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APRIL 14 - 27, 2017 • VOL. 8 — NO. 8

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► MARTA’s CEO speaks on response to I-85 disaster PAGE 5 ► ‘The good, the bad and the ugly’ of 2017 legislative session PAGE 14

SPECIAL SECTION | P22-26

‘Wildcat family’ mourns a student’s death BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net In February, Phineas Haq and two of his closest friends traveled to Birmingham, Ala., to run their first marathon. Running for 26.2 miles is quite a feat for anyone, especially for high school sophomores. “We were [running] together the first 17 miles or so and then we traded back and forth,” said Sasha Herod, 16, who ran cross-country and track with Phineas at Dunwoody High School. “He was really supportive because it hurt. We got through it together.” See WILDCAT on page 30

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6th District hopefuls square off in debate BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

As the days tick down to the April 18 special election to fill the open 6th Congressional District seat, each of the 18 candidates in the large field are trying furiously to separate themselves from the pack. The latest public opportunity was at the April 9 candidate forum hosted by the Dunwoody Homeowners Association and Dunwoody Crier at Dunwoody High School. Voters are already early voting in the election to fill the seat that had been held by Republican Tom Price, who reSee 6TH on page 18


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Four-city planning partnership may hire staff member BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

The Peachtree Gateway Partnership is seeking to raise $20,000 this year with plans to hire a full-time staff person. The partnership includes the cities of Brookhaven, Dunwoody, Chamblee and Doraville. Dunwoody City Council recently approved $2,500 to go toward paying a fulltime staff member for the partnership that was loosely formed three years ago and officially became a 501(c) 6 nonprofit business organization last year. Brookhaven, Chamblee and Doraville also are expected to also chip in $2,500 apiece to the organization. Other partners, including DeKalbPeachtree Airport, Georgia Power Co. and Epps Aviation, also are expected to contribute $2,500 apiece as part of a plan to raise $20,000 this year, said Dan Reuter, a private consultant for the partnership and former manager of community de-

velopment with the Atlanta Regional Commission. The remaining funds are to be raised from private sources. The ARC helped organize the partnership that set such goals as improving transportation planning coordination between the four municipalities and DeKalb County as well as the development of a cross-jurisdictional trail network that could connect to the Atlanta Beltline and PATH 400. The ARC itself is not part of the partnership. Housed within the four cities’ areas are the DeKalb-Peachtree Airport, which borders Brookhaven and Chamblee; three MARTA rail stations; and the vacant former General Motors Co. site. The former plant is being redeveloped into a massive business district dubbed Assembly that includes Third Rail Studios, a film and TV production studio, with plans to also build retail, office and residential properties on the site. Reuter said he is currently being paid

$1,200 a month by the Peachtree Gateway Partnership’s board, which is made up of the mayors of the cities and representatives of the private partners. “I do think they will hire someone. It will probably be another part-time person and depends on how much money we raise,” Reuter said. The $20,000 could also be used for such things as branding the group, he said. “It’s not a lot of money,” he said. But it is part of the first formal budget for the group that was formed to find ways for the four municipalities to work closely together on such issues as transportation and also find ways to work well with DeKalb County. “Right now, we’re letting it evolve through dialogue,” Reuter said. The nonprofit status means the group can raise money from private sources in such forms as contributions, membership dues or sponsorships. The payments would not be tax-deductible, but can be written

off as business expenses, Reuter said. Brookhaven Mayor John Ernst said that through the partnership, the four cities have devised a plan to have their trails connect “so none of the cities builds a trail to nowhere.” “It’s been working rather well,” he said of the partnership, “but we’ll see how it proves its worth year after year.” The board meets about six times a year, Reuter said. Staff members from each city also meet as part of a coordinating committee to discuss potential projects. “We discuss transportation issues and look at funding opportunities,” Reuter said. In February, Trees Atlanta teamed up with the Peachtree Gateway Partnership and helped organize a tree planting to celebrate Georgia Arbor Day. Volunteers and city staff from the four cities planted 177 trees in Georgian Hills Park, Dresden Park, on Winters Chapel Road and at the Dunwoody Nature Center.

Fire damages Dunwoody Village business BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

The New School of Music in Dunwoody Village was severely damaged during an April 2 fire that started in the air conditioning units of the business. Music lessons for students are being temporarily held in Sandy Springs. DeKalb County Fire Rescue Department Capt. Eric Jackson said April 11 the cause of the fire has not been determined and an investigation is ongoing. Flames and smoke could be seen shooting from the roof of the New School of Music, but firefighters were able to control the fire quickly, with no serious damage reported to neighboring businesses.

Music lessons are being held at Temple Emanu-El on Spalding Drive in Sandy Springs, according to a social media post from Rick Smith, owner of the New School of Music. The Dunwoody school will remain closed until a permanent space can be located. “Sadly, our Dunwoody school was severely damaged today by fire, but we are extremely grateful for the hard work of the firefighters, police, and others for controlling the situation as much as possible AND for making sure no one was hurt!” Smith wrote on Facebook after the fire. The Dunwoody Police Department reported via social media that they received a call about 4:30 p.m. that there

was a fire in the Dunwoody Village shopping center. “Our officers arrived within seconds and observed fire coming from the roof of two suites,” the post to Facebook said. “Our officers began evacuating businesses while the DeKalb County Fire Department began working to extinguish the flames.”

An April 2 fire at the New School of Music in Dunwoody Village severely damaged the school but did not seriously damage neighboring businesses. An investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing.

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Community | 3

APRIL 14 - 27, 2017 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

City awards nonprofit grants, but with process concerns BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

The mayor and City Council awarded $490,000 in Facilities Improvement Partnership Program grants to three nonprofits to improve the city-owned properties they operate, but some councilmembers raised questions about the funding process. The Dunwoody Preservation Trust was awarded a $240,000 FIPP grant to go toward site lighting, hardscape plans such as sidewalks and completing the garden plans for the Donaldson-Bannister Farm in hopes of being able to open the new city-owned park this year. An additional $60,000 will be used from the DonaldsonBannister Site Improvement capital fund, which is separate from FIPP money. The Stage Door Players were awarded a $50,000 FIPP grant for interior and exterior improvements at its theater. The mayor and City Council also approved a $200,000 FIPP grant for the Dunwoody Nature Center for the construction of a new North Woods Pavilion in the city-owned Dunwoody Park. The new pavilion is needed to provide more space for programming, such as summer camps and school field trips, and to alleviate continued capacity issues, according to Executive Director Alan Mothner. The $200,000 was $100,500 less than what was requested, however, and will not cover the construction costs for the new pavilion. Before the vote to approve the funding, Councilmember Lynn Deutsch raised concerns she had with how the process of determining how much money is awarded to which nonprofit. Parks and Recreation Director Brent Walker said nonprofits submit applications. When the funding requests exceeds the total amount available, as was the case this year, then a small committee is formed to score the applications based on criteria, including project benefits, timeframe and scope. This year, the committee included himself, the assistant city manager, the accounting manager and the Community Development planning manager. The application with the highest combined score receives the most money and so on, Walker said. “I struggle with how we are handling our partnerships,” Deutsch told Walker. “This [funding process] is a piece of that.” Deutsch said it made sense to her to include how many people actually use a facility as part of the criteria for funding. “The Donaldson-Bannister house is totally a work in progress,” she said, stressing she did not want to diminish any nonprofit’s work. “I don’t think it’s going to get the same kind of usage as others — we’re investing a lot of funding in things that look pretty, like gardens and grass,” Deutsch

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added. “But that’s just something to look at – there is no utility in that.” Councilmember Pam Tallmadge also asked if making decisions on FIPP funding before the Parks Master Plan is approved made sense. Nall said the parameters used to determine funding this year is the same that has been used in years past and to question the process now is not fair to the city’s partners. “We can deal with additional funds for the pavilion at a later time. I’m interested in the Donaldson-Bannister home getting open,” he said. After the meeting, Mothner said the Nature Center needs the additional $100,500 to build the 1,800-square-foot pavilion and that he would be following up with Nall to ask about additional city funding. “We’re happy to get the funding we received for the pavilion,” Mothner said. But the Nature Center is “out of space,” he added, and the pavilion is necessary if it is to continue providing programming to thousands of people each year. Plans are to break ground for the new pavilion in August, leaving just a short time to find the additional $100,500. “We’re desperate for it,” he said. “Our programs have plateaued for so long … we can’t continue to serve the community unless we have it.” Mothner said the Nature Center also showed the city a return on investment with the pavilion, saying it would generate some $61,000 a year and pay itself off in five years. The Nature Center board will also consider taking money out of its reserves to cover the extra $100,500, or even extend its current capital campaign, Mothner said. Plans are to have the pavilion completed by March 2018. Last month, Jim Williams, president of the Dunwoody Preservation Trust, gave an update to the council on the Donald-Bannister Farm, saying the “number one goal” of the DPT was to open the historic site and property this year. “But it’s going to take some work,” Williams said at the time. The city and DPT entered into a partnership agreement in 2012 giving DPT the reins in rehabilitating the farm property to open it to the public. In 2015, significant work got underway to make the farm accessible. The original cost to completely ready the site for public use was estimated at nearly $4 million, but Williams told the council last month the total now looks closer to $1.3 million. Approximately $700,000 has been spent on the site and another $600,000 is needed to finish the repairs and rehabilitation needed to open the farm and park. Williams also said to his knowledge the DPT was the only nonprofit partnership with the city not able to use the facility it is operating.

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City settles fourth lawsuit against police officer BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

The city has settled a federal lawsuit against Police Officer Dale Laskowski for $52,000 — the fourth such settlement in a year. The settlement agreement between Colton Laidlaw and the city was reached March 20, according to court documents. The settlement marks the fourth lawsuit the city has settled against Laskowski by men who alleged he conducted traffic stops and then searched and detained them illegally. SPECIAL The city’s insurance paid Dale Laskowski this most recent settlement and also paid to settle the three prior lawsuits for a total of $187,000. As part of the settlement, however, Laskowski denied any wrongdoing and the agreement is not an admission of liability. Police Chief Billy Grogan said Laskowski remains on the force. Laidlaw stated in his lawsuit filed in August against Laskowski that the officer stopped him in 2014, when he was 17, on Old Village Run near the intersection of Village Court while he was driving to work. According to the lawsuit, Laskowski told Laidlaw he stopped him for driving more than 15 mph on a curve and wanted to make sure he was not on his

cellphone or listening to loud music. “Then, without any reasonable suspicion or probable cause to believe that the plaintiff was committing or about to commit any crime, defendant asked plaintiff if he used ‘occasional recreational marijuana,’ ” the lawsuit stated. Laidlaw denied he was speeding or used marijuana, but Laskowski said he could see marijuana in his vehicle which gave him probable cause to search his car, the lawsuit stated. After demanding Laidlaw step out of his car and patting him down, Laskowksi began an approximately 15-minute search of the teen’s car. No marijuana was found in his vehicle and Laskowski at no time gathered any alleged marijuana as evidence, the lawsuit stated. After eventually checking Laidlaw’s license and registration, Laskowski lectured the young man for several minutes about the “dangers of having and being caught with marijuana, but then stated that he was going to let [him] go without any charges whatsoever,” according to the lawsuit. The city settled three other search-related lawsuits against Laskowski in March 2016 for a total of $135,000, while also not acknowledging any liability or wrongdoing. The three men who sued Laskowski claimed in their lawsuits that the officer conducted unconstitutional

searches during traffic stops in 2013. Laidlaw’s lawsuit has some differences from the three lawsuits filed in 2013 and settled earlier this year. In those three cases, Laskowski called for the Doraville K-9 unit to conduct drug sniffing around the men’s vehicles after they refused to allow the officer to search their cars. Grogan previously said, regarding the three other lawsuits, that the department changed its policy long before the settlements and now requires an officer to get a supervisor’s approval before requesting a K-9 unit. The department also follows a 2015 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that states, “absent reasonable suspicion, police extension of a traffic stop in order to conduct a dog sniff violates the Constitution’s shield against unreasonable seizures,” Grogan said. SPECIAL

Colton Laidlaw sued Officer Dale Laskowski last year in federal court.

