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MAY 26 - JUNE 8, 2017 • VOL. 11— NO. 11

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► New law is a boost to local beer, whiskey crafters PAGE 4 ► Cuban sandwich shop mixes tastiness with tenacity PAGE 5

Little-known vet memorials | 8

City proposes $106 million FY2018 budget

Dawn of a new church

BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

PHIL MOSIER

Rev. Dominique Hanna welcomes his congregation to the first Mass, held Sunday, May 14, at the new home of St. Joseph Maronite Catholic Church at Glenridge and Hammond drives. St. Joseph moved from an Atlanta location into the former building of Apostles Church, a Lutheran congregation that closed amid financial turmoil. More than 400 parishioners attended St. Joseph’s debut.

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OUT & ABOUT Lantern Parade will light up the Hooch Page 16

The city is proposing a $106 million operating budget for fiscal year 2018, an increase of about a half-percent over the current year, officials said at a May 23 City Council meeting. The budget will take effect July 1. The council will hold public hearings on the budget on June 6 and June 20. The budget projects revenues of about $92 million, with money from a reserve fund balancing the expenditures. The revenue projection is about 1 percent higher than fiscal 2017. While most revenue sources are projected to increase, property taxes are expected to show a 2.2 percent decline. The police department would get a budget boost of more than 9 percent to about $22.8 million. Part of that is a salary increase to remain competitive as a State Patrol pay boost is attracting officers away from the department, city officials said. The boost also includes hiring See CITY on page 11

Homelessness nonprofit buys condos, displaces tenants BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

From documentaries on diversity and inclusion to community partnerships on autism awareness, GPB is an educational lifeline to millions of Georgia students, teachers and residents. JAN PAUL

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Pages 18-19

See Commentary, Page 14

Mary Hall Freedom House, a nonprofit that helps women with homelessness and addiction issues, has bought 33 units of a Sandy Springs condominium complex for use as transitional housing and possible redevelopment into a larger facility or headquarters. One of the two dozen tenants currently renting those condo units is complaining about the “irony” of losing her home to an organization that helps the homeless. See HOMELESSNESS on page 22


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New interchanges a concern with I-285/Ga. 400 managed lanes

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City officials are voicing their concerns on state proposals to add managed lanes to I-285 and Ga. 400, including suggestions about new interchanges with local streets and worries about ever-wider highways eating into neighborhoods and limiting mass transit alternatives. “I like the idea of [recommending] minimally invasive solutions, and let the engineers figure it out,” Mayor Rusty Paul said at the May 16 City Council meeting, where officials discussed a preliminary recommendation letter they planned to send this week. The Georgia Department of Transportation is just beginning its massive reconstruction of the I-285/Ga. 400 interchange, which will continue into 2020. But it’s already in the early planning stages for another, follow-up project adding “managed lanes” to both highways within the next decade. “Managed” means the lanes have some kind of restricted access, usually by a toll. The managed lanes are proposed as entirely new, separate lanes, with early sketches showing them elevated on columns along I-285 and as regular surface lanes on a widened Ga. 400. Interchanges for the managed lanes could be separate from regular highway interchanges GDOT is seeking early input from cities along the highways. Sandy Springs was asked for formal written input, while Dunwoody city staff have been briefed but have not yet formally commented, according to officials in both cities. Locations for possible I-285 managed lane interchanges proposed either by GDOT or Sandy Springs include: Perimeter Center Parkway in Dunwoody; Sandy Springs Circle and Northside Drive/New Northside Drive in Sandy Springs; and Powers Ferry Road/Interstate North Parkway in Cobb County. Locations for possible Ga. 400 managed lane interchanges include: Mount Vernon Highway; Glenridge Drive or another roadway in the Pill Hill medical center area; and the North Springs MARTA Station area JOHN PAULSON along Peachtree-Dunwoody Road. In Sandy Springs, the city is pushing for CITY COUNCILMEMBER right of way to be set aside for transit and multiuse trails. Sandy Springs officials object to the addition of an interchange at Sandy Springs Circle. They said they may be willing to consider addition of one near the North Springs MARTA Station, but want to confer with residents before deciding what they think should be done there. The timeframe is long, with the Ga. 400 lanes estimated to start construction in 2022 and the I-285 version in 2024. But early right-of-way acquisition could start as soon as this year, and Paul said “time is of the essence” for giving input and direction to GDOT. The Ga. 400 concept is especially controversial, as tree-clearing for the current I-285/ Ga. 400 interchange reconstruction is already drawing negative reactions. City Councilmember John Paulson said that “my neighbors are not happy about this [managed lanes plan]” and that he is concerned about further widening south of Spalding Drive, where the road would “encroach into the apartments” and start “biting into yards.” “I’d like us to look at alternatives that don’t take so much of the land,” Paulson said. “I have fears that we’re really going to strip this corridor up to the river.” Paul agreed and noted the conceptual designs have no room for MARTA’s proposed Red Line train or bus rapid transit extension along the corridor. The PATH400 multiuse trail is intended to eventually extend there as well. “And there’s no design right now for transit … The footprint is getting pretty tight,” the mayor said. Paul noted Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle’s recent comments about possibly putting downtown Atlanta highways in tunnels, “which I find interesting.” Poole said GDOT could study putting Ga. 400 managed lanes in tunnels or on elevated overpasses to keep them out of neighborhoods. City officials also will recommend leaving right of way for “high-capacity transit” or a “MARTA system,” as well as multiuse trails, on both I-285 and Ga. 400.

I’d like us to look at alternatives that don’t take so much of the land,” Paulson said. “I have fears that we’re really going to strip this corridor up to the river.

SS


MAY 26 - JUNE 8, 2017

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Community Briefs K IR KPAT R I C K WIN S STATE SENAT E D I S TR I C T 32 RA C E

Republican Kay Kirkpatrick will be the next state senator for District 32 after beating Democrat Christine Triebsch by nearly 14 points in a May 16 runoff elec-

SPECIAL

Kay Kirkpatrick, the next District 32 state senator.

tion, according to unofficial results. “I am proud of the clean and well-organized campaign we ran and am thankful for the depth and breadth of my support in the Sandy Springs and East Cobb communities,” Kirkpatrick said in an email. “I look forward to working hard on behalf of the district and state.” Kirkpatrick, an orthopedic surgeon from East Cobb, succeeds former state Sen. Judson Hill, who resigned to make an unsuccessful run for Congress.

DA N I EL L EE N A MED NEX T C I TY ATTORN EY

Daniel W. Lee was named the next city attorney as of July 1, replacing Wendell Willard, the first and only person to hold the position thus far. Lee is a partner in the Atlanta office of Freeman Mathis & Gary, where his specialties include government law. He formerly served as solicitor general of Troup County. Lee is a former state senator, as is Mayor Rusty Paul, and they served together in the early 2000s. Willard, who is also a state representative, is in the process of retiring. Lee and his firm won the city attorney contract over five other bidders.

G O V. D EA L V ETOES M AN S I ON A N N EXATION

A former Home Depot CEO won’t get his 12-acre estate annexed into Sandy Springs from Buckhead after Gov. Nathan Deal earlier this month vetoed legislation enabling the move. The annexation attempt involved 1250 and 1290 West Garmon Road, a multimillion-dollar mansion and estate on the Atlanta-Sandy Springs border owned by Robert Nardelli, the former CEO of Home Depot and Chrysler Corporation. This year, the General Assembly apSS

Community | 3

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proved two bills enabling the estate to be removed from the city of Atlanta and annexed into Sandy Springs. But Deal vetoed the bills, saying they needed more discussion.

