JULY 2019 - Buckhead Reporter

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JULY 2019 • VOL. 13 — NO. 7


PBS to air local singer’s documentary P5


New Garden Hills field takes shape

MARTA plans to bring improvements to Buckhead by 2025


GDOT chief: ‘Benefits of express lanes are proven’

BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net


Reporter wins Honored as a newspaper 15 Georgia of General Excellence Press awards 2018 P10

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A new amphitheater takes shape on the hillside in front of Garden Hills Elementary School as part of a $750,000, community-supported field renovation project. For more about the project and the fundraising effort, see the story and photos on p. 30 ►

Highway-capping park may be renamed ‘Hub 404’ BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

Buckhead’s highway-capping green space plan, long known as the “park over Ga. 400,” may be dubbed “Hub 404” as part of a rebranding as a major fundraising effort begins in September. The new name, referring to the center of

metro Atlanta’s 404 phone area code, is intended to reflect the larger ambition of the park, says Jay Gould, the new board chair at a nonprofit group that aims to raise the estimated $175 million to $200 million needed for the project’s private funding. Currently known as POG 400, the nonprofit would take on the new name as well if its


See HIGHWAY on page 14


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Buckhead will have significant MARTA bus service improvements in place, and rail connections to the Atlanta BeltLine and Emory University in design stages, by 2025 under a tentative “sequencing” plan approved by the transit agency’s board June 13. The roughly five-and-a-half-year timeline is general and subject to change, but shows that MARTA wants to get a relatively fast start on its long-awaited “More MARTA” expansion plan. Focused on transit projects within the city of Atlanta, “More MARTA” is funded by a half-penny sales tax approved by voters in 2016 and expected to raise $2.5 billion over the next 40 years. The sales tax will not pay for all of the desired projects, leading to controversy about how to prioritize them. MARTA has said it will seek other public and private funding sources as well. One Buckhead-area project that was approved as part of “More MARTA” does not appear on the sequencing list: a bus rapid transit line on Northside Drive. MARTA spokesperson Stephany Fisher said that project was not selected for the first five-year expansion plan but remains on the list for later. The proposed sequencing of other Buckhead-area projects includes:

Operational by 2025

Arterial rapid transit bus service on Route 110 on Peachtree Street/Road between See MARTA on page 19

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Commissioners concerned Fulton property assessment process still flawed BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

The property assessment process still may have some problems despite the Fulton County Board of Commissioners contributing additional funds to the boards in charge. Commissioner Lee Morris, who represents Buckhead and Sandy Springs, said the problems with property tax assessment process have been “frustrating” for the Board of Commissioners. Property assessments were sent out later than planned, and concerns remain over their accuracy, he said. Fulton’s property tax system has long been a target of complaints, but the latest round of public outrage came in 2017 when many residents received sharply increased apCommissioner Lee Morris praisals after years of not keeping up with market values. Since then, the commissioners have given additional funding and resources to the Board of Equalization and the Board of Assessors, who control the property assessment process and review appeals to help the process move more smoothly and accurately, Morris said. “We have very little power over the boards, but we’ve certainly funded them adequately,” Morris said. The property assessments were planned to be sent out by April 19, but they



weren’t actually sent until June 18, Morris said. The county continues to have problems with the software vendor used to generate the notices, he said. “We clearly didn’t make that deadline, and that’s frustrating,” he said. “Time will tell about accuracy.” Commissioner Bob Ellis, who represents part of Sandy Springs, said he was concerned missing the date to mail the assessments would “push back tax and financial planning for our cities and school systems.” “We are already a month past where we told them we would be,” Ellis said. Ellis is also concerned about the accuracy of exemptions, saying they may not have all the exemptions passed by voters in 2018. One exempts residents from paying taxes to Atlanta Public Schools on $50,000 of their property value, but the first $10,000 would remain taxable. The current exemption is $30,000. Another created a new homestead exemption that caps annual property tax increases at 2.6% for the city of Atlanta portion of the tax bill. A new Fulton County homestead exemption applies to seniors 65 and older and provides a $50,000 exemption from property taxes. Another in Fulton caps increases in property assessments at 3% annually for the Fulton County School District portion of the tax bill. The Board of Equalization, which is made up of trained citizens who are selected and agree to serve, review appeals and homestead exemptions. Morris said many times “poorer people are more inclined” to take on the position, and they can have a “resentment for people live in the wealthy neighborhoods.” “We continue to hear from people that they haven’t been treated fairly,” Morris said. The appeals process becomes a “toss up” on whether a citizen will win, he said. To help this, the board has given extra funding to appeals staff to resolve appeals with property owners without the Board of Equalization, Morris said. The deadline to file appeals is Aug. 2. The homestead exemption filing deadline for this year has already passed. For more information, visit fultonassessor.org.

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Community | 3

JULY 2019 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Community Briefs

July is Fibroid Awareness Month... Schedule your annual exam today!


The Buckhead and Northside branch libraries are scheduled to close this week for long-planned renovations. The Buckhead Library, at 269 Buckhead Ave., was scheduled to close on June 20. The Northside Library at 3295 Northside Parkway was scheduled to close June 21. The closures will last six to nine months. The renovation closures previously were scheduled for earlier this year, and the current schedules are still subject to change, according to the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System.


A new city of Atlanta Department of Transportation is coming soon after gaining formal approval from the City Council June 17. The “one-stop transportation agency,” as the Mayor’s Office calls it, will combine existing functions of the Department of Public Works, the Office of Mobility and the Renew Atlanta and TSPLOST programs.


An executive with the real estate group The Ardent Companies has been named to the board of directors of the Buckhead Community Improvement District. Scott Werbel is managing director of acquisitions at Atlanta-based Ardent. He replaces David Allman of Regent Partners, the former board chair, who left in May. The BCID is a self-taxing group of commercial property owners in Buckhead’s central business district that plans and funds improvements related to transportation, public safety and beautification.

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Buckhead Business Association honors first responders for life-saving rescues

BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

The Buckhead Business Association honored police officers and firefighters for rescues that saved lives – both human and animal – with awards given in its annual “Signature Luncheon” on June 13. The Buckhead Public Safety Awards are sponsored by Georgia Primary Bank and recognizes first responders who are nominated by a supervisor or fellow public safety officers. Those recognized on June 13 included first responders from the Atlanta Police Department’s Zone 2, which covers Buckhead; the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department; and the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office. Zone 2 Police Officers Chris Davis, Charles Tierney and Brittney Williams were honored for rescuing the victim of a flaming car wreck in August 2018. According to a BBA narrative of the incident, Davis and Tierney worked to extinguish the fire while Williams entered the burning car and freed the trapped victim from the crushed dashboard. Tierney then helped Williams pull the victim out of the car. “Seconds after the officers freed the victim, the vehicle erupted into flames and was fully engulfed,” according to the BBA narrative. Firefighters Lt. William Mallory, Sgt. Duane Grandison and Sgt. Michael Sterling were honored for their battle of a December 2018 house fire, where most of the home was saved and they rescued two pet cats. “The efforts of these officers demonstrated that the life of an animal was worth the same amount of effort as a human life,” said David Coxon, president of Georgia Primary Bank, as


Above left, from left, Buckhead Business Association president Julie Bailey stands with Atlanta Police Officers Charles Tierney, Chris Davis and Brittney Williams, who were honored for rescuing a victim from a burning car. Top right, from left, Atlanta Fire Rescue Department firefighters Sgt. Duane Grandison, Sgt. Michall Sterling and Lt. William Mallory, who helped save two cats from a house fire. Above, David Coxon, left, president of Georgia Primary Bank, shakes the hand of Fulton County Deputy Sheriff Brandon Lewis, who was honored for saving a bleeding victim.

he presented their award. Deputy Sheriff Brandon Lewis was recognized for a January 2019 incident at the Fulton County Courthouse where he saved a dialysis patient whose treatment line had burst, causing heavy bleeding. The luncheon, held at the JW Marriott Atlanta Buckhead hotel on Lenox Drive, included a keynote address from Nadia Bilchik, an editorial producer at CNN and president of Greater Impact Communication, a public speaking consultancy.