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Community | 5

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MARTA CEO won’t ‘gloat,’ will help after I-85 disaster BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

MARTA is gaining lots of praise — and new riders — for stepping up service after the I-85 highway collapse that is snarling metro traffic. But Keith Parker, the transit agency’s CEO, says he’s not patting himself on the back or cheering the silver lining. “By no means do we gloat or bask in this,” Parker said of the I-85 disaster at an April 11 Sandy Springs Perimeter Chamber of Commerce luncheon. That’s not to say he was shy about touting his own speedy Red Line commute time, which drew several exclamations of “wow!” from the crowd. “I got on the train at 8:48 this morning and was at my office at 9:01,” said Parker, a Roswell resident who rides from Sandy Springs’ North Springs Station to MARTA headquarters at Buckhead’s Lindbergh Center Station. Parker’s long-scheduled appearance at the luncheon at the Westin Atlanta Perimeter North hotel was intended to highlight the now familiar story of MARTA’s dramatic turnaround since he became its CEO and general manager in 2012. Parker presented his standard financial and customer charts laden with upward-tilting arrows, and touched on such other hotbutton issues as the Braves stadium and the Atlanta Streetcar. But the March 30 fire-triggered collapse of the I-85 overpass, which happened within smoke-smelling distance of MARTA’s HQ, has become a watershed moment for Atlanta public transit. It earned its own slide in Parker’s updated presentation. “And then there was a little bridge collapse,” he said. Parker noted the disaster site near Piedmont Road is about a third of a mile from MARTA’s Lindbergh Center headquarters and the Armour Yard, a railyard where the agency keeps many off-duty trains. He said he saw the smoke from his office. “As soon as we saw it, we sprang into action,” he said. That meant increasing service capacity by about 20 percent and extending service frequency and hours. Currently, he said, train frequency from North Springs is about 7 to 10 minutes, and in downtown Atlanta, about 5 minutes. The agency also leveraged existing partnerships with car rental services Uber and Lyft to offer discount rates to people going to and front MARTA stations. Internally, MARTA staff are urged to help first-time riders who may be confused and irritated. “They can be as rude as they need to be to us. We want to give them a dignified ride,” Parker said. While MARTA is seeing big ridership boosts, that also creates new challenges. Paying for extra service is a major one that the state and federal governments have pledged to assist. Another is “enormous pressure” on station parking, with garages filling up quickly.

After the “We view ourluncheon, selves as part of the Parker said transportation netthat specifwork,” he said. “All ic plans to of us are part of the borrow oversolution. ... In this flow parking case, one part of our near North family solution has Springs taken a hit.” and Sandy BRAVES AND THE Springs StaSTREETCAR JOHN RUCH tions are in Audience memKeith Parker, MARTA’s CEO and general the works manager, speaks at the April 11 Sandy Springs bers asked Parkand will be Perimeter Chamber of Commerce luncheon. er about anothannounced er looming traffic concern, the Atlanta soon. The agency also launched a web Braves’ new SunTrust Park in MARTApage showing real-time information on free Cobb County, and a public transit station parking availability. service that hasn’t been so well-received, While running trains, Parker also had the Atlanta Streetcar. to derail rumors “that I had started the fire On the Braves, Parker had a brief but — I’m not kidding.” He said reporters and pointed comment: “We’ve not been formalTwitter users asked about a conspiracy thely contacted by the Braves to provide serory that MARTA had set the blaze to boost vice. So when they’re ready, we’ll be ready.” ridership. (An avid social media user himOn the troubled Atlanta Streetcar, he self, Parker said in an admittedly unusual said the “critical safety issues” that led to a introduction that he planned to live-Tweet brief service stoppage have been resolved, his upcoming colonoscopy to be a good and predicted the streetcar, which currenthealthcare example to his children.) ly runs a circulator route in downtown AtMore seriously, Parker described lanta, will be a success once it plugs into MARTA as a family member of, not planned transit service on the BeltLine. a rival to, the Georgia Department of “When that [BeltLine connection] Transportation and the Georgia Regionhappens, I think it changes the game… al Transportation Authority. When you’re in a circle, you got limited

appeal,” Parker said. That transit is coming, as Atlanta voters recently approved a 0.5 percent sales tax boost devoted to MARTA funding. The agency expects that to raise billions over the next three decades for major citywide transit expansion. “For their half-penny, they’re going to get a tremendous return on their investment,” he said. TRANSIT-ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT AND HQS Parker said he’s pleased with MARTA’s role in attracting major corporations to sites near rail stations, including State Farm in Dunwoody and WestRock and Mercedes-Benz USA in Sandy Springs. “That’s something we feel very proud about,” he said. It’s also among the reasons MARTA still intends to push for extending the Red Line further into North Fulton. Parker playfully asked for support from Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul, who replied, “I’m trying.” Parker also noted the agency’s recent successes in bidding out some station parking lots for transit-oriented developments, including a project about to break ground at Chamblee Station. However, he did not mention the recent failure, amid community opposition, of another TOD proposed at Brookhaven/Oglethorpe Station.

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6 | Out & About

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BROOKHAVEN

BUCKHEAD

DUNWOODY

SANDY SPRINGS

EARTH DAY EVENTS ELECTRONICS RECYCLING DRIVE

Monday, April 17 to Sunday, April 23, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Marist School will host an electronics recycling drive that’s open to the public. Free, with the exception of a $10 fee to recycle televisions. All hard drives from computers will be shredded to protect information. 3790 Ashford-Dunwoody Road N.E., Brookhaven. Info on accepted items: ewasteeplanet.com.

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Free nocturnal hike through Dunwoody Park and stargazing with the Atlanta Astronomy Club at 8:30 p.m. Friday. Free community yoga program led by Sweet Escape Yoga at 10 a.m. Saturday. The annual paintrecycling event runs Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and there’s an overnight campout Saturday through Sunday. $20 per campsite for members; $25 for non-members. 5343 Roberts Drive, Dunwoody. Info: dunwoodynature.org.

BLUE HERON NATURE PRESERVE

Saturday, April 22, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Events include a Park Pride Restoration Workday, activities for children in the garden, a build your wildlife sanctuary workshop, native plant sale and Green Theater performances. Free admission. 4055 Roswell Road, N.E., Buckhead. Info: bhnp.org.


APRIL 14 - 27, 2017

Out & About | 7

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A MOUNTAIN, LAKE, GOLFING COMMUNITY.

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OGLETHORPE UNIVERSITY CONCERTS Singers & Chorale Friday, April 21, 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.

WINDS ENSEMBLE Saturday, April 29, 8 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Spring concerts for the singers and the winds ensemble are open to the public and will be held at Oglethorpe’s Conant Performing Arts Center. Free. 4484 Peachtree Road N.E., Brookhaven. Info: calendar. oglethorpe.edu.

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Wednesday, April 19 to Sunday, April 23. Wednesday and Thursday, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday, 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 6 p.m.

More than 30 full-scale carnival rides, food vendors, a 5K run, three days of stage performances and the “Dunwoody Idol” contest are among the planned events. Hosted by Dunwoody Preservation trust, the annual Lemonade Days event is now in its 19th year. Free admission; carnival rides purchased separately. Brook Run Park, 4770 North Peachtree Road, Dunwoody. Info: dunwoodylemonadedays.org.

CHASTAIN CHASE Sunday, April 23, 8 a.m.

The Chastain Chase 5K benefits the programs of Cancer Support Community, a nonprofit that offers more than 120 free, professionally led support programs to cancer patients, survivors, and their families each month. The event includes a 5K, a 1-mile walk/run and a Tot Trot through Chastain Park. Preregister online for a discount. Registration opens at 7 a.m. at Galloway School, 215 West Wieuca Road N.W., Buckhead. Info: cancersupportcommunity.org.

Perimeter North Family Medicine is proud to serve the families throughout the Atlanta area. Offering a full range of adult and pediatric services, our physicians, Dr. Charles Taylor, Dr. Shetal Patel and Dr. Mithun Daniel offer the highest standard of care to keep you and your family happy and healthy. We accept most insurance plans and offer same-day appointments for sick visits.

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LEARN SOMETHING LADIES NIGHT OUT WITH MASTER CHEF CYNTHIA GRAUBERT Thursday, April 20, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Cook alongside Master Chef Cynthia Graubart as she creates tapas and easy-to-prepare appetizers at the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta. Advance registration required. $65 for the community; $50 for MJCCA members. Kuniansky Family Center, MJCCA Zaban Park, 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody. Info: Sandra Bass at sandra. bass@atlantajcc.org, or 678-812-3798. Continued on page 8

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LOST CORNER PRESERVE POLLINATION MONTHLY HISTORY LECTURES : Saturday, April 22, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., rain or shine. th

LOST CORNER PRESERVE

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Located at the corner of Brandon Mill Road where Riverside Drive turns in to Dalrymple Road. CELEBRATION

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Learn how7:30-8:30 to bringpm on$5the bees and butterflies suggested donation to FOLCin an educational experience for all OF ages including SECRET HISTORY LOST CORNERspeakers, LECTURE exhib&O PEN HOUSE : its and kids’ activities. Friends of Lost Corner will also have Sunday February 5, March 5 and April 2 plants for 3-5:00 sale. No Suggested donation: $5 per person, pmpets. $5 suggested donation to FOLC $10 per family. Mill Road, Sandy Springs. PreHOW 730 TO GBrandon ROW HERBS INDOORS AND OUT : April 1 SaturdayInfo: 10 am-12:00 pm $10 FOLC donation registration requested. friendsoflostcorner.org. POLLINATION CELEBRATION:

April 22 Saturday 11 am-3:00 pm $10 FOLC donation

HOW TO BUILD A WORM BIN: DRAW CITYSCAPES

LOST CORNER PRESERVE

is located on 24+ acres of beautiful woodlands with nature trails, a Draw cityscapes with Barbara Frieberg, based on the style of artist John Marin, who winding creek, community gardens, was known for his abstract landscapes and use of watercolor. to first 15assortment particihistoric Open buildings, and an of wildlife, trees and native plants. It pants, agesD18+. Free. Dunwoody Library, 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. ISCOVER NATURE SATURDAY SERIES: has a rich and unique history dating Info: 770-512-4640. Mar 11 & 18, April 8 & 15 May 6 & 13 back to the settlement of the area in Saturday 10-10:45 am (Ages 4-6) 11-11:45 am (Ages 7-9) the mid-1800’s and the Civil War. $5/class or $25/series of 6 May 22, 20 Saturday am-12:00 pm $10 FOLC donation Saturday, April 1 p.m. to10 2 p.m.

