06-23-17 Dunwoody Reporter

Page 1

JUNE 23 - JULY 6, 2017 • VOL. 8— NO. 13




Perimeter Business

Dunwoody 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 22

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

COMMUNITY Hotel developers eyeing sites in Perimeter Center

Walking tour spots needs along Winters Chapel

OUT & ABOUT Fire up your Fourth! Page 19

BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

Page 14

By exploring new trails and paths, Dunwoody is establishing itself as an active and healthy example of a true “live, work, play” location. BRENT WALKER

Director of the Dunwoody Parks and Recreation department

See Commentary, Page 10

The traffic light on Winters Chapel Road turned red, and City Councilmember Doug Thompson urged a group of about 20 officials and residents to dash across, despite the lack of a crosswalk or sidewalk. “Here’s what we ask our citizens to do, and it’s wrong,” Thompson said of the less than pedestrian friendly crossing. Experiencing that street-level detail was why Thompson convened the June 9 walking tour of Winters Chapel Road. The street See WALKING on page 12

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City Council approves traffic calming funding


Renderings show the design for planned traffic calming infrastructure on North Peachtree Road.

BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

The Dunwoody City Council voted unanimously June 12 to approve $200,000 of funding for traffic calming measures on North Peachtree Road between Davantry Drive and Mount Vernon Road. The traffic calming measures will include seven medians that will split traffic lanes and a traffic circle at Saffron Drive. The $200,000 in funding exceeds the city’s 2017 traffic calming budget of

$187,000. Mindy Sanders, the city’s capital projects manager, expects the project to come in under budget, however, and said there aren’t any other planned traffic calming projects for this year. Construction will begin later this summer and will last around 40 days, according to budget documents. The medians are planned to be vegetated, and Sanders said the plants will be tended by residents in neighborhoods surrounding the traffic calming efforts. Neighbors said at public input meetings that they will take on the responsibility of maintaining the plants, Sanders said.


The front-page photo of the June 9 issue gave an incorrect name for the boy pictured hugging a dog at the June 4 Fast and Furriest event in Brook Run Park. The boy is Brantley Abernathy, 5.

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Community | 3


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Development Authority considers more active role BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

The Dunwoody Development Authority is considering taking a more proactive stance in bringing redevelopment to the city, including to areas such as Dunwoody Village. At a June 19 meeting, the authority received an overview of the Dunwoody Village master plan created in 2011. The plan recorded the desire of residents to create a town center for the city with restaurants, shops, homes and a walkable layout. Plans made years ago are being incrementally introduced, such as renovations and additions to restaurants Village Burger and Novo Cucina, as well as the upcoming construction of a 79-unit townhome development. Economic Development Director Michael Starling, who is also executive director of the authority, said in an interview that authority members are interested in what they can do to help redevelopment in the city to bring in such amenities as restaurants. Development authorities have a broad range of powers that include assembling properties and offering tax abatements. “The Development Authority has been a reactive authority,” Starling said, in that it waits for developers to approach the city for tax abatements, which have been granted on large developments, such as the State Farm regional hub in Perimeter Center. Last year, the authority approved $34 million in tax abatements to the developers of the State Farm complex to cover costs of constructing two new office towers. The total cost of constructing the two new Class A office buildings is estimated to be approximately $410 million. Large developments are crucial to the city’s economic success, Starling said, but residents are more in tune with smaller retail and restaurant developments and are telling city officials this is the kind of development they want to see. “This is true in every community, not just Dunwoody,” he said. Starling said the idea of presenting the Dunwoody Village master plan to authority members is to let them know plans exist throughout the city for what residents want to see in their community. What the Development Authority wants to do to help redevelopment remains up to the board, he said. “It could be anything from leasing a space that is empty and then leasing it back to a small business ... or being partners on projects,” Starling said. Looking to take a more proactive stance on redevelopment began about a year ago when authority members asked what they could do to encourage restaurants and shops in the city, Starling said. “They wanted to know: How can we dip our toe in this?” he said. The authority also has co-sponsored, with the city of Dunwoody, the Dunwoody Chamber and the Dunwoody Convention and Visitors Bureau, a “Shape Dunwoody” lecture series, including a discussion with Billy Parrish, a downtown consultant.


