06-08-18 Buckhead

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JUNE 8 - 21, 2018 • VOL. 12 — NO. 12


Buckhead Reporter


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Church seeks to preserve its 130-year African-American history BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

A small church founded by former slaves in the late 1800s is preparing to save its unique history as part of Buckhead’s African-American life during a renovation of the sanctuary building and cemetery. New Hope African Methodist Episcopal Church was first established in 1889 and has been in its current building since 1936. It’s preparing to celebrate its 130th an-


Pastor David Richards stands outside of New Hope AME Church.

EXCEPTIONAL EDUCATOR The life lessons of art Page 28

See CHURCH on page 30

I’m not sure there will be new or different policies, but there will be more diverse conversations around all policy discussions. A 54-YEAR-OLD WOMAN, COMMENTING ON THE IMPORTANCE OF WOMEN ON THE BALLOT

See Commentary, page 12

OUT & ABOUT Juneteenth returns to the Atlanta History Center Page 10

‘Smart corridor’ tech rolls out in Buckhead BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

Two independent projects are rolling out in Buckhead that officials say could ease traffic congestion on main corridors in the coming months. One project by the city involves two systems that use cameras to monitor traffic and adjust signals in real time. Another by the state transportation department will broadcast traffic updates to equipped vehicles. Known as “smart corridor” technology, the software uses a network of cameras, See SMART on page 16

2 | Community

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Community Briefs

does now.” The board voted unanimously to recommend the city approve the zoning change that would allow the facility to be built. The ordinance will go before the zoning review board June 14, then will head to the Atlanta City Council zoning committee June 27 before heading to the full council.


The proposed recycling facility at Lenox Square mall moves to the next step in the process as NPU-B voted to recommend approval at its June 5 meeting. Live Thrive Atlanta, which operates the city’s sole Center for Hard to Recycle MateGOOGLE EARTH rials, or CHaRM, at 1110 The possible location for the Center for Hard to Hill St., is planning to Recycle Materials facility is shown in red. open a Buckhead location behind the mall to provide a more convenient option for residents in the northern section of the city. The facility would be built on a half-acre lot at the back of the mall, on the south edge, where Simon’s property meets PATH400. The lot is currently used to store construction material and is otherwise vacant. Sally Silver, District 7 Councilmember Howard Shook’s policy analyst, has spearheaded the plan and attended the meeting to answer questions. Shook is sponsoring legislation that would allow the facility to be built at that specific location only. The NPU board expressed some concern about the location, but Silver assured them that the facility will be hidden by a fence and will not cause any noise, odor or other problems. Because of its current use as a construction storage site, NPU-B board member Bob Stasiowski said he believes if the lot becomes a recycling facility, it will “look better than it


Park Pride has scheduled a June 12 meeting to gather input on the future Loridans Greenspace, the newest stretch of PATH400 that is located next to Loridans Drive and includes the historic Lowery-Stevens family cemetery. The meeting will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at St. James United Methodist Church, 4400 Peachtree-Dunwoody Road. Other meetings on July 12 and Sept. 11 will be held at the same place and time. Residents can also provide input through an online survey. The PATH400 multiuse trail will run by Loridans Greenspace as part of its 5.2-mile journey from Sandy Springs down to the urban core of Buckhead, and eventually to the Atlanta BeltLine. The construction of the path is overseen by Livable Buckhead, which has asked Park Pride to conduct the “visionSPECIAL This map shows the ing process,” which includes public input and planning for the locations of the Loridans new park. Greenspace and PATH400. The visioning process will result in a conceptual master plan that is guided by community input. As part of the park development, officials hope to restore the cemetery, which dates to 1852 and is one the oldest family cemeteries in the city, said Park Pride, a nonprofit that aims to improve parks. The cemetery has not been maintained and is currently overgrown with invasive plants, though grave markers and other evidence of graves remains visible on the northeast corner, according to Park Pride. Officials may install interpretative history displays designed by the Buckhead Heritage Society, a preservation advocacy group that has restored Harmony Grove cemetery. The displays were originally conceptualized in the group’s 2014 “master interpretive plan.” One display possibility included in a park survey is adding human-scale frames of figures that would represent people from the past.



Community | 3

JUNE 8 - 21, 2018 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net “We see a chance to create a unique and beautiful space that will be a great amenity to the neighborhood for years to come,” Park Pride said. For more information or to take the survey, visit parkpride.org.


The Atlanta Police Department lost archived dashcam video and access to some databases that aggregated data to send out police reports in the March cyberattack. Spokesperson Carlos Campos said APD has lost thousands of archived dashcam videos that are frequently used in court cases. Archived video from “almost all” police cars was lost, Campos said. “While dash cam is a valuable tool, it does not always make or break criminal cases,” Campos said. “We have not been made aware of a specific impact on any pending cases at this time.” Campos said the department has never lost access to its main crime reporting database. But it has lost access to other aggregators and exporters that automatically compile blotters sent to neighborhood groups and NPUs, he said. Its “Open Data Portal,” a service that allows access to crime statistics, is also down, Campos said. After the portal is back online, the department plans to eventually stop creating the blotters and direct people to the portal, Campos said. “Any time we spend fighting crime is better for us,” he said.


Sandra Bullock, a Smyrna resident, withdrew from the race to fill the state House District 40 seat May 30, according to the Georgia Secretary of State. Bullock, in a surprise win, defeated Erick Allen in the Democratic primary for the district, which represents parts of Cobb County and a piece of Buckhead near I-75. The seat is currently held by Republican state Rep. Rich Golick, who decided not to seek re-election. The Democratic nominee will face Republican Matt Bentley in the Nov. 6 election. Bullock shares a name with the famous actress known for roles in films such as “Ocean’s 8,” “Speed” and “Gravity.” She did not actively campaign and had not set up a campaign website. Allen has run against Golick for the past three elections. He received 42 percent of the vote, losing to Bullock’s 58 percent. According to Georgia law, the candidate who finishes second in a primary can be the nominee if they received more than 40 percent of the votes and if the winner withdraws more than 60 days before the election. BH

Officials not surprised by Ga. 400 park donation study’s low projection BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

Officials leading park over Ga. 400 planning said they were not surprised that a study of potential donors came back recommending the expected donation amount be lower than originally anticipated. Initial planning has suggested that $75 million of the $250 million projected construction costs be funded by philanthropic donations, but the study suggested it be scaled back to $25 million. Jim Durrett, the executive director of the Buckhead CommuSPECIAL nity Improvement District, which A rendering shows an aerial view of the proposed park over Ga. 400. originally envisioned the park, said the CID “expected” the Corporate sponsorprofit’s role in the project. Some doamount to be lower than ships, not philanthronors said they believe the CID is more $75 million. The $75 milpy, should be expected to equipped to handle such a large inlion was used as baseline, provide the highest level frastructure project, according to the but the park is still possible of funding, the study said. study. The nonprofit should instead with $25 million, he said. Bill Murray, the play an advocate and fundraising role, The proposed park NPU-B zoning chair, they said. would cap Ga. 400 between said he was surprised Fleming said she was fine with the Peachtree and Lenox roads, to hear that the study CID playing a larger role again. provide green space and showed donors are not “I think whoever can raise the monbring a redesigned Buckbullish on the idea. ey should raise the money,” she said. head MARTA Station. SPECIAL “Most residents and “We’re working as a team.” Barbara Kaufman FlemBuckhead Community people I talk to seem The CID initially created the nonImprovement District ing, the chair of the nonprofExecutive Director to like the project,” he profit to push the park to an indepenit that was set up to oversee Jim Durrett. said. dent organization. The the park’s creation, said that He said CID board will discuss the nonprofit was already he does understand the how to move forward, he aiming for $25 million in donations. concerns the donors exsaid. “It was my understanding that $25 pressed about the high Fleming said the nonmillion was our goal number,” she said. cost and that he has profit is still working closFleming said that number could heard residents express ing with MARTA and the grow if interest grows over time. concerns and questions Georgia Department of The initial planning done by Rogers about funding sources. Transportation to work Partners Architects + Urban Designers “It’s just such a big out plans and that she is earlier this year suggested the $75 milnumber. It’s going to confident the park will be lion amount. take a while to get there,” completed. The case statement sent to the poSPECIAL he said. “It will get done, it’s tential donors said that the park would Barbara Kaufman Fleming The study also called just going to take a little chairs the park over “act as a catalyst to spur successful de400 nonprofit board. for rolling back the nonlonger,” she said. velopment of complete communities in Atlanta.” Several potential donors questioned if the park is worth donating to, given the other infrastructure needs in the city, Our exclusive Tune-Up process restores & the high estimated cost and the possibility it will be seen as a repairs wood cabinetry. Get a fresh new park only for Buckhead, accordlook, in only one day! Free estimates. ing to the study. Durrett emphasized that the study included only doing an interview with potential donors. The consultants did not try to ! TU NE -UP S STA RT ING AT $8 99 persuade and encourage the interviewees about the worthiness kitchentuneup.com 770.710.7273 or need of the park, he said. Serving the Greater Atlanta Area. The study recommended the Local owned & operated. Financing available. size and plans for the park be scaled back to align with the lev1 Day Tune-Up Cabinet Refacing Custom Cabinets el of funding available.


