06-23-17 Brookhaven Reporter

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JUNE 23 - JULY 6, 2017 • VOL. 9 — NO. 13




Perimeter Business

Brookhaven Reporter

► Joining the circus

in Buckhead


► Movie biz booms

behind the screens


After Handel’s win, parties look ahead to 2018

BY DYANA BAGBY AND JOHN RUCH The GOP can breathe a little easier after Republican Karen Handel’s victory over Democrat Jon Ossoff in the special election for the 6th Congressional District seat after a campaign that set records for spending and drew a national spotlight. But not too much easier, warn local political pundits, as Handel won narrowly, with just under 52 percent of the PHIL MOSIER

See AFTER on page 13

Karen Handel is joined onstage by husband Steve after her Election Night victory at the Hyatt Regency at Villa Christina in Brookhaven.


Park’s neighbors oppose ‘comfort women’ memorial, may sue city

City may use eminent domain for Greenway

OUT & ABOUT Fire up your Fourth! Page 19

BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

Page 2

We want the people who live and work here to have their voices and opinions heard and reflected in the art that is created ... to make sure we are cognizant and respectful of their voices. MARIAN LIOU

Founder of We Love BuHi, on the Living Walls art pieces coming to Buford Highway

See story, page 12

Assembling the property needed for the planned $35 million Peachtree Creek Greenway will take place one piece of land at a time. Landing the first major parcel for the linear park and trail system is already proving to be a tough first step. The City Council, which approved the Greenway earlier this year, is poised to vote June 29 on using eminent domain to buy 19 acres of undeveloped wooded land near Buford Highway and BriarSee CITY on page 12

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2 | Community

Park’s neighbors oppose ‘comfort women’ memorial, may sue BY DYANA BAGBY

that council meeting that a location for the statue had not yet been determined. However, Sapir said that on May 18 he Residents living around the Brookhavnoticed city parks employees building the en park where a controversial “comfort concrete slab for the memorial in the midwomen” memorial is set to be unveiled dle of the park. When he asked what was June 30 are telling the city to find anothbeing placed there, “The employee told me er location or face legal action. it was a secret,” Sapir said. Mayor John Ernst has told residents Sapir said he and other residents via email that the city is willing to pay immediately began seeking a meeting to relocate the memorial if another site with city officials and met with Sigman is agreed upon by the Parks and Recreon June 16. Sapir said Sigman told him ation Department. a City Council vote would be required to move the memorial. The city does not have a formal policy for accepting public art or memorials, according to city spokesperson Burke Brennan. Brennan said the current plan remains to unveil the statue on June 30. The next City Council meeting is scheduled for June 29. Brennan said the deDYANA BAGBY cision to locate the statCovered with a plywood box, the “comfort women” memorial ue in the city-owned park awaits its unveiling in Brookhaven’s Blackburn Park 2. on Blair Circle was a staff The Reserve at Brookleigh Commudecision that included input from himnity Association, representing 95 homeself, Sigman and Parks and Recreation owners along Blair Circle, pays for BlackDirector Brian Borden. He said the park burn Park II’s maintenance, but had no was selected because it is an existing pasinput into the monument’s location, said sive green space without any other possiboard member Brad Sapir. Residents are ble development use and because it is loconcerned the statue affects the park’s cated in a quiet residential area, “which use and brings a political controversy to is compatible with the theme and imagthe neighborhood, Sapir said. ery of the memorial.” “For them to just make this decision In a June 14 email from Ernst to Sawithout speaking with us is extremely unpir, the mayor said the decision to locate fair, and, at this point, we don’t know if it the memorial in the park “was largely is legal,” said Sapir. “For the city to come driven by the number of seniors living in and plop this down in the center of the in the immediate area, the limited park park really changes the environment and amenities at Blackburn Park II, and relaatmosphere around this park.” tive flat topography of the park.” Sapir said he and other residents are “We did consider other city parks, considering filing for a court injunction but Backburn Park II was the clear forcing the memorial’s relocation unless choice,” Ernst wrote. “As to the locathe city does so voluntarily. tion of the statue in the park proper, The memorial, a statue of a girl sitting the statue and associated landscaping next to an empty chair, honors sex-traffickare generally in an area closest to the ing victims of the Japanese military during sidewalk entering the park from the World War II. It is one of several identical senior apartments and on-street parkstatues created as part of a campaign that ing for seniors. The city’s parks, as with has generated controversy between the most parks, do a great job of providing governments of Japan and South Korea. amenities and programming for active The Consulate-General of Japan in Atadults and children, but too often selanta is asking the city of Brookhaven to reniors are not considered.” ject the statue, and City Council members The 3-acre park is known to the city have received more than 200 emails from as Blackburn Park II, but nearby resipeople opposed to the statue, most from dents call it Brookleigh Central Park. It people living in Japan. is near, but not adjacent to, the larger Earlier this year, the Center for Civil and and better-known Blackburn Park on Human Rights in downtown Atlanta decidAshford-Dunwoody Road. ed to reject an offer to host the memorial. Sapir said the Brookleigh Master AsThe Brookhaven City Council voted May sociation – which includes the home23 to accept the memorial from the Atlanowner’s association along with repreta Comfort Women Memorial Task Force. sentatives of other organizations in the City Manager Christian Sigman said at mixed-use Brookleigh development -dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

Facebook.com/TheReporterNewspapers ■ twitter.com/Reporter_News pays more than $20,000 a year for the park’s upkeep, while the city covers no maintenance costs. “It seems like the city had no idea it was not paying for the maintenance of the park,” Sapir said. Brennan confirmed that while the park is owned by the city, the city has not been paying for its maintenance. When Ashton Woods built the Reserve at Brookleigh as part of the 56-acre mixeduse development near the intersection of Johnson Ferry and Ashford-Dunwoody roads about five years ago, it included the park as part of the residential section. That park later was deeded to DeKalb County

and it was then transferred to the city of Brookhaven about two years ago. “There is a development and maintenance agreement in place with DeKalb County that gives the [Brookleigh] Master Association the responsibility for all maintenance in the park,” Sapir said. “The residents and homeowners of Brookleigh pay approximately $20,000 annually to maintain and improve the park, in addition to the thousands of dollars we pay annually to maintain the associated retention ponds, replace trees, repair irrigation and maintain pet waste stations,” he said.

