JULY 2019 - Brookhaven Reporter

Page 1


JULY 2019 • VOL. 11 — NO. 7

Brookhaven Reporter


DeKalb transit master plan moves ahead, would need sales tax boost


PBS to air local singer’s documentary P5




GDOT chief: ‘Benefits of express lanes are proven’

The proposed full-penny DeKalb County transit master plan scenario would include four light rapid transit routes; four bus rapid transit routes including along the top end of I-285; and eight arterial rapid transit routes. These expansions would cover 180 project miles.


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Development Authority to issue $1.1B in bonds for CHOA campus



The Brookhaven Development Authority in June approved issuing $1.1 billion in tax exempt revenue bonds to

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta for the massive development of its North Druid Hill Campus that will include a new $1.5 billion hospital slated to open in 2025. The deal does not put the city on the


See DEVELOPMENT on page 30


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The DeKalb County Board of Commissioners is expected next month to consider a countywide transit master plan designed to improve current rail and bus service and determine where to build new transit over the next 30 years. As part of that consideration, commissioners will also have to decide if they believe voters are motivated enough to vote for a sales tax increase to pay for the proposed improvements, which include light rail, bus rapid transit and arterial rapid transit in north and south DeKalb. DeKalb County, the Atlanta Regional Commission and MARTA worked with local municipalities and gathered public input over the past year on a proposed transit master plan with three broad goals: address the county’s mobility challenges, foster economic development and improve quality of life. Consultants with VHB recently toured DeKalb cities and in June made presentations on proposed and conceptual transit master plans to the Brookhaven and Dunwoody City Councils. Both presentations spotlighted two scenarios: a 1 cent sales tax increase that would raise $3.65 billion over 30 years and fund 16 projects, and a halfpenny increase that would raise $1.85 billion over 30 years and fund 15 projects. Increasing the sales tax requires a vote. DeKalb’s current sales tax is 8 percent. Going to a referendum is a major decision, Grady Smith, VHB project manager, told the Brookhaven council at its June 10 See DEKALB on page 31

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41 AWARDS FOR EDITORIAL EXCELLENCE We’re honored that Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta INtown have won 41 awards in the Georgia Press Association’s Better Newspaper Competition over the past three years. For 2019, the Reporter’s honors include eight first place awards in its category. The annual competition is judged by newspaper professionals from around the country and represent the highest journalism standards. Thank you to our readers, advertisers and peers who support our mission of providing trusted, hyperlocal community journalism.

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Spring 2019 |

Where brick-and-mortar

The PCIDs 20 years of shaping marks Perimeter Center COMMUNITY retail still works

P. 36



After 20 years of a population increasingly boom, jammed highways scraper-sprouting and skymega-developments, it may sound quaint that people about Perimeter worried Mall traffic way 1999. back in But the Perimeter Community provement Districts, Imof business propertythe self-taxing groups out of those concerns,owners that formed are among the sons the local boom has happened reawhy the traffic and isn’t even worse. to Perimeter If you go Center today, you may well get there via one of the big projects PCIDs pushed – like the Hammond the ramps on Ga. Drive 400 or the Ashford-Dunwoody Road diverging diamond change at I-285 inter– and you’ll see smaller touches they’re responsible for, scaping and rush-hour like landtraffic cops. “They had a reputation for, one, cleaning things up, providing number those cosmetic amenities we’ve some of all become used to,” said Ann Hanlon, who watched the CIDs form as resident and now a longtime Dunwoody serves as their director. “At the executive time, that was pretty revolutionary, that a private group was willing to pay for those amenities.” Back in 1999, the day cover Perimeter three cities that toCenter – Brookhaven, Dunwoody and Sandy Springs not yet exist. – did As the its next 20 years, PCIDs looks ahead to it has refocused sion on transportation, its misleaving previous proposals such as park-building ies. Transportation to the citthese days means erything from evhelping to build trail networks multiuse to shaping the toll lanes and future of transit on Ga. 400 and I-285. That’s in addition to some of the PCIDs currently basics the provides or coordinates, like sidewalks and crosswalks, commuter shuttles, traffic signal timing and the rimeter Connects commuter advice Pevice. serAn increasingly part of Perimeter residential sector is Center’s future, with

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Layla Smith, left, and Corrine Ovellette, eighth-graders at Peachtree Charter School, ride the swings during Middle the 20th edition of the Lemonade Days festival, which ran April 24-28 at Brook Run Park. The festival this year raised money for the Dunwoody Preservation Trust and the Donaldson-Bannist er Farm.

Mother’s Words of Wisdom



Mount Paran and Powers Ferry Joe Card, the owner of this carriage house at the a plan to build a roundabout. roads intersection is calling for the city to stop

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City Springs theater group prepares for another season of packed houses



The Sandy Springs Reporter is mail delivered to homes on selected carrier routes in ZIPs 30327, 30328, 30342 and 30350 For information: delivery@reporternewspapers.net

As the City Springs Theatre Company prepares the final shows of its inaugural season, it’s also prepping for what it expects to be another season of packed shows as it tries to keep up with the enthusiasm and demand from the community. The theater company survived major

leadership changes at City Springs and has succeeded in implementing one of the complex’s key initiatives – educational programming. “I’ve been involved in nonprofit theatre for 33 years now. I have never, ever in my career seen anything like the level of support and desire for musical theater,” Brandt See CITY on page 12

country store. “We’d like Sandy Springs to make a priority of residential neighborhoods and not Aar- out our podcasts Check make it a bypass for commuters,” said at ReporterNewspapers.net on Gill, a homeowner at the intersection. The start of the project is quickly approaching, with utility relocation expectconstruction ed to begin in the fall andThe DunwoodybyReporter is spring 2020. The city is currently working mail delivered to roundthe for way on securing right of homes

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about. carrier routes in The $2.5 million project is expect-ZIP 30338 ed to cost $1.2 million for construction, For information: $800,000 for right of way and $300,000 delivery@reporternewspapers.net for design. The city did not respond to a request for comment, but has said the reby safety roundabout would improve ducing side-impact crashes and installing pedestrian improvements. It’s also expected to reduce congestion, according to the city.

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DeKalb CEO touts Dunwoody unity in ‘State of County’ address



DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond touted unity as the force behind local resurgence, and cited his “odd couple” partnership with Dunwoody Mayor Denis Shortal as key bridge-building, in a special “State of the County” address to

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Spring 2019 | Where

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The PCIDs marks 20 years of shaping Perimeter Center

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MAY 2019

P. 36



Main photo, the diverging SPECIAL at Ashford-Dunwoody diamond interchange Road and I-285 as it looked shortly after opening in 2012. Inset, the Hammond FILE Drive Ga. 400 shortly after interchange with it opened in 2011.

An increasingly residential sector is part of Perimeter Center’s future, with


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business leaders April 25.

Adding to the symbolism, the event – hosted by the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce and the policy and lobby group the Council for Quality Growth – was not only held in Dunwoody, but in very same Crowne Plaza Ravinia hotel ballroom where the city’s own annual “state See DEKALB on page 10

Dunwoody’s old Austin Elementary School, which was expected to close once a new, 900-seat version debuts P16 open temporarily next year, may remain as DeKalb Schools searches for ways to alleviate overcrowding. Doing so would mean extending a lease agreement between the city and the school district, but officials are being tight-lipped about their discussions. COMMENTARY The city currently owns the old school at 5345 Roberts Drive, originally built in 1975, as part of a 2016 land swap deal with DeKalb Schools. The agreement included the city trading the former Dunwoody Senior Baseball fields for the school property and DeKalb Schools paying the city $3.6 million. DeKalb Schools P18 is building the new school on Roberts Drive on the site of the former baseball fields and adjacent to the NEST ROBIN’S Dunwoody Nature Center, less than a halfmile from the current AES. The city has not finalized what it wants to do with the old school property once it is vacated, but talks have generally focused on creating a park space. The new Austin Elementary School is being built using 2011 special local option salesP19 tax funding. As part of the 2016 agreement, the city agreed to lease the old school to DeKalb


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Holy Spirit pla spurs talk of n agreement, lawsuits

Section Two

MAY Sandy









er Business: PCIDs turn s 20 ►Q+A with loca behind Atla l couple nta’s big anime convent ion









