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APRIL 28 - MAY 11, 2017 • VOL. 11— NO. 9

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Perimeter Business

Buckhead Reporter Learn About Our Local Birds ► Mom-and-pop concession stand hits a home run PAGE 4 ► Happy surprise: Braves traffic scoring well so far PAGE 6

Making tracks for cancer patients Bird Walks

Join us for family friendly guided bird walks along the trails at Overlook Park and backyard birding programs held at Lost Residents Corner Preserve.

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Join the Atlanta Audubon Society for family friendly guided BIRD WALKS along the trails at Overlook Park. Binoculars will be available to borrow. WINTER BIRD WALK

The last month of the winter will offer opportunities to see waterfowl and eagles.

Saturday March 4, 2017

Join us at Lost Peachtree Corner pipe through Hills Preserve Park, cutting down trees and affecting a creek, is drawlearn about BingACKYARD BIRDING from a lo opposition as a precedent for private impacts on a public park. birding expert! A developer’s plan to run a storm water

Ashton Woods, a developer building townhomes on Peachtree Hills Avenue adjacent to the park, wants to run a storm drainage pipe into the park, which would require the removal of nine trees near Peachtree

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10 a.m.-12:00 p Special taxes on HOW TO MAXIMIZE YOUR BIRD FEEDER Opportunities to look for spring migrants and the the table for park arrival of summer nesting species. Saturday May 13, 2017 10 a.m.-12:00 p over Ga. 400 STANDOUT STUDENTSaturday April 22, 2017 8:30-10:30 OUTAM & ABOUT SPRING BIRD WALK

PHIL MOSIER

The runners are off for the Chastain Chase 5K, which brought 175 runners and walkers to Chastain Park April 23 in a benefit for the nonprofit Cancer Support Community Atlanta. Hobbie Eckes was the overall winner of the fifth annual race, which wound through streets on the Buckhead-Sandy Springs border. For more information about the nonprofit’s work, see cscatlanta.org.

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COST: $12.00 each program BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

The latest draft study about the park over Bird Walks are provided Ga. 400 includes some long-awaited discus- by Atlanta Audubon u sion of who would pay for the newSociety public space. Onecontract possibility on the table: special Sp with Sandy taxes for neighboring residential and comRecreation and Parks Departm mercial tenants. Proposed nearly two years ago by the Buckhead Community Improvement District, the park capping 400 between Peachtree and Lenox roads has drawn excitement, but also questions and internal CID board controversies about who would

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Perimeter Business A monthly section focusing on business in the Reporter Newspapers communities

PHOTOS BY DYANA BAGBY

Left, Carol and Bill Gregoire sell concessions at Dunwoody Senior Baseball. For nearly two decades, they sold concessions at Murphey Candler Park for the girls softball league. Right, Carol Gregoire makes one of her signature grilled cheese sandwiches.

Mom-and-pop concession stand hits home run at Dunwoody ballfields BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

As the loud “pings” of aluminum bats sound in the distance, Carol Gregoire takes an order through a window from a mom wanting a pickle and some pickle juice for her toddler. Carol serves up the pickle in a small foam cup for a dollar. She tells the woman, who’s dressed in shorts and a T-shirt, that she hopes the young one enjoys it. It’s another Saturday at the ballfields in Dunwoody Park. Carol and her husband, Bill, are working the concession stand, selling hot dogs, chips, candy and, yes, pickles and pickle juice, to baseball players and their family and friends sitting in the stands. “On a beautiful Saturday or Sunday, we’re out with the community and watching baseball,” Carol said during a lull. “What’s not to like?” This is not your fancy chef-driven or chain-restaurant concession stand where a hamburger can cost $12 or more, such as the ones at the new SunTrust Park. Carol and Bill, who don’t have an official name for their for-profit concession business, sell sodas and candy bars for $1.25, cheeseburgers for $4 and even peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for $2. Carol is a bookkeeper at Dunwoody Elementary School and Bill drives a bus for the DeKalb County School District. Their daughter, Katherine, 25, is a teacher at

Dunwoody High School and occasionally who was in her 80s and had run the conceshelps out at the stand. sion stand business for Dunwoody Senior Carol and Bill have been in the conBaseball for years, was ready to finally recession stand business for some 20 years, tire, Weiner told them. beginning at Murphey Candler Park in “So we came and worked with Miss BetBrookhaven, where they live. Carol played ty last spring to learn the ropes and decidsoftball as a girl on the fields there and ed to do it,” Carol said. “This is on a much when her daughter signed up to play, Carsmaller scale than at Murphey Candler. It’s ol signed up to help. much more laid back and definitely someShe began selling snacks and drinks thing the two of us can do.” at the Murphey Candler Girls Softball DSB does not charge the Gregoires rent Association games and tournaments to use the stand, a simple building set up with other volunteer parents and did so between the two baseball fields at Dunfor about eight years. woody Park. The family purchases the food When the association decided to get out it sells, marks it up and keeps any profits. of the concession business 12 years ago, “I wouldn’t say we make a huge amount Carol recruited Bill to run their own literof money,” she said. “But it is enough to al mom-and-pop business. give us extra stuff and to give us nice famLast year, some ily vacations. I can see us doing this Murphey Candler when we can retire.” leagues decided they Carol said she takes a simple wanted local restauapproach to pricing. She wants a rant Café at Pharr to family to be able to eat at the park take over the concesfor around $20 because she knows sion business. Carol money is not always a luxury. and Bill thought their “Who wants to pay $30 for a other career was over. park meal? For that amount, I may Jerry Weiner, presas well go to a restaurant and have ident of Dunwoody a margarita,” she said. Senior Baseball, how“I may sell a drink for $1 and ever, had other ideas. someone else sells it for $2, but He called Carol and I know I am making money on asked if she would be that $1 and that I’m not trying willing to take over to gouge you,” she added. “I just DYANA BAGBY concessions for their ask myself, ‘What would we pay The menu at the Gregoires’ league. “Miss Betty,” if we went out?’” concession stand.

Over the years, customers have told Carol they wanted healthier food options. She does sell protein bars for $2.50, but attempts to sell items like salads or healthy drinks were largely unsuccessful. A major reason Carol said she decided to go into the concession business all those years ago was to provide jobs for her son and daughter, who started working at the stand wrapping burgers and working the window in their early teens. Katherine still helps out when she can. Carol credits the concession stand business for also keeping her and her husband young. They don’t have a cash register and count money in their heads. The children and teens they see at the ball park are many of the same ones they see at their jobs in the school system. The job is not just candy and sodas, however. The hours are long — especially after putting in a long day at school or driving a bus. Working seven days a week is also not unusual, so rooting for a rain-out is not frowned upon in their household. “We like rain outs,” Carol said with a grin. “But we also know there will be makeup games.” Does Carol have a specialty? Some coaches and players tell her she makes a “mean grilled cheese sandwich,” she said. And when it’s not busy, Bill said he likes to pull up a chair outside and watch a game while working on a crossword puzzle. “Sometimes we can just enjoy the day,” he said.


