Buckhead Reporter - July 2021

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JULY 2021 • VOL. 13 — NO. 7

Caden Jensen, 7, a rising second-grade student at High Point Elementary School, tries catching water in a bucket at the splash pad at the City Springs City Green in Sandy Springs. See more pictures on Page 5. (Cameren E. Roger

Summertime and the living is easier Kasim Reed joins mayoral race


Police chief outlines crime plan

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Contents July 2021

Sandy Springs North Springs New fire station

6 7

Buckhead Cityhood study Affordable housing grant

8 9

Dunwoody Waterford Park 10 Tallmadge 11

Brookhaven Council bid


Public Safety


Summer crime


Dunwoody 4th Parade


Commentary Worth Knowing Around Town

19 20

Dining Food trucks Dining briefs

21 22

Real Estate 21

Designer Q&A



Education Juilliard scholarship Education briefs Published by Springs Publishing P. O. BOX 9001 Atlanta, GA 31106 Phone: 404-917-2200

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Continuing a tradition of great journalism BY AMY WENK “Journalism is about giving. It’s about public service.” Long-time journalist Christiane Amanpour had said that in 2018 when she was inducted into Atlanta Press Club’s Hall of Fame. She was talking about the importance of community journalism. For years now, I’ve carried those eight simple words around in my phone. They just ring true, especially as I start this new role. This is my first issue as editor of Reporter Newspapers and what better time to join. Our communities seem vibrant again. After what easily was one of the most challenging and stressful years, we are starting to come back together. Our kids are being kids again. Perhaps we are joining our neighbors for live music or checking out The Sandy Springs “Take it to the River” Lantern Parade returned new restaurants. And, while in June after taking a year off due to the pandemic. Pictured here are Karas Cahill and Clark Ashton of the Krewe of the Grateful still being cautious, hopeGluttons, which performs at lantern parades across metro Atlanta. fully we are enjoying life a bit more. I’ve been out, too. I took my one-year-old son to the Sandy Springs Lantern Parade, which returned after a year off due to the pandemic. We saw flying pigs, lit-up birds, and most of all, smiling faces. My son, who’s been basically housebound since birth, was enthralled. He didn’t make a sound, just took it all in. I certainly look forward to seeing you, hearing about the issues that matter most and learning more about the great people and places that define our communities. Reporter Newspapers was founded on great journalism, a tradition I’m proud to continue.

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404-913-0292 From left, Sandy Springs residents Ken and Michelle Periman with Youjan Kim and Hyung Pak at the lantern parade.



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Photos by Cameren E. Rogers 1 | Madeline Arcenaux, 8, a student at


Montgomery Elementary, gets sprayed down with sunscreen by her mother Terri before hopping in the pool at Murphey Candler Park in Brookhaven.

2 | Max Daher, 3, enjoys time with his brother

and cousins from San Francisco, Ca. at the City Springs City Green splash pad in Sandy Springs.

3 | Olivia Arceneaux, 6, puts on flippers to

swim with next to her mermaid Barbie at the Murphey Candler Park pool in Brookhaven.

4 | Caden Jensen, 7, a rising second grader at High Point Elementary School, runs around with new friend Sean, visiting from Maryland, at the splash pad at the City Springs City Green in Sandy Springs.

5 | Syler Barber, 6, runs towards his

mother, Carrie, at the Murphey Candler Park Pool in Brookhaven. Barber attends Montgomery Elementary School.

6| Olivia Arceneaux, 6, blows water through a pool noodle at the Murphey Candler Park Pool in Brookhaven. Arceneaux spent the afternoon at the pool with her parents and her sister Madeline, 8. Both sisters attend Montgomery Elementary School in Brookhaven.



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JULY 2021 | 5


North Springs to be replaced with new high school BY BOB PEPALIS The Fulton County school system plans to replace North Springs High School with a new facility. At a June 8 meeting, the school board approved a capital plan for 2027, which includes the new high school. Details will be worked out in the coming months, with plans for multiple forms of community engagement, said Brian Noyes, school district spokesperson. The existing school at 7447 Roswell Road in Sandy Springs was built in 1963, making it one of the oldest schools in the school district. Parents had been asking for a new high school in 2017 when the school district had just begun its 2022 capital plan, which included a major addition for the school. Another $14 million in renovations was included in its 2010 special local option sales tax plan. But those parents said many of the upgrades were maintenance work for an inadequate facility. Now, the 2027 capital plan includes a budget of $258 million for the replacement and reconfiguration of existing schools where the costs of renovations

are too steep to be viable. North Springs High and S.L. Lewis Elementary, along with Holcomb Bridge, Haynes Bridge and Camp Creek middle schools, are on that list, said Noel Maloof, chief operations officer for Fulton County Schools. Though the facilities have been named, the scope of work won’t be definitive until the final budget is approved. “Several options could include rebuilding replacement schools on the current or alternate sites, renovating the schools, reconfiguring one or multiple existing spaces to accommodate the students, consolidating schools, or upgrading or modifying existing structures. The one exception to this is North Springs High School, which is slated to be rebuilt,” Maloof said. The total approved for the 2027 capital plan was $1.2 billion over five years. “As you are aware, for the past five capital plans, we have utilized the special purpose local option sales tax, SPLOST, as the major funding source. We are proposing that we continue using SPLOST,” said Marvin Dereef Jr., chief financial officer for the school system.

The entrance of North Springs High School at 7447 Roswell Road. (Special/Fulton County Schools)

Estimates by Georgia State University project the school district would receive $1.2 billion in sales tax revenue over five years if voters approve the SPLOST extension on the ballot Nov. 2. “If we did not use SPLOST revenue to fund our capital plan, we would need to raise the tax millage rate by at least 5.2 mills to still execute the proposed plan …

Once again, we recommend not raising the millage rate,” Dereef said. School board President Julia Bernath said the capital plan is a pay-as-you-go process that they hope to continue. “I want to also remind the voters that what we’re going to be asking for is not a new tax, it would be the continuation of the existing tax,” she said.

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First look at new Sandy Springs fire station

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Free movies Thursdays, through July 29th Fire Station 5 is proposed for the intersection of Mount Vernon Road and Spalding Drive in Sandy Springs. (Special/Hussey Gay Bell) BY AMY WENK A $5 million fire station planned for Sandy Springs is designed to look like a house. The fire station is proposed for the intersection of Mount Vernon Road and Spalding Drive and would serve the city’s eastern panhandle. The city in February spent $450,000 to buy the property at 7800 Mount Vernon Road. Since the fire station is planned for a residential area, it was designed to look like a house with a detached garage, city officials said. Hussey Gay Bell, a civil engineering and architectural firm, led the design. “The architects and I worked countless hours to come up with a residential look,” Sandy Springs Fire Chief Keith Sanders told Reporter Newspapers on

June 4. “It is the most complex area to give good EMS and fire service to I’ve seen in my 43-year career.” Some residents expressed concerns about the project. “I am not in favor of this location selection,” said Lisa Huffman. “There has to be another location that is not sitting in a residential area. We have a small child, and the noise is a definite concern.” But Sandy Springs has looked at potential locations for the fire station for about a decade, said city spokesman Dan Coffer. The project is set to go before the planning commission Aug. 18, with city council expected to vote Sept. 21. If approved, construction could start by the end of the year, Sanders said.

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Party houses are banned Sandy Springs has banned party house events in residential areas. Events are restricted to commercial areas in the city and will require an administrative permit. Commercial events include parties, ceremonies, receptions or similar largescale gatherings where a fee is charged for the use of the dwelling unit, whether or not a fee is charged for the event. Not only are party houses banned from residential areas, but they are prohibited from being held within 150 feet from residentially zoned properties measuring from property lines.


On June 15, City Council approved an amendment to its zoning ordinance, which took effect immediately. Two days later, on June 17, Sandy Springs filed a complaint in Fulton Superior Court against the owners of an alleged party house on Northside Drive, along with two event organizers. The next day, a Fulton County Superior Court judge granted Sandy Springs a 30-day restraining order against the four defendants. Sandy Springs spokesman Dan Coffer said it was a “proactive step to cease commercial uses in a residential neighborhood.” — BOB PEPALIS

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Kasim Reed officially enters Atlanta mayoral race BY COLLIN KELLEY

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Former Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed filed paperwork with the city June 8 to begin accepting campaign donations to win back his old job. Reed has been loudly hinting that he would jump into the mayoral race since Keisha Lance Bottoms announced in May that she would not seek re-election. Reed has been an outspoken critic of Bottoms’ handling of the crime wave that has engulfed the city over the past year, including the highest rate of homicides in decades. Reed, who served two terms as mayor starting in 2010, enters the race as federal officials continue an investigation into corruption on his watch. Federal investigators have indicted six members of Reed’s staff on bribery charges. Reed has said he was cleared in the investigation. Reed joins a growing field of candidates for mayor, including City Council President Felicia Moore, Councilman Andre Dickens, attorney Sharon Gay, Coun-






cilman Antonio Brown and political newcomer Walter Reeves. Reed missed out on the first candidate forum, where public safety dominated the conversation. Candidates must qualify during the week of Aug. 17 to be on the Nov. 2 ballot.

Buckhead cityhood group claims political interference BY JOHN RUCH A feasibility study required for the Buckhead cityhood movement to move forward is underway at a university that the local advocacy committee declined to publicly name, claiming that other schools were politically pressured not to conduct the study. The Carl Vinston Institute of Government, a prominent program at the University of Georgia that conducts such studies, says it declined to take on the Buckhead project, but not due to political pressure.


