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JULY 8 - JULY 21, 2016 • VOL. 10— NO. 14

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Mayor: Employers must help fix traffic problems BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

We can’t wait for the show! Maci Kate Wix, 2, left, and her sister Elleigh Rae, 4, get ready to play a little Frisbee while awaiting the fireworks show at the Sandy Springs’ Stars and Stripes Celebration on the Concourse Corporate Center lawn July 3.

MAKING A DIFFERENCE A volunteer ‘legend’

Page 5

The local neighborhood parties we held, especially the streetside one at Mystic Place and Roswell Road, with our coolers nearby, frantically waving our American flags, as our neighbor ran by with the Olympic torch.

OUT & ABOUT Turtle Tours

See MAYOR on page 15

Is the ‘Sandy Springs model’ of government changing? BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

Since its founding in 2005, Sandy Springs has drawn national notice for outsourcing most city government operations to competitively bidding private contractors. But last month, the city approved three-year, no-bid contract extensions due to fears of government disruption during a planning and development boom. The City Council approved the nobid extensions only after voicing caution about not shifting to an “in-house,” public-

Karen Meinzen McEnerny See more Olympic memories in COMMENTARY Page 13

PHIL MOSIER

Cobb County’s plan to divert future Braves stadium traffic onto Northside Drive was blasted as a “nightmare” by the Sandy Springs City Council at its June 21 meeting. But adding behind-the-scenes fuel to the fire was the plan’s lack of any of five traffic fixes the city has suggested for nearly two years. And the stadium was just one of two plans the council slammed the brakes on that night due to traffic concerns. The council effectively declared a parking-garage moratorium in the Pill Hill medical center out of frustration that no traffic master plan has emerged eight months after the city demanded one.

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See CONTRACTS on page 18


2 | Community

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Local ‘task force’ seeks better information on Hammond widening BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

Dirty cobwebs cover the front door of the house at 521 Hammond Drive. A neon-yellow code enforcement notice on the garage, dating back to April, cites the property for an untidy yard. In this case, the city was citing itself, because 521 Hammond is one of two houses the city recently purchased as placeholders for a possible road-widening project. The controversial widening likely would be a decade away, if it happens at all, and the future of the city-purchased homes remains in question. The Glenridge Hammond Neighborhood Association is forming a volunteer “task force” to gather information about the city’s plans and a project timeline, said association president Steve Oppenheimer. “Consistent with everything else, they’ve been inconsistent,” Oppenheimer said of the city’s ideas for the houses, noting officials have proposed various immediate tear-downs, demolitions at some later date, or rentals to police officers and firefighters as affordable housing. In the

meantime, he said, “it looks so ghetto” to have vacant houses. The city is “in the process of working on updates” on the policy for what to do with the houses it buys and on a timeline for the widen-

ing project, said city spokesperson Sharon Kraun. Meanwhile, the city’s fiscal year 2017 budget earmarks $3 million to buy more Hammond properties. On June 21, when it approved the

PHOTOS BY JOHN RUCH

Above, the city of Sandy Springs purchased the home at 521 Hammond Drive as a “placeholder” for a possible road-widening project. Left, a codeenforcement notice on the garage of 521 Hammond Drive for an untidy yard. Facing page, the city also purchased 550 Hammond Drive, a rental property. So far, the city has bought four homes, for a total of nearly $1.6 million.

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JULY 8 - JULY 21, 2016

budget, Sandy Springs City Council also approved buying another house, at 550 Hammond, a rental whose residents will be evicted by July 31, city officials said. At the June 21 meeting, resident Erik Boemanns criticized the purchases, saying the “city should not be a land speculator.” Oppenheimer submitted a letter calling for the $3 million earmark to be redirected from Hammond property purchases to creating an “Office of the City Ombudsman” to investigate residents’ complaints. Some city officials have long proposed widening Hammond between Roswell Road and Glenridge Drive, the only remaining two-lane section of the street. The idea recently was revived and the city has placed design and land acquisition—but not actual construction—in a transportation sales tax project list that will be on the November ballot. The city says it has not decided to do the widening yet, but is making “protective buys” of property now so

it won’t be gouged later if the project happens. So far, it has purchased four properties—two that were vacant or were sites for new houses in early construction, and two with existing houses—for a total of nearly $1.6 million. The neighborhood association complains that although no study has proved the need for widening Hammond, the plan keeps moving forward through unannounced moves such as the property purchases and the sales tax project list. Oppenheimer said a group of neighborhood association volunteers soon will form the “task force” to stay in contact with the city for up-to-date widening project information and avoid “getting blindsided at every single public meeting.” Pending the results of the eventual project study, Oppenheimer said, “we may not oppose improvements to Hammond Drive. “But right now,” he said, “it’s a pig in a poke.”

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Community | 3

www.ReporterNewspapers.net

How close is The Piedmont? You can almost reach it in two. Okay, maybe not quite. But The Piedmont at Buckhead Senior Living Community is still tantalizingly close to North Fulton Golf Course. It’s just 6,512 yards away—a dogleg northwest, if you will. And with its spectacular views and amenities straight out of a resort you can bet your 5-iron it’ll feel like home. And assisted living services are always available if needed. We invite you to see for yourself at a complimentary lunch and tour. Please call 404.381.1743 to schedule.

Music Under the Stars! Tuesday, July 19th • 7-9pm Enjoy delicious desserts and music by John Martin, classically-trained acoustic guitarist. Please RSVP to 404.381.1743.

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4 | Community

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CARPENTER DRIVE REALIGNMENT MOVES AHEAD

Sandy Springs City Council approved a $103.6 million fiscal year 2017 budget at its June 21 meeting. The budget is the city’s first since the 2008 economic crash to project more than $100 million in spending.

The realignment of Carpenter Drive’s intersection with Roswell Road likely will begin later this year after the City Council approved a $1.78 million bid on June 21. The project will make the north end of U-shaped Carpenter Drive align with Cliftwood Drive on the opposite side of Roswell Road, eliminating a large and confusing stretch of asphalt. Precision 2000, Inc., won the bid. The company is currently doing the adjacent streetscape project on Roswell Road between Cliftwood and Hammond drives. Late last year, the city alarmed residents with a construction plan to shut Carpenter for six months. That was revised to six weekends of closures, which will still involve long detours as well as construction of a retaining wall that significantly increased the project’s cost. The city’s estimated budget for the project was about $1.38 million.

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The city’s “Next Ten” planning process has two big updates on MARTA station areas and the new Comprehensive Plan coming later in July. A July 18 meeting will focus on the “Small Area Plan” for the existing North Springs and possible Northridge MARTA station areas, as a follow-up to an initial meeting in March. A July 20 meeting will give an update on the revision of the Comp Plan, a land-use guide and also present draft concepts for all the Small Area Plans. Those Small Area Plans also include Roswell Road, Perimeter Center and Powers Ferry Landing. Both meetings run 6 to 8 p.m. at Heritage Sandy Springs, 6110 Blue Stone Road. The July 20 meeting will include food from the Varsity and King of Pops. For more details, see thenext10.org.

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ALCO H O L IC BEV ERAG E M AKERS WELCO M ED BY Z O NING CH ANG E Small-scale producers of beer, liquor and wine can do business in Sandy Springs under zoning code changes approved by the City Council June 21. Micro-breweries, micro-distilleries and “farm wineries” under 20,000 square feet can now do business in commercial and mixed-use zoning districts. City Councilmember Gabriel Sterling said it’s important to “throw open the doors” to this type of “cool” business, which can be a tourism draw. In addition to the micro-producers, large-scale producers can do business under a use permit in the city’s manufacturing zones. Resident Tochie Blad said the change should wait for the city’s upcoming full rewrite of its zoning code and needs more review of possible brewing-related odors in mixed-use projects. But Sterling and Mayor Rusty Paul said that existing laws cover such nuisances, and breweries are equipped to deal with odors.

I M PA C T FEES C O UL D R A I S E O V ER $3 0 0 M I L L I O N FO R C IT Y P R O JEC TS Higher impact fees on developments could bring in more than $300 million for city projects through the year 2040, a consultant told City Council on June 21. Impact fees are intended to offset the increased costs the city pays to support new developments with services like policing or infrastructure like roads and sidewalks. The city has not revised its impact fees since 2008 and officials say they are generally far lower than in neighboring cities. SS


JULY 8 - JULY 21, 2016

Making a Difference | 5

www.ReporterNewspapers.net

A volunteer ‘legend’

YOU QUIT SMOKING FOR YOUR HEALTH. GET A LUNG SCREENING FOR THE SAME REASON. PHOTOS BY JAMES BEAMAN

At Ronald McDonald House, Evan Blankenship, 7, plays on a donated teddy bear that volunteer Tom Umstead secured from Costco.

BY JAMES BEAMAN jamesb@reporternewspapers.net

Tom Umstead is the type of person who can turn a newspaper’s photo op into an opportunity for charitable giving. That’s exactly what he did one recent morning. Umstead visited the Ronald McDonald House near Scottish Rite to have his portrait made to run with this article. Instead of showing up wearing nice clothes and primped for a picture, he appeared wearing a T-shirt and with his car’s trunk full of food, flowers and baby-care items he’d collected for the charity. Umstead, or “Mr. Tom” to those that know him, isn’t your typical part-time community volunteer. At age 82, he gives his time to several local charities and says he’s involved in one volunteer job or another seven days a week. “I’m living an unbelievable life,” said Umstead. “Over the years I’ve built so many great relationships.” The Dorothy C. Benson Senior Multipurpose Complex in Sandy Springs reports he logged more than 5,000 hours of volunteer time from 2010 to 2015 at their facility alone. “He’s a volunteer legend,” Benson employee Bane Stojanovic said. Umstead now volunteers at the Benson Center at least three days a week, at Scottish Rite children’s hospital and the Ronald McDonald Houses on other days, and still finds time to deliver donated food to missions and soup kitchens. “He’s amazing,” said Marissa Greider, director of development at the Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities. “Out of all our volunteers, he is the most regular and frequent. He has developed great bonds with staff and other volunteers.” “What’s so incredible is that he came up with it himself,” Greider said. “Mr. Tom doesn’t look for appreciation. He does it because he finds gratification.” Ronald McDonald House Charities builds facilities that house fami-

lies with children who are receiving medical care. The facilities provide family members with a comfortable place to stay near the hospitals where children are receiving treatment. Metro Atlanta is home to two of the 356 Ronald McDonald Houses around the world. Umstead says the Ronald McDonald houses are special to him. “I love children,” he said. “If I ever have a down day, I can go and be happy real quick. I get so much more out of them than they can get out of me. ... I’m just an old guy. You see them smile. They don’t expect anything. They just want you to play with them.” About 15 years ago, Umstead started collecting extra food from a Publix grocery store and delivering it to the Ronald McDonald houses. At first he was just gathering the day-old bread, rolls, doughnuts and muffins that would have been thrown away. Then, the store started giving him more and more food and eventually flowers. Not long after that, Costco, Kroger and Trader Joe’s joined in, providing Umstead with enough goods to deliver donations seven days a week. Around the same time, Umstead and his wife, Lucrecia, began spending time with children at the Ronald McDonald Houses. She would read to the kids while Umstead would get down to the ground and play with them. “I do arts and crafts. I play. Unfortunately I’m not good at the Nintendo Wii games,” Umstead said. “I tell them I’m trying.” Other Umstead family members are involved with local charities. The Umsteads’ daughter, Lee, works at the Ronald McDonald House. Their oldest son, who is also named Tom, helps Umstead deliver contributions.