Japanese consul general: Memorial is ‘symbol of hatred’ BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

The Japanese consulgeneral in Atlanta is urging the Brookhaven City Council to back off its decision to accept a “comfort women” memorial that honors women from many nations who were sexually trafficked by the Japanese military during World War II. Takashi “Thomas” Shinozuka said in an interview DYANA BAGBY at the Consulate-General of Japanese Consul General Takashi Shinozuka said he is ‘puzzled’ why Brookhaven would accept Japan in Phipps Tower said a controversial ‘comfort women’ statue. there is “no evidence” that the military sexually enslaved women, most from Korea, during WWII. He said rather that the women were paid prostitutes. “This is not a simple art object,” he said. “This is a symbol of hatred and resentment against Japan.” City officials and Task Force members deny the memorial bashes Japan and rather it honors the memory of the “comfort women” — the Japanese military euphemism for the women. A city spokesperson said there is no talk of rejecting the memorial. In a 2015 agreement between the Japanese and South Korean governments, Japan apologized to “all the women who underwent immeasurable and painful experiences and suffered incurable physical and psychological wounds as comfort women,” in a translation provided by the Atlanta consulate. But the agreement did not explicitly admit the women were forced into prostitution, and Shinozuka denied that they were. The Atlanta Comfort Women Memorial Task Force stated in its donation of the memorial to the city last month that up to 200,000 women were sexually enslaved by the Japanese military. Shinozuka said that is not true. “There was not 200,000 women, they were not sex slaves, and they were not taken by force,” he said. In Asian culture, he said, sometimes women become prostitutes to help their families financially. He noted the 2015 agreement between the Japanese government and Korean government that also led to the Japanese government in 2016 paying more than $8 million to a foundation set up by the Korean government to help former “comfort women.” “The demand for apologies continue to come ... and it was decided to resolve the issue once and for all,” he said of the payment. But activists in Korea have not been satisfied, he said. Shinozuka said he was “puzzled” by the city’s willingness to accept the controversial memorial, especially because the city and Japan enjoy a friendly relationship that includes Japan donating several cherry trees to be planted in Blackburn Park as part of the annual Cherry Blossom Festival. He said by accepting the memorial, Brookhaven has injected itself into an international debate between Korea and Japan. He said more than 300 Japanese Americans live in Brookhaven and did not get an opportunity to speak out about the memorial. “This is a very controversial situation ... and so is the memorial,” he said. BK

JUNE 23 - JULY 6, 2017

Community | 3


DeKalb Schools to buy, demolish apartments for new school BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

DeKalb County school officials recently decided to purchase a Doraville apartment complex so they can tear it down and build a new elementary school on the property. “In a growing school district like DeKalb County, it is incumbent upon us to explore all options as we look to build new schools now and in the future,” DeKalb Schools Superintendent Stephen Green said in an email. “All real estate matters are discussed thoroughly, we perform our due diligence and according to board policy all matters must be approved by the Board of Education.” The board on June 12 approved the purchase of the approximately 10-acre Shallowford Gardens apartment complex at 3630 Shallowford Road for $8.2 million. Plans are to begin construction of a new school building on the site next year, with the new 900seat elementary school set to open in 2020. “I literally cannot wrap my mind around how this is OK,” said Rebekah Morris, who taught English at Cross Keys High School in Brookhaven and knows several students who live in the complex. She is also a founder of the Los Vecinos de Buford Highway, an organization seeking to empower apartment residents living along the corridor.

DeKalb schools says the new school is desperately needed to alleviate overcrowding in the Cross Keys cluster of schools. Last year, the district approved a redistricting plan for the Cross Keys cluster that would move 1,700 students in these schools to other north DeKalb County schools. The Cross Keys cluster also is noted for many students who live along Buford Highway and do not speak English as their first language. Morris said DeKalb Schools has “ignored” the Cross Keys cluster for years. She said that several public meetings last year that drew hundreds of attendees to discuss the redistricting process offered a way for the school district to show residents it did care about what was happening to the Cross Keys cluster. “They held the meetings and said they cared about them and wanted to make things right ... but now the plan to make things right is to send kids away,” Morris said. “I felt like this [purchase] was a slap in the face.” In a recent blog, Morris wrote, “Before deciding to knock down your students’ homes after promising those same students and their families new facilities to address long-term neglect of the Cross Keys cluster, I think [the DeKalb school system] should have involved the public in the process, exhaustively explored other options

and been able to provide clear, written and thorough explanations as to why alternative properties were not feasible.” The new elementary school primarily will alleviate overcrowding at Dresden Elementary in Chamblee and Cary Reynolds Elementary in Doraville. The two schools have a combined 42 portable classroom units on their grounds as well as one restroom unit at each school, according to school officials. Schools in the Cross Keys cluster are Cary Reynolds, Dresden, Montgomery Elementary School, Woodward Elementary School, Sequoyah Middle School and Cross Keys High School. As of October 2016, there were 1,878 students attending Dresden and Cary Reynolds elementary schools with the demographic breakdown as 88 percent Hispanic, 7 percent Asian, 4 percent black and 1 percent white, according to school system data. The school district is giving families living in the complex until the end of August to find a new home. DeKalb Schools and the owners of the apartment complex are offering $2,250 moving bonuses to help leaseholders who are up to date on their rent to move to a new home. DeKalb schools spokesperson Eileen Houston-Stewart said district staff looked at properties and groups of properties in

the northern area of the Cross Keys cluster in Doraville and Chamblee area. They based their decision on several factors, including the acreage needed for an elementary school and avoiding hazards such as flood zones, aircraft pathways around DeKalb-Peachtree Airport, industrial zones and exposure to petroleum storage areas. “Several sites were identified for review. During the processes of reviewing the possible sites, [DeKalb officials] became aware of the apartment owner’s interest in selling the property,” HoustonStewart said. “Based on knowledge of this interest, [the school system] reached out to the owners to explore a possible sale.”

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



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

Joining the circus in Buckhead with the Imperial OPA troupe BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

Imperial OPA circus founder Timothy Mack juggles pins.


Timothy Mack is one of those guys who really did run away and join the circus. Now he gathers performers to join his own, the Atlanta-based Imperial OPA circus. Surrounded by tumbling acrobats and twirling aerialists on a recent night at the Imperial OPA’s small training gym in Buckhead, Mack explained how the circus is a noble art and a tough business. “I think a lot of people think of circus as an oddity or a curiosity,” said the 38-year-old ringmaster and circusfounder, who sports a classic handlebar moustache, explaining the art has mood-changing and life-altering po-

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tential. “Entertainment can really heal people … You can be happy, be amazed.” Mack will help the country celebrate the art as one of two ringmasters at this year’s circus-focused Smithsonian Folklife Festival, running June 29-July 6 in Washington, D.C. Just weeks ago, he also personally experienced the business’s challenges, traveling as a stagehand on the final run of the legendary Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, which shut down in May after a 146-year history. The circus business is “a lot of hustling to keep the lights on,” he said. But its unconventional charms can be their own reward, as easily seen on that training night. The Imperial OPA is based at a downtown office, but holds open practices and its “Circus School of Atlanta” classes at Buck’s Sports Barn, a small, red building hidden behind a row of storefronts at 2303 Peachtree Road. The one-room gym, overseen by a giant painting of Muhammad Ali, was topped with a multicolored cloth suggesting a circus tent. Mats and a springboard were on the floor for the acrobats, including Rocco Lapaire and Nova Hawkins, a duo who perform regularly on cruise ships. A trapeze and ropes and sheets, or “silks,” dangled from the ceiling for aerialists like Amelia Chambless. “A lot of adrenaline,” said Chambless, a 20-year-old Dunwoody resident, explaining the appeal of climbing and twirling on the silks. “It just gives me a lot of self-confidence.” She’s proud that she has performed on 40-foot-tall silks at Midtown’s Opera nightclub, where she once saw another aerialist during her prom. And she’s so enthusiastic, she bought her own training rig for about $3,000 and drives around with it in her Jeep so she can practice in local parks. That’s the kind of daring and emotion that Mack said drew him into the circus life. In 2005, the Connecticut native found himself at a personal low point after a broken relationship. So he joined the circus, signing on with the famous Canadian troupe Cirque du Soleil as a photographer. Traveling the East Coast with Cirque, he enjoyed the freewheeling, colorful Continued on page 8

JUNE 23 - JULY 6, 2017


Perimeter Business | 5

Movie biz booms behind the screens BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

Metro Atlanta has become a major hub of film and TV productions, including the home of Marvel Studios’ multibillion-dollar superhero movies. In the Perimeter area, businesses are finding opportunities in newly trained workers, the trading of the state’s lucrative filmmaking tax credits – and, yes, making movies.


