06-9-17 Buckhead Reporter

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JUNE 9 - 22, 2017 • VOL. 11 — NO. 12


Buckhead Reporter


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New sign connects present to past

BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

A new historical sign in Charlie Loudermilk Park gives visitors a window into Buckhead’s past. Installed by the Buckhead Heritage Society in late May, the sign displays a 1943 photograph of the nearby Buckhead Theatre aligned to overlap


The Buckhead Heritage Society installed this sign, shown here on June 2, in Charlie Loudermilk Park, to show how the historic Buckhead Theatre (behind sign) looked in 1943.

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BCID shifts bike lane plan off Peachtree Road BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net The Buckhead Community Improvement District’s plan to add bicycle lanes on Peachtree Road from Maple Drive to Shadowlawn Avenue has changed. The BCID now plans to add the bike lanes down Maple Drive and connect them to existing bike lanes on Pharr Road. The change was announced at the BCID board’s monthly meeting on May 24. The reason given at the meeting was that appraised cost of right of way for

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A new Veterans of Foreign Wars post based at Buckhead’s Bobby Jones Golf Course celebrated its official opening June 3. Named for Army 1st Lt. Tyler Hall Brown, who was killed in action in Iraq, the VFW post is the only one within the city of Atlanta and aims to particularly serve veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq. “It just seemed a great spot to do it,” said William Makepeace, a Marine Corps veteran who is among the new post’s organizers, about the golf course location. Makepeace works part-time at the historic golf course, whose clubhouse at 384 Woodward Way is the VFW post’s base. He has also volunteered with the Wounded Warrior Project’s efforts at the Buckhead-based Shepherd Center, where many veterans with spinal cord and other injuries recover. Another point of attraction is the golf course’s location within Atlanta Memorial Park, “a memorial park, where there was a [Civil War] battlefield,” he noted. John Paulson, a Sandy Springs city councilmember and a U.S. Marine Corps veteran of Vietnam, is another organizer of the VFW post. “I fully support this post and its goals to provide a venue for veterans of overseas conflicts in the Buckhead/north Atlanta area to get together and socialize,” said Paulson. “The camaraderie of [Makepeace’s] team has already been great and will get better as the post is established.” Makepeace and Paulson are both members of American Legion Post 140 in Buckhead’s Chastain Park, which has operated for decades and has plans for a new, larger facility in the works. The VFW is a different organization from the American Legion, and the new Buckhead post aims to have a different mission. While the Legion is open to veterans who have served during certain specific times of war, the VFW focuses on combat

veterans. Makepeace said the new post’s naming for Brown reflects its mission of especially serving veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. Brown was a Brookhaven native who was president of his classes at Woodward Academy and Georgia Tech. He was killed by a sniper while serving in Iraq in 2004. “We thought it would be fitting that it be named for someone from the current generation,” Makepeace said. He said it’s about reaching out to a group of veterans “with a high suicide rate and let them know there’s a place to go.” The VFW also helps any veteran navigate the Veterans Affairs services or other bureaucracies, he said. Despite the ever-growing number of veterans returning from Afghanistan, Iraq and anti-terrorism operations, many traditional veterans’ organizations are shrinking. Makepeace said the state organization is “usually closing VFW posts, not opening them.” The nearest VFW posts are in Dunwoody and Marietta. The new post hopes to attract the younger generation with monthly Saturday morning meetings that leave time for other activities, including enjoying the golf course and adjacent Atlanta Memorial Park, with a coffee-and-doughnuts environment. “No beer or bingo,” he said. The post had its first organizational meeting in March. The golf course is under the management of a private foundation, as it recently shifted from city to state ownership and is undergoing renovations and reconstruction. The work will include conversion to a nine-hole layout and the including of a new Georgia Golf Hall of Fame. Makepeace said the VFW post is definitely able to use the clubhouse through November and hopes to remain during and after renovations. Any combat veterans interested in joining the new post can contact Makepeace at wrm4444@gmail.com or 404-219-9389. BH

JUNE 9 - 22, 2017

Community | 3


Senior badminton player brings home a gold medal

played on a badminton court with paddles and a plastic ball full of holes, pickleball is also growing in local popularity. A new Dunwoody park has pickleball courts included by popular demand. “I’m going to try pickleball,” Chang said. “I like it.”



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Local badminton player Peter Chang brought home a gold medal from the World Masters Games, an Olympics-style event for older athletes held in April in New Zealand. And he’s telling fellow seniors that they can play the game he loves closer to home. “It’s the all-body exercise,” said Chang, 69, about badminton’s appeal. “There’s a lot of twisting and turning and smashing … It keeps me very fit and healthy.” Chang, a real estate investment professional, has lived in Sandy Springs for almost 35 years. He was born in Malaysia, one of many Asian countries where badminton is a popular sport. He grew up playing the game, including on his college team in Hong Kong. When his career began, eventually bringing him to metro Atlanta, he “quit playing for a long time.” In the late 1990s, Chang’s children headed to college and he found himself not only returning to badminton, but getting serious about it. He began winning some competitions, including the World Morning Cup, an amateur badminton competition, in Taipei, Taiwan. This year, he headed to Auckland, New Zealand, for the Summer Masters Games, a multi-sports event generally aimed at athletes 35 and older. This year’s edition drew more than 25,000 athletes. Chang competed in both singles and doubles badminton, winning the singles gold in his age category. “Unfortunately, you pay for everything,” Chang said of the Masters Games, which has drawn some press coverage for significant entrance fees and related travel expenses. However, he said, he enjoyed the competition, SPECIAL the sightseeing, and the chance to meet Peter Chang at the 2017 World people from around the globe. He said Masters Games in New Zealand. he met someone from the tiny island nation of Mauritius and competed against a player from Papua New Guinea. Such international competition begins with local practice. While the similar game of tennis is hugely popular in metro Atlanta, badminton is on the rise, Chang said. “Badminton is a very popular sport,” Chang said, and follows along “with the influx and growth of the international population, especially after the [1996] Olympics.” He said he has about 15 metro Atlanta badminton venues to choose from, ranging from rec centers to gyms to churches, often on restriped tennis or basketball courts. In a sign of the sport’s growing popularity, the area’s first complex of badminton-only courts is set to open this month in Suwanee, Chang said, thanks to an Indian-American fan. Chang has tried tennis, too, but the techniques are different. Badminton is more about nuanced wrist movements, while tennis is more about arm swings, he said. “I used to play tennis … but I don’t play anymore because it screws up my badminton,” Chang said. However, there’s another sport catching Chang’s eye: pickleball. A kind of tennis

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City approves rebuilding mansion’s historic wall BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

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The owner of the Thornton House mansion has received city permission to rebuild a historic wall and gate topped with rooster statues that was designed by famous Atlanta architect Phillip Trammell Shutze. The approval of owner Robin Fowler’s plans for the 205 West Paces Ferry Road mansion, which he is rehabilitating, came over the objections of a neighbor who fears the wall will block her sunlight. “This is a very unique opportunity to complete the vision of one of our city’s most celebrated architects, Phillip Trammell Shutze,” Charlie Sears, the project manager and landscape architect working on the project, said at the June 1 meeting of the Board of Zoning Adjustment. Shutze is best known as the designer of the Swan House mansion at the Atlanta History Center. The owner, Robin Fowler, will build a six-foot privacy wall where only four-foot walls are allowed and top 14-foot posts with rooster statues. The wall will be opaque in most places, but will be an iron picket fence in some places to accommodate existing trees. The original rooster statues were found by Fowler on his property, and he later found Shutze’s plan for the wall at the Atlanta History Center. He would like to build a wall similar to that plan. Yong Pak, an Atlanta architect who has worked with Shutze designs previously, has drawn plans based on his interpretation of Shutze’s designs, Sears said. Sears said Fowler has the support of 12 surrounding neighbors, the Atlanta History Center and the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation. But one neighbor, Mary Harrison, who lives directly across the street from Fowler, opposes the plan. She said at the meeting that she is concerned the wall will drive down her property’s value. The wall will also block light to her property and add noise, she said, as West Paces Ferry is a busy road. “They are going to put up a wall that is six feet tall and will run almost the length of a football field,” Harrison said at the meeting, calling for a shorter version as a compromise. City planning department staff members said the wall will not block the passage of light to other properties, but Harrison disagreed. Her home is downhill from Fowler’s house and she currently can only see the construction tarp when she looks out her window, she said. “I would welcome them to stand in my house and see,” said Harrison, who has lived in her house for 30 years. “The six-foot wall covers almost the entire frontage of my piece of property. Everything in front of my home will be a six-foot, white wall.” Harrison said she has met with Fowler to try to convince him to compromise and make the wall lower, but he refused. Ultimately, the board approved the plan unanimously based on NPU-B’s and the city planning staff’s recommendation for approval. Martha Porter Hall, the board’s vice chair, said she appreciates the restoration project and while she understands a concern for building walls, the road already has many. “Atlanta is known for having a tendency for disrespecting historical precedent, so it’s always exciting when we see somebody trying to maintain that,” Hall said.


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JUNE 9 - 22, 2017 • VOL. 11 — NO. 12

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Transgender people focus of new support group BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

A new meeting of PFLAG, a support group for LGBTQ people and their families and allies, has started in Sandy Springs to serve what organizers say is a particular demand for transgender support. The monthly meeting is a spinoff of PFLAG’s Johns Creek chapter and is intended to cover Sandy Springs, Dunwoody, Buckhead and other nearby communities. “Out here in the suburbs, the predominance of people coming to us for support are dealing with transgender issues,” said Ann Miller, PFLAG Johns Creek’s board president, who has a 21-year-old transgender son. She said the Johns Creek meeting is “almost 100 percent transgender or gender-nonconforming [people, family and allies] … I believe that this [Sandy Springs] one will be the same.” Originally named Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, PFLAG was formed in 1972 by a New York City mother who marched alongside her gay son in a pride parade. The group now has more than 400 chapters nationwide. PFLAG is known for its support group

meetings led by parents who have gone through similar personal and social challenges of raising LGBTQ children. “It’s tremendously comforting to talk to another parent,” said Miller, who serves a facilitator at meetings. “Another parent understands in a way that just an ally would not.” LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) people are welcome to attend as well, and some chapters, including the one in Johns Creek, also offer peer-led support meetings for youths. The youth meetings are not coming to the Sandy Springs location for now, Miller said, but may, if there’s demand. PFLAG has chapters in Marietta and downtown Atlanta, but Johns Creek is the only chapter near the booming Ga. 400 corridor. Its ongoing meetings are in a church that is not handy to many Perimeter-area residents, Miller said. The new spinoff meeting, at Congregation B’Nai Torah on Mount Vernon Highway, is less than a mile from a Ga. 400 interchange. Parents have been “clamoring” for a Perimeter-area meeting, Miller said. “The hope is it will become its own chapter,” she said. Some longstanding PFLAG groups, like Atlanta’s, have a core of gay, lesbian and bisexual people, Miller said. In