Making A Difference

Tom Umstead, left, receives donations of food and flowers and delivers all to local charities.

If you are a smoker or even stopped smoking, it’s time to get a lung screening. A screening can help detect lung cancer early when there are more treatment options and a higher chance of survival. Northside Hospital Cancer Institute offers a low dose CT screening if you’re 55 – 77 years old and a current or previous smoker. It’s quick and easy and could save your life. For information call 404-531-4444 or visit northside.com/lung

Where the Extraordinary Happens Every Day


6 | Education

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Editor’s note: Through our “Exceptional Educator” series, Reporter Newspapers is showcasing the work of some outstanding teachers and administrators at our local schools. If you would like to recommend an Exceptional Educator, please email editor@ReporterNewspapers.net.

answers to our questions about teaching. To see a complete version, go to ReporterNewspapers.net. Q: Has the appeal of teacher changed since you started? A: Yes and no. The joy and the challenge of connecting with each individual student is always fresh and new, but years of experience have deepened my love of teaching because I am always trying to improve and experiment with new approaches. I have learned to make mistakes and try again. I have loved honing my skills and passion in a wide variety of educational institutions, public and private.

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Education | 7

JULY 8 - JULY 21, 2016 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net At Galloway, we aspire to teach language, not “about” language, so I am constantly brainstorming ways to have students experience life outside of the classroom in French. In the past two years, we have collaborated with the Théâtre du Rêve, a French-language professional theater company, on a workshop based on the Canadian graphic novel, “Jane, le renard et moi,” as well as with Lyonnaise Chef Adeline Borra (MaCuisinebyAdeline.com), on an immersive culinary workshop focused on French classics from Adeline’s childhood... Last fall, we had the incredible opportunity to welcome Ruth Hartz to our campus to share with my students her experiences as an “enfant caché,” a hidden child, during the Nazi occupation of France during World War II. Hands-on, authentic, interactive activities are certainly part of the recipe of what makes a great teacher, plus a sense of humor, a lot of ambition, compassion and coffee. Q: What do you want to see in your students? A: I tell my kids that French is not a subject you are taking, but part of the person they are becoming. I expect to see zest and “joie de vivre” in their lives and in their learning. When they run in to tell me about a French movie that they just watched and loved on Netflix, or they

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bring their guitar to play a new Stromae song that they have learned, or they send me a photo of their bûche de Noël, or they recount bumping into a French family at the airport and having a conversation — that makes my heart sing. Q: How do you engage your students? A: One thing that is important to me is to really know them personally -to watch them play soccer, perform at a dance recital or theater production. Knowing someone believes in me makes me work harder too. Secondly, I like to share stories with them — about backpacking through Europe, learning to wind-surf while living with a French family in La Rochelle, and traveling through West Africa for the International Trade Administration — so that they can catch a vision for the wonderful ways that becoming communicative and proficient in French can open doors for them. Finally, encouraging them to use all of their senses and resources to express themselves in French — food, lots of food, music, sports, current events, theater, film — as they cultivate their personal passions, I want them to infuse it all with the beauty of the French language. Q: Do you have a project or special program you use year after year?

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A: One project that students universally love and remember from year to year is our “Fromagerie” in French 3. Each student learns the provenance, the characteristics, the accompaniments of one well-known French cheese — there are over 300 to choose from. After immersing ourselves in the geography and the history and the trends related to these cheeses, students host a cheese market for other students to come taste, while they share their complex understanding and insights. Q: Is there a “trick” that works to get students involved? A: One of my very respected colleagues says, “Students learn best when they are drawn into learning rather than pushed.” Giving students ownership over their projects allows them the dignity and the motivation to surpass

any expectations I could set for them. It is a risky approach, but with trust between student and teacher, the results amaze me. Q: What do you hope your students take away from your class? A: Each student will take away something unique based on the influences that are at play in their lives at the moment, whether it is a deeper compassion for the world that they gained through learning about the enormous scope of the French-speaking or Francophone world, or a curiosity to travel and go and see more of the beauty the world has to offer when you are bilingual. Ultimately, I hope that they can see themselves a little more clearly and they are equipped with the selfconfidence to take risks in learning, growing and living.


8 | Out & About

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BUCKHEAD

PERFORMING ARTS “URINETOWN” Thursday, July 14, 8 p.m. The Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta announces its 7th annual Teen Summer Stock production, “Urinetown: The Musical,” a show about greed, love and revolution in a time when water is worth its weight in gold. Tickets, $15-$28. Additional shows: Saturday, July 16, 8:30 p.m., Sunday, July 17, 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Morris & Rae Frank Theatre, 5342 Tilly Mill Rd., Dunwoody, 30338. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 678-812-4002 or visit: atlantajcc. org/boxoffice.

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Revolution. Workshops include an overview of the war, medicine and health, documents, and a “please-touch” display of artifacts. Free and open to all. Dr. Marty Moran, retired physician, opens the series with a discussion of medicine and health. Additional lectures on Tuesday, July 19 and July 26. RSVP by emailing: mswindell@heritagesandysprings.org or calling 404-851-9111 x2. Community Room, Heritage Sandy Springs, 6110 Bluestone Rd., Sandy Springs, 30328.

FAMILY DNA Tuesday, July 19, 11 a.m.-12 p.m. Parents and children engage in hands-on activities to learn how DNA makes us unique. Geared for those ages 5 & up. Free and open to everyone. Registration required by emailing: leah. germon@fultoncountyga.gov. Sandy Springs Branch Library, 395 Mount Vernon Highway, Sandy Springs, 30328. Call 404-303-6130 to learn more.

DELECTABLE PLANTS

CHAMBER MUSIC Thursday, July 21, 11 a.m.-12 p.m. Come hear classical tunes played by the Franklin Pond Chamber Music at the Sandy Springs Branch Library. Free and open to the community. Suitable for all ages. No sign up required. 395 Mount Vernon Highway, Sandy Springs, 30328. Call 404-303-6130 or email: leah.germon@fultoncountyga.gov for further details.

Tuesday, July 19, 7-9 p.m. The Georgia Perennial Plant Association presents, “Fine Gardening Meets Fine Dining: Delectable Woody Plants for the Home Landscape.” Learn how to use interesting and edible woody plants in the landscape, as well as in the kitchen. Free and open to the public. For adults. Atlanta History Center, 130 West Paces Ferry Rd., NW, Atlanta, 30305. For more information, call 770-4397112 or visit: atlantahistorycenter.com.

LET’S LEARN! FOOD PRESERVATION Monday, July 11, 6-7:30 p.m. Want to preserve food through canning, freezing and drying methods for the first time? Or have a refresher on basic preservation supplies, recipes and the science of why it is important to properly preserve food? Free and open to the public. For adults. Sandy Springs Branch Library, 395 Mount Vernon Highway, Sandy Springs, 30328. Call 404-303-6130 or email: comments@co.fulton.ga.us for information.

HEART HEALTH Wednesday, July 20, 1:30-2:30 p.m. Youngsters are introduced to the basic anatomy and function of the mammalian heart and the circulatory system. Appropriate for ages 8 & up. Free. Open to the community. Registration required by emailing: leah.germon@fultoncountyga.gov. Sandy Springs Branch Library, 395 Mount Vernon Highway, Sandy Springs, 30328. Call 404-303-6130 for further details.

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Sunday, July 24, 3:30-5:30 p.m. Join edible and native plant specialist Robby Astrove for a presentation about food forestry and edible landscapes. Learn about local organizations involved in fruit recovery and mapping, and hear about the power of fruit trees to feed, teach and inspire communities. Hosted by the Atlanta Audubon Society. Free and open to the public. 5 Seasons Brewery, 5600 Roswell Rd., NE, #21, Sandy Springs, 30328. Learn more: atlantaaudubon.org.

Tuesday, July 12, 6:30-7:30 p.m. To commemorate the 240th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Heritage Sandy Springs presents a threepart lecture seSUBMIT YOUR EVENT LISTING WITH US AT ries on the history of the American calendar@ReporterNewspapers.net


JULY 8 - JULY 21, 2016

Out & About | 9

www.ReporterNewspapers.net

COMMUNITY

SAFETY TALES Tuesday, July 12, 11 a.m.-12 p.m. Mumferd learns different ways to stay safe in the water, but finds out that the best way is to go swimming with an adult. Free. For children ages 3 and up. No registration required. All are invited to attend. Sandy Springs Branch Library, 395 Mount Vernon Highway, Sandy Springs, 30328. Email: leah.germon@fultoncountyga. gov or call 404-303-6130 with questions.

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Tuesday, July 19, 11 a.m.-12 p.m. Storyteller Jerry White, a percussionist, songwriter, screenwriter, actor and singer, uses spoken word, costumes and music to bring words to life! Free. Suitable for ages 3 and up. The community is invited to attend. No registration necessary. Sandy Springs Branch Library, 395 Mount Vernon Highway, Sandy Springs, 30328. Questions? Email: leah.germon@ fultoncountyga.gov or call 404-303-6130.

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Tuesday, July 12, 11-11:40 a.m. Lazy Louie loves sitting around staring at screens of all types until he learns of “moving” stories. Check out puppets and props by using your imagination! Free and open to all. Suggested audiences: toddler, preschool and elementary-school youth. Northside Branch Library, on the main floor, 3295 Northside Parkway, Atlanta, 30327. Email: comments@co.fulton.ga.us or call 404814-3508 to learn more.

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Friday, July 15, 4-6 p.m. Middle school and high school age youth are invited to create a unique henna tattoo, led by Ms. Mehtab. Henna is a plant-based dye that safely stains the skin for 1-2 weeks. Free. Open to the public. Participation is limited to 20; call 404-303-6130 to register. Sandy Springs Branch Library, 395 Mount Vernon Highway, Sandy Springs, 30328. Email: comments@co.fulton.ga.us to find out more.

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Sunday, July 24, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Celebrate and support Israeli artists at the Beth Shalom Sisterhood-sponsored event. Browse jewelry, Judaica, hand weaving, wall and stone art. Free admission. The community is invited to attend. Congregation Beth Shalom, 5303 Winters Chapel Rd., Doraville, 30360. Call 770399-5300 or go to: bethshalomatlanta.org for further information.

D

Call (404) 497-1020 for an appointment.

