Dunwoody Reporter - June 2022

Page 1

Dunwoody Reporter

JUNE 2022 Vol. 13 No. 6 ■ reporternewspapers.com

State of the the Housing Market P24

Special Sections Valedictorians & Salutatorians P30 Head for the Hills P34

 

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BUCKHEAD 158 Peachtree Hills Avenue Offered for $890,000 Betty Pak 404.446.5679

BUCKHEAD 2795 Peachtree Road, No. 1207 Offered for $479,000 Stephanie Sorrell 404.330.4418

BUCKHEAD 3043 Nancy Creek Road Offered for $1,975,000 Neal Heery 404.312.2239 George Heery 404.643.7347

BUCKHEAD 3286 Northside Parkway, No. 807 Offered for $1,495,000 Cathy Davis Hall 404.915.0922

BUCKHEAD 330 Argonne Drive Offered for $8,995,000 Sam Bayne 404.375.8628

BUCKHEAD 3334 Peachtree Road, No. 1903 Offered for $950,000 Angela Cashion 404.423.5245

BUCKHEAD 3376 Peachtree Road, No. 38A Offered for $1,950,000 Yetty Arp 404.863.2116

BUCKHEAD 3652 Rembrandt Road Offered for $2,495,000 Betsy Akers 404.372.8144

BUCKHEAD 758 Wesley Drive Offered for $875,000 Kathryn Crabtree 404.545.2297 Kim Boyd 404.520.6095

CHAMBLEE 3781 Captain Drive Offered for $625,000 Pailey Nooromid 214.662.0999

CHATTAHOOCHEE HILLS 0 Barnes Road | LAND Offered for $745,000 Sandra Storrar 404.310.3558 Amy Whist 626.616.1123

DUNWOODY 4755 Adams Road Offered for $550,000 Jim Cox 404.808.5024

DUNWOODY 5405 Hallford Drive Offered for $1,225,000 Matthew Evans 404.610.4047

EAST ATLANTA 291 Heritage Lane Offered for $945,000 Lisa Bennett 678.531.2996

MARIETTA 3615 High Green Drive Offered for $1,825,000 Pam Elledge 404.626.0614

POWDER SPRINGS 4210 Lovingwood Trail Offered for $1,800,000 Tricia Leuallen 678.699.3955

ROSWELL 305 Brayward Chase Offered for $1,050,000 Maryanne Winchester 678.520.9922

SANDY SPRINGS 5631 Sherrell Drive Offered for $575,000 Barb St. Amant 404.271. 6733

SANDY SPRINGS 6305 River Chase Circle Offered for $2,300,000 Kim Boyd 404.520.6095 Kathryn Crabtree 404.545.2297

ALYS BEACH, FLORIDA 66 Caliza Lane Offered for $6,000,000 Scenic Sotheby’s International Realty

COOL, CALIFORNIA 2480 State Highway 193 Offered for $7,775,000 Nick Sadek Sotheby’s International Realty

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Atlanta Fine Homes, LLC fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Each franchise is independently owned and operated. Buckhead Office: 3290 Northside Parkway, Suite 200, Atlanta, Georgia 30327.


Contents JUNE 2022



Editor’s Note


Buckhead Atlanta BeltLine donation


Sandy Springs City Springs master plan Sandy Springs Society grants Hammond Drive widening

8 8 8

Brookhaven “Wings of the City” exhibit Progress at Brookhaven Park

10 10

Dunwoody American Rescue Plan funds Student art program

12 13

Commentary Orly remembered


Sustainability Drowning in plastic Hope at the Chattahoochee

16 18

Dining Chow Club New restaurants

20 22

Real Estate State of the housing market Affordable housing in Buckhead

24 25

Business Bus rapid transit proposals


Education Dunwoody robotics team Valedictorians and Salutatorians St. Martin’s athletic fields Ban on transgender athletes

28 30 32 33

Head for the Hills A weekend in Clayton 34 Waterfalls, wildflowers and wine 38 Bike adventures in the mountains 42


Sports Jerry Rhea’s Hall of Fame induction 46 Editorial Amy Wenk Editor, Reporter Newspapers Collin Kelley Editor, Atlanta Intown Joe Earle Editor at Large Staff Writers Dyana Bagby

Published By Springs Publishing Keith Pepper Publisher keith@springspublishing.com Neal Maziar Chief Revenue Officer neal@springspublishing.com Rico Figliolini Creative Director

Advertising For information (404) 917-2200 sales@springspublishing.com Deborah Davis Account Manager | Sales Operations deborah@springspublishing.com Jeff Kremer Sr. Account Manager jeff@springspublishing.com

About the Covers This month, we examine the local housing market on page 24. Our cover photos were provided by local brokerages. Brookhaven Cover: 4326 Peachtree Dunwoody Road. Photo and listing courtesy of Shanna Bradley of Ansley Real Estate Christie’s International. Buckhead Cover: 330 Argonne Drive. Photo and listing courtesy of Sam Bayne of Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty.

Suzanne Purcell Sr. Account Manager suzanne@springspublishing.com

Dunwoody Cover: Photo by Kris Janovitz, listing courtesy of Jodi Halpert of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Georgia Properties.



Sally Bethea, Rickey Bevington, Cathy Cobbs, Isadora Pennington, Clare S. Richie, Maria Saporta, Charles Seabrook

58,000 copies of Reporter Newspapers are delivered to homes in ZIP codes 30305, 30319, 30326, 30327, 30328, 30338, 30342 and 30350 and to businesses/retail locations.

Sandy Springs Cover: 5400 Lake Forrest Drive. Photo and listing courtesy of Katie Reynolds and Laura Peters of Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty.

Bob Pepalis Sammie Purcell

As seen in Print Use this QR code to read extended versions of stories found in this issue.

Steve Levene Publisher Emeritus

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Honored as a newspaper of General Excellence

2018 © 2022 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. JUNE 2022 | 3

EDITOR’S NOTE Don’t just get it on the market. Get it the attention it deserves. NOTHING COMPARES.

We are proud to welcome

JAMES SIMONS REALTOR® | BUCKHEAD OFFICE c. 404.317.1185 | o. 404.237.5000 jamessimons@atlantafinehomes.com atlantafinehomes.com | sothebysrealty.com Atlanta Fine Homes, LLC fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Each franchise is independently owned and operated.


Asking why again. Again. As a mom, it’s impossible crippling anxiety about sending to fight back the tears. them there. I’m writing this column To the recent graduates, this the morning after the horrifshould be a time for celebraic elementary school shooting tion (and we do honor your acin Uvalde, Texas, as the encomplishments on page 30). Yet tire nation mourns the lives we are caught in another spiral of those 19 children and quesof grief, just as you prepare for tions what is wrong with our BY AMY WENK your next chapter in life. As I modern society that these look from my perch in the comsenseless murders keep happening. munity, I see young people, who with grace How will these families ever recover and courage, are accomplishing a milestone from such an incredible loss? What if this that was so abruptly and cruelly taken away had happened to my child? I can only hold from these children in Texas. my toddler close and feel incredibly grateful for him and our present moment. He’s only My original column 2 years old and has no idea about the horI was planning to offer some advice for rors and tragedies of the world. He’ll still our new grads in this column, but all I can have to learn that. think to say now is — please help us do better. Hits close to home There should be serious conversations My heart goes out to the young peoabout guns. We need to make sure every ple of our local communities. They must person has equal access to affordable menwake up today and process what has haptal health care. We should be teaching peopened. They are probably afraid to go to ple how to better regulate their emotions school, and their parents must have such and resolve conflicts. Let’s remove the stigma around asking for help and spread love, compassion and acceptance. There is hope despite the recent darkness. Out of great suffering can come significant progress.

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Cox Foundation donates $30 million for Atlanta BeltLine Northwest Trail


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A rendering of the Northwest Trail under Interstate-75.


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BY AMY WENK AND COLLIN KELLEY The James M. Cox Foundation has donated $30 million to the Atlanta BeltLine. Combined with the $80 million secured late last year from The Robert W. Woodruff Foundation, BeltLine officials say they now have the philanthropic funding needed to finish the 22-mile trail corridor by 2030. “I’m so excited that this gift will let us finish constructing that big, beautiful circle around Atlanta,” Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens said. According to a BeltLine spokesperson, the donation from the Cox Foundation will specifically fund the construction of the BeltLine’s Northwest Trail, which is currently in design in partnership with the PATH Foundation. On May 12, a preferred route for a 2.8mile segment of the trail was announced during a public meeting. The segment will begin at the northern end of the Westside Trail at Huff Road and Marietta Boulevard and traverse the Hemphill Water Treatment Plant and Howell Mill Road. The trail will then cross Northside Drive, dip under I-75, and follow a portion of Tanyard Creek until it meets the southern end of the Northside Trail in Ardmore Park. Officials said more time and community engagement would be required for another segment of the trail that will connect Bobby Jones Golf Course to the Peachtree Hills neighborhood. The Northwest Trail is a complex project that must navigate a major highway, active


railroads and the city’s most famous street, Peachtree. Unlike other parts of the BeltLine, the northwest segment doesn’t have abandoned railroad corridors to repurpose for trails. The Cox Foundation and its Chairman Jim Kennedy have helped build Atlanta’s trail network through the PATH Foundation since 1991. Kennedy helped launch the BeltLine by co-chairing its first fundraising campaign in 2007 and made an early donation that helped fund the Eastside Trail. In total, Kennedy and the Cox Foundation have donated $44 million to the BeltLine. “From our experience building the PATH trails, we know what a difference it makes for people to be able to be outside, exercising, meeting neighbors, and building the sense of community we all need,” Kennedy said. The Cox Foundation is a philanthropic entity of Cox Enterprises, which owns The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The Atlanta Beltline is one of the nation’s most ambitious redevelopment projects. When complete, it will connect 45 neighborhoods through trails, parks, and ultimately transit. The BeltLine also is working to bring jobs and affordable housing to Intown neighborhoods. “We are incredibly grateful to the James M. Cox Foundation for their support of the Atlanta BeltLine and knitting the city together through a trail network,” said Clyde Higgs, president and CEO of Atlanta BeltLine.


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SANDY SPRINGS Service that’s as elevated as your standards.

Residents weigh in on City Springs master plan


We are proud to welcome Dozens of residents gathered in May to tell the Sandy Springs City Council how they want the City Springs Master Plan updated. Residents marked maps and poster boards. Suggestions included fixing traffic light timing, adding trees, and repairing runoff water problems. A request was made for bike lanes on Roswell Road, Mount Vernon Highway


and Johnson Ferry Road. More greenspace and an ADA accessible playground were desired. The public can learn more about the project and other opportunities to provide input at cityspringsmasterplan.com through June 3. The city wants to build on the legacy of the City Center Master Plan that was adopted in 2012. Land use will be a big question for the master plan update, planners said. That includes identifying key properties that could be catalysts for redevelopment and revitalization. The City Springs study area includes the Roswell Road corridor from I-285 up to Vernon Woods Drive, with Roswell Road making up the “spine” of it. It goes from Sandy Springs Circle to the properties to the west, but doesn’t include residential areas.