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P. 36


RUCH johnruch@repo rternewspapers. net

After 20 years increasingly of scraper-sprou jammed a population highways boom, it may ting and skysound mega-develop about Perimeterquaint that ments, 1999. Mall trafficpeople worried But the way back provement Perimeter in Community of business Districts, property the self-taxing Imout of those concerns, owners that groups sons the why the local boom are among formed the traffic has to Perimeter isn’t even happened reaand get there worse. Center If you today, via one PCIDs of the you may go pushed ramps big projects well – like woody on Ga. 400 the Hammond the or the Drive change Road diverging Ashford-Dun touches at I-285 – diamond and you’ll interscaping they’re responsible see smaller and rush-hour for, like “They had a traffic landone, cleaning reputation cops. those for, number cosmeticthings up, providing used amenities to,” some we’ve the CIDs said Ann all becomeof Hanlon, resident form as a longtimewho watched director. and now serves Dunwoody as their lutionary,“At the time, that was executive that to pay for those a private group pretty revoamenities.” Back was willing day coverin 1999, the Perimeter three cities en, Dunwoody that toCenter not yet and Sandy – Brookhavexist. its next As the Springs – did sion on 20 years, it PCIDs looks has proposalstransportatio refocusedahead to n, leaving its missuch as ies. Transportatio park-building previous erything from n these days to the cittrail networks helping to build means evtoll lanes to multiuse and transitshaping That’s the future in PCIDs addition to on Ga. 400 and I-285.of currently some like sidewalks provides of the basics shuttles, the or coordinates, and crosswalks, rimeter traffic signal Connects timing commuter vice. commuter and the An increasingly advice Peserpart of Perimeter residential Center’s sector is CONTINU future, with ED

Main photo, the diverging at Ashford-Dunw diamond looked SPECIAL shortly oody Road interchange and Inset, after opening I-285 as the in 2012. it Ga. 400Hammond shortly Drive interchange after FILE it opened with in 2011.





ter Bus

iness The PCI of sha Ds marks ping Per 20 yea imeter rs Center

Is this the killed Buckgun that namesake head’s deer?


Take steps to protect urban wildlife Mother’s Words of Wisdom

• VOL. 13 —

Buckhead Reporter

After 20 years of a population boom, increasingly jammed highways and skyscraper-sprouting mega-developments, it may sound quaint that people worried about Perimeter Mall traffic way back in 1999. But the Perimeter Community Improvement Districts, the self-taxing groups of business property owners that formed out of those concerns, are among the reasons the local boom has happened and why the traffic isn’t even worse. If you go to Perimeter Center today, you may well get there via one of the big projects the PCIDs pushed – like the Hammond Drive ramps on Ga. 400 or the Ashford-Dunwoody Road diverging diamond interchange at I-285 – and you’ll touches they’re responsible see smaller for, like landscaping and rush-hour traffic cops. “They had a reputation for, number one, cleaning things up, providing some of those cosmetic amenities we’ve all become used to,” said Ann Hanlon, who watched the CIDs form as a longtime Dunwoody resident and now serves as their executive director. “At the time, that was pretty revolutionary, that a private group to pay for those amenities.” was willing Back in 1999, the three cities that today cover Perimeter Center – Brookhaven, Dunwoody and Sandy Springs – did not yet exist. As the PCIDs looks ahead to its next 20 years, it has refocused its mission on transportation, leaving proposals such as park-building previous to the cities. Transportation these days means everything from helping to build multiuse trail networks to shaping the future of toll lanes and transit on Ga. 400 and I-285. That’s in addition to some of PCIDs currently provides the basics the or like sidewalks and crosswalks,coordinates, commuter shuttles, traffic signal timing and the Perimeter Connects commuter advice service.

to remake Emory unveils $1B plan innovation district’ Executive Park as ‘health

The Brookhaven Reporter to is mail delivered homes on selected carrier routes in ZIP 30319 For information: delivery@reporternewspapers.net


Take steps to protect urban wildlife


1815 Briarcliff Road 404-474-9444

fishing regulations approved after heron’s death


of Residents near Mount Paran and Powers Ferry roads have rallied against a roundabout expected to be built early next year. They argue the roundabout will mostly help commuters while negatively affecting their properties, including requiring demolition of a P19 once used as a nearly century-old building




Dunwoody Brookhaven

s: ►Perimeter Busines PCIDs turns 20 ►Q+A with local couple big ’s Atlanta behind anime convention




CongraCelebrate Memor tulatio ial Day ns to Let us feed and your family all the 2019 gradua Sandy Springs/Buckh Three & friends while 4920 Roswell Road 404-255-6368

Sandy Springs

Section Two



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City agrees to extend PATH400 to Johnson Ferry Road

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Old Austin Elementary School may remain open to relieve overcr park owding New public





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MAY 2019 • VOL. 11 —

SPECIAL diamond looked shortly Road and interchange I-285 as after opening it Inset, the in 2012. Hammond Ga. 400 Drive interchange FILE shortly after with it opened in 2011.





| Where brick-and-mo

After 20 increasingly years of a population jammed boom, scraper-sprouting highways and skyit may sound mega-developments quaint that about Perimeter people worried, Mall traffic 1999. way back in But the provement Perimeter Community Districts, Imof business the self-taxing groups out of those property owners that formed concerns, sons the local boom are among the why the has happened reatraffic and to Perimeter isn’t even worse. If you Center today, get there you may go via well PCIDs pushed one of the big projects – like the ramps on Hammond the Ga. 400 Drive woody or the Ashford-DunRoad diverging change diamond at I-285 – and you’ll intertouches they’re responsible see smaller scaping and rush-hour for, like “They had traffic cops. landone, cleaning a reputation for, those cosmeticthings up, providing number some of amenities used to,” we’ve all said Ann become the CIDs Hanlon, who watched form as a longtime resident and now Dunwoody serves as director. their “At lutionary, the time, that was executive that a private pretty to pay for group was revothose amenities.” willing Back in 1999, the three day cover cities that Perimeter en, Dunwoody toCenter – Brookhavnot yet exist. and Sandy Springs As the – did its next 20 years, PCIDs looks ahead it has sion on transportation, refocused its to misproposals leaving such as park-building previous ies. Transportation to the citerything these from helping days means trail networks evto build multiuse to shaping toll lanes the and transit That’s in on Ga. 400 future of addition and I-285. PCIDs currently to some of the like sidewalks provides or basics the and crosswalks,coordinates, shuttles, traffic signal commuter rimeter timing and Connects the Pecommuter vice. advice serAn increasingly part of Perimeter residential sector Center’s is future, with CONTINUED

Main photo, the diverging at Ashford-Dunwoody

ersMill sidewalks HomeownTilly criticize spark right-of-way dispute ut roundabo threatening 1927 Take steps to protect buildingurban wildlife

Main photo, the diverging SPECIAL at Ashford-Dunwoody diamond interchange Road and I-285 looked shortly as it after opening in 2012. Inset, the Hammond FILE Ga. 400 shortly Drive interchange with after it opened in 2011.


Spring 2019



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shows future of Executive Park it owns plan for the 60 acres and Musculoskeletal Emory University’s master colored in blue, including a new hospital and industrial. office medical and office buildings to rezone the property from retail to Center. Emory is seeking

300-plus properties could be affected ect by I-285 toll lanes proj AND JOHN RUCH BY DYANA BAGBY toll lanes on the The state’s plan to build impact a minimum of top end of I-285 could the corridor, rang300 properties all along easements to full ing from construction to city of Brookhavland takings, according en officials. City CouncilmemMayor John Ernst and about 50 people ber Linley Jones informed community meeting at attending an April 18

number they learned City Hall that was the with a Georgia Deafter a private meeting on project manpartment of Transportati did not know how ager. They also said they would be afmany Brookhaven properties fected. affected on the The 300-plus properties located between Hentop end of I-285 are area in the east derson Road in the Tucker See 300 on page 23




Take steps to pro tec urban wildlife t

P18 revealed its $1 Emory University has Park, a “livebillion plan for Executive ROBIN’S that district” NEST work-play health innovation a hotel, multifamily includes a hospital, and office space. The housing and medical build, but to years 15 60-acre plan will take center could start work on an orthopedic this year, Emory says. Park, a neighborResidents of Lavista Park, are seekhood adjacent to Executive P19 Brookhaven, posing to be annexed into year, in part because sibly as soon as this a say in the developthey want to have

