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JULY 20 - AUG. 2, 2018 • VOL. 12— NO. 15

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► For local police, free overdose antidotes came with a price: looming expiration dates PAGE 4 ► Sandy Springs resident helps organize Atlanta anti-Trump vigil PAGE 5

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North end task force shapes mission, defines success BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

PHIL MOSIER

Work is progressing quickly on the first half of the new Mount Vernon Highway bridge over Ga. 400, where contractors were expected to starting pouring roadway concrete this week. As part of the state’s project to improve the Ga. 400/I-285 interchange, the bridge is being rebuilt from two to four lanes, with 10-foot sidewalks and bike lanes. The existing bridge, built in 1968, is remaining open for now. To maintain traffic flow, the northern half of the bridge is being built first and will open by September; when traffic shifts onto it, the old bridge will come down and work will start on the southern half, which is expected to open in 2019.

ART & ENTERTAINMENT Oglethorpe’s art museum showcases rarely seen works to mark 25th year

Page 18

People read books and go to movies for instant escapism, but all I have to do is look through a catalog. See ROBIN’S NEST, page 11

The task force set up to come up with a plan to redevelop northern Roswell Road in Sandy Springs spent its first public meeting July 11 shaping its mission statement and discussing what it needs to do to LOCAL OPINION achieve the goal of Residents attracting upscale respond to retail and residentask force tial developments Page 12 without gentrifying the area. The “North End Revitalization Task Force” was set up by the city in March. Intended to be focused on practical solutions, the task force is heavy with developers and financiers, along with some advocates for affordable housing and community-oriented development. The task force was asked at its first meeting in May by Mayor Rusty Paul to come up See NORTH on page 12

OUT & ABOUT Council legalizes Group shows backyard swim Mister Rogers movie business to spark neighborly BY EVELYN ANDREWS conversation evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

With little discussion, the Sandy Springs City Council unanimously approved a previously controversial measure that legalizes a backyard swim business at its July 17 meeting. Allison Dubovsky operates Swim with Allison in the pool behind her house at 640 Weatherly Lane, in a cul-de-sac in the exclusive Riverside neighborhood. The city revoked her business license in January after Reed Haggard, who sits on the city’s planning commission and is Dubovsky’s neighbor, realized the business is illegal. He asked Page 9

See COUNCIL on page 15


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The City Council debated two options for new control of fireworks use that is allowed under a new state law that took effect July 1. City Attorney Dan Lee told the council at its July 17 meeting that there are two main options for enforcing the new controls: requiring police officers to use decibel readers to determine if a person is violating the noise ordinance, or requiring residents to receive a permit to use fireworks. The days exempt from the restriction include Memorial Day, Labor Day, July 3 and 4 and New Year’s Eve. The law’s lead sponsor was state Rep. Deborah Silcox, who represents Sandy Springs. Police Chief Ken DeSimone told the council that using the decibel readers is more expensive for the police and requires officers to arrive in time to capture the fireworks noise. Requiring permits would put less strain on the police, but Councilmember Tibby DeJulio took issue with requiring residents to go through a possibly arduous process for what should be a “spontaneous” and celebratory decision. The council asked city staff to come back to the next meeting with recommendations for a permitting process, which could include a fee.

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The City Council approved allowing residents to vote on extending Sunday alcohol sales this November at its July 17 meeting. The vote was 5-0. Councilmember Andy Bauman was absent. The state law, commonly called the “brunch bill,” was passed by the Georgia legislature in its latest session and allows cities to vote on extending Sunday alcohol sales to 11 a.m. instead of 12:30 p.m. The proposal will be added to the Nov. 6 ballot, which will also include other high profile races such as Georgia governor and state legislature seats.

‘MOVIES BY MOONLIGHT’ KICKS OFF AUG. 24 AT CITY SPRINGS

The annual “Movies by Moonlight” free outdoor film screening series kicks off Aug. 24 at a new City Springs location with Disney’s acclaimed animated film “Coco.” Held in recent years at a nearby church activities center, “Movies by Moonlight” is moving for its 14th year to City Green, the new park at the City Springs civic center, located along Mount Vernon Highway between Roswell Road and Sandy Springs Circle. The event is sponsored by Leadership Sandy Springs Food trucks and children’s activities begin at 6 p.m. and the film, shown on an inflatable screen, begins at dusk. The event concludes around 10 p.m. Other films this year include “The Greatest Showman” on Sept. 7 and “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” on Oct. 5. For more information, see leadershipsandysprings.org.

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As Sandy Springs seeks water control, Atlanta privatization is a cautionary tale BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

The city of Sandy Springs continues to press for local control — and possible privatization — of its Atlanta-operated water system, including a recent meeting of its top administration officials. Meanwhile, the Atlanta City Council president is recalling her city’s disastrous experiment in water privatization as a cautionary tale. Felicia Moore, now the Atlanta council president, was one of the few official voices objecting to her city’s 1998 water system privatization, which failed after less than five years amid complaints about bad service and rising costs. She said privatization can be a good model, but only with heavy due diligence ahead of time. “We were making a huge decision without, I believe, adequate information to make that decision on,” Moore said. Sandy Springs, which claims that Atlanta’s water system is not receiving good maintenance or repairs, is attempting that sort of due diligence as it pushes to possible take control of the system itself. City leaders have said privatization is a likely model if that happens, though the entire idea is still conceptual. Sandy Springs is famous for privatizing most of its city departments. Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul had requested a meeting with Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms to discuss the issue. That meeting has not happened, but emails obtained through an open records request show that Sandy Springs City Manager John McDonough and Atlanta Chief Operating Officer Richard Cox met on July 11 and talked about the water issue. “Our goal is to work cooperatively with city of Atlanta to assess the condition of the water infrastructure and to determine a value,” McDonough wrote in a post-meeting letter to Cox. “We believe that the outcome of this process can be a win-win for both of our cities.” McDonough also complained that Atlanta has yet to respond to a six-month-old open records request from Sandy Springs for water system operational and billing information. That request, filed by Sandy Springs City Attorney Dan Lee, is a 17-point list seeking a wide range of information, which city officials have previously said is both for due diligence and for preparing a possible lawsuit to seize control of the system if necessary. Responses from Atlanta’s Law Department blame the delayed response partly on a cyber attack that shut down various government systems in March. The Law Department also notes that Sandy Springs’ vast and expansive document request would involve “a large number of staff members and require weeks of investigation and effort to cull the requested records.” SS

Moore said the council has not received any direct information about Sandy Springs’ water concerns from either city’s administration, so there is no sign of how the council might respond to a deal. She added that the council also has not recently received serious systemic complaints about the Department of Watershed Management’s services. All cities around the country have water system issues, she said. “People have to take into context, it’s a huge system,” said Moore. “And it’s an aging system. It’s no different from any water system around the country” that needs upgrades. “But Sandy Springs is a city, so I can understand why they may want to have control of their own water system,” Moore said, without expressing any personal opinion on the matter, saying she had heard of it only through news reports. Water system control “was the first big issue in my first term in office over 20 years ago,” said Moore, when she recalls being the lone “no” vote against the privatization. Facing similar complaints about service and costs, Mayor Bill Campbell in 1998 started a privatization contract with United Water Services. It was a 20-year deal, but lasted barely five years, with Mayor Shirley Franklin pulling the plug in early 2003. The city complained that United Water was struggling with maintenance, emergency repairs and billing, and understaffing the system while demanding tens of millions dollars more than authorized in the contract. It turned into a legal dispute that ended with Atlanta paying the company $6 million and the company paying the city $1 million, according to Atlanta Business Chronicle reports at the time. “One of, I think, the biggest problems I had was some of the best practices you should follow before you go into a privatization situation,” said Moore. The big problem was lack of basic information on both sides. She said that when a city is going to “turn over an asset of that magnitude, [it is important to] have a handle on what the assets are and the state of condition they’re in… We hadn’t done a lot of those things.” “That’s all water under the dam, pun intended,” said Moore. But there are some lessons for other cities. She said the experience did not sour her on the concept of privatization. “Privatization, in and of itself, doesn’t mean it won’t work,” said Moore. “I think if you do it right and make sure you know what you’re getting into… it may work for you. It works in other parts of the country.” And if Sandy Springs did end up running its own water system, privatization “probably would work better for them” since it does not currently have its own water department staff to start with. – Evelyn Andrews contributed

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For local police, free overdose antidotes came with a price: looming expiration dates BY MAX BLAU The Brookhaven and Dunwoody police departments are among the dozens of public agencies to have received free doses of naloxone, a lifesaving opioid-overdose antidote, from a Virginia-based pharmaceutical company. But a recent investigation into the company’s charity program found the goodwill was limited by the fact that some of those doses were within months of expiring. Four years ago, when Kaleo started giving away more than 330,000 naloxone auto-injectors, the Dunwoody and Brookhaven police departments were among the first law enforcement agencies to apply for the free antidote. They each received hundreds of doses of the lifesaving drug. They each armed their officers with medicine that revives overdose victims. They each saved lives. But both departments were among at least nine police departments that, according to an investigation from

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A training version of an Evzio brand naloxone injector as used earlier this year in a training at Georgia State University’s Perimeter College Dunwoody Campus.

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FOLLOW UP TO OUR EXCLUSIVE SERIES ABOUT THE OPIOID CRISIS STAT News, had received Evzio naloxone auto-injectors that were on the verge of expiring. Pharmacists typically dispense naloxone with over a year left on its shelf life. But the investigation found that some departments received free naloxone anywhere from four to 11 months away from expiring. Drug charity programs are a tactic used by pharmaceutical companies to justify price hikes and get rid of product that pharmacies will no longer stock. Kaleo — the subject of a congressional probe for raising the price of its Evzio product to $4,500 for a twopack — has earned a plug from President Trump for donating naloxone. Kaleo spokesperson Brian Ellis told STAT that the company attempts “to make donations with the understanding that it will be used quickly, not stockpiled.” “Kaleo would much rather help save a life than throw an effective product away,” Ellis said. While federal and Georgia laws do not prohibit the practice of donating soon-to-be expired drugs, some experts, like Leo Beletsky, an associate professor of law and health sciences at Northeastern University, believe the pharmaceutical practice is unethical — the equivalent of a restaurant donating wilting lettuce to a food bank. The effectiveness of naloxone may decrease as the antidote nears its expiration date, potentially requiring multiple doses to reverse an overdose, according to pharmacists. “We were grateful, but these were drugs that likely couldn’t be sold,” said Sgt. Robert Parsons, the Dunwoody Police Department’s naloxone coordinator. “If departments receive the donations, and it runs out, you’ve created the expectation in the community that officers are carrying the product and that, if someone is overdosing, you can call 911.” Prior to receiving free Evzio in March 2015, Brookhaven officers hadn’t used naloxone in the field to reverse opioid overdoses. Officer Carlos Nino, a spokesperson for the Brookhaven Police Department, said the department has received five Evzio donations including a total of more than 700 auto-injectors. One of those batches, he said, was received six months away from expiration. Since then, Kaleo has provided auto-injectors that last more than a year, Nino said. The department still uses the auto-injectors to save over-


JULY 20 - AUG. 2, 2018

Community | 5

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dose victims. “Officers are just amazed at how it goes from shallow breaths … to, boom, next thing you know, they’re up on their feet,” Nino said. Over the past four years, Brookhaven has deployed naloxone nearly twodozen times to overdose victims. In early 2016, Brookhaven Police Chief Gary Yandura only talked about the positives of the donated naloxone when he was quoted in a Kaleo press release: “Anytime there is a chance for a police officer to save a life they should have the tools to help make them successful. Evzio has been that tool. We use it to help save lives and give second chances.” Kaleo, for its part, has encouraged some agencies to plug the free product, providing police chiefs with a stock press release for its potential use. In other cases, some departments have had to sign a confidential agreement that restricts officers from referring to Evzio by the brand name of its top competitor, Narcan, a nasal spray manufactured by Adapt Pharma. In October 2015, the Dunwoody Police Department received its first batch of Evzio auto-injectors, which expired the following April. When a second set arrived, Parsons looked at the box, shocked to find that the product would only last for four months. Yet that hasn’t stopped Dunwoody from getting overdose calls. Instead of purchasing Kaleo’s pricey product, Parsons said the DPD instead invested in the purchase of Narcan nasal spray, a cheaper naloxone product that costs around $150 for a two-pack. The department now spends about $5,250 every two years stocking up on naloxone, he said. Overall, Dunwoody officers have administered naloxone in nearly half of its 39 overdose calls since 2015. “To say you don’t have naloxone anymore is tough,” Parsons said. “You need to be ready to take on that expense in one way, shape, or form.”

