APRIL 13 - 26, 2018 • VOL. 10 — NO. 8
After years of friendship, a Gold Girl Scout troop winds down Around Town PAGE 13
► Student protest leaders took different paths into activism PAGE 22
SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION | P23-28
City on the lookout for new police headquarters
Cleaning up at Murphey Candler Park
BY DYANA BAGBY email@example.com
Marianne Velker plucks trash from the Murphey Candler Park dam on April 7 during the “Sweep the Hooch” annual cleanup day along the entire Chattachoochee River watershed. She was one of many volunteers to come out for the event, organized by Chattahoochee Riverkeeper.
Coping with a Crisis: Opioid addiction in the suburbs EXCLUSIVE SERIES
Opioid ODs are deadlier than mass shootings, but some high schools don’t stock the antidote BY MAX BLAU
n the spring of 2014, a student fell out of his chair in a 10th-grade classroom at Buckhead’s North Atlanta High School. A teacher quickly noticed he was unconscious and hardly breathing. After someone called 911, a paramedic arrived and, suspecting an overdose, administered an opioid antidote in hopes of saving the kid’s life. The antidote, known as naloxone, worked. In reviving the student, Atlanta Public Schools staffers suddenly found themselves on the front line of the opioid
crisis. Nurses realized they could either shake it off as an isolated incident — or prepare for future overdoses to come. Imagine a school without a plan for an active shooter in 2018. Yet there were four times as many fatal opioid overdoses than gun homicides in 2016. Those deaths have
Listen to our special podcast or watch the video of a deeper discussion about the opioid epidemic’s local impact. See page 11
left a haunting trail of news reports across the country that include students finding classmates sprawled out on school bathroom floors and paramedics responding to the overdoses of teachers. In recent years, the rash of in-school overdoses nationwide hasn’t spared Atlanta, as the NAHS incident showed. And graduates of local public and private high schools have died from overdoses to opioids that they first tried as students. Yet many schools — including ones in Sandy Springs, Dunwoody and Brookhaven – have chosen not to stock the life-saving opioid antidote. See OPIOID on page 10
The search for a new Brookhaven police headquarters and municipal court site is underway. A Buford Highway residential neighborhood, already proposed for a townhome redevelopment, is one of several sites under consideration. The Ardent Companies is seeking to rezone approximately 15 acres on Bramblewood Drive and two parcels on Buford Highway for a 197-unit townhome development. The rezoning request was given the go-ahead by the Planning Commission at its April 4 meeting and now goes before the City Council. But the city is also looking at property on Bramblewood Drive to possibly purchase for the police and court building. Funding for the new headquarters is coming from $15 million in special local option sales tax money that was apSee CITY on page 30
City Hall building would be torn down in development plan BY DYANA BAGBY firstname.lastname@example.org
Brookhaven City Hall would be demolished as part of a redevelopment plan for several Peachtree Road properties recently filed with the city. The project would replace the current City Hall building with a new six-story office and retail building. Delta Life Insurance Co. owns the just over 6 acres of properties at 4362-4400 Peachtree Road and filed for several zoning variances on April 4. The variances inSee CITY on page 19
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Planning Commission OKs townhome development off Buford Highway BY DYANA BAGBY
ing Task Force. Apartments nearby the proposed development include The Villas at DruThe Brookhaven Planning Commisid Hills, Regency Woods, Brookstone sion voted April 4 to recommend apCrossing and Park Towne North. Rents proval of the rezoning of slightly more at Park Towne North, for example, run than 15 acres on Bramblewood Drive and about $805 for a one-bedroom apartincluding two parcels on Buford Highment and $995 for a two bedroom, acway to make way for a 197-unit towncording to a real estate website. home development. Jackson Square condominiums are The developer for the proposed projacross Buford Highway from the proect is The Ardent Companies. The adposed townhome development with a dresses of the proposed rezoning to multwo-bedroom selling for $135,000 and a tifamily residential are 3178 and 3186 three-bedroom selling for $169,000, acBuford Highway and 29 single-family cording to a real estate website. East of houses at 1933-2046 Bramblewood Drive, the proposed development is also Northa cul-de-sac. Density for the proposed east Plaza. project is 12.73 units per acre. CITY OF BROOKHAVEN Allison went on to say many townRenderings of proposed townhomes to be built on Bramblewood Drive off Buford Highway. Neville Allison, director of The Arhome developments in the city, includdent Companies, pitched the plan at a ing some of his own, have displaced lowcommunity meeting last year and to the Planning Commission as providing an afer income residents living in aging apartment complexes. fordable housing option for the city that is currently struggling with how to ensure “That’s not the case here,” he said. “We’ve assembled $340,000 ranch homes and affordable housing options for residents. The townhomes would be priced in the are making the argument [our development] will be more affordable than what is $300,000 range, Allison said. there today.” A condition set by city staff is to require the developer complete an Affordable City staff is also requiring the developer construct a 10-foot multiuse path from Housing Impact Statement to the Community Development Department “quantifythe public sidewalk along Bramblewood Drive to the Cross Keys High School propering the proposed development’s impact on the existing affordable housing inventoty boundary for future connectivity to the school — essentially creating a bike and ry in the city.” pedestrian path from Buford Highway to the high school. The Affordable Housing Impact Statement will also “provide quantitative analThe developer is also being required to install bike racks, benches and trash reysis of existing and proposed site conditions, and shall be submitted with the Land ceptacles on Buford Highway. Allison said he is interested in possibly having a bike Disturbance Permit application,” according to a staff memo. share program at the development to allow residents a chance to ride a bike to a Requiring developers to come up with Affordability Housing Impact Statements nearby restaurant. was one of the recommendations made by the city’s Affordable Housing Task Force There were some questions about the number of trees that will be cut down to and presented to the City Council last year. make way for the development. The area is currently a suburban cul-de-sac with Allison noted that the city has yet to define specifically what affordable housing many trees. is itself, but said it is typically based on the area median income (AMI). Allison said Allison said the bulk of trees will have to be cut down, noting that while saving in his research, the AMI for Brookhaven is $100,000. For a person making between trees is important there are “competing interests” at play in this project. “The way $80,000 to $120,000 and spending at most 35 percent of their income on housing, to get affordability is to add density,” he said. payments could run up to $2,400 a month on these townhomes and be considered The Ardent Companies had also asked to purchase the right-of-way on Brambleaffordable, Allison said. wood Drive, but the City Council denied that request, according to Allison. AMIs typically include a regional area. Those living in apartments on Buford No additional curb cuts on Buford Highway are part of the proposed developHighway surrounding this specific proposed development likely do not make an anment. nual salary of $100,000, according to data compiled by the city’s Affordable HousThe proposal now goes to the City Council for final consideration. email@example.com
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APRIL 13 - 26, 2018
FORMER TEX MCIVER SPOKESPERSON CONSULTING ON CITY PR
Bill Crane, the former spokesperson for Claude “Tex” McIver currently on trial in Fulton County for killing his wife, was spotted at Brookhaven City Hall on Tuesday, April 10, where he has been hired by the city to work on a “proactive public relations strategy.” Crane, a public relations expert and WSB-TV political analyst, testified Monday, April 9, in the high-profile murder trial of McIver, accused of killing his wife, Buckhead attorSPECIAL ney Diane McIver, in September 2016. Bill Crane Crane’s testimony centered around the first public statements he issued on behalf of McIver following his wife’s death. The couple were passengers in a vehicle driving though Midtown when Tex McIver shot Diane McIver in the back in what he maintains was an accident when his gun discharged after their SUV hit a bump in the road. Crane told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that McIver was in the back seat of the SUV and pulled his handgun out from the console while riding through Midtown because he was “alarmed about recent unrest surrounding several Black Lives Matter protests in the area and fearing a carjacking.” Crane’s comments about Black Lives Matter went viral and McIver suffered backlash from the comments. Crane testified April 9 that “[i]njecting fear of racial protests into the account ‘sensationalized a racial aspect of the story I never saw,’ ” according to the AJC. Crane also testified that McIver asked him to retract his comments, but he refused to do so. Brookhaven Communications Director Burke Brennan said the city has hired Crane for a brief period for $10,000 to conduct an assessment of the Communications department’s operations and to also collaborate on a “proactive public relations strategy moving forward.”
TO L L B R OTH ER S BREA KS GROUN D ON 348-APAR TM ENT C OMP L EX I N EXEC UTI VE PAR K
Toll Brothers, through its Toll Brothers Apartment Living subsidiary, announced March 28 it has broken ground on a new 348unit apartment building named Oleander in Executive Park in Brookhaven. SPECIAL The new resiThe 348-unit apartment complex Oleander is slated to open next summer in Executive Park. dential units are slated to open next summer on Executive Park West. This is Toll Brothers’ first apartment complex in metro Atlanta, according to a press release. Emory University purchased 60 acres of Executive Park in 2016 and teamed up with the Atlanta Hawks to build a state-of-the-art Atlanta Hawks/Emory Healthcare training facility. The new Oleander apartments will be located adjacent to the facility. Across the street, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta is undertaking an 80-acre expansion of its North Druid Hills campus including a new $1.3 billion hospital. “Oleander will be a key piece of the master plan by bringing in a luxury residential component,” said Stephen Bates, Atlanta’s Director of Acquisitions and Development, Toll Brothers Apartment Living, in a press release. Toll Brothers planned to build apartments two years ago at Pill Hill’s now stalled Peachtree Dunwoody Pavilion redevelopment. Some of those apartments were going to be designed for hospital workers. Oleander will be a 5-story wood-framed building featuring 348 luxury apartment homes. There will be an on-site 551-space parking garage and the complex will include a resort style pool, a state-of-the-art fitness center, a club room with a coffee bar, a dining room and courtyards. Co-working spaces will be available. There will also be a pet spa and a dog park. Toll Brothers is a Pennsylvania-based national developer of luxury housing. BK
Community | 3 SELF-STO RAG E B UI L DI NG P R O P O S ED FO R B UFO R D HI G HWAY
Plans for a proposed five-story self-storage building on Buford Highway are now being considered by city staff. The proposal is slated to go before the Planning Commission on May 2. TD Storage is proposing to build a climate-controlled self-storage building on slightly more than one acre at 2991 Buford Highway, where the Wheels & Deals used car lot is currently located. The company is seeking to rezone the property from C-1 local commercial to M industrial. The proposed building would be 83,800 square feet.
CITY ISSU ES P R O C L A M AT IO N HO NO R I NG R EB EC C A C HA S E WI L L I A M S
The mayor and City Council on April 10 honored former mayor Rebecca Chase Williams again with an official proclamation and resolution renaming Wise Way and Woods Drive in Blackburn Park to Rebecca Williams Way. The announcement of the road name changes was first made March 24 during the Cherry Blossom Festival, a festival she helped pioneer. DYANA BAGBY The proclamation commendFormer mayor Rebecca Chase Williams, center, ed Williams for her “public service officially had two roads in Blackburn Park named after her at the April 10 City Council meeting. and community stewardship” in From left are Councilmembers John Park and helping found the city, for her work Linley Jones, Williams, Mayor John Ernst, and Councilmembers Joe Gebbia and Bates Mattison. in writing “Images of America: Brookhaven,” and her work on the city’s Comprehensive Plan 2034 that set out to foster festivals and events in the city to promote tourism and economic development, such as the Cherry Blossom Festival. The proclamation also states, “Throughout her extensive residency in Brookhaven, Rebecca Chase Williams has never eschewed showing others “the way.”