Sandy Springs Society awards more than $260K in grants


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The Sandy Springs Society awarded $263,300 in grants to nonprofit organizations that serve Sandy Springs at its annual meeting on May 17. The funds were raised through sponsorships and events such as Elegant Elf Marketplace, Tossed Out Treasures and an Evening of Elegance. “It is really the heart and soul of what we do,” said Cathy Galloway, the Sandy Springs Society’s philanthropy chair. The money was donated to 32 nonprofits that service Sandy Springs, including $1,000 to the Sandy Springs Police Benevolent Fund. The benevolent fund helps police officers, firefighters, EMTs and dispatchers in need, said Sandy Springs Police Chief Ken DeSimone. “Last week, one of our officers had major heart surgery, and he’s going to be out for months. And then we have one of our police records clerks [who] completely lost her apartment to a fire,” DeSimone said. Other grants included $15,000 to the Community Assistance Center to purchase

racks and a point-of-sale system for its thrift shop. Act 3 Productions got $9,800 for dressing room upgrades. The City Springs Theatre Company received $11,500 for its Scholarships for Conservancy program. And, Gigi’s Playhouse got $10,000 for a tutoring program for Down Syndrome students. See the full list of grants from the Sandy Springs Society at reporternewspapers.com.

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Sandy Springs City Council approved spending a little more than $2.95 million to continue design and right-of-way planning for the first phase of the Hammond Drive widening project. During its May 17 meeting, the City Council approved paying its consultant, Gresham Smith, to continue work on Phase One. It will span Hammond Drive, from Boylston Drive to Glenridge Drive.

In addition to widening the roadway to four lanes, the project will add a multi-use path along both sides of Hammond Drive to improve mobility and provide pedestrian and bicycle movement and safety in the area. Greenspace is projected between the roadway and multi-use paths, and along the south side of the new roadway. — BRIEFS BY BOB PEPALIS


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‘Wings of the City’ exhibit begins

Movies On THE TOWN Beginning at Dusk

Free movies

Thursdays, June 2nd – July 21st (no movie July 7th) 6/2: ENCANTO 6/9: SING 2 6/16: CLIFFORD THE BIG RED DOG 6/23: FATHER OF THE BRIDE 6/30: MEAN GIRLS 7/14: CRUELLA 7/21: JUNGLE CRUISE

Movies for families, date nights and nights out with friends!

Brookhaven has unveiled the “Wings of the City” sculpture exhibit, which includes nine sculpture pieces by contemporary Mexican artist Jorge Marín. The city officially opened the exhibit at a ceremony held at the Consulate General of Mexico on May 19. The exhibit will stay in place until April of 2023. The exhibition is a planned event from the city’s Arts and Culture Commission (ACC), which was created in January of 2021. “It’s fitting and exciting that our first public art installation celebrates the diversity of Brookhaven’s citizens, but this is only the beginning,” said Brookhaven ACC Chair Lauren Kiefer in the press release. “We’re actively working with other stake-

holders in the city to provide art that’s reflective of our community.” Most of the sculptures have been placed around Buford Highway, which the city council had dubbed a “Cultural Corridor” in January. The exhibit “shows that the city of Brookhaven understands and recognizes that the Mexican and Latino community belong to the city,” said Javier Diaz de Leon, the consul general of Mexico in Atlanta.

Improvements start at Brookhaven Park Long-awaited improvements have begun at Brookhaven Park. The city approved a settlement with DeKalb County transferring the eastern section of Brookhaven Park – or the section next to Peachtree Road – to the city for $1 at an April 26 Brookhaven City Council meeting. The agreement came after years of delayed park improvements due to land disputes between the city and county. Brookhaven passed a $40 million park bond in 2018, which included improvements for all of the city’s parks. According to the city’s website, design and permitting for park bond improvements will now restart, and construction is expected to begin in late 2022 or early 2023. The city has replaced the park’s old fence along Osborne Road and Peachtree Road, and a new Brookhaven Park sign is now in place.

Planned improvements for the park include a larger parking lot and a new building at the park’s dog park with restrooms, a pavilion, and a deck with grills. Improvements are also planned for the sidewalks around the dog park. The city also plans to replace the park’s playground, and the new playground area is expected to have restrooms and a small pavilion area.

City approves redevelopment resolution

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Months after rejecting a similar proposal, the Brookhaven City Council approved a resolution that under Georgia law would allow the city to redevelop “blighted” areas of the community. The council passed the resolution during a late April meeting. It’s a prerequisite for the city to exercise its powers under the state’s Urban Redevelopment Law, which allows cities to redevelop areas that might be under-utilized or dilapidated and to create an Urban Redevelopment Authority to help implement the redevelopment. The council previously rejected a similar resolution at a November 2021 meeting after multiple residents expressed concern

over its effect on the city’s eminent domain powers and how the city would go about designating areas as “blighted.” City Attorney Chris Balch said that the resolution would not give the council any authority that it did not already have. According to the law, the city or Urban Redevelopment Authority would not be able to acquire property through eminent domain unless that property would be used for public use. Balch added the city will hold public meetings so that residents can give their input on the process. — BRIEFS BY SAMMIE PURCELL reporternewspapers.com

Always Be Notified. Alerts and notifications help inform you on weather, traffic, and other emergencies in your community. When you opt-in for alerts, you will have the option to choose the kind of notifications you prefer to receive.

Sign up at www.BrookhavenGA.gov/BrookhavenAlert

Plan Ahead For Any Emergency Smart911 Download one app to provide 9-1-1 and first responders information in an emergency and receive targeted alerts including from the City of Brookhaven and the National Weather Service.

Information Worth Sharing www.smart911.com

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The Atlanta-Journal Constitution is committed to facilitating conversations on the topics important to aging well in Atlanta and providing you resources to live your best senior life — especially in today’s challenging environment.

Visit us at ajc.com/aging to sign up for the newsletter and see a recording of our spring virtual event.

You’ll find plenty of 55+ focused content there as well as links to our previously published sections and events. Look for our special section publishing June 5th in your Atlanta JournalConstitution print and ePaper editions.


City discusses how to spend American Rescue Plan funds BY SAMMIE PURCELL Dunwoody’s American Rescue Plan and Grants Committee had preliminary discussions about how to spend the city’s American Rescue Plan funding at a May 13 meeting. The committee was created by the mayor in April. The city originally received roughly $18.4 million in American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds. The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 is a federal economic stimulus bill meant to help the country recover from economic and health impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Assistant City Manager Jay Vinicki, there is roughly $4.4 million in ARP Budget 1, and $10 million in ARP Budget 2. The city has already designated $3 million towards Perimeter Center East Park, $500,000 towards wayfinding signage, and $300,000 towards stormwater expediting. According to the city’s website, the city took $10 million of its original ARP allotment as revenue replacement. At an April Dunwoody City Council meeting, the council approved the creation of a second ARP fund, which would allow that $10 million to be used on similar projects as the original ARP funding, but without the same federal requirements or timeline. ARP 1 funds have to be obligated toward projects by the end of 2024, and spent by the end of 2026. At the May 13 meeting, members of the committee – Councilmembers Stacey Harris, Rob Price, and Tom Lambert – discussed possible ways for how to allocate ARP 1 and 2 funding. According to a working version of a committee spreadsheet, different categories for possible allocations include economic development, stormwater projects, public safety, and cybersecurity. Direct assistance is also a category. Included in whatever portion of funds is allocated towards direct assistance would be a $200,000 grant that the council approved towards a summer school programs grant at a May 9 meeting. Committee members discussed what

As seen in Print

Councilmember Tom Lambert.

projects might be suitable for ARP funds, including stormwater projects, parks, and economic development. In an email, Lambert said the city’s goal is to maximize the impact of the funding. “I believe our key priorities are focused on economic development, resources for our underserved communities and stormwater projects,” he said. “We are also building a much needed park in Perimeter Center, which initially was planned to be built with hotel tax funds before that source of revenue all but disappeared as a result of the pandemic.” The committee also discussed the possibility of using funds on something called a Social Services Incubator, which Lambert referred to as a legacy project that could help residents in the future as well. “This facility not only provides much needed space and resources for our charitable partners, but it also helps to create a symbiosis for these organizations and the services they provide to our community,” Lambert said. “In essence, the city would provide a facility for these organizations to operate out of…providing much needed space and resources. The beneficiaries of these services would have the additional benefit of ‘one-stop shopping’ to address their needs, as opposed to having to bounce around to the multiple places these organizations are now located.” According to Lambert, the goal is to vote on allocating the ARP funds in June.

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Use this QR code to read extended versions of stories found in this issue.



Dunwoody Village to display student art Dunwoody will display artwork from high school students in local businesses around the Dunwoody Village. The temporary program, called the Storefront Art Exhibit, will feature art from Dunwoody High School students. Thirty students submitted designs in April, and business owners then ranked their preferred artwork. The 10 designs with the most points will be in the inaugural display, and the city awarded those students $300 for materials and work. “We are grateful that such a talented group of students submitted designs,” said Dunwoody Business and Cultural Development Manager Rosemary Watts. “We’re

also thankful to the teachers who embraced this idea and poured their hearts into helping these students become better artists.” The selected students and their corresponding businesses are: Ana Blas-Manuel at Cinnaholic, Anabelen Reyes Alvarado at NFA Burger, Clayton Weseman at Scenthound, Hannah Hazen at Dr. Christine Scott Dentistry, Jenna Prass at Riley Salon, NAHS at Former Carlton’s Dunwoody Pharmacy, Rocio Arvizu at The Whole Tooth, Shrividya Guru at The Enchanted Forest, Stephanie Orr at Dan and Company Dance Studio, and Yulma Silva at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices.


FIREWORKS BEGIN AT 9:30 PM For parking, road closures, and other event information, visit spr.gs/starsandstripes

JUNE 2022 | 13


Orly remembered: The loss that spurred Atlanta’s art scene to greatness

With so many things to do, we suggest getting an early start on your want-to-do list. There’s a lot to do at The Piedmont at Buckhead senior living community — clubs, events, socializing, and more. So, go ahead and make your want-to-do list. But please don’t include a bunch of chores. We’ll take care of most of those for you. We invite you to see all that The Piedmont has to offer (including assisted living services if needed) at our upcoming event, or call to schedule your personalized tour.

CAPTAIN’S DINNER TUESDAY, JUNE 21ST • 4:00PM All Aboard! Don your best attire and join us in the Grand Dining Room for an elegant dinner prepared by our culinary team. Dance and listen to live music in our Copper Lounge while sipping on your favorite refreshments. To make a reservation, please call 404.381.1743.


650 Phipps Boulevard NE • Atlanta, GA www.ThePiedmontatBuckhead.com • 404.381.1743 O N -S IT E R EH A B I LITATI O N S ERV I C E S AVA I L A B L E AN




Growing up in the shadow of family tragedy is like growing up with ghosts. The lost loved ones are dear to us, but BY RICKEY they are off-limBEVINGTON its. “If you ever want to see Poppy cry, ask him about Betsy,” my father once said of his father. I regretted breaking the unspoken rule of not asking about his late mother. Betsy Bevington, my paternal grandmother, and her mother, Dell White Rickey, were killed in an airplane explosion on June 3, 1962 at Orly Air Field in Paris. They’d just wrapped up an Atlanta Art Association tour of European art. More than 100 philanthropists and civic leaders were flying home to build a world-class arts center for Atlanta. Of the 132 onboard, only two flight attendants survived. My grandfather, Milton Bevington Sr., witnessed the crash from the airport terminal where he’d just kissed his wife and mother-in-law goodbye. Betsy was uneasy about flying together with three young sons at home. Poppy was to take the next flight back to Atlanta.

