06-9-17 Sandy Springs Reporter

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JUNE 9 - 22, 2017 • VOL. 11 — NO. 12


Sandy Springs Reporter


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Windsor Parkway pedestrian bridge opens

City Springs event rental rates proposed BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

Renting space at the new City Springs facility would run anywhere from $3,500 a day for the main theater to 50 bucks for a boardroom, in event rental rates proposed at a Sandy Springs City Council work session June 6. The rates include discounts for nonprofits and non-commercial events of 25 percent to 50 percent. City Springs is a public-private development, on Roswell Road between Johnson Ferry Road and Mount Vernon Highway, that will include a new City Hall, a large theater, a new park, housing and commercial See CITY on page 14 Residents and officials on June 5 cut the ribbon on a new pedestrian bridge over Nancy Creek along Windsor Parkway. The bridge is part of a $384,000 pedestrian accessibility improvement project that also included sidewalk installation. The bridge and sidewalks eventually will serve a new park, called Windsor Meadows, planned for vacant lots near the intersection of Windsor Parkway and Northland Drive.

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OUT & ABOUT Pitch your tent at Dunwoody Nature Center Page 11

Congressional race nears June 20 finish line BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net As the 6th Congressional District race nears a conclusion in the June 20 runoff election, Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel took their campaigns to local events in recent days — while accusing each other of not being publicly visible. Ossoff appeared at several events in Dunwoody and Sandy Springs. Those events included a block party at a Dunwoody neighborhood, a concert in Hammond Park in Sandy Springs and a “community conversation” at Sharon Community United Methodist Church in Sandy Springs. U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-Atlanta) also campaigned for Ossoff, holding a small early-voting rally at the See CONGRESSIONAL on page 16

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State probe of 2016 City Council election nears a decision BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

The state is nearing a conclusion of its year-old investigation of an unusual city-run City Council election and the case will have a hearing before the State Election Board, according to the Georgia Secretary of State’s office. The investigation concerns the May 2016 special election for the City Council seat representing District 3, a seat eventually won by Chris Burnett in a June runoff. The District 3 election was

held the same day as a county-run state primary election, but was conducted by the city itself at a single, separate polling place. That meant that citizens who wanted to vote in both elections had to visit two separate polls. Shortly before the election, the Secretary of State’s office announced an investigation for possible polling place notice violations. The election continued and was decided in a June 2016 runoff that the city also conducted on its own. “The investigation is still ongoing. However, it is in the final stages of re-


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view,” said Candice Broce, a spokesperson for the Secretary of State’s office, adding that the case will be “set for a hearing in front of the State Election Board.” “I cannot disclose any additional details at this time,” Broce said. Broce previously said the Election Board can choose to dismiss the case, issue a “letter of instruction” or forward the case to the state Attorney General’s office for legal action. City spokesperson Sharon Kraun said the city was unware of the investigation’s status and that the Secretary of State’s office had not recently requested any further information about the election. “They haven’t said anything to us,” Kraun said. The city was required to hold a special election when City Councilmember Graham McDonald resigned from the District 3 seat in March 2016 with more than a year left in his term. Normally, the county could host such a city election at the usual polling places, but the law requires a 90-day notification period for that to happen. For example, the city considered holding the special election on Nov. 8, which met the 90-day notification requirement and would have let the county run the election. However, city officials decided that it

was more important to fill the District 3 seat as soon as possible, and that it made sense to hold it on the same day as the May 24 state primary election. But that meant the city could not meet the 90day notification period. Instead, the city was forced to run the special election itself at totally separate polling places. It was the city’s first self-run election in since its founding in 2005. The city chose to open only a single polling place due to the expense, the challenge of finding poll workers, and conflicts with polling places already reserved by the county as state primary polls. Advance voting was held at the same place as the state primary – the North Fulton County Government Service Center – but in a different room. Election Day voting was held in a Hammond Park building, as was the runoff election. Neither polling place was within District 3. In approving the special election date and process, Mayor Rusty Paul and City Council members repeatedly acknowledged potential confusion and the possibility of a state investigation if the election was not conducted properly. The city set up a special web page to explain the voting process. Turnout in the special and runoff elections was higher than expected, city official said.