“When your son comes out as gay, the only thing that really changes is who they date,” while transgender identity raises other concerns: “Do they want to transition? Does their name change?” ANN MILLER PFLAG JOHNS CREEK’S BOARD PRESIDENT Johns Creek, she said, the chapter found that many parents today find sexual orientation easier to understand than gen-

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Group’s next forum: Anti-Semitism in schools BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

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Following its debut meeting this year, the new Atlanta Initiative Against Anti-Semitism has announced the focus of its next forum: anti-Semitism in schools. Formed by a group of Dunwoody mothers outraged by anti-Semitic threats nationwide, AIAAS drew about 200 attendees to its first forum, held March 30 in Sandy Springs. A major topic revealed by the forum’s roundtable discussions was a rise in anti-Semitic incidents in schools in north Fulton County. Lauren Menis, one of AIAAS’s founders, said that since the forum the group has heard from parents, teachers and rabbis about more school incidents. “There’s been swastikas on walls,” Menis said. “One kid surrounded by a group of kids ‘Heil Hitler’-ing him … Money thrown at the feet of kids [by students] saying, ‘Here, you’re Jewish.’” The next forum, to be held sometime in October, will seek better methods for preventing and responding to such incidents, Menis said. “The issue is that most of the incidents aren’t getting reported and schools don’t have a consistent protocol for dealing with it,” said Menis. The group hopes to “hopefully come up with countywide or statewide protocols for how to deal with this.” As a grassroots group formed as an instinctive response to national news, AIAAS representatives admit they have sought a focus and a mission distinct from the established advocacy groups the organization has allied with, such as the Anti-Defama- LAUREN MENIS tion League and the American Jewish Com- FOUNDER, ATLANTA INITIATIVE AGAINST ANTI-SEMITISM mittee. The debut forum was both an agendasetter and an end in itself, providing a wide range of government, business and religious leaders a chance to share stories and strategies. That forum was held at Temple Emanu-El, where Rabbi Spike Anderson was among those describing reports of anti-Semitic bullying in local schools. “Sometimes they’re quite shocking in terms of what kids say to each other,” Anderson said at the forum, adding that he was not impressed by the responses of most schools. Two specific, recent incidents at Sandy Springs’ North Springs Charter High School were later confirmed by Fulton County school officials: swastika graffiti and mock Valentines cards with anti-Semitic messages. The ADL has an educational program addressing such incidents. In April, the ADL said that reports of anti-Semitic incidents in non-Jewish grade schools nationwide had more than doubled, from 114 in 2015 to 235 in 2016. In the first quarter of 2017, the ADL had 95 reports of such incidents. But the ADL usually comes in only when officials request it, and the stories AIAAS is hearing suggested that many incidents go unreported, Menis said. The forum’s October timing coincides with “National Bullying Prevention Month,” as declared by the PACER Center, a Minnesota-based advocacy organization for children with disabilities. While bullying prevention and response programs have become a trend in schools, Menis said, there appears to be some issue with how that overlaps with the related but distinct realm of hate incidents. “We’re looking at anti-Semitism and other forms of hate,” Menis said. “Hate speech or acts are on a different plane than that.” None of the incidents AIAAS is hearing about come from Jewish schools, Menis said. While that may not be a surprise, the possibility of anti-Semitism from within Jewish communities was a discussion point at the first forum. A nationwide campaign of bomb threats against Jewish organizations was one reason for AIAAS’s founding, and the suspect charged in the case is a Jewish resident of Israel. Menis said after that arrest that many other incidents show the need for AIAAS. Since the forum, she said, she has received “hate emails” that led her to contact the police. That sort of response “just shows what we’re doing, there’s a reason for it,” she said. The October forum likely will be invitation-only, for reasons of productivity and security, Menis said. She hopes to attract state, county and local school officials, as well as parents and students affected by anti-Semitic school incidents. For more information about AIAAS, see StopAntiSemitismATL.org.

The issue is that most of the incidents aren’t getting reported and schools don’t have a consistent protocol for dealing with it.

JUNE 9 - 22, 2017 • VOL. 11 — NO. 12

Community | 7


Church’s Chicken faces harassment lawsuit at Perimeter Center HQ BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

Church’s Chicken faces a federal discrimination complaint and a lawsuit for alleged sexual harassment by an executive at its Perimeter Center headquarters. The woman making the complaint is represented by attorney Tamara Holder, a former Fox News contributor who was recently in the news for the settlement of her own sexual assault complaint there. Church’s Chicken, a fast-food chain based at 980 Hammond Drive in Sandy Springs, said in a written statement that it acknowledged the executive’s “conduct” and already terminated him, but was surprised by the complaint filing because it already has a “binding settlement” with the woman. “Sexual harassment at the hands of top corporate executives must come to an end,” Holder said in an email about her client’s complaint. “From major news networks to Uber to major record labels, women are finally standing up and speaking out against the abuse and the people who are complicit in allowing it to occur. No woman should feel she is going to be raped at work. No woman should be afraid to report because these men have all of the power. My client is steadfast in seeking a resolution and ending the culture of abuse at Church’s Chicken.” In Church’s statement, provided by spokesperson Kim Miller, the company said it had already investigated and responded. “At Church’s Chicken, we are committed to the respectful treatment of everyone,” the statement reads. “There is no place for harassment or discrimination of any kind in any workplace, ever. We take reports of harassment very seriously. In this case, we investigated as soon as we learned of the issue and took immediate and appropriate action. The person responsible for the conduct was terminated and we have conducted additional respectful workplace training for our entire headquarters team. Further, we agreed to a binding settlement with the person who filed the claim, so we are perplexed by the filing at the EEOC.” Holder said the employee had a previous attorney, whom Church’s offered a payment amounting to approximately $3,000 for the employee. Holder said Church’s is referring to that deal as the “binding settlement,” but that no settlement or signed agreement was made and the employee did not accept any payment. “They did not settle,” Holder said about Church’s. “[The employee] had a prior attorney and they offered her to settle. She refused. They aren’t perplexed.”

The employee, a 24-year-old woman, filed a formal discrimination complaint last week with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, according to Holder. Holder said the lawsuit is nearly ready for filing as well. According to a press release, the woman was “subjected to incessant harassment by a senior-level male executive” for five months. Neither the woman nor the executive are named. “Rather than refer to her by name, he called her ‘honey’ and ‘sweetie,’ ” the press release says. “Additionally, the married father would touch her and suggest they ‘go to Vegas to get into trouble.’ The woman inquired about his behavior, and her colleagues made it clear they were complicit in his behavior, saying things like, ‘That’s just the way he is.’” According to a partially redacted version of the EEOC complaint provided by Holder, the alleged harassment occurred from Dec. 7, 2016 — shortly after the woman was hired — through April 10 of this year, when she resigned due to the executive’s behavior. The EEOC complaint describes a number of sexual harassment incidents and comments. The employee says that within two days of starting work, another employee warned her that the executive “will touch all over you.” The executive soon began making comments about her appearance and brushed against her, then later joked, “You can run, but you can’t hide,” the statement says. The complaint quotes the executive as saying on another occasion, “You cannot wear that dress again, it’s too distracting … I feel like a dirty old man.” The executive continued with such behaviors after the woman made it clear they were unwelcome, the complaint says. In February, the employee says, she complained to a woman employed as a member of Church’s human resources department, only to hear that he had made similar comments to her. The woman who filed the complaint said she feared the executive might “try to sleep with me or rape me” and that she suffered stress-induced vomiting. When the company changed its dress code to “super casual,” the employee says, she started dressing down to “do everything in my power to be as unattractive and unappealing as possible,” but the executive continued his comments and behaviors. Holder said the executive is also “involved” in other lawsuits accusing Church’s of negligence for an incident last year at one of its restaurants in Livingston, Texas, where the kitchen floor collapsed, trapping employees in a hole while hot cooking oil poured onto them.

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From left, state transportation Commissioner Russell McMurry accepts the $10 million check from Diane Calloway, chair of the board for the PCIDs’ Fulton County side, as Perimeter Business Alliance chairman Bob Voyles and Georgia Department of Transportation board members look on.

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portation interests, the lunch also featured a panel discussion on alternative ways to connect commuters to local MARTA stations. Four years ago, the PCIDs – two selftaxing business districts in Perimeter Center – pledged the $10 million in cash and another $500,000 in planning assistance to the I-285/Ga. 400 project. That was a drop in what turned out to be a roughly $460 million bucket, but the pledge gave political momentum to Gov. Nathan Deal to fast-track the stalled project. The interchange reconstruction, intended to reduce traffic congestion and crashes, is now underway and is scheduled to wrap up in 2020.

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JUNE 9 - 22, 2017 • VOL. 11 — NO. 12

Community | 9


“I can tell you, this project wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for you,” McMurry told members of the PCIDs, saying the donation was of “national significance” in an era of increasing public-private partnerships on infrastructure projects. In an interview afterward, while still holding the check, McMurry praised the PCIDs’ can-do attitude. “It’s not ‘what if?’ It’s ‘how can?’” McMurry said of the PCIDs’ relationship with the Georgia Department of Transportation. “This group does not settle for ‘no.’” Former DeKalb County CEO Liane Levetan, who chatted with McMurry, said she agreed. “They’re true visionaries,” she said of the PCIDs, praising the $10 million contribution as a “true catalyst” for the interchange project. Reconstructing one of the state’s busiest interchanges is intended only to manage traffic congestion, since it can’t be halted altogether while there’s a population and economic boom and limited alternative transportation options. PCIDs is also one of the groups working on those alternatives. In collaboration with the cities of Brookhaven, Dunwoody and Sandy Springs, the PCIDs recently produced a study on “last-mile connectivity” — meaning using methods other that single-occupancy vehicles to easily get commuters to and from mass transit stations. A kind of master study that sorted and prioritized previous studies, while adding some new ideas, it proposes dedicated lanes for shuttles as one priority. At the May 26 lunch, the panel discussing last-mile connectivity included: Alex Chambers, regional vice president for KDC Real Estate, developers of State Farms’ Park Center complex in Dunwoody; Garrin Coleman, the Sandy Springs Public Works director; and Ryland McClendon, MARTA’s assistant general manager for communications. A representative of the ride-sharing company Uber, which has partnered with MARTA on last-mile connectivity discounts, was scheduled to participate, but he was stuck in an airport, according to PBA program manager Bill Crane. The panelists largely recapped the last-mile connectivity study ideas. In the big picture, they emphasized that giving commuters choices, rather than a single solution, is key, and that some options are already coming. McClendon said that coordinating transportation plans is important because “I think you have to give all [transit] riders a choice.” And studying all available options is important to stay ahead of trends, she said. Coleman noted that multiuse trails are in the works, including a PATH400 segment that will be built along PeachtreeDunwoody Road as part of the I-285/Ga. 400 project. Sandy Springs also is using transportation special local option sales tax money to connect that segment with PATH400 in Buckhead, as well as carry out other multiuse trails on such corri-


The $10 million check in the hands of state transportation Commissioner Russell McMurry shortly after it was presented by the Perimeter Center Community Improvement Districts at a May 26 event at the Sheraton Atlanta Perimeter North hotel.

dors as along Mount Vernon Highway. That Mount Vernon Highway concept, which Coleman said will soon go into a round of public meetings, also includes a dedicated lane on the road for some type of higher-occupancy vehicles. “That’s ride share. That’s bus. That’s all kinds of modes,” Coleman said of the concept. While such dedicated lanes were a main proposal of the recent last-mile connectivity study, they are also challenging and controversial because they could mean converting existing travel lanes. “Mathematically, I’m not sure how you could take away lanes and make it

work” in today’s Perimeter Center, said Chambers, who is also a member of the PCIDs board that represents the DeKalb County side. However, Chambers agreed with the multi-modal, multi-choice approach. The recently finished State Farm tower at Hammond Drive and Perimeter Center Parkway has a direct connection to the Dunwoody MARTA Station platform. Chambers said that inside its lobby there is a large screen showing the real-time status of several transportation options, including MARTA train times, highway traffic reports and the availability of Uber rides.