C ITY EYES TR O WB R ID G E LOT F OR VEHICLE PAR KING

The city of Sandy Springs plans to build a parking lot on Trowbridge Road as home for a 90-vehicle fleet that won’t fit at its new City Springs site. The current City Hall at 7840 Roswell Road is rented space in an office park with plentiful surface parking. About a year from now, City Hall will move into City Springs, a mixed-use development on Roswell at Johnson Ferry Road, with fewer parking spaces and most of them in an underground garage. To store the city’s dozens of vehicles needed for road work, inspections and similar functions, the city is eyeing the Public Works facility at 7477 Trowbridge, near Roswell Road and next door to the Publix supermarket. The parking would be created on a lot currently used for storing sand and salt.

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4 | Perimeter Business

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

New law is a boost to local beer and whiskey crafters BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

An expanding Buckhead distillery and a new Sandy Springs brewery opening later this year are looking forward to growth brought on by a new Georgia law signed by Gov. Nathan Deal on May 2. The new law allows breweries to sell beer or spirits directly to visitors instead of making them purchase a tour and giving them the drinks for free. Visitors can now also buy a case of 24 12-ounce bottles or cans or three 750-milliliter bottles of spirits to take with them. Buckhead-based American Spirit Whiskey announced May 10 it will open a second location in a development on the corner of Lee and White Streets in Atlanta’s West End neighborhood, joining two brewers, Monday Night Brewing and Wild Heaven.

Pontoon Brewing will open its first location in Sandy Springs at 8601 Dunwoody Place on Sept. 1, which is also the date the new law will take effect. Pontoon has been making beer in partnership with breweries in other states for two years, but this will be their first brewery. The recently passed law is already spurring discussion about future expansions among the owners, Sean O’Keefe, one of the four owners, said. They are also making adjustments to their site plans, enlarging their taproom to make more room for seating in response to the new law. When they began brewing two years ago, O’Keefe said they never imagined Georgia would pass this law, and they were advised by others in the industry to focus on tours. With the new law in place, they’re anticipating growing more quickly, O’Keefe

said, adding jobs and paying more taxes to Sandy Springs, a location they chose because they had a good relationship with the city. Before the law was passed, the owners worked with the city to write Sandy Spring’s ordinance so it could be passed as soon as Deal signed the state legislation. SPECIAL ASW Distillery, which From left, Pontoon Brewing co-owners Marcus is located in Armour Powers and Sean O’Keefe pose with Chris Irby and Yards near Sweetwater Wesley Budd, agents who helped them find the Brewing Company, anSandy Springs location for their first brewery. nounced its expansion for six month to two years, Jim Chasteen, days after Deal signed the legislation. one of the founders, said, and they anticiThe distillery was running out of room to store whiskey barrels, as they have to age Continued on page 6

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When the I-85 bridge collapsed, Debbie Benedit feared her renowned Havana Sandwich Shop on Buford Highway would suffer. Many of her customers came from Midtown and Buckhead for Cuban sandwiches or picadillo and cheese empanadas and she worried they wouldn’t want to brave a traffic nightmare for a meal. “But actually our business increased,” she said, while seated in the rustic building which is readily seen from the busy road, thanks to its bright yellow paint with palm trees. “Everyone on this end [of Buford Highway] was staying over here,” she said. Now that the bridge has reopened, her Midtown, Cheshire Bridge Road, Lenox Road and Virginia-Highland cus-

tomers are returning as well. “My sales are exceeding expectations,” she said. The road to her success was also filled with major obstacles, however. Debbie owns the sandwich shop at 2905 Buford Highway with her son, Eddie Benedit Jr. The building is the site of the original Havana restaurant opened in 1976 by Guido Benedit, her late father-in-law. Using Guido’s recipes from his homeland, the restaurant quickly became a destination for those searching for authentic Cuban cuisine. The entire Benedit family worked at the restaurant before some went their separate ways. In 1996, Guido retired and left the business to Debbie and her late husband, Eddie Sr. He died in 2001, but Debbie kept the restaurant open. Also Continued on page 7

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New law is a boost to local beer and whiskey crafters Continued from page 4 pate more sales and visitors after the law takes effect. ASW plans to use its new location, which will open in nine months to a year, for storage and a tasting room, but it depends on what permits they are able to get from the city, Chasteen said. The company chose the West End to fulfill its need for more storage space because the owners were convinced by longtime friends at Wild Heaven and Monday Night Brewing to join them in the Lee + White development. “The craft brewing and distilling industries have become really close with each other in the past couple of years, especially with all the progress that’s been made,” Chasteen said. “We’ve become really good friends with a lot of the breweries in town.” The tour system was especially difficult for ASW because many guests are from different states due to a wedding venue located adjacent to them, and Chasteen expects tourists would be more likely to come in to buy a bottle than they would to purchase a tour.

Often people who come in to buy a bottle are turned off or confused when they hear they have to buy a tour, he said. “They’ve never heard of this Georgia legislation. All they hear is ‘I can’t buy a bottle’,” Chasteen said. Tourists also often wanted to buy gifts for others, but they could only buy one bottle, and since they are from a different state, it’s likely ASW would never see that guest again, Chasteen said. “It’s worth it if you drive here from South Carolina now,” he said. “Before, it was difficult to fully take advantage of tourism business.” Chasteen said he and others at ASW, along with other breweries, distributors and retailers, have been working for three years on getting legislation through the Georgia General Assembly, and, in the past 18 months, the different parties have worked together to find common ground. “This has been an intense 18 months of back and forth and compromise between all the parties,” he said. “It certainly took a lot of time, but I can’t tell you how refreshing it was to work with all parties in a good faith way.”

PCIDs name new executive director BY JOHN RUCH

start work in June, her appointment still needs to be formally approved by the group’s boards of directors. The Perimeter Cen“We have been very ter Community Imfavorably impressed provement Districts with the depth, expehave named a new rience and caliber of staff leader, eight the talent pool intermonths after longtime ested in leading our president and CEO two CIDs,” said a joint Yvonne Williams’ surstatement from PCIDs prise resignation. board chairs Diane Ann Hanlon, execuCalloway and John tive director of the AlHeagy. “We believe it pharetta-based North takes a rather broad Fulton Community set of skills to succeed Improvement District, in this business, and has been chosen to we are thrilled to have take the PCIDs’ reins. SPECIAL Ms. Hanlon joining us Ann Hanlon Hanlon also serves after such an impreson the board of two sive run at the North Fulton CID.” organizations important to Perimeter The PCIDs are two separate but jointCenter: the Georgia Regional Transporly operated self-taxing business districts tation Authority, which runs the GRTA in Perimeter Center, with one CID in the Xpress commuter buses; and the CounDeKalb County portion of the area and cil for Quality Growth, a Sandy Springsone in the Fulton County portion. based advocacy group for real estate deThe PCIDs’ work includes planning and velopers, where she is the treasurer. funding major roadway and streetscape Hanlon, a Dunwoody resident, would projects. It provided some of the political have the “executive director” title at the leverage for Gov. Nathan Deal to fast-track PCIDs. While the PCIDs have announced the I-285/Ga. 400 interchange reconstrucHanlon’s hiring and said she likely will tion project that is just getting started. The North Fulton CID is a similar organization operating in the cities of Alpharetta, Milton and Roswell. Hanlon has worked at the North Fulton CID since 2005 and served as its chief operating officer. She previously worked at the PCIDs from 2003 to 2005 as a project manager. Hanlon has worked at the Atlanta Regional Commission as a senior program analyst; on the staff of former U.S. Sen. Max Cleland; and at the Georgia Department of Labor. She also serves on the North Fulton Poverty Task Force and chaired the DeKalb County Charter Commission in 2016. She has a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame and a master’s in public administration from Georgia State University. She is a native of Waycross, Ga. Williams resigned from leading the PCIDs in September 2016 after 17 years at the helm, citing a desire to spend more Visit us today to learn how you may qualify for up to time with her family. Hanlon was hired via an executive search firm, the PCIDs said. johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

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Perimeter Business | 7

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DYANA BAGBY

Havana on Buford Highway is easy to see with its bright yellow paint and palm trees.