Even without post-production work, the tax credits have created a workforce of more than 100,000 people that have an average annual salary of $84,000, with some making more than $150,000 a year, Stefrpakoff said. One concern about bringing the film industry to Georgia is making sure the state has the workforce to support it, he said. If there aren’t enough Georgia residents here to fill the jobs, the productions will bring in people from out of state, giving the money saved from tax credits to people who don’t live here, he said. “We want to make sure there is

Georgia needs to become a place where a movie can be produced from start to finish, not just filmed, and the Georgia Film Academy is working to fill that gap, Jeff Stepakoff, the executive director of the program, said at the Buckhead Business Association’s June 15 luncheon. Stepakoff credits Georgia’s varying environments, access to an international airport and, of course, state tax credits for making the state desirable to the film industry, he said at the luncheon, held in JW Marriott in Buckhead. Tax credits established in Georgia in 2008 have a brought a flurry of TV and movie productions to the state. “The effects of all of this producTWENTIETH CENTURY FOX “The Watch” is one movie Monarch Private Capital tion and all this worked with to sell leftover tax credits. economic activity here in our state have been nothing short of transformative,” Stepakoff enough crew to do the work and we said. won’t be sending tax dollars out of the But to be sustainable and not a fad, state,” Stepakoff said. Georgia has to become an environment The Georgia Film Academy was crewhere every step of film production ated to fill that void. The program becan happen, he said. Right now, crews gan in January 2015 with Gov. Nathan are filming many TV shows and movies Deal’s announcement of a film indusin the state, but post-production work try training program to ensure the such as editing and animation are hapstate had workers to support the induspening elsewhere. try. Since that announcement, more “Basically, we’re producing other than 75 students have successfully gotpeople’s movies,” Stepakoff said. ten jobs in the Georgia film industry, To solve the problem, Georgia needs Stepakoff said. to bring in TV and movie writers and “We need to take advantage of producers with post-production skills what’s happening now to build a legacy and the academy is “aggressively planfor our state,” Stepakoff said. ning” to implement training for writers and producers, Stepakoff said. Continued on page 6

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6 | Perimeter Business

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Movie biz booms behind the screens

A promotional banner shows the two main characters of the film “Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero.” FUN ACADEMY MOTION PICTURES

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Georgia provides tax credits for up to 30 percent of what a company spends in the state, and often a production company doesn’t owe enough in taxes to use them all so they are sold to businesses or individuals who can. To sell film credits, Buckhead-based Monarch Private Capital works with production companies to find buyers for a tax credit they can’t use, Robin Delmer, the managing director of acquisitions, said. The buyers are able to buy the tax credits for less than they are worth. To qualify for tax credits, the productions have to spend at least $500,000 in the state. Georgia offers a 20 percent tax credit to all productions that qualify, and an additional 10 percent is available if productions include the Georgia logo and a link to Georgia’s tourism site on the production’s website, according to the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s website. “Usually, production companies don’t have enough Georgia tax liability, so the tax credits would basically go to waste,” Delmer said. The state encourages this, Delmer said, because the production companies have already spent money in the state. The buyers are often corporations and the tax credits from one company often are split among several buyers, Delmer said. The credits can’t be resold to another buyer, however. Delmer couldn’t release the names of specific movies or shows they have worked with, but Monarch mostly works with large productions, he said. According to the company’s website, Monarch did work with “The Watch,” a Ben Stiller comedy movie filmed in Georgia in 2012, to sell film tax credits.

MAKING THE MOVIES Former state Rep. Joe Wilkinson, who represented parts of Sandy Springs and Buckhead, is the president of a company creating an animated movie about a real-life World War I military dog named Sgt. Stubby. The film company, Fun Academy Motion Pictures, released the first trailer for the movie, “Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero,” on June 15 and plans to release the full film in April 2018. Its voice actors include Helena Bonham Carter and Gérard Depardieu. When production for the movie began, there were no animation studios in Georgia that could produce a quality animated movie, so animation is being done in Canada and France, Fun Academy spokesperson Jordan Beck said. Wilkinson is working out of his office in Sandy Springs and his home on St. Simons Island, but he hopes to bring the entire production team to Georgia eventually, mentioning the tax credits as one reason. “It’s just done wonders for the film business,” said Wilkinson, who helped pass the tax credits during his tenure as a state lawmaker. There were plans to open a Buckhead office for the Sgt. Stubby film, but the company is still determining if it’s needed, Wilkinson said. Beck said the company is opening the state’s first film distribution center in Columbus, Ga., which does everything involving getting movies to the public, including making promotional materials and getting the film shown in theaters. The center is currently working on the “Sgt. Stubby” movie release to 2,500 theaters, but will also work with other production companies to market their movies and get them into theaters. To read more about Sgt. Stubby and the movie, visit stubbymovie.com.

JUNE 23 - JULY 6, 2017

Perimeter Business | 7


Business Briefs


The Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual gala on June 10 at Flourish in Buckhead. Among those celebrating were, from left, new GHCC president Santiago Marquez; Wendy Corona of WSBTV; Guiomar Obregon, president of Precision 2000; and Alejandro Coss, president of the Latin American Chamber of Commerce of Georgia. The GHCC has about 1,100 members and is based in Buckhead.


Work is moving rapidly on the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium downtown, as seen on a June 15 tour led by Mercedes-Benz USA, the carmaker’s North American branch, which is temporarily based in Dunwoody and is building its new headquarters in Sandy Springs. The company bought stadium naming rights in 2015 to coincide with MBUSA’s move. The tour showcased special club and suite seating areas with the Mercedes-Benz brand.

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circus life. He started picking up such skills as juggling and fire-spinning. “You hang out with Russian guys eating tons of food. They ask you to marry their Cuban girlfriend so she can stay in the country,” he recalled. But what really struck him was the effect on the audience. “You would see guests as they came in” – he pulled a frown – “and saw them leave” – he smiled broadly. Mack came to Atlanta and got an animation job at a videogame company – one of those digital challengers that can make business hard for reallife performers. But he didn’t forget the circus’s impact and set out to start his own. After an early, unsuccessful effort, he formed the Imperial OPA in 2008. “Opa!” is a Greek exclamation of celebration, so Mack says the circus’s name

loosely translates to “the Big Cheer” -“because as an entertainer, that’s what we’re going for.” The Imperial OPA joins a small, closely knit circus community in Atlanta, which also includes the downtownbased UniverSoul hip-hop circus. The Buck’s Sports Barn classes are one way performers meet, develop acts and join the circus. Particular performances are based on the setting and client and can include varying numbers and types of performers. “We’ve done all the ranges,” from street performances to stage shows, said Mack. The Imperial OPA has performed at street festivals and provided performers for the popular TV series “The Vampire Diaries.” It staged cabaret shows and productions with such titles as “Night of the Living Circus.” Its clients have included the Atlanta Bo-

JUNE 23 - JULY 6, 2017

Perimeter Business | 9


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Perimeter North Family Medicine Welcoming new patients! Top: Amelia Chambless, right, strikes a pose on the aerial silks, while acrobats Nova Hawkins and Rocco Lapaire practice. Above: Amanda Richards practices on the aerial silks.

