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MAY 13 - MAY 26, 2016 • VOL. 10— NO. 10


Buckhead Reporter


Military Timeline

► Memorial Park playground to relocate PAGE 3 ► Police train public on active shooter events PAGE 22


A bus tour moves ideas about Buford Highway’s future BY JOHN RUCH

Take a look at that From left, Bridgette Sanchez, Vianca Moreno and Annie Neufeld watch their third-grade classmates learn the Mexican Hat Dance during International Travelers Week at Garden Hills Elementary School. From May 2 through May 6, students “traveled” to Mexico, learning the traditions, culture and history of the country and its people.

Time to get out and vote!

Georgians head to the polls May 24 for local party primaries and non-partisan elections. Sandy Springs has an election for City Council, and Brookhaven, Buckhead, Dunwoody and Sandy Springs all choose nominees for the state Legislature. Fulton and DeKalb have school sales-tax votes. To see if you’re properly registered, where to vote or to view a sample ballot, check the My Voter Page on the Georgia Secretary of State’s website, Learn more about local candidates by going to the Voters Guide on pages 12-13. Find the complete versions at Check our website on Election Night for the results in local races.

Hard work, persistence and resilience are more important than raw ability. What you decide to study is more important than where you go to school. Think about growth opportunities when you make your education choices. Gary A. Piligian Math and statistic teacher, Mount Vernon Presbyterian School See Exceptional Educator Page 6


MAKING A DIFFERENCE Program assists Latino children

More than a hundred MARTA-riding tourists got a taste of Buford Highway’s famed multicultural restaurants—seasoned with expert takes on the corridor’s safety and gentrification challenges—on an April 27 “bus crawl” staged by We Love BuHi and the MARTA Army. The bus tour and similar programs by We Love BuHi are exposing strong tensions about the highly diverse immigrant community’s future, and stirring some big ideas for supporting it. The property manager of the Latino mall Plaza Fiesta, a bus tour stop, in an interview after the tour, blasted Brookhaven for “drivSee A BUS on page 14

Massell tells historic social club to embrace millennials BY JOHN RUCH

Page 4

Buckhead Coalition president Sam Massell tried out his new pitch to embrace millennials on one of the community’s oldschool audiences, the Buckhead 50 Club, at the group’s May 10 dinner at American Legion Post 140 in Chastain Park. “As homeowners, as individuals, what I’m See MASSELL on page 11

2 | Community

Briefs ■

Revamped retail center The Exchange brings in new tenants guise the roofline with a new, lighted cornice. SPI-9 committee members gave some advice on appropriate materials, but also suggested improving the landscaping in coordination with the Buckhead Community Improvement District, which is planning streetscape improvements along that corridor. Patel said the owners are open to the idea, noting it could enhance the hotel’s “curb appeal.” SKY-SHOTS PHOTOGRAPHY

The former Buckhead Exchange strip mall, at 3165 Peachtree Road, has undergone a major renovation.

Pasta and smoothies are coming soon to the former Buckhead Exchange strip mall at Peachtree Road and Grandview Avenue, where a major renovation is wrapping up this month. Renamed “The Exchange,” the project by North Carolina-based FCA Partners is an effort to remake a strip center without following the mixed-use and luxury retail trends. “We thought there was an opportunity…to deliver something in the mid-


Instead of tearing down the old Buckhead Exchange, the developer renovated the space over the past two years with modern stylings and more pedestrian access.

dle,” said FCA principal Win Kelly, noting that Buckhead retail tends to the extremes of high-end malls and aging strip centers. Instead of tearing down the old Buckhead Exchange, FCA renovated it over the past two years with modern stylings and more pedestrian access. The main work—including new streetfront signage—will wrap up in the next couple of weeks, while tenants continue to sign up and build out their spaces.

Thank you Atlanta from the original Chin Chin Brookhaven team Celebrating 21 years in Brookhaven!

SculptHouse, a fitness business, is already open in The Exchange. The pasta store Storico Fresco, now on Roswell Road, will move in next month and expand to include a restaurant, bar and Italian market, Kelly said. “It’s a neat concept and something that doesn’t really exist in Buckhead today,” he said. Other signed tenants include a Kohler plumbing and fixtures signature showroom; the smoothie shop Kale Me Crazy; and the Atlanta-based restaurant chain Yeah! Burger. The Exchange has room for up to 15 tenants, depending on floor space, and is in active negotiations with six more businesses, Kelly said.


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The Hampton Inn Atlanta-Buckhead owners want to change the hotel’s oncetrademark mansard-style roof. At the urging of Special Public Interest District 9’s local zoning review committee, they’re open to sprucing up the landscaping as well. “The owners want it done right,” said Pierre Patel of Global Management and Investments at the May 3 SPI-9 development review committee meeting at Tower Place 100. The Hampton Inn chain is getting away from the mansard roof style, and now it’s the 3398 Piedmont Road hotel’s turn. Patel said the owners want to dis-


The New York-based office-sharing business WeWork is prepping its Atlanta location in the TowerWalk retail center at 3365 Piedmont Road. Renovations to the two-story commercial space next to the Tower 100 skyscraper has been underway for months. Exterior signs offering WeWork tours and touting the slogan, “Do What You Love” recently went up. WeWork offers rented desks and offices. A WeWork spokesperson declined to comment, but the company’s social media accounts indicate the Atlanta site is aiming to open this month.

M O R E THA N $6 0 0 ,0 0 0 R A I S ED FO R PAT H4 0 0

Livable Buckhead says it has raised more than $605,000 toward the $9 million it needs to complete construction of PATH400, a 5.2-mile multi-use trail through Buckhead. “We’ve exceeded expectations right out of the gate,” said David Lanier, senior managing director of CBRE and a member of the PATH400 capital campaign committee. “That’s exactly the kind of momentum that we need, and we’re already hard at work, building on this success and bringing even more supporters on board for PATH400.” Individual donations accounted for 73 percent of gifts, some as small as $25. Contributions also included a $250,000 matching gift from the Loudermilk Family Foundation, Livable Buckhead said.


MAY 13 - MAY 26, 2016

Community | 3

City plans to move Memorial Park YOUR HOME EQUITY CAN playground so it won’t flood as often UNLOCK SO MANY OPTIONS BY JOE EARLE

playground designs. Suggestions included “a giant molecule” climbing web like the one at MorResidents who live near Atlanta Megan Falls Overlook Park in Sandy Springs, morial Park propose the park’s new playa basketball feature, “big roller slides” like ground include everything from park the ones recently installed at Chastain benches to roller slides when city offiPark, picnic tables and park benches. cials move the play area to Not everyone at the higher ground. meeting agreed the playCity officials are conground should quickly be sidering relocating the replaced. park’s aging playground, “I think that this projwhich has been inundatect needs to wait until the ed with sewage-filled wa... Peachtree Creek sewage ter from a creek during and contamination probpark floods, to a spot uplem is solved,” said Gail hill from the current loDriebe, who lives near the cation. The playground park. “The current playequipment is located withground needs to be moved. in a flood plain that takes This is not an appropriate in much of the park, city place for a playground beofficials said. cause it gets flooded with “It’s still going to get JOE EARLE contaminated water. ... inundated [during severe From left, City Councilwoman Within two miles, there Yolanda Adrean and Daniel floods],” said Daniel Calare many big playgrounds Calvert, an urban planner vert, an urban planner with the office of park design, that are safe and clean.” with the office of park deBut other residents discuss the new playground. sign. “The hope is it will welcomed the proposal. get inundated less frequently.” “We’re excited,” said David Quillian, who The existing playground equipment is said his three children regularly use the about 10 years old, so parks officials are playground, which he called “a benefit to considering replacing it once the play the neighborhood.” area is moved, Calvert said. No date has “The families with children are overbeen set for relocating the play area, he whelmingly in support what’s being prosaid. posed here,” Quillian said. On May 5, more than two dozen resiResident John Adams, who brought dents dropped by a public meeting at the along his 6 ½-year-old daughter, Aly, Bitsy Grant Tennis Center, which is locatthought the proposal to replace and reed in another portion of the Buckhead locate the play structures made sense. park, to offer ideas on what the new play “We’ve got to get rid of the playground area should include. Residents wrote their anyway, so we might as well replace it suggestions on brightly colored notes and with one in a better location,” Adams said. stuck them to display boards featuring

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4 | Making a Difference


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Where the Extraordinary Happens Every Day ■