Cuban sandwich shop mixes tastiness with tenacity Continued from page 5 in 2001, her husband’s brother, Guido Jr., sued her after learning he wasn’t listed as a manager in the business. Tensions flared. In 2008, the building at 2905 Buford Highway was damaged by fire. In 2009, Eddie Sr.’s other brother, Willie, wanted to open a new Havana restaurant, built on the reputation of the old. Debbie operated a restaurant for a short time in Canton, where she lives, but closed it in 2009. She missed the allure of Buford Highway and planned to reopen Havana that same year in a new location on Clairmont Road, just a stone’s throw from the original. But confusion arose over which Havana restaurant was the real one and Willie and Debbie ended up in a legal battle over who was the true owner of the restaurant’s name. Eventually she won the right to the Havana Restaurant name and for the past eight years has operated her business, welcoming hungry customers on Clairmont Road from throughout metro Atlanta. But court battles with family took

a toll and the pain remains. Debbie acknowledged she hasn’t seen Willie or Guido for years. “The family was torn apart by different ideas,” she said. “I wish them the best. I did the time, put in the blood, sweat and tears. ... It didn’t have to be that way.” She took her energy and focused it on food. The Havana at the Clairmont location used the same Benedit family recipes and became as popular as the original. Then, in 2015, Debbie was driving on Buford Highway when she saw a familiar sight. The dilapidated building where Havana first opened its doors in 1976 was available. She jumped at the chance to open a second Havana at what some may consider a historical location. “This building is the same as it was 50 years ago. We just put a new coat of paint on it and cleaned it up some,” she said. In April, she and her son decided to close the Clairmont location. “I’ve been doing this 41 years and I’m slowing it down,” she said. “Eddie will continue on. I feel like I’ve come full circle. I’m just glad to be back here. ... This truly was a family business, and it still is.”

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PHOTOS BY JOHN RUCH

The Marist School’s memorial to alumni killed or lost during military service.

Little-known memorials honor fallen service members BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

D

PEACHTREE DUNWOODY

While Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer, it’s officially a time to remember military service members who died in the line of duty. Little-known memorials scattered around Perimeter Center and Buckhead put those memories close at hand. The Veterans Memorial in Dunwoody’s Brook Run Park is perhaps the most popular local place for reflection. But many small memorials stand in office parks, landscaping and malls around the area. Many were placed over the past 20 years by the Atlanta Vietnam Veterans Business Association and honor service members killed in that war. “To those who fight for it, life has a flavor the protected never know,” reads a motto on many of the group’s granite memorial markers. The group no longer erects the memorials, shifting its focus to scholarships for veterans, said president Dan Holtz. Some of the memorials are easy to find, like the flag-ringed marker between the King and Queen skyscrapers at the Concourse Center on Sandy Springs’ Concourse Parkway. That memorial hon-

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ors Army Pfc. Joel C. Roper, a “citizen soldier” and Bronze Star recipient killed in action in Vietnam in 1969. The city of Sandy Springs holds its annual Veterans Day ceremony there. Some are nearly hidden, like the memorial to Army 1st Lt. William Ellis Gay Jr., who was killed in Cambodia in 1970. That marker is tucked amid shrubbery behind benches in the entryway of the Shepherd Center on Peachtree Road in Buckhead. Gay was a graduate of Brookhaven’s Marist School, whose Ashford-Dunwoody Road campus has two memorials. One honors the 44 Marist alumni from World War I onward who have been killed in action, declared missing in action or taken as prisoners of war. Another Marist campus memorial tells the remarkable story of one of those alumni, Air Force Maj. John L. Carroll, who was shot down over Laos while flying a small airplane as part of the Ravens, a CIA-led operation that helped to direct a secret bombing campaign. Carroll crashed on the Plain of Jars, an ancient site where the landscape is covered in large, mysterious stone containers. “Faced with a choice between the despair of surrender and the prospect of survival, despite being confronted with

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MAY 26 - JUNE 8, 2017

Community | 9

www.ReporterNewspapers.net overwhelming force, Maj. Carroll elected to fight,” the memorial reads. “Armed only with small arms and grenades, Maj. Carroll held off two enemy companies in an attempt to allow aircraft to effect his rescue. Despite serious wounds, he

fought with tenacity and bravery until he was killed.” He was declared missing in action until 2007, when his body was finally recovered and returned to the U.S.

S O M E O THER LO C A L M EM O R I A L S HO NO R THES E S ERV IC E M EM B ER S : Lance Cpl. Russell M. Dobyns Jr., Marine Corps Chastain Park 140 West Wieuca Road, Buckhead CWO George T. Condrey III, Army Lenox Towers 3400 Peachtree Rd N.E., Buckhead

Left: Flags mark the memorial to U.S. Army Pfc. Joel C. Roper at the Concourse Center. Right: Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Russell M. Dobyns Jr. is remembered on a memorial in Buckhead’s Chastain Park.

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10 | Community

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Draft zoning code refines parking, gas station concepts

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Parking space requirements for cars – and bicycles. Strategies for limiting gas stations. Lots and lots of map changes. Those are a few of the many changes and refinements in the latest draft of Sandy Springs’ new zoning code, presented by officials at a May 15 City Hall open house. The new “Development Code” is a work in progress — a final draft is due around mid-June and possible adoption in August — and citywide in scope. So the open house provided a snapshot of some key changes at the current moment. Lee Einsweiler of Austin, TX-based Code Studio is the lead consultant who has been writing the new code for over a year. As more than 50 residents gathered, he gave an overview of proposed zoning strategies on citywide subjects such as parking, landscaping, lighting, commercial signage and the treatment of city streets. However, most people crowded into a separate room where the latest zoning maps of individual properties were on display. Einsweiler said there have been an “enormous number of changes to the map” since earlier drafts. While all of the changes are small, typically involving sin-

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gle properties, some were due to errors and may require revision of the already approved “Character Area Map” in the new Comprehensive Plan, the land-use plan on which the zoning code is based. Einsweiler and other officials recommended that residents look carefully at their properties’ proposed zoning. Highresolution versions of the map are available on the city’s “Next Ten” planning website at thenext10.org. Residents can submit comments about any part of the code via a form on that website or by emailing TheNextTen@sandyspringsga.gov. ‘New and different’ affordability concepts Affordable housing incentives or requirements were among the many other concepts in the works, but not part of the presentation. An earlier Development Code draft included a proposed formula for incentivizing “workforce,” or middle-income-affordable, housing. However, that formula drew some criticism as confusing and insufficient. Einsweiler indicated in a brief interview that a significant revision is underway. Parking Parking requirements for both motor vehicles and bicycles were one item getting a lot of attention in the new draft. Most commercial uses would require a certain amount of motor vehicle parking, working from a base standard of one parking space per 300 square feet. That ratio would apply to new construction, changes in use or additions of more than 25,000 square feet. The ratio would vary, based on the type of use — restaurants need more parking than bookstores, for example — and could be lowered for such uses as transit-oriented projects and developments that have car-sharing spaces. Bicycle parking would be required in multifamily, public/civic, commercial and industrial zones, also with a certain ratio, but no more than 20 spaces per development. “So we’re not talking about a huge, onerous obligation,” Einsweiler said. New townhomes would be required to have in-house garage parking facing the rear, not the street. And big surface parking lots would be required to have trees planted on islands among the cars, with a formula of one tree per eight parking spaces. Gas station restrictions Work also continues on the future of gas stations. The chains QuikTrip and RaceTrac have been eyeing new locations in the city, officials have said, and a 120day moratorium on new applications for convenience stores and gas stations is in effect while the new code is written. One part of the code is simple, Einweiler said: brand new gas stations will be banned. However, the city would like to give existing gas stations incentive to upgrade or move from locations where redevelopment is desired.