MENTAL HEALTH FAIR BIRDS OF ATLANTA: THE 10 COMMON

Programs are provided by FOLC as an independent contractor and the Sandy Springs Recreation and Parks Department.

Saturday, April 29,25 10Saturday a.m. to 2 10 p.m. March am-12:00 pm $12 LL ABOUTAlliance BLUEBIRDS The NAMIA(National on :Mental Illness) Northside Atlanta Mental Health Fair

April 8 Saturday 10 am-12:00 $12 will feature about 40 exhibitors whopmprovide mental health services. A speaker panel NATURE PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP: follows a lunch free registered attendees. Free. Peachtree Presbyterian Church May 6 that’s Saturday 10to am-1:00 pm $25 friendsoflostcorner.org sandyspringsga.gov FellowshipNHall, 3434 Roswell Road ATURE PHOTOGRAPHY WN.E., ALK: Buckhead. Info: naminorthsideatlanta.org. May 6 Saturday 2-4:00 pm $20

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Friday, April 28, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday, April 29, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, April 30, noon to 5 p.m.

The 11th annual Spruill Center Pottery & Art Sale, a fundraiser for the Ceramics Department, features ceramics, glass, jewelry and other items created by Spruill Arts students and instructors. Free admission. Spruill Arts Education Center, 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Info: spruillarts.org.

PARTIES FOR A CAUSE NIGHT VISIONS

BROOK RUN PLANT SALE

Wednesday, April 19 to Sunday, April 23, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The Dunwoody Community Garden & Orchard plant sale features organically grown vegetables as well as colorful annual flowers and perennials priced from $1. Free admission. Find the sale at the greenhouse complex opposite the skate park at Brook Run Park, 4770 North Peachtree Road, Dunwoody. Info: dcgo.org.

34TH ANNUAL SA MPLE SALE

MAY 5 –7, 2017

Take advantage of discounted pricing on designer brand, high-end indoor and outdoor home furnishings, rugs, lighting & accessories.

3 DAYS ONLY OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

SPRUILL CENTER POTTERY & ART SALE

Friday, May 5: 9 AM – 6 PM Saturday, May 6: 9 AM – 6 PM Sunday, May 7: 10 AM – 2 PM

351 Peachtree Hills Ave, Atlanta Monday – Friday | Open to the Trade & Public More info at adacatlanta.com

Thursday, April 27, 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

The Center for the Visually Impaired hosts its annual fundraiser “Night Visions” in a circusthemed evening at The Stave at American Spirit Works. Carnival-inspired cuisine, cocktails, silent and live auctions, roving entertainment and carnival games. 199 Armour Drive, Buckhead. Ticket info: cviga.ejoinme.org or 404-602-4279.


APRIL 14 - 27, 2017

Out & About | 9

www.ReporterNewspapers.net

CARS AND ’Q FOR THE CAUSE Saturday, April 29, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Choate Construction Company holds its 8th annual Cars and ’Q for the Cause, featuring 100-plus classic, muscle and exotic cars; barbecue from Jim ‘N Nicks; beer from Lagunitas, The Unknown Brewing Company and Second Self Beer Company; a silent auction; and live music. Benefits the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Advance tickets: $20 for event entry and dinner; $40 for entry, dinner and access to the bar. Tickets rise to $30 and $50 at the door. 8200 Roberts Drive, Sandy Springs. Info: carsnq.passioncff.org.

MONARCHS & MARGARITAS & MOJITOS

How are you going to provide safety and independence for your parents?

Saturday, April 29, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Dunwoody Nature Center’s annual gala is an upscale casual party in the meadow featuring live music by singer/songwriter Wesley Cook, catering from Alon’s, and a live auction. 5343 Roberts Drive, Dunwoody. Ticket info: monarchsandmargaritas.org.

VOLUNTEER CAC FOOD ’N FUN CHALLENGE

Have you noticed in your mom or dad: • Increased Forgetfulness • Messy Home • Poor Hygiene • Falls and Injuries • Changes in Personality • Social Isolation

We at Homecare Assistance can help! Schedule a free, no-obligation assessment and let’s talk about solutions.

Call our office for your free brochure: “Talking to Your Parents about Home Care”

404-355-9901 • HomeCareAssistance.com

Ongoing through Friday, April 21.

The Community Assistance Center’s Food ’n Fun Challenge aims to collect 60,000 pounds of food to help meet families’ increased need during summer months. Enter a team and complete food drives by Friday, April 21. Groups of volunteers are encouraged to schedule “Food Sorting Service Days” at CAC. 1130 Hightower Trail, Sandy Springs. Info: www.ourcac.org/food-n-fun-challenge.

VOLUNTEER FOR A BETTER SANDY SPRINGS DAY Saturday, April 22, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., rain or shine.

More than 500 community volunteers will partner with more than 20 parks, schools and nonprofit organizations to landscape, plant, paint and do light cleanup of their grounds and facilities in the 15th year of this event. Site info and registration: leadershipsandysprings.org.

BUCKHEAD NORTHSIDE CIVITAN

Monthly on first and third Tuesdays, 12 p.m.

The nation’s Civitan community service clubs mark a century of service this year. The Buckhead Northside Civitan has been operating continuously since 1940, conducting numerous civic activities monthly and raising funds for mentally and physically challenged young adults throughout Georgia. The group announces its new lunch meeting location, The Southern Bistro, at Fountain Oaks Shopping Center, 4920 Roswell Road, Sandy Springs. Info: Jim Montgomery at 404-408-5849 or jmontyspartan@gmail.com.

SUBMIT YOUR EVENT LISTING WITH US AT

calendar@ReporterNewspapers.net

Dr. Michael Crowe is proud to provide personalized, compassionate, & comprehensive care in women’s services.

As a board-certified physician in gynecology & obstetrics for over thirty years, Dr. Crowe offers care to women of all ages, from child-bearing to postmenopausal years. Glenridge Northside Gynecology’s experienced staff provides specialties in gynecologic care, family planning, and surgical services in a personal & caring environment.

To make an appointment, please call (404) 845-5980 or visit GNG-ga.com 5445 Meridian Mark Road, Suite 120 Atlanta, GA 30342


10 | Dining Out

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Everybody Eats: Bert Weiss

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BY MEGAN VOLPERT Editor’s note: In this new series, Atlanta INtown dining reviewer Megan Volpert discusses food with citizens of Atlanta who are prominent for non-food-related reasons. For this installment, she spoke to Bert Weiss, namesake radio jockey for morning funny business on Q100 FM’s “The Bert Show,” which broadcasts from Sandy Springs. How do you like your eggs cooked? ► Well, I ate egg whites each and every morning for about 10 years until I just found out I have a food sensitivity to ... egg whites! And a sensitivity to yolks as well. So ... none. What are your two favorite things to put in mac and cheese, other than the mac and the cheese? ► Hot dogs. Sausage. Where’s a good place to go for a business lunch? ► Superica. Wine and beer, or the hard stuff, or none at all? ► Vodka! Tito’s specifically. Or tequila, Casa Dragones. A lot of people with stomach sensitivities have to eat the same stuff at the same time every day. Could we set a clock by what you’re eating? ► Oh, yeah. It’s so boring. I have had stomach problems for the better part of 20 years. I had food allergy tests done and I tested allergic or sensitive for 42 different foods. So, I’m learning to eat totally differently now. It’s super boring. I have never enjoyed the theater of eating so the adjustments haven’t been that big a deal.

Demand Your Choice.

Call OPI for your next appointment or schedule it online

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2284 Peachtree Road NW, 30309 Just south of Peachtree Battle, Peachtree Square Shopping Center to the right of Panera

You’re a pretty healthy eater, but what is your guilty pleasure snack food? Favorite food for a football tailgate? ► Pizza! My kids kill me. I do so well then they come in the house and it’s always pizza. It’s my food kryptonite. What are your feelings about red velvet cake? ► Meh.

Bert Weiss eating goat cheese.

Q100

Is there any food so disgusting to you that you just won’t eat it? ► Goat cheese is my nemesis food. (See awkward photo.) Who does most of the cooking in your house? Who cooked while you were growing up, and are you teaching your sons to cook? ► Cooking has never been a priority in my life. My mom was an awful cook. My dad was terrible. When I moved out I ate mostly frozen foods. I’ve just signed up with Blue Apron to force me into learning how to follow a recipe. For as healthy as I eat, it’s terrible how I don’t make my kids eat healthier. Is Atlanta’s cuisine scene missing anything you loved to eat in San Diego? ► Well, those little dive Mexican restaurants are great in Atlanta, they just aren’t as abundant as they are back home. Taco Veloz, Cuernavaca and Taquito Express at the BP on Peachtree in Chamblee are my faves. What is the most memorable food-related story you’ve got from your time on The Bert Show? ► We have food challenges every time a famous chef comes in. Everybody works so hard on them. I didn’t come in last place when I simply used the contents inside a ham and cheese Hot Pocket. The Bert Show member that came in last was so hurt that she couldn’t talk about it for years.


APRIL 14 - 27, 2017

Dining Out | 11

www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Good news for street foodies Weekly food truck events are back in season, offering entertainment, activities and plenty of reasons to abandon your kitchen for a night. Here’s a sampling of local happenings:

BROOKHAVEN’S FOOD TRUCK ROUNDUP

Wednesdays through the end of October, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. (Summer break from the end of June through Aug. 15.)

Food trucks are up and running on Wednesdays at Blackburn Park, with live entertainment, activities for children, a beer and wine tent and at least eight food truck dining options. Limited seating is available. Attendees are encouraged to bring picnic blankets and lawn chairs. Parking is free. The Food Truck Roundup is hosted by the city in conjunction with Fork in the Road, a joint venture between food truck provider Happy Belly and the Atlanta Street Food Coalition. Info: atlantastreetfood.com.

DUNWOODY FOOD TRUCK THURSDAYS

Thursdays from April 27 to Oct. 26, 5 p.m. until dark.

This annual event at Brook Run Park kicks off April 27 with local beer and a performance by Banks & Shane on the lawn beyond the playground at 7 p.m. Food trucks will be back every Thursday evening, and on May 4, the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta will sponsor live music, a DJ, and kosher food vendors for the event. Dunwoody Food Truck Thursdays is a partnership between the Dunwoody Homeowners Association, Redbird Events and the city of Dunwoody. 4770 N. Peachtree Road, Dunwoody. Info: dunwoodyga. org/Dunwoody-Food-Truck-Thursdays.

Tuesday, April 25th • 7pm

30

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fabrics & home

Panels and Pillow Covers can warm up your home instantly. We offer both ready-made and custom to fit your decor.

886 Huff Road Atlanta, GA 30318

To be sure, we’re proud of our 29 years of experience in senior living. But, to us, what really matters is your experience at our communities. We do everything with that idea clearly in mind. So, go ahead, enjoy yourself with great social opportunities and amenities. Savor fine dining every day. And feel assured that assisted living services are always available if needed. We invite you to experience The Piedmont for yourself at a complimentary lunch and tour. Please call 404.381.1743 to schedule.

April in Paris!

READY-MADE SALE

artéé

Ultimately, it’s your experience that matters.