With Saturday School, Los Ninos Primero helps Latino children feel at home in Sandy Springs BY DONNA WILLIAMS LEWIS In one classroom, 3-year-old yoga students on blue mats shifted like pros into their “downward dog” and “warrior” positions. In another, 4-year-olds tapped beats on drums to practice counting. Down the hall, other preschoolers created paper pyramids and squares to be tossed in a game. Each side of the figures revealed a direction such as “Count to 50” or “Do something nice for someone.” This was Saturday School at Los Ninos Primero, now in its 16th year of serving Latino children in a year-round educational program at Mount Vernon Presbyterian Church in Sandy Springs. For the little ones, the morning was all about fun. For their teachers, fun is a power tool for building a passion for learning, and for nipping in the bud the inhibitors to kindergarten readiness that can arise from language and cultural differences and socioeconomic situations. Every activity had a role in that mission — even yoga, which they teach to prepare the children to deal with stress. Executive Director Maritza Morelli, a child psychologist, is very sensitive to that need. “The school and the church are very open and protective and embracing,” Morelli said, “but this is a very different environment than we see in some other ways.” Veronica Toscano de Leger, director of the Georgia Liaison Office of the state government of Guanajuato in Mexico, said Los Ninos Primero is helping children who may have difficult home lives flourish with confidence in a loving, welcoming environment. “That makes a difference in a child. It makes them start working harder to succeed,” she said. “You can see the passion when they play an instrument, the passion when people care for them.” A church bus picks the children up from across Sandy Springs, where 14 percent of the population is Hispanic or Latino. Ninety-nine percent of the program’s children were born in the U.S. and their first language is Spanish. Most of them are from low-income families. Steve Whisenant, CEO of Haven Campus Communities, was the founding chairman of Los Ninos Primero’s board of directors. He said the nonprofit program was born out of Mount Vernon’s research on the needs of the area’s growing Latino population. “We found out very quickly that to say it was underserved was an understate-

ment,” he said. Los Ninos Primero began as a twoweek summer program that served 17

Making A Difference


Volunteer Carmen Morales, 15, started with Los Ninos Primero as a 3-year-old preschooler. The Riverwood International Charter School student plans a future in medicine, education or criminal justice.

Sophia Monje, 4, gives a goodbye hug to Maritza Morelli, executive director of Los Ninos Primero, as she leaves the program’s Saturday School.

Los Ninos Primero art teacher Alison Calefati helps Emiliano Salas, 4, left, and Edwin Esteva, 5, create an educational game.

children on the preschool campus of Mount Vernon Presbyterian School. Today, 250 children participate in its free programs: the three-hour plus lunch Saturday School for 3- and 4-year-olds; a month-long summer pro-

APR. 01 - APR. 14, 2016

gram for ages 3 to 6; and weekday exMorales, 15, is headed that way. The Rivtracurricular activities for ages 5 and erwood International Charter School up. Orchestra, soccer, karate and chostudent plans a future in medicine, edrus are offered. ucation or criminal justice. All of the program’s 15 teachers are She grew up with Los Ninos Primecertified and paid, except for a volunro, starting in the program as a 3-yearteer retired teacher. They are assistold and staying connected through her ed by dozens of volunteers, including family’s participation and her volunmany former Los Ninos Primero stuteer work as the program’s assistant dents. soccer coach. “I think we’ve had about 1,000 chil“They gave me fond memories of my dren come through this program,” said childhood and I want to give that back Whisenant, who now serves on the proto them,” Carmen said. gram’s development committee. “I’ve She said the program is like a small been pleased with the ability to stay vicommunity for its families. able and to grow, and to have a lot of Carmen’s parents came to the U.S. people who feel like we’ve done the from Mexico 20 years ago. She rareright thing, for ly sees her the right reafather, exsons.” cept on weekSummer proends, because gram teacher he works Katrina Verde two jobs. Her sees first-hand mother works the difference nights cleanLos Ninos Priming three ero makes in floors of an school preparedoffice buildMARITZA MORELLI ness. She is a ing. kindergarten “You learn teacher at Sandy Springs’ Lake Forest about people who might have the Elementary School, a school where 94 same story as us,” Carmen said, “like percent of students are Hispanic and the struggle of getting here and then 59 percent of students receive language wanting their children to have a betservices. ter future than them. … I wish there “Programs like Los Ninos are pretwere more people like Ms. Maritza.” ty vital for these kids,” Verde said. “We want to bridge the academic gap so that nobody would notice a difference between kids who come from Lake Forest and the kids who come from other schools in our cluster.” Morelli was lead bilingual community liaison for the Fulton County school system when she was asked to create and lead Los Ninos Primero. The Venezuelan native was a perfect fit. “Being an immigrant myself, I understand how difficult it is for the parents to understand the school’s expectations,” Morelli said. Parent involvement is not only key here, it is required. “I want parents to feel that that they have something valuable to offer, to help and to feel proud of their own culture,” she said. “Building their self-confidence will help the children.” Morelli said parents help with fundraising, go on cultural field trips, and must attend at least 50 percent of the classes offered to them, such as school system expectations, their “rights as human beings” and stress management. “I’m planting hope in these parents that their children can go to college, because they were born here and they have more opportunity,” Morelli said. “They have to believe that. And they will learn, little by little, the steps they need to to make sure the kids are on track.” Fifty percent of the program’s first 17 students are in college, and Carmen

The school and the church are very open and protective and embracing.

Making a Difference | 5

6 | Education ■



Editor’s note: Through our “Exceptional Educator” series, Reporter Newspapers is showcasing the work of some outstanding teachers and administrators at our local schools. If you would like to recommend an Exceptional Educator, please email

Gary Piligian

teaches Advanced Placement statistics, statistics and other math classes, including pre-calculus and algebra 2, at Mount Vernon Presbyterian School in Sandy Springs. He’s been a teacher for four years. Before teaching, he was trained as an engineer and worked on Wall Street as a financial investment banker. He’s also the school’s crosscountry coach and runs marathons.

ter I went to graduate school for an MBA, worked in the institutional fixed-income business for 25 years - 11 years for Salomon Brothers (now part of Citigroup), and 14 years for Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. I’ve always been interested in education, as it played a huge role in my own career, and was at the stage of my life when I had the financial flexibility to teach. Like many non-teacher parents, I was a critic of how kids are taught, and I decided that instead of simply being a critic, I should try and do something about it. Teaching, done right, is definitely more difficult than most critics think it is. I have tremendous respect for my colleagues at Mount Vernon Presbyterian School, and I’ve learned a great deal from them.

Q: What attracted you to teaching at first? Q: Has the appeal A: My path was difchanged? DAN CARMODY ferent than that of most A: I love working with Gary Piligian teachers - I was an enthe kids and with their pargineer by training who ents, so from that perspecworked at a management consulting firm tive, the appeal hasn’t changed at all. I draw after getting my bachelor’s degree, and, afenergy from seeing the students learn challenging concepts, and from helping them connect the dots between the skills they learn in class and the opportunities that are open to them in the business world.



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Q: What keeps you going year after year? A: Honestly, it’s the notes you get every now and then from a student, a parent of a student, or a former student telling you about the personal impact that you’ve made on the student. That’s the key. I want our students to be successful and then to pay it back when they are in a position to do so. I’m also fortunate that I work at Mount Vernon, where teachers have the flexibility to experiment with new ideas and technologies to keep things fresh. All teachers at Mount Vernon have learning outcomes that drive our instruction, but we have tremendous latitude in how to get our students to best achieve the learning outcomes. We can tailor our instruction and style to our special expertise. As an example, the school has let me create a two-semester elective for next year - introduction to personal finance, and introduction to investments. These are life-worthy topics, they are right up my power alley and I can involve our parent community as resources. I’m excited to see how this class unfolds next year. Q: What do you think makes a great teacher? A: I used to think subject matter expertise was the end-all and be-all, and, obviously, that is hugely important. In fact, it’s a given - it’s the price of admission to the ball game. But, after that, what really matters

Education | 7

MAY 13 - MAY 26, 2016 ■ is something quite simple: Does the teacher care about the students and about the subject matter? If a teacher cares, students pick up on that. And likewise if they sense the teacher doesn’t care. Q: What do you want to see in your students? A: I want to see students who are ready to tackle difficult problems; I value resiliency and persistence. I try to put the growth mindset into all students - the idea that anyone can learn anything if they put the effort into it. Q: How do you engage your students? A: The biggest thing students are looking for is relevance. Our Head of School, Dr. Brett Jacobsen, suggested all of our staff read a book called “Future Wise” by David Perkins. The book emphasizes that educators need to make sure the concepts they teach are “life worthy” to students - in other words, is what we are teaching likely to matter to the lives that students are likely to live? That’s a great lens through which to build engagement: Is it relevant, and does it have real-world applicability? I always link what we learn in the classroom to what I actually applied in my role in the investment business; students are clamoring for that type of relevance. Q: Do you have a project or special program you use year after year? A: No. I change up my projects from year to year. You have to keep it fresh - refine what you’ve done before that worked well to make it better, and don’t be afraid to jettison things you did in the past that just weren’t that effective. Q: Is there a “trick” that works to get students involved? A: Candy. All students will work for candy. Seriously, there’s no trick - students can tell if you are working hard on their behalf. They can sense that you care, and they

respond in kind. Now, if you can only tell me the key to keeping graduating seniors involved. That’s a tough one, because, quite understandably, they’re starting to put high school in the rear-view mirror as they look forward to college. I love teaching seniors, because they are mature, they are thinking about their future, and they want to know what it’s like out there in the real world. But it does get challenging to keep them involved as you move toward Graduation Day. Also, I’m totally honest with my students. I tell them that I never had the occasion to use imaginary numbers in my work experience, but I used the concepts of compound growth almost daily. I build trust with my students, and don’t take that trust for granted. If you can expand your role from being a teacher to being a life coach, students appreciate it. Q: What do you hope your students take away from your class? A: Hard work, persistence and resilience are more important than raw ability. What you decide to study is more important than where you go to school. Think about growth opportunities when you make your education choices - if I were 18 years old today, I’d make sure I’d closely investigate technology, energy, health care and data science. Effort matters. Luck matters. Ethics matter. Skills matter. Some jobs pay more than others because of supply and demand; make sure you get the skills that will put you in high demand, and make sure you protect your reputation. You are the master of your own destiny.