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Children’s Healthcare says hospital expansion a border area ‘catalyst’ BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta expects its massive expansion along I-85 in Brookhaven to serve as a catalyst to revive and improve the area, the hospital’s chief operating officer told the Buckhead Business Association as he outlined the plans. “Right now this is a lovely mishmash of 50-year-old buildings. There are not many trees. It doesn’t flow well. The traffic around there is not good,” COO Patrick Frias said. “Quite frankly, we feel we can be the catalyst to change all that.” CHOA plans to open a complex on a 70-acre Brookhaven lot in 2026. The complex is planned to include a $1.3 billion hospital, support buildings for staff, the Center for Advanced Pediatrics and more than 20 acres of green space on a large lot at I-85 and North Druid Hills Road near Brookhaven’s border with Buckhead. “Isn’t it exciting what’s happening in our back yard?” Chris Godfrey, the president of the BBA, asked the audience at the organization’s May 31 luncheon where Frias laid out CHOA’s plans. The new hospital will replace the Egleston Hospital on Clifton Road near Emory University. CHOA has outgrown Egleston and couldn’t do the expansion it

needed to there, Frias said. After searching and doing studies, which included surveying its 400,000 patients, CHOA landed on Brookhaven, he said. City officials have been excited about the expansion, but some residents, particularly those immediately adjacent, have expressed concern the hospital could worsen already problematic traffic congestion. In the hope of alleviating some of those traffic issues, CHOA has committed $40 million to infrastructure improvements over the next nine years, including contributing toward a redesigned I-85 interchange. CHOA will also redirect most hospital traffic onto an access road, Frias said. “We want to be good stewards,” he said.


A map shows the planned infrastructure improvements around the future Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Brookhaven campus.

“We want to be known for doing our part to helping our community.” CHOA plans to build multiuse paths within and around the campus that will

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eventually connect to the Peachtree Creek Greenway and the Atlanta BeltLine, Frias said. The interior paths are planned to be limited to patients and family only, but the paths along the perimeter will be open to the public, he said. As part of the 20-acre green space, CHOA plans to plant hundreds of trees, Frias said. “What is now a concrete jungle is going to have twice as many hardwood trees,” he said. With the Center for Advanced Pediatrics, which is already under construction, CHOA hopes to consolidate all the specialists and services needed to children with complex diseases, Frias said. The center will allow patients to receive the treatments they need in one place, rather than driving around the city, he said. “Imagine you’re coming from up in Cumming or around Tifton where you’re not used to this traffic. That’s pretty difficult to do,” he said. The center will begin to open in a phased opening this July, he said. Frias reiterated that the building is not a hospital as CHOA fears people will think it has an emergency room. “Tell all your friends and your neighbors,” he said. “We’re very worried. We’re putting up big signs saying it’s not an [emergency room].” To meet a growing need, CHOA is expanding its other campuses, including the Scottish Rite Hospital in Sandy Springs. It added a fifth story to the building to accommodate 60 new beds in 2017, he said. “Scottish Rite is very important and serves part of our community that we don’t want to step away from,” he said. BK

JUNE 8 - 21, 2018

Community | 5


Women candidates on the rise in local races BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

More women have been running for local elected positions, particularly state legislature seats, in the past few years, pushing out perennial male candidates and filling seats formerly held by men. On both Democratic and Republican sides of this year’s current legislative races in districts that cover Buckhead, Brookhaven, Dunwoody or Sandy Springs, there are 14 women candidates and eight male candidates. Analysts think Republicans and Democrats alike are inspired by increased political attention nationwide and are more encouraged to run. The candidates agree those factors are contributing to the increase and also say women running encourages others. Kay Kirkpatrick, a Republican state senator who has represented Sandy Springs since 2017, said women bring a different perspective to the table. “There’s no reason women can’t be in leadership positions for the better of the state,” Kirkpatrick said. “They have different ways of thinking.” Andra Gillespie, a political science professor at Emory University, said most of the conversations around women candidates center on Democrats because the increase is chalked up to movements against President Donald Trump driving more political participation. “There’s a focus on Democratic women because of that hypothesis,” she said. But Trump could be inspiring conservative women, as well as more moderate Republicans, to run, Gillespie said. “They may be running as a more moderate voice in their party,” she said. One historical reason the amount of women running has been low is because they are not encouraged by their parties or voters to run, she said, adding that there may be a shift. “One of the big structural reasons women don’t run for office is they’re not encouraged to run,” she said. “Republican women have to be encouraged.” Women are automatically assumed to be more moderate and liberal, which can be a disadvantage in most Republican primaries, but may be an advantage in the north metro Atlanta area, said Beth Reingold, a professor at Emory. Many districts in this area are not “super-solid Republican districts,” which may give women a stronger chance at winning as voters begin voting for more moderate and Democratic candidates, Reingold said. In Georgia’s 6th Congressional District, Republican Karen Handel beat Democrat Jon Ossoff in a race highly publicized as “flippable,” although a Republican has held the district since the 1970s. Democrats Kevin Abel and Lucy McBath will face off in a July 24 runoff, potentially setting up an allwomen race for the seat.

Several state legislature seats have drawn women Democratic challengers. In some races, both parties’ nominees are women and will face each other in the Nov. 6 general election. State Sen. Jen Jordan, a Democrat who represents parts of Buckhead and Cobb County in the District 6 seat, will face Republican Leah Aldridge. Jordan said the increase in women candidates could be due to issues that have become prominent recently being more important to women than men, such as education, healthcare and gun control. “I think that’s part of what compels women to run,” she said. She believes women were previously holding themselves back from running because of their obligations. Women often thought it wasn’t the right time for them to take on the endeavor, she said. “I think what we’ve started to realize is, it’s never a good time, but it’s absolutely necessary,” Jordan said. Aldridge said being a woman did not have influence on her decision to run, but she was mentored and encouraged by a longtime woman state representative, Sharon Cooper (R-Marietta). Kirkpatrick, who represents state Senate District 32, said women may be encouraged by the increase in women running. Democrat Ellyn Jeagar, who will challenge incumbent Republican John Albers in the District 56 race, said Democratic women are fed up with Republican policies. “I think some people have been pushed to the edge of what people can tolerate. That means some people are stepping in,” she said. She said Georgia is “fortunate” to have the women running to help provide a more accurate representation of voters. “At least half of Georgia is women, but you would not know that by looking at the House of Representatives or the Senate,” she said. Others, like Betsy Holland, have been recruited by local groups set up to encourage Democratic women to run and challenge incumbent Republicans. Holland, who defeated two male Democratic candidates in the primary, said the national political climate has “energized” people and drawn them to run. On the Democratic side, Reingold, the Emory professor, has seen more women that do not have a strong chance at winning running for office. “This surge in Democratic candidates seems to be a little less cautious,” she said. Women candidates are typically more strategic, while men are less concerned with their chances, Reingold said. “Male candidates are more willing to run even when they’re not sure of their own qualifications,” she said. Some male candidates in recent local elections, such as Democrats Patrick Thompson in state Senate District 56 and Bob Gibeling in state House District 54, have

been perennial and unsuccessful candidates for various offices. They typically win their primaries with A B C no challengers, but this year were both pushed out in the primary by women candidates. Thompson, who lost D E F to Jeagar in the A - Emory University political science professor Andra Gillespie. Democratic B - Ellyn Jeagar, a Democrat, is challenging is challenging District 56 primary, said state Sen. John Albers. C - Betsy Holland is running as the Democratic he was glad to nominee for the state House District 54 seat. D - Leah Aldridge, a Republican, is challenging District 6 state Sen. Jen Jordan. see more womE - State Sen. Kay Kirkpatrick. F - State Sen. Jen Jordan. en running, but believes he running for various seats for 10 years and lost because people vote for women purealways attends community events to be ly because their gender. bested by a newcomer. “I did hear people who are saying they “It’s a little disheartening,” he said. are voting for all women candidates, He said that groups like PaveItBlue rethe same as people that vote all one parcruiting unqualified women can have a ty, which I think is not a good practice,” negative affect because some people autoThompson said. matically vote for women. Thompson said he feels he has gotten “That’s good and bad. I’m glad women short shrift as the candidate who has been took the initiative to recruit people,” he said.