HOUSEHOLD HAZARDOUS WASTE EVENT FREE COLLECTION DAY • REGISTRATION REQUIRED Many potentially dangerous chemicals are used everyday in our homes and yards. When they are no longer needed or useful, they become waste. These items should not be disposed of in the regular trash because of possible harm to sanitation workers and our environment. If you have unwanted cleaning supplies, pesticides, items containing mercury or paint products, this is your chance to dispose of them properly. This event is open to Sandy Springs residents only.


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ITEMS NOT ACCEPTED • Medical Waste, Needles • Ammunition • Electronics

Morgan Falls Athletic Fields 450 Morgan Falls Road This event is open to Sandy Springs residents only, no contractors or businesses. Register online at keepnorthfultonbeautiful.org or call 770-551-7766 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m., Monday-Friday

• Pharmaceuticals • Non-Hazardous Items • Explosives, Fireworks SS

JUNE 9 - 22, 2017 • VOL. 11 — NO. 12

Community | 3


Chang’s gold medal in singles badminton.

Peter Chang at the 2017 World Masters Games in New Zealand.


Senior badminton player brings home a gold medal BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

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, the sightseeing, and the chance to meet people from around the globe. He said 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 SS


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 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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JU NE 19 TO WN HALL O N PR O PER TY TAXES Unexpected boosts in Fulton County property assessments reaching up to 50 percent have sparked outrage among residents and confusion among city, county and state officials. While exact causes and mitigations are being hashed out, Fulton County Commissioner Lee Morris has scheduled a town hall meeting to lay out the known facts and hear public concerns. The town hall is scheduled for June 19, 7 to 8:30 p.m., at St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church, 4393 Garmon Road N.W., in Buckhead near the Sandy Springs border.

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Tricia Thompson Fox was named the honoree of the 2017 “Spirit of Sandy Springs” award from the Sandy Springs Society last month. Thompson Fox is president of the Sandy Springs Council of Neighborhoods and co-founder of Friends of Lost Corner, which helped to create the

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city park of that name. She will split the $1,000 donation that goes with the honor between the two organizations. “I could never have done this alone and have only gratitude toward my friends [the late Mayor] Eva Galambos, Graddie Tucker and, now, Ronda Smith for their SSCN support,” Thompson Fox said. “Cheryl Barlow well deserves half the credit for everything she’s done to make Lost Corner a success.”

TR A FFI C S I G NA L C O NT R A C T O R BA C KS O UT , BOOSTS COST The winning bidder for the city’s traffic signal maintenance contract backed out, and the city will spend about $115,000 more to go with the second-place bidder. Aegis ITS backed out of its $692,500 winning bid for fiscal year 2018, Assistant City Manager Bryant Poole said at the June 6 City Council meeting. Instead, the city will award the contract to GTG for about $808,000. The traffic signal deal is among several maintenance contracts the city recently put out to bid for an overall reduction in cost. But with the more expensive traffic signal bid, that cost reduction drops from about 9.75 percent to about 7.75 percent.

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JUNE 9 - 22, 2017 • VOL. 11 — NO. 12

Community | 5


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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der identity. “Most parents are like, ‘OK, you’re gay. We know that,’” Miller said. “But transgender has many other layers … There are so many more worries.” “When your son comes out as gay, the only thing that really changes is who they date,” she said, while transgender identity raises other concerns: “Do they want to transition? Does their name change?” Transgender youths often suffer depression and anxiety “because they have not felt themselves all their lives,” Miller said, and in local schools, they often face bullying that is “subtle, whispered, online.” Attending a PFLAG meeting is fairly simple. The ground rules include agreeing to a confidentiality statement and no discussion of politics, religion or sex. “You’re going to get greeted with a smile,” said Miller. Attendees take turns speaking to the group and can choose not to say anything at all, even their names. Attendees “can share what they want to share, as much or as little,” Miller said. The first Sandy Springs PFLAG meeting was scheduled to be held June 6. The next one is planned for July 5. For more information, see PFLAGJohnsCreek.org.

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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.

