Sandy Springs Reporter - April 2021

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APRIL 2021 • VOL. 15 — NO. 4

Sandy Springs Reporter



Voters may see mayoral battle, new North End council member

Sweep the Hooch


A Dunwoody mural artist’s American Dream P17 WORTH KNOWING

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Hate crimes show need for equity in education P16

George Flynn balances baskets on his kayak as he scoops litter out of the Chattahoochee River above Morgan Falls Dam March 27 as part of the annual “Sweep the Hooch” volunteer cleanup. He was among hundreds who joined in the event at many sites along the river and its watershed, organized by the nonprofit Chattahoochee Riverkeeper. This year’s edition had limited attendance and social distancing due to the pandemic. The Morgan Falls site drew eight volunteers on foot and three in kayaks.

Diversity task force members seek housing affordability reviews BY BOB PEPALIS

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A Housing and Transportation subcommittee of the city’s new Diversity and Inclusion Task Force wants every development or redevelopment that requires city approval to undergo a housing affordability impact study.

The subcommittee held its first virtual meeting on March 24, with members saying that they learned that increasing rent costs are causing a big wave of displacement in Sandy Springs’ minority communities, creating an urgency for their work. For that reason and because the city is about to See DIVERSITY on page 15

Voters may see a competitive mayoral race and a new City Council member for the seat representing the redevelopment hot spot of the North End as campaigns for this fall’s municipal elections are taking an early shape. Two-term incumbent Mayor Rusty Paul stepped back from earlier talk of retirement by announcing a bid to run for reelection on March 15, saying he has unfinished business. He has a challenger, Dontaye Carter, a public relations consultant and former journalist who announced his campaign March 22. District 2 Councilmember Steve Soteres announced in late March he will not run for reelection. That opens the way for a new candidate to take the seat that serves a large portion of the North End. Two candidates – Melody Kelley and Jason Hamilton – had already joined the race. District 4 incumbent Jody Reichel and District 5 incumbent Tibby DeJulio, who is the lone remaining member of the original City Council, earlier this year announced they will run for re-election. District 6 incumbent Andy Bauman joined them March 26, saying he will run again to support first responders, increase community connections, and work on issues of diversity, incluSee VOTERS on page 14

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City unveils Veterans Park plan; construction may start this year

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A conceptual illustration shows the scale of elements in the Veterans Park. The City Springs fountain and the Veterans Park fountain can be seen flanking Roswell Road.

BY BOB PEPALIS A new Veterans Park in the triangle of land across Roswell Road from City Springs may start construction by the end of this year after the City Council approved a $5 million design during its March 16 meeting.


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City Manager Andrea Surratt said with council’s approval, the staff will make the park a high priority, getting it out for bid by the fall with construction beginning as soon as late this year. The Veterans Park will be part of the city’s next fiscal budget, which begins in July.


Veterans Park has been delayed by a lawsuit over tearing down billboards on the


site, which gained the nickname as “the wasteland.” The city won the dispute and demolished the billboards in September 2020. As far back as September 2017, the city envisioned construction projects around City Springs that included a park in this triangle between Mount Vernon and Johnson Ferry. The park would feature a two-level fountain, a monumental sculpture and a Veterans Plaza, said John Fish of BARGE Design Solutions of Atlanta. Steve Provost of BARGE Design Solutions is the lead designer, a role he also held for the City Springs project. Mayor Rusty Paul deferred to the two veterans on the City Council for their opinions.


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APRIL 2021 ■

Let’s Use All the Tools for Better Hearing! A site plan of the Veterans Park.

“I think it looks great Rusty, I really do. It’s better than I expected it to look,” said Councilmember Tibby DeJulio, a Vietnam veteran. “One of the things that this park to me does is it makes a statement to our veterans that tells them that they were worth it,” City Councilmember John Paulson, also a Vietnam veteran, said. “I want to make sure that they’re proud of this. I want to make sure that they know we’ve acknowledged them with the park of this size and scope and grandeur. So I think it’s fantastic.”

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The walkway and fountain were designed to mirror the fountain at City Springs. “It’s really a key arrival point. We’re really wanting to celebrate that this is the heart of Sandy Springs that you’ve arrived at City Springs, Fish said. Veterans Plaza will have a paver walkway with a granite ring around it. In its center will be granite monuments for the seven military branches and an eighth monument to share the story of the park. The design is to make the plaza its own distinct place within the overall park, Fish said. DeJulio suggested using the pavers as a fundraiser for the park and putting veterans’ names and units on the bricks. Councilmember Jody Reichel suggested instead of pavers that the city consider installing a digital marquee that would enable visitors to scroll through all veterans’ names and allow the city to continuously add names to the list. The park’s eastern border is with the Sandy Springs Library. “I’m really happy to see the connectivity from the Sandy Springs Library parking lot. Because that does provide space for people to park and walk over very safely. They won’t even have to cross Roswell Road,” said Councilmember Andy Bauman. A 12-foot-wide multi-use trail going through Veterans Park ultimately will connect to the Sandy Springs Marta Station, he said.


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Heritage Sandy Springs passes into history as nonprofit dissolves BY BOB PEPALIS After over 35 years of saving key historical sites and creating the city’s annual festivals, Heritage Sandy Springs has become history itself, quietly dissolving in February. The next chapter will be written by the city government, whose plans for such assets as a museum and the Sandy Springs Festival are still evolving. The nonprofit was founded as the Sandy Springs Historic Community Foundation in 1985 to save the city’s namesake springs at Heritage Green on Sandy Springs Circle. It then helped save the historic William-Payne House and turned it into a museum and created the long-running festival, all before the city was incorporated. Even before the pandemic, Heritage Sandy Springs was struggling. Its executive director retired in October 2019 after 13 years at the helm. Deborah Minor, a board member with nonprofit management experience, took over the role without pay in one of several cost-cutting moves. But with zero revenue from rentals in the usually busy spring at Heritage Green, the four full-time staff members were laid off in April 2020. Beard later said that the nonprofit was two weeks

away from missing payroll when that decision was made. As recently as early 2019, HSS still had big plans. It confirmed a master plan for improvements to Heritage Green. Those included a new band shell for the amphitheater, outdoor restrooms and creating better entrances. A plan to complete a redesign of the historic spring on Heritage Green by the end of 2020 also fell victim to the group’s demise. Permitting issues delayed it in 2018. The design would have let the spring bubble up as a small, glass-enclosed fountain under an abstract canopy surrounded by seating. The spring remains hidden under a metal grate and wooden pavilion. In 2020, the city replaced a 30-year lease for HSS created in 2008 with a fiveyear operating agreement. The city said that would enable more coordination with City Springs programming. In April 2020, the city and HSS jointly announced a partnership to keep two mainstays of the nonprofit in operation, the Concerts on the Green and the Farmers Market. The last CEO of the nonprofit, Bob Beard, had said in summer 2020 that the organization still planned to revive its historical education efforts after the pandemic. But with the dissolution of the corporation behind the group, perhaps the most important group in preserving the city’s history is only a memory itself. “We had to shut our doors. Couldn’t make it missing a full year of rentals,” Beard said. Additional questions about HSS and its education program weren’t answered. The Heritage Sandy Springs historic site, its venues and the former nonprofit organization’s events have come under the direction of the city’s cultural arts department, Create Sandy Springs, and its director, Shawn Albrechtson, Mayor Rusty Paul confirmed in a February interview. Concert programming at Heritage Green, the HSS museum, the Farmers Market and the Sandy Springs Festival will be planned and managed by that department, along with the city’s Performing Arts Center and the future Cultural Arts Center. ‘Save Our Springs’ and history Decades before the city formed, its namesake springs at Sandy Springs Circle and Blue Stone Road were threatened with development consigning them to burial in storm sewers. But the people who would go on to form the foundation with the help of other community organizations were able to “Save Our Springs” in 1984. The tale of how the springs were saved and the Williams-Payne House was likewise rescued from demolition and moved to the springs’ site were detailed in Garnett Cobb’s 1999 booklet “The History of the Sandy Springs Historic Community Foundation, Inc.” In October 1984, a couple named Mabry filed to rezone 1.3 acres of property at Sandy Springs Circle on the south side SS

Community | 5

APRIL 2021 ■ of Hildebrand Drive from residential to commercial. An office and specialty shop complex were planned. On that property, the springs were enclosed in a concrete frame in the front yard, destined to be lost to history in a storm sewer. A month later, members of the “Save Our Springs” campaign and city civic organizations attended Fulton County Commission’s zoning hearing. Their lobbying efforts worked and the county voted to deny the commercial rezoning and buy the land for public use, Cobb wrote. The Mabrys were paid more than $533,000 for their property. With another half-acre of property left from construction of Sandy Springs Circle, the Sandy Springs Historic Site was formed. Cobb did more than write the history, also leading the Sandy Springs Garden Club in asking Portman-Barry Investors to donate an old country home sitting on the northeastern corner of Mount Vernon Highway and Ga. 400. With a bit of research, it was confirmed it was a re-

modeled farmhouse, one of eight known 19th century structures that were left in then-unincorporated Sandy Springs. While the house was undergoing repairs, the springs were restored and dedicated in 1988. Named after two of its owners, the Williams-Payne House was donated and moved to the springs. Fundraising, renovations, restorations and furnishing the home with period furniture took until May 1990, when it opened to the public. Paul called the site the legacy of the city. It goes back to Native American times with Mount Vernon Highway originating as a Native American highway where the springs were an important stopping point. Later the springs site was a Methodist campground and the water was crucial. “When we call it Heritage Sandy Springs, it truly is,” said Paul. “I mean, it goes back hundreds of years. And that museum is an effort to try and capture the legacy of this community and pre-

serve it. And I think that’s important.” HSS had other cultural legacies. Known early on as Founders’ Day, what became the Sandy Springs Festival began in 1986 and continued as a tradition until 2019. It became the foundation’s biggest fundraiser, but in later years attendance began to drop. The master plan for Heritage Green originally included the city’s Cultural Arts Center, envisioned as housing the offices of the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust and its exhibit “Anne Frank in the World,” which is currently on display in a Roswell Road shopping center. A neighboring auto shop property at 151 Hilderbrand Drive was purchased for $1.8 million in April 2020 as a potential expansion of Heritage Green and possible site for it. By October the city had chosen instead a site at City Springs in front of the Performing Arts Center. Now police cars are parked on that former auto shop and the police department’s bicycle unit uses it for offices. The

city has yet to confirm the future use of that property. A plan for the Cultural Arts Center will come before City Council no later than this spring, Paul said. The city is working with the Holocaust commission to help fund the center, with the “Anne Frank In the World” exhibit a key piece of the plans. “I feel very good about where the Holocaust Commission is in its fundraising campaign to fund the Anne Frank museum portion of it,” he said. But at the Heritage Sandy Springs site, Paul said, the Williams-Payne House needs some work, as it is in some disrepair. The city announced that its visitors and tourism bureau, Visit Sandy Springs, would move its offices into the former Heritage office building once it is declared safe under public health guidance with the pandemic. Staff may operate the museum if it fits into their work schedules.