Meridian Mark

ARTIST MARKET

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Wednesday, July 13, 11 a.m.-12 p.m. Heritage Sandy Springs’ “Turtle Tours,” an educational series appropriate for children ages 2-5, continues. In this program, museum mascots Spring and Sandy use “cool tools” and help young visitors learn history. Free; no reservations required. All are welcome. 6075 Sandy Springs Circle, Sandy Springs, 30328. Email: information@heritagesandysprings.org, call 404-851-9111 or visit: heritagesandysprings.org for details.

Trimble Road

Saturday, July 16, 9-11 a.m. Join other humans and pups at the 2nd annual Doggie Daze at Blue Heron Nature Preserve. Go on a hike, splash around in the creek, make doggie art and photographs, munch on human and canine treats. Free admission. Open to all. 4055 Roswell Rd., Atlanta, 30342. Find out more by visiting: bhnp.org or calling 404-345-1008.

3716 Roswell Road, Atlanta, GA 30342 (at the corner of Roswell and Powers Ferry, next to Kazoo Toys)

Glenridge Point Parkway

DOGGIE DAZE

404-846-8506

TURTLE TOURS

Glenridge Connector

Thursday, July 14, 12-6 p.m. The Northside Branch Library holds a book sale. Thursday for members only; Friday, 12-6 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. is open to the public. Free admission. On the main floor, 3295 Northside Parkway, NW, Atlanta, 30327. Email: comments@co.fulton.ga.us or call 404-814-3508 for details.


10 | Dining Out

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Tiramisu at il Giallo.

What is happening to Italian food in Atlanta? The fact that the Castellucci family is soon moving Double Zero from the Perimeter to Emory is bad news for the suburbs. The fact that the Karatassos clan has closed Veni Vidi Vici is bad news for the city. People are whispering that the next great Italian hope is il Giallo, a block away from Double Zero and possessed of most of the key staff from Veni Vidi Vici. Can il Giallo capture what is best about both places and still project a personality of its own? Karatassos and Castellucci are names synonymous with exceptional service. For il Giallo, I waited four additional months beyond my normal three, because I hoped to see a waitstaff that Dining Out could really show me a good time. The service was not bad, as Megan Volpert servers were respectful and attentive, and the plates arrived Megan Volpert lives in pretty quickly. The service was not good, as servers weren’t Decatur, teaches in Rovery personable, nor did they seem to possess much deep menu swell and writes books knowledge. I’m not talking about wanting a long pontification about popular culture. about the farm where one pig was raised; I just like to hear familiarity with and enthusiasm for the culture of a restaurant. If you’re bringing the kids or having a business lunch, maybe you don’t care about that higher standard of service. Can il Giallo hack it on food alone? On taste, there is no question that il Giallo is producing the best, freshest pasta on the planet, thanks to Jamie Adams. Watching him at the chef’s table making my pasta right there in the dining room and then eating that pasta just eight minutes later is truly the greatest thing about il Giallo, and there is no experience like it on offer at any place else in the entire metro. The day’s special was a fettuccine with greenery and speck, easy on the oil for a lightness that made it hard to put down my fork. We also ordered the agnolotti with brown butter, sage and pecans because this dish had been featured on Food Network’s The Best Thing I Ever Ate. It tasted delicious, too, but I was left with three questions. One, where is the Big Green Egg smoked flavor I was promised on the duck stuffed inside those delightful pasta purses? The sauce was drowning it out. Two, why is this SPECIAL PHOTOS classic staple of NovemAbove, grilled octopus and olive oil mashed potatoes. ber menus available to Below, pasta is handmade on the premises. me in May? I guess they worry about needing to capitalize on television publicity, when in fact the pastas can speak for themselves. Three, why is this plate so ugly? That last question is tough to answer and it was one I repeatedly had to ask myself through the meal. No attention was given to nicely presenting


JULY 8 - JULY 21, 2016

the agnolotti or even to simply prevent the pasta from smushing together because of cramping on the plate. The prosciutto and cantaloupe was likewise hard to photograph in its symmetrical but lazy way, even though this dish is usually very easy to make pretty. Even our panna cotta looked so lonely and naked on its plate. If you’re not keen on Instagram, perhaps weak plating doesn’t concern you. The best thing we ate that wasn’t pasta was the grilled octopus. Its medallions de-emphasize the tentacle, so it’s a good entry point if you’ve been afraid to try other octopus dishes increasingly proliferating in the city. The olive oil smashed potatoes beneath the octopus are delicious and the first few bites were great, only to be later overpowered by too much pickled red onion on top. My sense is that il Giallo just doesn’t quite know itself well enough yet. Having also been granted honorable discharge from Buckhead Life, General Manager Leonardo Moura should have a confidence in his attention to service detail that rises to the skill level of Chef Adams’ pasta. The kitchen may likewise still be feeling out differences between its own instincts and the restaurant group oversight with which it had been saddled for so long. It’s not yet worthy of date night, but il Giallo is one to watch. il Giallo is located at 5920 Roswell Road, B-118, in Sandy Springs. ilgialloatl.com.

Quick Bites

SPECIAL

MIller Union has landed on Wine Enthusiast’s list of the top 100 wine restaurants for 2016.

Empire State South, Miller Union and Restaurant Eugene have made Wine Enthusiast magazine’s annual America’s 100 Best Wine Restaurants list for 2016.

SPECIAL

Yumbii will open its first brick-and-mortar restaurant on Peachtree Road this fall.

Original Atlanta food truck Yumbii will open its first brick-and-mortar restaurant, Yumbii Taco Shop, at 1927 Peachtree Road in Buckhead this fall. The 1440-square-foot restaurant will offer counter service for easy takeout and seating for dine-in guests. For more information,visit yumbii.com and follow on Twitter@Yumbii to find where the food trucks are located.

At Senior Helpers, we know that life is busy and caring for an elderly parent or loved one is hard work. Our loving team is here to assist you and give you the break you deserve. Senior Helpers is a Family Owned & Managed Company that has been helping Atlanta families since 2006. Your hometown solution for Private Home Care and Transportation. Senior Helpers has specially trained Caregivers (Certified Nursing Assistants) that provide care anywhere from one hour a day to live-in and 24/7.

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Dining Out | 11

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Pie Shop in Buckhead and Vararsano’s Pizza at Perimeter Mall have closed, according to a report from Tomorrow’s News Today. - Collin Kelley

“My favorite part about living here is the flexibility to be as active and sociable as I want!” Meet Christie Kinsaul, who moved to Canterbury Court to downsize and simplify her life. Little did she know how much she would love her new lifestyle. “Maintaining a two-story townhouse and everything in it was taking considerable time and effort. I was ready for some changes, and I wanted to make the move on my own terms.” Christie didn’t expect to find such luxurious living in a one-bedroom apartment, which she says “is plenty big” and comes with full services and amenities. She was also delighted to discover an abundance of activities designed for resident interests, including outings to local events. As a retired music teacher, she’s especially fond of going to the Atlanta Symphony and the opera. Along with more flexibility to spend her time as she chooses, Christie’s move to Canterbury Court has given her peace of mind knowing that on-site health services are available, should she ever need them. Call (404) 365-3163 to see our warm, inviting community and furnished model apartments, including our diamond collection one-bedroom residences. 3750 Peachtree Road, N.E. Atlanta, Georgia 30319 canterburycourt.org Canterbury Court is Atlanta’s first and foremost continuing care retirement community, non-profit, and committed to welcoming all people.


12 | Community

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Over the years, we have advised hundreds of older adults who are trying to determine if Marsh’s Edge is right for them.

Remembering the Olympics

Centennial Park, Atlanta History Center to host remembrances

Not all of those good people made the decision to move in... you wouldn’t be reading this if they had!

As professional Lifestyle Advisors, our goal is to assist prospective Members in drawing a map for their future so they can make an informed decision that aligns with their chosen goals. Sometimes that means they make a decision to move into Marsh’s Edge; sometimes that means they make a decision to explore another community or stay in their current home. Either way, our job is to introduce you to the big world of retirement living and specifically, what it looks like at Marsh’s Edge. Located on St. Simons Island, Marsh’s Edge is the Golden Isles’ best kept secret for elegant retirement living.

Join us for lunch and a brief presentation... When: July 21, 2016 at 11:30am Where: Indian Hills Country Club 4001 Clubland Drive • Marietta, GA 30068

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Offering elegant cottage and apartment homes enhanced by a menu of curated social amenities and priority access to on-site healthcare services

SPECIAL

The Rings Fountain at Centennial Olympic Park is a lasting legacy of the ‘96 Games.

BY GRACE HUSETH As the Olympic Games get ready to begin in Rio de Janeiro this August, Atlantans are reflecting on their city’s moment of hosting the best athletes in the world 20 years ago. The largest remembrance of the 1996 Olympic Games will take place at Centennial Olympic Park on July 16. The park will honor the Games with a free, public celebration. The event will begin at 5 p.m. with musical guests, remarks from past organizers and Olympic athletes, and will end with a fireworks display. Morgan Smith-Williams, who handles public relations for Centennial Olympic Park, said former volunteers and friends of the 1996 Olympics will have the opportunity to reunite. There will color-coded tents to represent the various sports, venues and other support roles, so participants can relive the spirit and variety of the Games, Smith-Williams said. The Centennial Olympic Games Museum at the Atlanta History Center guides visitors throughout the history of the Olympic movement, from the inception of the Olympic Games in ancient Greece through the modern Olympic Games. The exhibit features athletic drama presented in a panorama that incorporates artifacts, sculpture, photographs and illuminat-

ed panels along an indoor running track. In addition, a media presentation offers largescreen highlights from the Games. Other highlights include America’s only complete collection of Olympic torches and medals. Howard Pousner, manager of media relations at the Atlanta History Center, said the Centennial Olympic Games Museum will close for renovation Aug. 22, immediately after the Rio de Janeiro Games end. New developments will make way for an improved history of the Atlanta Olympic Games and a special hallway to connect the atrium to the Cyclorama building, he said. Planning and fundraising for this new exhibition are ongoing, with reopening targeted for a date to be determined in 2017. “The new Centennial Olympic Games Museum exhibition will take a larger view of the ’96 Games from a two-decades-later perspective,” Pousner said. To jumpstart the Olympics season, the Atlanta History Center is hosting a “Going for Gold” event where families can enjoy the spirit of the Games with their own competitions on the history center’s campus. On July 30, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., visitors can explore the exhibits, meet Olympians and compete in Olympic-style sports for the chance to win 1996 Games memorabilia.