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10 | Out & About


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Wednesday, June 14, 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Disney’s The Lion King KIDS, a musical featuring the music of Elton John, will be presented in two performances at Dunwoody United Methodist Church. Donations at the door benefit the Performing Arts group at Dunwoody UMC, 1548 Mount Vernon Road, Dunwoody. Info: 770-394-0675.


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

The folk-rock band High Beams is up next in this concert series presented by the city of Dunwoody. Picnicking begins at 6 p.m. Craft beers available for purchase. Free to nature center members. Non-members: $5



adults, $3 students, free to children 3 and younger. 5343 Roberts Drive, Dunwoody. Info: dunwoodynature.org.

DINNER AND A DIVA Tuesday, June 20, 7 p.m.

Singers from the Capitol City Opera Company will perform highlights of the opera “Carmen” between dinner courses at Petite Violette in the monthly Dinner and a Diva program at the restaurant. Appetizers and cash bar open at 6:30 p.m. Reservations required. 2948 Clairmont Road N.E., Brookhaven. Pricing and reservations: 404-634-6268 or 404-633-3363. Dinner and a Diva info: ccityopera.org.

AMERICAN CELEBRATION CONCERT & PICNIC Sunday, June 25, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Dunwoody United Methodist Church presents its annual patriotic concert featuring its Chancel Choir, Women’s Choir, Musica Gloria and the bluegrass band

The Wandering Shepherds. The concert will be in the sanctuary and will be followed immediately by a fried chicken/baked chicken picnic in the gym. Register by noon on June 19. $5 ages 3-8; $10 adults. 1548 Mt. Vernon Road, Dunwoody. Info: dunwoodyumc.org.


through the new Heritage Sandy Springs Outdoors Club. The club is open to the public, all ages and skill levels. Free. Advance registration requested. Participants must complete an online liability waiver. Check website for locations, which are subject to change. Info: heritagesandysprings.org.


Saturday, June 17, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday, June 18, from noon to 4 p.m.


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

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

The Atlanta History Center hosts its annual Juneteenth program commemorating the end of slavery in the U.S. Themes of freedom and family history will be explored through author talks, stories and theater and guests can participate in a program providing tips on African-American genealogical research. Free weekend at the Atlanta History Center. Food and drinks available for purchase. 130 West Paces Ferry Road, Buckhead. Info: AtlantaHistoryCenter.com/Family or 404-814-4000.



Explore Sandy Springs on hour-long hikes Friday nights and Saturday mornings

Learn the Cajun waltz, two-step and jitterbug in a series of three dance classes for beginners sponsored by the Atlan-

Fridays starting June 16, 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Saturdays starting June 17, 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Thursdays, June 22, June 29, and July 6, 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

On June 20th, vote

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JUNE 9 - 22, 2017 • VOL. 11 — NO. 12

Out & About | 11


ta Cajun Zydeco Association. No partner necessary. All ages welcome. $30 for the series; $10 per class. Darwin’s Burgers and Blues, 234 Hilderbrand Drive, Sandy Springs. Info: aczadance.org or 877-338-2420.

dy Springs continues its 2017 family gardening series (second Saturdays through October) with “Plant an Ice Cream Cone.” Plant spring vegetables in unusual containers, such as ice cream cones, that will decompose in the ground. Free. Best suited for ages 6-10, with an accompanying adult. Heritage Sandy Springs Farmers Market, 6100 Lake Forrest Drive, Sandy Springs. Info: heritagesandysprings.org.


in honor and celebration of

Father’s Day.


Saturday, June 17, 10 a.m. to noon.

Saturday, June 24, setup begins at 4 p.m.

This family-focused program at the Dunwoody Nature Center teaches camping basics such as tent-building and campfire skills. $20 per campsite for members; $25 for non-members. Camping gear can be rented from the nature center’s partner, REI Perimeter. 5343 Roberts Drive, Dunwoody. Info: dunwoodynature.org.


Friday, June 16, to Friday, Aug. 4. Opening reception June 16, 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Gallery hours: Mondays, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Tuesdays through Thursdays, 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Fridays, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturdays, 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Drawings, paintings and sculpture depicting characters inspired by the Tuskegee Airmen are featured in this solo exhibit, “Clay Pigeons,” by Chicago artist Hebru Brantley. Free admission to exhibit and opening reception. Chastain Arts Center Gallery, 135 West Wieuca Road N.W., Buckhead. Info: 404-252-2927 or chastainarts@atlantaga.gov.


Through Saturday, Aug. 19. Tuesdays through Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

A juried summer exhibition of student and instructor art showcases work in all mediums and disciplines currently being produced at the Spruill Center for the Arts. Free. 4681 Ashford-Dunwoody Road, Sandy Springs. Info: spruillarts.org.




Meet new people, share refreshments and practice conversational English or Spanish skills in the “International Cafe” event at the Brookhaven Library. 1242 North Druid Hills Road N.E., Brookhaven. Free. Register: 404-508-7190, ext. 2257, or email adultservices@dekalblibrary.org.

For many of us, our fathers are our heroes. To the men who give us everything and ask for nothing in return, thank you for making such a difference in our lives. Happy Father’s Day from your local Dignity Memorial® professionals.


Wednesdays through July 12, 2:30 p.m.

Personal coach and fitness trainer Susan Longley leads a study group based on the book “Younger Next Year” by Chris Crowley. Free. Second-Ponce de Leon Baptist Church Family Life Center, 2715 Peachtree Road, Buckhead. Info: susan@susanlongley.com.


Volunteers are needed for greeter and docent positions at the Anne Frank in the World: 1929-1945 exhibit presented by the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust. Volunteers promote public understanding of the history of the Holocaust. Training and educational resources provided. 5920 Roswell Road, Suite A209, Sandy Springs. Online application required: holocaust.georgia.gov/volunteer.


Tuesday, June 13, 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

The Sandy Springs Perimeter Chamber’s fashion show benefits The Drake House and Drake Closet, a boutique that benefits Drake House crisis housing, education and empowerment programs for homeless single mothers and their children. Food and wine bar; shop at The Drake Closet pop-up. Minimum donation: members, $30; non-members, $35; reserved tables, $300. UPS world headquarters, 55 Glenlake Parkway N.E., Sandy Springs. Pre-register: sspchamber.org.














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12 | Commentary

Reporter Newspapers

Our mission is to provide our readers with fresh and engaging information about life in their communities. Published by Springs Publishing LLC 6065 Roswell Road, Suite 225 Sandy Springs, GA 30328 Phone: 404-917-2200 • Fax: 404-917-2201 Brookhaven Reporter | Buckhead Reporter Dunwoody Reporter | Sandy Springs Reporter www.ReporterNewspapers.net Atlanta INtown www.AtlantaINtownPaper.com Atlanta Senior Life www.AtlantaSeniorLife.com

C O NTA C T US Founder & Publisher Steve Levene stevelevene@reporternewspapers.net Editorial Managing Editor John Ruch johnruch@reporternewspapers.net INtown Editor: Collin Kelley Editor-at-Large Joe Earle Staff Writers Dyana Bagby, Evelyn Andrews Copy Editor: Donna Williams Lewis Creative and Production Creative Director Rico Figliolini rico@reporternewspapers.net Graphic Designer: Soojin Yang Advertising Director of Sales Development Amy Arno amyarno@reporternewspapers.net Sales Executives Julie Davis, Jeff Kremer, Janet Porter, Janet Tassitano Office Manager Deborah Davis deborahdavis@reporternewspapers.net Contributors Robin Conte, Kathy Dean, Phil Mosier

Free Home Delivery 60,000 copies of Reporter Newspapers are delivered by carriers to homes in ZIP codes 30305, 30319, 30326, 30327, 30328, 30338, 30342 and 30350 and to more than 500 business/retail locations. For locations, check “Where To Find Us” at www.ReporterNewspapers.net For delivery requests, please email delivery@reporternewspapers.net.

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

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Community Survey / What’s in your vacation plan? Although the United States is the only industrialized country that does not require employers to provide paid vacation days and several recent studies have found Americans are taking less vacation than they used to, that may be starting to change, according to Project Time Off, a group financed by the U.S. travel industry. The group recently reported that that Americans in 2017 are using slightly more vacation days than they did in the past few years, although they’re still using taking fewer vacation days in a year than they did from 1976 and 2000. More than 70 percent of the respondents to our most recent 1Q community survey said they plan on taking more than two weeks of vacation this year. The cellphone survey of 250 people living in communities served by Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta INtown found that three in 10 respondents planned to take more than three weeks of vacation this year, and another four in 10 planned on using two to three weeks of vacation. Only 3 percent planned to take less than a week of vacation and just another 3 percent planned to take no vacation at all. The amount of time off respondents said they’d take appeared to relate to their ages, with older respondents reporting plans for longer vacations. That could reflect their longevity at work and the amount of vacation time they’ve earned on the job. Asked to choose from categories

Question: How much vacation time do you plan to take off work this year?

4.4% 3.2%

2.8% 2.8%



9.6% 29.2%



More than three weeks 75 (30.0%)

A “staycation” at home 11 (4.4%)

Two to three weeks 103 (41.2%)

Inside Georgia, like the mountains or beach 24 (9.6%)

One to two weeks 58 (23.2%) Less than one week 7 (2.8%) None. What’s a vacation? 7 (2.8%)

how much vacation time they planned to use this year, respondents aged 45 to 54 chose “more than three weeks” slightly more than other choices offered in the survey. Other groups chose “two to three weeks” slightly more than the other available options, but 18-yearolds to 24-year-olds chose “one to two weeks” or “two to three weeks” slightly more than other options.