It’s graduation season. To find out when and where your local high school holds its graduation ceremony, check

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8 | Commentary

Reporter Newspapers 

Our mission is to provide our readers with fresh and engaging information about life in their communities. Published by Springs Publishing LLC 6065 Roswell Road, Suite 225 Sandy Springs, GA 30328 ■

Community Survey Question: What is the minimum post-high school education that you think is necessary today to get a good job? Do you think it is worth taking on debt to get more education? Total Respondents (200)


Phone: 404-917-2200 • Fax: 404-917-2201 Brookhaven Reporter | Buckhead Reporter Dunwoody Reporter | Sandy Springs Reporter

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Education HS 5%

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Age 40 & OVER 30%

“No, work experience is more important.” 61-year-old Sandy Springs man with a college degree “No, not unless you are in a specific field that requires it (aka doctor, lawyer, etc.).” 31-year-old Sandy Springs woman with a bachelor’s degree “Yes, but you need to be strategic and have a career in mind. A degree is only valuable if employers think it is.” 31-year-old Brookhaven man with a master’s degree

Associate Editor: John Ruch Staff Writer: Dyana Bagby

“Only if that debt can quickly be paid off. The education needs to lead to a job in a field where there is need.” 47-year-old Sandy Springs woman with a master’s degree

29 & YOUNGER 41% 30-39 29%

Despite the cost, a college degree remains the key to a good job, according to the people who answered our most recent 1Q survey. Two-thirds of the 200 respondents in the cellphone-based survey consider a college degree the minimum post-high school education needed to find a comfortable spot in the workplace. “Continuing education increases the chances of getting a better job and consequently, making more money,” a 36-year-old Atlanta woman said when asked whether it was worth going into debt to secure a college degree. “It is an investment that is likely to pay off.” And during this graduation season, when local colleges and high schools award degrees and diplomas to hundreds of new graduates, others echoed her belief that the extra years of schooling were worth the cost. “In today’s world, it is worth the debt to receive higher education,” a 23-year-old Brookhaven woman with a highschool diploma said. Not everyone saw it that way, however. About 23 percent of the respondents to the survey of adults across the communities served by Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta INtown thought high school graduates could do well with only two years of college education, a few college courses or no college at all. “As an executive for a 200-employee company,” a 41-year-old Buckhead man with a high-school education said, “I’ve found that some of the best people have no degree, but rather a great understanding of the subject matter for a given position.” Then again, about 10 percent thought college wasn’t enough. New graduates, they said, needed at least a master’s degree. Others questioned the high cost of college, which often requires students or their families to go deeply into debt. “I have recently graduated with my bachelor’s degree,” a 23-year-old Atlanta woman commented. “I think it is crazy how much we have to spend and put ourselves in debt to find a job just to make it. It’s insane that there are no other options than to put ourselves in debt in order to get a job, because to get any decent job today you need at least a bachelor’s degree. I am all about the education, but not being punished financially for receiving it.”

“Only if it (debt) is flexible and low interest!” 51-year-old Buckhead man with a bachelor’s degree “Depends on how much the job you expect to get will pay.” 24-year-old Dunwoody woman with a master’s degree “No. Success is based on effort, determination and focus, not financial background. Plenty of rich kids who have access to a college education make nothing of it.” 40-year-old Atlanta woman with a master’s degree “It’s an investment, but only to get a job that can pay it off.” 27-year-old Atlanta man with a graduate degree

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 or by texting REPORTER to 86312.

MAY 13 - MAY 26, 2016

Commentary | 9

We carry our children I carried them to term, thirty-eight weeks. They were 6.5 lbs. and 6.7 lbs. and each measured 19.5 inches, a remarkable dual heft for a 5’1 me. I carried them, hip on hip, side to side, front and back, for the first year. I carried them one at a time -- on a Boppy pillow in my lap and draped across my shoulder. I carried them tandem--strapped into strollers and car seats, in a backpack, and in a front sling. I carried them through colicky days and feverish nights, through Chuck E. Cheese bouncy-ball pits and Chick-fil-A slides. I shuttled them to school, karate lessons, swim meets, soccer practice, baseball games, campouts and Scout meetings. I hauled them to shoe shopping and suit fittings, and countless times to REI. I drove them to doctors’ offices and school dances, to birthday party days and movie meet-up nights. I drove them to airports for departure to grandparent vacations and summer adventures. I carried them to college visits and spring breaks and school dance picture parties. This month as I watch my twin boys carry their high school diplomas across the stage, I will continue to feel their weight in my arms. They may not know it, they may not like it, but they are a part of me and I carry them with me as completely and naturally as I carry my own heart. And after graduation, I will carry them still. We all carry our children. They are there in our minds and our guts, our hopes and our fears. We carry them through sickness, disappointments and breakups. When they don’t make the team, when their friends move away, we feel the loss and we share in the sadness. We carry them through health, accomplishments and satisfaction.

When their team wins, when they made the cut, we feel the elation and we share in the thrill. And through all the ups and downs, we carry them… with love and prayer and wringing hands and gleeful hugs. We teach them to stand and to walk and to be independent; raising selfsufficient adults is, after all, our ulRobin Conte is a writer timate goal. and mother of four who (And yes, you lives in Dunwoody. She can throwcan be contacted at in “happy,” “well-adjusted,” “contributing member of society,” and any number of enriching adjectives, but you get my point). Yet our children are irrevocably connected to us through the bonds of parenthood, and it is within those parental bonds that we carry them. We carry them with joy and pride and utter astonishment that these beings grew up before our very eyes and developed into strong and capable adults. We will carry them still, through dorm move-in day and college football games, through interviews and job searches, through engagements and weddings and births, through new lives and new dreams and new families emerging. It is the way of the world. Once we carry our tiny miracles as helpless infants, they become ours, and we carry them with us, forever.

Robin’s Nest Robin Conte


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10 | Community ■

Local rules differ on construction cranes hoisting loads over busy streets BY JOHN RUCH

A heavy load of wooden building frames dangled from a crane over traffic on a Sandy Springs street April 29. Hoisting a load over an open street is a move the crane’s owner says should not happen, and various construction industry guidelines discourage it. But in the patchwork world of localized construction codes, officials say, that lumber lift broke no legal rules in that specific spot, the One City Walk project’s side facing Sandy Springs Place. But the same lift might violate city or state rules if it happened just a few miles away in Buckhead—or even just a few feet away on Roswell Road. In the April 29 incident, workers had placed the load of wood in a travel lane of Sandy Springs Place without any special traffic control. As vehicles drove around the load, two workers connected it to the crane, which then lifted it over moving traffic and onto the job site. The crane is a rental from North Carolina-based Heede Southeast. “I was like, ‘Holy…’ It’s not the best feeling,” said Heede General Manager Jason Kenna about seeing a photo of the lift. “Hoisting loads over occupied streets is not a common practice,” he added, saying workers usually will stop traffic “so no one’s under the load.” Kenna said it appeared the crane operator was working “in the blind,” meaning he could not see the load directly due to the angle and relied on “flaggers,” or ground workers, to direct him. Heede provides only the crane and the operator, not the flaggers, who are general contractor CW Construction’s responsibility, Kenna said. “We’ll probably do a site visit and talk to the contractor to figure out what happened and make sure it doesn’t happen again,” Kenna said.