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Bill White, chairman and CEO of the Buckhead Exploratory Committee. An anti-cityhood group also dismissed the claim as “conspiracy theories.” State Rep. Darlene Taylor (R-Thomasville), the chair of a Georgia House committee overseeing the study process, says there

may just be confusion about which schools to use and that the Buckhead group is proceeding at its own risk with a study it may have to redo later. The pro-cityhood Buckhead Exploratory Committee (BEC) is at the start of a two-year quest to have the neighborhood leave Atlanta and become an independent “Buckhead City.” State law requires a feasibility study detailing the local impacts of cityhood. Bill White, BEC’s chairman and CEO, said that “we’re deep into the feasibility study and it should be done in six to eight weeks.” But, he said, that is happening only after a rejection from one school and “writing on the wall” from three others. White said the BEC commissioned the study from a different institution in Georgia, “which I’m not going to be telling who it is … [because] the more information out there, the more the city of Atlanta organized opposition tries to obfuscate the government business.” White said his suspicions of meddling began at a Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods forum in May with Linda Klein, a cityhood opponent. Klein, who co-founded the anti-cityhood group Committee for a United Atlanta (CUA), said in that forum that four universities known for cityhood studies “all are unwilling to do this study.” Klein did not respond to a comment request, but fellow CUA co-founder Edward Lindsey said White had made similar statements to him. “I said, I didn’t do a damn thing,’” said Lindsey. “If he wants to play conspiracy theories, so be it.” reporternewspapers.net

Livable Buckhead wins grant to study affordable housing BY JOHN RUCH Livable Buckhead has received an $80,000 grant to study the concept of employer-subsidized affordable housing, an idea that has gained local political support but also raised questions about discriminatory effects. The nonprofit, which focuses on environmental sustainability and alternative commuting, won the competitive “Community Development Assistance Program” grant in May from the Atlanta Regional Commission. While many apartment complexes offer minor rent breaks for employees of certain companies, the idea of a broader and deeper program is “entirely new for the region,” said Livable Buckhead Executive Director Denise Starling. “It has some real promise, but it’s critical to determine whether it is feasible from a legal and policy perspective, and also to gauge whether employers and their employees want it,” said Starling in an email. “Getting this grant allows us to take a close look at those questions and see whether this model can help increase the percentage of people who both live and work in Buckhead.” The idea was raised in a 2019 housing affordability study commissioned by Liv-

able Buckhead and the Buckhead Community Improvement District. The study framed housing affordability as a traffic congestion problem. More than 90% of people who work in Buckhead’s commercial core do not live in the neighborhood, many because they can’t afford skyrocketing rents and home prices. Employer-assisted housing is a broad concept that can range from help with rent or security deposits to company-owned homes. The general concept gained support from the Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods and District 8 City Councilmember J.P. Matzigkeit. But it remains to be seen whether businesses would want to offer specific programs and whether employees would want their employers involved in their housing decisions. That is one aspect that Livable Buckhead will study, including with some form of public input process. Another big issue is that deals where landlords give preferential discounts to employees of certain companies may shut other people out of the housing market. Several years ago, the city of Seattle banned such programs as discriminatory violations of fair housing laws amid gentrification controversies. The forthcoming

A residential area off Peachtree Road in Buckhead. (Amy Wenk) study will look at such programs from “legal and policy perspectives,” according to an ARC press release. The unprecedented rise of teleworking during the COVID-19 pandemic will not alter the basic traffic-reducing goal of the proposal, according to Starling. “We don’t anticipate making major adjustments to the frame for this project in light of pandemic changes to commute pat-

terns,” she said. “Research shows that most workplaces are bringing employees back to the office at least several days a week, which means traffic is going to continue to be a challenge.” Livable Buckhead will now spend three to four months creating a scope of work and finding a consultant. The project is expected to wrap up within a year, Starling said.

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Dunwoody has a new 7-acre park that includes two tennis courts and a pavilion. (Special/Paul Ward) BY SAMMIE PURCELL A new 7-acre park has opened in Dunwoody. Dunwoody City Council members gathered on June 2 to officially open Waterford Park, located at 4565 Dellrose Dr. The city purchased the land from the Waterford Swim and Racquet Club in 2019 to add park space in the city and connect more neighborhoods through trail systems. According to a city press release, the first phase of construction at the park is now complete. That phase included refurbishing two tennis courts and a pa-

vilion, along with adding new sidewalks, parking, fencing, lights and rails. “This neighborhood park helps us meet a goal of the city’s first Parks Master Plan,” Parks and Recreation Director Brent Walker said in the release. “As far back as 2012, we identified the northeast portion of the city as an area in need of greenspace.” City spokesperson Jennifer Boettcher said the second phase of construction is expected to start in 2022. It includes plans for a bathroom, playground, and trails and bridges to help connectivity in the area.



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Dunwoody officials celebrated opening the new park in early June. (Special/Paul Ward)


Dunwoody Councilmember Tallmadge resigns BY SAMMIE PURCELL

said she is “committed to appointing a replacement” for Tallmadge this sumFollowing her announcement that mer. she won’t run for re-election, Dunwoody Tallmadge announced in May that Councilmember Pam Tallmadge is reshe would not run for re-election this signing early. November, endorsing Catherine LautenTallmadge is the District 1 representabacher, the program director for Leadtive for the Dunwoody City Council. Her ership Sandy Springs and a 21-year resresignation is effective July 15. ident of Dunwoody. In an interview with Reporter NewsLautenbacher previously served as papers, Tallmadge said an offer to buy board president for the Dunwoody Nature Center and is board member for Discover Dunwoody, the city’s tourism organization. Tallmadge said Lautenbacher is “the perfect candidate” for the District 1 seat. In an emailed statement, Lautenbacher said she has filed some finanLeft, Dunwoody Councilmember Pam Tallmadge will not run cial and commitfor re-election. Right, Catherine Lautenbacher. (Special) tee paperwork. The official qualifying dates for candidates are Aug. 16-18. her home in Dunwoody prompted her “I have volunteered in many differdecision to resign. She and her husband ent arenas here: schools, non-profits, had no plans to move immediately, she city boards,” Lautenbacher said. “My job said, but the buyer made an offer they is centered on community leadership. I couldn’t refuse. Tallmadge said they are would like to take that experience and moving to Woodstock, Ga. contribute in a bigger way. I believe in According to city spokesperson Jennithe vision of Mayor Deutsch. I want to fer Boettcher, Mayor Lynn Deutsch has help shape the future of my city.”

Dunwoody approves two open-container districts

dergoing a massive redevelopment – and at the future High Street development. The High Street development has not been built yet, but is expected to include retail, office space, and living space, according to its website. The development would be located on 36 acres at the northwest intersection of Perimeter Center Parkway and Hammond Drive. Councilmember Tom Lambert asked how the city planned to ensure that all businesses were property educated on how the opencontainer rules work. Economic Development Director Michael Starling said the city is in the process of creating signs for each business, and are going to A rendering of the Ashford Lane project. (Special) meet with businesses to go At its June 14 meeting, the Dunwoody over what they can and can’t do. City Council approved an ordinance creat“I want to thank everyone for being proing two new entertainment districts where active on this, and getting these entertainvisitors could walk around freely with alment districts in place before these busicoholic beverages. nesses open,” Lambert said. The two new districts would be at the — SAMMIE PURCELL existing Ashford Lane Shopping Center at 4531 Olde Perimeter Way – which is un@reporter_newspapers BH

JULY 2021 | 11


Funny announces bid for Brookhaven’s District 4 seat BY SAMMIE PURCELL Brookhaven resident John Funny has announced he will run for the District 4 Brookhaven City Council seat this November. Funny, who serves as the chairman for

Brookhaven businessman John Funny has announced a run for Brookhaven’s City Council. (Special) Brookhaven’s Social Justice, Race and Equity Commission, announced his bid in a press release on June 15.

“I offer our community real world experience and hands-on leadership as I seek their support in electing me to this role,” Funny said in the release. “I believe in Brookhaven and will continue my advocacy to make it the best place in the metro to call home. We all know the impact that policy decisions can have on a community and as your Councilman, I promise to be your voice and your leader to ensure that our interests are fully represented.” In addition to serving on the social justice commission, which has been tasked with addressing issues of diversity in the city, Funny served eight years on the city’s Planning Commission, which evaluates land-use issues and makes recommendations to the City Council. According to the press release, Funny has never run for public office before, and is currently the owner and operator of Grice Consulting Group, LLC, a transportation planning and engineering firm. The District 4 seat is held by Councilmember Joe Gebbia, who announced earlier this year that he would not run for reelection. One other candidate, Dale Boone, has said he will also run for the seat.

The Revivalists to headline Brookhaven block party

Rock band The Revivalists are set to perform in Brookhaven. (Special) The rock band The Revivalists will headline Brookhaven’s summer block party on July 30 and 31. The city announced the event, called the Cherry Blossom Summer Block Party, at its May 4 City Council meeting. The festival is meant to celebrate the city’s resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic. The party will take place in the Brookhaven MARTA station parking lot along Dresden Drive and Apple Valley Road. The Revivalists will take the stage July 31, according to a city press release. Other performers include Better Than Ezra, Jagged Edge, Saleka, and Hunter Callahan. On July 30, the acts will be Rick Springfield,



The Amy Ray Band, Baylee Littrell, and Revel in Romance. According to the press release, the event is also intended to celebrate a “return to normalcy” and to encourage residents to get vaccinated. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people who are unvaccinated are still encouraged to avoid large gatherings. The event will also include food trucks and other attractions. Attendees are encouraged to take MARTA or the city’s shuttle services due to the lack of onsite parking. Masks are required on MARTA and all shuttles.


A site plan of the amenities to be added in the city’s new Langford Park at 1174 Pine Grove Ave. (Special/Lose & Associates)

Brookhaven to kick off planning for Langford Park The Brookhaven City Council has approved a $130,000 contract with architectural firm Lose & Associates to begin planning the new Langford Park. During a June 15 meeting, the council approved the contract, which will include engineering, design, permitting, bidding and construction management of Langford Park. The city purchased the property at 1174 Pine Grove Ave. in April of 2020. At its May 25 meeting, the council approved funding in the amount of $200,000 to move forward with the Langford Park project. According to city documents, the contract with Lose & Associates is already budgeted in the project account. According to Parks and Recreation Director Brian Borden, the approval of this contract will allow the city to begin the planning process for the park. A future meeting with Lose & Associates will kick off that process, including discussion of the master plan and project goals. According to the contract, proposed improvements for the park include a looped concrete pathway, a playground, a seating area, and a pavilion that could be used for small events. The new park will be located in the Brookhaven Heights neighborhood.