In Georgia, my father, Mit, was a week shy of his 10th birthday. His brothers, Rickey and Peter, were not far behind him in age. Poppy’s brother, a Catholic priest, joined a family friend in whisking the boys off to a north Georgia lake house. Soon, reporters were circling in boats trying to photograph three little boys kneeling for Mass on the porch. They were among the 33 children who lost parents that day. The Orly Air Crash was the largest commercial aviation disaster up until that time. President John F. Kennedy sent a telegram of condolence. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Harry Belafonte canceled a downtown Atlanta sit-in. Andy Warhol created pop art out of a photograph of the crash on the cover of the New York Mirror. As we mark the 60th anniversary of the crash, the Woodruff Arts Center represents the vision of those killed at Orly. The Atlanta Symphony and Alliance Theatre perform in the Memorial Arts Building built in their honor. The lawn of the High Museum of Art features a priceless bronze cast of Auguste Rodin’s “The Shade,” a memorial gift from the French government to the City of Atlanta. The Orly Air Crash is a symbol of both unspeakable pain and Atlanta’s drive toward progress. 106 citizens inspired Atreporternewspapers.com

lanta to leverage the arts to turn their southern town into a world-class city. If beauty can come from tragedy, I hope the Atlanta of today reflects the optimistic future they envisioned. Rickey Bevington is President of the World Affairs Council of Atlanta and Executive in Residence at Georgia State University’s Robinson College of Business. Prior to joining the Council, Bevington spent two decades as an award-winning television and radio broadcaster with outlets including Georgia Public Broadcasting, PBS Newshour, and National Public Radio (NPR).


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Drowning in Plastic

One mom’s journey to a lower waste lifestyle scent. I have fine hair and I was pleasantly surprised to find that my hair feels and looks much better now. There are also deodorants that come in cardboard instead of plastic, I like the brand called ATTITUDE (attitudeliving. com).

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BY ISADORA PENNINGTON Our oceans are positively swimming in plastic, and we have found microplastics in the bellies of fish and birds. And it’s not just the animals, it’s in humans too. A 2019 study conducted by The University of Newcastle Australia suggests that the average person may ingest up to 5g of plastic every week, the equivalent of a credit card. I looked around my house and saw that plastic was everywhere. Especially in our kitchens and bathrooms. I wanted to make a change for my daughter’s sake – every bottle, cup, bowl, and utensil we had for her was plastic. Even though I always checked to make sure they are BPA-free, I learned in my process that other plastic replacements such as BPS can be harmful and are currently under investigation. I should mention that sustainability and privilege go hand-in-hand. I think it is important to note that choosing to avoid plastic is expensive. It’s difficult, it takes work, and it requires a financial position where you can afford to invest in products or shop at different stores. Here are the steps I took to live a lower waste lifestyle: 1. I started by giving away the plastic items from our kitchen cupboards and replacing them with bamboo, silicone, stainless steel, and glass. This was without a doubt the most expensive part of my process. I chose Elk & Friends (elkandfriends.com) for the cups and Grow Forward Kids (available via Amazon and other retailers) bamboo plates and bowls. 2. After doing some research, I settled on replacing my soaps, shampoo, and conditioner with bar products. I really like Ethique (ethique.com) shampoo and conditioner bars, specifically the Pinkalicious

3. I found some incredible local companies where I have been able to refill my hand soaps, laundry detergent, lotions, and cleaners. I recommend checking out Fig & Flower (shopfigandflower.com) in Virginia Highland, a brickand-mortar location that offers refillable Common Good brand products as well as a wide range of zero waste makeup and self-care items. Secondly, an innovative concept called Tap Refillery (taprefilleryandsustainablegoods. com), a mobile truck that sets up at festivals, local shops, and can even be booked for private events to facilitate refills of cleaning and self-care products. 4. I went out in search of non-plastic cleaning and kitchen tools. I had great luck at the Ace Hardware (intownhardware.net) on Scott Boulevard. There, I was able to find silicone and wood cooking utensils, reusable knitted scrubbing cloths, bamboo brushes, beeswax food wraps, and lots more. I ordered silicone reusable ziploc bags and silicone bowl lids online. I invested in a pack of mini

mason jars, and we use them for storing food in small quantities, as well as the glass food storage containers I already had on hand. 5. I started bringing my own bags to grocery shopping again. This is one area where I acknowledge I will likely not reach the zero-waste limit. It is incredibly difficult to buy many of the food items we consume in vessels that are not plastic. I bring reusable cloth produce bags to eliminate the need for plastic produce bags. I go to Sprouts (sprouts.com) and Sevananda (sevananda. coop) to use their refill stations for things like pasta, beans, nuts, and other dry goods. I try to buy my meats and cheeses from the deli instead of pre-sliced and ask for them to be wrapped in wax paper instead of plastic. reporternewspapers.com

O W O N DY U D Monday, July 4, 2022 | 9 am Theme: Parade of Stars Grand Marshal: Pam Tallmadge Presented By

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Hope and reconciliation at the Chattahoochee On weekends in the 2000s, a friend and I often explored tributaries to the Chattahoochee River that flow through the less-traveled sections of its urban watershed: industrial parks, junkyards, abandoned neighborhoods, construction sites, BY SALLY BETHEA landfills, kudzu woods, and land near railroad lines and under highway bridges. In these places, we discovered unexpected natural beauty, along with heartbreaking volumes of trash and pollution. Not far from one creek we explored in northwest Atlanta, we found a dark story from the city’s post-Civil War history: one that, like so many others, was never taught in our southern schools. The stream in the area we investigated – then unnamed – flows behind an old landfill, an auto parts


The remains of the Chattahoochee Brick Company. (Courtesy Georgia Trust)

facility, and other industries on Bankhead Highway, now Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway; its waters merge with Proctor Creek and then flow another half-mile or so before entering the Chattahoochee River.

Exploitation At the confluence of Proctor Creek and the river lies a seventy-five-acre tract of land that was owned by Chattahoochee Brick Company for a century beginning in the 1870s; its founder was former Atlanta mayor and Confederate captain James English. Here, leased convict laborers from local penitentiaries – nearly all Black and many jailed for petty crimes – were exploited, horribly abused, and forced to live in filthy conditions. Some died in what has been called a “death camp.” The gruesome history came to light in Doug Blackmon’s Slavery by Another Name, published in 2008. He reveals that at the turn of the twentieth century – decades after slavery was ostensibly abolished – the brick company leased convict laborers from the state to produce millions of handmade bricks for city streets, sidewalks, cemeteries, and other

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purposes. It is believed that makeshift graves were created onsite and likely remain. When a fuel terminal was proposed for the riverfront site several years ago, civil rights leaders, neighbors, and environmentalists protested; they hoped to memorialize the people who suffered at Chattahoochee Brick by preserving the property, while protecting the river from industrial development. In April, the Atlanta City Council voted to purchase the site to create a park and memorial. Bryan Stevenson – acclaimed public interest lawyer and founder of the Equal Justice Initiative – has said: “We need an era of truth and justice in this country; we need to have truth and reconciliation… There’s something better waiting for us that we can’t get to until we have the courage to talk honestly about our past.” What happened at Chattahoochee Brick is an important part of Atlanta’s past. The city’s action to invest in its preservation and memorialize its tragic story is a beginning.

Chronic Pollution When my friend and I explored the mature, diverse forest of approximately thirty acres that surrounds the creek near the landfill, in the mid-2000s, we were not aware of the nearby brickyard and its sad history. Although the area was full of trash and the waterways were obviously polluted, this pocket of nature was also beautiful and surprising for its size in such a highly urbanized setting. A small tributary that flowed beside the old landfill was bright orange and smelled of chemicals. The larger, unnamed creek, which was crossed multiple times by a sewer pipe with brick manhole columns, contained whitish strands of bacteria: a sign of chronic pollution. Could the columns, which wore their covers like jaunty hats, have been made at Chattahoochee Brick? When it rained, the sewer pipe was unable to contain the volume and pressure of the contaminated water that rushed through it, resulting in the jarred manhole lids and sewage overflows into the creek and forest. Hundreds of tires, construction debris, mounds of asphalt and trash poked out from behind the trees and dense vegetation. Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, the environmental organization that I led at the time, contacted the landfill operator about the orange-colored stream. The company agreed to repair breaches in the landfill, remove trash, and stabilize the eroding streambank. With Atlanta officials, we discussed the sewer pipe overflows and mentioned the children we’d seen playing near the creek in a downstream neighborhood. They were already working on the overhaul of Atlanta’s entire sewage system, required by CRK’s 1995 lawsuit against the city, and promised to investigate our report. Determined to officially name the stream, we applied to the National Board of Names and, in 2005, secured approval


for A.D. Williams Creek to honor Martin Luther King Jr.’s grandfather, a minister and civil rights activist. That spring, we organized a naming ceremony and cleanup in the woods beside the creek, working with community advocates. Our collective hope to reclaim this pocket of nature in the city kept us working for a better day.

to our U.S. Armed Forces

June 29th and 30th

Justice Donna Stephens has lived in Atlanta’s English Park neighborhood, within a mile of Chattahoochee Brick, for nearly all her fifty-five years. Until she saw the PBS documentary about Blackmon’s book a decade ago, she knew nothing about the brickyard’s past; she was “floored” by what she learned. In recent years, Donna has been the driving force behind community efforts to preserve the land—a place where she feels a sort of physical connection to the people who labored there so long ago. She says that someone must “stand up” for those people, so she has never given up hope or stopped working for a day of remembrance and reconciliation. Lawyer Bryan Stephenson has said: “I am persuaded that hopelessness is the enemy of justice; that if we allow ourselves to become hopeless, we become part of the problem. I think you’re either hopeful, or you’re the problem. There’s no neutral place... Hope is the thing that gets you to stand up, when others say, ‘Sit down.’ It’s the thing that gets you to speak, when others say, ‘Be quiet.’”



U.S. Armed Forces

In honor of “Independence Day”, Scenthound is recognizing our local Military personnel by offering free basic grooming services for their furry family members Wednesday, June 29th and Thursday, June 30th. U.S. Active-duty, Reservists, or National Guard military service members (with a valid i.d.) can schedule their dogs on June 29th, 30th, to receive a FREE Basic Hygiene Treatment (bath, ear cleaning, nail clip & grind, and teeth brushing). Blow Dry NOT Included. Services offered by appointment only and based on availability. Offer valid at Dunwoody, Chastain Square and Tucker Locations Only. Limited to one use and one dog per person.