PCIDs present $10M check for I-285/Ga. 400 interchange BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

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A $10 million promise was fulfilled May 26 by the Perimeter Center Community Improvement Districts, when its leaders handed over a check for the PCIDs’ share of the I-285/Ga. 400 interchange reconstruction project. State Transportation Commissioner Russell McMurry picked up the $10 million – an actual, slightly wrinkled bank check, not one of those giant publicity props – from the PCIDs at a Perimeter Business Alliance lunch at the Sheraton Atlanta Perimeter North hotel. Demonstrating the breadth of the PCIDs’ trans-

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.

with the purchase of a bundtlet

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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.

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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 • VOL. 11 — NO. 12

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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space. The main “performing arts center” and public spaces are set to open in about a year. Michael Enoch, the arts center’s general manager, is responsible for renting all the public spaces inside and outside City Springs. There are 22 of them in total, he told the council, including the City Hall lobby, a rooftop terrace, the “City Green” park and the adjacent section of Mount Vernon Highway, which can be closed for festivals. The performing arts center itself has five different sections for rent. Enoch said he hopes to have the rental rates approved by the council shortly so that in July he can start booking events. City officials have said that major events, such as touring concerts and plays, must be booked 12 to 18 months in advance. There are two separate schedules of rental rates: one for commercial events and one for nonprofit or noncommercial events. The nonprofit rates are at least 25 percent lower, and most are discounted 50 percent on weekdays. Enoch said there will be some leeway to negotiate rates, especially if inhouse catering services are part of the deal, and some spaces may get even lower half-day rates. The most expensive space is the largest, the 1,000-seat performance hall. It’s proposed to rent for $3,500 a day for major commercial performances and as little as $1,100 a day – roughly $1.10 per seat – for nonprofit or private events. Likewise, the smallest boardroom is the least expensive option, with rates of $50 to $100 per day. In some other examples, the Studio Theatre is proposed at $1,200 a day ($900 for nonprofits); the City Green and Mount


Vernon Highway would be $1,500 a day each at commercial rates. Enoch said he reviewed 10 to 15 other facilities in metro Atlanta and nationally to get a sense of the market rate for booking this type of facility. Some of the local venues he looked at were the Buckhead Theatre, the Fox Theatre, the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre and the Infinite Energy Center. Booking major spaces will require an application process. Some of the spaces are also being used for city functions – including City Council’s own meetings – that will get priority booking. There are also complexities in making sure a theater and its lobby space are not booked for conflicting events. And those discounted nonprofit rates can only be guaranteed up to 45 days ahead of time; people with reservations can pay the market rate to keep the space if there is another offer. City Councilmember John Paulson praised Enoch’s work on the “incredibly complex task,” and Councilmember Ken Dishman said the rate schedule “looks fantastic.” Mayor Rusty Paul has voiced particular concerns about making sure City Springs is available in some way to all residents across a range of income levels. He said that it is important to get input about the proposed rental rates from local arts groups and the general public. The final rates require City Council approval, likely at its June 20 or July 18 meetings. The full schedule of the proposed rental rates can be viewed on the city’s website at sandyspringsga.gov. The city likes to get input through its call center, whose contact information is available there, but many residents continue to contact Paul directly at rpaul@sandyspringsga.gov. SS

JUNE 9 - 22, 2017 • VOL. 11 — NO. 12

Community | 15



Left, City Councilmember Ken Dishman, Terry Harth, Carol Clark and Gene Jordan. Right, Scott Busch speaks with Linda Bain.

Group marks 30 years of producing local leaders BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