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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

Continued from page 5


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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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10 | Commentary

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Commentary / Trailways are making connections ed feedback from visitors to Dunwoody who stated the need for parks and trails accessible by their hotel for walking, jogging, or enjoying nature. This desire for trails echoes the input Dunwoody citizens shared through the Parks Master Plan Update survey conducted in 2016. Trail connectivity has sprouted from Dunwoody parks, out of and through neighborhoods, and now is awakening within the heart of the city’s Perimeter Center business district. The Perimeter Center Improvement Districts are currently working with Dunwoody, Sandy Springs and Brookhaven to provide transportation and recreation options for the workers and residents in the area. SPECIAL Currently, the city is exploring an exAn illustration of possible trails from a 2015 Perimeter Center tension of the Dunwoody Trailway comCommunity Improvement Districts study. ing out of Georgetown Park at ChamActivating and connecting the Dunblee-Dunwoody Road. The hope is to woody community is of critical imporcontinue the trail along I-285, through the Georgetown subdivitance to the Dunwoody Parks and Recresion, and eventually to connect with Perimeter Center East and the ation department. Our goal is to develop greater Perimeter area. and maintain superior parks, trail netWith the continued extension of PATH400 in Buckhead and works, greenspace and playgrounds into Sandy Springs, there is also an opportunity for the city to conwhich help elevate the overall quality of nect its multi-use trail system into the regional trail network. life for residents. Great trails and connectivity support active families and thrivFrom the city’s array of multi-use ing communities. By exploring new trails and paths, Dunwoody is trails and sidewalks to its parks and open establishing itself as an active and healthy example of a true “live, greenspace, Dunwoody offers a number of work, play” location. Brent Walker options for an active and healthy lifestyle. Director of the Since its incorporation, the city has Dunwoody Parks and added three miles of multi-use trails, 11 Recreation department. miles of sidewalks and 13 miles of bike lanes. The city is using newly created trails to connect neighborhoods and parks, impacting quality of life, as well as home and business values, for many years to come. Trails help link areas of the city to improve connectivity and convenience and potentially relieve congestion and traffic. Many new families and young professionals are drawn to Dunwoody because of the city’s convenient accessibility and amenities, including its expanding network of trails. The current public passion for trails has not always been as strong as it is today. Approximately six years ago, the idea of a proposed “greenway” along Georgia Power Co.’s high-voltage transmission line right of way was rather expediently removed from transportation plans due to public opposition. And when the current Brook Run Park multi-use trail was approved and being constructed, groups of residents opposed its creation and even took the city to court to try and stop the trail’s construction. But something unique and energizing occurred through these incidents. A gradual community acceptance of the trail’s existence was followed by a measured use of the multi-use trail. Today there exists an enthusiastic demand for additional trails and future trail connections. Residents now express a desire to take a short walk from their tree-lined neighborhood to local stores or restaurants. There’s a growing movement towards active exercise and non-motorized transportation to nearby conveniences, a craving which either did not exist prior or was just undeveloped. Trails are important amenities for travelers and visitors as well. According to the Dunwoody Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB), a number of local hotel general managers say guests often request JOHN RUCH directions to or information on nearby trails for exercise and enA multi-use trail between Dunwoody’s Brook Run and Pernoshal parks. joyment. A 2015 research study conducted by the CVB documentDUN

JUNE 23 - JULY 6, 2017

DeKalb Schools to buy, demolish apartments for new school BY DYANA BAGBY

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.”


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.”

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A Lifetime of LearLenisng s is more Lewis

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



Continued on


Yoga to Fit Your Lifestyle page 16

JUNE 2017 • Vol. 2 No. 6 | AtlantaSeniorL IFE.com

page 12

By Donna Williams

Community | 11


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12 | Community

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From left, Councilmembers Doug Thompson and Jim Riticher join Dunwoody Homeowners Association President Robert Wittenstein at the head of the tour.