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Chow Club Atlanta – Come for the food, return for the community

Expires 6/30/2022. Limit one (1) coupon per guest. Coupon must be presented at time of purchase. Valid only at the Nothing Bundt Cakes bakery(ies) listed. Valid only on baked goods; not valid on retail items. Must be claimed in bakery during normal business hours. Not valid for online orders. Not valid with any other offer. Discounts applied before tax. Coupon may not be reproduced, transferred or sold. For Bakery Internet distribution strictly Use Only prohibited. No cash value.

dunwoodyga.gov | 4800 Ashford Dunwoody Rd., Dunwoody GA 30338 | 678.382.6700

Chow Club co-founders Amanda Plumb, right, and Yohana Solomon.


June Highlights 2

Zoning Board of Appeals Meeting


“E.T. The Extraterrestrial” Pics in the Park

City Hall 6 p.m.

Pernoshal Park dusk

on the Green 11 Groovin’

The 80ators Brook Run Park Amphitheater 6 - 9 p.m.

City Council Meeting 13 Dunwoody

City Hall 5 p.m. Special-Called Meeting 6 p.m. Regular Meeting

14 Planning Commission Meeting 4 Free First Saturday Art Commission Meeting 7 Dunwoody 19 Juneteenth Dunwoody Nature Center

City Hall 6 p.m.

City Hall 7:30 a.m.

Throughout the month, enjoy the Storywalk at Brook Run Park, “All Different Now, First Day of Freedom”

Committee Meeting 9 Sustainability 8 a.m.

11 “Summer Gardening”

Free Master Gardener Talk Dunwoody Community Garden & Orchard

Monthly Community Bike Ride Meet at Village Burger 3:45 p.m.

20 City Hall closed

in observance of Juneteenth

Food Truck Thursdays every Thursday through Oct. 27 Brook Run Park

Dunwoody Farmers Market

presented by the Dunwoody Homeowners Association


every Saturday | 9-12 Brook Run Park

On May 7 and May 8, Chef Carmenia Morgan Tyrus presented an authentic five-course Liberian meal to more than 50 Chow Club Atlanta guests in a new Lindbergh-area office building atrium. Chef Tyrus served up plantains with corn beef hash gravy, sweet potato greens with smoked meats, coconut candy, homemade ginger beer and more, while sharing stories and pepper sauce. “It was amazing!” Chef Tyrus shared. “The guests really enjoyed the food and asked me a lot of questions.” Chef Tyrus migrated to the U.S as a teenager and spent 25plus years in nursing before becoming a chef and running Musulyn’s Catering & Events Planning. The monthly pop-up supper club, Chow Club Atlanta, brings chefs and members together in a way that’s mutually respectful and beneficial. “It’s about celebrating cultures through food,” Chow Club co-founder Amanda Plumb said. It’s also about supporting small business owners, she said. Ciao Chow on June 17 and 18 will feature Chef Deborah Kudelka’s Italian creations including arugula soup, eggplant “meatballs,” and Nutella stuffed crepes with coffee/liqueur sauce. “It’s not going to be things you’ve seen on an Italian menu before,” Plumb said. Kudel-

ka is a private chef with 20 years in the Atlanta restaurant and catering industry. Up next in July, Cantonese cuisine. Each dinner includes vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options. The idea for Chow Club was sparked when Plumb asked Yohana Solomon to cater a traditional Ethiopian dinner for her friends. “I used to organize Atlanta Underground Market, a pop-up food event that promoted small businesses — mostly refugee and immigrant chefs,” Chow Club co-founder Solomon said. “Amanda was a member and volunteer. One day Amanda asked if I could recommend a great Ethiopian restaurant. I said ‘my house.’” Solomon knew a lot of chefs. Plumb had friends who loved to eat. “What if we started hosting once a month?” they pondered. Since then and despite a 466-day COVID-19 pause, the venture has served more than 4,000 guests at 83 dinners from 34 different cultures including Syria, Antigua, Korea, Afghanistan, Hungary, Morocco, Nigeria, the Philippines and more. Interested chefs submit a menu for consideration. “We invite them for a tasting,” Plumb said. “We have a photographer take photos for our website and social media and share them with the chefs to help build their brands.” Chow Club lets chefs focus on the food while they handle everything else. reporternewspapers.com

“We find the venue, do the marketing, do the ticket sales, figure out tables, chairs, volunteers and all of that,” Plumb said. Participating chefs range from James Beard nominees, like Parnass Savang of Talat Market, to those who’ve never cooked for 50-plus people, like Christian Lopez, a middle school teacher who does pop-ups on the side (@humocuisine, June 5 at O4W market and June 25 at Three Taverns in Decatur). “I was super excited to give a good representation of what Colombians eat – street food [empanadas and buñuelos] – because we grew up humble,” Lopez said. “I had my grandma come help me and everyone was able to meet her.” Veteran Chow Club chefs Wellington Onyenwe and Marlena Joseph also volunteered alongside Lopez. And Lopez returned the favor to Chef Tyrus last month. The experience extends well beyond the food.

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“My favorite was the Syrian dinner we hosted during the Muslim travel ban,” Solomon said. “We met a mother and son Syrian refugees, who feared not being accepted. Especially the son. He was protective of his family and didn’t know how he fit in this new world. We asked them to do Chow Club. They were very happy but nervous. The tickets sold out fast. The day of the dinner there was much joy to connect with them and make them feel welcome. The son – you know – cried. He was very touched and felt appreciated and welcome. We have the best members, they are all about supporting community.” Membership is free and acquired by joining the mailing list or purchasing a ticket to a dinner. Fittingly, members receive a passport to collect a stamp per cuisine. After receiving five stamps, they become Ambassadors and get first crack at tickets. At the dinner, members find fellowship when seated alongside new friends from dif-

ferent backgrounds and zip codes. “One of our first-time guests pulled me aside and said, ‘Yes the food is amazing, but we were just having the best conversation,’” Plumb shared. “We don’t do any conversation prompts — we’ve never had to.” Volunteering is another way to experience Chow Club. “Volunteers come an hour early to help set up, work as servers and help out in the kitchen,” Plumb said. “You really get to know the chef, see behind the scenes and eat!” Chow Club is also looking for a home base with a big meeting room, full kitchen and parking. Experience it for yourself. “It takes you to a street in Colombia or

to Auntie’s house in Nigeria. It takes you global within Atlanta.” Lopez said. Sign up at chowclubatlanta.com for exclusive invitations to monthly pop-up dinners, email chowclubatl@gmail.com to volunteer.

5/17/22 12:20 PM

JUNE 2022 | 21

DINING North Italia restaurant to open in Buckhead, Dunwoody A modern Italian restaurant is entering the Georgia market, with locations planned in Buckhead and Dunwoody. Called North Italia, the eatery is from Fox Restaurant Concepts, the company behind a slew of other restaurants such as Flower Child and Zinburger. North Italia features pastas made from scratch and a daily “chef ’s choice” pizza. Other dishes include squid ink mafaldine and braised short rib. A location will open at Buckhead’s Lenox Square mall on June 22, according to an announcement. It will feature an outdoor patio and a U-shaped bar in the center


of the dining room. Another North Italia will come to Perimeter Mall later this year. It will have panoramic windows and a covered patio. “Both locations will pay homage to the Atlanta area, incorporating the work of local artists in the form of one-of-a-kind murals and artwork,” says the announcement.

Sushi restaurant NoriFish launches in Sandy Springs New sushi restaurant NoriFish recently opened in Sandy Springs, located at The Bishop apartment building at 1115 Springwood Connector. The restaurant is from the team behind Okiboru Tsukemen & Ramen, which is also located in Sandy Springs. NoriFish features an Omakase menu.


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In Japanese, that means “I’ll leave it up to you.” It is a style of dining where the diners let the chef put together a set course meal. NoriFish says it gets its fish flown in directly from the Toyosu Fish Market in Tokyo. Some menu items include wild yellowtail sushi with yuzu ponzu, Serrano chili and blood orange; or striped jack sushi with nikiri, pecorino Romano and lime. “It is my honor and duty to create the perfect harmony of items based on the availability of the freshest ingredients and the best selection of fish, to give our guests the most memorable sushi experience possible,” said executive chef and owner Sean Park. NoriFish is currently only open for dinner, but a spokesperson said lunch service was coming soon.

Henri’s expanding to Brookhaven


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A local bakery is expected to open up in Brookhaven. Henri’s Bakery & Deli plans a fifth location in the city this fall. It will be located at 2163 Johnson Ferry Road, which was previously occupied by a business called Corner Pizza. “We are incredibly excited to be opening a new retail location later this year in Brookhaven,” said Henri’s Bakery & Deli President and CEO Anthony DiNardo. “Henri’s has a deep-rooted history in Atlanta, and this location checked all the boxes required to deliver the Henri’s experience to the people and businesses of Brookhaven. This is a vibrant community that appreciates and supports locally owned small businesses.” Henri’s currently has locations in Buckhead, Sandy Springs, Atlanta’s Upper Westside, and Marietta Square Market. JUNE 2022 | 23


Rising interest rates do little to dampen Atlanta real estate market

A home currently for sale in Sandy Springs for nearly $5 million. (Courtesy of Katie Reynolds and Laura Peters of Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty)

BY CATHY COBBS Despite rising interest rates, Atlanta’s real estate market remains hot, and industry experts say there’s no reason to think that will change any time soon. According to a report released in late May by the Atlanta Realtors Association, housing statistics for the 11-county metro area showed a 13.8% decline in residential sales over the previous year. However, the median sales price and the average sales price hit record highs in April, reaching $412,500 and $500,500 respectively. Even rising interest rates over the last few months, according to Atlanta Realtors Association President Karen Hatcher, seems to have done little to slow the trend. “Rising interest rates may have deterred or delayed some buyers, but across price points, demand is still far outpacing supply,” Hatcher said. “Relatively small increases in mortgage rates over the past three months haven’t correlated to significant impacts on home sales, let alone relief for rising prices.” The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, was 2.8% in January 2021. It climbed to 3.1% in May of that year and has steadily risen since. As of May 11, 2022, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 5.512%,


Author Emily Giffin recently listed her Buckhead home for sale. She will release a new book called “Meant to Be” in June. (Courtesy of Sam Bayne of Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty)

more than double that from the same time last year. However, local realtors on both the buying and selling side say this increase has done little to damper the enthusiasm of buyers throughout the metro area. Homes are selling over asking prices and with lightning speed. Michael Culver, a realtor for Keller Williams Realty, said demand remains high throughout metro Atlanta and beyond. “Even with rising interest rates, the market hasn’t flinched,” Culver said. “5% is still a great rate, and we are still seeing multiple offers over asking (prices) all over the city.