Editor’s Note: Max Blau is a freelance reporter based in Atlanta. Last month, he investigated the issue of soon-to-expire naloxone donations for the healthcare website STAT News; this article focuses on local police departments affected by the issue. Earlier this year, he wrote our exclusive four-part series “Coping with a Crisis: Opioid Addiction in the Suburbs.” To read the series, see ReporterNewspapers.net.

National voting rights group campaigns for Democrats from Sandy Springs office BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

A national voting rights group has opened its Georgia field office in Sandy Springs to campaign for local Democratic candidates in the races for governor and state legislative seats. Let America Vote, based in Washington, D.C., counts Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams among its advisory board members. This year, it opened field offices in five states, with Georgia’s in the Parkside Shopping Center at 5920 Roswell Road. The same office was long occupied by the Fulton County Republican Party, which moved in recent months. “The goal is to create political consequences for voter suppression,” said Austin Laufersweiler, Let America Vote’s national spokesperson. The group chose Georgia for a field office partly due to Abrams’ race to “help elect her,” said Laufersweiler. Sandy Springs — a majority-Republican suburban city — was chosen as a headquarters site for “geography” of door-knocking to influence various local campaigns, he said. The group previously campaigned for Democrat Jon Ossoff in last year’s historically expensive and nationally spotlighted race for the local 6th Congressional District seat, which was won by Republican Karen Handel. Porsha White, the Georgia field office’s director, declined to be interviewed. Laufersweiler said the group is backing state legislative candidates “who support voting rights” and to “replace people we see as opposing voting rights.” The Georgia office’s social media account indicates that it is campaigning for Democrats in several local races, including: Sally Harrell, challenging incumbent Fran Millar in Senate District 40; Jen Jordan, who faces Republican challenger Leah Aldridge in Senate District 6; Shea Roberts, who is challenging incumbent Deborah Silcox in House District 52; and Matthew Wilson, who is challenging incumbent Meagan Hanson in House District 80. Abrams’ resume includes running a voting registration organization. She serves on the Let America Vote advisory board along with many prominent figures and elected officials, most of them Democrats or liberals, such as Josh Earnest, former press secretary to President Barack Obama; Martin Luther King III; and the presidents of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund and

EMILY’s List. Besides the Sandy Springs headquarters, Let America Vote is running some Georgia satellite offices in such cities as Athens. Laufersweiler is a Marietta native.

As a high-school student, he was in the news in 2010 for efforts to tighten anti-bully policies, especially relating to LGBTQ students, in Cobb County schools.

Sandy Springs resident helps organize Atlanta anti-Trump vigil BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

A Sandy Springs resident helped to organize an Atlanta version of a nationwide “vigil” opposing President Trump’s administration scheduled for July 18 as the Reporter went to press. Jill Myers said she has not been involved in political organizing before and disagrees with many of the left-wing groups behind the vigil movement. But she indicated Trump’s recent enormously controversial comments about Russia and election tampering drove her to volunteer for a “Confront Corruption ATL” vigil in downtown Atlanta, for which more than 180 people had RSVP’ed. Myers, a CEO and founder of a software startup, said she was inspired to join the national “Confront Corruption and Demand Democracy” vigil effort after hearing about it Continued on page 6

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Continued from page 5 from a group she respects, the good-government organization Common Cause. “Common Cause is my guidepost,” said Myers. “It’s an organization whose mission is definitively pro-democracy and nonpartisan.” Sara Henderson, the executive director of Common Cause’s Georgia chapter, confirmed her group’s involvement in the local vigil. The group is promoting the vigil, with Myers as lead organizer and contact. A vigil announcement letter sent by Myers cites concerns about possible Russian tampering with U.S. elections and Trump’s reaction to it. The letter cites the recent indictment on election and campaign charges of 12 Russian officials by Robert Mueller III, who is leading a special investigation into possible Russian influence on the 2016 SPECIAL presidential election won by Trump. Jill Myers. The letter also alludes to Trump’s enormously controversial remarks, delivered July 16 while standing alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin, to the effect that he saw no reason why the Russian government would influence U.S. elections, despite the opinion of various U.S. intelligence agencies that it did. Trump later said he partly misspoke and believes the Russians have such reason, but that others could have been involved as well. “Never in America’s history has our president enthusiastically refuted his own government on the world stage,” says the vigil announcement letter. “Never has our president bowed to a former KGB officer who murders his rivals.” As a result, the letter sent by Myers says, “… I will lead a vigil that confronts the rampant corruption we have witnessed since January 20, 2017,” the day Trump was inaugurated. The national vigil movement is being promoted by a large number of largely liberal political groups, such as People for the American Way, MoveOn, Daily Kos and Greenpeace. The vigil movement’s mission statement reads in part, “From attacks on the rule of law to conflicts of interest, ethics violations and flagrant abuse of government offices for personal gain, the corruption of the American government by the president, his associates and many in his party has reached a new, profound low.” The supporting groups are calling for a variety of reforms related to government transparency and voting rights. Most of dozens of vigils being organized are on July 18, though some are running throughout the week. They range from a “Vigil Against the Beast, Donald Trump” in Indianapolis to “Dallas Confronts Corruption” in Texas. The Atlanta vigil is, so far, the only one listed in Georgia. Myers says she has “never led or participated in any events organized by these groups. I do not agree with policy positions of the majority of these groups.” She said she’s not even a Common Cause donor. She calls herself “a concerned citizen who is trying to apply my knowledge of history, given these unprecedented times.”

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12 MORE AWARDS FOR EDITORIAL EXCELLENCE W

General Excellence

e’re honored (again!) that Reporter Newspapers won 12 awards in its division in the Georgia Press Association’s 2018 Better Newspaper Competition.

Business Writing (John Ruch) News Photography /3 awards (Phil Mosier)

Added to last year’s recognitions, the four Reporter editions have now won a total of 24 awards for editorial excellence in GPA competitions, which are

Lifestyle Column /2 awards (Robin Conte) Layout & Design /2 awards (Rico Figliolini) Enterprise Story (Dyana Bagby)

judged by newspaper professionals from around the country. Thank you to our readers, advertisers and peers who

Local News Coverage Newspaper Website

support our mission of providing trusted, hyperlocal community journalism.

Your #1 preferred source for local news and information!* MAY 12 - 25, 2017• VOL. 8 — NO.

MAY 26 - JUNE 8, 2017 • VOL. 11— NO. 11

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Dawn of a new church

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► Eyed for trails, pipeline routes are serious business

Current City Hall site City proposes targeted for redevelopment $106 million

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johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

The city is proposing a $106 million operating budget for fiscal year 2018, an increase of about a half-percent over the current year, officials said at a May 23

OUT & ABOUT Lantern Parade will light up the Hooch

Page 20 buys condos, displaces tenants

Page 16

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From documentaries on diversity and inclusion to community partnerships on autism awareness, GPB is an educational lifeline to millions of Georgia students, teachers and residents.

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► ‘The good, the bad the ugly’ of 2017 legislative session

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PAGE 14

City’s new medical center wants to grow

Mary Hall Freedom House, a nonprofit that helps women with homelessness and addiction issues, has bought 33 units of a Sandy Springs condominium complex for use as transitional housing and possible redevelopment into a larger facility or headquarters. One of the two dozen tenants currently renting those condo units is complaining about the “irony” of losing her home to an organization that helps the homeless. See HOMELESSNESS on page 22

I want to see a competition that celebrates our everyday Home Kitchen challenges. ... The Chairman would be the Original Iron Chef’s Mother-in-Law. Prizes are a month’s supply of lasagna and a spa weekend. A chef wins if her kids eat her food. Robin’s Nest, page 15

See CURRENT on page 22

DeKalb CEO: EMS response time improves BY DYANA BAGBY

dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

Ambulance response times in the city are improving after changes were made by the private company contracted by DeKalb County to provide the emergency service, including hiring more staff, according to county officials. The City Council in December raised serious concerns with the DeKalb Fire & Rescue chief and the regional director of American Medical Response over ambulance response times in the city, noting there were numerous instances of ambuSee DEKALB on page 13

PHOTOS BY PHIL MOSIER

on April 8 as part Corporate Boulevard page 19. of Peachtree Creek around For more photos, see a bank of the north fork “Sweep the Hooch” event. Volunteers clean up Riverkeeper’s annual of the Chattahoochee

EXCEPTIONAL EDUCATOR Passing on her culinary passion Page 27

I believe [President Trump] is strong enough to force Congress to break through this nonsense and get something done. DAVID PERDUE U. S. Senator

See PERDUE, page 21.

OUT & ABOUT Get grounded with Earth Day events Page 6

11 — NO. 5

FACEBOOK.COM

Glowing for a cause

BY DYANA BAGBY spapers.net dyanabagby@reporternew

A developer plans to build two residential towers and an office tower at Perimeter Center East, where Dunwoody City Hall now is located. Representatives from North Carolina-based Grubb Properties described their proposal, which is still in the concept stage, to the board of the Dunwoody Homeowners Association on May 7. The company owns about 19.5 acres in Perimeter Center East, with three mid-rise office buildings, one of which serves as City Hall. The property is behind the Ravinia complex off Ashford-Dunwoody Road. The city is relocating to a new City Hall

16, 2017 • VOL.

Buckhead Reporter

and

BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.n et

percent decline. The police department would get a budget boost of more than 9 percent to about $22.8 million. Part of that is a salAbove, a a bird’s eye view of the proposed redevelopment in ary increase to remain competitive as Perimeter Center East includes, residential towers and a new office to the left, two new tower. In the State Patrol pay boost is attracting offiremain and have retail on the ground center are two current mid-rise office buildings that would floor. To the right are two new apartment Inset, an illustration of what the buildings. cers away from the department, city offistreetscape might look like in the development. cials said. The boost also includes hiring

EXCEPTIO 11 See CITY on pageNAL EDUCATOR ss literature Teaching Homelessne through life nonprofit

FACEBOOK.COM/THEREPOR

Picking up at Peachtree Creek

BY JOHN RUCH

PHIL MOSIER

VOL. 9 — NO. 8

Brookhaven Reporter

PAGE 6

FY2018 budget

home of St. Joseph Maronite to the first Mass, held Sunday, May 14, at the new Rev. Dominique Hanna welcomes his congregation the former building of Apostles St. Joseph moved from an Atlanta location into Catholic Church at Glenridge and Hammond drives. attended St. Joseph’s debut. financial turmoil. More than 400 parishioners Church, a Lutheran congregation that closed amid

Pages 18-19

APRIL 14 - 27, 2017 •

► Buckhead company keeps ‘quirky’ old-school sodas fizzing

City Council meeting. The budget will take effect July 1. The council will hold public hearings on the budget on June 6 and June 20. The budget projects revenues of about $92 million, with money from a reserve fund balancing the expenditures. The revenue projection is about 1 percent higher than fiscal 2017. While most revenue sources are projected to increase, property taxes are expected to show a 2.2

EDUCATION Top of the Class

reporternewspapers.net

PAGE 4

/THEREPORTERN

EWSPAPERS

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► Historic locomotive makes tracks to Buckhead PAGE 4 SPECIAL SECTIO N | P22-27

