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APRIL 28 - MAY 11, 2017 • VOL. 8— NO. 9

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Dunwoody 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

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The type of drama normally reserved for Dunwoody High School’s stage has oozed out of the high school’s hallways and into city politics. Local politicians recently engaged in a tit-for-tat as a fight over trailers ACKYARD parked in front of theIRDING school devolved into battles of words over stop signs and federal lawsuits. An outspoken DeKalb County commissioner, a former mayor, a controversial state senator and a city councilmember are among the cast of characters in this sto-

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10 a.m.-12:00 p Congressional HOW TO MAXIMIZE YOUR BIRD FEEDER Opportunities to look for spring migrants and the race revives arrival of summer nesting species. Saturday May 13, 2017 10 a.m.-12:00 p talk of purple STANDOUT STUDENTSaturday April 22, 2017 8:30-10:30 OUTAM & ABOUT COSTPerimeter : $12.00 each program Teen’s service See these in SPRING BIRD WALK

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Hanging on for a ride on the “Sizzler” at the Lemonade Days Festival April 22 are Rachel Sailor, left, and Evie Leish, both 9 years old. They were among thousands attending the five-day festival at Brook Run Park. More photos inside. See photos on page 13 ►

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Republican Karen Handel and Democrat Atlanta Audubon Society u Jon Ossoff are headed to a June 20 runoff contract with Sandy election for the 6th Congressional District Sp seat in a Recreation race that gained andnational Parks attenDepartm tion for a majority-GOP region nearly turning blue. For locals, the idea of the Perimeter turning purple is a familiar political theme. Last fall, state Senators Hunter Hill (RSmyrna) and Fran Millar (R-Dunwoody) won surprisingly close races against little-known

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2 | Community

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Water billing problem is getting fixed, DeKalb CEO says BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond says efforts are underway to clean clogged lines in the county’s sewer system and that accurate water bills now are being mailed to customers. At the April 24 City Council meeting, Thurmond gave a brief presentation addressing water billing and the county’s sewer system, among other issues. “We are making steps … to improve the accuracy and … integrity of the system,” Thurmond said. Water billing has long been a problem for residents living in DeKalb who have complained for many months that they have received outrageously high water bills. Thurmond said he believes the county is on track to fix the problems he inherited when he took office in January. He also said complaints and calls from customers “have dropped significantly.” Earlier this month, the county mailed 8,000 water bills to customers that were among ones that had been “held” because the county could not verify their accuracy. Thurmond said those 8,000 were now deemed accurate. DeKalb County has a total of 194,000 water and sewer customers. In Septem-

ber 2016, approximately 37,000 accounts could not be independently verified as being accurate and were held. The 8,000 recently mailed were part of that 37,000 total. Thurmond also addressed concerns that the county’s sewage system does not have the capacity to handle the continued growth and development in the county. Thurmond said the major blockages in the system are not due to new development, but CITY OF DUNWOODY mostly due to people DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond addresses the Dunwoody City Council at its April 24 meeting. pouring fats, oil and grease – called FOGs -down their pipes. ly significant problems,” Thurmond said. “Cleaning out the system hasn’t been In 2010, the county said it would clean “The system does not have a countywide done in 50 years,” Thurmond told the the sewer system’s pipes as part of the problem.” council. “This will be a major step forconsent decree it entered with the fedBy cleaning the system now, after ward in maintaining” the system. eral Environmental Protection Agency it was promised to be done in 2010, the The consent decree, Thurmond said, to address sewage overflow, Thurmond county is “back to the future” and “back also said only 29 percent of the county’s said. That never took place, however, and to fundamentals” of addressing sewer issewer system had capacity issues. the county is gearing up to clean the syssues, Thurmond said. “Only 29 percent of the system is inditem this year. cated as having significant or potential-

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APRIL 28 - MAY 11, 2017

Community | 3

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The pavilion at 606 Old Cobblestone Drive in a photo from city files.