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6 | Art & Entertainment

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In its bid to make a splash in metro Atlanta’s arts scene, the City Springs Performing Arts Center has announced a highly varied debut season with some star power. Jazz legend Branford Marsalis and his band will play as part of the opening day series at Sandy Springs’ new civic center Aug. 11. Other 20182019 performers include blues and world music star Taj Mahal, bestselling Christian author and speaker Rob Bell, and SPECIAL special programs by the AtlanTaj Mahal Trio. ta Ballet and the Atlanta Opera. The season also includes film, comedy, lectures, circus arts, dance, symphonic and chamber music, and more. The new City Springs Theatre Company, an independent but City Springs-based company, will have its debut season as well. The season announcement included a non-artistic event with news that National Night Out, the annual police community relations gathering, would be held at City Springs’ City Green park Aug. 7. The city previously joined Brookhaven and Dunwoody in a joint National Night Out at Perimeter Mall. It’s described as part of an “opening celebration” for the PAC, which technically includes City Green, though it will not be the first event held there; the June 9 “Food That Rocks” restaurant tasting is scheduled for that honor. The artistic kickoff on Aug. 11 is branded as “City Springs Day” and will have a variety of free performances, with a charge only for the Branford Marsalis Quartet concert. Subscription ticket packages are on sale now, and single tickets will be available starting June 22. For more information, see citysprings.com. City Springs is the city’s new mixed-use civic center on a 14-acre site bounded by Sandy Springs Circle, Mount Vernon Highway and Roswell and Johnson Ferry roads. The following is a list of events by various series. Some events are in multiple series and are not mulSPECIAL tiple-listed here. Rob Bell.


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Art & Entertainment | 7


OPENING CELEBRATION • National Night Out, Aug. 7 • City Springs Day and Branford Marsalis Quarter: Aug. 11 • Concerts by the Springs After Party (featuring surprise guest artist): Aug. 12 • National Geographic Live!: Steve Winter: On the Trail of Big Cats: Tigers, Cougars, and Snow Leopards: Aug. 14 • Joe Gransden Big Band, featuring Landau Eugene Murphy: Aug. 16


Branford Marsalis.

• Steinway Celebration (debut of concert grand piano): Aug. 17 • Sutton Foster: Aug. 18 • Atlanta Jewish Film Festival presents Heading Home: A Tale of Team Israel: Aug. 19

PERFORMING ARTS SERIES • Taj Mahal Trio, Sept. 8 • Late Night Tailgate comedy/sports: Oct. 11 • The Prague Philharmonic Children’s Choir: Oct. 25 • Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company: Nov. 1 • Boston Brass: Christmas Bells are Swingin’: Dec. 22 • City Springs New Years Celebration with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, featuring Joe Gransden and Francine Reed: Dec. 31 • Simone Dinnerstein, piano, and Matt Haimovitz, cello: Jan. 29 • Broadway’s Next Hit Musical: Feb. 1 and 2 • Cirque Éloize: Saloon: Feb. 5

SPEAKER SERIES • Rob Bell: The Holy Shift Tour, Oct. 13 • Colonel (Ret.) Jill W. Chambers, speaking on PTSD and veterans: Sept. 22 • DEA Narcos: Steve Murphy and Javier Peña, involved in pursuit of drug cartel kingpin Pablo Escobar, Oct. 16

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VISUAL ARTS SIGHTS & INSIGHTS Friday, June 15, 6-9 p.m.

The Dunwoody Fine Art Association holds an opening reception and awards ceremony for its juried regional art exhibit at City Gallery at Chastain Arts Center. Free. Exhibit runs from Monday, June 18 to Friday, July 27. 135 West Wieuca Road N.W., Buckhead. Info: dunwoodyfineart.org.

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The Heather Gillis Band, a roots rock band, is next up in this lineup of summer concerts, held every other Saturday evening, rain or shine, through July 21. Seating available on a first-come, first-served basis in the meadow or on the back porch. Outside food and drink welcome. Craft beers, sodas and water available. $5 adults; $3 students; free for members and for children 3 and under. 5343 Roberts Drive, Dunwoody. Info: dunwoodynature.org/2018-summer-concert-series.

Introducing Robin Conte’s debut book ‘The Best of the Nest’ “The Best of the Nest” offers 49 of Reporter Newpapers columnist Robin Conte’s witty essays on suburban family life, organized by seasons. They include some of the pieces that won Robin the first-place Lifestyle/Features Column award in the 2017 Georgia Press Association contest. To follow updates on Robin’s book-related appearances, visit robinconte.com To order the book, visit bestofthenest.net

JUNE 8 - 21, 2018

Art & Entertainment | 9





POSSUM TROT 10K Saturday, June 16, 6-9 a.m.

The 40th annual Possum Trot 10K is a flatcourse run along the Chattahoochee River that benefits the Chattahoochee Nature Center’s environmental education and wildlife rehabilitation programs. Food, music and vendors before and after the run at CNC’S Ben Brady Lakeside Pavilion. Registration fees for the AJC Peachtree Road Race qualifying event include free admission for the day to CNC, a T-shirt and giveaways. 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell. Registration and parking info: chattnaturecenter.org.

Enjoy free admission and special programs on the second Sunday of each month.

CAJUN CONCERT AND DANCE Saturday, June 16, 8-11 p.m.

The Atlanta Cajun Zydeco Association hosts the Nashvillebased Roux du Bayoux Cajun Band at the Dorothy Benson Center. Cajun/Creole food for sale. All ages. No partner necessary. $18; $14 active military; $5 students. Cash or check only. Free Two-Step dance lesson at 7 p.m. Intermediate/Advanced Cajun dance class from 4:30-6 p.m. is $15. 6500 Vernon Woods Drive, Sandy Springs. Info: aczadance.org or 877-338-2420.

FATHER’S DAY ON THE RIVER Sunday, June 17, 1–4 p.m.

Dads and grandfathers get free admission to the Chattahoochee Nature Center on Father’s Day. Walk the trails, enjoy nature center programs or celebrate the day with a family canoe trip and paddle to the playgrounds at Riverside Park. Ages 6 to adult. $35 general public; $30 CNC members. Register by June 14 for limited spaces for the canoe trip. 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell. Info: chattnaturecenter.org.


Join the Brookhaven Bike Alliance for community rides every third Sunday at varying locations. Rides cancelled in inclement weather. June 17 location is Ashford Park, 2980 Redding Road, Brookhaven. Info: facebook.com/groups/BrookhavenBikeAlliance.

SPRING YOGA SERIES Saturday, June 23, 9 a.m.

Stretch and strengthen with gentle yoga in the gardens of the Atlanta History Center in a class led by wellness practitioner Sarah Bristow and illustrator Veronica McDaniel, collaborators on the coloring book and yoga guide “Find Your Animal Side.” All ages. $10; $8 History Center members. 130 West Paces Ferry Road, Buckhead. Info: AtlantaHistoryCenter.com/programs or 404-814-4000.


Sunday, June 24, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Designed for little kids, big kids, and the whole family, Second Sundays are for everyone. Visit us each month and experience new interactive, innovative family activities inspired by our collections and ever-changing exhibitions. Second Sundays are sponsored by the Lettie Pate Evans Foundation. Special thanks to

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The seventh annual Stand Up For The Hooch race includes 2-mile and 6-mile stand up paddleboard races and a free kids’ race on the Chattahoochee River. All ages and ability levels welcome. Sponsored by High Country Outfitters in Buckhead, this year’s event benefits Sandy Springs Recreation and Parks scholarships. $45. Morgan Falls Overlook Park, 200 Morgan Falls Road, Sandy Springs. Registration info: highcountryoutfitters.com/StandUpfortheHooch-418. Continued on page 10

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10 | Art & Entertainment

Facebook.com/TheReporterNewspapers ■ twitter.com/Reporter_News Continued from page 9

KIDS AND FAMILIES purchase of $25 or more Sandy Springs 5975 Roswell Rd, Suite A-103 (404) 236-2114 NothingBundtCakes.com Expires 6/29/18. Limit one (1) coupon per guest. Coupon must be presented at time of purchase. $5 off $25 before tax. Valid only at the bakery(ie listed. Valid only on baked goods; not valid on retail items. No cash value. Coupon may not be reproduced, transferred or sold. Internet distribution strictly prohibited. Must be claimed in bakery during normal business hours. Not valid for online orders. Not valid with any other offer.

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Wednesday, June 13, Saturday, June 16 and Wednesday, June 27, 10-10:45 a.m.

Perimeter North Medical Associates is proud to serve the families throughout the Atlanta area. Offering a full range of family medicine

Heritage Sandy Springs has partnered with The Swell Shop to introduce babies and toddlers to music, movement, and dance. Ages 4 and under. Siblings welcome. Families may bring picnic lunches to enjoy in the park after the program. Heritage Green, 6110 Blue Stone Road, Sandy Springs. Info: heritagesandysprings.org or find Swell Music By The Springs on Facebook.

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The Atlanta History Center hosts its annual free admission twoday program commemorating the end of slavery in the U.S. Themes of freedom and family history will be explored through author talks, stories, museum theatre and crafts. In conjunction with the exhibition “Barbecue Nation,” author-chef Michael W. Twitty will do cooking demonstrations and speak on African and African-American food traditions in Southern barbecue. Food and drinks available for purchase. 130 West Paces Ferry Road, Buckhead. Info: AtlantaHistoryCenter.com/programs or 404-814-4000.