Reporter Newspapers wins 12 Georgia Press Association awards Reporter Newspapers won 12 awards, including three first-place honors in its division, in the Georgia Press Association’s 2017 Better Newspaper Contest. Winners were announced June 3. Reporter Newspapers’ first-place honors included: Lifestyle/Feature Column to Robin Conte’s “Robin’s Nest,” which also won two other awards; Business Writing to Managing Editor John Ruch’s work in the monthly Perimeter Business section; and Page One design, which got a fresh look last year at the hands of Creative Director Rico Figliolini. Reporter Newspapers also won awards for local and hard news coverage; news photography; Education Guide special issue; religion writing; website; and “general excellence.” The awards honored work that appeared in 2016 in the Reporters’ Brookhaven, Buckhead, Dunwoody and Sandy Springs newspapers. Work by Editor-at-Large Joe Earle, staff writer Dya-

Question: Where do you plan to spend most of your vacation time this year?

na Bagby, and photographer Phil Mosier was part of the award-winning entries. “We’re delighted that the Georgia Press Association has recognized Reporter Newspapers as among the best community publications in the state,” said Steve Levene, the founder and publisher of the Reporter Newspapers’ parent company Springs Publishing. “It’s a testament to the credibility and quality of the stories and features in every issue produced by our staff. And it’s especially gratifying to be judged and honored by our peers, real journalists and professionals in our field.” The GPA is a 131-year-old organization of Georgia newspapers. Its Better Newspaper Contest is statewide and this year was judged by members of the Alabama Press Association. Entries are judged in seven divisions based on the newspapers’ circulation. The Reporters were judged in the division that includes all weekly newspapers with a circulation of more than 15,000 and all of the GPA’s “associate media members.”

Outside Georgia, but in the U.S. 134 (53.6%) International travel 73 (29.2%) Other 8 (3.2%) Respondents also said they plan to travel during vacation. More than half said they would visit parts of the United States outside Georgia and another 29 percent planned trips abroad. Only 10 percent planned to stay within the state. Just 4 percent said they would stay home. Have a good trip.

THE FUL L L IS T O F G EO R G I A P R ES S AWA R DS TO R EP O R T ER NEW S PA P ER S General Excellence: Third Place Local News Coverage: Third Place (Staff) Hard News Writing: Second Place (John Ruch) Business Writing: First Place (John Ruch) Religion Writing: Third Place (Staff) News Photograph: Second Place (Phil Mosier) Special Issues: Second Place (Fall 2016 Education Guide) Lifestyle/Feature Column: First Place (Robin Conte) Humorous Column: Second Place (Robin Conte) Serious Column: Third Place (Robin Conte) Page One: First Place Newspaper Website: Third Place

JUNE 9 - 22, 2017

Commentary | 13


The Yoga Class I started taking yoga bethat you’ve never heard because I was running out of fore but that still sound oddexercises that don’t hurt my ly familiar, and 2) names of knees, shoulders, lower back, common animate and inanhips or head. Besides that, at imate objects. For instance, the end of a yoga class we all Chaturanga Dandasana and lie peacefully on our mats Uttanasana will be interin the darkened room while spersed with Happy Baby, meditative sitar music plays, Angry Cat, Table Top and a and the only other way I can whole series of Warriors. justify lying flat on my back So a typical class will go for five minutes in the midlike something like this: dle of the day is if I’m getting Good morning, class. an MRI. Let’s start on our mats in Now, I’ll tell you straightRobin Conte is a writer the Jujubeansarana pose … away that yoga is sort of a and mother of four breathe … feel the breath sadistic version of “Simon who lives in Dunwoody. and set your intention for Says.” The yoga instructor She can be contacted at today’s practice. will lead you through a series Good. Now slowly move -robinjm@earthlink.net. of poses that I am convinced knees, chest and chin -- into the human body was never designed to Dead Donkey. Hold it. Listen to what your make. The underlying theory of the pracbody is telling you. Raise the right leg … tice is that you can purify your mind and bend it to the side and open up the hips … body and become one with the universe by we’re in Vanmorrisonishina … moving into pretending that you’re a contortionist. Ticked-Off Teenage Daughter. But the great thing about yoga is that Now straighten the right leg, still holdeven if you can’t do all the positions, most ing it behind you … wrap your arms behind of the rest of the people in the class can’t, your back and grab your wrists … turn toeither. There will always be one, howevwards the wall and feel the twist … we’re er, who will make all of the poses perin Ottomanempire. Move back to center … fectly; she will wrap her knees around Now gradually lift the left leg, while lowher ears, balance her entire body on her ering down to balance on your head. Hold knuckles, and then touch her tongue to the pose … Remember to breathe. her nose besides, just to make the rest of Now slowly unwrap your arms and pous feel worse about ourselves. sition your hands on either side of your ears But don’t mind her. Watch me. … make sure they’re lined up properly … and Classes often center on a series of poses rise up into Flying Whoopee Cushion. called the Sun Salutation, and they are basiBeautiful. cally like a highly advanced game of “Head, Okay, lower back to NadiacomaneciShoulders, Knees and Toes.” It is very hard ana, with chest, chin and palms on your to do once you have passed adolescence. mat. Be careful not to poke yourself in Yoga teachyour Third Eye. ers like to talk We’re going to about your go into Left“prana” -- an Over Meatinvisible ball loaf … envision of energy that yourself in this forms in the pose before we space between move into it. your hands. Very good. Its cousins are Roll over to Harvey the your side and Rabbit and slowly push Casper the up into a sitFriendly Ghost. ting position, Sometimes the and let’s end class will dithe class with vide into teams a few cleansand throw ing breaths. their praBreathe in na across the and hold for a SPECIAL room for an incount of five, Robin takes her yoga with a big shot of humor. visible game of now blow out catch, and sometime everyone will hold all at once and make a sound like a lion givtheir invisible balls in place and wait for ing birth … ROAHHHAAAAH!! Good. Godot. Let’s do that three more times. GradIn a yoga class, the instructor will ually raise your arms parallel to the lead the class through the poses by namground. Bring your right hand slowly to ing them either in the traditional Sanyour mouth. Pop an Altoid. skrit or their English translations, which Now close your eyes, palms to chest. creates an odd combination of: 1) words Namaste.

Robin’s Nest




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BCID shifts bike lane plan off Peachtree Road Continued from page 1 construction on Peachtree Road came back higher than expected. The appraised cost is $8 million. “That seems like the logical solution,” Jim Durrett, the executive director of the BCID said at the meeting. Darion Dunn, the director of capital improvements and planning for the BCID, did not say how much higher that appraisal was than what had been anticipated. Later in an email, Dunn said a reason for the change was due to the Georgia Department of Transportation eliminating bike lanes that were planned to run on Peachtree Road south of the BCID’s planned bike lanes. The bike lanes are part of the third phase of the BCID’s Peachtree Transformation project, which is aimed at making Peachtree Road more accessible for pedestrians. The project includes granite curbing and medians, trees, bike lanes, wide sidewalks, street furniture, and dedicated left turn lanes at signaled intersections, according to the BCID website. Other parts of the third phase will move forward, including

adding turn lanes and medians. Members of the board asked if they’ll be able to see updated plans for Peachtree Road, which they will be able to, Dunn said at the meeting. None are available yet, however, he said later in

The relocation of the Peachtree Phase 3 bike lanes is a result of GDOT’s decision not to continue the bike lanes on Peachtree south of this project. DARION DUNN DIRECTOR OF CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS & PLANNING FOR THE BCID

an email. “When GDOT, [the Atlanta Regional Commission] and city of Atlanta approve the proposed Phase 3 design revision, we can prepare a schematic of the new design,” Dunn said. When this phase of the Peachtree Transformation project was conceived, which is between Maple and Shadowlawn, GDOT had plans to create bike lanes continuing south from Shadowlawn to Deering Road, which is north of Atlantic Station in Midtown, Dunn said. “The relocation of the Peachtree Phase 3 bike lanes is a result of GDOT’s decision not to continue the bike lanes on Peachtree south of this project,” Dunn said in an email. That change was announced in December 2015 as a result of public input that was strongly against GDOT’s plan to add bike lanes on Peachtree Road. GDOT said at the time it received more than 2,000 comments about the project, with over 70 percent opposing the bike lanes. Among the opponents was the Buckhead Coalition, a group of


JUNE 9 - 22, 2017

Community | 15


business leaders. Sam Massell, the president of the Buckhead Coalition, said his group still believes bike lanes should not be on Peachtree. “We’ve had the position for some time that bike lanes are not appropriate for Peachtree, although we do support bike lanes,” Massell said. Without GDOT’s bike lanes continuing south of the BCID’s project, the BCID’s lanes would have just ended and had nothing to connect to, Dunn said. The BCID’s new plan is to add bike lanes on Maple Drive, across East Paces Ferry Road and connecting to Pharr Road. With this plan, bikers can now use bike lanes from Pharr, connect to Maple and continue on Peachtree toward Roxboro Road, which is near Phipps Plaza, Dunn said. Bike lanes on Peachtree Road from Maple to Roxboro were previously installed by the BCID during the first two phases of the Peachtree Transformation project. GDOT’s current plan will gear up later this year. From Shadowlawn down to Deering Road, GDOT will be doing work between the curbs including restriping

the road, Durrett said. The work outside the curbs, including streetscape work, will be done by the BCID. The board approved $3.5 million in funds at the May 24 meeting to commit to the streetscape work pending being awarded federal grants. The announcement that the plans for bike lanes on Peachtree Road are being relocated came at the same meeting that Denise Starling, the executive director of Livable Buckhead, announced that bike share stations will be coming to Buckhead. The stations will be installed in Tower Place, which is located at the intersection of Lenox and Piedmont Roads, and in Piedmont Center, which is on the opposite side of Lenox from Tower Place. Starling does not yet have firm dates for their installation, she said in an email. The stations will be part of the same Relay Bike Share program serving the rest of Atlanta, Starling said. The program began with 100 bikes in June 2016, and recently expanded to 500 bikes in April. No stations have been installed in Buckhead.

Moratorium placed on Tuxedo Park house teardowns BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

The Atlanta City Council voted unanimously on June 5 to impose a six-month moratorium on demolition and construction of single-family homes in Tuxedo Park. The moratorium is aimed at protecting the neighborhood while the Atlanta Zoning Code can be amended to govern building size and preservation of trees in Tuxedo Park. The moratorium comes as the construction of a Tuxedo Park mansion was halted on May 16. Residents argued the mansion was too large for their neighborhood and objected to the number of trees cut down to make way for the house. A smaller, historic home was demolished to make way for the mansion. Tuxedo Park is also where a historic mansion designed by Philip Shutze, who also helped design the Atlanta History Center’s Swan House, was controversially demolished last year for a new house. The moratorium prevents the Department of City Planning from issuing any permits to demolish and construct homes in the neighborhood without the plans being vetted first. The ordinance instructs city planning officials to direct anyone seeking a permit to build and tear down homes in Tuxedo Park to the director of the Office of Zoning and Development. The property owner must send plans to that office, and the director will determine if the house is an appropriate size for the neighborhood, which is near Chastain Park. To be considered compatible to the neighborhood, the proposed house will have to be no taller or larger than any house on the block. Tuxedo Park’s boundaries are Northside Drive, West Paces Ferry Road, Habersham Road and Powers Ferry Road. The ordinance was sponsored by Councilmembers Andre Dickens, Mary Norwood and Michael Julian Bond.