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BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

A homeowner must demolish a brick pavilion built illegally, the city of Sandy Springs has ordered after being alerted by a neighbor’s complaint that the structure blocked a view of the Dunwoody County Club. Joanne Black, the homeowner at 606 Old Cobblestone Drive in the panhandle area, had the 13-by-13-foot backyard pavilion built nearly a year ago without a required permit and zoning variance. In a 4-2 vote on April 13, the city Board of Appeals declined to legalize it. Black’s attorneys say a legal appeal is possible, but could cost as much as the pavilion itself: $20,000 to $25,000. “Allowing this structure to remain won’t cause any harm,”Hadeel Masseoud, one of Black’s attorney’s, argued to the board. “Tearing it down would be a great endeavor causing a lot of waste.” Board member Colin Lichtenstein was not convinced there was a hardship in losing a structure whose main physical function was providing shade. “Wouldn’t an umbrella serve the same purpose?” he asked. The approximately 2-acre property at 606 Old Cobblestone, bordering the country club’s golf course, includes a house, a swimming pool and a clubhouse. The brick pavilion, with open sides and a peaked roof, was part of an improvement project that included a patio, a fire pit and a horseshoe pit. The city learned of the structure in March from neighbors’ complaints of unpermitted construction and issued a stop-work order. One emailed complaint said the pavilion was built without notice to the community’s homeowners association, and, along with tree plantings and other work, “obstructed our view of the golf course.” The complaining neighbor also said they had heard from country club members that the work was “affecting their play on the course…” The neighbor later withdrew the objection, but the city’s planning staff remained unconvinced. The pavilion violated zoning by standing 15 feet from the property line in an area with a 50-foot limit due to the requirements of setback rules and a stream buffer. Black did not speak at the hearing. Diana Parks Curran, another attorney for Black, said her client “inadvertently” built the pavilion without a permit or zoning variance due to confusion about the property’s “agricultural” zoning designation — an outdated category the city is eliminating in a zoning code rewrite that is underway. Curran and Masseoud noted the property’s irregular shape results in construction being barred on an unusually high percentage of its lawn. Requirements for a back-up septic system field leave much of the site unbuildable, and the area where the pavilion stands comes to a sharp point with overlapping setbacks. Board chair Ted Sandler, one of the two votes to allow the pavilion to remain, was sympathetic to the situation. “This is something that I can’t say I’ve ever seen before,” he said of the large limits on land use caused by the septic requirements. But most other board members agreed with planning staff that the limits didn’t meet the definition of a hardship. With the pool, club house and patio still remaining, the “applicant has reasonable use of the area for entertainment purposes without the pavilion,” a staff memo said. DUN

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4 | Perimeter Business

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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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City Councilmember Lynn Deutsch throws out the first pitch at the April 19 DSB Middle School League championship game.

DYANA BAGBY

BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

A warm, clear evening made for a perfect night for baseball. And a little bit of history. A small crowd of parents and baseball fans gathered April 19 for the last Dunwoody Senior Baseball Middle School League game to be played at Dunwoody Park. Next year, the league moves to new fields to be located at Peachtree Charter Middle School. Before City Councilmember Lynn Deutsch threw out the first pitch, she thanked league President Jerry Weiner and board member John Crawford and other volunteers who made the middle school league a success for the past 18 DYANA BAGBY years. Councilmember Deutsch prepares to throw the first pitch. She said she and the council and city staff were grateful a generation of children played at the Dunwoody Park fields and looked forward to a new generation playing at the middle school, where there will be “better fields, better facilities and, I anticipate, better parking.” Weiner also took a moment to thank everyone for their support of the 18-year-old Middle School League, which he said was “one of the most amazing middle school leagues in the country.” John Crawford, treasurer and founder of the middle school league, said he and the teams were excited to play at their new home next year. After the thank-yous were said, it was time to play ball. Taking home the top trophy was St. Pius X Catholic School, which pulled out a 4-3 victory over Peachtree Charter Middle School in the Division-A championship game. The consolation game played on the lower field at the park was won by Wesleyan School 12-4 over a combined team of Marist School and Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School. DSB has hosted baseball games at Dunwoody Park since 1975. City Council voted unanimously Nov. 14 to enter into an agreement to swap the baseball fields in Dunwoody Park to the DeKalb schools for Austin Elementary and $3.6 million in cash. As part of the agreement, the city will construct two new baseball fields on about 8 acres of property at Peachtree Charter Middle School that will be used by the school and Dunwoody Senior Baseball league. The $3.6 million is expected to cover the construction costs of two new baseball fields, which will have artificial turf. The school district will then build a new 900-student Austin Elementary where the current baseball fields are located. The city will then get the property where the current Austin Elementary is located to rebuild into a park space. DUN