We are seeing homes stay on the market [for] only two to three weeks.” Culver, who represents buyers and sellers from “Lake Jodeco to Lake Lanier,” said when houses are priced reasonably, they continue to sell quickly, even though competition is a little less intense compared to last summer. “Buyers are getting smarter about what it takes to buy a house, with cash offers, or significant down payments,” he said. “Looking at the market now, I see two or three, if not five more years of this kind of market.” Sabrina McDonald, a realtor with Karen Cannon Realtors, has seen the booming real

estate market as an agent as well as a seller, and now a buyer. She and her husband decided to sell their Dunwoody Club Forest neighborhood house, where they had resided for 22 years, to take advantage of the hot market. “The market drove us to sell, and we were looking to downsize anyway,” McDonald said. “Even before we listed it, we had multiple offers, and sold for cash at our asking price. We had received offers $50,000 above our asking price.” Though the couple had benefited from the hot market, they found themselves in the dilemma of finding an affordable home to buy, even though they were downsizing. “It was just a fluke that we happened upon a house in Mount Vernon Plantation that was perfect for us,” she said. “But in order to get it, we made an offer that was $10,000 over asking price.” Two weeks after securing the 1,500-square-foot house for $385,000, two identical homes in the same subdivision went on the market for $40,000 more than the McDonalds had paid. “We know we have a great investment in this hidden gem,” she said. As an agent, she is seeing her story duplicated all over Dunwoody, Sandy Springs, Roswell, Alpharetta and Brookhaven, with homeowners selling quickly, often over the asking price. “I had a house in Mill Glen, which received offers more than $75,000 more than the asking price, only days after going on the market,” she said. Culver said he is seeing the same. He put a Dunwoody house on the market on a Friday in late May, and by Saturday, had 12 appointments to view the house on Saturday. “I would not be surprised if I have multiple offers by the end of the weekend,” he said. “If a house is priced correctly, it’s going to go quickly.” Both Culver and McDonald said buyers are getting more savvy about how they go about purchasing a house, including grabbing homes that are about to go on the market. “I do lots of previews (of homes that are about to be listed), even if I don’t have a buyer in mind,” Culver said. “Knowing the market is important for realtors in the Metro Atlanta area.” McDonald said she believes having a local presence is the key for potential homeowners to get the house of their dreams. “You have to have someone out there fighting for you, someone who knows what you are looking for and what’s coming up,” she said. “There’s homes out there, but you need a realtor ready to work for you.”


A home on Lake Forrest Drive Sandy Springs that sold last year for almost $4.3 million. (Courtesy of Chase Mizell of Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty)

Is your pup keeping you up all night with their incessant scratching, licking and biting? If you think you’re distraught, imagine how your dog feels! The medical term for scratching related to excessive itching is pruritus — and it is the second most common reason dog’s visit the vet. One of the first signs of a problem may be the development of acute moist dermatitis, better known as a "hot spot" — a red, irritated area caused by persistent chewing, licking, scratching, or rubbing. Once an area become irritated, dogs relentlessly scratch, lick, or bite, causing hot spots to pop up rather quickly. UNCOVERING THE CAUSE Dogs scratch, lick, or chew for a wide variety of reasons, ranging from allergies to boredom to parasite infestation: Allergies Scratching is often the result of allergies to food or environmental triggers. Your pup may develop a skin irritation called contact dermatitis when they encounter substances like pesticides or soap. Boredom or Anxiety Just like people with anxiety might bite their nails, dogs can show physical responses when they’re upset too! Dry Skin A variety of factors, including winter weather and fatty acid deficiencies, can cause dry skin in dogs. Hormonal Imbalances If your dog’s body is not producing enough thyroid hormone or putting out too much cortisol, superficial skin infections can occur. You may notice bald spots, and your dog may scratch or lick as if bothered by allergies.

Pain Be sure to consider the possibility that something is causing pain or discomfort. For example, if you notice your pup biting their paw, it could be a thorn or rock stuck in his foot pad. Compulsive chewing or licking can also be a result of orthopedic problems, such as arthritis and hip dysplasia. Parasites Fleas, ticks, and mites are among the most common causes for licking, chewing, and scratching. Don’t assume your pup isn’t suffering from parasites just because you can’t see them — fleas often go unnoticed until there is a large infestation, and mites are microscopic!

Buckhead committee chair says more affordable apartments needed

Buckhead is prime real estate for apartple working in Buckhead live elsewhere and ment developers with roughly 1,500 units must commute to their jobs. In 2019, Livunder construction and more than 5,000 in able Buckhead and the Buckhead Commuthe planning stages. But few of those apartnity Improvement District commissioned ments are affordable for much of the afflua “Buckhead Housing and Commuting ent north Atlanta neighborhood’s workforce. Study.” The study showed most new apartFrom changing food, eliminating The lack of affordable housing came up ments were being built for households makparasites, topical medication, May 4 at a Buckhead Design Review Coming more than $50,000 a year, despite the behavioral modification and more, mittee as members reviewed plans for a prorise in local workers making that amount. there are many possible solutions to posed 289-unit apartment tower at 3030 Last year, Livable Buckhead received an this "irritating" issue. As soon as you Peachtree Road, behind the RH Atlan$80,000 grant to study the concept of emnotice a problem, visit your local ta showroom. The new building would inployer-subsidized affordable housing. Scenthound for a Problem Skin clude a mix of one-, two-, and three-bedThe new apartment tower is planned in Treatment! This service includes a room units. the Buckhead Village, a hotspot for multimedicated bath using Zymox sham“I probably know the answer to this but family development in recent years. Roughpoo and conditioner that supports are you doing anything remotely close to ly 3,035 apartment units have been built skin and coat health, soothes skin workforce or affordable?” Denise Starling, within a half-mile radius of the intersection and diminishes itching and irritachair of the DRC, asked representatives of of Peachtree, West Paces Ferry, and Roswell tion. If problems persist or worsen, M Development, the company behind the roads since 2015, said David Kahn, Southit’s time for a visit to the vet to help project. Starling is also executive director of east director of market analytics for CoStar Livable Buckhead, a nonprofit organization Group. you figure out the cause and deterthat focuses on environmental sustainability Kahn added that recent projects such mine the best treatment plan for and alternative commuting. as The Irby and 3005 Buckhead (formerly your pup. Attorney Carl Westmoreland said there Modera Buckhead) are commanding rents were no plans. of about $3 per square foot, “which are some “That is something that we are looking of the highest rents in the Atlanta metro, for somebody to start to do in Buckhead,” highlighting that there is strong demand for Dr. Jim MacLean Starling said. high-end rentals in that part of Buckhead.” Chief Veterinarian, Scenthound “I’m sure y’all have heard about our misAverage asking rents in Buckhead are between our residents our worknowSince $2,069then, per month a two-bedroom, Dr. MacLean’s first job was working as amatch grooming assistant when and he was 15 years old. he hasfor worked in force. We need to be able to get our workaccording to CoStar. That’s the second every aspect of small animal veterinary hospitals, has practiced in small animal medicine and surgery for 26 years, and highforce living in the community. If that is est in metro Atlanta, behind only Midtown. has owned and started multi-doctor veterinary hospitals. something you can do, even if it is specifiThe area median income for metro Atlancally for teachers, firefighters, police — we ta is than $86,000. Rent at 80% With a mind for both medicine and business, Jim received his Doctorate of Veterinarymore Medicine from VMRCVM at AMI would love for you to consider that,” she for a two-bedroom apartment would be just Virginia Tech in 1994 and his MBA from Georgetown University in 2011. said. over $1,500. The lacktoofbring affordable housing and in BuckComing full circle, he joined the Scenthound pack his expertise experience to the grooming world.—As chief BAGBY DYANA head is not new. More than 90% of peoveterinarian, Dr. MacLean guides Scenthound from a health and medicine perspective and helps achieve our mission to improve overall pet health on a broader scale.


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Metro Atlanta is riding the wrong bus into the future BY MARIA SAPORTA What are we doing? We are in a moment in time when we can transform our region with a worldclass transit network thanks in large part to the $1.3 trillion federal infrastructure investment, but for a reason that makes little sense, virtually every proposed transit line being proposed for metro Atlanta has switched from being heavy or light rail to “bus rapid transit,” or BRT. It’s a mode that may sound good — buses that act like rail — but in reality, most BRT projects in the United States are just express buses, often mixing in with traffic while generating harmful emissions. More importantly, it is well documented that rail lines (streetcars, light rail,

heavy rail and commuter rail) change the way land is used. Because of its permanency, rail transforms the development of communities into thriving nodes. Bus routes, on the other hand, do little to change the landscape because developers are less apt to invest around a bus stop rather than a rail stop or station. This means the decision to switch from rail to bus has far-reaching implications for how our region will grow for decades to come. Look at the following metro Atlanta transit projects that initially were envisioned to be rail and now appear to be destined to become bus routes: ■ Clayton County rail connecting to MARTA ■ Campbellton Corridor ■ Summerhill link to downtown

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■ ■ ■ ■

Clifton Corridor connector MARTA extension up Georgia 400 Rail going up the I-75 corridor Rail going up the I-85 corridor to Gwinnett ■ MARTA rail to Stonecrest There are even rumblings that the Atlanta BeltLine is at risk of becoming a busway rather than utilizing light rail or streetcars — although a form of rail has been part of the 22-mile corridor since the project’s inception. Buses certainly can play a role in the regional plan, but rail transit needs to be included in a multi-modal transportation system. Currently, there are no rail projects that have been given a green light in metro Atlanta. I ask again — What are we doing? The point really hit home during the LINK trip to Austin earlier this month when 120 leaders from metro Atlanta heard about Austin’s $7.1 billion initiative for transit projects, which is dominated by light rail. Voters overwhelmingly approved the transit plan in November 2020 — largely because of support from Austin’s younger residents who wanted rail. But Austin is not the only city investing in rail. Major cities all over the country — cities that compete with metro Atlanta — are busy investing in rail. All the following cities have either just opened new rail service, are under construction or have a construction start

date: Los Angeles, which has the largest rail program under construction; Washington, D.C. with projects in Maryland and Virginia; San Francisco — MUNI and the BART route to San Jose; Santa Ana, Calif.; Seattle; Phoenix; Tempe, Ariz.; Dallas; New York City; Kansas City, Mo.; San Diego; Minneapolis; Boston and Charlotte, N.C. Somehow, all of those metro areas have been able to develop rail while we in Atlanta repeatedly hit obstacles. Often, it’s the transportation agencies and elected leaders who have had a bias for buses for years. They often cite the higher initial costs of building rail and the regulations needed to compete for federal dollars. One of the most egregious projects has been transit along Georgia 400. Instead of having the MARTA rail red line extend to Alpharetta, where someone would have been able to ride directly to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport without ever having to change trains or modes of transportation, the decision was made to create busways that would preclude new rail ever being built along Georgia 400 beyond the existing North Springs MARTA station. Don’t get me started discussing the Summerhill “BRT” line — one that seems too far along to turn back now. In my mind, it should have been a direct streetcar line connecting Summerhill with the Georgia State University MARTA station, Grady Hospital and the Atreporternewspapers.com