Art & Entertainment | 5


PBS to broadcast Sandy Springs resident’s symphony documentary BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

A Sandy Spring resident’s project to preserve the history of an Atlanta Symphony Orchestra conductor has turned into an award-winning documentary that will get a national TV audience. The documentary, titled “Robert Shaw – Man of Many Voices,” will be broadcast on PBS’ “American Masters” program June 21 on 9 p.m. The film follows the rise and influ-

ence of Shaw, who conducted the orchestra and its chorus for over 20 years. The film was conceived of and executive produced by Kiki Wilson, who is in her 38th season of singing in the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus. Wilson is one of the about 30 members left who sang in Shaw’s chorus, and she his contributions to Atlanta music and the orchestra world to be remembered. “I wanted to make sure there was a mechanism available for people not to forget who Shaw was,” she said. “That was my goal.” The documentary won awards from film festivals and became an official selection at one. It also won three Southeast Emmys last year. Because of its broadcast on PBS, the film is eligible for the national Emmy awards next year, Wilson said. “Little did I know that it would become a much bigger thing than I would ever, ever have thought,” she said. Wilson, who has never been involved in a film before, found it similar to organizing any other kind of project, and credits her team for making it a successful documentary. The film was produced in partnership with the orchestra and Georgia Public Broadcasting. Wilson secured funds for the $1 million

project through fundraising efforts like a 2013 gala, which included current Conductor Robert Spano as a performer. She also held first-hand knowledge about Shaw and was key in building the script. Getting on PBS has been one the longest hurdles, taking three years to navigate the complex process. The documentary also had to be cut to fit its time slot, she said. The documentary premiered in April 2016 to a sold-out crowd in the Atlanta Symphony Hall, in time for what would have been Shaw’s 100th birthday, Wilson said. Shaw died in 1999 in Connecticut. Wilson and the team did more than 30 interviews including with prominent figures like renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma, famed NPR classical music host Martin Goldsmith and former Atlanta Mayor, U.S. ReprePHOTO BY sentative and U.N. EVELYN ANDREWS Ambassador AnAbove, Kiki Wilson did most drew Young. Presof the work on ident Jimmy Cartthe film from her er, who was also home office in interviewed in the Sandy Springs. film, chose Shaw Left, Robert Shaw to perform music conducts a chorus in New York City in at his inaugurathe 1940s. (Special) tion in 1977. The film was shot in locations around the metro area, including the basement of Wilson’s home in Sandy Springs. Much of the script was written in her basement, where sticky notes listing details of Shaw’s life still hang on the walls. Shaw was brought on in 1967 during the creation of the Woodruff Arts Center, which combines the orchestra, Alliance Theatre and High Museum. He founded the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus in 1970 and grew the all-volunteer group into an award-winning program. He also conducted the orchestra at Carnegie Hall several times. He climbed to prominence with little formal music training, Wilson said. He was known for pushing boundaries with the type of music that could played and for growing the orchestra and chorus profiles, Wilson said. “He pushed the limits,” Wilson said. He remained the conductor until 1988 and championed the use of modern music and allowing black players for the first time in the South. Asked what viewers should take away from the film, she said, “I want people to know the arts under Robert Shaw are a place where everybody is equal.”

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6 | Art & Entertainment

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A surprise sculpture, a book with a dark past and other treasures unveiled BY JUDITH SCHONBAK Torrential rain did not keep them away. Well before the opening hour of 9 a.m. on June 8, more than 30 people were lined up at the Turner Lynch Campus Center at Oglethorpe University in Brookhaven. Juggling umbrellas, they carried boxes, shouldered backpacks and pulled suitcases holding family heirlooms and antiques in the hopes of discovering hidden treasures. They had braved the weather for “Hidden Treasures: Unveiled,” an appraisal event organized and hosted by Oglethorpe University Museum of Fine Art (OUMA). And some surprise treasures were discovered, ranging from a centuries-old Buddha bust to a book with a dark past. Specialists from Hindman, an internationally known auction house were on hand to appraise items. Five experts were at stations for Fine Art, Decorative Art, Asian Art, Jewelry and Books and Manuscripts. Appraisal fees went to help fund OUMA, and a portion of proceeds from any items discovered at the event and auctioned by Hindman will go to the museum as well.

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Ellen Kierr Stein looks at the bust of Buddha she had appraised and then donated to the Oglethorpe University Museum of Fine Art.

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Attendees came from all parts of metvon Goethe’s writings was apparently givro Atlanta and as far away as Dahloneen to Dr. Wilhelm Frick by the city in Gerga and Cartersville. Two hundred people many where he lived, Hause told Dickbrought their treasures and 300 items son. Frick was Adolph Hitler’s minister of were appraised, reported museum diinterior for 10 years and was hanged for rector Elizabeth Peterson, director of war crimes. Another mystery for his famOUMA. ily: Dickson said he doesn’t know how Jonathan Dickson navigated his way the book came into his grandfather’s posfrom East Cobb County with several heirsession. “Its is not entirely a happy story, looms in tow, including a painting, porbut certainly a fascinating one.” celain pieces, German beer steins and a Gloria and Gary Kubik from Johns large book of Goethe’s writing. They are Creek set their large carton on the Decremnants of his father’s estate, he said. orative Art table with hopeful expectaMost of them had been handed down by tions. They lifted out a large Tiffany-style Dickson’s grandfather, who had lived in lamp shade that had long been in the ofNew York, Florida and Germany. His first fice of Gary Kubik’s grandfather. His stop was the Fine Art table, staffed by grandfather had shipped the lamp from Kate Stamm, Hindman’s Fine Art specialConnecticut so the couple could bring it ist for the Southeast region. to the event. Dickson unveiled a large full-length “We’ve always been told it is probably portrait of two young girls dressed alike a Tiffany lamp,” Gary Kubik said. in red, arms entwined. He had virtually Specialist Jon King examined the no information on the painting, not even shade carefully. Regretfully, he gave the a title, only the artist’s last name, HoffKubiks the news. It is a 1920s lamp, he man. told them. “But it is not an original TiffaThe title may never be known, but ny. Many Tiffany-style lamps and shades Stamm dated the work in 1865. The piece had only minor flaws. She researched the painting after the event and sent Dickson a report four days later, identifying the artist as George C. Hoffman. “The estimated value is in the low thousands.” said Dickson. “We will keep it as a famiFrom left, Gary and Gloria Kubick present a glass lampshade ly heirloom.” The to appraiser Jon King. The Kubicks were disappointed to learn the item was not a product of Tiffany. mystery remains whether those children are on his family tree. were made then and still are,” he said. AlDickson also visited the Decorative though there were other clues, the most Art station with his porcelain pieces and obvious was the lack of a Tiffany signaGerman beer steins. The popular stop ture or any indication that it was made was manned by expert Jon King, Hindin the Tiffany studio. man’s senior consultant for the SouthThe Kubiks took the news well and east region, who has been in the field said they would not be taking an extendsince the early 1980s, King has overseen ed vacation or retiring any time soon, but collections from the estates of noted cethat the appraisal experience was “really lebrities and has worked with the PBS sefun.” ries “Antiques Roadshow” and HGTV’s Ken Moorman of Brookhaven, accom“Appraise It!” panied by family friend, Trish Percival, The heirlooms Dickson laid out at the stepped to the Asian Art station. UnwrapDecorative Art table are not of much valping two panels of Asian paintings, he exue, he found out, but he said he learned plained to specialist Annie Wu that they some interesting information about had been owned by his wife’s aunt in Calthem. His final stop was the Books and ifornia. Manuscripts table, staffed by Gretchen “All I ever heard about them is that Hause, who is a specialist in Hindman’s they are Japanese,” he told Wu. Fine Books and Manuscripts department. “No, they are Chinese, done between The hefty book of Johann Wolfgang 1850 [and] 1870 and had been painted at a

JULY 2019

Art & Entertainment | 7


center in Jing De Zhen in central China,” said Wu. She explained that in the 19th and 20th centuries, scholars were invited to the center to paint works of art, mainly for export. The delicate, detailed porcelain paintings on individual tiles are of classic Chinese scenes and people. Few of the scholars became well-known, although each painting is signed with the artist’s signature “chop,” or seal, in red. The writing on the paintings are descriptions or poems about the scenes, and Wu offered to have them translated for Moorman. “The paintings and condition of the panels are important, and it is rare to find them in as good a condition as yours. Typically, they came in a set of four panels, which would likely be valued in the high thousands at auction,” said Wu, adding, “The market for Chinese art buyers is very active right now.” Ellen Kierr Stein remembered her

Buddha bust being a fixture in her parents’ homes as far back as the 1960s. It was part of an eclectic collection of artifacts from their worldwide travels, she recalled. Wu, at the Asian Art station, filled in some details. The Buddha bust is a bronze Thai piece from the 16th or 17th century and is “very good condition,” she said. “Buddha is an iconic image in Asian culture and the expression on his face is very important. This Buddha has a calm, benevolent expression, as is fitting.” A highlight of the day was Kierr Stein’s surprise, on-the-spot donation of the Buddha bust to OUMA, made with her sister, Susan Kierr in memory of their parents, J.N. and Raymond Kierr. “We were thrilled,” said John Tilford, OUMA’s curator of collections. “It’s a major contribution to our permanent collection and a wonderful addition to our Asian collection.”