404-554-1215 atlanta@arteefabricsandhome.com

Put on your beret and experience Paris in a day! Enjoy a live jazz band, Parisian appetizers and more. To RSVP please call 404.381.1743.

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

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


12 | Community

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Traffic plans on hold until after Braves first homestand BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

Taking care of each other is what

community

is all about.

H.M. PATTERSON & SON FUNERAL DIRECTORS ARLINGTON CHAPEL

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Call (404) 497-1020 for an appointment.

PEACHTREE DUNWOODY

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875 Johnson Ferry Road NE, Suite 200, Atlanta, GA 30342 PeachtreeDunwoodyIM.com

As the Atlanta Braves play their first regular season games in SunTrust Park, local business owners and homeowners are watching game-day traffic to see how best to respond. Two trial runs offered by pre-season games didn’t provide enough information for them to make the call just yet. The season ticket holder exhibition game and a public college game that tested SunTrust Park and its extensive traffic plan seemed to go well, but it remains to be seen in the home opener game April 14 and in subsequent games what traffic will be like during regular season games that compete with weekday rush hours. Traffic results also were complicated by the I-85 collapse that snarled many of metro Atlanta’s commutes and closed DeKalb County schools. “I believe last Friday [the March 31 game] was an inappropriate day to gauge Braves traffic,” said Reed Haggard, the president of Riverside Homeowners Association, which is in Sandy Springs near the Cobb County border. Haggard said he didn’t trust the March 31 traffic results to be typical because they came during Spring Break and aftershocks to the bridge collapse, including DeKalb schools closing for the day and downtown workers telecommuting. Businesses in the Perimeter Center area are waiting to see what traffic conditions are like during weekday games before committing to a traffic plan or determining if one will be necessary, said Emily Haar, the director of Perimeter Connects, an alternative commuting program of the Perimeter Center Community Improvement Districts. They will have to adjust quickly after their first taste of a home game on a weekday, as the week following the April 14 game will have a game every day Monday through Thursday at 7:35 p.m. One of the Cobb Chamber’s and the Sandy Springs Perimeter Chamber’s responses to the traffic angst was to launch a website, cobbgameday.com, that hosts information on game days and commuting options. The website also suggests businesses ease traffic congestion by allowing employees to telecommute on game days and work flexible hours. The Atlanta Braves’ traffic plan was put to the first public test on April 8, when two college teams took over SunTrust Park for a game to benefit Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, which the University of Georgia has now done for 14 years. The UGA baseball team played the University of Missouri in what was the first public game at the Braves’ new field in Cobb County. Traffic didn’t seem to be a problem for most who attended the college game, but

this game was already expected by some city officials to not be an issue. Sandy Springs city officials said at a meeting after the March 31 exhibition game that they expect the UGA game to be “much more low-key” and police will reduce their staffing in the area for it, Bryant Poole, the assistant city manager overseeing traffic and streets, said. For the exhibition game, Sandy Springs Police officers were stationed at key intersections, and signs were posted in the Powers Ferry Landing area on the Cobb County border — about 1.5 miles away from the stadium — to direct drivers off side streets and onto I-285. Sandy Springs’ officials called the exhibition game a problem-free “success.” But they also noted it was a restricted-attendance exhibition game held amid the I-85 collapse disaster that made all traffic go haywire anyway. “There were no issues we were aware of,” Poole said in an informal report to the council after the exhibition game. “We deem it a success.” The Braves staff will continue to learn from these “trial runs,” Beth Marshall, the senior director for public relations said. Everyone involved with the team and operations was surprised by how well traffic went during the exhibition game, she said. The collapse of I-85 likely played a role in lessening traffic, Marshall said, as many people decided to work from home or leave work early. Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul said he attended the game and the biggest problems he saw were inside the ballpark, with light and concession check-out malfunctions. “It’s a great facility,” he said. Those were the main lessons Braves officials learned from the exhibition game, Marshall said, and it was reported that all issues in the game were fixed, including a rain tarp that blocked view for the first two rows of seats and a malfunction with the video board. Sandy Springs has rolled out a program of traffic-counting at various intersections on game days and non-game days to get hard data on the stadium’s effects. Separating freak effects like the I-85 collapse from stadium impacts is one reason for the data collection. The I-85 situation will continue to be an X-factor long after Opening Day and the stadium’s first rock concert, as construction on the bridge won’t be complete until June 15. Paul said attendance at the exhibition game reached about 21,000 — about half the stadium’s capacity and roughly the attendance expected for a typical ballgame. “I felt very good about what I saw,” the mayor said of traffic, adding it passed the ultimate test: “I didn’t get a single email about it.”


Community | 13

APRIL 14 - 27, 2017 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

After big debut, group ponders ways to fight anti-Semitism Asked whether there is an increase in anti-Semitism or more sensitivity about it, Shelley Rose, senior associate director at the Southeast ADL, said, “Maybe a little of both.” One factor she noted was the recent rise of the “alt-right” white nationalist movement, which got attention for supporting Trump’s JOHN RUCH campaign, only An attendee signs a banner for the new Atlanta Initiative Against Anti-Semitism at to have him disits March 30 debut meeting at Temple Emanu-El in Sandy Springs. avow it. Jared PowBY JOHN RUCH office of the Anti-Defamation League, ers, the CEO of the MJCCA, said the johnruch@reporternewspapers.net which co-sponsored the AIAAS forum. It bomb threats taught him that in such also shows how complex battling hate and The Atlanta Initiative Against Antitimes, the “love and friendship of othterrorism can be, with an Israeli man presSemitism, a new grassroots group founders begins to shine through.” ently charged with making the threats. ed by Dunwoody-area mothers, drew at During the threat campaign, he said, Lauren Menis, the Dunwoody homeleast 200 attendees to its invitation-only he received dozens of supportive emails maker and former journalist who first debut meeting March 30 at Temple Emaand post cards from around the metsuggested the effort that became AIAAS, nu-El in Sandy Springs. Major topics inro area and the nation. “A local Muslim told the crowd that people have asked her cluded a push to enact a state hate crimes leader called us and offered to have his whether the bomb-threat arrest underlaw and concern over a wave of anti-Se[mosque’s members] guard our gates at mines or lessens the need for the group. mitic bullying in North Fulton schools. night,” even though that mosque had re“To this I say a resounding no,” “Atlanta, you are an amazing example ceived its own threats, Powers said. Menis said, noting the many other anfor the rest of the country to follow and I That sort of interfaith relationshipti-Semitic incidents around the nation. am proud to call you home,” said AIAAS making was one goal of the forum and Dov Wilker, head of the Atlanta regionco-founder Danielle Cohen, who broke one feature that impressed many atal office of the American Jewish Commitinto tears from the emotion of seeing such tendees, who sat in groups at round tatee, another AIAAS co-sponsor, said the a large crowd come to support the group. bles and shared ideas that they reportbomb-threat case shows how anti-SemTen days after the forum, co-founded back in closing remarks. itism can arise anywhere, “even within er Lauren Menis said the group was “or“First of all, it’s breathtaking the the Jewish community.” He cautioned the ganizing the various moving parts of our amount they’ve been able to get done in crowd “not to leap to conclusions about grassroots effort. We also are working a short amount of time,” said Dunwoody polarizing politics” and quoted President hard to compile and prioritize all of the City Councilmember Lynn Deutsch in Donald Trump’s recent denunciation of incredible notes from our forum’s roundan interview before the meeting. “I’m the anti-Semitic threats and hate as words table discussions to determine AIAAS’s a big believer in building relationships, that should be shared. best course of action to make the largest so if something bad happens, you’re impact in the greater Atlanta community.” ready to work toIn just five weeks, the effort went gether.” from outraged Davis Academy moms texAIAAS memting each other to the major forum with bers say they want representatives from about 150 organito form more tanzations, including Christian and Muslim gible goals, which groups; such corporations as AT&T and was one reason for Chick-fil-A; local governments; and such the invitation-only law enforcement officials as the director forum prior to fuof the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. ture public events. Cohen, and many attendees, also beThe crowd gave came emotional when she described the many suggestions: reason AIAAS founders were outraged: a lessons in being wave of anti-Semitic bomb threats, cembetter role modetery vandalism and other incidents that els; similar, localcaused her young daughter to say “she beized forums; dalieved another Holocaust could happen.” ta-gathering on The bomb threat campaign was peranti-Semitic insonal, with local targets including Duncidents and hate JOHN RUCH woody’s Marcus Jewish Community Cencrimes; a histoAIAAS co-founder Danielle Cohen is overcome with emotion while speaking to the crowd. ter of Atlanta and the Southeast regional ry tour of sites

DUN

of local anti-Semitic crimes like the 1958 Temple synagogue bombing and the 1915 lynching of Leo Frank; a parade or march; a festival. There was also a request for more clarity about what organization would actually conduct any such event. One suggestion supported by many attendees is for Georgia to enact a hate crimes law. Rose noted that Georgia is one of only five states to have no form of hate crimes law. Among those expressing agreement was Sonja Brown, deputy chief of the DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office.

ANTI-SEMITIC SCHOOL BULLYING The discussion also revealed concern about anti-Semitism in local schools. “We’ve gotten calls for the past year from a number of Fulton County schools [about] different anti-Semitic incidents,” Rose said in an interview during the meeting. At North Springs Charter High School in Sandy Springs, a swastika was found on a bathroom wall in November, and in February, some students handed out Valentines with such messages as, “My love for you burns like 6 million Jews,” Rose said. Fulton County Schools spokesperson Susan Hale confirmed both incidents and said the students involved in the Valentines incident were disciplined. Rose said North Springs responded well and brought the ADL in to conduct an educational program. She said the incidents appeared to be the product of ignorant bullying rather than part of an organized hate-group campaign. Among the meeting attendees was a North Springs teacher who suggested the state add an anti-hate lesson plan to the curriculum. Spike Anderson, Temple Emanu-El’s senior rabbi, said in an interview that he has heard of other incidents in “half-adozen different schools in the area” with less impressive response. “Sometimes they’re quite shocking in terms of what kids say to each other,” Anderson said, adding that “kids aren’t saying that in a vacuum. They’re getting it from somewhere.” “Some of them are superb schools— progressive, superb schools,” the rabbi said, adding that when he has asked about the schools’ responses, the answers are often underwhelming or vague. “I haven’t been blown away by the response from any schools.” Anderson said the response that does impress him is from AIAAS. He was one of several leaders of Jewish organizations in attendance who said they have not heard of any other grassroots movement like it. “Sometimes it does take hyper-concerned laypeople to make this stuff happen. ... This is a rallying point,” Anderson said. “This is trailblazing, and I wouldn’t be surprised if others do something similar.” For more information about AIAAS, see StopAntiSemitismATL.org.


14 | Commentary

Reporter Newspapers 

Our mission is to provide our readers with fresh and engaging information about life in their communities. Published by Springs Publishing LLC 6065 Roswell Road, Suite 225 Sandy Springs, GA 30328 Phone: 404-917-2200 • Fax: 404-917-2201 Brookhaven Reporter | Buckhead Reporter Dunwoody Reporter | Sandy Springs Reporter www.ReporterNewspapers.net Atlanta INtown www.AtlantaINtownPaper.com Atlanta Senior Life www.AtlantaSeniorLife.com

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Commentary/Hits and misses of 2017’s General Assembly session With the General Assembly’s 2017 session in the books, Reporter Newspapers asked some local state legislators to review hits and misses of new Georgia laws. As one lawmaker put it, it was a year of “the good, the bad and the ugly.”