Leadership Sandy Springs marked 30 years of producing local leaders at a June 2 gathering attended by many of its more than 700 alumni. In 1986, LSS spun out of the Chamber of Commerce as a leadership, civics and networking program. It has grown into a go-to training ground for the likes of nonprofit directors and City Council members. At the 30th anniversary gathering, held at Heritage Sandy Springs, Mayor Rusty Paul said he uses LSS as a kind of farm team for members of city boards and commissions. “I get a lot of good appointees,” Paul said. “It gives you a real solid core of people who are actively engaged in the community.” LSS Executive Director Jan Paul, who is the mayor’s spouse, only went through the program herself in 2013 after many years of community involvement. She recalls the late Mayor Eva Galambos saying, “I think you probably know everything about Sandy Springs,” but in fact, she had many eye-opening experiences, she said. LSS is a demanding program with a significant cost. A “class” of 36 members is selected in an application process, with a “tuition” of about $2,500. Members go through nine months of meetings, field trips and a volunteer project, with several day-long sessions. They visit local organizations, City Hall, the State Capitol and many other institutions. The nonprofit organization has had its up and downs. In 2001, it skipped a class due to organizing problems. But since then, it has produced two popular annual programs, the “Movies by Moonlight” outdoor film series and the “Better Sandy Springs” volunteerism day. In 2011, a youth version of LSS spun out of the main group. Among Jan Paul’s memorable experiences with LSS is the annual “walk in my shoes” day with the Community Assistance Center and related organizations that help low-income and homeless people, where class members attempt to cope with a personal crisis actually faced by clients of the nonprofits. Tamara Carrera, the CAC’s executive director, is an LSS graduate. “I’m not a political person,” she said, describing the value in LSS’s opportunity to meet one-on-one with all of the city’s leaders. Carol Thompson, the executive director of Heritage Sandy Springs, said she was invited to join when she first took the job and was daunted by the time commitment. But, she said, she’s glad she did it. “It gave me a very quick immersion” in local issues and leaders, she said. Terry Harth was a member of the first LSS class in 1987 and still volunteers with the group. She said the first class had only 17 members and did not have all of today’s features, such as the volunteer project. But she credits it with not only training members, but also helping to pull the city’s various nonprofits together. “The same theme was there of connection and learning about your community and kind of inspiring you to want to be part of the fabric of the community,” Harth said. “Being the first class, everybody, including the ones leading it, were still trying to figure out how to make it work.” She said she hoped for more immediate connections with classmates than developed, but over the years, the hundreds of LSS alumni have provided her with a large network. SS

“I think they’re probably doing a better job of continuing relationships than they had before,” Harth said. Scott Busch, the general manager of the Steel Canyon Golf Club, is a graduate of this year’s class. “The reason I joined it was, I’ve lived here now 14 years and I really had no idea what goes on in my city,” Busch said. “So I joined just to find out what makes the city tick.” He said he was impressed by how much he learned and the connections he made. “Now I feel connected to everyone,” he said. “It really brings the city down to a size that feels like a small town.” In the golf business, Busch meets a lot of local people, including Jan and Rusty Paul, who suggested he join LSS after playing a round at Steel Canyon. But, Busch said, that doesn’t compare to working with people on a volunteer project or going to the Gold Dome with the mayor to see how legislation is passed. “That’s a much more personal interaction than him walking up to the golf counter,” Busch said. Busch said he’s also impressed with LSS’s mission. “Everybody … really is there because they want the city of Sandy Springs to be a better place,” he said. For more information about LSS, see leadershipsandysprings.org.

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U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan appeared at a rally for Republican Karen Handel in Dunwoody last month.

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North Fulton Government Service Center in Sandy Springs. Handel attended the state GOP convention in Augusta June 2-5, but she has attended several local events in recent weeks, such as the Taste of Brookhaven held last month and meeting with the Dunwoody ROMEOs (Retired Old Men Eating Out), according to Handel spokesperson Charlie Harper. The Georgia GOP Convention was attended by hundreds of 6th Congressional District grassroots volunteers and leaders, Harper said, giving Handel face time with people working to get her elected, even though she was out of the district. “In addition, volunteer events at the convention generated tens of thousands of volunteer phone calls,” he said. Harper said Handel’s appearance at the state GOP convention contrasted with Ossoff’s attendance at the Democratic National Convention’s Southern Regional Caucus meeting held June 2-4 in downtown Atlanta and its “Resistance Summer” theme of opposition to President Donald Trump. “Jon Ossoff didn’t appear publicly with [Democratic Party chair Keith Ellison, a Minnesota congressman], who has made noted anti-Semitic comments, nor is he bragging about the event’s theme ‘Resis-

tance Summer,’” Harper said. “Karen’s speech was widely reported. Has anyone asked Jon Ossoff what he told his ‘Resistance’ gathering?” Ossoff spokesperson Sacha Haworth said Ossoff and Ellison attended different events on different days. “Jon holds public events every single day, talking with 6th District voters about Jon’s plan to cut wasteful spending in Washington and prioritize high-tech and biotech research to grow the local economy,” Haworth said. “We hold public rallies, canvass launches and house parties every week with members of the community and invite members of the press to cover them. “By contrast, career politician Karen Handel holds so few public events, people are asking ‘Where is Karen Handel?’ ” Haworth said. “Every local outlet has been forced to report, ‘Karen Handel did not respond to our request for comment.’ ” The bickering between the two candidates came to a head in their first debate broadcast on WSB-TV on June 6. Handel repeatedly labeled Ossoff a liberal Democrat who was hand-picked by Nancy Pelosi, the House Minority Leader from San Francisco. Ossoff tagged Handel as a career politician and hammered her on her role in cutting off funding for breast screenings to Planned Parenthood while she headed up the Susan G. Komen Foundation.