Buckhead ma ster plan to allow more input on big ideas

Wearing glow necklaces and Garden Hills shirts with in the Garden Hills/Pe second annual Family reflective shoeprints, adults, Flashlight Fun achtree Park kids of all ages, Run, held Sunday Friends Group strollers and PHOTO BY volunteers, PHIL MOSIER dogs take benefits Childre evening, Feb. 26. The nearly 1-mile to the streets of n’s Healthcare race, organiz of Atlanta. More pictures, page ed by 18.►

BY DYANA BAGBY

apers.net

dyanabagby@reporternewsp

Classroom gam from math to es, Shakespeare

to the April 18 As the days tick down the open 6th Conspecial election to fill each of the 18 cangressional District seat, furiousPage are trying 28 didates in the large field from the pack. ly to separate themselves was at opportunity public The latest forum hosted by the April 9 candidate rs Association the Dunwoody Homeowne at Dunwoody High and Dunwoody Crier early voting in School. Voters are already seat that had been the election to fill the Tom Price, who reheld by Republican

See 6TH on page 18

reporternewspa pers.net

PAGE 5

of Atlanta is seekChildren’s Healthcare along the Northing to have 11.4 acres into the city of east Expressway annexed 8-story office Brookhaven for a proposed massive expansion of building as part of a at North Druid Hills its new 45-acre campus includes buyRoad and I-85. The expansion ing out a church. city officials say is It’s just part of what redevelopment commajor medical-related to the Execuing after years of anticipation tive Park area. request with annexation the filed CHOA is asking for a spethe city on April 5. It also for some of the propcial land-use permit the 8-story, 340,000erty in order to build on land currently square-foot building CHOA also wants zoned only for five stories. to build a parking deck. SLUP requests are The annexation and up by the Planning expected to be taken Council in June. Commission and City SLUP is approved “If the annexation and See CITY on page 20

6th District hopefuls squareEXCEPTIONAL EDUCATOR off in debate

EPORTER_NEWS

► New prog ressive attracts activ group ists

OUT & ABOUT

[Students need] A very special more ‘reallife’ education scenarios: finan es, investing, c- performance of budgeting. A lot of ‘The kids graduate Wizard of Oz’ and don’t know how to balan ce a checkbook, Page but know how 6 to do some math problem with only symbols.”

BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@rep orternewspape rs.net The Buckh ead master plan will keep on planning for a while. A Feb. 27 community meeting for the “BUCKHEAD REdeFINED” scheduled to plan was be the last, but now input will continue into April to hash out some controversial ideas, said Eric Bosma lead consul n of tant Kimley -Horn. Those clude ideas inlarge and small for Buckhead’s commercial core, from a new terchange to Ga. 400 ina neighborhood trail loop. A crowd of about 100 at the Atlant Internationa a l School receive ing, 90-min d a sprawlute presen tation that rowed some narearlier ideas, others, and elaborated introduced still more concepts, all new while mingli ng short- and long-term plans. Several of its recommende steps” are alread d “first y underway, ing the PATH4 like finish00 trail along Ga. 400; some See BUCKHEAD on page 16

Massell: Buckhead getting bigger busier, wealth , ier

BY JOHN RUCH

johnruch@repo

rternewspapers.

Residents grad on preparing e schools students for careers and civic life See COMMUNITY SURVEY Page 14

*Source: independent reader survey

www.ReporterNewspapers.net ■ Published by Springs Publishing LLC

net

Buckhead is big, busy and wealthy. And by 2020, it’ll be even bigger, wealthier. busier and So said Buckhe ad Coalition Sam Massel president l in his annual “State of the Community” address Feb. 23 at the City Club of Buckhe ad, hosted by the Buckhead Business Associa tion. Massell listed branding points” several “bragging and projecting the the neighborhood booms in ’s population, real estate See MASSELL on page 17


8 | Art & Entertainment

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PERFORMANCES WINE & READING SERIES WITH FOUND STAGES BROOKHAVEN

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GET ACTIVE DATE NIGHT RIVER CANOE TRIP

Fridays, Aug. 3, 17 and 24, 6 p.m. Chattahoochee Nature Center canoe guides will lead this 2.5-hour adult-only evening paddle. Learn all about the Chattahoochee River and look for wildlife with naturalists. When the trip is done, roast marshmallows over a campfire. Ages 21+. $35; $30 CNC members. 135 Willeo Road, Roswell. Info: chattnaturecenter.org.

Sunday, Aug. 5, 2-4 p.m. Atlanta writer Neeley Gossett is up next in this series of readings of new plays by nationally known local writers at the Dunwoody Nature Center. Neeley’s play, “The Year Without Summer,” features Nadine, a lepidopterist who is in India to clone an endangered butterfly and who must make a decision while there about whether to use a pregnancy surrogate. Professional actors bring characters to life in this series, presented in partnership with Found Stages on first Sundays monthly at 2 p.m. through November. Includes a meet-and-greet with the month’s featured playwright, actors and directors. Complimentary wine and appetizers. $20. 5343 Roberts Drive, Dunwoody. Info: dunwoodynature.org.

CAJUN CONCERT AND DANCE

BACK TO THE CHATT

Saturday, Aug. 4, 9 a.m. to 4:20 p.m. Hundreds of paddlers and floaters will take to the river in the annual Back to the Chatt at the Chattahoochee River. Race begins at two Nantahala Outdoor Center locations and ends at Paces Mill. Benefits Chattahoochee Riverkeeper’s mission to preserve the Chattahoochee River. A free family-friendly festival featuring live music from Danger Muffin and Fireside Collective follows the race at about noon. $35 for floaters; $50 for solo boats; $90 for tandem boats. Register: chattahoochee.org/btc.

Saturday, Aug. 4, 8-11 p.m. The Atlanta Cajun Zydeco Association hosts the Lafayette, La.-based Terry & The Zydeco Bad Boys at the Dorothy Benson Center. Cajun/Creole food for sale. All ages. No partner necessary. $18; $14 active military; $5 students. Cash or check only. Free beginners’ dance lesson at 7 p.m. 6500 Vernon Woods Drive, Sandy Springs. Info: aczadance.org or 877-338-2420.

VISUAL ARTS YOUTH SUMMER ART WEEKS EXHIBIT

Friday, July 27 to Friday, Aug. 10. Closing reception, Aug. 10, 4:30-6:30 p.m. A collection of work by young artists will be presented. Free. Abernathy Arts Center, 254 Johnson Ferry Road N.W., Sandy Springs. Info: fultonarts.org.

FREE FIRST SATURDAY: BUTTERFLIES

Saturday, Aug. 4, 11 a.m. to noon. The Dunwoody Nature Center will hold a butterfly festival featuring education on the life cycle, host plants, and benefits of butterflies. Free. 5343 Roberts Drive, Dunwoody. Info: dunwoodynature.org.

SUNDAY COMMUNITY CYCLE

Sunday, Aug. 5, 2:45-4 p.m. Join Bike-Walk Dunwoody on the first Sunday of each month for a Community Bicycle Ride kicking off and ending at Village Burger. After a pre-ride safety talk, the group departs at 3 p.m. for a 4.5-mile loop around Dunwoody. Hang out after the ride for $1 custards, $1 discounts on beers, and post-ride socializing. All ages and abilities welcome. Helmets required. Free. 1426 Dunwoody Village Pkwy., Dunwoody. Info: bikewalkdunwoody.org.

KIDS AND FAMILIES TEEN LOCK-IN

Friday, July 27, 6-9 p.m. It’s teen night at the Sandy Springs Branch Library, featuring games, crafts, photo booth, music and movies. Registration and parental permission slip required. Free. 395 Mount Vernon Highway N.E., Sandy Springs. Info: 404-3036130 or email sandysprings.branch@fultoncountyga.gov to register.

SUMMER ADVENTURES FAMILY FUN DAY

Sunday, Aug. 5, noon to 4 p.m. Celebrate the end of summer vacation from school at the Chattahoochee Nature Center’s Family Fun Day. Activities include canoeing, fly fishing, geocaching, water games and guided hikes. Included with general admission and free to CNC Members. $10 adults; $7 seniors


JULY 20 - AUG. 2, 2018

Art & Entertainment | 9

www.ReporterNewspapers.net

(ages 65+) and students (ages 13 -18); $6 children (ages 3-12); children 2 & under free. 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell. Info: chattnaturecenter.org.

WE HAVE EXCITING NEWS!

GET INTO THE COMMUNITY SANDY SPRINGS YOUNG PROFESSIONALS PANEL DISCUSSION

Wednesday, July 25, 6-7:30 p.m. The Sandy Springs Young Professionals Under 40 Council hosts a panel discussion: Starting & Growing Your Business. Panelists include: Christian Zimmerman, founder of Qoins, an app that rounds up purchases to the next dollar to help pay off debt; Dr. Anne-Marie Campbell, owner of Compass Family Chiropractic; and Marcus Ruzek, Green Beret and founder of Mindset 1st, a provider of anti-terrorism and risk mitigation consulting services. Free, registration required. Sandy Springs Innovation Center, 1000 Abernathy Road, Suite L-10, Sandy Springs. Info: business.sandyspringsperimeterchamber.com.

NORTH ATLANTA VOICES INFO SESSION

Thursday, Aug. 2, 7-8 p.m. North Atlanta Voices, a community chorus that joins people who love to sing, will hold a new member info session. No experience is required, including the ability to read music, and there is no obligation to attend the information session. Music selected will be of a wide variety. Open to adults 18 years and older. Highpoint Episcopal Community Church, 4945 High Point Road, Sandy Springs. Info: northatlantavoices.org.

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FILM SCREENING AND CONVERSATION: “WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR?” Monday, July 23, 4-6 p.m. Join GEEARS (Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students) for a screening of the film “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” and a conversation following the film on how people can work together to build neighborhoods where all children thrive. “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” takes an intimate look at America’s legendary neighbor, Mister Rogers. $12.75. The Springs Cinema & Taphouse, 5920 Roswell Road, Sandy Springs. Info: geears.org.

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10 | Commentary

Reporter Newspapers 

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C O NTA C T US Founder & Publisher Steve Levene stevelevene@reporternewspapers.net Editorial Managing Editor John Ruch johnruch@reporternewspapers.net INtown Editor: Collin Kelley Editor-at-Large Joe Earle Staff Writers Dyana Bagby, Evelyn Andrews Copy Editor: Donna Williams Lewis Creative and Production Creative Director Rico Figliolini rico@reporternewspapers.net Graphic Designer: Wes Duvall Advertising Director of Sales Development Amy Arno amyarno@reporternewspapers.net Sales Executives Melissa Kidd, Jeff Kremer, Janet Porter, Jim Speakman Office Manager Deborah Davis deborahdavis@reporternewspapers.net Contributors Max Blau, Robin Conte, Phil Mosier, Marenda Scales, Judith Schonbak

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Commentary / In mayors’ meeting, new ideas and shared solutions Editor’s note: Brookhaven Mayor John Ernst in June attended the 86th Annual United States Conference of Mayors in Boston, along with Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and mayors from 250 cities from around the nation. The Reporter Newspapers asked Ernst to share what he learned. Ideas! Problem solving! Sois mayor of the city lutions! These of Brookhaven. were my takeaways from the recent U.S. Conference of Mayors in Boston, a city with a legacy for revolutionary concepts and progressive thinking. After sharing issues and suggestions with leaders from America’s top cities, I returned to Brookhaven energized and prepared to put these new notions and solutions into action. With other local leaders, such as Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, we focused on listening and sharing our problems and successes. Through this gratifying exchange, we concluded that, in the end, our shared issues had much in common and the answers were indeed “out there” waiting for us to find and resolve. The overall theme of the conference was built around infrastructure, innovation and inclusion. But it was so much more … other sessions were focused on immigration, community development and housing, criminal and social justice, energy environment, jobs education, tourism and parks. While there were a number of impor-