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Art & Entertainment | 11



Saturday, June 16, 4 p.m. to Sunday, June 17, 9 a.m.

Join Dunwoody Nature Center educators for a family-focused program that covers camping basics such as setting up tents and building campfires. Overnight adventure includes s’mores, games and a night hike. $25 per campsite; $20 per campsite for DNC members. 5343 Roberts Drive, Dunwoody. Registration and packing list: dunwoodynature.org/backyard-campout.

Eat Your Heart Out.


Thursday, June 14, 4-8 p.m.; Friday, June 15 and Saturday, June 16, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Monday, June 18: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Friends of the Dunwoody Library host a four-day book sale kicking off with a members only sale on June 14 from 1-4 p.m. prior to public sale hours starting at 4 p.m. that day, and concluding with a Bag Day sale on the last day. 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Info: 770-512-4640.



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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 Designers: Soojin Yang, Wes Duvall Advertising Director of Sales Development Amy Arno amyarno@reporternewspapers.net Sales Executives Melissa Kidd, Jeff Kremer, Janet Porter, Jim Speakman Office Manager Deborah Davis deborahdavis@reporternewspapers.net

Facebook.com/TheReporterNewspapers ■ twitter.com/Reporter_News

Community Survey / The importance of women on the ballot More women candidates are appearing on ballots this summer and fall, and a substantial majority of the respondents to our most recent 1Q.com community survey found that to be a good thing. Asked whether they thought increased representation by women was an important consideration when they voted, 70 percent of the 200 respondents said a candidate’s gender was very important or mattered a little. Just three in 10 said gender made no difference. And the gender of the person answering the question seemed to matter in determining her or his answer. About two thirds of the people who answered gender was “very important” were women. And nearly twice as many men as women felt that gender made no difference. The survey was conducted by cellphone and is not scientific. Among many of the respondents who felt increasing the number of women in elective office was important to do, expectations are high for the changes more women officials would bring to governing, both locally and nationally. Those respondents said they expected change on a wide variety of topics: gun control; listening to constituents; better family care policies; more money for education; more accountability and less corruption in government. One 38-yearold woman predicted the result would be “more logical thinking and open-mindedness.” “I’m not sure there will be new or different policies, but there will be more diverse conversations around all policy discussions,” a 54-year-old Brookhaven woman commented. A 29-year-old Buckhead man predicted that having more women in elective office would mean “more support for Planned Parenthood, education reform and equal rights for women.” A 28-year-old Dunwoody man expected “better family care

(e.g., maternity leave, childcare) and reproductive rights policies.” And a 55-year-old Sandy Springs woman thought “new changes and policies could be more inclusive.” Not everyone thought the gender of a candidate mattered, however. “I would imagine more women in of-

fice would have little effect on policies,” a 49-year-old Sandy Springs man said. “Politicians by nature are consensus-driven, whether through their constituents, inner-circle or financial backers. I don’t see women as having more or less ability in his area.”

More women candidates from both major parties have been running for our area’s state and federal offices in recent years. How important to you is increased representation by women officials when you choose a candidate?

Makes no difference Very important

Matters a little bit

Contributor Julie E. Bloemeke, 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.

Here’s what some other respondents had to say “New changes and policies could be more inclusive.” – 55-year-old Sandy Springs woman

“Hopefully they can do something about the wage gap.” – 24-year-old Sandy Springs man

“The issues we have aren’t gender-specific.” – 47-year-old Brookhaven woman

“Definitely a lot more policies regarding women’s rights in the workplace, and maybe a new perspective on any current policies needing change.” – 22-year-old DeKalb County woman

“Gender is meaningless to me when I evaluate candidates. Who is most qualified? Whose values best match mine?” – 51-year-old Buckhead man

© 2018 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.

1Q is an Atlanta-based startup that has developed a technology which sends questions and surveys to a cellphone via app or text message from businesses and organizations across the country. Respondents are paid 50 cents per answer, through PayPal, for sharing their opinions. Payments may also be donated directly to charity. Sign up to be included in our local community polls at 1Q.com/reporter or by texting REPORTER to 86312.

Commentary | 13

JUNE 8 - 21, 2018 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Around Town

Joe Earle is editor-at-large at Reporter Newspapers and has lived in metro Atlanta for over 30 years. He can be reached at joeearle@reporternewspapers.net

The group focuses its attention on a half-dozen issues its members see as driving women’s political discussions here. Topics include gun violence, women’s health and reproductive rights, refugee and immigrant rights, education and child protection, hate crime legislation and resisting “religious liberty” laws in Georgia. The founders say the salon defines itself as a women’s group created for and run by women and that it keeps its discussions women-only. The only time men have been invited to participate is when the salon hosted forums in which local candidates came in to debate. Kratovil said in an email that it “comes down to a sense of camaraderie and being able to have a true safe space, especially with women’s health and access to healthcare as a main focus of JDWS.” Now that the organization is up and running, the founders say they intend to keep going. “We started with an idea and look what we’ve accomplished,” Habif said. “This is what happens when like-minded people come together. … We will never go back. Once you understand your responsibility, you can never go back. It was a delusion to leave it to others to do the right thing … “Complacency is not an option,” she said.

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Spartan Pool Products The Jewish Democratic Women’s Salon leaders include, from left, Valerie Habif, Kate Kratovil and Joanie Shubin.


In Trump era, a Democratic women’s group thrives This is not your father’s political group. It doesn’t raise funds or hand out contributions to candidates. Its founders don’t deny their partisanship, but they don’t see themselves as practicing politics in the usual way, either. They call their group a “salon,” the Jewish Democratic Women’s Salon. “We didn’t know what else to call it,” co-founder Joanie Shubin said. “We don’t mean a hair salon,” co-founder Valerie Habif quickly added. No, their salon would be one of the old style, a place for talking and for learning about issues and politics. “It was really to gather like-minded people,” Habif said. “We were really frustrated about what was happening to people.” But their salon has developed a newfangled spin: it has taken off on the internet. The group that started with a few dozen women gathered in the meeting room of a Buckhead condo now claims more than 1,100 members who interact regularly through an invitation-only Facebook page. And they believe they offer a sign of change in local politics since the election of President Donald Trump. The women behind the salon say Trump’s presidency has convinced waves of other progressive and Democrat-leaning women to join the political seas. Even, the salon’s organizers say, in traditionally Republican suburbs such as Sandy Springs. Members of the salon actually started meeting back in 2012, when Barack Obama was president and the Affordable Care Act, nicknamed “Obamacare,” seemed to be all anybody wanted to talk about. Habif, a clinical psychologist who’s now retired, and Shubin, who volunteered with nonprofits, were trying to figure out just what the fuss was all about. “We didn’t understand the opposition,” Habif said during a recent chat at a Sandy Springs coffee shop. “What we did was to better understand the other side. Why would people be opposed to everyone having access to the same healthcare they have? What was so scary about healthcare?” Habif and Shubin, who both live in Sandy Springs, regularly talked to one another about issues, but they decided they needed to hear more points of view. They invited some friends to get together and invited an expert to speak. Soon, the women were meeting regularly to discuss issues of the day and to hear from experts on those issues. The idea was to educate and empower like-minded women in the area, the founders said, and to get them engaged in political issues. “We mean [to attract] women, other Jewish women, who were going through the same things we were going through,” Habif said. The group grew slowly, through word of mouth at first. Once 29-year-old member Kate Kratovil of Brookhaven, who works with nonprofits as a professional, established the group on Facebook in 2016, however, membership really took off. It was about the time of the current president’s election, she said, and suddenly progressive women wanted new ways to get involved in politics. “Donald Trump was the catalyst,” Kratovil said. Regardless of what motivates members, its founders say the salon focuses on local issues. “We’re all about local,” Habif said. “This is about having local voices.” “We are a true grassroots group,” Kratovil said. BK

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14 | Public Safety

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BBA presents public safety awards to officers, firefighter BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

Public safety officers were honored by the Buckhead Business Association at its May 31 luncheon that annually honors police and firefighters. Zone 2 Atlanta Police Officer Dominick Giovanna, Fulton Deputy Faith Hampton and firefighter Cornelius Griffin were presented with awards at the event held at the Grand Hyatt Buckhead. The officers and firefighter were nominated by their departments. David Thompson, the vice president of public safety at the BBA, visited the stations and spoke to their superiors and peers, who complimented them on their skills, bravery and selflessness, he said. David Coxon, the president and CEO of Georgia Primary Bank, which sponsors the awards, said that the awards are a small recognition for the “selfless” actions public safety officers do daily. “The thin blue and the thin red line has never been greater as we see the risks taken and the sacrifices taken every day,” Coxon said. Hampton was nominated for taking down, without using lethal force, a suspect who was attacking her partner. Her partner needed two weeks to recover from the injuries sustained in the attack, Thompson said. She was described as “tough” and “brave” by her peers, he said. “It was her peers’ eagerness to share what an honor it is to work with her” that led Thompson to know she was worthy of the award, he said. Giovanna, a Zone 2 police officer, was nominated for helping talk down a person threatening suicide at an I-75 overpass and catching a suspect involved with a theft of a knife from a vehicle in a Buckhead neighborhood. Officers who work with him said he often reminds them how important their job is, Thompson said. “[Giovanna] is nominated for this award because he has proven that he always shows up; he’s brave, he’s safe, he enjoys helping our community and he loves our community,” Thompson said. Griffin, a firefighter in the Atlanta Fire and Rescue Department, was described as “humble” and as eager to help other firefighters he works with, including helping one repair his car and another buy lunch when they were low on money. “He does things for you that a true brother would do,” a firefighter who works with Griffin said, according to Thompson.