From left, Trish Percival and Ken Moorman listen to appraiser Annie Wu’s explanation of Chinese artworks that Moorman owns.

8 | Art & Entertainment

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Dunwoody Nature Center, 5343 Roberts Drive, Dunwoody. Info: dunwoodynature.org.

Red, White and Bernstein BROOKHAVEN


Theater Hairspray

Friday, July 12- Sunday July 21 The City Springs Theatre Company stages the story of big girl with big hair and an even bigger heart who sets out to follow her dreams and win the boy she loves. Tickets: $30$62. Byers Theatre, City Springs, 1 Galambos Way, Sandy Springs. Info: citysprings.com/events.

Driving Miss Daisy

Friday, June 28 - Sunday, July 21 Presented by Georgia Ensemble Theatre. Set against the historical backdrop of Atlanta’s development through the mid20th cen-



tury, the story of aging Southern matron Daisy Werthan, her long-suffering son Boolie, and her chauffeur Hoke Colburn unfolds over 25 years of friendship, loss, racial tension, and ultimately love. Tickets: $35. Conant Performing Arts Center, Oglethorpe University, 4484 Peachtree Road, Brookhaven. Info: get.org or 770-6411260.


Dunwoody Nature Center Summer Concert Series

Saturdays, June 29; July 13 and 27 7-9 p.m. The city of Dunwoody series includes Americana group Russell Cook and the Sweet Teeth on June 29; blues group The Breeze Kings on July 13; and a classic Battle of the Bands July 27. New this year, a different food truck will be on site each week. Free for members, $5 adults, $3 children.

Sunday, June 30, 4 p.m. A concert of American music in celebration of composer Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday. Free. Dunwoody United Methodist Church sanctuary, 1548 Mount Vernon Road, Dunwoody. Info: dunwoodyumc.org.

Concerts by The Springs

Sunday, July 14, 5-8:30 p.m. Departure, a Journey tribute band takes stage starting at 7 p.m. Beforehand, the Taproom Concert Series will offer a craft brewery pop-up tasting Taproom Tastings $18. Heritage Sandy Springs. 6110 Blue Stone Road, Sandy Springs. Info: heritagesandysprings.org.

City Green Live Music Series

Fridays, June 21 and 28, July 26, 6:30 p.m. The City Green in Sandy Springs continues its summer music series with beach music group Band of Oz June 21; country group Savannah Jack June 28; and Big Sam’s Funky Nation July 26. City Green, 1 Galambos Way, Sandy Springs. Free, no tickets required. Tables may be reserved start-

ing at $40. Info: citysprings.com/ events.

Summer of Love

Friday, July 26, 6:30 p.m. and Saturday, July 27, 11:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Capitol City Opera’s 27th Annual “On the Light Side” will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Woodstock with singers accompanied by a rock trio in an “indoor picnic” fundraiser with a silent auction, trivia, food and Woodstock-themed costume contest. $40. Highpoint Episcopal Community Church, 4945 High Point Road, Sandy Springs. Info: ccityopera.org.

Atlanta Festival Academy Shining Stars

Saturday, July 27, 7 p.m. This fundraising concert for the 2019 Atlanta Festival Academy features young musicians. Tickets: $35$60. Byers Theatre, City Springs. 1 Galambos Way, Sandy Springs. Info: citysprings.com/events.

Visual Arts Student & Faculty Juried Exhibition

Through Saturday, Aug. 24, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Spruill Arts displays artwork from its students and instructors during its



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JULY 2019

Art & Entertainment | 9


annual juried exhibition. Spruill Gallery, 4681 Ashford-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Info: spruillarts.org.

Books & Authors For the Good of the Game

Wednesday, July 10, 7:30 p.m. Bud Selig, the former Commissioner of Baseball who held the job for more than 20 years, will discuss and sign copies of his new book, “For the Good of the Game: The Inside Story of the Surprising and Dramatic Transformation of Major League Baseball” as part of the Page from the Book Festival of the MJCCA. $35, includes hardcover book copy. MJCCA, 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody. Info: atlantajcc.org/bookfestival or 678-812-4002.

For Families and Kids

Free Soccer Tournament

Friday, June 28, 5-8:30 p.m. The Cross Keys Sustainable Neighborhood Initiative (CKSNI) hosts its 4th Annual CKSNI Soccer Tournament. This free event will feature soccer games for organized teams and individuals aged 5-7 and 8-10 as well as free food, giveaways and community fair with organizations working in the Cross Keys cluster and Buford Highway Corridor. Register by June 26. Dresden Park, 2301 Dresden Drive, Chamblee. Info: 770-936-0969.

Mumferd Learns

Friday, June 28; July 12, 3-4 p.m. Kaiser Permanente’s Educational Theater teaches water safety June 26 and exercise July 12. Free. Sandy Springs Branch Library, 395 Mt Vernon Highway, Atlanta. Info: afpls.org/events/events-calendar or LibraryComments@fultoncountyga. gov.

Touch a Truck

Saturday, June 29, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Police cars, fire trucks and more will be on for children to see up-close. Free. Blackburn Park, 3493 AshfordDunwoody Road, Brookhaven. Info: brookhavenga.gov.

Make a Straw Rocket

Tuesday, July 9, 3-4 p.m. Create your own rocket ship out of paper and straws, then see how far you can make it soar! Free. For ages 5-12 years old. Registration re-

quired. Dunwoody Library, 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Info events.dekalblibrary. org/event/1955682 or 770-512-4640

Family Bird Walk

Friday, July 19, 9-10:30a.m. Learn to use binoculars and birdwatch, and make a seed-on-a-pinecone bird-feeder to take home. Meet in the pavilion. Free, registration requested. Morgan Falls Overlook Park, 200 Morgan Falls Road, Sandy Springs. Info: registration.sandyspringsga.gov


Friday, July 26, 3 p.m. Serenbe Playhouse presents a special performance of Pocahontas, as she awaits to share the tale of her beautiful, beloved homeland. Ages 3 and older. Free. Sandy Springs Branch Library, 395 Mount Vernon Highway, Sandy Springs. Info: afpls.org/ events/events-calendar or LibraryComments@fultoncountyga.gov.

Outdoor Fun Stand Up for the Hooch

Sunday, June 23, 7a.m. – 12:30 p.m. The 8th annual Stand Up for the Hooch race features 2-mile and 6-mile races and a free kids’ race. All ages and ability levels are welcome. This year’s event benefits the Sandy Springs Recreation and Parks Scholarships. $45. Morgan Falls Overlook Park, 200 Morgan Falls Road, Sandy Springs. Info: highcountryoutfitters. com.

High Country SUP Yoga

Sunday, July 7, 21, 8:30 a.m. & 10:30 a.m. A lesson in a combination of yoga and stand up paddle boarding. $35, registration required. Overlook Paddle Shack, 200 Morgan Falls Road, Sandy Springs. Info: highcountryoutfitters.com/

Community Bike Ride

Sunday, July 7, 2:45-4 p.m. Dunwoody’s monthly community bike ride takes place on the first Sunday of each month through November, sponsored by Bike Walk Dunwoody. The route is a 4.5-mile loop around Dunwoody with mostly right turns. Helmets are required and a bicycle with gears is recommended. Village Burger, 1426 Dunwoody Village Parkway, Dunwoody. Info: bikewalkdunwoody.org.

