07-07-17 Brookhaven Reporter

Page 1

JULY 7 - 20, 2017 • VOL. 9 — NO. 14


Brookhaven Reporter


► N.C. real estate market heats up


► Appalachian Cool: Jackson County, N.C.


‘Comfort women’ memorial unveiled; may move soon BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net A memorial to honor “comfort women” who were sexually trafficked by the Japanese military during World War II was unveiled at a June 30 ceremony in Brookhaven after weeks of controversy. But, a person involved in the memorial’s planning said at the ceremony, the city may soon move the statue elsewhere in Brookhaven after debate about its location in a public park. The memorial, donated to the city by the Atlanta Comfort Women Memorial Task Force, is named the “Young Girl’s Statue for Peace,” and is a life-sized goldcolored statue of a young girl seated next to an empty chair. It is identical to similar statues created by two South Korean artists and installed at various parks and embassies around the world.


Kang Il-chul, a “comfort women” survivor known as “Grandma Kang,” traveled from South Korea to Brookhaven for the June 30 unveiling of the Young Girl’s Statue for Peace.

DINING OUT Halal Guys gyros come to Buford Highway Page 4

See COMFORT on page 10

My daughter breaks the mold. She cooks and cleans without being asked. Plus, she’s kind to animals and small children. But all this goodness comes at a price: She doesn’t like to shop.

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OUT & ABOUT Fido rules at Blue Heron’s ‘Doggie Daze’ Page 6

Artist turns political signs into ‘snowflakes’ BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

A Chamblee artist who backed Democrat Jon Ossoff in the heated 6th Congressional District race is trying to cool off the political climate off with some snowflakes and humor. The artist, who asked that his real name not be published but uses the pseudonym Hamilton Burger, said after the June 20 runoff between Republican Karen Handel and Ossoff, he collected several hundred of their political signs that dotted yards and rightsof-way for months in the hotly contested race that garnered national attention. See ARTIST on page 3

2 | Community

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City moves forward with eminent domain for Greenway BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

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The City Council is moving forward with eminent domain to acquire 19 acres of land on Briarwood Road, where a trailhead for the Peachtree Creek Greenway is to be built. The council voted unanimously June 29 to file for an eminent domain taking in DeKalb Superior Court for the undeveloped land after more than a year of negotiations with the property owner proved fruitless, according to city officials. Both sides say said that the key is agreeing to a price. “We’ve exhausted all efforts to reach an arms length agreement,” City Attorney Chris Balch said at the council meeting. Warren Power from McDonough, who specializes in eminent domain, will be lead counsel on the case, Balch said. “We’re fine with what the city council voted to do,” said Angela Robinson, an attorney for the property owners. “We think the park project should move forward and now it’s just up to both sides to continue to negotiate the price and the fair market value they’re going to pay for it.” The city says it has appraised the 19 acres for $340,000 and is offering to purchase it for that amount. The property owners, attorney Mark Morgan and Lifestyle Family L.P., countered with a $2.3 million price tag. DeKalb County tax records show the property is valued at approximately $414,000 for tax assessment purposes. Morgan attended the council meeting with Robinson. After the council vote, Robinson said the owners are planning a townhome development on the property. She said the city’s appraisal and the property owner’s appraisal are “pretty far apart” and that right now the two sides are not able to work out a negotiated agreement. In 2015, the property owners appealed its tax value to DeKalb County because,

Robinson said, the market wasn’t ripe at that time for a townhome development. “That’s typical for developers to do when they are not receiving any income for their property,” she said. “In 2016, the market became ripe for a townhome development and [the developers] started pulling together costs and plans to do so and didn’t appeal in 2016 and will not do so this year.” The City Council earlier this year approved the $35 million master plan for the Greenway that includes approximately three miles in Brookhaven. The 19 acres on Briarwood Road is included in phase one of the Greenway project, about a 1.25 mile section between North Druid Hills Road and Briarwood Road. Councilmembers said they were not fans of eminent domain, but that this was the only course of action they could take to fulfill the plans for the long-talked-about linear park and trail system designed to connect to Buckhead’s PATH400 and eventually to the Atlanta BeltLine. “I do not like the idea of taking someone’s land … but we are running a city,” said Councilmember John Park. “We cannot let one individual stop our progress. I do this with hesitation and serious reflection.” Councilmember Linley Jones said she also is “loathe” to use eminent domain, “but this is a very unique situation and unfortunately requires it.” The city has handled itself professionally during the lengthy negotiations with the property owner, snd the use of eminent domain is now the only course of action, said Councilmember Joe Gebbia. “This is not our first option, it’s our last option,” Mayor John Ernst said. “When forced, we will take action to complete plans we agreed to.” Peachtree Creek Greenway Chairperson Betsy Eggers said her nonprofit group supports the city’s use of eminent domain for the Briarwood Road property. “[G]overnments cannot pay more than a property is worth,” she said in a statement.

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Community | 3


Artist turns political signs into ‘snowflakes’

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Continued from page 1 And he turned them into snowflakes. Yes, snowflakes, in a not-so-subtle dig at the derogatory word people on both sides of the political spectrum have hurled at each other. “I know this an insult from both sides, so it seemed appropriate,” he said. “Those who wish to be offended will be offended. I’ve heard all of it. Whatever you’re going to see, you’re going to see.” Burger decided to create “whimsical decorations” of the signs that dotted yards and fields and rights-of-way for months in his hometown, in Brookhaven and Dunwoody, and throughout the north suburbs. “Back in the day there were those Tshirts that said, ‘My parents went to Florida and all I got was this crappy T-shirt,’” he said of the seed for his idea that led to his epiphany, “Well, my district had a $50 million election and all I got were these crappy signs.” Burger crafted some 300 Ossoff and Handel into snowflakes. “I thought it would be a whimsical decoration,” he said of recycling the signs. “And I thought it would make a few people smile after a long, aggravating period.” Dunwoody Councilmember Terry Nall, a Handel supporter, did not smile, however, and said he believed the city


One of the 6th Congressional District signs carved into snowflake shapes that were installed at the intersection of AshfordDunwoody Road and Johnson Ferry Road.

cleanup of the signs “is an unfortunate use of public resources.” “For a city with a small, lean budget, this is an unfortunate use of public resources. Clearly, someone must have a lot of extra time to modify these signs and then place them around the city,” he said in a statement. Brookhaven city spokesperson Ann Marie Quill said maintenance crews will sweep away any snowflakes they find. “We are aware of the signs and will pick any up that are in the right of way as part of our routine sign sweeps as time and weather permits,” she said.