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6 | Public Safety ■

Fulton sheriff plans ‘Scorpion Team’ unit to work alongside city police departments BY JOHN RUCH Fulton County Sheriff Patrick Labat is forming a “crime-suppression” unit of deputies he has dubbed the “Scorpion Team” with the intent of working alongside police patrols in Atlanta, Sandy Springs and all other cities in the county. Named for the stinger-tailed, venomous predator, the Scorpion Team appears to be the latest version of Labat’s campaign promise -- especially popular in Buckhead -- to use deputies to bolster Atlanta Police Department patrols amid a surge in violent crime. The notion of deputies patrolling city streets has gotten a mixed response among Fulton County Board of Commission members, and the details remain scarce. APD would not answer questions about its involvement in the Scorpion Team, while the Sandy Springs Police Department (SSPD) said it is awaiting more information before deciding to participate. “That crime suppression team, which will be tagged or named the Scorpion Team, will go out on a daily basis and search for those who mean us no good,” Labat said in a brief mention of the idea at a March 11 Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods meeting. “... The best way for me to put it is, we’re going to stalk the stalkers.” Jamille Bradfield, a Fulton County Sher-

iff’s Office spokesperson, later gave some more details of the Scorpion Team, though not which agencies are involved and what the timeline might be. “The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office has established a Crime Suppression Team, known as the Scorpion Team, to work the streets throughout the 15 cities within Fulton County,” Bradfield said in an email. “The Scorpion Team is part of the new, specialized Violent Crime/Gang Task Force we are in the process of building to address violence.” As for the name, FCSO focused on the scorpion’s defensive use of its stinger rather than its prey-poisoning utility. “We call it the Scorpion Team because, similar to the scorpion in the arthropod species that stings its predators when it is threatened, our crime suppression team is defending those who live, work and play in Fulton County against violent criminals who threaten public safety,” said Bradfield. In response to a comment request from APD, spokesperson Sgt. John Chaffee said only, “The FCSO would be the best resource for information on this. Please check with them for additional details regarding the Scorpion Team.” He did not respond to further questions about APD involvement. The city’s press office did not respond to questions.

The police department in Sandy Springs is aware of the proposal, but hasn’t signed on, according to SSPD spokesperson Sgt. Salvador Ortega. “Yes, the task force has been a topic during meetings at the Sheriff’s Office with Fulton County chiefs; however, details are not finalized,” said Ortega in an email. SSPD is already involved in some federal task forces focused on gangs and violent crime, Ortega said. “At this time, I don’t have specific information about the FCSO’s task force,” he said. “It is the mission of the Sandy Springs Police Department to enforce the law and prevent crime through problem-solving partnerships. If the mission and partnership of this task force aligns with our mission and doesn’t compromise manpower, I’m sure it is something we will be happy to participate in.” Labat’s main focus at the BCN meeting was on his version of a longstanding proposal for Fulton County to acquire the Atlanta City Detention Center, which Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms is in the midst of converting into a mixed-use social services facility. That’s because staffing and operating the county jail is FCSO’s main job, along with providing security at courts and serving warrants. Deputies sometimes provide help for other agencies in emergencies and large events, but they don’t patrol city

streets. The idea of FCSO patrols came amid talk of dwindling APD forces after last year’s crime increase, racial justice protests and controversy over the police killing of Rayshard Brooks. Labat won election last year with the patrols as part of a tough-oncrime platform, but quickly complained of pushback from commissioners and county staff. Part of that reaction was based on the idea of serving Atlanta versus the rest of the county. “It’s news to me that anybody doesn’t want these patrols,” said Commissioner Lee Morris, who represents much of Buckhead, in January in response to Labat’s complaints. “Most everybody’s who’s contacted me wants more sworn officers of any kind.” But that same month, Commission Chairman Robb Pitts, a Buckhead resident, questioned the focus of the patrol idea. “I have heard that he made some campaign promises about putting more sheriff’s deputies on the street,” he said. “In theory, that sounds good. But his primary responsibility is the jail and we have issues at the jail.” Commissioner Bob Ellis, whose North Fulton district includes part of Sandy Springs, said this month that the Scorpion Team idea is “news to me” and raises similar concerns.


Arts & Entertainment | 7

APRIL 2021 ■

April Events You Don’t Want to Miss Alan Avery Art Company is hosting an exhibition featuring the work of abstract, minimalist artists Betty Merken and Pascal Pierme, at 356 Miami Circle in Buckhead. The show is titled Fata Morgana after the mirage effect that makes it appear an object is suspended above the horizon. Merken “is a painter and printmaker working with contrasts of color, form, and perception,” while wood sculptor Pierme “incorporates organic material, and geometric forms in a modern aesthetic.” Ends Saturday, April 17. The Sandy Springs Recreation and Parks Department is having two events in April, weather permitting, at Morgan Falls Overlook Park at 400 Morgan Falls Road as part of its Wild Explorers program. On Sunday, April 13, at Morgan Falls Dam, “Earth Day Celebration: Renewable Energy” will explore hydroelectric, solar power, and wind energy. On Sunday, April 25, “Heron Rookery Viewing and Bird Craft” will gather at the boat launch at the dam to watch the activities of great blue herons, which nest in groups called rookeries. Loaner binoculars will be available, or you can bring your own. Both events take place from 1 to 3 p.m. and are free with registration through registration. ◄ Jerry’s Habima Theatre, a theatrical company featuring actors with special needs, is returning to the stage with a virtual showcase premiering on Thursday, April 29 at 7 p.m. The hour-long event is a combination of musical and dance numbers from some of the group’s most popular shows. All performances will be recorded for availability following the premiere. Jerry’s Habima Theatre is a program of the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta (MJCCA) in Dunwoody. atlantajcc. org/habima ►The Atlanta History Center’s series of author talks continues in April with virtual appearances by Martha Hall Kelly (April 7), Claire Lombardo (April 13), Jonathan Alter (April 15), Elizabeth Nyamayaro (April 26), and David O. Stewart (April 28). The events are free but registration is required. The Sandy Springs Farmers Market will kick off April 17 at City Green at City Springs, 1 Galambos Way. The Saturday market’s hours are from 8:30 a.m. to noon through Sept. 25, and from 9 a.m. to noon, Oct. 2 through Nov. 30. ◄ The City Springs Theatre Company’s live production of the ABBA-laden hit musical “Mamma Mia” (replacing the previously scheduled “Into The Woods”) will have a special outside engagement May 7 through 9 at the Ameris Bank Amphitheatre in Alpharetta. The theater group usually performs indoors at the Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center. Tickets go on sale April 1. The 24th Annual Unsung Heroes Gala will be broadcast live on Saturday, April 17 at 6:45 p.m. The evening is produced by the Buckhead-based National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Metropolitan Atlanta Chapter. It will “honor and celebrate extraordinary women who empower their communities,” and will showcase Atlanta’s best in entertainment with a philanthropic flair, organizers said. A related silent auction to raise funds will begin on Saturday, April 10 and run until Sunday, April 18.

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8 | Food & Drink ■

Food for Thought Savi Provisions’ expansion boom brings a third location to Buckhead BY KEVIN C. MADIGAN Savi Provisions is in an expansion boom. The gourmet market group was scheduled to open its third Buckhead location -and fifth overall -- at the AMLI Lenox apartment complex at 3478 Lakeside Drive on April 1 as the Reporter went to press. That’s along with other locations planned in Decaof the city. Our chef-driven, fresh-made meals are paired expertly with tur, the Battery complex at a selection of fine wines and beers, served fresh on tap. Our carefully SPECIAL Truist Park in Cobb Councurated wine and beer selection will have something exciting for evAbove, Paul Nair, owner of the Savi’s Provisions chain. ty, and an out-of-state deRight, a drawing of the “self-pour wall” of beers and wines on tap eryone, from the novice to the expert.” that is planned for the new Savi’s Provisions in Buckhead. but in Tennessee. The Reporter asked Nair about Savi’s growing business and the Savi provides “locallybeers on tap. new location. For more information, see sourced organic foods, fine wines and “We are excited to introduce a freshWhat inspired you to get into this business? spirits alongside healthy and tasty fastly imagined location in Lenox for both I noticed a lack of high end affordable gourmet markets in the South. When we casual meals,” according to owner Paul the immediate community and funcopened our first Savi Provisions, it was intentionally in Inman Park, a wonderful Nair, who named the chain after his tion as an amenity for AMLI residents,” community that embraced us and our vision. wife Savita. The AMLI location, operatsays Patel. “Our space boasts a beautied by franchisee Vivek Patel, will have a What makes Savi different from other similar places? ful interior designed for ease and acpatio with a “self-pour wall” where cusPeople want convenience, but they still respond to interaction and a sense of cessibility in shopping, giving way to a tomers can choose their own wines and community. I wanted to connect convenience with community, one of the reasons I lovely patio space with fantastic views

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APRIL 2021 ■ crafted the Savi brand after New York’s neighborhood delis. I wanted to offer more than just a place to shop and dine, but a neighborhood destination where customers have the chance to connect. Savi at AMLI will feature a self-pour tap wall with 14 beers, 16 wine options and a variety of spirits. The bar is going to be 100% cardbased so that customers have a lowtouch experience. It will dispense the beer, spirit and wine options via stateof-the-art equipment called Enomatic and provide an extremely convenient option for dine-in, grab-and-go and passersby. You offer franchises. Please explain the concept and what you’re looking for in a franchisee. Apart from its proven success record, Savi also offers high earnings potential with strong potential ROI [return on investment]. You are able to have two businesses with a single investment due to the retail and casual food service component. Since Savi also sells a wide selection of fine wines and spirits, you can also build a loyal following among wine enthusiasts. The Savi franchise system was developed to be incredibly profitable and loaded with goodwill for the community and customer. Attractive franchisees are those that are not only business-minded but value community, as it is imperative that you become an important part of the neighborhood. While there are many types of franchise opportunities available, very few give the owner the chance to make a difference while earning a considerable profit like a Savi Provisions franchise [does]. Why open a second Buckhead location, not far from the first? We saw the demand. Our Buckhead clientele really responds to our concept, and this newest Savi will be a freshly imagined location in Lenox for both the immediate community and function as an amenity for AMLI residents. Vivek comes from an interesting background of healthcare, which is how he became interested in wellness. He decided to dive into the food and nutrition space and a franchise opportunity with Savi provided him the perfect opportunity to combine the two. What are your plans for the future? We are always expanding. We just announced our first market outside of Atlanta — a franchisee location in downtown Nashville. We are excited to bring this Atlanta brand to more of the Southeast in the next year.