John Ernst

tant topics discussed with leaders from New York and Los Angeles to Santa Fe and Little Rock, there were two particular topics of importance to me in relation to Brookhaven’s future: transportation and small cell technology; i.e., “mini” cell towers, which have recently come into favor with providers. Recent local discussions on small cell technology left lingering questions as to whether we were coming up with adequate plans that protect the city on issues such as proper compensation and use of our right of ways and adequate placement of cell towers that were aesthetically pleasing to residents, yet fair to both the city and the small cell industry. As we discussed shared experiences, I confirmed that we were moving in the right direction, doing many things properly, and noted areas where we could improve our planning. Best of all, we received positive feedback on our local efforts and useful suggestions from mayors of other cities with similar issues. With an eye to the future, I attended a transportation session featuring officials from Waymo, a company that began in 2009 as the Google self-driving car project. Today, they’re an independent self-driving technology company with a mission to make it safe and easy for everyone to get around. This is a potential technology that we have discussed locally and realize we need to keep in mind when planning our future parking restrictions, charging station placement, traffic improvements, land development, etc. We know these technologies are coming, and we want to be proactive, making improvements today that will not be obsolete a decade from now. We have to meet current needs, yet plan for those in the future. Well-paved roads, thoughtful traffic grids and other traffic improvements are

Letters to the Editor UBER CO LU M N STR U CK A CHO R D

Your column “Around Town: An Uber-seat view on Atlanta life” (July 6) struck a chord. First, in realizing that — while I have been an active Uber user since the beginning — there are still plenty of people out there still just discovering and finding excitement in the service. Second, it’s refreshing that there are still those who take such opportunities to connect with other people in their community. As a very introverted person, I don’t often take advantage, usually burying my head in a book or my phone while on MARTA or in line at the grocery store. But as I was in L.A. recently for work, I had to take an Uber daily for three months. Being prone to motion sickness, I would do the unusual and sit in the front seat next to the driver. This, fortunately, forced me into many fulfilling conversations similar to your own: stories of immigration, family history and the like. I don’t really have a point to make here, I guess just to say thanks for your shared experience, and happy Uber-ing. Rich Thompson Sandy Springs

examples of forward thinking that new businesses and residents look for that can determine whether or not they choose to locate in Brookhaven. Throughout the conference, I had great discussions with mayors from cities of all sizes. Of particular interest was talking with leaders from satellite communities like ours on the edge of larger cities, such as Culver City’s proximity to Los Angeles. They experience many of the same types of problems we do. Sometimes larger cities utilize pilot programs or measures that just aren’t feasible for cities like Brookhaven. We discussed ways to take this knowledge, however, and right-size it to utilize here. We also looked at how problems can be solved or improvements made at the local level, without enacting or seeking state or federal legislation to solve a problem. Other conference highlights included speakers such as Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook, who discussed ways to get the best communication and use of social media to get information to and input from residents. Frank Luntz, the well-known American political consultant, pollster and public opinion guru, spoke about his findings on what typical American residents are expecting from their local governments. I found his findings interesting (and rewarding!) that city government leaders were the ones people trusted most these days, over state and federal leaders. Reinforcing our local efforts to acquire green space and develop projects like the Peachtree Creek Greenway, one speaker from Reno, Nevada, disputed the old claim that the standard for park size and use was not particularly so many acres per person, but the more positive notion that the best park was a park within 10 minutes’ walk from home.

THANKS FR O M A FEL LO W UB ER C HATT ER

Thanks for your column “Around Town: An Uber-seat view on Atlanta life” (July 6). I’m also an Uber chatter passenger. Just recently, albeit in Baltimore, I spoke with a newly arrived Nigerian who referred to Baltimore traffic as “child’s play.” We extensively discussed the World Cup. However, he now realizes also that American football is more than big men in Spandex. As for Atlanta, I’ve had a similar mix to you, but luckily can drive, so it’s only every so often. For your newspaper’s benefit, let me mention my mother’s favorite service, GoGoGrandparent. This is Uber with an old-personfriendly interface, including a text to my brother when she is on the move. Pre-scheduled rides and saved pick-up and drop locations are also a benefit. Thanks for writing. Our country is a phenomenal place and riding Uber makes one truly appreciate that fact. Henry M. Quillian III Atlanta SS


JULY 20 - AUG. 2, 2018

Commentary | 11

www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Who needs movies when you can escape into catalog world? People read books and go to movies for instant escapism, but all I have to do is look through a catalog. I can flip through the pages of a Pottery Barn spring promotional and momentarily convince myself that for my next dinner party, I’ll wrap damask napkins in raffia and insert a daffodil in the middle. To complete my mental picture, I add gold pineappleshaped place-card holders and a tablescape. I can hover over a recipe in Williams-Sonoma and consider it plausible that I would open my toaster oven and retrieve a tray of my own perfectly baked caramelized-onionand-gruyere apple tarts … that are garnished with sprigs of thyme I grew myself. I’ll open an Anthropologie Lookbook and fantasize about attending cocktail parties wearing earrings that cost more than my light fixtures. It’s so much fun! I flip through the pages and enter the realm of catalog Robin Conte lives with clothing, where the women eat pizza on the steps of Roman her husband in an ruins while wearing head-to-toe silk. They lounge chicly on empty nest in Dungrassy lawns, playing backgammon and not worrying about woody. To contact her ants or grass stains. They balance themselves along rock walls or to buy her new colwhile decked-out in wide-leg jumpsuits. They pair prints with umn collection, “The plaids and pull it off. All their accessories are whimsical. Best of the Nest,” see Try it sometime. robinconte.com. You, too, can luxuriate in a world in which you are invited to a garden party where all the food is made of chocolate, all the guests are wearing white, and all tables are bedecked with peonies, grapevine baskets and lanterns. You can daydream about spending $16 on a jar of matches with “painstakingly hand-notated labels,” $22 on a copper-plated can opener, or $40 on a glazed mixing bowl. Without doling out $13 for a movie ticket, you can open a free catalog and venture to Zanzibar, where you’ll lounge fashionably in a tassel-fringed hammock that’s suspended over a glimmering pool in a whitewashed courtyard. You can live in home that’s decorated with a sofa upholstered in aubergine suede, chairs covered in pink velvet, and a massive vase filled with sunflowers in the foyer. You’ll be riding a bike without a helmet, wearing instead a jaunty Panama hat and yellow cat-eye sunglasses. You’ll scamper with your friends in flowy maxi dresses and play with sparklers in the surf when the sun sets. Please, if you’re out there, if you really do these things — raise your hands! Contact me! I want to meet you! I want to join you in your next soiree along a woodsy riverbank while we wear breezy organic cotton and you teach me how to pair patterns. I want to cheer you on while you do yoga on clifftops and back walkovers on car hoods. I want to go with you to Peru wearing recycled polyester and help you feed llamas. Until I get that call, I’ll slip on the navy fleece pullover that my son wore to campouts when he was 10, boil some noodles, and open a jar of sauce and a bag of salad. Then I’ll clear off our kitchen table and use a placemat to cover the words that were engraved into the wood when one of my kids did his homework without a protective pad. I’ll call everyone to dinner, and before we eat, we’ll pause to say a prayer of thanks for a very good life.

Robin’s Nest

Check out Robin Conte’s debut book ‘The Best of the Nest’ “The Best of the Nest” offers 49 of Reporter Newpapers columnist Robin Conte’s witty essays on suburban family life, organized by seasons. They include some of the pieces that won Robin the first-place Lifestyle/Features Column award in the 2017 Georgia Press Association contest. To follow updates on Robin’s book related appearances visit robinconte.com. To order the book visit bestofthenest.net.

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NORTH END REVITALIZATION COME TALK TO US ABOUT THE FUTURE OF THE NORTH END Open House and Visioning Workshop

Wednesday, July 25, 2018 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Sherwood Event Hall 8610 Roswell Road Sandy Springs, GA 30350 There will be a short presentation followed by a visioning session.

For more information please visit sandyspringsga.gov


12 | Community

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North end task force shapes mission, defines success

A map displayed at the July 11 task force meeting shows the north end focus area, bordered by Ga. 400 on the right with Roswell Road running through the middle of the highlighted area.

Continued from page 1 with a plan that would boost higher-end retail without displacing the working-class residents of the city’s perhaps most diverse area. Members were asked at the July meeting to critique a mission statement provided by Paul, City Councilmember and task force Chair Steve Soteres said. In full, it says: “The mission of the North End Revitalization Task Force is to create a vision and plan for revitalizing Sandy Springs’ North End that is achievable and sustainable, that benefits the city as a whole, and that creates a place for families presently living in the neighborhoods. In doing its work, the Task Force will describe the role that the city should play in this plan, the roles that others — including businesses and landowners — will be asked to play, and will recommend a set of actions for the City Council to consider in 2019.” Most members agreed on adding residents, including renters, to the groups that will be asked to play a role in the redevelopment plans. “We’ve got to be careful we don’t displace people, that we work with the people and the fabric,” former City Councilmember Gabe Sterling said. The meeting began with a warning from Otis White, a consultant hired to facilitate the meetings, who cautioned the press would be covering the task force’s meetings and decisions. “Please err on the side of kindness and thoughtfulness,” White said. “You may not like how it looks in print.” A few residents attended the meeting. The meeting did not formally begin until

over half an hour after its scheduled start time as officials waited on some members to arrive and for them to serve themselves dinner that was initially only offered to the task force. Soteres later invited the residents to have some of the catered meal. One resident, who asked not to be identified, said he lives in the area and was interested in what the task force was planning for the north end. Another resident who did not want to be identified said he was dismayed to learn that the task force does not have minority representation. While members represent different industries and interests, all appear to be white. Tochie Blad, another resident, expressed concern prior to the meeting that a Mercedes-Benz dealership in the north end was permitted by the city to cut down large trees that had been planted by a nonprofit group years earlier in an effort to beautify the area. Sandy Springs has devoted funds in its budget to north end beautification efforts like tree plantings, and Blad said she is frustrated the city allowed removing a beautification project already in place. The task force spent most of the meeting brainstorming what differentiates the north end from the rest of the city and what landmarks the area for members, including by physically marking maps of the area. Identifying specific ideas for developments and initiatives will come at later meetings. Most members identified it as a place with aging, sometimes vacant, retail spaces; mostly rental residential units; vehicular-oriented streets that are unfriendly to pedestrians; and low-density development. “There is massive demand for quality retail in the north end. There is zero supply,” said Jack Arnold, a developer on the task force. Member Carolyn Axt said the task force should have a plan that utilizes unique amenities found in the north end, including the Chattahoochee River trails and National Recreation Area. “We have an amazing set of assets up in this neck of the woods,” Axt said. When asked what they feel would make the task force a success when it submits its report, most said they need to have an actionable, realistic plan with clear items for the city and other stakeholders to take on, including one “catalyst,” or major project, that could be the driver of redevelopment. Other measures of success included a plan that had support from all the different demographics that live in the area and that could be supported by City Council. The group plans to meet at least four more times in coming months, including meetings on Aug. 8, Aug. 22, Oct. 3 and Nov. 1. All of those meetings are planned for 5:30 p.m. at City Hall, 1 Galambos Way. There also will be two more meetings for general public input, with the first on July 25 at Sherwood Event Hall, located in the north

PHOTOS BY EVELYN ANDREWS

Task force members mark landmarks on a map of the north end focus area at a July 11 meeting.

end at 8610 Roswell Road, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. A second is planned for Oct. 18. Future task force meetings intend to focus on understanding “the current situation,” finding the “vision or hope,” under-

standing “the obstacles,” and mapping a plan, according to a handout distributed at the meeting. “It’s really public input that’s going to drive where all this goes,” Soteres said.

