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JULY 22 - AUGUST 4, 2016 • VOL. 10 — NO. 15


Sandy Springs Reporter


Perimeter Business ► Brick-and-mortar banks thrive in digital age PAGE 4 ► Pressure-washing company cleans up college debt PAGE 5

We are fans ... see our hands!

Mixed response to mixed-use vision for MARTA stations BY JOHN RUCH

Left, Jessica Webb, 8, and Allie Sperling, 8, show their enthusiasm for ‘80s music as the band Electric Avenue performs at Heritage Sandy Springs on July 10. See additional photos on page 14.►

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It will be some time before the confrontational atmosphere subsides. We also need to remain responsive to the community we serve. SANDY SPRINGS POLICE CHIEF KENNETH DESIMONE

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ROAD TRIP Northwest Georgia offers visions of other places, other times Page 17

Mixed-use, park-dotted concepts for MARTA’s North Springs and possible future Northridge station areas in Sandy Springs drew general support from more than 70 residents attending a city planning meeting July 18. But residents also worried about increased traffic, especially from commuters living outside the city. “We agreed that, overall, we’re heading in the right direction with that [North Springs] station,” one resident reported back from her brainstorming group, adding that a potential Northridge station is “a positive.” “If you build more, you won’t have enough parking,” warned Trisha Thompson, president of the Sandy Springs Council of Neighborhoods, about North Springs in a group discussion. “You don’t have enough parking now.” The meeting at Heritage Hall on Blue See MIXED on page 13

Do traffic cops help or hurt rush hour? BY JOHN RUCH

Are Perimeter Center’s traffic cops really making a difference—or maybe even making things worse? The Sandy Springs City Council aims to find out with a $2,000 “experiment” in police-free rush hours on part of PeachtreeDunwoody Road. The council approved the study at the same July 19 meeting where it bounced around other innovative traffic ideas like a possible new city “construction ambassador” who would knock on doors to inform people of traffic-affecting projects. See DO on page 12

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The gigantic Peachtree Dunwoody Pavilion office park redevelopment plan is getting even bigger, topping 1.1 million square feet of more apartments, hotel rooms, parking decks and offices. The redevelopment of the 19-acre office park, at CITY OF SANDY SPRINGS Peachtree-Dunwoody Road Plans for the Peachtree Dunwoody Pavilion redevelopment now call for an increase in hotel rooms, and Lake Hearn Drive in multifamily housing units and office tower height. Sandy Springs’ Pill Hill See a larger version at medical area, was proposed velopment team presented some new details, in March. Almost every part of the plan is bigincluding that the housing would be “luxury” ger in the official city paperwork Simpson Orapartments. The hotel would be either a Hyganization, the developer, recently filed. Mulatt or a Marriott and would including at least tifamily housing units are up to 335 from 250, some extended-stay rooms, said Simpson. and an office tower went from 11 stories to 18. The apartments would target hospital The increased density is due to severworkers, including windowless bedroom al factors, said Boyd Simpson, president of units for night-shift workers who sleep durthe Simpson Organization, in an interview. ing the day, said Stephen Bates of Toll BrothThose factors include more available land ers, the project’s residential developer. He than originally thought, some regulatory resaid market research shows about 30 perquirements for parking, and increased decent of residents would “regularly” use the mand from potential office tenants. adjacent Medical Center MARTA station. The An office tower in the plan has increased site’s main new parking deck would include in height following interest from both Northa pedestrian bridge and dedicated stairway/ side and Emory Saint Joseph’s hospitals in elevator bank to that station. possible administrative space, Simpson said. The project requires rezoning for the At a July 12 community meeting, the demixed use and will seek use permits for heights that include the 275-foot office tower, two parking garages around 100 feet tall, and the 64-foot-tall residential building. The existing parking lot is about 1,175 spaces; the new parking total would be nearly 3,000, according to the filing. The plan is still less dense than allowed under current zoning, which would be about 1.5 million square feet, according to the project filing. Three existing buildings in the office park, totaling 340,000 square feet, will remain. The project next heads to the city Planning Commission in September. If the project meets city approval, Simpson said, phased construction could start this winter with the parking garage. The hotel and apartments construction could begin in summer 2017. Here are some of the changes to the plan since its first draft was presented in March Hotel Then: 185 rooms, 200 parking spaces Now: 200 rooms, 180 parking spaces Parking garage Then: 6 levels, 876 spaces Now: 9 levels, 1,662 spaces Office tower Then: 8 stories atop 3 parking levels with 248 spaces; 201,000 square feet Now: 11 stories atop 7 parking levels; 240,000 square feet of office, and now includes about 10,000 square feet of restaurant/retail space Multifamily housing Then: 250 units, 5 stories, with a 5-level, 635-space parking garage Now: 335 units, 5 stories, with an 8-level, 1,005-space parking garage Retail/restaurant buildings around Lake Hearn pond Then: 14,024 square feet Now: 14,574 square feet Retail on Peachtree-Dunwoody Road Then: 7,060 square feet Now: 5,641 square feet


JULY. 22 - AUGUST 4, 2016

Experts: No ‘magic bullet’ for traffic snarls BY JOHN RUCH

The mayor wants Pill Hill shuttle services running from new MARTA parking garages. Some residents want to widen Hammond Drive; some want to keep suburban-style streets. The rapidly growing city is building multiuse trails and talking about monorails. There’s no shortage of ideas for fixing Sandy Springs’ increasingly tangled traffic, but there are plenty of questions about which ones will work. Local experts say there are no easy answers and many different alternatives will be needed. The downside: traffic is getting harder to predict, and the impact of some commuting solutions is difficult to measure. “There’s no silver bullet here, no magic bullet,” said Michael Hunter, a traffic engineering professor at Georgia Tech. “It really should be a multi-alternative approach, especially when you’re looking at a complicated area like this.”


Community | 3

“Rarely can you ever actually solve [traffic congestion],” Hunter said, describing more of a problem-management approach. “Usually, it does end up being a collection of different [solutions]…Putting in a shuttle may make sense in one area and make absolutely no sense in another area.” Jennifer Harper at Perimeter Connects knows a lot about those shuttles, and carpools, and discount MARTA passes. Harper helps employers use those solutions and more in the alternative commuting program administered by the Perimeter Community Improvement Districts. She agrees that the challenge is targeting the alternatives to the proper situations. “Telecommuting’s not going to work for everyone. MARTA’s not going to work for everyone,” Harper said. Instead, Perimeter Connects works on a “personalized plan for each company.” When experts like these look at how to tailor such solutions in a place like Sandy Springs, they start with “capacity” and “demand.” Capacity is what engineers like Hunter mostly handle: physical infrastructure like roads and traffic signals. Demand is what alternative transportation consultants like Harper mostly handle: methods for reducing the number of single-occupant cars on the road. “Capacity and demand are the two big things,” said Hunter, emphasizing the need to “look at both parts of the equation.” And of course, the lines between them aren’t strict. Hunter noted that, without careful design, new road projects can trigger “induced demand”—attracting more traffic—as well as “latent demand,” where drivers who

avoided a nasty road return when it improves, causing it to quickly clog up once more.

What engineers see Traffic engineers like to start by studying the heck out of the situation, Hunter said. “The first thing you need to do is, you need to figure out what’s going on,” which may not be what average drivers expect or assume. A curveball in traffic studies, Hunter said, are commuting apps like Waze and Uber-type private taxi services. Such technology makes traffic more unpredictable, and while some people believe technology like driverless cars could solve everything, they’re full of potential for “unintended consequences,” he said. “Is there anything innovative I can do?” Hunter said is a question engineers ask. One such innovation is the “diverging diamond” interchange that speeds up intersection flow by allowing traffic to swap sides of the street. A diverging diamond is already installed on Ashford-Dunwoody Road at I-285 in Dunwoody, and another is coming to Sandy Springs’ Abernathy Road at Ga. 400. Capacity is also about trade-offs, Hunter said, noting it’s possible to build a giant road to handle rush-hour traffic that is empty concrete the rest of the time. “Where do you want to live? How do you want the area to look?” he asked, saying residents might answer, “I can live with more congestion a few hours a day if it means we get fewer lanes, more green space, more bike lanes.” That’s not a pure engineering choice, but a “societal choice, a political choice,” Hunter said. “Make it an active choice instead of something that just happens as we go along.”

the office is near North Springs station— while some others “moved specifically here in the market so they’re not commuting.” But Harper herself lives in Brookhaven and has kids in different camp programs, meaning it’s car travel for Perimeter Connects’ program manager. That mix of alternatives is common in the quest to “reduce single-occupancy trips as much as we possibly can,” as Harper put it. But which programs are actually work-

ing? The data is limited. Perimeter Connects knows how many discount MARTA passes sell and that the local shuttle is full. But the best option—people working from home— is “nearly impossible” to measure. In fact, telecommuting programs often fizzle because companies lack the “nuts and bolts, hardware and software” to make it practical—services that Perimeter Connects is stepping up consulting efforts to improve, Harper said.