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More nightclubs appeal city’s denial of alcohol license renewals BY DYANA BAGBY email@example.com
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Three more nightlife venues are appealing the Alcohol Board’s denial to renew their alcohol licenses after they refused to pay the $100,000 fee the city charges to the newly established “entertainment venues” to serve beer, wine and liquor. Josephine’s, Medusa and XS Restaurant & Lounge, all located in Northeast Plaza on Buford Highway, filed their appeals in DeKalb County Superior Court last month. All are represented by attorney Cary Wiggins. Rush Lounge, represented by attorney Alan Begner, has also appealed the Alcohol SPECIAL Board’s denial of their alcohol license reA flyer promoting boxer Floyd Mayweather newal, stating the $100,000 fee is illegal. at Medusa in Brookhaven. When the city overhauled its alcohol ordinance late last year, it created a new category of alcohol license holders — entertainment venues. An entertainment venue is classified as having either a disc jockey, dance floor or stage, or all three. Wiggins argued before the Alcohol Board in February that there are several other venues in the city that have DJs, a dance floor or a stage but are not being required to pay the $100,000 fee. City Attorney Chris Balch said at the time that because other businesses may be getting away with having a DJ without paying the $100,000 liquor license fee does not mean the city is violating anyone’s constitutional rights. He also said the city would follow up to see if there are other venues violating the new alcohol ordinance. “Brookhaven Code Enforcement, Fire Marshal and police are actively engaged in investigations into various Brookhaven business which may be unlicensed entertainment venues. As these investigations are ongoing, the city has no further comment at this time,” Communications Director Burke Brennan said in an email. All four venues appealing the Alcohol Board’s decision remain open and serving alcohol and plan to during the appeals process, but the city contends the venues should pay the $100,000 during the appeals process. Alcohol license fees before the new alcohol ordinance were in the $5,000 range. City officials say the much higher fees are needed to pay for police resources that are used at the late-night venues where they say more crime is committed. The city also rolled back its last call from 3 a.m. to 2 a.m. as a way to also try to curb crime. The new hours went into effect April 10. Wiggins argues for his clients that the city’s Alcohol Board violated their due process provided in the state Constitution and states the city is arbitrary in its enforcement because it allows other venues such as the Pink Pony, Remix Lounge, Pegasus, Arif Lounge, Nina’s Bar & Grill and Acapulco Tropical to operate in the same format without having to pay $100,000. The appeal also alleges equal protection violations and free speech violations. In his appeal, Wiggins also alleges the various definitions the city has for “entertainment venue,” “dinner theater,” “restaurant” and “live entertainment” are vague. The city cites a shootout at Medusa in May 2017 as an example of heightened crime at the newly designated entertainment venues. The city first tried to pull the club’s alcohol license alleging the venue was a known hangout for a Crips gang member known as “G-Weed,” but the Alcohol Board overturned that decision. However, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia announced last month the arrest of six alleged gang members with ties back to the Medusa shooting. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the six people arrested are members or associates of the 135 Pirus gang out of Compton, California. 135 Pirus is a set of the Crips. The U.S. Attorney’s Office stated in a press release that a high-ranking 135 Pirus gang member was disrespected at Medusa, resulting in the shooting in the parking lot. A gang member from another gang and a security guard were injured, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Brookhaven Police arrested the alleged shooter, Maurice Antonio Kent, of Cartersville. Following the shooting, 135 Pirus gang members believed 17-year-old Qualeef Rhodes of East Point was cooperating with Brookhaven Police and conspired to have him killed, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The killing of Rhodes, whose body was found in Bartow County last June, led to the arrests of the six alleged gang members. Just this month, on April 9, champion boxer Floyd Mayweather’s body guard was shot and injured in front of a Buckhead hotel after Mayweather hosted a party at Medusa. BK
APRIL 13 - 26, 2018
Community | 5
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6 | Food & Drink
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From an Iowa farm to a Dunwoody kitchen, an award-winning preserves business rises BY DYANA BAGBY firstname.lastname@example.org
Regina Nekola Hild’s upbringing on an Iowa farm instilled in her a love and appreciation of food. After a career in real estate, Hild went back to her roots in 2016. She founded Regina’s Farm Kitchen, a jam and preserves business, in her Dunwoody home when a farmer friend didn’t know what to do with a batch of accidentally-grown jalapeño peppers. Her strawberry blueberry jalapeño jam went on to win in the “Preserves” category at this year’s Good Food Awards in San Francisco in January. Hild says she is planning to expand her product line and hopes to sell her preserves in retail stores and restaurants.
Q: What was it it like growing up on a farm in Iowa?
I was born and raised on a 200-acre, centuries-old farm in the heart of Iowa. My upbringing was in a typical, rural Iowa fam-
ily that grew their own vegetables, fruit orchards and gardens. My mom cared for us kids while my dad tended to the fields. We grew soybeans, corn and had a large herd of beef cattle and pigs. My dad farmed the acreage with his dad when he was young. It was not easy life growing up in the middle of the country in a four-bedroom, one-bath house. As one of the five kids, you were expected to help and roll up your sleeves. There always seemed to be more than enough chores to go around. I am forever grateful for my parents, who sacrificed to teach all about growing up in simple times. We always had more than enough food and love to go around. I feel very lucky that my work ethic is strong because my dad and mom instilled the same in us. At an early age I was independent, driven and always a natural in the kitchen. My parents were all about the gardens, strawberry patches, the apple grove and the animals. My mom loved growing strawberries. Hence, summers were spent picking fresh strawberries, selling the berries on the fam-
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ily’s roadside pop-up shop, and making jam. Being in the kitchen cooking, baking and creating has always been an influence along with my rural, Iowa upbringing. It seemed natural that I would always be involved with having my own product line. I felt comfortable Chef Regina Nekola Hild in the kitchen and the oversees the fruit selected rules I could break could to use in her preserves, be my own. Perhaps that made from locally grown is why the corporate job food from Georgia farmers. did not please me. ERIC VALENTIN
Q: Do you remember the first meal your mother taught you to cook?
A: My mom taught me how to fry
chicken in a cast-iron skillet. Each spring, my mom would load us kids in the car and go to the Toledo Feed Store where we picked up baby chicks. These cute, little fuzzy creatures once fattened up would become our lunch and sometimes supper. If only I had Ina Garten’s creativity when I began. I would have made chicken 14 ways in a week, not just Friday! It was simple for Mom. All you needed was farm fresh lard, a cast-iron skillet, flour, salt and pepper, apron and tongs. From a young age, Mom started with her same recipe. She started with her mise en place which means “put in place.” Mise en place is deceptively simple but being organized and prepared in the kitchen saves time and frustration. I learned by doing it the old-fashioned way.
and more of the good stuff. We do not produce jelly. Jelly by definition does not have any pieces of fruit in it. Jelly is gelled fruit juice with added sugar, lemon juice and pectin. Marmalades are a combination of one or up to three different kinds of citrus. They are made with chopped, pureed or sliced citrus cooked with sugar, lemon juice and pectin. Our marmalades have lots of citrus peel in the jar and you will be delighted when you open a jar of Regina’s Farm Kitchen Orange Meyer Lemon Marmalade.
Q: Why did you choose to focus on making preserves?
A: I am really a baker by heart. My younger sister is a master pastry chef. I had always
What are the differences between jams, preserves, jelly and marmalades?
Everyone has their description of what make a jam and a jelly the other. The [Food and Drug Administration] really puts strict guidelines on sugar because it is the preserve in making a jam have a “governing” shelf life. That’s why our preserves are differSPECIAL Regina’s Farm Kitchen’s strawberry blueberry ent. Because we only put the jalapeño jam won in the “Preserves” category at good stuff in -- a bushel of this year’s Good Food Awards in San Francisco. fruit, and an apron full of love. Preserves are whole piecwanted to own my own business. es of fruit suspended in the mixture. Fruits The crafting and bottling of preserves that lend themselves best to be preserved happened by accident in my Dunwoody are those with little natural pectin and are kitchen. A friend who owns a farm in North best preserved whole due to time consumCarolina accidently planted jalapeño peping processing. When I first began makpers. Being around Depression-era parents, ing jam, I tasted everything commercially I learned from my mom she would never made. I liked our product the best because throw anything out. we people-tested our formulas and flavors. I The chef and the farmer in me couldn’t believe low sugar and more fruit is the right find a reason to throw these perfect, green, combination. I think the products you find spicy morsels out, so I decided to make a saon the store shelf are ridiculously sweet. vory-sweet preserve that could be served Our product is made free of the bad stuff with cheese, or turn into a lovely glaze for
APRIL 13 - 26, 2018
hot wings, or even spread over a Chick-filA chicken biscuit. My motto is, “Made from scratch by a farm-raised chef.” You would never throw away a perfectly, beautiful, petite, green jalapeño out when something exciting could become of it!
Q: Your business came after years of work-
ing in entirely different careers —marketing and real estate. What prompted you to decide to try your hand at the food industry?
A: In 2008, when real estate tanked, I came
to the fork in the road and decided it was time to do what I have always loved, food. I enrolled in culinary school in 2010. Sadly, I lost my father in March 2010, and my mom in March of the following year. These life events called me to return to my roots and the kitchen. Our acreage is still in Iowa and being cared for by a family farmer.
Q: How do you decide flavors when creating preserves?
Our customers come to us with their wish list and we are always learning what is happening around the restaurant and bar scene. I found if you use simple ingredients and taste your end product, it doesn’t take a too long to formulate the next flavor. Savory and sweet have always been a part of my palate. And people crave heat — the hotter the better. My customers ask for a “kick” and that’s what we will continue to do! We also make peach habanero preserves, and we are working on crafting other flavors to use in savory ways. Burger toppings, grilled cheese, anything on the grill like seafood, pork, chicken and beef work with our preserves. Winning the 2018 Good Food Award for the Strawberry Blueberry Jalapeno Jam was something of an “aha” moment.
Food & Drink | 7
What do you love about being in the kitchen?
It’s my place to plan, create, cook and serve whatever is in season. It’s a place of creativity for me and one of my favorite places to sow the seeds of creativity. More than anything, it makes me giddy with joy when the passion comes out in food. You know you’re in the right field when it doesn’t feel like a job. We have all had those, and I have stories. Perhaps the book will tell?
Q: Where do you sell your goods? A: Selling to restaurants are in the plans
as part of our expansion along with retail channels. You can find us at Kennesaw State University near the Commons area on campus every Wednesday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. until May 2. We are also at the Alpharetta Farmers Market from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. And we will be at the [new] Dunwoody Farmers Market at Brook Run Park beginning May 5 from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Q: Any surprising twists to opening your own business?
Golf without attitude. • 18 hole Executive Course • Covered Driving Range • League Play • Lessons • Footgolf
That you are working more than you ever thought. This is not a 40-hour-week business. I knew it would be 60 to 80 hours or more a week. Expect to put in what you will get out of it.
