05-11-18 Buckhead

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MAY 11 - 24, 2018 • VOL. 12 — NO. 10


Buckhead Reporter



► Fulton judge candidates claim differences at forum PAGE 12 ► Opioid epidemic summit explores solutions PAGE 20

Helping hands for trees


Recycling facility may come to Lenox Square mall BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net


Caitlin Krachon pulls English ivy off a tree along the Bitsy Grant Tennis Center bike trail on May 6. She was among 12 North Atlanta High School students who volunteered to remove invasive plants from the woods in a Tree Atlanta program led by Aaron Bose. “Today is a learning and rewarding activity for all of us here,” said Keely Fitzsimmons, president of North Atlanta High’s Environmental Club.

STANDOUT STUDENT Collecting video games for kids in hospitals

I have always wanted to be part of a new theater in Atlanta and I was ecstatic to be able to help form an original season with a brand-new company.

OUT & ABOUT Sky-high fun returns for ‘Good Neighbor Day’ at PDK

See story, page 8

See RECYCLING on page 23

Golf course, environmental group seek compromise on construction BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

A dispute over the Bobby Jones Golf Course redesign’s impacts on creeks between course leaders and a major environmental group has led to some trees to be saved and some talk of further compromise. Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, the advocacy organization, claims that the construc-

SHULER HENSLEY Associate Artistic Director of the new City Springs Theatre Company Page 4

Tires, mattresses and other material could soon be headed to a new recycling center behind Lenox Square mall intended as a second location of a popular southeast Atlanta facility. The first Center for Hard to Recycle Materials, or CHaRM, opened at 1110 Hill St. in 2015, an inconvenient location for Buckhead residents to get to, District 7 Councilmember Howard Shook said. A Lenox Square CHaRM could come sometime this year. The operator of CHaRM, Live Thrive Atlanta, has been working for many years to build a new location in north Atlanta, Shook said. Simon Properties has offered to allow Live Thrive to build the facility on an unused lot at Lenox Square, he said. The facility would be built on a halfacre lot at the back of the mall, on the south edge where Simon’s property meets PATH400, said Peggy Whitlow Ratcliffe, the executive director of Live

Page 18

See GOLF on page 14

2 | Community

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Community Briefs SO UTH F OR K C ON SERVA N C Y UN VEIL S BUC K H EAD BRI DGE DESIGN The South Fork Conservancy unveiled concept designs for the Confluence Bridge planned for Buckhead at its 10th anniversary celebration and annual fundraiser. The April 26 event held at Zonolite Park raised $74,000 for the nonprofit, which creates trails along the South Fork of Peachtree Creek. The South Fork runs between Buckhead and Emory University. The conservancy plans to link the trails with PATH400, which has already been completed near Peachtree Creek. It also SOUTH FORK CONSERVANCY plans to connect to the Atlanta BeltLine and Brookhaven’s planned A rendering shows the concept design for the Confluence Bridge planned for Buckhead. Peachtree Creek Greenway. The Confluence Bridge is meant to provide connectivity where the South Fork and North Fork of the creek meet. The bridge will also connect to trails CHO A EX E C UTI V E TO KEY NO T E linking PATH400 and the BeltLine. B U CKHEA D B US INES S L UNC HEO N The bridge is planned to be constructed north of I-85 and between Piedmont Road and Lindbergh Drive. The bridge is one of six projects the conservancy plans to fund A Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta executive will keynote the Buckhead Business Aswith a capital campaign that reached the group’s $2 million goal last year. sociation’s annual summer luncheon May 31. The event included awarding the South Fork Conservancy Trailblazer Award to The keynote will be given by Patrick Frias, the chief operating officer of Children’s Ryan Gravel, the visionary behind the Atlanta BeltLine and one of the architects behind Healthcare of Atlanta, which is building a massive hospital complex in Brookhaven. the original vision for the South Fork Conservancy, the release said. The Signature Luncheon also includes the presentation of public safety awards to The conservancy’s long-term plan is to create trails along all 33 miles of the members of the Atlanta Police Department, Fulton County Sheriff’s Office and Atlanta South Fork of Peachtree Creek. The first phase of the plan is to create a trail system Fire Rescue Department. that connects Buckhead to the Emory campus. The conservancy already has opened It will be held May 31 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Grand Hyatt Buckhead, 3300 three trails in Buckhead including The Confluence, Cheshire Farm and Meadow Peachtree Road. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit buckheadbusiness.org. Loop, which are all near I-85 and Ga. 400.


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Former Vice President Joe Biden will visit Buckhead May 17 for a nonprofit’s fundraiser. Hospice Atlanta, which is located in Brookhaven off North Druid Hills Road, will host its annual fundraiser at The Whitley Hotel at 3434 Peachtree Road at noon. Biden was chosen to speak due to his previous discussions about the 2015 death of his son Beau and the effect of the loss on his family, the press release said. The nonprofit is celebrating its 70th anniversary at the event. Individual tickets are $250. For more information, visit vnhs.org. BH

MAY 11 - 24, 2018

Community | 3


Powers Ferry bridge replacement to cause seven-month closure BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net


Work to replace and widen the Powers Ferry Road bridge alongside Chastain Park will require a seven-month road closure starting in September, with preparatory work starting sooner. The road, which is used by about 6,000 vehicles per day, is scheduled to be closed from September through April 2019. Crews will begin relocating utilities soon. The construction will be done 24 hours a day on weekdays, said City Councilmember J.P. Matzigkeit. The bridge was built in 1948, and due to its age, needs replacing, according to the city. The 105-foot-long bridge runs over Nancy Creek alongside the western border of Chastain Park. The bridge will be widened from 35 to 46 feet to provide a shoulder between the travel lanes and a multiuse path. The 10-foot-wide multiuse path on the bridge will be demolished and rebuilt. The PATH Foundation completed that section of the path in 2016, said Pete Pellegrini, the foundation’s executive director. A temporary bridge will not be built to accommodate traffic during construction. Cars will instead be directed onto local roads around the park. Matzigkeit said the area is fortunate to have two major roads running on either side of the project: Northside Drive on the west and Lake Forrest Drive. “Will it inconvenience people? Absolutely. But we’re trying to make it the least inconvenient as possible,” he said. The city’s request for proposals document shows the detour using local roads to the west of Powers Ferry, including Jett Road, Conway Drive, Northside Drive, Blackland Road and Putnam Drive. The bridge construction has been known as needed for many years, District 8 Councilmember J.P. Matzigkeit said. “I believe this project came up when Clair Muller was a councilmember,” Matzigkeit said. Muller served on Atlanta City Council until 2008. The bridge has been identified as “high-priority for replacement” since at least 2016. The city held a public meeting on the project in 2016, complete with concept designs and renderings, but the project stalled. The 2016 presentation showed repairs under the structure and damage where the bridge meets the road.


Top, The bridge predates Buckhead’s incorporation in the city of Atlanta and was built by Fulton County in 1948. Inset, The multiuse path that was completed by the PATH Foundation in 2016 will have to be replaced.

“There have been efforts to extend the life of the bridge through routine inspection and periodic maintenance. However, the bridge has neared the end of its life expectancy,” the presentation said. The project has been awarded to Georgia Bridge and Concrete, which estimated it could complete the bridge for $2.4 million, according to the bidding document. The project previously was bid out in 2017, but the city did not receive any qualified bids, said Michael Smith, a city spokesperson. The city will host a meeting on May 15 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Chastain Horse Park, 4371 Powers Ferry Road. The project timeline, including when the bridge will be removed and replaced, and the detours for vehicular and pedestrian traffic will be presented at the meeting. “This is a big project with lots of moving parts,” Matzigkeit said.

4 | Education

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I am a candidate for an open seat on the Fulton County Superior Court for the May 22, 2018 election. I decided to seek this position because the citizens of Fulton County should have a highly qualified judge to represent their interests. The citizens of Fulton County expect and deserve to be served by a judiciary that is transparent and fair. I will serve the citizens in an expeditious manner that is transparent and fair. My legal career of twenty-two years has afforded me a broad range of experience which includes private practice, Assistant Solicitor for the City of Atlanta, and most recently, supervising the largest division of the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office as a Deputy District Attorney. Each of these positions were in service to Fulton County Citizens, resulting in a wealth of knowledge, understanding and respect for the great people of Fulton County. As Georgia’s laws become more complex, there is a call for judges who demonstrate an understanding of how the law affects all citizens. More importantly, all judges should serve from the moral position that every citizen who stands before the court has both a legal and constitutional right to fair and unbiased proceedings and rulings. Having served as lead counsel on a gamut of case types, I am equipped with the years and variety of legal experience to ensure my ability to serve as your next Fulton County Superior Court Judge with wisdom, fairness and a work ethic that has gone unmatched. I have included a list of professionals from various fields who serve our community and who support my candidacy for this position. I am asking you to join them and vote for me on May 22, 2018. Early voting begins on April 30, 2018.