Walking tour spots needs along Winters Chapel Continued from page 1 runs along the roughly 1.5-mile border between Dunwoody and Peachtree Corners, and Thompson got many officials from both cities – including Dunwoody Councilmembers Lynn Deutsch, John Heneghan, Terry Nall and Jim Riticher -- to walk it that Friday morning. There was no particular agenda, beyond noting that Winters Chapel doesn’t get the sort of attention that Dunwoody Village or Perimeter Center do. “We need to up our game here,” Thompson said. One way the city is considering upping that game is with a “small area plan” that might be done in collaboration with the cities of Peachtree Corners and Doraville, according to Thompson and Dunwoody city

spokesperson Bob Mullen. The 2.5-hour walk on Winters Chapel between Dunwoody Club Crossing and Peachtree Industrial Boulevard highlighted many basic needs, from a lack of sidewalks to a fallen tree limb Dunwoody hadn’t cleaned up yet. (An official phone call got it chainsawed before the tour was over.) There was some big-picture discussion as well, including revived talk of two of the city’s most controversial proposals: redeveloping some apartments into a sports complex, and building a trail along the Georgia Power Co.’s electric line right of way. It’s common for border areas to fall between the cracks of different jurisdictions with different agendas and resources. Winters Chapel Road has an added challenge. The street doesn’t just straddle the Dun-

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woody-Peachtree Corners border; the city the advocacy group Bike Walk Dunwoody, line zigzags across the street at three locanoted that sidewalk’s lack of buffer from tions, and its northern end is split between speeding cars alongside it, and one spot Peachtree Crossing and Sandy Springs. where a power pole was planted in the midOn the tour, officials sometimes examdle, a likely accessibility violation. ined maps on their cellphones to see if they In 2011, Dunwoody proposed a multiwere in their own city. use trail on the power line right of way, but Winters Chapel also has a wide variquickly killed the idea after community opety of property uses. The northern end position. “We were first. We took a lot of aris mostly single-family homes. The central section, at the Peeler Road intersection, has a commercial area anchored by a Walmart Neighborhood Market. The southern section has some apartments and a large DeKalb County reservoir. Pedestrian safety and accessibility was a major theme of the tour. Both cities have Councilmember John Heneghan checks a map on his already built some imcellphone to see what city he’s in while Councilmember provements, such as Doug Thompson, front, and Dunwoody Homeowners crosswalks at PeelAssociation President Robert Wittenstein, rear, look on. er partly funded by Walmart and a sidewalk with artificial rows,” he said. brick accents installed by Peachtree CorThompson noted the concept was reners on its side of the southern section. cently revived by Sandy Springs park adMore improvements are coming. Dunvocates. He said he believes the idea will woody now is accepting bids for a project return in Dunwoody, along with redevelopto add a 12-foot-wide, multi-use path on its ment of some older commercial properties side of Winters Chapel between Dunwoody along the right of way. Club and Peeler. Thompson had the group Street crossings are another challenge. walk that section, now a narrow stretch of Peachtree Corners City Councilmember overgrown grass and bumpy earth. Phil Sadd explained his city’s plan to install Heneghan said that, working alonga signalized crosswalk near the Parkwood side Peachtree Corners, “The hope is to put Village apartments and to reduce a lane to multi-use trails wherever is feasible.” shrink the crossing distance. The location Nall noted that one 4-foot-wide section for that project — which went out to bid of existing sidewalk felt too narrow and the day of the tour — was based on observthat Dunwoody’s current policy is a mining where pedestrians actually cross the imum 5-foot width. Joe Seconder, head of most, Sadd said. As he explained the plan, DUN

JUNE 23 - JULY 6, 2017

Community | 13

www.ReporterNewspapers.net SPECIAL

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North Atlanta Memorial Park


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City of Peachtree Corners Above, a multi-use trail will soon replace this sidewalk-free section of Winters Chapel Road, where Joe Seconder of Bike Walk Dunwoody, left, had little distance from passing cars.

Walmart Neighborhood Market

Below, Councilmember Doug Thompson discusses the possibility of building a multi-use trail to Georgia Power Co.’s power line right of way.

Spalding Hills Apartments

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a pedestrian dashed across that very spot. Community appearance was another topic. Robert Wittenstein, president of the Dunwoody Homeowners Association, said his group is contributing $6,000 for plants, going in this fall, to beautify the traffic island at the Peeler intersection. Philomena Robertson, Peachtree Corners’ chief code enforcement officer, said that, of about 20 houses on the southern section, 12 have open code cases. But, she said, she works with landlords and tenants to resolve issues without fines or court when possible. Outside the Peachtree Place North apartments, Thompson handed out a map showing the property and two complexes behind it, Dunwoody Glen and the Lacota, that face Peachtree Industrial Boulevard. In 2011, Dunwoody sought to buy those Peachtree Industrial apartments and replace them with a sports complex. Voters rejected a bond to fund the plan and the apartment owners hit the city with a federal housing discrimination lawsuit that was later withdrawn. Thompson said that today, the apartments are getting closer to some type of development, and that “we need to continue to think big. … We need to define where we want this area to head.” After the tour, Thompson said he was pleased with the attendance and the firsthand experiences officials had. “It is time to get from knowing the area needs improvement to actually improving the area,” he said. DUN

