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MAY 13 - MAY 26, 2016 • VOL. 7— NO. 10


Dunwoody Reporter


Military Timeline

► City mulls pros, cons for Perimeter Center zoning PAGE 15 ► Police train public on active shooter events PAGE 22

A bird in the hand...


Approval for Crown Towers mixed-use development put on hold BY DYANA BAGBY

City approval for the five-tower megadevelopment proposed alongside I-285 in Perimeter Center has been put on hold. Dunwoody City Council unanimously voted May 9 to postpone voting on the rezoning and special land use permit requests for the Crown Towers mixed-used development at the former Gold Kist site. See CITY on page 14

Alex Rodriguez, 7, left, and his brother Jack, 8, handle an umbrella cockatoo named Joey during the 7th annual Dunwoody Art Festival on May 6. The two-day event featured crafts, food and a Kidz Zone. See additional photos on page 10.

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

Page 4

City Council plans to buy bank building for new City Hall BY DYANA BAGBY

You can’t fight City Hall if you don’t know where it is. Pretty soon, Dunwoody residents will be able to readily know where to go to voice their complaints – and, of course, praise. Long hidden within an office complex enclosed by lush trees in the spring and summer months, City Hall has been hard to find for those not familiar with 41 Perimeter Center East. Small signs visible only to those with sharp peepers can be seen by those See DUNWOODY on page 14

2 | Community ■

Community Briefs


The mayor and City Council honored the Peachtree Charter Middle School Patriots baseball team at its May 9 meeting. The team won the Division A championship of the Dunwoody Senior Baseball 2016 Middle School League.


The Peachtree Charter Middle School Patriots baseball team was honored at the May 9 City Council meeting with a resolution stating them as Division A champions from the Dunwoody Senior Baseball 2016 Middle School League. The Patriots won the championship on April 19 with an 11-0 win over the team from The Marist School. Mayor Denis Shortal proclaimed May 9 to be “Peachtree Charter Middle School Patriots Baseball Team Day.” The team is coached by Matt “Wally” Wallace, Mark Julian and Zach Tonner. Players are Jackson Warshaw, Jackson Denney, Gregory Green, Hudson Troxel, Matt Beiger, Tyler Eith, Nathan Ward, David Julian, Robby Hardin, Michael Hooper, Charlie Weatherly, Walt Anders, Henry Gies and Bradley Kaminski.


State Rep. Tom Taylor Taylor of Dunwoody faces charges of DUI, speeding and possession of an open container after he was stopped April 7 in Rabun County. He filed a not guilty plea with Clayton Municipal Court on May 3 and waived his right for a formal arraignment hearing that was set for May 9, said Clayton Prosecutor Mitch Baker. His next court date is set for June 20. Taylor has said publicly he will not fight the charges. Baker said a not guilty plea during an arraignment is not unusual. Taylor has the opportunity change his plea on June 20, Baker said, and oftentimes a negotiated plea can happen. Taylor was driving 72 mph in a 45 mph zone. He was legally carrying a Glock .45 handgun on his hip. After blowing a .225 on a Breathalyzer, he was arrested and charged with DUI.



City Council voted May 9 to approve nearly $65,000 for the design of the proposed multiuse path to include sidewalks and bike lanes between Chamblee-Dunwoody Road and North Shallowford Road. Sprinkle Consultants was awarded the contract for the design for its bid of $54,872, plus an additional $10,000 in contingency funding.


DeKalb County Super District 6 Commissioner

Please Vote MAY 24TH in the Democratic Primary Early Voting continues through May 20th


Dunwoody officials and residents celebrated the grand opening of the Park at Pernoshal Court, or Pernoshal Park, on April 29, with a ribbon cutting by Mayor Denis Shortal and the City Council. Adults and children enjoyed the basketball and pickleball courts, and Tracy Brown and Terri Polk, with Jack & Jill-Dunwoody, said their organization will install a “birdhouse” library at the park for children to check out books.