Top, Atlanta Police Officer Dominick Giovanna accepts an award from the Buckhead Business Association’s president Chris Godfrey, right, and David Thompson, left, at the group’s May 31 luncheon. Left, Atlanta firefighter Cornelius Griffin accepts an award from the Buckhead Business Association. Above, Fulton County Sheriff’s Deputy Faith Hampton, center,

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JUNE 8 - 21, 2018 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net


Police Blotter / Buckhead

Housing Authority of Fulton County, Georgia (HAFC) is issuing a Request for Proposal from qualified property owners and developers interested in applying for up to 60 Project Based- Vouchers (PBV) specifically made available to provide affordable housing to be used in new construction of multi-family affordable housing rental project(s) in Fulton County, Georgia.

The following is pulled from a Zone Two ( Buckhead) weekly report from the Atlanta Police Department for May 13 through May 19.

Proposals must be received by 6:00 p.m. EDT, Monday, July 9, 2018 in the HAFC office, 4273 Wendell Drive SW, Atlanta, Georgia 30336 or via email re: Proposals to mortgagefinance@hafc.org. Any proposals received after the designated time and date will be returned unopened. HAFC may reject for good cause any or all proposals upon a finding of HAFC it is in the public interest to do so.


Assault: 2



Detailed application and selection information of the Request for Proposal is posted on the HAFC website at www.HAFC.org. Proposers are responsible for checking the HAFC website for any addendums before submitting their proposals.



HAFC Board of Commissioners reserves the right to reject any and all proposals and to waive any and all informalities in the best interest of HAFC.


from Auto: 49




Theft: 19



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16 | Community

Facebook.com/TheReporterNewspapers ■ twitter.com/Reporter_News

‘Smart corridor’ tech rolls out in Buckhead Continued from page 1

Buckhead to study how to modify traffic signals, District 7 Councilmember Howradios and internet connectivity to adapt ard Shook said. to traffic in real time and is sold on the “This is the first time Buckhead is gopromise of reducing bottlenecks and ining to be studied east, west, north and efficient intersections. south,” he said. Software systems that opJoseph Hacker, a profestimize traffic signal timing sor at Georgia State Universiand prioritize lights for emerty, said the technology is not gency and transit vehicles the definitive solution to adare rolling out this summer dressing all traffic problems, in a city project at the interbut helps makes roads much sections of Lenox, Piedmont more efficient. and Peachtree roads. They “This technology lets you will later have a wider rollout squeeze out as much benefit on those main corridors and as possible from roads you alsurrounding roads. SPECIAL ready have,” he said. The Georgia Department Georgia State University The alternatives are much of Transportation has in- professor Joseph Hacker. more costly and disruptive, stalled and is testing softhe said, such as building new roads. ware that communicates the status of “Is it the definitive technology? No,” traffic signals to equipped vehicles at 39 he said. “But the alternatives are much intersections on Peachtree Road from Romore intrusive and expensive.” swell Road to I-285. Although privacy concerns are fre“Buckhead drivers will ultimately exquently cited as possible cons to the techperience reduced travel times, less time nology, Hacker said the data the technolowaiting at traffic signals, fewer stops and gy collects is, for the most part, anonymous. a reduction in emissions,” said Jim DurThe cameras are using radar and therrett, the executive director of the Buckmal imaging and don’t collect details head Community Improvement District. such as faces or license plates, he said. Meanwhile, there is a study underway “The era of big data is upon us. If we on the most congested and used roads in want this kind of connectivity, it will re-

quire us to accept that,” he said. GDOT’s project, called Signal Phase and Timing, or SPaT, uses radios to communicate traffic information to capable cars. The technology used to receive the traffic updates comes standard on most modern cars, Durrett said. The technology is also geared to the probable future prevalence of autonomous cars so the cars’ speed can automatically adjust to hit green lights. The project, which costs about $1 million, is mostly inSPECIAL A map shows the locations of the Signal stalled and GDOT plans to comPhase and Timing radios along Peachtree plete testing the week of June 11, Road from Roswell Road to I-285. spokesperson Natalie Dale said. The Buckhead CID discussed ple won’t recognize, but over time it will the projects at its May 23 meeting and rehelp people change their behavior on the ceived positive feedback from board memroads,” Durrett said. “You will know how bers. Board chair David Allman joked that long a light will remain green, when a Buckhead’s traffic problems need the most light will turn green and when there is a sophisticated technology possible. pedestrian who has pressed a pedestrian “We need an iteration that hasn’t been crossing button.” invented yet,” Allman said. The city expects to install the first Durrett said drivers may not initially nophase of Surtrac, the technology that tice the traffic notifications received by their adaptively times traffic signals, by Aucars, but the technology will have greater afgust. The first phase will also be installed fects as it is more widely rolled out. along Phipps Boulevard between Lenox “That is something that most peoand Wieuca roads. The first phase of the system that prioritizes lights from emergency and transit vehicles, called Glance, is also planned to be installed by August, according to a city document. Both projects have a combined estimated cost of $425,000. The second phase of Surtrac and Glance, which will include a wider rollout along Peachtree, Roswell, Wieuca, Lenox and Roxboro roads, is expected to be installed by December. The estimated cost is $1,675,000. The city projects are being paid for with TSPLOST funds. The technologies have been tested in the North Avenue smart corridor project that is led by the AT&T Smart Cities initiative, but the Buckhead projects are not being coordinated by AT&T, according to Zinzi Sebunya, a city spokesperson. Both Surtrac and Glance use radar and thermal imaging cameras to detect traffic flows and adjust lights to the most efficient timing. Glance can detect emergency and transit vehicles to prioritize their light and Instant Savings move them through intersections quicker. on your qualifying Jenn-Air Kitchen. Once the intersection adjusts to the Valid thru 6/30/18 traffic flows, the data is communicated Consumer Demonstration: June 16th to neighboring intersections to increase their visibility of future incoming traffic, Durrett said. Shook said that this technology will collect data and help traffic engineers determine how to further improve Buckhead congestion. 761 Miami Circle, Suite D | Atlanta, GA 30324 “For the first time, we’ll actually have 404.233.6131 | www.builderspecialties.net data that we’ll be basing those decisions on,” he said.

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18 | Special Section

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Modern living, rustic settings beckon homebuyers


Tiger Mountain Vineyards, co-owned by Martha Ezzard (pictured below), sits on 90 rolling acres between Rabun Gap and Tallulah Falls in North Georgia.

Days of Wine and Roses

Tiger Mountain Vineyards produces award-winning grapes BY JULIE E. BLOEMEKE When three Tiger Mountain wines — the 2015 Sweet Petit (late harvest Petit Manseng), the 2014 Tannat and the 2016 Rosé — each won silver medals at the Los Angeles International Wine Competition, Martha Ezzard, one of the founders of Tiger Mountain Vineyards, knew it was official: “Georgia wines have come up in the world.” The 2017 competition received over 3,000 wines from 999 wineries including wines from France, Portugal, South Africa, Italy and the U.S.; that Tiger Mountain did so well is a testament to family commitment, passion and dedication. Ezzard was also particularly thrilled because “Tiger Mountain was competing alongside wines from Napa and Sonoma wineries.” The vineyards, located on about 90 acres between Rabun Gap and Tallulah Falls in Northeast Georgia, boasts a tasting room that hosts individual and reservation-based group tastings; individual and group winery tours; a wine and gift shop; an on-site facility where grapes are crushed, fermented and bottled; the Red Barn Café which offers lunch, brunch and Saturday dinner; a Tigerwine Tasters Wine Club; a pond teeming with bluegill and bass where visitors can relax and enjoy a glass of wine; numer-

ous picnic areas; and spots for do-your-own blueberry picking. Weddings, live music weekends, business meetings, parties and an Awakening the Vines celebration in the spring are also common events. However, it was not always that way. The vineyard began with a dream and vision for Martha Ezzard and her husband, John, both professionals who traded city careers for a return to the rural land of Rabun County. John, a physician, and Martha, a lawyer, award-winning Atlanta Journal-Constitution writer and author of a memoir about the experience of relinquishing city life — “The Second Bud” — confesses their motivation: “Our chief aim,” said Ezzard, “was to save the family farm. It was part of John’s soul; he’s a farmer at heart.” The land that comprises Tiger Mountain has been in the Ezzard family since the 1830s. Previously a dairy farm, John wanted to grow something but he was not sure what. There was talk of apples, but after extensive research and considering the land, soil and elevation, he landed on wine. It was not necessarily a popular decision with folks that had lived in the area for generations. Martha laughs when she shares the reaction. [Many people said] “John, how come you are growing these highfalutin grapes?” Then she confesses,