sidewalk, lane or street closure permits Grant Stackhouse, CW’s execto ensure protection of the public.” utive vice president of construcThe cities of Brookhaven and Duntion, said that the tightness of the woody do not often have projects ussite requires lifts from the street at ing the large tower cranes like the one times, but that the company does at One City Walk and do not have spenot want loads passing over trafcific crane-related construction codes, fic. “That isn’t our policy. We want city spokespersons said. Both cities do reto do our best to not fly things over quire permits and traffic control plans [the street],” he said. for construction use of a public street’s Stackhouse said the site sutravel lane. pervisor informed him that trafDunwoody in 2014 issued special fic had been blocked during the easement permits for tower cranes at April 29 lift, but acknowledged the new State Farm tower under conhe had not directly witnessed it. struction at Hammond Drive and PeStackhouse said the supervisor rimeter Center Parkway. Michael Smith, has been instructed to emphasize Dunwoody’s public works director, said the need for traffic control during those permits were not about carrying crane lifts. loads over the streets, but simply giving While the crane and contractpermission for the crane’s arms to pass ing companies are taking action, over public right of ways. The city considthe city of Sandy Springs probaered it a property-rights issue, not a conbly would not, because no specific struction code issue, he said. rules cover the situation, said city Dunwoody city spokesperson Bob Mulspokesperson Sharon Kraun. len said the city does require all construc“Our current code does not tion projects to follow “federal and state recover ‘means and methods’ as it quirements, guidelines and best practices.” relates to cranes and construction The federal Occupational Safety & within the city,” Kraun said, addHealth Administration, which governs ing that the state code the city boremployee safety issues, has a standard rowed from doesn’t, either. “HowJOHN RUCH A heavy load of wooden building frames dangles that broadly suggests cranes avoid lifting ever, our building inspectors are over a portion of Sandy Springs Place on April 29. materials over workers, “consistent with able to take action if they witness public safety,” said Lindsay Williams, a activity that they believe is unsafe spokesperson for OSHA’s southeastern or presents a life safety issue.” regional office. But OSHA does not have One City Walk is also bordered quire a traffic control plan involving stopjurisdiction over general public safety, he by Roswell Road, a state route where crane ping vehicles “until the load went from said. operations have different rules. “If GDOT Point A to Point B. Nothing should be unShane Adams, president and CEO of was overseeing this work…we would not der that load.” Crane Safety Associates of America, an inhave any vehicles moving under our crane, The city of Atlanta has similar permit spection and training firm in McDonough, period,” said state Department of Transrequirements, said spokesperson JewanGa., said that a crane’s load-carrying path portation spokesperson Annalysce Baker. na Gaither. “Public safety is always our top should be planned to meet voluntary inOn state routes, even moving the priority,” she said in an email. “All construcdustry standards from the American Nacrane’s arm over the street requires a “right tion activity in our public right of ways, to tional Standards Institute, including one of way encroachment” permit, said Baker. include material handling and equipment that says: “The operator should avoid carAnd hoisting a load over the road would retherein, requires a right-of-way construcrying loads over people.” tion permit and any associated needed

PROJECT-BASED VOUCHER WAITLIST OPENING The Housing Authority of Fulton County, Georgia (HAFC) will open its ProjectBased Voucher (PBV) waitlist specifically for Sterling Place Apartments located at 144 Allen Road, Sandy Springs, Georgia. The waitlist will open June 1, 2016 at 12:01am and will remain open until such time as a minimum of 500 names are on the list. All applicants must be 62 years or older, and must meet the criteria of “low-income” in accordance with the requirements of Section 42 of the Internal Revenue Code, the Regulations and the HAFC. An applicant’s income cannot exceed 60% of Area Median Income (“AMI”). Currently, 60% of the Area Median Income is:

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Interested, eligible persons should call HAFC at 404-588-4950 to provide their name, address and telephone number (if applicable) to request an application. An application can also be placed at the HAFC Main Office at 4273 Wendell Drive, SW, Atlanta, Georgia 30336 beginning June 1, 2016 between the hours of Monday through Thursday, 9am to 4pm, or Friday, 9am to noon Eastern Standard Time. BH

MAY 13 - MAY 26, 2016

Community | 11

Massell tells Buckhead’s historic social club to embrace millennials


Continued from page 1


volves “gerrymandering” or favoring of certain demographics or candidates. saying is, don’t see [the new renters] as sec“Gerrymandering…may be unconstituond-class citizens,” said Massell to a largetional, but nobody’s testing it, that I know ly quiet response from the 84-year-old soof,” Massell said, suggesting it “may be cial and civic club’s men-only membership. good for somebody to try.” For those among the Buckhead 50 who One member asked Massell weren’t racing out to bike to a about the dwindling of classic collaborative workspace and Southern hospitality and manmeet some millennials, Masners, especially in Buckhead. sell—a former Atlanta mayor— Another audience member also touched on the 2017 maybluntly suggested it’s because oral campaign and the fate of “so many Yankees and liberals Southern hospitality. are here now in the city.” In a speech to the BuckMassell said that the probhead Business Association lem is “not Buckhead. It’s urban last month, Massell debuted Sam Massell America,” and offered to rescue his challenge to embrace the Southern hospitality if there’s a thousands of renters coming workable way to throw it a life preserver. to Buckhead as a result of the communi“You’re not wrong about what you’re ty’s apartment boom. He repeated the key complaining about, and if you come up points to the Buckhead 50 with some upwith an idea, I’ll work on it,” he said. “I’d dated numbers: 49 apartment complexes love to tackle just such a challenge.” proposed or underway in Buckhead, with The Buckhead 50 Club’s June meeting 15,266 total units. will feature a state Department of Trans“We’ll have a large supply of newcomers portation official speaking about metro that will be in our community as strangAtlanta roadway projects. The club is iners,” said Massell, adding they will seek to vitation-only, but it’s often seeking new patronize or work at a variety of businessmembers. For more information, contact es, including, “yes, upscale nightlife.” club president Michael Moore at 404-667With maybe 25,000 young renters com4762. ing to Buckhead, Massell advised the club members, “Don’t fight it. Don’t think you can avoid it.” Instead, he said Buckhead’s older homeowners should welcome the new generation’s “profile of power” as future leaders. “I know you have mixed feelings about what I told you,” Massell said to the quiet response, though it appeared some response may have been muted simply because audience members already knew his speech from prior media coverage. However, one member did ask how to “nurture” the quality of life for Buckhead’s new millennials, with Massell recommending support for Buckhead Coalition initiatives. On the political front, Massell ran through a list of 11 declared or potential candidates to replace Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed in 2017. He offered brief comments on only a few, all of them Atlanta City Council members. Massell said Kwanza Hall is getting publicity and “he’s a factor, I think.” Council President Ceaser Mitchell is “in my opinion, probably the front-runner right now,” Massell said, adding, “That’ll change tomorrow” and many times in the race. He had special praise for Mary Norwood, calling her the “hardest-working council member I’ve ever known.” Fulton County Commissioner Lee Morris, who formerly represented the Buckhead-area District 7 City Council seat, noted that the district has been shrinking in size with each redistricting as the population increases. He asked about the future of Buckhead’s representation, leading Massell to suggest that council redistricting in-

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12 | Community ■

Voters Guide A former Sandy Springs City Councilman and a Buckhead lawyer meet in the Neighborhood/community you live Republican Primary on May 24 to deterin: North Harbor neighborhood in Sanmine who will take the seat in the House dy Springs of Representatives representing District 52, which covers portions of Buckhead and Past political experience: CouncilSandy Springs. man for the city of Sandy Graham McDonald of Springs, District 3, from Sandy Springs and DeboJanuary 2014 through rah Silcox of Buckhead are March 2016. vying to succeed former Rep. Joe Wilkinson, who deOther experience in the cided not to seek re-eleccommunity: Graduate and tion. No Democrat has filed board member, Leaderto run, so the winner of the ship Sandy Springs; prior Republican Primary will be president and vice presiable to claim the seat. dent, North Harbor NeighThe Buckhead Reportborhood Association; prier submitted questions to or vice chairman, Sandy the candidates. Here are seSprings Economic Devellected responses, edited for opment Advisory ComGraham McDonald space. To see their full anmittee; member, State Bar swers, go to ReporterNewsof Georgia, Legislative visory Committee; head Also, go to on coach (baseball), Sandy Springs Youth Election Night for coverage of local primaSports, Rookie Red Sox; prior board ries. member, Sandy Springs Bar Association

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PUBLIC NOTICE OF THE OPENING DATE OF THE SITE-BASED WAITING LIST May 9th, 2016 - Ongoing Reynoldstown Senior Residences is accepting applications for apartment units receiving rental assistance on its1 and 2 bedroom apartments. Eligible residents will pay no more than 30% of their adjusted monthly income for rent and utilities, subject to minimum rent and other requirements. Age Requirements: 62 or older Community: Reynoldstown Senior Residences, 695 Field Street SE, Atlanta, GA 30316 Phone: 404.975.4291 Application period:

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other support to our community makes me uniquely qualified for this new role. I have worked intimately with the traffic issues in our community, helped to construct and balance city budgets, dealt first-hand with zoning issues, and worked closely with HOAs and constituents to understand and promote their perspectives and goals. These experiences and many others that I have gained working in the trenches of city government have given me knowledge and skills that I will utilize at the State House to promote the quality of life in our community and will allow me to hit the ground running on Day One. Time is of the essence for our community, given the development, growth and pressures going on internally and in neighboring jurisdictions. At the time of qualifying for this State House race, my now-opponent had been meeting with leaders across the district for months, expressing her ambitions to run for this House seat. With this knowledge, many of these same leaders, including Rep. Wendell Willard, Mayor Rusty Paul and others in our nonprofit sector, approached me and asked me to transition my service to the State House to serve an even broader citizenry as a strong, knowledgeable and dedicated advocate. With this groundswell of support, I felt an obligation to serve my neighbors (including my prior city council constituents) in a different capacity for the long-term good of our community. I am a Republican who favors a common sense, conservative direction for our state. In this election, I was the first candidate to propose increasing the homestead exemption to reduce property taxes for all Fulton homeowners. I support the local rule that any property tax increase must be approved by the voters and will remain skeptical and hesitant toward any type of tax in-