Standout Student To help cheer up children in local hospitals, Galloway School senior Max Rubinstein started a nonprofit to collect and donate video games. Game Givers has so far collected hundreds of games and donated them through a partnership with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. This spring, Max was recognized as a top youth volunteer in Georgia in the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, which is awarded with $1,000, an engraved silver medal and a trip to Washington, D.C. for four days of events. Max wanted a way to continue the legacy of his grandmother, who also loved video games and died of cancer in 2015. Soon after, the local organization Giving Point, a youth development organi-


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Judicial Candidate Fulton County Superior Court EDUCATION, MEMBERSHIPS, & PROFESSIONAL ACCOLADES • Lewis R. Slaton Award, 2005, 2006, and • Howard University, Bachelor of Arts, 2011(only three time winner in history) Cum Laude, December 1992 • Member, Georgia Bar Association • Emory University School of Law, 1996 • Member, Georgia Association of • Law and Justice Award, Woman of The Year, Women Lawyers Georgia's Most Powerful and Influential • Member, We All Value Excellence (WAVE) Attorneys 2017- 2018

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Education | 5

MAY 11 - 24, 2018 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net zation, reached out to him, asking him to join their institute. Max then completed a 10-month program by Giving Point on how to run a nonprofit. “I knew I wanted to do something to preserve my grandmother’s legacy, so in October of 2015 I started a nonprofit called Game Givers, with the goal of donating new or used video games to hospitals,” Max said. These goals are accomplished in three different ways: organizing video game drives, hosting tournaments, and by working with video game developers themselves. Through entry fees, the tournament raises money to purchase new games to donate them to hospitals that only accept new games. Since launching in 2015, Game Givers has raised over $110,000 dollars in video game donations, giving thousands of kids in Georgia, Boston, Michigan and internationally in Spain access to games during their hospital stays. James Aucoin, the director of programs at Giving Point, said he and the organization are proud of what Max achieved. “We have seen him mature and grow over the years, and we are so proud to have SPECIAL been a guiding support for him. Max has Max Rubenstein, right, accepts The Prudential Spirit of Community Award and speaks to worked tirelessly on Game Givers and, alOlympic gold medalist Lindsey Vonn. though he does not seek it, he is most deserving of the recognition,” Aucoin said. Max’s journey began with his willingness to reach out to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta for his first partnership. He went around to all of his friends and asked for their help by giving him their old video games that were simply collecting dust. Max compiled significant donations and hundreds of games. Scottish Rite, CHOA’s Sandy Springs campus, has become one of Game Givers’ biggest partners. Games are also frequently donated to Ronald McDonald Houses. He kept the nonprofit growing by telling absolute everybody about his work. As the student body president of Galloway, he makes sure to mention the nonprofit in their weekly town hall meeting. He organizes video game drives, works with the school’s video game club and he gives a memorized pitch at least three times a day. Max said he hopes his work starting a nonprofit inspires other youth to use their passions to make change. “I think that the biggest thing that needs to come from this is that there needs to be more kids doing this, and there needs to be more people empowering kids to lead and to do crazy things and to take big steps. If you have that passion, that’s what’s most important,” Max said. For more information about the nonprofit, visit gamegivers.org.

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Max will be attending Northeastern University this fall. He will continue to grow Game Givers as he has partnerships in Boston. However, he will be passing on the Atlanta chapter to the president of the video game club at The Galloway School. Exit 26

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6 | Education

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Renderings from a consultants’ recommendation report show the proposal for the “Sandy Springs Partnership Incubator” in North Springs Charter High School.

A page from the consultants’ report shows renderings for student collaboration areas at North Springs Charter High School.


Exterior and interior renovations for North Springs Charter High School alone put the construction budget over, according to a report given to the school board. In addition to those renovations which were not detailed in the report, consultants recommended collaboration areas, a dance studio and more parking. The previously discussed ideas to build a gym and auditorium addition are also included in the report, which was obtained through an open records request. The report shows the original budget for the school, which was approved by voters in the E-PLOST, was set at $18.8 million. These proposals put the estimate at $31.6 million. Superintendent Jeff Rose at the April 12 school board meeting that the school would work with the consultants to bring down the costs. The recommendations are planned to be presented at the June board meeting. The consultants, which included an architecture firm and the “visioning” firm Wonder, by Design, proposed a “Sandy Springs Partnership Incubator,” Christian Long, the founder the visioning firm, who led community meetings and interviewed students and staff, proposed in a previous presentation that the school should build a network of local business and community connections. The Sandy Springs Partnership Incubator is part of that plan, according to the report. The plan includes a “collaboration area” to host that incubator with movable tables and chairs. Other collaboration spaces include a general area for all students, an area for seniors and a “maker space,” which would include dry erase boards and seating. Those proposals, along with new elevators at $361,040, lab and classroom additions at $3,683,789, and construction costs put the plan over budget.

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Education | 7

MAY 11 - 24, 2018 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net Parking, which has been cited as an issue by the community, was recommended to be expanded by 160 spaces, bring the total to 469. The recommendations would also address the deficiencies in square footage for classrooms, the library and most other parts of the school by bringing the space up to Fulton County standards. The only part of North Springs High that is currently big enough is the administration and guidance area, according to the report.


Alex Wan, who previously represented south Buckhead on the Atlanta City Council, has been named the executive director of Horizons Atlanta, a nonprofit that provides academic enrichment programs to local students. Horizons provides academic enrichment programs to 800 low-income students from kindergarten into high school through summer programs and year-round support. It works from affiliate sites that include Atlanta International School in Buckhead and Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School in Sandy Springs. The HIES site sees students from Lake Forest and High Point elementary schools. Atlanta International School sees students from Garden Hills Elementary. Wan most recently served as director of development and alumni relations at Emory University. He previously served as director of development at Jerusalem House, Atlanta’s largest housing provider for low-income and homeless individuals and families affectSPECIAL ed by HIV/AIDS, according to the release. Alex Wan. He served two terms as the city council member for District 6, which is now represented by Jennifer Ide. Wan ran for the council president seat in 2016, but lost that election to Felicia Moore. Wan succeeds Emily Hawkins, who has been in this role for the past two years and is relocating to Philadelphia, Pa.

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The Davis Academy in Sandy Springs has launched a free camp for children with cancer and their siblings. The school held a ribbon-cutting for the Aurora Day Camp April 26, which includes a campsite featuring sports fields, nature center, a new playground, theatre and indoor play areas. The Davis Academy, which is located at 8105 Roberts Drive, is partnering with the Sunrise Association, an organization that runs free day camps, year-round programs and recreational activities. The day camp will begin June 11 and runs from 9:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. For registration information, visit auroradaycamp.org.

Parents of a Dunwoody High School student have raised over $9,000 so far to help Jermaine Searles, a coach and teacher at the school who lost his house in an April 27 fire. “We are absolutely thrilled to see the Dunwoody community rally around Coach Searles and his family. I believe it’s times like these when community really shines,” said Katie Phillips, who started the fundraiser. The online campaign surpassed its $5,000 goal in less than 24 hours. “Well, you see how fast the word spread and we’ve been receiving donations from all over the city, even from people who have no association with Dunwoody High School or the basketball program,” Searles teaches math and coaches the ninth grade basketball team that Phillips’ son participated on this year. “He motivated these boys, poured time and encouragement into them and truly created a team that we are all so proud of,” Phillips said. For more information, visit gofundme.com/coachsearles.

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Peachtree Charter Middle School will be getting a new principal next year, replacing Scott Heptinstall, who has been the principal since 2009. Heptinstall will continue to serve as principal of the Dunwoody school through the end of the school year. He will then be reassigned to an unspecified position in the school district, according to a letter to parents from Region I Superintendent Sherry Johnson. “The purpose of this assignment is to better utilize the talents of our employees and align them with the needs of our schools and students,” Johnson wrote. Heptinstall’s reassignment follows a widely-reported bullying incident in 2017 that was criticized by organizations for the school administration’s handling of the incident. The DeKalb County School District signed an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice in 2013 over a separate bullying incident at the school. A survey gathered input on a new principal from school teachers and parents of students who are currently enrolled and has now closed, according to the letter.