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MAY 26 - JUNE 8, 2017

Community | 11

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City proposes $106 million budget Continued from page 1 more officers, mostly to staff a ministation in the City Springs project set to open next year. The hiring includes one sergeant and eight full-time officers, as well as two part-time positions. The Recreation and Parks Department would get a big budget increase, of about 30.5 percent, to $4.7 million. Part of that will cover a revised parks master plan process that will be conducted this fall. Besides the general fund for operations, the city has its capital budget and many other funds, including revenue coming soon from the new transportation special local option sales tax. The total funds the city controls amount to about $427 million. RUSTY PAUL Those funds in- MAYOR clude a budget for the performing arts center in City Springs, which is set to open about a year from now. The city expects to spend about $1.3 million on the center over the next year, with about $900,000 of that on staffing. The city’s hallmark is outsourcing its main functions to private companies. The total cost of those contracts is projected to rise by 6.45 percent to about $17.4 million, due to automatic increases dictated in the contracts as well as some new hiring. The city recently rebid and re-

worked a specialized subsection of those outsourcing contracts, which cover “field services,” or the maintenance of streets, storm sewers and public spaces. The idea, said Assistant City Manager Bryant Poole, was basically to ask for more work – in most cases including additional employees – for less money. The city also decided to start buying its own construction materials for such work, which it expects will save money by avoiding sales taxes and getting discounted government rates. A couple of the contracts are significantly more costly, while others are significantly less expensive. But overall, the city’s expenses for such services, including some that were not rebid, is projected to decrease by 9.75 percent to about $5.3 million. And the city expects to have more regular and emergency staffing for key public works functions. Mayor Rusty Paul said that, while outsourced city government is still a “controversial” idea, the field services contracts show it can “creatively and innovatively” find ways to do more for less money. “I just can’t believe why this model remains controversial after 12 years, when the benefits are evident,” he said.

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12 | Community

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Jon Ossoff

Karen Handel

BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

The high-profile race for the 6th Congressional District heated up with local appearances by the candidates as the June 20 runoff quickly approaches. Karen Handel, 55, a former Georgia secretary of state and chair of the Fulton County Commission, is hoping to win the seat long held by a Republican, while Jon Ossoff, a 30-year-old former Congressional aide making his first bid for public office, is yearning to “flip the 6th” to a Democratic district. U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan attended a May 15 rally for Handel at a Dunwoody hotel, while both candidates spoke at a May 21 meeting of the Jewish War Veterans in Dunwoody. The two have agreed to participate in a June 6 debate to be broadcast live on WSB-TV from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. Handel is hoping appearances by Republican heavy hitters, such as Vice President Mike Pence next month and Ryan earlier this month, will benefit her at the polls. Ossoff’s campaign appears to be relying on an aggressive ground game with lots of canvassing and opening new field of-

fices in Johns Creek and Tucker in recent days to put them over the top. Both are defining their differences to voters, including during the Jewish War Veterans meeting, held at the Berman Commons assisted living facility in Dunwoody, where they spoke on Israel, foreign policy and veterans’ issues. Ossoff, now CEO of Insight TWI: The World Investigates, an international media company specializing in anti-corruption investigations, said the country needs “fresh leadership” in Congress because the tone of today’s leadership is “dangerous and divisive.” Ossoff noted that both his grandfathers – one in Australia and the other in the U.S. – fought in World War II and their dedication to public service was something he aspired to as well. “That tradition of service in my family is something I’m proud of and something I seek to live up to in my life,” Ossoff said. “That commitment to public good … is inspiring … and I think both my grandfathers would be disgusted by the tone in politics today.” In addressing national defense, Ossoff said it is important to not forget the millions of lives at stake in armed conflict.

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“There is a real human consequence here. It is not a game,” he said. “Career politicians forget we are talking about real human lives.” He called the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, a “reprehensible organization” and said only its complete destruction is acceptable. Ossoff said he would support air power and limited special operations in defeating ISIS. He also said he would oppose any proposal to increase the deployment of ground troops into the Middle East. Ossoff expressed his strong support of NATO and called for a complete and transparent investigation into Russian interference in the American election, saying the issue was “above partisanship.” He also called for redoubling the U.S. commitment to Israel and work to ensure Israel has a military edge against multiple hostile groups, such as Hezbollah and Hamas. When asked about his support of former President Obama’s Iran deal, Ossoff said the purpose of the agreement is to restrict uranium enrichment by Iran. “The monitoring of compliance should be strict and uncompromising. If Iran violates [the agreement], sanctions should snap back immediately that truly punishes Iran’s economy,” he said. In her comments, Handel went after the Affordable Care Act, said it was “collapsing” and praised the House Republican’s recently passed bill to repeal it. She acknowledged the House bill was “not perfect” but part of a process and was better than letting the system collapse. She also promised to work on simplifying the tax code and “job killing regulations.” When it comes to national defense, Handel said she would vote in favor of the Taylor Force Act, a bill that would stop the U.S. from funding the Palestinian government if it continues to pay salaries and benefits to families of terrorists who kill Americans and Jews in Israel. She also denounced the Iran nuclear deal, calling it “unconscionable” and a failure to stand with U.S. ally Israel. At the May 15 rally with Ryan, Handel continued the line Republicans are taking in the race — that Ossoff is “handpicked” by U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and that his campaign is funded by California liberals. “We are not going to let Nancy Pelosi and her hand-picked candidate steal this seat from Republicans,” Handel said. Handel poked at Ossoff’s “flimsy, inflated resume” and contrasted that with her political experience. “Talk is cheap, and I’m not about talk,” she said. Ryan told the crowd at the rally that voters in the June 20 election, which many see as a referendum on President Donald Trump, should keep a Republican in the House. “The stakes are as high as they ever could be,” Ryan said. “You have a big responsibility.” SS