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What commuting experts see At Perimeter Connects, Harper deals with the dramatically different needs of hospitals, Perimeter Mall and Fortune 500 companies. “We’re a very unique market. We’re a bit different than Buckhead or Midtown or Downtown,” she said. “You market to each of them very differently.” Some of that work is behind-the-scenes detail, like helping Pill Hill hospitals adjust their shift schedules to better match MARTA. Some is helping coordinate major public efforts like the three new Georgia Regional Transportation Authority bus routes coming to Perimeter Center, with the first debuting in September. Perimeter Connects helps coordinate one Perimeter Center shuttle service; about a dozen corporations have their own as well. And it supervises staggered-shift programs by major corporations so they don’t all simply move rush hour to another time. Commuting is a concern for the PCIDs itself, which has a new office in Sandy Springs. Harper said some employees take MARTA—



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4 | Perimeter Business ■

Perimeter Business A monthly section focusing on business in the Reporter Newspapers communities

Why brick-and-mortar branch banks still thrive in the digital age BY JOHN RUCH

When the Old Hickory House restaurant, a local landmark in Dunwoody Village, closed in 2014, a prankster resident posted a sign out front reading, “Anything here but a bank.” Today, SunTrust wants to turn it into a new branch bank. In the digital age, major banks are moving services online and slashing branch banks by the thousands nationwide. So why is the Perimeter area seeing a branch boom big enough to inspire that joke-turned-prediction in Dunwoody? Experts say the factors are a booming local economy, expanding banks wanting to plant flags, and the marketing of more personalized services that branches can provide. “I think that brick-and-mortar cer-


Experts say traditional banks, like this newly built Bank of America branch at 6087 Roswell Road in Sandy Springs, are thriving due to a booming local economy and branches marketing more personalized services.

tainly is not obsolete today, but there’s no question it’s certainly used less by customers today than in past generations,” said Chris Burnett, market president at

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the Bank of Sandy Springs. But that’s still a lot of customers, and the face-to-face personal banking touch can be a big factor in customer loyalty

and marketing specialty products, Burnett said. Most individual customers still prefer to set up an account in person— even if they bank online day-to-day later—and Burnett said he expects the baby boomer generation to continue a brickand-mortar leaning as they age. “I think, by and large, they are still more comfortable with a personal bank relationship as opposed to online banking,” said Burnett. At the Bank of Sandy Springs, Burnett changed the way the building functions in response to modern times. “We’ve taken out the traditional teller line” in favor of desks with comfortable chairs, he said. In part, that’s making a virtue of modern banking’s necessity of reduced staffing, but it’s also part of the community Continued on page 6

JULY. 22 - AUGUST 4, 2016

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Sandy Springs resident Wesley Bloeme, who started College Student Pressure Washing in 2014 to help reduce college debt, plans on continuing the business after graduation.

Student’s pressure-washing company cleans up college debt BY JOHN RUCH

In 2014, Sandy Springs resident Wesley Bloeme didn’t know much about pressure washing. But he knew a lot about the student debt facing him as he attended Maryville College in Tennessee. Now the young entrepreneur has turned a summer job into College Student Pressure Washing, a business that employs two other students and has him on track to graduate next year debt-free. “I always wanted to have my own business since I was a small boy,” said Bloeme, a graduate of Buckhead’s Christ the King School and Sandy Springs’ Riverwood high school. In part, that was because of his parents’ entrepreneurship: Father Peter Bloeme is co-founder of the Atlanta Rocks! indoor climbing gym, and mother Lynn Duran is an independent public relations specialist. In the summer of 2014, a friend suggested to Bloeme that they mow lawns to make some cash. Bloeme figured that most local homeowners already have mowing contracts, and he wanted a longer-term money-making opportunity. He saw a market for pressure washing, even though he knew nothing about the machines, which use pressurized water to clean outdoor surfaces. Bloeme said that summer, he got a small pressure-washer from a friend’s aunt and found a first customer. “I didn’t even know how to turn it on until I got to the job,” he said. Since then, Bloeme has learned a lot more about the business and has been successful enough to invest $20,000 in equipment. Meanwhile, he’s made college loans part of his sales pitch. The company’s logo is a man using a pressure-washer to free his ankle from a ball

and chain labeled “student debt.” During the summer, his business operates in Buckhead, Brookhaven and Sandy Springs. The company has cleaned entire neighborhoods in Brookhaven and Sandy Springs for homeowners associations, he said. During the school year, Bloeme doesn’t stop working; he just shifts business to the area of his college, which is near Knoxville, Tenn. He cut a deal with a local storage unit company to let him keep his washing rig there in exchange for cleaning the facility. Describing his workload from earlier this year, Bloeme made it clear a big work ethic is required. “I play on the college tennis team. I had my full course load of classes and was working 40 hours a week,” he said. Even so, something had to give. It was Bloeme’s position as placekicker on the school’s football team. “It’s more important for me to graduate debt-free than to be an all-conference player,” he said. The booming business was one influence on Bloeme’s choice of a major in finance and accounting. He intends to put those skills to use continuing the business after graduation next spring. “I see myself continuing it on,” he said. “I plan on coming back to Sandy Springs, coming home, just growing the business down there.” But will it still be called “College Student Pressure Washing” when Bloeme is no longer a student? “I’ve thought about it. I want to keep it,” he said of the name. “I want to continue the mission of [hiring] guys who can graduate without, or minimize, student debt.” For more information about Bloeme’s business, see

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6 | Perimeter Business ■

Why brick-and-mortar branch banks still thrive in the digital age Continued from page 4 bank’s marketing of “high-touch” personal relationships instead of herding customers in lines. Burnett said the personal touch is also important for banks that market specialty services like wealth

management and insurance that involve a sense of trust. Such changes mirror larger industry trends. An American Bankers Association report last year said more than 2,600 branch banks nationwide shuttered in 2014 and staff was cut within many of

those that remain. But the real trend, the report said, is not eliminating branch bank systems, but rather “optimizing” them. For example, Chase Bank last year announced the closure of 300 branchJOHN RUCH es—but also From left, Chris Burnett, market president at the Bank of Sandy the reconfigSprings, Tiffany Kennybrew, assistant banking center manager, uration of far and Cindy Miller, banking specialist, at a desk and chair area for customers, instead of the traditional teller line. more, about 1,200 of them, building. to automate routine services and focus “The branch banking center conpersonal contact on customers who realtinues to be an important resource for ly need and want it. many of our clients,” Miller said, adding Brad Miller, a consumer network that in the online banking era, “many cliplanning executive at SunTrust Bank, ents still prefer to use branches for more talked in system-optimizing terms about in-depth conversations in order to gain why the bank is looking at the Old Hickthe financial confidence to achieve a life ory site. He said SunTrust aims to “conwell-spent.” sistently refine its branch network” and The Old Hickory House happens to be that the Dunwoody location gives good right next door to a Bank of North Georcustomer access and a more efficient gia branch. Burnett said branches serve as important marketing in a metro Atlanta boom time. He said that during the 2008 recession, about 90 Georgia banks closed. Now that number is climbing back up, with many new banks entering the market and plenty of bank mergers and acquisitions. The real question for the banking industry—and probably for the fate of other beloved former restaurants—is what the millennial generation will want after growing up online. “Branches will change or die,” said a Bain & Company report last year on bank customer behavior and loyalty, while adding that some the trends are elusive. The report found that most customers use a mix of physical and online banking, and that branches can be an important way to build customer relationships. On the other hand, the report also found that customers who use branches frequently are almost three times more likely to switch banks than those who frequently bank online. And the digital world offers all sorts of new ways to offer personal touches without literally in-person contact, it noted. So it remains to be seen whether millennial customers will want face-to-face banking, or what “face-to-face” will mean in the tech future. At the Bank of Sandy on any double installed on any single installed Springs, a place where they still offer cusThermacore® door Thermacore® door tomers free coffee and hand out candy to their kids, Burnett said, “Candidly, we Not valid with any other offer. Expires 12/31/16 don’t have an answer to that question.”

