Atlanta Intown - August 2023

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AUGUST 2023 Vol. 29 No. 8 ■ Atlanta Intown A Publication THE ARTS ADVOCACY OF INSIDE: A WEEKEND IN NASHVILLE P.28 P.6

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Features high ceilings and finished basement all in move-right-in condition. 10+++ location.

fire pit and more.

Recent Activity

1138 Zimmer Drive NE Sold Above List for $1,600,000

1300 Pasadena Avenue NE

Sold for $1,225,000

Coming Soon • 589 Pelham Road

5 Bed | 4 Bath | Offered at $1,450,000

Outstanding expansion of a 1942 bungalow, gourmet, top-of-the-line kitchen, featuring large rooms, high ceilings, large yard and oversized 2-car garage.

819 Wildwood Road NE Sold for $995,000

648 Orme Circle NE

Buyer Represented | Sold for $2,171,500

Coming Soon • 1850 Wildwood Place NE

4 Bed | 3 Bath | Offered at $1,395,000

To the studs total renovation of this Mid-century ranch with an open floor plan located on a quiet street. Completion mid to late July.

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©2023 Engel & Völkers. All rights reserved. Each brokerage independently owned and operated. All information provided is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed and should be independently verified. If your property is currently represented by a real estate broker, this is not an attempt to solicit your listing. Engel & Völkers and its independent license partners are Equal Opportunity Employers and fully support the principles of the Fair Housing Act. Source: FMLS 2023

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About the Cover

Artist Aysha Pennerman stands next to one of her murals at Harper-Archer Middle School in northwest Atlanta. Turn to page 6 to read more about Pennerman’s work. (Photo by Isadora Pennington)

AUGUST 2023 | 3 Scan to subscribe to Rough Draft, or, text DRAFT to 66866 Spotify AtlantaIntown AtlantaIntown AtlantaIntown atlanta Reporter Newspapers A Publication Atlanta Intown A Publication Silver Streak By Contents AUGUST 2023 ©2023 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 Rough Draft Atlanta. Honored as a newspaper of General Excellence 2018 Editor’s Letter 4 Cover Artist Aysha Pennerman 6 Community News Roundup 10 BeltLine Streetcar 10 Road Projects 12 May I Be Excused? 12 Sustainability Above the Waterline 14 Keeping The Chattahoochee 15 Arts & Entertainment Virginia Highland Bookstore 18 AIDS Quilt Exhibition 19 Dining Women + Wine 20 Quick Bites 22 Food Waste App 23 Business QUADSis Shoes 24 BeltLine Storage Building 25 Real Estate Signal House 26 Junction Krog 26 Real Estate Briefs 27 Get Out Of Town Weekend In Nashville 28 Charleston Museum 30 Exploring White County 31 Editorial Collin Kelley Editor Sammie Purcell Associate Editor Staff Writers Dyana Bagby Cathy Cobbs Bob Pepalis Logan C. Ritchie Editorial Interns Madison Auchincloss, Eloisa Bloom, Alexandra Kent Contributors Sally Bethea, Jacob Nguyen, Isadora Pennington,
28 19 15

For most of the summer, I’ve been editing Atlanta Intown from Ann Arbor, Michigan. I had the opportunity to come and spend some time here to finish a new poetry collection and catch up on traveling derailed by the pandemic and my treatment for cancer.

In between issues, I’ve had the opportunity to make multiple visits to Detroit, spend a weekend in Toronto, see the wonder of Niagara Falls, marvel at the architecture in Chicago, and come to appreciate the charms of Toledo.

While you’ve been broiling in the Georgia sun, we’ve been in the high 80s here, which is abnormal. The typical high temperature in July is around 820, but we’ve been at or near 900 with some days of hellish humidity.

The smoke haze from the Canadian wildfires has blanketed most of the state over the past month. I know Atlanta has gotten some of this, too, but up here we’ve been under air quality emergencies with the haze and smell lingering for days at a time.

For some reason, I thought Michigan didn’t have tornadoes, but I was wrong. Just a few weeks after my arrival, a tornado touched down and knocked out power in my neighborhood overnight.