lanta Streetcar. Instead, the Summerhill bus service has a winding, convoluted route that likely would preclude it from ever being converted to rail. Metro Atlanta, it’s not too late. The Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act (IIJA) — prepared by a rail-friendly presidential administration — is setting aside billions of dollars ($36 billion to be exact) for rail transit for intercity rail service. There also are billions of dollars available for carbon reduction programs — rail is the most environmentallyfriendly mode of motorized transportation. Let me give just one example. Clayton County voted to join MARTA in 2014 with the lure of getting a rail line. The options included Clayton rail service which would have been an extension of the MARTA rail line. There also were ideas of serving Clayton as part of an intercity rail line that would connect Atlanta, Griffin, Macon and eventually Savannah. Now transportation officials are switching to bus service, saying they had trouble negotiating with Norfolk-Southern on sharing the corridor. Remember, Norfolk-Southern has moved its corporate headquarters to Atlanta. Did we as a community work to convince the railroad to help our region become more multimodal? At the Norfolk Southern virtual annual meeting, Alan Shaw (the new president and CEO) was asked about the railroad’s relationship with passenger rail. “We take our obligation to work with Amtrak seriously,” said Shaw, who added that passenger service is expanding in “a variety of locations” including Virginia and Pennsylvania. Shaw went on to say

rail passengers and shippers deserve safe and reliable transportation, and he reminded shareowners that rail is a low-carbon mode of transport. My question to MARTA, Norfolk Southern and Clayton County is if they have revisited a rail option in light of the passage of IIJA? I have always envisioned a grand bargain between railroad companies and governments (federal, state and local) to have infrastructure dollars improve our railroad corridors (removing at grade crossings or double-tracking certain lines) with the condition railroad companies would permit more passenger service on their corridors. Imagine the economic boost towns all along the rail line would get if intercity rail connected them to metro Atlanta. The Atlanta Regional Commission is taking a deep look at the opportunities presented with the Infrastructure Act, and it is asking metro Atlanta residents to weigh in on the pivotal transportation decisions before us. We as a region have an opportunity to see our future in a new light. We have a choice before us. We can shape our city to be an urbanized, walkable center connected with rail. Or we can be a region that will forever be connected with roadways, fostering suburban sprawl and auto-centric developments. To the transportation and elected leaders as well as residents in the Atlanta region — we can do this. We can build a multi-modal transit system that includes new rail — a move that would benefit our region for decades to come.

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JUNE 2022 | 27

Our Foundation


Dunwoody High School Balance robotics team to participate Passions in Nickelodeon movie

Emily Tso

Academics Family Time


Belong Community Respect Social Events

Kate Williams Salutatorian

1934 Cliff Valley Way | Atlanta, GA 30329 404.458.5160 • capstoneacademy.com

Members of the Dunwoody High School robotics team.



If you ever walk into a Georgia high school robotics competition and you see a group of teenagers in red bucket hats – congratulations, you’ve just met one of the best high school robotics teams in the state. “People kind of know who we are, which is cool,” said Spencer Hopkins, a senior on Dunwoody High School’s robotics team. “Every time we go to a competition, our signature look is these red bucket hats and these blue T-shirts, and everyone knows who we are.” The Dunwoody High School robotics team – known as the Wildcat 5e team – finished ninth out of 67 teams at the 2022 Peachtree District State Championships, according to the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Robotics Competition website. Team mentor Doug McMahon said the finish is the best in the team’s history – so good, in fact, it helped land them a guest spot in a Nickelodeon movie. “We were told a while ago … about how we were going to be in this movie,” said senior Naomi Wagner. “Which is just super cool for us.” The movie is called “Fantasy Football” and focuses on the relationship between a daughter and her dad, who is a professional football player. The Wildcat 5e team announced their involvement on their website earlier this year and will be involved in

a scene during the movie that takes place at a robotics competition. The news about the film opportunity came after an eventful and successful season, said McMahon, who has been working with Dunwoody High School robotics for about a decade. The team finished second at a regional event in Dalton, and made it to the semi-finals at a regional event in Carrollton. At the state championship, they made it to the quarter finals. Throughout the season, the team won multiple awards, including an Excellence in Engineering Award in Carrollton and a Creativity Award at the state level. “These awards are given for the design of your robot, or the specific engineering that you use to create a capability in the robot,” McMahon said. “We were considered a very highly-engineered robot in every one of the competitions.” But despite that success, the team didn’t make it to the world championship tournament. “We just barely missed it,” McMahon said. “A couple more points here or there, we would have qualified. So the kids were pretty down beat.” But not for long. What the team didn’t know at the time is that someone had been paying attention to them and liked what they saw. Nickelodeon and Paramount Pictures had approached GeorgiaFIRST Robotics to be a part of a movie production, said GeorgiaFIRST Robotics CEO Connie Haynes. Once it was determined that the movie would include a FIRST Roreporternewspapers.com

botics competition, six teams were selected to participate – including the Wildcat 5e team. “Dunwoody High School was selected for several reasons. They are a highperforming, award-winning team, with a branding platform that causes others to remember who they are,” Haynes said in an email. “Wildcat 5e, with their signature red bucket hats, embody the values of FIRST Robotics in so many ways and their participation in the movie will be both memorable and authentic. We are proud to see all GeorgiaFIRST teams that were selected for the production and cannot wait to see the finished product!” McMahon said the kids were stoked. “After having the disappointment of not making worlds, to get invited to do this was a very exciting thing for them all,” he said. The Dunwoody High School team’s spirit played a major role in their selection for the film. Naomi Wagner, who joined the team to help with marketing but then moved over to the mechanical side, said the team is unmatched in its energy. She said her favorite competition of the year was Dalton. “We brought tutus; we had everybody in the stands wearing some kind of team spirit type thing,” said Wagner, who also serves as the team’s spirit lead. “We made

signs for our team, and chants and things. It was so cool being there chanting with the team and having everyone come together and support each other.” Hopkins, who joined the team in ninth grade, said he thinks the team’s connective tissue and camaraderie helped single them out. “It was really cool that’s strong enough and substantial enough to be picked out of a handful of teams,” he said. Wagner said the team will be involved in a scene in the movie where there is a mock competition, using a robot that they’ve built to shoot a ball into a hoop. The challenge is similar to the 2022 season’s main game where teams had to build a robot that could shoot a ball into a hoop and climb a series of parallel bars. “They’re going to show us on the field shooting into the hoop,” Wagner said. “They’re going to show us in the stands as well, which is really kind of my forte, because I’m the spirit leader. I’m going all out in terms of spirit.” Wagner and Hopkins are both seniors, but Wagner said the news of the movie has made her hopeful for recruitment after she’s gone. “This is a cool thing that everybody will probably want to get it on,” she said. “It’s a good way to bring people into the next season.”

Members of the Dunwoody High School robotics team working on their robot.

Mazel Tov to the Class of 2018! We wish you the best of luck in college and beyond.

MEMBERS OF EPSTEIN’S CLASS OF 2018 WERE ACCEPTED TO: American University Arizona State University Auburn University Baldwin Wallace University Ball State University Bard College Boston Conservatory Boston University Brandeis University Clark University Clemson University College of Charleston

Duke University Emerson College Florida State University George Washington University Georgia Institute of Technology Indiana University Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) Ithaca College James Madison University Kennesaw State University Montclair State University Muhlenberg College

Oberlin College Ohio State University Pennsylvania State University Point Park University Reed College Rollins College Rutgers University Skidmore College Syracuse University Temple University Texas Christian University Texas State University

The Citadel Tulane University University of Alabama University of Arizona University of Colorado Boulder University of Connecticut University of Delaware University of Florida University of Florida Honors University of Georgia University of Georgia Honors University of Kansas

University of Maryland University of Massachusetts University of Miami University of Michigan University of South Carolina University of Tampa University of Tennessee University of Texas at Austin University of Vermont University of Wisconsin University of Wisconsin Honors Washington University


5389 epst R grad ad22_1.indd 1

5/17/22 12:11 PM

JUNE 2022 | 29


Courtesy of The Mount Vernon School

2022 Valedictorians & Salutatorians


High school graduations returned in May, and families gathered to celebrate the students as they earned diplomas and honors. Here are the valedictorians and salutatorians for the schools serving the Brookhaven, Buckhead, Dunwoody and Sandy Springs communities. The schools provided the students’ names and photos.


Annalise Jones Valedictorian

Daliya Wallenstein Valedictorian


Micah Feit Mann Salutatorian


Duy “Mike” Nguyen Valedictorian

Carolyn Lee Valedictorian

Cara Joyce Salutatorian


Karyssa Hiller Salutatorian

Emily Tso Valedictorian

Kate Williams Salutatorian


Rafia Islam Valedictorian

Olivia Li Valedictorian


Eleanor Altwarg Salutatorian

Owen Oertell Salutatorian


Ryan Altera Valedictorian


Piranavaskanthan Abeyakaran Salutatorian

Benson Lin Valedictorian

Alicia McGlory Salutatorian


Spencer Hopkins Salutatorian

Marilee Karinshak Valedictorian

Lynn Sim Salutatorian reporternewspapers.com


Brandon Sertl Valedictorian

George Wray Valedictorian


Abigail Jablon Salutatorian

Daniel Jones Valedictorian



Lisa Kosmos Valedictorian


Milan Capoor Valedictorian

Riley Coogan Salutatorian


Katherine Graebner Valedictorian

Maximilian Brogi Salutatorian

Jackson Aull Valedictorian

Nadia Thieriot Salutatorian

Jacob Mirsky Valedictorian

Austin Taylor Salutatorian

Kargil Behl Valedictorian

Sophia Hawkins Salutatorian



Samuel Alkire Salutatorian

Andrew Wyatt Valedictorian


Anika Singh Valedictorian


Kayla Kim Valedictorian

Luke Farris Salutatorian

Phoebe Ann Phinizy Ellis Salutatorian

Taylor Goldman Salutatorian


Danny Kobrinsky Valedictorian

Molly Fisher Salutatorian


Mira Srinivasa Valedictorian

Stephen Shin Valedictorian

Kristina Schaufele Salutatorian

Dean Cureton Salutatorian JUNE 2022 | 31


Class of 2022

St. Martin’s plans for new athletic fields

At St. Martin’s, we celebrate the journey of growing up – from the formative preschool years to graduating young adults. Congratulations Class of 2022 on your outstanding high school acceptances!