With dining this good your friends may show up at lunchtime and stay through dinner. Once upon a time, dining at a retirement community did not bring forth words of praise. But not so any more. At The Piedmont at Buckhead the reviews for our restaurant-style dining are in, and they range from wow! to yummmmmm! Call us to set up a time and taste for yourself.

Lunch & Learn

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10 | Commentary

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C O N TAC T US Founder & Publisher Steve Levene stevelevene@reporternewspapers.net Editorial Managing Editor John Ruch johnruch@reporternewspapers.net INtown Editor: Collin Kelley Editor-at-Large Joe Earle Staff Writers Dyana Bagby, Evelyn Andrews Creative and Production Creative Director Rico Figliolini rico@reporternewspapers.net Graphic Designer Julie Murcia Advertising Director of Sales Development Amy Arno amyarno@reporternewspapers.net Sales Executives Jeff Kremer, Janet Porter, Jim Speakman Office Manager Deborah Davis deborahdavis@reporternewspapers.net Contributors Robin Conte, Katia Martinez, Phil Mosier, Carol Niemi, Judith Schonbak, Jaclyn Turner

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Commentary Sharing and responding to your questions about the Ga. 400 Express Lanes Earlier this year, the Georgia Department of Transportation hosted five Public Information Open Houses to provide project information and solicit public comments on the State Route 400 Express Lanes project. We welcomed more than 1,200 attendees and received more than 500 comments. We are grateful to those who attended to provide this valuable feedback. Additionally, a number of questions were posed during and after these meetings. Georgia DOT is committed to responding to those questions and keeping the public informed. An official response is nearing completion and will be posted to the project webpage: dot.ga.gov/DS/GEL/ SR400. Many of you told us that you preferred transit alternatives over the proposed express lanes. Georgia DOT agrees that transit solutions are critical to the region and Georgia’s future. There is shared vision by MARTA, The ATL, Fulton County, State Road and Tollway Authority and Georgia DOT that the SR 400 Express Lanes will provide for transit opportunities in a new manner. This opportunity may be referred to as Express Lanes Transit (ELT). Georgia DOT is supporting this opportunity by constructing the Express lanes to accommodate future ELT stations along SR 400 that tie directly to MARTA’s North Springs Station. This work is being funded by $100 million of transit bonds, which were approved by the General Assembly and Gov. Nathan Deal in 2018. Think of the ELT future as an extension of MARTA’s Red Line minus the rails.

The express lanes provide reliable trip times for ELT riders, as well as for motorists who choose to use the lanes. The lanes are managed by dynamic, demand-based pricing to mitigate congestion in the lanes – as demand during peak hours increases, so does the price; as demand falls, the price falls. A network of express lanes on I-75, I-85, along I-285 and SR 400 will ultimately serve millions of motorists and transit users throughout the metro Atlanta region, providing reliable trip times to you, your neighbors and those in neighboring communities. Transit users will only pay their transit fare regardless of the price in the express lanes. Benefits of express lanes are proven. Four existing express lane corridors are currently in operation in Georgia. Since opening last September, travel times in the Northwest Corridor Express Lanes along I-75 and I-575 are 30 percent faster than the general-purpose lanes during peak travel times, and the general-purpose lanes are seeing travel as much as 20 mph faster during peak times. As a result, rush hours in Cobb and Cherokee counties have been reduced by over an hour during the morning and evening commutes, benefitting motorists and bus transit riders alike. More efficient and faster highways can mean fewer motorists bypassing those congested roads on surface streets in your community. The Georgia DOT has attended or held approximately 150 presentations and meetings to share information and seek input. These meetings have been attended by thousands of residents like you, and I’m

proud of the extensive efforts to work with the community. We’ve received comments reRussell McMurry, P.E., is garding commissioner of the the properGeorgia Department ty acquisiof Transportation. tion process, noise barriers and potential impacts to schools, access points, elevated structures and environmental questions. These comments are reviewed and we strive to address the concerns such to minimize all impacts. This is often an iterative process where one solution may cause another impact. Our goal is to achieve the best project with the fewest impacts. Express lanes, which provide improved mobility for users and non-users, can also serve as a backbone for future transit options -- and do so at the best value. For example, a similar 16mile investment for heavy rail in the corridor could cost as much as $500 million a mile, almost seven times the cost of the 400 Express Lane project, which also provides for a transit corridor. We pledge to continue providing the best information available throughout this process, which includes more public meetings. As the project’s design concepts develop, we will continue to release new information and continue to meet with stakeholders to ensure the best possible project is delivered for the region and Georgia.

Reporter Newspapers wins 15 Georgia Press awards Reporter Newspapers won 15 awards — including eight first-place honors in its division — in the Georgia Press Association’s 2019 Better Newspaper Contest, whose winners were announced May 31. The awards honored work that appeared in the Brookhaven, Buckhead, Dunwoody and Sandy Springs newspapers. The awards recognized all types of the Reporter’s journalism work, from opinion columns to newspaper design to in-depth reporting. The Reporter’s first-place honorees included: ■ Managing Editor John Ruch for Investigative Reporting for stories that revealed secret city discussions about affordable housing policies and north end redevelopment in Sandy Springs; and Business Writing for stories in the Perimeter Business section and an exposé of “safest cities” website rankings. Ruch

also won third place in Breaking News Writing. ■ “Robin’s Nest” columnist Robin Conte for best Lifestyle/Feature Column. She also won awards in the Humorous Column and Serious Column categories. ■ Photographer Phil Mosier for News Photo and Spot News Photo for work that appeared in the Dunwoody Reporter. ■ Creative Director Rico Figliolini for Page One design. He also won second place for Layout and Design. ■ The staff for Local News Coverage. ■ The staff for best Newspaper Website. Editor-at-Large Joe Earle, who writes the “Around Town” column, won second place in the Lifestyle/Features Column category. Staff writer Evelyn Andrews won third place in the Feature Writing cate-

gory for stories about efforts to preserve a historic African American church in Buckhead; the rehabilitation of the Atlanta History Center’s “Battle of Atlanta” Cyclorama painting; and a Sandy Springs Police Department program that rescues stranded motorists. Andrews was named a “Rising Star” earlier this year by the Atlanta Press Club in a separate contest. The Reporter staff also took second place in the General Excellence category. The GPA, founded in 1887, is an organization of Georgia newspapers. Its Better Newspaper Contest is statewide and was judged by members of out-of-state press associations. Entries were judged in seven divisions based on the newspapers’ circulation. Reporter Newspapers was judged in the division that includes weekly newspapers with a circulation above 15,000 and the GPA’s “associate media members.”