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The June 20 story “City may use eminent domain for Greenway” incorrectly stated the city needed to obtain 67 parcels for the Peachtree Creek Greenway park and trail plan. While the conceptual plan touches 67 parcels and may spark redevelopment of them all, it is unknown how many parcels the city will actually have to acquire. The current phase of the project involves the city acquiring 19 acres on Briarwood Road and negotiating access for five other parcels for the Greenway.


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4 | Dining Out

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“Hey, where did you get that gyro?” “The halal guys on West 53rd and 6th Avenue.” That’s how a legend was born. In 1990, a simple hot dog cart run by a trio of Egyptian immigrants became the hottest lunch line in New York City. Twenty-five years later, they began licensing franchises and now boast over 200 locations worldwide. As the

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fastest growing fast casual chain in America, The Halal Guys has finally landed on Buford Highway with more locations expected to follow. Simply put, this is some of the most consistently excellent half-hour dining available in Atlanta. It’s the same all over the world: a couple of tables in a fairly small but conveniently located space, that red and yellow color scheme, and a limited menu where everything is done with consistent quality and correctness. If you’ve eaten at any of the locations, you’ve eaten at them all, and you can literally order one of everything on the menu for just under $50. The staples are lamb, chicken and falafel, and you put them in a pita wrap with lettuce and tomato or you put them over a bed of rice with lettuce, tomato and pita on the side.


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Then you add one or more of their two excellent sauces: white and red. The white sauce is some kind of mystery mayo, more creamy than tangy. It’s not a tzatziki sauce. The red sauce is super spicy and made with red peppers. It’s not a harissa sauce and you’ll feel the burn all the way down your throat for an eye-watering adventure that is both delicious and slightly scary. If you’ve ever accepted some ludicrous hot wings dare, this red sauce will be your next big thing. Some locations outside of NYC, including ours, have a barbeque sauce that is more sweet than spicy. For sides, you have four choices: fries, hummus, baba ganouj and falafel. The fries are just fries, golden brown and not at all soggy. The hummus, which is made

JULY 7 - 20, 2017

Dining Out | 5



than freedom.


of ground chickpeas, has a nice garlic flavor. The baba ganouj, which is made of pureed eggplant, has a wonderfully smoky aftertaste. The falafel is crisp on the outside, bright green on the inside and not too dry or crumbly. You can top it all off with a baklava for dessert, jam packed with crushed nuts and dripping delicious honey everywhere, as messy as anything made with layers of filo dough should be.


Every meal I’ve ever had at The Halal Guys, no matter what city, it’s been ready in less than four minutes. They’ve got strong procedures in place and everything moves along in an orderly manner without making customers feel like they are part of a cattle call managed by robots. You can be in and out with a full belly in a half hour. If a half hour is too much, carry it out in five minutes. Or if you absolutely cannot forsake the comfort of your own couch, several online delivery services will pick it up for you, so just check your local preferred apps. The

wrappings are unpretentious, unbranded foil for the sandwiches and the platters come in those generic rounds made of foil with clear plastic tops. The wrapping isn’t microwave safe, but hey, their food is also super delicious when served cold if you’re saving any for later. Do I need to state what “halal” means? Have you heard of “kosher”? These words refer to foods it is acceptable to eat if you’re following Islamic or Jewish law. The acceptability is based upon certain techniques used during animal slaughter. It has no bearing upon the taste of the meat, so feel free to be as oblivious to the meaning as ever. However, I’m happy to point out that although the Buford Highway corridor has long been Atlanta’s goto for diverse foods, it has been lacking in offerings suitable to practicing Muslims. Yes, The Halal Guys is an exceedingly trendy place to grab a bite, but it also welcomes more families to the table.

The Halal Guys is located at 4929 Buford Highway in Chamblee. For more information, visit thehalalguys.com.

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6 | Out & About

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Join us for a complimentary informational luncheon & meet our audiologists

Watch “The Secret Life of Pets” at Briarwood Park Pool. Free admission; concessions available. 2235 Briarwood Way, Brookhaven. Info: 404-637-0542.

11:00 AM – 1:30 PM Tuesday, 7/18 Wednesday, 7/19 Thursday, 7/27

Clairmont/N.Druid Hills area Dunwoody/Sandy Springs area Greensboro/Lake Oconee area

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DIVE IN MOVIE NIGHT Friday, July 14, 8 p.m.



prove health, mood, balance and teamwork. Advance registration required. MJCCA Zaban Park Campus, 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody. Info: 678-812-4025 or Deanne Jacobson at deanne.jacobson@atlantajcc.org.


Saturday, July 15, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Grab your pooch and go for a creek walk, see dogs available for adoption, make doggie art and shop hiking supplies for dogs in this annual event at the Blue Heron Nature Preserve. Snacks for dogs and their humans will be provided. Free. 4055 Roswell Road N.E., Buckhead. Info: 404-946-6394.


Sunday, July 16 to Saturday, July 22

The Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta invites people of all fitness levels to a free week of wellness-related activities and fun fitness challenges with prizes awarded. Open to the community and MJCCA members, this event promotes activities that help im-

IT STARTS IN THE PARK 5K Saturday, July 22, 7:30 a.m.

The city of Brookhaven celebrates National Parks and Recreation Month with its third annual 5K at Blackburn Park featuring chip timing, T-shirts and awards in more than 14 categories. Fees: $30 through July 20; $35 on site. Race begins and ends at Blackburn Park, 3493 Ashford-Dunwoody Road, Brookhaven. Sign up at Big Peach Running Co. or visit itstartsinthepark5k. itsyourrace.com/event.aspx?id=7259. Info: Philip Mitchell at philip.mitchell@brookhavenga.gov.