Stormwater fees to increase Brookhaven residents will see their stormwater utility rates rise by $28 this year. During a June 15 meeting, the Brookhaven City Council voted to increase the stormwater service fee rate from $66 to $94. The original resolution

increased the fee to just $73.98, but the council voted to go higher. According to Chief Financial Officer Steve Chapman, the fund has “basically been drained down to having no fund balance” due in part to a number of emergency stormwater repairs the city has undertaken. “If you were to just raise it to the bare minimum, of course we would always try our best to create a fund balance going forward,” Chapman said. “As this system hits us with emergency fixes, it makes it more and more difficult to be able to pay for these things without having resources available to do so.” A city spokesperson said the rate will be effective on the November 2021 tax bills sent by DeKalb County.

Brookhaven starts 9.4 mile paving plan Brookhaven has started repaving 24 streets across the city. The paving project will cover nine roads in the LaVista Park area and 15 roads throughout the rest of Brookhaven, according to a city press release. The Brookhaven City Council approved a $3.5 million contract for the project with Allied Paving Contractors back in April, along with a loan of $1.2 million from its General Fund unassigned fund balance to the LaVista Park Special Tax District fund for that area’s paving project. The first streets to be paved will be Longwood Trace, Sheridan Court, East Osborne Road (from Caldwell Road to Apple Valley Road) and Citadel Drive (from Wild Creek Trail to Briarcliff Road). City officials say if the project goes as expected, by the end of 2021 Brookhaven will have paved a total of 211 roads since 2014. — BRIEFS BY SAMMIE PURCELL

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New DNA testing in Atlanta Child Murders on hold for unexplained funding issues

Above, an image from the trailer for the new true-crime documentary series “The Atlanta Child Murders,” which aired in 2019 on the Investigation Discovery network, at the same time Atlanta and Fulton County officials announced the new review of evidence in the cases.

BY JOHN RUCH New DNA testing of evidence in the notorious Atlanta Child Murders cases, a highly publicized effort that was supposed to begin early this year, is on hold for unexplained funding issues. Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms in 2019 announced the evidence review, as well as a City Hall memorial to the murder victims. The memorial concept has progressed through City Council review, but the DNA testing effort went quiet. The Atlanta Police Department said in January of this year that the testing would begin within 60 days, but now says the work is on hold. “The investigation remains open and we are awaiting approval for funding to cover the DNA testing of our evidence in this case,” said Officer Steve Avery, an APD spokesperson, in an email. “Once the funding is approved, we will submit the evidence to the crime lab and move forward with the testing. We do not have a timeline, at the moment, but are hopeful we will be moving forward with this soon.” But Avery was unable to provide any information on the amount of funding needed and whose approval was required, including whether it is from APD’s internal budget or some outside source. The Atlanta Police Foundation, a non@reporter_newspapers BH

Left, Wayne Bertram Williams, convicted of killing two men in the “Atlanta Child Murders” case, in a state prison photo.

profit that funds APD programs, “has no role in this,” according to spokesperson Rob Baskin. The Fulton County District Attorney’s Office and City Councilmember Joyce Sheperd, who chairs the Public Safety and Legal Administration Committee, did not respond to comment requests. “Atlanta Child Murders” is the collective term for at least 25 African American children and adults found dead in 1979 through 1981 around metro Atlanta, including in the areas of Brookhaven and Buckhead.

Wayne Bertram Williams is serving a life sentence in state prison for two of the killings and was suspected by authorities of committing most of the others. But he has maintained his innocence, while some police officers, journalists and family members have suggested others were involved, possibly including the Ku Klux Klan. The wave of murders terrorized the city as the victims, most of them boys, began appearing in vacant lots, rivers and wooded areas. One victim who was found in a local area was Patrick Rogers, 16, whose body was discovered in the Chattahoochee River on the Cobb County side of the Paces Ferry Road bridge on Dec. 7, 1980, according to media reports at the time. Another was Patrick Baltazar, 11, who was found dead Feb. 13, 1981 in the Corporate Square office park in what is now the city of Brookhaven. Williams, an African American man, became a prime suspect after police allegedly heard him dump a body off the James

Jackson Parkway bridge in northwest Atlanta. In 1982, he was convicted of killing two adult victims. Police alleged that evidence connected him to most of the other killings as well, including those of Rogers and Baltazar, but he was never charged with those crimes. At the time of Williams’ trial, DNA testing did not exist. He and his attorneys have long challenged the forensic evidence that helped to convict him, mostly involving analysis of hairs and carpet fibers. About 10 years ago, a limited form of DNA testing showed that Williams could not be confirmed or ruled out as the source of hairs found on Baltazar’s body, according to media reports. Similar results were reportedly returned for dog hairs found on Baltazar and other victims that authorities alleged came from Williams’ pet. The new DNA testing was announced in March 2019 by Bottoms, former Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields and former Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard. The announcement came on the eve of the airing of a television documentary about the cases produced by Will Packer, a prominent movie executive who lives in Atlanta and who was a supporter of Bottoms’ mayoral campaign.

JULY 2021 | 13


Atlanta police chief outlines summer crime plan BY AMY WENK Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant plans to combat summer crime by putting more officers on the streets, addressing gun violence and targeting nightclubs. “Every summer we begin to see some increases in crime,” said the chief. “That’s due to a number of schools being out, the number of social activities we have throughout our city.” While the police department tries to hire 250 more officers, the chief said administrative personnel would be shifted to help boost daily patrols. He also plans to increase the number of weekend commanders. As he said in early June, Bryant is restructuring the police department, giving more resources to its gun assault unit. “We have to do a better job of being able to find out where these guns are coming from and cut that avenue off,” he said. The police department also plans to better investigate and inspect nightclubs. Bryant said over 50 officers were trained to supplement those efforts. In addition, he said the police depart-

ment would leverage partnerships with various law enforcement agencies to disrupt gang violence. “Gangs in the city of Atlanta really have their tentacles in every aspect of every kind of crime you could imagine,” Bryant said. The police chief is also focused on the city’s youth. He said one officer per zone would be dedicated to youth engagement

programs, and video surveillance will keep a watch on areas kids tend to congregate, such as Lenox Square Mall. But Bryant said, “violent crime cannot be fought with just police alone.” He plans to promote community policing efforts. “It takes all of us to be partners in public safety.”

Brookhaven police make arrest in Peachtree Creek Greenway stabbing

Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant. (Special)

The Incredi Bowl During a June 10 press conference, Brookhaven police announced they had made an arrest in connection with the stabbing of a pregnant woman on the Peachtree Creek Greenway. (Sammie Purcell)


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The Brookhaven police arrested a man accused of the stabbing of a pregnant woman on the Peachtree Creek Greenway. According to the Brookhaven Police Department, 30-year-old Christopher Jones was arrested on June 10 in connection with the June 5 stabbing of an unnamed woman on the Peachtree Creek Greenway. Jones has been charged with aggravated assault, aggravated battery, and cruelty to children in the first degree. Police said Jones was identified by a tipster who recognized a photo captured by city security cameras along the Greenway. Working with other police departments, BPD located Jones, who was

arrested near the MARTA Arts Center Station in Atlanta. BPD spokesperson Lt. David Snively said that Jones admitted to the stabbing, but investigators are still looking into what events led up to the incident. He also said investigators have determined that Jones has a history of mental illness and is unhoused. “We believe that mental illness did play a role in this case,” Snively said. Snively said the victim – whose family has requested she remain unidentified – was pregnant and walking with her 3-year-old son, who was uninjured, at the time of the stabbing. The victim gave birth by an emergency C-section.

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Reporter Newspapers SPECIAL SECTION | JULY 2021

Monday, July 5


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Presenting sponsors: Dunwoody Homeowners Association and Reporter Newspapers

Dunwoody 4th of July Parade: Celebrating Our Heroes

Dunwoody High School

The parade route is 2.7 miles, stepping off from the intersection of Mt. Vernon Rd. and Jett Ferry Rd. at 9 a.m. It ends at Dunwoody Village. For more information visit reporternewspapers.net/parade @reporter_newspapers BH

JULY 2021 | 15

2021 GRAND MARSHAL Frontline Workers

This year’s parade celebrates those crucial workers who served citizens during the pandemic. That includes Dunwoody Police Department, DeKalb Fire and Safety, healthcare workers, grocery and pharmacy store employees, and restaurant workers. Anyone who was on the frontlines during the health crisis is welcome to participate. Brighton Gardens Assisted Living Center will also have a bus with some of their residents as part of the Grand Marshal group.

SPECIAL GUESTS Sophia Choi, Channel 2 Action News Anchor

Doug Turnbull, WSB Traffic Reporter

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

Doug Turnbull is the PM drive Skycopter anchor for Triple Team Traffic on 95.5 WSB and is also known as the Gridlock Guy. He hosts a traffic podcast with Smilin’ Mark McKay on wsbradio.com.

Megan Wright, Miss Georgia Outstanding Teen

Karson Pennington, Miss Georgia University of Georgia student Karson Pennington, a native of Augusta, is Miss Georgia 2021.

Megan Wright, a Calhoun native, is the 2021 Miss Georgia’s Outstanding Teen.

Lucy McBath, U.S. Representative

Robert Patrick, DeKalb County Commissioner

Eric Linton, Dunwoody City Manager

Sally Harrell, Georgia Senator

Ted Terry, DeKalb County Commissioner

Dunwoody City Council

Michael Thurmond, DeKalb County CEO

Lynn Deutsch, Dunwoody Mayor

Cheryl Watson-Harris, DeKalb County Schools Superintendent

Anna Hill, DeKalb County Schools District 1 Board Member Dunwoody High School 2020 Hall of Fame inductees

PARADE SCHEDULE 9 a.m. – Parade kicks off 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. – Family festival

activities, including performances from the 116th Army Band and a kids zone with party jumpers



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Fourth of July Parade Presented by:

SPECIAL FLOATS AND MUSIC 116th National Army Guard Marching Band Founded in 1859, the 116th Army Band of the Georgia Army National Guard is the oldest National Guard band in existence. In 2020, many members of the band took on roles in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, helping to staff and supervise food and medical supply distribution centers, virus testing coordination, and quarantine facility management. Over the past few months, the band has returned to providing musical support for military functions and community outreach.