JULY 2019

Commentary | 11


At a coffeehouse, you are what you drink A few years ago, Starbucks introduced a new caffeinated beverage, which they call the “Flat White.” When I saw that, I thought, “Great. Now they’ve come up with a drink that describes me in two words.” But I was intrigued by my newly discovered doppelganger in espresso form and decided to learn more. It turns out that (according to the Starbucks website) this drink is composed of “expertly steamed milk poured over ristretto shots of espresso and finished with a Starbucks signature dot.” Ristretto, by the way, is a shot of espresso made with the normal amount of coffee but extracted using less water, resulting in what is known -- by those who know these things -- as a “short shot” of espresso. Furthermore, I am pleased to report, also according to Starbucks a Flat White is the “coffee connoisseur’s choice” and it is “expertly handcrafted for a genuine Flat White experience.” So really, that does sound a lot like me. For one thing, at 5-feet-and-a-half-inch, I am quite the short shot. I am easily, if not expertly, steamed (by drivers blocking the intersection, kids spilling backpacks and dirty socks all over the kitchen... it doesn’t take much ), and although I don’t have that signature dot, I do have a signature nervous tic. Moreover, anyone who meets me is guaranteed to have a genuine Flat White experience. Yes, I do consider myself a coffee connoisseur, and in my opinion, the Flat White is cappuccino done right. This whole exercise got me thinking some more until I eventually came up with a postulation: Just as dogs are said to resemble their owners (and vice versa), I think that caffeinated beverages often resemble those who drink them. We merely need to come up with some more descriptive titles. In fact, there is a vast potential for coffeehouse beverage names that would aptly describe the drinker, or perhaps reveal something Robin Conte lives with of the drinker’s personality. her husband in an empHere are a few examples: ty nest in Dunwoody. The Snarky Ristretto: A short shot of jolting java, pulled by highly trained baristas and delivered like a bracing slap of aftershave to those who want to start their day with biting humor. The Cheap Shot: Like the Snarky Ristretto, but more intense. The Double Chocolatey Chip Crème Frappuccino Blended Meme: Interlaced layers of cream and sugar, topped with sugar-infused cream and drizzles of chocolate-flavored sugar, caressed with a hint of mocha and a dollop of cultural milieu, for Instagramming teens. Magic Chocolate Screamelatta: A soothing blend of crushed ice, sweet cream and potently dark cocoa powder, empathetically shaken and poured over a double shot of rum, for mothers with screaming toddlers. The Skinny Screamelatta: The same as above, without the ice, cream or cocoa powder. Espresso con Panna Allegro con Tutti: A double shot of exclusively procured and painstakingly roasted espresso with perfect peaks of micro-foamed and nimbly aerated cream, crafted in under 60 seconds, for coffee snobs in a hurry. So, my fellow coffee aficionados, you can play, too. As you sip your brew of choice, consider a few things. For instance, who’s drinking the Emo Blend? Brooding connoisseurs under the age of 23, who want to enjoy the deepest, darkest coffee offered and charge it to their father’s credit card? Then go back to your own coffee and consider this: What’s in your cup?

20 W i To GA & 19, nn p Pr 20 20 er C e 1 18 ol ss 7 um A ni ssn st !

Robin’s Nest

Read Robin Conte’s debut book ‘The Best of the Nest’ “The Best of the Nest” offers 49 of Reporter Newspapers columnist Robin Conte’s witty essays on suburban family life, organized by seasons. They include some of the pieces that won Robin the first-place Lifestyle/Features Column award in 2017, 2018 and 2019 and first-place for Humorous column in 2018 from the Georgia Press Association.

Order the book at bestofthenest.net Follow Robin’s book-related appearances at robinconte.com.

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12 | Commentary

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A family that plays together in the Ultimate game After Fred Perivier graduated from college in 1979, he bought a motorcycle and headed to Atlanta to visit some friends and look for a job. He was sleeping on a couch in a house in Sandy Springs, he said, when he decided to put a personal ad in the daily paper seeking others who played a Frisbee-based game he’d learned at school. It didn’t take long for someone to tell him about a group that regularly got together to play the sport then known as Ultimate Frisbee and now simply as Ultimate. They gathered at Piedmont Park or at Emory. There weren’t many of them. The game, having sprung up at a New Jersey high school only about a decade earlier, was just too new. “When I first moved to Atlanta, there were about 40 players in town,” the 61-year-old Perivier said recently. “Back then, the community was very tight because there were so few people. For me, at least, some of my oldest friends are guys are I played with, guys from the ’80s. We still have that bond.”


Perivier became a fixture in metro Atlanta’s Ulimate world, which proponents of the sport say has grown to about 3,000 players on a dozen club teams, 30 high school teams and a dozen college teams. In the early ’80s, he played on Chain Lightning, an Ultimate club team that represented Atlanta in tournaments across the Southeast and the country. They traveled to matches in communities spread from Florida to Wisconsin and Boston to San Francisco. One year, they played in 15 tournaments, he said. “I remember one year, Delta [Air Lines] had a big sale and you could go anywhere in the country for 150 bucks,” he said. “We all bought tickets to go to tournaments.” Perivier played an important role in Ultimate’s growth off the field, too. He helped create the Atlanta Flying Disc Club and coached teams at Georgia Tech and in local public schools. He no longer plays the game, but still coaches Lakeside High’s team.


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

From left, Jacques and Fred Perivier.

His entire family has grown roots deep into the Ultimate world, as well. He met his wife playing the game. His three children – Jacques, 22, Laurence, 20, and Marie, 18 – all play on Georgia college teams, and Marie recently was named a runner-up for the national Rookie of the Year title. Jacques, who plays for Georgia College and on the semi-pro team the Atlanta Hustle, said he’s been playing the sport since he was in sixth grade. His dad was his coach then. “I’ve been around it my entire life,” he said over a lunch with his dad recently. He grew up in north DeKalb County. His family regularly tossed a Frisbee around the cul-de-sac. He kept playing through high school, college and plans to keep going on post-college teams. “I love the camaraderie, just having a team,” Jacques said. “I enjoy the community aspect.” When Jacques was younger, he had to choose between soccer and Ultimate. He chose to stay with Ultimate because he thought he’d could play the game longer before he aged out, he said. After all, his dad played on senior teams into his fifties. “I can keep going in Ultimate,” Jacques said. “With soccer, as an adult, unless you’re really good, it’s all in casual pick-up play. I like the competitive aspects. I like to compete. You can still compete in Ultimate at a high level.” The Periviers also argue that unlike many other American team sports, Ulti-


mate has built into its very fabric a sense of what can only be called honor. There are no refs. Players call any fouls themselves. They call it “Spirit of the Game,” and it’s written into the rules. Perhaps it’s a holdover from the sports early, tiedyed days, but players are charged with being honest and telling the truth. “It really works well,” Fred said, although Jacques said he’d just as soon have refs to help keep things under control. They seem to agree that even though their young sport is growing, the idea of tossing a Frisbee up and down a field for points still seems strange to a lot of fans of other, more familiar games. Those folks, they say, don’t show Ultimate any respect. “You don’t get teased for playing soccer,” Jacques said. Ultimate, it appears, may still something of a PR problem. In June, Jacques and Marie were to play in an exhibition at St. Pius X High School intended to promote the game and to attract more minority players. “You ask nine out of 10 people what Ultimate Frisbee is, they’ll say, ‘That’s what the dogs do, isn’t it?’ Fred said. “Some people … say, ‘That’s not a sport,” Jacques chimed in, “It’s just a bunch of hippies out there.” “That changes when once they see it,” Fred said. “I’m going to say, once they get out there and try it,” Jacques said, the desire for competition showing in his smile.

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JULY 2019 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

The Atlanta History Center observes Juneteenth The Atlanta History Center held its Juneteenth family program, commemorating the 1865 announcement of the emancipation of slaves in Texas and the end of slavery in the United States, on June 15 and 16. The program allowed visitors to the museum at 130 West Paces Ferry Road to explore the themes of freedom and family history through talks, theater workshops and storytelling. Observance highlights include author Christina Proenza-Coles on Saturday discussing her new book “American Founders: How People of African Descent Established Freedom in the New World”; and Kenyatta D. Berry, cohost of the popular PBS series Genealogy Roadshow, on Sunday discussing genealogy and her new book “The Family Tree Toolkit.” PHOTOS BY PHIL MOSIER




A - Ebony Jerry portrays Mary Bowser, a Union spy within the Confederate White House during the Civil War, as part of the Atlanta History Center’s Juneteenth program. B - Stormy Webster reads with son Logan, 3, about Martin Luther King Jr. during the Juneteenth event. C - From left, actors Morris Hill, Danye Brown and Shawn MacLean make a live Facebook video after their performance of “The Order of Freedom,” which explained the history of Juneteeth.

14 | Community

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Highway-capping park may be renamed ‘Hub 404’ We call it home.


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A conceptual illustration of the park over Ga. 400.