As a service to our community, Dr. Chaiken will present:

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Out & About | 7




Friday, July 14 to Sunday, Aug. 6

Stage Door Players presents Irving Berlin’s musical “Annie Get Your Gun,” a fictionalized version of the life of Annie Oakley, a sharpshooter who starred in the “Buffalo Bill’s Wild West” shows. North DeKalb Cultural Center, 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Schedule and ticket info: stagedoorplayers.net or 770-396-1726.

Fine Art Museum of Ghana. Adults $5; free for children under 12 and OUMA members, students with Petrel Pass, and members of military and their families. 4484 Peachtree Road N.E., Brookhaven. Info: museum.oglethorpe.edu.


Saturday, July 15, 10 a.m. to noon.

Meet new people, share refreshments and practice conversational English or Spanish skills in the “International Cafe” event at the Brookhaven Library. 1242 N. Druid Hills Road N.E., Brookhaven. Free. Register: 404-508-7190, ext. 2257, or email adultservices@dekalblibrary.org.


Garden expert, writer, radio and television host Walter Reeves answers gardening questions as part of an ongoing series of Georgia Perennial Plant Association talks at the

Saturday, July 15, 7 p.m.

The rock band Thin Ice is up next in this concert series presented by the city of Dunwoody. Picnicking begins at 6 p.m. Craft beers are available for purchase. Free to Nature Center members. Nonmembers: $5 adults, $3 students, free to children 3 and under. 5343 Roberts Drive, Dunwoody. Info: dunwoodynature.org.

HEARTFULNESS MEDITATION Ongoing Saturdays, 10 a.m.

Participants learn how to integrate meditation into daily life and are encouraged to bring journals to record their experiences. Sandy Springs Library, 395 Mount Vernon Highway N.E., Sandy Springs. Info: 404-303-6130.


Monday, July 17, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.


Atlanta History Center. Free. Reservations not required. Light refreshments at 7 p.m. Speakers begin at 7:30 p.m. 130 West Paces Ferry Road N.W., Buckhead. Info: atlantahistorycenter.com.

Volunteers are needed now at the CAC Boutique thrift shop to serve as sorters, pricers and cashiers and help neighbors in need. CAC Boutique, 8607 Roswell Road, Sandy Springs. Info: Debbie at volunteer@ourcac.org.



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Monday, July 10 to Thursday, Aug. 31. Tuesdays through Saturdays, noon to 4 p.m.; closed Sundays and Mondays. Receptions on Saturdays, July 15 and Aug. 19, noon to 4 p.m.

The Dunwoody Fine Art Association will exhibit member artwork in a juried show at the Artists Atelier. Free admission, including receptions. 800 Miami Circle, Suite 200, Buckhead. Info: 404-231-5999.


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

The Oglethorpe University Museum of Art presents an exhibit of quilted works of art by fifth-generation quilt maker Phyllis Stephens, whose work has been exhibited at the

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8 | Commentary

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

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Community Survey / How the iPhone changed our lives June 29 marked the 10th anniversary of Apple’s iPhone, a device that would change many people’s modern lives by putting powerful computers in their pockets. With an iPhone or one of the competing smartphones that quickly followed it, people could search the internet, send email and texts, find themselves on GPS systems and, of course, make phone calls from just about anywhere. Suddenly, any place could become a workplace, drivers didn’t need to find and unfold maps to navigate strange neighborhoods and bar bets easily could be settled. And, of course, smartphones helped propel the popularity of social media and made the word “app” mean something other than the first course of a meal. A decade into the Smartphone Age, our latest 1Q survey – conducted by cellphone, of course – found that residents served by Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta INtown use the devices in all parts of their lives: work, play and staying in touch with friends and family. “I use my phone for so many things and I can’t imagine my daily life without it,” a 24-year-old Atlanta woman responded. “From music, to GPS, to work and personal communications. It’s always by my side! Our most recent 1Q survey found residents of the communities served by Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta INtown use smartphones to work, play

Question: What do you use your smartphone for the most? .5% 10% 4% 3% 1.5%

texting or emailing 101 (50.5%) following Facebook, Twitter or other social media 42 (21.0%)

11% 10%

making phone calls 20 (10.0%)


reading websites for news, sports or other info 15 (7.5%)


Other 22 (11.0%) listening to music 6 (3.0%) 50.5%

playing games 3 (1.5%)

7.5% 7.5%

taking photos or videos 4 (2.0%)



getting GPS map directions 1 (0.5%) other 8 (4.0%)

and stay in touch with family. Slightly more than half of the 200 people who responded said they use a smartphone primarily for texting or emailing and 21 percent said they use their phones to follow social media. Only 10 percent used them primarily to make phone calls. “My smartphone has allowed me to be much more responsive to my clients and my employees. That has dynamically changed the way I do business,” a 53-year-old Buckhead man said. “The other change for me has been the connection with my four teenage children. Using apps such as Snapchat has allowed me to get a sneak peek into their world without being intru-

sive. Snapchat is especially authentic – meaning I will get a Snapchat selfie picture saying hi or love you from one of my daughters and the picture is just a real, not posed or edited selfie.” Others cited the smartphone’s immediate access to information. A 51-year-old Brookhaven man said his had “replaced laptop and newspapers.” Of course, not every change smartphones have made in our daily lives is an improvement. Everybody knows the downside of constantly being in touch. A 33-year-old Brookhaven man called his smartphone “incredibly distracting and hard to disconnect from. “And a 31-year-old Atlanta woman said, “I’m too accessible.”

Office Manager Deborah Davis deborahdavis@reporternewspapers.net

Here’s what some other respondents had to say:

Contributors Kate Awtrey, Robin Conte, Kathy Dean, Collin Kelley, Phil Mosier, Megan Volpert

“Having a mobile work office in a smart phone has changed my life. I talk on my smartphone, but also use it for work emails, texts, creating copy design and blog content for my projects. The convenience of having this one tool allows me greater flexibility and promotes a healthier lifestyle.” --A 58-year-old Sandy Springs woman

Free Home Delivery 60,000 copies of Reporter Newspapers are delivered by carriers to homes in ZIP codes 30305, 30319, 30326, 30327, 30328, 30338, 30342 and 30350 and to more than 500 business/retail locations. For locations, check “Where To Find Us” at www.ReporterNewspapers.net For delivery requests, please email delivery@reporternewspapers.net.