tanical Gardens and 11Alive. All that work has big up-front costs. Renting a performance space can run $3,000 to $4,000 a night. Performers have to be paid – anywhere from $100 to $1,000 each, depending on skills – and a big show can take 20 of them. Costumes have to be made. Insurance has to be bought. Last year, the Imperial OPA had revenues over $175,000, with the majority going to performers’ pay, Mack said. The troupe is far from Mack’s million-dollar dream of setting up its own permanent circus space. He says it needs a more sustainable and stable business model, and may seek official nonprofit status. Right now, it accepts donations through Fractured Atlas, an organization that acts as a fiscal agent for small arts groups. Even planning a circus show can

have a big effect, Mack said, recalling how a former hardware store clerk told him how an unusual Imperial OPA request inspired him to follow his own dreams to become an architect. “‘You came into Home Depot one day and you asked me how to build a bed of nails … You changed my life,’” Mack recalled the man saying. That kind of perspective shift is what Mack hopes audiences take away from Imperial OPA, whose performers range from teens to an 86-year-old acrobat. “I hope people get inspired that they can do anything,” said Mack. “It’s never too late to have a passion, to throw your heart and soul into the ring.” For more information, see theimperialopa.com.

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960 Johnson Ferry Road, Suite 300, Atlanta, GA 30342


10 | Commentary

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Commentary / ‘Comfort women’ memorial belongs in Brookhaven On June 30, Brookhaven will unveil a statue to honor and remember the many women and girls who were sexually enslaved during World War II by the Imperial Japanese Army. Google “comfort women” and you’ll read, see and hear heartbreaking stories of lives destroyed by these atrocities. Beyond the individual suffering, it represents one of the largest cases of sex trafficking in modern history. It reminds us of the potential of humanity to reach such depths of depravity. It’s important for us as a society to remember how bad it can get, whether it be slavery in America, Nazi Germany’s concentration camps or the “comfort stations” established during WWII, so that it will never be repeated. One commonality in the history of all these events is that it was institutional and supported by the government in power at the time. They weren’t criminal enterprises in the shadows, but rather state-sponsored and overt violations of human rights. Remembering and bringing about awareness of the history isn’t just for us and our children, but also for generations to come. In February, I was invited to attend a meeting of the Atlanta Comfort Women Memorial Task Force along with several other elected officials. Congressman Mike Honda, a Japanese American, who introduced legislation in Congress to demand the Japanese recognize and apologize for the comfort women, attended and spoke. We viewed documentaries that reminded us of the plight of the comfort women and it was announced that the Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta would be the home of the Young Girl’s Statue for Peace. Similar statues have been erected in countries throughout the world. Several weeks later, the Center for Civil and Human Rights reneged on their agreement to house the statue. Even though a memorandum of understanding was signed, they gave a dubious reason for their reversal: “permanent exterior fixtures were not part of the original design or any new strategic plan for the future of the Center for Civil and Human Rights.” It was clear that lobbying by the Japanese consul was the reason, since the Center’s letter to the Task Force reiterated all of the Japanese consul’s objections. The Japanese consul denied that economic repercussions were threatened. It was clear to the Task Force that actions were taken in the shadows and behind closed doors

to affect this change. I believed that the Center made a mistake in reneging on their promise, as it was a unique opportunity to fulfill their mission of educating the public about historical violations of human rights. The mayor and my fellow council members of Brookhaven agreed. We also agreed that to welcome the statue in Brookhaven is in line with our stated policy and leadership in battling sex trafficking by raising awareness of John Park past and present sex trafficking. The City Councilmember FBI reported that in 2014, metro Atlanta ranked as the top city in the nation for these crimes. As reported here, Brookhaven was first in Georgia to join the “Not Buying It” campaign, a national initiative to create a forum for all 50 states to collaborate and develop strategies to end sex trafficking. In 2014, the city of Brookhaven became the first city in Georgia to train its top managers and all city employees on how to recognize signs of child sex trafficking. A PTA meeting I attended with our chief of police reminded me that we must not let our discomfort prevent us from discussing such an important subject. After covering issues concerning public safety around the school, the chief encouraged the parents to attend a screening of “8 Days,” a film about underage sex trafficking. Some parents became visibly upset. They questioned the relevance, as “things like that don’t happen in Brookhaven.” It was explained that unfortunately this does happen, and it’s a lot closer than we think. The WWII comfort women did not speak out for decades about what happened to them due to their discomfort. Even if it’s uncomfortable, it’s important for us to overcome our discomfort in order to truly fight against it. It is a small price to pay to honor the memory of the comfort women, educate the world on what has happened, and make sure it never happens again. John Park represents District 2 as a member of the Brookhaven City Council.

Letter to the Editor

Monument to comfort women is outrageous It is simply outrageous that a monument to the so-called comfort women of Korea is being placed in Brookhaven. America had nothing to do with the so-called comfort women. The Korean community is imposing their vicious, unforgiving cultural war on Japan on America. The Koreans are culturally bullying Americans. Americans should side with our long-term ally Japan in Korea’s vicious campaign of cultural war that the Koreans are waging against Japan. It is time to bring our troops home from Korea. Our American troops are being held hostage to North Korea. The U.S. should launch a massive nuclear attack on North Korea, which is developing nuclear weapons it says it will use against America. Unfortunately, if the U.S. attacks North Korea, the North will attack U.S. troops in South Korea. Thus, it is nec-

essary to remove U.S. troops from South Korea in order that America can attack North Korea. The U.S. should wash its hands of the Korean Peninsula. If North Korea and South Korea want to go to war, let them. I urge all citizens of Brookhaven to demand that the so-called comfort women monument not be placed in Brookhaven and to strongly side with the besieged Japanese, who are being assailed by the vicious Koreans. Keith Watkins Brookhaven

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JUNE 23 - JULY 6, 2017

Community | 11


The Great Gates project planned to be unveiled along Buford Highway this fall will include small artistic gates installed near businesses. WE LOVE BUHI

Big, and little, art coming to Buford Highway BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net


We Love BuHi continues its celebration and advocacy of Buford Highway with major art projects coming to local businesses. Living Walls, an annual street art conference, is bringing several artists to Buford Highway next month to listen to stories from people who live and work along the stretch of road. Their stories will then be used to influence art pieces to be installed as part of the conference Sept. 8-17. “Hearing their stories will ensure that the art produced will be reflective of the Buford Highway cultural diversity,” said Marian Liou, founder of We Love BuHi. Artists will be talking to students at Cross Keys High School and members of the Center for Pan Asian Community Services and other groups to hear their stories. “We want the people who live and work here to have their voices and opinions heard and reflected in the art that is created ... to make sure we are cognizant and respectful of their voices,” Liou said. “We don’t want an outsider to come in and interpret a place according to their concepts.” Living Walls, which has taken place in downtown Atlanta for many years, is known for large murals painted on walls of buildings. The artwork created for Buford Highway will be different, however, and may feature sculptures because the stretch of plazas and businesses where the art will be located does not include many large walls. The “epicenter” of Living Walls art will be focused in Doraville between Asian Square and Pine Tree Plaza and the display will continue to Doraville City Hall, Liou said. It will have a “big visual impact,” she said.