Perimeter Business | 5

APRIL 28 - MAY 11, 2017 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Perimeter Business A monthly section focusing on business in the Reporter Newspapers communities

Business groups work to bring millennials into the boardroom BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

At a Leadership Sandy Springs event in February, a speaker delivered a familiar message: The millennial generation is important to Perimeter cities and businesses. Also familiar was the lack of many millennials in the audience of business and political leaders. But this time, one of them spoke up — Samantha Marks, the marketing and social media manager for Sandy Springs Hospitality and Tourism. She expressed her generation’s desire to get involved in city leadership, “but I’m the only person in the room” from the age group, and said she objected to the term “millennial” and its stereotypes. The speaker, Lee Fisher of Ohio-based CEOs for Cities, said Marks had a point. “For too many years, cities have patronized young generations,” Fisher said, describing millennials as placed at the “kid’s table. It’s like Thanksgiving all over again.” The millennials don’t have the patience for that, he added. “We’re in a time [where] we need to have millennials at your table, not at the kid’s table,” he said. Perimeter-area business associations are working hard to bring millennials to the table. Some, like the Dunwoody Perimeter Chamber, still are trying to attract their first millennial board members. Others have been more successful, like the Buckhead Business Association, where 2018 board president-elect Chris Godfrey is a millennial. But, experts say, millennial leadership in business organization is easier said than done. There are challenges on both sides of the equation, they say, as old-school business groups meet a generation that is used to individual impact and instant gratification. It’s also a generation that seeks to be appreciated without being stereotyped — a tricky balance for an organization to pull off. For those that do, says Godfrey, the millennial representation pays off. “It matters a lot, absolutely, because we want to stay relevant,” he said of his

Buckhead association.

Repping a generation Like most generational labels, “millennial” is a term from marketing and demographics, with definitions that vary somewhat among those who measure such things. Mark Kooyman, CEO at the Athensbased EXPERIENCE Discovery Group, a branding and marketing consultant to major corporations, defines the generation as those born in 1979 through 1994 — now ages 23 through 38. More important than specific ages, Kooyman says, is that’s a big generation — about 76 million people — that is now hitting its peak of societal influence. About 98 percent of babies born this year are coming from millennial parents, he said, and millennials are likely the largest share of the workforce and possibly the largest taxpaying base. “A firm or organization that doesn’t inContinued on page 8

Lee Fisher, head of CEOs for Cities, discusses millennials at a February event hosted by Leadership Sandy Springs.

JOHN RUCH

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6 | Perimeter Business

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Braves traffic is more dream than ‘nightmare’ BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

The Braves stadium traffic dreaded for years as a potential “nightmare” turned out to be a dream over the team’s first week of home games, starting with the April 14 opener. While officials say it’s still too early to have solid data or completely relax, SunTrust Park’s light traffic has surprised many and paved the way for boosts to the local hotel business. Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul, who repeatedly predicted initial traffic would be a “disaster,” had a different perspective at the April 18 City Council meeting. “It’s not over yet, but so far, it’s been a non-event as far as traffic impacts on Sandy Springs,” he said. Reed Haggard, the president of Sandy Springs’ Riverside Homeowners Association, hosted a forum last fall that drew more than 250 residents expressing traffic fears. “Braves traffic hasn’t been much of an issue,” Haggard said last week. “No

Stationed on Powers Ferry Road at Northside Drive, Sandy Springs Police Officer Tim Taylor spent most of his time near his cruiser, not directing the light traffic.

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Perimeter Business | 7

APRIL 28 - MAY 11, 2017 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

PHIL MOSIER

Traffic heading west on the Perimeter toward the new SunTrust Park in the distance from Sandy Springs’ New Northside Drive interchange was lighter than a Friday rush hour norm. This photo was taken around 6 p.m., 90 minutes before game time.

doubt, ‘regular’ traffic is on the rise,” he added. That “regular” traffic includes increased congestion on the “top end” Perimeter as repairs continue on the collapsed section of I-85 in Atlanta. Yet Opening Day traffic was below average at the interchange of I-285 and Northside Drive on the Cobb County line, where Sandy Springs officials feared the worst impacts. “The traffic this evening is lighter than usual,” said Sandy Springs Police Officer Leon Millholland, standing next to his car in the interchange with little to do only 90 minutes before game time. “We were expecting more congestion than is here.” Dave Rossman is the general manager of the Wyndham Atlanta Galleria hotel, located smack dab in the middle of the interchange. “Traffic’s not been that bad,” Rossman said. “Traffic seems to be moving very well.” Also going pretty well is the hotel business. When first reached for traffic comment, Rossman couldn’t talk – he was riding a hotel shuttle bus full of guests heading to a Braves game. Why has traffic worked so well? It’s hard to say yet, with a few factors in play. The Braves and local governments put considerable effort into various traffic strategies and tactics, from stadium entrance placement to new signage. Traffic back-up fears may have scared away people who would otherwise have driven through the area, or the fears might have been overblown to begin with. Michael Hunter, a traffic engineering professor at Georgia Tech, said he has not formally studied the stadium’s traffic plan, but his professional instinct is that the Braves got it right. “I would say it is not luck, but a function of well thought-out planning,” Hunter said of the stadium’s traffic. He pointed to the stadium’s multiple entrances, dispersed parking lots, and adjacent commercial complex as good strategies for spreading out traffic across several

hours and different roadways. The Braves were happy to take credit for good planning. Team spokesperson Beth Marshall also pointed to the later game times, advance parking sales and use of the Waze navigation app, along with coordination with government agencies. “This combination of planning, education, execution and the cooperation of our fans and those in the surrounding area made our opening home stand a success,” she said. Sandy Springs has some hard data on the way, as it is conducting before-and-after traffic counts at 39 intersections and roads. City Councilmember Andy Bauman, who requested the traffic counts, said the initial data reports should be available in the next few weeks. Many locals are getting a first-hand experience, too. Mayor Paul said he had already attended three Braves games. It took him about 15 minutes to arrive, and returning home took about “twoand-a-half songs on the radio” while he passed police officers standing around “like the Maytag repairman.” Rossman, the hotel manager, has also visited SunTrust Park. He and his son ran into the stadium’s one significant traffic issue – a confusing lineup of Uber drivers that led to delays. “If that’s the worst problem, it’s pretty good,” Rossman said. Overshadowed by traffic talk is the opportunities some local businesses see in the stadium’s attraction of tourists to the area. Rossman said he’s already had some guests clearly staying for the baseball games, with some wearing gear advertising the Braves or the opposing team. The hotel is now dedicating one of its existing shuttle buses to game-day trips. Rossman expects even better business from the stadium’s forthcoming slate of major concerts, which likely will draw regional visitors. “There’s no season ticket holders for Billy Joel,” he said of the headliner for SunTrust’s first concert, slated for April 28.