“It has made everything more convenient in my life. It has put the world at my fingertips.” --a 20-year-old Sandy Springs man “I’ve been able to communicate more easily with friends. It’s easier to keep in touch.” --a 31-year-old Atlanta woman

© 2017 with all rights reserved Publisher reserves the right to refuse editorial or advertising for any reason. Publisher assumes no responsibility for information contained in advertising. Any opinions expressed in print or online do not necessarily represent the views of Reporter Newspapers or Springs Publishing, LLC.

“It’s made my photography skills better.” --a 19-year-old Atlanta woman “My life never really shuts off. It’s made me an information hoarder.” -- a 41-year-old Atlanta man “It has allowed me to minimize my dependency on a computer. I am able to manage most of my finances, documents, and other digital assets from my smartphone.” -- a 31-year-old Atlanta man “My smartphone wakes me up in the morning and makes sure I am on time to meetings. It keeps me connected to the world.” -a 24 year-old Atlanta woman

1Q is an Atlanta-based startup that has developed a technology which sends questions and surveys to a cellphone via app or text message from businesses and organizations across the country. Respondents are paid 50 cents per answer, through PayPal, for sharing their opinions. Payments may also be donated directly to charity.

Sign up to be included in our local community polls at 1Q.com/reporter or by texting REPORTER to 86312.

JULY 7 - 20, 2017

Commentary | 9


Mom-daughter shopping is stymied by ‘The Flaw’ My daughter breaks the mold. She cooks and cleans without being asked, she plays catch with her younger brothers and she made it clear through adolescence with nary an incident of “drama.” Plus, she’s kind to animals and small children. But all this goodness comes at a price: She doesn’t like to shop. Signs of The Flaw began to appear around the age of 5. My mother took her shopping and tried to buy her an adorable dress that had been marked down twice. As the story goes, my mother continued to coax her into the dress and finally relented, saying, “Sweetie, if I buy this for you, you won’t wear it, will you?” “No, grandma,” my daughter replied with a shake of her head, “and that will be your punishment.” Your punishment?! My stars, child! Have I taught you nothing about gift horses? Apparently not. I still have to bribe her to buy clothes, even now that she’s grown into a longlegged, model-sized coed. “Here, honey, get this dress, it looks fantastic on you! If you let me buy this for you, I won’t ask you to let me buy anything else for you for the rest of the year! I promise!” It’s no fun at all. Plus, I can’t take her shopping with me — it’s like shopping with a 62-yearold man. She’s kind of a killjoy. “Honey, how do like this dress on me?” “It’s great. How much is it?” “Sweetie, that’s not a question you need to ask. Do you like it?” “When would you wear it?” “You don’t understand clothes shopping at all, do you? How about these pants?” “Don’t you already have black pants?” “Yes, but dear, but that’s not the point.” She doesn’t understand that having only one pair of black pants is like having only owning one Mumford & Son’s

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song. “Little Lion Man” sounds an awful lot like “I Will Wait,” but I still want them both. Robin Conte is a writer Worse than and mother of four that, The Flaw who lives in Dunwoody. stymies her robinjm@earthlink.net. sense of color and fashion. She doesn’t get that she can have the black pumps and the navy slingbacks — they don’t cancel each other out. To make matters more frustrating, she wears a size 8 shoe, that template of shoes, that size that every possible design comes in, so she has a dizzying array of choices, while I on the other hand, who gets all tingly and teary-eyed over a great pair of shoes, wear a size 5. We’ll walk into a DSW, she’ll make a beeline for the sales racks in the back of the store, and there will be rows upon rows of size 8s. I need to stop and eat a small snack by the time I’ve found my way clear of the 8s and into the 7s. Even then, I can only find the size 5s by scouting around until I see a small clump of tiny women huddled over a purple shoe. That’ll be where I discover the quarter of a row that holds a meager two shelves of size 5 shoes (which are mixed together with the 4s and the 5 1/2s by the way) and they are all made of fur. Meanwhile, my daughter has a choice between 13 different styles of tan wedges, and she doesn’t buy any of them. There is no fairness in the world. So, we return home from a typical shopping spree with a pair of size 8 black flats, size 5 zebra-patterned slippers, and my fourth pair of black pants. Then I’ll retire to the den to nurse my headache, and my daughter will get dinner started.

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‘Comfort women’ memorial unveiled; may move soon

Jeff Beal and Cindy “Rodeo” Steedle take a look at the memorial in Blackburn Park II on July 2.


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The memorial came to Brookhaven after the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta backtracked in March from an earlier decision to host it. Since Brookhaven announced its acceptance of the statue a month ago, it has drawn controversy, as the governments of




The controversy

Japan and South Korea disagree on “comfort women” history. That decades-long disagreement of the history has played out in recent months after Moon Jae-in was elected as South Korea’s new president in May and immediately questioned the 2015 agreement with Japan that included an apology from Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to the “comfort women.” At the June 29 Brookhaven City Council meeting, the day before the unveiling, several Japanese-Americans, as well as Tomoko Ohyama, an official at the Japanese consulate in Atlanta, made last-minute requests to the council asking it to reject the statue to avoid discrimination against Japanese people or hostility between Korea and Japan. Comments from Japanese Consul General Takashi “Thomas” Shinozuka in Atlanta about Brookhaven’s “comfort women”

J U LY 2 0 • P G

For weeks, the Brookhaven statue was hidden beneath a plywood box in the center of what the city calls Blackburn Park II, located in the middle of the Brookleigh mixed-use development on Blair Circle. Mayor John Ernst at the unveiling said a memorial to the “comfort women” matches Brookhaven’s battle against sex trafficking in metro Atlanta. “It’s not all about the past. It is about the future. And that’s what these monuments are about,” said Ernst, who noted that as a history major from Emory he sees the importance of remembering the past to recognize present issues. On the first Sunday following the unveiling, Jeff Beal and his wife, Cindy “Rodeo” Steedle, who live in the Brookleigh Flats apartments across the street from the park were, walking their dog and admiring the memorial.

“I love the empty chair beside it that lets you sit there and ponder your own questions and thoughts,” Beal said. “I love what it symbolizes and the support we need to give girls and women.” “I think it’s an incredible honor to have this memorial in Brookhaven,” said Steedle. Also studying the statue was a woman who declined to give her name, but said she was from South Korea and lives in HearthSide Brookleigh, a nearby complex for independent seniors. She said the statue is “history.”