APRIL 28 - MAY 11, 2017

Community | 11

www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Trailers trigger high school drama Continued from page 1 ry that was revealed, as many school-age squabbles are wont to be these days, on Facebook. DeKalb County Commissioner Nancy Jester, who lives in Dunwoody, was angered over Spring Break when she saw the DeKalb County School District installing large trailers, or portable classrooms, in front of the high school. On April 8, she denounced the trailers on her personal Facebook page by stating, “This isn’t a better Dunwoody” and adding that “this is the reason redistricting should have been done.” Following Jester’s Facebook post, numerous people posted their agreement. City Councilmember Terry Nall also chimed in to note that “DCSD is a sovereign government entity.” A back-and-forth ensued, including comments from residents. Nall suggested Jester’s outspoken criticism of the city was merely out of anger at not getting her way on having the city put a stop sign in her neighborhood. He said she might also be upset because city officials declined to meet with her and her friend state Sen. Josh McKoon in a secret meeting to discuss Dunwoody possibly suing the federal government over independent schools. “I do hope the peculiar actions since then are unrelated,” Nall said. Jester denied her complaints about trailers in front of DHS has anything to do with what Nall suggested. “The city should stop trying to fight a mom trying to keep children safe, apologize for their oversight, and get on with their obligation as a city to ensure the safety of children,” she said. In an April 10 email to City Council that she shared on her blog, Jester blasted the City Council and used Nall’s words from Facebook to accuse the city of neglecting its duty by not inspecting and permitting the trailers. By allowing DCSD to put up the trailers with no city intervention, the city was putting children’s lives at risk, Jester said. “They are putting them up on cinderblocks ... and one [trailer] is very close to the road,” Jester said in an interview. “It would be very easy for someone to careen onto the sidewalk and into the building.” When asked if she thought the school district did not want to ensure students’ safety, she said she had no idea what codes the district followed. She added, “This is a jurisdictional issue, not a school issue.” Nall, in a statement, said any suggestion the city is not concerned about children’s safety “is engaging in political hyperbole.” “It’s a tactic that does more to sow discord than solve significant issues in our community,” he said.

Independent districts and lawsuit talk DUN

But is this public battle really only about ernment does not have legal standing to ing that a stop sign be put on Mount Vernon trailers? sue. Nall said he was also told that an AfriWay, where she lives. Some background: Nancy Jester is marcan-American family was needed as a co“This is a Public Works issue, not a City ried to DeKalb Board of Education member plaintiff to make the case stronger. Council issue,” he said. “But the request did Stan Jester. She’s also a former school board “I would not support this on moral not meet the guidelines to warrant the stop member, one grounds alone,” signs.” of six removed Nall said, addAnswered Jester, “I have two children in by Gov. Nathan ing Jester’s timtrailers in Dunwoody that have, apparently, Deal in 2013 afing for lashing not been inspected by the city. They are not ter the district out at the city alone. Anyone who would suggest any confaced losing its over school trailnection with any other issue, however valid accreditation ers is “peculiar.” a stand-alone issue, is to insult me as a mom amid SouthDavis conand is insulting to all parents of students in ern Association firmed he called DCSD schools.” of Colleges and a few City CounOne Dunwoody parent, however, is not Schools allegacilmembers askimpressed with Jester’s actions. tions that board ing for an execErika Harris, former head of Georgians SPECIAL members interutive session. for Local Area School Systems, which has City Councilmember Terry Nall fered with dayMcKoon did not led the effort with Taylor to seek an indeDeKalb Commissioner Nancy Jester to-day school return calls for pendent school district for Dunwoody, said operations. comment. Jester declined to comment but in an email obtained through an open reBoth Jesters in their respective blogs and said any suggestion that her criticizing the cords request that Jester’s attack against the in public comments have battled with the city about school trailers has anything to do city was disappointing. school district over redistricting and vehewith a potential lawsuit is not true. “[T]he public picture presented is a hosmently oppose its plans to sink Education“I can’t talk about any potential lawsuit tile one,” Harris told Jester in an April 17 al Special Local Option Sales Tax funds on the record ... The city has stated it wants email that was copied to the City Council. into adding on to Dunwoody High School an independent school district I believe “The general sentiment from the outside rather than building a new high school in any and all means to obtain that outcome is that ‘our commissioner has gone to war Doraville. should be explored,” she said. with our City Council.’ At the very least, this “South of [U.S.] 78 ... there are almost Nall also added that in recent days leadis unfortunate and disappointing.” 4,000 seats available,” Nancy Jester said in ing up to her April 8 Facebook post, Jester Jester said in an interview the use of an interview. “The overcrowding is north of sent several emails to the City Council ask“war” to describe her actions is hyperbole. 78 ... at Lakeside, Dunwoody and Chamblee [high schools].” The city has long wanted to run its own independent school district as one way to deal with overcrowding that includes students from outside the city. For years, students have attended classes in trailers at Peachtree Charter Middle School, Dunwoody Elementary School and Vanderlyn Elementary School. It’s estimated DHS will be over capacity by some 600 students in the next few years. State Rep. Tom Taylor for several years has introduced a bill, to no avail, to amend the state Constitution to allow for independent school districts. The days before that April 8 Facebook post on DHS trailers, Jester and state Sen. Josh McKoon, a Republican attorney from Columbus who has led the controversial “religious freedom” fight in the General Assembly, hoped to meet with the City Council in a closed-door executive discussion. The reason? To discuss the city being a plaintiff in a federal lawsuit against the state over independent school districts. Nall said he was called by Mike Davis, former Dunwoody mayor and current chief of staff to Nancy Jester, asking him to support holding such a secret meeting. “The pitch was for potential litigation by the city against the state of Georgia in federal court over the Georgia Constitution’s ban against additional independent school districts,” Nall said in an interview. Nall said he did not and will not supSummer’s Landing | 4821 North Peachtree Road | Dunwoody, GA 30338 | 404.200.1925 port an executive session to discuss such a lawsuit because the city’s charter does not grant school authority and so the city gov-