Continued from page 1

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board makes the change official. Another rebranding type of name is possible, and could be replaced again in the future with a donor’s name. Gould said in an interview that the board felt that with the “park over Ga. 400” term, “we were too grounded in Buckhead…Grounding it into [Ga.] 400 didn’t seem that environmentally friendly.” Conceived by the Buckhead Community Improvement District, the park concept is a roughly 9.5 green space and plaza built above Ga. 400 between Peachtree and Lenox roads, and incorporating a redesigned Buckhead MARTA Station. It has been presented as serving as both a Buckhead community park and a regional attraction. The concept is currently in an early engineering stage, but its backers hope to have construction start by 2021. For the next phase of construction documents, the nonprofit needs to raise $4 million to $5 million, Gould said. Gould was named the new board chair of the 16-month-old nonprofit in May in a leadership shake-up, taking over from former chair Barbara Kaufman, who runs a consulting firm. “We kind of pushed the reset button,” said Gould. “…I think the initial board didn’t have the mindset around the funding effort that is necessary to really drive this to success.” Gould is president and CEO of Interface, Inc., a company that makes modular carpet and is headquartered in Midtown. Gould is a Buckhead resident who lives near the proposed park site. And Interface is a company known for its environmental policies, dating back nearly 50 years to founder Ray Anderson, who set a corporate course of zero net emissions and other green-minded programs. BCID Executive Director Jim Durrett, who also sits on the nonprofit’s board, worked with Anderson on Chattahoochee Hills’ Serenbe green-minded com-


munity, Gould said. “For me, with a company that’s so much into sustainability, I really believed this needed some leadership to propel this forward,” Gould said of accepting the board chair position. Gould lives in the Sovereign condos in the 3344 Peachtree skyscraper, where “I

Jay Gould, board chair of POG 400


will look out my window at that park.” He said the park would build a sense of community in a booming residential area once known mostly as a financial and retail center. “We’re really devoid of green space,” Gould said. “There’s not enough green space in that part to really pull people together… I’m so jealous of people who live around Piedmont Park.” Besides considering a rebranding, the nonprofit is building its basic fundraising ability, including hiring a director to lead the effort. The kickoff for the major fundraising would then begin in September. Nonprofit board members also continue to meet with officials from the city and MARTA, and are discussing the acquisition of air rights from some private property owners, Gould said. Meantime, the overall goal of the park concept remains the same. “I think it continues the transformation of Atlanta into a world-class city,” Gould said.

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Thursday, July 4 - steps off at 9AM Mt. Vernon Rd. from Jett Ferry Rd. to Dunwoody Village Pkwy. Closing Ceremonies - Dunwoody Village

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2019 GRAND MARSHAL The Dunwoody Police Department

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Billy Grogan, Chief of Police

The Dunwoody Police Department recently celebrated its 10th Anniversary as a department. We held an Open House as a way to say thank you to our citizens for their unwavering and continued support throughout the years. The department started out with 40 sworn officers and eight civilians. Today, we have 62 sworn officers and 14 civilian employees. From Day One, we have tried to only hire staff members that are interested in a career of service. Employees who understand the importance of working together with the community. Employees that treat people fairly and with empathy and compassion. We have a department full of people who understand that our core values are more than words written on a sheet of paper. Our core values represent who we are as people. We are dedicated to continuing to provide a high level of service to our community, and with the help of our citizens, we will continue to be successful.


Michael Thurmond

Georgia Attorney General

DeKalb County CEO

Channel 2 Action News anchor

Founded in 1976 as a nonprofit youth performing arts education organization based in Atlanta. The primary objective of Spirit of Atlanta is to provide challenging, highquality programs for youth through a positive environment that emphasizes character and social development, leadership, selfdiscipline, and the pursuit of excellence.

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9 AM 9 AM - 1 PM 10:30 AM 10:30 AM - 11 AM 11 AM - 11:30 AM APPROXIMATELY 11:30 AM

Choi anchors Channel 2 Action News Saturday and Sunday AM and is a general assignment reporter for Channel 2 Action News.

Doug Turnbull WSB Traffic Team

Doug Turnbull is the lead p.m. drive anchor for “Triple Team Traffic” in the WSB Skycopter and is the WSB Traffic Team manager of operations. Turnbull also writes the weekly “Gridlock Guy” column in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and on wsbradio.com.

Laura Nida Allison

Katerina Rozmajzl, 21, is studying to obtain a master’s of accountancy and CPA to operate and expand her company, Katerina Cosmetics™. Katerina is an ambassador for Kiva, where she helps fund, support and mentor individuals who do not have access to financial loans to start their own businesses.


DeKalb Fire Chief

Sophia Choi

Spirit of Atlanta Drum and Bugle Corps

Miss Georgia

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American Beauties Nat’l Elite 2019

Laura Nida Allison, 55, of Buford, Georgia, is the mother of 10 children, ages 15-35. She is in the financial and retirement industry and has put much of her focus on women, teaching educational workshops on the basics of financial and retirement planning.

Parade start Kids Zone National Anthe m, sung by Jessica Iovanella 116th Army National Guard Marching Band Georgia Sensation Chorus Parade winners announced

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JULY 2019 â– www.ReporterNewspapers.net

SPECIAL FLOATS AND MUSIC Special floats and vehicles this year include: Oscar Meyer Weiner Mobile Nocturnal Pirates of Atlanta

Thank You,Parade Sponsors! GOLD

Marching bands and musicians in the parade include:



Atholl Highlanders Bagpipes Atlanta Drum Academy Dunwoody High School Marching Band Georgia Sensation Chorus Spirit of Atlanta Drum and Bugle Corps

Eyeglasses collection

Bring your used eyeglasses to the parade for recycling! Fifteen international youth ambassadors attending the Georgia Lions Youth Exchange Camp will march in with the Atlanta Lions Club. Look for the colorful flags of the world as the students will be parading with their national flags, along with eyeglass collection boxes. If you’d like us to pick up your eyeglasses, contact Becky Jarrell at beckyjarrell@gmail.com or 770-355-7726. You can also find Lions Eyeglass Collection Boxes at Dunwoody businesses and pools in July.

Food pantry collection

Dunwoody Boy Scout Troop 764 will be pushing shopping carts along the parade route, collecting food donations for the Community Assistance Center Food Pantry. Most-need items include canned meats and fish; canned pasta; canned vegetables; canned or packaged fruits; and cereal.


Adoptable dogs

LifeLine Animal Project is the beneficiary of an event organized by local Girl Scout Sophia Sparks, who will have adoptable dogs in the parade, and an informational tent and a portrait photo booth for attendees and their dogs at the festival. Photos will be $15. Monetary donations for the DeKalb County Animal Shelter also will be accepted.

ENTERTAINMENT AND FOOD Before and during the parade

Renasant Bank, 1449 Dunwoody Village Parkway, will have a tent with free face-painting, free water and doughnuts, and a cornhole game.

Festival after the parade

Music from the 116th National Army Guard Marching Band and Georgia Sensation Chorus Kids zone with inflatables Food: Barbecue for sale from Boy Scout Troop 266; hotdogs and sausages for sale from the Rotary Club of Dunwoody; frozen pops for sale from Steel Pops; beer for purchase from Moondog Growlers.


18 |

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PARADE HISTORY The Dunwoody Fourth of July Parade was founded in 1976 as part of the nation’s Bicentennial celebrations. It continued for five years under the leadership of the Dunwoody Woman’s Club before ceasing. In 1991, following the Gulf War, the parade was revived, by suggestion of Bill Robinson and Joyce Amacher, as a way to honor returning service members. With the sponsorship of the Dunwoody Homeowners Association, the parade has been an annual traditional since that time.

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Community | 19

JULY 2019 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

MARTA expansion could bring some improvements to Buckhead by 2025

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Continued from page 1

Midtown’s Arts Center Station and Brookhaven’s Brookhaven/Oglethorpe Station, running through Buckhead. Arterial rapid transit means a bus that runs especially frequently and with priority at signals and in lines.

In planning and design phase by 2025

■ The first phase of the new Clifton Corridor light rail line running between Lindbergh Center Station and the Emory University area. ■ The Northeast segment of light rail on the BeltLine between the Lindbergh Center/ Armour Yard area in Buckhead and the Ponce City Market area in the Old Fourth Ward.

Operational by 2025

■ Bus rapid transit on Capitol Avenue (Summerhill) and the first phase of North Avenue. ■ Arterial rapid transit on Cleveland Avenue’s Route 78 and Metropolitan Parkway’s Route 95. ■ North Avenue BRT Phase I: connecting the BeltLine’s Eastside Trail and Poncey-Highland to North Avenue Station. ■ Bankhead Station improvements.

Under construction by 2025

■ Streetcar East Extension: an approximately 2-mile route along the Atlanta BeltLine connecting the existing Atlanta Streetcar to Ponce de Leon Avenue. ■ Greenbriar Transit Center: a multi-modal transit hub connecting local bus service to high-capacity transit on Campbellton Road. ■ Five Points Station improvements.