Community | 13

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14 | Commentary

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Commentary/ Georgia Public Broadcasting deserves its federal funding Editor’s note: On May 23, President Trump released a fiscal year 2018 federal budget proposal that would slash Corporation for Public Broadcasting funding from $455 million to $30 million as a first step in eliminating it. The National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities are proposed for similar cuts. CPB is a major funding source for Georgia Public Broadcasting. Reporter Newspapers asked GPB’s board chairperson, Jan Paul, to explain the impacts. There are a dizzying Bobby Jones” showcase just number of options at my some of the beauty, history fingertips when I hold the and people of our state. TV remote. Some channels Additionally, the AtI know instantly, based on lanta Press Club, Geormy viewing patterns, howgia Associated Press and ever my go-to favorite is the Radio Television Digione of our state’s greatest tal News Association have resources — Georgia Pubawarded GPB Radio for lic Broadcasting. its outstanding news covFor 14 years, I’ve served erage. GPB’s high-quality on its Board of Directors and journalists discuss importhis past year was named its tant local, state and nationchairperson. I’ve watched al issues on programs such GPB Television become the as “Political Rewind,” “On Jan Paul is chairperson country’s third-largest PBS Second Thought” and “Two of the Board of Direcstation based on population Way Street.” tors of the Georgia Pubreach, serving Georgia with While its broadcast oflic Telecommunications nine television stations, 18 ferings are first-rate, I’m Commission (Georgia radio stations and an innoparticularly proud of GPB’s Public Broadcasting) vative education and digital remarkable educational and has served on the division. initiatives, which separate board since 2003. She When many people it from other media outlets is also executive directhink of public media, they and create an invaluable tor of Leadership Sanfocus on “Downton Abasset for our state. dy Springs and the cobey” (I’m still a huge DowLast year, its education founder of iSquared ager Countess fan) or “All division delivered profesCommunications. Things Considered.” Of sional development to over course, GPB continues to 2,500 Georgia educators be PBS’s children’s learning-centered at no cost. GPB provides teachers with outlet for programming such as “Wordfree access to over 125,000 original conGirl.” But GPB is so much more — its tent, digital learning resources through Education and Digital Media Division partnerships with Discovery Education delivers cutting-edge digital education and PBS Learning Media. Each month, and provides much-needed teacher the education team distributes the “Edsupport throughout the state. ucation Matters” newsletter to over Each year, GPB garners dozens 45,000 educators and a blog that averof nominations and awards from the ages 8,000 views per month. Southeast Chapter of the National Further, GPB took the creative leap Academy of Television Arts and Sciencto create the first truly digital textbook es — the Emmys. In 2012 and 2015, it in Georgia, the “Georgia Studies Digital won the Overall Excellence Award. Textbook” for eighth-grade history stuWhat does GPB do to receive such dents, which has now been accessed by recognitions? It delivers more than over 3,400 educators. GPB received a 35,000 hours of non-commercial, qualgrant to create the textbook, which inity PBS and locally produced programcludes 30 virtual field trips that bring ming to 98 percent of Georgia and locations to life; interviews; 360-degree portions of Florida, Alabama, Tennesphotography; and interactive elements see, North Carolina and South Caroli— all accessible at no cost on all-digina. GPB’s original series “Georgia Outtal platforms. The digital platform not doors” and documentaries such as only benefits students and teachers; “Georgia Greats: The Long Shadow of it saves taxpayers dollars on the pub-

Jan Paul

lished textbooks. It doesn’t stop there. The GPB education team created “Chemistry Matters,” a downloadable, fully comprehensive video course for high school chemistry, emphasizing the STEM curriculum. Currently, GPB is filming a complete, interactive physics series, designed by educators and filmed in classrooms across the state. These STEM resources are valuable learning tools for all Georgia’s high school students and absolutely crucial to school systems that lack advanced science teachers. Enhancing its academic endeavors, GPB is the destination for everything high school football. Last year, GPB Sports’ two days of live coverage of the 2016 GHSA Football Championships helped rank it as the highest-rated PBS station in the nation on Dec. 9 and 10. GPB’s live stream captured Georgia high school football fans around the globe, including Indonesia, Zimbabwe, Israel, Russia, Bahrain, Japan and the United Kingdom, literally bringing Georgia high school football to the world. Parents and students followed game scores all season with the GPB Sports football app that, to date, has over 62,000 downloads. Besides providing media content access anywhere, anytime for mobile phones, tablets and televisions, GPB tackles important issues challenging our communities. From documentaries on diversity and inclusion to community partnerships on autism awareness, GPB is an educational lifeline to millions of Georgia students, teachers and residents. GPB is a fundamental and successful example of public-private partnership. Support from individuals and the community, paired with federal and state funds, power all our tremendous accomplishments. With federal funding in question, now is the time for all who benefit from this valuable Georgia resource to voice our support. For more information, visit gpb.org/cpb-funding.

© 2017 with all rights reserved Publisher reserves the right to refuse editorial or advertising for any reason. Publisher assumes no responsibility for information contained in advertising. Any opinions expressed in print or online do not necessarily represent the views of Reporter Newspapers or Springs Publishing, LLC. SS


MAY 26 - JUNE 8, 2017

Public Safety | 15

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We’re Saving

Police department gets a drone

you a seat.

The Sandy Springs Police Department’s new drone on display at the May 16 City Council meeting.

JOHN RUCH

BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

Sandy Springs police are adding a drone to their arsenal after City Council on May 16 accepted the donation of the device. The DJI Mavic Pro drone is a gift from InterDev, the city’s IT contractor. The police department intends to use the camera-equipped drone for a wide range of surveillance and investigative purposes. But it will be at least a few months before it takes to the skies as the department writes a usage policy, gets federal certification and trains select officers to pilot it. The police already have the drone. Deputy Chief Keith Zgonc and Capt. Dan Nable displayed it at the council meeting, taking it out of a heavy-duty plastic case and unfolding its X-shaped, propeller-tipped arms. “Does anybody want to look a gift drone in the mouth?” asked Mayor Rusty Paul. City Councilmember John Paulson did, asking how long it would take to write the usage policy, “because this is a hot topic.” He noted “security” and “privacy” issues with the drone, asking as one example, “Do we save the footage?” Zgonc said the policy will take about a month to develop, while Nable said the certification and training will take longer. The drone joins the department’s fleet of three other robots.

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16 | Out & About

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DUNWOODY COMMUNITY BIKE RIDE

MEMORIAL DAY POOL PARTY

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

Monday, May 29, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

BROOKHAVEN

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MAKE YOUR OWN KALIMBA CONCERT & WORKSHOP

DUNWOODY NATURE CENTER SUMMER CONCERT SERIES

Saturdays, June 3, June 17, July 1 and July 15, 7 p.m.

The funk band Dyn-o-mite is up next in this concert series presented by the city

ZYDECO DANCE

Fridays, June 2, June 16 and June 30, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Saturday, June 3, noon to 3 p.m.

“Kalimba Man” Kevin Spears presents a free concert and workshop on making a kalimba, an African musical instrument, at North Springs United Methodist Church. The concert and Afro-Caribbean food are scheduled from noon to 1 p.m., followed by the workshop. Kalimba-making kits will be available for a $40 donation, with all proceeds going to the music program at North Springs UMC. Open to all ages. 7770 Roswell Road, Sandy Springs. Register: www.makingafricaninstruments.org.

The city of Brookhaven celebrates the opening of pool season with a pool party at Murphey Candler Park featuring a giant slide, music and food. 1551 W. Nancy Creek Drive, Brookhaven. Regular pool fees apply. Info: brookhavenga.gov.

Sunday, June 4, 2:45 p.m. to 4 p.m.

of Dunwoody. Picnicking begins at 6 p.m. Craft beers available for purchase. Free to nature center members. Non-members: $5 adults, $3 students, free to children 3 and younger. 5343 Roberts Drive, Dunwoody. Info: dunwoodynature.org.

CONCERTS BY THE SPRINGS Sunday, June 11, 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Heritage Sandy Springs’ summer outdoor concert series continues with the party hits band GLOW. Gates open at 5 p.m. Picnics welcome. Food, beer and wine available. Free. Sandy Springs Society Entertainment Lawn at Heritage Green, 6110 Blue Stone Road, Sandy Springs. Info: heritagesandysprings.org or 404-851-9111, ext. 1.

Celebrate Shabbat at the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta’s pool and splash park. Open swim and activities begin at 5 p.m. followed by Shabbat songs and blessings at 6 p.m. Free and open to the community. Bring your own food and purchase drinks at the snack bar. MJCCA-Zaban Park, 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody. Info: 678-812-4161 or rabbi. glusman@atlantajcc.org.

COMMUNITY YOGA IN THE PARK Saturday, June 3, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.

The Dunwoody Nature Center offers a Sweet Flow yoga class, which incorporates standing poses, seated poses, twists and back bends for all levels. Free. 5343 Roberts Drive, Dunwoody. Info: dunwoodynature.org.

Saturday, June 10, 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Free dance lesson at 7 p.m.

Zydeco dance with Cedryl Ballou & the Zydeco Trendsetters in an event sponsored by the Atlanta Cajun Zydeco Association. Tickets: $18; $5 students; $14 active military. No partner necessary. All ages welcome. Cajun/Creole food for sale. Dorothy Benson Senior Multipurpose Complex, 6500 Vernon Woods Drive, Sandy Springs. Info: aczadance.org or 877-338-2420.