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talking via social media, “but as much as everything’s digital … face-to-face networking … has its place.”

corporate them today … has to think about aging out,” Kooyman said. Myths and realities Perimeter business groups are acutely aware of that. The BrookhavAs the target demographic du jour, local en Chamber of Commerce is “very conmillennial business leaders say they like sciously” working to gain millennithe attention, but not the stereotyping. al board members, and now has a few, “Stereotyping us is unhealthy,” said said board Chairman Jay Groundwater. Snodgrass, laughing while describing A few years ago, the chamber conductsomeone assuming she automaticaled a demographic study of Brookhaven ly knew how to use the Snapchat app. and found the city is about 30 percent milChambers shouldn’t be stereotyped, eilennials — “that really ther, she added. surprised us,” GroundGodfrey said that water said — and about when his coworkers 30 percent minority as learned he would be well. And it was a contalking about millencern for his board. nials, “they were like, “Chambers tend to ‘Oh, that word.’” He be older folks” and give dislikes the “assumpan impression they’re tion we’re job-hop“sort of an old, stodgy ping or wanting to men’s organization, if be in charge of everyyou will,” Groundwater thing immediately.” said. “So keeping that Kooyman said there [demographic study] in are certainly some false mind, we’ve tried to crestereotypes — includate a chamber that’s a ing that millennials little more diverse than are college-aged, when one might expect. DiSPECIAL that’s actually a differversity, by age, by ethnic Chris Godfrey, 2018 president-elect of ent generation. the Buckhead Business Association. group, whatever, is imBut, he said, there portant to the lifeblood of a chamber.” are common behaviors and attitudes that The Dunwoody Perimeter Chamber’s hold true across racial, economic and top staff member, president and CEO even national lines, probably due to the Stephanie Snodgrass, is a millennial. But unifying effect of social media and techits board has yet to gain its first millennial nology. Indeed, feeling they are immune member, she said. to stereotyped behavior is itself one of “We are trying hard to fill that role … betheir characteristics, he said with a mildcause we are a young city and we’re attractly evil burst of marketing laughter. ing the millennial types,” Snodgrass said. The era of “helicopter parents and “If we’re representative of our businesses … soccer moms” and smartphones gave we have to change.” millennials a culture of getting what At a board retreat this year, she said, they want on demand, he said. members talked about the rising impor“They have a demand for impact. They tance of social media and the difficulty of have a demand for change. And they begetting younger people to come to tradilieve they can get it,” he said. tional meetings. Some of the older memThat individualism can be tough for bers — “we use the word ‘seasoned,’’’ both sides when it comes to business orgaSnodgrass said with a laugh — have no nizations. “They basically don’t understand first-hand understanding of social media and haven’t dealt much with organized functions such as Facebook analytics. politics,” Kooyman said of millennials. Most local chambers and other large At the Sandy Springs event, Fisher said business organizations have young prothat “by and large, the millennial generation fessionals groups that can act as feeder is one that doesn’t want to wait its turn.” systems for millennial leadership. The Kooyman has a different context, Buckhead Business Association goes an saying the millennials shouldn’t be extra step, making the president of its viewed as impatient. It’s more about “Young Bucks” group a board member offering meaningful, locally impactful of the overall group as well. That gave positions, not token slots. Godfrey his seat at the table that is now “It’s not so much they want to be a turning into the board presidency. leader, but they want to affect change The local business group leaders say and be part of the process,” he said. that drawing in younger business people “They want some self-acknowledgement has challenges. Groundwater said that traand reward for what they do.” ditional breakfast meetings don’t work so Or as Godfrey put it, his is “a generation well for millennials. Godfrey, on the oththat wants to give back and wants to have er hand, said that his generation is used to something behind what they’re doing.”


Perimeter Business | 9

APRIL 28 - MAY 11, 2017 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Openings Cutting the ribbon April 20 at Chastain Wealth Management, 7000 Central Parkway in Sandy Springs, were (from left) Angela Forrester of the Sandy Springs Perimeter Chamber of Commerce; city representative Erica Rocker-Wills; company CEO Larren Odom; co-owner Jennifer Odom; Operations Director Cary Norpel; Ed Ukaonu of the Chamber; and Suzanne Brown, the Chamber’s vice president of client relations. For more info, see chastainwealth.com.

Minuteman Press of Sandy Springs, at 6780 Roswell Road, cut its ribbon April 19. Joining in were, from left, Beth Berger of the Sandy Springs Perimeter Chamber of Commerce; Minuteman’s Arona DeSure; owner Jon Wittenberg; graphic designer Kyle Gisel; and the Chamber’s Suzanne Brown and Ed Ukaonu. For more info, see sandysprings.minutemanpress.com.

FR EN CH RESTAUR ANTS M ER G E Two longstanding French restaurants have merged into Petite Violette, a Brookhaven dining spot that scheduled a public grand opening May 5. The restaurant is at 2948 Clairmont Road, the former location of Violette, which has merged with the former Petite Auberge, which was located for more than 40 years in the Toco Hill Shopping Center near Emory University. The May 5 grand opening runs 3:30 to 5 p.m. and includes complimentary hors d’oeuvres on the patio. The celebration also serves as a memorial for Violette’s longtime owner and manager, Stephanie Belcher, who died last month. The event will include a condolence book and details on donations in her memory to the Callanwolde Fine Arts Center. For more information, see petiteauberge.com or call 404634-6268.

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Community members voiced concerns about a proposed roundabout at the intersection of Wieuca Road and Phipps Boulevard in a meeting April 19. The public meeting, held by the Buckhead Community Improvement District at Wieuca Road Baptist Church, drew about 20 community members who mostly seemed skeptical of the plan, but a few were optimistic it would solve the intersection’s problems. The project, estimated to cost $2 million, would take 12 to 18 months to complete. The target start date is the first quarter of 2018. Consultants from Pond and Company say the roundabout would move traffic through the intersection more quickly than the current traffic light, but is also designed to keep traffic at a slow enough pace to ensure pedestrian and driver safety. The roundabout would also improve pedestrian and cyclist safety, consultants say, because it adds bike lanes and crosswalks with flashing beacons around the roundabout. Jha Kairoya, who works in the area, said he thinks the roundabout is a smart solution to the traffic problems plaguing the intersection. “They are used a lot in other countries, and they know how to navigate them just fine,” he said. Some residents expressed concerns about traffic backing up from the Wieuca and Peachtree Road intersection a quarter-mile away, that cars will have to cross lanes of traffic to get to their needed lane, and that drivers will be too impatient to let others into the roundabout. “I think this is incomplete,” said David Skid, president of the Park Avenue Homeowners Association. Others, like Stanley Steinberg, think the roundabout is too small. Consultants said this is to keep it from encroaching on property.

“I don’t think you’ve solved our problem,” Steinberg, who lives in a condominium near the intersection, said to a consultant. Marilyn Steinberg, his wife, said she is often concerned for her safety when she exits her condo, but does not think the roundabout would make it safer. U.S. drivers don’t know how to properly use roundabouts, she said. Consultants said the design of the roundabout will slow traffic and will allow drivers to pick their lanes before they enter the roundabout, alleviating the need to switch lanes. However, there is an entrance to the roundabout that requires drivers to cross one lane as soon as they enter, or they will exit on the wrong street. Kevin McCauley, a cyclist and executive director of the Blue Heron Nature Preserve, said the way cyclists would have to navigate the roundabout – switching from crosswalks to roads to multi-use trails – could be disorienting. Gordon Certain, president of the North Buckhead Civic Association, told consultants he is concerned about the future of a small park in the area that his group raises funds to maintain. “We need to be involved or we’ll be unhappy,” Certain said to an environment planner working on the project. Consultant Matthew Wilder said they will work together on plans for the park and will minimize impact on the park. Sally Silver, policy analyst for District 7 City Councilmember Howard Shook, said her district believes there has not been enough public input. A city spokesperson said the Buckhead CID plans to host more meetings before submitting designs to the city. Information on the roundabout is posted on the Renew Atlanta Bond website, renewatlantabond.com. The bond program is working in partnership with the Buckhead CID for this project. Written comments can be sent to renewatlanta@atlantaga.gov and are due by May 3.