Georgia Garrison of the 501st Legion

Gold Sponsors

Formed in 1998, the Georgia Garrison of the 501st Legion is an all-volunteer organization formed bring together costume enthusiasts. The group specifically promotes interest in Star Wars through community events and volunteer work.

Spirit of Atlanta Drum & Bugle Corps Spirit of Atlanta was founded in 1976 as a nonprofit youth performing arts education organization based in Atlanta. Its goal is to provide challenging, high-quality programs for youth that emphasizes character and social development, leadership, self-discipline, and the pursuit of excellence.

Silver Sponsors

Oscar Meyer Weiner Mobile

DONATIONS Food Pantry Collection Dunwoody Boy Scout Troop 764 of St. Luke’s Presbyterian Church will be pushing shopping carts along the parade route, collecting food donations for the Community Assistance Center food pantry. Most needed items include canned meats and fish, canned pastas, canned or packaged fruit, cereal and rice.

Bronze Sponsors


RITICHER DISTRICT #2 Dunwoody City Council

FOOD Boy Scout BBQ Immediately following the parade, the Boy Scouts will be serving food, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Dunwoody Village parking lot. It’s a major fundraiser for the troop, helping fund equipment, training materials and need-based scholarships. The $12 ticket includes a shredded BBQ chicken or pork sandwich and coleslaw, watermelon, brownie and drink.

Rotary Club Hotdogs The Rotary Club of Dunwoody will operate a hot dog stand in the Dunwoody Village parking lot. It will open at 9 a.m. until the parade is over. The revenue helps fund community service projects. They will sell hot dogs, drinks, chips and homemade cookies.

Moondog Beer Dunwoody’s Moondog Growlers will offer three craft beers for $5, along with canned wine for $8. Cash, Venmo and Paypal only. @reporter_newspapers BH

JULY 2021 | 17


Tag us @dunwoody4thparade

to our U.S. Armed Forces

July 29th to July 31st SCENTHOUND


U.S. Armed Forces

In honor of “Independence Day”, Scenthound Dunwoody is recognizing our local Military personnel by offering free basic grooming services for their furry family members Thursday, July 29th to Saturday, July 31st. U.S. Active-duty, Reservists, or National Guard military service members (with a valid i.d.) can schedule their dogs on July 29th, 30th, and 31st to receive a FREE E-scent-ials package (a bath, ear cleaning, nail clip, and teeth brushing). Services offered by appointment only and based on availability. Limited to one use and one dog per person.

Contact dunwoody@scenthound.com or call us at 678-990-1900 for more information and to schedule!




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From humble beginnings came Georgia’s largest parade Dunwoody’s 16 at the time, is the only living participant 4th of July paI could find. What follows is basically his rade is the largstory. est IndepenWhen President Gerald Ford declared dence Day 1976 a national year-long celebration to Carol Niemi is a marketing consultant who lives on the Dunwoody-Sandy Springs line and parade in Georcommemorate the 200th anniversary of writes about people whose lives inspire others. Contact her at worthknowingnow@gmail.com. gia. Except for the Declaration of Independence, com2020, when COmittees formed throughout the country VID canceled to plan celebrations. After the political turit, cheering moil of the 1960s, Watergate and the Vietfans have lined nam War, Americans were ready to celeboth sides of its brate. 2.7-mile route In the spring of 1976, the Dunwoody BY CAROL NIEMI along Mt. VerWoman’s Club formed a committee led by non Road every Gerry Spruill to figure out how Dunwoody year for the past 30 years. would celebrate the year. When someone In 2019, it attracted more than 2,500 suggested a 4th of July parade, DWC memNiemi is from a marketingber consultant who lives oneagerly the Dunwoodyparticipants and 35,000 Carol spectators Lois Kroeger volunteered to Sandy Springs line and writes about people whose lives inspire far and wide — all united as Americans to lead the effort, and she and her husband, others. Contact her at worthknowingnow@gmail.com. At St. Martin’s, we celebrate the journey of growing up – from the formative preschool Harlan, became the payears to graduating young adults. Congratulations Class of 2021 on your outstanding rade co-organizers. high school acceptances! She was a retired Northwest Airlines flight attendant. He co-owned a wholesale furniture com3110-A Ashford Dunwoody Rd. Brookhaven, GA 30319 pany and traveled a lot. 404.237.4260 stmartinschool.org Neither had ever planned a parade, and neither had Dunwoody, which was still 32 years away from cityhood. Many thought it couldn’t be done. And the Kroegers had but a few months to re-create an all-American parade like the ones they loved growing up in the Midwest. As Steve remembers, they turned to neighbors, friends and family to help to recruit local businesses, churches and civic organizations. What they lacked in experience, they made up for with enthusiasm. “My parents were very patriotic,” said Steve. “They were in high school during World War II, when everyone was united. They were raised to appreciate our freedoms Lois Kroeger with her husband, Harlan, who organized and knew many peothe very first Dunwoody 4th of July parade in ple who had served and 1976 to celebrate the U.S. Bicentennial. many casualties.” celebrate living in the freest country on the Read the full story online at reportplanet. ernewspapers.net. But a recent conversation with Steve Carol Niemi is a marketing consultant who Kroeger, whose parents organized the first lives on the Dunwoody-Sandy Springs line parade back in 1976, revealed the parade’s and writes about people whose lives inspire surprisingly humble beginnings. Since others. Contact her at worthknowingnow@ most of the key players have either passed gmail.com. away or moved away, Steve, who was only



Class of 2021

@reporter_newspapers BH

JULY 2021 | 19


It feels like time for a going-out pie Today is the day I tried cooking a strawberry pie. Strawberry pie may not seem all that special. There are many more elegant desserts: roulades, souffles, flamBY JOE EARLE ing crepes. But to me, strawberry pie has always somehow ranked among the fanciest of Fancy Desserts. Piled high with huge red berries and even higher with mounds of sweetened whipped cream, that glistening red-andwhite slice may really be little more than a brightly colored sugar delivery system, but, since I was a boy, it seemed a piece of the good life. I grew up in a small Southern city. In those days, we didn’t dine out a lot and there weren’t that many choices for restaurants when we did. So, any dinner or Sunday lunch cooked and served by an honest-to-goodness, sit-down-to-beserved restaurant seemed special. And ending a meal with strawberry pie made it even more of an event. It seemed a special dessert reserved for dining out. We ate plenty of fine homemade desserts – pecan pies, boiled custard, coconut cakes, even fresh ice cream – but never strawberry pie. That, in my limited boyish imagination, required some special skill

reserved for the cooks at exotic eateries such as Morrison’s Cafeteria or Shoney’s Big Boy. (I told you the choices were few.) To tell the truth, our homemade desserts probably tasted better, but somehow


strawberry pie was proof that you were out and about and seeing what the world had to offer. It was going-out pie. As we start to escape (we hope) from COVID lockdown, I have been preparing to go out into the world again and thinking about how I spent my time during the past 15 months or so. Throughout my career as a newspaperman, I’ve spent a lot of time on the move. I’ve lived in different

states, seen new sights, witnessed strange events and met a wide variety of people who were either confronting extraordinary events or doing important deeds or who simply had interesting things to say. Like most of us, since March 2020, I’ve mostly stayed at home. I wish I could say I’ve used the time wisely. I could have practiced to be a better guitarist or written a novel or learned French. I didn’t. I did some work from home, but I suspect I’m one of many who simply whiled away empty hours doing mundane things: crossword and jigsaw puzzles, gardening, watching a lot of TV, occasionally cooking something that seemed interesting. I think I understand, at least in part, why it was so hard to rise to the challenge offered by the empty hours of lockdown. COVID made everything scary. In the days before widespread vaccinations, COVID made going out of the house into something threatening. A simple trip to the grocery literally could prove fatal. Working at your office could make you

sick. People were – and still are -- fighting over wearing masks, keeping apart and just how to act in the company of strangers. In a world like that, it was easy to keep to oneself and fall back on simple pleasures. Puzzles. Books and magazines. TV shows delivered up by Netflix that provided hours of English detectives and French detectives and even Icelandic and Korean detectives unraveling twisted crimes. Those things offered a measure – or at least a feeling -- of control. They seemed to say that the world, despite the weirdness of lockdown and the sudden scariness of strangers, hadn’t really changed. My little domestic pleasures provided a sort of comfort food for the scared. Which brings me back to strawberry pie. I spotted a recipe online recently and thought there could be no better way to celebrate the beginning of the end of pandemic lockdown than to bite into a slice. Just like when I was a kid, it could be a sign I was out of the house and into the wide world around me. So, I made a strawberry pie. I haven’t tasted it just yet. It’s still cooling in the fridge. But it looks damn good. Joe Earle is editor-at-large at Reporter Newspapers and has lived in metro Atlanta for over 30 years. He can be reached at joe@springspublishing.com

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Food trucks roll back into the community

Where to find food trucks Dunwoody Food Truck Thursdays When: Thursdays, 5-8 p.m. Where: Brook Run Park, 4770 North Peachtree Road

Tommy Burda, owner of Dunwoody-based Moondog Growlers, at the Dunwoody Food Truck Thursday event on June 10. (Amy Wenk)

Sandy Springs resident Tommy Burda was pumped to pour brews again. On June 10, the owner of Dunwoodybased Moondog Growlers attended his first event since the pandemic, Dunwoody’s Food Truck Thursdays. Burda may be a familiar face as he’s “that beer guy” who carts his craft beer tap trailer to community events. Burda was excited to be back to “a little normalcy” and reunited with his neighbors and friends. “I like to be out with the people,” he said, huddled under his tent as a summer rainstorm briefly stalled the event. But as soon as the sun reappeared, so did the people, eagerly walking up to mobile eateries to order street food such as crab cake sandwiches and jerk chicken tacos. That’s right, food trucks are rolling back into the community after more than a year of being away. Along with Dunwoody’s Thursday event, Brookhaven just relaunched its Food Truck Nights, held Wednesday evening at Blackburn Park. “We are so glad to be back in the heart of your community,” Brookhaven organizers said June 16 on Facebook after the first event returned. There’s also a new food truck park that just opened in the Upper Westside area of Atlanta, located to the west of Buckhead. Called Upper Westside Yard, the food truck park opened in June at the former site of a barbecue restaurant that burned down years ago. “I passed by a building that was all boarded up every day,” said food truck park founder Lenise Williams, a resident of the Riverside neighborhood. “I just got frustrated with it and decided to take action. A food truck park seemed like the perfect thing to put there … We don’t have @reporter_newspapers BH

Upper Westside Yard When: Friday, 3-9 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, 2-9 p.m. Where: 2061 Main Street NW Stars & Stripes Fireworks Celebration When: July 4, food trucks open at 6 p.m. Where: City Springs, 1 Galambos Way, Sandy Springs

Food truck events are returning after being put on hold due to the pandemic. (Amy Wenk)


Brookhaven Food Truck Nights When: Wednesdays, 5-8 p.m. Where: Blackburn Park, 3493 Ashford Dunwoody Road

many options for eating in the area.” Upper Westside Yard can accommodate up to seven trucks and will feature pop-up shops, along with events such as yoga and movie nights. Williams’ hope is it becomes a community gathering space. “It’s a place where neighbors can become friends,” she said.