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Perimeter Business | 7

Auto body shop’s owner has lifelong love affair with cars BY JOE EARLE

Lisa Dombrowsky likes cars. She has since she was a teenager. “I’ve been in this business since I was 17,” said Dombrowsky, the owner of Dent Wizard on Peachtree Industrial Boulevard, who’s 46 and has kids of her own now. “I started selling cars... I wanted a brand-new 300 ZX and the only way to buy myself a car was to go to work. I worked long enough to get that car.” She lived in Miami then. Originally a Jersey girl, she moved to south Florida with her family at age 14, she said. She got her first job at 15, working in a restaurant. She’s worked at different jobs through the years, but kept coming back to ones that had something to do with cars. “I’ve just always been into cars,” she said. “I love ’em. I love the feel of a nice car. I love the way a car looks. There’s nothing better than having a kick-ass car that you’re one with. ... You can just drive.” After she earned enough money to buy that first 300 ZX, she went into auto insurance, she said. Through the years, she worked with a car detailing company and for a mobile body shop su-

pervising the guys who removed dents from banged-up fenders. “I started with two trucks and within a year, I have 12 trucks on the road, and 24 guys and 39 dealerships served,” she said. When she met her husband-to-be, a neighbor in her apartment complex named Scott, he was in the dent-fixing business, too. “We lived in the same complex,” she recalls. “He lived downstairs with his little frou-frou Pomeranian and I lived upstairs with my two kids.” They relocated to Atlanta and, in 2010, went into business running the car dent repair shop at 5717 Peachtree Industrial Highway in Chamblee. Scott, who had worked for years with Dent Wizard, knew the repair side of the business, Dombrowsky said. “I’m the one who knew the business side,” she said. “He knew nothing about the business side. ... He had the skill of paintless dent repair,” which she described as a method of fixing dents in car fenders by using tools on the inside and outside of fenders to push out the dent. Getting settled in metro Atlanta wasn’t easy at first, she said. “I hated it here,” she said. Then, in 2012, Scott died from an an-

eurism in his brain. Lisa suddenly had to take over the business, called Unique Auto Appearance, and run it by herself. “Solo,” she said. It hasn’t been easy. She says other business owners think they can take advantage of her simply because she’s a woman owner in a male-dominated business. She hired her own staff and still operates her business from the repair shop located among the cluster of car dealers on Peachtree Industrial. “It is a man’s world, but being in it since I was 17, I don’t look at it that way,” she said. “In Georgia it’s that way, but in Miami, it’s not. I take my business seriously. If something happens to somebody’s car, I fix it. I look at clients’ cars as if they’re my own cars.”

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8 | Perimeter Business ■

Ribbon Cuttings

“My favorite part about living here is the flexibility to be as active and sociable as I want!”

Cutting the ribbon on the 1000 Spalding Apartments at 1000 Spalding Drive in Sandy Springs on July 14 included Barbara Pomerance, Joanne Harrington, Marvin Tulloch, Rachel Sliger, Fatima Youssef, Felicia Cowan, Bill Ritter, Samantha Burton, Devin Harvey, Scarlett Sparkman, Suzanne Brown and Beth Berger.

Meet Christie Kinsaul, who moved to Canterbury Court to downsize and simplify her life. Little did she know how much she would love her new lifestyle. “Maintaining a two-story townhouse and everything in it was taking considerable time and effort. I was ready for some changes, and I wanted to make the move on my own terms.” Christie didn’t expect to find such luxurious living in a one-bedroom apartment, which she says “is plenty big” and comes with full services and amenities. She was also delighted to discover an abundance of activities designed for resident interests, including outings to local events. As a retired music teacher, she’s especially fond of going to the Atlanta Symphony and the opera.

Fido Fido Dog Daycare and Boarding, located at 275 Mount Vernon Highway in Sandy Springs, recently celebrated its 10th Anniversary with a ribbon cutting. On hand for the festivities, from left, Barbra Pomerance, Katie DeVos, Jan Paul, Marea White, Suzanne Brown, Mayor Rusty Paul, Erica Rocker-Willis and Beth Berger. The facility offers grooming, massage, birthday parties and other services for canines.

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Jinya Ramen Bar, located in the Hammond Springs Shopping Center, opened on June 29 with a ribbon cutting sponsored by the Sandy Springs/Perimeter Chamber of Commerce and the city of Sandy Springs. Chamber ambassadors, along with representatives of the city’s Economic Development department, attended. Co-owners William Chen, Li Cheng and Julie Mei cut the ribbon.

JULY. 22 - AUGUST 4, 2016

Perimeter Business | 9

Tupelo Honey Café, at 4600 Roswell Road in Sandy Springs, opened its doors last month with a ribbon cutting. Attending were Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul joined by, from left, Zac Coleman, Tiara Coleman, Alesha Sisk, Jessica Hammond, Jeff Gould, Stephen Frabitore and Tyler Alford.

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Why and How do I talk to my parent about In-Home care A ribbon cutting and grand re-opening of Fairfield Inn & Suites Perimeter was held on June 30, with many in attendance. Front row, Jeff Shockley, Will Carlson, Beth Hogberg, Brooke Stall, general manager, Tammie Collins-Floyd, Erica Rocker-Wills, Walter Derby, Nancy Curtin Morris and Suzanne Brown. Back row, David Zacker, Drew Salapka, Chuck Powell Sr. and Roger Miller. The hotel is located at 1145 Hammond Drive in Sandy Springs.

PCIDs, Business Alliance move office

The Perimeter Community Improvement Districts moved July 1 from Dunwoody’s Ravinia complex to Sandy Springs’ 500 NorthPark office tower. Going along with the move were the PCIDs Perimeter Connects commuting alternatives program and the Perimeter Business Alliance, a PCIDs partner organization. The PCIDs are two self-taxing business districts in Perimeter Center—one on the DeKalb County side and one in Fulton—that share a single staff. The move to 1100 Abernathy Road makes the PCIDs a neighbor of such corporations as Veritiv, which joined the Fortune 500 list this year. For more information, see

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10 | Commentary

Reporter Newspapers 

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Opinion / The state of police-community relations The relationship between police departments and civilians is in a local and national spotlight. Huge protests followed the controversial police killings earlier this month of Alton Sterling in Louisiana and Philando Castile in Minnesota. Meanwhile, gunmen mass-murdered police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge. Reporter Newspapers asked local police chiefs how their forces are reacting to the event in Dallas—the Baton Rouge incident had not happened yet—and what training their departments use to keep routine interactions between officers and the public from escalating into shootings.

Chief Kenneth DeSimone Sandy Springs Police Department

It is a challenging time for law enforcement. Our Sandy Springs police officers and their families understandably are concerned. Chief Kenneth DeSimone In meeting with our force, I remind them of the need to remain vigilant both in their normal police duties as well as when they are off duty and at home with their families. I

Chief Billy Grogan

Dunwoody Police Department The ambush and execution of five Dallas police officers and the assault of seven other officers with their department serves as a stark reChief Billy Grogan minder of the dangers facing law enforcement today. Unfortunately, the reality of this danger struck close to home hours after the deadly shooting in Dallas when a Roswell police officer was shot at and a Valdosta police officer was shot in

advise them to remember their training and tactics learned, and to trust their instincts to stay safe in these most troubling of times. The city has invested a great deal of time and resources into training that includes cultural diversity instruction as well as “shoot and don’t shoot” tactics. We constantly work with officers in developing discipline and restraint in the use of deadly force. This past week, SSPD opened its new training facility, expanding our capacity in developing these skills. Our department will open the use of this facility to other surrounding law enforcement agencies as well. We will continue to be proactive in our robust training programs. We are very committed in the area of developing relationships within the community as evidenced through the driving and self-defense programs we offer, the Citizens on Patrol volunteer program, the neighborhood watch pro-

grams and more. The outpouring of support we’ve received from the community has been tremendous. We’ve received calls and letters; individuals and company representatives have dropped by headquarters to deliver meals and baked goods; and thousands have expressed their support via social media. That support is a source of comfort and is greatly appreciated by the men and women that serve Sandy Springs. We don’t take it for granted. It will be some time before the confrontational atmosphere subsides. We also need to remain responsive to the community we serve. I am working closely with our command staff to make certain we take appropriate operational measures to ensure the continued safety of our officers as well as the members of the community. Our focus has been, and will continue to be, the safety of our officers and those in the community we serve.

what has been described as an ambush. In spite of the dangers law enforcement faces today, Dunwoody police officers continue to provide professional service to the citizens of Dunwoody through fair and impartial policing. In spite of the numerous protests across the United States and the anti-police rhetoric on social media, Dunwoody police officers continue to build positive relationships with our community and maintain high morale. The department has worked tirelessly to train our staff in how to de-escalate tense police encounters so the public and officers remain safe. This training has included role-playing “use of force” scenarios where the actions of the officer influences the response of the roleplayer. Additionally, over 50 percent of the department’s staff has attended Crisis Intervention Training (CIT), which provides extensive training in how to respond to calls where someone is experiencing a mental health crisis. Our goal

is to send 100 percent of our officers to CIT training. In the near future, we plan to provide Procedural Justice training for officers as well. Our officers are also equipped with several non-lethal force options like pepper spray and a Taser. Of course, an important piece of having a professional police department that maintains a good relationship with the community is holding officers accountable. The Dunwoody Police Department reviews every use of force for policy compliance. Also, supervisors randomly review in-car video and body-worn camera video for policy compliance and training opportunities. The Dunwoody Police Department operates in a transparent and open manner to foster a positive relationship with our community. We use social media to educate and inform and as a means to provide that transparency. As we all know, communication is the key to any successful relationship.