BH


APRIL 28 - MAY 11, 2017

Community | 3

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Signs go up, events get canceled, in I-85 traffic fallout BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

New street signs, manipulation of a popular phone app, and cancellation of popular events are among the traffic strategies popping up in the wake of the March 30 I-85 collapse and closure. To curb neighborhood traffic in the fallout of the I-85 closure, the Atlanta Department of Public Works has installed “no thru traffic” signs on neighborhood and side streets and briefly used navigation app Waze to help enforce those signs. A city spokesperson said the signs were installed in response to increased traffic on surface streets following the I-85 bridge collapse and they “likely” will be removed when repairs on the bridge are completed. The city did not respond to questions about whether police are enforcing the signs, but no officers were visible on recent visits. The signs have been met with mixed reactions from commuters and residents. City Councilmember Alex Wan, whose District 6 includes the I-85 collapse area, said he has heard both support and opposition to the signs from his constituents. “Some are upset that they went up and are confused about who they are intended to apply to,” said Wan, whose district covers areas in Buckhead where the signs were installed. Others think the signs send an unwelcoming message from the community, he said, but some are supportive of them and think they are necessary. The signs were printed with “during the I-85 closure” at the bottom, but the city said that was printed by mistake and that text has been covered with white tape. “Some signs were printed with erroneous text and the city worked to correct those signs as quickly as possible,” a city spokesperson said.

In community meetings and social media posts, many residents have complained about an increase in traffic as people search for detours from gridlocked streets. The city has said its motivation for placing the signs is to keep roads clear for emergency vehicles and to protect roads not designed to handle the amount of traffic they are now getting. But the signs don’t seem to be placed in locations that need them, Wan said, and the Department of Public Works didn’t consult his district before installing the signs. “It wasn’t clear to me what the strategy was,” he said. Traffic congestion has increased so much that it is hard for some residents to leave their neighborhoods, Wan said, but the signs are not the way he would choose to solve the problem. Wan said his focus is not on restricting access to roads, but rather to make sure they are safe by focusing on reducing speeding and reckless driving.

Waze alerts

The city was using Waze to guide people off those streets, but stopped April 13, citing driver confusion. The city posted alerts on Waze that claimed an object was blocking the road on streets it has restricted to local traffic. “The city is aware that Waze hazard alerts denoting the locations of ‘No Thru Traffic’ signs for residential roads may have caused some confusion to motorists, and the city requested that the alerts be removed,” a city spokesperson said after the Reporter questioned the Waze notifications. The alerts were posted on some Buckhead streets, including side streets off of

Piedmont Road and Sidney Marcus BouAnd the first Atlanta Jazz Festival conlevard. cert this season, originally scheduled to be The city has a partnership with Waze held in the newly renovated Loudermilk to alert drivers of road closures, construcPark, was moved to Chastain Park. A lane tion and slowdowns, which it leveraged to of Sardis Way would have to be closed to help minimize cut-through traffic while accommodate the concert in Loudermilk I-85 is being reconstructed, the city said. Park, but a road closing is not necessary William Johnson, the commissioner of at Chastain Park. public works, said at a March Buckhead While traffic continues to negatively Council of Neighaffect most in Atlanborhoods meeting ta, congesting neighthe city is “constantborhood streets and ly providing updates reducing patronage to to Google Maps and businesses, one farmWaze,” according to er’s market is experiminutes of the meetencing the positives of ing. He was respondtraffic congestion. ing to a question Lauren Carey of the about increased trafPeachtree Road Farmfic in neighborhoods er’s Market said they as people are usmay be the only peoing the apps to find ple to have a positive quicker routes, the take on the I-85 traffic. minutes said. “As people sit in The city can’t traffic, they see our force people not to signs and decide they use the roads, but can’t sit in the trafit can make it less fic anymore and they convenient to drive come in,” Carey said PHIL MOSIER on them, Johnson of the market, which The I-85 overpass under said at the meeting, sets up shop in the Carepair in early April. which was before thedral of St. Philip’s the collapse of I-85. parking lot. Marked by the lack of dogs on leashes, children in strollers and reusable shopEvents canceled ping bags visitors usually have in tow, Several events have been postponed people come up to the information table or moved to new locations to reduce their at the market and say they couldn’t sit in effects on traffic. The Susan G. Komen traffic anymore, Carey said. Race for a Cure benefiting breast canWhile the market has seen their viscer research was moved to June 24, after itors numbers go up, the church’s thrift the estimated I-85 construction complestore has struggled to get people in the tion date on June 15. Sections of Piedmont, door following the I-85 bridge collapse, Peachtree and Pharr roads are closed for Carey said, so they are setting up a booth the race. in the farmer’s market.

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10 | Community

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“homelessness is a social issue that deserves bigger conversation.” A couple weeks later, on April 17, the possessions of a homeless person living underneath a Buford Highway bridge in Brookhaven caught fire, according to officials. Investigators determined no significant damage was done to the bridge

Two recent fires underneath bridges allegedly set by homeless people have raised fears among service agencies of official crackdowns. But the reaction is not as bad as one expert thought it would be. “It’s actually been a lot more mild than you would expect,” said Jasper Preston, program coordinator at the Georgia Alliance to End Homelessness. The location of the fires also underscore the lack of shelters in areas like Brookhaven and Buckhead. David Villa, who is homeless and lives under the Corporate Boulevard bridge along Peachtree Creek in Brookhaven, said on a rePHIL MOSIER cent morning that he recently arDavid Villa, who is homeless, rests under the Corporate Boulevard bridge in Brookhaven. rived here from Waco, Texas. “During the day, I go on Buford Highway looking for work. Nothing yet,” and it was reopened two hours after the Villa said. fire began. He said he recently fell and injured his The Brookhaven Police Department leg. “I have no family and friends here, reported on its Facebook page the “fire but I am trying to get on my feet,” he said. started in the mattress of a homeless perThe public is more educated on homeson who sought shelter under the bridge” lessness than they have been in the past and added “there is no indication this fire and are more empathetic, Preston said, was intentional.” adding that “the first thing we have to Although the public is responding less recognize is these are just humans who negatively than Preston anticipated, he can’t afford a home.” still expects stricter enforcement of laws The fire and resulting collapse at an involving the homeless. “It will probably I-85 overpass in Buckhead on March 30 bring a crackdown simply because there drew national media attention. Basil Eleis public concern,” he said. by, who is homeless, has been charged There is a stigma around going to with setting that fire. homeless shelters, Preston said, so some A question on the issue of homelesshomeless people avoid them. Instead, ness was asked of GDOT Commissioner they seek shelter under bridges or move Russell McMurry at an April 4 press conto other areas perceived to be safer. ference updating the media on I-85 re--Phil Mosier contributed construction. McMurry responded that

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APRIL 28 - MAY 11, 2017

Community | 11

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Councilmember Adrean will not seek re-election

Comprehensive Women’s

BY EVELYN ANDREWS

Health

evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

Atlanta’s District 8 Councilmember Yolanda Adrean will not seek re-election in November, she announced April 19. Adrean, whose district includes much of Buckhead, has served two terms on Atlanta City Council. “Following deep introspection, I have made the decision to serve my community as a private citizen,” she said in the announcement. “The decision was not easy. I have found service to my district and all city residents to be the most satisfying and richest experience of my life and will always be appreciative of my constituents and the city of Atlanta for the opportunity to serve.” Throughout her two terms, Adrean worked with the Atlanta Police Foundation and secured funding for security cameras. She also worked to build sidewalks and multi-use trails SPECIAL in neighborhoods around Buckhead. City Councilmember Yolanda Adrean. Adrean said she will join her husband in retirement and spend time with her family. Adrean is one of many on the council who have announced they will not be seeking re-election for their seat. Councilmembers Ceasar Mitchell, Kwanza Hall, Mary Norwood, and Keisha Lance Bottoms are running for mayor, and Felicia Moore, C.T. Martin and Alex Wan are running for City Council President. One candidate has already announced a run for the District 8 seat: J.P. Matzigkeit, the chief financial officer for Buckhead-based Wahoo Fitness. He has a history of public service, formerly founding and presiding over the Chastain Park Conservancy, a non-profit that restores and maintains the park.