The conference in September will include workshops, seminars and Q&A discussions with local residents, business owners and other community members. Public programming will include outdoor movie screenings, lectures, a bicycle tour, a night market and more events. Living Walls officials estimate 3,000 visitors from Atlanta and around the world will attend the conference. Liou said the purpose of this year’s conference is to demonstrate the power of public art to knit our “most unique, and often most fragile, communities together, visually and emotionally, and to elevate our perceptions of and behavior toward ourselves and each other.” More art also is planned for businesses along Buford Highway in Chamblee and Doraville, but on a much smaller scale than Living Walls. Named “Great Gates,” the project is patterned after Tiny Doors Atlanta, where tiny individual doors are located outside businesses as small and fun art installations. “We’ve seen how awesome Tiny Doors is and wanted to do the same for Buford Highway ... as a way to engage visitors and those living here,” Liou said. “We are working on getting funding for the project because we want to pay for the installation and also pay a stipend to the artist,” she said. “This is a way to re-introduce We Love BuHi to businesses.” We Love BuHi is seeking 10 artists with Buford Highway roots and connections to submit proposals for the detail and background of each gate. Plans are to install the gates in the fall at different business locations. The Great Gates will celebrate the diversity of Buford Highway through public

art, promote local artists, support local businesses and encourage fun and safe pedestrian activity through the area’s “famously chaotic built environment,” she said. The deadline for Great Gates proposals is June 30. Send inquiries to Liou at marianliou@ gmail.com or 404-547-1349. For more

information about We Love BuHi, visit welovebuhi.com.





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12 | Community

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A map of the planned Peachtree Creek Greenway highlights in different colors the 67 parcels of land the city needs to acquire to construct the linear park and trail system designed to eventually connect to the Atlanta BeltLine. The creek is designated by the blue dotted line.


City may use eminent domain for Greenway Continued from page 1 wood Road needed for a trailhead for the Greenway, which is intended to connect to Buckhead’s PATH400 trails and eventually to the Atlanta BeltLine. DeKalb County tax records show the property is valued at approximately $414,000. The owners, listed as Atlanta attorney Mark Morgan and Atlanta-based Lifestyle Family Group, have asked for up to $1.5 million for the property, according to city spokesperson Burke Brennan. The city’s appraisal of the property is $314,000 and that’s what the city

is offering to pay for the land, Brennan said. “The issue is fair market price,” Brennan said. “The property was listed for sale before and after the city made an offer … and there is a great difference in price.” A request for comment from the property owners was not returned. “We’ve been trying to negotiate a fair and equitable transfer of this property for over a year to avoid using eminent domain, but we are at an impasse,” City Manager Christian Sigman said in a statement. “With the funding for the Peachtree Creek Greenway now in


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place, we are left with no other option in order to proceed.” The city, with the General Assembly’s approval this year, has raised its hotel/motel tax from 5 percent to 8 percent specifically to create a revenue stream to fund the portion of the Greenway between North Druid Hills Road and Briarwood Road. The estimated $650,000 coming into the city’s coffers from the raised taxes is financing a $9 million revenue bond to pay for easements and permits for the linear park and trail. The money is also being used to acquire the necessary land where the Greenway is set to be built. Plans for the segment between North Druid Hills Road and Briarwood Road include a major trailhead at Northeast Plaza and a trailhead at Briarwood Road, with unpaved nature trails and paved trails on both sides of the creek. According to the master plan, the south side trail system requires redevelopment of property on the I-85 access road that will include a connection to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. To build the entire estimated 3-mile section of the Greenway that snakes through Brookhaven, the city must obtain 67 parcels of land owned by 62 owners along Brookhaven’s portion of the linear park, according to the master plan. Land along the creek is primarily commercial, accounting for 35 parcels. Multi-family housing includes five parcels and apartment complexes account for eight parcels. A total of 17 singlefamily homes also back onto the creek along its northern and southern reaches, according to the master plan.

Easement acquisitions for the Greenway have been taking place for several months. The city already owns a small parcel it acquired from the Pink Pony strip club in the settlement of a lawsuit. The city also has been in talks for some time with the Salvation Army, which is located on about 13 acres on the Northeast Expressway, about the possible donation of some of its property for the Greenway, but no deal has been made. “We cannot comment on specific land discussions until closings,” city spokesperson Ann Marie Quill said. “At this point, no other land has been acquired.” One of the 67 parcels the city needs belongs to Sandy Campbell, owner of the Brookhaven Laundry, located on Buford Highway near the corner of North Druid Hills Road. Now offered for sale, Campbell’s property backs up to the creek and the Greenway’s master plan shows a proposed pedestrian bridge on her land. “I’ve had more activity lately with people speculating on the [Peachtree Creek Greenway],” she said about people interested in buying. “They’re speculating that if the city comes in and builds that bridge ... there will be more pedestrian traffic to bring in more business.” Campbell said she is offering the parcel for $550,000. The slice of land is currently valued at $350,000 for tax purposes, according to DeKalb County tax records. She said no one from the city has approached her about acquiring the property. “I’m actively marketing the property. We’ll see what happens,” she said. BK

JUNE 23 - JULY 6, 2017

Community | 13


After Handel’s win, parties look ahead to 2018





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Handel’s victory does reassure Republicans that the 6th Congressional District is a fairly solid red district and the best Democrats can hope to do in this district is “come close.” But the numbers do show some shaky ground. PHIL MOSIER “[Ossoff’s] overall Handel supporter Doyle Wang cheers at the Election Night party. vote total was nearly the same as what Tom up a gerrymandering case in which WisPrice’s challenger received in 2016,” Knipconsin challengers say district lines were penberg said the morning after the vote. unconstitutionally drawn. “To be sure, not everyone who voted Republicans and Democrats when in Democrat in 2016 voted for Ossoff in this control tend to draw districts to favor parround. Some stayed home. But lots, and I ty candidates, he said. But the decision by do mean lots, of Price voters either stayed the Supreme Court, not likely to happen home or switched sides,” he said. in time to affect the 2018 elections, could Handel’s totals were down in the June hurt Republicans more because there are 20 runoff by roughly 20,000 in Cobb, simply more Republican elected officials 13,000 in DeKalb and 33,000 in Fulton, throughout the country. Knippenberg said. Ossoff’s strong performance, especially “I don’t mean to suggest that the Handel his consistent moderate stance, also must campaign performed poorly. That kind of be noted by Republicans and Democrats, falloff is what you’d expect in a special elecKnippenberg said. tion in the summer, even with voting as “The anti-Trump energy mobilized convenient as it is,” he said. Democrats, but they have to be careful. “But I think it’s fair to conclude from There are two kinds of anti-Trump energy the consistency between the 2016 and – screaming at the barricades doesn’t play 2017 raw Democratic vote totals that well in the 6th District, and Bernie SandOssoff mobilized virtually every possiers doesn’t play well in the 6th District,” he ble Democratic vote,” he said. “At the said. “Ossoff crafted a message that I think moment, the best Democrats can do in sells in the district ... that downplays the libthis district is come close.” eralism of the Democratic party.” Todd Rehm, a Republican political conHandel, who must run for re-election sultant from Brookhaven, said the Georgia in 18 months, also will not be able to camGOP is on “strong footing” going into 2018. paign and tout strong social conservative “We will continue to have internal deissues, like say a Rick Santorum, Knippenbates over President Trump’s executive acberg said. If she runs the kind of a camtions, legislative proposal, and more than paign that mainstream Republicans run, anything else, healthcare reform,” he said. “all things being equal, she wins,” he said. “But those internal debates do not threatHandel appears to be already thinking en our ability to come together after a heatthat way. In a statement after her victory, ed primary or to make the strongest arguHandel said she would “ensure the conments to voters.” servative legacy and leadership” of past Knippenberg said what Republicans 6th Congressional District seat-holders inmost have to fear is the potential outcome cluding Price, U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson and of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to take Newt Gingrich.