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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

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Commentary | 13

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Looking Back / 20 years after the Olympics Twenty years ago, metro Atlanta leaped to the center of the international sports world for a few hot summer weeks as the 1996 Olympic Games came to town. The Olympics remade the city and attracted thousands of athletes and sports fans. The Atlanta Games touched folks in Reporter Newspapers communities, too, as residents greeted the Olympic Torch, imagined huge paydays for renting their homes to foreign fans or watched bicyclists race through Buckhead or marathon runners reach gates of Oglethorpe University. We asked readers to recall for us are some of their own Olympic moments. I remember attending several Olympic events, newly pregnant with my first child. I couldn’t believe how clear and crisp the air felt, as well as how wonderful the traffic was -— so uncharacteristic of Atlanta.” Anne Boatwright, Sandy Springs Linley Jones, Brookhaven In 1996, I was living in Sexton Woods in Brookhaven. I decided to list my home for rent during the Olympics. I hired a real estate agent and within a few days received an offer to rent my modest home for two weeks for $9,000. Although that was huge money, enough money to make several mortgage payments at the time, my Realtor suggested that it was the first offer and I should hold out for a better one. She suggested I should get at least $15,000! Nervous but trusting, I declined the offer. It was the last offer I ever received to rent my house. In retrospect, it seems ab-

surd, but that was how much excitement and optimism there was at the time!” Karen Meinzen McEnerny Sandy Springs 1. The hot, hot heat and humidity, made bearable by the many vendors at each turn along the pedestrian walkways selling Coca-Cola. 2. We believed the projections by MARTA for the need to ride the trains and stay out of our cars. There were masses of happy, joyful ticket holders and never a thought of not being safe. Then, after three or four days, we realized that there was ready accessibility of parking downtown in lots and parking decks, so we stopped using MARTA and went back to driving our cars. 3. The local neighborhood parties we held, especially the streetside one at Mystic Place and Roswell Road, with our coolers nearby, frantically waving our American flags, as our neighbor ran by with the Olympic torch. Rusty Paul, Sandy Springs We came to realize the Olympic Games actually were coming to the metro area when the torch made its way through Sandy Springs. Ahead of the appointed time, we took our kids up to the route and patiently awaited what we expected to be a lone runner pass by with the lighted torch. Of course, nothing about the Olympic Games occurs without an entourage. Photographers, Olympic officials and others essential to the pageant of the torch surrounded the designated runner – including a back-up torch should the current version malfunction or even be extinguished. The torch was in view but an instant.

Then it was gone. Our, at the time, 4-, 5- and 7- year-olds barely remember it today, but we will again remind them of their own brush with the torch, as we do every four summers. We were fortunate to have bought, traded or just gotten tickets to a Olympic event very day. How much fun it was taking MARTA with friends and our kids, and just wondering around downtown and watching the world come to our city. We sat in the rain with plastic garbage bags over our heads, as did most of the stadium on the first day of track and field. We were amazed at the speed of the game we call ping pong, but for the incredible players from Asia it was not the sport we recognized. Of course, the highlight was watching the Magnificent Seven, the women’s U.S. Gymnastics team, with the stunning performance by the injured Kerri Strug sticking the landing at the end of her routine. Judy Soden, Sandy Springs Capt. Steve Rose, Sandy Springs police I was at a residence on Riverview Road, working security. The wife at this residence was Lithuanian and they were hosting several athletes from Lithuania. Also in attendance was the Lithuanian president. One of our lieutenants at the time, Ed Kvietkus, was himself Lithuanian. I called the precinct captain and asked if “Lt. Ed” was working, which he was. I told him what was going on and I thought it would be a memorable event for him to meet the Olympians and the president. A half-hour later, the captain and Lt. Ed drove up. I introduced them to the host and I then returned outside. Turns out that Lt. Kvietkus became the celebrity of the event. The Olympic team members crowded around him, marveled at his uniform, and all had their photos made with him—as did the president. It was like he was a long-lost brother found.”

Letter to the Editor Mayor Rusty Paul’s “outrage” over Cobb County’s plan to direct gameday traffic for the new Braves stadium onto local streets is ironic in light of his disregard for similar concerns about traffic congestion from his own constituents. Only a year ago, I sat in several City Council meetings and listened to Mayor Paul and his staff downplay the negative impact on our neighborhood that the development of the former Glenn/

Mayson property would have on preserving our (Spalding Woods) neighborhood and several other adjacent neighborhoods. When the mayor’s neighborhood is threatened by increased traffic, he proclaims, “I live there, so you don’t tell me that it’s not a neighborhood street.” However, when residents in the neighborhoods directly impacted by the proposed development of the corporate headquarters for Mercedes-Benz and Ashton-Woods

expressed legitimate concerns about increased traffic on an already saturated corridor (Abernathy Road) and our local streets, our concerns were dismissed. To Mayor Paul and the city councilmen who choose corporations and developers over preserving all neighborhoods and implementing genuine strategies to reduce congestion in Sandy Springs, I have one word: Karma. Wendy L. K. Best


14 | Commentary

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Come fly with me It’s finally time! It’s You have escalated time to hop on an airplane down and up and side and take that getaway to side and walked and you’ve been waiting for all trammed and shuttled and year. people-moved to your terYou’ve worked hard, minal. you’ve chosen your destiYou have found your nation, planned your itingate and settled yourself inerary, and purchased your between a teenager who is tickets. working his way through You have shrinkthe jumbo bag of fried onion wrapped all your clothes rings and a sleeping womand crammed them and an who is flying standby your essentials into a 9”x 14”x 22” carry-on bag, so Robin Conte is a writer and has been there since last that you won’t be charged Tuesday. and mother of four who an extra $25 each way for lives in Dunwoody. She At last, it’s time to board! luggage, and so that your can be contacted at You listen as the flight atbag will be stored reassurCoverage Your Way—Auto Insurance Through AAA robinjm@earthlink.net. tendant announces that the ingly above your own head crew is now ready for “preSAVINGS. CHOICE. CONVENIENCE. SERVICE. and you won’t run the risk of checking it board,” which allows mothers additional and having it wind up in Bogota, Colum* time to get on the plane with their young Average Savings $ bia (which has happened). children who all happen to have ear-infecYou have parked your car in Row Contact us for a quote today. tions. (I was one of those moms). 64-G of the Wherez-My-Car lot, and you AAA Chastain Park You check your ticket and wait your have stashed your ticket in a very special 4410 Roswell Road Atlanta, GA 30342 turn. Now the flight attendant is calling place that you will completely forget a 404-843-4500 for their Premium boarding: “All our Diweek from now. Auto  Home  Life amond members, Medallion members, You have snaked through a security In Florida, Georgia and Tennessee, ACG South Insurance Agency, LLC saved new customers an average of $534 line so long that you became briefly coPendant members, Ornament members, annually. Average annual savings was developed using information provided by new policyholders reporting the dollar differences between prior carriers and AAA Insurance Agency as of November 2013. For qualified drivers only. matose and then finally awoke expecting Olympians, Super-Duper-Special-Elite Rates vary by state and insurance company. 15-BR-0790 LC 1/15 to see Splash Mountain in front of you. Club members, Nobel Prize Winners and Poet Laureates may board.” That’s not you. You watch the crowd file into the jet bridge while an even largeractk er crowd gathers, expectantly. t d s d r e unnt we juiste “It’s now time for Priority boarding: 1 o c in l Our Platinum members and Gold members, our Comfort level, Cushy level, Posh level and also our Virgin Lithuanian Fly Club members, please come to the agent, 4371 Tree Haven Drive 685 Starlight Drive with your tickets in hand.” 4 bedrooms | 3.5 baths 5 bedrooms | 4 baths Offered for $849,900 Offered for $799,000 Moments pass. “Zone One may now board: that’s Silr t eract deracay n ver, Silver Medallion, Blue Silver, Flying d t u n 1d unntr coin Silver, Hi-Ho Silver, Corporate Silver and co High Achievers.” Still not you. “Zone Two may now board: Nickel, Cop280 Settindown Court 825 Starlight Drive per, Zinc, Aluminum, Magnesium, Germa5 bedrooms | 4.5 baths 3 bedrooms | 2.5 baths nium, Plebeians, and the Red Birds and Offered for $590,000 Offered for $549,900 Blue Birds reading groups.” There’s only one zone left, and it’s got ed ld uc to be yours. o d s re “Zone Three: Gallium, Boron, Silicon, and the rest of the Periodic Table may now board, plus Paper and Wood. top 10% companywide abr multi-million dollar club life member “There is no more room in the overhead 1047 Windsor Lake Cove 404.433.7849 Cell 6155 Aberdeen Drive compartment for your carry-on bags, Zone 4 bedrooms | 3.5 baths 4 bedrooms | 3 baths dawnanderson@dorseyalston.com Three, but we will check them for you for Offered for $649,900 Offered for $739,000 your convenience. We assure you that, although you will not find them in baggage claim at your destination, they will safely arrive in Bogota, Columbia. “We hope you enjoy your flight.” One Hundred West Paces Ferry Road Atlanta, Ga 30305 | 404.352.2010 And so your trip begins. Let’s hope the rest of your vacation is first class. Information believed accurate but not warranted. Equal Housing Opportunity.

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Community | 15

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Mayor: Employers must help fix traffic problems Continued from page 1 “The employers here have to be part of [traffic solutions]. It can’t all be done behind this desk or inside this building,” Mayor Paul said in a later interview in his City Hall office. But even where the city has a seat at the table—like in the Braves traffic planning— the city still runs into surprise, miscommunication and lack of leverage. Just hours after the mayor complained of the missing Pill Hill traffic plan, the Perimeter Center Improvement Districts said one is already underway—yet the city and one of the area hospitals said they had never heard of it.

Stadium plan The council’s outrage over the stadium traffic resulted two days later in a meeting between Paul and Cobb Chairman Tim Lee. The city and county managers will now meet regularly, too. “I think we’re in a good place. I think we’re on the same page,” said Kellie Brownlow, Lee’s deputy chief, adding the chairman believes they will “end up with great solutions for both of us—both sides of the river.” And Braves spokesperson Beth Marshall said “it appears that all entities will continue to communicate to reach a plan that will

benefit all parties.” But it remains unclear why the city’s own ideas for coping with stadium traffic weren’t included in Cobb’s plan, or what the exact roles and lines of communication for “stakeholder” agencies are going forward. One of those fixes is moving ahead immediately: a city-funded study of a new I-285/ Powers Ferry Road interchange in Cobb. But other key ideas are up in the air, including a “slip ramp” allowing stadium traffic to go from I-285 to Northside without using local streets. Paul said he’s “optimistic” that Cobb will draw up better traffic plans eventually. “Will it be in place by…[Opening Day in ] April 2017? Not at this point,” he said. The mayor said the city could not have done more to get its ideas in the traffic planning originally. “Ball’s in their court,” Paul said. “We have no leverage on Cobb County. That’s the tragedy of this whole issue.”