Atlanta Food Truck Park & Market When: Friday, 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., Saturday, 1-6 p.m. Where: 1850 Howell Mill Road NW



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JULY 2021 | 21


New Italian restaurant headed to Sandy Springs

Tre Vele will be a “modern, elevated Italian restaurant specializing in handmade pasta, as well as other classic Italian dishes.” (Special/Ian Winslade) BY AMY WENK A new Italian restaurant called Tre Vele is planned for Sandy Springs. It’s coming to the City Walk shopping center at Roswell Road and Hammond Drive, taking over the former Three Sheets location. It will occupy 3,500 square feet with a 1,500-square-foot rooftop patio. The concept is from the team behind Buckhead’s Mission + Market restaurant. That includes brothers Ryan and Jonathan Akly, along with chef and partner Ian Winslade.

Tre Vele will be a “modern, elevated Italian restaurant specializing in handmade pasta, as well as other classic Italian dishes,” according to a press release. Giancarlo Ruiz, formerly of restaurant Storico Fresco, will serve as executive chef. Ruiz spent 16 years in Florence, Italy. “Sandy Springs’ food and beverage offerings have transformed so much in the last few years, and we are excited to be a part of the evolution,” partner and co-owner Jonathan Akly said.

Food hall delayed at Ashford Lane The Hall at Ashford Lane – a new food hall and bar – is planned for Ashford Lane, a mixed-use project with restaurants, retail and office space. It will be located at 4500 Olde Perimeter Way in the former Perimeter Place shopping center, which is being redeveloped. Ashford Lane’s website says the food hall is expected to open this summer. But according to Director of Agency Leasing Coleman Morris of JLL Atlanta – the retail group tasked with repositioning and leasing the property – the development team for The Hall is starting to see supply chain effects of COVID-19 on construction materials, causing a delay in the building process. “As of now, they are targeting a fall opening but cannot guarantee that they will open by that date,” Morris said in an email. The Hall at Ashford Lane is another in a line of food halls that owner Jamal Wilson has opened and plans to open in locations such as Tampa, Fla. and Nashville, Tenn. According to Morris, the food hall will be about 17,000 square feet. One tenant has been announced so far. Chef Teresa Acosta won a complimentary vendor space at the food hall. Acosta’s culinary style highlights Cuban, Latin American, and Spanish cuisine. Morris said when The Hall opens cus-

tomers will be able to order at the separate restaurant stalls, like you might at Krog Street Market in Atlanta. But at The Hall, customers will have a waiter and be able to mix and match offerings from different stalls. “People can come in and feel like they’re having a true dining experience by being able to sit at a table and have people wait on them,” Morris said. — SAMMIE PURCELL

Savi Provisions founder to launch gas station concept Paul Nair, founder of Savi Provisions, says he’s launching an upscale food and beverage concept at the Arco gas station that’s under construction in Buckhead. Called UPop, for Urban Provisions Offering Petroleum, it will offer chef-driven prepared foods, beer, wine and liquor. It will also include a bistro with small plates, according to a release. UPop is set to open this summer, said a spokeswoman. “This will be a higher-end experience,” Nair said in the release. “We are intentionally not using traditional convenience store items or big-name brands. The goal is to offer a highly-curated selection.” — AMY WENK

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Q&A with Whitney Ray of Wyeth Ray Interiors

70th Annual Georgia Mountain Fair Summer Line-Up

BY AMY WENK Interior designer Whitney Ray will admit she likes a bit of drama. “You can count on my selections centering around modern-leaning pieces with some antiques peppered in for character,” said the principal of Buckhead-based design firm Wyeth Ray Interiors, located on East Paces Ferry Road. “I like a little bit of edge and what I call the ‘good sense of drama.’” Ray was a senior designer for Atlanta firms including Beth Webb and Wolf Designs before launching her own firm alongside architect Joel Kelly in 2017. Reporter Newspapers caught up with Ray to hear what home trends are popular this summer and how she approaches good design. What are the home trends you are seeing this year, especially coming out of the pandemic? That would have to be the deep, saturated colors! I will never part from my love

Whitney Ray, principal of Buckheadbased design firm Wyeth Ray Interiors. (Special/CatMax Photography)

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Ray loves to play with contrast in her designs. “I will always mix antiques with more streamline, tailored pieces,” she said. (Special/Jeff Ferr) of neutrals, but I’m having fun with the bold colors my clients are requesting. Who wouldn’t want an emerald green, lacquered bar to brighten up their home after spending so much time in quarantine? If your design style was a zodiac sign, what would it be? Gemini. I love contrasts. I will always mix antiques with more streamline, tailored pieces. I personally prefer a slightly more masculine palette in black, white, and family of browns offset with custom pillows in a variety of textures and dressmaker detailing. I like pretty things but will always edit out fussiness so that you can appreciate the juxtaposition of the selections and @reporter_newspapers

how they interplay in that setting. What are some of your recent projects? A weekend mountain home on Lake Toxaway. A modern masterpiece in Chastain Park designed by the talented Plexus R&D. And a Brookhaven home for the owner of CaseMate and his family that sits atop a viewing garage for his rare car collection. What are some simple things people can do to modernize their decor? Edit. Edit. Edit. I find that even in my own home, I can refresh a space simply by taking some things away. Try using larger statement pieces rather than a lot of small objects. It makes a big difference!

JULY 2021 | 23


Spotlight: Sandy Springs student battles adversity to earn Juilliard scholarship BY BOB PEPALIS Riverwood High School graduate Rainy Marie Robertson has earned a full-tuition scholarship to The Juilliard School in New York City. She plans to pursue acting, with the hope of making a big impact in the industry as an actress and producer. “My biggest thing about being a black actress is that the stories that I want to be a part of, the narratives that I want to see on the big screen, will only happen if I want to contribute to that,” Robertson said. “I want to produce it and write and direct … be behind the scenes as much as in front of the screen.” Early challenges Her life presented challenges at an early age. Born and raised in Atlanta, she lived with her mother. “We struggled financially, dealt with homelessness, dealt with a lot of issues that come with that. And it got really hard,” Robertson said. Her mother died of a heart attack a few days before her 16th birthday. She went to live with her grandmother in Arizona. But no schools were nearby, Robertson said. So Marci Bennafield, the mother of one of her friends, offered to become a foster parent for Robertson and became her legal guardian. That enabled her to complete schooling at Riverwood High. A year later her grandmother died. “It doesn’t feel so bad, because I’ve been surrounded by a lot of love from my foster family and just from people around me,” she said.

mately 200 people auditioned virtually, with only five making it to the next stage of auditions. That went on for 10 days. Later that month, she was notified she had made it to the final callback. “It was so incredible. Just being able to be … with people all over the world, all actors, it was really powerful and really inspiring,” Robertson said. On March 1, her late mother’s birthday, she was officially notified she had been accepted into the program. Now Robertson is working as a film actress. She just completed a role in Chicago in a science fiction thriller with students at Northwestern. “This summer I’m trying to book a few more roles before I start school … I really am grateful for everything I have been a part of, and I’m excited to see what comes next,” Robertson said.

The audition On the first day in January, approxi-



Mercer professor honored as Poets Laureate Fellow BY SAMMIE PURCELL A Georgia Poet Laureate and assistant professor at Mercer University was recently selected as a 2021 Poets Laureate Fellow by the Academy of American Poets, a nonprofit poetry organization. Chelsea Rathburn is one of 23 chosen fellows this year, according to a press release. She joined Mercer University in 2019 as an assistant professor of English and creative writing, and her latest fulllength poetry collection, “Still Life With Mother and Knife,” was published in 2019. Her works have appeared in publications such as The Atlantic Monthly, The New Republic and The Southern Review.

Each fellow is expected to lead poetry programs in their communities. Rathburn is partnering with the Georgia Center for the Book and the DeKalb Library Foundation to develop an interactive poetry program. The program will be called “Poetry in the Parks,”and feature trails with stops along the way that showcase Georgia poets and offer creative prompts for those interested in writing poetry of their own. “The Poets Laureate Fellowships are unique in that they simultaneously support a laureate’s creative work and that poet’s larger community,” Rathburn said.

Fulton students take summer courses

Finding a mentor Natalie Fikes met Robertson through her legal guardians, the Bennafields. They met at a gathering for graduation when Robertson got up to perform a monologue. “When she stood up, there was just something about her,” Fikes said. “Because she was this shy, timid, quiet storm that was sitting there, but then when she got up and opened her mouth, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh. Who is that?’” Fikes approached her and offered to be her mentor, using her experience as a life coach to help improve her performances. “And ever since that day we have been inseparable,” she said. Robertson called Fikes the day before her Juilliard audition. “You have to show you, that’s what’s going to get you into Juilliard,” Fikes offered as advice to Robertson at the time.