J U LY 2 0 • P G J U N E 2 9 • P G



many times in 2018.” Knippenberg said he believes political vote. She’ll likely be re-elected in the 2018 conventional wisdom will prevail and that midterms, but open seats may see more of incumbents, regardless of party, will win rea battle, said Oglethorpe University politielection in 2018. Where there may be a quescal science professor Joseph Knippenberg. tion is where there is an open seat, he said. “No one really thinks that a Tom Price Republicans will, however, be “runseeking reelection in 2018 would be fightning scared” in 2018, no matter what haping for his political life,” Knippenberg said pened in the 6th Congressional District shortly before the Election Night results race. “They’re going to have to work harder, came in. Handel replaces former U.S. Rep. break a sweat, raise more money,” he said. Tom Price, who left the seat earlier this Democrat Joe Seconder of Dunwoody, year to become the U.S. secretary of health founder of the Perimeter Progressives, is and human services. hopeful the energy surrounding the OsHandel, a former Georgia secretary of soff campaign that touted 12,000 volunstate and Fulton County Board of Comteers will carry into future campaigns at missioners chair, is a well-known figure the state and local levels. in the majority-Republican district, which “The Georgia GOP has taken two-andincludes parts of Brookhaven, Dunwoody a-half decades to be where they are today. and Sandy Springs. This is Year One for the Georgia DemoOssoff was a political newcomer who cratic Party, in my opinion,” he said. “This lives outside the district, an unusual situais Year One for active, progressive and ention allowed by the U.S. Constitution. gaged Democrats. We have built a network Knippenberg said the race between that did not exist six months ago.” Handel and Ossoff was so special that it Becky Alterman of Dunwoody, one of cannot be used to predict political camthe Ossoff volunteers, acknowledged her paigns in 2018. Among the reasons: the disappointment with his loss, but said the enormous campaign funding. energy surrounding Ossoff’s campaign “Two sides spent $50 million on this was a “silver lining.” race … so it is not much of a predictor for fu“I think it means we got a really strong ture races,” Knippenberg said. “This race is movement started and this [GOP control] is unprecedented and can’t be replicated that not how it is going to be forever,” she said. Alterman said this was her first campaign where she volunteered. She did so because she opposed Handel’s views on social issues, she said, and she wanted to send a message to Trump. “Things are changing. I think we’ll get DYANA BAGBY there,” she said. Nadine Becker of Sandy Springs said she was a Knippen‘compassionate volunteer’ for Jon Ossoff at his Election berg said Night party at the Concourse Center Westin hotel.

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Continued from page 1

14 | Public Safety

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We call it home. g3 celebratin 0 years in the heart of Buckhead.


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DeKalb Superior Court Chief Judge Courtney Johnson has appointed Capt. Ruth Stringer, a 27-year veteran of the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office, to fill the post of DeKalb County sheriff during the period in which elected Sheriff Jeffrey L. Mann undergoes a 40-day suspension imposed on June 12 by Gov. Nathan Deal, according to a press release. “I am pleased to be DEKALB SHERIFF’S OFFICE Interim DeKalb Sheriff Ruth Stringer. able to serve in this capacity,” Stringer said in the release. “With the support of my more than 800 dedicated colleagues at the sheriff’s office, I will continue our commitment to the safety and security of the communities we serve and to performing at a level of excellence in all that we do.” Stringer began her career with the agency on June 9, 1990, as a detention officer in the DeKalb County Jail. She has been promoted to positions of increasing responsibility in various divisions, achieving the rank of captain in the training, background and recruitment division in 2010, according to a press release. In September 2009, then Lieutenant Stringer received the DeKalb Sheriff’s Medal of Valor and she was named Officer of the Year by the DeKalb Bar Association for actions she took while off duty that resulted in saving a young girl from being assaulted in Stone Mountain Park. Stringer was sworn in and began her new assignment as sheriff on June 13. Mann was arrested by Atlanta police after allegedly exposing himself at night in Piedmont Park and running from a police officer. Mann has said he is innocent. Mann recently completed his own, self-imposed suspension, May 27 through June 4, for “conduct unbecoming” his office, while saying that selfpunishment does not imply guilt. On May 11, Deal convened a commission to investigate Mann’s arrest. It consisted of of state Attorney General Chris Carr, Newton County Sheriff Ezell Brown and Peach County Sheriff Terry Deese. Mann opposed the investigation. State law allows the governor to suspend a sheriff for up to 90 days with the recommendation of a commission. The law includes a provision for extending the suspension and ordering the Attorney General to begin a process of removing the sheriff from office, if evidence warrants it.

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JUNE 23 - JULY 6, 2017

Community | 15


Townhome development proposed near Pill Hill


An illustration of the 18 townhomes proposed on Johnson Ferry Road near Pill Hill.

BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

A developer is proposing an 18-townhome development on Johnson Ferry Road near Pill Hill and will hold a public meeting June 29 at Marist School to discuss the project. Majestic Investment Corporation is scheduled to appear before the city’s Planning Commission on Aug. 2 as part of its rezoning request of property at 1611, 1621 and 1659 Johnson Ferry Road near the I-285/Ga. 400 interchange to allow for the construction of 18 townhomes on slightly more than 13 acres, according to documents filed with the city. The property, one of few undeveloped parcels in the city, includes wetlands and a floodplain along Nancy Creek. The developer states in the city documents that 11 percent of the approximate 13 acres will be built out with the remaining land to be undeveloped. The project “presents an opportunity to protect the undeveloped floodplain and associated natural resources of Nancy Creek,” according to the application to the city from the developer. “There is the potential for a cooperative effort with the city to use the floodplain for enhanced resource management and passive recreational trails. This would conform to the comprehensive plan goal of leveraging the city’s creek systems for greater access by community while protecting their long-term health and viability.” In the letter of intent to the city, the developer notes the property is within the Lake District character area, where other townhomes are located, and states the proposed rezoning reflects the changing market conditions for the Lake District “primarily by single and empty nest buyers for lower-maintenance housing types.” The developer states it expects buyers to be people who already reside or work in the area.


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16 | Out & About

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CONCERTS BY THE SPRINGS Sunday, July 9, 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.






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


AN EVENING WITH ALAN ALDA Tuesday, June 27, 7:30 p.m.

The Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta welcomes back actor and bestselling author Alan Alda as part of its A Page from the Book Festival. Alda will present his book “If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face: My Adventures in the Art and Science of Relating and Communicating.” Ticket prices include a copy of the book: $37 per person, $33 for MJCCA members. 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody. Info: atlantajcc.org/bookfestival or 678-812-4002.


The “jamgrass” band Honeywood 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 Dunwoody Nature Center members. Non-members: $5 adults, $3 students, free to children 3 and under. 5343 Roberts Drive, Dunwoody. Info: dunwoodynature.org.


Saturdays July 1 and July 8; Sunday, July 9, 6 p.m. Take a leisurely paddle down the Chattahoochee River with experienced guides. Perfect for a first time paddle or a fun way to reconnect with the river. All equipment is provided. Registration required. Ages 6+. $30 public; $25 CNC members (per person). Info: chattnaturecenter.org or 770-992-2055 x237.