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Caramelized bacon Brussel sprouts with RFK’s Orange Meyer Lemon Marmalade Serves 6-8 1 jar of Regina’s Farm Kitchen Orange Meyer Lemon Marmalade Olive Oil, use local Georgia-grown and as needed 20 ounces Brussel sprouts, blanched 8 ounces local bacon, diced Salt and pepper, to taste Cast-iron skillet Wash and trim the ends of your Brussel sprouts. In a pot of boiling water with a dash of salt drop your Brussel sprouts for 3-4 minutes. Drain the Brussel sprouts. Next, submerge in a bowl of icy cold water to shock and stop the cooking. Let them cool for 3 minutes and drain again. Place them on a sheet pan lined with a kitchen towel and let dry. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Dice the bacon. Take a piece of bacon and drop into the cast iron skillet. If it sizzles, throw the remaining bacon into the skillet and place into the oven. Let the bacon render until crispy, stirring occasionally. Once crisp to your liking remove from the oven and place on top of a low flame. Make sure the water is absorbed from Brussel sprouts. Remember water and hot bacon grease don’t mix. Raise the heat to medium-high and slowly place all the Brussel sprouts into the cast iron skillet with the bacon. Let the Brussel sprouts caramelize and char slightly in the pan on all sides, adjusting heat as necessary. This will take 6-10 minutes. Lastly, add several spoonfuls of Regina’s Farm Kitchen Orange Meyer Lemon Marmalade, swirl it around the crispy bacon lardons and Brussel sprouts, and then add salt and pepper to taste.
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8 | Art & Entertainment
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GET ACTIVE LEMONADE DAYS FESTIVAL
Wednesday, April 18 to Sunday, April 22, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.
This 19th annual event hosted by Dunwoody Preservation Trust at Brook Run Park will feature more than 30 full-scale carnival rides, food and beverage vendors, a 5K Run, three days of center stage performances and the Dunwoody Idol contest. No pets allowed. 4770 North Peachtree Road, Dunwoody. Info: dunwoodylemonadedays.org.
EARTH DAY EVENTS ELECTRONICS RECYCLING DRIVE
Friday, April 20 to Friday, April 27, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Since 2012, Marist School has diverted more than 58,338 pounds of old electronics from landfills with its e-waste drives. The 2018 event is free and open to the public, with the exception of a $10 fee (cash or check) to recycle televisions. Hard drives from computers will be safely shredded off-site. 3790 Ashford-Dunwoody Road N.E., Brookhaven. Info on accepted electronics: ewasteeplanet.com.
BLUE HERON NATURE PRESERVE OPEN HOUSE Saturday, April 21, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
As part of Atlanta Bird Fest (ongoing through May 20), the Atlanta Audubon Society will host an open house, art show, guided bird walk, native plant sale and other activities at the organization’s home base, the Blue Heron Nature Preserve. Free, registration requested. 4055 Roswell Road, Buckhead. Info: atlantaaudubon.org/abf-events.
SPRING SOCIAL AT MURPHEY CANDLER PARK Friday, April 20, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The Murphey Candler Park Conservancy will host this third annual event on the east side of the lake in the new open field space at the corner of Candler Lake East and West Nancy Creek Drive. Live music, food trucks, cash bar. 1551 West Nancy Creek Drive N.E., Brookhaven. Info: murpheycandlerpark.org.
EPIC EARTH DAY
Friday, April 20, 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Reconnect with nature at the Dunwoody Nature Center in a night full of activities including a poetry scavenger hunt, silent auction, and the ongoing Friday Night Hike and Hike Campfire. 5343 Roberts Drive, Dunwoody. Info and registration: dunwoodynature.org/activities/earth-day-weekend-events.
DUNWOODY STREAM CLEAN-UP Saturday, April 21, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
The city of Dunwoody is hosting a stream clean-up along a portion of the Nancy Creek tributary. Gloves and trash bags will be provided. Event kicks off at Pernoshal Park, 4575 North Shallowford Road, Dunwoody. Info and volunteer registration: Cody Dallas at email@example.com.
Saturday, April 21, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Recycle your old paint at the Dunwoody Nature Center. For a fee of $1 per gallon (cash only), residents can drop off unwanted paint at the Nature Center to help promote healthier air and water quality. More than 15,000 gallons of paint have been recycled over the years of this event. 5343 Roberts Drive, Dunwoody. Info: 770-394-3322 or dunwoodynature.org/earth-day-paint-recycling.
TAKE IT TO THE RIVER LANTERN PARADE Saturday, April 21, 7:30 p.m.
Sandy Springs lights up the night and the Chattahoochee River once again at its third annual lantern parade. Attendees of the family friendly event are asked to gather at the Steel Canyon Golf Club starting at 7:30 p.m. The parade steps off at 8:30 p.m. and heads down an easy path along Morgan Falls Road to Morgan Falls Overlook Park. As the parade arrives at the park around 9:15 p.m., paddlers from High Country Outfitters will take to the river to animate the floating lanterns. Event also features live performances. Parking will be available at the former WorldPay building, 600 Morgan Falls Road, Suite 260; North Springs United Methodist Church, 7770 Roswell Road; and Sandy Springs City Hall, 7840 Roswell Road. Info: visitsandysprings.org/lanternparade.
CHASTAIN CHASE 5K
Sunday, April 22, 8 a.m. race start.
The Chastain Chase is the annual springtime fundraiser for Cancer Support Community Atlanta. The Chastain Park event includes a 5K race, 1-mile walk/ run and a Tot Trot. 215 West Wieuca Road N.W., Buckhead. Registration: active.com/atlanta-ga/running/ distance-running-races/chastain-chase-5k-2018.
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Saturday, April 28th 3-7pm To purchase tickets, visit www.eventbrite.com and search Best Of Town Brookhaven. Conveniently located on Peachtree Road adjacent to Oglethorpe University.
APRIL 13 - 26, 2018
Art & Entertainment | 9
PERFORMANCES “A HIGH LONESOME BLUEGRASS MASS”
TOUR OF HOMES AND MARKETPLACE
Thursday, April 19, 8 p.m.
The Oglethorpe University Singers, joined by the Chuck Nation Bluegrass Band, present a set of folkhymn arrangements, “Come Away to the Skies: A High Lonesome Bluegrass Mass.” $10; free for students. Conant Performing Arts Center, 4484 Peachtree Road N.E., Brookhaven. Tickets: oglethorpeuniversity.thundertix.com.
Saturday, April 28, 8 p.m. and Sunday, April 29, 4:30 p.m.
This percussion group is known for its pulsating energy, powerful rhythms and funny sketches. $13-$36. Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta, Zaban Park campus, 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody. Tickets: 678-8124002 or atlantajcc.org/boxoffice.
Tour five unique homes within the Big Canoe Community including the 2018 Designer Showcase Home May 18 & 19, 2018 9am – 5 pm, Friday, 9 am – 4 pm, Saturday Tickets and information: www.bigcanoelegacy.org
“THE GLORY OF MENDELSSOHN” Sunday, April 29, 4 p.m.
Hosted by the Big Canoe Chapel Women’s Guild to benefit local charities.
The Choral Guild of Atlanta presents a program including excerpts from the oratorio “Elijah” and other sacred anthems. $15; $12 seniors; $5 students. Northside Drive Baptist Church, 3100 Northside Drive, Buckhead. Info: 404-223-6362 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
GO SHOPPING POTTERY AND ART SALE
Friday, April 27, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday, April 28, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, April 29, noon to 5 p.m.
Shop a large selection of handcrafted ceramics, glass, jewelry and more created by Spruill Arts students and instructors. Spruill Arts Education Center, 5339 ChambleeDunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Info: spruillarts.org.
PARTIES WITH A PURPOSE CARS & ’Q FOR THE CAUSE
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Saturday, April 21, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Join Choate Construction for this ninth annual event featuring 120-plus cars, BBQ from Jim ’n Nicks, craft brews, a silent auction and live music, all to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. $30 in advance for event entry and dinner; $50 for entry, dinner and access to the bar. Free for children under 8. 8200 Roberts Drive, Sandy Springs. Info: carsnq.com.
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MONARCHS & MARGARITAS & MARTINIS Saturday, April 28, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
This third annual fundraiser for the Dunwoody Nature Center is an upscale, casual party in a tented party area featuring live jazz, catering from Brooklyn Cafe, auctions and a raffle. $75. 5343 Roberts Drive, Dunwoody. Tickets: monarchsndmargaritas.org.
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VOLUNTEER FOR A BETTER SANDY SPRINGS DAY Saturday, April 21, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Leadership Sandy Springs volunteers and the Sandy Springs community will make improvements to 20 nonprofit and civic organizations and public schools around Sandy Springs. Open to all ages. Kickoff will be at North Springs Charter High School, 7447 Roswell Road, Sandy Springs. Info: 404-256-9091 or leadershipsandysprings.org.
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10 | Community
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Coping with a Crisis: Opioid addiction in the suburbs
Opioid ODs are deadlier than mass shootings, but some high schools don’t stock the antidote
PHOTOS BY PHIL MOSIER
Left, Sarah Callaghan, assistant professor of kinesiology and health at Georgia State University’s Perimeter College Dunwoody Campus, displays an Evzio brand naloxone injection device during a recent training for her students. Above, The Evzio device with its cover removed and ready for use. RIght, Callaghan presses the Evzio device to her thigh, where an injection would be given in real use.
Continued from page 1
A life-saving antidote Naloxone, often known by the popular brand name Narcan, can revive unresponsive students before paramedics
Final Installment in a 4-Part Series The combination of prescription painkillers, heroin and synthetic opioids is killing people around the nation, including within Reporter Newspapers communities. In this exclusive four-part series, we looked at how local families, nurses, prosecutors, recovering addicts and others are responding to a growing epidemic that already kills more people than cars, guns or breast cancer each year. To share your thoughts and stories, email firstname.lastname@example.org. To read previous stories in this series, visit ReporterNewspapers.net.
respond to a 911 call. Opioids are highly effective painkillers that bind to receptors in the brain, making users feel high. Take too much, and the drugs can force someone to become unconscious, slowing their breathing down to the point of brain damage or death. Administered as an injection or spritzed up the nose, naloxone binds to those receptors and blocks the drug from affecting the user. The antidote, as a result, has saved tens of thousands of lives over the past two decades nationwide, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While naloxone has been available since the early 1970s, the antidote was largely confined to clinical settings like hospitals and ambulances. Over the past four years, Georgia passed several laws to allow for laypeople to use naloxone outside of clinical settings. In Brookhaven and Dunwoody, police officers carry naloxone to revive overdose victims on 911 calls. And just last week, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams issued a rare health
advisory — the first from his office in 13 years — that called for every American at risk of an opioid overdose, along with their family and friends, to carry the antidote. Now a growing number of schools, many of which have strict rules for medications kept inside their walls, are following the recommendation of the National Association of School Nurses to carry naloxone “to immediately restore breathing to a victim experiencing an opioid overdose.” A pharmaceutical company, Adapt Pharma, has offered a free carton of Narcan nasal spray to high schools and colleges — including in Georgia. The need has grown for naloxone to be on hand for teens and young adults. Two years ago, the CDC found that 5,376 people
ages 15 to 24 fatally overdosed on drugs nationwide. In 1999, only 26 Georgians of that same age group died from drugs. In 2016, those fatal overdoses rose to 106. “It’s important to have naloxone on hand because it can save a life — even if it’s the first life in a school that’s in danger of a fatal overdose,” says Laurie Fugitt, cofounder of Georgia Overdose Prevention, a volunteer group that distributes the antidote and teaches people how to use it. “It’s the same reason you have AEDs [defibrillators] on the gym wall or teach people CPR. It enables life.” Despite the growing embrace of naloxone, Georgia Overdose Prevention cofounder Robin Elliott — whose son Zack fatally overdosed after graduating from Buckhead’s Pace Academy — says the
APRIL 13 - 26, 2018
Community | 11
group has faced hurdles in getting its trainings into schools statewide. In some cases, private schools are concerned about their image. Other times, schools haven’t promoted the event, leaving only 10 people to show up to a large auditorium. “The resistance is the same as teaching sex ed in schools — [the idea] that if we teach about condoms, they’re going to want to have sex,” Elliott said. “[That] if we teach them about naloxone, they’re going to want to use drugs.”