Senior LifSeenior Life Atlanta Get fresh at farmers markets


page 8


AtlantaSeniorLIFE.c 2 No. 5|.com/Atl antaSeniorLife MAY 2017 • Vol.facebook



sports & fitness

play ball at any age


Take a Relaxing Visit to the Renaissance

page 14


making a differen


A Lifetime of LearLenisng s is more page 12

By Donna Williams


Methodist Dunwoody United Gil Yates, about to begin at for his classmate Coast Indians was making a beeline A class on Pacific strode into the room, Church when a man s OK.” approached. “Shuffling’ buddy, who would not front row, center. said, as the man his “No running!” Yates is a year older than all in good fun. Yates The teasing was age: 91. Perimeter Adults but did share his this spring with classes reveal his name, taking 175 students The men are among adults, most of whom (PALS). education for senior Learning & Services start. continuing the year of providing been members from PALS is in its 25th need for of Dunwoody, have takes care of the and his wife, Dot, and this kind of By Kathy Dean are 60-plus. Yates to help other people, “People our age want made lifelong friends.” on page 4 Yates said. “We have We hear itContinued fellowship,” Dot all the time: less rings especiall y true for older is more. The phrase adults who are empty nests and facing are ready to of their lives. enjoy the second Intown and north half many comforta metro Atlanta ble options for offer them. “Baby boomers have spent much working and of their lives building said Dawn Anderson their wealth for retireme nt,” , Realtor, Dorsey “As retirement Alston Realtors. becomes more of a reality, they plan their transitio begin and affordability n to downsize. Ease of life, proximitto are certainly the goals of most downsizing commony boomers.” The trend of continues to grow, 55+ active adult commun ities Anderson said. well qualified “Baby boomers buyers and know are looking for.” exactly what they are Kim Isaacs, aged Avalon in Alpharet 58, said that her townhom e in ta gives her everything they and her husband want. “We had home in Johns lived in our previous Creek for 19 years. left for college, When our last we child and really didn’t decided that we wanted a change need a large house of us,” she said. for just the two



Continued on


Yoga to Fit Your Lifestyle page 16

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Juneteenth Free Admission Saturday, June 17th 11:00am–4:00pm Sunday, June 18th 12:00–4:00pm This two-day family program focuses on the appreciation and commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States. Explore themes of freedom and family through activities and immersive museum theatre performances.

New sign connects present to past Continued from page 1 the view of today’s building. The view lets visitors see a merging of past and present on the street. The sign is outlined in the style of the period’s photograph albums. The theater on Roswell Road is owned by Loudermilk, who renovated it several years ago. Loudermilk founded the rental company Aaron’s, Inc. The Buckhead Theatre sign is the first proposal to be implemented from the Master Interpretative Plan, which was spearheaded by the society in 2014. The plan, created with input from organizations such as Livable Buckhead, the Atlanta History Center, the Atlanta Urban Design Commission and the city Department of Parks and Recreation, included recommendations for several types of public art, according to the society’s website. Future signs have not been determined yet, and Carmie McDonald, the executive director of the society, said it will be up to others to implement more signs and art. “Our job was really to put together the plan,” she said. The Buckhead Theatre sign was sponsored by the Buckhead Heritage Society in partnership with the Buckhead Community Improvement District, but fund-

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ed by private donors, McDonald said. Other types of signage outlined in the plan that could be implemented include historic billboards and “ghostlike” human-scale figures that represent people who lived in Atlanta decades ago. The billboards would be identical to ones depicted in historical photos, and could be part of a “treasure hunt” for Buckhead residents to find the billboards, the society’s website says. Since the theater is located in the original commercial core of the community the Buckhead Heritage Society has tasked itself with preserving, McDonald said it was the logical place to begin the project. The sign is accompanied by several paragraphs about the history of the theater and other neighboring buildings, and McDonald thinks they together serve as “a great vehicle for sharing history.” That section of Peachtree Road used to serve as the commercial hub of Buckhead, hosting retail buildings, a hardware store, a barbershop, dry cleaner and grocery store, the sign says. It was also the central gathering place into the 1950s, the sign says, as a popular drugstore, pool hall and dance studio were located there. Buckhead has changed drastically, McDonald said, and she hopes this sign will be one way for people to get a glimpse of the changes. “I hope people understand the Buckhead they see today is dramatically different from the community that began in the 19th century,” she said. McDonald also hopes the sign will show that it is important to integrate history in design and development, she said. “The forces that have shaped the community over time will continue to shape it,” McDonald said. The Buckhead Heritage Society plans to host a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the sign on June 21. The event will begin at 10 a.m. with a reception at the Buckhead Theatre, followed by a ceremony in Loudermilk Park. The event is free and open to the public, but guests are asked to contact McDonald at cmcdonald@buckheadheritage.com to reserve a spot.


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Funds sought to restore ‘Storyteller’ sculpture BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

The removal of the iconic “Storyteller” sculpture from Charlie Loudermilk Park continues to draw controversy, with its creator and a member of an original fundraising committee now seeking $20,000 to restore pieces that have gone missing. “To me, it is one piece of art and it was vandalized,” said Terry Brown, who chaired the Committee for the Renovation of Buckhead Park in the 1990s. “They had no right to take any part of the sculpture and give it away.” Originally called Buckhead Park, the triangular green space at Roswell and Peachtree roads was renovated by the Buckhead Coalition in the late 1990s. The work included commissioning the “Storyteller,” a multi-statue sculpture of a buckheaded man telling a story to a circle of animals. In recent years, the Buckhead Community Improvement District did another renovation, renaming the park for Aaron’s, Inc., founder Charlie Loudermilk and adding artwork, including a statue of him. The “Storyteller” was removed and ended up at the Buckhead Branch Library, but four of the animal statues – three turtles and a rabbit -went missing. The turtles were given away to donors to the park’s latest renovation by Robin Loudermilk, Charlie’s son and a BCID board member, according to Massell. Robin Loudermilk has said he doesn’t remember giving away the animal sculptures, but that the main sculpture did not fit the park’s theme. It’s not clear what happened to the rabbit. “Storyteller” artist Frank Fleming also has complained about the sculpture’s removal, saying its new location and missing pieces ruin its intended effect. Brown said her committee raised over $275,000 in 1997 for the park’s renovation. The committee included notable Atlanta residents such as AtlanPHIL MOSIER ta historian Franklin Garrett and Louise Allen, “The Storyteller” at the Buckhead Library. the wife of former Atlanta Mayor Ivan Allen, Jr., according to a list provided by Brown. Brown said the Buckhead Coalition still has some of the renovation funds, and she and Fleming want it to provide $20,000 to remake the missing sculpture elements. Brown said that she and others also have contacted BCID Executive Director Jim Durrett about funds. Durrett did not respond to a comment request. Buckhead Coalition President Sam Massell, who was also on the committee, said no one has contacted him about this subject and that all the funds were used to pay for the sculpture and renovation. Massell has said the sculpture cost $200,000 when the coalition commissioned it in 1998. The sculpture’s new library location was chosen at Massell’s recommendation. The coalition, which had owned the sculpture, deeded it to the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System. The BCID wrapped up its renovation of the park in May with the installation of a sculpture by famous Atlanta architect and artist John Portman. Also part of the renovation were a clock tower, water feature and statue of Charlie Loudermilk. Brown said the updated park looks “ridiculous” because there are too many large features in one small park, but that Charlie Loudermilk got what he always wanted – a clock tower. The park’s current design was funded in part by private donations through a brick campaign that allowed donors to have their name put on a brick of the clock tower. Loudermilk Park is a public park owned by the city, which usually does not allow those types of donations, but the park received permission from the city in a memorandum of understanding signed in February 2015. “It’s all kosher,” said Mike Calevski, the communications manager for the Department of Parks and Recreation. The sculpture and clock tower also went through the city’s design review process, which any park projects go through, and the memorandum also states the city has final say on any changes in the park. “The MOU shall make clear that the city owns the park and shall have authority to make all final decisions regarding the park, but shall exercise its authority in the spirit of good faith cooperation with BCID,” the document says. BH

Community | 17



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Modern living, rustic settings beckon homebuyers Lake Sconti

BY KATHY DEAN The serene beauty of the north Georgia mountains has long been enjoyed by the locals and served as an inspiration for artists. Today, more folks are discovering the beauty and benefits of living in the foothills of the Appalachians, especially people in the nearby Atlanta area. Modern-day developers consider the landscape carefully and build to protect the area’s natural resources. Homeowners enjoy the pay-offs – a wide variety of top-notch recreational opportunities and breathtaking vistas. Big Canoe is a prime example. The gated private residential community set is set in the rolling mountains of Jasper, Ga., just a one-hour drive north from Atlanta. The rise in sales reflects the neighborhood’s popularity. “The current real estate market in Big Canoe is very healthy,” said Katie Wercholuk, Marketing Director, Big Canoe Company, LLC. “It’s almost as strong as the height of the 2005 market, and we’re well on our way to surpassing those records.” She added that 2016 was the best resale home year of all time in Big Canoe’s 30-year history. Through the end of April 2017, resale transactions increased by 39 percent compared to the same time last year. “More often than not, we’re seeing multiple offers on Big Canoe homes and home sites,” Wercholuk said. The sales upsurge is echoed by Kim L. Knutzen, Managing Broker, Harry Norman REALTORS Blue Ridge Office. “This is one of the strongest markets I’ve seen since 2003, when I moved to the mountains fulltime and opened up the Harry Norman Realtors office,” she said. Knutzen noted that while there are still good resale valued homes available, she

A home at Big Canoe.

is seeing an issue with low inventory. Resales tend to move well with price points of $200,000-$500,000 and certain amenities, such as a waterfront or mountain view. “We’ve seen an influx of buyers for Old Toccoa Farm, a new development and the only fly fishing and golf community in our area,” Knutzen said. “We also have other non-amenitized properties such as Aska’s Grand Vista, which not only offers mountain views, but also has views of Lake Blue Ridge.” Old Toccoa Farm, just 85 miles north of Atlanta, is near the historic town of Blue Ridge, Ga. It boasts price points of $450,000 and up for custom and spec homes, with lot prices starting at $90,000. Aska’s Grand Vista, located roughly five miles from downtown Blue Ridge, has price points running from the high $400,000s to the mid $600,000s. Faron W. King, Broker/Owner, Coldwell Banker High Country Realty, reported that the market remained brisk through the winter months, “… leading us right into the typically strong spring selling season, which is a bit unusual,” he said. “The milder winter coupled with people’s confidence in a stronger economy has them in the

mood to buy a second or retirement home.” King said that while it’s still true that many mountain homes are bought by retirees and vacationers, that’s not the whole story. “We’re seeing younger buyers wanting to escape the hustle and bustle of Atlanta for a weekend getaway, and it turns into a part-time home if their career allows them to telecommute,” said King. “They spend as much time here as their schedule allows, and reliable high speed internet access is at the top of their required list of amenities.” Nathan Fitts, Nathan Fitts & Team of RE/MAX Town & Country, is also enthusiastic about the strong sales. “This is the best market we’ve experienced in years,” he said. “We have a demand for all types of homes and properties. Over the last few years, vacant land sales had been struggling, but they began to make a turnaround in 2016, and so far in 2017, they’ve continued, as new construction is booming and in high demand.” He said that the prices for a three-bedroom, three-bath mountain view home in the area, including resales and new construction, range from $65,000 to $985,000, with the average sales price of $287,323. Fitts pointed to the ever-popular Aska Adventure Area as a hot spot for those moving to Blue Ridge, especially for people looking for second homes and rental investments. “These desirable communities include Necowa Cove, which overlooks and fronts the pristine waters of Lake Blue Ridge,” he said. Deer Crest, Ridges Over the Lake, Raccoon Ridge and Little Creek Overlook are also on

many homebuyers’ wish lists. Other hot properties, according to Fitts, are The Heights at Cashes Valley, an upscale modern rustic community consisting of homes starting at $500,000, Riverwalk on the Toccoa, and Cherry Log Mountain/ Lake. North Georgia also offers a variety of full-time living communities with craftsman and traditional style living, such as Owen Glen, in Blairsville, and the nearby Thirteen Hundred, complete with golf, tennis and swimming pool. “These all-inclusive communities and these types of amenities are becoming more and more popular since many people are moving to this area full time, rather than just using these houses as second homes,” Fitts said. Continued on page 20