“I thought it was a crazy idea too, but the secret was finding a mentor in Virginia.” It was another Georgia vintner — David Harris, previous owner of a small winery in Habersham County — who recommended that John speak to Dennis and Sharon Horton in Charlottesville. After doing so, Martha and John began by working the first five acres on their own, and in 1994-1995 they planted five red European grape varieties — Cabernet Franc, Tannat, Malbec, Touriga Nacional and Mourvedre. All of these were selected by John, who took Horton’s advice to cultivate grapes for fine dry wines. And French grapes (with the exception of the Touriga, which is Portuguese) were best suited for southeastern climate and soils. Tiger Mountain Vineyards was the first vine-

yard in Georgia’s history to make this move, concentrating on the fine dry wines over the sweeter varieties like muscadine. A particular time of excitement came in 1998, when the first grapes were ready to harvest after about three years of maturing. The Ezzards shared the fruit with a local vintner who was “very excited about the quality,” Martha says. And they sold the first harvest to the Hortons. This was also when the Ezzards produced their first batch of wine — on the back porch of the farmhouse in a large bucket purchased from Walmart. A photo of this event hangs in the old barn, now lovingly restored and converted to a shady nook-filled respite for visitors to enjoy a glass of wine while overlooking Tiger Mountain. This bout of initial success led to another important event in 1999: it was the year the winery officially opened for sales. These days Tiger Mountain Vineyards produces 10 wines, but grows seven varieties of grape — five French, one Portuguese (the Touriga) and the native American Norton. They also produce three blends: Continued on page 20 BK

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Continued from page 18 the five-grape blend Rabun Red, (the most popular Tiger Mountain Wine), Mountain Cyn (a blend of Cab Franc and Norton, also known as Cynthiana) and TNT ( a blend of Touriga Nacional and Tannat). The Norton, a grape native to Virginia, thrives on the Blue Ridge. It’s known, Ezzard says, for “being hardy and reliable.” Martha has taken on her own experiments with the variety. She is currently growing two rows of Norton grapes that are chemical free. They cannot be organically certified because of the proximity of other grapes that are being grown traditionally. And the wine the Norton produces is not only known for being full-bodied with qualities of plums and cherries, it is also one of the essential wines that comprise the famed Rabun Red. The Petit Manseng is also a point of pride for Martha. Native to the southwestern France in the Pyrenees, it is known for its small berries and loose clusters, which make it harder for mildew to take hold. And the ability for the Petit Manseng to ripen in the Georgia climate is great. The grape produces a crisp white wine with a hint of green apple tones. The late harvest Petit Manseng comprises the Sweet Petit, known for just enough sweetness to be considered a dessert wine. And, while it was the 2015 late-harvest Petit Manseng grape that secured the 2017

win at the LA International Wine Competition, it was the 2013 Petit Manseng that won a gold medal for being an “exceptional wine that is near the pinnacle of achievement in its category” in the 2015 San Francisco International competition, known worldwide for “setting the standard for professional wine judging since its debut in 1980,” according to the website. But to Martha, the connection to the grape is highly personal: “I think the Petit Manseng just loves Tiger Mountain!” she says. Martha says a lot of folks see running a vineyard as “romantic.” But she is quick to note the intense labor involved, a topic she addresses in detail in her memoir: “[Running a vineyard] is so much work. We are just farmers.” Still, when touring Tiger Mountain Vineyards, one can’t help but note the rosebushes planted at the end of almost every row of vines. Pops of red, orange and yellow dot the landscape amidst the green of the grape leaves. This practice originated in France as the flowers are early indicators of disease. Harbingers, they serve as way to ensure vines will stay healthy. As it happens, Martha says, she and John have been “gifting each other rosebushes for years.” It is a tradition they picked up on and continued, in honor of the vineyard’s legacy, and of one another. For more information, visit tigerwine.com.

Escape to the Mountains

Wine Country

More mountain vineyards to sip and savor The Cottage Vineyard and Winery 5050 Hwy 129 North, Cleveland, GA cottagevineyardwinery.com Open since 2012, the vineyard hosts tastings seven days a week and also offers live music on Saturdays.

hira, Valdosta and Helen, Georgia. Wolf Mountain Winery 180 Wolf Mountain Trail Dahlonega, GA wolfmountainvineyards.com Wine tastings and tours include an estate tasting flight or a group tasting flight. Reservations are required.

Cavender Creek Vineyards & Winery 3610 Cavender Creek Road Dahlonega, GA cavendercreekvineyards.com Wine tastings invite visitors to sample any four wines from the menu; souvenir glasses are available.

Three Sisters Vineyards 439 Vineyard Way, Dahlonega, GA threesistersvineyards.com Hosts walk-in tastings Thursday through Sunday. Features “Chicks and Chocolate” tasting which pairs six wines with various artisan chocolates.

Boutier Winery 4506 Hudson River Church Road Danielsville, GA boutierwinery.com Hosts weekend wine tastings with a sampling of six wines; no appointment needed.

Montaluce Winery and Estates 501 Hightower Church Road Dahlonega, GA montaluce.com

Yonah Mountain Vineyards 1717 Highway 255 South, Cleveland, GA yonahmountainvineyards.com

Offers winery tours weekdays at 2 p.m., weekends at noon. Wine hikes and general tastings do not require a reservation.

Individual wine tastings are available seven days a week; no reservations are required. Frogtown Winery 700 Ridge Point Drive, Dahlonega, GA frogtown.us Offers wine tastings at various tasting rooms including locations in Ha-


Habersham Vineyards & Winery 7025 South Main Street, Helen, GA habershamwinery.com Located in the Nacoochee Village just outside of Helen, wine tastings include five wines and a souvenir wine glass. Reservations not required for individuals.


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A Fisherwoman’s Tale

Atlanta resident trades corporate world for trout streams

Natalie Sharp



The water gets too warm for good trout fishing in July and August, she said. Her trips include a stream-side lunch she serves with silver and plates and linen napkins and sometimes with little fishshaped napkin rings. Metro Atlanta resident Bob Muniz, who’s been fly fishing much of his life, went out last fall on a day trip with a friend and with Sharp as their guide. “We had such a great day,” he said. Now, they’re eager to return on a second trip with her this fall and they’re bringing along a couple of friends. Muniz has nothing but praise for Sharp: “She’s got that Southern charm, that Southern lady charm,” he said, and she knows what the fish will bite, too.” Sharp describes her clients as “people who want to make it a day of relaxation. “It’s about being out on the water,” she said. “It’s all about relaxation.” And, of course, catching a few fish. “What I tell my clients is, ‘You’re going to see a lot of fish. You’re going to hook a lot of fish. And you’re not going to land a lot of fish,” she said. “My goal is to always get a fish into the net.” But that’s not the real appeal for her. Not anymore. “In the beginning, you just want to catch a fish,” Sharp said. “Then, the second thing is, you want to catch a lot of fish. Then you want to catch a big fish. Then you don’t care about catching a fish. It’s just being out there. “What I loved about it was being in nature. It’s the beauty God creates for us.” Besides, she said, “it’s much more relaxing than being on a deep-sea fishing boat.”

Natalie Sharp’s introduction to fishing came on big boats in the deep salt waters off Florida when she was growing up. But about 17 years ago, when she lived in Atlanta, she decided to try something a bit different. She was traveling a lot then as a consultant to dental practices. She needed a break from the road, so she headed to the north Georgia mountains. Eventually, she bought a home and settled in near Blue Ridge. She’d always wanted to learn to fly fish, so she hired a guide to teach her how and started walking nearby mountain streams in search of trout. “I just sort of fell in love with it,” she said. Now the 67-year-old angler is herself the guide, one of dozens salted across mountain communities who teach visitors how to effectively stalk trout in Georgia’s cold mountain creeks and rivers. Through her company, Sharper Bites, she gives her clients lessons on how to cast a fly, the preferred lure for trout, and then leads anglers to fishing spots along private trout streams on the headwaters of the Toccoa River. And, as part of the deal, she provides lunch. “I used to the be only [guide] who supplied lunch,” she said with a laugh. “Now others do.” Sharp has taught fly fishing to clients aged 6 to 85, she said. They tend to be “couples, husbands who want their wives to fish, corporate groups.” Mostly, she guides only a couple of customers at a time. Some special corporate events have included up to 10, she said. She guides fishing trips from March through June and from mid-September through November. Bob Munitz shows off his catch.