While I was visiting Chicago, a flash flood and severe storm interrupted the NASCAR race, swamped the Riverwalk, and filled my shoes with ankle-deep water.

None of this is normal.

The Detroit Free Press recently reported nine of the 15 hottest years on record in metro Detroit have occurred since 2001, according to data from the National Weather Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Of the 10 years with the highest total rainfall in Michigan, six have occurred since 2006, according to data from the National Centers for Environmental Information.

We’re seeing more and more weather extremes happening around the globe: from days of punishing heat in the American Southwest, to floods in New England, to extreme heat in Europe, and wildfires in Greece.

I’ve been getting regular reports from friends in Atlanta who’ve all said the same thing: you’re so lucky not to be in Atlanta this summer. My friend who has been house-sitting my condo said she’s definitely had to lower the thermostat. I’ve got the high Georgia Power bills to prove it.

Scientists say the planet has warmed about two degrees Fahrenheit since the 19th century and will grow hotter until humans stop burning coal, oil, and gas. These warmer temperatures are contributing to extreme weather events, including heat and flooding.

Unfortunately, conservative politicians around the world continue to push the use of fossil fuels. In the U.S. there’s an ongoing push for more oil drilling permits and the easing of environmental restrictions.

Georgia, somehow, has managed to become a leader in electric vehicles. Gov. Brian Kemp said he wants the state to be the “electric mobility capital of the world.”

As a result, Georgia is now beating Michigan for new investments from auto manufacturers and suppliers, according to an analysis by the Center for Automotive Research. There’s even a move in Georgia to install more EV charging stations.

And while Georgia is becoming a leader in EV, it’s still failing to adopt policies that will reverse climate change. The money is great and all, but so is paying attention to science.

Earlier this year, the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said Earth is likely to pass a dangerous temperature threshold within the next decade, pushing the planet past the point of catastrophic warming unless nations take action to move away from fossil fuels.

Let’s hope cooler heads will eventually prevail in politics and business before it’s too late.

4 | AUGUST 2023
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Smoke from the Canadian wildfires over Toledo, Ohio on July 16.
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Advocacy Through Art

Aysha Pennerman’s murals send message of empowerment, hope

Pennerman. She had a knack for it.

“I started doing freelance work and became the design editor for the GSU newspaper, The Signal. I rebranded it and we started winning awards. That’s when I realized, ‘Okay, I’m pretty good at this graphic design thing.’” She went on to graduate in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in visual arts.

When Pennerman began working with the APEX Museum she took the first real step towards a career in public art. APEX Museum, Atlanta’s oldest Black History Museum, was founded in 1978 in Atlanta’s Historic Sweet Auburn District. Pennerman began creating book covers, flyers, and other design collateral for the museum’s founder Dan A. Moore, Sr.

“He would take me around Atlanta to take pictures of public art pieces made by Black artists, and that’s kind of when the seed was planted for me with public art. I had never known that was a possibility for me.”

Murals popped up again for Pennerman during a phase of corporate work. She began working as a designer for commercial real estate brokers, creating their presentations and promotional materials, and one of her last clients enlisted her to lead a community mural project.

“Each year they would do a community service day and they figured out I could paint through word of mouth, so they asked me to lead this mural project,” said Pennerman.” I did it, and I enjoyed it, so the next year I did it again.”

Pennerman’s first murals were completed on the walls of the Mary Hall Freedom House in 2017 and a men’s shelter, the Gateway Evolution Center, in 2018.

the careful application of thick paint strokes. In others, raised patterns and florals seem to beg to be touched.

“I am fascinated with the patterns and textures on us,” explained Pennerman. “Like our fingerprints. I think it’s fascinating that we are all uniquely different. No one in the world has the same fingerprint. I play around with those thoughts in my figures, using linework and patterns to play off of our uniqueness while adding a twist of nature.”

Much of Pennerman’s most impactful work is not painted in her studio. She stays busy with murals and community art projects.

One such project, a temporary tactical walk lane, brought beauty alongside intentional attention to protect pedestrians in a neighborhood where there were no sidewalks. Another mural on the side of Staplehouse on Edgewood Avenue reads “Vote Like Your Children’s Future Depends On It.” The mural features portraits of her two sons and four of their neighborhood friends.