Mother’s Words of Wisdom

ment. a say because this Check out our “It’s critical we have at ReporterNew podcasts d,” said Mispapers.net comes into our neighborhoo shortly before Emchael Lappin, speaking 22 See EMORY on page The Buck

head is mail delive Reporter red on selected carrieto homes in ZIPs 30305 r routes , 30327 and 30342

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Sandy Springs


Perimeter Busines

Business: PCIDs turns 20 ►Q+A with local couple behind Atlanta’s big anime convention






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MAY 2019

Section Two



The PCID of shapings marks 20 year s Perimeter Center

Left, John Beach, presid which repute ent dly killed the of the Buckhead Herita holds what is said to be neighborhood’s names ge Society, holds the “Buckh the same firearm ake deer in an undate in 1838. Right, Jamesead Gun,” d photo. (John Whitle Ruch/Specia y l)

After 45 ye launches a ars, a nonprofit citizen inpureview of NPU t system






The Neigh borhood Plann tem that ing Unit sysreviews plann ing, zonin other big g and issues ment is gettin for Atlanta city govern g a review downtown of its own. nonprofit A called the Civic Innov Center ation has begun a quiet, for but

potentially influential, series of meetin and survey s that aims to have reform gs ommendatio recns for the 45-year-old on the table system by March 2020. “There are things about tem] that [the NPU are amazi ng, and things syswe need to that have a lot more conve about,” said rsation CCI Execu tive Direct or Rohit See AFTER on page 14


MAY 2019 • VOL. 13 — NO. 5

Sandy Springs

Brookhaven Buckhead

Business: PCIDs turns 20 ►Q+A with local couple behind Atlanta’s big anime convention




MAY 2019

Section Two



*Source: independent reader survey

Published monthly by Springs Publishing LLC



johnruch@repo rternewspapers .net

The woode with age. The n stock is beige and battere metal plate decorated above the trigger d with a pair is of birds. The long, heavy barrel is and octago nal. It’s an old sure. It might muzzleloading firearm even be the , deer that gave one that killed for Buckhead the 1838. its curious name in John Beach, Heritage Society president of the Buckh ead , is still trying to figure that For more on out, partly by trackin g John Beach, see the tales surrou Around Town, nding another little-known page 20. piece of area history – an quietly surviv 1842 ed destruction log cabin that to a Buckh ead back yard. by being moved Beach gave In the meant the Report ime, er an exclus ive close-


Dunwoody Reporter

See IS on page



More affordable Intown condos and townhomes are in demand P24

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Community | 3

JULY 2019 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Immigration advocates seek apology for city police’s assist in ICE arrest BY DYANA BAGBY

the video are now fearful of Brookhaven Police officers and the trust once there has evaporated, Palma said. Los Vecinos de Buford Highway, an “I do think people in our organization organization that advocates for immiare confused because in the past they grants and tenants, is asking the police have said they do not collaborate with department to publicly apologize for asICE,” Palma said. The department also sisting federal immigration agents in a said it would protect people regardless of recent arrest at a Buford Highway apartimmigrant status, he said. ment complex. The apology is needed “reBut the video showing Brookhaven build the trust” between the police and officers assisting ICE contradicts those those living along Bupromises, Palma said. ford Highway, according “I think it’s pretty to the organization. safe to say when the vidBrookhaven Police eo circulated ... I think a Deputy Chief Brandon lot of trust was lost,” he Gurley said officers were said. only serving as backGurley explained that up for U.S. Immigration on the morning of June and Customs Enforce6, ICE called Brookhavment Agency agents en Police for help to arduring their June 6 oprest a non-violent suseration to arrest a suspect wanted for missing pect at the Terraces at a deportation hearing. Brookhaven apartments The suspect had locked at 3510 Buford Highway. himself in a work van He said the departand refused to come SPECIAL ment’s policy remains Marco Palma, president of Los out at the request of ICE Vecinos de Buford Highway, is to not lead immigration agents, Gurley said. asking the Brookhaven Police crackdowns or arrest ICE agents were on Department to apologize for suspected undocumentthe scene in unmarked officers physically assisting ed immigrants. The dein the arrest of an alleged cars and black shirts and undocumented immigrant. partment, however, will khakis with weapons. always respond to reGurley said Brookhavquests for backup from en Police officers were law enforcement agencies, including ICE, called to the scene to explain to the sushe added. The department said it has also pect in the van that the agents were actunot been directly contacted by Los Vecial law enforcement and he needed to exit nos de Buford Highway. the vehicle. The suspect refused to come ICE did not return a request for comout, however, Gurley said. ment. After about a half-hour, ICE agents deIn a June 10 letter posted to social mecided rather than breaking the van’s windia, Los Vecinos de Buford Highway Presdows to forcefully remove the suspect, ident Marco Palma wrote it was “unsetthey would leave the apartment complex tling” for Latino and immigrant residents and park down the road to wait in case to witness Brookhaven Police officers the suspect drove away in the van. help an ICE agent chase down a suspect ICE agents also asked Brookhaven Poand help hold him down as he was handlice officers to make a traffic stop of the cuffed. The arrest was broadcast live suspect as he drove out of the complex, on Facebook by Mundo Hispánico, the Gurley said, to allow ICE agents to make state’s largest Spanish-language news the arrest. Gurley said officers declined outlet. to conduct such a traffic stop because the “Even though they explained some of suspect already proved to be risk by rethe reasons why they were there, it’s still fusing to exit the vehicle. unclear how far their relationship with “We didn’t want to risk him taking off ICE will be and how closely they will be and putting others at risk,” Gurley said. working together,” Palma said in an inSeveral of the ICE agents left in their terview. unmarked cars, but one ICE officer rePalma said many in the Latino commained hidden at the complex in case munity felt betrayed by the Brookhaven the suspect made a run for an apartment, Police Department after being told in the Gurley said. past that the department does not work Several Brookhaven Police officers with ICE. The police department has were still on the scene when the suspect worked with Los Vecinos de Buford Highdid get out of the van and made a run for way to build trust with Latino residents, an apartment. The ICE agent pursued the Palma said, including many Latino resisuspect and Brookhaven Police officers dents participating in the department’s assisted in the chase and the eventual Hispanic Citizen’s Police Academy. take down and arrest, Gurley said. But the many people who have seen “We are not going to let an officer dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

chase a suspect alone, so we helped in the chase,” Gurley said. “We helped him get handcuffed and the ICE agent took custody of him.” “Our purpose anytime we assist any agency, whether FBI or DEA, a local agency, Georgia State Patrol, is to provide the same level of assistance,” he said. Gurley said Brookhaven Police does not conduct immigration arrests but will provide backup when requested. “We will provide backup to ICE. We are not going to execute a warrant or an arrest warrant. We are there to make sure the officers are safe and constitutional rights are followed,” he added.

Palma said he and others, however, don’t understand how the department can say it will provide backup when called, but then actually physically help an ICE agent making an arrest by holding a suspect and helping handcuff him. “They’re helping spread fear in the area,” Palma said. “This goes against all of what they have said they value.” Palma said he wants Los Vecinos to have a good relationship with the police department, but believes the tenants are owed an apology and an explanation. He hopes a community meeting with tenants and police officers can be held in the coming weeks.

4 | Community

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The city is inviting commercial real estate developers and business owners to its first “Developers’ Day” event on Sept. 12 to tour areas where city officials are seeking major redevelopments, including Buford Highway, the Brookhaven-Oglethorpe MARTA Station and medical centers. Economic Development Director Shirlynn Brownell said plans are to make “Developers’ Day” an annual event. It is intended to raise the city’s profile among developers and businesses who are seeking places to build or locate a corporate headquarters. “This is an opportunity for us to showcase our assets … and to show Brookhaven in the best light,” she said. City officials will take the developers and other business investors to view parcels on Buford Highway, she said, that could be sites for redevelopment projects. The MARTA station is another planned stop of the tour. The Perimeter Summit office tower is also on the list. Brown said other potential stops on the tour include the 70-acre Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s North Druid Hills campus now under construction, and its already open Center for Advanced Pediatrics, and the Emory Sports Medicine Complex in Executive Park where the Atlanta Hawks practice. “We want to make sure we are at the top of people’s minds when they are thinking of innovative development and relocating,” Brownell said.