MAY 13 - MAY 26, 2016

Community | 3

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

were not about carrying loads over the streets, but simply giving permission for the crane’s arms to pass over public right of ways. The city considered it a propertyrights issue, not a construction code issue, he said. Dunwoody city spokesperson Bob Mullen said the city does require all construction projects to follow “federal and state requirements, guidelines and best practices.” The federal Occupational Safety & Health Administration, which governs employee safety issues, has a standard that broadly suggests cranes avoid lifting mate-

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. Grant Stackhouse, CW’s executive vice president of construction, said that the tightness of the site requires lifts from the street at times, but that the company does not want loads passing over traffic. “That isn’t our policy. We want to do our best to not fly things over [the street],” he said. Stackhouse said the site supervisor informed him that traffic had been blocked during the April 29 lift, but acknowledged he had not directly witnessed it. Stackhouse said the supervisor has been instructed to emphasize the need for traffic control during crane lifts. While the crane and contracting companies are taking action, the city of Sandy Springs probably would not, because no specific rules cover the situation, said city spokesperson Sharon Kraun. “Our current code does not cover ‘means and methods’ as it relates to cranes and construction within the city,” Kraun said, adding that the state code the city borrowed from doesn’t, either. “However, our


rials over workers, “consistent with public safety,” said Lindsay Williams, a spokesperson for OSHA’s southeastern regional office. But OSHA does not have jurisdiction over general public safety, he said. Shane Adams, president and CEO of Crane Safety Associates of America, an inspection and training firm in McDonough, Ga., said that a crane’s load-carrying path should be planned to meet voluntary industry standards from the American National Standards Institute, including one that says: “The operator should avoid carrying loads over people.”

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A heavy load of wooden building frames dangles over a portion of Sandy Springs Place on April 29.

building inspectors are able to take action if they witness activity that they believe is unsafe or presents a life safety issue.” One City Walk is also bordered by Roswell Road, a state route where crane operations have different rules. “If GDOT was overseeing this work…we would not have any vehicles moving under our crane, period,” said state Department of Transportation spokesperson Annalysce Baker. On state routes, even moving the crane’s arm over the street requires a “right of way encroachment” permit, said Baker. And hoisting a load over the road would require a traffic control plan involving stopping vehicles “until the load went from Point A to Point B. Nothing should be under that load.” The city of Atlanta has similar permit requirements, said spokesperson Jewanna Gaither. “Public safety is always our top priority,” she said in an email. “All construction activity in our public right of ways, to include material handling and equipment therein, requires a right-of-way construction permit and any associated needed sidewalk, lane or street closure permits to ensure protection of the public.” The cities of Brookhaven and Dunwoody do not often have projects using the large tower cranes like the one at One City Walk and do not have specific crane-related construction codes, city spokespersons said. Both cities do require permits and traffic control plans for construction use of a public street’s travel lane. Dunwoody in 2014 issued special easement permits for tower cranes at the new State Farm tower under construction at Hammond Drive and Perimeter Center Parkway. Michael Smith, Dunwoody’s public works director, said those permits

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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

None Some college cours completed

Atlanta INtown

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Editorial Managing Editor Joe Earle Intown Editor: Collin Kelley Copy Editor: Diane L. Wynocker

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 ■

Dunwoody Art Festival The Dunwoody Village Parkway area came alive on May 7 and May 8, with the seventh annual art festival drawing crowds. Above, Atlanta artist Elexa Bancroft, right, sells a mixed media painting to Aaron Myerson. Right, Addison Finnegan, 5, enjoys her time in the Kidz Zone. PHOTOS BY PHIL MOSIER

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Community | 11

Northside plans 8-story tower, 10-story garage


Northside Hospital hopes to add an 8-story tower and a 10-story parking garage to its Pill Hill campus. The tower’s height has increased from five stories to contain other services, according to a hospital spokesperson. For a larger version, go to