3110-A Ashford Dunwoody Rd., Atlanta, GA 30319 404.237.4260 stmartinschool.org

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BY SAMMIE PURCELL St. Martin’s Episcopal School in Brookhaven is planning to purchase roughly seven acres of land for new athletic fields. Derek Porter, chair of the St. Martin’s Episcopal School Board of Trustees, sent a letter on May 4 announcing that the school is under contract to purchase a 7.2-acre tract of land on Osborne Road, near the Windsor Parkway intersection and less than a mile away from the school’s main campus. “Historically known as Morrison Farms, the property will provide us a once-in-a-generation opportunity to build out future athletic facilities within walking distance from the Ashford Dunwoody campus,” Porter said in the letter. According to the letter, the Board of Trustees started looking for a possible space for the school’s athletic fields about five years ago, and initially purchased a 7.5-acre property along Buford Highway. In the letter, Porter said he believes the school should be able to sell the Doraville property “at a valuation where we can acquire the Morrison Farms land without additional financial impact on the school.” In an interview with Reporter Newspapers, Porter said the athletic fields have been a part of the school’s vision for over a decade. He said the fact that the property is situated between the main campus and the school’s High Point campus is a “dream scenario.” “It’s been something that we’ve always wanted to expand,” he said. “We have a

small field located on the main [AshfordDunwoody Road] campus, but that campus is very land-locked … so it’s been a constant struggle within our athletics department to arrange for fieldspace through the local parks and so forth.” Porter said the current plan is to build a single athletic field and a multi-purpose gym on the property. The school will have to go through the rezoning process with the city to move forward. A neighbor in the area said upon learning about the plans, he had concerns about the level of traffic and disturbance athletic fields might bring to the neighborhood. “[Traffic] is my biggest concern,” said Gary Cook, who has been in the area since 1986 and lives a few blocks away from the property on Osborne Road. “There are a couple of other ones … There will be a lot of noise. There will be trash.” Porter said neighbors should not expect a ton of activity around the athletics fields in terms of large sporting events with multiple spectators, and a lot of what would take place on the fields will be practices. A spokesperson for St. Martin’s also said that there are no plans to build lights for the facility. “This is elementary/middle school level,” Porter said. “It’s not like we’re building a high school facility that’s going to be hosting large events.” Correction: An online version of this article mentioned lights as part of the project, but St. Martin’s has clarified that they will not be building lights. reporternewspapers.com

Georgia High School Association bans transgender athletes




BY DYANA BAGBY The state organization charged with overseeing Georgia high school sports voted May 4 to ban transgender athletes by requiring athletes only be allowed to compete based on the gender marker on their birth certificate and not by gender identity. The ruling angered and disappointed leading LGBTQ advocates, who say it was made hastily, was discriminatory and would only harm transgender students. The Georgia High School Association’s executive committee voted to change a bylaw to say athletes can only compete based on their gender assigned at birth, according to a report by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “We’re approaching this as a competitive-balance issue,” GHSA executive director Robin Hines said. Hines submitted the proposal. “We don’t want to discriminate against anybody, but that includes biological girls. There are competitive imbalances generally between biological females and biological males,” Hines said. Jeff Graham, executive director of Georgia Equality, the state’s largest LGBTQ+ advocacy group, denounced GHSA’s vote. “All Georgia students should have equal access to school sports, and efforts to change policies that facilitate that should be done in a transparent and open way,” Graham said in a written statement. “[The] actions of the GHSA Executive Committee will do real harm to trans kids in Georgia that just want to be themselves and fit in.” Georgia Equality Gender Policy Manager Chanel Haley called the vote “discriminatory and divisive.” “Unfortunately the GHSA has decided to ignore case precedent by favoring certain students and parents over others,” she said in a written statement. “Now because our state policymakers have failed all students, we need to look to our federal policymakers to intervene in securing protection and inclusion for all student athletes.” Gov. Brian Kemp praised the GHSA vote on social media. Kemp successfully pushed a bill through the legislature this year to ban transgender athletes from high school sports. Kemp posted on Twitter: “Following my signature on HB 1084, the Georgia High School Association today voted to protect fairness in school sports by unanimously approving youth to compete according to the sex determined on his/her birth certificate. I’m proud to have championed this effort in Georgia!”

313 offers of admission from 146 schools around the world!

*This group photo was digitally created.


JUNE 2022 | 33


Special Travel Section

A Weekend in Clayton Wineries, restaurants have made North Georgia town a destination of Southern Living magazine’s best hotels, while its restaurant received a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence. The five-acre property has luxury suites with fireplaces and porches to enjoy the mountain views. Another charming suggestion is the White Birch Inn (thewhitebirchinn. net) inside a century-old building in downtown with just six uniquely decorated guestrooms. Each has a fireplace, and you can request the room with a copper soaking tub. Looking for somewhere dog-friendly to lodge, then check out Parker Ranch (parkersranch.com), which is just a mile from downtown. There are five guest suites and breakfast is included in the price of the room. And then there’s Kingwood Resort & Winery (kingwoodresort.com), which features hotel rooms, condos, an 18-hole golf course, spa, and the onsite winery, which offers Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and a Red Blend.

Where to eat Black Mountain Rock State Park

You won’t be able to eat at every restaurant worth a visit in one weekend, but here are a few to get you started. There is literally something for every taste in Clayton, and if fresh is what you’re after,

By Collin Kelley


ou’ve likely passed through Clayton, GA on your way to somewhere else – like to eat at the famed Dillard House or for shopping in Highlands, NC.

But you have to get off Highways 23/441/15 – the main drag full of gas stations and fast-food joints – to really see this historic town and all that it has to offer, including some of North Georgia’s best dining. Make your way over to the historic downtown district, where you’ll find Main Street lined with restaurants that have made Clayton the “farm to table” capital of the state. Or you might want a grab a beer at one of the local distilleries or savor a locally produced wine at one of the Rabun County vineyards. You can work off all that food and drink at one of the local state parks or attractions, where hiking, fishing, and horseback riding are available.


Beechwood Inn

Where to stay If you want to keep it cheap and simple, there’s a Days Inn (wyndhamhotels.com) on Highway 441 that’s less than a 10-minute walk to Main

Street. But if you’re going for a weekend away, splurge a little and try one of the local spots that will give you luxury and a taste of the mountains. Beechwood Inn & Breakfast

(beechwoodinn.ws) was named one

you are definitely in the right town. OpenTable named Fortify Kitchen & Bar (fortifyclayton.com) one of the best restaurants in the country for its varied menu of farm-fresh ingredients, reporternewspapers.com

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which crafts its own whiskey, bourbon, vodka, gin, and fruit brandies with locally sourced ingredients. The Speakeasy Bar is the perfect place to sample the distillery’s output, plus there’s live music. In nearby Tiger, GA you’ll find the small artisan Stonewall Creek Vineyards (stonewallcreek.com), known for its award-winning Petit Manseng and Cabernet Franc. There’s also Tiger Mountain Vineyards (tigerwine.com), which handpicks its own grapes to make exceptional red wines available for sampling in the tasting room. There’s a café open at weekends. Also close is 12 Spies Vineyards (12spiesvineyards.com) in Rabun Gap, with its selection of Chardonnay, Malbec, Pinot Noir, Pinot Grigio, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Kingwood Resort

Clayton Cafe Fortify Kitchen and Bar

Downtown Clayton 12 Spies Vineyards

Where to enjoy the outdoors Black Rock Mountain State Park

including trout, salmon, steak frites, and fried chicken. Sister restaurant Fortify Pi serves up brick-oven pizzas, wings, and sandwiches. Clayton Café (theclaytoncafega.com) is a town institution operating for more than 60 years with a menu of Southern comfort food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Think Country-fried steak, shrimp and grits, and bone-in pork chops. If you’re a fan of Universal Joint (ujclayton.com) in Decatur, then you might want to visit this satellite location with a big, leafy patio and a familiar menu of burgers and brews. For something healthy, check out


Grapes & Beans Café (grapesandbeans.

com) for vegetarian options made from local and organic ingredients. There’s also a wine shop to explore. And one other gem not to miss is Sunday Diner (sundaydinerclayton.com), which will take you back in time and fill your bell with ribs, chicken-fried steak,

fresh veggies, hearty breakfast favorites, and big glasses of sweet tea served in mason jars.

Where to drink Take a tour of downtowns’s Moonrise Distillery (moonrisedistillery.com),

(gastateparks.org/BlackRockMountain) is in Clayton’s backyard with 80-miles vistas, four hiking trails, and campsites if you’d rather sleep in the great outdoors on your weekend trip. South of town is Tallulah Gorge State Park (gastateparks.org/ TallulahGorge), home to its namesake 1,000-foot-deep canyon. You can walk across the 80-foot-high suspension bridge, hike to one of the gorge waterfalls, and camping is also available. If you’re driving up to the Dillard House (dillardhouse.com) for a dinner, why not make a day of it and go for a riverside horseback ride from the stables or a fly-fishing excursion? It’s the perfect way to work up an appetite. There’s also an on-site hotel if you’re too tired to make the drive back to Clayton. Another outdoor activity in Dillard is Andy’s Trout Farm (andystroutfarm. com), which sits on more than 300 acres and offers rentals, bait, and overnight accommodations in cabins or campsites. reporternewspapers.com

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JUNE 2022 | 37

Waterfalls, wildflowers and wine Georgia’s mountains offer plenty of things to see and do

Travels with Charlie Charles Seabrook

Veteran Georgia journalist Charles Seabrook has covered native wildlife and environmental issues for decades. For “Travels with Charlie,” he visits and photographs communities throughout the state.

“Thar’s gold in them thar hills” — and also stunning waterfalls, breathtaking mountain vistas, charming small towns, pristine trout streams, award— winning wineries, quaint lodges, apple orchards and on and on. They’re all in the splendid mountains of North Georgia about a twohour drive from Atlanta. Whether you visit for a day, a long weekend or even longer, you’ll find an array of ways to escape life‘s daily rigors. Stroll along a scenic trail bounded by wildflowers in the 750,000-acre Chattahoochee National Forest. Learn about the fascinating history of Georgia‘s gold rush, 20 years before California’s. Taste superb wines at some of the more than 25 mountain wineries. Shop for arts and crafts in the inviting towns. Climb to the top of huge ceremonial mounds built by prehistoric Native Americans. Sample down-home barbecue and country cooking at roadside eateries. Rent a rustic cabin. Or, simply relax by a serene mountain lake at a state park or resort. North Georgia’s mountains are the southern end of the Appalachian mountain range that extends north into southeastern Canada. In Georgia, the mountains are divided into three so-called “physiographic ecoregions” based on their rocks, origins and other geological characteristics. The Blue Ridge Mountains region encompasses the northeast part of the state; the Ridge and Valley region occupies most of the state’s northwest section; the Appalachian Plateau covers the extreme northwest corner of the state. But no matter where you go in Georgia’s mountains, you’ll find an amazing variety of publicly accessible natural treasures -spectacular waterfalls, picturesque valleys, roaring whitewater creeks and awe-inspiring views from mountain peaks. Among the waterfalls, a must-see is 153-foot-high Anna Ruby Falls (actually twin falls) near Unicoi State Park in White County, one of North Georgia’s premier vacation destinations. Another is Amicalola


Swinging Bridge on the Benton Mackeye Trail, Chattahoochee National Forest, Fannin County

Falls in the state park of that name in Dawson County. At 729-feet tall, Amicalola Falls is Georgia’s highest waterfall and touted as one of the state’s Seven Natural Wonders. Two other magnificent, don’t-miss waterfalls are reached from a popular trail in Cloudland Canyon State Park in Dade County — Hemlock Falls and Cherokee Falls. North Georgia’s greatest natural treasure by far, though, is the majestic Chattahoochee National Forest, most of which lies in the state’s Blue Ridge Mountains (where Atlanta’s drinking water source, the Chattahoochee River, begins) with a smaller portion in the northwest region. The Chattahoochee forest is said to be a hiker’s paradise with some 430 miles of recreation trails lush with wildflowers in spring and fall and winding along tumbling streams, cascading waterfalls and forested ridges. From leisurely, short-day strolls to more strenuous, long-distance ones, there is a trail for nearly every level of hiker, from novice to expert.