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Continued from page 1



Celebrating at the memorial’s June 30 unveiling were, from left, City Councilmember Linley Jones; Mayor John Ernst; Councilmember Joe Gebbia; Kang Il-chul; Councilmember John Park; and Robert Kwon and Kelly Ahn, members of the Atlanta Comfort Women Memorial Task Force.

memorial – made in a Reporter interview where he denied the women were sexually enslaved and were instead paid prostitutes — also rekindled the international controversy and drew criticism from the South Korean and Chinese governments. Mayor Ernst said the comments were “consistent” with what Shinozuka told him personally in private meetings. “The first time we met, he said some of the women were prostitutes,” Ernst said. “His basic message has been that the Japanese government asked for forgiveness and paid reparations, and this is a done deal.” And neighbors of Blackburn Park II have threatened a lawsuit over the memorial being located there without public input, raising the possibility the statue will be moved elsewhere in the city. Ernst declined to comment and the city has yet to make an official response. “Discussions are ongoing with the city and are very positive. We expect resolution very shortly,” Brad Sapir, a board member of the Reserve at Brookleigh Community Association, said July 5. State Rep. Tom Taylor (R-Dunwoody) also worked behind the scenes to try to convince city officials to back out of accepting the memorial. He said he contacted some members of the City Council – after they had already voted to accept the memorial — on behalf of the Japanese consul general in Atlanta and said he feared the memorial would cause a rift between Japan and Georgia. “I’m looking at this from an econom-


JULY 7 - 20, 2017

Community | 11


took us to China,” Kang said through interpreter Phyllis Kim of the Korean American Forum of California. “I was not able to come back to Korea. I didn’t have means to come back to Korea after the war. Even when I was living in China, I wanted to let people know about this historical issue and what happened to me during the war.” The unveiling of the “comfort women” memorial — the first one located in Georgia and in the Deep South — is to remember a dark time in world history but also to raise awareness of human sexual trafficking that continues today in metro Atlanta and globally, Ernst said. Park, who spearheaded the movement to bring the “comfort women” memorial to Brookhaven, thanked Ernst and fellow council members Linley Jones, Joe Gebbia and Bates Mattison for accepting the statue. When Park found out in March that the memorial had been declined by the Atlanta civil rights museum and no longer had a home, he said, he was disappointed. “Each of us in times of trouble or pain reflexively yearn for home,” he said. We think of our home in our minds, and in our The unveiling hearts and, if possible, travel to the place For the unveiling ceremony, the statue where we feel safe, he said. was covered by a large yellow blanket that In addition to the tragedy of the enwas lifted together by Ernst; City Councilslavement and member John Park; torture the members of the “comfort Atlanta Comfort women” enWomen Memorial dured during Task Force, which WW II was donated the statthe fact that ue to the city; many of them and Kang Il-chu, could not reknown as Grandturn home — ma Kang of South they either Korea, who is one died or were of the remaining killed, did 38 “comfort womnot have the en” survivors. Mayor John Ernst, left, joins others in means to get A heavy downunveiling the memorial on June 30. back home or pour of rain befelt too much shame to return home, even gan falling shortly before the unveiling at though they were the victims, Park said. the end of a ceremony that lasted about an “Our culture should place the blame hour. Many in the crowd of more than 100 on the perpetrators and not the vicattendees had to find shelter under umtims,” he said. brellas or a tent and others were forced The statue itself faced many challenges to simply stand in the rain. Large umbrelin finding a home, Park added. las were held over Grandma Kang as she “But through the struggle to find a pulled the blanket off the statue to a roarhome, we are able to shine a brighter light ing round of applause. on the tragedy of the past,” he said. “I say The park became a muddy mess, but welcome to Brookhaven, welcome home.” the mood of those in attendance was jovial Baik Kyu Kim, founder of the Atlanand celebratory. Numerous Korean and ta Comfort Women Task Force and who Japanese media outlets were also on hand helped raise more than $1 million to doto record the event. Despite the controversy nate the memorial to Brookhaven, said the about the statue, there were no protesters. women were “treated as sex slaves by the Japanese military.” Grandma Kang’s story “This is not about Korea against Japan,” Grandma Kang, 89, shared her story of Kim added, saying that while many victims being made a sex slave by the Japanese milwere from Korea, there were also many itary. In a published testimony she said she girls and women from some 13 Asian-Pawas abducted from her home in South Kocific countries, including China, Thailand rea when she was 14 and shipped to China and the Philippines. on a train with numerous other young girls. “Only by remembering and acknowlShe was unable to return home after the edging the history can we move toward war ended in 1945 and lived most of her life eradicating sexual violence and human in China before moving back to Korea in trafficking in our communities both local 2000, according to the published testimony. and global,” Kim said. “Japanese rounded up many girls and ic development standpoint,” he said. “When we compete for business, we compete with all states.” Taylor said he made that contact in his informal role in the Legislature as a liaison to the international consul community in promoting trade and cultural relations. He is also a member of the Economic Development and Tourism Committee. Taylor also accused members of the Task Force as being “a political group that basically wants to drive a wedge between Japan and Korea.” “This is a small group of Korean-American activists pushing this [memorial] all across Georgia and finally got a city to take the bait,” Taylor said. Helen Ho, paid consultant to the Task Force, was angered by Taylor’s comments. “[Hearing from] trolls is one thing, but Tom Taylor is actually a local elected official, who represents Dunwoody, a very diverse part of our state,” Ho said. “He’s essentially attacking other local civic leaders, and clearly that is troublesome.”