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Hotel developers eyeing Perimeter Center “The hotel market is booming metro-wide,” said Dunwoody Economic Development Director Michael Starling. “A bunch of hotel folks are looking and trying to find sites ... and they think Dunwoody is a good location.” Hotels in metro Atlanta and Dunwoody boast all-time high occupancy numbers, Starling said. He said hotels are uses that Dunwoody city officials like to see and said developers like Perimeter Center for its access to MARTA as well as the numerous restaurants and shops available. Trammell Crow declined to comment on its plans to purchase about four acres of unused parking lot from General Growth Properties, owner of Perimeter Mall — the same site where Transwestern planned to construct its “Nexus” office tower. Transwestern asked City Council to approve a 20-story office tower, but the council in November approved only 16 stories. Transwestern abandoned its project, leaving room for Trammell Crow to move in with its own project. The proposal keeps some of Transwestern’s ideas in place. For example, a footbridge Transwestern proposed to connect the office tower to the MARTA station CITY OF DUNWOODY also is included in Trammell Crow’s pre-application. A rendering of a 16-story office tower proposed by Trammell Crow to go at the intersection of Hammond Drive and Perimeter Center Parkway. Trammell Crow also is proposing a 10-story hotel at the site. The proposed 10-story hotel with 193 rooms would be built behind the proposed office tower next to the MARTA station. The 16-story office tower BY DYANA BAGBY would include more than 347,000 square feet for offices and nearly 12,000 square dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net feet for commercial development and/or restaurant space. The building also would Three developers wanting to build hotels have their eyes on Dunwoody’s Perimeinclude a three-level parking deck. Both buildings call for ground-floor retail. ter Center. They have filed pre-application plans with the city this month. The 84 Perimeter Center East property covers about two acres. Branch ProperTrammell Crow filed its pre-application with the city’s Community Development ties wants to build a 12-story hotel with 200 rooms and a two-story parking deck. Department outlining a plan to build a 16-story office tower and a 10-story hotel at Also part of the proposed development is approximately 50,000 square feet of com1134 Hammond Drive, a small corner of the Perimeter Mall parking lot adjacent to mercial space divided between two two-story buildings to be constructed adjacent the Dunwoody MARTA station at the intersection of Hammond Drive and Perimeto the hotel. ter Center Parkway. Pre-application plans for the proposed project at 121 Perimeter Center West inBranch Properties also filed a pre-application. It outlined plans to construct clude the current space for Tin Lizzy’s and Sun Trust as well as a 7-story, 157-room a 12-story hotel at 84 Perimeter Center East, where a vacant bank building now hotel; a 12,000-square-foot restaurant; a SunTrust drive-through ATM; and a 4.5-levsits. Representatives from Branch Properties presented its plans to the Dunwoody el parking deck with 350 spaces. Homeowners Association earlier this month. The 84 Perimeter Center East proposal is slated to go before the Planning ComAnd Prado Perimeter Center wants to build a 7-story hotel at 121 Perimeter Cenmission on July 11. ter West, where Tin Lizzy’s restaurant and an office building containing a SunTrust The other two proposals are being reviewed by city staff and could possibly go to bank branch are located. the Planning Commission in August.

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Community | 15


Process to increase hotel/motel tax outlined BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

The city of Dunwoody is considering increasing the hotel/motel tax from 5 percent to 8 percent to fund trails and green spaces. Michael Starling, Dunwoody’s economic development director, laid out the process for increasing it at the June 12 City Council meeting. The increase was approved by state lawmakers earlier this year in March, and the process outlined by Starling will be used to draft an ordinance that is expected to go before the council at its Oct. 9 meeting. The process begins with a staff report providing details on the increase that will be completed in July. Meetings with stakeholders, including hotels owners, residents and owners of tourism destinations, then will be held. Next, a committee will determine what potential projects the money will be spent on, and Mayor Denis Shortal suggested that committee include citizens. Public meetings will then be held to present the plan to residents before the ordinance goes to a city council vote. The tax increase would raise approximately $1.6 million a year and be would be split between the city and the Dunwoody Convention and Visitors Bureau to use to-

ward marketing trails and green spaces. Councilmember Terry Nall, who holds the District 1 at-large seat, said some money should go toward park facilities. District 3 Councilmember Doug Thompson said he won’t support the tax increase if all projects are focused on District 1 and the Perimeter Center area. “Our visitors our welcome on my side of town, too,” Thompson said.