© 2016 with all rights reserved Publisher reserves the right to refuse editorial or advertising for any reason. Publisher assumes no responsibility for information contained in advertising. Any opinions expressed in print or online do not necessarily represent the views of Reporter Newspapers or Springs Publishing, LLC.

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JULY. 22 - AUGUST 4, 2016

Chief George Turner

Atlanta Police Department The recent murder of five Dallas police officers sent shockwaves through the Atlanta Police Department (APD). The mass shooting put officers on notice Chief George Turner that they too can become a target. Members of the law enforcement community share a bond that reaches beyond our city and state borders. When one of us is affected in this manner, it affects all of us. Our Employee Assistance Program and Chaplaincy Unit are available to assess the mental and emotional well-being of our officers. Every day we leave our respective homes, not knowing if we will return. Each member of the Atlanta Police Department has accepted the responsibility to protect and serve the city of Atlanta with integrity and dignity. The risks associated with being a police officer are heightened during times like these, which makes our officers more vigilant while reinforcing our commitment to our community. Our thoughts and prayers are with Chief David Brown and the Dallas Police Department. In an effort to promote positive interactions among officers and citizens, APD

Chief Gary Yandura

Brookhaven Police Department

Chief Gary Yandura

All the officers are more cautious when responding to calls. We are sending at least two officers out on more serious calls. Officers are now prone to back each other

up on traffic stops. The recent police killings have not hurt department morale because most of the officers wouldn’t have taken the job without knowing there are risks involved, and most officers enjoy their jobs. In some respects, the outpouring of community support we’ve received recently has actually strengthened department morale. SS

Commentary | 11

has made community policing a priority. The Atlanta Police Department is one of the most progressive and diverse police departments. We are aware that the department mirrors the communities we serve. We actively communicate and connect with citizens; therefore, we are meeting and strategizing with community leaders to address their concerns and develop the right type of response. The Atlanta Police Department is one of 15 law enforcement agencies in the nation to be recognized for implementing the 21st Century Policing methods. We obtained a model city designation for our efforts to implement and follow the 59 recommendations set in place by President Barack Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing. We have taken on a guardian mindset to continue to build trust and nurture relationships. The Atlanta Police Department already provides professional development and continuing education training for officers who are actively serving. In an effort to put the best officers on the streets, Atlanta Police recruits receive over 22 weeks of academy-based training; more than double the 10 weeks and a day mandated by the state of Georgia, and 12 weeks of field training. Atlanta police recruits and officers are the most extensively trained police officers in the state. The training provided helps our officers to properly identify and avoid situations from escalating into shootings. Training received by Atlanta police officers includes: interpersonal communication/cultural awareness; control tactics/less than lethal weapons; crisis intervention; LGBT awareness; cultural diversity; and bias-based profiling. To prevent regular stops from escalating to violence, we are just using open communication—all of our officers are handling everything the same way they always have. We haven’t had any complaints; our officers are mindful of peoples’ rights and are courteous to people. A number of our officers have received a training called “Verbal Judo,” which is a method of verbal deescalation, and we are going to continue to provide that. More training was actually scheduled before the last the few incidents, but we continue to increase our training on dealing with mentally disturbed people through Crisis Intervention Teams (CIT). I’m serving on the state board of NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. The CIT training is a subsidiary of NAMI; we are trying to increase participation in NAMI throughout the state. I also just attended this past week the White House Advancing 21st Century Police Briefing, which emphasizes more cooperation and interaction with the community and promotes positive interactions through the use of social media.

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12 | Community ■

Do traffic cops help or hurt Perimeter Center rush hour? Continued from page 1 “We’re emptying our decks, but loading our streets,” said City Councilmember Gabriel Sterling, who has complained about possibly ineffective traffic policing – especially serving private garages – on Abernathy and Peachtree-Dunwoody roads for more than a year. “We are an inventive city,” Sterling said, calling for the police effectiveness study. Mayor Rusty Paul supported it as well. “[Traffic police] may be taking care of a problem in front of them,” he said, but worsening a “systemic problem” farther down the road. Sandy Springs Police Chief Ken DeSimone was skeptical, asking for assurance that police can intervene in the study period “if it all goes crazy.” “Traffic control to me is more an art than a science – no offense,” the police chief told Assistant City Manager Bryant Poole, a civil engineer by training. The Perimeter Community Improvement Districts have been hiring off-duty officers from various jurisdictions to direct rush-hour traffic for many years, starting well before Perimeter Center’s cities incorporated. Yvonne Williams, PCIDs’ president and CEO, told the council that her organization spends $353,000 a year on off-duty traffic

cops for the Fulton County side of Perimeter Center. The original goal of the program, she said, was for officers “to be at key intersections, not to be at individual buildings.” Such patrols are key to the PCIDs’

fine-tuned – and expensive – signal-timing system. A similar situation has emerged in recent months on Perimeter Center’s Dunwoody side as well. A late-afternoon outflow of commuters from the Ravinia complex on Ashford-Dunwoody Road appears to get priority while nearby intersections around Perimeter Mall gridlock during the wait. Sandy Springs Police Capt. John Mullin told the council he has performed off-duty traffic work in Perimeter Center for 19 years. MulPCIDS WEBSITE lin said he actually gives priority to An off-duty DeKalb County Police officer through-traffic, and said the traffic hired for traffic control by the Perimeter duty also plays a role in stopping Community Improvement Districts. road rage crimes. “Don’t Block the Box” initiative of cracking “It’s very unpredictable, what happens down on drivers who block intersections out there,” he said of day-to-day traffic conbetween signal cycles, she said. ditions. But he agreed it’s gotten worse in Today, some private employers and the past year. landlords hire traffic officers, too. Sterling Poole said he got an estimate from a and others are concerned that such officonsultant for a $2,000 study to see what’s cers prioritize traffic getting out of those really happening with traffic and police— private garages rather than the greater including testing rush hours with and good of traffic flow on public streets. Sterwithout officers on duty. It will focus on a ling said Abernathy/Peachtree-Dunwoody sample section of Peachtree-Dunwoody betraffic has gotten worse in the past year, tween Abernathy and Glen Meadow Court. since Newell Brands moved its corporate The study will have to be conducted for headquarters there, and said officers ofweeks, both when school is in and out of ten wave drivers through lights in the city’s session; no proposed timeline for when to

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do that was discussed. Consultants should be able to study conditions within private garages, not just on the street, Poole said. The city has management authority over private business’s hiring of traffic police under a 2008 ordinance, city officials said. “I would love to spend $2,000 to figure this out,” said Sterling as the council by consensus authorized staff to come up with a formal study proposal for a future vote. Capt. Mullin also suggested the timing of the Abernathy/Peachtree-Dunwoody traffic light might be too short. The lack of a protocol for traffic cops to contact the Sandy Springs traffic management center has been another sticking point that City Manager John McDonough said staff will address. The council also authorized creating a formal proposal for a full-time “construction ambassador” within the Public Works department. The position is part of proposed improvements in the city’s communication of road and traffic projects, including a better interactive web-based map. “Who would want this job?” asked City Councilmember John Paulson, only halfjoking. Mayor Paul brought the police into the conversation again in a different way, asking the chief if he could loan a “construction ambassador” a spare bulletproof vest.

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Mixed response to mixed-use vision for MARTA stations The initial meeting in March began with interruptions from some residents concerned about MARTA’s expansion and the mixed-use ideas. The July meeting kicked off in a similar way, with some residents asking whether federally subsidized low-income apartments would be part of the plan and objecting to market-projection data that seemed to show no demand for condos. JOHN RUCH Residents brainstorm with a Next Ten Mayor Rusty Paul came to the planner at the MARTA station “small area presenters’ rescue at least four plan” meeting July 18 at Heritage Hall. times, repeatedly asking attendees to hear the full concepts beContinued from page 1 fore critiquing them, and assuring them that market projections are not plans. Stone Road was the latest in the city’s “That’s not necessarily what we’re go“Next Ten” process, which combines a ing to do,” Paul said. “There’ll be plenty of rewrite of the land-use plan and zoning opportunities to micromanage going forcode with detailed “small area plans” for ward.” certain key areas, including the MARTA Paul indicated his own preference for Red Line stations. mixed-income housing around the staAt an initial March meeting, residents tions. “It’s a tale of two communities” in suggested some features that made it Sandy Springs, he said, with many afinto the updated concept plans. They influent residents and a 12 percent poverclude a pedestrian bridge across Ga. 400 ty rate. “We don’t have a middle class,” he at North Springs, and more affordable said. housing in the mix for both station areas. The majority of residents in the brainNorth Springs is the current north terstorming session appeared to agree. minus of the Red Line, located between Ga. 400 and Peachtree-Dunwoody Road, just north of Abernathy Road. The Next Ten planning team, led by consulting firm Rhodeside & Harwell, proposed a “high-end” townhome development and parkland fronting on Peachtree-Dunwoody. Besides the pedestrian bridge, a plaza would be created between the station’s two existing parking garages. A station either just south or just north of Northridge Road is on MARTA’s drawing board as part of a potential Red Line extension into Alpharetta that would be more than a decade away. Because the exact site of a new station isn’t clear, aside from sticking to the west side of Ga. 400, the Next Ten planners have two alternative concepts. In general, they call for dense housing with some retail, a new street grid, and green-space-lined paths possibly running to Roswell. One alternative would add a 5to 6-story office building to Northridge’s Pointe office park to create a “campus” and fill projected demand. Increased traffic was a concern with both plans, but especially the Northridge station, especially if it ends up being the Red Line’s terminus for years or forever. Envisioned as a relatively modest station in a planning process in 2014, the Next Ten concepts now label it a “commuter” or “collector” station, depending on the alternative. Either way, it means a station that draws regional MARTA riders. “We don’t want North Springs Part Two,” one resident said. SS