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Congressional race revives talk of purple Perimeter Continued from page 1 Democratic challengers. And in 2015, Democrat Taylor Bennett had a surprising win in Brookhaven/Sandy Springs’ House District 80, though he lost the seat last year by a slim margin to Republican Meagan Hanson.

Joseph Knippenberg, a professor of politics at Oglethorpe University, said Ossoff was “running the Taylor Bennett campaign on a wider scale, and Republicans would do well to remember what happened in that district.” But for now, Knippenberg said, the region still is typically a safe place for a “ge-

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neric Republican with name recognition,” called a runoff. and Handel fits that bill. “Despite major outside money, FAKE According to the Secretary of State’s Ofmedia support and eleven Republican canfice, Ossoff won 48.12 percent of the vote didates, BIG ‘R’ win with runoff in Geor(92,673 votes) and Handel won 19.77 pergia,” Trump tweeted. “Glad to be of help!” cent (38,071). Knippenberg said the president, with For Ossoff, a virtual unknown who his penchant for unpredictable statements doesn’t even live in the district — an unusual situation allowed by the U.S. Constitution — the vote totals came amid national media attention and party support as he presented the race as a referendum on SPECIAL Jon Ossoff and Karen Handel. President Donald Trump. Handel emerged from a huge field of and surprise policies, will remain an X-facRepublicans as the experienced contendtor in the race and could sway it either way. er. The Roswell resident is a former Geor“A lot can happen in two months,” he said. gia secretary of state and Fulton County Another factor, Knippenberg said, is chair, though she has failed in runs for govthe “enthusiasm gap” between complacent ernor and U.S. Senate. Trump support, or or uncertain Republicans and energized lack thereof, was something of a litmus test Democrats who recently formed such among GOP candidates, too, as they sniped grassroots groups as Dunwoody’s Perimeat each other with negative ads. ter Progressives. The president himself weighed in on “The challenge for Republicans is to gin the race several times via his favorite meup the enthusiasm, and Ossoff’s challenge dium, Twitter, including after the race was is to sustain it,” he said. The campaign is already notable for enormous amounts of advertising, with Ossoff alone spending more than $6 million. Knippenberg, who lives in the district and received his share of mailers and “robocalls,” said the ad money will only increase for both sides. That sort of spending in itself can turn off voters, he said. “I think there’s a risk both campaigns run that they’ll drive people screaming from the room,” he said.