XS Restaurant & Lounge has paid the city more than $18,000 in overdue liquor taxes after its alcohol license was suspended for nearly two weeks. XS Lounge, as it commonly known as, made the payment of $18,433.88 to the city on June 13. The city had suspended the club’s alcohol license on June 3 after not receiving the payment, which was due last month. XS Lounge, located in Northeast Plaza at 3375 Buford Highway, was cited last year for not paying its liquor excise taxes following an audit. The Rusty Nail, a popular watering hole at 2900 Buford Highway, was also told by the city it owed back taxes on liquor sales, but in an appeal the city determined last week the bar owed nothing. The bar was first told in December it owed $5,609.93 then the city determined in April it only owed $3,979.90. Assistant City Manager and CFO Steve Chapman said the bar’s management presented additional accounting records to the city last week that proved it had paid

all its liquor taxes on time. “Late last week [the Rusty Nail] gave us additional data. The data was given to Frazier & Deeter [the accounting firm] for analysis and it came back they were in compliance in what they should have paid us in excise taxes, so they don’t us anything,” Chapman said.


The Sandy Springs City Council is calling for changes to some parts of the Georgia Department of Transportation’s toll lanes plan, including the planned flyover lanes at Northridge Road. The City Council approved recommendations for Ga. 400 toll lanes at its June 18 meeting. The city’s desired changes are laid out in a letter to GDOT Commission Russell McMurry signed by Mayor Rusty Paul. “We feel the recommendations in this letter are feasible and possible,” the letter said. “We are supportive of your efforts to progress positive change and appreciate your willingness to work with us to minimize unnecessary negative impacts.” The recommendations, which were presented by Councilmember John Paulson, call for changes to the planned toll lanes on the Ga. 400 section of the project, which runs north of the North Springs MARTA Station. The city is calling for building the toll lanes underneath the Northridge Road bridge instead of building flyover lanes. Residents there are concerned the flyover lanes would change the character of the area and bring more noise and pollution. The lanes go over the bridge to move from the outside of the regular lanes to the center of them. This change would mean the lanes would have to move to the center south of Northridge. GDOT has said going underneath would be costly because the recently-built bridge would have to be made wider to accommodate all the lanes. Paulson said GDOT originally considered building the lanes in the center south of Northridge, but changed the plan after concerns from the Fulton County School System. Patrick Burke, the school district’s chief operating officer, said in a written statement that Fulton Schools is “assessing the potential impact.” Burke said staff is reviewing Sandy Springs’ recommendations, but has not taken a position. The letter also calls for closing Pitts Road to rebuild it. GDOT plans to build a new Pitts Road bridge as part of the project and keep the existing one open during construction. But to do that, the new bridge would be shifted, requiring four houses to be demolished. The road would need to be closed for around six months, but it would save the houses, Paulson said. Closing Pitts Road was an option GDOT presented at its open house meetings. The recommendations also ask GDOT to keep sound barriers up as long as possible and construct new barriers as quickly as possible to protect residents from increased noise.

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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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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.

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10 | Commentary

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Our mission is to provide our readers with fresh and engaging information about life in their communities. Published by Springs Publishing LLC 6065 Roswell Road, Suite 225 Sandy Springs, GA 30328 Phone: 404-917-2200 • Fax: 404-917-2201 Brookhaven Reporter | Buckhead Reporter Dunwoody Reporter | Sandy Springs Reporter www.ReporterNewspapers.net Atlanta INtown www.AtlantaINtownPaper.com Atlanta Senior Life www.AtlantaSeniorLife.com

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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?

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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.

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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.

Community | 13

JULY 2019 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Alarm ordinance differences cause confusion in Brookhaven

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BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

Alarm ordinances changes in Sandy Springs have led to confusion in Brookhaven, where one alarm company sent letters to residents inaccurately saying the city will no longer respond to security alarm calls, officials said. “In short, Brookhaven is responding to all security alarm calls, and statements to the contrary [are] false,” city spokesperson Burke Brennan said. Brookhaven has implemented some similar requirements to Sandy Springs’ controversial alarm ordinance. Alarm companies register users and pay the false alarm fines, but evidence of an intruder is not required. But in Sandy Springs, video, audio or in-person verification must be submitted along with the alarm call, under a new policy that started June 19. Sandy Springs also uses a “no-response” list for repeat false-alarm offenders. Brookhaven Police Maj. Don Chase said he think some of the confusion may be caused by the differences between Sandy Springs’ and Brookhaven’s alarm ordinances. Brookhaven’s ordinance was modeled after the Sandy Springs version. But Brookhaven has not taken the extra step Sandy Springs has of requiring video, audio or in-person verification before responding. “That may be part of the confusion,” Chase said. Brookhaven requires companies to make state-mandated two calls to the customer before calling 911. The ordinance also requires companies to register all users and to pay false alarm fines instead of the customer. The city also has a “no-response” list for customers who continually cause false alarms, but no one is on the list, Chase said. “If it’s a nuisance, it allows us to put them on a list. However, we don’t want to use it like that,” he said. “For homeowners, we’re always going to respond.” Brookhaven put its ordinance on hold until Sandy Springs won a lawsuit from the security alarm industry last year. Since fully implementing in January, the ordinance has brought down false alarm numbers slightly, Chase said. He believes using the stronger measures like the no-response list could bring it down further, but the city doesn’t “want to go that route.” Chase said the city is currently considering requiring verification, but did not rule out ever implementing it. “I believe that verification by video in this day and age is very doable,” he said. “I’m not going to say it’s not in the future because I think it’s going to be everywhere eventually.” In the latest change to Sandy Springs’ ordinance, the city will allow video and audio verification to be submitted within 24 hours after dispatching police because technology that would make evidence available instantly to emergency responders is not widespread yet.

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14 | Public Safety

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Police Blotter / Brookhaven We call it home.


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Residents since 2014

From Brookhaven Police reports dated June 2 through June 16. The following information was pulled from Brookhaven’s Police-2-Citizen website.

3500 block of Buford Highway — On


3300 block of Buford Highway — On

3400 block of Buford Highway — On

June 2, in the early morning, a no-forced entry burglary at a residence was reported.

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200 block of Town Boulevard — On

June 3, in the afternoon, items were reported missing from a car. June 3, at night, items were reported missing from a car. 4400 block of Memorial Drive — On

June 4, in the morning, a man was arrested and accused of theft by taking.

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block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On June 4, in the evening, items were reported stolen from a car.


2600 block of Buford Highway — On

June 8, in the early morning, a man was arrested and accused of shoplifting.

June 4, in the evening, a man was arrested and accused of aggravated assault. 1600 block of Briarwood Road — On

June 6, in the afternoon, a man was arrested and accused of family violence. 100 block of Town Boulevard — On

June 12, at night, a man was arrested and accused of simple battery. 3100 block of Buford Highway — On

June 16, in the afternoon, a man was arrested and accused of aggravated assault.


3900 block of Peachtree Road — On

10, in the early morning, items were reported stolen from a car.

June 2, in the early morning, a woman was arrested and accused of failing to use headlights. Another was arrested and accused of obstruction and interference.

1400 block of Briarwood Road — On

2900 block of Clairmont Road — On

1700 block of Briarwood Road — On

June 10, at night, a theft by taking auto incident was reported, 3100 block of Buford Highway — On

June 11, in the early morning, a theft by taking auto incident was reported. 3600 block of Buford Highway — On

Photo by Casey Gardner

3500 block of Buford Highway — On

June 2, in the early morning, a woman was arrested and accused of driving without a license.

June 10, in the evening, a woman was arrested and accused of burglary.

June 11, at night, a man was arrested and accused of two counts of theft by taking. 100 block of Town Boulevard — On

June 12, at night, a man was arrested and accused of shoplifting.

A S S AU LT 3500 block of Durden Drive — On June

2, in the evening, a man was arrested and accused of battery. 3500 block of Buford Highway — On

G E T. O R G | 7 7 0 . 6 4 1 . 1 2 6 0

June 3, in the early morning, a battery incident was reported.

June 9, at night, items were reported stolen from a car.

2600 block of Ashford Road — On June

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3200 block of Buford Highway — On

3700 block of Buford Highway — On

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On June 9, at night, items were reported stolen from a car.


June 3, at midnight, a man was arrested and accused of family violence.

1600 block of Tryon Boulevard — On


June July

June 2, at night, a simple battery incident was reported.