Northside Hospital hopes to add an 8-story tower and a 10-story parking garage to its Pill Hill campus in plans now under state and city of Sandy Springs review. Last December, Northside received state approval to build a 5-story tower— an addition to its main building at 1000 Johnson Ferry Road—to add 53 in-patient beds. That would boost the total bed count to 590. This month, the hospital filed an updated tower plan that keeps the same number of beds, but adds three more stories containing other services to the building, according to spokesperson Katherine Watson. The application for a “Certificate of Need,” includes: • Expansion and renovation of the hospital’s food services. • Four additional shared operating room suites and expansion of surgical support space. • Renovation of existing space to house a conversion of existing medical/ surgical beds into critical care beds. • 25 physician sleep rooms. • Refurbishment of the hospital’s Labor & Delivery area. • Renovation/conversion of existing space to house 29 additional 23-hour observation/extended recovery beds/ bays. • Renovation of space being va-

cated in the existing hospital for other clinical and non-clinical uses. If the tower gains state approval, construction could start this fall, Watson said. The new garage with about 1,270 spaces would go on the site of an existing surface parking lot off Peachtree-Dunwoody Road between the hospital’s day care and a medical office building. The garage is intended as employee parking to free up spaces in the hospital’s other garages, Watson said. The hospital already received state approval for the garage in March, but needs city zoning approval to combine two parcels, Watson said. If that happens, work could start in late summer and finish about October 2017, she said. In the meantime, Watson said, the hospital already received city approval to create a temporary gravel parking lot on a vacant parcel it owns at the intersection of Meridian Mark Drive and the Glenridge Connector.

A community meeting about the plan is slated for May 23, 6 p.m. at Council Chambers in City Hall, 7840 Roswell Road, Building 500.


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Two Dunwoody incumbents face challengers from within their own party in the May 24 Republican Primary. In the District 79 race for the House of Representatives, incumbent Rep. Tom Taylor takes on challenger Tom Owens. The winner of the Republican Primary in House District 79 will be able to claim the seat, because no Democrat filed to run for the position. In Senate District 40, incumbent Sen. Fran Millar confronts challenger Paul Maner. The primary winner in Senate District 40 will face Democrat Tamara JohnsonShealey in the fall election. The Dunwoody Reporter submitted questions to the candidates. Here are selections from their responses, edited for space. To see their full answers, go to Georgia Senate, District 40

Paul Maner

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Neighborhood: Embry Hills Past political experience: None. Other experience in the community: I have served as a missionary on both foreign and local missions, as well as working with the needy and indigent. Q: Why are you running for this office? A: I have always strongly believed in representative government. My opponent believes the best form of government is powerful men making decisions behind closed doors. Career politicians thinking that way have hurt our communities, but not beyond repair. I will fight to restore active representation to state Paul Maner Senate District 40’s residents at the Georgia Capitol. Q: Why should the voters choose you? A: I am sick and tired of the corruption and lack of results from DeKalb County. When my opponent leaves office, he will leave the county worse than he found it. I will push to end political corruption, cut taxes, and improve our educational and transportation concerns. There are too many issues being ignored, and I will not need on-the-job training to solve these problems. Q: If elected, what’s the first thing you want to accomplish in office? A: If elected, I will be the leading taxpayer advocate in Georgia. Georgians are paying too much in taxes every year, and I will question each and every tax the citizens are being forced to pay.

Q: What do you see as the biggest problem facing the district you seek to represent? A: Education, transportation and taxes. Q: What do you see as the biggest problem facing the state? A: Education, transportation and taxes. 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 for it. Q: If it comes up again in the legislature next year, would you support some form of new tax to expand MARTA? A: I could only make that decision if the residents of District 40 told me that they wanted it. MARTA has a huge presence in District 40, but it’s an issue that I want to address in regular town hall meetings across the communities in the District. Too many politicians are either in the pockets of big business or political machinery - it’s time to ask the people what they want and do the right thing for a change.