S Senior Life enior Life At lan Get fresh at ta


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Yoga to Fit Your Lifestyle page 16


m 5| AtlantaSeniorLIFE.co MAY 2017 • Vol. 2 No. ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT



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JUNE 2017 • Vol. 2 No. 6 | AtlantaSeniorLI FE.com

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Assistance League helps rebuild lives

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Leng A Lifetime of Learni ss is more page 12

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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 among are men The most of whom (PALS). By Kathy for senior adults, Learning & Services continuing education the start.Dean year of providing been members from PALS is in its 25th need for of Dunwoody, have Wethe hear takes care of it all and his wife, Dot, and this kind of are 60-plus. Yates rings especially the time: less is more. The to help other people, phrase true for older “People our age want made lifelong friends.” adults who are empty nests and Yates said. “We have facing are4 ready to Continued on page fellowship,” Dot of their enjoy the lives. Intown and north metro second half many comforta Atlanta offer ble options for them. “Baby boomers have spent much working and of their lives building said Dawn Anderson their wealth for retiremen t,” , Realtor, Dorsey “As retiremen Alston Realtors. t becomes more of a reality, they plan their transition begin to to downsize. Ease and affordability of life, proximity are certainly the goals of most downsizi ng common boomers.” The trend of continues to grow, 55+ active adult commun ities Anderson said. well qualified “Baby boomers buyers and know are looking for.” exactly what they are Kim Isaacs, aged Avalon in Alpharet 58, said that her townhom e in ta gives her everything they and her husband want. “We had home in Johns lived in our previous Creek for 19 years. left for college, When our last we child and really didn’t decided that we wanted a change need a large house of us,” she said. for just the two



Continued on

Read our new monthly publication for active seniors! Pick up a copy around town or read online at atlantaseniorlife.com

page 4

Fireworks will illuminate the skies above the King and Queen buildings in Sandy Springs as the community comes together in celebration of our nation’s independence.

July 2, 2017 • 7:30 pm • The Concourse Lawn Music from the band Shiloh will begin at 7:30 pm. Fireworks will dazzle the skies beginning at 9:45 pm. Pack a picnic, bring a blanket, and enjoy an evening under the stars. Pets, tents, outdoor cooking, drones, alcohol and personal-use sparklers will not be permitted. The Sandy Springs Stars and Stripes Celebration is sponsored by Regent Partners and Building and Land Technology (Concourse) and the City of Sandy Springs. Additional event information can be found online: spr.gs/fw


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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Out & About | 17



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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.

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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

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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.


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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.


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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.


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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

Standout Student 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 JENKINS RIVERWOOD INT. CHARTER SCHOOL

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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

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22 | Community

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After Handel’s win, parties look ahead to 2018 Continued from page 1