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8 | Art & Entertainment

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The curtain rises on City Springs Theatre Company BY JUDITH SCHONBAK

and role as a staple in the community. His question to them: “Why don’t you start your own theater organization in Sandy Springs?” They thought it was “a great idea” and asked for his help. He offered his assistance as an advisor for the venture. Hauser, an attorney retired from Co-

As the new City Springs Theatre Company prepares for what is shaping up to be a booming debut season, the story of the once-secret musical company’s origin can be told. Last year, a small group of Sandy Springs residents attempted to lure the popular Atlanta Lyric Theatre to move from Marietta Square to the new City Springs civic center. The idea shifted to creating a new company, which now has sold nearly 3,400 subscriptions for a Broadway musical season set to open in September. And now the new City Springs Theatre Company is set to join another long-established company, Act3 Productions, in jointly promoting a downtown “arts district.” The 1,070-seat Byers Theatre SPECIAL The City Springs Theatre Company’s leadership within the Performing Arts Center team includes, from left, Executive/Artistic Director is the mainstage home of the SanBrandt Blocker, Associate Artistic Director Shuler dy Springs Theatre Company, and Hensley and Managing Director Natalie Barrow. the 350-seat Studio Theatre will serve for its smaller productions and arts ca-Cola, handled all the legalities of eseducation programs. tablishing the company as a nonprofit The idea of the professional musical organization. theater company came from four Sandy Meanwhile, Blocker began assemSprings residents and long-time arts supbling a leadership team. He contactporters: Jan Collins, Steven Hauser and ed Natalie Barrow, with whom he had Peggy and Jerry Stapleton. worked and who was former director of Initially, they talked of inviting an exarts education and community outreach isting metro Atlanta theater company to for ArtsBridge Foundation at Cobb Enertake on the role of resident professional gy Performing Arts Centre. She became theater company — specifically, the Lyric an advisor and soon the company’s first Theatre. They contacted Brandt Blocker, employee as managing director. the Lyric’s recently departed managing “I leapt at the chance to be part of artistic director, who had left town for what I knew would be a highly successful Hong Kong, where his wife has a new job. arts organization in metro Atlanta and Blocker say he told the founding four doing what I love,” said Barrow. that he could not speak for the Lyric, but Bright on Barrow and Blocker’s rahe doubted the company would relocate, dar was Shuler Hensley. A Marietta nagiven its large following in Cobb County

tive, Hensley is a Broadway, film and TV actor who won a Tony Award in 2002 for his performance in a production of “Oklahoma!” He is also the namesake of the Shuler Hensley Georgia High School Musical Theatre Awards, which Barrow managed and produced as part of her work at the Cobb Energy Centre. They believed Hensley’s participation would give the new outfit immediate and enviable credibility. When Blocker asked him to take on the role of associate artistic director, the actor did not hesitate. “I have always wanted to be part of a new theater in Atlanta and I was ecstatic to be able to help form an original season with a brand-new company,” Hensley says. He plans to be involved in all aspects of the theater including teaching, performing and directing both young and professional local talent. “I’ve seen the level of talent we have here in Georgia and I want to promote it,” he said. His goal is to create a pathway between Broadway and Atlanta to bring top talent here and send local talent to the Big Apple to help further their careers. Meanwhile, Blocker was thinking of leaving his own theater days behind, but could not resist the call. In October, he was the last to sign on the dotted line as a founding officer – executive/artistic director for the new theater company. He still visits Hong Kong as his wife completes a final year of work there. The organization has been assembling its staff and, to date, has nine members from business manager to in-house choreographer and costumer and technical manager. The company will produce full-scale Broadway shows, beginning with its allBroadway-musical inaugural 2018-2019 season taking the stage in September. In addition to mounting top-quality professional

Broadway productions, a key element in its mission is to offer extensive arts education programming for students and educators pre-K through college, as well as community enrichment activities for all ages. On the docket are student matinees, hands-on training, master classes and summer programs. Arts education programs are in the works to be offered this fall. For more information, see cityspringstheatre.com.

‘Unbelievable’ sales

The entire Performing Arts Center, located at Johnson Ferry and Roswell roads in Sandy Springs, will host a wide variety of performances expected to be announced later this month — including special season performances by the Atlanta Ballet and Atlanta Opera. A special grand opening series is scheduled for August. The City Springs Theatre Company has been selling its own season subscriptions since March 1 and has far exceeded a reported goal of 500 subscriptions. Barrow said on May 8 that almost 3,400 season subscriptions had been sold, and 197 people had become “founding patrons” at a minimum donation level of $5,000 for a total of $1 million. Blocker calls the sales “unbelievable.” In all his years in theater, he says, he has never seen anything like it. Seventy percent of the subscriptions are from Sandy Springs residents. Added to the coffers was a $500,000 founding donation from Trisha and Ken Byers, who also secured naming of the Performing Arts Center’s main theater.

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MAY 11 - 24, 2018

Art & Entertainment | 9


fans of local theater wondered whether it would be competition for Act3, a community theater mainstay for over 15 years. Mary Sorrel, Act3’s executive director and board chair, said many patrons have asked her whether Act3 would JOHN RUCH be pressed into closThe City Springs Performing Arts Center, where the ing its playhouse in new theater company will perform later this year. the Sandy Springs firmed that, saying the two companies Plaza shopping cenwill do “anything we can to promote each ter at 6285-R Roswell Road, virtually across other.” And they hope to work together the street from City Springs. to get restaurants and bars to offer disIn fact, Sorrel said, the two companies counts or special menus to patrons with plan to collaborate and cross-promote playbills or tickets from their shows. each other to develop an “arts district” in Act3 will continue in its playhouse — downtown Sandy Springs. a gift from the shopping center’s own“We’re very, very different,” Sorrel said. er that was just reconfigured for better “We embrace what we are, a small, seating. The new season there will be anblack-box theater” with intimate perfornounced next month. The youth performances, she said, while City Springs Themances in the PAC’s Studio Theatre is the atre Company will perform large shows. one venue change Act3 might make. “They’re going to be all about the big Enoch said Act3 has been asked to join Broadway stuff,” she said. The organithe grand opening performance lineup. zations share a key contact: Jan Collins, “We’re going to do something,” Sorrel who is on Act3’s board and is a founder of said, adding that Act3 is attempting to get the City Springs Theatre Company. rights to a certain performance that cannot “We have had great meetings with yet be revealed. “We’re very excited about it.” Act3” and hope to collaborate, Barrow --John Ruch contributed said at a May 8 Sandy Springs Perimeter

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10 | Commentary

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Community Survey / Vacations and ‘staycations’ The summer vacation season is coming and respondents to our most recent community survey appear say they plan to get away this year for a little rest-and-relaxation. They just may not go as far as they did last year. Nearly 11 percent of the 200 respondents said this year they plan to take a “staycation,” a vacation at home. That’s up from just 4 percent of the respondents to a similar survey in 2017. And 19 percent said they would travel abroad. Last year, 29 percent of the respondents said they planned international travel. The survey of residents of Reporter Newspapers communities was conducted via cellphone by 1Q.com and is not scientific. Overall, the amount of time respondents said they plan to spend on vacation this year appears to be about the same as last year. About 28 percent said this year they planned to take more than three weeks off, compared to 30 percent in 2017. In 2018, about 43 percent expected to take two to three weeks of vacation, compared to 41 percent in 2017; and 24 percent expected to take one to two weeks of vacation, as compared to 23 percent a year ago. Project: Time Off, an organization financed by the U.S. Travel Association, an industry group, found in 2017 that Americans overall had started taking more vacation days than just a few years ago. A survey published by the group last year found


that in 2016, average vacation use climbed to 16.8 days per worker, up from 16.2 days the year before. “The more than half-day shift changes the trajectory of America’s vacation trendline, with the most upward movement seen since vacation usage started its rapid decline in 2000,” the organization said. But the group says one difference it has found is that fewer vacationing employees actually disengage from work while taking time off. Instead, they read emails and keep up on memos while away from the office. “Thanks to today’s technology, face time does not mean what it used to. Email response time has replaced the last car in the

office parking lot,” the organization said after a 2017 online survey of 7,331 adult workers. “This dynamic does not change even if an employee’s location does. Nearly eight in 10 (78 percent) say they are more comfortable taking time off if they know they can access work. Most employees (46 percent) reported that they check in with work occasionally during vacation while smaller percentages (27 percent) are logging on frequently or fully unplugging.” So, summer’s near and the time is right to pack your bags and head off to someplace you can relax. Just try, once you get there, to leave your cellphone turned off.

1Q is an Atlanta-based startup that has developed a technology which sends questions and surveys to a cellphone via app or text message from businesses and organizations across the country. Respondents are paid 50 cents per answer, through PayPal, for sharing their opinions. Payments may also be donated directly to charity. Sign up to be included in our local community polls at 1Q.com/reporter or by texting REPORTER to 86312.