Fran Millar (I)

Marking Consultant/state Senator Community: Dunwoody Past political experience: State Representative for 12 years; state Senator for six years; Chairman Senate Higher Education Committee; Chairman Senate Education and Youth Committee; Chairman Senate Retirement Committee for two years; Senate Health & Human Services Committee for six years; House Education Committee for 12 years; appointed to Governor’s Education Reform Commission and Governor’s Welfare Reform Commission; chairman for the Lieutenant Governor’s Foster Care Reform Working Group. Other experience in the community: Member of Dunwoody United Methodist Church; board Fran Millar member, Dunwoody Homeowners Association; board member, Spruill Center for the Arts. Q: Why are you running for this office? A: To continue serving the people of the 40th Senate district. Q: Why should the voters choose you? A: Experience, and I get results. I focused on property tax relief, career readiness options and increased opportunities for the disabled. Q: If elected, what’s the first thing you


MAY 13 - MAY 26, 2016

want to accomplish in office? A: Continue to control costs of higher education. Q: What do you see as the biggest problem facing the district you seek to represent? A: DeKalb County’s image. Q: What do you see as the biggest problem facing the state? A: Educational achievement and regional transportation. 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: It will not be similar. I would rather focus on education, healthcare and transportation issues. Q: If it comes up again in the legislature next year, would you support some form of new tax to expand MARTA? A: I voted against just Fulton and DeKalb bearing the burden. Other counties and the state need to contribute. Georgia House of Representatives, District 79

Tom Owens

bring sober, conservative judgment back into government and public service. Q: Why should the voters choose you? A: Because I bring decency, honor and trust to the office. Q: If elected, what’s the first thing you want to accomplish in office? A: Stop unnecessary taxing and spending. Q: What do you see as the biggest problem facing the district you seek to represent? A: The Doraville GM Tax Allocation District is a big failure to my district and the state. 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 will have to wait and see what is in the bill before commenting. Q: If it comes up again in the legislature next year, would you support some form of new tax to expand MARTA? A: No MARTA tax increase.

Thomas “Tom” Taylor (I) Defense contractor/consultant

Retired military

Community: Doraville Past political experience: Candidate for DeKalb County commission in 2014. Other community experience: USO greeter; active with Dunwoody-Sandy Springs Veterans of Foreign Wars. Q: Why are you running for this office? A: I am running to


Community | 13

Tom Owens

Community: Dunwoody Past political experience: Three years (2005-2008) as volunteer advocate at the General Assembly for Dunwoody incorporation as vice president and later president of Citizens for Dunwoody, Inc.; elected to “founding” Dunwoody City Council, served 2008-2010; Georgia House of Representatives, 2010-present; chairman of MARTOC (MARTA Oversight Committee). Other experience in the community: Volunteer at Kingsley Elementary and Peachtree Middle schools; board mem-

ber (now “ex-officio”) of Dunwoody Homeowners Association. Q: Why are you running for this office? A: To continue serving my district and my state, delivering Thomas “Tom” on legislation that Taylor improves education, transportation, economic development and public safety. Q: Why should the voters choose you? A: Experience and seniority (which translates to knowledge and ability to get things done), as well as my record of delivering on what I promise. Q: If elected, what’s the first thing you want to accomplish in office? A: Continue to deliver on key issues in the district, including the ongoing I-285 / 400 project to improve our very serious traffic issues, as well as continuing to pursue education reform by continuing to work for passage of an independent school system bill. Q: What do you see as the biggest problem facing the district you seek to represent? A: The largest current problem is the

continuing dysfunction and corruption in the DeKalb County government and school system which, although all of this district is incorporated cities, still has a huge, detrimental effect on us as part of DeKalb County. 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 have to see the language in a new bill, but if it came up again with the same or similar language as in the 2016 session, I would vote against it just as I did in the 2016 session. Q: If it comes up again in the legislature next year, would you support some form of new tax to expand MARTA? A: This is a moot question, as the MARTA tax issue was settled during the 2016 legislative session. On Day 40 (last day of session), a compromise deal was worked out between the involved parties (DeKalb and Fulton counties and Atlanta). This allowed DeKalb and Fulton to opt out of the tax increase, while allowing Atlanta to increase their sales tax for MARTA to expand the system within their city limits. As chairman of MARTOC, I was part of the team that negotiated this deal. I=incumbent