Several of the trailheads are along one of Georgia’s most beautiful drives, the 38mile Richard Russell-Brasstown Bald Scenic Byway, which begins near the town of Helen in White County. One of my favorite hiking trails during all seasons, the Raven Cliff Falls Trail, is easily accessed from the highway. The well-maintained trail winds 2.5 miles (5 miles round trip) around several waterfalls, including one of the forest’s most unusual falls where water gushes from a crevice in a 90-foot-high massive cliff. Also, along the Russell-Brasstown Bald Byway are several roadside turnouts and overlooks that provide sweeping, far-asthe-eye-can-see views of the mountains. The grandest view of all, though, is from atop Brasstown Bald, which, at 4,784 feet above sea level, is Georgia’s highest peak. A shuttle bus takes visitors from a parking lot to a visitors’ center and observation deck from which, on a clear day, one can see four states — Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Tennessee. In the northwest mountains is another great scenic drive, the 47-mile Ridge and

Valley Byway, offering mountain overlooks and views of picturesque farmlands as it travels U.S. 27, state routes 136 and 156 and county roads. From the highway, you can reach the Keown Falls Scenic Area and the Johns Mountain Overlook, from which you can get a grand view of the serene, fertile Armuchee Valley. We would be remiss, however, if we didn’t mention some of the other fabulous panoramas that can be had from vantage points elsewhere in the mountains, including Cloudland Canyon in Dade County and Rabun Bald, Black Rock Mountain State Park and Tallulah Gorge in Rabun County. But as if natural beauty and outdoor recreation were not enough, Georgia’s mountains are incredibly rich in human history and culture -- and visitor attractions. The countryside holds the histories of the native Cherokee Indian Nation, Civil War battles and early settlers whose 1800’s farmsteads still stand. In 1828, the discovery of gold in the Dahlonega area in Lumpkin Continued on page 40 reporternewspapers.com




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1 - Anna Ruby Falls, White County

Continued from page 38

2 - View from Tennessee Rock Trail, Black Rock Mtn. State Park, Rabun County 3 - View of East Armuchee Valley from Johns Mountain Overlook, Walker County 4 - Day hikers on the Benton Mackaye Trail, Chattahoochee National Forest, Fannin County 5 - Unicoi Lake in Unicoi State Park, White County 6 - Lake Trahlyta, Vogel State Park, Union County 7 - Tallulah Gorge State Park, Rabun County

Article and photos by Charles Seabrook









County triggered America’s first major gold rush, which quickly spread through Georgia’s mountains. Today, reminders of the frenzied quest for gold abound in the mountains. In Dahlonega, tour an old gold mine and visit the Gold Museum State Historic Site, which offers visitors a close-up look at the state’s gold mining history, including a complete collection of gold coins -- worth a small fortune -- minted in Dahlonega. The gold rush changed the course of North Georgia’s history. For the native Cherokee Indians, who owned most of the land usurped by thousands of frenetic prospectors, gold mining spelled doom. A bitter tension arose between the gold seekers and the Cherokee people, culminating in one of Georgia’s darkest hours -- the forced removal of the Cherokee to lands out west via the infamous “Trail of Tears.” The Cherokee Nation’s former prominence in northern Georgia is still evident in the region. Most noteworthy is the New Echota State Historic Site in Gordon County, the location of the short-lived but highly significant Cherokee capital on the banks of the Oostanaula River -- the spot where the tragic Trail of Tears began. Today, visitors can see 12 original and reconstructed buildings, including the nation’s Council House, Court House, Print Shop, a tavern, a missionary house and Cherokee farm buildings – as well as a small museum in the visitors’ center. Another notable Cherokee site is the Chieftains Museum/Major Ridge Home in Rome in Floyd County, a National Historic Landmark. Major Ridge was a signer of the Treaty of New Echota, which resulted in the Trail of Tears. But, wait, there’s still much more to see and do in Georgia’s mountains. We’re talking about the region’s captivating towns and cities full of charm, delightful shops and friendly people. There’s Helen, whose Bavarian-style shops, restaurants and lodgings seem right out of a storybook. Ellijay, surrounded by orchards and wineries, is home to the Georgia Apple Festival each fall. In Blue Ridge, you can hop aboard the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway, billed as a step back in time that takes passengers to the equally charming town of McCaysville and back. Hiawassee is home to the Brasstown Valley Resort & Spa and the site of several concerts and festivals each year. Clayton is a Mecca for outdoor enthusiasts and close to Georgia’s highest state park, Black Rock Mountain. Cave Spring lives up to its name: It has an easily accessible limestone cave in the middle of town and a picturesque spring that gushes water pure enough for drinking. Blairsville is within a short drive of Vogel State Park, one of Georgia’s oldest, most popular state parks with one of the prettiest mountain lakes in the state. So, what are you waiting for? Head for the hills. reporternewspapers.com



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11 8 - Tallulah Gorge State Park 9 - Poole’s BBQ, Ellijay, Gilmer County Historic Site, Gordon County 10 - Helen, GA 11 - Drinking the pure water from the spring in Cave Spring, GA, Floyd County

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Two-Wheel Daytripping Exploring Arabia Mountain, Stone Mountain, and Panola Mountain by bike 1











N 1 mile





MLK, JR. High School


-2 12







Pole Bridge Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant










Y - GA





South Rockdale Community Park EW RD SW



21 Monastery of the Holy Spirit HW












Arabia Mountain PATH Trails: Hike and bike more than 30 miles of recreational trail. Just 20 minutes east of Atlanta, cyclists will pass historic landmarks and stunning vistas.








20 South River Bridge #2

Gasoline is still sky-high, which might put the kibosh on a long road trip or weekend getaway this summer. For a cheaper alternative, hop on your bike and head for the hills that are literally in Atlanta’s backyard. If you’re a cyclist, Stone Mountain, Arabia Mountain, Panola Mountain, and the South River Trail offer easy daytrips for all skill levels.



19 Lorraine Trailhead

By Collin Kelley



DeCastro Retreat

The development and printing of this map was made possible by a grant from the National Park Foundation through the generous support of Coca-Cola, the Coca-Cola Foundation, Disney, and the Scrooby Foundation.



Serpentine Bridge




Farming Terraces


17 Panola Mountain State Park Nature Center

Davidson Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve


Panola Mountain

The Parker House



Quarry Office Ruins

Historic District of Klondike



Alexander Barn



Arabia Mountain & Quarry Remains

Evans Mill Ruins



South River Bridge #1

55 N

Vaughters’ Farm

- GA 1

Lyon Farm

Stonecrest Mall




Weekends Only








Railroad Cut

Horace King Commemorative Covered Bridge




Flat Rock Community




Historic District of Lithonia











A 1 55








The PATH Foundation trail within the AMNHA is designed to link cultural, scenic, natural and historic sites. More than 30 miles of dedicated, paved trails are open to bikers and hikers. We’ve highlighted some of our favorite sites here. There are several opportunities with the Davidson-Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve to hike trails on foot and bike racks are located at the entrances to several of these trails. Remember to always be prepared for your ride, take plenty of water, a cell phone and sunscreen. The terrain is hilly and some bikers should be aware that some climbs are particularly strenuous.




Explore a land 400 million years in the making. The Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area (AMNHA) is an open landscape of breathtaking beauty, peace, and wonder just east of Atlanta along I-20. Dominated by two massive granite outcrops, it offers visitors natural wonders, compelling history and heart-pumping activity.


























to A





A cyclist passes Vaughter’s Farm at Arabia Mountain. (Courtesy Arabia Alliance)





Monastery of the Holy Spirit


Davidson-Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve Trails: The Davidson-Arabia Nature Preserve is made up of rolling hills, woodlands, and secluded lakes. This granite outcrop has well-marked trails of varying lengths and difficulty. Trails can be accessed from parking lots on Klondike Road or from the paved Arabia Mountain PATH trail. Atlanta Beltline Eastside Trail: Rent a bike from Atlanta Bicycle Barn or one of the many bike-share stations. A combination of multi-use trails and linear greenspace, the Eastside Trail connects with the Freedom Parkway Trail and Stone Mountain Trail for biking. Enjoy dozens of featured art Continued on page 44




It’s different here.

Time to move to the mountains.

JUNE 2022 | 43

Continued from page 42

installations along the 3 miles of multi-use trails that make up the Beltline. Stone Mountain: In Stone Mountain Park, take the 4.5-mile loop trail around the base of the mountain for a look at the local flora and fauna and lake views. The Stone Mountain Trail has numerous access points with places to park. South River Trail: About 15 miles southeast of Atlanta, the South River Trail offers a wooded route along its namesake river. Enjoy nature, scenic views, and sounds while biking the trail running parallel to the river. This trail ties into the extensive trail network with a connection to the Arabia Mountain Trail, which connects to the Rockdale River Trail. Panola Mountain PATH Trail: A little further south is Panola Mountain State Park, which features a gorgeous five-mile trail through the park to glassy Alexander Lake. It’s a great way to check out the granite outcroppings covered in lichen, moss, and wildflowers.

For more information, visit pathfoundation.org and discoverdekalb.com.


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Dunwoody resident Jerry Rhea to be inducted into Pro Football Hall of Fame BY CATHY COBBS Dunwoody resident and longtime Atlanta Falcons’ athletic trainer Jerry Rhea will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s first-ever Award of Excellence class in June. Rhea, a longtime resident in the Redfield subdivision, has logged more than 50 years in the athletic training profession, including 25 years in the NFL. He worked as an athletic trainer with the Atlanta Falcons from 1969 to 1994. “I was shocked to be included in this first-ever batch of honorees,” Rhea said. “It was a real thrill for me, and a big surprise.” Rhea, according to a biography published when he was inducted into the Georgia Athletic Trainers Hall of Fame, began his career in 1956 while a student at Texas A&M. After graduation, Rhea worked eight years in the Odessa, Texas school system before joining the Los Angeles Rams as an as-

Jerry Rhea with his wife, Linda.

sistant athletic trainer for two years. During his 25 years as athletic trainer for the Falcons, Rhea was a frequent convention and clinic speaker. From 1994 to 2001, he worked as assistant to the president of the Falcons and served as president of the Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation. Rhea has also received numerous awards during his tenure, including his 2004 induction into the inaugural Georgia Athletic Trainers’ Association Hall of Fame. The hall honored him with an annual award in his name, the Jerry Rhea Athletic Trainer of the Year Award. The Atlanta Falcons also paid tribute to Rhea by endowing a scholarship in his name for both undergraduate and graduate students. According to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the Award of Excellence, “is part of the hall’s effort to recognize outstanding contributions from members of four groups vital to the game’s on-field success and behind the scenes. The honor is for individ-

uals who have spent their football careers as assistant coaches, athletic trainers, equipment managers and public relations personnel.” Rhea likened his job as athletic trainer to being “a medic in a combat zone.” “There was always someone wrong with someone, and every day was different,” he said. “I enjoyed every minute of it.” Rhea said as thrilled as he is to be recognized by the NFL, he is happy that the league is paying tribute to the support personnel who have dedicated their careers to helping football players, coaches and teams. “As great as it is for me, I’m glad also that the hall of fame has recognized the influence that the support staff has had on the success of the teams and their players,” he said. According to the NFL, the winners will be honored during the 2022 enshrinement week in Canton, Ohio in late June.

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