REP. TOM TAYLOR | HOUSE DISTRICT 79 Much of this session for me involved working on local bills for the three cities that I represent (Dunwoody, Chamblee and Doraville). I carried House bills at the request of the governments of those cities that allow them to raise their hotel/motel tax from 5 percent to 8 percent. This additional revenue is required to be used for projects to attract tourist dollars to those cities. Additionally, I carried two bills (HB 449 and HB 595) that the city of Doraville urgently needed in order to move forward on the redevelopment of the former General Motors site. This site is one of the prime areas for economic development not just in Georgia, but in the entire Southeast, and I was glad to be able to move forward with bipartisan support from Rep. Scott Holcomb (D-Atlanta), who also represents a portion of Doraville. I also carried one of Sen. Fran Millar’s bills in the House. SB 156 limits what county infrastructure sales tax can be used for. The rationale behind this was that DeKalb County was trying to use funds dedicated to transportation infrastructure for other purposes, such as building a new government center. I carried a second Senate bill as a companion to this, SB 143, which incorporated the language that I had in a House bill, keeping the property tax assessment freeze in place. At the request of MARTA management, I carried HB 506, which allows MARTA some flexibility in their contracting of concession services. All in all, a lot of “blocking and tackling,” getting things moved to help our cities and county. The take on the wrap up: The Good: Getting the above mentioned things accomplished to help our local governments. The Bad: Was able to advance my constitutional amendment (HR 58), which would allow cities to form independent school systems, out of committee in the House, but did not have the votes to get it passed. I will be continuing to push this issue. The Ugly: Having a faction of the DeKalb County delegation, led by former CEO and now state Rep. Vernon Jones, effectively block two very good pieces of legislation that would have reinforced ethics and standards in DeKalb County government.

Editor-at-Large Joe Earle Staff Writers Dyana Bagby, Evelyn Andrews Copy Editor: Donna Williams Lewis Creative and Production Creative Director Rico Figliolini rico@reporternewspapers.net Graphic Designer: Soojin Yang Advertising Director of Sales Development Amy Arno amyarno@reporternewspapers.net Sales Executives Julie Davis, Jeff Kremer, Janet Porter, Janet Tassitano Office Manager Deborah Davis deborahdavis@reporternewspapers.net Contributors Robin Conte, Phil Mosier, Isadora Pennington, Jaclyn Turner, Megan Volpert

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REP. SCOTT HOLCOMB | HOUSE DISTRICT 81 To begin, I was pleased that the 2018 budget included money to hire additional scientists and technicians to address the backlog in processing rape kits from older cases. It’s critical that we address the backlog, both in Georgia and nationally, so that rapists (to include serial offenders) can be caught and convicted. This effort was started with Senate Bill 304, which I helped to pass last year. HB 280, the latest version of the “Campus Carry” bill, is on its way to the governor. The bill is unpopular in the district that I represent and I voted against it. One bill that needed to pass but didn’t was HB 159/SB 130, a bipartisan effort to modernize adoption laws. The bill was held up in the Senate over politics and did not pass. Both Gov. Nathan Deal and House Speaker David Ralston publicly called for the Senate to pass the bill in the same version that was passed in the House — without controversial amendments that were added in the Senate. I added my voice to this effort, but in the end the Senate failed to act before the session ended. I actively supported two bills that would have continued the process of positive reform for DeKalb County. Unfortunately, neither bill passed. The first bill dealt with changes to the Ethics Board and the second bill dealt with the establishment of a charter review commission. It has been decades since the last review and DeKalb could benefit from this effort.

REP. MEAGAN HANSON | HOUSE DISTRICT 80 It was my honor to serve the people of Georgia House District 80 as your representative in my first legislative session under the Gold Dome. In the legislative process, it is important to have a seat at the table, so I was pleased to be appointed by the Speaker of the House to important committees, including the House Transportation Committee, Judiciary Committee and Special Rules Committee. I was also honored to be appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal to the Metro Atlanta Rapid Transit Overview Committee (MARTOC), where I now serve as chairman of the Subcommittee on Public Safety. One of the complaints I hear most often regarding MARTA is about safety on trains and at the stations. My subcommittee will work with MARTA CEO Keith Parker and the MARTA board to create a user-friendly environment where more people feel safe taking their families to ride MARTA. I ran for this House seat because we needed a representative who could deliver results. This past session, I began to do just that. With a focus on transportation issues, I co-sponsored a House resolution that established the House Commission on Transit Governance and Funding because it’s time we look at how to most efficiently and effectively fund a world-class transit system as we continue to recruit major corporations to move to Georgia. Speaking of transit, I was pleased to pass a bill to allow MARTA more flexibility with their concession bidding contracts to help create user-friendly stations where patrons could pick up a coffee and newspaper for their ride. I sponsored a transportation bonding bill that, as sometimes good bills do, got rolled into another transportation bill, and thankfully was passed by both chambers. This bill extends the ability for cities to bond transportation projects once they have been approved by the public by a referendum vote. Once signed into law by the governor, cities will now have the ability to complete their transportation projects quicker. DUN


Commentary | 15

APRIL 14 - 27, 2017 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

REP. WENDELL WILLARD HOUSE DISTRICT 51 A slow start marked the first weeks of the 2017 session of the General Assembly. Focus in both the House of Representatives and the Senate was on organizational issues, such as office and committee assignments. As I reflect on the entire session, overall it was a rather uneventful three months. The one constitutional obligation the General Assembly has is passing an annual budget, which we did in record time on the 38th day of the 40-day session. A number of good bills failed to get through this year’s legislative process. There are several possible reasons for this sad state of affairs. Some speculate that various members were focused on looking down the road, making plans to run for higher office. Others credit the failure to this year’s unusual level of rancor between the House and Senate that appeared to negatively impact the collegial cooperation that has resulted in more productive sessions in past years. Much like the common cold, every winter brings with it a gun bill, and 2017 was no exception. This year’s version of the “Campus Carry” bill was basically the 2016 version of the bill, vetoed by the governor, with some minor modifications. Because I believe the bill to have been poorly planned and drafted, I voted against it. The governor has not yet announced, as of this writing, whether he will sign or veto the 2017 version of the bill. On occasion, good bills make it through one chamber only to die in the other. The Adoption Bill is a good example. This bill modernized Georgia’s adoption procedures and streamlined the processes for the adoption of the more than 13,000 children currently in Georgia’s Foster Care program. Unfortunately, the bill fell victim to the rancorous atmosphere painfully evident in the closing days of the session. After working for two years on a complete revamping of the laws governing the Judicial Qualifications Commission, I was pleased to see the bill pass. This commission, commonly known as the JQC, oversees discipline and even removal of judges when necessary. The new bill ensures that the fairness, due process, and transparency that has at times been lacking will now be a hallmark of all activities of the critically important Judicial Qualifications Commission. 2017, a year of some good work and some missed opportunities, is in the rearview mirror. I hope the 2018 session will be more productive with a strong focus on tax reform, public safety, transportation and education.

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REP. BETH BESKIN HOUSE DISTRICT 54 I sponsored two bills this year that passed the General Assembly. The first, the “Business Judgment Rule” bill (HB 192), would restore the legal presumption that corporate and bank officers and directors acted in good faith and within the ordinary care standard in their process of making business decisions. This bill is very important in order to reinstate the deferential standard of review such officers and directors were accorded prior to a recent court decision, FDIC v. Loudermilk, a case that involved directors of Buckhead Community Bank. Also, as a member of the Georgia Child Support Commission, I sponsored this year’s legislation to clarify and modify certain child support provisions. That bill, HB 308, was incorporated into SB 137, which also passed the General Assembly. I think the most important legislation to pass the General Assembly this year is that related to K-12 education. As a member of the House Education Committee, I voted in support of HB 338, which will address underperforming schools. This bill will facilitate the appointment of a chief turnaround officer, as part of the State Board of Education, who will work with underperforming schools to improve student outcomes. We also passed HB 237, allowing the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement to authorize the Public Education Innovation Foundation, a nonprofit corporation, to accept and administer private donations to benefit public schools. Additionally, we passed HB 139 to require the State Department of Education to publish on its website school-specific and per-pupil expenditures, which will increase financial transparency. I supported each of these educational initiatives, which each await consideration by Gov. Deal. DUN

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16 | Commentary

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Into the Grand Canyon of the kitchen drawer The other day, in honor of spring, I decided to clean something. Not wanting to overwhelm myself, I resolved to start small and set an attainable goal; after all, I did want to set myself up for success. So I cleaned out a drawer. But it wasn’t an ordinary drawer, it was THE Drawer. You know the one — it’s the black hole of the kitchen, the catch-all place for Things That You’ll Get To Later. It’s The Drawer of Misfit Junk. Cleaning it out is like hiking down the Grand Canyon. You pass layers of time as you go, and you stop along the way to excavate and reminisce when you hit the lower levels. You start at the most negotiable outcroppings — the piles of take-out menus and Band-Aids. You continue, trekking past a new address card for an old friend; a dead bouRobin Conte is a writer tonniere from last year’s senior prom; and a mini-fan that and mother of four hangs around your neck and sprays water, which was purwho lives in Dunwoody. chased for a summer concert at Chastain Park. And then She can be contacted at you reach the birthday card that you bought for your neighrobinjm@earthlink.net. bor and put where you were sure you’d find it, but when her birthday rolled around you couldn’t, and so were finally compelled to run out and get another one (which was not nearly as perfect as this one that you just found). Next, you hit the Layer of Random Photos. You find a picture from a homecoming tailgate, photos that your mother sent you of the Mother’s Day roses you sent her, proofs from your oldest child’s elementary school yearbook shoot, and a few photos of people you are sure you never knew. You stop for rest and nourishment, because you have now arrived at the Mesozoic deposits. After fully rehydrating, you dig in again. You pass an envelope full of school Boxtops for Education that you never turned in; a stack of receipts, neatly paper-clipped together, from Christmas 2005; warranties that have just expired for appliances that have just broken; a tiny box of wax strips for your

Robin’s Nest Robin Conte

daughter’s braces; and a clipon bow tie. You find earbuds in cases, earbuds out of cases, empty cases where earbuds used to be — until you reach, at the bottom of the drawer, the time before earbuds even existed in your house (let’s call it “B.E.”), where there lies a black foam disk that once covered the earpiece to a headset and a half-burnt candle in the shape of a 1. And you are stunned to realize that you have lived here this long and that enough time has passed for children to have become fully grown and for extraordinary and life-changing SPECIAL inventions to have occurred in Robin travels through time in her kitchen drawer. the world since you moved-in. Time has a funny way of warping and folding over onto itself again. I have a rule of thumb regarding time: I estimate how long ago I think something happened, and then I multiply that by three. Because however long ago I think something happened, it actually took place far longer ago than that. But digging through the drawer inverts that rule. Those things you unearthed that are now scattered all over the kitchen counter — they came from last week, last year, last decade. They are from a time that was both yesterday and a lifetime ago. Somehow, it’s all the same. And then you view your little junk drawer as what it really is: a time capsule of your family. So you pause, and then you put it all back again.

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Community | 17

APRIL 14 - 27, 2017 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

On Our Borders News knows few borders. Here are some stories happening in other Reporter Newspapers communities that may be of local interest.