Chelsea Rathburn, an assistant professor of English and creative writing at Mercer University, is one of 23 Poets Laureate Fellows for 2021, recognized by the Academy of American Poets.

BY BOB PEPALIS Rainey Marie Robertson of Sandy Springs earned a full-tuition scholarship from The Juilliard School to pursue a bachelor’s degree in fine arts. Looking ahead In the future, Robertson wants to have a prolific acting career to inspire others and hopes to start her own production company. “Nothing is going to stop her from accomplishing her goal, nothing. She’s literally experienced the worst of life, and in that time [rose] above every adversity. And that’s not going to change as she grows in maturity, experience and wisdom. She’s just going to become a force to be reckoned with,” Fikes said.

More than 11,000 students enrolled in Fulton County Schools’ in-person summer school program, which was designed to help kids catch up since the pandemic. In fact, lines formed for registration on the first day of classes, said Cliff Jones, Fulton County Schools chief academic officer, at a June 8 work session of the school board. “Out of the 11,000 students, 4,200 of our students who are participating in face-to-face summer school were formally virtual students from the spring,” Jones said. “That just gave me the goosebumps, when our data people came to me with that number. That’s exactly why we’ve created this opportunity.” The program was designed to help ac-

celerate learning for kids who may have had challenges during the pandemic. But it also serves as “an acclamation to get back into school buildings to develop relationships and routines,” he said. For the school system, there are 1,600 staff members teaching at 39 sites and virtually this summer. reporternewspapers.net


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Better than Ezra • Jagged Edge • Amy Ray Band Baylee Littrell • Saleka • Hunter Callahan • Revel in Romance Celebrating Brookhaven’s Reopening When: July 30 (3-11 p.m.) and 31 (noon-11 p.m.) Where: Brookhaven MARTA Station parking lot and along Dresden Drive and Apple Valley Road More announcements to come!



JULY 2021 | 25


Local movie producer’s romantic comedy hits the silver screen

A biker learns not to mess with the retirement community gang in a scene from “Queen Bees.” (Special) BY JOHN RUCH A romantic comedy full of veteran stars and co-created by a local movie producer is now on the silver screen. “Queen Bees” stars Oscar-winner Ellen Burstyn (“Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore”) as a woman who temporarily moves into a retirement community and meets a wacky group of characters played by the likes of James Caan (“The Godfather”) and Jane Curtin (“3rd Rock from the Sun”). It hit theaters June 11.

Ellen Burstyn and James Caan in “Queen Bees.” (Special)

The story is from the mind of Harrison Powell, a Sandy Springs resident who has co-produced several religious and “inspirational” movies in recent years. Back in 2018, when the movie was shooting at a retirement community in Duluth, Powell said the film is based on his wife’s grandmother, who “begrudgingly moved into a retirement community in Jacksonville.” She found it was like “high school all over again,” with cliques set in their ways. But then she fell in love and married.

Made under the now-changed working title of “Welcome to Pine Grove!”, the movie joined the entire Hollywood industry in hitting the pandemic roadblock. It’s getting a limited theatrical release — including at The Springs Cinema & Taphouse in Sandy Springs — and simultaneously streaming on demand. “Definitely a wild time to release a film!” says Powell about the pandemic timing. “A lot to learn and I think a lot of consumer mindsets have shifted to more

home entertainment.” Other veteran stars in the film include Ann-Margret (“Grumpy Old Men”), Christopher Lloyd (“Back to the Future”) and Loretta Devine (“Waiting to Exhale”). Director Michael Lembeck previously helmed two of Disney’s “Santa Clause” movies and Dwayne Johnson’s “Tooth Fairy.” For more about the movie, see queenbeesfilm.com.


WHY THE JUGGLING ANALOGY? Pop singer Elvis Costello said, “I feel like a juggler running out of hands.” That’s the mindset of many recently-retired people with a good amount of savings. They oftentimes feel overwhelmed when coordinating the pieces necessary to replace what has been a lifetime of dependable paychecks. We’ve learned over 50 years that it’s challenging to transition from consistently saving for the future to living off of accumulated assets. NOT A BAD PROBLEM -- TO BE LIVING OFF YOUR ASSETS AND NO LONGER WORKING… It IS a nice problem. But big dollars are at stake in getting it right. We worked recently with a retiree from a major oil company who decided to walk out the door at age 60. His situation is not uncommon. He and his wife have done a great job laying their foundation – Social Security, a pension, a 401(k) with company stock, and some after-tax savings. No worry about outliving their money; but they want to make the most of these assets in the long-run for their family. They worry the varying tax impact associated with different decisions in drawing down assets can have widely different long-run outcomes. They want to get it right. ARE THEIR CONCERNS VALID? Yes. Our Wealth Planning Committee professionals (CPAs, attorneys and others) work together to model out these alternatives for clients. In this case, skillful “juggling” of the drawdown of assets and their elections around Social Security and taking company stock from the 401(k) matter greatly. As Committee

Bill Kring, MaryJane LeCroy, and Phillip Hamman discuss the challenges clients face when transitioning from saving for retirement, to living off accumulated assets. (Left to right: Phillip Hamman, CFA, CFP®; MaryJane LeCroy, CFP®; and Bill Kring, CFP®)

Chairman, Phillip Hamman, CFA, CFP®, stated it: “The projected difference in the ending asset values between the base case and the optimum case shows a 40% increase to heirs.” WHAT SHOULD PEOPLE LOOK FOR? The key is making sure you get the experienced and unbiased advice you have the right to expect. The majority of financial advisors out there are NOT 100% on a fiduciary business model. At Linscomb & Williams, we are a fiduciary for our clients, providing service and advice for a fee with no products to sell. Our team is ready to meet for a no-cost, no-obligation exploratory conversation at our office in Atlanta.

Linscomb & Williams is located at 2727 Paces Ferry Road SE, Building Two, Ste. 1475 in Atlanta, GA For more information call 770 333 0113 or visit www.linscomb-williams.com. Linscomb & Williams is not an accounting firm.




Stage Door Players hires new artistic director ahead of reopening

Artist wants to shift perspective on time, environment

the first city-run events at the center since the pandemic. The Performing Arts Center plans 50 scheduled events, with headliners Air Supply, Paul Reiser, En Vogue and Kevin Nealon. Other events include international artists such as The Peking Acrobats, Mystic India: World Tour, and Flamenco Vivo. The headliners will give the city some bragging rights in the Atlanta region, said Shaun Albrecthson, executive director of Create Sandy Springs, which oversees arts and culture programming. Ticket prices will range from approximately $7 to $100 depending on the event. — BOB PEPALIS

City Springs Theatre Company names new leader Jonathon Keats, renowned conceptual artist, experimental philosopher and writer, is introducing the Atlanta River Time project. (Special/Michael Llewellyn) A scene from Stage Door Player’s musical “Ain’t Misbehavin’” in 2019. (Special/Stage Door Players) said that Stage Door hopes to diversify the types of programming the theater offers. “We’re just looking to move toward a theater – at least on the artistic side – that is inclusive, that is welcoming, that is dynamic, that is challenging, that is entertaining,” he said, adding the theater will use different productions, methodologies and theories “that represent the diaspora of people in this beautiful city of Atlanta.” The theater plans to reopen its indoor mainstage theater in August with the play “Becoming Dr. Ruth,” said Jones. Then in September, the theater will partner with another company to put on a production of August Wilson’s “Fences” and hold William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at Brook Run Park’s Willie E. Jones III, Stage Door Players’ new artistic director. amphitheater. The mainstage season is set to begin Oct. 1. BY SAMMIE PURCELL The new hire comes following last Following more than a year of shut year’s controversial decision to furlough down, the Dunwoody theater company Stage Door’s longtime artistic director, Stage Door Players has hired a new artisRobert Egizio. tic director to helm its upcoming season. “People were very unhappy with the Willie E. Jones III – an actor, direcway the former artistic director – who tor, playwright, producer and educator was very talented – was shown the door,” from the University of Minnesota/Guthsaid Meredy Shortal, former Stage Door rie Theater BFA Actor Training Program Players board member and wife of for– has been brought on as the theater’s armer Dunwoody mayor Denis Shortal. tistic director. He will help move the theRead the full story online at reportater in a new direction, according to an ernewspapers.net. announcement. In an interview, Jones @reporter_newspapers BH

Conceptual artist and writer Jonathon Keats is introducing the Atlanta River Time project, a new municipal clock for the metro area based on the flow of the Chattahoochee River, Peachtree Creek and other local waterways. The project aims to change Atlantans’ perspective on time, the natural environment, and the impact of modern human existence on both. “We can overcome dehumanization and environmental devastation by calibrating our lives according to personal observations of seasonal changes in our natural surroundings,” Keats said in a press release. His solution is to redefine time not just in terms of people’s lives but also based on ecology. Keats delivered the first version of River Time in Anchorage, Alaska in 2020, by creating a digital Alaska River Time clock metered by glacial melt’s impact on regional rivers. Now, various Atlanta organizations tied to the river and arts are collaborating to bring Keats and his alternative time-reckoning systems to Georgia’s capital city. That includes nonprofit arts group Flux Projects and the South Fork Conservancy, which works to restore the banks of the South Fork of Peachtree Creek, among others. — CHAD RADFORD

Air Supply to kick off season in Sandy Springs On Aug. 27, soft rock duo Air Supply is set to kick off the new season at the Performing Arts Center in Sandy Springs,

Natalie DeLancey takes over as executive director of City Springs Theatre Company after serving as its managing director. (City Springs Theatre Company) Brandt Blocker has stepped down from his role as executive and artistic director of City Springs Theatre Company four years after he helped launch the company. Natalie DeLancey, who has been serving as the organization’s managing director, will take over the executive director’s role. Tony award-winner Shuler Hensley will serve as the company’s interim artistic director, the theater company said. “In four short years, one altered by the pandemic, we have installed ourselves as the premiere home for professional musical theatre in metro Atlanta,” Blocker said. “I have every confidence that City Springs Theatre will continue on as a leading player in the Atlanta arts scene and remain committed to professional, Broadway-quality productions and innovative educational initiatives.” City Springs Theatre Company was formed in 2017 by Sandy Springs residents Jan Collins, Steven Hauser, and Peggy and Jerry Stapleton. DeLancey also joined the theater company in 2017. She previously served as director of Arts Education & Community Outreach for ArtsBridge Foundation, an outreach arm of Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. — BOB PEPALIS