State Sen. Hunter Hill declares run for governor

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State Sen. Hunter Hill (R-Smyrna) has announced that he will run for governor next year. “I am running to cast a bold vision for Georgia that can only come about with true, conservative leadership,” Hill said in a statement on his campaign website. “Republicans have an opportunity to bring about sweeping change in Georgia, and I refuse to stand by and simply mark time. Georgians expect and demand results, and I am ready to deliver.” Since 2012, Hill has represented Senate District 6, which includes large sections of Buckhead and Sandy Springs. He is president of Tommy Newberry Coaching, a life-coaching business and a U.S. Army Ranger who served in Afghanistan and Iraq. Hill frequently cites education, healthcare SPECIAL and transportation as his top issues. Last year, State Sen. Hunter Hill he also touted his work in passing the “Beer Jobs Bill,” which expanded the craft beer and liquor business in the state. Hill won re-election last year, but drew only 52 percent of the vote against a virtually unknown Democratic challenger. That was among other close calls for Republican candidates in once reliably Republican districts that preceded the current national attention on a strong Democratic challenger in the area’s 6th Congressional District. Hill’s campaign website is votehunterhill.com. BH

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12 | Community

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Special taxes on the table for park over Ga. 400 Continued from page 1 pay for it. Funding sources will be further detailed when the final phase of the study is presented at the July CID board meeting. The draft study, led by consulting firm Rogers Partners Architects + Urban Designers, was given only to CID board members at their March meeting, while other attendees saw only a summary of the study. The Reporter later obtained a copy of the full draft study. Concerns about the possibility of increased taxes have been discussed since the first public presentation of the park in September 2016 when residents at MeridianBuckhead condos expressed concerns. A mixture of public and private funding has always been on the table, but this study reveals some details about funding that were previously unknown. The CID, which is spearheading the project, has identified three tiers of properties — “park neighbor patrons,” multi-family and commercial — that would benefit from the park, the document says. Those neighboring properties may form a “special services district,” or SSD, which imposes special property taxes. The special tax district was identified as part of an overall preliminary funding plan that includes federal, state and city funding sources as well as philanthropic contributions. The CID itself could also fund the park. The CID could kill the park plan, and if the plan does move forward, an SSD may not be a funding source as no details have been finalized. If an SSD is formed, the report recommends that group be heavily involved throughout the public engagement pro-

cess. Properties considered for the special tax district “may be the most important group to consider for the public engagement process and the group that will require the most attention,” the report says. The report notes that former Cobb County Chairman Tim Lee, who brokered the Atlanta Braves’ secret move to a new stadium partially funded by a special tax district, was voted out of office due to what some saw as a lack of transparency. Consultants recommend the Buckhead CID’s public engagement techniques with neighboring properties include individu-

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al interviews, small focus group meetings, surveys and mobile interactive exercises. In a mock-up of an online survey that could be used, residents living in the district are asked what they would be willing to pay in monthly taxes, ranging from $0 to $21 or more. Other details studied in the report include the hiring of an executive director at a $125,000-a-year salary and a five-person, full-time staff that will oversee marketing, programming, horticulture, security and fundraising. Consultants estimate the yearly operating costs for the park would be $1.7 million. The park would experience funding gaps for three years with an $850,000 deficit for the first year

of operation. Although the Buckhead CID has spearheaded the idea for and studies on the park, the park’s construction and operation may ultimately become the responsibility of a committee or entity formed in partnership with the CID. However, if the park is created, it would likely be maintained by the city of Atlanta, the report says. A full traffic study has not been completed, but the report suggests consultants believe traffic would not be heavily affected by the park. Peak visiting times for parks are typically on weekends and afternoons, but this park would generate more traffic than a typical park because of its location in an urban environment, according to the study. The park has legal obstacles to overcome, especially concerning its relationship with surrounding MARTA and Georgia Department of Transportation infrastructure. The consultants list 17 items that must be completed before the park can be approved by the city, which include completing studies and submitting plans to agencies like MARTA and GDOT for approval. GDOT Commissioner Russell McMurry has emphasized in meetings that the park cannot prevent the addition of a fourth lane in both directions on Ga. 400, according to meeting minutes included in the report.

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APRIL 28 - MAY 11, 2017

Community | 13

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Community Briefs

CREATE YOUR HAPPY PLACE

HIS T OR I C LOC OMOTI VE MOVES TO BU CKHEAD M AY 3

A restored 1856 locomotive will return to Atlanta on May 3 and be installed in a new exhibit at the Atlanta History Center in Buckhead. The “Texas” locomotive has undergone an extensive $500,000 restoration at its current home at the North Carolina Transportation Museum, but it was previously a main fixture of Grant Park’s cyclorama exhibit for 88 years. The locomotive exhibit is expected to open to the public in the fall of 2017. “The Battle of Atlanta” cyclorama painting also moved to the Atlanta History Center from Grant Park earlier this year as part of a 75-year licensing agreement with the city of Atlanta that includes the locomotive. “After many years of limited view in the basement of the cyclorama building in Grant Park, we are putting the Texas in a place where it is going to be front and center,” said Jackson McQuigg, vice president of properties for the history center. Most trains from this era were destroyed, but the “Texas” was saved because of its role in the “Great Locomotive Chase,” an 1862 incident in the Civil War in which Union troops stole an engine near Kennesaw. The locomotive ran for decades on the Western & Atlantic Railroad, the line that sparked the founding of the city of Atlanta. “No artifact can be more important for telling the story of Atlanta’s beginnings than this Western & Atlantic locomotive,” said Sheffield Hale, the center’s president and CEO.

F OOD T R UC KS RETURN TO TOWER PLACE

Livable Buckhead’s food truck program will gear up on May 3 and will continue throughout the summer. The food trucks will be parked in Tower Place Park on Peachtree Road from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Wednesdays. The selection of food trucks will change weekly.

CHUR C H D EM O L I SH ED F OR H I G H- R I S E A PA R TMEN T BUI LDI N G

A 1986 Brutalist-style church building, most recently the Christian Church of Buckhead, was demolished in April to make way for a new high-rise apartment building on Peachtree Road. The Buckhead Heritage Society tried to stop the demolition of what it calls an iconic Brutalist building in 2015 when the development was first proposed. Brutalism is an architectural style characterized by exposed concrete. “Completed in 1986 as the Second Church of Christ, Scientist, the church complex exemplifies the Brutalist style in form and materials,” the Heritage Society’s then executive director Erica Danylchak said in a 2015 press release. “The Christian Church is an iconic work by one of Atlanta’s Modernist masters.” The 36-story multi-use development, Apogee Buckhead, will include 362 apartments and 34,000 square feet of retail and office space.