“I intentionally put six Black boys on it,” said Pennerman. “We watch them in our neighborhood. I look out for them and I feel scared for them. They are growing up in a society that views them as a threat. The power I have is through my art, so I wanted to put a message out there to encourage people to protect these Black boys.”

“The only power that I have is through my art, and so I wondered how I could put a message out there to try to attempt to protect these Black boys. One of those things that I feel could help is voting, so it’s motivating people to get out and vote, especially the Black community.”

“I like to see my work as a form of empowerment; I like for my personal work to show the beauty of Black women,” said artist Aysha Pennerman from her desk in the Echo Contemporary artist studios. With a portfolio that includes graphic design, paintings, murals, and mixed media art, Pennerman uses her art to send a message of empowerment, hope, and inspiration.

Pennerman has always loved drawing and painting. She moved frequently due to her father’s Army career, with stints in Texas, New Jersey and as far away as Germany. The family eventually settled in Savannah after her father retired.

As a young girl, she would doodle in sketchbooks while her mother did her hair. “Cartoon characters, dogs, random things, and it just exploded from there,” said Pennerman.

Between art classes at school and the extracurricular art lessons her parents afforded her, she explored her creative passions. Despite an obvious love for art, being a working artist didn’t really seem like a viable career at the time. She didn’t see many other Black women artists represented in galleries and museums; the dream felt too far out of reach.

She later enrolled at Georgia State University where she started taking graphic design classes. It was a good fit for

“That’s when it clicked for me that I was in the wrong place,” said Pennerman. She recalls witnessing the expressions of those who utilized these shelters, and hearing how the murals brightened their lives. At the end of 2018 she took a leap of faith and dove full-time into art.

“I’m really grateful for the opportunities I’ve had, and I’ve seen how public art can transform lives. That has been my motivation to continue to make art.”

Pennerman pulls from her own experiences as a Black woman to inform and inspire her artwork. Black women are the main figures that appear time and again in her work, their strong silhouettes often framed – or obscured – by floral designs.

In her personal work, Pennerman has been experimenting more with adding 3D elements to her paintings. In some, a woman’s hair is given a dynamic texture with

Pennerman has also found purpose through education. Though she never saw herself as an educator, and in fact considers herself to be an introvert who is often uncomfortable speaking in front of people, she learned how to embrace the discomfort.

“I know it could change the path of one of these kids’ lives, because you have to see someone doing it,” said Pennerman. “I want to be able to pass on knowledge and wisdom that I’ve gained to make it better for them, to make their path a bit easier.”

She told me about one such experience when she was speaking with kids about Terri’s Heart, a mural that she recently completed on the Southside Atlanta BeltLine. The piece has deep meaning to Pennerman, who used elephants as a motif

Continued on page 8

Pennerman with the mural she created at HarperArcher Elementary School in northeast Atlanta.
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to explore the grief she feels following her beloved aunt Terri’s passing last year.

But the kids? They wanted to know how much she got paid.

“I respected that,” said Pennerman, laughing. “They need to know that there is money in this and that they can make art. This is not about being a starving artist. You can make a living as a working artist.”

This past spring Pennerman taught a wheatpasting class at MODA in which she encouraged the students to make works that carry a meaningful message.

“I asked them: what’s the message you want to get across in your work? What’s the message you want to amplify? What’s the story you want to tell to the world, to the community, to your class, to your peers? A lot of it has been about diversity, education, and saving the Earth. Those have been the three biggest common factors in a lot of the students I’ve been working with.”

In collaboration with the South Fulton Institute and Art in the Paint, Pennerman is working with students and families to create a new mural inside Atlanta Heights Charter School.

Aysha Pennerman with some of her work in her studio at Echo Contemporary. (Photos by Isadora Pennington)

Soon, she will complete a new mural at Echo Contemporary. The piece will feature OutKast and celebrate the 50th anniversary of Hip Hop with imagery of marching bands and sunflowers.