JULY 2021 | 27


Reporter Newspapers has partnered with Saporta Report to provide local business news from one of Atlanta’s most respected journalists, Maria Saporta. saportareport.com

Dr. Jonathan Simons to join the Marcus Foundation Aug. 1 BY MARIA SAPORTA The Marcus Foundation announced Dr. Jonathan W. Simons will join its team as its full-time medical director and chief science officer on Aug. 1. Simons is an oncologist, molecular biologist who most recently served for 14 years as the CEO and president of the Prostate Cancer Foundation, founded by Michael Milken. Simons also was the founding director of the Winship Cancer Institute at Emory University; and he was chair of hematology and oncology at the Emory Clinic. As an internationally known physicianscientist leader, Simons brings a wealth of expertise in precision medicine drug discovery and development, cancer nanotechnology and genomics, and immunology as well as healthcare administration. He has been a leader in the global medical community for over 30 years with key roles and discoveries

at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Emory University. The Marcus Foundation, founded by Bernie Marcus, co-founder and former CEO of the Home Depot, has invested for decades in targeted medical research and healthcare projects with the ultimate goal of saving and changing lives. It is based in Buckhead. “Simons’ background and experience will be an invaluable addition as we continue to seek unique medical opportunities to make an impact,” Marcus said in a statement. “He understands the importance of investing in sound initiatives that have the potential to fully leverage, accelerate and transform standards of care and discovery.” Healthcare and medical research represent the largest portfolio within the Marcus Foundation, which has focused on regenerative medicine and cellular therapy, integrative medicine, cancer, autism, heart and vas-

Dr. Jonathan Simons will join the Marcus Foundation as medical director (Special).

cular health, and stroke and neuroscience. The goals of the Marcus Foundation’s medical investments are to save and change the greatest number of lives in the shortest period of time and with the highest access and least cost to families. In addition to healthcare and medical research, the Marcus Foundation also provides targeted and impactful philanthropy in the areas of Jewish causes, free enterprise and veterans support, youth development and education, and community. Simons succeeds Dr. Fred Sanfilippo who retired after serving the Marcus Foundation as consultant and Medical Director for eight years. “We are appreciative of Sanfilippo’s many contributions,” Marcus said, “and know that Simons’ will not only build on his work but also create new reach and impact.”

Atlanta remains Fortune 500 hub, Sandy Springs-based UPS rises in rank BY MARIA SAPORTA Metro Atlanta maintained its position as a hub for Fortune 500 headquarters with 16 companies, according to the latest 2021 ranking from Fortune Magazine. HD Supply, which has been reacquired by the Home Depot, dropped off the list. But Global Payments, which merged with Columbus-based TSYS in 2019, made the list. Two Fortune 500 companies based in Georgia are located outside of metro Atlanta: Columbus-based AFLAC and Calhounbased Mohawk Industries – giving the state a total of 18 Fortune 500 companies. The latest rankings make metro Atlanta one of the top 10 cities in the country with Fortune 500 headquarters, but the magazine does not provide a list of companies by MSAs (Metropolitan Statistical Area). City Data compared MSAs based on the 2019 list of Fortune 500 companies, and Atlanta’s MSA had 16 companies. It was tied with Minneapolis-St. Paul and Washington, D.C. (which also had 16 headquarters). Next year, Atlanta and Georgia will add a Fortune 500 company – Norfolk Southern, which is currently based in Virginia and is building its new corporate headquarters in Midtown. The 2021 list, however, did show mostly upward movement among Atlanta’s top Fortune 500 companies – largely because of the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, Home Depot jumped from 26 in the 2020 list to 18 in the 2021 list. It continues to be Georgia’s No. 1 company in terms of revenue – more than $132 billion in 2020. It benefitted by the fact that so many people were quarantined in their homes during the pandemic and were motivated to improve their surroundings. Another big winner was UPS, which is the second largest company in the state with 2020 revenues of more than $84.6



Norfolk Southern’s new corporate headquarters now under construction in Midtown (Maria Saporta).

billion. Its national rank went from 43 in 2020 to 35 in 2021. Not surprisingly, the rank of Delta Air Lines took a big hit – due to the lack of travel in 2020. It went from being the third largest public company in the state to seventh; and its spot on the Fortune 500 list went from 68 in 2020 to 178 in 2021. So why is this important? A company’s center of gravity emanates from where its top executives are based. More often than not, company executives will get more involved in the communities where they are based. That certainly has been true historically in Atlanta, even though the influence of corporate leaders has diminished slightly. That’s because most of the region’s top executives have been imported from outside the state so they don’t have deep roots in the community, and most are necessarily

A view of NCR’s headquarters in Midtown as seen from the Fifth Street Bridge (Maria Saporta).

focused on running their national or global companies rather than being able to focus on local issues. Still, metro Atlanta’s future depends greatly on there being an engaged corporate sector, and the presence of Fortune 500 companies contributes to the region’s economic and social foundation. So, when a company announces it is moving its corporate headquarters to Atlanta from another state, it’s a moment for celebration. Among the companies that have located their headquarters here in recent years are: Norfolk Southern, which ranked 307 in the 2021 list but is still identified by Fortune as a Virginia company; WestRock; NCR; Newell Brands; the PulteGroup; Intercontinental Exchange; and Veritiv. It also is important to note that Aflac is an important corporate citizen in Columbus. Its Fortune 500 rank went from 146 in

2020 to 131 in 2021; and Calhoun-based Mohawk, which was ranked No. 321 both in 2020 and 2021. Because of Norfolk Southern will be listed as an Atlanta-based company in the 2022 rankings, Atlanta and Georgia could have a net gain in Fortune 500 companies next year – provided we don’t lose one of our existing corporate headquarters. The city took a Fortune 500 hit when SunTrust merged with BB&T in 2019 to become Truist, and the bank decided to base its headquarters in Charlotte, N.C. Companies do come and go, and their ranks rise and fall depending on economic and social trends – as well as the unforeseen COVID-19 pandemic. But at least Atlanta and Georgia are holding their own when it comes to Fortune 500 headquarters.

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HELP WANTED HD Supply, Inc. seeks Sr. Dvlpr. for Atlanta, GA office. Must have Bachelor’s or equiv in Comp Sci, Comp Engineering or closely rel field + 5 yrs wrk exp in offered or similar position. Will also accept Master’s or equiv in Comp Sci, Comp Engineering or closely rel field + 3 yrs wrk exp in offered or similar position. Duties include application design, development (code), testing, & debugging. Up to 10%% domestic trvl req. For complete reqs/duties & to apply visit http://hdsupply.jobs/. Ref Job ID# 2021-43981.

HD Supply, Inc. seeks Sr. Dvlpr. for Atlanta, GA office. Must have Bachelor’s or equiv in Comp Sci, Comp Info Tech. or closely rel field + 5 yrs wrk exp in offered or similar position involving Product Info Mgmnt (PIM) or Master Data Mgmnt (MDM) platform. Will also accept Master’s or equiv in Comp Sci, Comp Info Tech. or closely rel field + 3 yrs wrk exp in offered or similar position involving PIM or MDM platform. Duties include application design, dvlpmnt (code), testing, & debugging. Up to 10%% domestic trvl req. For complete reqs/duties & to apply visit http://hdsupply.jobs/ Ref Job ID# 2021-43984.

Services Available Matthew’s Handy Services - 7AM appointments available. Small jobs & chores are my specialties! Organizers, Carpentry, Drywall & Painting. Call 404-547-2079 or email mwarren8328@ gmail.com. Best Rate Painting - We beat all estimates! Room as low as $175. Exterior as low as $1750. 25 years experience. Free estimates and No money down. 10% off with this ad. Call 404-434-8941. BestRatePaint@bellsouth.net or visit www.BestRatePainting.com.

Americold Logistics, LLC., Atlanta, GA has an opening for a Sr. Business Analyst-SAP (Job Code KM0510) to serve as expert in AmeriCold’s App SW as it pertains to business logic, SW conf. & ops process deemed key to the daily plant ops. Design solutions related to SAP Apps. Configure SAP system to Map complex business process & record financial transactions for financial reporting per GAAP & IRS. Req: B.S. or FDE Bus Adm & 5 yrs. of exp. in the job or in similar job duties. In lieu of B.S. in Bus Adm, employer will accept a combo of Ed. Equiv. to a B.S. in Bus Adm. w/5 yrs. of exp. in the job or performing similar job duties. Mail resume to Duan Farley,10 Glenlake Pkwy, NE, S. Tower Ste. 600, Atlanta, GA 30328. E.O.E.


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Americold Logistics, LLC., Atlanta, GA has an opening for a Business Process Eng. (Job Code XL0511). Use Ind. Eng. & bus process/CI techs to improve facility ops through process improvement, metrics reporting/ visibility, inventory control methodology, & labor mgmnt practices. Ensure new/ existing facility success through testing of systems & automation that yield best practices & standardized operations. Work w/VMS configuration and training and support teams to provide configuration solutions and VMS processes to maximize efficiency of work processes in office & warehouse. Req: Min. of a M.S. degree in Op. Design & Leadership or in Logistics Mgt & 2 yrs. of exp. as process eng. or similar job duties. Mail resume to Duan Farley,10 Glenlake Pkwy, NE, S. Tower Ste. 600, Atlanta, GA 30328. E.O.E.