Community | 13

‘Next Ten’ previews Comp Plan, Powers Ferry vision BY JOHN RUCH

The latest round of the city’s “Next Ten” planning process updates included a draft of the new Comprehensive Plan and a concept for improving the Powers Ferry Landing area. The draft Comp Plan contains many familiar ideas, like more mixed-use and a better trail system. But its priorities also make a few plans the city has only hinted at before, like turning Hammond Drive into a full-blown commuter corridor to Cobb County, complete with some type of public transit line. The Powers Ferry vision includes better pedestrian and bicycle connectivity to parks and retail areas. Among its ideas is an improved walkable “retail village” area south of I-285. The Next Ten consultants will return with more refined plans for the Sandy Springs Festival in September and public meetings in October. City adoption of the plans is possible in November. Draft plans and concepts are available at

Comp Plan

The Comp Plan is a 10-year city planning vision and policy document currently under major revision.

“The Comprehensive Plan is all about finding the right balance,” Next Ten consultant Deana Rhodeside told the City Council on July 19. “It is about finding a sense of place that’s distinctly Sandy Springs.” The draft Comp Plan contains 10 “key actions” for the city to perform: → Create a new city Development Code → Revitalize Roswell Road → Transform Perimeter Center and Pill Hill into mixed-use, live-work areas → Put high-density uses around MARTA stations → Achieve a better housing balance in terms of types and income levels → Redesign Hammond Drive as a major east/west multimodal connection that will include a transit link between Sandy Springs and Cobb/Cumberland, possibly connecting to future I-285 transit → Mitigate traffic congestion through many alternatives → Reduce parking requirements where alternatives are available and create MARTA-accessible “remote lots” → Develop a trail network and fund at least one pedestrian bridge over the river → Enhance and beautify the city’s public places

14 | Community ■


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A: A robust crowd dances to the tunes of Electric Avenue, an Atlanta ‘80s cover band, during a Concert by the Springs show on July 10. This is the 20th season for the concert series, brought to the community by Heritage Sandy Springs. B: Electric Avenue band member Jordan Shalhoup on saxophone. C: Diane Pope, left, dances with Tom Sharple.

25 Glenlake Parkway NE | Sandy Springs, Georgia 30328 (800) 982-0757

D: Katy Gillis and daughter Tory, 2, get into the swing of things. E: Sandy Springs City Councilmember Tibby DeJulio greets guests to the show. F: Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul, left, and Robert Shaw, chair of the Development Authority of Fulton County, belt out the National Anthem. SS

JULY. 22 - AUGUST 4, 2016

Community | 15

Summer Specials!

Housing development plans unveiled for Glenridge Drive BY JAMES BEAMAN

A developer unveiled plans for 20 single-family detached houses on Glenridge Drive in Sandy Springs at a meeting with about 50 community members July 11. Betancourt Communities is buying out five existing homes at 6045-6105 Glenridge for the project. At the meeting, held at Mount Vernon Presbyterian Church, neighbors asked questions about such issues as traffic and trees. “Will there be a development plan that tries to retain trees on the property?” asked Rachel Friedberg, a local resident. “We don’t have a plan at the moment, but I’m sure a plan will come along for that,” said Betancourt President Steve Ficarra. The new homes would be in a gated community and priced around $800,000 to $900,000. Ficarra said they would be designed with architecture that matches the surrounding community. The houses would feature two-car garages. The neighborhood will potentially have a bicycle lane on Glenridge Drive. The project requires rezoning for the denser housing and setback-related zon-

ing variances, according to the developer’s conceptual plan. One issue that several community members brought up was concern about the detention pond for storm water. The developer said current plans have the detention pond being placed underground and undetectable. “How far will the development be from my house?” asked Ted Wilks, a Glenairy Drive homeowner who lives adjacent to the planned development. The developer said the minimum a house can be from their properties is 20 feet from the property line. Friedberg also asked about guest parking for residents of the potential development. She argued there seemed to be little or no room for extra vehicles in the community. “We think we have plenty of parking for residents and their guests,” said Ficarra. Another community member asked if there would be traffic studies done to assess impact on the surrounding area. The developers said a project of this size does not warrant a traffic study. Betancourt expects the plan to go before the city Planning Commission in October.

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16 | Out & About ■

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Wednesday, July 27, 7:30 p.m. Peachtree Road United Methodist Church presents organist Martin Baker, from Westminster Cathedral in London, part of the Atlanta Summer Organ Festival. Baker performs works by Bach and Widor. Reception follows concert. $15 donation requested at the door. 3180 Peachtree Rd., NE, Atlanta, 30305. For more information, visit: or call 404-266-2373.



Olympic Games. Compete throughout the Atlanta History Center’s 33-acre campus at various Olympic sports for the chance to win 1996 Olympic memorabilia. Free for center members; included in the cost of general admission for non-members. Go to: or call 404-814-4000 for details. 130 W. Paces Ferry Rd., Atlanta, 30305.



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Friday, July 29, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. The Red Cross Bloodmobile stops in at the Dunwoody Branch Library’s parking lot. Schedule an appointment by going to: and using sponsor code dunwoodylib or by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS. For adults. 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Rd., Dunwoody, 30338.


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4890 Roswell Road, Suite B-10 • Atlanta, Georgia 30342 (404) 835-3052 • Located at the corner of Roswell Road & Long Island Drive Saturday, July 30, 8 a.m. Pound the pavement for a cause! The Charity Benevolent Fund’s fifth annual Back to School 5K Run/ Walk comes to Keswick Park in Chamblee. Certified course offers rolling hills and a trip through Keswick neighborhood. $30-$35. Rain or shine. Proceeds help provide backpacks, notebooks, pencils and other school supplies to needy students. Register: active. com or Questions? Email: cbf@ or call 478-986-4908. 3496 Keswick Dr., Chamblee, 30341.


Friday, Aug. 5, 5-7 p.m. Dive into Shabbat at the Marcus Jewish Community Center-Atlanta. Open swim and activities begin at 5 p.m., followed by Shabbat songs and blessings with Rabbi Glusman at 6 p.m. Bring your own food; purchase drinks. Free challah, grape juice and ice pops for kids. Free admission. Open to the community. Learn more:, call 678-812-4161 or email: 5342 Tilly Mill Rd., Dunwoody, 30338.

FOR KIDS PARROT POWER Monday, July 25, 1111:45 a.m. See beautiful live birds talk, do tricks, give kisses and even sit on your arm. Park behind the Brookhaven Branch Library and enter at the lower level. Free. The public is welcome. Suitable for all ages. Open to the first 30 participants. Call 404-848-7140 to sign up or for an appointment for a group of five or more. 1242 N. Druid Hills Rd., NE, Brookhaven, 30319.

BR’ER RABBIT Tuesday, July 26, 11 a.m.-12 p.m. Join Br’er Rabbit and his friends for 40 minutes of stories, music and humor in this new production by a solo puppeteer. Free. Suitable for ages 3 and up. Open to the community. No registration required. Sandy Springs Branch Library, 395 Mount Vernon Highway, Sandy Springs, 30328. Email: or call 404-3036130 for details.

COOL IT! Saturday, July 30, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Grab your tennis shoes and participate in a celebration for the 20th anniversary of the Centennial

Tuesday, July 26, 1-2:30 p.m. Have you ever wondered how the food in your refrigerator stays cold? Why does cooling off in a swim-

Continued on page 18

JULY. 22 - AUGUST 4, 2016

Out & About | 17

Northwest Georgia offers visions of other places, other times 2



3 5

BY JOE EARLE A drive up I-75 may call to mind places to pick your own apples or watch the leaves change color in the fall, but there’s much more to see. Northwest Georgia can show you surprising things: dinosaur skeletons and space capsules; folk artist Howard Finster’s exotic visions of distant worlds and celebrations of this one; imagined scenes celebrating cowboy life; and the actual place where an Indian nation prospered before its people were forced to march west on the Trail of Tears. Here are five places you might find worth a trip.