The council was “somewhat blindsiding” the applicant, Duke Realty, Paul said at the meeting. But, he said, the city needed a way to emphasize the need for alternative commuting plans on Pill Hill, which can be gridlocked during rush hour. Last fall, the mayor gathered leaders from the area’s three hospitals—Northside, Emory Saint Joseph’s and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite—to talk about a coordinated plan. But that never material-

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Pill Hill At the June 21 meeting, the City Council placed a surprise 60-day deferral on a rezoning request for a 450-space parking garage at the Center Pointe medical office building on Johnson Ferry Road. Northside Hospital occupies most of that building, and is planning a 10-story parking garage on its own campus.

ized. “To my knowledge, there’s been no [subsequent] meeting at all of all the hospitals together,” said Councilmember Tibby DeJulio. Yvonne Williams, president and CEO of the Perimeter Center Improvement Districts, said a “master plan study” was approved by the PCIDs board in May and is underway. But Northside spokesman Lee Echols said he can’t confirm that, and Emory Saint Joseph’s was “not aware of the traffic study,” said spokeswoman Mary Beth Spence.

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16 | Public Safety

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When a fleeing criminal damages your property, who pays?

Bruce Cusmano wants someone, anyone, to pay for damages rendered to his gate by a stolen car after a chase by Sandy Springs police.

BY JOHN RUCH

Presenting the fine art of a gracious retirement lifestyle Somerby Sandy Springs is nearing completion and accepting reservations now. Designed as a vibrant and exciting senior living concept, Somerby has elevated gracious retirement living to a fine art. Here, residents will enjoy

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In the midnight hour of April 20, a police chase of a stolen car ended with a bang in Bruce Cusmano’s front yard. The car went off Peachtree-Dunwoody Road, jumped a line of boulders and slammed into Cusmano’s elaborate driveway gate, doing $10,000 in damage. Now Cusmano wants somebody to pay— the city, which says it’s not liable; the driver, who got away; or the car owner’s insurer, who has been hard to reach. Cusmano’s own insurance has a $5,000 deductible, but he

JOHN RUCH

said that’s only part of the reason he doesn’t want to foot the bill. “I can afford to pay the $5,000. I don’t want to,” said Cusmano. He said he’s sticking up for the next person whose property gets damaged by a fleeing criminal and who might be a “low-income person or a retiree on a fixed income.” Cusmano showed up at the June 7 City Council meeting to voice his complaints and hint at legal action. City attorney Wendell Willard was not about to cut a check. “There is no liability on the part of the city as there is no negligence on the part of the city,” Willard told the council, adding that

chef-prepared meals daily, an indoor exercise pool and fitness center, library, art studio, media lounge, and a spa and health center. Combining an exceptional design with abundant amenities and a vibrant social calendar, the Somerby lifestyle provides the spark that inspires each day with joy and purpose. With independent living and special services for assisted living or memory care residents it’s easy to see that Somerby is much more than a place to live. It’s a place to call “home.”

Call (800) 982-0757 today to learn more and to schedule your personal visit.

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Public Safety | 17

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any sympathy payment would be a “gratuity improper under the law.” “His big problem is, he thought he’d be smart and carry a big deductible on his homeowners insurance and now, lo and behold,” he has need of it, Willard said in a later interview. According to a police report and details Cusmano said officers provided to him, the chase began on Peachtree-Dunwoody at the Concourse Center. Sandy Springs police officers tried to stop a Nissan Sentra reported as stolen, and the driver allegedly hit a police car. The driver then fled down PeachtreeDunwoody with a large group of police cars in pursuit. The driver lost control while trying to turn onto Evergreen Drive, the corner where Cusmano’s house sits. “He flew through my yard” and hit the gate from behind, said Cusmano, adding he counted 11 police cars at the scene. The driver fled through Cusmano’s yard and got away, but a passenger was arrested, Cusmano said. The impact cracked the mortar in the gate’s cobblestone pillar, smashed its electrical control box and left the decorative metal gate hanging askew. Cusmano, who sells similar metalwork at his Chamblee antiques business, said he got a professional repair estimate of $10,000. He said a police officer who visited the next day indicated the city might reimburse him, but that has not happened. “I’m not going to claim it on my insurance because, number one, I’ve got a $5,000 deductible,” said Cusmano, adding that the

incident wasn’t his fault or a natural accident. “I don’t care who pays for it…but somebody should pay for it—not me.” Willard said one reason city officials have been cautious in responding to Cusmano is his hints that he might sue them. “I’ve never sued anybody in my life, but these guys have ticked me off…I’ve told Wendell Willard, ‘Do we have to do this the hard way or can we do this the easy way?’” Cusmano said, but later added, “I doubt I’ll get a lawyer involved.” He also went back and forth on whether he thinks the police are liable. “No, they were doing their job,” he said, but then added they may have gone overboard with a high-speed chase. “Eleven [police] cars—what do you think?” he asked. Willard said it’s the “criminals” who would be liable, adding he has not heard of a property-damage case like this in the city’s 10-year history. Cusmano said he did get a phone call from Mayor Rusty Paul and an offer to chat over coffee from Police Chief Ken DeSimone. “I understand your dismay and your consternation,” the mayor told Cusmano at the City Council meeting. But Cusmano said he ultimately felt those officials were dismissive with him, instead of trying to help an innocent bystander. Cusmano said he once served as a city councilmember himself, in Chamblee, and that he would have handled it differently. “I don’t think it’s their liability,” he said, “but I think it’s their responsibility to help a citizen.”

Local police open new firearms training facility Sandy Springs police held an open house June 30 for area law enforcement agencies to tour its new firearms training facility, where officers can practice for such events as mass shootings. The warehouse building, located in Doraville, allows officers to train with simulator rounds in a facility that is designed to look like a school and a residence. The facility allows training for emergency situations such as acts of terrorism or active shooters. “We hope against it and prepare for it,” said Capt. Mike Lindstrom, spokesperson for the Sandy Springs department. The Dunwoody Police Department, Brookhaven Police Department and Johns Creek Police Department all will be using the facilities as well because these departments, along with Sandy Springs Police, share a SWAT team, Lindstrom said. SSPD also will make the warehouse space available to other agencies that also may want to train in it. “We are pretty excited about having this building to conduct our training,” he said. The facility is filled with rooms, hallways and doorways that will help officers re-enact and train for situations such as a mass shooter, Lindstrom said. - Dyana Bagby

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sector government. But new local cities inspired by Sandy Springs, like Brookhaven and Dunwoody, already have brought more jobs and departments in-house. And Sandy Springs has significantly changed its own organization chart, switching from one contractor to several in 2011, and bringing more executive jobs in-house. At a council retreat, City Councilmember Tibby DeJulio, known as the council’s unofficial sage of the city’s founding ideals, said he backed the no-bid renewals as a temporary measure. But, he said, the city must avoid making it a habit “and not start bringing those positions inhouse.” Oliver Porter, the retired engineer who drew up the city’s original privatization plan, says he understands the city’s reasoning and doesn’t see any “backsliding” yet. “That’s one of those judgment calls that only time will tell,” Porter said of the no-bid contract extension. “I would think [that] after this extension, they would probably want to go to a full bid again just as a double-check.” Porter said outsourcing remains the most efficient way to run government, and he is skeptical of other new cities that do more in-house. “Each of them put their own wrinkles on it…There has been some backsliding, I think, from some of them,” he said. “The closer they adhere to the [Sandy Springs] model, the better off they are.” But the Sandy Springs experiment is new, and academic research about it is rare, according to one of the few such studies, a 2014 Iowa State University master’s thesis called “Extreme Privatization: A Performance Analysis of the ‘Sandy Springs Model.’” That thesis, by Jack Feldman, found that in fiscal years 2008 through 2012, Sandy Springs’ government had a much

higher per capita cost, and lower performance scores, than the nearby cities of Alpharetta, Johns Creek and Milton. The lowest-cost government was Milton, which had switched from outsourced to largely public-sector government. Feldman admits his study was limited in data and covers a time when Sandy Springs was under a single outsourcing contract to CH2M. Today, the city has eight main outsourcing contracts held by six companies at a total cost of about $16.4 million. Sandy Springs directly employs only 10 administrative executives and has only two completely public departments—the police and fire rescue—largely for insurance liability reasons. State law requires the city clerk and court administrator to be employed by the city. The other positions Sandy Springs has brought in-house include: city manager; two assistant city managers; an executive administrator for the city manager; finance director; and human resources director. Back in 2005, the city launched with only two employees and one giant contract, partly as an efficiency ideal and partly from necessity, Porter said. As Georgia’s first new city approved for incorporation in decades, Sandy Springs had only months to form a government from scratch. Hiring a company was the only viable option, Porter said, and CH2M won two separate contracts, later merged into one, to do it quickly. The outsourcing was modeled on Weston, Fla., a gated Miami suburb that became a city in 1996. But the Sandy Springs model got national press attention and has had local influence. Most new Georgia cities formed since then have hired CH2M to create their governments. The city’s privatization has been praised by former presidential candidate John Kasich on the campaign trail and criticized in liberal activist Naomi Klein’s bestseller “The Shock Doctrine.” But the model has changed. In 2011,

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the city dumped CH2M’s single deal to bid out multiple contracts, saying that saved $7 million. “I was concerned about it,” said Porter, adding that while he prefers single-contract government, he doesn’t criticize the wisdom of officials who made that decision. That 2011 bidding process is something the city did not want to repeat this year as it plans the massive City Springs development and rewrites its zoning code and land-use plan. At the annual council retreat this year, City Manager John McDonough said that rebidding took up a large amount of his time. Another concern was losing key staff members in contract changes or the uncertainty of renewal. Hiring and retention is a challenge, McDonough has said, and one change to the extended contracts is more city auditing abilities to make sure that contractual payment boosts intended for salaries are making it to employees. Another big factor in extending the contracts McDonough said: “I believe we’re getting good service and fair pricing.” Porter agreed with that practical take, saying he believes the same contractors would have won a rebid anyway. City spokesperson Sharon Kraun— who is employed by Boston-based contractor The Collaborative—said the city’s intent is to rebid the contracts three years from now. But she acknowledged that, as

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www.ReporterNewspapers.net the current situation shows, “something could change.”

‘In-house’ administration jobs and departments Sandy Springs Departments: police, fire rescue 10 staff: assistant city managers (2); city clerk; city manager; court administrator; executive administrator for city manager; finance director; fire rescue chief; human resources director; police chief

Brookhaven Departments: communications; finance; information technology; human resources; parks and recreation; police; parts of courts, community development and parks and recreation 12 staff: 9 department heads listed above; city clerk; city manager; city manager’s executive assistant

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City dwellers find new homes in the mountains

An aerial view of golf and river community Old Toccoa Farm.