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• Live music by Circle 7 • Tapas & Sangria 4511 Chamblee Dunwoody Rd Across from the Georgetown Shopping Center


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JUNE 23 - JULY 6, 2017

Out & About | 17



WEEKEND 2-day weekend pass now for just $10.50.


Saturday, July 8, 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.

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

You and your family can enjoy Atlanta’s many attractions & events with unlimited rides on all buses & trains for only $10.50 per person. The 25% discounted passes are available for purchase until June 30, 2017, but you can use your Weekend Passes for any weekend you have planned!


Through Sunday, Sept. 17, Tuesdays through Sundays, noon to 5 p.m.

The Oglethorpe University Museum of Art presents paintings by four Rwandan artists whose lives were impacted by the Rwandan genocide of 1994. Adults $5; free for children under 12 and OUMA members, students with Petrel Pass, and members of military and their families. 4484 Peachtree Road N.E., Brookhaven. Info: museum.oglethorpe.edu.

LEARN SOMETHING PERIMETER ADULT LEARNING & SERVICES Ongoing Mondays through July 31. No classes on July 3.

The summer quarter of PALS classes is underway at Dunwoody Baptist Church. Class topics range from financial planning and current events to geographical marvels and “dirty dancing.” $45 for up to three classes each Monday or $8 per day. Bring a lunch or purchase a meal for $8 with advance reservations. 1445 Mount Vernon Road, Dunwoody. Info: palsonline.org or 770-698-0801.

AUTHOR TALK: “THE TERROR YEARS” Wednesday, July 26, 8 p.m.

Lawrence Wright, a staff writer for “The New Yorker” and author of “The Terror Years: From Al-Qaeda to the Islamist State,” appears at the Atlanta History Center. $10 public; $5 members. 130 West Paces Ferry Road N.W., Buckhead. Info: atlantahistorycenter.com or 404-814-4150. 404-848-5000 | www.itsmarta.com/Weekend Continued on page 18

18 | Out & About

Facebook.com/TheReporterNewspapers ■ twitter.com/Reporter_News Continued from page 17

Comprehensive Women’s Health


Saturday, July 8, 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Learn to weave a garlic basket with Elaine Bradley of the Handweavers Guild of America. The twined rattan basket allows air to circulate and keeps garlic fresh while it hangs in your kitchen. Supplies and light refreshments will be provided. Open to first 15 participants. No registration required. Dunwoody Library, 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Info: 770-512-4640.


Saturday, July 8, 10 a.m. to noon.

Lynley S. Durrett, M.D. Obiamaka Mora, M.D. State of the art Pelvic & Bladder Surgeries Minimally Invasive Hysterectomy daVinci Robotic Surgery Bio Identical Hormone Therapy Services offered:

Heritage Sandy Springs continues its family gardening series (on second Saturdays through October) with Kokedama/Japanese Moss Balls. Kids will receive a small plant to place in a moss ball they create to hang in a window at home. 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.


» Incontinence Testing & Treatment » Abnormal Bleeding Treatment » Annual Exams & Contraception » Nutrient Deficiency Screening & Counseling » Saliva Testing & Pellet Hormone Therapy » Plus Aesthetic Services


The National Black Arts Festival holds its 20th annual gala featuring performances and a silent auction at the special events venue Flourish. 3143 Maple Drive N.E., Buckhead. Registration: nbaf.org or 404-372-4572.


Jessica Guilfoil Killeen, WHNP-BC


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JUNE 23 - JULY 6, 2017

Out & About | 19


INDEPENDENCE DAY Nothing says it’s summer like the Fourth of July, a holiday that sizzles with stars and stripes, sparklers and special events. On July 2, Sandy Springs will host fireworks at the King and Queen buildings, and on July 4, Dunwoody will hold what’s said to be the largest July Fourth parade in Georgia.

Buckhead’s Lenox Square announced in May it will not host its annual fireworks show, which it has held for more than 50 years. This year, the mall is partnering with Centennial Olympic Park in Downtown Atlanta for a July Fourth fireworks show. Lenox Square will host a full day of events at the mall, but the details for the events were not released in time for publication. Here’s a look at some of the Independence Day celebrations scheduled in our local communities:

SANDY SPRINGS STARS AND STRIPES CELEBRATION Sunday, July 2, 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Celebrate Independence Day on the lawn at the Concourse Corporate Center (home of the King and Queen buildings) in the city’s fifth annual fireworks event. The band Shiloh performs at 7:30 p.m. Fireworks begin at 9:45 p.m. Pets, tents, outdoor cooking, drones, alcohol and personal-use sparklers not permitted. Free admission and free parking begin at 6:30 p.m. in Concourse Parking Decks Five and Six. 5 Concourse Parkway N.E., Sandy Springs. Info: visitsandysprings.org.

DUNWOODY 4TH OF JULY PARADE Tuesday, July 4, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Dunwoody’s annual 4th of July Parade features marching bands, floats, clowns, animal units and local celebrities and is said to be the largest Independence Day parade in the state. The parade starts at All Saints Catholic Church and proceeds down Mount Vernon Road to Dunwoody Village Parkway. 2443 Mount Vernon Road, Dunwoody. Info: 770-354-7653 or dunwoodyga.org.


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20 | Education

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Staying confident, ‘no matter what’ Elijah Jenkins, senior Riverwood International Charter School Elijah Jenkins began playing basketball in an organized league at age 4, and has not stopped since. Elijah credits others’ doubts of him as his primary motivation in the sport. “I’ve never been the most athletic on the court or the flashiest on the court, so people often times don’t notice the fact that I outplay most of the guys they give attention to,” he said. This has pushed him to work harder, furthering his basketball career. He especially remembers one victory in the regional championship during his junior year. “We were doubted by everyone and had to overcome so much to come back and win that game,” he said. However, Elijah says that his favorite part of the sport is how it “parallels so closely with life in general. If you’ve missed five shots in a row, you don’t stop shooting, you keep shooting, the same way in life if you have a bad day in the classroom or at home you just keep pushing and stay confident, no matter what.” Elijah also channels his passion into helping others. He volunteers with the

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Elijah Jenkins.

Junior Raiders Camp, a Riverwood High School summer camp that gives younger kids an opportunity to play basketball while being coached by high school players. Elijah enjoys working with the children who attend the camp. “These are kids who will hopefully in the future help keep the Riverwood basketball program trending upward. Potentially having an effect on the program’s future by working with kids is pretty awesome to me,” he said. His interests span past athletics, too. Elijah is involved in both student government and rigorous academics at Riverwood High School. He is the senior class treasurer, and says that the experience has helped him grow as a person.


“Being senior class treasurer this year taught me a great deal about the importance of the leadership quality in a person and how just one person’s ideas can impact large groups of people and change aspects of their lives for the better,” he said.

What’s next?

Elijah’s academic interests center on engineering, which he says he hopes to pursue in college at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Sarah Kallis, a student at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School, reported and wrote this article.

JUNE 23 - JULY 6, 2017

Classifieds | 21


Reporter Classifieds

To Advertise, call 404-917-2200 ext 110


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

Matthew’s Handy Services – Small jobs and chores are my specialties. Shelves, organizers, carpentry, drywall, painting, and plumbing. Member of BBB – 404-547-2079 Email: mwarren8328@gmail.com. Driveways & Walkways – Replaced or repaired. Masonry, grading, foundations repaired, waterproofing and retaining walls. Call Joe Sullivan 770-616-0576. Home Tending – Regular inspections of your unoccupied property. Call Charles, 404-229-0490.