14 | Community ■

Dunwoody purchases new City Hall for $8.25 million Continued from page 1

The property is located on nearly 3.3 acres of property and has 180 parking spaces. There are two existing signs on the property, and Linton said the city would make sure they were up to codes should the city use them. “This is a great building, a great location,” said Councilmember John Heneghan, who asked the building also meet the city’s

searching for which way to turn off Ashford-Dunwoody Road. But that soon will change. Perhaps as soon as next summer, Dunwoody’s city employees will be moving to a new, much more visible home at 4800 Ashford-Dunwoody Road. “The visibility is second to none,” Mayor Denis Shortal said of the building’s location. The city announced the purchase of the office building May 5 for $8.25 million. At its May 9 meeting, the council approved a resolution to move forward with the purchase from JHJ 4800 Ashford LLC and RCB 4800 Ashford LLC. DYANA BAGBY Dunwoody currently rents space at 41 The building at 4800 Ashford-Dunwoody Perimeter Center East for its city offices Road was purchased to be the new City Hall. for about $599,000 a year and that lease expires next year. The building would be the first city-owned City Hall complex in sustainability ordinances and is compliant Dunwoody’s nearly eight-year history. with the Americans with Disability Act. The city has 90 days to complete inspecCouncilmember Terry Nall asked what tions of the two-story building built in 1995. would happen with the bank’s driveThe closing date on the property is expectthrough. Linton said the city is exploring ed to be Sept. 30. possibly enclosing the space rather than There are several other businesses lotaking it off. cated in the approximately 45,000 -square“We got this one right,” said Councilfoot building, including Community & member Doug Thompson. “This is the right Southern Bank, whose sign emblazons the building at the right location at the right front of the building. time.” The bank’s lease expires Sept. 30, ShortCity staff and planning consultants al said, and he said he hopes to have all tenhave been searching for a new City Hall ants out by Jan. 1, 2017. The city will not be for more than two years. Linton told counrenting out spaces to other businesses. cil that the negotiations for the purchase of Shortal said he hopes the city may start the building at 4800 Ashford-Dunwoody moving in shortly after July 1, 2017, after reRoad have been underway for six months. modeling the building. The complete move “We believe the new City Hall building is expected to be completed by early 2018. will allow us to better serve our citizens,” All city offices, including the police deShortal said in a statement. “Our intent is to partment, municipal court and City Counutilize the first floor of the new City Hall as cil chambers, will be located at the new the primary space where citizens and busibuilding. nesses will interact with the city through City Manager Eric Linton also got appermitting, licensing, police department, proval to hire a program manager for court or council and public meetings. The $20,000 to oversee the inspections and central location, sufficient parking and evaluation of the building. Moving costs overall accessibility make this new City are expected to cost about $250,000. Hall an ideal fit for our community.”

Approval for Crown Towers development put on hold Continued from page 1

the ground, is it possible the right of way may not come out of this?” CouncilmemThe council is expected to take up the isber Terry Nall asked. sue again at its May 23 meeting. “It would be a calculated risk,” Smith The council was to vote on second readsaid. ing of the rezoning and special land-use The developers are seeking to subdivide plan for some 3.6 acres of the nearly 15-acre the nearly 15-acre property into two parsite that would make way for a 35-story cels. The SLUP and rezoning covers the 3 residential tower acres on the eastand a 29-story hoern edge of the tel tower with resproperty, called idential units insite B, to make cluded, for a total way for the two of 380 residential residential towers. units. The remainder of A significant the land, called snag leading to Site A, would inthe vote delay clude office buildcame after council ings and a confermembers learned ence center. there was no asDYANA BAGBY The Dunsurance the city Crown Towers attorney Doug Dillard, left, attorney woody HomeownJill Arnold and developer Charlie Brown discuss would receive the strategy before the May 9 City Council meeting. ers Association promised right entered into a conof way from the tract with the developers for a $760,000 Crown Towers property for the proposed “voluntary impact fee” – or $2,000 per Westside Connector. condo unit – to be paid to the city for park “I’m a bottom line guy and I don’t have space in the Perimeter Center as part of enough information,” Mayor Denis ShortDHA agreeing to support the development. al said. The city cannot officially agree to acDevelopers of the site have promised cept the money because the city cannot ensome 2 acres of the development site for ter into a monetary agreement with a dethe construction of a $20 million proposed veloper in exchange for rezoning, Assistant Westside Connector that would come off City Attorney Lenny Felgin said. Should the I-285, go under Ashford-Dunwoody Road developers not pay the money, it would be and connect with Perimeter Center Parkup to the DHA to sue to reclaim the cash for way. The Westside Connector is expected the city, he explained. to ease congestion. Another condition the DHA entered But Public Works Director Michael into with developers was the reduction of Smith informed the council at the May 9 office space from approximately 2.4 milmeeting that the Georgia Department of lion square feet to 1.5 million square feet on Transportation warned if the city dedicates Site A. But because Site A is not being conthe donated land as right of way for the sidered for any city action, the city cannot Westside Connector without first conductenforce the DHA agreement, City Attorney ing environmental tests, the city would Cecil McClendon said. Again, it would be jeopardize federal funding needed to build up to the DHA to sue the developers should the road. they break the contract, McClendon said. Also, if construction is not started withDoug Dillard, attorney for the develin five years, the rezoning of the site is null opers, requested a work session with the and void. “If this project never comes out of council, which was denied.