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crease for our citizens. Further, I publicly oppose unnecessary legislation like the so-called “religious freedom” bill, and will work to maintain focus on our most pressing issues like traffic, crime, taxes and education. My wife and I chose this community above all others to raise our family and to give our children a place to call home. I am invested in the future and well-being of this area. As is evident by my already strong history as an engaged citizen, I am, and will remain, steadfast in my passion and dedication to protect and improve our neighborhoods. Q: What do you see as the biggest problem facing the state? A: The biggest problem facing our state is unnecessary legislation, like this past year’s so-called “religious freedom” (“RFRA”) bill. We need to cut back on legislation attempting to serve as a solution to a problem created only by the legislation. I strongly support Gov. Deal’s veto of RFRA, and did so publically before the veto. If it had not been for the governor’s veto, Georgia’s reputation, both nationally and internationally, as a welcoming and gracious state would have been damaged, and the economic detriment to our state would have been immense. One only needs to look at what has occurred in North Carolina and Indiana, when similar legislation was enacted, to see what could have befallen on Georgia economically. Q: If a “religious freedom” bill similar to the one passed this session and vetoed by Gov. Deal is offered again next year, how would you vote on it? A: I would vote against it. Please see my response regarding legislation like this amounting to the biggest problem facing our state. My position against the so-called

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Priority Categories: Eligible applicants will be ranked on the site-based waiting list according to the recorded date and time their fully completed application forms were received and accepted by management. All applicants must pass a credit and criminal background check prior to being considered for the site-based waiting list. Please note that an applicant desiring to lease an assisted apartment must comply with all applicable eligibility criteria, including but not limited to the criteria set forth in the application. All information provided by the applicant will be verified from all applicable sources including, but not limited to employers, providers, and federal, state and local government agencies. Applicants who have misrepresented any information during the application process may be removed from the site-based waiting list or, if housed, subject to lease termination. In addition, applicants who have previously participated in any assisted housing program and were terminated for cause may not be eligible. Applicants who are determined ineligible will be offered the opportunity to participate in an informal meeting with management to dispute the ineligibility decision.

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MAY 13 - MAY 26, 2016

“religious freedom” (“RFRA”) bill is unqualified and not just a strategic political stance. My family and I attend Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church and my opposition stems from my personal beliefs.

Deborah Donaldson Silcox Attorney

Neighborhood: Northside Woods

clear goals in mind to bring change to Fulton County and Georgia, including exempting senior citizens from school taxes similar to how Cobb County already does, bringing property tax relief for all Fulton homeowners by raising the homestead exemption, and eliminating the Georgia income tax and replacing it with a FairTax plan. Most importantly, I am tenacious and will finish the job I started: I do not quit.

Past political experience: Q: What do you see as the University of Georgia legbiggest problem facing islative intern for the 1985 the state? session; legislative intern A: As our representative, for U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn I will work to ensure we in the summer of 1984; Deborah Donaldson Silcox have long-term economclerked for Georgia’s Atic development plans in torney General Michael place to bring jobs and Bowers in the summer of 1987; have growth here. My proposal to eliminate worked on numerous campaigns. income taxes and replace them with a FairTax plan would absolutely result in Other experience in the communieconomic development from compaty: Reappointed and made chair of the nies relocating out of high-tax states to Governor’s Commission for Service Georgia and bringing growth, manufacand Volunteerism by Gov. Nathan Deal turing and high-tech jobs with them. (2014-present); appointed by Gov. Sonny Perdue to state of Georgia’s ComQ: If a “religious freedom” bill similar mission for Volunteerism and Service to the one passed this session and ve(2011- 2014) as well as the Department toed by Gov. Deal is offered again next of Human Resources Board (2009year, how would you vote on it? 2011); Chastain Park Conservancy (exA: Reasonable people can disagree on ecutive committee and board memhis issue, but I believe that the language ber 2008-2015); advisory board of the of House Bill 757 would not withstand Chastain Park Conservancy (2015-presa judicial challenge. Arguably, the lanent); Hands on Georgia board member guage of the bill violates the Equal Pro(2004-2008); Junior League of Atlantection Clause of the 14th Amendment ta (past vice president of Finance and of the U.S. Constitution as well as the board member). Civil Rights Act of 1964. If another bill is proposed next year, I would be interestQ: Why should the voters choose you? ed in finding language in the bill that A: I can serve in this position full time. protects Georgians’ freedom of religion I have raised my family and have no but does not discriminate against anycompeting business. I also have very one.








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Community | 13

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14 | Community ■

A bus tour moves ideas about Buford Highway’s future

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Gentrification tensions

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Why they love BuHi

Many attendees did just that, enjoying exploring Buford and trying out MARTA’s 39 bus. Katie Lambert of Atlanta and Linda Niederhausen of Marietta teamed up to join one of several groups led from stop to stop by volunteer guides. “This is one of the few parts of town


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ing out families” with “million-dollar townhomes.” Meanwhile, Brookhaven City Council member Joe Gebbia revealed that he wants the city to buy Buford Highway property to ensure redevelopment includes affordable housing and local businesses. City-owned redevelopments, Gebbia said, may be the only way “to serve the community and not just maximize the profit.” Similar food for thought was served alongside food for the belly on the bus tour. While noshing on sample plates, attendees heard from such officials as MARTA planner Amanda Rhein, who set up an easel at the Plaza Fiesta mall and explained the agency’s proposed transit-oriented redevelopment around the Brookhaven/Oglethorpe station. The bus crawl ended at Brookhaven’s Royal Lounge nightclub with keynote speaker Ryan Gravel, the urban planner who dreamed up Atlanta’s BeltLine park/ transit ring. “There’s certainly the challenge of change and displacing the thing that makes [Buford Highway] special,” Gravel said in an interview at the lounge about the corridor’s immigrant culture. “Nowhere else has that sense of identity, that sense of place…There’s nothing else like it” in metro Atlanta or most other suburban corridors nationwide, he said. “What happens to it is really important.” Without a new kind of culture-focused planning, Gravel said, the road’s main asset will be displaced for another generic stripmall suburb. He suggested turning two lanes of the roadway into bus-rapid-transit lanes. Instead of pumping money into standard redevelopments, he called for investing in affordable housing or “a venture capital fund for immigrant businesses.”

displacement discussions, and sparked some local curiosity. As one group walked through the Plaza Fiesta parking lot, a passerby cracked, “Did y’all’s bus break down? That’s a lot of white people.” Julio Penaranda, the property manager at Plaza Fiesta, said that Brookhaven city policies are displacing the mall’s Latino customer base, even as it adapts to serve a new, upper-middle-class “white Anglo” demographic. “Brookhaven has been, hands-down, anti-low-income, anti-Latino, anti-immigrants since Day One,” said Penaranda, pointing to the city’s approval of luxury housing in place of apartments, and its licensing crackdowns on local restaurants and nightclubs. He contrasted Brookhaven with the city of Chamblee, which he characterized as more supportive. Penaranda said Plaza Fiesta’s mall has changed with local demographics over the years, starting as a Woolworth’s department store in the 1950s, shifting to Asian businesses in the 1970s, and then a Latino mall in 1998. Now it’s making sure its retailers welcome the new demographic by accepting credit cards, using bilingual signage and showing “that it’s not scary to come into a place that is mostly Hispanic.” MARTA Army founder Simon Berrebi said bus crawl organizers tried to not present Buford as exotic, but instead to highlight the good and the challenging. “That’s how people who live and work here live it every day,” he reminded the nightclub crowd. “It’s not just, ‘Let’s go eat.’ It’s, ‘Let’s go eat and learn,’” said We Love BuHi founder Marian Liou.

and by visiting our website

Continued from page 1

Raising The Standard of Care


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MAY 13 - MAY 26, 2016

Community | 15

[where] I haven’t gone to every restaurant,” said Lambert, while Niederhausen was impressed with MARTA’s service. “It was clean. That’s one of the myths—that the bus is dirty,” she said. Chamblee residents Katja and Joerg Lauterbach said they’ve been on We Love BuHi’s previous Buford bike tours. “We just love Buford Highway…We are adventurers, but [we attend] to be more adventurous,” Katja Lauterbach said, adding that as immigrants themselves—from Berlin, Germany—they appreciate the corridor and its people. At Yen Jing, a Chinese restaurant in Doraville, a dumpling-munching crowd heard about the work of the Center for Pan Asian Community Services from its vice president, Victoria Huynh. Sally Flocks of the Atlanta pedestrian advocacy group PEDS explained Buford Highway’s traf-

ideas as a globe sculpture. The published plan included public comments from only nine people. Local input from the diverse community is “an uphill climb for everybody,” said David Schaefer, the director of policy and advocacy at the Latin American Association, which is based on Brookhaven’s stretch of Buford Highway. Language barriers, meetings not accessible by public transit, immigrants from places without traditions of public input, the daily struggles of poverty—all of those and more are among the obstacles, Schaefer said. And with immigrants from dozens of countries, the Buford corridor’s community is not a “monolith” with an easy representative to contact, he said. “I think there’s deeper relationshipbuilding that both sides need to engage in,” Schaefer said of city-community relations. He added that Brookhaven is generally responsive, but “sometimes market forces are bigger than any of us.” Statelevel affordable housing policy may be the real solution, he said. “Sometimes the law follows the culture,” he said.