Letter to the Editor AM ER ICA ALR EADY HAS ITS ECO NO M IC R EVO LU TIO N I disagree with Mr. Watkins’ assertion that America is a profoundly savage place in need of an American economic revolution. (Letter to the editor, April 27.) Mr. Watkins’ revolution would seize the entire wealth away from the evil rich. The revolution would redistribute the sized wealth to the Americans who are overwhelmingly miserable. We need to give these overwhelmed, miserable Americans free universal health coverage and paid family leave, and if enough wealth remains “from the takings,” then we should give these overwhelmed, miserable Americans free higher education. The Affordable Care Act is still law. You can get online, at your local library if needed, and purchase health insurance with the coverage you want at a premium that is based on your income. Those that earn more pay more for their policy to subsidize the

lower-income applicants. So we are taking from the evil rich and subsidizing the lower-income folks. If paid family leave is important to you, then go look for a job at a company that offers paid family leave as a benefit. Take a look around. Economic opportunity is rampant throughout this city and in many other cities across America. The construction cranes are redesigning our cities’ skylines. First Quarter Gross Domestic Product was up 2.3 percent, the unemployment rate is 3.9 percent and has been at 4.1 percent for the past six months, daunting federal regulations have been cut, and Congress recently passed tax reform, allowing working Americans to keep more of their own money. There is an economic revolution going on in America. You can get your part of it or you can watch other people get theirs while you remain overwhelmingly miserable. It’s your choice. Keith Tener Brookhaven

represent the views of Reporter Newspapers or Springs Publishing, LLC. BH

MAY 11 - 24, 2018

Commentary | 11


Around Town

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

Designing golf courses in his dad’s footsteps


This one feels special. Bobby Cupp says he knows this project is different every time he heads out onto the expanse of scraped clay that soon will become the new Bobby Jones Golf Course. This is his dad’s final course. JOE EARLE “For me, this is dad’s last one, right? And one that Bobby Cupp on the Bobby Jones Golf Course. was so dear to his heart,” Cupp said one recent afternoon as the Ford SUV he drove bounced across the manmade hills and valleys that will embody the redesigned course in the heart of Buckhead. “[It’s important] just to be here and get it done.” Bobby Cupp’s dad was Bob Cupp, the Brookhaven golf pro turned golf course designer the Georgia State Golf Association calls “one of the most prominent golf course designers of this era.” Bob Cupp’s design career lasted more than four decades. His company’s website lists more than 75 new courses it’s designed, another two dozen it’s rebuilt, and dozens more it’s renovated or restored. In 1972, Golf World magazine named Bob Cupp its Golf Architect of the Year, according to the Cupp company’s webpage, In 2014 he became the first architect inducted into the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame, the association says on its webpage. And he pursued more than the perfect golf course. “People refer to my dad as a ‘Renaissance man.’ He played guitar and was a singer,” the younger Cupp said. “He was a woodworker and loved model trains. He spent years and years building a model train. It’s part of his house.” He found time to write a novel, too. Bob Cupp died in August 2016 at age 76. His son took over as president of the Bob Cupp Inc., which meant it fell to him to continue projects he and his dad had been working on, including the redesign of the historic Bobby Jones course. “It’s a collaborative effort,” he said. “I am trying my best to include him in all I do out here. He was the one who decided the concept of the golf course.” Bobby Cupp grew up in Florida, where his dad worked as a golf pro. That was before the elder Cupp started designing courses. The younger Cupp, who’s now 54 and a busy course designer himself, remembers his introduction to golf came when he was about 5. His dad shortened a set of old clubs and took his son to the driving range. Bobby Cupp went to work with his dad in 1985. The younger Cupp was “reasonably artistic” and could help get course designs on paper. There was a time he thought about doing something else, such as going into radio, but eventually ended up back in the golf course design business. The elder Cupp worked years on his redesign of the Bobby Jones course, his son said. Once plans became public, there were heated community debates over everything from potential flood problems to Cupp’s plan to reimagine the public course as a reversible nine-hole course in place of the existing 18-hole course. The idea was that players could play nine holes, or, if they wanted to play the 18 holes usually included in a round of golf, turn around and play the course in a different direction and from a different set of tees. Cupp’s design allowed the use of some of the land for an expansion of the nearby tennis center and addition of a new driving range. Bobby Cupp said part of the idea is to attract urban players and to create a new generation of golfers. Eventually, the city of Atlanta turned the property over to the state in a land swap, and renovations began. Bobby Cupp said the renovated course should open in November. The renovations have drawn recent controversy over tree loss and stream impacts. Cupp declined to comment, saying there aren’t definitive answers yet and more than the “rumor mill” says. About a month before the elder Cupp died, father and son made a site visit to the Bobby Jones course. “We rode around and looked at everything,” Bobby Cupp recalled. The younger Cupp said he’d never tried a “reversible nine” plan before. It was his dad’s first, too. “It’s harder and more complicated than I ever thought it would be,” he said. Unlike a traditional course, “this forces you to look at every conceivable angle,” he said. One example: walking the course recently, he said, he turned around and looked back across a fairway and realized bunkers on an adjacent fairway looked, well, weird when viewed from that perspective. They were fine when viewed one way, but not so fine when encountered from the other end. As this would be a two-way course, with play going in both directions, he had to change them. Sometimes, as he walks the course under construction, there still are questions he’d like to talk over with his dad to find out how he would deal with them. It was his dad’s vision, after all. And it’s important to get this one right. “This one carries a certain weight,” he said. “unlike anything else or anywhere else I’m working or have worked, ever.”

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Fulton judge candidates claim differences at forum BY JOHN RUCH

From left, attorney Manny Arora, who organized the judge forum, introduces candidates Kevin Farmer, Fani Willis and Bobby Wolf on May 2 at the Huntcliff River Club in Sandy Springs.


Trading criticisms

The candidates largely agreed on Fulton Superior Court’s problems, but not on each other’s ability to deal with it. Farmer and Willis particularly targeted Wolf for criticism. Farmer said that Wolf confused the role of a judge with that of a prosecutor in describing the job as “protecting victims,” and

said Wolf’s claimed diversity of experience is really just “diversity of geography” — doing the same job in different places. “You don’t want a judge with a fixed mindset,” Farmer said, suggesting that Wolf would think in prosecution terms. Willis expressed doubt about Wolf’s lessons in other jurisdictions, saying Cobb courts are much smaller than Fulton’s and that his local experience is lacking. “You have to live in the problem to know how to deal with the problem,” she said. Wolf did not respond directly, saying, “I have the utmost respect for my opponents. I’m not going to say anything negative about them.” But in answer to an audience question, he said he understands applying the law fairly and that he is as proud of some cases he declined to prosecute as he is some he won convictions on. “It’s never been that hard for me to do the right thing,” he said. The candidates also disagreed on how much change they can make in the courts. Farmer and Willis generally agreed that they could run their own courtrooms well, but likely could not alter the overall system. Wolf suggested the time might be right for newer judges to band together and leverage some kind of reform.






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“Lady Justice should be blind. That’s disgusting to me,” Willis said of the alleged unequal treatment. Wolf, a Buckhead resident, said he was raised in Sandy Springs, attending Spalding Drive Elementary and North Springs Charter High. He has worked as a prosecutor 26 years in Fulton, Cobb and most recently Gwinnett County. He claimed “diversity of experience” in the law and outside the courtroom, including as immediate past president of the Garden Hills Civic Association. While acknowledging the law “isn’t a factory,” Wolf said at Fulton he helped create a management system to speed cases along, and said the better systems of Cobb and Gwinnett have lessons he can bring to the bench. “So often I hear, ‘Well, that’s just the way it’s done in Fulton County,’” he said.

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Farmer and Wolf boasted local community connections, while Willis had the highest public profile as the lead prosecutor on the Atlanta Public Schools cheating scandal case. They all claimed diverse legal experience, and all criticized the Fulton County Superior Court system, especially for judges who let cases pile up, and pledged to do better. Farmer is a 35-year resident of Sandy Springs and Riverwood International Charter School grad. He started his legal

career as a Fulton County public defender, then practiced civil law in a Dunwoody office, and currently serves as a Clayton County prosecutor, a job he says he took to round out his experience to be a judge. He said he has handled more civil cases than the other candidates, and is the only one who has gotten defendants both acquitted of murder as a public defender and convicted as a prosecutor. “I don’t have to learn that on the job,” he said of divorce cases as one example. He also frequently displayed a sense of humor, joking, “If you elect me, it’ll cut my commute in half.” Willis said she has wanted to be a judge since her father, a lawyer in Washington, D.C., took her to the job with him. In Atlanta, she started practicing a wide variety of law at a small firm where another lawyer was future Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. She then worked at the city of Atlanta on code enforcement cases, followed by 16 years prosecuting major crimes for Fulton. “I submit to you, I’ve tried more cases than these two gentlemen behind me,” Willis said. She added that includes bad experiences with judges who are disrespectful, slow to handle cases and offer different treatment to people of different classes.