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ELECTION DAY VOTING Hammond Park, Round Program Building 6005 Glenridge Drive, Sandy Springs May 24, 2016, 7:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.


MAY 13 - MAY 26, 2016

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Councilmember Lynn Deutsch, right, asks zoning consultant Leslie Oberholtzer a question about the proposed zoning for Perimeter Center.

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PC-2 District — This district is made up primarily of employment uses, residential buildings, and limited shopfront retail and services. PC-3 District — This area is a smaller scale and less intensive commercial district that permits shopfront buildings and office buildings. PC-4 District — This area is made up primarily of residential uses at a scale that provides a transition between the intensity of Perimeter Center and the surrounding single-family residential neighborhoods. Oberholtzer also explained there are four street types included in the zoning: major and minor parkways, and primary and secondary streets. All streets include some form of bike trail. Minor parkways — such as the proposed Westside Connector — would have trees and landscaping along them, she said. Major parkways, such as Ashford-Dunwoody Road and Hammond Drive, would also include streetscaping. Primary streets would be active pedestrian and bicycle areas, she said. Council members raised questions about sustainability measures, such as mandating bicycle racks, and suggested the wording should not be to “mandate” developers to include such measures but to “encourage” them to do so. DUN

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Do Dunwoody city officials want to implement a mass rezoning of the Perimeter Center area or have applicants request rezoning individually? That’s one key question City Council members want answered before they agree to vote on a new zoning overlay for the area around Perimeter Mall and the MARTA station that was begun some two years ago. “It depends if you want [to rezone] immediately or do it step-by-step,” said Assistant City Attorney Lenny Felgin at a work session May 4. Mayor Denis Shortal asked Felgin to provide council members pros and cons for each path to rezoning the busy Perimeter Center area as City Council members continue to mull over zoning regulations they want to put in place. The effort grew from Dunwoody’s rewrite of its city zoning and building codes in 2013. After 22 months of debate by residents, consultants and city officials, Dunwoody City Council adopted the new codes three years ago. City officials said the newly crafted zoning and building codes were intended to create regulations that reflected Dunwoody residents’ tastes and needs. The Perimeter Center area intentionally was left out of that zoning rewrite because it is so different from other parts of Dunwoody, city officials said. The Perimeter Center is an area of highrise offices and residences, shopping centers, restaurants and hotels. It needs its own building and zoning rules, city officials and consultants said. In 2014, the city, along with Chicago-based consultants Kirk Bishop and Lelsie Oberholtzer, began working on the separate zoning regulations for that portion of the city. The draft plan presented to the council May 4 divides the Perimeter Center into four districts: PC-1 District — This is the central core of Perimeter Center, including the area directly surrounding the Dunwoody MARTA station, and allows for the highest intensity of buildings, a high level of employment uses and active ground story uses and design that support pedestrian mobility. There would be a 30-story maximum height. For all developments 3 acres or larger, there would be a requirement to have open space, such as a plaza or a park, within 1/8 of a mile of the main entrance.