P EA C H T R EE STREET BRI DGE REN OVATIO N STALLED

In Buckhead, a pedestrian-friendly, artistic renovationof the Peachtree Street bridge was on track to be completed by the end of April, but has been stalled by the I-85 collapse. The bridge, which connects Buckhead and Midtown, is undergoing a beautification project led by the Midtown Alliance and Central Atlanta Progress. The $3.5 million project is adding 30-foot white arches bearing the word “Peachtree.” It will also improve pedestrian safety by adding lighting and sidewalks with a wall separating the pedestrians from cars, Midtown Alliance President Kevin Green said. “We wanted to make it more comfortable for pedestrians because it is a pretty harsh environment,” Green said of the heavily-trafficked bridge. The feedback he has heard on the pedestrian improvements has been positive. Surveys the organization has done have found that Midtown residents rank pedestrian safety highly, Green said, so they wanted to address that in this project.

B U C K H EA D A DA P TS TO L I F E A F TER I-85 CO LLAPSE

The I-85 collapse has affected nearly every part of life in Buckhead, frustrating businesses that are seeing fewer customers, residents of neighborhoods used as alternative routes, and commuters stuck in traffic much longer than usual. A wider acceptance of MARTA could be one positive change for the city, said Sam Massell, president of the Buckhead Coalition and former Atlanta mayor. “If people would try it, they would like it,” Massell said, repeating a mantra he has believed since the 1970s. Emily Haar, the director of Perimeter Connects, an alternative commuting program of the Perimeter Center Community Improvement Districts, lives in Buckhead, about a mile from the highway collapse, and has altered her travel schedule to use MARTA. She said she is glad she chose to live near a station. “Going back to MARTA was like a homecoming, just because it’s so easy to use,” Haar said.

SANDY SPR ING S S P ENDS $1 2 K, C HA R G ES $5 0 0 , FO R AFFO R DA B L E P O L I C E HO US ING

The city of Sandy Springs is charging $500 monthly rent for a three-bedroom house on Hammond Drive in its first experiment in providing affordable housing to public safety employees. Preparing the 521 Hammond Drive house for rental to a Sandy Springs Police officer cost the city about $12,000 in its debut role as a landlord, according to leasing and management documents. The officer, who drives a marked patrol car home, has been renting the house since Jan. 8. The house is one of several properties the city recently purchased as placeholders for a possible widening of Hammond years from now. Faced with the question of what to do with the properties in the meantime, City Council last year proposed renting some of the houses at affordable rates to police officers or firefighters. The city has a policy of attempting to preserve and create “workforce,” or middle-income, housing as real estate prices skyrocket. Many public safety employees earn middleincome salaries, which are often not enough to buy or rent a place to live in Sandy Springs. Mayor Rusty Paul has said it is “immoral” for public safety workers to be priced out of the community they protect.

B R O O KHAVEN’S NEW M EDI C A L C ENT ER WA NTS TO G R O W

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta is seeking to have 11.4 acres along the Northeast Expressway annexed into the city of Brookhaven for a proposed 8-story office building as part of a massive expansion of its new 45-acre campus at North Druid Hills Road and I-85. The expansion includes buying out a church. It’s just part of what city officials say is major medical-related redevelopment coming after years of anticipation to the Executive Park area. CHOA filed the annexation request with the city on April 5. It also is asking for a special land-use permit for some of the property in order to build the 8-story, 340,000- square-foot building on land currently zoned only for five stories. CHOA also wants to build a parking deck.

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DYANA BAGBY

Candidates filled the Dunwoody High School stage during the forum on April 9.

6th District hopefuls square off in debate Continued from page 1 signed this year to become U.S. secretary of Health and Human Services. The entire field of candidates attended the forum — 11 Republicans, five Democrats and two Independents — filling the stage in the high school auditorium. But only three questions could be asked during the two-hour forum. That wasn’t enough to help at least two undecided voters. “There are way too many candidates… especially for the short amount of time [of the forum],” said Christopher Whittaker, 27, who lives in north DeKalb, at the edge of the district. Whittaker said he was a “political junkie” who is making an intentional effort to educate himself about the candidates. “With the current political climate, I think this is a really important election,” he said. “It was a good forum. But I’m not particularly excited about any candidate. ... I’m still waiting for the candidate for me to really put my support behind. I’m expecting a little more.” Brad Smith, 60, of Sandy Springs, said that while he leans Democrat, he, too, was not overly impressed with any one candidate. Many of his friends have already voted, Smith said, but he was waiting so he could continue gathering more information. “Everybody just votes because there is a ‘D’ or an ‘R’ behind someone’s name. I refuse to do that,” he said. “I’m still having trouble making a final decision.”

The forum was mostly civil despite the heated attacks taking place in direct mail campaigns and TV commercials. The large crowd of about 300 people appeared friendly and packed with supporters. Applause broke out many times as people welcomed answers on immigration, taxes, infrastructure and climate change. Numerous Jon Ossoff signs were posted outside the high school and many supporters with Ossoff T-shirts and stickers sat in the crowd as Democrats hope to “flip the 6th” from a Republican stronghold to a Democratic seat in Congress. Ossoff’s strong polling as he rides a wave of fervor against President Trump has garnered national media attention and helped him fill a war chest with more than $8 million from all over the country. He received the loudest applause during the introductions. On climate change, several Republicans acknowledged that it is real, despite Trump’s skepticism. The Republican candidates did, however, agree with Trump’s executive order slashing the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget and regulations with the intention of putting that authority under control of the states. Amy Kremer, a founder of the Tea Party, said she is a “big gardener” and loves to be outside. But, she added, she is also a believer in the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and said environmental control should be local.

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“This is not about your garden,” said Richard Keatley, a Democrat from Tucker, to thunderous applause. “I don’t understand how local control works to control climate change.” Keatley and Ossoff noted that climate change is a national issue with data from scientists and the U.S. military and intelligence communities concluding the issue is one of national security. Ossoff said it was necessary the U.S. abide by the Paris Agreement set to begin in 2020. “If we walk away from our commitments, history will condemn us,” he said. Independent Alexander Hernandez drew a loud round of applause when he shared his story of his mother coming to the U.S. illegally in the 1980s before she became a citizen thanks to President Ronald Reagan’s Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. She now owns a beauty shop and “became part of what makes America great,” he said, adding that Reagan’s policy could be a model used today to create a path to citizenship for some 11 million undocumented immigrants. The other independent, Andre Pollard, floated his idea — to audible laughter in the crowd — of integrating Mexico with the U.S. as a way to deal with immigration problems. Republican Karen Handel, a former Georgia secretary of state, said, “I definitely don’t support that.” Handel also said she does not sup-

6TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT SPECIAL ELECTION Tuesday, April 18 REPUBLICANS David Abroms, Mohammad Ali Bhuiyan, Keith Grawert, Bob Gray, Karen Handel, Judson Hill, Amy Kremer, Bruce Levell, William Llop, Dan Moody and Kurt Wilson DEMOCRATS Ragin Edwards, Richard Keatley, Jon Ossoff, Rebecca Quigg and Ron Slotin INDEPENDENTS Alexander Hernandez and Andre Pollard For candidate profiles and election updates, see ReporterNewspapers.net

port immigration amnesty. “These individuals have come here and blatantly disregarded our laws,” she said. “I want our borders secure … after that, then we’ll have that conversation.” Bob Gray, a former Johns Creek city councilmember, said he was glad Trump raised the issue of immigration. He said the reason so many people want to move to the U.S. illegally is because of the “welfare benefits that are available.” “We have to turn off the spigot that is attracting illegal immigrants,” he said. Former state Senator Judson Hill, a Republican, also said he does not support amnesty. “I know we are a compassionate nation, but we are also a nation of laws.” People who moved to the U.S. should not get “special treatment,” Hill said. “We need to stand up for Americans and put America first,” he added, saying he wanted to make English the official language of the U.S. government.

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Community | 19

APRIL 14 - 27, 2017 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

City to consider impact fees to cover costs of public services BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

As Dunwoody continues to grow, especially in Perimeter Center, city officials again are set to consider implementing impact fees to cover costs of providing public services for new developments. City Economic Development Director Michael Starling discussed impact fees with members of City Council during their retreat in February and the mayor and council members have asked to continue discussions in the near future. “Impact fees have been discussed for many, many years,” Starling said recently. “We do plan to bring [the idea] back to council.” Impact fees recently have taken a back seat to other methods of raising money for projects deemed ready to go. Efforts to lobby the General Assembly for approval to allow the council to consider raising its hotel/motel tax from 5 percent to 8 percent to pay for projects such as parks and trails in the Perimeter Center area took precedence early this year. The hotel/motel tax hike was approved by the Legislature and the city is considering whether to impose it. Starling said adding impact fees on new development could help pay for such things as police protection and transportation improvements that the city would have to provide for new residents. The massive new High Street development, for example, is expected to begin this year on about 36 acres at the intersection of Hammond Drive and Perimeter Parkway. It includes 3,000 residential units and is intended to be an “urban area” with easy access to the Dunwoody MARTA station. Impact fees are calculated with formulas that can be complex, but they cannot be arbitrary and must be based on the city’s actual costs for public services and infrastructure. The council currently seeks to clear up confusion on what impact fees would exactly do. For example, if impact fees are in place and levied on the High Street development, they could be assessed only for those

new 3,000-plus residents, Starling said. impact fees could be used to fund 22 “And we would have to determine percent of the local capital costs in pubwhat those impacts are,” Starling said. lic facility categories of police, roads “I think that’s where the confusion and and parks from 2011 through 2030. Or, difficulty comes in other words, of in.” the $29.1 million in If the city were local capital costs, to approve chargimpact fees could ing impact fees on cover $6.4 million new development, If impact fees are adopted, the along with $2.1 milfees assessed to the lion through taxHigh Street devel- impact fee amount ultimatees paid on new opment could posly charged would represent a growth. sibly be used to “If impact fees pay for a park that shifting of the burden to fund are adopted, the would serve the impact fee amount new city residents, these capital projects from ultimately charged but the park does represent a the tax base as a whole, to the would not have to be built shifting of the buron the High Street new developments actually den to fund these site, Starling said. capital projects In 2011, the city demanding the services being from the tax base conducted an ina whole, to the added through these projects. as depth study on imnew developments pact fees as a po- 2011 REPORT TO CITY COUNCIL actually demandtential revenue ing the services besource for public ing added through facilities in the city, these projects,” acbased on plans in place at the time. But cording to the 2011 report that was also the council decided not to implement presented to the council in 2012. them. Since 2011, though, a new Parks At that time, city staff determined Master Plan and an update to the city’s

comprehensive traffic plan are in the works. Any potential new impact fees would have to be assessed based on these new plans, Starling said. In neighboring Sandy Springs, impact fees have been in place for a number of years. Last year, Sandy Springs City Council approved raising its impact fees to raise more than $300 million for parks, transportation and public safety by 2040. The new Sandy Springs residential fees were boosted by more than 300 to 500 percent, up to $6,854 on houses and condos. The fee structure also includes exemptions, described as “affordable housing,” that are intended to encourage middle-income “workforce” housing and the demolition of older apartment complexes to replace them with ownership developments. Other fees apply to commercial, office and other types of development. Concerns that impact fees may hurt development are an issue, Starling acknowledged. “Obviously when you raise the cost of development, it doesn’t promote new development,” he said. “But some of it is dependent on what you are charging for. It’s dependent on the law that is put into place. There is complexity to this.”