THE O PIO ID EPID EM IC PO D CAST AND VID EO To conclude and reflect on the Reporter Newspapers’ special series of stories about the opioid epidemic’s local impacts, we have launched a new podcast called Reporter Extra. This deeper discussion, moderated by Reporter Newspapers Managing Editor John Ruch, features Max Blau, who wrote the series, and Dunwoody Police Sgt. Robert Parsons, who oversees his force’s use of the opioid antidote naloxone. To listen in, see spreaker.com/show/reporter-extra, or watch the video at facebook.com/TheReporterNewspapers.
The response from local schools
Only seven of the 20 high schools in communities covered by Reporter Newspapers said they carried naloxone. Seven schools said they didn’t. Six others declined to provide information or didn’t respond to requests for comment. DeKalb and Fulton’s public high schools in the area — including Chamblee, Dunwoody, Cross Keys, North Springs and Riverwood International — don’t have the antidote on hand. “We understand the opioid crisis has reached a critical level of concern in communities across the country,” DeKalb County School District spokesperson Eileen Houston-Stewart said in a statement. “In DCSD, we have had no reported opioid overdoses in any of our schools. It is not our practice for our nurses to keep the drug naloxone on any of our school campuses.” Similarly, Fulton County Schools spokesperson Susan Hale said that administrators “presently don’t have any data suggesting that opioid use has been an issue” in its classrooms. The school district has trained some of its staffers how to identify students potentially at risk of drug abuse, she said. In addition, students have received some lessons on the risks of misusing and abusing prescription drugs. Five private high schools in the area — which either purchased naloxone or received doses through grant funding — said they saw the antidote as a way to protect students. Kevin Glass, headmaster at the Atlanta International School, said he wanted “to be prepared and hope we never have to use it.” Allison Toller, chief of external affairs at Mount Vernon Presbyterian School, said that school’s nurses haven’t stocked up on the drug yet. “We are keenly aware there is a growing number of schools across the country and in regions of Georgia that do,” Toller said, adding that “…as we routinely monitor the well-roundedness of our emergency preparedness plan, we would not rule out the idea of carrying it in the future.” Some of the area’s most prestigious schools — including The Westminster Schools and St. Pius X Catholic High School — declined to answer questions. At Brandon Hall — a Sandy Springs college preparatory boarding school with
Right, Callaghan demonstrates the nasal spray version of Narcan brand naloxone on a medical training dummy.
an annual tuition that starts at $27,000 — one official requested more information about the Reporter’s naloxone story, but no one ever answered whether the school carries the antidote. “As you can imagine, image is everything,” one Brandon Hall administrator wrote in an email, “and not knowing the full context for which you’ll publish our answers and our brand name is causing a bit of hesitation.” In 2016, two years after the overdose at North Atlanta High School, APS officials decided to get naloxone for each of its high schools. School nurses took part in the “Not On My Watch” first-aid opioid training course offered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The training not only shows nurses how to administer the antidote, but also other best practices in administering firstaid training to students who overdose on opioids. Every nurse’s office at an APS high school now has two doses of naloxone nasal spray. According to Valencia Hildreth, manager of comprehensive health services, APS initially received the antidote for free, but now intends to pay for it in its budget. (APS has not responded to an open records request for the exact amount of money that would cost.) In the coming years, APS intends to have other staff members, not just nurses, trained to use naloxone. That’s something they already do in case a student with diabetes or severe allergies needs life-saving medicine. “It’s being proactive,” Hildreth says. “We consider interventions to make our students and schools safe. We wanted to be prepared in case we need to use it.”
Max Blau is an Atlantabased journalist who has written about healthcare, drugs and addiction for such outlets as the Boston Globe and CNN.
Dedicated to helping clients and their families achieve lasting recovery from drug and alcohol addiction for over 40 years.
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12 | Commentary
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C O NTA C T US Founder & Publisher Steve Levene email@example.com Editorial Managing Editor John Ruch firstname.lastname@example.org INtown Editor: Collin Kelley Editor-at-Large Joe Earle Staff Writers Dyana Bagby, Evelyn Andrews Copy Editor: Donna Williams Lewis Creative and Production Creative Director Rico Figliolini email@example.com Graphic Designer: Soojin Yang Advertising Director of Sales Development Amy Arno firstname.lastname@example.org Sales Executives Melissa Kidd, Jeff Kremer, Janet Porter, Jim Speakman Office Manager Deborah Davis email@example.com Contributors Max Blau, Phil Mosier, Isadora Pennington
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Community Survey / The opioid epidemic’s personal costs The Reporter Newspapers’ exclusive four-part series “Coping with a Crisis: Opioid Addiction in the Suburbs,” which concludes in this issue, has focused on local people dealing with a deadly drug epidemic. For many of our readers, it’s a crisis they already know all too well. Nearly a third of the 200 residents of Reporter Newspapers communities who responded to a 1Q.com survey, which is conducted via cellphone and is not scientific, said that they or someone close to them have been addicted to opioids. And the effect has been devastating on lives and relationships. “My cousin is a heroin addict,” a 35-year-old Atlanta woman wrote. “Seeing this bright, beautiful girl turn into a skeletal, deranged mess is what nightmares are made of. I worry for her daily and resent her parents and friends for enabling, although I know in my mind that condition is a disease that is difficult to control.” The “Coping with a Crisis” series looked at several responses to the opioid epidemic: combatting the silence that comes with the stigma of addiction; opening new kinds of treatment facilities; throwing the book at drugdealers; stocking a life-saving antidote in school nurses’ offices. When asked about those and other ideas — such as suing prescription opioid makers — respondents had no consensus. The largest group, including nearly a third of the respondents, thought it would help to have more open, public discussion about opioid addiction. The second most popular answer, chosen by a group nearly as large, called for better access to and regulation of drug-treatment centers. In detailed replies, respondents told stories of families and hearts broken by abuse of the drugs often initially intended to ease pain. “I had a close friend who became addicted to opioids after a bad car accident and suffering major injuries,” a 49-year-old Atlanta woman said. “It broke my heart to see him spiral downhill because [of] his addiction.” Others said they had watched families and relationships collapse because of opioid abuse. “My brother’s addiction ruined his relationship with his child, his siblings, his parents, and ultimately ended in his
Which type of response to the opioid addiction epidemic do you think is most effective for your community?
More open, public discussion to reduce the stigma of seeking help or support Better access to and regulation of drug treatment centers
Tougher legal penalties for drug-dealing
Lawsuits against prescription drug-makers to cover local costs Other Schools stocking opioid overdose antidotes
death this past October,” a 36-old Atlanta man said. “My previous boyfriend was addicted to cocaine and heroin, which lead to the end of our relationship, since his obsession was a major problem,” a 22-year-old DeKalb County woman said. “He couldn’t function without it, and the most disappointing part was that he wasn’t willing to get help and clean himself up.” A 58-year-old Sandy Springs woman said opioid abuse by someone close to her family “has been destructive to our family bond, created hardship in the person and our family and friends and left the loved ones with thoughts of fright-
ening outcomes when medical surgeries or procedures require use of the addictive drug to help alleviate pain.” And a 37-year-old Brookhaven man called his relationship with someone addicted to opioids “very scary and mentally draining. [I felt] the need to save them and constantly [was] in a state of agitation.” “Addiction affects all those in [the addict’s] circle,” wrote a 51-year-old Atlanta woman, who said she knew someone who had been addicted. “While clean and sober now, she almost died from a heroin overdose. She missed the first three years of her son’s life.”
Here’s what some other respondents had to say “I am a paramedic in Atlanta and the devastation I’ve seen is indescribable. Medical marijuana would be a safer choice.” – 28-year-old Brookhaven man “Yes, I’ve known people [who] have been addicted. Addiction is a disease that affects everyone around them. – 37-year-old Buckhead woman “It’s painful to watch.” – 43-year-old Buckhead man “[Addiction] makes it hard to function as a family. – 37-year-old Atlanta man
“I know of a few coworkers [who] are addicted to opioids. And to see them gradually deteriorate makes me sad for them because it affects the quality of work that they perform. Sad to say, they’re probably going to lose their jobs due to the drug addiction.” – 41-year-old Atlanta man “My cousin died of a heroin overdose.” – 32-year-old Atlanta man “A friend of mine was an addicted to opioids. His addiction affected our friendship negatively and now he is mostly out of my life.” – 23-year-old Atlanta man
1Q is an Atlanta-based startup that has developed a technology which sends questions and surveys to a cellphone via app or text message from businesses and organizations across the country. Respondents are paid 50 cents per answer, through PayPal, for sharing their opinions. Payments may also be donated directly to charity. Sign up to be included in our local community polls at 1Q.com/reporter or by texting REPORTER to 86312.
APRIL 13 - 26, 2018
Commentary | 13
After years of friendship, a Gold Girl Scout troop winds down
Joe Earle is editor-at-large at Reporter Newspapers and has lived in metro Atlanta for over 30 years. He can be reached at email@example.com
Sometimes things just work out right. There’s no real planTheir projects took months of work to complete. Why go ning or plotting involved. Things just fall together happily. to all this trouble? “It looks good on college applications,” Back in 2005, a group of girls and their moms got toone of the members joked. But after a quick laugh – and gether at Holy Spirit Preparatory School and organized Girl there was a lot of laughing going on one recent Sunday afterScout Troop 3980. They didn’t have a long-range plan, realnoon at troop mom Julie Smith’s home in Sandy Springs as ly. It simply seemed like something that would be fun and a the five scouts told scout stories — they admitted there was way to handle a bunch of energetic 5-year-olds. a bit more to it. “It’s the reason for Girl Scouts,” Jordan said. More than a dozen years later, that scout troop remains to“Why do it if you’re not going to do it fully?” gether. Five of its members, still friends but now scattered across “It’s really an extension of what we say at meetings, our various local high schools, recently won Gold Awards, meaning Girl Scout Law,” Sarah Tyner said. “With the Gold Award, they’ve reached the highest achievement in Girl Scouts. you’re old enough to lead on your own and not rely on your JOE EARLE Front row, from left, moms and Girl Scouts “A lot of people are like, ‘Why are you still in Girl Scouts?’” troop, to organize things yourself.” Julie Smith, Sarah Tyner, Jordan Daly, one of the members, 18-year-old Sarah Tyner, said recently. Still, being surrounded by a group of long-standing Natalie Smith and Michelle Sellers. Back row, “There’s just not a reason. There’s never been a lot of thought. friends made a difference. With five of them going for gold Girl Scouts Sarah Skinner and Emma Kate Sellers. It’s just something I do and I’ve always done. It just happened.” at once, they could help each other when help was needed. “It’s just really fun to see all our friends,” chimed in fellow troop member Sarah SkinThey also could push one another to stay with it. There was more than a hint of compener, who’s 18 and is known as “Sarah S” to avoid confusion with her fellow scout “Sarah T.” tition among them, they said. Now that they’re done, they feel “a sense of accomplish“We just kind of kept going,” added scout Emma Kate Sellers, who’s 17. ment that we’ve seen this all the way through,” Natalie said. Because they kept going, good things have happened in and around Troop 3980’s Over a dozen years of scouting, they’ve been to camps, sung silly songs, cooked “lots Sandy Springs home. Those five Gold Awards required five projects and those projects of” s’mores and sold “lots and lots” of Girl Scout cookies with friends they’ve known created useful things for the community. since grammar school. Natalie Smith organized a dance for intellectually disabled young adults. Jordan As they grew older and scattered to different schools, the troop helped hold them toDaly taught a class for young girls on body image and self-esteem. Emma Kate put together. Scouts became the place they saw one another and kept up contact. It was their gether an after-school program and curriculum for students of a Sandy Springs-based common ground. “The troop is why we’re still Girl Scouts,” Sarah T said. “I don’t think program for at-risk Latino preschoolers. I’d be a Girl Scout if I wasn’t in this troop.” Sarah S, an athlete, organized a program for high school athletes and their parents Now it’s run its course. In the fall, Natalie and Sarah T plan to head to Auburn University on concussion awareness after both she and her brother suffered sports-related injuries. and Sarah S intends to enroll at the U.S. Naval Academy. Emma Kate and Jordan still are deWhile babysitting, Sarah T saw how much time kids put in sitting in front of televisions ciding on college. The scouts hope the classes and events they created for their Gold Award or staring at cellphones, so she put together a program to convince parents to limit the service projects will continue without them, but for the most part, Troop 3980 will be done. amount of time their young children spend looking at screens and to provide alternatives. “It’s been a good run,” troop mom Smith said.