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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

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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.

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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 Department has offered three C.R.A.S.E. seminars to the public so far this year, and also 11 private classes, said Sgt. Forrest Bohannon. “We have a lot of private requests. We do lockdown drills at schools. Schools have different policies than what we teach with C.R.A.S.E. Some of the principles are the same, but some are not because of the younger children,” Bohannon said. “Some of the classes we have done are for medical offices, business offices, private school parents, citizen police academy.” The Brookhaven Police Department will be scheduling more classes after the summer and the APD has held several successful classes this year. Carlson told the Dunwoody crowd that there have been 160 “active shooter incidents” in the U.S. from 2000 through 2013. ► That’s an average of 11.4 incidents per year. However, since 2006, that number has jumped to 16.4 incidents per year. ► There were 486 people killed in these incidents and 557 wound-

Lt. Mike Carlson of the Dunwoody Police Department addresses a crowd attending a recent Civilian Reaction to Active Shooter Event (C.R.A.S.E.) at Dunwoody United Methodist Church.

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Columbine High School, Sandy Hook Elementary School, last year’s San Bernandino attack – these are all well-known active shooter events, Carlson said. Carlson played a recording of Columbine teacher Patty Nielson calling 911 from the library as students Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris could be heard in the hallway shooting. “Just stay down!” she shouts at students. Audible gasps could be heard from the crowd listening to the tape. A video re-enactment of the shooting, with actors portraying Klebold and Harris as well as injured and terrified students, is then played for the crowd. More gasps from those watching could be heard. Carlson said most people have a “normalcy bias” and don’t believe anything bad, such as being in the midst of an active shooter situation, could happen to them. Classes such as this are meant to jar people into realizing they need to get out of that bias toward normalcy. The number of deaths at an active shooter event depends on how fast police arrive and the “target availability” – how easy people are for the shooter to actually kill. It takes police an average of three minutes to respond to an active shooter event, which is like an “eternity” for those at the scene trying to survive,


Carlson said. The best way to save lives is to teach civilians how to respond themselves, he said. Playing dead doesn’t work, he said. Nor does hiding behind desks, he said, because desks aren’t bulletproof. “Those are two bad strategies,” Carlson said. Instead, people are urged to “avoid, deny, defend,” he explained. Avoid: Make sure you have “situational awareness” when walking into a room. Know where all the exits are and consider secondary exits, such as windows. This gives options to escape. Deny: If in a school or office building, close the door to your office or room and use a belt or other strap to lock up the handle so the shooter cannot enter. Also, barricade the room shut by pushing desks and other furniture in front of the door so the shooter cannot open the door. Defend: If all else fails, be ready at the doorway for the shooter to come and surprise the shooter by positioning yourself to attack and take the gun away. “It’s you or them,” Carlson said. “Remember, you are not helpless. What you do matters.” Barbara Pryor attended the presentation with her husband, Jay Pryor. “I feel it is of utmost importance for everyone to be aware … to practice in your mind this situation,” she said. “It is especially important for schools and for teachers, because it will all come as a shock and surprise when and if it happens.” “Unfortunately this is something we all need to know about these days,” he said. “You want to be prepared. The takeaway I have is … don’t deny what’s going on. If it sounds like gunshots, act like it is gunshots. And if you think you need the police, call the police.”


MAY 13 - MAY 26, 2016

Public Safety | 23

Police Blotter / Dunwoody From police reports dated April 24 through May 4. The following information was pulled from Dunwoody’s Police-2-Citizen website and is presumed to be accurate. „„On April 25, at about 9 p.m., a 20-year-

old man told police he was robbed in a parking lot/garage, in the 4600 block of Peachtree Place Parkway. No weapon was used. Stolen was his $300 hoverboard and $500 iPhone 6 Plus. „„On April 27, at 7:30 a.m., a 25-year-

old woman reported to police her black $3,000 Volkswagen Jetta was stolen from her residence in the 5300 block of Harris Circle.


block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road/Ravinia Parkway – On April 24, an arrest for DUI-drugs.



block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road – On April 24, an arrest for misdemeanor marijuana possession.