BY KATHY DEAN The mountains of north Georgia have a strong draw on people, especially city dwellers. Mountain vistas offer a spectacular beauty that calms the spirit and wakens the soul. Woodland trails entice hikers, and lakes invite boaters and fishermen and women. Friendly neighbors, arts and craft festivals, delightful shops and top-notch restaurants are everywhere. It’s no wonder that so many visitors claim a piece of the mountain for themselves. For Cathy and Ted Day, the search for a mountain retreat was, in a way, a return home. “We both grew up with a love of the mountains,” Cathy explained. Originally from Gainesville, Ga., Ted spent much of his time enjoying activities in the great outdoors. Cathy grew up in Florida and always thought of herself as a beach girl. Still, her parents had a mountain house in North Carolina, and her sister’s family still has one there. “As our children got older, married and had children of their own, the mountain house became our gathering place, our memory maker,” Ted added. “Now we have the opportunity to create that same kind of family gathering place.” The couple spent several years looking for a cottage in the Blue Ridge area, with the help of Kim Knutzen of Harry Norman Realtors, Blue Ridge. During one of their ventures, they overheard someone ask Kim about Old Toccoa Farm, and it piqued their curiosity. Kim took Cathy and Ted to see the development; the more they saw and learned, the more they became convinced that Old Toccoa Farm was the perfect setting for their next home. According to Cathy, they were impressed by the love and commitment that the developers, including Managing Partner Peter Knutzen, have for Old Toccoa Farm. “Their concept is just what we wanted. They believe in being part of the community and giving back to it.” All the main requirements for their new home were met: a place to retreat and restore their souls; a place to enjoy and share fellowship with their very full family of 10; a place to create community with other residents and friends; and a

SPEICAL PHOTOS

place to potentially enjoy an active retirement. “We invited our kids up to Old Toccoa Farm around Thanksgiving,” said Ted. “Before they left, they turned to us and said, ‘It’s perfect! What are you waiting for?’ That same day, we signed up and bought our piece of the Farm!” Karen Rowell and Steve Frick recently purchased a vacation home in Mineral Bluff, near the Georgia/North Carolina border. “We absolutely love it!” Karen said. “It’s been a dream in the making, and Nathan Fitts, our Realtor with Remax Town & Country, helped make it come true.” Steve and Karen agreed that their two biggest draws to the area were the beauty of the mountains and the outdoor lifestyle. They regularly ride their bikes, hike with their dogs and enjoy beautiful Lake Blue Ridge. While they still work in Atlanta, Karen noted that it would be a perfect place to retire or reinvent themselves one day. “Maybe it shouldn’t be a surprise, but it’s amazing how less stressful life seems here than in Atlanta, where I’ve lived all my life.” Steve Baker and Sally Farr love to travel, though they found a perfect place to take a respite in the north Georgia mountains. Steve, originally from Illinois, worked in the university system there for over 30 years, and is now retired. Throughout the years, he regularly traveled back and forth between the Champaign-Urbana area in Illinois and the St. PetersburgSarasota area of Florida. He often dropped in on friends along the way – Joe and Diane in Mineral Bluff, Ga., just outside of Blue Ridge. In 2013, he asked Joe to show him some homes in the mountains that fit his needs and price range. He and Sally picked out Dogwood Cabin in Mineral Bluff and bought it, with the help of Mountain Tracks Realty of North Georgia. “It was originally friends that brought us to the area, and it didn’t take long for the gorgeous views and central location to convince us to stay,” Steve explained. “We like most of the things the area offers, like antiquing, festivals and art shows.” The cabin isn’t terribly secluded, so they can retreat there,

Steve Baker and Sally Farr at their Mineral Bluff home.

but still enjoy the friendly neighbors. And they’re just 7 ½ miles from Blue Ridge, 5 ½ miles from Blairsville, one hour from Chattanooga and one hour, 20 minutes from Atlanta. They can easily drive to visit friends in Canton, Lexington and Asheville, and tailgate with friends at Clemson games. Sally grew up in West Virginia and feels at home in the mountains. “I love this place! I love the area and my friends here,” she said. Eventually, Steve and Sally may settle full time in their cabin, Continued HILLS on page 22 SS


JULY 8 - JULY 21, 2016

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Are the Mountains Calling You? Hayesville, NC 3BR/3BA $1,455,000 “Riverfront Rhapsody” 1000’ of Hiawassee River frontage on 7.6 acs of manicured property. 4,225 SF main House & guest cottage with 2 master suites overlook the river and pond. Detached spa room, terrace level theater, more. A MUST SEE! MLS 256708 Call Faron King 706.781.7199

tract

on der C

Un

Turtletown, TN 3BR/3.5BA $1,250,000 Stunning 29 acre Tennessee estate has EVERYTHING – 6,452 SF, Master suite and library/office + 2 ensuite BRs, formal and informal living & dining, chef’s dream kitchen, 3 FPS, bar, game room, wine cellar, outdoor patio, gazebo, pool with waterfall, oversized 2 car garage + detached 3 car garage with workshop. RV storage bldg/pad with water and septic. WOW! MLS 258214 Call Lee/ Carol Barbour 828.361.2040

tract

on der C

Un

Blairsville, GA 3BR/3BA $859,000 “La Belle Ferme Montagne”, custom estate home of 3000+SF on 18.8 acres with ALL you could want for you AND your horses. Fabulous, well planned interior, 2 master suites, 3FP, family room with wet bar. Many custom features for easy living and entertaining. No detail overlooked! Fruit trees, pastures, huge barn (4 stalls), 3 stocked ponds and Jones Creek trout stream, 3 car garage, AND a heated saltwater infinity pool. Call Jeanne Mills 706.218.4202

Ellijay,GA 3BR/3BA $749,000 One of most awe inspiring properties on the market. Craftsman/Rustic inspired riverfront home with 1.56 flat, useable acres and over 300ft of noisy Ellijay River frontage. 4,686 SF home features master suite fit for a King, 2 spacious BRs, bunk room and sleeping porch. Family room, formal living room, home theater, gaming room provide ample gathering space. 2 car garage/gated entry. MLS 257916 Call Mark Reeves 706.455.2418

Jasper, GA 6BR/4.5BA $575,000 Escape to the mountains in Style. Elegant home in upscale swim/ tennis community. Mtn. view, high end finishes, terrace level with living area for guests or extended family. Great outdoor entertaining area! MLS 249109 Call Christine Cleberg 706.972.9301

Blue Ridge, GA 3BR/3BA $369,900 #ProwfrontAskaBigViews. Need we say more? Phenomenal location, long range views, excellent condition, superb rental potential. Granite, stainless, all the extras. Terrace party room with bar/3rd fireplace. Outdoor fireplace. In the heart of Aska Adventure area (hike, bike, kayak, swim, boat, fly fish all within 2 mi radius). Ready for the summer and an awesome fall. MLS 258344 Call Mark Reeves 706.455.2418

Mineral Bluff, GA 4BR/3.5BA $527,500 Panoramic view as far as the eye can see!! 2934 SF home on 2.47 acres at top of the mountain. Open floor plan, spacious BRs, main level master, oversized 1 car garage. Wrap deck with FP, hot tub. Move in ready. MLS 258209 Call Suzie Soave 706.455.1195

Blue Ridge, GA 3BR/2BA $349,900 A special place at the end of the road, top of the mountain on 7.38 acres. One level living with basement 90% finished. Updated appliances, granite counters, tin ceilings, stone fireplace with wood burning insert. Master suite on main, open floorplan, covered & uncovered decks, out buildings and a TREEHOUSE! Gentle Mountain top acreage with hiking trails and total privacy. MLS 257535 Call Mark Reeves 706.455.2418

Blue Ridge, Georgia Blairsville, Georgia 274 W Main Street 706.632.7311

211A Cleveland St. 706.745.3500

Ellijay, Georgia 329 River Street 706.276.1254

CBHIGHCOUNTRY.COM SS

Blue Ridge, GA 4BR/3.5BA $1,050,000 5.85 acre Country Estate on rushing Fightingtown Creek. 4,934 SF of luxury & upgrades. Two full masters, theater room, laundry on 2 levels, chef’s kitchen, potting shed, orchard/garden, rv dump station, 2 car garage. Room to add guesthouse. MLS 255705 Call Suzie Soave 706.455.1195

Blue Ridge, GA 3BR/3BA $339,900 Impressive log sided cabin with stunning mountain views, end of road privacy, minutes from Blue Ridge. Custom interior, 3 levels of porches, detached fireplace porch, fire pit, hot tub, more. MLS 254795 Call Donna O’Neal 770.356.9034

Hiawassee, Georgia 430 N. Main Street 706.896.3132

Morganton, GA 3BR/3BA $329,900 Heavenly views of mountains and Lake Blue Ridge from two story cabin on 2.76 acres. High ceilings with open plan main floor, rec room. Full, finished basement. Fireplace on each level Adj. lot available. MLS 258038 Call Kimberly Bruner 706.455.5703

Murphy, N.C. 4290 US Hwy 64 W 828.835.8500

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Continued from page 20 but in the meantime, they continue to travel and rent out the two-bedroom Dogwood Cabin through cuddleupcabinrentals.com, while they’re on the road or visiting friends. “This is a beautiful area,” said Barbara. “Both the land and the people are wonderful.” Now retired, she moved in 2007 from California to her home in Hayesville, N.C. Barbara enjoys walking and hiking in the mountains and around Lake Chatuge, a reservoir that reaches into Georgia and North Carolina with 132 miles of shoreline. The area has opportunities for swimming, boating and fishing. Water sports are also available on the Hiawassee River and Valley River. According to Barbara, vegetable gardening – spring through fall – is a must, even though there are some very good farmers markets in Murphy and Blairsville. “There are also many classes offered through the John C. Campbell Folk School, Young Harris College (through the Institute for Continued Learning) and other venues on a variety of subjects,” she said. “I just finished a weekend class on dog training through Cold Nose College in Murphy, N.C.” There is so much to do that Barbara was

surprised by it all. In fact, it seems there’s always something happening, whether it’s a festival, theater production, musical event or gathering. She noted that a person can get overwhelmed choosing what to do! Barbara said that, when it comes down to it, she believes the best part of living in the mountains is the people. “They’re so friendly and willing to help with anything and always smiling,” she said. “There’s great energy here that’s not found in many areas.” Like many others, Jackie and Jonathan Griffin fell in love with the scenery, cooler weather and friendly people of north Georgia. They found the mountain homes had just the right balance of warm-and-cozy with trendy new touches – rustic meeting industrial with a splash of modern features. They strolled through towns that had a very cool vibe and a hip/urban culture. The couple is still working, but plan to retire in the next five years. Their plan includes a home in the mountains, so they had one built; it was completed and became theirs at the end of March this year. They expected, and got, a relaxing retreat. What they didn’t expect was that they could still enjoy all the Continued on page 27

Steve Frick and Karen Rowell

Are the Mountains Calling You? Cherry Log, GA 4BR/3.5BA $329,900 Mountain home has 4 spacious BRs, true master suite on the main with all the bells & whistles. 3 layers of decks and hot tub overlook the 3 acres. Huge kitchen, incredibly high ceilings and loads of glass. If you want total privacy, paved access, minutes to downtown Blue Ridge and Hwy 515 and a wonderful ridgeline view, this is for you. Perfect retirement home or fantastic vacation rental. MLS 257117 Call Mark Reeves 706.455.2418