Quick Bites |

Restaurant openings and news


►Tabla Indian Restaurant debuted its

second Atlanta location on March 16 at 3005 Peachtree Road inside the Modera building in Buckhead. Owner Sandeep Kothary said in a statement, “I want guests to have the experience of Indian food—the design, service and cocktails. It’s going to be a completely different style of dining from anything people have experienced in the Atlanta area.” Tabla will introduce a series of cocktails unique to the Buckhead location, but until its liquor license is issued, customers can bring their own BurgerFi, Chopt Creative Salad Company, Panda Express, and breakfast joint First Watch will all be part of the new Perimeter Marketplace shopping center in Dunwoody, scheduled to open in October 2021 at the corner of Meadow Lane and Ashford-Dunwoody Road. Other announced tenants include Publix, Aspen Dental, One Medical and QuikTrip. “The Dunwoody/Perimeter market has proven to be one of the strongest areas for economic growth in metro Atlanta, even through the ongoing pandemic,” Branch Properties Head of Asset Management Brett Horowitz said in a written statement. BurgerFi is also planning to open a spot at The Prado in Sandy Springs later this year.;;;

will love it as much as I do.” The menu boasts more than 80 teas, frappes, smoothies and sodas.

Fitlife Foods is getting ready for a July opening in the Tuxedo Festival shopping center at 3655 Roswell Road in Buckhead, featuring “fresh, made-fromscratch, prepared meals” for pick-up or delivery, according to spokesperson Krystin Olinski. Popular dishes include barbecue beef with mac and cheese, chicken enchiladas, pork bulgogi and miso salmon, in addition to crème brulee French toast. Tampa-based Fitlife founder David Osterwell said in a written statement, “The demand for a store in the Atlanta area was overwhelming and we wanted to find a way to make it happen for our incredible Atlanta customers.” Nobi Cha Bubble Tea will soon debut its first spot in the United States at 4279 Roswell Road in Buckhead’s Chastain Square shopping center. Owner Lida Turner said in a phone call that the plan is to open 10 to 20 more in the next five years. Turner bought the franchise from a company in Thailand last year. “I’m very confident in our product and our flavor and once people try it they

Willow Bar and St. Julep are two watering holes that have joined “mid-century glam” restaurant The Betty at Buckhead’s Kimpton Sylvan Hotel, located at 374 East Paces Ferry Road. Willow Bar is a garden retreat described as “hip” and “esoteric” while St. Julep features “fresh and easy cocktails, local craft brews, low-octane aperitifs and a selection of funky craveable snacks” plus a weekend DJ spinning records. The Hungry Peach reopened on March 8 after closing due to the pandemic. There is a new menu with “simple and fresh gourmet brunch and lunch items” as well as a “homey and comfortable” remodel of the cafe located in the Atlanta Decorative Arts Center (ADAC) at 351 Peachtree Hills Ave. in Buckhead. A liquor license is in the works.

▲Banana Leaf Thai + Bar is now open

for business at 227 Sandy Springs Place. “A perfect place where friends and family can enjoy mouth-watering authentic Thai food in a lovely atmosphere,” the website says. “We also feature a full liquor bar, lots of delicious mixed drinks as well as a great wine selection.”

Le Bon Nosh, “an all-day cafe and market celebrating the beauty of simple, seasonal food,” is set to open shortly inside The Irby building at 65 Irby Avenue in Buckhead. An application to serve alcohol was filed by owners with the City of Atlanta in early March. Executive Chef Forough Vakili formerly worked at the twoMichelin-starred restaurant L’Auberge de Glazicks in Brittany.

10 | Arts & Entertainment ■

Q&A: Oakland Cemetery expert discusses famous Buckhead figures buried there BY KEVIN C. MADIGAN Atlanta’s Oakland Cemetery is the final resting place of many famous figures of Buckhead’s history. David Moore, director emeritus of the Historic Oakland Cemetery Foundation, will talk about some of them in a free, live-streamed presentation to the Buckhead Heritage Society on April 8 at 7 p.m. For registration and details, see You’re going to be talking about famous people from Buckhead, some of whom were also notorious. I’m going to do a presentation on Oakland Cemetery that includes a little bit of everything. I’m still doing research on people that have a Buckhead connection and the obvious ones are of course people like [bank and railroad founder] Alfred Austell and [golfer and Masters Tournament co-founder] Bobby Jones, but there are a fair amount of folks whom we could make a stretch and say are infamous. There is some murder and mayhem associated with some of our residents, and everybody loves a good mystery, murder and mayhem story, so I will try to sprinkle those in without necessarily divulging who they are.


David Moore, director emeritus of the Historic Oakland Cemetery Foundation.

Your own family has connections to Buckhead going back a long time. Didn’t a grandfather of yours have a mill on Peachtree Creek? Thomas Moore was my great-great-grandfather, and he came here from Abbeville, South Carolina. He did run a grist and produced lumber, and corn and meal grinded by a millstone. It was there on Peachtree Creek where Moores Mill Road and West Wesley Road exist today. He married a woman named Elizabeth DeFoor. She was the daughter of Martin and Martha DeFoor, who were the recipients of a terrible and brutal murder

in the late 1800s. They had their heads almost chopped off by an assailant while they slept. It’s a Buckhead murder that’s never been solved. Can you give us the gist of the importance of Oakland Cemetery to the history of Buckhead? Oakland pretty much holds the history of our city. Many of the folks who are buried there are pioneers that paved the paths on which we walk today, and even though Atlanta was a very small community when Oakland was founded in 1850 -- there were probably only 2,600 people living in Atlanta at the time -- many of the folks buried there do have connections to the Buckhead community. Some of the more prominent folks had lovely homes along Peachtree Road. They had deep roots in Buckhead, and of course so did [“Gone with the Wind” author] Margaret Mitchell, and there will be others as well. I do want to try and make that Buckhead connection, but as I said, Oakland was the burial ground for everyone. It didn’t matter if you owned the railroad or rode the railroad or slept under the railroad. They even had a section -- the old Slave Square -- that later became a paupers’ ground, so we do have an African American section that was segregated, yet it’s still part of the cemetery as a whole. And there are some people buried in that section that I’m sure have some connection to what we know as Buckhead today. There is a photo of you online sitting in some sort of cart at the cemetery. Can you explain that? The reason I’m sitting in the cart is that I’m an actor -- well, more of a big ham than an actor -- and I’m capturing the spirit of Oakland on our Halloween tours that are designed to enlighten. We have characters we’ve researched that come back to life, and we tell our visitors of their place in Atlanta history, and we have these characters standing, or my case sitting, at or about the gravesite. This particular person was known as the Goat Man; his name was William Jasper Franklin. He was one of those characters just hanging around downtown Atlanta who was often found at the courthouse steps selling pencils. He had meningitis as a kid which is why he couldn’t walk, so he used a cart that was hauled around by a goat named Pete. He became somewhat annoying to some of the politicians because they said his goat smelled bad and he was bothering folks, so they banned him from being on the street. He had quite a following.

WORTHWHILE CONVERSATIONS INSECURITY ABOUT SOCIAL SECURITY? “INSECURITY” -- MEANING FEAR THAT THE MONEY WON’T BE THERE? No. In 50 years of advising clients, we find people fear making a mistake when starting their Social Security. Benefits can start at age 62 on a discounted basis. One must be 66 years old to get a full benefit; however, waiting longer to start – as late as age 70 – means increased monthly income. Add to that, a husband or wife can claim benefits independent of their spouse’s decision, and the number of outcomes is almost unlimited. With all those possibilities, small wonder people worry about mistakes. A LOT OF INTERNET ADVICE IS TO START SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS EARLY… That is a dangerous over-simplification. Our Wealth Planning Committee is a group of experienced, multi-credentialled professionals, including attorneys, CPAs, and MBAs who regularly model these numbers. Committee Chairman Phillip Hamman, CFA, CFP®, says, “There’s no substitute for running the numbers. Every family’s situation is different and the difference between an optimum Social Security decision and a poor decision can amount to tens of thousands of dollars.” IS MODELING THE NUMBERS A “NET PRESENT VALUE” ANALYSIS? The modeling includes that kind of discounting analysis, yes. Most importantly, good modeling should put the Social Security decision in a framework with the other elements of a family’s financial life. Is one spouse continuing to work? Are there other sources of cash flow or financial assets available that would permit delaying the start of benefits? Are there big differences in life expectancy between spouses? The key is solid modeling that considers a variety of “what if” scenarios.