„„4900 block of Mill Stream Ct. – On

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road/Ravinia Parkway – On April 24, a report of marijuana possession.

May 2, an arrest for loitering and prowling.

„„1100 block of Holly Ave. – On April 24,

„„I-285EB/N. Peachtree Road – On April


„„On May 3, at about 9:30 a.m., an offi-

cer was on routine patrol and decided to run a license tag of a black 1998 Nissan Sentra XE. “The vehicle came back with expired registration from April 4, 2016. I pulled the vehicle over at Winters Chapel Road and Peachtree Industrial Boulevard, and spoke with the driver,” the officer wrote in his report. The 47-yearold woman from Dawsonville was arrested for having an expired tag. Her car was towed. „„On May 3 at about 6 p.m., police re-

sponded to a call of larceny-sudden snatching at a department store at the 4300 block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road. A male suspect stole two Michael Kors Sloan items valued at $298 each, a yellow Michael Kors backpack valued at $398 and two yellow Michael Kors handbags valued at $268 each.

ARRESTS „„4300

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road/Ravinia Parkway – On April 24, an arrest for marijuana possession. DUN

report of family battery/simple battery.

„„12300 block of Madison Drive – On

„„4400 block of Tilly Mill Road – On

April 24, an arrest for family battery/ simple battery.

May 2, an arrest for assault-simple assault/battery.

„„4600 block of Peachtree Place Pkwy.

„„2300 block of Dunwoody Crossing –

„„4400 block of Chamblee-Dunwoody

„„4400 block of Chamblee-Dunwoody

On April 24, arrest for family battery/simple battery.

Road – On May 3, an arrest for shoplifting.

Road – On April 30, a report of criminal trespass.

„„4300 block of Olde Perimeter Way –

„„100 block of Perimeter Center – On

4700 block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road – On April 25, an arrest for shoplifting.

On May 4, an arrest for shoplifting.


First block of Perimeter Center East – On April 25, an arrest for family battery/simple battery.


block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road – On May 4, an arrest for shoplifting.


„„6800 block of Peachtree

4700 block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road, officers responded to a public indecency complaint. Police found a 45-year-old Covington man urinating in public. He was arrested and charged with public indecency/indecent exposure.


24, an arrest for driving while license suspended/revoked.

9:30 p.m., an officer stated he saw a vehicle with Indiana tags with a tail light out.

„„On April 29, at about 2 p.m., in the

age to property.

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road – On May 2, arrest for driving while license suspended/revoked.

„„On April 28, at about

Industrial Boulevard - On April 29, police stopped a vehicle at approximately 9:40 a.m. and cited the 29-year-old male for driving while wearing large headphones.

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road – On May 1, an arrest for shoplifting.

„„4400 block of Tilly Mill Road – On

April 25, an arrest for false representations to police or any city department. „„4300

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road – On April 25, an arrest for larceny-shoplifting. „„100 block of Perimeter Center East –

On April 25, arrest for disorderly conduct. „„100 block of Perimeter Center East –

On April 28, arrest for shoplifting. „„1100 block of Hammond Drive – On

April 28, arrest for shoplifting. „„4400

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road – On April 28, arrest for shoplifting. „„4600

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road/Meadow Lane – On April 28, an arrest for disorderly conduct. „„100 block of Perimeter Center West –

On April 28, arrest for shoplifting. „„4400

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road – On April 30, arrest for shoplifting. „„100 block of Perimeter Center W. – On

May 1, arrest for false representations to police or any city department. „„6700 block of Peachtree Industrial

Blvd. – On May 1, an arrest for simple assault.

OT H E R block of Cobb Drive – On April 24, a report of dam-

„„4700 block of North Peachtree Road

– On April 24, a report of animal complaints. – On April 28, a report of stolen vehicle.

May 4, report of criminal trespass.

LARCENY „„6700 block of Peachtree Industrial

Blvd. – On April 24, a report of larcenyarticles from vehicle.



24 | â–

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