North end locals weigh in on task force, fear displacement BY MARENDA SCALES As the city’s North End Revitalization Task Force gears up, the Reporter visited several residents, business owners and workers in the area for their reactions. Most were unaware of the city’s redevelopment priority, and while they had some different thoughts, all were concerned about the cost of housing, displacement and gentrification. The following are edited excerpts of their quotes from interviews. For more, see ReporterNewspapers.net.

JORDAN LOVE

Love is a 26-year-old manager at a UPS store on Roswell Road and lives in an apartment on Dunwoody Place. I am a little concerned about the people. I deal with a lot of people who live in the rented apartments around the area. I understand they are trying to redevelop the area and make it more fancier, but I do have a slight concern for the people that already live here and can only afford to rent. [For business,] I absolutely believe it will be a positive impact, extremely positive … if everybody worked together to rebrand and put a more positive [image] on the area. … We have quite a few homeless people that like to hang around and badger the customers. I personally understand, but I also understand the customers. … We have to raise the morale on how everything looks around here. They don’t treat it like it’s Sandy Springs. They treat it like it’s the Bluff. I’d ask them to build a community center. The government is spending all their money on these government buildings and roads, stuff people really don’t care about. If they [built] the community center, it would bring the community together. … We need more recreation in the area. SS


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Community | 13

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BRANDON PEREZ

Perez is a 26-year-old manager at the Dunkin’ Donuts at Roswell and Northridge roads and has lived in Sandy Springs since 1996. He thinks the new City Springs is “cool” and “putting a spotlight on a very vibrant community,” but he has concerns about north end affordability.

don’t know how they are going to deal with the demographic [change] and funneling where they are going to place certain people of Sandy Springs. I don’t know if they are trying to gentrify, but they are trying to take it to the next level. … I think Sandy Springs was better as a family neighborhood, but now Sandy Springs is turning into Buckhead. When you are thinking of it with a business mind, you got to do business and take the feeling out of it sometimes, and I think that is what Sandy Springs is doing. They are cleaning house.

mile outside the specific area under consideration by the city task force, but transit-oriented redevelopment is among the possible concepts that could affect his area as well. I think they don’t care [about the city’s past]. They just want to make more things that are available to those who have more money. The people who have no money, they are just going to be like, “Welp”… It’s like the rich get rich and the poorer get poorer. It’s like all you’re doing is taking all this development and making it for the people who

have money, but not for the less fortunate. I would say you need to look out for the little guy. If you are a councilman or in politics, you need to remember where you came from and … that not everyone can afford the prices you’re placing. ... I think politicians should go around and … talk to some of the people in the [apartment] complexes and ask them how they feel about the rent and revenue going up and how it has impacted them to be able to do things with their spouses and loved ones.

JOHN BRADY

SOLD! 390 Riverhill My first kids were born in this area. It means a lot to me. It’s not just an area, but it’s a community that I enjoy, and I feel like a lot of the residents that feel the same will be pushed out of the area. I wanted my kids to experience what I experienced, because it helped shape me into the person I am today, but I can’t afford it. [Gentrification is] definitely active in Sandy Springs, for sure. I’m so disappointed in the city right now. I am not attached to the city. … The truth is the city doesn’t necessarily care about each individual resident as intended. I recommend you get to know your politicians, because you can’t have people forcing us to move wherever just because they want certain people occupying the area. You deserve the area just as much as anybody. To the city of Sandy Springs, I’d say, think of both sides. It’s not just a one-sided thing.

HAYMED SANOGO

Sanogo has operated the Chevron gas station at Roswell and Northridge roads for nine years. I am losing my customers. I hear about rent going up and people moving out. You go from seeing them every day to not seeing them at all. … When I don’t see them, I worry. I want to maintain the people that are here. … You see each other every day, it’s like a family. You don’t see them, you ask what’s going on. Redevelopment is not good for Sandy Springs. It’s good to make it nice, but it’s like they push people away.

SHAWN CUMMINGS

Cummings is a 45-year-old operator of a Roswell Road barbershop and has lived in Sandy Springs since 1989. SS

The growth of [the city] is cool, but I

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Residents start moving out of Fulton’s last public housing BY JOHN RUCH AND EVELYN ANDREWS Residents are moving out of the last traditional public housing in Fulton County — a nine-unit apartment building in Sandy Springs — as a long-planned sale closes this month. Robert Harris, a 78-year-old resident of the apartments, said he has not been able to find a new place to live yet as the move date of July 30 quickly approaches. “It’s looking hopeless right now,” said Harris, who has lived in the apartments for 17 years. The aging Belle Isle Apartments at 151 West Belle Isle Road were originally planned in 2015 to be torn down and turned into parking spaces needed for an expansion of the neighboring Fountain Oaks shopping center’s Kroger supermarket. Kroger has now killed the expansion plan and started a renovation, but the apartment sale is moving ahead. The fate of the apartments is unclear except that the Housing Authority of Fulton County is closing them down as public housing. The residents are “in the process of moving out,” said Teresa Davis, an official at the Housing Authority. Residents are receiving subsidized-housing vouchers to use at complexes that accept them, and the

county will pay for moving expenses and deposits, she said. Davis said she did not know the exact number of residents forced to move. EDENS, Inc., the company that owns Fountain Oaks at 4920 Roswell Road in southern Sandy Springs, did not respond to questions about its plans for the apartment site. State officials and an attorney for EDENS and Kroger previously said the site has groundwater contamination from a nearby dry cleaning business and cleanup was part of the deal. EDENS and Kroger originally planned to tear down the apartment building, use it as construction staging for the expansion, then turn the site into parking spaces, a use that requires a lower level of pollution cleanup, according to state officials. A Sandy Springs zoning moratorium slowed the plan, and Kroger has shifted its business plan. “Renovations have begun at the Fountain Oaks Kroger and the store will no longer be expanded,” said Felix B. Turner, a spokesperson for Kroger’s Atlanta office, adding he does not know the plans for the apartment building site. Besides various interior design changes and upgrades, Turner said, the Fountain Oaks Kroger will get an expanded fuel station and will start using the supermarket’s “ClickList” online grocery ordering and

EVELYN ANDREWS

Robert Harris, who has lived at the Belle Isle apartments for 17 years, is preparing to move out by July 30, although he has not found a permanent residence yet.

pickup system. Harris doesn’t feel he’s received sufficient help from the county, but said he understands the office is operating on limited resources. Although he does not have a problem with the possibility the apartments could be demolished for parking, he said he wished the county offered more assistance in finding a new place. In this system, the residents are offered vouchers and are sent to find housing on

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their own, which Harris said was akin to a “wild goose chase.” “I’ve adjusted to progress,” he said. “The thing I have a problem with is we were promised we would be looked after.” The Belle Isle Apartments are the last in Fulton where the county is the landlord and offers deeply affordable rents. At the time the sale deal was struck in 2015, the rent was capped at $350 per month, and the wait list for the nine units had 1,029 people on it. Regardless of the Kroger plan, the Housing Authority sought to sell the apartments, starting the process in 2013. The building was aging and too expensive to maintain, the agency said. Another resident who has lived in the apartments for years said the building was already in poor condition and needs to be demolished. But the resident, who asked not to be named, is struggling with having to move her children out of the schools they attend and into a new community. All the housing that would keep them zoned for the same schools is out of her price range, she said. “My children grew up out here, but there are no options to stay up here,” she said. “It’s really going to be a big adjustment.” The Housing Authority is involved in running one other subsidized housing building, also in Sandy Springs: the 100unit Sterling Place complex at 144 Allen Road for seniors and people with disabilities. Formerly a traditional public housing building, it was renovated and converted in 2016 to a public-private ownership that accepts subsidized housing vouchers. The backdrop of the public housing changes is policy shifts at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The agency has sought to shutter traditional public housing like Belle Isle, and move to vouchers and mixed-income projects. However, voucher funding is scant and Fulton has long wait lists for them as well as market rents skyrocketing. SS


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Council legalizes backyard swim business Continued from page 1 city staff about it and they revoked her license after mistakenly approving it for four years. The city council approved the text amendment with a 5-0 vote. Councilmember Andy Bauman was absent from the meeting. Dubovksy’s fight to legalize her business drew hundreds of supporters who spoke at city meetings and signed petitions. They made claims children would die if Swim with Allison was not allowed to continue operating. The city council asked in March for city staff to write legislation narrowly tailored to serve Swim with Allison’s needs. That proposal was then sent to the Sandy Springs Planning Commission, which overwhelmingly voted to recommend the city council deny it. City Attorney Dan Lee and Mayor Rusty Paul had argued against creating a special code for the business, saying it could have unintended consequences. Paul maintained that stance after the city council’s vote to approve and said he didn’t speak during the meeting because everyone already knew how he felt. “My concern is we may be creating new problems we didn’t anticipate,” Paul said. “I don’t think you should create public policy for one example.” Paul said he believes the city made a promise to neighborhoods in the Next Ten Comprehensive Plan, the city’s ten-year planning vision, to protect neighborhoods from development and other changes that could take away from the residential experience, which allowing an outdoor busi-

ness could do, he said. The proposal makes outdoor businesses a conditional use — meaning a permit, plans and public meetings would be required —in single-family residential zoning districts. Only “educational,” “recreational” or “instructional” businesses would be allowed, only operating in the side or back yards, and with no employees except residents of the house. “Nuisances” and unusual “machinery” would be banned. A minimum of four on-site parking spaces would be required, along with fencing or other screening. The businesses could have a maximum of two students at any one time and a maximum of four per hour. The businesses could operate up to six hours per day within certain hours: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays; 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays; and no Sunday or holiday hours. If the business had children students, general American Red Cross safety certification would be required; and swimming certification from a similar organization would be required for businesses like Swim With Allison. The council voted after hearing public comment from Dubovsky and two other residents who argued the council should approve the measure. No one spoke against it. Sarah Kogen argued that children are more likely to drown learning to swim in a community pool rather a private one. “It’s in our city’s and the community’s best interest to continue to allow Allison to teach lifesaving lessons from her home,” Kogen said. Another resident said, “I understand

the noise complaint, but to be honest we live in a city.” Dubovsky thanked the city staff for working on the measure, but asked that it be amended to allow hours beyond typical business hours to allow working parents

time to bring their children for a lesson. After the council vote, the audience, which was comprised mostly of people attending to support Dubovsky, applauded and cheered.

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16 | Education

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St. James preschool students tend to plants, birds BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

The preschool at St. James United Methodist Church has brought in some assistance to help teach kids enrolled in their preschool about patience and responsibility, and they include chickens, quail and flowers. The church preschool, which is located at 4400 Peachtree-Dunwoody Road in Buckhead, started a garden in 2017 and has since expanded with more chicks and quail from eggs that were hatched in the school offices. “The kids love it because they saw them when they were tiny and now they’re hatched,” Susan Viers, the preschool director, said of the quail eggs. The children are shown how to make simple food out of the vegetables and plants that are harvested, Viers said, and raising the chickens teaches them more about where food comes from and about responsibility. Although school is not in session, the church has several camps throughout the summer with children who regularly visit the garden, Viers said. Right now, the garden is full of tomatoes and peppers, Viers said. Pumpkin seeds were recently planted with plans for the children to harvest them in the fall, she said. Viers said the students have learned about growing vegetables, germination of seeds and parts of a plant. The students water their plants every day, and through the lessons, students are inspired to ask questions and seek answers through their own research and observations, she said. They also keep a journal in which they will illustrate what they have seen and done while in the garden area. “When the kids come by, they are just amazed,” Viers said. SPECIAL

Top left, A St. James preschool student waters plants in the school garden. Left, St. James preschool students learn about growing plants in the school garden. EVELYN ANDREWS

Above, St. James preschool students greet chickens in the school garden.