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Community | 11

APRIL 2021 ■

City plans first section of Morgan Falls trail BY BOB PEPALIS The city revealed plans to construct a trail section from Morgan Falls Overlook Park to Roswell Road by way of Orkin Lake as the first step in realizing its Trails Master Plan during a virtual meeting on March 11. Greta deMayo, executive director of the PATH Foundation, presented the plan. The city contracted with the nonprofit that has been building trails since 1991 for design and construction management for this trail segment. The foundation worked with the city and the Sandy Springs Conservancy in 2019 to develop a citywide Trails Master Plan. The plan identifies 31.4 miles of proposed greenway trails, side paths and neighborhood greenways, connecting to 12 schools, 15 parks and green spaces and providing connections to neighboring jurisdictions. The 10-year implementation plan includes seven miles of trails. The first trail section the city plans to construct is a five-mile loop that connects the Morgan Falls Recreation Area to Roswell Road and surrounding neighborhoods using greenway trails, side paths and boardwalks. After that is completed, discusCITY OF SANDY SPRINGS The first segment of a trail looping around an area that sions will resume includes Morgan Falls Athletic Fields, Morgan Falls with Cobb County Overlook Park and Edgewater Apartments will include a on a bridge over boardwalk over Orkin Lake south of the apartments. the Chattahoochee River at Morgan Falls. That looping trail has been divided into five segments. DeMayo presented designs for the first segment planned, labeled “segment 2A.” She proposed a 10- to 12-foot-wide multi-use trail designed for pedestrians and bicyclists. Planners refer to it as a “greenway trail.” The term means trails that are constructed in green areas such as parks, stream corridors or undeveloped land, and that are a minimum of 10 feet wide. Trails in developed areas are created by retrofitting the right-ofway into a side path with a minimum 5-foot-wide landscaped buffer. “A greenway trail is for both bicyclists and pedestrians. And it really is a safe experience for both bicyclists and pedestrians to be able to be on the trail together,” deMayo said. Design and engineering will be finalized this spring, with permitting through summer and into fall, deMayo said. The advertisement for construction bids will go out in fall or winter. Construction could begin in early 2022. It would take 12 months, city spokesperson Dan Coffer said after the meeting. A feature of this trail segment is nearly 3,000 linear feet of boardwalk over the water on the southern side of Orkin Lake. It will include overlook areas to let visitors step off the main boardwalk and enjoy nature. The boardwalk will rise out of the water on wooden piers with wooden railings. A concrete deck is planned for durability and low maintenance needs, deMayo said. Bridge Properties, the owner of Edgewater Apartments at 7600 Roswell Road, is working with the city on the project. The company wants to keep the trail on the northern side of Orkin Lake where Fulton County is doing work in a sewer easement. “We are working with Fulton County with their improvements to the sewer easement in that area, so that we can come right behind them and be able to put the trail in,” deMayo said. The multi-use trail will leave the lake and connect with Monterey Parkway and on to Cimarron Parkway. To gain the width needed for the trail, the city plans to reduce the width of the two streets from 26 feet to 23 feet. The trail would follow the existing sidewalk route along Cimarron Parkway, including its path along the median and crossing to the other side of the street. The city does not have construction funding allocated for those trail sections, said Kristin Smith, assistant city manager. “These would be up for potential general fund allocations moving forward from the mayor and council should they make that decision in an upcoming budget,” she said. The presentation and a recording of the meeting have been posted on the city’s website at trails-master-plan. SS




12 | Community ■



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Work to begin on master plan for I-285 trails paired with toll lanes BY SAMMIE PURCELL Brookhaven, Dunwoody, Sandy Springs and other cities will begin work on a plan for a multi-use trail system to integrate with the Georgia Department of Transportation’s plan to add toll lanes to I-285. At a March 16 Brookhaven City Council meeting, the city approved a contract with design firm Kimley-Horn to begin work on a “Top End 285 Regional Master Trails Plan.” Brookhaven will serve as the project manager, leading other I-285 cities such as Dunwoody, Sandy Springs, Chamblee, Doraville, Smyrna and Tucker. The area’s four self-taxing Community Improvement Districts (CIDs) will also help fund the plan. Those districts are the Chamblee Doraville CID, the Cumberland CID, the Perimeter CIDs and the Tucker-Northlake CID. In 2019, Brookhaven and the other cities agreed to issue a request for proposals from design firms for the development of a trail system master plan. Responses to those proposals were due by April 21, 2020 and Kimley Horn’s proposal was chosen. Now that the contract has been approved, Phase 1 of the master plan is expected to be completed by September of this year, according to a city spokesperson. This multi-use trail would serve to connect trails in the seven cities and four CIDs and would cover almost 20 miles from Cumberland Parkway and Atlanta Road in Smyrna to Northlake Parkway and Lavista Road in Tucker. “We’re going to take all of the pre-existing trails and trail plans for all of the municipalities and CIDs, link them all together, and think about how we can use GDOT’s efforts and others along I-285 to really create a united, connected trail,” said Kimley-Horn representative Eric Bosman. Brookhaven led the same group of cities in a bus rapid transit study, which explores adding bus and rail options in conjunction with GDOT’s I-285 Top End Express Lane project. Brookhaven Director of Strategic Partnerships Patty Hansen said the trail would follow along a similar route to the BRT. GDOT plans to add toll lanes along the top end of I-285 and on part of Ga. 400 between Sandy Springs and Alpharetta. The projects have been controversial due to the possible demolition of residential properties and highway entrances added to local streets. Construction on Ga. 400 is expected to start in 2022 and open in 2027. The eastern section of the I-285 toll lane project is also expected to start in 2022 and open in 2028. The western section of the I-285 toll lane project is expected to start in 2026 and open in 2032. As the administrator for the regional trail project, Brookhaven will be responsible for invoicing the other cities and CIDs, Hansen said. Brookhaven will provide $28,261 for its share of funding for the master plan and will collect $196,739 from the other cities. The total cost of the master plan will be $225,000. Mayor John Ernst said that former District 1 DeKalb County Commissioner Nancy Jester previously pledged $100,000 to the master plan project, which the county agreed to. Ernst said the city has not yet received those funds, but according to a city spokesperson, current District 1 Commissioner Robert Patrick is working on moving those funds to the city. “I fully support trail projects,” Patrick said in an email. “My office will be speaking with Brookhaven to confirm the full scope of the Top End Trail System and ensure that there is not overlap between Brookhaven efforts and other efforts in the District. There have been several discussions of trail projects throughout District 1 and my goal is to ensure that my office is strategic with taxpayer dollars and beneficial to all District 1 residents.” Former District 7 Commissioner Kathie Gannon also pledged $30,000 to the project, but the funds did not pass during her term, said Ernst. Current District 7 Commissioner Ted Terry has taken up the mantle and is working on moving those funds. The DeKalb County Board of Commissioners approved that funding at its March 23 meeting. According to Kimley-Horn documents from the meeting, Phase 1 of creating the master plan will include initial environmental screenings, site visits and preliminary concept designs. Phase 2 would produce a full analysis report, including project maps and diagrams which show aspects such as water and topographic features. Phase 2 would also include meetings with stakeholder groups. Ernst said the city is hoping to move as quickly as possible. According to Kimley-Horn documents, its team will be speaking with GDOT to learn more about the department’s right-of-way acquisition plans for the toll lane project and see where there might be rightof-way that is “usable and accessible based on the current I-285 Express Lane design.” “We’re hoping to use as much GDOT-reserved land as possible,” Ernst said. GDOT spokesperson Natalie Dale said GDOT is familiar with the project, but there aren’t yet any details to coordinate. “We will continue to work with municipalities as the plan and study develop,” Dale said.


Community | 13

APRIL 2021 ■

City to install wayfinding signs in $1.3M project BY BOB PEPALIS Motorists and pedestrians may have an easier time finding their way around the city with wayfinding sign installations around City Springs and border areas. Installation is expected to begin in the next six to eight months. Communications Director Sharon Kraun presented a plan to the City Council on March 2 to install directional and informational signs around the city. Signs helping motorists and pedestrians with directions, kiosk information signs and gateway signs at the “entrances” to the city are planned. “Our phase one would be getting all the gateway signs up and working on the City Springs downtown area, all the directional signage,” Deputy City Manager David Wells said. “And then phase two, we’d move into the vehicular and the parking directional signs. And then phase three, we would work on the pedestrian directional and the kiosk signs.” The city’s goal is to install gateway signs in existing right-of-ways. The need for additional land purchases has not been determined, said Dan Coffer, the city’s community relations manager. Gateway sign locations will include: Roswell Road at the Chattahoochee River; Ga. 400 at Roberts Drive; Johnson Ferry Road at the river; I-285 at the river; Roswell Road north of West Wieuca Road; Ga. 400 near the Glenridge Connector; I-285 near Perimeter Center Parkway; Spalding Drive at Dunwoody Road; Johnson Ferry Road near Old Johnson Ferry Road; and at the North Springs and Sandy Springs MARTA Stations. A contractor would be selected by May 2021, he said. The projected budget is $1.3 million. Signs will be made of a mix of materials, Coffer said.l. Directional and parking signs would be mounted on metal poles. Gateway signs would be mounted on stacked stone bases. Pedestrian kiosks will be digital. City staff including police, fire, recreation and economic development departments helped choose locations in 2017, Kraun said. A consultant, MERJE of West Chester, Pennsylvania, was hired. “Wayfinding is intended to make locating places easy, and we spent a considerable amount of time identifying the appropriate locations and the types of designs and the messages that were going to be needed,” Kraun said. She said the wayfinding signs will promote branding of the city in addition to helping people on foot and in cars find their way around the city. The city’s branding and wayfinding designs made their way into three bridge


replacements over Ga. 400. The council previously approved spending $5.9 million on bridges at Pitts Road, Roberts Drive and Spalding Drive that will be replaced by the Georgia Department of Transportation as part of its Ga. 400 toll lanes project. The city approved spending the money on the bridges to enhance them for pedestrian and bicycle use, with aesthetic enhancements including a stacked stone look and the city’s logo. Construction on the lanes is expected to begin in 2022 and finish in 2026. “For the bridges, we opted to use an allstone version of the wayfinding. It blended well with the stone that was used for the bridge itself. There was also a cost element and maintenance element that was incorporated into there,” Kraun said. Wells said the city has most of the property necessary for the gateways. The city didn’t identify which property it owned or needed. Councilmember Andy Bauman asked about branding around the Medical Center area on Peachtree-Dunwoody Road, home to Northside Hospital, Emory St. Joseph’s, the MARTA Medical Center Station and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Scottish Rite Hospital. The area is known


An illustration of one of the gateway signs planned for installation at the city limits.

as “Pill Hill” in local slang. “Just maybe at some point, we can add or add some brandings those hospitals themselves hopefully would contribute,” Bauman said. “It would be nice at some point to brand that area and to move past the ‘Pill Hill’ moniker,” Bauman said. Kraun said hospitals and the Sandy Springs Perimeter Chamber of Commerce was part of the stakeholder group the city consulted. The consensus was to get the direction signage needed in the

city first. “But as far as our future branding effort, if there’s something that we want to do with the medical district, we can look at that as a standalone project and then incorporate additional kinds of branding,” she said. Wayfinding and gateway signs have become popular in local cities in recent years. Brookhaven has been installing similar gateway signs since 2018. Dunwoody is in the midst of considering a signage plan.