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Ossoff held his Election Night party at Dunwoody’s Crowne Plaza hotel in the Ravinia complex. Among the local attendees was Perimeter Progressives founder Joe Seconder. At her party in Roswell, Handel drew such supporters as Dunwoody City Councilmember Terry Nall and Brookhaven City Councilmember Joe Gebbia. Coincidentally, Handel celebrated her birthday on Election Day and the usual campaign night amenities were joined by a birthday cake. “I have the greatest gift ever, and this is all of you in this room,” Handel said in brief comments to the crowd. Ossoff’s party had a rock-concert atmosphere. The hotel ballroom was packed with hundreds of supporters and cars lined the narrow roads at the complex. At Handel’s party, longtime Dunwoody residents Bev and Windy Wingate were among Handel’s supporters. “Having known her for many years and supported her in the past, I have nothing but high hopes,” Bev Wingate said. “She’s a workhorse, not a showhorse.” DUN


APRIL 28 - MAY 11, 2017

Community | 13

www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Lemonade Days fun!

PHOTOS BY PHIL MOSIER

The Lemonade Days festival brought rides, music and more to Brook Run Park April 19-23. The annual festival was founded by the Dunwoody Preservation Trust in the wake of a devastating 1998 tornado to raise funds for tree replanting and to “make lemonade out of lemons.” Above: Visitors gather in the festival’s midway.

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14 | Commentary

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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

C O NTA C T US Founder & Publisher Steve Levene stevelevene@reporternewspapers.net Editorial Managing Editor John Ruch johnruch@reporternewspapers.net INtown Editor: Collin Kelley Editor-at-Large Joe Earle Staff Writers Dyana Bagby, Evelyn Andrews Copy Editor: Donna Williams Lewis Creative and Production Creative Director Rico Figliolini 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 Phil Mosier

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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. DUN


APRIL 28 - MAY 11, 2017

Community | 15

www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Letter to the Editor

Major road projects near completion; repaving begins soon

LA CK O F FO RESIGHT CA USED TRAFFIC PRO BLEMS

BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

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.

— Barbara Schneider Dunwoody

The city is finishing off some major road projects — including one lingering due to reported contractor mistakes — and is preparing for summer paving. A Chamblee-Dunwoody Road project that included a water main replacement is nearing completion after hitting a bump in the road. DeKalb County workers finished pipe replacement between Roberts Drive and Womack Road in recent months, but the company hired by the city to resurface the road did the work incorrectly, city officials say. “We started seeing some cracks in the pavement and determined the contractor had ... not compacted the soil correctly as much as they should have, and we told them to fix it,” Public Works Director Michael Smith said. The contractor, Kemi Construction, was forced to tear off the top layer of the repaved road and is making the repairs at its own cost, Smith said. “We are pushing they get it done correctly and as quickly as possible,” Smith said. “This is all at their expense. The city is not paying for any of it.” After the repairs are made, the contractor

will then have to again resurface a section of one lane going southbound, where the trench for the water pipe main was dug, he said. A representative of Kemi Construction declined to comment. The Tilly Mill Road at North Peachtree Road project is also close to being finished, Smith said. Overnight paving for this project has been completed and in coming weeks crews will continue to put in sidewalks and work with residents whose driveways were impacted, Smith said. “After that we will be putting in new signal lights and then do the final topping and finishing landscaping,” Smith said. “We are in the final weeks of this project.” The contractor for that project is C.W. Matthews, the same company rebuilding the I-85 overpass. Smith said Dunwoody’s project is not being slowed down due to that large project. A sidewalk project at Old Village Lane was also recently completed to positive feedback, he said. The paving of 11.7 miles in the city this year is set to begin as soon as May, Smith said. The city plans to pave 35.8 miles in the next five years. Since 2009, the city has paved 52.2 miles. For more information on the city’s road projects, visit dunwoodyga.gov.

UPCOMING NEXT 10 MEETING In March, we presented the maps and zoning districts. Our next meeting will include updates based on your feedback. We also will present the chapters on development regulations, street design and natural resource protection. UPCOMING CITY HALL OPEN HOUSE SESSION MAY 15, 2017 AT 5 PM SANDY SPRINGS CITY HALL 7840 ROSWELL ROAD, BUILDING 500

DUN

GEORGIA


ee for children 3 and under. You don’t need to purchase tickets in advance and can pay as you arrive via Facebook.com/TheReporterNewspapers 16 | or Out & About ash, check, credit card.