Blairsville, GA 3BR/3BA $315,000 Elegant 2856 SF country home on 6 acres with year round mountain views. Quality reconstruction of 1916 home, high end amenities, 3 stone FPS, huge master and much more. MLS 257587 Call Linda Bowen-Hughes 706.897.2956

Blairsville, GA 3BR/2.5BA $275,000 Spacious mountain home – long range views! Top of the line renovation – new fixtures, flooring, granite. Two decks. Upscale area with paved roads – easy access. MLS 252731 Call Linda Bowen-Hughes 706.897.2956

Morganton, GA 3BR/3BA $259,000 Waterfront/waterfall setting above trout stocked Hemptown Creek. Solid log cabin on 2.4 ac in My Mountain S/D. Firepit, koi pond, 2 story ATV shed, deck overlooking creek. MLS 258055 Call Robin Gard 706.455.5099

Blue Ridge, GA 2BR/1BA $172,500 Privacy on 4.7 acres. Room for a garden, open interior, loft. Large deck, wood floors, tankless water heater, HVAC with propane backup, deck ready for hot tub. Great rental potential. MLS 256905 Call Anne Williamson 706.633.9847

Hiawassee, GA 2BR/2BA $114,000 Log-sided doublewide manuf. home on .5 acres in Hiawassee Mtn Village. Year round mountain view, new appliances, floors, fixtures. Detached 2 car garage with storage and workroom. MLS 254937 Call Mary Ann Dermody 706.970.5214

Cherry Log, GA 3BR/2BA $199,900 Solid Log home on 1.74 unrestricted acres is made for family fun. Mountain views, large deck, country kitchen, 2 BR on main, carport with storage. Great rental potential. MLS 257937 Call Kimberly Bruner 706.455.5703

Blue Ridge, Georgia Blairsville, Georgia 274 W Main Street 706.632.7311

211A Cleveland St. 706.745.3500

CBHIGHCOUNTRY.COM

Ellijay, Georgia 329 River Street 706.276.1254

Hiawassee, Georgia 430 N. Main Street 706.896.3132

Murphy, N.C. 4290 US Hwy 64 W 828.835.8500

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JULY 8 - JULY 21, 2016

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Local dishes

Georgia Tourism rounds up mountain food favorites

The Beechwood Inn in Clayton, Ga., offers wild chanterellefilled ravioli with wild mushroom sauce.

SPECIAL PHOTOS

The Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Tourism Division has released its 2016 state culinary guide, “Georgia Eats,” featuring the popular “100 Plates Locals Love.” Tasters from around the state were asked to submit their favorite dishes at restaurants. We’ve excerpted the favorites found in the Northeast Georgia Mountains. Visit exploregeorgia.org and click on Dining to see the full list.

Atlanta Highway Seafood Market, Gainesville: Fried Shrimp Po Boy. An authentic taste of NOLA at Lake Lanier – a hoagie roll piled high with fresh-fried gulf shrimp, served with hand-cut coleslaw and fries. – Stacey D.

Beechwood Inn, Clayton: Wild Chanterelle Filled Ravioli with Wild Mushroom Sauce. Foraged foods from the Northeast Georgia Mountains should be on every foodie’s list of things to taste. – David D.

Market 50, Hartwell: Roast Beef Sandwich. A traditional roast beef sandwich piled high with thinly sliced, well-seasoned meat on homemade bread. Great after a day on the lake or before heading out on the water. – Cheryl S.

Back Porch Oyster Bar, Dahlonega: Gorgonzola Shrimp Linguine. Stunningly excellent, flavorful dish that does justice to both gorgonzola and fabulous shrimp in equal measure. It’s hard to believe a mountain restaurant does seafood so well! – David Z.

Coco’s Cuban Restaurant, Cumming: Cuban Sandwich. Traditional, authentic Cuban sandwich on freshly baked Cuban bread, served with the best rice and beans. Yummy! – Nicole R.

The Chophouse, Hiawassee: Crispy Portobello Mushrooms. Tasty appetizer features crispy Portobello mushrooms with a delicious gorgonzola rosemary sauce. – Kelly I.

Fleur-de-Lis, Braselton: Two Lump Crab Cakes. Served in the relaxing Spa at Chateau Elan, these two lump crab cakes with spicy mustard remoulade and mixed arugula salad with apple cider vinaigrette compliment the serene surroundings. – Peggy H.


JULY 8 - JULY 21, 2016

Special Section | 25

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artéé

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26 | Special Section

You’re Invited to visit our

1st Annual Butterfly House & Pollinator Exhibit

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Tails on trails

Club encourages four-legged friends on park trails

Free with Garden Admission A Garden with Wings will be open from July 30th – September 10th Tuesday – Saturday from 9am-4pm Opening Day Activities: July 30th from 10:00 am – 2:00pm

www.SmithGilbertGardens.com SPECIAL PHOTOS

Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites has launched a dog walking club, “Tails on Trails.” Hikers and their four-legged companions are challenged to hike seven trails at Georgia state parks and upon completion, dogs earn a bandana and their owners earn a T-shirt for logging the miles. Dog walkers have always been welcome in Georgia state parks, and the Tails on Trails club offers a way for owners and their dogs to accomplish designated hikes. Those who would like to join can purchase a $15 membership card at any of the seven participating parks’ visitor centers or online at GaStateParks.org/TailsOnTrails. Owners must abide by state parks rules: keep dogs on a leash no more than 6-feet, clean up after dogs, and never leave dogs unattended in campsites, cottages or vehicles. Georgia state parks offer several dog-friendly cottages, which are available to book online at GaStateParks.org/TailsOnTrails. These select cottages often fill quickly, so reservations are highly recommended. A $45 fee per dog (limit 2) is charged. The following seven trails are featured in the “Tails on Trails” club: Fort Mountain State Park (Chatsworth) Explore a shaded forest and a serene creek valley along the 1.1-mile stretch of Fort Mountain’s Lake Trail. The trail is short and mostly flat, making a great running loop for owners and their dog. F.D. Roosevelt State Park (Pine Mountain) Dogs will enjoy roaming on the gentle, rolling mountains of F.D. Roosevelt, Georgia’s largest state park. The Mountain Creek Trail is one of the most scenic, and passes through several plant habitats such as pine and hardwood forests. Don Carter State Park (Gainesville) The hike on the Lakeview Loop Trail showcases Don Carter State Park’s prime location on the 38,000-acre Lake Lanier, and is paved for stroller and wheelchair accessibility. Dog owners who are seeking shade can venture into the forest to hike the Woodland Loop Trail.

Sweetwater Creek State Park (Lithia Springs) Sweetwater Creek features two trails for “Tails on Trails” club members, and both lead to the ruins from the New Manchester Manufacturing Company. The Red Trail, 2 miles, is the most frequently used trail and leads directly to the mill ruins. For a longer hike through the park’s wildlife and plant communities, members can hike along Sweetwater Creek’s rocky banks on the 5-mile White Trail. High Falls State Park (Jackson) Dogs can frolic along the Towliga River accompanied by the sound of the upcoming High Falls. The 1.5-mile Falls Trail is a moderately challenging trek through hilly forests that offers a rewarding waterfall view. Fort McAllister State Park (Richmond Hill) Stroll on the 3.1-mile Redbird Creek Trail under the cover of Spanish moss and discover scenic views of salt marshes, coastal wetlands and nature-viewing opportunities at Fort McAllister State Park. Red Top Mountain State Park (Cartersville) The White Tail Trail of Red Top Mountain State Park meanders through hardwood forest to a beautiful overlook of Lake Allatoona. Additional Georgia state parks with dog trails are listed at GaStateParks.org/Dog-Walking.


JULY 8 - JULY 21, 2016

Special Section | 27

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abun C ounty

2016 Farm & Food Tour Summer / Fall Series

July 28 august 18 September 15 october 20 The screened porch at Steve Frick and Karen Rowell’s home.

modern conveniences of city life. “Moving from a city to the mountains, it was a natural concern that I would not be able to get a Starbucks coffee when I wanted one, and that my favorite shoes would be a day trip of shopping away,” Jackie said. “Surprise! Starbucks is around the corner…and I traded in my favorite shoes for new favorite hiking boots.” In fact, the mountains have provided them with lots of new experiences. Jonathan and Jackie have discovered kayaking down the river, fishing in the stream and hiking the mountain trails. In the evening, they enjoy trying out the variety of restaurants, each featuring unique menu items. “It’s surprising that there are so many things to do in a very small town,” added Jonathan. “We’ve discovered something new each week, and yet we live in the peaceful quiet of the mountains.” “When we first started looking for a ‘cabin’ in the mountains, we didn’t really know what we were looking for,” said Debbie Prantl. She and her husband Jim kept looking, and the more they saw, the more they determined that the view was key. Debbie said that Realtor Suzi Henry was kind enough to work with them for months, and although they saw many lovely homes, none were the right fit. They decided that they wanted a view of Lake Blue Ridge and the mountain ranges. That’s when they found Realtor Nathan Fitts and his group. “At the time, the land was still full of trees and we couldn’t see the view,” Debbie said. “We were going on faith and Nathan’s word that our perfect view was out there. Once we saw the aerial photos taken by a drone, we

knew he was right, and we fell in love with it.” The building of their perfect mountain retreat was complete in May of last year, and their dream was realized. Since Jim is still working, he sometimes commutes to Atlanta or they occasionally stay in their Atlanta home. But Jim and Debbie can’t get enough of the peace and beauty of the mountains. They wake up to the sounds of birds singing in the morning, and see families of deer strolling through their yard in the evening. During the day, they sit on their deck and enjoy the view, or take a ride into town and browse through the many shops. They dine at the area’s fabulous restaurants, or engage in some of the many activities – like golf, hiking, boating and rafting. They’ve also attended the community theater in Blue Ridge, and highly recommend it. “I think we’re really surprised at how much we feel at home here. We never want to leave,” Debbie said. “We’ve been informed by our son that we can never sell this home because it has a history already. Last Fourth of July, he proposed to his girlfriend here on our ‘Juliette balcony.’ Hopefully, it will stay in the family for many years to come.” In 2000, Natalie Sharp found herself in need of a hobby as stress relief to her hectic career in the orthodontic industry. She visited Blue Ridge and cast her way into a new hobby of fly fishing. “After a short weekend learning the sport, it was apparent that the beauty of the mountains and the small town of Blue Ridge were tugging at my heart,” she said. The beauty of the mountains, rivers and creeks touched Natalie deeply. She loved the Continued on page 28

Intown and in the Mountains Bill Gilmore

Julie Osborn

Continued from page 22

www.ExploreRabun.com Reservations 706-982-4754 Teka@ExploreRabun.com

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The dining room with a view at Debbie Prantl’s home at Lake Blue Ridge.

Continued from page 27 quaintness of the Blue Ridge community, its town and the ease of meeting and making friends. Fly fishing and the north Georgia mountains quickly became her passion.