Rethinking redevelopment

Gravel made a similar point about broadening the definition of urban planning. JOHN RUCH Ryan Gravel, left, signs his book for Cross With metro Atlanta’s populaKeys High School teacher Rebekah Morris tion booming and local govduring the “bus crawl” on April 27. ernments doing cleanup projects like the Peachtree Creek fic dangers outside the Bangladeshi marGreenway and shutting down strip clubs, ket and café Bismillah, where there’s a dirt change is coming to Buford Highway, Gravpath instead of a sidewalk. el said. With a “thoughtful” approach, it can The star of the tour was Gravel, who change in ways that build wealth for the grew up in Chamblee and whose 1999 grad existing community, he said. student project of turning old railroad beds “Buford Highway has to be a corridor into the BeltLine is transforming Atlanta— not just for moving people in cars along,” currently as a multiuse path, but with a but also for community development, strong push for his original light-rail pubhealth and the arts, Gravel said. “All of lic transit vision. those things are part of what its job is.” Gebbia, who represents the area, praised Grassroots challenges Liou and Morris as leaders raising some of Gravel signed a copy of his new book, those new ways of thinking. He said it has “Where We Want to Live,” for Rebekah helped inspire him to work for more forMorris, a teacher at Brookhaven’s Cross mal, regional planning on public transit Keys High, while she told him about her and marketing efforts such as an “internastudents’ project to design their own Butional festival” on the entire corridor. ford Highway visions. That student project Gebbia’s biggest idea is using a potential is partly a response to a lack of Buford comnew city agency to “take control of [a] projmunity input in local plans, partly due to ect…assemble the land…then dictate the language or cultural barriers. outcome to bidders.” One or more city-deGrassroots input is a big theme of Gravveloped projects could retain Buford Highel’s book, he said in an interview. For the way’s workforce housing and multiculturBeltLine plan, he said, Atlanta’s Neighboral businesses, he said, adding that the idea hood Planning Unit system was crucial for is under city internal review. getting quick and easy community input But time may not be on the side of newfrom everywhere in the city. He said he is fangled development ideas. Gebbia said he not an expert in Buford-area local governhas talked with the Latin American Associments, but that they appear not to have ation about a “contingency plan” in case a anything like NPUs. major apartment complex was bought out Brookhaven created a plan for its secand its hundreds of residents are suddention of Buford Highway in 2014 that is conly displaced. troversial, Liou and others say, for suggest“Right now, there is no answer,” Gebbia ing a renaming to “Buford Boulevard” and said. “They’re all just ideas right now.” only lightly addressing diversity with such BH

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16 | Out & About ■



FOR KIDS KIDS TO PARKS DAY Saturday, May 21, 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. For the sixth year, Sandy Springs participates in the National Park Trust’s “National Kids to Parks Day.” Activities for all ages include: obstacle course challenges, water slides, inflatables, face painting, balloon artist, raffles, DJ music and more. Free. Hammond Park, 705 Hammond Dr., Sandy Springs, 30328. Find out more:

A SEUSSOME TWOSOME Saturday, May 21, 11 a.m. Using the poetry of Dr. Seuss’s classic stories, “Gertrude McFuzz,” and “Green Eggs and Ham,” this children’s program is an easy to understand introduction to opera. Tickets, $10 per person. Q&A with performers follows show. Conant Performing Arts Center, Oglethorpe University, 4484 Peachtree Rd., Brookhaven, 30319. For further details and tickets, go to: ccityopera. org. Call 404-364-8555 with questions.



lanta and Jewish Family & Career Services copresent the film,” SCREENAGERS: Growing Up in the Digital Age.” The documentary explores challenges families face over social media, video games, academics and internet addiction. Authors and brain scientists discuss how to help kids navigate the digital world. Tickets, $12. To purchase, visit: 5342 Tilly Mill Rd., Dunwoody, 30338.

INTRO TO MEDITATION Wednesday, May 25, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Learn what meditation is and what its benefits are. Free and open to the public. Suitable for adults, elders, college and high school audiences. For more information, contact the Buckhead Branch Library at 404-814-3500 or email: 269 Buckhead Ave., NE, Atlanta, 30305.



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Saturday, May 21, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Learn “simple” medicinemaking skills using native and nonnative plants found at Blue Heron Nature Preserve! This class covers plant identification, and the medicinal and edible value of plants. Hike the woods, learn proper harvesting skills and discuss plant safety. Make a “pre recipe” tonic to take home. Light snacks and beverages provided. $30 per person; $15 for children under 12. 4055 Roswell Rd., Atlanta, 30342. Call 404-345-1008 for information. Register: or email:

SPRING FLORA Saturday, May 21, 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Bring your canoe or kayak and join National Park Service Naturalist Jerry Hightower for a three-mile float on the Chattahoochee River, exploring plants, geology and wildlife. You will encounter three, mild class 1.5 rapids suitable for beginners. Meet at the Powers Island entrance at 10 a.m. to unload equipment. Wear warm, quick-drying clothes and good river shoes. No flip-flops! Bring lunch and water for a picnic. Reservations required by calling 678-538-1200. $3 park pass or current annual pass or America the Beautiful Pass required. 5450 Interstate North Parkway, Sandy Springs, 30328. Find out more:

SCREENAGERS Sunday, May 22, 11 a.m.-12:45 p.m. The Marcus Jewish Community Center of At-

Saturday, May 28, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The Atlanta History Center honors U.S. veterans of generations past as well as those of today during the family program, Military Timeline. Meet veterans sharing personal stories of wartime and memorabilia. Travel the military timeline from the Revolutionary War to current conflicts. Enjoy self-guided tours of Veterans Park using smartphones to access recordings of veterans’ stories. Free for members; included in general admission for non-members. For details or tickets, visit: or call 404-814-4000. 130 West Paces Ferry Rd., NW, Atlanta, 30305.

FUNDRAISERS BROOKHAVEN BOLT Saturday, May 21, 8 a.m. Join the crowd at the Brookhaven Bolt! 5K runs through Ashford Park. Begins and ends at Village Place Brookhaven, 1418 Dresden Dr. Walkers, strollers and pets start at 8:05 a.m. Rain or shine. Post-race festivities include raffles, awards, food. $30; $35 race day. Proceeds go to Ashford Park Elementary School. Learn more and register: Caldwell Road, Brookhaven, 30319.

GEORGIA BEER FESTIVAL Saturday, May 21, 2-6 p.m. The second annual Tap into Georgia Beer Festival rolls into Brook Run Park, featuring local Georgia brewers. Live music. Rain or shine. Tickets, $30 in advance; $35 at the door. Designated driver ticket available, $10. Proceeds benefit the Dunwoody Nature Center. Ticket includes tastings, souvenir glass and access to on-


MAY 13 - MAY 26, 2016

site concessions. 4770 N. Peachtree Rd., Dunwoody 30338. Questions? Visit:

SALUTE TO OUR TROOPS 5K Saturday, May 28, 8 a.m. Come out and honor the men and women of our armed services! This 5K provides financial support to our troops with food, rent, utilities and medical expenses. Grab your family, friends and fuzzy buddies for a run/walk around Chastain Park. Rain or shine. Strollers and walkers welcome. $30; day of $35. Children 6-18, $23. 110 W. Wieuca Rd., Atlanta, 30342. Register at or find out more:


dents, $30; free with a Petrel Pass. Additional shows: Saturday, May 21, 8 p.m. and Sunday, May 22, 3 p.m. Conant Performing Arts Center, 4484 Peachtree Rd., Oglethorpe University, Brookhaven, 30319. For more information and tickets, go to:


Saturday, May 21, 8 p.m. Known for their smooth harmonies and Motown-era influences, this young band, Curley Taylor & Zydeco Trouble, makes audiences want to stay on the dance floor. Free beginners dance lesson 7-8 p.m. $18; $5, students; $14, active military. No partner required. All ages welcome. Cajun food for sale. Dorothy Benson Center, 6500 Vernon Woods Dr., Sandy Springs, 30328. For further details, go to: or call 877-338-2420.

ATLANTA CONCERT BAND Sunday, May 22, 4 p.m. The Atlanta Concert Band continues its 2015-2016 season with a free performance of “Take the High Road: A Musical Tribute to the Fallen” at The Galloway School. No tickets required. In the Chaddick Performing Arts Center, 215 West Wieuca Rd., NW, Atlanta, 30342. For more information, call 404358-1966 or visit www.atlantaconcertband.

SOULHOUND Thursday, May 19, 6-8 p.m. Reception for the 17th annual international juried exhibition, featuring 100 submitted paintings from the Southeastern Pastel Society. Show runs through June 26. $5 for adults; free for OUMA members; children under 12, free. Free parking. Lowry Hall, Third Floor, Oglethorpe Museum of Art, 4484 Peachtree Rd., NE, Brookhaven, 30319. Call 404-364-8555 or go to: museum.