JUNE 9 - 22, 2017 • VOL. 11 — NO. 12

Community | 17



WEEKEND 2-day weekend pass Democrat Jon Ossoff attended a block party this month at the Dunwoody North Driving Club.

U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-Atlanta) stumps for Democrat Jon Ossoff at a small early voting rally in Sandy Springs this month.


Disputes over scheduling debates arose in the last days of the race. Handel had declined to participate in a candidate forum sponsored by the Dunwoody Homeowners Association in May, leading to national backlash from Ossoff supporters. Her campaign said she had a scheduling conflict. This month, Ossoff declined to debate Handel in an Atlanta Press Club debate that would have been broadcast on CNN. His campaign said Ossoff is “committed to debates moderated by members of the local metro Atlanta press corps, and sadly we could not come to an agreement with CNN on that front.” Local politicians have also entered the fray. Ossoff picked up his first endorsements from city elected officials in the 6th District, with Dunwoody City Councilmember Lynn Deutsch and Sandy Springs Councilmember Andy Bauman voicing support in June 2 statements. “During this long and grueling campaign, Jon has demonstrated the necessary character and temperament for the job,” Bauman, a political independent, said in the statement. “His opponent, by contrast, has a long-established track record of outdated and backwards thinking on many of the very important values issues of our time.” Deutsch attended an Ossoff rally fea-


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turing U.S. Rep. John Lewis held June 2 near the North Fulton Government Service Center, an early voting site in Sandy Springs. “I’m here to support Jon Ossoff because my priorities are healthcare and the economy,” said Deutsch, who declined to state her political affiliation. “I think Jon Ossoff will be the better congressperson. He will be a very effective congressperson because he’s worked on Capitol Hill and shares many of the same priorities of the residents of the 6th District.” Many other local officials, including the mayors and several councilmembers of Dunwoody and Sandy Springs, have endorsed Handel or attended her campaign rallies. Dunwoody Mayor Denis Shortal and Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul attended a local Handel rally featuring U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) last month. Among the local councilmembers publicly supporting Handel are Dunwoody’s Terry Nall, Doug Thompson and Pam Tallmadge; Brookhaven’s Joe Gebbia and Bates Mattison; and Sandy Springs’ Chris Burnett, Ken Dishman and Gabriel Sterling. Brookhaven Mayor Jon Ernst, a Democrat, said June 2 he is not endorsing a candidate in the race. John Ruch contributed to this report.

404-848-5000 | www.itsmarta.com/Weekend

18 | Special Section

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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

Cherry Lake SS

Special Section | 19

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

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20 | Special Section


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reasons to visit the WNC mountains: 1. Outdoor activities for the whole family 2. See nature’s majesty 3. Reconnect with loved ones

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


22 | Special Section

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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.

95 Asheville





He’s Big in Real Estate.



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


3BR/3.5BA | 1.87 Acres | MLS#268461


3BR/3BA | 1.7 Acres | MLS#267902

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.

Darlene Conley

Jennifer Blake

Bill Gilmore

844-234-1005 HighlandsCoveRealty.com

24 | Special Section

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In the Heart of Downtown Blue Ridge

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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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This beautiful master planned mountain, lake, golfing community is just 40 minutes from convenient





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


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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


BLAIRSVILLE 63 Murphy Highway

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

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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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30 | Public Safety

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Police Blotter / Sandy Springs Capt. Steve Rose of the Sandy Springs Police Department provided the following information, which represents some of the reports filed with Sandy Springs police from May 19 to May 31.