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14 | Community
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6th District Democratic candidates blast Trump, Handel at forum BY JOHN RUCH firstname.lastname@example.org
From left, candidates Kevin Abel, Steven Knight Griffin and Bobby Kaple prepare to speak at the April 9 Jewish Democratic Women’s Salon forum at Heritage Sandy Springs.
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Three of the four Democrats seeking to unseat U.S. Rep. Karen Handel in the 6th Congressional District made their pitches at a Sandy Springs forum April 9, largely agreeing on such issues as gun control and Obamacare as they blasted President Trump. Kevin Abel, Steven Knight Griffin and Bobby Kaple distinguished themselves more by approach than major policy differences. Abel presented himself as a successful immigrant (from South Africa) and centrist businessman; Griffin as a former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention policy expert with a fighting spirit; and Kaple as a competitive idealist who quit his TV anchor job out of fear others could not afford the healthcare his prematurely born twins did. A fourth candidate, Lucy McBath, was unable to attend the private forum, organized by the Jewish Democratic Women’s Salon. Held at Heritage Sandy Springs, it drew more than 200 attendees. The candidates are competing in a May 22 primary election, with the winner aiming to battle Handel on the November general election ballot. Handel, a Republican, beat Democrat Jon Ossoff in last year’s special election for the Congressional seat, which includes parts of Brookhaven, Dunwoody and Sandy Springs. Ossoff is not running again, but the tight, nationally spotlighted race gives other Democrats hope they can “flip” the longtime majority-Republican district. To that end, the three Democrats criticized Trump and linked Handel to him. Abel called Trump a “con man who is disinterested and unschooled” in basic policy and who “stokes fear and dredges up hate… He soils the idea of what it means to be American.” Kaple said all of Trump’s policies are “made with reckless abandon.” Griffin echoed the sentiments and said Handel is “someone who is taking Trump’s marching orders.” On healthcare, all three supported the concept that it is a right and that Medicare should negotiate lower prescription drug prices. On gun control in the wake of the Parkland, Fla., high school shooting and youthled marches afterward, the candidates broadly agreed on such measures as stricter background checks. Griffin backed a particular proposal to allow a court-ordered seizure of guns from someone deemed a threat to themselves or others. Abel was the only one to explicitly call for a ban on certain military-style rifle sales, saying, “It is time that the AR-15s be not available for purchase for civilian use.” Griffin noted the CDC is now free to study gun violence as a health issue af-
APRIL 13 - 26, 2018
Community | 15
ter a controversial policy change, though funding for such studies is lacking. Abel also praised the youth protesters for gun control, adding that his own son led a walkout at Fulton County’s North Springs Charter High School. All three candidates supported a path to citizenship for immigrants brought illegally to the U.S. as children by their parents and now working under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, which Trump has moved to end. Audience members asked several questions about partisan politics. U.S. House minority leader Nancy Pelosi (DCalif.) was one topic; Abel and Griffin said they would not vote for her to return as speaker if the House flipped to Democratic control again, while Kaple said he’d vote for “a speaker that represents the district, period, the end.” A question about gerrymandering — the partisan method of drawing legislative districts to protect friendly incumbents or eliminate disfavored officials — led to discussion about the abuse of political power in general. Abel said he supports term limits. Griffin called for getting big money out of politics; alluding to a famous speech by William Jennings Bryan 120 years ago, he said, “We must not let America be crucified on a cross of gold.” He also raised, without taking a personal position on, rumors
that Ossoff might actually have won last year’s election but suffered vote manipulation that could not be tracked under the current electronic system. The biggest question is how they think they can win in a majority Republican district. Ossoff came close, but that was a special election for an open seat. “The Democratic Party needs a candidate who has lived in the district, has lived in the district 26 years,” said Abel, a Sandy Springs resident, referring to Ossoff’s unusual circumstance of living outside the 6th District’s borders during his campaign. Abel also said he would be appealing to voters as a job-creator with his IT consulting firm and as a moderate who can win “center-right” votes. Kaple focused on his competitive spirit, which he said took him from a self-created sports show to anchoring the CBS46 news desk in the major Atlanta market, a job he left for the campaign. “I think we need a fighter, OK?” Kaple said. Griffin emphasized his CDC experience as a policy coordinator in a department focused on birth defects and developmental disabilities. He also said the party should reach out to voters who feel ignored or who were turned off by the massive flow of outside money into the Ossoff-Handel race, the most expensive Congressional race in history. “I think that $30 million poisoned the well,” he said.
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16 | Community
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U.S. Rep. Handel to hold May 1 opioid summit DYANA BAGBY email@example.com
U.S. Rep. Karen Handel (R-Ga.) is planning an opioid summit May 1 in the 6th Congressional District as a way to bring together experts in the field and find common ground on how to combat the crisis affecting the entire country. Handel announced the plans for the summit during the April 4 Brookhaven Rotary Club lunch meeting held at the Capital City Club. “We all need to get on the same page about what is the opioid epidemic in the Sixth District and in Georgia,” Handel said. The district includes parts of Brookhaven, Dunwoody and Sandy Springs. The summit, to be held possibly in Alpharetta or Sandy Springs, is expected to help identify resources available to fight the epidemic through law enforcement, treatment and prevention and also to reveal gaps in resources that need to be filled. “We need to try to make sure the dollars at the federal and state level … are being leveraged in the best way,” Handel said. “Time is of the essence, for young people and for the families who are seeing the devastating impacts from opioids.” In an interview, Handel said the summit would also likely be broken up over two days, the May 1 session and then another day in June. “We as a community need to come together to understand what the opioid epidemic means … to have a common understanding,” she said. She noted The Zone in Cobb County, a recovery community organization, has produced promising outcomes and she also said Recovery Kentucky has done good work helping people recover from substance abuse and that both programs could be used as possible models. She also
said working with state Attorney General Chris Carr is crucial as well in overcoming the epidemic. Plans include having a panel of teens speak about the issue. “We need to hear from their perspective,” Handel said. Reporter Newspapers launched last month a special four-part series, “Coping with a Crisis: Opioid addiction in the suburbs,” about local responses to an epidemic that is killing people nationwide and in our communities. In Georgia from June of 2016 to May of 2017, the total number of opioid doses prescribed to Georgia patients surpassed 541 million, according to the state attorney general’s office. That totals approximately 54 doses for every person, including children, in Georgia. Georgia is also among the top 11 states with the most opioid overdose deaths, and 55 Georgia counties have an overdose rate higher than the national average, according to the attorney general. A member of the Brookhaven Rotary asked Handel at the April 4 meeting what was being done about large pharmaceutical companies “pill dumping” in small communities. The Energy and Commerce Committee is currently investigating four major pharmaceutical companies, Handel said, including McKessen, based in San Francisco and with an office in Atlanta. Committees were also created to address the many pieces of legislation addressing opioids to determine ways to prioritize ways to combat the crisis so “we can start getting some sanity into what we’re going to do,” she said. Other topics Handel discussed at the Brookhaven Rotary:
Handel praised the sweeping tax-cut bill passed in December, saying companies
U.S. Rep. Karen Handel (R-Ga.) spoke to members of the Brookhaven Rotary Club on April 4 at the Capital City Club.
such as Halyard Health Companies in Alpharetta decided to bring back $40 million in investments it had overseas back into the U.S. due to the corporate tax cuts. The company works in alternative forms of pain management which will be crucial in stopping the opioid epidemic, Handel said. The bill permanently cut permanent tax rates from 35 percent to 21 percent and also cut tax rates for individuals. The tax breaks for individuals are not permanent, but Handel said “in all likelihood” a second phase of the tax bill will include a provision for permanent lower individual rates as well. Handel said a family of four living in the 6th District has a median income of $132,000 a year. The tax cuts will give them a $4,500 tax reduction, she said. “This means more money in people’s paychecks,” she said. “We get calls every day from people saying they are seeing more money in their paychecks.”
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Handel said she was not happy with the $1.3 trillion omnibus bill passed March 23 but voted for it because it funded the military “for the first time in years.” The 2,200-page bill also included $48 million to address the opioid crisis to be used for law enforcement as well as prevention and treatment. Handel said the entire process of passing the bill was bad policy and she supports Speaker Paul Ryan’s call for a balanced budget amendment. She said she also supports a two-year budget cycle.
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Handel has no primary opposition, apparently the first time she has run for office without a primary opponent. Someone asked if Democrat Jon Ossoff was running for the seat again after the special election between the two last year made international headlines. Handel said she was surprised he was not. “I thought maybe he would because there was a $40 million investment in him
and what’s another couple million,” she said, citing the record amount of money spent in the race. Democrats Bobby Kaple, Kevin Abel, Steven Knight Griffin and Lucy McBath qualified to run in the May 22 primary. She acknowledged midterm elections are hard for the party that controls the White House, but she was “cautiously optimistic” Republicans would remain in control. She pointed to President Bill Clinton’s ability to hold on to his majority in 1998 even after impeachment charges were brought against him following a sexual harassment lawsuit by Paula Jones. “It was because of the economy,” she said of Clinton’s ability to keep control. The strength of the economy, she said, will be the messaging Republicans use in their campaigns up to the midterms.