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The first step to a successful shade garden: create a design THE ENVIRONMENTAL GARDENER Greg Levine, coexecutive director of Trees Atlanta, describes himself as happiest when his hands are in the dirt. It’s July in Atlanta, which means many of us are looking for ways to beat the heat. For some, that means waking up at 6 a.m., whether to get some gardening work done or just to enjoy a garden without melting. Personally, I prefer gardening strategically and setting a later alarm. I start working in the sunny areas upon waking, and by 10 or so, I definitely am working in the shade. I don’t mind a good sweat, but since reaching the half-century mark, I would rather not work in the sun in 90plus degree weather. A well-shaded garden provides more than just respite from the summer heat, including habitat for unique plants and reduced maintenance for you. My nieces sum it up as a cool place to get away from each other and vibe. If you want to create a shade garden and you’re starting with a treeless lot, the first thing to do is to create a plan. We are all tempted to just buy some of our favorite plants and wing it but be patient! Getting your ideas on a piece of paper can make a big difference over the life of your garden. After all, a tree can easily live well over 100 years. Even the simplest design will help give your shade garden structure that can make the garden more usable, enjoyable, and refined. So, get out the pencil and paper now, and you will be ready to start planting in the fall! Here are a few things to consider when

designing a shade garden: 1. Create a garden with places where people can engage with their surroundings, not just a pretty view from the kitchen window. Design “rooms” throughout your garden using foundational plants to define and frame the spaces. Gardens that include places for seating, eating, and resting will increase the value of the shade garden to the family. 2. Develop a path system before you plant your first tree or flower. Focus on how you want to move through the space. The paths can meander through the garden or be more direct. Either way, using plants with interesting structure or color can help pull attention, creating the de-

placement helps to create an enchanting atmosphere in which to stroll or linger. Whether or not you choose to work with a landscape designer, creating a simple layout concept will help make a garden not only for people to enjoy, but also where all the plants you love can thrive. Draw a simple layout using a bubble diagram of sorts. First, lay out the different seating areas and objects of interest in your space. Create multiple options of path systems to these desired spaces. Next, draw circles to represent the placement of Steve Sanchez with Franklinia tree. trees and large shrubs that separate, enclose, and define the spaces. Your efforts will help better communicate to a designer your ideas or will help you create a better shade garden. Frame your space and create a foundational structure by selecting some bottomland tree species that tend to be fast-growing and tough. Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis), pine (Pinus spp.), tulip poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera), and river birch (Betula nigra) can be used to create quick shade and enclosure for the shade garden. These are a few flowering plants that have interesting structure, texture, or form to bring interest to the wellshaded garden in the middle of July: Sweet Tea gordlinia (x sire and intrigue to move throughout the Gordlinia grandiflora ‘Sweet Tea’) - A beauspace. tiful, 30-foot-tall tree that has white ca3. Incorporate alluring objects, sculpmellia-like flowers from July to November. tures, varied seating, and screening at No joke, my tree has five months of flowerplaces along your pathways. Thoughtful ing. This evergreen has a few leaves regu-

Clethra “humming bird”

larly turning red in the winter and spring. Gordlinia prefers full to partial sun, welldrained soil, and consistent moisture. It is easier to grow than franklinia (Franklinia alatamaha) and really worth trying. Hummingbird summersweet (Clethra alnifolia ‘Hummingbird’) - This native deciduous shrub blooms in the middle of summer with white fragrant flower spikes. They are sweetly fragrant and enjoyed by butterflies, a variety of bees, and, not surprisingly, hummingbirds. It is a dwarf variety, growing to about 3 feet tall. Summersweet prefers consistently moist soil and partial sun, but can tolerate full shade and wet soils. River oats (Chasmanthium latifolium) This native four-season grass can grow to nearly 3 feet tall in partial sun to the deepest of shade and thrives in average soils and moisture. The oat seed heads hang elegantly and tremble in a breeze, turning a bronze to orangey-red in the fall. It is a prolific re-seeder and, when the conditions are right, it can be a great groundcover and a bit of work to control. I find it easiest to cut it where I don’t want it, and eventually it weakens and fades out. Once you complete your design, it gets even more fun because you get to go shopping. You can do this with a good conscience, knowing your plants won’t be sitting in their containers or have a lifetime of being moved around. Good luck and get started.


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VALID 7/1 - 7/31 reporternewspapers.net BH


All About Your Dog’s Ears & How to Take Care of Them Floppy or folded, small or large, your pup's ears are one of their most charming and expressive physical traits! Regardless of shape or size, they all serve the same purpose: funnels for sound. At least 18 muscles work to tilt, raise and rotate these adorable appendages, helping your dog identify and capture sounds from all different directions. Dogs' hearing ability depends on breed and age, but the average hearing range is between 67 Hz to 45,000 Hz (45 kHz). Human hearing stretches from 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz (or 20 kHz), but most adults actually top out at 16k Hz. Another reason dogs are simply amazing! Unlike humans who have a very short ear canal, dogs have a long, narrow L-shaped ear canal. It runs vertical toward the jaw, then takes an almost 90° turn horizontally toward the eardrum. This makes examinations difficult and predisposes dogs to an assortment of ear issues, including parasites and yeast infections (especially dogs with heavy, floppy ears). Prevention is key! It's estimated that 20% of dogs suffer from ear infections which are most often due to an of bacteria or yeast. Keeping ears clean and dry can help. ROUTINE CARE & MAITENANCE Your pup's regular care and grooming routine should include ear checks; this is especially important if your dog produces excessive earwax or has a lot of inner-ear hair. Monitoring your dog’s ears for any sign of irritation or infection only takes a moment and can be easily taken care of while snuggling on the couch watching TV. Look for any redness or discharge, check for any strong odor and watch to see if they’re showing any sensitivity to their ears being touched — all of these could be a sign of an infection developing. If your dog’s ears are visibly dirty, you can gently wipe them with dog ear cleaner or ear wipes formulated specifically for this purpose. The rule of thumb is to only clean as far as you can see — never insert anything into your dog’s ear canal (including Q-tips)! If you think your pup needs a deeper ear cleaning, schedule an appointment with a professional. Some dogs grow hair inside their ears, in which case it should be

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plucked every few weeks to prevent matting and tangles. Hair inside the ear can also make it more difficult for your pup’s immune system to keep levels of yeast and bacteria at a manageable level, can block the flow of air that keeps the ear canal dry, and may trap dirt, excess ear wax and debris inside. Frequent baths or regular swimming may also lead to ear irritation and infection. Be sure cotton balls are placed in your dog’s ears before baths and that ears are dried thoroughly after all water activities. WARNING SIGNS • Ear discharge • Bad smell • Redness • Swelling • Crusty skin • Hair loss • Brown/black ear wax or dry wax resembling coffee grounds (classic indicators of ear mites) If you notice any of the above, make an appointment with your veterinarian to make sure there's not a possible ear infection or other problem. These symptoms should be addressed before cleaning your dog's ears at home, as you could unintentionally do more damage by cleaning an infected ear. DOG EAR DISEASES AND INFECTIONS Ear Infections Ear infections are usually caused by an overgrowth of yeast and bacteria in the ear canal. Hair inside the ear — especially if it’s thick — can further contribute to a moist and warm environment that’s ideal for an infection to take hold. Symptoms to look out for include whining, repeated head shaking, scratching at the ears or rubbing their face on the carpet, and discharge and/or an odor coming from the ear canal. If your pup is showing any signs of an ear infection, it’s important to visit your vet as soon as possible. Quick treatment is necessary not only for your dog’s comfort (these conditions can be painful!), but also to prevent the spread of infection to the middle and inner ear. Do not try to treat ear infections at home. Ear Mites If your dog is shaking and scratching his head, it may be because ear mites have taken up residence in his ear canal. This arachnid's Latin name, Otodectes cynotis, translates

as "ear beggar of the dog" — which perfectly describes what these tiny creatures do: feed on wax and oils in your dog’s ears. While they don't bite skin, their presence causes itching and the secondary damage caused by scratching can be serious. It’s important to exterminate ear mites as soon as possible, for the benefit of the infected pup and the other pets in your home it can easily spread to. Mites can also infect humans, but this is very rare. It's best to visit your veterinarian for a diagnosis and treatment. Fortunately, ear mites are relatively easy to treat — a deep ear cleaning and some medications prescribed by your veterinarian usually clear up infections quickly. Ear infections are a common and often recurrent problem in many dogs, but routine care can keep your pup clean and comfortable. It's important to regularly monitor their ear health, as infections can begin and worsen quickly. If your dog is showing signs of an ear infection, seek treatment right away to ensure the problem does not become serious. Scenthound will handle your dog’s basic grooming needs, so you don’t have to. If you don't feel comfortable doing it yourself, let us take care of cleaning your pup's ears as part of their monthly E-scent-ials package! At Scenthound, ear exams are just a part of the routine care we provide to keep your pup clean, comfortable and healthy. We focus on all five of the core areas of maintenance that dogs need: Skin, Coat, Ears, Nails, and Teeth (SCENT). And to keep you in the loop, after

every groom you’ll receive our S.C.E.N.T. Check report detailing our assessment of your dog’s overall external health. Plus, you can reference your pup's historical S.C.E.N.T. Check data in the new Scenthound mobile app to track the progress they've made since becoming a member of the Monthly Clean Club. The S.C.E.N.T. Check is just another way Scenthound helps you stay informed, educated and empowered when it comes to your dog’s health and well-being. This way, you can be assured we are well-acquainted with your dog and any issues he may have which helps you stay on top of small problems, like ear infections, that can turn into big problems if ignored.

Dr. Jim MacLean Chief Veterinarian, Scenthound Dr. MacLean’s first job was working as a grooming assistant when he was 15 years old. Since then, he has worked in every aspect of small animal veterinary hospitals, has practiced in small animal medicine and surgery for 26 years, and has owned and started multi-doctor veterinary hospitals. With a mind for both medicine and business, Jim received his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from VMRCVM at Virginia Tech in 1994 and his MBA from Georgetown University in 2011. Coming full circle, he joined the Scenthound pack to bring his expertise and experience to the grooming world. As chief veterinarian, Dr. MacLean guides Scenthound from a health and medicine perspective and helps achieve our mission to improve overall pet health on a broader scale.

JULY 2021 | 31

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JULY 2021 | 32

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