This mural will be completed in collaboration with The Creatives Project and funded by an ELEVATE grant from the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs. Teachers from ARTScool, a city-based camp, will coordinate to lead workshops with students who will then assist Pennerman in the painting of the mural on the weekend of July 13 and 14. The completed mural will be unveiled on Aug. 12 from 12-5 p.m.

Pennerman relishes opportunities to make art with students, to encourage their creativity and encourage them to engage with the arts.

“Our children are speaking to us, we need to listen. I think that’s a really cool thing that we can do with art, it’s like these kids are amplifying these messages to us. I hope y’all are paying attention.”

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AUGUST 2023 | 9 All data believed to be accurate but not warranted. If you have any existing brokerage relationship, this is not intended as a solicitation. Equal housing opportunity.*Represented Buyer 952 PEACHTREE ST. SUITE 100, ATLANTA, GA 30309 | 404.480.4663 | ANSLEYRE.COM JASON COOK c. 404.431.1384 | o. 404.480.4663 | JASON@ANSLEYRE.COM NO.1 AGENT ANSLEY PARK NO.1 AGENT IN THE 30309 ZIPCODE The Power of a Trusted Advisor JASON COOK 80 INMAN CIRCLE Offered for $3,895,000 72 WESTMINSTER DRIVE Offered for $3,850,000 107 AVERY DRIVE Offered for $3,495,000 21 BARKSDALE DRIVE Offered for $2,500,000 217 15TH STREET Offered for $3,450,000 1301 PEACHTREE STREET,5F Offered for $3,275,000 18 PALISADES ROAD* Offered for $2,495,000 961 HIGHLAND VIEW Offered for $1,995,000 127 AVERY DRIVE Offered for $2,295,000 75 INMAN CIRCLE Offered for $1,295,000 1144 ZIMMER DRIVE* Offered for $1,399,000 884 BARNETT STREET* Offered for $1,299,000 SOLD FOR SALE FOR SALE SOLD FOR SALE FOR SALE SOLD SOLD FOR SALE FOR SALE SOLD SOLD

News RoundUp

At press time, opponents of the controversial “Cop City” public safety training center were racing to collect 70,000 signatures by mid-August to put a referendum on the November ballot in a last-ditch effort to stop the project. Be sure to visit for updates on this developing story.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is expected to announce indictments this month against former president Donald Trump and his associates for alleged meddling in the 2020 presidential election. The Georgia Supreme Court ruled against Trump after his lawyers tried to quash the grand jury probe into the allegations.

More than 51,000 students are headed back to class as Atlanta Public Schools kicks off the 2023-24 academic year on Aug. 1. Fulton County Schools and DeKalb County Schools resume Aug. 7 and Decatur City Schools on Aug. 2.

Atlanta said farewell to two of its most prominent citizens in July: Christine King Farris, the last surviving sibling of Martin Luther King Jr. and noted educator, died at age 95, and Marvin Arrington Sr., former Atlanta City Council president and judge, died at 82.

Contract approved for streetcar extension to BeltLine

The MARTA board of directors unanimously voted July 13 to approve an $11.5 million contract for the final design of the Atlanta Streetcar extension from Downtown to the Atlanta BeltLine Eastside Trail and up to Ponce City Market.

HDR Inc., a global engineering and architecture firm based in Nebraska, was awarded the contract after receiving committee backing in June.

The board’s vote puts the estimated $230 million project on track to start construction in 2025 with service expected to begin in 2028.

The extension route will run along Edgewood Avenue to Randolph Street, up Auburn Avenue and connect to the BeltLine at Irwin Street, according to plans finalized by the MARTA board earlier this year. From there the streetcar turns north to Ponce City Market. There will be five stops along the route.

Bringing the streetcar to the BeltLine has become controversial.

Opponents of the project say it will destroy neighborhoods and hurt businesses along the route, especially in the Sweet Auburn historic district. Others say the money is being wasted on a streetcar that people rarely use. Developers who have

projects along the Eastside Trail have said the expansion would ruin easy pedestrian access to their commercial and residential projects.