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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

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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

Facebook.com/TheReporterNewspapers ■ twitter.com/Reporter_News

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 | Public Safety

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Muslim teen reports hate attack at Perimeter Mall BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

A Muslim teenager was attacked recently at Perimeter Mall by a man who repeatedly called her a “terrorist,” according to the Dunwoody Police Department. “We are actively working the incident right now, including reviewing video footage” from the mall parking lot, police Sgt. Aaron Belt said. The incident happened Friday, April 14, when the 14-year-old girl and two teen friends and an adult went to eat dinner at Maggiano’s Little Italy. As they were walking in the parking lot at about 9:40 p.m., a man approached them, pulled off the girl’s hijab, a head scarf, and repeatedly yelled “terrorist” at her, Belt said. “The unknown man forcefully pulled off her scarf,” he said. Chief Billy Grogan called the alleged incident “unusual” for Dunwoody and asked the public’s help in the investigation. “Dunwoody is a very diverse community, welcoming people of all faiths. Therefore, an incident such as this one is unusual,” Grogan said in a statement. “The Dunwoody Police Department is com-

ly reported the incimitted to protecting our citizens and will dent to his organiconduct a thorough zation, which tracks investigation.” bias against Muslim Edward Ahmed people and instituMitchell, executive tions, on April 15, director of the Georand then reported it gia chapter of the to the Dunwoody PoCouncil on Amerlice Department. ican-Islamic RelaThe girl and her tions (CAIR-GA), family moved to praised the DunDunwoody last year, woody Police DeMitchell said. partment for its “The girl is shakquick action. “We en up. The mothare very happy with er is overwhelmed,” the response,” he he said. “This is not said. “Chief Grogan a welcoming ‘homehas been helpful and warming.’ ” quick.” Attacks against CAIR-GA is offerMuslim Americans ing a $1,000 reward EDWARD AHMED MITCHELL are not unusual, to anyone who can GEORGIA CHAPTER OF THE Mitchell added, but identify the suspect, COUNCIL ON AMERICAN-ISLAMIC are rare in Georgia. RELATIONS he said. The family is “Sadly this is not willing to not press surprising. Muslim charges against the suspect if he volunAmerican women … are considered prime tarily comes forward and takes responsitargets because of their visibility … and bility for his actions, Mitchell said. sometimes considered easy prey because Mitchell said the girl and her famithey are women,” he said.

Sadly this is not surprising. Muslim American women … are considered prime targets because of their visibility … and sometimes considered easy prey because they are women.

“But this is unusual in Georgia. And it’s the first time I’ve heard of a teenage girl being attacked,” he said. The Atlanta Initiative Against AntiSemitism, a new grassroots group founded by Dunwoody-area mothers, also praised the DPD’s response. “Atlanta Initiative Against Anti-Semitism finds this blatant disrespect and harassment reprehensible and fully supports Dunwoody Police Department’s efforts to apprehend the culprit of this senseless act,” Lauren Menis, the Dunwoody homemaker who helped found the group, said in a statement. Furthermore, it is imperative that our entire community stand in solidarity against hate to ensure the safety and well-being of all.” The Dunwoody Police Department is asking that anybody who may have witnessed the incident or has information regarding the suspect contact Detective Waldron at 678-382-6911 or tim.waldron@dunwoodyga.gov. Anonymous tips may be submitted via the “Submit a Crime Tip” tab at dunwoodypolice.com, or by texting 274-637 and using the key word DPDTIPS at the start of the message.

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APRIL 28 - MAY 11, 2017

Public Safety | 23

www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Police Blotter / Dunwoody From Dunwoody Police reports dated April 15 through April 23. 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 „„100 block of Perimeter Center Place —

On April 17, after midnight, a forced entry burglary occurred at a big-box retailer. The suspects pried open the doors to the store. „„10200 block of Madison Drive — On

April 18, in the morning, a pair of headphones, an iMac computer and a 65-inch TV were stolen from a home. No signs of forced entry were found.