R O B B E RY An 18-year-old said he was robbed at

gunpoint by three men he knew from North Springs High School. The robbery occurred about 3 p.m. within an apartment complex on Trowbridge Road. The teen’s iPhone 6 and Canon T-6 camera were stolen. The victim said he had arranged, through Instagram, to do a photo shoot with another student. As the victim began taking photos, one of the suspects pulled a gun and demanded the phone and passcode. The three then “calmly” walked away. The victim knew two of the suspects as “Kyle” and “Antwon,” but did not know the gunman’s identity.

B U R G L A RY 200 block of Summerset Lane – On

May 20, the resident said someone attempted to punch the door lock to gain entrance to the home. It appears they were not able to get in. 8600 block of Roberts Drive — On

May 20, an employee at an apartment complex reported that just before midnight, he was notified by the alarm company that there was movement inside a maintenance shed. He later found that the shed had been forcefully entered and coolant was missing. 900 block of Cimarron Parkway — On

May 21, a 28-year-old resident reported that sometime between noon on May 20 and 1 a.m. the following morning, someone forced entry to her apartment. A Toshiba laptop, Apple computer and two bags of clothing were missing. 6000 block of Weatherly Drive — On

May 22, a neighbor called police after finding broken glass on the garage door of the home whose owner was out of town. Glass on the door to the house was broken as well, but the officers could not determine whether or not someone entered. The resident was notified by phone. 4700 block of Brinkley Lane — On

May 23, the resident said someone came into the home sometime between 4 p.m. on May 18, and 5:30 p.m. on May 23. A front door was forced open. A Bravia TV, two Sony speakers, Dell laptop and jewelry are missing. 5800 block of Hilderbrand Drive — On

May 24, the resident said he was gone between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. During that time, someone forced a back door open and took two televisions, 47-inch and 60-inch Samsung models. Jewelry and an iPad also

were missing.

including a pair of Beats headphones.

5400 block of

5580 Roswell Road — On May 21, A

Glenridge Drive — Between 7 p.m. on May 25 and 4 p.m. on May 26, the victim was away from home. Upon returning, she noticed Captain pry marks on the STEVE ROSE, front door. The victim has two SSPD roommates, all of srose@sanwhom were out dyspringsga.gov of town. Among items reported missing were a MacBook, a hookah bong, 50-inch TV and a 48-inch TV.

34-year-old man said his locker was entered and $200 cash taken. The report did not state whether the locker was locked. Another man reported a theft of his iPhone while he was playing basketball sometime between 9 p.m. and 11:30 pm.

1600 block of Jefferson Drive — On May

29, a resident of an apartment complex said she left at 10 p.m. and returned home just after midnight. She found her front door partially open and items removed from the home, including an X-Box and laptop. 900 block of Pres-

ton Woods Trail — On May 30, a resident said he left home between 6 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Upon his return, he discovered his front door had been forced open. A PlayStation 4 and a Samsung TV are missing. 600 block of Mount

Vernon Highway — On May 30, the resident said between 5 a.m. and 3 p.m., someone came into the home and took three TV’s, a jewelry box containing jewelry, and a 2002 Jaguar XK8. 7100 block of Glenridge Drive — On

May 31, the resident said between 8 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., someone entered the residence through a back door, removing several items of jewelry. The resident could not recall if the door was or was not locked at the time.

THEFT A 36-year old man said he returned jew-

elry that he bought, valued at $6,000, to another man who has not refunded the money per the agreement. Letters of demand have been ignored and so the matter will be considered theft by conversion. This was a long-distance purchase. 5580 Roswell Road — On May 19, a

woman said her juvenile son was playing basketball and placed his personal items near courtside. Someone stole the items,

2200 block of Jefferson Drive — On

May 23, a 2017 Audi A4, stolen from Philadelphia, was located parked in front of an apartment building. The hit was via LoJack. The car was unoccupied and later impounded. 100 block of Concourse Pkwy — On

May 27, a 2017 Nissan Altima was stolen from a hotel. The car was a rental. 5900 block of Roswell Road — On May