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North Carolina real estate market heats up Whiteside Mountain overlooking the Cashiers Valley

BY KATHY DEAN The entire Highlands-Cashiers Plateau in North Carolina has been drawing people to get away or retire for generations. It’s a beautiful stretch, set in the Nantahala National Forest, with old growth trees meandering around the Blue Ridge Mountains, serene lakes, rushing streams and picturesque waterfalls. Because of the higher elevation, the climate is considerably cooler than Atlanta. It’s easy to understand why many Atlantans head there to find a home, whether for full-time living, weekends, vacations or retirement. And that’s causing real estate in the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau to heat up. “The Highlands-Cashiers market is strengthening since the 2008 adjustment,” said Jody Lovell, Broker/Owner of Highlands Sotheby’s International Realty. “In 2016, the market was up 8 percent in unit sales and 19 percent in volume. So far this year, the market is up 19 percent in unit sales and 12 percent in volume.” The outlook for real estate is very optimistic, she added, as more people appreciate the serenity of the mountains, the culture, activities and fine dining that’s available, as well as the many opportunities to enjoy nature. “Low inventory is not a problem,” Lovell said. “Since inven-

a mountain sanctuary to enjoy with family and friends,” Lovell continued. “The Old Edwards Inn is of the top ten places in the U.S. to have a wedding, according to some reports, and it has attracted younger people to the area.” Bill Gilmore, Provisional Broker, Highlands Cove Realty at Old Edwards Inn, and Realtor with PalmerHouse Properties, reported that in the last year, from June 2016 to June 2017, there have been 582 closings in North Carolina’s Jackson and Macon counties, according to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) statistics. The town of Highlands, a popular mountain destination, is located in Macon County, just past the Georgia and North Carolina border. From Atlanta, it’s only about a two-hour drive to the northeast. Continue another 15 minutes or so, and you’ll reach the village of Cashiers, N.C., set in Jackson County. “We have a strong market. This is a big region geographically and we have something for everyone,” he said. “Between Cashiers and Highlands, you can get the best of both worlds, and it doesn’t have to be expensive to get into the area.” A home in Lonesome Valley, N.C.

tory was stockpiled during the recession, it’s still a buyers’ market, making it a good time to purchase. There are some amazing homes on the market right now.” She pointed to several current listings. There’s a small cabin named The Love Shack, listed at $280,000; a 20-acre horse farm with a 6-bedroom main home, a log cabin guest home and barn with skeet shooting and two large ponds for $2,390,000; and a sophisticated home on a large waterfall at $3,595,000, “…with lots of inventory in between,” said Lovell. Each year, there’s a trickle of buyers who are moving here permanently, she added. Lovell expects to see that number increase, especially as temperatures continue to rise. “There’s a wide diversity of buyers right now, from young couples looking for a small cabin to retirees searching for

A home in Cashiers, N.C.

A townhome in Sapphire, N.C., about eight miles east of Cashiers, recently sold for $43,500. With the walkability trend, however, in-town properties cost more and sell fast. As an example of the difference, Gilmore said that the recent purchase price for an in-town Highlands townhome was $1,122,000. But there are more options for people wanting the convenience of a walkable lifestyle. “Cottage Walk is a new construction, in-town community in Cashiers that still has inventory available,” he said. Gilmore also noted that the rental market is especially hot, and allows potential homeowners to try before they buy. “During the first six months of 2017 the real estate market has been an interesting ride, and has emphasized the uniqueness of our area,” said Kenneth Taft, Broker-InCharge/General Manager of Landmark Continued on Page 14


Special Section | 13

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Cashiers Valley

Continued from page 12 Realty Group. “We’ve enjoyed good, stable activity. A total of 270 homes and properties have sold during the first half of 2017, which is up 23 percent from the same time last year.” Taft explained that Highlands-Cashiers prices, inventory and activity have remained strong and consistent. Since it’s a resort community, specializing in the second home market, there is definitely enough inventory to meet the demand, he said. “The Highlands-Cashiers Plateau is truly one of the premier vacation spots on the east coast,” Taft added. “Like any resort and second home market, the people who typically buy here are those who have visited before and fell in love with the area. They want to have a ‘home base’ here, whether they’re using it as a weekend getaway, dur-

ing the summer or as an investment until they can retire here full time.” When it comes to what’s a hot property, Taft said that it entirely depends on what people like to do. For golfers, there are several desirable neighborhoods that surround award-winning courses such as Wade Hampton, Mountaintop and Wildcat Cliffs. “If the buyer prefers water sports, they’ll focus on properties near Lake Glenville or Lake Toxaway,” he explained. “If they just want to get out and enjoy the great outdoors, they may want to live in a community such as Whiteside Cove or Lonesome Valley. We have a wide variety of properties to choose from.” Susie deVille, Owner/Broker-in-Charge, White Oak Realty Group, also sees an exceeding strong market in Highlands-Cashiers. “Demand for properties across all

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price points is high, with walk-to-town properties of particular interest,” she said. “Highlands’ lively shopping, dining, cultural activities and evening entertainment options are abundant and are driving the desire for properties with proximity to Main Street.” There is a shortage in new construction, according to deVille, and a high demand for homes within walking distance to town. “We have a younger demographic than has historically been the case for our market, with the average age of more than half of my buyers under 50 years old,” she said. “More and more, wealthy investors under 50 are purchasing their retirement properties now.” She added that in many cases, these properties are income producing and serve as wonderful vehicles for offsetting ownership costs. Many investors come from the

Boathouse at Loneseome Valley

Atlanta metro region, and given the proximity to Highlands, they enjoy their properties nearly every weekend. Some even find creative ways to telecommute during the week, deVille said. “Overall, the real estate market in Highlands-Cashiers is continuing to improve, with varying performance levels within different communities,” said Thomas Bates, Development Planning and Sales, Lonesome Valley. He reported that following three consecutive years of strong sales, Lonesome Valley is experiencing its best first two quarters this year. A residential mountain farm community, Lonesome Valley is located about five minutes by car northeast of Cashiers. The community features extensive hiking trails, fly fishing in streams and ponds, lake activities, rock climbing, fine dining and a day spa.


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A dramatic setting for a Highlands’ home.

“At Lonesome Valley, we’re seeing a lot of families who are investing in a simpler life in the mountains, without an overabundance of amenities and a stronger connection with the natural world,” he said. Taft summed up the state of real estate opportunities in Highlands-Cashiers. “While still considered a buyers’ market here, new owners in Highlands-Cashiers can feel confident that they’re buying into an area that has great amenities, upscale dining and shopping, and outdoor activities,” he said.

The question of inventory is more about quality than quantity, Bates explained. “There are a lot of older homes currently on the market, but folks typically are looking for something fresher and newer. New construction is rebounding and builders are very busy again.” Bates said that he primarily sees second home buyers with a multi-generational ‘family investment’ in mind. Most of the buyers are purchasing homes for their immediate family’s use, with plans to spend the majority of their eventual retirement there.