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MAY 26 - JUNE 8, 2017

Out & About | 17

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SANDY SPRINGS LANTERN PARADE

Saturday, June 10, 8 p.m.; parade begins at 9 p.m.

March to the Chattahoochee River with colorful lanterns or watch others march in Sandy Springs’ second annual “Take it to the River” Lantern Parade. To be part of the parade, arrive at the Steel Canyon Golf Club before 9 p.m. The parade route follows Morgan Falls Road to Morgan Falls Overlook Park, where paddlers will take to the river with floating lanterns. Live performances. Snacks for sale. Parade start: 460 Morgan Falls Road, Sandy Springs. Lantern-making workshops, parking and other info: visitsandysprings.org/lanternparade.

KIDS AND FAMILIES FLYING COLORS BUTTERFLY FESTIVAL

Saturday, June 3, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday, June 4, noon to 5 p.m.

Willeo Road, Roswell. Info: 770-992-2055, ext. 236 or chattnaturecenter.org.

LITTLE DIGGERS GARDENING PROGRAM

Saturday, June 10, 10 a.m. to noon.

Heritage Sandy Springs presents a free family gardening series in partnership with the North Fulton Master Gardeners and with UGA Extension in Fulton County. On June 10, participants will plant spring vegetables in unusual containers such as ice cream cones, which can be planted in the ground. Best suited for ages 6 to 10, with accompanying adult. Free. Heritage Sandy Springs Farmers Market, 6100 Lake Forrest Drive, Sandy Springs. Info: heritagesandysprings.org.

LEARN SOMETHING WOLF BLITZER LECTURE Sunday, June 11, 7 p.m.

Journalist Wolf Blitzer, CNN’s lead political anchor and host of “The Situation Room” and “Wolf,” will speak on news from Washington and around the world in Ahavath Achim Synagogue’s Fran Eizenstat and Eizenstat Family Annual Lecture. Free. 600 Peachtree Battle Ave. N.W., Buckhead. Info: aasynagogue.org or 404-355-5222.

Live butterfly releases and encounters, a butterfly costume parade, plant sale, entertainment and food trucks are in store at the 18th annual Flying Colors Butterfly Festival at the Chattahoochee Nature Center. Admission: $12; $8 CNC members; free for SUBMIT YOUR EVENT LISTING WITH US AT children 2 and younger. 9135 calendar@ReporterNewspapers.net

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fran eizenstat & Eizenstat family annual lecture feat�ring Wolf Blitzer

JUNE 11 | 7:00 pm Ahavath achim synagogue 600 Peachtree Battle Ave NW Atlanta, GA 30327 Ahavath Achim’s Fran Eizenstat and Eizenstat Family Annual Lecture Presents: Wolf Blitzer, award-winning American journalist, CNN’s lead political anchor, and the anchor of The Situation Room and Wolf, where he focuses on the most important news from Washington and around the world. We invite you to join us for this FREE and exciting event. Questions? Contact acohen@aasynagogue.org or 404.603.5754.


18 | Education

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2017 Valedictorians & Salutatorians H

igh school graduation season has returned this month. Proud parents, brothers and sisters and other family members are packing auditoriums and stadiums across Reporter Newspapers communities to clap and cheer as local schools confer hard-earned diplomas and special honors on hundreds of new graduates.

ATLANTA INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL

Niall Gamble Salutatorian

Helen Audrey Williams Valedictorian

During many graduation ceremonies, a few students are singled out to be honored for achieving the highest academic standing among their classmates. They are the valedictorians and salutatorians for their schools. Here is a gallery of photographs of the valedictorians and salutatorians for the Class of 2017 at high schools in Brookhaven, Buckhead, Dunwoody and Sandy Springs. The schools or students provided their names and photographs. Hannah Branch Salutatorian CHAMBLEE CHARTER HIGH SCHOOL

BRANDON HALL

Margaret Anne Meagher Valedictorian

Shunyang “Parker” Liu Salutatorian

CROSS KEYS HIGH SCHOOL

Yusuf Azizi Valedictorian

Manav Mathews Valedictorian

Michelle Tran Valedictorian

DUNWOODY HIGH SCHOOL

Emani Brinson Salutatorian

Laura Spratling Valedictorian

Sean Hackett Valedictorian

Michael Brockton Abbott Salutatorian

THE LOVETT SCHOOL

Matthew Desoutter Salutatorian

HOLY INNOCENTS’ EPISCOPAL SCHOOL

Zain Bashey Valedictorian

Krishna Chai Pucha Salutatorian

James Packman Valedictorian

Josh Eiland Salutatorian

HOLY SPIRIT PREPARATORY SCHOOL

Clarisa Colton Salutatorian

Natalie Casal Valedictorian

John Arnold Salutatorian


Education | 19

MAY 26 - JUNE 8, 2017 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

MARIST SCHOOL

Christina Shin Valedictorian

MOUNT VERNON PRESBYTERIAN SCHOOL

Jack Dinges Salutatorian

Steven Butz Valedictorian

NORTH ATLANTA HIGH SCHOOL

Sterling Spiegl Valedictorian

NORTH SPRINGS CHARTER HIGH SCHOOL

Stockton De Laria Salutatorian

Anna Rappaport Valedictorian

RIVERWOOD INTERNATIONAL CHARTER SCHOOL

Katie Horn Valedictorian

AJ Whitney Salutatorian

Jacob Cohen Salutatorian

ST. PIUS X CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL

Linsey Cohen Salutatorian

Emily Pearson Valedictorian

Jacob Ressler-Craig Salutatorian

Mia Whitney Salutatorian PACE ACADEMY

Christopher Howard Valedictorian

Will Movsovitz Salutatorian

WEBER SCHOOL

Rivka “Becky” Arbiv Valedictorian

Rebecca Simonoff Salutatorian

THE WESTMINSTER SCHOOLS

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Mitchell Ostrow Valedictorian

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Liz Bailey Valedictorian


20 | Community

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We call her Speedracer!