Planning and design phase by 2025

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Special Section | 21



A guide to home security camera options BY KATIA MARTINEZ The security camera market is changing, with more options now allowing residents to control and install their own equipment. But the new options also bring more confusion about what is right choice for securing a home. Here’s a guide on how to pick a home security system. Two main companies provide self-installed cameras that can be monitored on a smartphone or other device. Nest’s cameras retail from $200 to $300 each. Ring’s cameras come at a similar price, except for its doorbell camera, which retails for $99. The cameras can be self-installed, but professional installation is recommended for some situations, such as use in older homes. Ring and Nest can also provide professional monitoring service to call dispatchers. Nest charges $30 per month for that, and Ring charges $10 per month. Pricing varies much more for traditional security companies, and it often depends heavily on how much work has to be done to get the property prepared for installation. Alarm companies typically come out to a property and design a personalized system. Companies will often provide free quotes, however. Most alarms fall into two categories: motion sensors and sound sensors. Most operate in similar ways by simply detecting motion or sound, which is why false alarms can be easy to trigger. However, older systems often don’t have the equipment to record and store audio or video content to transmit it to emergency call centers, for instance when verification is required, such as by the city of Sandy Springs.

Should homeowners stick with a traditional system or try a new doorbell camera system?

“That really depends entirely on what the client needs,” said April Chastain, the director of operations for Owen Security Solutions, a locally-owned North Georgia home security company. “We try to work with each client to find exactly what works for them.” Chastain said the Owen Security doesn’t want customers paying for something they won’t use, and sometimes a smart home system isn’t particularly viable. “Not everyone can afford these kinds of systems and it’s not always the right choice,” she said. “If you’re not going to use all the pieces of a smart home system, then you probably don’t need a smart home system.” Owen Security installs Nest and countless other kinds of systems, and said it is hard

to nail down how expensive an installation would be. Each package is tailormade for that client, but they are offering Sandy Springs residents discounts on packages that include the video verification, Chastain said. The discount varies from project to project, so Chastain was unable to give an amount. There has also been concern among residents about the ability to hack into a smart home system. However, Chastain said she doesn’t think that should be a concern and that any kinks in smart home systems have been worked out long before this ordinance was initiated. “These systems are so encrypted that I don’t really see how someone can hack into them anymore,” she said. “These are people’s homes, and security companies are here to protect them. It’s our jobs.”

If I have a system, is it good enough?

Dunwoody Police Sgt. Robert Parsons suggests homeowners select video verification instead of primarily audio verification systems. “While we do not endorse any specific alarm system or product, certainly ones that offer cameras can make our jobs easier should something happen,” said Parsons, who uses one himself. Chastain recommends that larger properties have a more thorough camera system, and isn’t sure one doorbell camera would be enough. “We recommend at least three cameras per property,” Chastain said. “That ensures that you’re covering your basic needs.”

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22 | Real Estate

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With tiny homes, the trend toward smaller living continues to grow BY COLLIN KELLEY Hundreds of the tiny home curious flocked to Atlantic Station last month for the annual Tiny Home Festival. While the movement toward smaller living has been making headlines for years, the interest has not waned and seems to be gaining new ground. The City of Atlanta recently passed a zoning ordinances allowing homeowners to build multiple units on one parcel land, paving the way for tiny homes Intown. One nearby community that is embracing the tiny home movement is set to be a template for future developments. On May 7, the City of Clarkston unanimously voted to approve a first of its kind tiny home development. The project, “The Cottages on Vaughan” is situated on a half-acre lot centrally located one block from downtown Clarkston, and will include eight tiny homes on permanent foundations, ranging from 250-492 square feet. Continued on page 24

Above and right, hundreds of small living enthusiasts flocked to Atlantic Station recently for the Tiny House Festival. Photos by Asep Mawardi

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24 | Real Estate Continued from page 22 “We are proud to partner with the MicroLife Institute on this innovative new approach to housing,” said City of Clarkston Mayor, Ted Terry. “We recognize that the past 50 years of urban sprawl has segregated communities, contributed to global warming, and exacerbated housing inequality. By experimenting and innovating with new development ordinances, we are able to allow a greater range of housing options.” Clarkston City Councilmember Jamie Carroll has high hopes for the development as well. “I hope that other cities will look at our tiny home ordinance and this development and see that it is possible to create a housing landscape that allows for home owner-

Facebook.com/TheReporterNewspapers ■ twitter.com/Reporter_News ship to come in all shapes and sizes.” The developer, MicroLife Institute, is an Atlanta-based nonprofit working to create micro-communities. “This project will be a proof of concept for us,” MicroLife Institute cofounder Kim Bucciero said. “There is a lot of interest and movement towards tiny homes and cottage homes, but many developers are hesitant to enter the market. Our hope is that this project will encourage other municipalities and private developers to experiment with new, innovate development paradigms and learn from this great case study.” For more about the Clarkston development, visit microlifeinstitute.org/ Clarkston.

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Education | 25

JULY 2019 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net



Atlanta International School has named its valedictorian and salutatorian for 2019. Yannie Tan was named valedictorian, and Justin Chau was named salutatorian.


In a collaboration of Sandy Springs institutions, the Weber School has partnered with Los Niños Primero, which assists underserved Latino preschool children, helping raise funds for the program and collaborating with students. “The Weber School has become a tremendous partner to us in supporting our efforts year round and helping us deepen our ties to the Sandy Springs community,” Los Niños Primero Executive Director Maritza Morelli said in the release. Los Niños Primero was formed in 2001 by members of Mount Vernon Presbyterian Church to prepare preschoolers from the growing Latino population in Sandy Springs. Many Latino students who, according to national data, enter kindergarten already lagging a year behind their peers, the organization said. Los Niños Primero, which was honored at the 2019 Sandy Springs MLK celebration, has been partnering with The Weber School for the last two years, the release said. Weber, a private Jewish school in Sandy Springs, has helped fundraise for LNP’s classroom furnishings and soccer programs. Weber and LNP students also came together to design and paint a mural on an LNP classroom’s walls that honors the cultural roots and bilingual identity of the Sandy Springs Latino community. The Weber School hosted a breakfast between students in advanced Spanish courses and mothers of LNP students. Students practiced their Spanish in a real-world setting while LNP mothers shared their perspective on life and motherhood, the release said. “Working with the children, families,

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and educators at Los Niños Primero has been inspirational for our students,” said Rabbi Ed Harwitz, Head of The Weber School, in the release. “As a twenty-first century Jewish high school, our partnership provides Weber with a powerful opportunity to express our mission through action.”


The Atlanta, DeKalb and Fulton school districts approved or proposed budgets for next year that will bring teacher pay raises. Atlanta Public Schools Board of Education approved its budget June 3. The $854 million budget would provide $2,000 raises for teachers, less than the $3,000 called for by Gov. Brian Kemp. APS said the amount of money provided by the state would not cover all of the $3,000 raises. The district would provide the raises if it is able to secure additional revenue, it said in a release. The full $3,000 raises are expected to be funded by the DeKalb and Fulton districts.

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C O R R EC TION The article “2019 Valedictorians & Salutatorians” in the June issue incorrectly identified a Holy Spirit Preparatory School student as a salutatorian; in fact, Holy Spirit had covaledictorians and no salutatorian. Holy Spirit’s co-valedictorians were Mikayla Brown and Watson Casal.