Fulton Schools abruptly ends, restarts out-of-district enrollment at North Springs High BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

In a whirlwind of policy changes that sparked confusion and legal threats, Fulton County Schools abruptly ended, then restored, out-of-district student enrollment at North Springs Charter High School. FCS abruptly ended a longstanding program allowing out-of-district students to attend the Sandy Springs high school — which is a dual-magnet art and math/science program — for a fee. The largely unexplained move, announced the week of the Fourth of July holiday and just over a month before the school year starts, left 14 families scrambling. Three seniors were allowed to remain at the school as a “one-time hardship,” FCS said, but the others faced a short-notice return to their home district, which ap-

peared to be DeKalb County in most cases. FCS previously said that out-of-district enrollment is illegal under the district’s charter system, adopted in 2012, but went unnoticed. The district has not explained who did notice, when, or why the district chose the timing and response it has. But some parents said all along that North Springs had a special dispensation from FCS to continue out-of-district enrollment. A Sandy Springs law firm representing seven of the affected students said the move put them in “limbo.” Citizens for a New North Springs, the group that last month successfully pushed FCS to pledge to build a new high school building, said it was concerned that the move relates to Superintendent Jeff Rose’s still mysterious statement that the new facility will be smaller due to

lower enrollment projections. Shortly after the lawyers got involved, FCS acknowledged that the special permission for out-of-district enrollment was partly true. The district now will allow students who enrolled during or before the 2016-17 school year to continue attending, if they pay the tuition fee — said to be $3,000 to $5,000 — and get clearance from their home districts. FCS announced the change in a press release issued after 9 p.m. on July 16. It was the district’s first press release about the issue — parents previously were notified privately — and appears to have been circulated only to select journalists rather the usual full list. The press release summarized the initial end to out-of-district enrollment, and added: “Last Thursday, however, a letter from a previous superintendent that made provisions for out-of-district students to

remain at North Springs High (if they had been enrolled on or before the 201617 school year) was brought to our attention.” Kelly Himes Brolly, the attorney representing the seven students, says FCS’s latest policy shift appeared to help all but one of her clients, who was still awaiting word from the district. “We are very pleased with the Fulton County School System’s recent decision and that they are looking out for these students,” Brolly said. North Springs High has been the subject of controversy for nearly a year as the CFANNS group pushed FCS to rebuild, rather than just renovate, the 55-year-old school. The cause was taken up by Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul and the City Council as well.


Education | 17

JULY 20 - AUG. 2, 2018 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Education Briefs NON PR OF I T CEL EBRATES EN D OF SUM M ER CAM PS A nonprofit that hosts annual summer camps at local schools for low-income students celebrated the end of its 2018 camp with a festival July 12. Horizons Atlanta hosts a six-week summer learning and year-round program that supports K-12 students from underserved communities. In 2018, Horizons Atlanta is expected to serve more than 800 students across nine program sites, including Buckhead’s Atlanta International School and Sandy Springs’ Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School, according to a release. About 270 of those 800 students are from the Buckhead, Dunwoody and Sandy Springs areas. These students attend High Point Elementary, Lake Forest Elementary and Garden Hills Elementary, spokesperson Sonia Fuller said in an email. The nonprofit is headed by Alex Wan, who formerly represented south Buckhead on Atlanta City Council. The students celebrated the close of the summer program with a festival that included such activities as bounce houses, slides, flip-flop decorating, picture frame making and a dance party, according to a press release.

Join the Epilepsy Foundation of Georgia for the 35th Anniversary of Magnolia Run & Walk for Epilepsy!

S T. M A RTI N ’ S STUDEN TS VISI T PANAM A Nine St. Martin’s Episcopal School middle school students have returned from a twoweek program in Panama City, Panama. The program is part of the school inaugural exchange program. In the fall, Panamanian students will stay with St. Martin’s host families, according to the press release. Participants stayed with families from partner school Colegio Episcopal de Panama (CEP) for two weeks in June. Students volunteered at an orphanage and visited the PanamaCanal and the city’s historic area, the release said. The students were accompanied by four St. Martin’s faculty and staff members, including Head of School Dr. Luis Ottley, an alumni of CEP. Also in attendance were fluent Spanish speakers Middle School Principal Tony Shaffer and St. Martin’s graduate Olivia Haas, the release said.

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The Magnolia Run provides funding for the crucial programming and services provided by EFGA, including medication assistance, information and referrals, camp scholarships, support groups, and EFWorks our job placement program. Without this event and the support of the community this would not be possible.

For more information or to register, please visit www.epilepsyga.org or call 404-527-7155.

CITY OF AT L A NTA H I RES F IRST EDUCATIO N O FFICER Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced July 9 she has hired the city’s first chief education officer, a cabinet-level position that will work in partnership with Atlanta Public Schools and community leaders to improve access to quality education. Aliya Bhatia, a native of metro Atlanta and a Harvard University graduate, will work with community stakeholders to improve collaboration and identify and advocate for policies and resources that will improve access to high quality education for all residents, according to a press release. This will include convening industry and education leaders to develop vocational training programs to meet the growing demand for workers in the city’s film and entertainment, smart technology and construction industries, the release said. Bhatia will also be tasked with creating a citywide Children’s Savings Account Program for every child entering kindergarten and with working across city government to ensure that public schools are a priority for infrastructure investment and public safety, the release said.

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Watery fun for a dad and his son 2018 • FEBRUARY 2 - 15,

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► Cities asked to join regional affordable housing policy

OUT & ABOUT Gear up for the I finally figure d out holidays that a very effect ive and craftsat arts way to get back markets Page 18 at the offspring ... is to bombard them with Bitmojis.

holding the In a gigantic room of Atlanta” 359-foot-long “Battle perched along cyclorama, workers painting on lifts the 50-foot-high and iPads. Uswith paintbrushes and state-ofing old photographs are bringthey BAGBY BY DYANA the-art technology, painting back dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net ing the 130-year-old appealing to life. 23 are local establishments Four See BATTLE on page renewing their althe city’s decision to deny ordinance approved cohol licenses after an license fees from late last year raised liquor to $100,000. approximately $5,000 Restaurant & Rush Lounge, Medusa and Josephine Lounge, XS Ultra Lounge on Buford Highway, Lounge, all located their liquor licenses January in told were Seefor 2018. would not be renewed STORY on page 8 revised alcohol See Robin’s Nest page 11 The reason? Under the See VENUES on page 13

on page 6 MAX BLAU Larry and Peggy Lord display a childhood photo of their sons Ashby and Hunter. Ashby, at right, died of a heroin overdose last year.

BY MAX BLAU

O

n a Sunday afternoon last April, the moment PHIL MOSIER Larry Lord had dreaded for roughly two on Jan. 25. The museum decades finally happened. His Atlanta History Center painting. wife, Peggy, found of the painting at Buckhead’s their 35-year-old of Atlanta” cyclorama must first complete a major restoration son Ashby no longer works on the “Battle breathing in the this winter, but A painting conservator cyclorama exhibit basement of their plans to open the ranch home on Sandy Springs’ Mount Paran Road. She tried performing CPR and called 911. But nothing s of NCR, the paramedics did could revive Ashby what corporate relocation clear after a made heroin overdose. Amazon tipped off to state leaders: Larry was devastate te arm and others have

OUT & ABOUT g’ ‘Dead Man Walkin

Mayor Bottoms pledges to nta in

First of a 4-Part Series

The combination of prescription painkillers, heroin and synthetic opioids is killing people around the nation, Reporter Newspapers including within communities. In this exclusive four-part series, we will look at how local prosecutors, recovering families, nurses, addicts and others are responding to a that already kills moregrowing epidemic people than cars, guns or breast cancer each year. To share your thoughts and stories, email editor@reporternewspapers.ne

most recently for his first by’s mother, Shannon, wife and Ashafter she died from complication s of cancer. But the circumstances of Ashby’s life posed difficult questions in how to talk about his death. Euphemisms are a tradition of sorts for overdose victims. Their obituaries say that they left this world or entered eternal rest while glossing over how it happened. The reasons vary from not speaking ill of the dead to a fear that it

New highway toll lanes could have major neighborhood impacts Excitement, wariness over Amazon HQ2 possibility See CHEF-DRIVE

N on page 12

BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspape rs.net

New toll lanes on I-285 and Ga. 400 could tower 30 feet or higher over neighborhood s on elevated ramps, eat into back yards, and plug major interchanges into such local streets as Mount Vernon Highway and Raider Drive BY in BAGBY a state conceptual DYANA design that could start construction dyanabagby @reporternewspapers.net within five years. The “managed lanes” could have massive impacts With the on High neighborhood Street property character, local on Georgia’s traffic official and mass site list transit for options, its Amazon but the conquarters headcepts remain bid, residents largely unknown and officials to the aregeneral ing voicpublic. bothThe excitement city of Sandy and Springs wariness is protesting over the potential parts of city-sized the concepts complex and suggesting coming tosome town.alMichael but ternatives, andmostly Reneebehind Fraser the scenes. have The inGeorgia lived Dunwoody Department for 22 years. of Transportation They don’t’srefirst member public meetings ever seeing for the Ga. 400 lanes anything are exbut grass onpected the High to beStreet held late property this year inafter the conPerimeter Center ceptual near designs the Sandy are more solid. border. Springs A rare public display of the behind-theSee EXCITEMENT on page 22 See NEW on page 14

City fears new state laws would end local controls

BY JOHN RUCH

johnruch@reporternewspapers.ne t

The city fears that several new state legislative proposals would undo recent local laws, from apartment construction to pet sales. One example is a proposed law that

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18 | Art & Entertainment

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Oglethorpe’s art museum showcases rarely seen works to mark 25th year Left, “The Factory 8am” (1967) by folk artist Mattie Lou O’Kelley is among the rarely seen works included in the Oglethorpe University Museum of Art’s 25th anniversary exhibit. Right, A 14th century Japanese sculpture of the Amitabha Buddha is among the works on display. SPECIAL

BY JUDITH SCHONBAK

tions and outreach by OUMA director Elizabeth H. Peterson, who came to the Oglethorpe University Museum of Art museum in 2012 and curator John Daniel is celebrating a quarter-century of culTilford, who joined OUMA in 2013. ture with an exhibit of works from its “It’s rare for a school our size … to have permanent collection, some of which such a large collection of art,” Tilford said have not been displayed in years — or of the 1,250-student university. ever before. In addition to a cadre of dedicated “OUMA in Retrospect: Celebrating collector-donors, the upswing in dona25 Years,” which opened July 7 and runs tions can be attributed to demographics. through Sept. 16 at the Brookhaven uniA generation of baby boomers are downversity, showcases nearly 100 pieces, insizing their homes and holdings, and, in cluding paintings, works on paper and a many cases, their children don’t want or sampling of the Japanese porcelain colhave space for furniture and artwork, lection. said Tilford. Among the rarely displayed pieces is The greatest challenge in assembling the colorful mixed-media painting “The the exhibit, which was a year-and-a-half Factory 8am” by the celebrated Decatur in the planning, was choosing from among so many works of art, he said. His goal was to showcase various strengths of the collection: 19th-century French art, works from the Far East, pieces from the museum’s unique Japanese porcelain collection — more than 160 pieces from the 17th to early 20th century, and a sizable holding of 19th- and 20th-century American art. More recently, OUMA has broadSPECIAL ened its focus to build the The museum’s 25th anniversary exhibit was collection with works by organized by curator John Daniel Tilford, left, African-American artists and museum director Elizabeth H. Peterson. and women artists, who are also represented in the show. folk artist Mattie Lou O’Kelley, whose Two pieces bookend the exhibit. One work is also in the collections of the High is a 14th-century wood and lacquer sculpMuseum and New York City’s American ture of the Amitabha Buddha, a religious Folk Art Museum. figure, acquired by OUMA founder Lloyd Located in the third floor of the uniNick. The other is a small bronze datversity’s Lowry Hall at 4484 Peachtree ing to around 1900, “La Pensee” by HenRoad, OUMA houses approximately 700 ri Capeau, that is a study for a full-size works spanning seven centuries, from sculpture for a tomb in France. The two the 1300s to the 1900s. It has more than pieces represent the growth of the collectripled in size over the last five years, tion from its beginning in 1984 — when thanks to a significant increase in donaOglethorpe had an art gallery but not a