The candidates



The three candidates seeking to serve as a Fulton County Superior Court judge in a rare open race appeared at a May 2 candidate forum in Sandy Springs. Kevin Farmer, Fani Willis and Bobby Wolf — all currently working as prosecutors — staked out some differences in experience and approach as they head toward a nonpartisan May 22 election. The forum drew about 35 attendees to the clubhouse of the exclusive Huntcliff community, overlooking the Chattahoochee River in the city’s north end. The event was organized by Manny Arora, a local resident and criminal defense attorney concerned that few people know the importance of Superior Court judges or how uncommon is the chance to vote for one in a competitive race. Superior Court judges handle major criminal and civil cases, including felony crimes, divorces, property disputes and lawsuits involving state agencies. Arora noted that such decisions could affect anyone’s life. And, he said, the open race is a “very rare animal” — he recalled only about three such races in his 25 years as an attorney. Typically, he said, judges announce retirement very early in their term so that the governor, by law, can appoint a well-connected successor. But in this case, incumbent Judge Tom Campbell is leaving soon enough — though not until year’s end — to trigger the election.


MAY 11 - 24, 2018

Community | 13


Buckhead faith leaders, ex-mayor call for Atlanta unity prayer weekend BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

A group of Buckhead faith leaders, inspired by former Mayor Sam Massell, are asking congregations citywide to join in a common prayer for “Atlanta Together” unity on the May 19-20 weekend. The dozen houses of worship signed on so far are largely Buckhead-based, but include two historic Civil Rights bastions: The Temple, a Midtown synagogue, and Ebenezer Baptist Church, Martin Luther King Jr.’s congregation in Sweet Auburn. To Massell, the effort is another facet of the “Atlanta Together” theme he has pushed since last fall’s close and bruising election between now Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and Buckhead’s Mary Norwood, and other municipal elections. Bottoms spoke on the theme in January at the annual meeting of the Buckhead Coalition, the business group that Massell now heads and which endorsed Norwood in the campaign, and went on to speak of “One Atlanta” in her “State of the City” address earlier this month. “There’s a lot of bitterness that hangs in the air from the elections . ... The bitterness is very deep this time, for some reason,” said Massell. He said the tension highlights divides that are “racial, religious, geographical … and also financial, rich versus poor.” “If the faith community can’t do this, no one can,” he said of the unity effort. Keeva Kase, president and CEO of the Buckhead Christian Ministry, a homelessness prevention organization, agreed to lead the prayer effort. He’s an ordained minister and his organization is a coalition of 30 member churches, so the idea is he could be a neutral party. “It’s about reminding all Atlantans that we have kinship, not only as children of God, but as children of Atlanta,” said Kase. “We just want to share a common prayer for the city on that week. … It’s a very free and simple opportunity. It’s not going to cost anyone anything.” The effort involves religious leaders delivering the same, 341-word prayer

of unity that weekend, and also signing onto a written copy. “Help us to be an outward-focused people who are concerned for one another and unified in our concern for the well-being of every Atlantan,” reads the prayer in part. “…We ask that you heal deep divides by creating new and lasting bonds of kinship across the city. We ask that you unite our great city in ways previously unimagined that will bring prosperity, wellness and a sense of belonging to every Atlanta

said. “I resonate to what I think is one of ishing, he said. “But is it flourishing togeththe primary messages of the ‘Atlanta Toer is a big question.” gether’ prayer — a recognition that amidst Kase said he hopes to get 100 faith our differences, there must be a sense of leaders to sign on and has reached out to unity that informs how we speak in the pomosques as well. He acknowledges that he litical realm about and to each other.” is new to the job and the city, lacking the The May 19-20 weekend was chosen connections to quickly convince congregaas falling right before yet another elections farther afield to join. tion — the May 22 primary — and for “I humbly seek their participation. coinciding with the Jewish holiday of I know this is coming from Buckhead Shavuot and the Christian churches,” he said, but holiday of Pentecost. noted the participation Massell, who is white from Ebenezer Baptist and Jewish, knows someand The Temple. thing about political and Kase said he would be racial divides; in 1973, he “extremely gratified” to lost a racially charged gain the blessing of Botre-election campaign to toms and former mayMaynard Jackson, the oral candidates such city’s first African Ameras Norwood and Ceasican mayor. For the “Ater Mitchell to “put aside lanta Together” prayer, past differences and say, however, Massell is look‘We’re all in this as a city.’ FILE SPECIAL FILE ing back farther in lo” He and Massell said The glass statuette of a Sam Massell, Buckhead Keeva Kase, president cal political history: the they’ve reached out to handshake given to attendees Coalition president and CEO of Buckhead of the Buckhead Coalition “Ministers’ Manifesto” of the Bottoms administraand former mayor. Christian Ministry. annual meeting in January. 1957. In that Civil Rights tion, but haven’t heard resident. We pray for the unity of your chilera effort, 80 white minback. A city spokesperdren in this great city. We pray for an Atisters signed a public letter calling for son did not have immediate comment. lanta Together, this day and forevermore.” calm and respectful discussion of school Post-mayoral political unity has not The 28 signatories so far include Kase desegregation to avoid violence that gone well so far in Buckhead. Norwood, in and leaders from the following religious plagued other Southern cities. her first public post-election comments, institutions: Ahavath Achim Synagogue, Massell said in recent weeks he met claimed the neighborhood doesn’t get its Christ Covenant Church, Covenant Preswith a small group of local ministers, floatfair share and that south Atlanta contribbyterian Church, Ebenezer Baptist ing the idea, but letting them write the utes little in taxes; Bottoms’ office later Church, First Presbyterian Church of Atprayer — though he “added a word or two.” blasted those comments as a way to “stoke lanta, New Hope AME Church, Northside “I told them, ‘If I could just get a readivision when we should focus on unity.” United Methodist Church, Northwest sonable group of leaders from houses of Massell takes some credit for Bottoms’ Presbyterian Church, Peachtree Road worship in Buckhead to give a sermon on unity theme, saying she “incorporated it United Methodist Church, St. James Unitthis subject, I would feel like it was sucour request in her speech” to the Bucked Methodist Church, Second-Ponce de cessful,’ ” he said. head Coalition, where he gave all attendLeon Baptist Church and The Temple. Now, Massell says, he himself will give ees a glass sculpture of shaking hands. He Rabbi Neil Sandler of Ahavath Achim, the prayer that weekend at Second-Ponce continued waving it as well in his “State of one of the signatories, explained his parat the invitation of its pastor, Rev. Dock the Community” speech to the Buckhead ticipation in an email sent during a trip to Hollingsworth. Business Association in February. the “Capitol of divisiveness,” Washington, Kase said he signed on in the belief Massell said he sent a photo of the D.C., saying he sees value in a statement of that divides can be healed by forgiveness, program for Bottoms’ “State of the City” solidarity from Buckhead congregations. and to encourage further discussion of speech to Kase as inspiration. Asked about “Our own community may not reflect the city’s hard realities. its “One Atlanta” theme, the former mayor such strong degrees of political divide, but “This is a great city. It’s overcome treanswered in a prayerful fashion. there is more than a hint of it,” Sandler mendous adversity in the past” and is flour“Amen,” he said.

HOUSING AUTHORITY OF FULTON COUNTY, GEORGIA REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS (RFP) Housing Authority of Fulton County, Georgia (HAFC) is issuing a Request for Proposal from qualified property owners and developers interested in applying for up to 60 Project Based- Vouchers (PBV) specifically made available to provide affordable housing to be used in new construction of multi-family affordable housing rental project(s) in Fulton County, Georgia. Proposals must be received by 6:00 p.m. EDT, Monday, July 9, 2018 in the HAFC office, 4273 Wendell Drive SW, Atlanta, Georgia 30336 or via email re: Proposals to mortgagefinance@hafc.org. Any proposals received after the designated time and date will be returned unopened. HAFC may reject for good cause any or all proposals upon a finding of HAFC it is in the public interest to do so. Detailed application and selection information of the Request for Proposal is posted on the HAFC website at www.HAFC.org. Proposers are responsible for checking the HAFC website for any addendums before submitting their proposals. HAFC Board of Commissioners reserves the right to reject any and all proposals and to waive any and all informalities in the best interest of HAFC.