Escape to the Blue Ridge Mountains...




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Mountain Fun

Wine, music, Cabbage Patch Kids and more on tap If you’re headed to the mountains of North Georgia or North Carolina this summer and fall and wondering what there is to do besides admire the view, check out this list of eclectic upcoming events.

BLAIRSVILLE SCOTTISH FESTIVAL Bagpipes, drums, games and food will bring the Scottish highlands to Meeks Park in Blairsville on June 9-10. Visit blairsvillescottishfestival.com for details.

BLUE RIDGE MOUNTAINS WINE & JAZZ FESTIVAL The festival will be held June 16 from 2 to 10 p.m. at 58 Boardtown Road near the town of Blue Ridge. More than a dozen wineries will provide the vino, while musical acts include Kharisma Jazzmatic Funk, The 4 Korners, Tray Dahl and The Jugtime Ragband and Taryn Newborne. Visit blueridgewineandjazz. com for tickets and details.

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Special Section | 23

VILLAGE SQUARE ARTS & CRAFTS SHOW Held in Highlands, N.C. on June 23-24 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Kelsey-Hutchinson “Founders” Park on Pine Street in downtown. There will be high quality fine art, folk art and regionally made crafts. Visit facebook.com/villagesquareshow for more information. RABUN COUNTY 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 23); Evening in the Round with Linda Davis, Lang Scott and Bill Whyte (July 7); Emile Pandolfi (July 21); 7 Bridges (Aug. 4); and The Drifters (Aug. 18). Tickets and details at rabunmusicfestival.com.

POTS ON THE GREEN This two-day festival – June 30 and July 1 – in Cashiers, N.C. features the area’s rich pottery heritage with demonstrations, talks and original pottery on display and for sale at The Village Green Gazebo. Visit villagegreencashiersnc.com for more information.

FIREWORKS EXTRAVAGANZA ON THE GREEN Celebrate the 4th of July in Cashiers, N.C. with this evening festival, which will include food, music, dancing and a colossal fireworks display. The fun begins at 6:30 p.m. at The Village Green. Details atvillagegreencashiersnc.com. GEORGIA MOUNTAIN FAIR This year’s fair is July 20-28 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.

BABYLAND GENERAL HOSPITAL The Cabbage Patch Kids were created by Xavier Roberts in Cleveland, Ga., which is home to Babyland General Hospital where the tykes are born. The Cabbage Patch Kids are celebrating their 40th anniversary this year and there will be events all summer long (including regular weekend tea parties) culminating with an anniversary celebration on Sept. 8. Find out more at babylandgeneral.com. BLUE RIDGE BLUES AND BBQ MUSIC FESTIVAL The annual festival will be held in the downtown Blue Ridge City Park on Sept. 15 from noon to 9 p.m. There will be barbeque, live music, craft beer, fun stuff for the kids and more. Find more information at stayinblueridge.com. ROME BEER FEST Head to Rome for the annual unique craft beer, art and music experience on Sept. 22 at Heritage Park. All proceeds benefit the Rome Area Council for the Arts, providing community arts programming, education and outreach. For more information, romebeerfest.com. GEORGIA APPLE FESTIVAL The annual event is held over two weekends – Oct. 13-14 and Oct. 20-21 – in Ellijay. There will be more than 300 vendors, an antique car show, a parade and plenty of apples. Visit georgiaapplefestival.org for information.


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Make a Splash

Georgia State Parks offer water activities for summer


Summer is calling, and outdoor lovers will soon be on the hunt for the perfect destinations to enjoy water activities. Lucky for locals and visitors, Georgia State Parks offer a plethora of ways to get wet, including paddling, boating, fishing and kayaking just to name a few. And whether you’re heading for the hills or to some other part of the state for your summer vacation, there’s some great scenery, too.

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PADDLING The Park Paddlers Club offers an abundance of scenic waterways to explore, for both seasoned paddlers and beginners. Whether paddling in a kayak, in a canoe or on a stand-up paddleboard (SUP), paddle the 24 miles of water trails at the six participating state parks and earn a Park Paddlers t-shirt and bragging rights. In addiHigh Falls SUP tion to the six state parks in the Park Paddlers Club, visitors can rent kayaks, canoes and SUPs to explore a variety of mountain lakes, coastal waters and winding rivers, all located within Georgia state parks. Find a complete list of parks with paddling at GaStateParks.org/Paddling. FISHING Georgia State Parks are an angler’s paradise with reservoirs, streams and rivers, lakes of all sizes and saltwater fishing. Many bass fishermen equate “The Bass Capital of the World” to George T. Bagby’s Lake Walter F. George. In fact, the size and variety of fish are rivaled only by the varieties of unspoiled environments, from bass at Tugaloo and Hart Outdoor Recreation Area, to crappie at Seminole, Red Top Mountain and Richard B. Russell. Several of the parks have created programs that allow you to borrow equipment for little or no charge. Find a fishing spot at GaStateParks.org/Fishing. BOATING In addition to lakeside beaches, dozens of Georgia State Parks provide public boat ramps and docks, a few with their own docks adjacent to campgrounds and cabins. Boat rentals are available at more than 20 state parks. Larger lakes even allow boaters to partake in water skiing, sailing and other personal watercraft activities, however, some parks on smaller lakes have horsepower restrictions to preserve the tranquil setting and wildlife. See a full list of boat ramps at GaStateParks.org/Boating. SWIMMING Nothing says summer like a trip to the lake. Georgia State Parks’ sandy swimming beaches serve up all the amenities of a trip to the coast without the expense. Check out the beaches at parks like Red Top Mountain, Hard Labor Creek or Tugaloo. If swimming pools are more your style, head to F.D. Roosevelt, High Falls, Little Ocmulgee or Victoria Bryant state parks. Kids will find fun ways to play in the water with splash pads at Magnolia Springs, Little Ocmulgee and Gordonia-Alatamaha. Find a lake, pool or splash pad at Red Top Mountain Beach GaStateParks.org/Swimming.

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Third Act

Delicious award-winning southern cuisine A variety of stables, petting zoo, stacked pond for fishing, offsite private fly fishing & a natural backdrop that is one of kind!

Noted poet, dancer and activist prepares for mountain move BY COLLIN KELLEY Poet, dancer, activist and history-maker Louise Runyon is leaving Decatur for the mountains of North Carolina. Her latest poetry collection, “The Passion of Older Women,” not only acts as goodbye letter to the city, but also arrives at the height of the social mediadriven #MeToo movement as a frank testament and tool of empowerment for women “of a certain age.” “I love Atlanta and Decatur. I will deeply miss the DeKalb Farmers Market, my many communities here, my friends and garden,” Runyon reflected. “But I’m looking forward to pursuing a more spiritual path, and part of that is being in the mountains. I want to rest, be quiet and appreciate the natural world. I want to take better care of myself and get to know a new place and community. It’s an adventure.” Runyon is not new to adventures and forging her own path. She made history in the 1970s by becoming the first woman to work at Atlantic Steel (where Atlantic Station now sits in Midtown) since World War II. She also made a name for herself in the dance world, touring the country as a performer and choreographer and creating the Louise Runyon Performance Company. Runyon said the strong women in her life were her inspiration, including now as she prepares to make another life-altering move. “I’m 68, so it’s pretty daunting to make this move by myself,” Runyon said. “But the mountains are where my heart is.” She was particularly inspired by her cousin, Francis, who moved to the North Carolina mountains at age 70 and lived happily there for another 26 years. “Those were the best years of her life,” Runyon said. “She found peace there and I hope to do the same.” Before she makes the move to Sylva, North Carolina, Runyon remains steadfast in her role as an activist, including support of #MeToo. “Sexual assault on women, viewing them as objects and commodities, leads to the stigmatization of older women,” she said. “When you become an older woman, you feel shame and stigmatized no matter how confident or powerful you’ve been. It’s not really talked about, but just part of the fabric of our culture. I think the Me Too movement is a huge step forward for women.” While writing “The Passion of Older Women,” Runyon became aware of just how little writing there was for older women. She said most of the books come from a religious angle or “formulaic garbage” playing on the old trope of older women desperate for younger men. “I hope that when women read this book they will gain solace, hope, comfort and direction,” Runyon said. “We’re looking at the last third of our lives and how we’re going to live it. It’s not an easy thing to face. Younger women may not think about it or want to think about it, but this is their future, too.” As for her legacy, Runyon said she’s not one to reflect on it. “My contribution is to write and talk about the power of the women of my generation,” she said. “We’re a formidable group. We’ve made a difference and will continue to do so and not just disappear.” Louise Runyon will read from “The Passion of Older Women” on June 25, 7:15 p.m. at the Decatur Library as part of Poetry Atlanta Presents… in conjunction with Georgia Center for the Book. For more information, visit georgiacenterforthebook.org or louiserunyonperformance.com.