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Eclipse Watching

Head north to check out the solar eclipse on Aug. 21 BY COLLIN KELLEY On Aug. 21, a large swath of America will be treated to a rare phenomenon: a total solar eclipse. While partial views will be available in Atlanta, if you want to be in the path of totality then head to North Georgia, North Carolina or South Carolina. The centerline for the eclipse will touch the northeastern corner of Georgia around 2:35 p.m. Some of the picturesque places to see the full solar phenomenon are in Clayton, Toccoa and Black Rock Mountain State Park.

In North Carolina, you’ll have part of the Great Smokey Mountains National Park as a dramatic landscape for the eclipse. Some of the cities in the path are Bryson City, Murphy, Andrews, Franklin and Santeetlah Lake. A big swath of South Carolina will see the eclipse, but one of the best places will be the city of Greenville, which lies in the path of totality. The downtown area has cool shops, restaurants and the lovely Falls Park on the Reedy River. The last time all of North America witnessed a solar eclipse was 99 years

ago, so grab your eclipse glasses and head north. Hotels and rentals are already filling up, so if you’re planning to make a long weekend of it, better book now.


A total eclipse will cover a swath across North America on Aug. 21, including portions of North Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.

Special Section | 17

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The Highlands Connection

Mountain lifestyle offers activities, arts and more BY KATHY DEAN It’s no mystery why people choose to live or vacation on the Highlands-Cashier Plateau. For one thing, there are the cooler temperatures. With its elevation of 4,118 feet above sea level, the town of Highlands generally runs about 15 degrees cooler than Atlanta, which has an elevation of just over 1,000 feet. The village of Cashiers, at an elevation of 3,484, is normally about 10 degrees cooler than Atlanta. Then there’s the peace and quiet. A home in the mountains brings images of relaxation and natural beauty. It’s a perfect get-away to refresh and recharge, whether by sitting and taking in the breathtaking landscapes, or by getting active — hiking along the forested Blue Ridge Mountain paths, fishing in the sparkling rivers or taking the boat out on the lake. Getting away from it all sounds great, but some may worry that there’s a cost to it, like losing luxury or their connection with the outside world. On the HighlandsCashiers Plateau, that’s certainly not the case. “For generations of well-to-do Southerners, the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau has been an escape — from the heat, from the bugs, from the noise, from the crowds, from responsibilities — but most of the time, that meant leaving the luxuries of life behind in the city,” said Jack Austin, General Manager of Old Edwards Inn & Spa. Today, Old Edwards Inn, located in Highlands, provides a place in the mountains where visitors can spoil themselves with award-winning food and wine, a nationally ranked spa, world-class golf and sumptuous amenities, he said. Austin shared his favorite way to relax at Old Edwards Inn. “Nothing beats a soak in the spa’s whirlpool, followed by an 80-minute massage, and then a cup of herb-

al tea in the solarium,” he said. “Letting myself drift off for a nap in one of the sumptuous chaises is true luxury, but I’m tempted to get up for a light bite in the Wine Garden. My favorite table is right by the waterfall. It’s like a calm eddy off the stream of foot traffic on Main Street just yards away.” According to Bill Gilmore, Provisional Broker, Highlands Cove Realty at Old Edwards Inn and Realtor with PalmerHouse Properties, Main Street in Highlands is uber charming, with its churches, small grocery stores and walkable shops and restaurants. “It’s like something out of Mayberry R.F.D.,” he said. “It’s a place where parents can comfortably allow their teens to shop or eat on their own.” Depending on what people are looking for, there are plenty of choices, Gilmore added. “For unparalleled luxury, you can’t do better than a stay at the Old Edwards Inn,” he said. “But if you’re looking for a pet-friendly hotel, there’s the Main Street Inn.” Also in Highlands, Main Street Inn offers quaint rooms, many with private balconies. For those concerned that the mountains might cut them off from civilization, Gilmore noted that communication in the area is top notch, with internet and cell service so reliable that busy executives can easily work from Highlands-Cashiers. “The Cashiers Area offers a casually-sophisticated visitor and lifestyle experience ranging from spectacular outdoor recreation, like world-class hiking, fly fishing, golf/tennis/croquet, rock climbing, to refined dining and handcrafted cocktails,” said Stephanie Edwards, Executive Director at Cashiers Area Chamber of Commerce. “And our growing arts and cultural scene includes music and live theater.” She added that award-winning chef Jo-

hannes Klapdohr opened the Library Kitchen & Bar restaurant earlier this year, a wonderful complement to celebrated Chef Adam Hayes’ Canyon Kitchen culiOld Edwards Inn & Spa in Highlands nary experience. The Cashiers area tion & Creativity Institute, Highlands-Cais also anticipating the launch of a homeshiers attracts interesting people of many town brewery and more boutiques for backgrounds, education levels and intertheir ‘cottage shopping’ experience. ests. “Our town tends to attract awesome Edwards noted that this year, the Capeople,” she said. “They come here and shiers Historical Society will celebrate the want to relax, but they also want to con20th anniversary of its annual Cashiers Denect with the community, even if it’s just signer Showhouse fundraiser, which will for a weekend or a month.” be held Aug. 12 to 27. It will feature many of The community is welcoming and there the best interior decorators and designers are many ways to plug into it, deVille addin the Southeast who will work their magic ed. For example, there’s the Highlands on three new houses. The featured homes Playhouse, an intimate theater that showwill be in the new Cottage Walk communicases Broadway musicals and regular film ty on Burns Street in Cashiers. events, and The Bascom, a visual arts cen“There’s a strong emphasis on outdoor ter in Highlands that invites seasonal and activities here in the mountains, but if year-round residents to volunteer. The Basyou’re not the outdoorsy type, there’s still com hosts exhibitions, education and artist plenty to do while you’re here,” said Kenresidency programs. neth Taft, Broker-In-Charge/General Man“People think it’s a tiny place, and it is ager of Landmark Realty Group. “There’s cozy, but we have a hospital, performing an abundance of cultural events such as arts, chamber music festival and other culplays and concerts. There are also luxuritural offerings that are astounding for a ous spas in which to indulge, and classes to place with four stoplights,” said deVille. take to explore a new hobby.” While the mountains provide a cool reNo matter what you like to do, Taft said spite from summer heat, they’re also worth that you’ll be sure to meet plenty of nice a visit in colder weather. “In recent years, people from all over the world who come we’ve seen a rise in the number of folks here for the same reasons — to relax and who choose to come back for Thanksde-stress from their everyday lives. “And giving, to spend their holiday here in the that’s what makes this area so special — mountains,” said Taft. “Christmas tree the people who come here,” he said. farms are a large industry here, so there According to Susie deVille, Owner/Broare a lot places where people can choose ker-in-Charge, White Oak Realty Group and cut their own tree, which appeals to and President and Founder of the Innovaresidents and visitors alike.”