LARCENY/SHOPLIFTING/ THEFT „„100 block of Perimeter Center Place

— On April 15, in the evening, a big-box store reported the theft of 12 iPhone 7 models. „„4400

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On April 15, in the evening, an iPad mini was reported stolen. „„4700

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On April 15, at night, someone tried to steal a pair of $12 headphones from a discount big-box store. The product was recovered. „„4700

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On April 16, in the afternoon, a man was arrested and accused of trying to shoplift a fitness band and car lighter from a discount big-box store. „„100 block of Perimeter Center — On

April 16, a man was arrested and accused of trying to steal a phone charger from a gas station. „„200 block of Perimeter Center Park-

way — On April 17, in the afternoon, a gun, $80 cash and credit cards were reported stolen from a car. „„4700

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On April 17, in the evening, authorities were alerted to a shoplifting in progress at a discount big-box store. A 19-year-old man was arrested and accused of trying to steal $250 worth of clothes. Later that night, in the 4400 block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road, officers responded to a report of a shoplifting in progress. Upon arrival, the officer met with a mall security officer and saw a juvenile run from the scene. The juvenile was subsequently taken into custody and accused of shoplifting, marijuana possession and resisting an officer. „„6600 block of Peachtree Industrial

Boulevard — On April 18, in the morning, a power saw and industrial spray

DUN

painter were reported stolen from a van. „„4700

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On April 18, in the afternoon, a man reported that an Apple laptop, and four iPhones were stolen from his car. „„1200 block of Nerine Circle — On

April 18, in the afternoon, a man said a weed eater and a hedge trimmer were removed from his car. „„4800

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On April 18, two credit cards were reported stolen. „„5000 block of Vernon Ridge Drive —

On April 19, in the morning, a man reported that cash, his book bag, an iPad and a battery-powered speaker had been stolen from his car. „„5000 block of Sirron Court — On April

19, in the evening, a man reported that a package containing a new cellphone was stolen from his front porch. block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On April 19, in the evening, a man walked into a lingerie store, grabbed several items off of the table, and ran.

„„4500

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On April 15, at night, a man was arrested and accused of driving under the influence of alcohol.

accused of providing false representations to police. The driver also was accused of driving with a suspended license.

„„4400

„„I-285/Peachtree Road — On April 17, a

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On April 16, in the early morning, a 24-year-old woman was arrested and accused of driving under the influence of alcohol and received an open container violation while operating a vehicle. „„I-285 WB/ Peachtree Road — On April

16, in the morning, a 31-year-old woman was arrested and accused of speeding and reckless driving. „„2000 block of Pernoshal Court — On

April 16, in the morning, a man was arrested and accused of urban camping in a public park. „„1200 block of Hammond Drive — On

April 16, in the afternoon, three people were arrested during a traffic stop and

couple was arrested and accused of obstruction to a criminal investigation and providing false information. The driver also had a suspended license. „„6800 block of Peachtree Industrial

Boulevard — On April 17, in the evening, a 60-year-old was arrested and accused of urinating in public. „„I-285/ Peachtree Road — On April 18,

in the evening, a man was arrested and accused of driving while unlicensed and following too closely, which resulted in an accident. „„4600 block of Peachtree Place Park-

way — On April 18, in the evening, a man was arrested and accused of child molestation.

„„4400

„„4400

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On April 20, in the morning, a woman at a department store was accused by employees of using a stroller to conceal items she was attempting to shoplift. „„4300

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On April 20, at night, a man was arrested and accused of shoplifting perfume from a department store.

A S S AU LT „„4700 block of Ashford Dunwoody

Road — On April 17, a civil dispute took place. „„2000 block of Womack Road — On

April 17, at night, two men engaged in a physical altercation. „„2100 block of Peachford Road — On

April 18, a civil dispute occurred at the hospital. „„2600 block of Peeler Road/ Tilly Mill

Road — On April 19, in the evening, a woman was arrested and accused of fraud, larceny, and obstruction during a domestic dispute.

ARRESTS: „„I-285/ Peachtree Road — On April 15,

in the early morning, a woman was arrested and accused of driving under the influence and failure to maintain lanes.

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D N A S U N I JO E S O P R U P A H T I W Y PART

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m p 1 1 m p 0 6:3

6 y a M , s g n i r p S y Saturday d n a S , k r a P d n o m Ham

live music, 20+ RESTAURANTS BEER, WINE & COCKTAILS

FoodThatRocks.org Benefiting Sandy Springs based charities:

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

04-28-17 Dunwoody Reporter