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Design Ideas

Ideas for decorating your mountain retreat As more people buy mountain homes for retirement or as weekend getaways, interior design has definitely evolved. Gone are the days of the primitive log cabin, replaced by modern conveniences with a rustic flare. We rounded up a few design ideas to help inspire you if you’re getting ready to decorate your mountain retreat.

1 An outdoor fireplace is a must for those chilly nights in the mountains. It also makes an excellent focal point for a family gathering, party or just curling up with a good book.


No outhouses here! A sleek, modern bathroom can have a rustic touch as well as a commanding view of the mountains while you soak in a big tub or enjoy a long shower.



A modern version of the campfire, a fire pit with plenty of seating is great for parties, sleepovers or sitting around toasting marshmallows and listening to ghost stories.


Wood and stone accents in a mountain home offer plenty of charm, while big windows offer great views – even from bed.


Open floorplans are de rigueur in city homes these days, but they are also perfect for mountain retreats, especially if you’re trying to get closer to the family or hosting a party. A big kitchen bar with plenty of seating and a grand view of the living space opens up all kinds of possibilities.

If you’re going to be entertaining at your mountain home, plenty of seating will be a must. This interior design offers multiple areas for gathering, socializing and intimate conversations.

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Dana Munson Riverwood International Charter School Riverwood International Charter School teacher Dana Munson, no stranger to awards, was recently honored for her work teaching students art. Munson was honored as Georgia’s National Art Honor Society Distinguished Teacher of the Year alongside her students as they won their own awards. “Though the honor should be enough, what I treasured most was that my National Art Honor Society kids were there to see me win this award. To be able to share that with the kids that made it possible to win the award was one of my finest moments as a teacher,” Munson said of accepting the award, which was announced at the group’s March conference. She has previously been honored as Educator of the Year for both the Georgia Art Education Association and from the National Art Education Association. For nine years of Munson’s 20-year career, she has been teaching at River-



wood in Sandy Springs. Munson believes art teaches kids how to “dream big, to make mistakes, to fail and to succeed.” She could be on her way to another award. Munson and teacher Lana Ensmann have been nominatSPECIAL Dana Munson. ed as sponsors of the year by the Georgia Art Education Association for their work with Riverwood’s National Art Honor Society, where they have led students to raise $1,500 for a nonprofit. “I really enjoy getting to know my students through the art that they create,” she said.

Dana Munson helps her students with their artwork.

Q: What keeps you going year after year? A: The students are the reason I keep

coming back. Each student is unique and it is part of the puzzle of educating that you have to find a way to reach each one. Some kids are easier than others, but that is part of the reason that teaching never gets old.


What do you want to see in your students?

A: One student told me once that I had

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taught him more science than any other teacher. Though I know that just wasn’t the case, I also realized that through the arts, he had actually applied his science knowledge in a different way. I really enjoy seeing when a student realizes some insight (large or small) that makes an impact on him or her. Those are the moments that we, as teachers, look forward to.

Q: What are you most proud of in your career?

A: Though I have won several awards

and those were proud moments, the one thing that I am most proud of is that I was able to teach my daughters when they were in elementary school and I was able to teach them in high school. They are graduating this year from Riverwood and I couldn’t be prouder of them and the time we have spent together.

Q: What is your favorite memory at your school?



Though I have had some fabulous memories at Riverwood throughout my time here, I have to say my favorite (to date) was having my last day with my graduating [Advanced Placement] art students this year. I have taught these kids for three to four years and have become very fond of each of them. It was a sad day for me to see each of them move their name to the AP art student name wall (a tradition in my room), but I know that each of these fabulous kids will do great things in the future. Right now, it is my proudest memory.


What do you hope students learn from you?

A: Deep down, I really want my students

to appreciate their talent and skills. As an artist, we create and it is through creating that we gain insights into ourselves. For students, the arts help to give them the confidence that each needs to be able to conquer problems. One of the quotes in my room is, “In art, it’s not a mistake, it’s an opportunity.” The arts teach kids that it is okay to make a mistake and to learn how to go beyond that mistake. Art is about process and achieving a goal and for my students, I think this is the greatest lesson. 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.

Classifieds | 29

JUNE 8 - 21, 2018 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net


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30 | Community

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Church seeks to preserve its 130-year African-American history Continued from page 1 niversary next year. The Buckhead Heritage Society is partnering with the project due to the church’s significance as one of the last remaining buildings that marks the African-American history of the area. “It really is all that is left of a very active African-American community in that area,” said Tamara Bazzle, the Buckhead Heritage board president. Rev. David Richards, who has been

pastor at the 3012 Arden Road church for about a year, said the Buckhead community has been enormously supportive of the church, despite the changes the neighborhood has undergone in the last 130 years and divisions displayed by the recent mayoral election. “We’ve been overwhelming supported by the Buckhead community, even with the racial tension,” he said. “The Buckhead community has poured out

love and support. Restoration plans include identifying, repairing and cleaning grave markers in the historic, sprawling cemetery across the road from the church. Some grave markers in the cemetery, which was established by 1889, have toppled or begun deteriorating, as seen in a recent tour. The first burial in the cemetery is documented as 1889, but unmarked graves suggest there were some done earlier, according to the church’s 2008 application for National Register of Historic Places designation. The church received the historic designation in 2009, making it eligible for some grants that could help fund the proposed projects. To restore a cemetery of that age, a special approved chemical solution is required to clean the headstones, as well as extreme care, Bazzle said. She plans to lead a workshop and seminar on how to restorations, drawing on her participation in other similar workshops. A specific date hasn’t been set yet, but she plans to host it in the fall and will invite members of other churches and the community to attend, she said.

There are many graves that are unmarked, but to locate them all would be extremely expensive and fundraising would be needed, Bazzle said. Buckhead Heritage has done similar work at Harmony Grove, a cemetery the organization restored as its signature project, she said. “Of the remaining African-American cemeteries, it is one of the largest and very well-preserved,” she said of the New Hope cemetery. Other planned improvements include repairing a ceiling leak; repainting; installing new sanctuary carpet for a “fresh look”; and possibly replacing the marquee sign outside with one that’s “more historically accurate,” Richards said. The small sanctuary building’s blue carpeted floor is covered with enough pews for 200 people; a drum set, piano and organ used each Sunday for worship; a choir seating area; and the requisite pulpit. Wood has been donated to repair the façade of the main church building, which has rotted and warped in the sun and rain, Richards said. The church needs to raise $50,000 to complete the repairs and then will start making the

Pastor David Richards speaks in the sanctuary about the renovation plans. PHOTOS BY EVELYN ANDREWS


Community | 31

JUNE 8 - 21, 2018 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net improvements, he said. The congregation was founded in 1889, but the church building there today is not that old. A 1927 fire destroyed the original building, and the one standing now was completed in 1936. The land was donated by a white Buckhead landowner, James H. Smith, to the congregation in 1872. Smith is now buried in the cemetery, Bazzle said. Among the family names found throughout the cemetery are the Maddoxes, Irbys, Defoors, Paces and Calhouns. All are recognizable as early prominent white families in the Buckhead area, according to the National Register application. According to a church history written by Elizabeth Few, the early church members had been previously enslaved and kept the white family names. Those church members kept their connec-

tions to the families by continuing to work for them and lived in small African-American neighborhoods near the church, according to the history. “It represents the contributions that newly freed African Americans made in the building of a community infrastructure in the post-Civil War South,” the National Register application states. The church is now noted as “atypical” for its surroundings, which is mostly upper-income houses owned by white families, according to the document, which was completed in 2008. Although most in the neighborhood are not members, Bazzle said a lot of people in the neighborhood care about the church for its historic status and importance. “It’s part of history that should not be lost,” she said. Over the years, some church members have had to move farther and farther away as development pushed them out of the area, Bazzle said. A few of the 150 active members live in Buckhead, but most commute from places like south Fulton County, Douglasville, Woodstock or McDonough, Richards said. Some are new members, but many have been attending for years or have BK

family ties the church and don’t want to leave, despite their long distance, he said. Some have been there much longer. Moses Few, Elizabeth Few’s husband, has attended all 91 years of his life, despite being pushed out of living in Buckhead many years ago. Few said he grew up on Northside Drive and attended the school that was on the church grounds before it burned down in 1942. His house was in disrepair, so his

family moved to Margaret Mitchell Drive a few miles west. The house was later demolished for I-75 construction, pushing his family farther away. He’s now lived in a house in west Atlanta for 52 years, but still drives to attend the church. His grandparents, sister and uncle are buried in the cemetery, he said. “It is been very much a big part of my life,” he said. “There’s so much history there, and I want to see it preserved.”

Top, Pastor David Richards points out damage on the sanctuary building, which he hopes to repair. Inset, Plans call for repainting and replacing the carpet in the church sanctuary. Above, New Hope AME is seeking to restore the cemetery, which was established by 1889.

32 |

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