Paradise Garden Summerville

Rev. Howard Finster claimed he “took the pieces you threw away and put them together...” into art. The folk artist, who died in 2001, gained fame by making tens of thousands of works (he numbered them) in order to spread the gospel and his views of this world and others. He also somehow found the time and energy to assemble the extraordinary place known as Paradise Garden. Using concrete, wood, mirrors, discarded tools and bicycles, shards of pottery, baubles and even the liner to a box of chocolates, Finster cobbled together buildings, flowers and colorful sidewalks into a place where visitors casually can stroll through what feels like a piece of another world. The garden now is operated by a nonprofit foundation. Where: 200 North Lewis Street, about

three miles north of downtown Summerville, just off U.S. 27. Take Exit 306 from I-75, turn west on Ga. 140. Turn right on U.S. 27. Take U.S. 27 through Summerville. Look for mile marker 13 and turn right onto Rena Street. Follow the signs and go about three blocks to turn into the entrance to the garden. Hours: Tuesdays to Sundays, noon to 5 p.m. Cost: $15 adults; $10 seniors (55 and older); $5 students; younger than 12, free. For more:, 706-808-0800.

ing, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Cost: adults aged 18 to 61, $7; seniors 62 or older, $6.50; youth aged 6 to 17, $5.50. For more:

Western Art Museum 3 Booth Cartersville


New Echota Historic Site Calhoun

New Echota once housed the capital of another nation. In 1825, Cherokee lawmakers established their capital at this site. During the next decade, it was home to the Cherokee nation’s legislature and courts, and the first Indian-language newspaper. The community also gave its name to the treaty that relinquished Cherokee claims to lands east of the Mississippi River and led to their forced removal to the west on the infamous Trail of Tears. Today, visitors can learn about the history of the Cherokee in Georgia, walk among a dozen original and reconstructed buildings, watch a hand-operated press print a mock newspaper page and even hear a recording of “Amazing Grace” sung in Cherokee. Where: 1211 Chatsworth Highway NE, Calhoun, Ga., 30701. Located in Calhoun one mile east of I-75, Exit 317 on Highway 225. Hours: Wednesdays to Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; closed Thanksgiv-

Cowboys in Cartersville? Why not? The Booth promises one of the largest collections of western art in the South. It features realistic and abstract painting, sculpture and a collection of portraits and signatures of American presidents. A larger-than-life cowboy riding a bucking horse in a sculpture out front sets the tone; inside, works by more than 200 artists examine the mythic west, the modern west and the lives of westerners. Where: 501 Museum Drive, Cartersville, Ga., 30120. Take I-75 to Exit 288. Turn west and follow Main Street (Ga. 113 /61) about 2.2 miles into Cartersville’s business district. Turn right on Gilmer Street, go two blocks under the bridge. The museum is on the left. Hours: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sundays, 1 to 5 p.m. Cost: adults $10 + tax; seniors (65 and over) $8 + tax; students $7 + tax; children 12 and under free. For more:


Tellus Science Museum Cartersville

Gemstones, dinosaurs, cars, airplanes and space travel are among the scientific subjects touched on in the displays within this sprawling structure in Cartersville. The museum’s exhibits explore places from the center of the Earth to outer space, and examine a century of changes in transportation. Where: 100 Tellus Drive, Cartersville, Ga., 30120. Take I-75 to exit 293. Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, but closed on major holidays. Cost: adults, $14 + tax; children (3 – 17), $10 + tax; students, $10 + tax; active military, free (1/2 price admission for active duty dependents with ID); seniors (65+), $12 + tax. For more:, 770-606-5700.

History Museum 5 Bartow Cartersville This local history museum focuses on the settlement and development of Bartow County. Visitors can check out Cherokee and pioneer cabins, sit in a one-room schoolhouse or learn about the Civil War and the early textile industry, the museum’s webpage promises. Where: 4 E. Church St., Cartersville, Ga., 30120. Take I-75 north to Exit 288 and drive into downtown Cartersville. Hours: Mondays to Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Cost: adults, $5.50; seniors/students, $4.50; children younger than 5, free. For more:, 770-387-2774.

18 | Out & About ■ members of the Cancer Support Community. 5775 Peachtree-Dunwoody Rd., Suite C-225, Atlanta, 30342. Go to: for additional details.



Continued from page 16 ming pool feel so good in the summer? Come learn about refrigeration through a simple science experiment hosted by ASHRAE, a nonprofit that sponsors research into HVAC and refrigeration. For those ages 6-12 years old. Free and open to the public. Brookhaven Branch Library, 1242 N. Druid Hills Rd., NE, Brookhaven, 30319. Call 404-848-7140 to learn more.



ence Room, 269 Buckhead Ave., NE, Atlanta, 30305. Email: or call 404-814-3500 for information.


Wednesdays, July 27, 6-7 p.m. Join others in the browsing area, and relax and unwind, reducing stress and anxiety one coloring page at a time. All materials provided. Free. Open to the community. Suggested audiences: elders, adult, college. Email: comments@co.fulton. or call 404-303-6130 to learn more. Sandy Springs Branch Library, 395 Mount Vernon Highway, Sandy Springs, 30328.

BIRD FRIENDLY Thursday, July 28, 7-9 p.m. Join a potluck dinner starting at 7 p.m. and then listen to Adam Betuel, director of conservation at the Atlanta Audubon Society, who discusses conservation projects and ways to take action. An activity and evening bird walk follows. $5 for Chattahoochee Nature Center members; $10 for general public, age 16 to adult. 9135 Willeo Rd., Roswell, 30075. Visit: or call 770992-2055 for additional information.



TEEN MOVIE Wednesday, July 27, 2-4:30 p.m. Join others for a showing of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” Rated PG-13. Snacks provided. Free. Open to the first 20 participants. For those ages 13-17. Call the Brookhaven Branch Library at 404-848-7140 to sign up or for an appointment for a group of five or more. 1242 N. Druid Hills Rd., NE, Brookhaven, 30319.

MAGIC MAN Thursday, July 28, 10:30-11:30 a.m. Awardwinning magical routines, music, audience participation and live animals. Free and open to the community. Geared for all ages. Buckhead Branch Library, in the Confer-

Thursday, July 28, 10-11 a.m. Participants learn the basics about how their small business can contract with government agencies. Free. All are invited to attend. For adults. Registration required by calling 404-303-6130 or emailing: Sandy Springs Branch Library, 395 Mount Vernon Highway, Sandy Springs, 30328.

Tuesday, July 26, 2-4 p.m. Workshop teaches specific exercises to build new bone and improve balance, as well as postural alignment techniques to increase bone SUBMIT YOUR EVENT LISTING WITH US AT growth. Free. RSVP to 843-1880. For

Friday, July 29, 10-11 a.m. Participants learn SBA loan programs such as 7a, 504, micro loans and community advantage. The basics of the SBA Guaranty Bond Program will also be covered. Free. For adults. Registration required by calling 404-303-6130 or emailing: Sandy Springs Branch Library, 395 Mount Vernon Highway, Sandy Springs, 30328.

BEGINNING MEDITATION Saturday, July 30, 10-11 a.m. Discover simple and powerful meditation that takes just 12-18 minutes by sitting in a chair. Free. Open to the general public. Previous meditation experience not required. For adults. Email: or call 404-303-6130 for further details. Sandy Springs Branch Library, 395 Mount Vernon Highway, Sandy Springs, 30328.


The following Atlanta Gastroenterology Associates physicians have been named to Atlanta magazine’s list of Top Doctors for 2016: Dr. Girish Anand, Dr. Norman Elliott, Dr. Charles Fox, Dr. Lori Lucas, Dr. Ralph Lyons, Dr. Enrique Martínez, Dr. Kamil Obideen, Dr. Neal Osborn, Dr. David Quinn, and Dr. John Suh | 1.866.GO.TO.AGA [468.6242]

REINVENT YOURSELF Saturday, July 30, 4-5 p.m. Understand the five steps of reinvention and the essential building blocks to reinventing yourself. Free. All are welcome to attend. For adult audiences. Sandy Springs Branch Library, 395 Mount Vernon Highway, Sandy Springs, 30328. Email: or call 404-303-6130 for details.


Wednesday, Aug. 3, 6:30-8 p.m. Learn about the benefits, risks and limitations of genetic testing. Question-and-answer session follows. Led by a genetic counselor from Northside Hospital. Free. RSVP to 404-843-1880. For members of the Cancer Support Community. 5775 Peachtree-Dunwoody Rd., Suite C-225, Atlanta, 30342. Go to: to find out more.