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14 | Community ■

Voters may see mayoral battle, new North End councilmember Continued from page 1 sion and equity. District 1 incumbent John Paulson and District 3 incumbent Chris Burnett have not announced their plans. And no race is set in stone, as official candidate qualifying does not happen until Aug. 16-20. Qualifying fees will be $540 for council seats and $1,200 for mayor. A candidate must be a city resident for at least 12 months prior to the election date. They must reside in the district they plan to represent for at least six months. Terms for mayor and council are four years.

Mayoral race Dontaye Carter

“I think it’s time just for some different experiences and different perspectives,” said Carter. He added that, as a candidate who is Black, “I want to be a part of bringing not just a diversity in pigmentation to the table, but an actual diversity of thought.” Carter has worked as an executive producer, news anchor and reporter at TV stations, including CBS46 and 11Alive in Atlanta. He worked for former Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard handling public relations before setting out to start his own firm, Carter Media Group of Sandy Springs.

L-R, Rusty Paul, Dontaye Carter, Melody Kelley, Jason Hamilton.

He and Karen, his wife, live in Sandy Springs with their 3-year-old daughter Kyleigh. Carter said he’s still putting together his platform, but that his background shows he’s a servant at heart. He said as a journalist he told people’s stories and did the same thing working with the DA’s office and with his own firm. His said team worked with him on public relations with the last year’s shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery near Brunswick, Georgia, and with some of the people accusing musician R. Kelly of sexual abuse in a major criminal case. “We’ve always just been about bettering the lives of others, of the least of us, so that we can take care of all of us,” said Carter. “That’s been our biggest thing and

so that’s what I really want to be able to focus on when it comes to really, again, moving Sandy Springs forward in a way that brings people along.” He serves as a board member with the Joan Trumpauer Mulholland Foundation.

Rusty Paul

Paul said he will run for reelection to finish the priorities that took a backseat to the COVID-19 pandemic, like getting control of the city’s water system, North End redevelopment and finishing the City Springs campus. “I had originally thought that maybe this past time would be my last run for office,” he said. Paul is the city’s second mayor and first won the office in 2013. He was reelected in 2017 unopposed after a challenger

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dropped out. With all the issues remaining that were put on hold, Paul said, now is not the time to change leadership. Gaining control of the city’s water system is his top issue, with finishing the City Springs campus by adding the Cultural Arts Center and North End redevelopment rounding out his top three priorities. The diversity inclusion initiative and getting a transportation special local option sales tax (TSPLOST) renewed complete his main priorities. Construction of the Cultural Arts Center with its Anne Frank exhibit through a partnership with the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust could begin by this fall, he said. The City Council may vote on the project in April. The Diversity and Inclusion Task Force has just begun to meet. “That’s something that we’ve started that I would also be remiss if I didn’t stick around to try and take the recommendations of the task force to complete that process,” he said. A renewal of TSPLOST is important for the city’s transportation infrastructure, he said. City plans call for Roswell Road to become more suited for pedestrians and bicyclists, adding landscaped medians and buffers.

City Council District 2

In District 2, Soteres says he is retiring and never intended to serve more than one term. Soteres was among the members of an advisory committee his predecessor, Ken Dishman, formed several years to find ways to spark redevelopment in the city’s North End. Dishman won the seat in 2013, ousting an incumbent, on a platform of replacing the current apartments and shopping centers with “higher-end” development. But since then, the concept of spurring North End redevelopment has become more controversial and open to debate about such concerns as housing affordability and displacements of residents. Hamilton and Kelley, the currently announced candidates for the District 2 seat, have said they advocate for affordable housing. Kelley said she is on the leadership council for Sandy Springs Together, a group formed to advocate for more affordability and against displacement in the North End plans. Hamilton said the city needs to “continue with the battle of affordable housing for all classes of income.”

Jason Hamilton

Hamilton, an information technology manager and Sandy Springs resident for eight years, joined the race for the District 2 with his campaign announcement on March 11. “After years working for the county and city government in IT Support, I have learned that there are so many things wrong in our leadership,” Hamilton said. A Georgia native, Hamilton works at Insight Global, which has offices on HamSS

Community | 15

APRIL 2021 ■ mond Drive. He has served on the board of directors at Avalon Townhomes in Sandy Springs. He has served as a Rise Teen Ministry leader and as a life group leader at Eagles Nest Church in Alpharetta. He wants to bridge the gap between diversity and inclusiveness and to be the person who stands up for those who are not heard by local leaders. “People want to have the ability to afford something reasonable, close to their job, great school system, and a safe area that they can call home,” Hamilton said. Despite being close to Buckhead and downtown Atlanta, the city offers few attractions, he said. Vacant shopping centers can be renovated and used for new recreational businesses and bring more revenue into the city. “With high traffic commuting through the city that causes standstills and a long duration of traffic, there needs to be more street expansions that will allow a better flow of traffic on a day-to-day basis,” Hamilton said. The city is working on this issue, but not at the pace the people want, he said. Hamilton said he was being supported by the Democratic Party in North Fulton.

Melody Kelley


Kelley, a chemistry professor for Georgia State University at Perimeter College, joined the race on Jan. 6. “It’s my home of choice, and it’s where I want to raise my daughter,” Kelley said. “So I just want to do my part as a public servant and help this place be the best, the best place that it can be, the most vibrant and inclusive place.” Kelley wants to help build relationships and create opportunities for all of its families and residents. “I understand we’re in a pandemic, but I think we need to be a little more intentional about outreach, a little more intentional about accessibility of information. You know, even things as simple as public comment.” Kelley is an organic chemist by training and is a chemistry professor at Georgia State University at Perimeter College. She has lived in Sandy Springs for the past five years with her daughter, who is a freshman at North Springs High School. Her local involvement includes serving on PTO boards at Sandy Springs Middle School and at North Springs. She participated in Leadership Sandy Springs, is a member of the Citizens Police Academy with the Sandy Springs Police Department and is on the leadership council for Sandy Springs Together. She’s also a member of the city’s Charter Review Commission. “I’ll just say that I definitely have a track record of being a public servant and a leader in the community, and I’m very proud of that,” she said. She identifies herself as an opportunity creator. Kelley said she wants to keep the campaign non-partisan and plans to represent everyone.

Diversity task force members seek housing affordability reviews Continued from page 1 adopt a Transportation Master Plan, they decided to focus on housing first. “I think it’s going to be really important in our April meeting where it really is, all hands-on deck, as a task force of how can we first ensure that this community can live here and stay here and feel belonging and have that roof over their head,” said Olivia Rocamora, the Spanish Department chair and Spanish Immersion program coordinator at The Weber School. Recommendations the subcommittee plans to give to the full Task Force include everything from engaging all parts of the community in the discussion to pushing City Council to restart the second phase of its Housing Needs Assessment study so policies enabling affordable housing are developed. Another action item she suggested was that the city require a housing affordability impact study of an area before its redevelopment. “I think there needs to be a protocol in place that before there’s a vote ‘yes’, that there is a study of how will that redevelopment impact those people residing in those apartment complexes,” Rocamora said. The study should determine if the impact was counter to what the city’s trying to do for diversity and inclusion. “If so, then we need to pull the brakes on that,” she said. Rocamora said a document referenced by fellow task force member, Rev. Bill Murray, confirmed that the majority of the minority communities in the city live in apartments. A Housing Needs Assessment presented to the City Council in December said only 21% of the non-White population were homeowners and 15% of Hispanic or Latino households owned their homes “I learned that 85% of the land in Sandy Springs is zoned for single-family homes, and not for apartments,” Rocamora said. Sandy Springs was mentioned nationally as having some of the worst zoning laws for creating housing affordability, which makes for a challenge, she said. Redevelopment of aging apartment complexes means displacement of not just residents, but specifically residents of color, she said. “I call it more of a segregated approach to how we do housing in Sandy Springs where we geographically place affordability in certain pockets but it’s not throughout,” said Nicole Morris, task force member and a professor at Emory University School of Law. Rocamora said the community members and activists she interviewed told her that the task force needs to identify solutions that do not disenfranchise one group of residents over another.