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14 | Community

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Golf course, environmental group seek compromise on construction Continued from page 1 tion is damaging the stream banks and that the Bobby Jones Golf Course Foundation, the group overseeing the reconstruction, wants to build too close to the creeks. The foundation has applied for a variance that would apply to about a mile of the creeks’ banks and allow construction within a 25-foot stream buffer, including to build a golf cart path and golf tee, according to the application to the Georgia Environmental Protection Division. The Peachtree and Tanyard creeks run through the golf course, which is located on the northeastern end of Atlanta Memorial Park. Peachtree Creek runs along the entire northern border of the course, while Tanyard runs through the middle. The variance application refers to part of the project as a “stream stabilization” project, which is a mischaracterization of the true meaning of the project, the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper claims. “The impacts on Tanyard Creek are clearly meant to improve golf ball passage for the golf course and not to stabilize the stream banks,” wrote Jason Ulseth, the group’s lead river protection advocate and spokesperson, in comments to the EPD. The Riverkeeper is a major environmental advocacy group that is known for battles against the city of Atlanta over sewer spills. Officials with the foundation say they believe their construction project will improve creek bank erosion and have other environmental benefits. “The Bobby Jones Golf Course Foundation is carefully reviewing and considering Riverkeeper’s comments on the proposed state stream buffer variance,” said foundation president Marty Eligson in a written

statement. “Our objective is to provide a new home for golf in Georgia, with public facilities worthy of the Bobby Jones name. We are proud of what we are accomplishing.” The formerly city-owned golf course was transferred to the state in a 2016 land swap and is undergoing an extensive renovation into a reversible ninehole course. The state leased the course to the Bobby Jones Golf Course Foundation, which is overseeing the renovation. The course has previously received opposition from nearby residents for cutting down most of the course’s trees. Some tree removal remains to be done, especially around Tanyard Creek. However, the foundation plans to cut down fewer trees along the creek as part of a compromise with the Riverkeeper, said Eligson. “We’re going to come back to them and talk about a different plan that will involve taking down fewer trees than we initially planned. We’ll still have to take some down,” Elgison said. The Riverkeeper also objects to the foundation’s plan to only plant non-native grasses along the stream bank. Ulseth said that the stabilization guidelines say to also plant small trees and other vegetation. “We have a lot of concern that taking a forested, vegetated buffer, completely removing it, and replacing it with only grass, are going to have severe consequences to Tanyard Creek and the downstream waterways,” he said. Egilson said he couldn’t answer technical questions about the variance and stabilization plan and is relying on the environmental consultants to provide guidance. Ulseth objected to building the golf cart path near the creek. “We feel like those structures are not

The site plan for the Bobby Jones Golf Course shows where Tanyard and Peachtree creeks run through the property.



Above, the Bobby Jones Golf Course Foundation is proposing to remove all the vegetation from this section of Tanyard Creek, shown in a photo included in the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper’s comments on the foundation’s variance application. Below, the project would not address this part of the Tanyard Creek stream bank, shown in a photo included in the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper’s comments on the foundation’s variance application.

protective of Peachtree Creek and should be located outside of the buffer,” he said. The Riverkeeper is also concerned the pesticides and fertilizers used to maintain golf courses will seep into the streams. Because of that, “it is imperative that both Tanyard and Peachtree Creeks have the highest functioning buffers possible,” Ulseth said. The plan to clear the most stable parts of the stream bank is contrary to the mission of stabilizing the banks, Ulseth said. The project wouldn’t improve the areas that are in need of erosion protection, he said. Elgison said he believes the foundation does have good intentions and the construction will ultimately lead to environmental benefits. “I think we are doing a lot of great things out there, and they kind of get lost sometimes. When you have 140 acres of disturbed land, it doesn’t look very good. I can understand why people get upset about it.

But there are a lot of good things that we are doing that are going to happen,” he said. The improvements include increasing the floodwater storage capacity and removing over 4 acres of impervious surfaces, Elgison said. Elgison said in the statement that the foundation is looking into changing the plan and discussing the Riverkeeper’s issues with the variance. “In light of Riverkeeper’s comments, we are assessing whether some changes to proposed buffer activities might have additional environmental benefits,” he said. Ulseth said Riverkeeper is open to compromise and working with the foundation to change the plan to be what it believes more environmentally friendly. “Hopefully, we can come to common ground,” Ulseth said. “There was a golf course there for many decades with all of those trees and buffers in place.”


MAY 11 - 24, 2018

Community | 15


Bobby Jones memorabilia future is unclear in clubhouse plan PHOTOS BY EVELYN ANDREWS

Left, several photos of Bobby Jones still hang in the clubhouse. Inset, golf clubs that are replicas of a Bobby Jones line are on display in the clubhouse.


place. I don’t know what might walk off,” Smith said. Nikki Forman, a city spokesperson, As plans move forward to create a said the Department of Parks and Recrenew recital hall in the former Bobby ations owns the memorabilia. Jones Golf Course clubhouse, a group “We will work with interested parthat collected memorabilia of the famed ties to determine the future location of golfer displayed at the clubhouse is worthe memorabilia,” Forman said. “We look ried about the exhibit’s future. forward to working with the communiThe golf course is undergoing an exty as we transform the former clubhouse tensive renovation that includes building into a world-renowned recital hall.” a new clubhouse. The Atlanta City CounThe city has already found a new cil on May 7 approved subleasing the forhome for the exhibit on Alfred “Tup” mer clubhouse to the Haynes Manor ReHolmes that was cital Hall Foundation formerly displayed for the recital hall. in the clubhouse The memorabilia and also sponincludes photos, trosored by the friends phies, replica clubs group. Holmes was and newspaper clipa black golfer who pings that were colwon a 1951 U.S. Sulected from sales preme Court case and auctions by a that forced AtJOE EARLE/FILE friends group. Herb McKoy, left, and Anthony Smith of the lanta to desegreDuring the 1920s Friends of Bobby Jones Golf Course helped gate its golf course. pull together the memorabilia display and early 1930s, Jones The legal case bein the former Bobby Jones clubhouse. ranked among the gan when the city best golfers in the world. He founded and would not allow Holmes to play at the helped design the Augusta National Golf Bobby Jones Golf Course. The exhibit Club and co-founded the Masters Tournahas been moved to the city-owned Tup ment. He died in 1971. Holmes Golf Course in south Atlanta. Anthony Smith, who led the Friends “We were disappointed. We wanted of Bobby Jones Golf Course to collect the exhibit to stay where the event ocJones memorabilia and display it in the curred,” Smith said. clubhouse in 2015, said he is worried it The clubhouse is still used for occasioncould be stolen or moved. al community meetings, by the Veterans He has already removed some of of Foreign Wars post and as a constructhe pieces, including a trophy case and tion office for multiuse path construction some books, and stores it in his office. ongoing around Atlanta Memorial Park. Many framed photographs and replica Smith and the friends group also clubs still hang on the walls. unsuccessfully lobbied against chang“I don’t know who has a key to the ing the golf course from 18 holes to a evelyn@reporternewspapers.net


reversible nine-hole course. The ninehole reconstruction is underway. Meanwhile, the golf course is building a new clubhouse and no longer needs the former building, so a group has proposed to renovate it into a recital hall. “I’m excited for this project, which was begun by Councilmember Yolanda Adrean, and has reached another milestone with the city council’s approval today,” said District 8 City Councilmember J.P. Matzigkeit in a written statement. “It’s a win for the city, the neighborhood and great music in Atlanta.” The foundation will sublease the building from the city of Atlanta for $10 per

year through 2037. Under the terms of the sublease agreement, the main level of the clubhouse would be used for private events including music recitals. The lower level would be used for programs and as a meeting space open to the public. Smith said he hopes the memorabilia can still be displayed in the recital hall. “I would like to see as much history as possible remain. We still think they are very important pieces,” he said. The friends group found photos in archives showing Jones visiting the site during the course’s construction. Smith said they want to keep the clubhouse and course connected to Bobby Jones’ legacy and history. Alex Simmons, who has led the effort to build a recital hall, said he hopes to integrate some of the memorabilia into the plan. “I’m very interested in preserving anything that needs to be preserved. Nobody wants to throw anything in the dumpster,” he said.

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16 | Art & Entertainment

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PERFORMANCES “THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR” Friday, May 18 through Sunday, May 27

Act3 Productions presents a version of Shakespeare’s comedy that is set in the 1950’s and gives a nod to iconic sitcoms of the time. 6285-R Roswell Road, Sandy Springs. Show schedule, tickets: act3productions.org.


Friday, May 18 through Sunday, June 10

A demanding diva discovers that her maestro husband has become enamored with the young lady hired to ghostwrite his autobiography in this romantic comedy presented by Stage Door Players. $15-$33. North DeKalb Cultural Arts Center, 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Show schedule, tickets: stagedoorplayers. net or 770-396-1726.



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ZYDECO CONCERT AND DANCE Saturday, May 19, 8 to 11 p.m.

The Atlanta Cajun Zydeco Association hosts Jeffery Broussard & the Creole Cowboys at the Dorothy Benson Center. Cajun/Creole food for sale. All ages. $18; $14 active military; $5 students. Intermediate/advanced Zydeco dance class from 4:30-6 p.m. is $15. Free beginner’s dance lesson at 7 p.m. 6500 Vernon Woods Drive, Sandy Springs. Info: aczadance.org or 877-338-2420.

MAY 11 - 24, 2018

Art & Entertainment | 17



Saturday, May 26, 7 to 9 p.m.