JULY. 22 - AUGUST 4, 2016

Out & About | 19

Music, comedy and more in local theater companies’ new seasons

Comprehensive Women’s


“We’ll have something for everyone this season,” said Brian Kimmel, MJCCA’s director of Arts and Culture. “We have a whole Three local arts institutions are staging bunch of different sides of Jewish culture. a variety of plays in their 2016-2017 seasons It’s primarily music, and we’ll have Matithat feature comedy, romance and music, syahu, who is pretty well known.” from old favorites to recent hits. CoincidenSantally, Act3 and dy Springs’ the MJCCA inAct3 Produccluded the same tions and Dunplay, “Urinetwoody’s Stage own,” in their Door Players are new seasons. long-running “Urinetown” is community thea comedic musiater groups. The cal set in a time Marcus Jewwhere a water ish Communishortage has led ty Center of Atto a government lanta (MJCCA) ban on private FILE PHOTO in Dunwoody toilets. The citRobert Egizio, producing artistic is hosting condirector for Stage Door Players izens must use certs and other public amenities artistic events, as well as a slate of plays for regulated by a greedy corporation. The MJCadults and families. CA’s staging wrapped up earlier this month, Act3 will launch its season with “The while Act3 will perform the play in April. Fantasticks” playing from Aug. 12-27. The comedic and romantic musical is about a boy and a girl as their fathers try to keep Act3 Productions them apart. “With our upcoming season, we are “The Fantasticks” (Aug. 12-27), “The Women” embracing our intimate theater,” said Mi- (Sept. 16-Oct. 1), “Violet” (Nov. 4-19), “And Then chelle Davis, artistic director for Act3 Pro- There Were None” (Feb. 10-25), “Urinetown” ductions. “At Act3, the audience becomes a (April 14-29) part of the story.” MJCCA, Stage Door Players, located in Dunwoody, “From Head to Toe” (Oct. 30), MJCCA Youth Enwill kick off their season with “Barefoot in semble presents “Xanadu Jr.” (Dec. 11-12), MJCCA Youth Ensemble presents “Schoolhouse Rock the Park” from Sept. 23 through Oct. 16. Live! JR.” (Dec. 13-14), “Broadway Kaleidoscope: “It’s by the classic, Tony-award winning A Musical Revue” (Feb. 5), “A Brown Bear, A CatNeil Simon,” said Robert Egizio, producing erpillar & A Moon: Stories by Eric Carle” (April artistic director for Stage Door. “Audiences 16), MJCCA Youth Ensemble presents “Guys and Dolls JR.” (April 30-May 1), “Disney’s Beauty and can expect non-stop laughter.” the Beast KIDS” (May 2-3) “Barefoot in the Park” is about a newlyStage Door Players wed couple who move into an apartment together after a six-day honeymoon. Com“Barefoot in the Park” (Sept. 23-Oct. 16), “Let edy ensues as they try to play matchmaker Nothing You Dismay” (Dec. 2-18), “Death by Dewith the bride’s mother and due to the crasign” (Jan. 27-Feb. 19), “The Cemetery Club” zy neighbor in the attic. (March 17-April 9), “Boeing Boeing” (May 19-June “It’s familiar for many audiences, so it’s a 11), “Baby Case” (July 14-Aug. 6) nice way to kick off the season,” said Egizio.


Join the Epilepsy Foundation of Georgia for a day of exercise, fun and philanthropy! The 2016 Magnolia Run and Walk for Epilepsy is truly fun for the whole family!

Uber and EFGA have teamed up to support epilepsy! Use promo code EPILEPSY for a $20 free ride & Uber donates $5 to EFGA!

WHEN: Saturday, August 20, 2016 TIME: Registration/Packet Pick-Up 7:00am, 5K and 1 mile 8:00am WHERE: Perimeter Mall, Atlanta COST: 5K Timed: $30 / 5K Untimed & 1 mile: $25 before August 15th WHY: Help raise funds and awareness for the 150,000+ Georgians living with epilepsy.

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 more. Without this event and the support of the community this would not be possible.

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

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20 | Education ■

Christopher Weaver

The Lovett School, senior Christopher Weaver, a senior at The Lovett School, is recognized for being a leader in his school, the surrounding communities, and through starting his own nonprofit, American Heroes for Hire. Not only is he a social entrepreneur and a hard-working student, Christopher is recognized by Brian Howard, Lovett’s associate director of college counseling, as being “one of the most respectful and considerate students you will encounter at Lovett. “ Christopher began American Heroes for Hire through the GivingPoint Institute, an organization in Atlanta that “takes students with certain passions, and provides to them the resources so that they can do positive things in, and for, their communities.” Christopher said he started American Heroes for Hire because he “recognized a major problem that was and still is plaguing the country: veteran unemployment.” His passion for this issue comes from his experiences of working with homeless shelters and veterans organization through his church and Lovett. To solve this issue, American Heroes for Hire will put on monthly job-readiness fairs for mil-

itary veterans to prepare them for the civilian workforce. “The events contain everything from resume building, interview prep, proper attire-fitting, to even working with a search firm to schedule interviews where the veteran would be more likely to receive the position,” explains Christopher. The nonprofit’s first event is planned for this summer. In addition to spearheading the founda-

tion of American Heroes for Hire, Christopher is very active in his school community. Along with starting American Heroes for Hire, Christopher plays football and throws shot-put/discus for The Lovett School. He plays the tuba in the concert band, and is an active member of Vestry, Speech and Debate, Model Arab League, National Honors Society and the Student Service Board. He is also an admissions ambassador at The Lovett School. Christopher has also been honored for his service at his school. He was the recipient of 2016’s Brig. Gen. Burke Whitman Service Award, awarded to a “servant leader” in each grade. “Prior to entering Lovett’s Upper School, he received the Paul Bright Service Award in 8th grade for sustained service-leader-


Christopher Weaver and his mother, Connie, at the GivingPoint Institute’s Sparks event in May. Christopher started American Heroes for Hire to help veterans find employment.

ship throughout his three years of middle school,” notes Howard. Originally from Alabama, Christopher calls himself “a huge Alabama Crimson Tide fan.” He also enjoys deer hunting in the winter. Christopher’s goal for college is to attend the United States Military Academy at West Point. If he does not attend West Point, Christopher still plans on participating in ROTC at the college he attends. Christopher plans on having a career in the military after graduating from college. Further

ty uni m m . r co a r s you 15 ye g v i n ver S e r fo r o ed

W 1 str 0 yea e can uct r ura warr offer l co ant a nst y on ruc Ins tio ure n. d

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down the road, he also hopes to earn an MBA and a law degree when he begins his transition back into the civilian workforce. Christopher plans to continue American Heroes for Hire while in college and in the future. Lovett has also offered to fully support his organization as well. To find out more about American Heroes for Hire, visit americanheroesforhire. org. This article was reported and written by Olivia Koenig, a rising junior at Riverwood International Charter School.

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Classifieds | 21

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HELP WANTED Leadership Sandy Springs Program Asst. Essential Duties: Maintain contact data base, including member donations and sponsorships and prepare appropriate reports; Manage banking accounts and handle accounts payable and accounts receivable through Quickbooks; Manage online credit transactions and payroll; Provide administrative support for Exec Dir, YLSS, and Member Programs;Work with Finance Committee and prepare monthly financial reports for the Board of Trustees; Prepare letters and other communication, including mailings to alumni and class members. Familiar with Quickbooks; Salesforce; Joomla; Constant Contact; Dropbox; Word; Excel; Publisher. Special skills; Ability to work on multiple projects at one time and attention to detail. Email


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22 | Public Safety ■

Police Blotter / Sandy Springs The following represents some, but not all, of the reports made to Sandy Springs police from July 10 to July 18. The following information was provided by Capt. Steve Rose of the Sandy Springs Police Department from its records and is presumed to be accurate.


Calib Allen Dickson, 32, was arrested after detectives, working an unrelated case, ran a vehicle tag showing that he was wanted for failing to appear on charges of aggravated child molestation in Muscogee County. He was taken into custody and transferred to the Muscogee County Sheriff’s Department.


A handgun, stolen from a car in June of last year, was one of 19 guns, eight of which were stolen, recovered during a search warrant in Atlanta, conducted by Atlanta Police, Department of Homeland Security and ATF. One ballistic vest was also recovered. APD arrested one person in the case.



„„100 block of Peachtree Dunwoody

„„5500 block of Roswell Road – On July 11,

Road – On July 10, a landscape crew member, doing work at a location, observed a white SUV pull up. A male exited and begin stealing lawn equipment. The complainant approached the man who pulled a gun and told him, “Don’t look at me.” The man fled in a white Tahoe or Expedition. A female accompanied the suspect.

a resident returned home to her apartment and discovered someone entered and took a laptop and $700 from a dresser drawer. She was told earlier in the afternoon that a male in a black pickup truck was at her residence. „„6500 block of Vernon Woods Drive –

On July 11, someone at the Benson Center said someone stole $600 from a safe—

along with the safe. „„5600 block of Roswell Road – On July 11, an

apartment resident said he was gone overnight between July 10-11, and upon return, discovered his door was unsecured and his television was gone. „„5000 block of Roswell Road – On July 11,

a resident said that about 1 p.m. she and her children were eating in the apartment, then walked out to the parking lot to get something from the car. Upon returning to the apartment, they confronted a man who was in the bedroom. The man was described as about 6 feet, short hair, black shirt, blue pants, and was either holding a gun or one on his belt. The man fled to the rear, then changed directions and fled through the front door. „„1900 block of Cimarron Pkwy. – On July 11,

a 29-year-old man said he was gone from his apartment overnight and on return found what appeared to be forced entry to his front door. Nothing was taken.