THE MIKADO Friday, May 20, 8 p.m. Capitol City Opera Company presents Gilbert and Sullivan’s light-hearted comic operetta production, “The Mikado,” set in Japan. General admission: adults, $40; seniors/stu-

Saturday, May 28, 7-9 p.m. The Dunwoody Nature Center’s Concerts in the Park series welcomes Soulhound, who play groove-oriented R&B, as well as soul and greasy funk of the late ‘60s and ‘70s. Grab a chair, blanket and picnic dinner. Beverages available for purchase. Seating on first-come, first-served basis. Free for DNC members; adults, $5; students, $3; children 3 and under, free. 5343 Roberts Dr., Dunwoody, 30338. For further details, call 770-394-3322 or go to: Find out about the band:

Out & About | 17 ■




should get the tickets. Don’t argue with me about the merits of ticketing; trust Smith to deliver you an amazing feast that is twice as large as you exMegan Volpert lives in pect. The tickDecatur, teaches in Roets are for a swell and writes books five-course about popular culture. menu, but there were four surprise courses threaded between those and one of them had four completely different bites on it. It’s dynamite bang for your buck. Trust in Smith, whose tastes, techniques and plating will all prove themselves to you as worthy of the ridiculous amount of praise already bestowed upon them. This brings me to my only point of disagreement with Kummer’s review. He says that the food “is of a seriousness that suggests, perhaps even demands, white tablecloths and a hint of formality.” Noooo! I would say instead, “welcome to Atlanta, where the very best chefs have no need of white tablecloths.” Fine dining establishments in New York or Los Angeles are free to serve you expensively boring four-star food, resting assured that you can sweep your disillusionment under their white tablecloths. That is not how we do it in the South. Not only is Staplehouse free of white tablecloths, it doesn’t even require servers to wear standardized uniforms and it also features – gasp! – an open kitchen floor plan. We are unfussy and we have soul, and we should not make concessions or apologize for it. One other thing: we like to drink in the South. The long line of glowing Staplehouse reviews often neglects to mention its

Dining Out Megan Volpert



In the April edition of Atlanta Magazine, Corby Kummer gave four stars to Staplehouse—the first four-star rating given by that magazine since 2010. Within the same 24 hours as that incredible review, news also broke that Staplehouse is a James Beard Finalist for Best New Restaurant. After I ate there, I immediately posted on social media: “Don’t wait for my review, ATLiens, get tickets to eat at Staplehouse now, before they’re the hardest table to get in this city. I’m not a sentimental person, so when I say you won’t regret it…” and then posted a photo of the slogan painted over their kitchen. It’s a quotation from Ryan Hidinger that reads, “Anything long lasting or worthwhile takes time and complete surrender.” Everyone knows the late Hidinger’s story by now. In short, he was a talented chef with plans to open a restaurant, but instead he died after the industry raised quite a lot of money to aggressively but unsuccessfully treat his gallbladder cancer. What remains is the small but fiercely determined clan of his wife, Jen; his sister, Kara; and Kara’s husband, Chef Ryan Smith. What remains is The Giving Kitchen, a means of raising charitable funds for members of the industry who are in need of help with expensive medical bills. All of the after-tax profits from Staplehouse go to The Giving Kitchen. So to begin with, this is an easy way to give back to the chefs and servers who literally put food on your table. And it is incredible food. I have had the pleasure of experiencing the majority of fine dining offerings in Atlanta, and without hyperbole of any kind, I want to state unequivocally that I have never been so impressed with a meal in our fair city as I was with the one at Staplehouse. Kummer said it’s a meal worth a plane ticket and I agree. There are many dishes worthy of analysis, but little point in detailing them because you should not order them. Staplehouse offers an a la carte menu, but you

rant Re


18 | Dining Out

MAY 13 - MAY 26, 2016

Dining Out | 19

At Senior Helpers, we know that life is busy and caring for an elderly parent or loved one is hard work. Our loving team is here to assist you and give you the break you deserve. From left, Kara Hidinger, Chef Ryan Smith and Jen Hidinger.

bar program, directed by Stephen James. James is not a formally trained sommelier. He is a glam band rocker from Athens with little patience for some other expert’s idea of good taste. A self-taught connoisseur, he paired a superb set of wines to go with the tasting menu. Every pour was a generous one and he personally chatted us up tableside when, after having very much enjoyed not making any choices for the past two

and a half hours, we struggled to decide on a simple aperitif. Get tickets to Staplehouse. Completely surrender to it, as Ryan Hidinger wanted. Traditionalist fine diners and the James Beard Awards should find it worthwhile, too. Staplehouse is located at 541 Edgewood Ave. in the Old Fourth Ward. For more information, visit

Quick Bites Create Your Cupcake is open in Sandy Springs at 203 Hilderbrand Drive. The shop allows customers to personalize their own cupcake creations in person for delivery or for group and corporate meetings and events. For more information, visit

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Jamba Juice is now open at 6623 Roswell Road, Suite J, in Sandy Springs, offering up fresh juices, all-natural baked goods, sandwiches and more. For more information, visit Brookhaven Provisions is now open in Brookleigh Marketplace. The combination restaurant and shop features sandwiches and salads from both Café at Pharr and Hungry Peach as well as items like olive oils, honey, jams, jellies and more. For details, visit facebook. com/BrookhavenProvisions.

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Above, Lost Corner Preserve, Sandy Springs’ newest park, was recently transformed into a classroom for 103 first graders from Dunwoody Springs Elementary School. The students learned about nature, gardening, history and beekeeping. At right, Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul, a third-generation beekeeper, shows off his skills handling the insects. Austin Elementary School in Dunwoody held its annual International STEM celebration on May 5, providing an opportunity to learn about other nationalities. At left, second-graders Erik Johansson, left, and Viggo Klint, dressed in the colors of Sweden, have a snack.

Published by Springs Publishing, LLC, 6065 Roswell Road, Suite 225, Sandy Springs, GA 30328

The celebration gave students a chance to showcase their implementation of STEM practices and principles as well as their use of engineering and design concepts.

Emma Kate Sellers, a student at the Atlanta Girls’ School and a member of Youth Leadership Sandy Springs, spent part of her final day in the program studying the biodiversity of a creek at Island Ford, headquarters of the Chattachoochee River National Recreation Area. Students found a variety of wildlife including frogs, invertebrates, dragonfly larva, water bugs and crawfish.

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22 | Public Safety ■

Local police departments training public on active shooter events BY DYANA BAGBY

The class began with the Pledge of Allegiance. Then, Dunwoody Police Department’s Lt. Mike Carlson asked the crowd, “Why do you think you are here tonight?” A woman from the audience volunteered, “To learn how to react when there’s an active shooter.” “I couldn’t think of a better response,” Carlson said. “Give her a round of applause.” The audience did just that. Carlson was teaching a recent Civilian Reaction to an Active Shooter Event (C.R.A.S.E.) at the Dunwoody United Methodist Church, one of several Dunwoody police have put on in the past couple of years. A crowd of nearly 100 people sat in folding chairs in the Fellowship Hall listening to Carlson’s presentation, part of a growing number of people in metro Atlanta seeking answers for what to do if they somehow are caught in the middle of a shooting. In addition to Dunwoody, police departments in Sandy Springs, Brookhaven and Atlanta also have offered such classes, all free and open to the public, as news of “active shooters” continue to make national headlines. An active shooter as defined by the FBI is “an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area.”

The Sandy Springs Police Departthey need to get out of that bias toward ment has offered three C.R.A.S.E. normalcy. seminars to the public so far this The number of deaths at an active year, and also 11 private classes, said shooter event depends on how fast police Sgt. Forrest Bohannon. “We have a arrive and the “target availability” – how lot of private requests. We do lockeasy people are for the shooter to actualdown drills at schools. Schools have ly kill. different policies than what we teach It takes police an average of three minwith C.R.A.S.E. Some of the princiutes to respond to an active shooter event, ples are the same, but some are not which is like an “eternity” for those at the because of the younger children,” Boscene trying to survive, Carlson said. The hannon said. “Some of the classes we best way to save lives is to teach civilians have done are for medical offices, how to respond themselves, he said. business offices, private school parPlaying dead doesn’t work, he said. Nor ents, citizen police academy.” does hiding behind desks, he said, because The Brookhaven Police Departdesks aren’t bulletproof. “Those are two ment will be scheduling more classbad strategies,” Carlson said. es after the summer and the APD has Instead, people are urged to “avoid, DYANA BAGBY held several successful classes this deny, defend,” he explained. Lt. Mike Carlson of the Dunwoody Police Department year. Avoid: Make sure you have “situationaddresses a crowd attending a recent Civilian Carlson told the Dunwoody al awareness” when walking into a room. Reaction to Active Shooter Event (C.R.A.S.E.) at Dunwoody United Methodist Church. crowd that there have been 160 “acKnow where all the exits are and considtive shooter incidents” in the U.S. er secondary exits, such as windows. This ronment. from 2000 through 2013. gives options to escape. ► That’s an average of 11.4 incidents per Deny: If in a school or office building, ► 60 percent of the incidents ended before year. However, since 2006, that number has close the door to your office or room and use police arrived. jumped to 16.4 incidents per year. a belt or other strap to lock up the handle so the shooter cannot enter. Also, barricade the ► There were 486 people killed in these inroom shut by pushing desks and other furniAvoiding ‘normalcy bias’ cidents and 557 wounded. ture in front of the door so the shooter cannot Columbine High School, Sandy Hook Elopen the door. ementary School, last year’s San Bernandi► 70 percent of the incidents occurred in Defend: If all else fails, be ready at the no attack – these are all well-known active either a business/commerce or school envidoorway for the shooter to come and surshooter events, Carlson said. prise the shooter by positioning yourself to Carlson played a recording of Columbine attack and take the gun away. “It’s you or teacher Patty Nielson calling 911 from the lithem,” Carlson said. “Remember, you are not brary as students Dylan Klebold and Eric Harhelpless. What you do matters.” ris could be heard in the hallway shooting. Barbara Pryor attended the presentation “Just stay down!” she shouts at students. with her husband, Jay Pryor. Audible gasps could be heard from the crowd “I feel it is of utmost importance for everylistening to the tape. one to be aware … to practice in your mind A video re-enactment of the shooting, this situation,” she said. “It is especially imwith actors portraying Klebold and Harris as portant for schools and for teachers, because well as injured and terrified students, is then it will all come as a shock and surprise when played for the crowd. More gasps from those and if it happens.” watching could be heard. “Unfortunately this is something we all Carlson said most people have a “normalneed to know about these days,” he said. “You cy bias” and don’t believe anything bad, such want to be prepared. The takeaway I have is as being in the midst of an active shooter sit… don’t deny what’s going on. If it sounds like uation, could happen to them. Classes such gunshots, act like it is gunshots. And if you as this are meant to jar people into realizing think you need the police, call the police.”