Riverwalk Toccoa

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Special Section | 19

JUNE 9 - 22, 2017 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

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The view at Big Canoe

Continued from page 18

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While many people buying in the foothills plan to use their mountain home as a second home until they retire to the north Georgia mountains, the market trends are beginning to change, according to Fitts. “In addition to second homes, we’re seeing a huge increase in primary home sales,” he said. “In previous years, a high percentage of our buyers were from Atlanta and Florida, and a majority still are, but we’re now seeing relocations from all over the United States. Almost half of our closings in 2016 were not with Georgia-based buyers, and were purchased as homes for full-time living.” Big Canoe has also seen an increase in pre-retirees who are attracted to the lifestyle and options that the community offers. “Many metro Atlanta residents are becoming empty-nesters, but they’re still working and planning for the future before it’s time to retire,” Wercholuk said. “Since we’re only an hour to downtown Atlanta, and even closer to Buckhead, we’re starting to see an increase in younger buyers.” As far as second home and vacation homebuyers, Big Canoe remains steady at about 60/40, full-time residents vs. parttime or weekenders. Wercholuk expects that these trends will remain consistent in Big Canoe for some time, especially as metro Atlanta counties continue to expand in population. While low inventory has become a concern in many areas, that’s not a problem in Big Canoe, which sprawls across 8,000 acres. “There’s always enough inventory to meet the demand,” Wercholuk said. “New construction is still moving and there are still plenty of opportunities to build or buy.” Knutzen added that another segment of the population that’s buying in the north Georgia mountains is investors who buy homes and rent them out through cabin rental programs. She said that she does see the need for more well-designed homes in the area, but the issue is being addressed. “Developers and builders are stepping up to the plate to meet the demand,” said Knut-

zen. “Old Toccoa Farm has definitely filled a void for our area.” “Inventory continues to be a problem in most areas of the region we serve,” King said. “This is evidenced by the fact that many of the builders are building custom homes for end users, and that’s product that never hits the market.” He added that when an attractive property enters the market as a resale, there are typically multiple offers and it often goes for above list price. Fitts agreed that inventory has been low over the last 12 months, but added that there are many new communities and developments that will be coming on the market soon. One is a new anchor for the downtown Blue Ridge area. “I’m currently working with developers who are planning a mixed-use project near downtown Blue Ridge with the live, work, play concept,” he said. “It will feature some exciting new shared office spaces, a concert venue, retail and dining opportunities and an indoor market.” Also in the early stages is a plan for a self-sustainable community just outside the Blue Ridge area. Fitts noted that it will be north Georgia’s first community of that type. The trend of heading to the hills is only increasing as homebuyers look to the north Georgia mountains to find their dream retirement homes, hideaway vacation houses or full-time relaxing residences. As developers continue to meet the demand, there are more spots of heaven available for everyone.

Blue RIdge Bungalow


Special Section | 21

JUNE 9 - 22, 2017 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Fort Yargo - biking


are known to mountain bikers, which means trail runners will find a mixture of smooth, easy-to-navigate singletrack along with some technical rocky and rooted sections.

Running enthusiasts lace up for events at Georgia State Parks

Chattanooga 50-mile, 100-mile and 100-mile 8-person Relay

On your mark, get set, go! Whether you’re a trail runner or a triathlete, Georgia State Parks has the terrain, the technicality and some pretty amazing views year-round. Check out this list of upcoming and future races and get more details at GaStateParks.org.

For Trail Runners July 29 at Red Top Mountain State Park, Acworth Named for the hot temperatures in July, the Red Top Roaster is one of the most popular races at Red Top Mountain State Park. The Red Top Roaster Race terrain utilizes most of the park’s trails including the Sweet Gum Trail, Homestead Trail, Iron Hill Trail, Campground Trail and Visitor Center Loop Trail. The course is made up of rolling hills and double track with minimal rocks and roots, perfect for a first trail race. Fort Yargo Dirty Spokes


Dec. 16 at Unicoi State Park, Helen One of the most festive trail races, runners start and end in Unicoi State Park, looping through the park’s trails and running through downtown Helen’s Main Street. Runners are encouraged to dress in costumes, and a party at the finish line greets participants with a DJ and Santa Claus.

For Triathletes Tri the Parks - Richard B. Russell State Park

July 29 at Richard B. Russell State Park, Elberton Athletes swim 1,500 meters in Lake Russell, then leave the park to ride a 22-mile lollipop loop around Elberton, followed by a 6.2-mile run through the park’s rolling hills. The race has a duathlon and aquabike option.

Tugaloo Triathlon

Sept. 9 at Tugaloo State Park, Lavonia This Olympic distance triathlon consists of a 1.5k swim, a 42k bike and a 10k run throughout Tugaloo State Park. Racers will swim in Lake Hartwell, bike through the rolling hills of Hart County and run a relatively flat road that loops throughout the park.

Oct. 14 at Fort Yargo State Park, Winder The trail race starts in the powerline alley before dipping into the woods. Fort Yargo’s trails

Georgia’s Best Alignment Longest Duration Great Family Events • Make Plans Now

Dec. 1-2 at Cloudland Canyon State Park, Rising Fawn Trail runners journey all the trails within Cloudland Canyon State Park in the first-annual Chattanooga 100-mile race. The course features two 50-mile loops where runners will pass by waterfalls, run along ridgeline and rim trails and see expansive views of the canyon and surrounding areas.

Helen Holiday Half Marathon/10k

Red Top Roaster 9.9-mile or 3.1-mile Trail Race

Fort Yargo State Park 8.75-mile or 3.1-mile Trail Race

Helen Holiday Half Marathon

abun Count y Georgia


AUGUST 21, 2017


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MOUNTAIN FUN Events and activities happening in North Georgia

If you’re thinking of moving to the North Georgia mountains and wondering what there is to do besides admire the view, check out this list of eclectic events happening this summer and fall.

Blue Ridge Mountains Wine & Jazz Festival The festival will be held June 17 from 3 to 9 p.m. at 58 Boardtown Road near the town of Blue Ridge. Acts include headliner Denny Jiosa, Kharisma Jazzmatic Funk, Jazz Jones Legacy and Taryn Newborne Visit

blueridgewineandjazz.com for tickets and details.

Blairsville Scottish Festival Bagpipes, drums, games and food will bring the Scottish highlands to Meeks Park in Blairsville on June 10-11. Admission is $10 for one day or $15 for both days. Children 12 and under get in free. Visit blairsvillescottishfestival.com for details.

Georgia Wine Country Festival Three Sisters Vineyards in Dahlonega will host the 16th annual festival every week-

Are the Mountains Calling You? Lake Blue Ridge 5BR/3BA $1,200,000 Walk from 2576 SF lakefront, mountain view, custom, true log home to your own boat/jet ski dock on Lake Blue Ridge. Call Curt Barger 706.633.9088

Blairsville, GA 3BR/3.5BA $844,000 Country Estate – 18+acres – 3048 SF luxury home! Infinity pool, 3 car garage, barn, horse stalls, pasture, 3 ponds, trout creek. Call Jeanne Mills 706.218.4202

Ellijay, GA 4BR/3.5BA $599,000 Mtn and Lake View house – 4.6 ac. - 3136 SF. Carters Lake access. Custom interior, 2 FPs, screened porch, game and bunk rooms. Call Kimberly Bruner 706.455.5703

Blue Ridge, GA 3BR/3BA $389,500 Affordable Luxury – 3357 SF Cabin with Mtn & Lake Blue Ridge views and access. Upscale kitchen, open plan, 3 decks, immaculate! Call Curt Barger 706.633.9088

Morganton, GA 3BR/3BA $359,900 Stunning 3010 SF Prow Front Log Home on 1.3 ac – Mtn & Lake Views – Luxury Features, 2 story porches, private fishing lake. Call Donna O’Neal 706.356.9034

Morganton, GA 3BR/3BA $346,900 Mtn getaway has it ALL– 2208 SF – 3.2 Ac. Furnished & loaded – 2 masters, bunk room, wrap deck, theater, RV parking, and more! Call Chris Colbert 404.226.2062

Blue Ridge, GA 5BR/2.5BA $329,000 Farm style Cedar Log Cabin – 2240 SF – 9.4 Ac. Mtn & fishing pond view. Country kitchen, master on main, wood burning stove, pine flrs. Call Donna O’Neal 770.356.9034

McCaysville, GA 2BR/2BA $174,900 Log cabin getaway – 1.1 Ac – 1008 SF. Access to Fightingtown Creek – Best trout stream in N. GA. Bring your fishing pole! Call Kimberly Bruner 706.455.5703

Blue Ridge, Georgia Blairsville, Georgia 274 W Main Street 706.632.7311

211A Cleveland St. 706.745.3500

Ellijay, Georgia 329 River Street 706.276.1254


Hiawassee, Georgia 430 N. Main Street 706.896.3132

Murphy, N.C. 4290 US Hwy 64 W 828.835.8500


Special Section | 23

JUNE 9 - 22, 2017 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net


Escape to the Blue Ridge Mountains... end in June. A wine garden featuring wineries from around the state will be featured along with food trucks, jazz and more. Visit threesistersvineyards.com for details.

land. Santa will be on hand for photos and sporting his Hawaiian best for all those who wonder what Santa does in the summer. For more information, visit myfavoritezoo.com.

Rabun County Music Festival

Blue Ridge Blues and BBQ Music Festival

The annual music extravaganza returns to the Rearden Theatre on the campus of the Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School in Rabun County. The lineup includes: Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (June 18); Jim Curry (July 2); Phil Dirt and the Dozers (July 16); Barbra and Frank: The Concert That Never Was (July 30); and Joe Gransden & His Big Band (Aug. 13). Tickets and details at rabunmusicfestival.com.

Rome Beer Fest Head to Rome for this 10th annual unique craft beer, art and music experience on Sept. 16. All proceeds benefit the Rome Area Council for the Arts, providing community arts programming, education and outreach. For more information, romebeerfest.com.