White House distractions
When asked about the rapid turnover in the White House and especially among Cabinet members, Handel said this was nothing new in Washington, D.C. “It’s really not that unusual. That’s what’s fascinating to me,” she said. The average length of stay for a senior White House staffer is 14 to 16 months, even at the Cabinet level, she added. “Did anybody think [Rex] Tillerson [former Secretary of State] was really going to spend the rest of his career, for the next four or eight years, in that role? I don’t think so,” she said. What is unusual and something she disagrees with is someone finding out they lost their job through Twitter. “I try to be focused on what needs to get done and not get too caught up in all that,” she said. Handel went on to say that a lot of what people see on TV, whether Fox News, CNBC, CNN or “what certainly flows out of Facebook” is not accurate or leaves out key pieces of information. “There’s just so much in the press that is really, really broken,” she said. BK
APRIL 13 - 26, 2018
City buys Greenway land for $2M after failed eminent domain BY DYANA BAGBY firstname.lastname@example.org
The City Council approved at its April 10 meeting a resolution to buy 19 acres of property on Briarwood Road for more than $2 million for the Peachtree Creek Greenway — property the city tried first to seize through eminent domain and pay $349,000. The purchase price approved by the council is $2.044 million for the undeveloped land at 1793 Briarwood Road. The negotiated agreement was finalized during an executive session before the City Council meeting. The 19 acres will be used for green space, a trailhead, parking and ADA access for the Greenway. Another 2.6 acres of property on Buford Highway behind Corporate Square was also purchased for $142,000. This parcel will serve as the launching area for the Greenway bridge as well as provide over two acres of community green space. Despite the vast difference in price between the eminent domain offer and the final negotiated price, the mayor and council said they were thrilled with the final outcome on the Briarwood Road land purchase. A press release notes the council authorized $2,186,000, or just under $100,000 per acre, for both purchases. “This is really good news for the Greenway,” Councilmember Joe Gebbia said following the vote. Mayor John Ernst said it was another historic day for the city. “This is the second biggest piece of green space purchased in the city’s history. Today is a great day … that helps us solidify the Greenway and allows us to begin construction in the near future,” Ernst said. Last year, the city purchased 33 acres of former PDK airport green space between Clairmont Road and Skyland Drive from DeKalb County for $5.7 million. The space, named Ashford Forest Preserve, is a passive park. Betsy Eggers, chairperson of the Peachtree Creek Greenway Inc. nonprofit, thanked the city for its efforts. “The mayor, City Council, and the staff of the city of Brookhaven should be congratulated for following through with their commitment to build the Peachtree Creek Greenway,” she said in a prepared statement. “They’ve taken a dormant project that was sitting on a shelf for decades and are bringing it to life. It just proves that great things can be accomplished through hard work, partnerships and collaborations.” The city attempted to acquire the 19 acres of Briarwood Road though an eminent domain taking last year and offered the property owners $349,000, what city officials said at the time was fair market value. The property owners first countered with $1.5 million to the city and then stated BK
Community | 17
the land was worth more than $2 million as one of the largest undeveloped pieces of land remaining in the city. The property owners also said they wanted to build townhomes on the site. As part of the eminent domain process, attorneys for the property owners the city’s attorneys met with a court-appointed mediator as part of the eminent domain process and attempted to negotiate a price both sides were happy with. No deal could be reached and attorneys for the property owners then asked the condemnation be denied. DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Clarence Seeliger ruled Feb. 27 that the city’s condemnation violated legal procedure and was a “bad faith” deal and also violated the Landowner’s Bill of Rights and Property Action Act approved by the General Assembly in 2006. Seeliger also ordered the city to pay attorneys’ fees. That total is $244,417.74 and is in addition to the $2.044 million. At the meeting, City Manager Christian Sigman praised City Attorney Chris Balch. “Chris did a wonderful job in the negotiation process,” he said. “This is how it’s supposed to work.” With price and terms agreed to, the city should close on the property within 90 days. In a prepared statement, Sigman said, “[W]ith the agreement, the city avoids the time and expense of legal actions and we can get down to the business of building this section of the Peachtree Creek Greenway.” In a brief interview after the meeting, Sigman said the city will pay for the Greenway property from the $9.4 million Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta is paying the city for the right-of-way abandonment of nearly five acres of right-of-way on Tullie Circle and Tullie Road. CHOA is in the midst of a massive 80acre expansion at its campus at I-85 and North Druid Hills Road with plans to make the entire campus closed to public access. Another parcel needs to be purchased for the Greenway’s first phase between North Druid Hills Road and Briarwood Road, Sigman added. After that piece is purchased, the PATH Foundation will present its designs to the City Council and a bid will go out for construction before actual ground can be broken. The Peachtree Creek Greenway master plan outlines a series of nature trails, paved multipurpose trails and paved promenade trails which will connect Brookhaven’s nearly 3-mile portion into the entire 12.3-mile Peachtree Creek trail project from Mercer University in unincorporated DeKalb County to the PATH400 trail in Buckhead, the South Fork Conservancy Trails and the Atlanta BeltLine. The Greenway will also provide connectivity to areas beyond as part of a larger network of multiuse trails to residences, offices, restaurants, bike rental stands, coffee shops and picnic areas.
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18 | Community
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Local legislators applaud transit, ‘brunch bill’ BY DYANA BAGBY, JOHN RUCH AND EVELYN ANDREWS
change and that it would provide better transit options for residents. “We have to look at it from a regional perspective,” Sen. Jen Jordan said. The General Assembly wrapped up It would also enable counties to seek its session late last month by passes sevsales tax increases of up to 1 percent for eral significant pieces of legislation, inup to 30 years to fund transit expancluding bills to create a regional transit sion. authority, a Brookhaven Pub“I wholelic Facilities Authority and the heartedly “brunch bill.” support it,” Rep. Beth Transit authority Beskin said. “For too A bill was passed that long, Atlanta would create a regional auhas had an thority to oversee transit exunfair burpansion in the metro Atlanta den to pay area, which includes 13 counfor transit ties. It would be dubbed the expansion.” Atlanta-region Transit Link State Authority, or The ATL. Rep. MeaThe region’s transit sysgan Hanson tems, including MARTA, Cob(R-BrookhavState Rep. Meagan Hanson. bLinc, Gwinnett County Tranen) was also sit, and GRTA’s Xpress service, happy to see would operate under the unified brand the bill pass as was state Sen. Fran Milname by 2023, according to a press relar (R-Dunwoody). lease from the Atlanta Regional Com“By bringing all transit systems unmission, which supported the legislader one brand … we can make it where tion. people want to ride more,” she said. Sen. Jordan said she supports the Such a “skeleton” of a transit sys-
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tem is needed if the state wants to attract major corporations such as Amazon, she added. Building more rail is cost prohibitive, she said, so to create an efficient, seamless and regional transit system means relying heavily on buses. “There would have to be a culture shift on riding buses,” she said. “People don’t like to ride buses … and this is something we have to get on board with.” Added Millar, “We’re making real progress on regional transit.”
Brookhaven Public Facilities Authority State Sens. Elena Parent (D-Atlanta) and Fran Millar (R-Dunwoody) co-sponsored a bill to create a Brookhaven Public Facilities Authority with state Rep. Meagan Hanson (R-Brookhaven) supporting it in the House. The new authority, to be made up of City Council members, is an entity that will allow the authority to use hotelmotel taxes and issue revenue bonds to fund the Peachtree Creek Greenway, a linear park that is slated to connect the city to Chamblee, Doraville, Buckhead’s PATH 400 trails and eventually to the Atlanta BeltLine.
A bill to allow restaurants to begin serving alcohol on Sundays at 11 a.m. instead of waiting until 12:30 p.m. easily passed this year. Local municipaliPolice helping with ties are now able to put a referendum immigration enforcement on the ballot to see if their voters want Millar supported Senate Bill 452 that to do so. would have required local police offiState Rep. Meagan Hanson (Rcers to assist in immigration enforceBrookhaven) carried the bill in the ment. The bill passed out of the Senate House and said sales could generate but did not get to the House floor for a $100 million a year in revenue with $11 vote. million in taxes going to the state. The “This was not about having somebill is awaiting the governor’s signature one pull over someone and Hanson said with brown hair and supporters are hopeyes and check their paing he signs the bill pers,” he said. “There soon so referenhad to be probable dums can be added cause and a crime comto the May 22 primitted.” mary ballots. If the State Rep. Meagan bill is not signed by Hanson (R-Brookhaven) that time, there is said she fought against the chance it could the bill in the House. be added to July “There were a lot of runoff ballots, she people working against said. the bill, myself being State Sen. Fran one,” she said. “It was Millar (R-Duna terrible bill ... that alwoody) also supmost encouraged racial ported the bill. State Sen. Fran Millar. profiling.” “You can get mimosas if you belong to a private club like the Dunwoody Club Delaying DeKalb or Brookhaven’s Capital City Club, or at commissioners pay raise the Mercedes Benz stadium. We may as well let everyone else do it,” he said. Millar tried to delay implementa-
Hate crimes bill State Rep. Meagan Hanson’s hate crimes law bill failed to get out of committee this year despite new language introduced by co-sponsor state Sen. Wendell Willard (R-Sandy Springs) that excluded specific protections for transgender people. Similar hate crime bills have failed for the past decade. “It was very disappointing,” she said. “But we had some really great conversations about the rising numbers of hate crimes. The current environment won’t let this bill go away.”
tion of a nearly 60 percent pay raise the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners quietly voted to approve for themselves with an amendment to Senate Bill 430, a bill dealing with salary increases for local governments. The amendment failed, and Millar called it a “major disappointment.” “The amendment did not make it out of the House. This was a major disappointment,” he said. The pay raise becomes effective Jan. 1, 2019 and increases commissioners’ salaries from $40,530 a year to $64,637 a year.
APRIL 13 - 26, 2018
Community | 19
City Hall building would be torn down in development plan
A plan for a redevelopment on Peachtree Road would replace City Hall, whose site is shown at far left, with a six-story office and retail building.
Continued from page 1 clude adding two curb cuts on Peachtree Road and one curb cut on Hermance Drive as part of the redevelopment. An existing five-story building next to City Hall would remain and a new four-story office/retail or hotel building would be constructed at the corner of Hermance Drive and Peachtree Road, where an urgent care office is now located. In January 2017, City Manager Christian Sigman informed the mayor and City Council that Delta Life Insurance was considering redevelopment of the site. Last April, the city was able to renew its lease for five years, until 2024. The lease agreement includes a provision that either party can get out of the lease with a nine-month notice. No notice of breaking the lease has yet been given to city officials. “We would get nine months from Delta Life, if they decide to terminate the lease,” Communications Director Burke Brennan said. Delta Life Insurance also ticked the box in its zoning variance application saying it would be seeking tax incentives from the city for the proposed redevelopment. Brennan said the city has not received any information on what the owners may want. The city’s lease payment for City Hall was $294,175.01 in 2017. The city moved into its current City Hall, a former Georgia State University building, in 2014. After the city was incorporated in December 2012, the city used an office building in Dunwoody for its very first City Hall. Finding a place to put City Hall was a challenge for city officials even before Brookhaven officially incorporated. The Governor’s Commission on Brookhaven, a body appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal to help set up the city before the mayor and council members were elected, was tasked with securing a temporary City Hall. That body settled on the Dunwoody location because it was so difficult to find a suitable space in Brookhaven. Sigman said last year the administration before Mayor John Ernst took office had comBK
CITY OF BROOKHAVEN
missioned a consultant to conduct a 30-year facilities plan. That plan, however, got dropped somehow, and when Sigman came on board the company called him asking if the study was still needed. That plan has been rebooted, Sigman said, but no timeline was given when it will be completed. Talk of where to find a permanent location for City Hall has been tossed about since the city was founded. In recent years, MARTA made a new City Hall part of a plan for a massive transit-oriented development at Brookhaven/Oglethorpe Station. But that project was ultimately dropped amid controversy over traffic and other issues.