June 2, at night, a simple battery incident was reported.

June 2, in the afternoon, a man was arrested and accused of driving unlicensed. 3300 block of Buford Highway — On

June 2, in the afternoon, a man was arrested and accused of material affixed to the windshield or front window obstructions. 3300 block of Buford Highway — On

June 2, in the evening, a man was arrested and accused of marijuana possession. 2800 block of North Druid Hills Road

— On June 2, in the evening, a wanted person was located. 3100 block of Buford Highway — On

June 2, in the evening, a woman was arrested and accused of urban camping. 1400 block of North Cliff Valley Way

— On June 3, at midnight, a man was arrested and accused of not using headlights.

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JULY 2019 â– www.ReporterNewspapers.net


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16 |

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

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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.

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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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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

| 17

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

How local protests drove a ’96 Olympics venue out of Blackburn Park BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

July 19 will mark 23 years since Atlanta hosted the Centennial Olympic Games, an anniversary usually observed with celebratory memories of the city’s improbable win of the international bid and related glory. But the Olympics also brought widespread, if little-remembered, protests about neighborhood impacts – including in Brookhaven, where local opposition stopped Blackburn Park from hosting a tennis venue that ended up in Stone Mountain and became one of the Games’ most notorious white elephants. “At first blush, it sounded good,” recalls Stan Segal, who was among the Blackburn tennis venue opponents at the time and today chairs the Brookhaven Planning Commission. “It was only when you started thinking about the legacy of what’s left and what they had to change [that opposition arose]… If you don’t think of the ramifications and the downsides, it’s exciting.” According to the then-separate Atlanta Journal and Atlanta Constitution newspapers, Atlanta’s Olympics bid organizers heard a wide variety of pitches for tennis venue locations in north DeKalb and north Fulton counties. It’s unclear how Blackburn came into focus as the venue site, but it was a surprise to local residents, many of whom learned about it only by an advertising brochure that began circulating. Controversy boiled in early 1990 while Atlanta’s Olympics bid was still under consideration. Located at Ashford-Dunwoody and Johnson Ferry roads in what was then unincorporated DeKalb County – referred to by the newspapers as “Dunwoody” – Blackburn Park was proposed to host a massive venue. The plans called for 16 additional tennis courts, a permanent 10,000-seat stadium and two temporary, 5,000-seat stadiums, according to newspaper reports. The facilities were to be constructed by the Atlanta Lawn Tennis Association under a 40-year lease, which was illegal on county parkland and would have required approval by the General Assembly. At the time, Segal was president of the Hampton Hall Civic Association, representing a neighborhood about 1,500 feet from the park. He had been active in local development issues and controversies. “People who were active tennis players, myself included, were initially like, ‘That is great! Let’s do it!’” recalled Segal about the tennis venue proposal. But then they started thinking about details like traffic, parking, tree loss and noise. There was the fact that the park was located in the suburbs at the intersection of two-lane roads. The Olympics organizers did not require any new parking – they intended to rely on mass transit for

all Games events, Segal recalls – but the logical assumption was that the county would have to add parking for the longterm future uses. The newspapers reported concerns that the stadium would be used for concerts. Segal said in the less-dense suburbs of the era, most residents relied on their own yards for green space. But they still saw the value in preserving a place like Blackburn. “And even though in the 1990s, parks were not as important to people… we all knew Blackburn was a beautiful piece of property, and we all knew putting in a tennis facility would take away trees” and other features, Segal said. “If they could have put up a facility without taking down every tree and leveling every hill, I don’t think people would have opposed it. I certainly wouldn’t have,” added Segal. Instead, many residents calculated that “the damage it would do over years was not worth the benefit of having the Olympics there for 19 days.” And an opposition movement was born. It was one of several protest movements that emerged before and during the Games around similar neighborhood concerns and such issues as displacement of residents from demolished homes and police crackdowns on homeless people. A major protest movement arose in Atlanta’s Summerhill neighborhood over the proposed main Olympic stadium, now Georgia State Stadium; Summerhill protesters visited Dunwoody in 1991 to demonstrate outside the home of Olympics bid mastermind Billy Payne. Protesting in suburban Brookhaven in the 1990s “was really low-key,” Segal says, adding he doesn’t even recall Tshirts or signs. “There weren’t any mass demonstrations. It was mostly influencing our elected officials… You have to think about this in the context of the 1990s. We stuffed mailboxes [with printed notices]… If you called somebody, you had to leave them a message on their answering machine.” There was some support for the venue, especially among commercial property owners, Segal recalled. But the pressure from distressed homeowners worked on DeKalb officials. By March 1990, the Blackburn venue idea was dropped due to the “groundswell of opposition.” The Constitution quoted then DeKalb CEO Manuel Maloof as saying, “It’s dead.” Even then, Atlanta’s winning of the Olympics bid in September 1990 invigorated a counter-movement supporting Blackburn as the tennis venue. The Atlanta Constitution reported on the formation of a Neighborhood Alliance for Olympic Tennis and quoted one supporter as saying, “I think it would be wonderful for the community and good for the teenagers. Ashford-Dunwoody Road needs to be widened anyway.” As late as

May 1991, someone staged a small rally in Decatur Square to stump for the Blackburn venue. But there is no sign that DeKalb officials ever reconsidered, and the venue ended up in Stone Mountain instead. After successfully hosting Olympics tennis and some professional events, it indeed ended up with huge parking lots and staged concerts, as Brookhaven neighbors had feared. And it quickly fell into disrepair and disuse. Despite being touted as a permanent legacy by Olympics organizers, it was demolished in 2017. During the various early 1990s Olympics protests, the African American newspaper the Atlanta Voice noted that opposition in well-off, majority-white neighborhoods, such as those around Blackburn Park, was often successful,

while opposition in lower-income, majority-black neighborhoods often was ignored or downplayed. Today, Blackburn is a 51-acre Brookhaven city park that hosts such cornerstone events as food truck nights and the annual Cherry Blossom Festival – and still has some tennis courts. Segal said he’s glad the park dodged the Olympics bullet, kept its trees and rolling hills, and is geared up for further improvements under a city master plan produced with citizen input. “I am very gratified, because Blackburn Park is a jewel and it would have been a parking lot just like Stone Mountain,” said Segal. “And in retrospect, after 25 years, we can say, knowing the Stone Mountain facility didn’t make it… we were right.”

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20 | Community

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U.S. Rep. McBath talks impeachment, gun control at town hall BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath stressed the importance of bipartisanship in Washington, D.C., at her June 8 town hall at Dunwoody High School, on everything from gun control to climate change. But she was forced to tackle a very partisan issue when a woman who described herself as a “staunch” McBath supporter asked her why she was not calling for impeachment proceedings against President Trump. “It troubles me to have to stand up and say that I’m concerned about that with you,” DYANA BAGBY the woman said in the second question of the U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath (D-Marietta) town hall. “All these children dying at the boraddressed a crowd of some 200 der … how long can you go before you stand people at her June 8 town hall at Dunwoody High School. up say the House has a job to do and you need to have hearings?” McBath, who sits on the Judiciary Committee, said hearings are coming, but stressed there is a “tedious process” that must be followed. Most Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, are not publicly calling for impeachment. The impeachment process begins in the House, where a vote on an article of impeachment is taken. If a majority of the House approves an article of impeachment, the process then moves to the Senate where a trial is held. Many political experts agree a Republican-controlled Senate — where a two-thirds vote is needed to remove the president — would not vote to impeach Trump. “I am absolutely furious about what is happening in this country. I am furious at the lack of accountability of this administration. I am furious about their inability to be forthcoming with the truth,” McBath answered. The recent report from former special counsel Robert Mueller about his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, McBath said, provides proof that there has been “obstructive behavior by this administration in concealing the truth.” “However, I do have to say to you this is a process … I know everybody wants it to happen overnight, but there is a process we have to follow. That process is tedious,” she said. McBath said Congress must learn what is included in the redacted portions of the Mueller Report to ensure “no one person, no entity is above the rule of law.” “Of course, we know there has been obstruction of justice,” McBath said. “I am angry, and I am upset,” she added. “We will get to the bottom of the truth. If it comes to a point of an impeachment inquiry, you can trust your representatives will do their jobs.” McBath added that she takes “no joy” in this process. “I don’t want to have to say this about our president of the U.S. and the White House administration,” she said. McBath narrowly defeated Republican Karen Handel last year for the 6th Congressional seat, a seat held for decades by Republicans and includes portions of Dunwoody, Sandy Springs and Brookhaven. Handel is hoping to win back the seat next year and has shored up major Republican support from many local Republican officials. There are three other Republicans are vying for the Republican nomination for a chance to go against McBath, including state Sen. Brandon Beach of Alpharetta. McBath started off the town hall discussing gun control, the issue that catapulted her into the national spotlight after her teen son, Jordan, was killed in 2012 at a Florida gas station by a white gunman who complained he and his friends were playing their music too loud. McBath noted she and many others in the crowd were wearing orange shirts to memorialize those killed by gun violence as part of Gun Violence Prevention Month. In the audience were Margaret and Jeff Binkley of Dunwoody, she said. A gunman opened fire at a Florida yoga studio last year and those killed included their daughter, Maura Binkley, a 2015 DHS graduate. The House has passed a law for stricter background checks, but it remains stalled in the Senate, she said. The key to passing such legislation is to continue reaching across the aisle to find Republican support for “sensible” gun control laws that will protect people’s lives, she said. “I will continue to try to go across the aisle … and I’m not going to stop,” she said. “I am going to continue to reach across the aisle each and every day. My goal is to be the Georgia congressperson who has passed more bipartisan legislation.” McBath said she is a “strong supporter of the Second Amendment” but believes in balancing those rights with “sensible gun laws.” She also blamed the NRA gun lobby for creating an “extremist gun culture” over the past 25-30 years.