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Commentary / Acts of violence reveal need for equity in education The recent acts of violence against Asian and African Ameri- dermined with the 1896 Supreme Court ruling in Plessy v. Fergucans have made it clear that -- as parents and educators -- it’s time son and the passage of Georgia’s first Jim Crow law in 1890. For the for a genuine conversation about racial and educational inequi- next 60 years, Jim Crow laws legally defined all matters of public ty. Often amid tragic circumstances, we miss opportunities to ex- life in the South, including schools. Even after the Brown v. Board plore root causes. Despite the horrible situations, perhaps these of Education decision, school segregation continued in Atlanta unrecent events can spark real action in our community. Working til 1972. together toward racial and educational equity, we can hope to creLegally sanctioned redlining in the 1930s via President Roosate a better and just Atlanta for all. evelt’s Home Owners’ Loan Corporation created Atlanta’s residenIn my role as Chief Equity and Social Justice Officer of Atlan- tial demographic patterns, with more affluent white communities ta Public Schools, I collaborate with stakeholders to ensure equi- living in the north above Interstate 20 and poorer African Amerity among all students. I hear and understand parents’ beliefs and can communities living in the south and west of I-20. concerns. Some are concerned that equity could mean their chilAnti-literacy laws, legal segregation and racial violence have dren will have opportunities taken away as we provide greater ac- had profound impacts on the economic mobility and educational cess for all children. Others are concerned about a lessening of ed- options available to people of color, particularly to African Amerucational quality. I understand how difficult it icans within our city. Since slavery, African may be to share these concerns, especially in Americans have been playing catch-up with the thick of race-based, hate-filled violence. their white counterparts in all areas, especialIt is important to me for concerned parents ly education. to know that I don’t take their concerns as racConsider today when Atlanta stands as the ist statements. I, too, am a parent and undermost income-disparate city in the nation: stand that all parents only want what’s best for our children. Equally as important is that ■ Current census data shows that the we all push beyond the barriers built through median household income within Atlanta Pubgenerations of misinformation. lic Schools is $167,087 for white students and As an educator, I recognize that the great$23,803 for Black students est remedy against fear is knowledge. To elim■ Roughly 75% of APS students live in inate fears that surround equity, it’s vital that low-income situations and research shows we have a clear understanding of what it is that a child born into poverty in Atlanta has a and how it differs from equality. 95.5% chance of remaining in poverty. Equity is when each student gets what they uniquely need to succeed. It’s different from This context and data are not to suggest equality, which treats everyone the same withthat APS can fix all of our societal problems, out addressing the root causes of disparity and or that APS owns all of the work to be done. SPECIAL ignores the reality that each child is different. However, we are going to do our best to own Tauheedah Baker-Jones is the Equity differs in that it ensures all children what is ours. Chief Equity and Social Justice get what they need. It should also be stated that achieving eqOfficer of Atlanta Public Schools. As we begin to understand the true meanuity does not mean taking anything from anying of equity, we also must accept that racial one nor does it mean lowering the quality of and educational inequities exist and understand that they are the education. It means giving ALL students what they need. result of historic policies and practices that have disenfranchised Ultimately, equity is not a zero-sum game. At its core, our eqlarge sections of our community for generations. uity work is about recognizing that in Atlanta there are real ceilFor example, the 1854 California Supreme Court ruling in Peo- ings hindering children from receiving the promise education is ple v. Hall stated that people of Asian descent could not testify supposed to provide. Some may not believe in what we say, but we against a white person in court, thereby establishing a legal man- need everyone to believe that when we say all children, “All means date protecting perpetrators of violence against Asian Americans ALL.” and substantiating anti-Asian sentiments to this day. While we all play a role in fixing inequities, there is no simple During slavery, laws were passed forbidding African Ameri- “to-do” list that will make it all better. We must do the work. Equity cans from learning to read, write and educate themselves. In Geor- for all requires participation by all. The effort is by you, the effort gia, these anti-literacy laws were so strict that failure to comply is for you, the effort is with you. When ALL of our students are valwas punishable by death. At the end of slavery, African Americans ued, affirmed and supported, our entire city will succeed. across the South enrolled in schools, only to have these efforts un-

Publisher’s Note: Introducing the Rough Draft newsletter

In early March, Springs Publishing, the parent company of the Reporter Newspapers, Atlanta Intown and Atlanta Senior Life, launched a new email newsletter called Rough Draft. Published at 7 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, Rough Draft is intended to be a clever, concise and curated look at the news, information and events across the metro area. Each issue of Rough Draft includes five to seven stories and is intended to be read in less than 5 minutes with your morning coffee. Designed to be an easily digestible tip sheet that will help you stay conversant with the information that’s driving conversations that day, Rough Draft will have a bias towards our own content, but it’s not tied to specific geographies and most days will

feature sources from beyond Springs’ properties. This newspaper will continue our commitment to unrivaled hyperlocal news in the communities we cover and we see Rough Draft as an extension of our brands. As the world comes out of the pandemic and events begin to ramp-up, we have also launched a new calendar platform under the Rough Draft brand. Visit and you’ll see the region’s most thorough event calendar. We hope you’ll visit and subscribe to our email. — Keith Pepper, Publisher

represent the views of Reporter Newspapers or Springs Publishing.


Commentary | 17

APRIL 2021 ■

Around Town

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

A Dunwoody mural artist finds joy in American ‘Daydreaming’ Diana Toma jokes that her first words were, “Can I have a pet to draw?” “I think I got the pet,” she said with a laugh. “I don’t know.” She no longer even remembers what kind of pet it was. But the drawing part of her story rings true. Toma says that when she was a little girl, she sketched all the time. Everything around her seemed interesting and something she needed to capture in the pages of her notebook. “I was never bored because I had paper and pencil,” she said. Constant practice pays off. Toma says that by the time she had finished kindergarten – yes, kindergarten -- her teacher suggested she pursue a career as an artist. But all that was a long time ago and far away. Toma’s 46 now. She’s living in a different country from the one she grew up sketching, is a single mom of two children, and – after unfulfilling side trips into other careers -- makes her living selling paintings and teaching others to paint, including through classes at the Spruill Center for the Arts in Dunwoody. One of her works soon could become one of the most visible public paintings in Dunwoody. The Dunwoody Arts Commission recently chose her painting “Daydreaming” as the design for a 9-by-24-foot mural to be painted on an outside wall at the entrance to the center at 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road. The brightly colored design shows a child surrounded by, and presumably daydreaming about, things from nature. Toma says those kinds of images weren’t always things that populated her art. She was born in Romania and was a teenager during Romania’s 1989 revolution, when that country joined the wave SPECIAL of eastern European naDiana Toma. tions shaking off Communist control – or, as she describes it now, “when the Soviet bloc broke into pieces.” The revolution made a huge difference in Toma’s life. She remembers, for instance, that her parents, both engineers, were trapped at work during the uprising. “It was really scary for someone my age,” she said, “but it also was very exciting – the overall energy.” One big change following the revolution, she said, was that the college of art in her hometown reopened after being closed for years. She signed up. During her student years, Toma thought of herself as a conceptual artist whose work tackled serious subjects. “That was the thing, the cool thing,” she said. “It was a little bit … on the sinister side.” But once she graduated, she found conceptual art didn’t pay the bills. She tried her hand at graphic design. At the time, eastern European artists were drawing commissions from companies in western Europe and the U.S,, in part because the easterners worked cheaply. Toma started working for Americans, ended up marrying one, and about 15 years ago, she moved to the U.S. She started out in New York, living and working in trendy Brooklyn. “New York was exciting, but was too expensive,” she said. About 10 years ago, she saw an article promoting Atlanta as a good, cheap place for artists, so she and her then husband moved south. The marriage lasted only a few more years. Toma suddenly found herself divorced, unhappy, a long way from home and doing work she didn’t like to make money. “I thought to myself, ‘If I had to be in another country and be a single mom with kids, I just have to do something I love.’ [At] rock bottom, there’s nowhere to go but up.” She started using her watercolors and oils to paint brighter things: flowers, animals, portraits of people. She found a job teaching at the Spruill Center and found the classroom a natural fit. “I love to teach. I love so much to teach,” she said. “I became a better artist. Because I was doing research for my classes. I was doing demonstrations. … You think you have to know it to teach it, but it’s the other way around. By doing, you’re learning.” She learned to focus on the joy in what she was doing. Now, “it feels like I’m giving back to this country that sort of changed who I am.” One particular piece that’s giving back, the Spruill mural, “is close to my heart [because] the Spruill is where it started.” “I can’t believe I’ve been doing all these things,” she said. “I didn’t even know this world existed. … I never thought this was going to be my life. I thought I would have a typical Romanian life. Now I have two ex-husbands and a career in art. I’m here and it’s fine.”

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18 | Commentary ■

Carol Niemi is a marketing consultant who lives on the Dunwoody-Sandy Springs line and writes about people whose lives inspire others. Contact her at

Hospitalization can be frightening, especially for children. So, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta employs a special team whose job is to make the experience less so. The most popular members of the team do their job without saying a word. That’s because they’re the fourlegged members of Canines for Kids at Carol Niemi is a marketing consultant who lives on the DunwoodyChildren’s. Sandy Springs line and writes about people whose lives inspire Founded in 2009, Canines others. for Kids at her at Contact Children’s is composed of 14 dogs and their primary handlers, backed by five secondary handlers. The handlers are all medical professionals whose work is enhanced by the presence of their dog. Everybody, including the dogs, is a hospital employee. Most of the dogs are golden retrievers, Labs and Labradoodles -- all known for their intelligence and friendly, gentle dispositions. As hospital staff, the dogs are not “therapy dogs,” but rather specially trained “facility dogs.” Therapy dogs are volunteer visiting dogs, certified by a variety of organizations based on their temperament and behavior, who along with their unpaid volunteer owners, make brief non-clinical visits to patients and staff. Facility dogs, in contrast, work alongside professional healthcare providers, who in Canines for Kids at Children’s are mostly child life specialists. Their specialized training enables them to visit paSPECIAL tients in almost all areas of the hospital, Bella and her primary handler including those not eligible for therapy and partner, Canines for Kids dog visits. Program Coordinator Kara Klein. The Canines for Kids program coordi-


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Canines comfort kids at Children’s Healthcare According to Canine Assistants Founder Jennifer Arnold, instead of traditional behavioral dog training that relies on commands and rewards, Canine Assistants dogs are taught through “bondbased learning/exercises … how to manage their own behavior and not rely on directives from a human handler.” Essentially, the dogs bond so closely with their human they model human behavior, such as how to climb on a patient’s bed without disturbing the maze of tubes and wires. But how specifically do the dogs make a difference? Klein recalls one case of an 8-year-old girl who refused to leave her room because of the way she looked after facial surgery. “When I said let’s take Bella outside to go potty,” said Klein, “she left her room for the first time in two days.”

Patients’ parents tell similar stories.

nator is Kara Klein, previously a full-time child life specialist. In 2010, she and her facility dog Bella, a golden retriever, became the second dog-handler pair to join the program. Klein says facility dogs are an especially good fit for child life specialists, whose job is to help patients cope, heal and achieve treatment goals while at the hospital. “The dogs help with reducing anxiety, providing distraction, modeling what a patient might see or experience and medical play like listening to the dog’s heart or putting on a bandage,” she said. Now age 12, Bella has lived with Klein since she joined the program. She still goes “to work” every day but is reducing her workload as she ages. Even though Klein considers Bella “her” dog, she is technically owned by Canine Assistants of Milton the organization where she was born, raised and trained. “We don’t choose the dog,” said Klein. “Canine Assistants chooses the dog after meeting the handler and learning their needs.” Bella and Klein, like all the dog-handler teams in the program, are “bonded,” thanks to the Canine Assistants training philosophy.

Diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia at just 15 months, Maddie Dukes, now age 4, has been in and out of Children’s Healthcare’s Scottish Rite hospital in Sandy Springs for most of her life. After undergoing a bone-marrow transplant, she was having trouble getting out of bed for her necessary walking therapy. But facility dog Tidings motivated her to get up and walk around the floor holding his leash. “The joy, comfort and love these dogs give to the kids at Children’s is just the medicine they need. Maddie instantly felt better after a dose of Ty,” said her mother, Kristen. For some patients, facility dogs have made the difference during the pandemic. Born with Treacher Collins Syndrome, brother and sister Malachi and Lexie Delaney have had more than 100 surgeries at Children’s and depended on the many activities normally offered. When those were shut down because of COVID-19, the Canines for Kids dogs became more important than ever. “The facility dogs have bridged the gap our family has felt the past few months during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said the siblings’ mother, Amy. “The dogs remind [our children] of life before the pandemic and provide the sense of calm and comfort that leads to their healing.” Canines for Kids and Canine Assistants are 100% donor-financed. For information, go to or


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APRIL 2021 ■

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20 | Special Section ■

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Pandemic Park Life

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Going outside for exercise or just a walk around the block were some of the ways metro Atlantans broke the monotony of pandemic life during the past year. Many also swarmed to the mountains and North Georgia’s state parks. It’s an uptick that started after last spring as some COVID-19 restrictions were eased and has continued unabated across the 84-thousand-acre system. “Crazy” is how Brad Gibson, the manager at hugely popular Cloudland Canyon State Park in Dade County, described the months since the pandemic began. Park rangers and employees worked to keep parkgoers social distanced, volunteers counted cars, and many day users were turned away. “We never really had a slow month,“ Gibson said. As of St. Patrick’s Day, he related “I’ve had the ‘full’ sign up at the campground since the first weekend in March and I don’t see it slowing down until early May.” The same holds true at high-traffic Tallulah Gorge State Park near Clarksville. Assistant manager Lieren Merz said ranger programs, guided hikes and even the park’s annual Easter Egg Hunt were canceled or curtailed last year. They hope to inch toward normal in 2021. Still, she said, “It’s been a struggle to keep up with the crowds and litter.” The Georgia Department of Natural Resources said for the period from July 2020 to March 15 of this year, almost 8 million guests have made their way to parks statewide. That’s up about 2.4 million visitors over last year, or around 37 percent. That’s lot of tent stakes driven and campers and RVs backing into parking spots. “We are happy to share the state parks with new visitors,” said Department of Natural Resources spokeswoman Kim Hatcher. “We just want people to have a good time at the parks and socially distance.” To that end, Hatcher said those visiting park offices, museums and other indoor areas are strongly encouraged to wear masks, while accommodations and common areas are getting thoroughly sanitized. Boating, golf, hiking, biking, kayaking, disc golf, and most other outdoor activities are going forward this year, said officials. In a broader sense, however, park programming has entered a new era. Visitors will find there’s much more to do than hike or crawl into a sleeping bag as recreational options have mushroomed recently. “We were getting people to fill out surveys a few years ago.” said Heath Carter, vice president for sales and marketing with Coral Hospitality. They operate several parks under contract with the state including Amicalola and Unicoi state parks and the Brasstown Valley Resort and Spa. “People were telling us they loved the parks but that there was nothing to do.” Carter said he and the staff were puzzled by that. “We found out that they wanted programmed events. They might not have a fly-fishing rod or bow and arrow, but they wanted guidance and instruction. So, we supply the gear. All they have to do is sign up.” Ziplines are the biggest attractions at both parks, he said. Add to that a somewhat eclectic list including tomahawk throwing, survivalist camps, live fishing classes, 3D arContinued on page 22 SS

APRIL 2021

Special Section | 21

Hole #6 | Par 4

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Obtain the Property Report required by Federal Law and read it before signing anything. No Federal agency has judged the merits or value, if any, of this property. This is not intended to be an offer to sell nor as a solicitation of offers to buy property in Old Toccoa Farm by residents of any state where prior registration is required.

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22 | Special Section ■

Continued from page 20 chery, paddle boarding and air rifle shooting. In addition, some facets of the parks have seen a makeover in the past year or so, with more due to come. Cabins have been renovated at Red Top Mountain State Park. The beach is also getting a makeover at the nearly 1,800-acre park on Lake Allatoona, as are campground facilities. At Cloudland Canyon, a needed update to showers and restrooms is on the horizon. Kiss those old square-block buildings goodbye. Air conditioning and heat are being added to the park’s yurts. Power capacity is being beefed up at campsites. At Tallulah Gorge, dozens of parking spaces have been added at the interpretive center. In the digital space, park officials have added an online retail store and a statewide equestrian pass. And that’s just for 2020-2021. More yurts, dog-friendly cabins, expanded mountain biking trails and expansions to park stores have all happened the last few years. Hatcher suggests those wanting to visit the mostly-heavily used state parks come early in the day or on a weekday, so as not to be turned away from day-use areas or told to wait on entering trails. A recent Monday visit to Amicalola Falls brought home that advice. The park had a leisurely feel, almost small-townish. A short hike up past a reflecting pond on the approach trail quickly revealed the brawling, tumbling falls themselves, the third highest cascading falls east of the Mississippi. Moseying toward the spectacle were Larry and Carol Crewey of Gainesville. “This is just wonderful,” said Carol Crewey, who said they’d already been to Tallulah Gorge this spring. “These little outdoor trips and adventures have been a lifesaver for us this past year.” A first-time visitor from Atlanta, Alex Nickelson, said he and his partner had just finished walking upstairs adjacent the falls, then taking another trail bending them back gradually toward the visitors’ center. “It was strenuous,” he chuckled. “They do warn you – twice.” Tallulah Falls also gets some aqua-love for its stair walk down into the 1,000-footdeep gorge and a half- dozen falls. The namesake canyon at Cloudland Canyon is a dramatic wonder with rocky and tree-bedecked views into parts of Tennessee and Alabama. A staircase leads down to a stream and two gorgeous falls at the bottom. And don’t miss the overlook. “It gives you a sense of how big and massive things are when you get up there,” said Gibson.

Vogel State Park, established in 1931 and the second oldest in the system, is one that plays big. It sits at the foot of Blood Mountain, the highest summit on the Appalachian Trail in Georgia. It has an extensive trail system that includes a challenging 13-mile back-country route and is centered on a placid lake. And don’t forget other North Georgia parks like Don Carter, Fort Mountain, Black Rock Mountain, and Smithgall Woods. All of them feature woodsy walks, glimpses of wildlife and breath-catching vistas and some are less visited, so you’re less likely to run into thousands of your best friends, And what’s not to like about a mere $5 parking fee to enter? (But keep in mind that some activities will require digging deeper into the wallet). It may not be easy for park employees handling the crowds and strain on facilities, but visitors like Nickelson are quick to give them a thumbs-up. “I’ve never been here before,” he said, “but I’ve been to a lot of state parks and I like it. It’s very clean and I didn’t feel unsafe walking up the stairs, which is a good thing.” And he added, “I just love waterfalls.” Cloudland Canyon

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APRIL 2021

Special Section | 23

24 | Special Section ■

Big Canoe thrives during pandemic, has waiting list for homes BY COLLIN KELLEY If you need further proof that the real estate market barely blinked during the pandemic, then look no further than Big Canoe: there’s a waiting list for homes in the private mountain community. Situated between Jasper and Dawsonville about an hour north of Atlanta, Big Canoe usually has anywhere from 200 to 250 homes on the market at any given time. As of mid-March, there were only 19 available. “It’s so amazing,” Big Canoe’s general manager Scott Auer said. “Realtors have waiting lists. As soon as a home goes on the market, there are multiple offers in 24 hours.” Auer said the pandemic is to blame. “COVID-19 has changed how we live and do business,” Auer said. “The pandemic has made people rethink their priorities and they want to be somewhere that has a small town feel and offers security.” To that end, the 8,000 acre Big Canoe now has some of the fastest internet speeds in the country, its own fire department, and round-the-clock gated security. And, of course, there’s the stunning mountain views and amenities galore. Auer said Big Canoe is spending $6 million on capital improvements in 2021, including renovations

to the golf course and tennis courts, a new bocci facility, and plans to turn older buildings in the community into meeting spaces. Big Canoe was also serious about keeping its residents safe from COVID-19, going above and beyond the state’s recommendations. “We locked arms and said the safety of our property owners and employees was the most important issue, so we put some stringent guidelines in place including mask mandates.” While the community might have lost some day-users of its amenities, Auer said, but safety above profits was the guiding principle during the height of the pandemic. He said a partnership with Northside Hospital and an active group of volunteers in the community also helped residents do everything from pick up groceries to taking neighbors to doctor’s appointments. He said Big Canoe residents have also been proactive about getting the vaccine.

Auer said Big Canoe would relax its pandemic protocols slowly but was already moving toward mask-optional times at its gyms, offering more outdoor dining options at the clubhouse, and is hopeful that

the big 4th of July fireworks display will be on the calendar. “What we really need is more houses,” a delighted Auer said.