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20 | Public Safety
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Car break-ins a growing concern, but police chief says arrests are up BY DYANA BAGBY
one arrest in 2017. “If you check with all surrounding agencies, I think you’ll find the same trends with even higher numbers,” Yandura added. “This is not a new problem. Car break-ins continue to plague the entire metro area.” The department is not understaffed, Yandura said, with nearly 70 officers on duty and several more being hired in the coming weeks. The department is authorized to hire up to 77 officers. The Brookhaven Police Department is experiencing success in making arrests through its Georgia Power license plate reader (LPR) network, a pilot program proposed to the City Council last May. The Georgia Power program, named SiteView, has helped in numerous cases, Yandura said. Since the implementation of the program, the devices have scanned about 3.5 million license plates a month resulting in over 95,000 alerts a month to offenses such as carjackings, stolen vehicles, expired tags and suspended insurance. There are 44 LPRs in the Georgia Power program that are located throughout the city. Additionally, the Historic Brookhaven neighborhood just purchased with funds they raised several LPRs for their neighborhood and the Brookhaven Forest subdivision also purchased their own cameras through the Georgia Power program. In January 2017, the police department was contacted by Georgia Power regarding a newly formed division of its company that was created to provide law enforcement agencies the opportunity to increase the use of video cameras and license plate readers. The program allows the city to lease video cameras and LPRs from Georgia Power, which in turn affixes the devices to its own poles. Under the agreement, Georgia Power is responsible for maintenance and upgrades of the system. The City Council approved a three-year lease agreement with Georgia Power in September. Cost is nearly $20,000 a month. The police department has been using video cameras and LPRs since the department began operations in mid2013. However, prior to the Georgia Power program, access to the equipment had been limited due to cost and location need, according to city officials.
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Ronnie Mayer felt fear when he drove up to his house on Redding Road late one recent night and discovered someone rustling in a neighbor’s car. Mayer said he and his wife had been to a gala event and he was dressed in a tuxedo. And because of his attire, he was only carrying a derringer and not his typical .40-caliber handgun. When he pulled his derringer out, he said, the person in the car came out with a Ruger handgun. “This goes from petty theft to him being a felon,” Mayer said of the alleged thief, describing the incident at a recent City Council meeting. Mayer pulled out of his driveway and left the scene and called police. He said he believed there was a problem with homeless people in the city and was upset the police department did not respond with a canine unit to try to track the armed person. “Everybody is now scared to death,” he said of a rash of car break-ins in Ashford Park and other neighborhoods. Chief Gary Yandura said the reason no canine was sent out at Mayer’s request is because it was raining that night — something Mayer failed to mention to city officials —and a dog cannot track in wet conditions. But the department does take seriously the issue of car break-ins, which continues to be a problem in Brookhaven and all of metro Atlanta. In January and February of this year, 40 car break-ins were reported each month in Brookhaven from throughout the city, Yandura said. There were 58 car break-ins reported in March, bringing the total for the first three months of 2018 to 138. “For the same time period in 2016 we had a total of 123 and in 2017 we had 116,” Yandura said. This year, though, thanks largely to newly installed surveillance cameras and license plate readers in the city, police have so far made 13 arrests of people breaking into cars as well as four arrests of people with stolen cars, he said. Those numbers are up significantly from only two arrests for car break-ins during the same time frame in 2016 and
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APRIL 13 - 26, 2018
Community | 21
Trump names state Supreme Court judge with local ties to federal bench
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than by judicial fiat.” “Our job is to respect what the text of the law is,” as well as jury decisions, A Georgia Supreme Court judge who she said. A big factor in her perspechails from Sandy Springs has been nomtive, she said, is her service in all three inated to sit on a federal appeals court by branches of government President Trump. at both the federal and loJustice Britt Grant cal levels, “when you’ve would sit on the Atlanbeen in the shoes of the ta-based U.S. 11th Circuit person who had to make Court of Appeals if her that decision.” nomination is approved Another big influence: by the U.S. Senate. Grant the “unnatural disaster” of appeared last fall at a SanSept. 11. “It affected me very dy Springs Bar Associadeeply based on what I saw tion lunch, where she deand heard that day,” said clined to comment on Grant, who was working rumors of the federal in the White House’s West SPECIAL judgeship nomination. Wing at the time, while Justice Britt Grant. Grant is also on Trump’s her husband Justin — also published short list of cana Sandy Springs native — didates for a potential U.S. Supreme worked at the CIA. Court nomination if a seat comes open. Grant said the attacks reinforced her Grant’s legal background includes idea that the U.S. Constitution is someclerking for a federal judge; serving in thing to defend. She said they also were Georgia’s Attorney General’s office unfollowed by a time different from today’s der Sam Olens and Chris Carr, includ“polarized politics.” ing as solicitor general, or top trial attor“Such a comparatively short time ney; and working in private practice. She ago, we all knew and believed we’re all also worked for current Gov. Nathan Deal in this together,” she said. when he was a congressman and served in President George W. Bush’s White House in domestic policy jobs. Deal appointed Grant to the state Supreme Court, where she began work last year. email@example.com
Comments from last year’s Sandy Springs appearance
At the bar association lunch last year, Grant described her conservative judicial philosophy and how it was shaped by the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, which were committed while she worked in the White House. “I remember from those days understanding our government was under threat,” as was the U.S. Constitution, she said. She said she is a descendant of the Burdett family, whose “milk house,” dating to around 1860 and preserved on the Heritage Sandy Springs site, is the city’s oldest unaltered structure. Grant was born at Buckhead’s Piedmont Hospital and attended The Westminster Schools before heading to Stanford Law School in California, which she jokingly described as a “foreign trip” from the conservative Georgia perspective. While working for Olens, she said, she had a “strong desire to sing the praises of Sandy Springs” as he talked so much about his home of Cobb County. Grant described her judicial philosophy as “separation of powers” and change by “democratic process rather
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22 | Education
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Student protest leaders took different paths into activism BY EVELYN ANDREWS firstname.lastname@example.org
The country is seeing a new generation of gun control protesters rising from schools in the wake of a Florida massacre. Local students are part of this wave, too. Their motivations vary from personal experience to political commitment, but they say they are just starting their advocacy efforts. These three local students led some of the thousands of students at local schools who participated in a nationwide walkout March 14. The walkout was held a month after 17 people were killed in the Parkland, Fla., school shooting. They said they weren’t able to participate in the marches that followed in downtown Atlanta and Washington, D.C.
Tali Feen, Atlanta Jewish Academy
Atlanta Jewish Academy students, from left, Tali Feen, Ben Ogden and Aden Dori stand with signs before the March 14 protest.
Tali Feen, a sophomore at Atlanta Jewish Academy in Sandy Springs, said taking a stand against gun violence wasn’t unusual for her. “I’ve always taken a stand or tried to do something to make a difference,” she said. Feen said one of her main interests is volunteering activism. “I’ve always been into social action. Volunteering is something I love,” Feen said. She currently volunteers frequently with Creating Connected Communities, an organization that plans fun activities for students in poverty. During the summers, she helps with a summer school type program called Odyssey Atlanta, which works to motivate students in poverty to help them have successful careers later in life. She previously helped organize fundraising drives at her school for victims of the hurricanes that hit several countries last year, she said. She said she is inspired by her brother, who works in politics in Washington, D.C. But she sees herself staying on the activism side rather than venturing into a political career. She plans to major in science in the hopes of pursuing a medical career. She hopes to one day volunteer performing medical services in a poor country. Students who led AJA’s demonstration
said they focused on remembering the victims so they wouldn’t alienate students who do not support additional gun control measures, but they still talked about the issue, said Aden Dori, a sophomore at the school. “Where common ground lies is at the victims,” said Dori, who helped organize the protest. Feen, Dori and Ben Ogden, a senior who helped lead the demonstration, are working on organizing a campaign to write letters to students’ senators and representatives in Congress. They hope to keep people aware and interested in the movement and not forget about it, Dori said. “The march was the first step in our long journey of making change,” Feen said.
Parker Short, Dunwoody High School
Volunteering with several political campaigns led Parker Short, a sophomore at Dunwoody High, to lead his school’s protest. Last year’s special election for the local 6th Congressional District seat spurred Short’s interest in politics. He worked as an intern for Democrat Jon Ossoff’s campaign. Ossoff lost to Republican Karen Handel in a runoff election. “I have been politically involved for a little over a year now, and was inspired to get involved because of the need for change in
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Parker Short, a sophomore, leads the Dunwoody High protest with a megaphone.
our political system,” Short said. Short also founded and presides over the Young Democrats Club at Dunwoody High and has helped bring high-profile politicians to speak, including former Gov. Roy Barnes and former state Sen. Jason Carter. He is now volunteering as the youth outreach director of Michael Wilensky’s campaign for state House. “I am very passionate about a plethora of issues facing our country including socialized medicine, gun control, DACA and campaign finance reform,” he said. Short hopes to attend Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. to study political science. His other hobbies include hiking, reading and playing piano.
Adenike Makinde, North Atlanta High School
At North Atlanta High School in Buckhead, senior Adenike Makinde had a personal reaSPECIAL son to join the North Atlanta High protest. Ma- student Adenike Makinde kinde, who reads information about the victims plans to attend killed in the shooting the Universiduring the protest. ty of Southern California, wasn’t involved with gun control efforts or politics before the Florida shooting. She said she felt a personal connection to that incident because her estranged brother was at the Parkland school during the shooting, but was not injured. “This could have been a completely different story for me,” if her brother was injured or killed, she said. She said that the protest helped show adults that students are committed to trying to spur change. “To see so much action by young people is really eye-opening for a lot of adults,” she said. Makinde said she participated in and helped lead the walkout “to stand in solidarity and to respect the lives of the people that were killed.” The Student Government Association led the protest at North Atlanta, and the president asked Makinde to read the names of the victims at the walkout, she said. The protesters tried to make the walkout not about politics, but instead about having a conversation around gun control, which isn’t being had in a meaningful way by politicians, Makinde said. “There’s no conversation being had, and I think that’s what the students want,” she said.
APRIL 13 - 26, 2018
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28 | Education
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Fulton County School Police made a drug bust at North Springs High School in Sandy Springs in late March. The drug sweep found three students with marijuana, police say. After obtaining a warrant, officers searched one student’s bedroom at home, finding marijuana, LSD, methamphetamines, mushrooms and cash, according to a Sandy Springs police crime report. The student will be charged with felonies, the report said. K-9 units were brought to the school to do a search for drugs as part of a periodic search, the principal of the school said. “This occurs periodically in all Fulton County high schools, as working with the K-9 units provides a training opportunity for the dogs, as well as helps us deter students from making bad decisions involving drug use or bringing drugs/drug paraphernalia into our school,” said Scott Hanson, principal of North Spring High, in a letter to parents. To conduct the search, the school conducted a lockdown drill, Hanson said. While the school was locked down, the K-9 units, accompanied by administration, visited random classrooms. The students were instructed to leave the classrooms while the K-9 units swept the classroom. Several K-9 Units also went into the student parking lot to inspect vehicles, Hanson said
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The Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta is opening a new preschool in Sandy Springs. The MJCCA Schiff School at Temple Emanu-El, located at 1580 Spalding Drive, will teach students from 6 weeks to pre-K. It is set to open on August 6, 2018, and registration is now available at atlantajcc.org/SchiffSchool, according to a press release. “MJCCA Preschools are a special community, one that builds lifelong learners, lasting friendships, and a lifetime of memories,” said MJCCA CEO Jared Powers in a press release. “We are thrilled with this opportunity to build another amazing preschool community at Temple Emanu-El.” The MJCCA Schiff School will be the MJCCA’s third preschool. It currently offers The Weinstein School at Zaban Park in Dunwoody, and The Sunshine School at Temple Kol Emeth in East Cobb, according to the release. The MJCCA Schiff School will offer both full-day and half-day options. Half-day students attend from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Full-day students attend between the hours of 7 a.m. and 6 p.m., the release said. “We are fortunate to have an organization like the MJCCA, with such a long history of cultivating a stellar preschool curriculum, enrichment opportunities, and community opening a preschool here at Temple Emanu-El,” said Temple Emanu-El’s Rabbi Spike Anderson in the release.