24, a 59-year-old woman reported that she was shopping at a grocery store around 3 p.m. when she discovered that her wallet was missing from her purse. A short time later, a woman, described as in her sixties, tried to get a $2,500 cash advance from SunTrust Bank on the victim’s Visa card. The attempt was rejected. The same woman then attempted a $3,000 cash advance on the victim’s account. The bank employees smelled a rat and rejected it, causing the woman to exit the bank on foot north on Roswell Road. A cabbie reported that on May 24, about 11:30 p.m., his fare jumped out without paying the $21 fare and ran away. The man had been picked up in Cobb at the Braves game. Another officer spotted a man who matched the description who was walking on Heards Ferry Drive. He spoke to the man who admitted being in the taxi. He told the officer that he originally used Uber but the driver cancelled on him, so he asked a cabbie if he would take him for the same fare as the Uber would charge him. According to the man, the driver agreed. Along the way, the driver reneged, so the man absconded from the van. The officer asked the man if he offered to pay the fare. The man replied, “That’s a good question,” but did not answer. He was later charged with theft of services. On May 25, around 2 a.m. a moped was

stolen from Brentwood Way. The owner said four men in a grey two-door truck pulled in front of his apartment, put the Moped in the truck and then fled.

Trowbridge Road — On May 25, two

golf carts were taken from the leasing office. One was later recovered and found vandalized at 7700 block of Roswell Road. It had been spray-painted and had a damaged wheel. 1100 block of Hammond Drive — On

May 25, someone stole the victim’s 2012 BMW 328I sometime during the daytime. 5500 block of Roswell Road — The

week of May 26, three thefts were reported at a gym, one from courtside in the gym, when a phone was stolen during a basketball game. Two thefts were reported on May 21 when lockers were broken into. One man lost $200. 5500 block of Roswell Road — On May

27, a man reported that an acquaintance stole $450 and ran out of this apartment. 5900 block of Roswell Road — On May

27, an employee of a computer store reported that a customer stole an iPhone. He said the customer concealed the phone under his iPad and then left the store. The customer was seen on video and is known to the complainant; therefore, warrants should be pending soon. 100 block of Concourse Parkway —

On May 29, a 61-year-old woman reported that she was at an event at a hotel and placed her purse down on a table for one hour, between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m. When she returned, the purse, her phone and a debit card were gone. 6800 block of Peachtree-Dunwoody

Road — On May 29, a 32-year old man said someone cut open and stole a pair of Air Pod Bluetooth headphones from the Amazon box delivered to his home. 5900 block of Roswell Road — On May

29, a man left his wallet inside a store, noticing the loss five minutes later. He returned to discover that it was gone. 8100 block of Colquitt Road — On May

29, a 2011 Dodge Ram truck was stolen from an apartment building. 7300 block of Roswell Road — On May

31, a man reported that he stopped at the gas station for gas. He entered the store, leaving his car unlocked with the key in the ignition, and … guess what happened? Well, here’s what happened: Adios 2006 Nissan 350Z. We are all victims of the “Not Me” syndrome. We think it happens to everyone else and don’t relate crime on a personal basis until it happens. My scientific testing tells me that removing your keys and locking the door take about five seconds. This poor guy actually walked out of the SS

JUNE 9 - 22, 2017 • VOL. 11 — NO. 12

store in time to see his car going down Roswell Road. Imagine what that felt like. Come on, now, let’s all agree to take our keys out of our cars and lock them!

THEFTS FROM VEHICLES Between May 19 and May 31, there were 23 thefts from vehicles.

ARRESTS 5900 block of Hilderbrand Drive — On

May 19, around 1:30 a.m., an unmarked unit spotted a car in an area that had seen thefts recently that was occupied by two men. The cops checked them out and found both marijuana and cocaine in the car and on the persons. The two were arrested. Roswell Road — Employees

at a grocery store caught a juvenile female after she stole a sandwich, chips and a drink. She was released to her father and given a criminal trespass warning not to return to the store. 6300 block of Peachtree-Dunwoody

Road — On May 19, employees at a home improvement store detained and arrested a man they said stole a DeWalt jigsaw, valued at $149. He was taken to jail for shoplifting. 6000 block Roswell Road — On May

20, a patrol officer spotted a man walking up a parking deck just after midnight. The man had a backpack. This alone is not all that suspicious, but it was in an area of previous thefts from cars, so he checked it out. The man remained in the parking deck, standing around, something that piqued the interest of the officer, so he stopped the man, whom he recognized from past contacts. The man was agitated, yelling and cursing at the officer, and refusing to provide his identification. The man, who was intoxicated, was later charged with loitering and prowling, as well as disorderly conduct. 6300 block of Peachtree-Dunwoody