The New Orleans-influenced Wasted Potential Brass Band is next up in the Dunwoody Nature Center’s lineup of concerts held every other Saturday evening through July 21. Seating available on a first-come, first-served basis in the meadow or on the back porch. Outside food and drink welcome. $5 adults; $3 students; free for members and for children 3 and under. Craft beers, sodas and water available. 5343 Roberts Drive, Dunwoody. Info: dunwoodynature.org.

Kicking and swinging.




• Atlanta’s only FootGolf course • 18 holes • Team building events • Birthday parties

Saturday, May 19, 8 a.m.

The 11th anniversary Brookhaven Bolt 5K, a family event that winds through the Ashford Park neighborhood, is an official AJC Peachtree Road Race qualifying event. All proceeds benefit Ashford Park Elementary School. The race begins and ends at the mixed-use development Village Place Brookhaven, 1430 Dresden Drive, Brookhaven. Registration: brookhavenbolt.com.

460 Morgan Falls Rd. Sandy Springs, GA 30350 770-390-0424 steelcanyongolfclub.com

NATIONAL KIDS TO PARKS DAY Saturday, May 19, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The city of Sandy Springs celebrates its ninth annual Kids to Parks Day in the city with lots of activities at Hammond Park. The event encourages residents to use local parks and recreation sites to develop more active, healthy lifestyles. Free. 705 Hammond Drive, Sandy Springs. Info: sandyspringsga.gov.


Saturday, May 19, 10:30 a.m. to noon.

Get an introduction to canoeing with tips on paddling techniques and equipment and a canoe trip at the Chattahoochee Nature Center’s Beaver Pond. All equipment provided. Races and games included. Ages 5+. $15 general public; $10 nature center members. Register by the Thursday before class. (Limited spaces.) 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell. Info: chattnaturecenter.org.


Join the Brookhaven Bike Alliance for montly community rides every third Sunday at varying locations. May 20 location is Briarwood Park, 2235 Briarwood Way, Brookhaven. Info: Brookhaven Bike Alliance on Facebook.


Monday, May 14, noon to 1:30 p.m.

National Salvation Army Week, May 14-18, kicks off with a food truck event in the organization’s lower parking lot off of Corporate Boulevard. Each $5 ticket pays for food from one of four options: Charm & Jerry’s, Habanero Grill, Brooke Lynn’s, or Chick-fil-A. Music, games, free beverages, raffle, and shopping for handmade goods from Salvation Army ministries from around the world. All proceeds go toward sending 33 children to summer camp. 1424 Northeast Expressway, Brookhaven. Info: biz.brookhavencommerce.org/events. Continued on page 18

Golf • 18 hole executive course • Covered driving range • 3 hour rounds • Lessons • League Play

18 | Art & Entertainment

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Saturday, May 19, noon to 5 p.m. DeKalb-Peachtree Airport [PDK] hosts its annual Good Neighbor Day Airshow and Open House. Family fun includes air shows, $40 airplane and helicopter rides, military airplane displays and kids’ activities. Free. Parking $10 per vehicle. All parking access is only through Dresden Drive via Clairmont Road. 2036 Dresden Drive, Atlanta. Info: pdkairshow.com.

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Art & Entertainment | 19


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Saturday, May 19, 10 a.m. to noon.

Meet new people, share refreshments and practice your conversational English or Spanish skills at the “International Cafe” at the Brookhaven Library on the third Saturday of each month. Free. 1242 North Druid Hills Road N.E., Brookhaven. Registration: 404-508-7190, ext. 2257 or e-mail adultservices@dekalblibrary.org.







New York Times best-selling author Mark Bittman presents his latest cookbook, “How to Grill Everything,” including everything from the perfect steak to cedar-plank salmon to pizza, in a book talk and signing at the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta. Books will be available for purchase. Admission: $10 MJCCA members; $15 community. 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody. Reserve tickets: atlantajcc.org/bookfestival or 678-812-4002.


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Learn about U.S. military history and see artifacts and memorabilia on display at the Dunwoody Library. Presented by the co-founders of the American Military History Mobile Museum. Light refreshments will be served. Open to first 100 participants. Funding provided by the Friends of the Dunwoody Library. Free.5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Info: 770-512-4640.




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20 | Public Safety

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Opioid epidemic summit explores solutions BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

mixed in with illegal drugs. In Georgia from June 2016 through May 2017, there were 541 million opioid prescriptions written by physicians. “That is 54 doses for every man, woman and child in the state,” Carr said. “At a minimum, these numbers have to raise eyebrows.”

U.S. Rep. Karen Handel (R-Ga.) convened an Opioid Summit at Dunwoody City Hall on May 1. Panelists included federal law enforcement, a CDC expert and a woman who started a drug rehabilitation facility called The Zone in Cobb County following her son’s death from an overdose. “The purpose of this is for all of us in the Sixth District and metro Atlanta to be united and understanding what is happening in our communities and our state and the impact it is having on our DYANA BAGBY families,” Handel said. U.S. Rep. Karen Handel speaks at an opioid summit “What strikes me is that May 1 including panelists, from left, Dan Salter and no one is immune. There Bill Trivelpiece of the federal High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area and Dr. Rita Noonan of the CDC. is no discrimination based on age, race, ZIP code or even income levels,” she added. “Behind Partners included on a Statewide Opithe numbers and statistics are real peooid Task Force begun last year include ple.” the Atlanta and Dunwoody police departOverdose deaths caused by opioids, inments, the Fulton County Commission cluding heroin and prescription drugs, conand Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. tinue to rise across the U.S. and north AtThe CDC in 2016 issued a report outlanta. Some statistics shared at the summit lining guidelines for primary care clireflected the seriousness of the crisis. nicians on when and how long to preThe Centers for Disease Control & Prescribe opioids as a way to help slow the vention has reported that between Aurapid prescription rates. gust 2016 and August 2017, 45,200 deaths Naloxone, also known as Narcan, can be were caused by opioids in the U.S., acinjected or sprayed into the nose of an overcounting for 67.1 percent of all overdose dose victim to revive them. Last year, Gov. deaths during the period. Nathan Deal signed a bill into law making In Georgia in 2016, there were 996 naloxone legal to purchase over the counter. overdose deaths caused by opioids, repreBill Trivelpiece, of the federal High senting 68.8 percent of all drug overdose Intensity Drug Trafficking Area office deaths in the state, according to a special in Atlanta, recommended parents with report from the Atlanta Regional Comchildren buy naloxone. mission. The ARC also reports that of the “If you got kids, and your kids got overdose deaths statewide in 2016, 595 infriends, please get naloxone,” he said. volved prescription opioids, a more than Other takeaways included people buytenfold increase since 1999. ing a “drug lock box” available at many The ARC also reported that the death retail stores to keep prescription drugs rate for opioid-related overdoses in metlocked up and out of the hands of people ro Atlanta is higher than that of the state not using them. of Georgia and that Cobb County has exFunding to law enforcement to fight ilperienced a dramatic increase in prelegal drugs coming in from Mexico must scription opioid deaths, rising from eight also be maintained, Handel said. But inin 2013 to 61 in 2016 — the most in the carcerating drug addicts is not always 10-county region. Fulton County had the useful, she said, and more work needs to second-highest number of deaths at 47, be done to create rehab centers in metaccording to the ARC. ro Atlanta where addicts can get the supAt the summit, Georgia Attorney port they need to stay off drugs. General Chris Carr, a Dunwoody resiA key priority also, she said, is to endent, explained how his office is worksure prescriptions for opioids are necesing to combat the deaths caused by opisary and for physicians and patients to oids, such as the illegal drug heroin and consider other ways to treat pain if poslegal prescription drugs. sible. Handel mentioned during the sum“The challenge we have is many opioids mit she had personal experience with opiare legal ... and people need them for a legitoid addiction but declined to comment imate reason. And if used with supervision, further. In a statement, she said the fight they can be useful,” he said. Legal opioids against opioid addiction must also ensure include Oxycontin, hydrocodone, codeine there are no unintended consequences for and also fentanyl, which law enforcement those who require opioid-based pain manand others say they are seeing more often agement, such as cancer patients.

MAY 11 - 24, 2018

Classifieds | 21


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Arlington Memorial Park – Two side by side burial plots in prime Lakeside Section. Lot 118C - Spaces 1 & 2. Offered at 20% below cemetery price for $8,000 each. Email: bedwards1956@att.net. Contact Owner: 770490-1857. Cemetery will assist in showing.

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22 | Community

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Investigations, administrative shake-up, rock City Hall BY EVELYN ANDREWS AND JOHN RUCH Several investigations, an administrative shake-up and cyber attack have racked Atlanta City Hall in the past few weeks. Following calls for investigations into bonuses distributed by former Mayor Kasim Reed, the Atlanta City Council confirmed its members have given out bonuses to their staff, but said they were legal. Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms gave her “State of the City” address on May 2 amid the investigations, reflecting on her first 100 days in office, transparency and uniting Atlanta.