Local commuters say I-85 collapse led them to ride MARTA BY EVELYN ANDREWS

ter station and rides MARTA to Dunwoody. “I didn’t have a lot of motivation to use MARTA before the collapse,” Miller said. “I The March 30 overpass collapse that didn’t have the spark I needed to change closed a portion of I-85 for six weeks my way of thinking.” sent many commuters flocking to pubTony Wilkey, who commutes from Atlic transit. Local MARTA stations reportlanta’s Grant Park to Sandy Springs’ Meded big ridership boosts, and some local ical Center MARTA station, said he will commuters say they will keep using pubstick with MARTA and his bike as long as lic transit now that the highway has rethe weather and his schedule allows. opened. Others will go back to the roads. “I’m saving a significant amount of The Atlanta Regionmoney and time on al Commission, a planmy commute to Sanning agency that studies dy Springs, and I’m transportation, reportgetting in shape,” ed the average weekday Wilkey said. “The ridership for MARTA I’m saving a significant bridge collapse ended stations from March 31 amount of money and up being great for me, to April 29 was, in most time on my commute to just not on the days I cases, much higher than Sandy Springs, and I’m tried to drive in it.” average ridership the But MARTA is not week before the bridge getting in shape. The the solution for evcollapse. The report was bridge collapse ended ery rider. Samuel made on the ARC’s re- up being great for me, Withers, who comgional data blog at 33n. mutes from Buckjust not on the days I atlantaregional.com. head to Dunwoody, All local MARTA sta- tried to drive in it. said it took longer tions showed ridership to ride MARTA from TONY WILKEY increases, the report says. COMMUTER FROM GRANT PARK the Lindbergh Center The Brookhaven/ than it does to drive. Oglethorpe Station saw the greatest inWithers said he returned to driving when crease at 66 percent. Dunwoody Station I-85 reopened. was up by 26 percent. In Sandy Springs, “If there was a station closer to my Sandy Springs Station, Medical Center and house and I didn’t have to drive to the staNorth Springs were up by 43 percent, 30 tion, I would consider it,” Withers said. percent and 18 percent. In Buckhead, BuckJessica Carter, who took MARTA before head Station, Lenox and Lindbergh Center I-85 collapse, is looking forward to her comhad increases of 30, 24 and 6 percent. mute returning to normal. New riders are Some commuters, who were intergood for the service, but they also became viewed after responding to Twitter and Redagitated with delays and made her comdit posts, said the collapse helped them learn mute stressful, said Carter, who commutes that using MARTA to commute to work is from Cascade Heights to Sandy Springs. easier for them, but some said they returned “Before the collapse, it was a quiet ride to driving on I-85 once the bridge reopened. with familiar faces,” she said. “I saw at least Mark Miller commutes from Midtown four altercations between newcomers since to Dunwoody and said he had never considthe collapse over silly things like bumping ered using MARTA to get to work before the into each other, or complaining too loud bridge collapse, but found it to be less stressabout reasons they were late. I am looking ful than driving for nearly the same cost and forward to keeping the appreciative people travel time. Miller now bikes to the Arts Centhat enjoy the stress-free commute.” evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

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We’re looking for high energy people with a passion for selling and proven experience in any type of outside sales. We offer excellent compensation, with base salary+ commision and company-paid health insurance.

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For information, contact publisher Steve Levene at 404-917-2200, ext. 111 or email publisher@reporternewspapers.net.


MAY 26 - JUNE 8, 2017

Classifieds | 21

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Reporter Classifieds HELP WANTED Retail Sales Associate – Seeking Enthusiastic Retail Sales Associate for Lenox Square Cart, Stainless Steel Jewelry. Part-Time Position 20-26 hrs. per week. Pays $8.00 hr. plus commission. Send resume to clgomez@ onuvogue.com. Business Development / Membership Sales – The Sandy Springs Perimeter Chamber is expanding its Business Development Group and is seeking an individual interested in

being part of our growth. This individual will be somewhat knowledgeable of the Sandy Springs and Perimeter Business Market and likes meeting new people. You will call on new and existing companies in the area to explain the benefits of their company partnering with the Chamber. Good presentation and communication skills are essential. This is a base salary/commission position. Interested individuals should send their resumes to tom@sandysprings.org.

To Advertise, call 404-917-2200 ext 110 SERVICES AVAILABLE

CEMETERY PLOTS

Matthew’s Handy Services – Small jobs and chores are my specialties. Shelves, organizers, carpentry, drywall, painting, and plumbing. Member of BBB – 404-547-2079 Email: mwarren8328@gmail.com.

Arlington Memorial Park (Sandy Springs) - Beautiful, Pine crest section, Plots 11B, spaces 3 & 4. Arlington staff will be happy to show plots. Call 913-714-2499.

Driveways & Walkways – Replaced or repaired. Masonry, grading, foundations repaired, waterproofing and retaining walls. Call Joe Sullivan 770-616-0576. Home Tending – Regular inspections of your unoccupied property. Call Charles, 404-229-0490.

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22 | Community

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Homelessness nonprofit buys condos, displaces tenants Continued from page 1 The purchase, completed on May 3, includes more than a third of the 90-unit Reserve of Dunwoody condos at 9400 Roberts Drive. The condos are about three-quarters of a mile from MHFH’s headquarters at the corner of Roberts and Roswell Road. MHFH founder Lucy Hall-Gainer said the organization serves about 200 women and 80 children with rented transitional housing in Sandy Springs, Atlanta, Alpharetta, College Park and Roswell. At Reserve of Dunwoody, where many units are owned by investors who rent them out, MHFH was already leasing nine units for its homeless veterans program. Hall-Gainer said that metro Atlanta’s skyrocketing rents are pushing the organization to buy transitional housing units for the first time in its 21-year history. She said MHFH is considering buying some or all of the remaining units at Reserve of Dunwoody. Asked if that consideration is about using the units as transitional housing or redeveloping the entire site into a new facility, she said “both/and.” The complex is also being eyed as a possible permanent headquarters for MHFH, which currently rents its office space, she said. Hall-Gainer said that her “priority is to secure the legacy of the organization. ... Part of that is to secure the home of the organization.” Meanwhile, 24 of those 33 units at Reserve of Dunwoody are home to residents whose leases MHFH is ending with 60-day notice. One of those residents, Jarita Davis, said she moved in just six months ago and was shocked to learn a homeless-prevention nonprofit was ending her one-year lease. “This is truly a complete nightmare!!!!” Davis wrote in a May 12 email to MHFH’s board, calling the nonprofit’s decision “cruel and unjust.” “You’ll evict me from my home, volunteer me to be homeless and poverty-stricken, with a reason to resort to alcohol and drugs, to move in another woman recovering from these things?” Davis wrote. In an interview, Davis said she can’t afford to move again so soon, especially when MHFH’s lease-ending note said she had to continue paying rent during the 60-day notice period. “I wish the old saying ‘money grew on trees’ was true,” Davis said. “Taking my rent to house another family is just not acceptable.” Hall-Gainer acknowledged she had a point. “She’s right. I work with women to end poverty, homelessness and addiction,” Hall-Gainer said about Davis. “She’s absolutely right. Why would I make somebody homeless?” However, Hall-Gainer added, some other tenants contacted them with a request to move out even sooner. “Everybody else

didn’t have a problem with it,” she said. Davis later said she and Hall-Gainer spoke, but that her move-out situation remains unresolved. MHFH bought the Reserve of Dunwoody units from Florida-based Acorn Development. A company called EGA Realty managed the units for Acorn. Even though Acorn no longer owns the units, EGA’s Roy Stubbs said his company is trying to help the tenants find new apartments “just as a favor and a service to those folks.” “We’re doing all we can to find them a new place to live,” Stubbs said. “We don’t as a rule work with renters to go find a place to rent. … But we do know other agents.” Bruce Nicklin, president of the complex’s homeowners association, said his board is concerned about MHFH taking majority control and possibly devaluing the other units, and wants to be sure the nonprofit follows unit occupancy limits. He said he offered to sell his two units to MHFH, but that it declined at the current price. City spokesperson Sharon Kraun said the legal occupancy limit is four unrelated people per unit. The city would inspect the Reserve of Dunwoody units only if there is a complaint, she said. The city is among MHFH’s funders, but had no involvement in the condo purchases. MHFH has many funders and donors, including the Sandy Springs Society; the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development; such large corporations as Wells Fargo and Coca-Cola; and the governments of Sandy Springs, Atlanta and Fulton County. Its board of directors chair is Jon Kleinberg, managing director of Southeast investment sales for the major real estate development firm Transwestern, who did not respond to a request for comment. In an email exchange, City Councilmember Chris Burnett said he would forward Davis’ complaints to MHFH’s board chair. Nicklin expressed concern for the displaced tenants, suggesting MHFH return full security deposits and let them stay the 60 days rent-free. “That way, those people would at least have a chance to live, but the way it is, those poor bastards, they’re going to end up homeless,” he said. Davis said she works at the Hyatt Regency hotel in downtown Atlanta and formerly lived in that area, but moved to Sandy Springs as downtown rents rose. Hall-Gainer said MHFH was paying $900 to $1,000 a month for the nine units it was leasing at Reserve of Dunwoody, and that the organization faces rents of $1,200 to $1,500 a month in other locations. Hall-Gainer declined to give the purchase price of the Sandy Springs condos, saying she did not have the exact number immediately available. But she summed up the math: “It’s cheaper than renting.”