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20 | Community

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BeltLine creator: City could rethink riverfront, I-285

Community Briefs

BY JOHN RUCH

is ridiculous — in a good way, obviously.” Traffic and transit were Ryan Gravel, the urban also on the agenda. While planning guru who dreamed Gravel showed a slide of up the Atlanta BeltLine, reCleveland’s once-notorious cently spoke in Sandy Springs river so polluted it caught fire, about ways to “rethink” the Atlanta’s I-85 in Buckhead riverfront and I-285 — advice was burning and collapsing that also echoes in Dunwoody. on national news. The mayor “Certainly, in Sandy SPECIAL almost missed the event due Ryan Gravel. Springs, not changing is not to emergency meetings. an option,” Gravel told the audience of “Sandy Springs is so lucky, regionally, over 100 community leaders at the invito have MARTA rail right now,” Gravel said. tation-only dinner March 30 at the WesHe wasn’t referring to the specific fire incitin Atlanta Perimeter North. He praised dent, but it underscored his point about the the city — which is redoing its zoning general need for transit expansion and one and land-use plans — for thinking ahead of the city’s other big assets. about handling metro Atlanta’s populaA wunderkind who planned the transtion boom and leveraging that change to formative BeltLine as his Georgia Tech thesis, Gravel was recently hired to run “live the life that we want.” a long-range citywide plan for Atlanta, The BeltLine is a 22-mile ring of muland he’s touring the globe with his poptiuse trails, parks and transit lines beular new book about the BeltLine’s urban ing built around Atlanta, mostly on old planning lessons, “Where We Want to railroad beds. Long-range plans have Live.” The Chamblee native is a sought-afits system connecting to Sandy Springs ter speaker whose recent metro appearvia MARTA and the PATH400 trail from ances include an influential urban-planBuckhead. Hearing from the planner ning tour last year on Buford Highway, who envisioned that repurposing had where he discussed ways to boost its dian impact on Mayor Rusty Paul, who verse immigrant community without told the crowd he would be changing displacing it. one of his favorite sayings, “A communiGravel’s main theme is that infraty that’s not growing is dying.” structure — like streets or water systems “I need to rephrase that — a city not re— don’t just do their specific jobs; they inventing itself is dying,” the mayor said. also create a certain lifestyle that can be Asked where Sandy Springs might do good, bad or both. a similar reinvention, Gravel said he was In his Conservancy speech, Gravimpressed by one natural feature when el covered other themes from his book: he recently looked at the city map. envisioning new uses for old infrastruc“When you see the river in Sandy ture; harnessing the energy of changing Springs, it’s remarkable,” he said of the times to local advantage; and looking at 20-mile section of the Chattahoochee grassroots-based ideas as more importhat forms a city boundary, as it does tant than city-made ones. in Dunwoody. “The asset that you have johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

One of eight trailers now sitting in front of Dunwoody High School.

DYANA BAGBY

D EKALB SCHO O LS PLA C ES TR A I L ER S AT DUNWO O DY HI G H Several trailers, or portable classroom units, have been placed in front of Dunwoody High School to handle the school’s growing attendance. Crews began installing the trailers the week of April 3, DeKalb Schools spokesperson Eileen Houston-Stewart said. They portable classrooms are needed due to over-capacity issues at the school and to replace the four aging single classroom units at the rear of the school, she said. DHS is currently 317 students over capacity and is expected to add more than 200 students over the next four years, Houston-Stewart said. The two four-classroom units, which were brought directly from the manufacturer’s plant, will accommodate 224 students, or 28 students per classroom, she said.

CO U NCIL TWEAKS HO M E B US I NES S O R DI NA NC E City Council voted April 11 to clarify its home business ordinance, including limiting hours for some types of businesses. The revised ordinance says home businesses are not intended to replace traditional commercial operations “in time and scale of operation.” It says businesses considered “Type B’ home businesses also are allowed only to have “incidental contact” at the residence – or less than four hours a day – with no continuous appointment-driven schedule. “Type B” home businesses are defined as “those in which household residents use their home as a place of work and either one non-resident employee or customer come to the site at any given time.” The old ordinance listed examples of “Type B” home occupations and included “tutors, teachers, photographers and licensed therapists or counselors.” Those examples were removed from the tweaked ordinance.

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Community | 21

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U.S. Sen. David Perdue speaks at the April 11 luncheon.

EVELYN ANDREWS

Sen. Perdue speaks to business leaders; protesters want town halls BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

While U.S. Sen. David Perdue spoke to local Chambers of Commerce about Congressional issues at a Chamblee hotel on April 11, protesters outside called for him to stage town halls as part of their opposition to President Trump. In his speech to about 260 members of the Brookhaven and DeKalb Chambers, Perdue didn’t mention the protesters. But he did support Trump. Perdue joked that Trump is not “a choirboy and doesn’t claim to be.” But, Perdue said, he believes Trump can provide the push Congress needs to get momentum on important issues. “I believe he’s strong enough to force Congress to break through this nonsense and get something done. We cannot waste this opportunity because of partisan pol-

itics,” Perdue said. About 30 protesters outside the Marriott hotel in the Century Center office park said they wanted Perdue to appear in a public town hall forum, not a ticketed private event. “It doesn’t seem like you should have to be a big contributor or pay $50 to hear what he has planned for Georgia’s future,” protestor Sharmila Nambiar said. Nambiar said she has also tried to meet with the Republican senator in person, but has only been able to get a meeting with his policy director. The protesters, some from a group called Resist Trump Tuesdays Atlanta, are part of a nationwide movement of liberal activists who want Republican members of Congress to hold town halls and address criticisms of Trump. A similar activist group recently protested a private event attended by Georgia’s other U.S. senator, Johnny Isakson, and staged an anti-Trump march in Buckhead. For Perdue’s Century Center appearance, the protesters stayed on Clairmont Road, nearly a half-mile from the hotel, to avoid trespassing at the private office park. They had left before the luncheon ended. Perdue spoke about his role as a senator and several federal political issues.. “I’m charged to represent everybody, so that means [I] have to listen,” he said. On several issues, Perdue emphasized that Republicans and Democrats must work together to achieve progress, especially on healthcare laws. The Republicans’ Obamacare replacement law was stalled in late March after top party officials decided to not call a vote on it, as they feared not enough Republicans would support it. Perdue said he hopes the issue will remain a top priority and be brought up again in the next few weeks, but cautioned Republicans have to be willing to work with Democrats. “I think we’ve already seen Republicans have committed mistakes not asking for help from the other side,” Perdue said. “No supermajority has produced a decent law. Now its time to sober up.” More than 90 Georgia counties are down to a single healthcare provider and those may soon be out of business, Perdue said. Perdue also spoke about his support for strengthening the military and reducing the national debt, as well as his support for Trump. Michelle Eason, a Brookhaven Chamber of Commerce member, said she enjoyed Perdue’s speech and, unlike the protesters, she wasn’t bothered that she had to pay to hear him speak. “I think he spoke a lot of truth. We need to work together to address things,” Eason said, adding “I’m glad that he is in the Senate.”

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Education | 27

APRIL 14 - 27, 2017 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Elissa Oliver Riverwood International Charter School exciting. I teach ninth to 12th Educator graders, and this year I have around 180 students. This job is not monotonous by any means. We change up the lesson plans, cuisines, food and recipes according to what the students need to learn and what I feel like teaching. The culinary world changes every Elissa Oliver teaches cuday and we need to keep up linary arts at Riverwood Inwith the changes! Every year ternational Charter School. there are different challengShe joined the faculty at Rives and it is my job to overcome SPECIAL erwood in 2013, and also has them in a positive way while Elissa Oliver. taught classes at Viking Cookgetting the material they need ing School. In addition to an undergradto learn across. I believe in real-world situuate degree in recreation and leisure ations, so we cater meals in and outside of services from Middle Tennessee State the school. We do a lot of hands on in the University and a masters in health and lab and then also have classroom time for wellness education from the University discussion. I hold very high standards and of Mississippi, she earned a culinary cerI believe that students gravitate to that. Stutificate from Le Cordon Bleu. dents love structure. Editor’s note: Through our “Exceptional Educator” articles, Reporter Newspapers showcases the work of some outstanding teachers and administrators at our local schools. If you would like to recommend an Exceptional Educator, please email editor@ReporterNewspapers.net.

Exceptional

Q: What attracted you to teaching at first? A: I love the interaction with my stu-

dents, one on one. I am able to see their accomplishments first-hand. I get to make personal connections and help each student achieve individual goals. The kitchen is my domain and I can show my personality and creativeness through the food. Teaching high school allows me to have family time, which is very important for balance, having nights and weekends off. I love to cook and enjoyed working at Cherokee Country Club and restaurants, but I wanted to teach to inspire others. I was able to come to Riverwood in 2013 and turn the program around and make it a new hands-on experience for the students.

Q: Has the appeal changed? A: Of course, when I started, I thought, “I

am strictly a culinary teacher. I am their ‘chef,’ ” but then I realized it is so much more than that. Not every student I teach wants to be in the culinary job field, but every student has to eat and needs life skills. I am teaching these kids life lessons, professionalism and employability skills. We go over cost control and how to manage household budgets, writing resumes, organization and how to properly interview for a job. The appeal now is to teach them to be successful and get jobs for the future while cooking and learning new things. I get to continue my learning through the teaching experience as no two days are the same.

Q: What keeps you going year after year? A: Chef/culinary teacher in a high school

setting is my dream job! Every day is different, every year with different students is

Q: What do you think makes a great teacher? A: I think a great teacher is prepared, in-

volved, supportive and concerned for the different needs of students. I believe a great teacher is firm, consistent, fair, and

provides opportunities outside the classroom. I keep all my records from a student until they graduate from the school. I want my students to be successful and I walk around the classroom and lab so I am present in all situations. I also want to be a role model for all students and by having the characteristics of a great teacher I can achieve that.

Q: What do you want to see in your students? A: I want my students to be excited, creative, and passionate, not only about culinary arts, but school and their future. I want students to be motivated, involved, become leaders and hard workers. I want my students not to be afraid to ask questions and trust their instincts. I want my students to make great decisions in and out of school. I want my students to excel in communication and professionalism. I want the students in my classes and those who finished the culinary arts pathway to be successful!

Q: How do you engage your students? A: I engage my students because I am

engaged. I am excited each day when I come in to see what today will bring. Will there be something created that we have never seen or tasted before? Will a student try a food they have never had? When I show my enthusiasm, it is contagious. My hands-on approach is also a draw to engage students. A student might

not be good at paper testing but they can be creative in the kitchen and show their personality through their food and projects. I love my job and I tell the students they need to find something they love to do and get paid for it.

Q:

Do you have a project or special program you use year after year?

A:

Each year we try to cater the same events: the Fulton County principals’ luncheon and the Sandy Springs Education Force race and VIP Breakfast. This year, we catered the Fulton County superintendent’s Holiday Luncheon and hope to keep that going. I also am starting this year to give all of my Culinary 2 students the Serv Safe Manager exam so they can walk away with a certificate that will be useful after high school. I use the foundations books from the National Restaurant Association as my teaching tools and students can also get certifications from the NRA if they would like. We also are involved in the Family Career and Community Leaders of America competition. Riverwood Culinary won Silver at the National competition in 2016 in San Diego, California.