JUNE 10 - JUNE 23, 2016

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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Real Estate | 23



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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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Community | 29

JULY 2019 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Local City Council members sign petition against toll lanes BY DYANA BAGBY AND EVELYN ANDREWS By Dyana Bagby and Evelyn Andrews Elected officials in Dunwoody and Doraville are speaking out against the planned I-285 top end toll lanes and have signed a petition opposing the estimated $5 billion project expected to begin construction in 2023. Kevin Abel of Sandy Springs, a member of the State Transportation Board which oversees the Georgia Department of Transportation, however, took those officials to task and said he supports the toll lanes projects planned on I-285 and Ga. 400 because they promise to bring bus rapid transit to the area. Dunwoody Councilmembers Lynn Deutsch, John Heneghan, Pam Tallmadge and Tom Lambert and Doraville City Councilmember Joseph Geierman have all signed the change.org petition started by Dunwoody resident Travis Reid. All said adding more lanes would not solve the traffic woes on I-285 and they are urging the Georgia Department of Transportation to reevaluate the project. “The plan being presented is additional lanes and then there is a small chance of mass transit if the cities want to fund it,” Heneghan said in a written statement. “I believe this process is backward whereby mass transit should be the first discussion followed by other options like additional lanes after that.” Heneghan requested Mayor Denis Shortal and the city attorney at the city’s June 10 council meeting to approve funding next year to hire an independent environmental impact attorney. The attorney would guide the city through the environmental study process now underway by GDOT as part of the toll lanes project, he said. Four members of the Dunwoody City Council signing onto the petition represents a voting majority. There are seven members of the council, including the mayor. Councilmember Lynn Deutsch said that majority, she hopes, “will allow the council to be strong negotiators with GDOT to protect our community.” Lambert said the four signatures also shows the petition and the movement to stop the I-285 top end toll lanes are not just part of a grassroots movement. “Our city leadership has grave concerns about this project and the impact it will have on our city,” he said. “We want to tap the brakes a little and make sure that every component of this project been thoroughly vetted and we’re having some input as well,” Lambert said. “The city needs to be engaged in this every step of the way to ensure have a say in the impact that it’s going to have for us.” The “I-285 Top End Express Lanes” project focuses on adding two new elevated, barrier-separated toll lanes, or “express lanes,” in both directions on I-285, alongside regular travel lanes. They could stand 30 feet or higher. The boundaries of the I-285 project have shifted over time, SS

now extending west to the Vinings area and east to the Henderson Road area, and, in a confusing twist, including a section of Ga. 400 as well. Construction is expected to begin in 2023. In a separate toll lanes project, GDOT plans to start work on Ga. 400 to add two new barrier-separated express lanes in both directions alongside regular travel lanes in a project estimated to cost $1.2 billion and begin construction in 2021. Bus rapid transit is part of the Ga. 400 toll lanes project, which would run north of the North Springs MARTA Station and already has funding. Local cities have funded studies on building and funding a similar line on the I-285 lanes. GDOT says the toll lanes would alleviate traffic some of the most heavily traveled and congested highways in the country by allowing motorists to pay a fee to drive in less congested lanes. Having most members of Dunwoody’s City Council publicly opposing the I-285 top end toll lanes is a much different approach than Brookhaven and Sandy Springs, neighboring cities that would also be impacted by the planned toll lanes. While council members in those cities have raised concerns about how their residents will be affected, they have focused on trying to work with GDOT rather than vocally oppose the project. On June 18, the Sandy Springs City Council voted to recommend GDOT make changes to the toll lanes on the Ga. 400 section of the project, which runs north of the North Springs MARTA Station. Brookhaven Mayor John Ernst has said GDOT’s toll lanes provide the best way to have east-west transit across the north end of the Perimeter, providing important connectivity for workers who now are forced to sit in hours of traffic during their commutes. ARC and GDOT adopted the toll lane strategy as the way to alleviate traffic congestion in 2013. GDOT spokesperson Natalie Dale said state law prohibits GDOT from funding heavy rail for transit. But GDOT always considers how transit options and use can be incorporated into their projects, she said. Geierman of Doraville criticized what he says is the secretive process GDOT using to inform the public on what is happening. He said he found out GDOT took 5 acres of Doraville’s massive mixed-use redevelopment Assembly project for the toll lanes by reading the story in the Reporter. “They have a plan they are not sharing with people, purposefully,” Geierman said. “They don’t want any of us to actually mobilize our neighbors and say, ‘This is what is going to happen.’ “Information is coming out so slowly it will be hard to organize a real response,” he said. “And there is so much money behind it. Legitimately, it will be hard to put out a defense.” GDOT officials say they are still in early concept design phases of the new toll lanes and will present detailed plans to the public in January.

Dale said in a written statement that GDOT has met off-and-on privately with “stakeholders,” such as DeKalb and Fulton County school systems, for over a year to get feedback on some details, and occasionally at local City Council meetings. GDOT also says it will meet with any local organization, such as a homeowners’ associations. Dale said that GDOT does proactively reach out to affected homeowners impacted by the right-of-way acquisition process but does not publicly announce when parcels are purchased to protect the

They have a plan they are not sharing with people, purposefully. They don’t want any of us to actually mobilize our neighbors and say, ‘This is what is going to happen.’ JOSEPH GEIERMAN DORAVILLE CITY COUNCILMEMBER

privacy of property owners. Signing a petition may not stop the GDOT project, but Deutsch said it plays an important role in raising awareness on toll lanes, their cost and impact to the top end communities. She also said the current plans are likely to be outdated in only a few years due to rapidly evolving technology including autonomous vehicles. “Using a plan from 10 years ago seems short-sighted to me,” Deutsch said. Dale said this plan is a new one and not one from a decade ago, known as the “Revive 285” project. Revive 285 was recently closed out by GDOT via several public meetings and GDOT has moved onto the new “I-285 Top End Express Lanes” that includes a new environmental process. GDOT is also considering emerging technologies as it plans all its projects, including the toll lanes projects, Dale said. The I-285 top end toll lanes will be barrier separated and will provide future opportunities for the coming autonomous vehicles, or AV, and connected vehicles, or CV,