SS


MAY 26 - JUNE 8, 2017

Police Blotter / Sandy Springs Capt. Steve Rose of the Sandy Springs Police Department provided the following information, which represents some of the reports filed with Sandy Springs police from May 13-18.

B U R G L A RY „„100 block of Allen Road — On May 18,

an employee reported that someone unlocked a gate to a construction site and took several construction items. „„1000 block of Crest Valley Drive — On

May 13, a 54-year-old man said he and his roommate left for the Dominican Republic on May 6 and on return, discovered that the roommate’s room had been gone through. Two watches were stolen from the home. No forced entry.

THEFT „„300 block of Carpenter Drive — On

May 14, a 19-year-old woman reported that $1,000 cash was stolen from her purse in the employee area of the office building she works in. Don’t leave $1,000 cash in your purse anywhere. „„900 block of Crest Valley Drive — On

May 15, the resident reported mail taken from his mailbox. [An arrest was made that is most likely connected and will clear this theft. See arrests.] „„5700 block of Roswell Road — On May

16, a 43-year-old man said he had an MRI done at the location and during that time, left his clothing in the locker room of the facility. At some point, someone stole a ring from the locker area. „„200 block of Northwood Drive — On May

17, a 2002 Ford Expedition was stolen and later found in a nearby apartment complex.

THEFTS FROM VEHICLES „„Between May 13 and May 17, there

were eight thefts from vehicles.

„„5925 Roswell Road — On May 16, cops

SANDY SPRINGS NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING Petitioner:

City of Sandy Springs

Purpose:

An Ordinance to approve the new Sandy Springs Development Code including the Zoning Map.

backpack, assuming that no one owned it. She was transported to jail. „„5975

Roswell Road — On May 17, officers were called to the location around 7 p.m. regarding a drunken female outside a restaurant/bar. The cops found her, slurring, smelling of booze and unCaptain steady. They offered to call her STEVE ROSE, a taxi and get her SSPD home. She was srose@saninitially cooperadyspringsga.gov tive and took a liking to one of the officers, whom she tried to kiss. He respectfully declined, so she got mad and cursed him out, as well as everyone else. Still, at this point, they hoped she would get into the taxi, but she continued to curse and act belligerent. She was arrested and taken to the hospital to be cleared to be sent to jail. They kept her for observation because she was so intoxicated. „„Ga. 400/Abernathy — On May 13,

around 1:30 a.m., a patrol officer spotted a car on Ga. 400 doing 75 in a construction zone. He stopped the car. He said he smelled unburnt marijuana. The driver’s backpack had about 69 grams of weed in individual “zips” as well as a Taurus pistol. The man was arrested. „„6350 Roswell Road — On May 13, the

loss prevention staff at a discount club store observed a man place shrimp and salad down his pants and attempt to walk out of the store. He was stopped and later cited by cops for the $12 theft.

OT H E R T H I N G S

ARRESTS

„„4920 Roswell Road — On May 15, vio-

lence broke out at a normally tranquil pizwere called to a restaurant around 7:30 p.m. za restaurant when, at about 7 p.m., an regarding a theft. The complainant said a employee pepper-sprayed another employman and woman had just stolen $350 cash ee. Apparently, an argument ensued over from his backpack and keys from a valet the placement of the cheese and pepperostand. The witness said the man gave the ni on a pizza or pizzas in general. The dewoman a $20 bill from the money, which bate turned into an argument, to the point she put in her pocket. The witness and vicwhere a third employee separated them. tim lost contact with the pair. A lookout The agitator and pizza-placement critic left was given and a short time later, anoththe location, but returned a short time later er officer spotted a woman who matched with a can of pepper spray. The spray was the description, on Roswell Road, south of discharged, hitting the pizza maker on the the location. The witness ID’ed her and she arm, but not the eyes. The suspect left. The was charged with the theft. (The $20 was officer called him. He told the officer not to still in her pocket.) The male suspect was call back. A warrant was taken for the susnot located. She told the officer his name pect for disorderly conduct. was “Eddie” and she had just met READ MORE OF THE POLICE BLOTTER ONLINE AT him. She claimed she found the

www.ReporterNewspapers.net

SS

Public Safety | 23

www.ReporterNewspapers.net

This is intended to amend and replace the current Zoning Ordinance and Map. Public Hearings:

Planning Commission Special Called June 21, 2017, 6:00 p.m. Mayor and City Council August 1, 2017, 6:00 p.m.

Location:

Sandy Springs City Hall Morgan Falls Office Park 7840 Roswell Road, Building 500 Sandy Springs, Georgia 30350 770-730-5600

SANDY SPRINGS NOTICE OF USE PERMIT Petition Number:

U17-0001

Petitioner:

Mount Vernon Presbyterian School

Property Location:

510 Mount Vernon Highway NE & 0 Glenridge Drive (Mount Vernon Presbyterian School)

Present Zoning:

R-2

Request:

Request to revise use permit conditions to increase the allowable square footage, reallocate footprints, and redefine enrollment allocation, with concurrent variances.

Public Hearings:

Planning Commission May 18, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. Mayor and City Council June 20, 2017 at 6:00 p.m.

Location:

Sandy Springs City Hall Morgan Falls Office Park 7840 Roswell Road, Building 500 Sandy Springs, Georgia 30350 770-730-5600

NOTICE OF LOCATION AND DESIGN APPROVAL FULTON COUNTY P.I. NUMBER 0013194 Notice is hereby given in compliance with Georgia Code 22-2-109 and 32-3-5 that the Georgia Department of Transportation has approved the Location and Design of this project. The date of location and design approval is: APRIL 6, 2017. This project proposes to realign Glenridge Drive so that it will line up with a nearby condominium complex’s driveway. It will convert two closely spaced 3-legged intersections into a single four-legged intersection. This project will provide a more appropriate intersection angle as well as adequate left turn lanes in the northbound and southbound directions. The project lies within land lots 68, 69, 91, and 92 of the 14th District of Fulton, GA. The project, P.I. 0013194 proposes to construct new sidewalks and pedestrian level lighting along both sides of Roswell Road and Glenridge Drive to meet the City of Sandy Springs overlay district standards. Drawings or maps or plats of the proposed project, as approved, are on file and are available for public inspection at the Georgia Department of Transportation: Alania Stewart District 7_Area 2 Manager Email: alstewart@dot.ga.gov 1269 Kennestone Circle Marietta, Georgia 30066 (770) 528-3232 Any interested party may obtain a copy of the drawings or maps or plats or portions thereof by paying a nominal fee and requesting in writing to: Albert V. Shelby, III Office of Program Delivery Attn: Eka Okonmkpaeto eokonmkpaeto@dot.ga.gov 600 West Peachtree Street, 25th Floor Atlanta, GA 30308 770-312-6551 Any written request or communication in reference to this project or notice SHOULD include the Project and P.I. Numbers as noted at the top of this notice.


24 |

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Bring the family and don’t miss the 2nd Annual Lantern Parade on

June 10, 2017!

Everyone is invited to make a lantern and parade to the river! Bring your family, friends, and neighbors for a magical stroll to Morgan Falls Overlook Park.

No Lantern? Take A Workshop!

Workshop Schedule Saturday, June 3rd

Globe Lanterns – 10:00am & Lantern Hats – 2:30pm

Sunday, June 4th

Fish Lanterns - 2:30pm

Tuesday, June 6th

Illuminated Parasols – 6:30pm

Learn more at www.visitsandysprings.org/lanternparade/ SS

05-26-17 Sandy Springs Reporter  
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