future races,” Knippenberg said. “This race is unprecedented and can’t be replicated vote. She’ll likely be re-elected in the 2018 that many times in 2018.” midterms, but open seats may see more of Knippenberg said he believes political a battle, said Oglethorpe University politiconvention wisdom will prevail and that incal science professor Joseph Knippenberg. cumbents, regardless of party, will win re“No one really thinks that a Tom Price election in 2018. Where there may be a quesseeking reelection in 2018 would be fighttion is where there is an open seat, he said. ing for his political life,” Knippenberg said Republicans will, however, be “runshortly before the Election Night results ning scared” in 2018, no matter what hapcame in. Handel replaces former U.S. Rep. pened in the 6th Congressional District Tom Price, who left the seat earlier this race. “They’re going to have to work harder, year to become the U.S. secretary of health break a sweat, raise more money,” he said. and human services. Democrat Joe Seconder of Dunwoody, Handel, a former Georgia secretary of founder of the Perimeter Progressives, is state and Fulton County Board of Comhopeful the energy surrounding the Osmissioners chair, is a well-known figure soff campaign that touted 12,000 volunin the majority-Republican district, which teers will carry into future campaigns at includes parts of Brookhaven, Dunwoody the state and local levels. and Sandy Springs. “The Georgia GOP has taken two-andOssoff was a political newcomer who a-half decades to be where they are today. lives outside the district, an unusual situaThis is Year One for the Georgia Demotion allowed by the U.S. Constitution. cratic Party, in my opinion,” he said. “This Knippenberg said the race between is Year One for active, progressive and enHandel and Ossoff was so special that it gaged Democrats. We have built a network cannot be used to predict political camthat did not exist six months ago.” paigns in 2018. Among the reasons: the Becky Alterman of Dunwoody, one of enormous campaign funding. the Ossoff volunteers, acknowledged her “Two sides spent $50 million on this disappointment with his loss, but said the race … so it is not much of a predictor for energy surrounding Ossoff’s campaign was a “silver lining.” “I think it means we got a really strong movement started and this [GOP control] is 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 there,” she said. DYANA BAGBY Knippenberg said Handel’s Nadine Becker of Sandy Springs said she was a ‘compassionate volunteer’ for Jon Ossoff at his Election victory does reassure RepubliNight party at the Concourse Center Westin hotel. cans that the 6th Congressio-

Public Safety Briefs PO L I C E COMP L ETE N EW M A N DATED TRA I N I N G

Officers with the Dunwoody Police Department have completed newly required training. The training on use of force, concepts of effective policing and the importance of building positive community relationships was part of Gov. Nathan Deal’s law enforcement reform package approved last year. “Gov. Deal’s additional training requirement for law enforcement demonstrates Georgia’s commitment to providing fair and impartial policing to our communities,” Dunwoody Police Chief Billy Grogan said in a press release. “The Dunwoody Police Department shares that commitment. The additional training related to the use of force and de-escalation options for gaining compliance and the community relations courses both compliment the robust training we provide our officers each year, greatly exceeding the number of hours required by the

nal 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. “[Ossoff’s] overall vote total was nearly the same as what Tom Price’s challenger received in 2016,” Knippenberg said the morning after the vote. “To be sure, not everyone who voted Democrat in 2016 voted for Ossoff in this round. Some stayed home. But lots, and I do mean lots, of Price voters either stayed home or switched sides,” he said. Handel’s totals were down in the June 20 runoff by roughly 20,000 in Cobb, 13,000 in DeKalb and 33,000 in Fulton, Knippenberg said. “I don’t mean to suggest that the Handel campaign performed poorly. That kind of falloff is what you’d expect in a special election in the summer, even with voting as convenient as it is,” he said. “But I think it’s fair to conclude from the consistency between the 2016 and 2017 raw Democratic vote totals that Ossoff mobilized virtually every possible Democratic vote,” he said. “At the moment, the best Democrats can do in this district is come close.” Todd Rehm, a Republican political consultant from Brookhaven, said the Georgia GOP is on “strong footing” going into 2018. “We will continue to have internal debates over President Trump’s executive actions, legislative proposal, and more than anything else, healthcare reform,” he said. “But those internal debates do not threaten our ability to come together after a heated primary or to make the strongest arguments to voters.” Knippenberg said what Republicans most have to fear is the potential outcome of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to take up a gerrymandering case in which Wisconsin challengers say district lines were


Handel supporter Doyle Wang cheers at the Election Night party.

unconstitutionally drawn. Republicans and Democrats when in control tend to draw districts to favor party candidates, he said. But the decision by the Supreme Court, not likely to happen in time to affect the 2018 elections, could hurt Republicans more because there are simply more Republican elected officials throughout the country. Ossoff’s strong performance, especially his consistent moderate stance, also must be noted by Republicans and Democrats, Knippenberg said. “The anti-Trump energy mobilized Democrats, but they have to be careful. There are two kinds of anti-Trump energy – screaming at the barricades doesn’t play well in the 6th District, and Bernie Sanders doesn’t play well in the 6th District,” he said. “Ossoff crafted a message that I think sells in the district ... that downplays the liberalism of the Democratic party.” Handel, who must run for re-election in 18 months, also will not be able to campaign and tout strong social conservative issues, like say a Rick Santorum, Knippenberg said. If she runs the kind of a campaign that mainstream Republicans run, “all things being equal, she wins,” he said. Handel appears to be already thinking that way. In a statement after her victory, Handel said she would “ensure the conservative legacy and leadership” of past 6th Congressional District seat-holders including Price, U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson and Newt Gingrich.

state of Georgia. We made finishing this important, mandated training a priority for our department.”