Road — On May 20, employees at a wholesaler watched and then detained a man, who was with his 6-year-old son and who, they said, stole a bottle of Bulleit whiskey, stashing it in a freezer tote, then stashed the tote next to his son. He was charged with shoplifting 8700 block of Roswell Road — On May

20, staff at a grocery watched as a woman stole two rib-eye steaks and a cluster of snow crabs, placing each in her purse. She then left without paying. She was detained and later cited and given a court date for the $69 theft. 7000 block of Roswell Road — On May


Public Safety | 31


22, a patrol officer, responding to a suspicious-vehicle call, found a described car in the parking lot of a condominium. Inside the car were a man and woman who appeared to be sleeping. The car was confirmed to have been stolen

from Decatur in a car-jacking incident. The two were awakened and secured. They told the officers that they took the car from a gas station across from the Georgia Dome downtown, after a man parked it and left it running while he bought some crack. The pair said they knew the car was stolen. The driver had an active warrant from Baltimore, Md., for motor vehicle theft. He and the passenger were lodged in the Fulton County Jail on theft by receiving charges and the wanted status from Baltimore. 7100 block of Roswell Road —

On May 22, a resident said a man exposed himself to her outside her apartment. Officers located the man, who said he would not show his ID. He was later arrested for public intoxication, criminal trespass, public indecency, and obstruction. 6300 block of Peachtree-Dunwoody Road — On May 23, officers were called to a home improvement store after a man took a blower from the box and left the store without paying for it. He was detained after the store employees caught up to him. He also was accused of placing LED lights under his jacket. He was arrested.

ple watches. The suspect was charged with two counts of ID theft fraud and two of theft by deception. (Also disorderly conduct for the small amount of weed in his car.) Ga. 400 / Windsor Pkwy — On May 31,

just before midnight, cops were called to check on a car on the side of Ga. 400 whose occupants were on the side of the road, dancing. He located the car and the occupants, who had concluded the dance and were sitting near the car. The driver told the officer that the car overheated and they pulled over to let it cool off. Unfortunately for the driver, a check of his license showed he was wanted in Gwinnett County for a probation violation. The female passenger had no war-

rants outstanding, but did have a suspended license, so she could not take possession of the car.

OT H E R T H I N G S A man said he was waiting for a park-

ing space but another car took it. He parked next to that person then knocked on the driver’s window, telling the man that he took his parking spot and he was calling the police. The two had a brief exchange that went nowhere. OK, first, people are rude. Parking-

lot etiquette is nonexistent. Get over it. Secondly, if someone takes your parking spot, it is not a crime, so don’t call the police.



Mazel tov to the Class of 2013! We wish you the best of luck in college and beyond.

6300 block of Peachtree-Dunwoody

Road — On May 23, employees at a wholesaler observed a man leave the store without paying for DVDs that he placed down his pants. He was arrested. 6300 block of Powers Ferry Road —

On May 29, around 9 p.m., an officer was called to a hotel concerning a fight that was in progress. On arrival, the officers spoke with a man who, confirmed by hotel staff, was on the short end of a “whoopin’ ” by five other guys who fled prior to the police arrival. The victim, who had cuts and bruises, said his name was Brian Jones, confirmed with a Florida license. The officer checked the license, discovering that it was not legit. The man then corrected his name. Fulton County had a warrant on him for failure to appear on two counts of theft by receiving and four counts of drug charges. During the course of the investigation, the hotel staff said the victim and a girl often stay at the hotel. There was a second girl on the scene during this altercation. The man was arrested for the warrants and some marijuana in his pocket. 8700 block of Roswell Road — On

May 26, cops were called to a phone store regarding a person attempting to purchase phones with fraudulent information. The complainant said the suspect was flagged after he attempted this before. This time he attempted to buy two iPhone 7s valued at $1,739 total. Inside the suspect’s car were several other items including an iPad and two Ap-

MEMBER S O F EP ST EI N ’ S C LASS OF 2013 WERE AC C EPTED TO: Auburn University

Indiana State University

University of Miami

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Kennesaw State University

University of Michigan

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University of South Carolina

Clark University

Miami of Ohio

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Florida State University

University of Alabama

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Georgia Tech

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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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