M O U NT VER NO N STU D ENTS L A UNC H V IR T UA L R EA L IT Y L A B The first project for Mount Vernon Presbyterian School students in the school’s newly-launched virtual reality lab is to create content for a new exhibit at the Center of Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta. One of the main goals of the virtual reality lab, which was officially launched April 9, is to provide opportunities for students to create immersive VR content. The lab team is creating content for a new exhibit at the museum about the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. SPECIAL “It is so exciting to watch our stu- Alec Johnson, Mount Vernon Upper School VR Lab Founder. dents’ ideas go from dream to reality. Our young entrepreneurs are ready to face current challenges, work with industry leaders, and make an impact in the world right now. We are helping students learn to lead in the newest fields of technology,” said teacher Marie Graham in the release.
APRIL 13 - 26, 2018
Classifieds | 29
Reporter Classifieds YARD SALE
HUGE Buckhead Neighborhood Yard Sale! Saturday, April 21 (rain-date 4/28). Cross Creek Golf Community will be hosting their annual Spring Yard Sale. Come join us! Spaces are available and vendors welcome! 404.351.7600 1221 Cross Creek Pkwy NW Atlanta 30327
Leasing Sandy Springs Independent Senior Living condos – Newly renovated. Mount Vernon Village…$2295 to $2695 per month. Kim@dunwoodybrokers.com or 404-414-8307.
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Arlington Memorial Cemetery – 3 lots for sale in the Calvary Section located in lot 276D, spaces 2, 3 & 4. Asking $5,900 each or $17,000 for all. This section is almost sold out and prices through the cemetery would be $,6,900 each. Beautiful views and the most desirable section. Cemetery will assist in showing. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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30 | Public Safety
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City on the lookout for new police headquarters Continued from page 1
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proved by voters in November. Today, the police department and municipal court rent space at 2665 Buford Highway. Chief Gary Yandura has said the police department is cramped and the department is forced to rent storage space in the city to hold evidence. In February, the City Council approved spending $200,000 to find an architectural firm to help design a new police department and municipal court headquarters and to find a location for the new building. Crew Heimer, who lives on Bramblewood Drive just off Buford Highway, spoke during the April 4 Planning Commission meeting to ask why the city was appraising his house when his home is part of an assemblage of 29 homes that The Ardent Companies wants to buy and then tear down for a proposed townhome development. The purchase hinges on the rezoning request being approved. Heimer said an appraiser came to his house attorney and to some of his neighbors’ homes at the request of the city attorney about two weeks before
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the April 4 meeting. “Why does the city want to buy my property?” Heimer asked commissioners. Neither Planning Commission members nor city staff indicated they were aware the city was looking at Bramblewood Drive property. In an interview, Heimer said it appeared the city’s “left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing.” “The appraiser told me the city was looking to buy property for a future police station,” he said. Neville Allison, director of the Ardent Companies, said he was unaware the city was also looking at property on Bramblewood Drive. He declined further comment. Some residents questioned whether there was a conflict of interest for the city to be looking at property to buy while the same property was also being considered by city officials for a possible rezoning. Communications Director Burke Brennan said the Bramblewood Drive property is one of many sites the city is looking at for the police and municipal court building. He added there was no conflict of interest because the city is not obstructing the rezoning process. “It’s not a conflict of interest for the Community Development Department to do their jobs ... while evaluations may be pending on parcels for future acquisition,” Brennan said. City Manager Christian Sigman said in a brief interview that the free market allows the city to look at all land for sale for potential purchase and that he, as the one in charge of seeking land to buy, is separate from the Community Development Department.
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Methodist Dunwoody United Gil Yates, about to begin at for his classmate Coast Indians was making a beeline A class on Pacific strode into the room, Church when a man OK.” approached. “Shuffling’sbuddy, who would not front row, center. said, as the man his “No running!” Yates is a year older than all in good fun. Yates By Kathy Dean The teasing was share his age: 91. with Perimeter Adults did but spring this name, classes reveal his 175 students taking We hear it all The men are among most of whom adults, time: senior (PALS). less is more. forthe rings education Services & especially Learning start. The phrase continuing true for older from the year of providing members adultsneed empty nests been PALS is in its 25th are facing and are the whofor of Dunwoody, have care ready of takes to of and his wife, Dot, of their enjoy the second kind lives. and this are 60-plus. Yates Intown and north half to help other people, many comforta metro Atlanta friends.” “People our age want made lifelong ble options for offer them. on page 4 Yates said. “We have “Baby boomers fellowship,” Dot have spent Continued working and much of their building lives said Dawn Anderson their wealth for retiremen t,” , Realtor, Dorsey “As retiremen Alston Realtors. t becomes more of a reality, they plan their transition begin to to downsize. Ease and affordability of life, proximity are certainly the goals of most downsizing common boomers.” The trend of continues to grow, 55+ active adult commun ities Anderson said. well qualified “Baby boomers buyers and know are looking for.” exactly what they are Kim Isaacs, aged Avalon in Alpharet 58, said that her townhom e in ta gives her everything they and her husband want. “We had home in Johns lived in our previous Creek for 19 years. left for college, When our last we child and really didn’t decided that we wanted a change need a large house of us,” she said. for just the two
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APRIL 13 - 26, 2018
Public Safety | 31
Police Blotter / Brookhaven From Brookhaven Police reports dated April 1-8. The following information was pulled from Brookhaven’s Police-2-Citizen website.
arrested and charged with aggravated stalking.
T H E F T A N D B U R G L A RY
3400 block of Buford Highway — On
2500 block of Briarcliff Road — On
April 1, at night, a car was broken into. 2500 block of Briarcliff Road — On
April 1, at night, items were stolen from a car. 4200 block of Peachtree Road — On
April 2, after midnight, a car theft was reported. 2800 block of Clairmont Road — On
April 2, in the early morning, a car theft was reported. 1000 block of Lincoln Court Ave-
nue — On April 2, in the morning, a burglary was reported. There was no forced entry. 1000 block of Gables Drive — On
April 2, in the afternoon, an entering auto incident was reported. 2900 block of Parkridge Drive — On
April 2, at night, an entering auto incident was reported. 3500 block of Buford Highway — On
April 2, at night, a car was stolen. 1000 block of Gables Drove — On
April 3, in the early morning, an entering auto incident was reported.
block of Briarwood Road — On April 1, after midnight, three people were arrested and charged with marijuana possession. 4200
block of Peachtree Road — On April 1, in the early morning, a man was arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol. 2800 block of Buford Highway — On
April 1, in the early morning, a man was arrested and charged with driving without a license. 2900 block of Buford Highway — On
2400 block of Briarcliff Road — On
April 1, in the afternoon, a man was arrested and charged with driving unlicensed.
April 3, in the morning, items were stolen from a vehicle.
2600 block of Buford Highway — On
3400 block of Buford Highway —
On April 3, in the morning, two people were arrested and charged with theft by receiving stolen property. 3000 block of Clairmont Road — On
April 3, in the morning, items were stolen from a car. 3900 block of Peachtree Road — On
April 1, in the afternoon, a woman was arrested and charged with violating probation.
4000 block of Peachtree Road — On
April 3, at night, a shoplifting incident was reported. A man was arrested.
April 3, in the early morning, a man was arrested and charged with driving under the influence and endangering the life of a child.
2900 block of Clairmont Road — On
April 2, in the morning, a simple assault was reported. 4900 block of Roswell Road — On
April 4, in the afternoon, a man was
Windsor Parkway — On April 4, in the morning, a man was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. 3500 block of
Buford Highway — On April 5, in the early morning, a man was arrested and charged with driving with a suspended registration. 1600 block of Briarwood Road — On
April 5, in the afternoon, a man was arrested and charged with driving without a license. 2300 block of North Druid Hills Road
— On April 5, a man was arrested and charged with failing to appear. 3200 block Buford Highway — On
April 5, at night, a man was arrested and charged with marijuana possession. 3200 block of Buford Highway — On
April 5, at night, a man was arrested and charged with driving unlicensed. 1000 block of Johnson Ferry Road —
3100 block of Buford Highway — On
April 6, at night, a man was arrested and charged with public intoxication and consumption. 3400 block of Ashford-Dunwoody
Road — On April 7, in the early morning, a woman was arrested and charged with marijuana possession. 1400 block of Briarwood Road — On
April 7, in the afternoon, a woman was arrested and charged with criminal trespass. 1600 block of North Druid Hills Road
— On April 7, in the evening, a man was arrested and charged with driving unlicensed. 2600 block of Buford Highway — On
April 7, at night, a man was arrested and charged with violating probation. 2600 block of Buford Highway — On
April 8, at noon, a man was arrested and charged with failing to appear.
OT H E R I N C I D E N T S 3300 block of Buford Highway — On
April 1, in the early morning, a hit and run accident was reported. 1900 block of North Druid Hills Road
— On April 5, in the early morning, a criminal trespass warning was issued. 100 block of Town Boulevard — On
April 5, at noon, fraudulent activity was recorded.
2700 block of Buford Highway — On
3900 block of Peachtree Road — On
A S S AU LT
1300 block of
On April 6, in the evening, a woman was arrested and charged with failing to appear.
— On April 1, at night, a man was arrested and charged with driving under the influence. April 2, in the early morning, two people were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct.
April 4, in the evening, a forced entry burglary was reported.
April 3, at night, a woman was arrested and charged with driving with a suspended license.
2300 block of North Druid Hills Road
April 3, at night, a robbery to a business involving a weapon was reported.
3000 block of Mabry Road — On
April 6, in the evening, a man was arrested and charged with simple battery.
4000 block of Peachtree Road — On
BREAKFAST MEETING FEATURING
Decide DeKalb's President Mr. Ray Gilley
3600 block of Peachtree Road — On
April 3, in the morning, a man was arrested and charged with operating a motor vehicle without a tag.
Thursday, April 19th 8:00-9:30am
3800 block of Peachtree Road — On
April 3, in the evening, a man was arrested and charged with theft by receiving stolen property.
4386 Chamblee Dunwoody Road
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Make a Lantern & Join the Parade! The parade lines up at 7:30pm at Steel Canyon Golf Club for a magical stroll to Morgan Falls Overlook Park. Lantern Workshops are April 14th & 15th. Learn more at VisitSandySprings.org/lanternparade