Atlanta City Council says its bonuses were legal; mayor’s were illegal

tion into bonuses awarded by Reed. The council authorized the city auditor or chief ethics officer to conduct an independent review of the bonuses at its May 7 meeting. The legislation was introduced by Shook. The law department previously wrote a memo regarding the legality of the bonuses, but that was lost in the cyber attack, Moore said. “We did lose a lot of info,” she said. Moore has not yet gotten confirmation from the city on what else exactly was lost in the cyber attack. She asked the law department to advise the city council on any action they can take to provide “remedies” to the situation, Moore said. The law department should be able to provide information on what the lost memo said, she said. “Someone knows what the memo said. Someone wrote it. I never got an understanding of what it concluded,” she said.

Atlanta City Council members issued bonuses, but the council spokesperson asserts they were legal and not similar to the $811,000 distributed by Reed. The bonuses were distributed by council members to staff, including by District 7 CounBottoms announces City Hall shake-up cilmember Howard Shook. Both the other new council members in Buckhead are new. Bottoms announced a shake-up of her cabinet on April 27, accepting the resignaCouncil spokesperson Dexter Chambers said in a statement that the bonuses are tions of several more department leaders. not similar to those distributed by Reed. Reed awarded certain staff members boAmong those exiting, according to a press release, are: Chief Financial Officer Jim nuses and gifts for contests in an amount that has risen from $500,000 to $811,000. Beard; City Attorney Jeremy Berry; Catherine Buell, president and CEO of the AtlanThe council staff bonuses are legal because they came from member’s office budta Housing Authority; Faye DiMassimo, general manager of Renew Atlanta; Parks gets, not from new spending, Chambers said. and Recreation Commissioner Amy Phuong; Chief Resilience Officer “The issue related to bonuses given to selected high-ranking adminStephanie Stuckey; and Communications Director Anne Torres, who istration employees by former Mayor Kasim Reed in the amount of already left the position and has been replaced by Interim Director $811,000 is separate and apart from those given by some city council Nikki Forman. members to their aides. Bonuses given by council members to council Those cabinet positions join several others that Bottoms previaides are not prohibited in the city code, as long as the funding is in the ously announced she will fill with new officials, including fire rescue council member’s budget,” Chambers said in the statement. chief, chief procurement officer, commissioner of human resources, Council President Felicia Moore has argued that Reed’s bonuses and gifts chief information officer and chief education officer. were illegal because the new spending was not approved by the city council. In addition, Melissa Mullinax, a senior policy advisor, and Chief “I’d liken it to the mayor taking a basket of money and standing on top of Service Officer Janquell Peters will “transition into different roles City Hall and just throwing it over the side and people on the street caught within the city,” which were not specified in the press release. SPECIAL it,” she said at the Buckhead Business Association April 26 breakfast. Chief Bicycle Officer Becky Katz plans to leave her role voluntariMayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. The Atlanta City Council has called for an independent investigaly for a new international job. District 8 Councilmember J.P. Matzigkeit said he has “great confidence in the mayor to select the right people.” Bottoms previously said on April 9 that she had asked all cabinet heads to submit their resignations and that she would decide which ones to accept. Among the departments and divisions not affected by the leadership shake-up are the police, Watershed Management, the Atlanta BeltLine and Planning and Community Development.

Bottoms reflects on transparency, unity amid investigations

Bottoms announced the creation of a new city office that would seek to make Atlanta more equitable and inclusive during her “State of the City” address on May 2. “This morning we come together, not as business Atlanta or civic Atlanta, not as a white Atlanta or a black Atlanta, but rather as one Atlanta,” Bottoms said. The office, the city’s first of its kind, will be called the Mayor’s Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, also known as “One Atlanta,” Bottoms said in the speech, which was broadcast live by the city. “One Atlanta will work to ensure equitable, open and inclusive practices across all city departments and functions. This office will also work to shine light on our forgotten communities and build a bridge towards inclusiveness,” Bottoms said. The city will also soon announce a new LGBTQ advisory board to guide the city’s engagement with LGBTQ residents, she said. Bottoms addressed transparency initiatives amid the investigations into city practices, including its open records law compliance, procurement department and the bonuses and prize money distributed by Reed. “We are charging full steam ahead with enacting changes to our ethics policies in the city of Atlanta,” she said. The mayor has previously announced the expected summer launch of Open Checkbook, an online service that will allow citizens to monitor city spending. Bottoms also noted previously announced plans to hire a dedicated person to handle open records requests and provide new open records training to employees. The city is consulting with various leaders and experts on the best way to address transparency challenges and “position Atlanta as a model city for open government and public trust,” Bottoms said. “What has been broken must be fixed, and we will repair the trust between the people who help make Atlanta work and the people for whom work is being done,” she said.


MAY 11 - 24, 2018

Community | 23


Recycling facility may come to Lenox Square mall for a certain area and developments are subject to more review. The legislation is tailored to only allow the facility on a parcel having over 1 million square feet of retail, or as Shook said, a “convoluted” way to authorize the facility at only Lenox Square. “It’s wordsmithed so that such a facility fits that spot and nowhere else,” he said. “There is a need substantially related to the public health, safety and welfare to provide a location elsewhere in SPECIAL the city where residents can more conCouncilmember Howard Shook. veniently drop-off household hazardous waste, bulky trash and other hard to recycle items; thereby encouraging reuse and diverting these items from area landfills and water systems,” the legislation says. GOOGLE MAPS Simon Properties, which declined comment, has control over what the The Center for Hard to Recycle Materials, or ChaRM, at 1110 Hill St. in 2016 as seen on Google Maps. facility would look like. Shook said the requirements would be strict and that the facility should be blocked from view. The NPU-B zoning committee reviewed the legislation Continued from page 1 its April meeting. Nancy Bliwise, the NPU chair, said the response was generally favorable, but people had Thrive Atlanta. It would be on the lot at the intersection of Lenox Parkway and East some questions about noise and where it would be Paces Ferry Road. The lot is bordered by PATH400 near the Bynum Bridge, Ga. located. 400 and the Lenox MARTA Station. “There was definitely some discussion about The lot has been used to store construction materials for the last few years, appearance and sight lines,” she said. “More Ratfcliffe said. questions than objections.” “It should be an enhancement. People walking or biking on PATH400 would Sally Silver, Shook’s policy advisor, said peobe able to bring and drop off their recycling,” she said. ple shouldn’t be concerned about noise since it Live Thrive also plans to build a community garden on the lot, she said. would be built next to Ga. 400. The CHaRM facility and a separate retail building would fill the two vacant “If Simon’s controlling, which they are, it’s golots on the back on Lenox Square. ing to meet standards probably above anyone else’s,” “BUCKHEAD REdeFINED,” a master plan that was completed last year, recomshe said. “You won’t be able to see it, you won’t be able mends activating streets by filling unused lots with retail, pedestrian networks, to hear it and it’s not in any neighborhoods.” transit and shipping containers. A developer has proposed a shipping container reShook said he doesn’t expect strong opposition to the proposal. tail building on a vacant lot across East Paces Ferry Road from the potential CHaRM “If we’re making it more convenient for people, I can’t imaglot. ine it’s going to run into any problems, given that the property owner is embracing The existing center has since “been hugely successful,” diverting over 7,500 tons it,” Shook said. of materials from landfills, Ratcliffe said. It takes many items for free and some for The current facility is on a .75-acre lot and is lined with drop-off stations for the a small fee, including mattresses, tires and paint. Free items include glass, metal, various materials. In 2017, the facility collected 327,019 gallons of paint, 18,270 tires, Styrofoam and batteries. 323,745 pounds of electronic items and 2,004 mattresses. “Given strong response, community members have long been advocating for a For more information about CHaRM, visit livethrive.org. second location in the northern half of city to offer residents another convenient option for drop off,” Ratcliffe said in a statement. The city’s original plan when the first facility opened was to have one CHaRM facility for each side of the city, but space is sparse in Buckhead, Shook said. “It’s a little difficult to find accommodation in Buckhead for something like that,” he said. NPU-B will vote on the proposal at its June 5 meeting. The city’s zoning review board will discuss the proposal at its June 7 or 14 meeting before it heads back to the city council. The current location in southeast Atlanta is difficult for Buckhead residents to visit frequently, Shook said. The aim is for the new facility to encourage recycling. “We’re definitely going to encourage recycling by having Buckhead people be able to drive a mile as opposed to southeast Atlanta,” he said. Shook has introduced City Council legislation that would allow such a facility in the special public interest district Lenox Square is located in, SPI-12. A public interest district provides special protections BH

Above, The possible location for the Center for Hard to Recycle Materials facility is shown in red.


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