museum. With such a large collection, the museum has set an ongoing goal to bring more works out of storage into the light of day for accessibility and visibility by students, campus visitors and the greater community as well as for loan to other museums and universities and as exhibits on tour. “OUMA’s main reason for being is to offer academic support,” said Peterson, the museum’s director. Like most of OUMA’s exhibits, “OUMA in Retrospect” ties into school curricula. In the case of the anniversary show, 14 different courses are involved, including multimedia journalism, introduction to art studies and history. Past exhibits have included curriculum ties to biology, science, literature and more. Peterson was instrumental in developing museum studies courses, independent study and gallery assistant internships for students. In the past five years, OUMA has introduced student-led lectures, docent tours, performances and volunteer opportunities, according to OUMA’s website. Oglethorpe also offers non-credit community courses for students and the public. What began as a modest art gallery in 1984 was renovated in 1992 and opened in 1993 as Oglethorpe University Museum of Art with 7,000 feet of gallery space occupying the entire third floor of Lowry Hall, which also houses the university’s library. OUMA mounts two major shows annually, in the spring and fall, and several smaller shows during the year. The gallery space is divided into three areas. In January 2018, the largest Skylight Gallery was dedicated to exhibits from OUMA’s permanent collection, which, in keeping with the goal to expand the collection’s visibility, now rotate each semester. The Center Gallery, and the Shelley and Donald Rubin Gallery are used for smaller shows, both organized by OUMA,

and national and international touring exhibits. The museum works frequently with the High Museum, and has worked with other museums and universities, including Yale, the University of British Columbia and the Telfair Museum of Art in Savannah. OUMA accepts shows of outside groups such as Georgia Watercolor Society and Southeastern Pastel Society. OUMA does not solicit work from any group, but requests come in frequently, and the galleries are booked for three years. The OUMA Research Center opened in the fall of 2017. Once a storage room cluttered with paint and old catalogs, the research center is now a pristine room furnished with chairs and a work table. A sizable stack of flat files holds the majority of the OUMA collection’s hundreds of works on paper, allowing for hands-on — in this case, white-glove — study and research by students, faculty and even the public. There is an assistant available to any student or visitor using the center. A comprehensive online database of the collection — illustrative and searchable — is under development.

OUMA IN RETROSPECT: CELEBRATING 25 YEARS Through Sept. 16

Oglethorpe University Museum of Art Third floor of Lowry Hall, 4484 Peachtree Road, Brookhaven Tuesdays and Thursdays through Sundays, noon-5 p.m.; Wednesdays noon-8 p.m. Admission $5; children under 12 and members free. Info: museum.oglethorpe.edu


JULY 20 - AUG. 2, 2018

Art & Entertainment | 19

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All Aboard!

RoadTrips

Southeastern Railway Museum honors vintage trains from Atlanta’s past BY JOE EARLE Randy Pirkle came across the Southeastern Railway Museum when he was looking for a place to do some volunteer work that would incorporate his love of history. “History and old iron go together for me,” he said. Seventeen years later, Pirkle runs the museum as its administrator, and there’s plenty of old iron for him to visit in the displays at the 48-year-old museum of trains and transportation. It’s everywhere: vintage Pullman sleepers and steam engines tower near metalwheeled tractors, historic yellow taxis, fire trucks and MARTA buses at the museum, which is located on 35 acres in Duluth. The museum, designated the state’s official transportation museum, is operated by a nonprofit owned by the Atlanta Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society. Its collection of railroad items alone features 90 pieces of rolling stock, including passenger cars, locomotives, box cars, cabooses, a mail car, a tank car and other railroad equipment, Pirkle said. It’s even home to a private passenger car called the “Superb” that was used by President Warren Harding and that served as his funeral train, carrying his body across the country after his death. Why keep all this stuff? “Educating the community about

S OUTH EA S TERN R A I LWAY M USEUM 3595 Buford Hwy. Duluth 30096

Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. June and July: Open Tuesdays through Saturdays. March through May; August through December: Open Wednesdays through Saturdays. January and February: Open Thursdays through Saturdays. Tickets: $8 for seniors (65+), $10 for adults, $7 for children aged 2-12. Train rides: $3 for big train, $3 for miniature train, $5 for both. Info: 770-476-2013, train-museum.org

history ensures that history is not forgotten,” Pirkle said, “and [the museum] gives people a different perspective on transportation than just their time on interstate [highways]. It’s fun to see kids today, who see trains in the sense of ‘Thomas [the Tank Engine],’ as a cartoon entity. So many of their grandparents experienced trains as transportation — and you can still do that.” The museum sprawls across four buildings, including a display building that once housed a factory where train cars were made and repaired. At its entrance, the museum displays the former Duluth passenger depot, which dates to 1871 and was moved to the site a few years ago. The facility even offers visitors the chance to take a short ride in a train caboose or in a miniature train that once operated at a zoo. The museum also hosts special events, ranging from summer camps for kids to showings of the movie “Polar Express” around Christmas. It hosts antique tractors and trucks for a day and has even hosted antique typewriter shows, Pirkle said, because typewriters were important to running the railroads. The roots of the museum go back to the late 1950s and early 1960s, Pirkle said, when train metro area train buffs joined together to save an Atlantic and West Point Railway locomotive known as 290. “It was a great big steam engine used to pull the Southern Crescent from Atlanta to Montgomery,” Pirkle said. The engine, saved from the scrap heap, remains part of the museum’s collection. It even appeared in the movie “Fried Green Tomatoes.” The museum operates primarily through efforts of volunteers, many of them retirees. They come from all sorts of backgrounds, Pirkle said. There are about 145 regular volunteers and, on any given weekend, there could be as many as 45 or so at work spread across the museum’s campus. One recent Friday, volunteers Ken Birmingham and Cliff Smith were decked out

PHOTOS BY JOE EARLE

Southeastern Railway Museum administrator Randy Pirkle with one of the large tractors on display at the museum.

Rick Muszynski sells tickets at the Southeastern Railway Museum in Duluth.

in trainmen’s work clothes for their stints as volunteer conductors on the museum’s train ride. Smith, who’s 69 and said he’d liked trains “since I was a little kid,” wore jeans, a work shirt and a striped hat. Birmingham, who’s 75 and said he grew up across from the Long Island Railroad’s main line, wore a stiff-sided conductor’s hat. What convinced them to spend their time at the museum on a hot June afternoon? “It’s just fun,” Birmingham said. “It’s just fun working with the kids,” Smith added. Leo Schiltgen, who’s 70, volunteers as a conductor, too, and said he helps train other volunteers to do the job. But he also spends time restoring old train cars for the museum. He’s working now to replace wooden and tile flooring on a vintage Southern Railway dining car. He learned how to fix metal machines while he was working, Schiltgen said, and he likes working on train cars. “It’s just something I’m interested in,” he said. “I’ve learned the skills. I might as well use them for somebody’s benefit.” As the museum and its volunteers keep the big stock rolling, they also help preserve important links to Atlanta’s past as a train town. The museum helped put together a photo history book, called “When Atlanta Took The Train,” that shows how the city grew up around railroads. “Atlanta is a child of the railroads,” Pirkle said. “It’s important to get people to see that. It’s very difficult to do that because Atlanta has been very successful in wiping out its own past. There’re virtually no downtown railway stations left because progress got in the way.”


20 | Art & Entertainment

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The future of a historic marker of Atlanta’s center could be moved to Buckhead as debates continue about the its fate. The Zero Mile Post marks Atlanta’s beginnings. It originally stood at the place where the Western & Atlantic Railroad’s terminus became Terminus, a settlement that eventually grew into the city we know as Atlanta. For decades, the Zero Mile Post was literally the center of town, as Atlanta’s city limits were measured at a fixed distance from the post. “It’s a really important part of our history,” said Jeff Morrison, an architect who occasionally leads tours of the places where Atlanta began as a railroad town. His tours used to include the post. But Atlanta being Atlanta, the Zero Mile Post has now all but disappeared from public view. The 42-inch-tall granite post is locked away inside a building that is owned by the state of Georgia and no longer in use.Now the mile post faces a new threat: reconstruction work on the Central Avenue Bridge is scheduled to begin soon and may mean the post must be moved. The Georgia Building Authority, which maintains the property that houses the mile post, says it will announce in August whether the post can stay where it is or must be relocated to another site. “We haven’t made a decision yet,” GBA communications director Morgan Smith-Williams said in early June. “There are arguments on both sides,” Smith-Williams said. “There are arguments that the significance of the post is where it is, because of what it marks and not the post itself. But on the other side, it’s not where people can visit it, so there’s an argument to move it to a place where it would be more visible.” The Atlanta History Center in Buckhead offered to include the granite marker in the center’s collection of Atlanta’s historic artifacts, which now includes a replica of the post. But others with an interest in Atlanta history argue the post should stay where it is, near Underground Atlanta and close to the site it originally was erected. “What we need to do is leave it where it is, but make it more accessible,” Morrison said. “It really hasn’t moved much at all since the 1850s. I think it would be a shame for us to move it now.”

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22 | Community

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Sandy Springs to weigh reappointment of controversial judge BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

A Sandy Springs city judge has drawn criticism for recent comments to a Muslim defendant that an appeals court condemned while upholding her ruling in the case. The judge, Sharon Dickson, is up for reappointment this year to the Sandy Springs bench, and also sits on Dunwoody’s city court. Dickson told Fazial Azizan in a court hearing Jan. 25 that she believed he was disrespecting her by not looking at her because where he comes from “women don’t mean anything,” according to an official transcript. Dickson did not return a request for comment. A Muslim civil rights organization and a lawyer representing him says that Dickson’s comments were “bigoted” and based on the race of the defendant, Azizan, an Iranian-American. Dickson also serves as a judge in the Dunwoody Municipal Court, according to city spokesperson Bob Mullen. He did not respond to questions about the city of Dunwoody’s view on Dickson’s comments. Dickson formerly worked at Riley McClendon, but left in 2014 before her judgeship appointment, according to her social media. Riley McClendon, a Marietta-based

firm, contracts with both the cities of Dunwoody and Sandy Springs to provide legal staff. The city solicitor who represented Sandy Springs in the case against Azizan is Bill Riley, a partner at the firm, according to city spokesperson Sharon Kraun. Cecil McLendon, another partner at the firm, serves as one of Sandy Springs’ assistant city attorneys. The Riley McClendon firm had its own controversy over anti-Muslim comments last year, when Lenny Felgin, its assistant city attorney for Dunwoody, was accused of making vulgar and bigoted remarks about Muslims and women on his Facebook account. Felgin said his account was hacked, but resigned from the firm. Dickson has previous experience working in government, having served as the assistant solicitor for both DeKalb and Gwinnett counties. Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul, who appointed Dickson to the bench, did not defend her comments, but said that she has been cleared legally of bias. “I would not have said those comments, and I disagree with them, but the Superior Court of Fulton County found that the judgment rendered by Judge Dickson was not improper,” Paul said in a written statement.

SANDY SPRINGS NOTICE OF VARIANCE PETITION Petition Number:

V18-0012, V18-0013, V18-0014

Petitioner:

CLM Investments LLC (William Brackbill)

Location:

3838, 3834, 3830 Teesdale Court

Request:

Variance from Section 2.3.2.A. and Section 2.3.2.C. of the Development Code to encroach into the required primary street and side setbacks for the construction of single family homes.

Public Hearing:

Board of Appeals August 14, 2018 at 6:00 p.m.