to travel in because these vehicles currently don’t work well with regular cars, she said. The toll lanes have been proven to work and shorten commute times, Dale said. The results for the first 8 months of express lane usage in the Northwest Corridor, the reversible lanes on I-75 and I-575 in Cobb and Cherokee counties that opened last year, “have decreased travel times, and decreased the overall length of rush hour substantially in the corridor,” she said. Dunwoody Councilmember Jim Riticher said he is not inclined to sign the petition because it could reduce influence the city might have in seeking amenities and/ or concessions from GDOT. The toll lanes are also the best bet on getting bus rapid transit, or BRT, across I-285’s top end. “No I-285 toll lanes means no infrastructure for BRT to run on,” he said. “I’m not inclined to sign absent a better argument than I’ve seen. “We’re all concerned about the details and concerned about residents living along the path, whether you sign a petition or not,” he said. “But if you stop this, you’re basically, I think, stopping transit on the north side. And I don’t think that’s a good thing.” Abel represents the 6th Congressional District on the State Transportation Board, which includes parts of Brookhaven, Dunwoody, Sandy Springs and areas of Cobb and north Fulton counties. He said in a Facebook post that “Atlanta’s transit future will be reborn with BRT on express lanes.” Leaving BRT out of the toll lanes would be a “devastating missed opportunity,” he said. He urged Deutsch and Geierman to work to ensure BRT on the I-285 toll lanes is funded. “Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) will allow for transit vehicles to travel at speeds of 45 mph or faster in these lanes with no toll. And with Arterial Rapid Transit (ART) connecting commuters along the main arteries to these BRT lanes, we can have the anatomy of working transit corridors and a model for future growth across the metro area,” Abel said. Dunwoody Councilmember and mayoral candidate Terry Nall said the limited information known about the I-285 toll lanes project shows it will be “detrimental” to nearby neighborhoods and the city of Dunwoody. But he said the petition is a grassroots petition with a “just say no” approach that could hurt the city as the project progresses. “While it sounds popular, signing it locks us into a single position with GDOT and removes us from the table of discussion. As a Dunwoody leader, I want to remain at the table with GDOT to seek a better outcome for Dunwoody,” Nall said in a written statement. “A ‘just say no’ approach will be unsuccessful for Dunwoody, especially on a project that has momentum from sources outside of Dunwood

30 | Community

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Development Authority to issue $1.1B in bonds for CHOA campus Continued from page 1 hook for any debt and allows CHOA to offer tax-exempt bonds due to the BDA’s nonprofit status, officials say. As part of the financial agreement, CHOA will pay the BDA a one-time $400,000 cash payment once the bonds are issued and a $187,000 administrative fee each year from 2020 through 2029. CHOA is also responsible for hiring the financial representatives, attorneys and other personnel necessary to handle all dealings with the issuing and repayment of the bonds. The BDA approved the bond resolution at a special called June 17 meeting. Another meeting is tentatively scheduled for July 17 after the bonds are expected to go to market when the BDA is expected to vote on documents outlining details such as interest rates, the amount of interest to be paid on the bonds and maturity date of the bonds. The BDA, a nonprofit public body with separate powers from the City Council, is also agreeing to waive the requirements of performance audit or performance review of the bonds. City Attorney Chris Balch explained

at the June 17 meeting that the city nor the Development Authority is loaning or borrowing $1.1 billion, as some residents have asked. The BDA is acting as a “conduit” for financing the CHOA project. “The borrower is CHOA,” he said. “The city is not on the hook to pay off any of these bonds.” A CHOA spokesperson reiterated in a written statement “these bonds are structured so that Brookhaven taxpayers are not liable for repayment in any way” with the funding to go directly toward developing its new hospital and pediatric campus at North Druid Hills. Two 8-story administrative buildings and a 7-story parking deck are now under construction along the Northeast Expressway as part of the campus. The office buildings when finished will house employees now working out of one-story buildings in CHOA’s office park on Tullie Road and Tullie Circle. Walking trails and some 20 acres of greenspace are also included in the plans. Construction of the new hospital on the site of the old office complex is ex-


Richard Lyle Currier

Richard Lyle Currier Jr. passed away together with his wife, Sandra Levario Currier, on May 7th, 2019 in Brookhaven, Georgia at the age of 73. Richard is survived by his sons, Richard (Rick) Lyle Currier III and Chase Andrew Currier of Denver, CO, as well as Rick’s wife Heather Johanna Currier and Richard’s two grandchildren, Johanna Josephine Currier (age 2) and Richard Lyle Currier IV (Lyle, age 1). He is preceded in death by his parents, Richard and Dorothy Currier, and stepmother Mary Currier.

Richard was born on July 29, 1945 in Camden, NJ, but grew up and spent his childhood in Yardley, PA. He graduated from Penn State in 1967 with a degree in Economics, becoming a software engineer. He fathered his children with Carol Murphy Currier, married in 1983 in San Francisco. He later remarried to Sandra Levario Currier in 1997 in Park City, UT. Richard was an accomplished technology marketing guru, helping turn around and grow companies that are well-known and established today. He worked for several companies during his career, including Walker Interactive and InterSystems, as well as his own consulting firm for over 25 years. Early in his career, Richard worked for NASA at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory during the Apollo missions, providing software communications to the astronauts. After his time at NASA, Richard worked on software communication for the White House during the Nixon administration. Later in his established consulting career, Richard became a guest lecturer at Oxford University and Georgia Tech, as well provided pro bono consulting for the Women in Technology (WIT) organization. A man of many quirks, Richard was tremendously generous and loved conversations with friends, family, and colleagues over large shared dinners. He was passionate about good food and good wine; specifically, caviar and Malbec. Friends describe him as an intelligent man, a rare man, and one of the best in the tech industry. Richard had two dogs, a Great Pyrenees named Bowser and a Yellow Lab named Bentley. One of his favorite pastimes was taking his dogs for drives around town and sitting them out front of Starbucks to enjoy a cappuccino while the dogs greeted patrons. At Richard’s request, a funeral will not be held. In lieu of a formal service, his family requests that friends, family and colleagues gather over Richard’s favorite cuisine, Neighborhood Italian, where memories can be shared and stories told. Alternatively, donations in his memory can be made to Great Pyrenes Rescue of Atlanta (http://www. greatpyratlanta.com/donate), or Atlanta Lab Rescue (https://www.atlantalabrescue.com/ get-involved), where Richard adopted his beloved Bowser and Bentley. Condolences can be sent to https://www.gatheringus.com/memorial/richard-lyle-currier-jr/844.

We are offering them a tax-free conduit. As a municipality we can issue bonds and undertake this and save them money.That is the purpose and goal of this. CHRIS BALCH CITY ATTORNEY

pected to start next year and open in 2025. The new hospital will have 446 beds in two 19-story patient towers. The new hospital will replace the 235-bed Egleston Hospital located on Clifton Road near Emory University. Plans for Egleston have not been determined, according to CHOA officials. CHOA opened its Advanced Center for Pediatrics at the campus last year. By issuing the revenue bonds, BDA is allowing CHOA to access its tax-free borrowing powers so its investors will not have to pay taxes on interest they earn. This allows CHOA to obtain a lower interest rate on the bonds, Balch said. “We are offering them a tax-free conduit. As a municipality we can issue bonds and undertake this and save them money,” he said. “That is the purpose and goal of this.” Balch said the benefit to the city is the approximate 1,600 jobs to be created in the city by CHOA’s medical campus development now being built on approximately 70 acres of property at the I-85 and North Druid Hills Road interchange. CHOA’s presence in the city also promotes economic development, he said. Balch said city financial experts have no serious concerns that CHOA will not be able to pay off its bond debt over 30 years. The path leading the BDA to issuing bonds for CHOA originated in the community investment agreement signed between the city and CHOA in Decem-

ber 2017. The agreement was signed after the City Council approved annexing some 20 acres south of I-85 into the city specifically for CHOA’s medical campus expansion. CHOA promised as part of the agreement to invest $40 million in traffic improvements around its campus, including funding the matching grant for replacing the I-85/North Druid Hills intersection; an improved access point from North Druid Hills Road; and improvements on several nearby arterial roads. CHOA also plans a path from its campus to the Peachtree Creek Greenway. Included in the agreement was the clause that CHOA would “strive” to issue up to $400 million of tax exempt bonds through the BDA to be used to build out its new campus. Shirlynn Brownell, the city’s director of economic development and executive director of the BDA, said because CHOA is going above the $400 million amount, the city was able to negotiate the fees it would be paid for issuing the bonds. Those fees – the $400,000 and then the annual $187,000 payment a year for 10 years – will be used by the BDA to attract companies, fund marketing initiatives and seek out other economic development opportunities for the city, Brownell said. “What it does is give me some walking-around money to promote economic development,” she said. The $1.1 billion revenue bonds issued for CHOA is BDA’s second major funding action. In 2016, the BDA approved a $36 million tax abatement to the Atlanta Hawks for construction of the team’s practice facility at the Emory Sports Medicine Complex in Executive Park. The abatement is good for 15 years with the Hawks paying the city a “payment in lieu of taxes,” or PILOT, of $302,900 a year for the next 15 years. The Hawks’ first payment was last year. The BDA transferred nearly $172,000 of that Hawks first payment to the city as part of a repayment plan for the city’s $1.7 million purchase of the closed QuikTrip station at 3292 Buford Highway. The city purchased the gas station last year using money out of its budgetary reserve, then transferred the property to the BDA. The BDA will make the nearly $172,000 payments to the city for the next 10 years to pay off the $1.7 million.