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Special Section | 19

JULY 7 - 20, 2017 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net


Appalachian Cool

Jackson County, N.C. has much to offer homeowners, vacationers

Downtown Sylva, N.C.

If you’re headed to the mountains this summer or fall, make sure to add Jackson County, NC to your list of must-visit places. Located only a few hours from Atlanta, it’s perfect for outdoor enthusiasts to explore a variety of landscapes ranging from picturesque peaks, rolling valleys, cascading waterfalls and winding rivers. There’s also Panthertown Valley, which has 6,295 acres of Nantahala National Forest lands with more than 30 miles of hiking, biking and multi-use trails. Known as the “Yosemite of the East” the backcountry trails wander through a pristine section of the southern Appalachian Mountains, and lead to over a dozen waterfalls in the valley. After a hike, cool down and take in the beauty of one of Jackson County’s many waterfalls. Visitors can discover more than two-dozen waterfalls in the area ranging from cascading falls, to gentle flows, all which make for one-of-a-kind photo opportunities. Tucked away in the area’s unique landscape, these waterfalls ebb and flow with stunning, rushing water. Whitewater Falls, one of the highest east of the Rockies, Courthouse Falls and High Falls are just a

Photo by Nick Breedlove

few that guests to the area shouldn’t miss. For a beach feel with a mountain view, visit Lake Glenville, one of the country’s highest lakes, for water activities or just to lounge on the sand-filled beach. There’s also plenty of good food and drinks in the area. Jackson County’s Ale Trail features a variety of breweries along the easily walkable, one-mile route in Sylva. The trail consists of three, unique breweries offering beers for all palates: The Sneak E Squirrel, Heinzelmännchen Brewery and Innovation Brewing. The Ale Trail will also welcome a fourth member this summer with Balsam Falls Brewing, which will have 16 to 20 beers on tap in a rotating selection. Local restaurants make as much of a lasting impression as the towering mountainscapes. In Cashiers, restaurants feature pretty porches, apple orchards and country dining. Cornucopia is consistently named as one of the best porches in Cashiers. Award-winning chef Adam Hayes offers farm-to-table specialties at Canyon Continued on Page 20

reasons to visit the WNC mountains: 1. Outdoor activities for the whole family 2. See nature’s majesty 3. Reconnect with loved ones

There are HUNDREDS of ways to enjoy the mountains of Western North Carolina; we just can’t fit them all into one ad! Come to the mountains and discover your own reason to keep coming back. There’s space for the whole family or for just the two of you. Contact Landmark Vacation Rentals today to explore vacation and seasonal rentals in Cashiers, Highlands, Lake Glenville, Lake Toxaway, Sapphire Valley, and Burlingame!



TOLL FREE: 877-747-9234 17 Highway 64, Cashiers, NC 28717 REAL ESTATE SALES: www.LandmarkRG.com

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The Lake at High Hampton Inn

High Falls

Continued from page 19 Kitchen in Sapphire. One of the most popular spots in Sylva is Lulu’s on Main. Guadalupe Café offers Caribbean-inspired fusion, a diverse selection of wines from Spain and

Latin-America and micro-brewed beers. The county’s newest restaurant, The Library, offers both an artistic vibe not only in the food, but in the eclectic décor. Special for summer travelers is the opportunity to experience a musical


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Public Safety | 23


Police Blotter / Brookhaven From Brookhaven police reports dated June 21 through June 27. The following information was pulled from Brookhaven’s Police-2-Citizen website.

POSSESSION AND DUI 2100 block of Johnson Ferry Road —

On June 24, in the early morning, a man was arrested and accused of marijuana possession.


3700 block of Buford Highway — On

June 22, in the afternoon, a man was arrested and accused of driving with a suspended license. 3900 block of Peachtree Road — On

June 22, in the afternoon, a man was arrested and accused of operating his car without a tag. 500 block of Brookhaven Avenue —

June 21, a theft was reported.

On June 24, in the early morning, a man was arrested and accused of using a fake ID.

1900 block of North Druid Hills Road

Clairmont Road — On June 24, in the

3600 block of Ashcroft Bend— On

— On June 21, in the morning, four entering auto incidents were reported to police. 1400 block of Brookhaven Trace —

On June 21, in the morning, an entering auto call was reported. 2400 block of Briarcliff Road — On

June 27, a man was arrested and accused of theft by taking.

A S S AU LT 100 block of Executive Park Drive —

On June 26, in the evening, a woman was arrested and accused of simple battery.

ARRESTS 1200 block of Standard Drive — On

June 21, in the morning, a man was arrested and accused of driving without a license. 2200 block of North Druid Hills Road

— On June 22, in the early morning, a man was arrested and accused of driving with a suspended license.

early morning, a woman was arrested and accused of following too closely.


Saturdays 8 am to 2 pm

100 block of Town Boulevard — On

June 24, in the afternoon, a woman was arrested and accused of reckless driving. 2100 block of North Druid Hills Road

— On June 24, in the evening, a man was arrested and accused of driving without working brake lights. 1200 block of Lincoln Court Avenue —

On June 27, after midnight, a man was arrested and accused of driving without insurance.

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100 block of Highland Lake Circle —

On June 27, around noon, a man was arrested and accused of murder. 3600 block of Clairmont Road — On

June 27, in the afternoon, a woman was arrested and accused of driving without a license. 2600 block of Osborne Road — On

June 27, at night, a man was arrested and accused of driving without a license.

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