Supporters say the streetcar extension is the first step in fulfilling the promise of transit around the BeltLine. The extension from Downtown to Ponce City Market would ensure more people who have no cars can access jobs and affordable housing along the BeltLine, they say.

MARTA Board Chair Tom Worthy amended the resolution to approve the contract to include that HDR’s initial task would be to take a deep dive into the existing streetcar system, including ridership, to determine enhancements that would benefit the design and operation of future expansions.

“I think we’ve heard from a lot of wellmeaning folks that want more answers than what we currently have,” Worthy said.

The streetcar extension is a priority for MARTA as well as Mayor Andre Dickens and the Atlanta City Council. It will be funded with More MARTA funds that come from a half-penny sales tax approved by voters in 2016 specifically to build new rail, streetcar extensions, new bus lines, and new stations.

Clyde Higgs, president and CEO of Atlanta BeltLine Inc., spoke in favor of the project during public comment. He said Metro Atlanta is expected to add nearly three million people over the next three decades.

“Let’s think about that for a minute,” he said. “Three million people in Metro Atlanta. What are we going to do? And so I submit to you that advancing high-quality rail transit along the BeltLine is imperative.”

After the vote, Higgs said in a written statement the work to complete the BeltLine is to create a “‘whole community,’ where everyone can live, work, start a business, buy groceries, see a doctor, walk, ride a bike and take transit.”

“The vote today is an exciting continuation of our partnership with MARTA and the City of Atlanta to fulfill the promise of high-quality transit, bringing more accessibility to all, while still maintaining the natural, green experience of the BeltLine,” Higgs said.

“An important piece of this work will be continuing community conversations around the Streetcar design as it progresses toward final design,” he said.

In other BeltLine news:

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) announced the award of a $25 million Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant to the City of Atlanta and Atlanta BeltLine, Inc.

The funds will be used for the construction of a 2.2-mile network of multiuse trails in northeast Atlanta between the Armour/Ottley and Lindbergh areas. This will be the first time the Atlanta BeltLine trail will connect to a MARTA transit station (at Lindbergh Center).

Unlike most of the BeltLine corridor, this portion of the Northeast Trail does not follow abandoned railroad lines. It’s also unique in metro Atlanta as the only place where an interstate, state roads and highways, regional rail and bus, and several regional trails converge.

10 | AUGUST 2023
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Christine King Farris A rendering of the Atlanta Streetcar outside Ponce City Market. (Courtesy MARTA)
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Atlanta City Council adds $12 million for street improvements

The Atlanta City Council approved adding $12 million to the city’s Department of Transportation budget to go toward street resurfacing and safety improvements.

The council voted in July to amend the 2024 General Budget to authorize the transfer of $3 million from the city’s reserves and $9 million in interest income proceeds from the 2015 General Obligation Public Improvement Infrastructure bond proceeds to the Atlanta Department of Transportation.

“We are investing in our infrastructure as we ensure that Atlanta is a city built for the future, ready to meet demands that growth and the unknown bring,” said Mayor Andre Dickens in a news release. “This additional funding will help complete existing projects and equitably deliver results for our residents.”

The $12 million was added after the council and residents raised concerns about the mayor’s plans to slash the ATLDOT budget from roughly $57 million to $50 million.

The new funding will be used for resurfacing and safety improvements in all 12 city council districts, according to the mayor’s office. The council requested a selection of resurfacing/safety projects for roughly $1 million per council district be coordinated by the commission of the ATLDOT and district council members by

A concert for the old guys COMMUNITY

Sept. 30.

The resurfacing and safety improvement projects will also include ADA repairs, sidewalk repairs and upgrades, crosswalk enhancements and lane width reductions where feasible, according to the ordinance.

District 9 Council member Dustin Hillis introduced the legislation and noted that there was no resurfacing done in the city for two years under former mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ administration.

“With the passage of this legislation, the City Council has funded more resurfacing projects this fiscal year than it has in over a decade,” Hillis said in a written statement.

“We look forward to working with Mayor Andre Dickens and his ATLDOT team to identify $1 million in projects across each council district.”