APRIL 2021

Special Section | 25


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26 | Community ■

Planners grapple with pandemic’s mystery impacts on population boom and traffic BY JOHN RUCH AND MAGGIE LEE In the era of metro Atlanta’s population boom, it’s a magic number behind virtually every transportation plan and housing policy: another 2.9 million people packing into the region by 2050. But the pandemic could slow that growth and change many plans, says the head of the agency that made the estimate. “It’ll take about three or four years to know whether pre-pandemic migration patterns are going to pick up… or have slowed permanently,” said Doug Hooker, executive director of the Atlanta Regional Commission, at a March 8 Rotary Club of Buckhead luncheon. Historically, pandemics have halted or reduced such largescale relocations, he said. Even if the population crunch continues, the long-term future of teleworking is a huge question that could affect everything from local street-widenings to state toll lanes to MARTA routes. So is how such changes fit into long-term trends like a decline in bus ridership. The ARC had just completed a fouryear regional transportation plan in February 2020, only to see it become virtually obsolete in lockdowns. The plan included a kind of disaster scenario, dubbed “Fierce Headwinds,” but it was about an economic recession, not a pandemic. Now work is starting on an update, but it may need to account for new ways of thinking about notions like “rush hour.” “As professional planners this is our job to try and anticipate things like this, and in a lot of ways we got blindsided by the pandemic just like every person did,” says David Haynes, a senior planner at ARC. “We know the questions to be asking. We just don’t know answers to them yet.” Metro Atlanta’s traffic volumes are returning to a near normal, Haynes said, but in funny ways. Instead of just the traditional a.m. and p.m. rush hours, there’s congestion at midday and on the weekends. That spreading-out of the traffic volume suggests a significant teleworking shift. ARC will have to “totally revisit our assumptions” on things like traffic demand and volume-counting practices, he said. Georgia’s about to spend $1.2 billion to add toll lanes along the Perimeter and Ga. 400, including in Sandy Springs. And those Ga. 400 lanes might also carry a new “rapid” bus service, though whether and when that happens will depend on the will of Fulton mayors to ask voters to open their wallets. The folks who run toll roads and MARTA say the need for their infrastructure isn’t going anywhere, even if the pandemic means some changes. But there are also long-term trends they’re watching. Regular bus use has been on a gentle decline for years on key northeast metro Atlanta routes. That’s happening everywhere, even as the population rises. Nationwide, bus rid-

ership is at its lowest point since at least 1973, according to a new study by Georgia Tech researchers. Transit planners know some of what’s behind the nationwide bus and rail decline, even if they’re still figuring out how much each factor is to blame. They know that when driving and parking are easy and cheap, people will choose cars. And if buses are infrequent and get stuck in the same traffic as everybody else, they’re less popular. But what’s still a bit of a mystery is how much of the change is due to ride-hailing apps, e-scooters, bike-sharing, telecommuting and even gentrification. Even before COVID-19, those things were taking

some bite out of transit demand. Wealthy, white-collar professionals who can telecommute don’t tend to be dependent on buses or trains, whereas the folks they priced out of town might have been. Metro Atlanta’s toll lanes, on the other hand, get popular quickly and stay that way, according to Peach Pass data. The numbers plunged early in the pandemic and are climbing back. The use of toll lanes and transit hasn’t recovered since the pandemic plunge began about a year ago, though transit planners expect it to, just maybe in different ways. If some critical mass of people continue to telecommute or remain unem-

ployed, maybe that’s the future of rush hour. And online shopping is driving freight traffic higher. Tractortrailers bring the cargo part of the way, then the fleets of Amazon vans roll out. Meanwhile, there’s probably not anything that could stop the new toll lanes project on Ga. 400, though the Georgia Department of Transportation hasn’t finished all its necessary reviews. Chris Tomlinson is head of SRTA, the state agency that administers toll roads — and of the one that coordinates metro counties’ transit plans. He argues the metro still needs all kinds of alternatives to the single person driving one car during rush hour, including transit, telecommuting and yes, toll lanes. “We’re doing all these [Peach Pass lane] projects because our roads were already oversubscribed,” Tomlinson said. “If traffic was to get back to just 85% of what it was, we would still have congestion.” MARTA’s leader, CEO and General Manager Jeff Parker, thinks talk of the death of the office is exaggerated and he remains bullish on cities in general. He pointed to Microsoft moving in at Bankhead, at Portman working with MARTA itself for a big development at North Avenue station, at metro Atlanta’s growing population “Nobody’s talking about the demise of the Midtown market,” Parker said. And besides that, not everybody even works in an office or got a COVID-19 break from it. Thousands of people continued to rely on MARTA even during the worst of the pandemic. The agency is working on a bus route redesign with the aim of better matching routes to riders and the places they need to go. That should take about a year. In the meantime, MARTA is planning to reopen all its suspended bus routes by April 24.

Education | 27

APRIL 2021 ■


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Established in 2001, this will be

Josh Powell Camp has been getting kids active in the great outdoors every summer since 1972.

Great SUMMER activities: swimming, archery, canoeing, arts and crafts, fort building, gaga ball, and more!

Registration currently open for current K-2nd graders.

Sutton Middle School on Northside Drive and Kairos Church at I-285 and Riverside

Summer Academy’s 21st offering

This summer is the time to start making your student’s career and college dreams a reality

5242 Wade Green Road, Acworth, GA 30312 (678) 369-0780 (call or text)



28 | Education ■

Choose your own adventure at Trinity School Summer Camp! Academic, specialty, and sports camps for children ages 4 to 13 June 7–July 2 Monday–Friday

• 7:30 AM–4 PM

July 26–30 Limited offerings


SUMMER FRIENDS A summer program for individuals with developmental disabilities Ages 16-21 (still attending High School)

Summer Friends incorporates our core elements of community service, therapeutic activities, healthy living, and social skills in peer appropriate setting Our program provides an opportunity for high school students to experience the robust programming of our therapeutic day program

4301 Northside Parkway NW, Atlanta 404-231-8117 | Trinity School operates under strong health and safety guidelines.



If you’re looking for your student to learn and grow this summer in a fun, faith-filled environment, HSP Summer Programs are for you! Our fun summer programs for preschoolers – 12th graders are designed to support the formation of each student through faith, academics, athletics, and arts.

Early registration is recommended as spaces are limited. Visit to register today! SS

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APRIL 2021 ■


smart girls

June 14-18 & 21-25 July 12-16 & 19-23 “A unique program that creates space for girls to take risks, discover their strengths, and express their own voice.”


for more information and to register visit

Join us for an adventurous and fun summer! Sea Gull and Seafarer’s unique North Carolina coastal location is perfect for our seamanship program and traditional camp activities. Campers make lifelong friendships, challenge themselves and succeed in the process.

Open to PK- 8th Grade students in metro Atlanta. Choose from science, technology, engineering, art camps, and more! SS

30 | Education ■

SUMMER CAMPS BLUE HERON SUMMER CAMP IS BACK! Blue Heron Summer Camp is the perfect place for your camper to escape into nature! Campers will discover the wonders of the


With 30 acres of greenspace located in the heart of Buckhead, PS

• Sports • Gymnastics • Science • Technology • Engineering • Math • Leisure • Arts & Crafts • Tennis


outdoors through hands-on learning, weekly focuses, and small group explorations. COVID safety protocols in place.






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. Learn more at



REPORTER NEWSPAPERS 2021 AGAPE TENNIS ACADEMY SUMMER CAMPS To register, email:, call (404) 636-5628, or sign up online at


Having fun becoming better players and better people

15% OFF if you register before April 1st

“The 2019 Organization of the Year” Camps are located at DeKalb Tennis Center: 1400 McConnell Drive Decatur, GA 30033


May 24-28 June 1-4 June 1-4 June 1-4 June 7-11 June 7-10 June 14-18 June 14-17 June 21-25 June 21-24 June 21-25 June 28-July 2 June 28-July 1 July 6-9 July 6-9 July 12-16 SS

Classifieds | 31

APRIL 2021 ■

Help Wanted


Executive Admin Assistant FT position open for an experienced executive admin working with two professionals in the financial services industry. Must have excellent computer and customer relation skills as you will be working with the firm’s top clients. Office is located in Dunwoody area. Applicant must supply cover letter, resume, salary requirements and any additional qualifications you feel may be pertinent. No phone calls, emails only accepted. Contact: Sue

Caregiver, Sitter & Companion Available for your loved ones! Certified with Great References. Call Deidre Kimbro 404-397-9429 - Available Today.

Driveways and Walkways - Replaced or repaired. Masonry, grading, foundations repaired, waterproofing or reetaining walls. Call Joe Sullivan 770-616-0576.

Considerate Caregiver for elderly woman & man. Flex hours, days, evenings, weekends. Prefer CNA/ Medical/Medical Student experience. Light meal prep and housekeeping. 770-393-4578 (landline). Email:

Best Rate Painting - We beat all estimates! Rooms as low as $175. Exterior as low as $1750. 25 years’ experience. Free estimates and No money down. Call 404-434-8941 or email: Visit:

Relevant Resume

Senior Companion

New Job Hunt.

Get your resume ready. 423-225-2471

Contact Meaningful Moments with Keisha Renae as your Senior Lifestyle Enrichment Advisor. I implement activities that help maintain lifestyles and reduce loneliness while building supportive friendships. Call 843-642-3414 or Email:

Services Available

Matthew’s Handy Services - 7AM appointments available. Small jobs & chores are my specialties! Organizers, Carpentry, Drywall & Painting. Call 404-547-2079 or email mwarren8328@ Troy Holland - Plumbing - Electrical - HVAC. All your needs! Repairs, Replacement & New installation. Family operated - 38 years experience. Commercial & Residential. Call 770256-8940.








Kitchen Bathroom Basement

Showroom, Design, Build



Spring Into

Atlanta’s Premier since 1968 Window Cleaning

• Gutter Cleaning • Pressure Washing • Family Owned • Licensed and Insured • FREE ESTIMATES



48 KING STREET ROSWELL, GA 30075 (770) 852-5453

Repairs & New installation

Plumbing Appliances Water Heaters Shower Pan Leaks


Windows And Doors Buy with confidence! Visit our showroom in Tucker!



• Family Owned since 1972 • Fast, Dependable Service by Professional, Uniformed Electricians


Check out our new website and follow us on


Serving Dunwoody, Sandy Springs, Buckhead, Brookhaven, and Peachtree Corners


Belco Electric

To advertise in this section, call 404-917-2200 ext 1003


All Gutter Cleanings include gutter repairs and spider web knockdowns

First time clients save $15 CARLOS LAZARRE (706)572-4023 Free estimates

3910 Lawrenceville Hwy, Tucker GA 30084

Driveways & Walkways

(Replaced or repaired)

Masonry Grading Foundations repaired Waterproofing Retaining walls

Joe Sullivan 770-616-0576

Handyman Services Moving & delivery too!

No job too small References Available 803-608-0792

Cornell Davis, Owner

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Take the first steps towards a better you.

Medical Weight Loss

Our custom treatments are designed specifically for your individual needs and goals, and include FDA approved medication, app tracking, and nutrition coaching.

Hormone Replacement Therapy Hormone replacement therapies revive energy, focus, and strength so you can continue feeling younger, longer.


Liposculpting is a totally safe, minimally invasive procedure that removes stubborn fat cells permanently, without trauma or damage to the surrounding tissue.

Hair Restoration

Permanent results with minimal downtime, and without a noticible linear scar, providing natural hair growth for men and women.


Hair. Face. Skin. It’s even easier now to roll back the hands of time, improve problem areas, and start feeling great in the mirror again.

Two convenient locations to serve you! SS


Sandy Springs

3889 Cobb Parkway NW Acworth, GA 30101

200 Sandy Springs Place NE Atlanta, GA 30328