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14 | Commentary

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Community Survey / Congressional campaign ads Question: In the April 18 6th Congressional District special election, how useful were campaign advertisements, such as mailers, in deciding your vote? It turns out those political TV ads we all love to hate may have utility after all. In our most recent 1Q.com community survey, 48 percent of the respondents found mailers and other political ads to be useful as they made up their minds on how to vote in the special election in 6th Congressional District. Thirty percent of the respondents to the cellphone survey said the ads were useless, but 16 percent found them “very useful” and 33 percent said they were “somewhat useful.” The rest of the 147 residents of Sandy Springs, Dunwoody or Brookhaven – the portions of the 6th District within Reporter Newspapers’ circulation area – who responded said they didn’t see or hear any ads or mailers, or didn’t vote. When asked what more they wanted to hear from the two remaining candidates during the run-up to the runoff, respondents mentioned just about every hot-button issue, from healthcare to taxes to jobs, and from partisan bickering in Congress to dealing with the president. “I would like to see them focus more on the pertinent issues affecting Georgians, like job opportunities, economic development and education, instead of solely focusing on their political parties,” a 27-year-old Sandy Springs woman commented. “I would also like to see them address the recent infrastructure issues in Atlanta.” A 44-year-old Brookhaven woman called for more discussion about “infrastructure, social issues, getting rid of the ridiculousness in Washington” while a 36-yearold Dunwoody woman wanted the candidates to reveal “how they’re going to keep [President] Trump in check.” Others wanted to hear more about less mainstream issues. A 28-year-old Dunwoody man wanted more discussion about the “legalization of marijuana.” A 33-yearold Sandy Springs woman called for “less trash talk and more talk about issues.”

8.8% 16.3% 11.6%

29.9%

33.3%

Very useful. I learned a lot about the candidates. 24 (16.3%) Somewhat useful. I learned something, but not enough, about the candidates. 49 (33.3%) Useless. I learned little or nothing about the candidates. 44 (29.9%) I saw or heard campaign ads, but I didn’t vote. 17 (11.6%) I didn’t see or hear any campaign ads. 13 (8.8%)

Riveting or ridiculous? Our editors debate the District 6 ads Enough mailers! (But more Texan postcards!)

Turn up the TV, the ads are on!

BY JOHN RUCH As I dig through the landfill’s worth of mailers that 6th Congressional District candidates buried me under, my favorite is a picture postcard from Texas. I didn’t much care about its handwritten, yet vague, appeal to vote Democratic. I was just relieved to see some colors that weren’t mugshot gray, and to acquire an actual fact or two. Thanks to that postcard, I learned more about the Fort Worth Botanic Garden than I did about any top candidate. Jon Ossoff spent millions to tell me that he doesn’t like Trump. Meanwhile, the Republicans acted more like Valentine’s Day than Election Day, fighting each other over who liked Trump more. Less clear was exactly what their Trump-hate or The Donald-love would do for me and my life here in the 6th. One ad did give me very personalized info – a Democratic mailer shaming my “average” voting record and threatening that my neighbors would find out. My neighbors have seen me bring home dinners consisting entirely of frozen personal pizzas, so I figured I can’t look much more pathetic to them. But it was something to see an election so wretched, it even went negative on its own voters. Then again, maybe issues are nonsense. Tom Price, the last guy to hold the office, touted his Obamacare-slaying plan at every Rotary luncheon for years. The seat is open because he finally got called to Washington to do the deed, and look at how that turned out. Well, if it’s going to be superficial name-calling, go all-out. Make this a helmet-vs.-tousle showdown of the candidates’ impressive hairdos – both contrasted with Trump’s, of course. Make it a wordplay war about who can get the most out of the pun-inducing names “Handel” and “Ossoff.” Meanwhile, maybe I’ll just sit this one out and take a vacation from the inarticulate shouting. I hear Fort Worth is lovely this time of year.

BY JOE EARLE I admit it. When the negative TV ads started appearing in the 6th District race, I rolled my eyes and changed the channel like everybody else. After all, I don’t even live in the district (I live in the 5th), so what did I care about a bunch of mean-spirited TV commercials tossing dirt in an election I can’t even vote in? But then something changed. As the campaign picked up steam, I got into it. I realized that we metro Atlanta election watchers had the chance to see something we seldom, if ever, truly are exposed to: a batch of take-no-prisoners political ads in a campaign that stood for a moment at the center of the national political landscape. Usually, no one but us cares about our campaigns. Because of the way lawmakers have drawn our districts, most of our elections are so uni-partisan as to be virtually non-partisan; we can guess whether a Republican or a Democrat will win before the first candidate files. But this was different. This time, outside interests seemed to think there was a fight here worth spending their money on. Of course, they mostly don’t care who wins, just what party the winner belongs to. Still, their machine-driven, meanspirited attack ads can make for good political theater. What new vile abuse will they pile on Nancy Pelosi today? Who believes any of those angry folks on TV actually live around here and aren’t really just actors? And when did local Republicans start to turn on one another so viciously? Now that the campaign has ground down to two candidates, one from each party, I expect the TV ads only will grow nastier. As long as such baldly mean-spirited ads don’t become a regular thing in the future, I’m OK with that. Just for this one race, bring it on. BH


APRIL 28 - MAY 11, 2017

Commentary | 15

www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Letters to the Editor

F O R AT L A N TA R E S I D E N T S O N LY

P OLI CE O FFER A WEAK EX C USE FOR SHO RTENED BLOTT ER

I want to put my two cents worth in a message regarding the “no details” police blotter. (“Residents complain about police ending detailed crime reports,” April 14.) It really sounds like a weak excuse to omit the details, as outlined in your piece. There’s really no point in putting anything in the blotter at all, if it’s going to be that condensed. We need to know how and where to be more careful in our everyday habits, even those limited to home invasions, etc.

— Bob Turner Buckhead

LA CK O F FO RESIGHT C A USED TRAFFIC PRO BLEMS Why do traffic problems exist? Let me count the ways: lack of planning, foresight and investment. The push to use in-fill to pack houses closer together, the current rush to throw up apartment complexes with hundreds of units, the enticement of Big Business complexes, the creation of new cities, the move further OTP, building MARTA without more than north-south and east-west lines — all have produced the current problems. Atlanta’s original design was individual houses with sprawling lawns. We moved here in 1971. Land was abundant. Forests and farms still existed in Dunwoody. Cows inhabited the farm land where Rooms To Go is now. I-285 was four lanes. Forty thousand trees hadn’t been destroyed to build Ga. 400. I could accurately estimate how much time I needed to go to a dentist. The metro area has driven a long way. Estimate at least one car for each house, apartment and condo; and one for each person employed in office buildings, malls, shopping centers, restaurants and small businesses; add the customers, visitors, tourists, sports enthusiasts, school buses, city buses, taxis; subtract zero, and you’ve got traffic with a lot of tired, impatient, angry drivers and accidents. Throw in a bridge collapse and the total comes to a standstill. Planners? Did they all flunk math? Did they have limited vocabularies lacking the word “no”? Do they have courage to extend MARTA like spokes on wheels and insist that cities join in? Can businesses stagger work hours and days, offer shuttle buses, organize car pools? Can lights be timed better at cross streets so that long lines move faster? Can drivers wave to each other while having a snack waiting for lights to change? Wishing doesn’t get it done.