This year’s fair is July 21-29 at the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds in Hiawassee. Rides, live music, food and much more draw thousands of visitors each year. See all the events happening this summer at the fairgrounds at georgiamountainfairgrounds.com.

The annual event is held over two weekends – Oct. 14-15 and Oct. 21-22 – in Ellijay. There will be more than 300 vendors, an antique car show, a parade and plenty of apples. Visit georgiaapplefestival.org for information.

Enjoy a full weekend, July 7-9, of Christmas music, gift-buying, holiday cheer and animals at the North Georgia Zoo in Cleve-

Mountain Dreams Begin Here Highlands Cove Realty specializes in luxury North Carolina mountain homes, breathtaking homesites, condominiums, cottages and vacation rentals at Old Edwards Club and in the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountain communities.

The gated community at Old Edwards Club offers a private golf club, with an 18 hole Tom Jackson designed course, a 24 hour exercise facility, heated mineral pool and pavilion area, two clay tennis courts, an outside chimney terraced and a club house with a large bar area and several different dining area options, both indoors and out.

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Georgia Apple Festival

Christmas In July at North Georgia Zoo



The annual festival will be held in the downtown Blue Ridge City Park on Sept. 1416. There will be barbeque, live music, craft beer, fun stuff for the kids and more. Find more information at stayinblueridge.com.

Georgia Mountain Fair




The quaint town of Highlands is located in the beautiful Western North Carolina mountains. Just 2 hours from Atlanta, and in close proximity to interstate 85.

Ed Hillis


4BR/3.5BA | 3.32 Acres | MLS#266505


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Mountain livings doesn’t get any One of the finest residences Murphy This newly finished classic rustic style mountain lodge is privately tucked better than this. This modern rustic has to offer with sparkling charm, away near the Aska Adventure Area lodge sits above the clouds with all upgraded finishes galore, & with stunning mountain views. the bells & whistles. sensational panoramic mountain views.

80 Lower Cottage Lane MLS #85812 This cottage has both a mountain and golf course view and offers all the charm that you would expect in your dream vacation home in the mountains. $1,095,000.

26 Creekwood Court MLS #85527 A split floor plan affords the owners an oversized private master suite on one side of the home and their guests privacy on the other. $1,350,000.

40D Sanctuary Drive MLS #80650 Turning Leaf Condominium, is nestled on a privately wooded cul de sac and has views of Old Edwards Club. $455,000.

81 Sundown Crest MLS #85212 Modern meets mountains in this brand new 4 bedroom, 4.5 bath custom home in the gated community of Old Edwards Club at Highlands Cove. $1,989,000.

29 Teton Point MLS #84102 Appointed with beautiful hardwood floors, cathedral ceilings, custom cabinetry and granite countertops this home is dressed to impress $1,900,000.

226A Napa Ridge Lane MLS #83286 Gorgeous mountain and golf course views from almost every room! This condo comes with a 1 year home warranty. $539,000.

30 Hilldale Lane MLS #84473 This 4 bedroom, 3.5 bath has all the space you need to live comfortably indoors and out. Situated on a private lot bordering National Forest Service Land. $1,295,000.

101D Napa Ridge Lane MLS #80659 Enjoy maintenance free living in this spectacular 3 bedroom, 3 bath upper level condominium. $519,500.

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What’s Hot in the Hills BY KATHY DEAN It’s not hard to know what people want from their mountain homes. While everyone has their individual styles and specific needs, there are some overriding features that most homebuyers look for in north Georgia. “Water-oriented properties are always the hottest properties, whether lake front homes on one of our several lakes throughout the region or a river front or creek front home, which is quite attractive as well,” said Faron W. King, Broker/Owner, Coldwell Banker High Country Realty. View properties are also very popular,

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minutes from the new, state-of-the-art Northside Cherokee Hospital. The vast list of amenities is much too long to list here and includes eight miles of walking/hiking trails, pickleball, championship golf and a crystal clear 540-acre lake surrounded by picturesque mountain views. For the full list of amenities and much more information, visit www.lakearrowheadga.com.

2419 Lake Arrowhead Drive | Waleska, GA 30183 770.720.2700

Continued on page 26




he noted, especially if it combines a lake view with long-range mountain views. “Acreage and lots are back in favor, too, especially when buyers can’t find their ideal home as a finished product,” King said. “They find the perfect spot for their needs and engage a local builder to build their dream mountain home.” King urged anyone looking for a home in the north Georgia mountains to visit the Coldwell Banker High Country Realty website. “Let one of our Mountain Lifestyle Specialists share their wealth of regional knowledge with you to find the perfect mountain home,” he said.


Special Section | 25

are calling you

JUNE 9 - 22, 2017 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

LOT 11 ASKA’S GRAND VISTA Blue Ridge | 4 Beds, 3 FB, 1 HB View of Blue Ridge Lake Offered at $649,000


Blue Ridge | 5 Beds, 5 FB, 1 HB 37.22 acres Offered at $1,250,000

114 COHUTTA OVERLOOK Blue Ridge | 3 Beds, 3 FB View of Cohutta Wilderness Offered at $369,000


Senior Marketing Consultant Luxury Marketing Specialist Life Member - Million Dollar Club #1 Agent in Total Units - Blue Ridge cell: 770-402-1908 | office: 706-632-7211 kim.knutzen@harrynorman.com



Morganton | 5 Beds, 4 FB, 1 HB 15.65 acres Offered at $620,000

Blue Ridge | 2 Beds, 2 FB Full unfinished basement Offered at $279,000


Ellijay | 3 Beds, 3 FB, 1 HB Cartecay River Frontage Offered at $749,500




Blue Ridge | 3 Beds, 3 FB Of fered at $310,000


Morganton | 5 Beds, 4 FB, 1 HB Blue Ridge Lake frontage Offered at $1,150,000

252 W. Main Street • Blue Ridge, GA 30513 HarryNorman.com

901 STUART MOUNTAIN ROAD Mineral Bluff | 3 Beds, 3 FB Gated Community Offered at $375,000

The above information is believed to be accurate but is nor warranted. Offer subject to errors, changes, omissions, prior sales and withdrawals without notice.


BLUE RIDGE OFFICE 252 W. Main Street

HIAWASSEE 375 N. Main Street


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26 | Special Section

Continued from page 24 Katie Wercholuk, Marketing Director, Big Canoe Company, LLC, reported that after years of surveying visitors about what attracts them to the area, the same answer kept coming up: the natural beauty! “City dwellers are looking for fresh air, peace and quiet, and gorgeous mountain views,” she said. “At Big Canoe, you can have the million-dollar mountain house of your dreams with long-range views of the Atlanta skyline,” said Wercholuk, “or you can have a Southern Living inspired cottage with views of the golf course.” She added that a key request is incorporating outdoor living with everyday practical living. Residents want the longrange mountain views, water views and

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to be near one of the trails on the community’s 22-plus mile trail system. Homebuyers also tend to look for neighborhoods with trails and locations that promote outdoor living and fitness. Wercholuk noted that Big Canoe easily fits the bill with its unique Jeep Trail, the awardwinning hiking and biking trails, three outdoor dog parks, three waterfalls, three lakes and scenic mountain landscapes. “One of our most sought after neighborhoods is Wildcat, a mountain ridge neighborhood with a private reserve,” said Wercholuk. “Nearly half of the neighborhood’s 700-acre area is set aside for usable greenspace, including 12 miles of walking paths and trails.” Home sites in the neighborhood share spectacular mountain views, wildflower meadows and lush for-

ests. Wildcat still has available lots for sale and plenty of new construction. Wercholuk receives many requests for two- and three-car garages, a master suite on the main level, open floor plans and four-season rooms, such as covered screened porches with fireplaces and grilling areas. Trends have changed over the last few years, according to Nathan Fitts, Nathan Fitts & Team of RE/MAX Town & Country. “Many people are leaving the traditional log cabins and moving towards modern rustic lodge-style retreats with a blend of wood finishes with iron, metal and stone accents,” he said. Fitts added that, for second homes, buyers tend to prefer a mix of wood textures including board and batten, cedar, shake, wood siding with accents of iron and natural stone. The popularity of north Georgia real estate has attracted high-quality builders to meet the construction demand. One of the

Big Canoe

building companies that Fitts and his team often works with is Big South Builders. “They build the modern rustic style homes which are very much in demand in the current market,” he said. “Brown Haven Builders, another great building company to work with, specializes in craftsman style homes, which is a popular choice for retirement and full time homes.” A couple of other reputable builders doing well in the market are Watkins Home Builders and Big Dawg Builders, Fitts said. Homebuyers have a lot of choices in the Appalachian foothills, and can find everything from custom luxury hideaways to cozy neighborhood cottages.

Special Section | 27

JUNE 9 - 22, 2017 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Head for the hills and breathe deeply while you reconnect with nature, with others — and yourself. A captivating golf and river community, rooted in simplicity, quality, and natural beauty, located a stone’s throw from charming downtown Blue Ridge.

A Golf Experience Like No Other A very natural, links-look golf course offering manicured zoysia fairways & tees, and undulating bentgrass greens.

Private Residences & Cottages Under Construction Canadian Log Home for sale at $649,900

9-holes currently open for play

Cottage/lot package from the high $300’s

18-holes are scheduled for play in spring 2018

Private Residences from the mid $400’s

Over 180 members and growing.

Cottage & Private Resident lots starting at $65,000


4,000+ Feet On The Toccoa River An exceptional trout fishery of native brown & rainbow trout. Fly fishing, kayaking, stand-up paddle and more! Easy-to-walk trails and several fire-pit gathering areas. Planned amenities: River Pavilion, Event Barn, Pool, Tennis, Fitness and more. FOLLOW US

596 Curtis Switch Road, Mineral Bluff, GA 30559 | Real Estate – 706.946-4663 & Golf – 706.946.4653 | www.oldtoccoafarm.com

Obtain the Property Report required by Federal law and read it before signing anything. No Federal agency has judged the merits or value, if any, of this property. This is not intended to be an offer to sell nor a solicitation of offers to buy real estate in Old Toccoa Farm by residents of Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania or South Carolina, or any other jurisdiction where prohibited by law. No offering can be made to residents of New York until an offering plan is filed with the Department of Law of the State of New York. OLD TOCCOA FARM, LLC AND ITS PRINCIPALS TAKING PART IN THE PUBLIC OFFERING OR SALE ARE NOT INCORPORATED IN, LOCATED IN, OR RESIDENT IN THE STATE OF NEW YORK. THE OFFERING IS NEITHER MADE IN THE STATE OF NEW YORK NOR MADE TO THE RESIDENTS OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK. THE OFFERING IS NOT DIRECTED TO ANY PERSON OR ENTITY IN THE STATE OF NEW YORK BY, OR ON BEHALF OF, OLD TOCCOA FARM, LLC OR ANYONE ACTING WITH OLD TOCCOA FARM, LLC’S KNOWLEDGE. NO OFFERING OR PURCHASE OR SALE OF ANY PROPERTY SHALL TAKE PLACE AS A RESULT OF THIS OFFERING, UNTIL ALL REGISTRATION AND FILING REQUIREMENTS UNDER THE NEW YORK MARTIN ACT AND THE NEW YORK ATTORNEY GENERAL’S REGULATIONS ARE COMPLIED WITH; A WRITTEN EXEMPTION IS OBTAINED PURSUANT TO AN APPLICATION IS GRANTED PURSUANT TO AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH COOPERATIVE POLICY STATEMENTS #1 OR #7; OR A “NO-ACTION” REQUEST IS GRANTED.

