoming more diverse and the group is open to everyone, Conklin said. Huntcliff’s residents were the early drivers of conversations about how to improve the north end. Former City Councilmember Ken Dishman was elected to represent the are on a promise that would be one of his main focuses. Miell, who has lived in the area for 10 years, said she supports the concepts because she has seen the area only get worse. “If we don’t move forward, this area is just going to continue to decline, and make no mistake, this area is in decline,” Miell said. Miell said the improvement coalition believes there is enough language in the report to ensure residents will not be pushed

Joe Burton, another resident who has joined the improvement coalition, said he is looking forward to improvements the concepts could bring, such as a restaurant on the river, but said the city needs to try to prevent displacements, especially for the elderly. “I think businesses making their properties nicer is a good thing,” he said, “but I hate to see people displaced.”


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Sandy Springs resident elected to State Transportation Board BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

Sandy Springs resident Kevin Abel was elected to the State Transportation Board by legislators on March 6. “It was fun to be down at the statehouse and get back into the policy arena,� said Abel, who takes the board seat on April 15. The Transportation Board oversees the Georgia Department of Transportation, which confirmed that Abel won the vote. He replaces Mark Burkhalter, a Republican former Georgia House Speaker and Johns Creek resident, who did not stand for re-election after his job took him to London.

Last year, Abel ran unsuccessfully for the 6th Congressional District seat eventually won by fellow Democrat Lucy McBath. The Transportation Board seat he will hold also represents the 6th District, which includes parts of Brookhaven, Dunwoody, Sandy Springs and areas of Cobb and north Fulton counties. The Transportation Board vacancy comes at a time of major GDOT projects in the 6th District, including an ongoing reconstruction of the I-285/ Ga. 400 interchange, a controversial plan to add toll lanes along those highways with some property takings, and a unique partnership with MARTA in adding bus service to Ga. 400. Abel pre-

viously declined to comment on such issues. He said that, like most residents, he’s familiar with area traffic, joking, “I spent most of my life on Ga. 400.� The Transportation Board positions are nonpartisan, and the vote is taken privately at the Gold Dome by a caucus of state legislators from within the 6th District in a process that Abel says he understands is intended to remove politics from the decision. However, party politics made it possible for Abel to get the position, as Democrats took over a majority of local state legislative seats in a “blue wave� last fall. Abel said he understands that Republican legislators had their own candidate for the board seat whom they

did not put forward after realizing they did have enough caucus votes to win. “Traffic shouldn’t be a partisan issue. Certainly, aspects of it will have conservative leanings or progressive leanings,� said Abel, emphasizing the nonpartisan nature of the seat and that he has several friends among Republican legislators as well as Democratic ones. Abel said he now will receive a “Transportation 101� type of orientation. GDOT Commissioner Russell McMurry attended the vote, Abel said, and many legislators already want to meet with him as well.

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Education | 17

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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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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

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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

SPECIAL

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


APRIL 2019

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Officials seek ways to influence toll lanes projects Continued from page 1

gia 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 it will be important to make a push for buffers like parks, trees and sound walls between neighborhoods and the toll lanes at the project’s the final open house held March 12 in Sandy Springs City Hall. 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 neighbor-

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.

hoods 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 certainly 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. 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

SPECIAL

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 making 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

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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.” Ann Hanlon, the 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 said in the video. One big question and concern from residents is where sound walls will be built to mitigate expected increased noise pollution. GDOT is collecting input on where they should go, and residents will be able to later vote on their location. 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 like 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 underneath, 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 a spot farther south, possibly at Spalding Drive. Paulson also is trying to help save four homes that could be taken for the Pitts Road bridge replacement. 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 would close the bridge for six months while it’s demolished and rebuilt, which would allow homes to stay. Amar Doshi, one of the homeowners, said he is not prepared to give up and his home and wants to make sure GDOT fully evaluates all the options. Doshi said he feels GDOT has not been made it clear enough that closing the bridge 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 information is set up equally at meetings. The Pitts Road homes are just four of over 40 properties in Sandy Springs that

GDOT says would need to be demolished for the project. Reichel said residents 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 houses,” she said. 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 Shallowford Road and Mount Vernon Highway are under consideration. Sandy Springs negotiated to have Johnson Ferry Road added. Sandy Springs officials also have privately negotiated with GDOT about a possible access point on Crestline Parkway, which would require the demolition of an eight-unit townhome building, documents obtained by the Reporter 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. –Dyana Bagby and John Ruch contributed

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Sandy Springs

A BUCKHEAD MYSTERY INSPIRES MARY KAY ANDREW’S NEW NOVEL PAGE 26

Dunwoody Brookhaven Buckhead

Wall to Wall Art

SECTION TWO

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An art fan maps street murals in Atlanta and beyond

IMAGE COURTESY ART RUDICK

A tribute to the former Limelight disco behind Binder’s Art Supplies in Buckhead, painted by Dr. Dax and The Loss Prevention.