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an I bring the whole family? f course! Our concerts this summer feature a diverse group of talented musicians who will be jammin’ in the meadow, but the entire family is always welcome at the Dunwoody Nature Center.

an I bring my own food? bsolutely!BROOKHAVEN That’s one of •theBUCKHEAD best things •about our concerts. Feel free to pack up the picnic basket and your DUNWOODY • SANDY SPRINGS lankets and beach chairs. This year, we will also have cold water available as well as craft beer specifically hosen for each show.

PERFORMANCES

CONCERTS BY THE SPRINGS Sunday, May 14, 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Heritage Sandy Springs announces its 21st season of outdoor Concerts by the Springs, held one Sunday evening each month, May through September, on The Sandy Springs Society Entertainment Lawn at Heritage Green. The 2017 season opens with the Big Band sound of performer Douglas Cameron. Gates open at 5 p.m. Picnics welcome; food, beer and wine available. Free. 6110 Blue Stone Road, Sandy Springs. Info: heritagesandysprings.org, or 404-851-9111, ext. 1.

GET INTO NATURE DUNWOODY NATURE CENTER SUMMER CONCERT SERIES Saturdays, May 6, May 20, June 3, June 17, July 1 and July 15, 7 p.m.

The city of Dunwoody presents a series of six Saturday concerts at the Dunwoody Nature Center. The series kicks off May 6 with alternative band Pony League. Arrive early to set up chairs and picnic in shade. Cold water and beer available for purchase. Park at the Nature Center or Dunwoody Park ball fields. Free to Nature Center members; non-members: $5 adults, $3 students and free to children 3 and under. 5343 Roberts Drive, Dunwoody. Info: dunwoodynature. org/2017-summer-concert-series.

GARDENS FOR CONNOISSEURS TOUR

Saturday, May 13, and Sunday, May 14. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Ten lush private gardens, from tranquil woodland settings to intimate urban oases in Buckhead, Brookhaven, Sandy Springs and Midtown, will be on public view during Mother’s Day weekend. Tickets for the self-guided tour, to be held rain or shine, are $28 in advance (garden members $22), $35 on tour days, and are valid both days. Info: atlantabg.org.

FESTIVALS

ATLANTA CONCERT BAND & THE BIG PEACH SWING BAND Sunday, May 7, 4 p.m.

These two bands will present “A Stroll Down Jazz Street,” featuring the music of George Gershwin, in a concert open to the public at the Chaddick Performing Arts Center of The Galloway School. Free. 215 West Wieuca Road N.W., Buckhead. Info: atlantaconcertband.org.

CHORAL GUILD OF ATLANTA Sunday, May 7, 4 p.m.

Choral Guild of Atlanta performs music from the repertoire of Leonard Bernstein, including “Missa Brevis”; “The Chichester Psalms,” performed in Hebrew; and selections from “Wonderful Town” and “West Side Story.” Northside Drive Baptist Church, 3100 Northside Drive, Buckhead. Tickets: $15; $12 seniors; $5 students. Info: 404-2236362 or info@cgatl.org.

DUNWOODY ART FESTIVAL

Saturday, May 13, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, May 14, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The largest art festival in Dunwoody draws more than 60,000 people each year to check out the array of arts and crafts created by artists from across the country. The festival has a food court, a “Kidz Zone,” and continuous music performances. Free admission and parking. Dunwoody Village Parkway, Dunwoody. Info: dunwoody.splashfestivals.com.


Out & About | 17

APRIL 28 - MAY 11, 2017 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

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The Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta presents the 24th Annual Harris Jacobs Dream Run, beginning and ending at MJCCA’s Zaban Park campus. The community event features the 5K Road Race/Walk, which is a 2018 Peachtree Road Race qualifier, and the 1-Mile Community Walk. Race/Walk fees: $30 by May 6, $35 on race day; $15 for children 12 and under. 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody. Info: atlantajcc.org/HJDR, or Pam Morton at 678-812-3981.

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18 | Out & About

Facebook.com/TheReporterNewspapers ■ twitter.com/Reporter_News

Continued from page 17

DUNWOODY COMMUNITY BIKE RIDE Sunday, May 7, 2:45 p.m. to 4 p.m.

A community ride for all ages and abilities kicks off at Dunwoody’s Village Burger on first Sundays monthly through November. Helmets are required and bikes with gears are recommended to handle hills on a 4.5-mile loop around Dunwoody. Riders age 10 and under must be with an adult. Rides cancelled in inclement weather. 1426 Dunwoody Village Pkwy., Dunwoody. Info: bikewalkdunwoody.org.

PARTIES WITH A PURPOSE

ROCKIN’ AT THE RIVER

Saturday, May 13, 6:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.

This annual event, featuring food, music, drinks, dancing and a live auction on the grounds of the Chattahoochee Nature Center, supports the center’s efforts to connect people to nature and preserve the Chattahoochee River. Tickets: $125. VIP tickets: $250. Chattahoochee Nature Center, 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell. Info: chattnaturecenter.org/ratr or 770-992-2055, ext. 225.

COMMUNITY CELEBRATIONS BROOKHAVEN COMMUNITY DAY Saturday, May 6, noon to 5 p.m.

This annual event includes a cookout, music, activities and a parade that starts at noon from the Lynwood United Church of God in Christ to the Lynwood Community Center. Free. Lynwood Park Recreation Center, 3360 Osborne Road, Brookhaven. Info: brookhavenga.gov.

ISRAEL’S BIRTHDAY BASH Tuesday, May 2, 7:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Join the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta’s young adults for Israeli street food, drink specials, Israeli dancing and a night of fun celebrating Israel’s Birthday. Ages 21+. Free to first 300 registrants, $18 for all others. Buckhead Saloon, 3227 Roswell Road N.E., Buckhead. Info: Stacie Graff at 678812-3972 or stacie.graff@atlantajcc.org.

FOOD THAT ROCKS

Saturday, May 6, 6:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.

This second annual event presented by Taste of Atlanta features food and wine/ beer/cocktail tastes from more than 25 Sandy Springs restaurants and mixologists. Benefits three Sandy Springs nonprofits. Ages 21+ only. Advance tickets: $55 general admission; $70 for VIP First Taster. Tickets are $5 higher at the door. Hammond Park, 705 Hammond Drive N.E., Sandy Springs. Info: foodthatrocks.org.

PEACHTREE HEIGHTS EAST GARDEN PARTY Sunday, May 7, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The 31st annual Garden Party of Buckhead’s Peachtree Heights East neighborhood this year celebrates its newly restored Duck Pond Park. The event, held at the park, includes fun eats, drinks, music and shopping at the new “Duck Pond Store.” Proceeds will help


n About Our Local Birds

Out & About | 19

APRIL 28 - MAY 11, 2017 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

endlysince guided along theGarden trails atAdults Overlook Park the 1930s.bird Hostedwalks by the Ladies of the Lake Club. only. 70 Lakeview Ave., Buckhead. Tickets: $50 in advance; $60 at event. Info: ladiesofthelake.org/tickets. d birding programs held at Lost Corner Preserve. fund special projects and maintenance at the private park, maintained by neighbors

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7300 Brandon Mill Rd. N.W. 30328 This monthly education program for adults continues with an appearance by Myra Lewis Williams, author, with Linda Hughes, of “The Spark That Survived.” Williams, singer-songRD ALKS ACKYARD IRDING writer Jerry Lee Lewis’ former child bride and cousin, presents her story of how she crawled out of darkness and came to stand in the light of building a new life COMMON BIRDS OF ATLANTA ALK for herself. Free. Garden RoomTHE offer opportunities at the Williams-Payne House, 6075 Sandy Springs Circle, ALL ABOUT BLUEBIRDS Sandy Springs. Info: heritagesandysprings.org.