Location:

Sandy Springs City Hall 1 Galambos Way Sandy Springs, Georgia 30328 770-730-5600

Dickson was appointed by Paul in June 2014 along with three other new judges. She was recommend by a panel of five Atlanta lawyers convened by Paul to make recommendations for new judges, a process he said is used in several states. The lawyers included Ray Smith, David Flint, Jay Elmore, Ray Persons and Karen Bragman, according to the meeting minutes. The city’s municipal court judges serve four-year terms after being appointed by the mayor and confirmed by the City Council. The judges hear cases such as traffic and DUI offenses, local ordinance violations and some misdemeanor shoplifting and marijuana possession cases, according to the charter. Judges are required in Sandy Springs to be at least 25 years old and a member of the State Bar of Georgia, the legal profession’s governing body, for at least three years, according to the city charter. According to her listing on the Georgia Bar’s website, Dickson has received no disciplinary action and is in “good standing.” Dickon’s appointment letter said she would serve until the first June Sandy Springs City Council meeting of 2018. However, that meeting has passed and no judges have been reappointed or replaced. Kraun, the city spokesperson, said that judges are allowed to continue serving until reappointed or replaced, even if that is after the four-year term limit enshrined in the City Charter. There is no deadline on how long they can continue serving without reappointment, Kraun said. Paul plans to make recommendations to the City Council soon, but did not comment about his thoughts on specific judges, Kraun said. Paul said in the written statement that city tries not to intervene with the court system. “We try to keep our city court independent without political involvement. There is a clear separation of powers, much like the federal level,” Paul said. Azizan appealed the ruling to the Supe-

SANDY SPRINGS NOTICE OF USE PERMIT Petition Number:

U18-0001

Petitioner:

Northwest Unitarian Universalist Congregation (David Stewart)

Property Location:

Parcel # 17 0175 LL0558 (1025 Mount Vernon Hwy NW)

Present Zoning:

RE-2

Request:

Request for use permit to expand existing church facility to construct a fellowship wing and expand sanctuary.

Public Hearings:

Planning Commission July 24, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. Mayor and City Council August 21, 2018 at 6:00 p.m.

Location:

Sandy Springs City Hall 1 Galambos Way Sandy Springs, Georgia 30328 770-730-5600

FILE PHOTO

Judge Sharon Dickson on the day of her confirmation in June 2014.

rior Court of Fulton County, which ruled June 18 that Dickson’s comments were “objectionable and wholly inappropriate.” However, the court ruled that there was no evidence any bias affected Dickon’s ruling against Azizan and upheld the conviction, according to the court’s ruling. In the January city court hearing, Azizan was convicted by Dickson of disorderly conduct and sentenced to five months imprisonment. Azizan was arrested and charged after a March 2017 car accident, McClendon said. “The derogatory statements Judge Dickson made to Mr. Azizan regarding his national origin were outrageous and unacceptable,” said Jason McLendon, the attorney representing Azizan. McLendon is not part of the Riley McClendon law firm and owns his own firm. The next step, McClendon said, is asking the Court of Appeals to review the case. McClendon said they should know if the court agrees to take it up by August. The Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim civil rights group, said it sent a letter June 27 to City Attorney Dan Lee asking the city to vacate the conviction. However, Kraun said the city did not receive the letter. “A judge who harbors a bias against people because of where “they come from” cannot be trusted to issue rulings about those people. This is especially true when a judge openly expresses that bias in court,” said attorney Edward Ahmed Mitchell, executive director of CAIR-Georgia, in the letter.

SANDY SPRINGS NOTICE OF VARIANCE PETITION Petition Number:

V18-0017

Petitioner:

Michael Domenicone

Location:

7799 Roswell Road

Request:

Variances from Sec. 4.9.1.d of the Development Code to eliminate outdoor amenity space, Sec. 10.4.9 to modify the Roswell Road streetscape standards and Sec. 8.2.2.C. to eliminate 3 landscaped interior islands.

Public Hearing:

Board of Appeals August 14, 2018 at 6:00 p.m.

Location:

Sandy Springs City Hall 1 Galambos Way Sandy Springs, Georgia 30328 770-730-5600 SS


JULY 20 - AUG. 2, 2018

Public Safety | 23

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Police Blotter / Sandy Springs Steve Rose, who runs the Citizens on Patrol and volunteer units, provided the following information. The following incidents and arrests represent some, but not all, of the reports filed with Sandy Springs police between July 2 and July 12.

BURGLARY „„500 block of Cutwater Trail— On July

2, the resident reported someone went into the garage overnight and took a bicycle, described as a Specialized Ariel Sport mountain bike valued at $700. Their Ford Escape, parked in the driveway, was also rummaged through and a door left ajar. The suspect had opened the garage door. „„100 block of River Springs Drive —

On July 5, the resident indicated she was out of town when a neighbor called to say her dog had gotten out of the home. She returned home to discover that several items were missing from the home. No signs of forced entry were found and no crime scene was evident following the cleanup by the resident. „„500 block of Windridge Drive — On

July 9, the resident said between 11:20 a.m. and 7:40 p.m. someone entered her apartment through a window (forced) on the second level. She reported several items taken. „„8600 block of Brandon Ridge Drive

— On July 10, the resident reported her front door had been forced open between 10 and 10:30 a.m. The burglars ransacked the second level of the home and at some point, located a safe that they forced from the flooring where it had been bolted into. They carried the safe to the top of the stairs and then let it roll down the stairs, which caused damage to the stairs and wall. Apparently, they took the safe without checking the lower level of the home, evident by two computers left untouched. Two firearms inside the safe and the safe are missing. This burglary is similar to another that was reported about two miles away. „„5000 block of Whitner Drive — On July

10, the resident reported a call to 911 that two men were on his front porch, looking into the home. The responding officers found forced entry to the front door. Several items were reported taken. „„1100 block of Hammond Drive — On

July 11, the complainant said he was gone from 10 p.m. on the 10th to 4:10 p.m. on the 11th. Someone forced his front door open by prying above and below the deadbolt with a tool similar to a Halligan tool, causing major damage to the door and frame. His Xbox game system was taken, three Movado watches, eight bracelets, two necklaces, a couple of laptops and some other things. „„8300 block of Roswell Road — On July SS

11, the resident said he and another man were inside the apartment bedroom and on the computer. He later left, as did the other man. The resident returned around 4 a.m. and found that his Omega watch was gone as was some liquid vape. He found that a side window to his sunroom had been removed after being broken. He said the other man is homeless and can be found sleeping under a café at night. He of course, suspects the other man is the suspect.

ROBBERY „„5800 block of Kingsport Drive — On

July 2, the victim said she works as a leasing agent at the complex. She told officers she was checking a vacant apartment and was inside one of the bedrooms when she turned around to find a man described as about six-feet, wearing a white shirt and jeans. The man struck her in the face, knocking her to the ground. The man then grabbed her purse and fled. She told the cops that she had just received her child support payment and had $1,700 cash in the purse, as well as a debit card, medical insurance cards and her work visa. „„8300 block of Roswell Road — On July

5, a woman approached an officer at the QuikTrip Store and told him the Exxon had been robbed. The complainant told the officer the suspect was a male in a red shirt who had a gun. The officer drove to the scene, where he found two Exxon employees who told him that they were inside the store doing a shift change when a man came into the store. They described him about 50 years old, about 6-foot-4, and 165 pounds. The man wanted to redeem a scratch-off ticket. They told him they were changing shifts and he would have to wait. The man pulled what appeared to be an old, rusty .38 snub-nose and came around the counter. He took about $300 and then tried to usher the two employees to the cooler. One of the employees suddenly reached for his personal gun that was under a counter, causing the suspect to flee from the store. „„100 block of Cliftwood Drive — On

July 7, a woman reported that around 8:25 p.m., she was in her car, inside the ground floor of the parking deck. She told cops she was in her car about 20 minutes when she saw a black GMC SUV come into the deck and then turn around behind her. Two men were in the SUV. The driver got out, pulled a gun, and demanded her purse by way of saying, “Give me your purse, [expletive]!” The suspect reached inside, took her purse, and then re-entered his SUV. As he drove off, she chased him for a short distance before he nearly hit her with the vehicle. The victim was not injured.

THEFT

„„600 block of Preston Woods Drive —

„„8100 block of Roswell Road — On July

2, a woman reported that she attended a meeting around 4 p.m. About 45 minutes later, she discovered her wallet missing. Two transactions had already completed on her debit card at the nearby QuikTrip store on Roswell Road, totaling just under $300. The victim recalled walking to the front of the meeting room while leaving her purse in her chair. „„600 block of Old Cobblestone Drive —

On July 3, the resident reported someone stole mail from his mailbox on May 28. A bank card was stolen. He reviewed his video and found that the suspect was in a white Chevy four-door sedan with the tag removed. „„500 block of Northridge Road — On

July 3, the resident told police someone forced a padlock off a utility trailer and removed several tools from it.

On July 4, the resident said sometime between midnight and 7 a.m., someone removed his Audi A6 from the parking space in front of his apartment. The car was locked. A rummaged-through backpack, belonging to the victim, was found nearby. „„1500 block Summit Springs Drive —

On July 5, the resident reported that a guy named “John,” whom she met on a dating website, POF or Plenty of Fish, stole her car. They went to her apartment and according to her, she fell asleep around 9 p.m. and woke about two hours later. John and her car were gone. She does not know John’s last name (probably “Smith”) nor where he lives, etc. She added his online dating info did not contain a photo. She said she didn’t really know where she picked up, but it was somewhere near LaVista Road.

PUBLIC NOTICE Proposed Change to the City’s Noise Ordinance On August 7, 2018, the Mayor and City Council of the City of Sandy Springs, Georgia will meet at 6:00 p.m. at 1 Galambos Way, Sandy Springs, Georgia 30328, and at that meeting will act upon a noise ordinance that will affect the use of consumer fireworks. Meeting Date: August 7, 2018 Time:

6:00 pm

Location:

Sandy Springs City Hall 1 Galambos Way Sandy Spring, Ga 30328

City of Sandy Springs Advertisement for Public Comment 2017 Consolidated Annual Performance Report (CAPER) The City of Sandy Springs has completed a draft of its annual performance report to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program. The 2017 Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report (CAPER) will be available for review at http://spr.gs/cdbg1 beginning August 1, 2018 through August 15, 2018. To review the report, select the CDBG Program on the Community Development Department’s webpage. Comments can be emailed to cdbgprogram@sandyspringsga.gov. The report will also be available for review and comment in hard copy from August 1, 2018 through August 15, 2018 at the following locations: Sandy Springs City Hall (1 Galambos Way, Sandy Springs, GA 30328), Dorothy C. Benson Senior Multipurpose Complex (6500 Vernon Woods Drive, Sandy Springs, GA 30328), and Sandy Springs Library (395 Mt Vernon Highway NE, Sandy Springs, GA 30328). Those who may wish to provide comments on the 2017 CAPER may send email to the CDBG Program mailbox at cdbgprogram@sandyspringsga.gov or hard copy correspondence to the Sandy Springs Community Development Department at the address above. Final adoption of the 2017 CAPER is scheduled for the September 4, 2018 Mayor and City Council regular meeting. All Meetings start at 6:00p.m., are open to the public and held at the Sandy Springs City Hall, 1 Galambos Way, Sandy Springs, GA 30328. Citizens in need of translation services or materials in alternative format should call 770-730-5600 seven calendar days prior to the regularly scheduled meeting.


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18/19 THE INAUGURAL SEASON

S ANDY SPRINGS PERFORMING ARTS CENTER

AUGUST OPENING EVENTS City Springs Day August 11, 2018

Steinway Dedication and Concert August 17, 2018

Branford Marsalis Quartet August 11, 2018

Sutton Foster August 18, 2018

National Geographic Live with Wildlife Photographer, Steve Winter August 14, 2018

Atlanta Jewish Film Festival August 19, 2018

Joe Gransden Big Band, feat. Landau Eugene Murphy August 16, 2018

EVENT DETAILS AND TICKETS AT CITYSPRINGS.COM

Profile for Reporter Newspapers

07-20-2018 Sandy Springs Reporter  

07-20-2018 Sandy Springs Reporter  

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