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Throughout the next year, all of her free time and holidays were spent in a rented cabin so she could further explore mountain living and enjoy a simple, peaceful way of life. Natalie met Nathan Fitts, a meeting that eventually led to her purchase of a mountain home under construction. In 2002, she relocated to Blue Ridge from the Atlanta area. Natalie credits Nathan’s knowledge of the area for her wonderful mountain home and mountain life. According to her, Nathan has an understanding of the area that helped him locate just the right mountain home to meet her needs. “I moved to the mountains to escape the city traffic and find a quieter lifestyle,” Natalie said. “Lifestyle is really a choice in Blue Ridge; you can sit back and relax or stay busy. Fly fishing is my passion and way to relax, so my free time is usually spent on or around water. But I also enjoy gardening, going to the farmers markets and learning to can jellies, jams and other vegetables.” Even though she’s enjoying her mountain ‘retirement,’ Natalie found that she needs to stay active and can’t ever imagine not working. She surprised herself when her fly fishing hobby turned into a parttime business in 2002. It was then that she started SharperBites.com, “fly fishing with a gourmet bite.” SharperBites caters each fly fishing experience to meet the needs of clients, for corporate teambuilding events, ladies’ fly fishing clubs, couple or family outings or just friends getting together for a relaxing day on the water. “Fishing private water is ‘where fly fishing meets a touch of heaven,’ and living in Blue Ridge is as close as you can get to heaven on Earth,” Natalie explained. “The quality of life, the people and the mountain way of life here are true blessings.”


JULY 8 - JULY 21, 2016

Classifieds | 29

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To Advertise, call 404-917-2200 ext 110

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SERVICES AVAILABLE

Gymnastics Instructor – Sandy Springs, GA - Sandy Springs Gymnastics Center is now hiring recreational and team coaches to join our growing program. We are looking for positive and committed coaches. Team Coach applicants must be familiar with the Level 1-7 USAG/AAU programs. The position is year round, part-time. Our hourly rates are extremely competitive and based upon experience. Successful completion of a background check will be required. Additionally, USA Gymnastics Professional membership, Safety Certification and CPR/First Aid will be required within 45 days of hire. If you are ready to bring your energy and enthusiasm for gymnastics to our program please submit your resume and brief cover letter/email to: Johanna Godleski, Gymnastics Coordinator Jgodleski@ sandyspringsga.gov. *Must be available on Saturdays and weekday afternoons/evenings*

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30 | Public Safety

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The following represents some, but not all, of the reports made to Sandy Springs police from June 18 to June 28.

window and was wearing a “Scream” mask, black, short-sleeve shirt, jeans and red shoes.

The following information was provided by Capt. Steve Rose of the Sandy Springs Police Department from its records and is presumed to be accurate.

„„

ROBBERY „„8600 block of Roswell Road – On June

18, just after 1 a.m., a robbery was called in. The victim had been to a local bar and then walked to his car and got in. A woman came up to him on the driver’s side and asked for a dollar. The man reached into his pocket to retrieve one when a male reached in and took his wallet. The two suspects fled to a dark SUV and drove south on Roswell Road. „„1100 block of Hammond Drive – On June

Raising The Standard of Care

20, a woman reported that a man stole two phones from her and she chased him across the lot to a pharmacy on Hammond. She later admitted she knew and was staying with the suspect at the nearby extended-stay hotel. She reluctantly gave the officer the man’s information. „„An 18-year-old man said

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he posted a Rolex for sale on the site offerup.com and was contacted by a man who said his name was Jackson and wanted to buy it. The man said that they could meet at the Sandy Springs Middle School around 9 p.m. As he waited in his car, a white Jeep entered and stopped. Three males exited, one holding what appeared to be a rifle. They pointed the gun at him, causing the victim to hit the gas and speed off. Nothing was taken. Steve, please explain the obvious: 9 p.m. in a closed school parking lot? No way, dude. Insist on a public place like a coffee house, police station or gun store. Common sense prevails. This kid was lucky.

BURGLARY „„ 100 block of Northwood Drive – On June 22,

Captain STEVE ROSE, SSPD

srose@sandyspringsga.gov

700 block of Willow Creek Drive – On June 24, a resident said her apartment was entered and some electronics were taken. There was damage to the front door indicating forced entry.

500 block of Northridge Road – On June 25, between 7 and 7:30 p.m., a resident said he and his wife left their apartment to walk down to the pond. On return, they saw two males standing near the apartment. The wife saw one of the men carrying a white cardboard box that she recognized as hers. When they arrived at the apartment, they saw forced entry to the door. Missing items include cash and jewelry. „„

„„6800 block of Glenridge Drive – On June 25,

a resident was grilling out at about 7:50 p.m. He returned to the inside part of the home and heard someone in the home. He assumed it was a family member and left to go outside. Later, around 8:30 p.m., he returned and found dressers moved in his kid’s room. Behind them were two window screens removed. Missing is a purse. A neighbor reported that someone was in her house also, near the same time. There were several more burglaries discovered in this complex. „„6900 block of Roswell Road – On June 26,

about 8 p.m., a man said that he heard a noise inside his residence coming from downstairs. He thought it was his dog, but when he checked on the noise, he found a window and door open. He said he briefly saw a male fleeing the area. A second burglary was reported in the 6980 block, believed to be the same suspect as 6900.

there was a 4 a.m. burglary reported at a restaurant. The owner arrived and saw a male leaving the area. He found that a rock had been thrown through the glass. The man was confronted but fled. Missing was $400. A store next door was also hit in the same way. The owner has not determined that anything was taken.

„„Fieldsborn Court – On June 27, about 7:30

„„4600 block of Roswell Road – On June 22,

THEFTS

someone forced their way into a public storage unit and $80 in cash was taken. „„8500 block of Roswell Road – On June 22,

video footage shows a 4 a.m. burglary in a liquor store where three bottles of vodka were taken. The suspect threw a rock through the

p.m., a man reported he saw a male walking through his backyard, then jumping a fence. He checked his basement area and found that the door and window were open and the window screen removed. Nothing was taken.

„„A man on Ridgemont Drive reported on

June 18 that his ex-wife stole several garden items including a frog and an angel. „„ 1100 block of Perimeter Center – On June 18,

a woman reported someone stole her Galaxy Phone 4 from the jewelry counter at Goodwill.

SS


JULY 8 - JULY 21, 2016

„„6100 block of Bluestone Road – On June

19, a 21-year-old woman reported her cellphone was stolen while she attended a wedding event. The locater app showed the phone on Kingsport Drive. „„A 36-year-old man reported that he was

another person (neighbor) said that he was inside his home and observed two males steal a mower and blower, then get into a black pickup truck and leave. The victim runs a landscaping company. The items were valued at around $2,500.

staying at the Westin Hotel on June 19. He went to a club in Marietta and met a woman known as Keshia. They returned to the hotel around 4 a.m. He woke just after noon and she was gone, along with his 2009 Mercedes E-350 (North Carolina tag) and $500 in cash.

„„ 1100 block of Mount Vernon Highway – On

„„7700 block of Roswell Road – On June 20,

Don’t waste your money on combination locks unless you’re in middle school. Get a Master or other lock that requires serious effort and large power tools to remove.

a 34-year-old woman said her wallet was stolen while she was in the Fulton County Government Center. „„ 1000 block Grey-

field Lane – On June 20, a 39-year-old man said his friend had been staying with him and had stolen a bag that contained a laptop, camera, checkbook and other items. He said the suspect, known as Mr. Anderson, had stayed with him before and had done this before. „„7000 block of Roswell Road -- The owner of

a restaurant said an employee used gift cards to pay for customer purchases, then pocketed the money from the customer for himself. There were multiple transactions over time. „„On June 22 on Allen Road, a woman said

her neighbor stole her medication. The neighbor said this is ongoing because she is crazy. The woman has had several 911 complaints in the last few months. „„ 5800 block of Glenridge Drive – On June 22,

a man said he interviewed a man from a temp agency who was later left alone in the office. The man said he later discovered his laptop gone. „„7700 block of Spalding Drive -- The staff of

a wine and liquor store said a customer alerted them that a woman put a bottle of Bailey’s in her purse, then left. „„1100 block of Mount Vernon Highway –

On June 25, a 70-year-old woman reported that she was approached by a man who asked her about a piece of furniture. She said the man was nice but the conversation was way too long. She later found that her wallet was missing from her purse. She said she keeps the purse closed but after the man left, found it open. „„ A 17-year-old girl said her parents went out of

town and as such, she decided to invite 10 friends over for a pool party. As we all know, invite 10, 60 will show up, which is what happened. Things were later found to have been stolen. „„6600 block of Bridgewood Valley Road

– On June 28 at around 11 a.m., a victim was mowing a home when SS

Public Safety | 31

www.ReporterNewspapers.net

June 28, a 44-year-old man said he was at LA Fitness and placed his gym bag in the locker and locked it with a combination lock. He later found items taken from his wallet. The lock was removed and not found. „„

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ASSAULT „„A 26-year-old woman on Huntcliff Vil-

lage Drive reported on June 18 that she was jumped by another woman at a birthday party who then left and drove to Birmingham, Ala. Alcohol was involved. „„6300 block of Powers Ferry Road – On June

19 at a bar, the bathroom attendant reported that he was working in the men’s room when a woman customer came in. He told her she needed to leave. In response, she punched him, causing his glasses to break.

FRAUD „„An 83-year-old woman reported that some-

one opened an AT&T account in her name using her Social Security number. „„A 57-year-old man reported that someone

used his ID to take a loan with American Finance Solutions in 2012. He was contacted by them, and at that time explained that this was a fraudulent account. He assumed they were good with that. He did not file a police report. He later found the account was in collections (which totally screws your credit score by the way.) He is now in the process of working to get this off his credit history. „„ This happened to me recently. Someone set

up a Verizon account in my name and bought four phones, used them until they were shut off for non-payment, and then re-sold them. I found the account on my credit history and soon received a collection call. I filed the fraud report. The detective served a production of document subpoena to Verizon, who in turn provided the information showing that the phones were delivered to an address in Lithia Springs. I contacted Verizon’s fraud department who looked into it and confirmed it was fraud. They sent a letter to me that I was not responsible for the account ($2400) and they would contact the three reporting agencies to clear it. Of course it takes up to 90 days to clear it. The moral of the story is get the police report when you find fraudulent activity on your history.

READ MORE OF THE POLICE BLOTTER ONLINE AT

www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Call (770) 395-1130 for an appointment 3400-A Old Milton Parkway, Suite 130, Alpharetta, GA 30005

960 Johnson Ferry Road, Suite 300, Atlanta, GA 30342

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TWO UPCOMING COMMUNITY MEETINGS JULY 18 & 20, 2016 HERITAGE SANDY SPRINGS 6110 BLUE STONE ROAD NE MEETING #1 MARTA SMALL AREA PLAN WORKSHOP MONDAY JULY 18, 2016 6:00 - 8:00 PM

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