MAY 13 - MAY 26, 2016

Public Safety | 23

Police Blotter / Buckhead From police reports dated between April 17 and April 30 The following information was provided to the Buckhead Reporter by the Zone 2 Precinct of the Atlanta Police Department and is presumed to be accurate.

ROBBERY „„800 block of Amsterdam Ave. NE –

On April 23, during the day, a woman said she was stretching before taking a run and saw a black SUV parked nearby. Three men got out of the vehicle, she said, and began walking down the sidewalk toward her. All the men were wearing dark clothing and face masks. They pointed a black-and-gray gun at her chest and demanded she give up everything she had. They forced her to lie down on the ground. Items taken were a Garmin running watch, Fitbit, iPod shuffle and Timex GPS watch. „„1400 block of Ellsworth Industrial

Blvd. NW – On April 24, in the evening, a man said he and his nephew picked up a client and dropped him off at a nearby recording studio. They said the client went into the location and then returned with several other men. The men began asking about the disappearance of a smoking pen that had been in the vehicle. The man and his nephew said they had not seen a smoking pen. The group of men then began striking the man, and he fled the location. He said the suspects attempted to shoot him but the gun jammed. Two iPhone 6Ss, an iPhone 5S and an LG smartphone were taken from the vehicle. „„3600 block of Peachtree Rd. NE – On

the morning of April 30, a man said he took an Uber from a bar, but the driver wasn’t sure where to go. The Uber driver said he dropped the man off at a gas station and the man said he then called for another Uber. A female in a car pulled up to him and he asked her if she was his driver. She said yes and then asked for his money. The man told her no, but she began grabbing his money and credit cards and then fled the scene.

AGGRAVATED ASSAULT „„1900 block of Piedmont Cir. NE – On

April 29, during the day, an officer went to a hotel and discovered a man bleeding from several punctures over his body. The victim said he had been stabbed in the head, back and shoulders. The victim said he was stabbed after he was accused of stealing marijuana from two men.

RESIDENTIAL BURGLARY „„3500 block of Rockhaven Cir. NE – On


April 17, during the day, police received a report of a burglary at a house. No force

was needed to enter the house because the door was left unlocked. Surveillance footage shows a man enter the house through the rear door. He then removed a range from the countertop and left. The suspect was observed departing in a silver sedan. The surveillance footage of the incident was collected as evidence. Fingerprints were retrieved from the countertop and turned in for processing. „„2000 block

of Hollywood Rd. NW – On April 19, in the evening, the rear door of a house was forced open by damaging a door lock. Three flat-screen TVs were taken. „„2100 block of Forrest Pl. NW – On April

20, in the evening, a woman said she received notification from her alarm company that there was activity detected to the master bedroom and front door. The rear bedroom window was discovered forced open. The home was cleared and no suspects were found inside. An iPad mini, HP laptop, Samsung TV and Tumi tote bag were removed from the location. Possible tracking located on the iPad. „„1400 block of Mecaslin St. NW – On

April 21, during the day, a man told police he was ordered by a judge to be out of the apartment on April 28. He said that when he returned from court, he found that his apartment had been entered and all of his belonging removed. Taken were two 65-inch Samsung flat screen TVs, Gateway laptop, Xbox 360, PS4, Nike shoes, Comelera medication, and Stribuild medication. „„4000 block of Peachtree Park Dr. NE –

On April 22, during the day, a woman said she saw a man inside her sun room patio. She said she screamed and that the man fled. A screen had been removed from the porch window, which is how the suspect gained entry. Nothing was taken.

RESIDENTIAL BURGLARY „„700 block of Morosgo Dr. NE – On April

24, in the evening, there was forced entry to the front door to an apartment and damage to the door viewer. The resident told police his camera alarm system was activated and showed footage of three men entering the location and stealing items. The resident said that after forcing the door they made entry three times. Two Fossil watches, an Apple cable rout-

er, a Mac minicomputer, an Apple Thunderbolt monitor, an Apple time capsule, a Fuji film camera, a MacBook Pro and headphones were taken from the location.

ning, officers were dispatched to an audible alarm at a house. A rear window had been shattered. A 42-inch Vizio, two flat screen TVs, two iPads and a Toshiba laptop were taken.

„„1400 block of W. Paces Ferry Rd. NW –

„„2200 block of Forrest Pl. NW – On

On April 25, a woman told police she returned to her apartment and found her screen pulled off and her window open. A Vizio TV, Acer laptop, iPad, guitar, mini fridge, two motorcycle helmets, gold necklace, silver earrings, passport, Xbox, leather suit, leather jacket and a motorcycle jacket were taken.

April 29, during the day, the side door of a house was found pried open. Two Insignia flat screen TVs were stolen.

„„ 1000 block of Huff Rd. NW – On April 26, during the day, the dead bolt to an apartment was pried from the door. The apartment showed signs of rummaging and disturbed from original positions. A safe containing $850 cash was taken.

block of Forrest Ave. NW – On April 27, in the eve-

„„400 block of Peachtree Hills Ave. NE –

On April 29, during the day, the side window of an apartment was found broken open. Taken were a LG tablet, a Zenith TV and $600 in cash. „„400 block of Lindbergh Dr. NE – On

April 29, during the day, a woman told police she noticed movement coming from a bedroom in her home. She said she walked into the room to see what had caused the disturbance. She said she saw a man searching through her son’s nightstand. Upon seeing her, the suspect jumped back out the window and fled the scene.



10.0 in.

24 | ■


Discover the USAA Wealth Management difference at our new USAA Financial Center. Our focus is on helping members build a lasting legacy, based on a personal understanding of their unique needs. On-site USAA Wealth Managers assist with financial planning, risk management, trust services and estate planning. Here it’s also possible to update an insurance policy or purchase a new one, deposit checks, and more.

Visit your new USAA Financial Center — Atlanta. Two Buckhead Plaza 3050 Peachtree Road NW, Suite 150 Atlanta, GA 30305 1-800-531-USAA

Investments/Insurance: Not FDIC Insured • Not Bank Issued, Guaranteed or Underwritten • May Lose Value Purchase of a product other than USAA auto or property insurance, or purchase of an insurance policy offered through the USAA Insurance Agency, does not establish eligibility for, or membership in, USAA property and casualty insurance companies. Use of the term “member” or “membership” does not convey any eligibility rights for auto and property insurance products, or legal or ownership rights in USAA. Membership eligibility and product restrictions apply and are subject to change. USAA Wealth Management is a service of USAA. USAA means United Services Automobile Association and its affiliates. Financial planning services and financial advice provided by USAA Financial Planning Services Insurance Agency, Inc. (known as USAA Financial Insurance Agency in California, License # 0E36312), a registered investment adviser and insurance agency, and its wholly owned subsidiary, USAA Financial Advisors, Inc. (FAI), a registered broker dealer. Investment products and services offered by FAI and USAA Investment Management Company, a registered investment adviser and broker dealer. Life insurance and annuities provided by USAA Life Insurance Company, San Antonio, TX, and in New York by USAA Life Insurance Company of New York, Highland Falls, NY. Other life and health insurance from select companies offered through USAA Life General Agency, Inc. (known in California, License # 0782231, and in New York as USAA Health and Life Insurance Agency). Banking products offered by USAA Federal Savings Bank and USAA Savings Bank, both FDIC insured. Trust services provided by USAA Federal Savings Bank. © 2016 USAA. 229577-0416


5-13-2016 Buckhead Reporter  
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