JULY 2019 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

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DeKalb transit master plan moves ahead, would need sales tax boost build. Both scenarimillion jobs within one hour of transit, he os would cover costs added. for buying buses, or “That’s a massive impact for Brookhavtrams, that look like en,” he said. a train but run on He also praised the proposed plans for rubber wheels. The trying to “future-proof transit unlike any ■ Heavy rail transit (HRT) – Opfunding would also other plan out there” by including conerates on tracks separate from trafpay for construction sideration of autonomous vehicles. Counfic. People board at stations. Cost to of boarding stations cilmember Bates Mattison even asked if build is about $250 million per mile. and operations costs. gondolas were considered as right-of-way ■ Light rail (LRT) – May operate A recent study rapidly shrinks and mobility above the in their own lanes separate from commissioned by roads may become necessary. traffic, such as streetcars. Cost to a north end task Grady Smith, VHB project manager, build is about $120 million per mile, force including Dunsaid nothing is off the table. or $75 million per mile for a streetwoody, BrookhavIn Dunwoody, council members raised car. en, Sandy Springs, questions such as what would be includ■ Bus rapid transit (BRT) – A bus Doraville and Chamed on the priority list if a plan is approved that operates like a train with pasblee estimated BRT and the referendum goes to the voters. If sengers boarding from a platform along the top end of a referendum is approved, who would deat their own stations. Cost to build is I-285 could cost up cide what projects would be cut if funding about $25 million per mile. to $480 million by comes in short, they also asked. ■ Arterial rapid transit (ART) – A using GDOT’s toll At a special called June 18 meeting, bus that operates on regular streets lanes. Councilmember Tom Lambert said the so that vehicles are affected by conThe planned toll DeKalb transit plan appeared to be trying gestion, but short bus-only lanes adlanes have dividto solve a regional problem at the local level. jacent to major intersections are ed elected officials “There are way too many variables and I’m used to reduce delays. May also emin Dunwoody and not comfortable without having a lot more Brookhaven, with answers than we have now,” he said. ploy technology giving ART bussome saying the toll The council approved a resolution to es priority at traffic signals. Cost to lanes will not allevisend to the DeKalb BOC saying the city build about $2.5 million per mile. ate traffic as prom“must be” included in decisions including Source: DeKalb County Master Transit Plan ised and would harm selection and priority of projects. local neighborhood, while others argue the only way afford much-needed transit on the north end is to use GDOT’s infrastructure for the toll lanes. Under a half-penny scenario, funding would cover “In looking at the one light rail route, five bus rapid transit routes, nine half-penny and fullarterial transit routes and 139 project miles. penny scenarios, inContinued from page 1 cluding BRT on I-285, your finance models would be blown out of the water if the manmeeting. He said he is hearing DeKalb leadaged lanes are not constructed by GDOT?” ership is wanting more time to consider the asked Dunwoody City Councilmember Jim proposals and is seeking input from the citRiticher at his council’s June 10 meeting. ies on what they would like to see. RecomThat is correct, said Laura Everitt of mendations do not include timing of a posVHB. sible referendum, he added. In Brookhaven, Mayor John Ernst, who Funding transit expansion through sat on the project management team dura sales tax referendum up to 1 penny in ing the master planning process, expressed DeKalb was made possible by the General excitement about potential transit projects Assembly’s passage of House Bill 930 for 13 in the city that would be funded by the full counties in metro Atlanta. The bill also crepenny or half penny scenarios. One possiated “The ATL,” the regional transit govble project includes a dedicated BRT line on erning body, and dedicated $100 million to Buford Highway. The 39 bus that serves Bufund public transit in the area. ford Highway is MARTA’s most used line, There are two other scenarios DeKalb transporting workers who often are forced Call today to schedule your FREE consultation! transit plan options – one would be to do to stand during commutes. nothing and focus on maintenance and A proposed ART route from Pill Hill to sustaining capital improvements of the Johnson-Ferry Road to Ashford-Dunwoody 40-year-old MARTA system; the other is a Road to the Brookhaven/Oglethorpe MARplan adopted in 2012 that includes heavy TA station and then down North Druid Hills rail from Indian Creek to Stonecrest Mall. Road to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s 3379 Peachtree Rd Ste 500 The 2012 plan is unaffordable, according to Atlanta GA, 30326 medical campus and to Emory’s planned The CoolSculpting® procedure is FDA-cleared for the treatment of visible fat bulges in the submental area, thigh, abdomen and flank, along with bra fat, back fat, underneath the buttocks (also known as DER MATOLO GY ASSOCIATES VHB, who said it would take at least a 2-cent 404-984-2140 | olanskydermatology.com banana roll), and upper arm. It is also FDA-cleared to affect the appearance of lax tissue with submental area treatments. medical expansion at Executive Park would sales tax increase. During the procedure you may experience sensations of pulling, tugging, mild pinching, intense cold, tingling, stinging, aching, and cramping at the treatment site. These sensations subside as the area connect these two major healthcare giants The CoolSculpting® procedure is FDA-cleared the treatment of visible fat bulges in the itching, submental area,sensitivity, thigh, abdomen and flank, along with bra fat, back fat, underneath the buttocks (also becomes numb. Following the procedure, typical side effects include temporary redness, swelling, blanching, bruising, firmness, tingling,for stinging, tenderness, cramping, aching, or skin The half penny and full penny scenarios OLANSKY DERMATOLOGY banana andThe upper arm. It is also FDA-cleared to not affect appearance lax tissue area treatments. and sensation of fullness in the back of the throat after a submental area treatment. Rare sideknown effectsasmay alsoroll), occur. CoolSculpting® procedure is forthe everyone. Youofshould not with havesubmental the together, he added. CoolSculpting® procedure if you suffer from cryoglobulinemia, cold agglutinin disease, or paroxysmal cold hemoglobinuria. The CoolSculpting® procedure is not a treatment for obesity. Ask your doctor if 404-355-5484 both include funding BRT along the top end During the procedure you may experience sensations of pulling, tugging, mild pinching, intense cold, tingling, stinging, aching, and cramping at the treatment site. These sensations subside as CoolSculpting® is right for you. To learn more about what to expect, visit www.coolsculpting.com. the area becomes numb. Following the procedure, typical side effects include temporary redness, swelling, blanching, bruising, firmness, OFFICE: tingling, stinging, cramping, aching, itching, BUCKHEAD 3379tenderness, Peachtree Rd NE, Suite 500 Atlanta, “This is the first time we are seeing tranor skin sensitivity, and sensation of fullness in the back of the throat after a submental area treatment. Rare side effects may also occur. The CoolSculpting® procedure is not for everyone. You of I-285 by utilizing the toll lanes, or manGA 30326 should have the CoolSculpting® procedure ifand you its suffer fromare cryoglobulinemia, cold agglutinin disease, or paroxysmal cold hemoglobinuria. The CoolSculpting® procedure is not a treatment isathe majority treatment doctors use mostDeKalb, for nonsurgical fat reduction. ©2018 Allergan. All not rights reserved. COOLSCULPTING® design registered trademarks of ZELTIQ Aesthetics, sit *CoolSculpting® benefit of in the olanskydermatology.com for obesity. Ask your doctor if CoolSculpting® is right for you. To learn more about what to expect, visit www.coolsculpting.com. Inc., an Allergan affiliate. IC03668-B aged lanes, infrastructure the Georgia DeNorth, South, East and West,” Ernst said. *CoolSculpting® is the treatment doctors use most for nonsurgical fat reduction. ©2018 Allergan. All rights reserved. COOLSCULPTING® and its design are registered trademarks of ZELTIQ partment of Transportation is planning to Aesthetics, Inc., an Allergan affiliate. IC03668-B The full-penny scenario would also put 1


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