Q:

What do you hope your students take away from your class?

A:

I hope my students take away that anything they set their minds to they can achieve.

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‘Wildcat family’ mourns a student’s death Continued from page 1 Just two months after finishing that marathon, Sasha and more than 200 Dunwoody High School students came together April 9 at Dunwoody United Methodist Church to remember Phineas after they learned their friend had died in Florida during Spring Break. Sasha said Phineas, 17, fell while running in Florida and hit his head. He was taken to the hospital in critical condition where he later died. “We don’t know [what happened] for sure,” he said. “He fell when he was running.” Adults trying to assist the youths through their grief said that many questions can’t be answered. “We are all trying to figure out why and how this tragedy happened to such an amazing young man … I don’t have the answer,” Cross Country Coach Brad Hendrickson said at the vigil at the church Phineas and his family attended. “We have to rely on each other for support during these difficult times,” Hendrickson said. “We have to come together as one because we are one. … We are one Wildcat family.” DHS has recently been rocked by the news of four other current and former students who died in accidents. On March 22, just days before Phineas’ death, another student, Mauricio Oliveros, who lived in Doraville, was killed in a car crash on Ga. 400. During the emotional vigil, students signed canvases and wrote letters to give to Phineas’ family. Several teens sobbed audibly as their friends spoke of their love of Phineas. They embraced and held hands. Ally Womble, a DHS senior, shared

how she and Phineas competed in the pole vault together. “He was a phenomenal athlete and person,” she said. “He truly lived life in the best way possible. Cross country practices, track practices, the halls of Dunwoody High School and church will never be the same without you.” Ally finished her thoughts by quoting from 2 Timothy 4:7: “I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” Ethan Herod, also a senior and Sasha’s older brother, said Phineas could always bring a smile to someone’s face. “He was always ready to joke around. He was always ready to put his head down and get to work,” Ethan said. “He really did live a Christian life, a good life.” Andrew Chappell, director of Youth Ministry at Dunwoody UMC, said it was important to bring the young people together after being separated during Spring Break so they could know they were not alone in their grief. “I hurt for our kids,” he said. “I don’t think I’ve thought of anything else.” How a community and a school deal with the loss of someone so young won’t be easy, Chappell said. “We have incredible leaders at the school, among teachers and students,”

PHIL MOSIER

Sasha Herod, left, with his brother, Ethan, at the vigil for their friend, Phineas Haq.

he said. “This community surrounds each other. And those teachers and coaches care about their students.” The students also know they can rely on each other, he said, pointing out how many of them crowded together in a large group, hugging each other and wiping tears from PHOTO BY PHIL MOSIER each other’s faces Members of the DHS cross country and track teams gather at the vigil. in the Dunwoody United Methodist Church gymnasium “They’re doing April 9 to remember friend and teammate Phineas Haq. what they know to do,” Chappell said. “They know what they need – they need where we plan to place a plaque for each other right now.” Phineas and Mauricio,” McFerrin said. In October, some 150 people came “We are also lucky to have a strong comtogether to plant Glory maple trees munity to help us through these times.” during a ceremony at Dunwoody High City Councilmember Terry Nall atSchool to remember three other DHS tended the vigil for Phineas. Nall said graduates who lost their lives in accithe city is made up of people who gendents. uinely care for each other and will supThose remembered at the tree dediport each other through this tragedy, as cation were Ian Patrick, class of 2010; they did through past tragedies. Alexander “Ty” Flynn, class of 2015, “We’re a community built on the who died last May in an accident at the rock of faith-based institutions, based Pullman Train Yard; and Halle Scott, on schools, based on strong parents, a 2014 graduate of DHS, who was one based on strong citizens and students, of four University of Georgia students and together we’ll come through this,” killed last April in a car crash. Nall said. DHS Principal Thomas McFerrin “There will be heartache, there said in an email the DeKalb County will be some tears, but there will be School District provides counselors, sostrength that will come from this,” he cial workers and school psychologists said. “The best thing we can do is never from around the county when a stuforget Phineas or any of the others and dent death occurs. let their spirits shine though us.” “We also have a memorial park DUN


Public Safety | 31

APRIL 14 - 27, 2017 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Police Blotter / Dunwoody From Dunwoody Police reports dated April 2 through April 9. The following information was pulled from Dunwoody’s Police-2-Citizen website.

B U R G L A RY A N D R O B B E RY „„4500 block of Ashford-Dunwoody

Road — On April 3, in the early morning, officers responded to an attempted carjacking involving a gun. „„4800

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — Overnight into April 4, maintenance workers at an apartment complex reported a forced-entry burglary of the maintenance building. A 23-pound cylinder of refrigerant worth approximately $3,000, 45 double-packs of light bulbs and a case of paper towels were stolen. „„2300 block of Welton Place — On

April 3, in the evening, an 18-year-old female was arrested and accused of burglary and auto theft. Police reported she also had marijuana, pills and other paraphernalia on her person. „„1700 block of Potomac Road — On

April 4, in the early morning, a forced entry burglary occurred at a storage shed. „„1000 block of Potomac Road — On April

4, a burglary occurred at Flats at the Mount Vernon, and a door was damaged. „„4800 block of Tilly Mill Road — Some-

time during the day on April 4, a home was forced into and $20 cash was taken.

LARCENY/ SHOPLIFTING/ THEFT „„4700 block of Ashford-Dunwoody

— On April 3, a man was arrested and accused of shoplifting a hat from a department store. He was also charged with marijuana possession and disorderly conduct. „„4400 block of Ashford-

Dunwoody Road — On April 3, a person reported that someone snatched his iPhone from his hand. „„100 block of Perimeter

Center — On April 4, a laptop was stolen. „„1100 block of Ham-

mond Drive — On April 4, a handbag containing $540 cash and several credit and debit cards was stolen from an office building. „„4400

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On April 4, in the afternoon, a man who also worked at Perimeter Mall was arrested for trying to steal a shirt from a clothing store. „„4400 block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road

„„100 block of Perimeter Center Place—

On April 5, in the afternoon, a man was arrested and accused of shoplifting. On April 5, during the day, someone removed tires and the rims from a parked Dodge Charger. block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On April 5, at night, a young Hispanic male and female were arrested and accused of trying to shoplift athletic clothes at a department store.

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On April 2, in the evening, a Louis Vuitton purse, iPad, MacBook, and iPhone were stolen from a parked car.

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On April 5, a Nissan Quest was broken into and a backpack containing two cameras, a camera lens and a computer were stolen.

„„4300

„„4500

— On April 2, at night, a man reported that a paintball gun was removed from his car. „„4400 block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road DUN

„„6900 block of Peachtree Industrial

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On April 9, a woman who worked at Nordstrom, was arrested and accused of trying to steal clothes from a clothing store.

A S S AU LT „„ 600 block of Ashford-

„„4600

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Drive — On April 6, a person was caught and accused of trying to steal several items of clothing from a department store. Another man was also arrested later in the afternoon and accused of attempting to steal a shirt. „„100 block of Perimeter Center — On

April 6, in the evening, a man was accused of attempting to steal a BMW X5.

Boulevard — On April 4, officers arrested a man accused of a disorderly public indecency incident. „„200 block of Perimeter Center Park-

way — On April 7, just after midnight, a man at a hotel was arrested and accused of disorderly behavior while under the influence of alcohol.

Dunwoody Road — On April 2, in the evening, officers responded to a dispute between two restaurant employees. A woman was arrested in connection with the dispute.

„„4500 block of Ashford-Dunwoody

„„4500 block of Village Oaks Circle —

„„6800 block of Peachtree Industrial Bou-

On April 3, in the afternoon, an assault was reported between two elderly adults at a private residence. „„4300 block of Peachtree Road — On April

On April 6, in the morning, officers responded to a domestic dispute.

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On April 4, in the evening, two juveniles were accused of shoplifting from a department store. They were released to their parents.

„„4400

„„4700 block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road

„„4400

„„4300

„„100 block of Perimeter Center Place —

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On April 2, in the evening, a man was arrested and accused of trying to shoplift a shirt, hat and sunglasses at a department store.

located during a traffic stop, and also arrested and accused of providing a false report.

3, in the evening, a work-related dispute-involving intimidation erupted at a doughnut shop. The victim declined to prosecute.

„„3400 block of Azalea Garden Drive —

„„4700

April 8, a man reported that a garage door opener was stolen from his car.

— On April 4, in the afternoon, employees of a clothing store reported the recovery of a pair of shorts. The suspect and his car were seen on video surveillance.

Road — On April 2, sometime during the day, a man reported the theft of his backpack from his car, which has since been recovered. On April 2, during the afternoon, a man stole an energy drink and cough medicine from a discount department store. The accused ran from police when confronted and was later taken into custody.

„„3000 block of Branham Drive — On

„„4700 block of Summerford Drive —

„„4600 block of Norwalk Road — On

April 7, a man was arrested and accused of inflicting injuries to his girlfriend, the victim, during a dispute. „„4400 block of Chowning Way — On

April 8, officers responded to a domestic dispute. „„4900 block of Winters Chapel Road —

On April 8, in the evening, three men were arrested and accused of aggravated assault. Several people were involved with a fight, and one was armed with a hammer.

levard — On April 8, in the early morning, an officer responded to a possible fight going on at a business. One man was arrested and accused of cocaine possession. „„4800 block of Tilly Mill Road — On

April 9, in the early morning, a woman was arrested and accused of driving under the influence of alcohol and prescription drugs. Police reported she was driving recklessly and on the wrong side of the roadway. „„100 block of Perimeter Center — On

April 9, a man was arrested and accused of marijuana possession.

OT H E R I N C I D E N T S „„5500 block of Chamblee-Dunwoody

Road — On April 2, in the afternoon, a fire was reported at a music school. „„4500

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On April 2, a caller reported that a prowler was walking around, looking into several cars. „„4800 block of Dunwoody Junction —

ARRESTS „„100 block of Perimeter Center — On

April 2, an officer was driving behind a Honda Accord that had a handwritten note affixed to the back of the car that read, “tag applied for.” The driver was pulled over and subsequently arrested and accused of driving unlicensed. „„4400 block of Ashford-Dunwoody

Road — On April 2, in the morning, a 19-year-old man was arrested and accused of reckless driving. „„6800 block of Peachtree Industrial Bou-

levard — On April 3, in the evening, a wanted person was

Road — On April 8, in the early morning, a 24-year-old female was pulled over for failing to obey traffic control devices. Police reported she was determined to be driving under the influence of alcohol. She was arrested.

On April 3, a victim came to the police department to present a forged check. „„4700

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On April 4, in the morning, officers responded to a credit fraud call. „„5500 block of Chamblee-Dunwoody

Road — On April 5, in the evening, an officer responded to a credit fraud call. „„Ashford-Dunwoody Road/ Hammond

Drive — A warrant has been issued for a hit and run that occurred on April 6. The driver has a suspended license.

READ MORE OF THE POLICE BLOTTER ONLINE AT

www.ReporterNewspapers.net


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Must be 21 or older. Food That Rocks is a rain or shine event. DUN

04-14-17 Dunwoody Reporter  
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