THEFTS „„A 26-year-old woman reported that she

Petition Number:


had $1,050 in cash in her wallet, which she placed in her purse—specifically the bottom of the purse. She left the purse in a hospital room and upon return, the wallet had been taken from the purse. She said she left the room every three hours for an hour at a time.


Dunwoody Place Ventures

„„200 block of Skyridge Drive – On July

Property Location:

0 River Exchange Drive

Present Zoning:



Rezone from C-1 to O-I for the development of an assisted living facility with concurrent variances

11, a resident reported that a small change purse containing her driver’s license was taken from her purse inside her home. She said several contractors had been in the home recently.

Public Hearings:

Planning Commission July 21, 2016 at 6:00 p.m.

„„8900 block of Roswell Road – On July 13,

Mayor and City Council August 16, 2016 at 6:00 p.m.

a landscaping employee said he and another employee were working in this area but



Sandy Springs City Hall Morgan Falls Office Park 7840 Roswell Road, Building 500 Sandy Springs, Georgia 30350 770-730-5600

were not near their truck. Someone stole a Husqvarna backpack blower from the ground next to the truck. The employee said that when he discovered the theft, he saw a pickup truck nearby. He Captain walked to the truck STEVE ROSE, to ask if they saw SSPD anything and the srose@sandriver turned and drove the truck in the other direction. There was no evidence to show the truck was involved, but the employee thought it was suspicious that he suddenly departed. „„Landscape equipment thefts are BIG in

the summertime. Thieves cruise the ‘burbs looking for the landscape trucks and as you know, nobody in Sandy Springs actually cuts their own yard, so there are tons of landscaping trucks all over during the day. Easy pickin’s if you leave that stuff lying around.

THEFTS FROM VEHICLES „„There were 14 thefts from vehicles report-

ed between July 8 and July 13.

ASSAULT „„7200 block of Roswell Road – On July 8,

a 66-year-old man said a former employee came into his restaurant and wanted money he said was owed him. The man went to the register to get his money at which time the victim got into a shoving match with him. The suspect hit the victim, knocking him to the ground. He then left with the victim’s car keys. The victim was taken to St. Joseph’s for treatment. He is planning to prosecute.





Petition Number:



City of Sandy Springs


Emily Brown


An Ordinance to Amend Section 12B.8, Main Street District Standards, of the Sandy Springs Zoning Ordinance

Property Location:

4794 Dudley Lane

Public Hearings:

Planning Commission August 18, 2016 at 6:00 p.m.


Variance from Zoning Ordinance Section 19.3.15 allow a swimming pool in a front yard of a double frontage lot.

Public Hearings:

Board of Appeals August 11, 2016 at 6:00 p.m.


Sandy Springs City Hall Morgan Falls Office Park 7840 Roswell Road, Building 500 Sandy Springs, Georgia 30350 770-730-5600

Mayor and City Council September 20, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. Location:

Sandy Springs City Hall Morgan Falls Office Park 7840 Roswell Road, Building 500 Sandy Springs, Georgia 30350 770-730-5600


JULY. 22 - AUGUST 4, 2016

Public Safety | 23

Volunteers lend police a hand with SSPD’s Citizens on Patrol program in the COPs program, Kramer says they are an asset to the police department. “One of the reasons that departments are finding this extremely valuable, we free up officers on a regular basis to do higher priority things,” said Kramer. “We save a lot of officers’ time. For instance, if there’s a storm and trees go down and wires go down, we’ll go and block one or both ends sometimes for hours until the tree can be removed or power lines can be put back up. And that frees an officer to go deal with higher priority calls.” Capt. Mike Lindstrom, spokesperson

for the SSPD, said that the program is valuable in a time of controversy over police shootings. “With all that’s going on in current events, there’s a need for a spokesperson to tell the people that the police aren’t all bad,” said Lindstrom. “Aside from the work that they do, it’s a form of relationship-building with the community.” For more information on the Citizens on Patrol program, its goals and how to get involved, visit public-safety.



SSPD Citizens on Patrol volunteer Nelson Kramer places a warning on the window of a disabled parking violator while fellow volunteer Mark Anderson waits close by in the COPs vehicle.


On a recent afternoon, Mark Anderson and Nelson Kramer stopped at the scene of an accident on Sandy Springs Circle, where two cars had collided across the street from the Brooklyn Café. They made sure everyone was OK and stopped traffic to allow the drivers to pull into the parking lot and safely figure things out. Anderson and Kramer weren’t just good Samaritans. They are volunteers with the Sandy Springs Police Department Citizens on Patrol program, and helping in such situations is part of their work. As the name suggests, Citizens on Patrol (COPs) is a program where volunteer citizens can help patrol the streets. They drive cars outfitted with “Citizen Patrol” decals and orange lights, and wear a specially designed uniform to differentiate them from officers. The COPs are unarmed, cannot make arrests and are not sworn officers. To become a patrol member, volunteers must complete the 13-week Citizens Police Academy and an additional 12week course. The Sandy Springs Police Department started its Citizens on Patrol program five years ago in 2011. The Sandy Springs COPs program, which has about 50 volunteers, is one of many programs around the country. The Dunwoody Police Department is in the process of starting its own COPs program. Anderson said he was a crew chief on a Bell UH-1 Iroquois helicopter in the Vietnam War. “I planned on being a New York State Trooper when I got back from Vietnam, but my wife said she didn’t want to wait for me to come home so long anymore,” said Anderson. After retiring from IBM after 37 years, SS

Anderson now owns a photography shop in Sandy Springs and spends about 100 hours per month working with the COPs. Kramer, a frequent partner with Anderson, retired after more than 40 years in commercial real estate and now spends much of his time with the COPs. “I found I really enjoyed this, and I’ve retired, and now I sort of do this full time,” said Kramer. “I’m almost embarrassed to say it, but I put in about 200 hours a month.” “We put in a lot of hours, Mark and I do,” said Kramer. “The department asks folks to put in eight hours a month.” According to Kramer, the SSPD COPs contribute about 16,000 volunteer hours per year to the department. Over the course of about four hours during a recent patrol, Anderson and Kramer made two residential checks, gave out one handicapped-parking violation warning and helped at four vehicular accidents. The variety of the work is one aspect of COPs that Kramer and Anderson find enjoyable. “We might be going along with absolutely nothing going on,” said Kramer. “All of a sudden there was a single-vehicle accident over on Riverside Drive that took down a telephone pole and wires. We went out there and were a part of a team that closed down Riverside Drive for a couple hours.” “I enjoy being out here,” said Anderson. “I enjoy the interactions with the officers, and I enjoy just being able to be of assistance to the people who put their lives on the line for everybody else.” “Another real pleasure of the program is the people in the program,” said Kramer. “We go out for a number of hours on patrol and we have a chance to talk and catch up on what’s going on in each other’s lives. It’s very social.” Regardless of the enjoyment Anderson and Kramer get out of volunteering

Petition Number:

RZ16-0095 & U16-0024


Northside Hospital

Property Location:

1000 Johnson Ferry Road, 5780 Peachtree Dunwoody Road

Present Zoning:

O-I (Office Institutional District)


Rezone to O-I (Office Institutional District) for the expansion of the hospital and the construction of a parking deck, with a Use Permit to exceed the maximum zoning district building height (Sec. 19.4.5)

Public Hearings:

Planning Commission August 18, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. Mayor and City Council September 20, 2016 at 6:00 p.m.


Sandy Springs City Hall Morgan Falls Office Park 7840 Roswell Road, Building 500 Sandy Springs, Georgia 30350 770-730-5600




William Wilson

Property Location:

357 Tall Oaks Drive


Variance from Land Development Regulations Section 109-225: Request to encroach into the 25-foot impervious surface setback to allow for the construction of a single family residence and to remove a portion of a concrete driveway in the 50-foot stream buffer.

Public Hearings:

Board of Appeals August 11, 2016 at 6:00 p.m.


Sandy Springs City Hall Morgan Falls Office Park 7840 Roswell Road, Building 500 Sandy Springs, Georgia 30350 770-730-5600




Reza and Catherine Kasravi

Property Location:

3920 Dahlwiny Court

Present Zoning:

CUP per 2000Z-0083, ZM08-009


Request to modify condition 3.q of zoning modification ZM08-009 to rezoning 2000Z-0083, to reduce the required rear buffer and improvement setback to install a pool.

Public Hearings:

Planning Commission August 18, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. Mayor and City Council September 20, 2016 at 6:00 p.m.


Sandy Springs City Hall Morgan Falls Office Park 7840 Roswell Road, Building 500 Sandy Springs, Georgia 30350 770-730-5600

24 | ■

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7-22-2016 Sandy Springs Reporter  
7-22-2016 Sandy Springs Reporter