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20 | Education

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Teen’s service began at age 5 Megan Anandappa, senior St. Pius Catholic School

Standout Student

The idea of service is no foreign concept to Megan Anandappa. Starting at the age of 5, Megan began working in St. Francis Table Soup Kitchen weekly alongside her father, and the tradition has never stopped. Megan is responsible for cooking meals for the homeless people who visit the soup kitchen and preparing the shelter before they arrive. She attributes her early love for working at the soup kitchen to the fun routine her dad started: “Because the shifts would be really early in the morning, my dad and I would always get Dunkin’ Donuts before. It became a fun little tradition.” Now, her service extends far beyond the walls of St. Francis Table. In the winter, her family cooks meals together and then serves the food at Central Night Shelter. Additionally, Megan is the president of the Students for Life Club at St. Pius, in which she first became involved in freshman year. As president, she organized a drive to collect diapers for low-income expectant mothers so that they can begin providing for their children as early as possible. This drive successfully collected 1,500 diapers. One charity that holds a special place in Megan’s heart is the Our Lady of Perpetual Help, a cancer home located in downtown Atlanta. She makes and collects encouraging cards to bring to the patients during her visits. During one visit, Megan was able to see one of her former teachers, Charleen Klister. “Going to see her there was really cool, and she was a really good person, so being able to help at that home really meant a lot knowing I was impacting people that I knew,” Megan said. Megan’s teachers have high praise for her, with many highlighting her humility. Her AP Statistics teacher, Katie Stilson, reveres Megan for her “incredible intelligence and talent, yet her focus is never on herself. She takes whatever time is necessary to help those around her.” Nominating Megan to be included among Reporter Newspapers’ “20 under 20” honorees this year, Father Michael Silloway called her “the most engaged, most present, strongest-charactered teenager” he has ever met.

What’s next?

Megan will attend the University of Georgia in the fall. After college, she hopes to pursue a career in the medical field.

Megan Anandappa.

SPECIAL

This article was reported and written by Amanda Gibson, a student at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School. To nominate a Standout Student, contact editor@reporternewspapers.net.

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22 | Community

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Residents oppose private drainpipe in public park

A storm drainage pipe could be installed in this creek that runs between the park’s gym and ball fields.

Continued from page 1

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Creek. Ashton Woods did not respond to requests for comment. If the Atlanta City Council approves the project in a vote scheduled for May 1, it would be the first time the city has allowed a private developer to build within a public park, City Councilman Howard Shook said. “If the ordinance passes, every park in the city of Atlanta, not just Peachtree Hills Park, will be at risk for private developer interests,” Julia Murphy, an area resident, wrote in an email to City Council members and neighbors. “We’ve given up a lot of our city to development,” said Laura Dobson, a resident concerned the project would set a precedent. “How far is this going to go?” The ordinance was sent back to the Community Development and Human Services committee by Shook, who represents the area, during an April 17 council meeting because not all the questions surrounding the easement have been answered, he said. The Peachtree Hills Civic Association approved the Ashton Woods development in August 2016, but the storm drainage pipe project was not a part of that neighbor agreement. However, the agreement included a non-disparagement clause, which forbids any member of the board from speaking against the development in a public city meeting. Shook said there are about a dozen residents who are against the proposal for various reasons, including a fear that granting the easement would set a precedent for developers to cut down trees and build in a public park. Some are also concerned that the creek the storm water would drain into would be damaged. Others fear for children’s safety because the creek runs behind the park’s gym, which holds many after-school activities.

EVELYN ANDREWS

Shook said City Attorney Cathy Hampton has said this project will not set a precedent because each case is reviewed individually. If developers want to cut down trees, they should give something back to the community, said Greg Lavine, co-executive director and chief program officer for Trees Atlanta, and the developers have agreed to replant trees cut down in the park and repaint the gym. Painting and cleaning the gym, which is the site of one of Atlanta’s Centers of Hope, a recreational afterschool program, is not enough for some in the community. “The parks department shouldn’t be selling off an easement into a public park for work they should have already done,” Carey said. “A private developer should not be putting an open pipe in a public park,” Pat Reynolds, who lives in the area, said at an April 17 council meeting, adding the open pipe would pose a danger to children who may climb inside it. The developers have said any guards or fencing put in front of the pipe would cause clogs, but Shook said they are exploring the possibility of installing several smaller pipes instead one large pipe. The creek the storm water would empty into was recently restored and the community doesn’t want to see it damaged by the extra water, Lavine said. The Department of Watershed Management and Parks and Recreation have both pledged to work with developers to armor the stream banks as strongly as possible and the developers would pay the costs. Shook and several of the pipe project’s opponents have said that they believe another nearby development, Isakson Living’s Peachtree Hills Place, would also use the storm water drainage system. But Isakson says it is not using the pipe. BH


Public Safety | 23

www.ReporterNewspapers.net

D

Police Blotter / Buckhead

block of Peachtree Street — April 7

3600 block of Kingsboro Drive — April 16 „„

„„2300 block of

Cheshire Bridge Road — April 8

LARCENY Between April 7 and April 17, there were 39 larcenies from vehicles reported across Zone 2 and 31 reported cases of larceny and shoplifting. „„

„„2500 block of Forrest Avenue — April

11

AU TO T H E F T „„There were 7 reported incidents of

auto theft between April 7 and April 17.

960

875

980

975

Cardiology ICU Admissions

Emergency

Exit 4A

5670

5671

5545

Meridian Mark Plaza 5445

5669

Hospital 5665

Marriott

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta

5673

Dr. Butler Offers Services For ’s Saint Joseph

5667

Sun Trust Bank 993 C

GA-400

Cancer Center NORTHSIDE HOSPITAL

Johnson Ferry Road

993 D Exit 3

The Tower at North-

Parking

Parking

Lake Hearn Drive Marta

Women’s Center

GA-400

to our practice.

5780 Interchange is Cobb Holl

•Center Rheumatoid Arthritis Pointe 1100

• Lupus o dy

„„

„„1700

„„1900 block of Monroe Drive — April 10

Women's Center Parking Garage

2000 block of Monroe Place — April 8 2200 block of Peachtree Road — April 11

the addition 28 of Dr. Elizabeth D. Butler Exit 28

I-285

7

AG G R AVAT E D A S S AU LT

R E S I D E N T I A L B U R G L A RY

Exit 26

„„1900 block of Rockledge Lane — April

„„

es Ferry Place — April 9

& Rheumatology is proud to announce

Peacht ree Dun wo

R O B B E RY

April 11

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Peachtree Dunwoody Internal Medicine

„„3400 Around Lenox Drive — April 14

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DUNWOODY

CO M M E R C I A L B U R G L A RY

Glenridge Point Parkway

RAPE

PEACHTREE

Glenridge Connector

The following information, involving events that took place in Buckhead between April 7 and April 17, was provided to the Buckhead Reporter by the Zone 2 precinct of the Atlanta Police Department from its open data records.

Call (404) 497-1020 for an appointment.

Meridian Mark

Trimble Road

APRIL 28 - MAY 11, 2017

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04-28-17 Buckhead Reporter