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

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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

CONTINUED ON PAGE 40


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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.

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

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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

THE SECOND CITY

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

SACRED CANTATAS OF J.S. BACH.

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

ART IN THE PARK

BROOK RUN PARK ART AND PLANT SALE

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

LEARN SOMETHING FREE TAX FILING

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

THE HOME EDIT ►

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

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

THE SPRING ECOLOGY OF SANDY SPRINGS

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

EARTH DAY CELEBRATION

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

MANSIONS, GARDENS AND GHOSTS

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:

COME LEARN MORE ABOUT

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

VOLUNTEER

Register for this Free Event!

SWEEP THE HOOCH

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

OUTDOOR FUN CHASTAIN CHASE 5K

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

SLINGIN WINGS FESTIVAL

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

EGGSTRAORDINARY EASTER EGG HUNT

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

EASTER EGG SCRAMBLE

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

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

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

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

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APRIL 2019

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JOCKEYS AND JULEPS

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

FARMERS MARKETS BLOSSOM FOR 2019 SEASON SPRING IS HERE, AND SO IS FARMERS MARKET SEASON BROOKHAVEN FARMERS MARKET

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.

DUNWOODY FARMERS MARKET

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.

HERITAGE SANDY SPRINGS FARMERS MARKET

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.

PEACHTREE ROAD FARMERS MARKET

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.

H IGH

HIGH MUSEUM OF ART ATLANTA | HIGH.ORG

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

www.riverviewcamp.com

museumofdesign.org

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

ALL NEW

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

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a High-energy, hands-on stem camp

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You don’t want to miss out! Sign up at WWW.WESLEYANSCHOOL.ORG/SUMMERCAMPS


36 | Special Section

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CAM

SUMMER CAMPS

PS

SUMMER

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

STARTI NG

PER WEE

HIGH MUSEUM OF ART ATLANTA

K

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.

Atlanta Intown Feb 2018 _CAMP_4.94x5.6297.indd 1

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.

Learn more at registration.sandyspringsga.gov.

Club

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Code: EAST19. See our website for details!

60 STEM and STEAM Camps To Choose From!

Including:

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• Video Gaming

• Veterinary Medicine

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• Coding

• The Great Masters • American Girl • Manga Maker

Complete registration online!

• Marvel Stop Motion • Mystical & Magical

www.ClubSciKidz.com

Enroll Online!

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WHEN YOU TRUST KIDS, THEY TRUST THEMSELVES

ART & SCIENCE CONNECTED!

• Food Truck Science • LEGO Robotics

678-493-5651 support@clubscikidz.com

23

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steveandkate.com

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

,¾,·�t;: \":-�.. ,. ::,l. v

ENROLL NOW!

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

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404-847-0096

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

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38 | Special Section

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Your summer. Your adventure.

BEYOND CAMP SUMMER CAMPS 2017

CELEBRATING MORE THAN A DECADE OF EXCELLENCE

SUMMER CAMPS CAMPS 20 2017 SUMMER 19 CELEBRATING MORE THAN AOF DECADE OF EXCELLENCE A LONG HISTORY EXCELLENCE

5-STAR SPORTS LITTLE SPORTS MVP FUN & GAMES GYMNASTICS & CHEER BOYS GYMNASTICS AND NINJA CO-ED GYMNASTICS TINY TUMBLERS PRINCESS BALLERINA CONTEMPORARY, BALLET & MODERN CO-ED HIP HOP ITTY BITTY HIP HOP DANCE INTENSIVE MUSICAL THEATRE ABRAKADOODLE ...and More

404-842-5852

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

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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 PA R T N E R S W I T H CONSTRUCTION C O M PA N Y

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.”

ISON SPRINGS TEACHERS MERGE CLASSROOMS

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.

E P S T E I N S T U D E N T S W I N AT T E C H N O LO GY C O M P E T I T I O N

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.

BEAT THE SUMMER HEAT AT

CAMP ELITE!

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.

A

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.

C - DOWNTOWN ATLANTA

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.

B

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

C

D

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