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26 | Education

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Luke Winstel, St. Pius X Catholic High School Luke Winstel, known as the “Voice of the Golden Lions” at St. Pius X Catholic High School, has led the school’s broadcasting team win awards, and has won some of his own for his work volunteering. Luke, who graduated in May, is most known for his work directing the ESPX student webcast program at the school, which is located in DeKalb County near Brookhaven. He led the team to win St. Pius X an “Elite Schools” award from the National Federation of High School Sports Network for the fourth year in a row. In March, he received the Georgia Youth Leadership Award presented by 21st Century Leaders. The competitive award is given by local businessmen to the top “20 Under 20” from across the state based on leadership, entrepreneurship and community service. He also led the team to win a national marketing award for the first time. “I fell in love with the art of broadcasting because of the extreme challenges it presented to me at each event,” Luke said. “But the webcast would not happen without the voluntary time put in by the crew to video and produce the games.” Luke has broadcasted many of St. Pius X’s sporting events since his freshman year when he joined the team. Preparing for hours of live broadcasting, especially for unfamiliar sports, takes some work, he said. “I spent a lot of time compiling information about different athletes and watching professional sports casters report games. I also kept typed-up documents of notes and particular words, so I could build up the proper vocabulary for reporting games,” he said. Luke also received the Gold Presidential Volunteer Service Award in 2016 for his work at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History. It’s awarded by the federal government for achieving over 250 hours of community service — almost 10-and-a-half days — in one year. Luke has volunteered at the museum for six years. He has given lectures to kids and adults on a range of scientific topics like fossils or marine biology. Helping visitors learn about the exhibits in the museum allowed him to better understand how to “cater to an audience” and become passionate about giving back to the community, he said. “Since I was a little kid, my family instilled the importance of helping others in me. I developed a passion for service when I discovered that even doing the smallest things can help make someone’s day better,” Luke said. He has also received the St. Theresa of Calcutta Service Award from St. Pius X for going beyond his school-assigned service requirements. “My parents have always emphasized the importance of serving your community, so I make it a priority,” he said. Luke also plays in the advanced guitar ensemble at St. Pius X, where he has also won

Standout Student


Above, Luke Winstel plays guitar in the school’s advanced guitar ensemble, and provides commentary for the ESPX student webcast program.

awards. He’s also played guitar at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tennessee. He also hosts his own podcast covering Georgia sports, and has represented 21st Century Leaders in 2018 in a summer immersion program with the Atlanta Hawks video production group. What’s next? Luke plans to attend Georgia College & State University in Milledgeville to study mass communications. He plans to go into broadcasting after college, building on the experience and connections he made during his time at ESPX. This article was written and reported by Alexa Robbins, a student at Atlanta International School. Editor’s Note: Through our “Standout Student” series, Reporter Newspapers showcases some of the outstanding students at our local schools. To recommend a “Standout Student” for our series, please email editor@ReporterNewspapers.net with information about the student and why you think he or she should be featured.



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28 | Classifieds

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Reporter Classifieds

To Advertise, call 404-917-2200 ext 110

SERVICES AVAILABLE Landscaping: Tranquil Waters Lawn Care – Hauling of debris, yard cleanup, aeration, leaf blowing, power washing, etc. Free estimates – No contract necessary – Commercial or Residential. Senior/Veteran discounts available. Call Mike 678-662-0767. Masonry: Driveways & Walkways – Replaced or Repaired. Masonry, Grading, Foundations repair, waterproofing and retaining walls. Call Joe Sullivan 770616-0576. Pest Control: Southern Pro Pest Management – We will solve all your pest problems. Guaranteed prompt service! Tyler (owner) 706-530-8298. Rugs: Cleaning & Repair of all rugs – 40% discount when you mention ad. Sales, cleaning, restorations, appraisals, pick-up & delivery. Call 404-995-8400 Oriental Rug Shop.

Appliances: Appliance Repair Quality - We serve all models & brands of appliances - Free service charge if we do any job - call Dmitry 404-425-6494 Cabinet Creations: Free estimates - Kitchen/Bath cabinets, Offices, bookcases, custom built-in casework, moldings. Commercial/Residential – John’s cell 941-993-7256


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Property: Are you thinking about Selling your Houses or Commercial Properties? No Gimmicks - Any Area - Any Condition! You will receive a Good Offer – Quickly & Easily. I invite you to call anytime, there is No-obligation. 404-447-0177.

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Community | 29

JULY 2019 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

New Buckhead 5K highlights neighborhood’s walkability The inaugural “buckheadRUN!” 5K race, sponsored by Livable Buckhead, drew 260 runners to Lenox Square on June 1. Dylan Loope was the overall winner, and Natalie Witt won the women’s division. The race was part of a Livable Buckhead program to highlight the neighborhood’s walkability – including on the PATH400 multiuse trails — and to encourage people to be physically active during the spring season. The race indeed attracted some first-time runners. Buckhead residents Bob Robers and his 8-year-old daughter Sloane were among them. “This is Sloane’s first race ever, our first race together, and Sloane hopes to compete as an Olympic athlete later in her life,” Bob Robers said. Sloane went on to win second place in her age group. Gerry Leonard was another first-time racer. “I’m originally from Dublin Ireland, and I enjoyed my first race ever,” he said.


A - Race organizers with Livable Buckhead pose at the starting line. They are, from left, Community Engagement Manager Anna Sharpe-Bryson, Chairman Bob Stoner, board member Rebecca King and Executive Director Denise Starling. B - Denise Starling, left, executive director of Liveable Buckhead, applauds Natalie Witt, the winner of the women’s division in the inaugural “buckheadRUN!” 5K. C - Livable Buckhead board member Rebecca King also won first place in her age group. D - Dylan Loope, the eventual overall winner of the race, takes the lead on Old Ivy Road. Loope, a physical trainer, is also leader of the Buckhead Run Club, which meets for a run on PATH400 every Tuesday.





30 | Community

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New Garden Hills Elementary field takes shape BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

A parent-led effort to renovate and improve the Garden Hills Elementary School field is well underway, with major work expected to be done in time for the start of school in August. The Sheridan Street school’s Acorns to Oaks Foundation has raised about $600,000 of its $750,000 goal, according to Wade Morris, a parent and vice president of the fundraising campaign. The work around early April. Besides improving the field itself, including with a drainage system and a track, the work project will add an outdoor amphitheater seating about 100, an outdoor classroom, a playground renovation, a sports court and an outdoor classroom. Further funding would allow for a restroom facility. Also in the long-term plan is a trail and a pavilion. Morris said the money raised so far shows the depth of support both within the school and its community. About 35% of the funding came from parents – a big deal in a public school where, Morris said, two-thirds of the households live at the poverty level. Another 10% came from neighborhood residents. Another 55% of the funds came from schools and churches, such as Second-Ponce de Leon Baptist Church, the Cathedral of Christ the King and the Cathedral of St. Philip. Peachtree Presbyterian Church, which also uses the field at times, gave $100,000. The fundraising continues. For more information, see fixthefield.com.


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The new amphitheater is being built within the stairways on the hillside in front of the school.

Public Safety | 31

JULY 2019 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Police Blotter / Buckhead The following information, involving events that took place in Buckhead June 1-13, was provided to the Buckhead Reporter by the Zone 2 precinct of the Atlanta Police Department from its open data records.

2100 block of Monroe Drive — June 6 2500 block of Lenox Road — June 7 2100 block of Monroe Drive — June 8


2100 block of Monroe Drive — June 10

2400 block of Coronet Way — June 1

2400 block of Cheshire Bridge Road —

2400 block of Coronet Way — June 9

June 11 2400 block of Cheshire Bridge Road —


June 12

2500 block of Peachtree Road — June 5


3400 block of Piedmont Road — June


3300 block of Peachtree Road — June 4

3000 block of Marne Drive — June 11

4300 block of Roswell Road — June 11

Burglary- Non-Residence


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Between June 1 and June 13, there were 54 larcenies from vehicles reported across Zone 2 and 41 reported cases of larceny and shoplifting.

2100 block of Faulkner Road — June 3 200 block of Armour Drive — June 3 3200 block of Paces Ferry Place —

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The man found dead on Buckhead’s Bennett Street June 17 may have been shot and killed while trying to break into a business, police say. The unnamed man was found around 8:30 a.m. next to a car. A police spokesperson said that video evidence and witness statements indicated the shooting “appears to be the result of the deceased male attempting to break into a nearby business” at 22 Bennett St. “As he entered that business, an occupant discharged a firearm, striking the suspect,” the spokesperson said in a written statement. The man then went to the car and collapsed on the ground. The unnamed occupant of the building “initially left the location,” according to police, but then returned and was interviewed by Homicide Unit investigators. “At this time, no charges are anticipated,” the police statement said, but added that the investigation is continuing. Several businesses are located in the building at 22 Bennett and police could not immediately clarify which business the man allegedly attempted to enter.



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