Cleaning Services - do you want your house cleaned at a reasonable rate? Would you like someone that is Dependable, Professional and can give you Quality Service? Charlotte’s the one for you - call 404-604-7866!

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22 | Public Safety




for local news and information! We’re honored that Reporter Newspapers won 12 awards, including three first-place selections in its division, in the Georgia Press Association’s 2017 Better Newspaper Contest.


Business Writing First Place - Managing Editor John Ruch Lifestyle/Feature Column First Place - Robin Conte, “Robin’s Nest” Page One First Place - Designed by Creative Director Rico Figliolini


Hard News Writing Second Place - John Ruch

Subdivision installs Georgia Power security cameras BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

The Brookhaven Forest subdivision, a four-lot development on a cul-de-sac street off Mabry Road, was the first neighborhood to install Georgia Power Co.’s closed caption TV security camera program, according to resident Mike Elliott. A security camera was installed on one of Georgia Power’s utility poles in the neighborhood in December and is part of Georgia Power’s new “Site View” camera system that plans to launch statewide later this year. Georgia Power is not able to confirm what neighborhoods it is working with to install security cameras as part of client confidentiality, according to a spokesperson. The Site View program offers customers, including private property owners and residents, the chance to lease the security cameras that are installed and maintained by Georgia Power. “Our system is live – operating 24/7 with video images being transmitted via a CATV line to a dedicated cloud storage file, and images can be viewed live or as ar-

chived records stored for a seven-day period,” Elliott said in an email. “The objective of the CCTV security system is to provide a first line of security defense for Brookhaven Forest residents and visitors. The camera’s wide view of the entrance captures a constantly streaming video image of all vehicular and pedestrian traffic entering and leaving Brookhaven Forest. If needed, Elliott said, the camera can provide information to assist law enforcement to identify vehicles or individuals to help solve crimes. “In addition, the presence of the camera is thought to have some crime prevention value,” Elliott said. The Brookhaven Police Department learned about the Brookhaven Forest partnership with Georgia Power and is now in the pilot phase of also partnering with the power company to install security cameras on utility poles throughout the city. Brookhaven’s police department is the first to partner with Georgia Power on this project. A test run of the cameras for the police department began in May and wraps up in July.

News Photograph Second Place - Phil Mosier Special Issues: Second Place - Fall 2016 Education Guide Humorous Column: Second Place - Robin Conte


Facebook.com/TheReporterNewspapers ■ twitter.com/Reporter_News

General Excellence: Third Place Local News Coverage: Third Place - Staff Writers Religion Writing: Third Place - Staff Writers Serious Column: Third Place - Robin Conte Newspaper Website: Third Place

These awards are especially meaningful to us since they are judged by professional journalists and include respected, large-circulation community newspapers across the state.

SU SPECT IN B R O O KHAV EN M UR DER A R R ES TED The suspect in the June 1 fatal shooting of a man at a Brookhaven apartment complex has been arrested and charged with murder and armed robbery. Edward Tavarez, 24, of Norcross, was arrested June 13 by the DeKalb Sheriff’s Office Fugitive Task Force. He is suspected in the June 1 killing of Travis Ridley. “Brookhaven police detectives have worked BROOKHAVEN POLICE DEPARTMENT around the clock since the murder to identify and loEdward Tavarez cate the shooter. Information received by Brookhaven detectives and the DeKalb Sheriff’s Fugitive Task Force late yesterday led them to a location in Stone Mountain, where Tavarez was arrested,” Brookhaven Major Brandon Gurley said in a press release. Ridley was shot and killed June 1 at the Avana Uptown Apartments. Police described his slaying as drug-related. Detectives are continuing their investigation in to the circumstances that led to the shooting and have not released any other details. Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact the Brookhaven Police Department at 404-637-0600.

However, what’s most important is that they validate what you have already told us in our readership survey: Reporter Newspapers are your preferred source for local news and information. That’s the “prize” we value most. Thank you for helping to make us the most preferred and most-awarded local newspapers in our communities.

www.ReporterNewspapers.net Published by Springs Publishing LLC BK

JUNE 23 - JULY 6, 2017

Public Safety | 23


Police Blotter / Brookhaven From Brookhaven police reports dated June 11 through June 18. The following information was pulled from Brookhaven’s Police-2-Citizen website.

POSSESSION AND DUI 3400 block of Clairmont Road — On

June 11, in the evening, a man was arrested and accused of driving under the influence of alcohol. 3100 block of Buford Highway — On

June 13, in the early morning, a man was arrested and accused of marijuana possession. 1900 block of Drew Valley Road — On

June 16, in the evening, a man was arrested and accused of marijuana possession. 4400 block of Peachtree Road — On

June 18, in the early morning, a woman was arrested and accused of marijuana possession.

T H E F T A N D B U R G L A RY 3300 block of Buford Highway — On

June 11, in the early morning, items were reported stolen from a car. 3300 block of Buford High-

way — On June 11, in the afternoon, items were reported stolen from a car. 1500

block of Nancy Creek Drive — On June 11, in the evening, there were two separate reports of items taken from cars.

3200 block of Buford Highway — On

June 12, in the early morning, a strongarm street robbery was reported.



2600 block of Thompson Road — On

1400 block of Bubbling Creek Road —

June 12, in the evening, a man was arrested and accused of armed robbery.

On June 11, in the afternoon, a simple battery was reported.

ARRESTS 3500 block of Buford

Highway — On June 11, a man was arrested and accused of obstruction and interference. 2100 block of Brixworth Place — On June 12, in the early morning, a man was arrested and accused of a hit and run accident.

1800 block of Corporate

Boulevard — On June 13, in the morning, a theft was reported.

A S S AU LT 3800 block of Buford Highway — On


was reported.

June 11, after midnight, a simple battery was reported. 1100 block of Francis Street — On June

11, in the early morning, a simple battery

1400 block of North Druid Hills Road

— On June 12, in the early morning, a man was arrested and accused of driving without a license. 1400 block of Cliff Valley Road — On

June 12, in the early morning, two men were arrested and accused of battery and family violence.

1900 block of North Druid Hills Road

— On June 13, in the early morning, a man was arrested and accused of theft of services. 3900 block of Peachtree Road — On

June 13, in the evening, a man was arrested and accused of shoplifting. 2600 block of Apple Valley Road — On

June 14, in the evening, a woman was arrested and accused of theft by taking. 3300 block of Buford Highway — On

June 15, in the afternoon, a woman was arrested and accused of criminal trespass. 3300 block of Buford Highway — On

June 16, in the afternoon, a man was arrested and accused of theft by taking. 300 block of Brookhaven Avenue —

On June 18, in the morning, a man was arrested and accused of public indecency.

Medical Associates

Welcome Dr. Michael Crowe! Peachtree Dunwoody Medical Associates is proud to welcome Dr. Michael Crowe, a boardcertified gynecologist with over three decades of experience practicing in the Atlanta area. Dr. Crowe offers comprehensive gynecologic care to women of all ages, serving with the same excellent, compassionate care you are accustomed to from Peachtree Dunwoody Medical Associates. Dr. Crowe is welcoming new patients, accepts most insurance plans, and offers a convenient location

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24 |

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