28 | Education

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Becky Massey Dunwoody Springs Elementary Editor’s note: Through our “Exceptional Educator” articles, Reporter Newspapers showcases the work of some of the outstanding teachers and administrators at our local schools. If you would like to recommend a teacher or administrator to be the subject of an Exceptional Educator article, please email editor@ReporterNewspapers.net. Becky Massey teaches third grade at Dunwoody Springs Elementary School. She has been teaching for three years.

Q: What attracted you to teaching at first? A: The desire to help children. I have always had a passion for children, and they bring so much joy into the world, it was a natural direction for my life.

Q: Has the appeal changed? A: The appeal has increased for me as I realize the extent of the challenges our kids are facing in their futures. I have come to love the kids I teach so much, and I want them to grow up to be healthy, happy and successful adults.

Q: What keeps you going year after year? A: The joy my students bring me. They

have the ability to make me forget any troubles I may have. Additionally, the relationships that I have with my coworkers/friends at my school are amazing. My school has a culture of camaraderie. We work very hard to be better teachers, but we balance that with a lot of humor and friendship.


What do you think makes a great teacher?


I believe a great teacher is some-



Q: Do you have a proj-

ect or special program you use year after year?


My school, Dunwoody Springs Elementary School, is a “project-based learning” school. We have been extensively trained by the Buck Institute for Education and implement four units each year. Project-based learning utilizes real-life situations. We start with drivWhat do you want to ing questions. Students SPECIAL see in your students? research them, utilize all Becky Massey content areas, come up I love to see the change in with a solution and present their sostudents when they go from struggling and lutions to other students, parents, and discouraged to where they start to succeed. community members. Students work There is a spark and a motivation that octogether in small groups and learn the curs. It is a beautiful turn to see them excitessential life skills of collaboration, ed to show their successes. communication, and critical thinking. When we do these projects, I become How do you engage your students? a facilitator of student learning, as students navigate through ideas and soluOne way I like to engage students is tions together to produce a solution. They with a flex-seating classroom. This means then present their projects and presentathat during instruction, students may one who can meet students where they are at. This means that whether that is a struggling student, an onlevel student or an advanced student, a great teacher can give them the mindset and the tools to go farther than they ever thought they could.

Q: A:

Q: A:

stand or sit on the rug or at a close desk. Also, during work time, students have a variety of places they can sit; these include at a floor table with pillows or in comfortable chairs in the classroom library, floor seating with rugs and pillows at another floor table, stand-up desks, comfortable chairs throughout the classroom, and some students even like to just sprawl across the floor with pillows. This allows them to be where they are comfortable, and where they can do their best work. I also like to engage my students with humor and enthusiasm. The more enthusiasm they see in me, the more enthusiastic and engaged they are. I believe the learning environment should be comfortable and an enjoyable place to be. This promotes a love of learning.

tions in many forms such as newscasts or public service announcements with green screens, PowerPoints, Sway presentations, models and essays (just to name a few).

Q: Is there a “trick” that works to get students involved?

A: Technology is a significant motivator

for my students. My third-graders can email, make PowerPoint presentations, type Word documents, make Sway presentations, use Office 365, and show what they know in many different technological forms. Dunwoody Springs Elementary School is a Certified Common Sense School, which means we have given our students extensive training on the importance of “digital citizenship,” so they know how to safely utilize technology in the classroom and at home.

Q: What do you hope your students take away from your class?

A: I hope my students can take away the

belief that they are capable, diligent, persistent, and smart, and they can successfully overcome any challenge they face in life.

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Classifieds | 29


Reporter Classifieds SERVICES AVAILABLE

HELP WANTED Administrative - The Sandy Springs Perimeter Chamber is in search of a professional selfmotivated individual to fill an administrative and creative role with a wide variety of responsibilities within the Chamber. Key elements of the job are website maintenance with excellent verbal and written communication skills. Bookkeeping experience is a plus. Individuals interested in this position should send their resumes to jenny@sandysprings.org.

To Advertise, call 404-917-2200 ext 110

Business Development / Membership Sales – The Sandy Springs Perimeter Chamber is expanding its Business Development Group and seeks an individual who will call on companies to explain the benefits of partnering with the chamber. Interested candidates should have some knowledge of the local business market and enjoy meeting new people. Good presentation and communication skills essential. Base salary/commission. Send resumes to: tom@sandysprings.org.

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30 | Public Safety

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Police demonstrate new body cameras BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

The police officers who patrol Buckhead’s Zone 2 district began wearing body cameras in April. That means all police interactions with the public are being recorded on video. Atlanta Police Sgt. Angela Blue, an expert on the new technology, recently demonstrated the body cameras to give residents a better idea of what to expect if they call 911 or simply chat with an officer. APD has been rolling out cameras to its officers since November, beginning with Zone 4 in southwest Atlanta. The rollout is nearly complete, with Downtown’s Zone 5 coming next. A $400 HD camera that records sound and video is provided for each field officer through a $1.5 million contract with Axon, a police body camera company. All officers below the rank of sergeant must wear cameras at all times when on the job. The cameras are worn on the center of the chest. The cameras are always on, but the amount of video recorded, and for how long, changes depending on the situation. When an officer is not responding to a specific incident, the camera is in an automatic mode that records video for 60 seconds

and then re-records over it. When an officer is responding to an incident, such as a 911 call or traffic accident, they are required to trigger the camera to record video of the entire incident. Officers may be recording during other interactions with members of the public as well, such as when an officer is giving directions. It is up to each officer, Blue said. “Do you want to initiate a recording if you’re giving somebody directions to Starbucks? No, but you can,” Blue said. An officer puts the camera into recording mode by tapping a large center button on the device twice. The officer stops the recording by holding that button. The cameras are waterproof and come with a mount that works on rain gear or heavy winter coats. To upload the video to the secure storage, the officers put the camera into a dock. Video then is stored for 180 days if there was no arrest, and five years if an arrest was made. Officers must assign a video a corresponding case number, but that is the only modification that can be made to any video. No one can alter or manipulate it, Blue said, and only administrators can delete video and only after the required time has passed. The video is also encrypted and can only be uploaded to APD’s storage. How-

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ever, video can be released to the public if requested through an open records request. Body cameras are being adopted by police departments nationwide in the wake of controversial police shootings as a way to keep officers and residents they interact with accountable. Members of the public are less likely to accost officers when they notice the cameras are recording, Blue said. “[The cameras] also help us keep our citizens in check,” Blue said. “Once [citizens] realize they have a body camera on, their whole demeanor changes.” The footage also helps victims of crimes by providing evidence of what happened, such as in the case of domestic violence victims who may be persuaded by their attacker to not press charges. “We have footage of what actually transpired. We have footage of how that person


Above: Sgt. Angela Blue demonstrates how the cameras are worn by officers. Left: The Atlanta Police Department’s Zone 2, which covers Buckhead, recently received these body cameras.

looked and how the house was in shambles,” she said. “There are more benefits and a lot more positives than negatives than people are led to believe,” Blue said. To see a video of the body camera demonstration, visit ReporterNewspapers.net.

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Public Safety | 31


Police Blotter / Buckhead The following information, involving events that took place in Buckhead from May 14 through May 27, was provided to the Buckhead Reporter by the Zone 2 precinct of the Atlanta Police Department from its open data records.

AG G R AVAT E D A S S AU LT 3600 block of Piedmont Road — May 14 300 block of East Paces Ferry Road —

May 20

1900 block of Cheshire Bridge Road

— May 17

2300 block of Paul Avenue — May 14 4200

block of Peachtree-Dunwoody Road — May 15 2900 block of Roxboro Road — May 16

1800 block of Piedmont Avenue — May 22

were 54 larcenies from vehicles reported across Zone 2 and 36 reported cases of larceny and shoplifting. Between May 21 and May 27, there were 50 larcenies from vehicles reported across Zone 2 and 37 reported cases of larceny and shoplifting.

3000 block of Piedmont Road — May 23


1600 block of Defoor Circle — May 18

1800 block of Piedmont Avenue — May 18 2100 block of Spink Street — May 18 900 block of Buckingham Circle — May 23

500 block of Arden at Argonne — May 20

3400 block of Pinestream Road — May 23 1300 block of Dupont Commons Circle

— May 23


100 block of Highland Drive — May 16

LARCENY Between May 14 and May 20, there

There were 7 reported incidents of

auto theft between May 14 and May 20 and 11 between May 21 and May 27.

2500 block of Forrest Avenue — May 26 2600 block of Piedmont Road — May 26

R O B B E RY 3000 block of Peachtree Road — May 14

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32 |

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Riverside Military Academy congratulates the 119 members of the class of 2017 who earned over $6.2 million in non-HOPE Collegiate Scholarships! Anderson University Appalachian State University * Auburn University * Austin Peay State University Belmont University Boston University Coastal Carolina * College of Charleston * Colorado State University * Columbia College * DePaul University Drexel University Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University * Fisher College Florida Atlantic University Florida State University Fordham University Furman University * Georgia College and State University Georgia Southern University * Georgia State University * Guilford College Hampton University Hofstra University Howard University * Hult International Business School Johnson and Wales University Kennesaw State University * Louisiana State University * Lynn University * Maine Maritime Academy Manhattan College Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

Miami Dade College Michigan State University Middle Georgia State University Middle Tennessee State University Mississippi State University * Montana State University Morehouse College Murray State University North Carolina State University * North Greenville University Northern Arizona University Pace University Penn State University * Purdue University Reinhardt University * Rutger's University Savannah College of Art and Design Savannah State University Seattle University St. John's University * Stetson University SUNY Albany Syracuse University Temple University Texas A & M at College Station * Texas A&M at Galveston * The Citadel * Troy University Tulane University * University of Alabama * University of Arizona University at Buffalo: SUNY University of California at Santa Barbara University of California at Davis *

Mercer University *

* Denotes Multiple Acceptances


University of California at Irvine * University of California--Santa Cruz University of Central Florida University of Connecticut University of Denver University of Georgia * University of Illinois, Urbana Champagne University of Kentucky University of Louisiana at Lafayette University of Louisville University of Mississippi * University of North Georgia * University of North Carolina at Charlotte University of North Carolina at Wilmington University of North Florida * University of South Carolina University of Tennessee at Knoxville University of Texas at Austin University of Washington * University of West Florida United States Air Force Academy United States Marine Corps United States Merchant Marine Academy United States Military Academy- West Point * United States Naval Academy Valdosta State University * Virginia Military Institute * Wagner College Wentworth Institute of Technology Western Carolina University * Wheelock College Wingate University Wofford College Xavier University

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