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 began her 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 self-punishment does not imply guilt. On May 11, Deal convened a commission to investigate Mann’s arrest. It consisted 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.

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 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


JUNE 23 - JULY 6, 2017

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

B U R G L A RY 4500 block of Olde Perimeter Way — On

June 12, in the early morning, four men forced their way into an optical boutique. 1400 block of Valley View Road — On

June 12, someone stole five pairs of shoes. 4900 block of Cambridge Drive — On

June 12, in the afternoon, a woman reported an attempted burglary. 4800 block of Blyth Court — On June

14, in the morning, a homeowner reported footage from a security camera that showed a burglary. Items, including a revolver, Taser and a speed clip, were taken from the family’s car. Suspects arrived and departed in a white Lexus and Chevy. 1000 block of Trailridge Place — On

June 14, in the evening, a man reported the theft of $80 from his home. 100 block of Perimeter Center — Over-

night into June 15, someone entered a residence and took a TV and gaming console.

LARCENY/ SHOPLIFTING/ THEFT 1900 block of Peachford Road — On

June 11, in the evening, a woman briefly left her car unattended and, upon her return, found it ransacked. 1100 block of Hammond Drive — On

June 12, in the afternoon, a woman was arrested and accused of shoplifting at a discount retailer. 4700

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On June 12, in the afternoon, someone tried to steal two computer mice from a superstore. 4400 block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road

— On June 12, in the afternoon, two teenage girls were arrested at a department store for trying to shoplift and providing false representations of their identity. 4500 Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On

June 13, in the afternoon, a woman was arrested and accused of trying to shoplift clothes from a department store. 4700 block of Olde Village Lane — On

June 13, in the morning, a man discovered his backpack containing his laptop was missing from his car. 2300 block of Dunwoody Crossing —

On June 13, in the evening, a man report-

ed that his bag was stolen from his car. It contained a money clip, iPad, MacBook Pro and a watch. 4400 block of Pineridge Circle — On

June 14, in the morning, a woman saw that someone pried open her Mustang. 4700

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On June 14, in the afternoon, a camera, leaf blower and suitcase were stolen from a store. 100 block of Perimeter Center — On

June 17, in the morning, a woman reported that someone entered her car and took her wallet, containing $32. The incident occurred June 15 or June 16. 4500 block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road

— On June 15, in the afternoon, a teenage girl was arrested and accused of attempting to shoplift from a department store.




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.


Road — On June 15, in the evening, a man was arrested and accused of shoplifting at a department and providing false representations. He was accused of trying to take a watch and a pair of sunglasses.


100 block of Perimeter Center Place

— On June 16, in the evening, a woman reported her purse, containing several credit cards, was missing, resulting in credit fraud.

Hard News Writing Second Place - John Ruch News Photograph Second Place - Phil Mosier

Humorous Column: Second Place - Robin Conte

Road — On June 16, overnight, 11 necklaces were taken from an office. — On June 16, in the afternoon, a man reported the theft of his political yard signs. The suspect was arrested and accused of disorderly conduct and larceny.

Lifestyle/Feature Column First Place - Robin Conte, “Robin’s Nest”

Special Issues: Second Place - Fall 2016 Education Guide

4000 block of Ashford-Dunwoody

2400 block of Mount Vernon Road

Business Writing First Place - Managing Editor John Ruch

Page One First Place - Designed by Creative Director Rico Figliolini

4300 block of Ashford-Dunwoody


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.

100 block of Perimeter Center — On

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.

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On June 16, in the evening, a man was arrested and accused of trying to steal several watches and socks from a department store. June 16, in the evening, two women were arrested and accused of trying to shoplift from a discount retailer. 1700 block of Potomac Road — On

June 18, in the afternoon, a TV was reported stolen.

Thank you for helping to make us the most preferred and most-awarded local newspapers in our communities.

600 block of Ashwood Parkway — On

June 18, in the evening, two bundles of cash totaling $7,000 were reported stolen from a restaurant.




Public Safety | 23


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24 |

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