For more information on ATLDOT projects, visit


Kristen and I just saw the band Son Volt play the entirety of their seminal 1995 “Trace” album at Variety Playhouse. Yes, that was me, the guy with a few gray hairs standing next to the guy with a headful of gray hair who was next to the guy with no hair. There were some women there too, of course, but it was mostly a night for the old guys.

life. I had just graduated college, moved to Atlanta, and, in a way, it helped me embrace the South as my permanent home. Admittedly, it’s difficult to relay this kind of touchy-feely notion to my kids, but I saw some teenagers in the crowd, tagging along with their dads, so maybe I’m not the only one who feels the pull to explain the unexplainable.

We were all in our Americana happy place that is part nostalgia and part adrenaline of our younger selves. And if I keep writing about these anniversary concerts maybe Rolling Stone will put me on assignment. Well, maybe AARP magazine.

I can’t help but wonder how many other dads in the crowd tried to bandsplain to their kids how the original Alt-Country band Uncle Tupelo split up and became Jeff Tweedy’s Wilco and Jay Farrar’s Son Volt. And then went on to say that even though Wilco had a greater volume of hits and much wider acclaim, this Son Volt album was something special. Maybe their kids reacted like my daughter Margo: “Oh my gosh, Dad, NObody cares!”

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what it was about this album that resonated so deeply. There are thoughtful, vulnerable lyrics and just the right amount of steel guitar. ‘Windfall’ is such an empathetic triumph that every time I hear “May the wind take your troubles away” I’m close to tears thinking of people in my own life who are going through a tough time and wishing such a thing could be true. Jay Farrar’s unique, regular guy warble grabs you and tricks you into thinking you probably sound all right singing along, too. Of course, only Jay has that perfect imperfection that modern country misses by a mile. To this day, I can’t think of a better album to soak in while on the road.

The album came at a pivotal time in my

Recently, Kristen and I have had some success bridging the musical gap between us and the kids. Margo and I bop in unison to acts like boygenius and Clairo. Elliott has seen Built to Spill and Pavement in concert and, were it not for Covid crashing our family vacation, he would have seen The Cure. By the way, you know what we never had back in the ‘80s? Covid.

Elliott was set to see Son Volt with us too and I was so excited for him to experience it. He’s my height now, OK a

half-inch taller, and that just means soon enough he’ll be a young guy in his early 20s trying to figure out some stuff of his own. But he bailed on us. He was tired from long days in the Driver’s Education classroom. (Which really does sound terribly boring, so hopefully this discount on my insurance reflects the torture he described). There are a lot of adult situations out there waiting for him that will run the gamut from boring to hard. He’ll just need to find the things that make it all worthwhile.

Jay and the boys still look pretty spry, so we’ll try again next time Son Volt comes through town, but it’ll probably be something else for Elliott – another musician or a book or a movie, or a piece of art. Something that wraps him up and hits all the right notes, something he can come back to over and over for decades to come. Something he can someday try in earnest to share with kids of his own.

12 | AUGUST 2023
Sun Volt

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Speaking environmental truth to power

Saving a river, stopping an incinerator

A tree farmer whose ancestors settled in Talbot County nearly two hundred years ago (where they made wood products for everything from peach shipping containers to furniture),

Woodall became an ardent environmental activist when he was in high school.

A federal dam and reservoir proposed at Sprewell Bluff on the Flint River, not far from his home, ignited a fiery opposition movement, which he joined. Then-governor Jimmy Carter personally reviewed the flawed cost-benefit analysis used to justify the project and—50 years ago—stopped the dam with a veto. Today, the Flint is one of only 40 rivers in the country that flows unimpeded for more than 200 miles.

Woodall’s lifelong commitment to the environment was cemented when he became involved in the battle against a hazardous waste incinerator. In 1987. Then-governor Joe Frank Harris announced a $50 million plan to build the incinerator to burn harmful chemicals, pesticides, solvents, and other toxic manufacturing byproducts. Without any public notice or assessments of likely impacts on public health and the environment—and using a distorted ranking system—officials selected a site in Taylor County near the Talbot County line.

the Southeast.

When Woodall arrived at the State Capito in 1990l, he and others took a different approach—working on waste reduction, instead of waste disposal. Later that year, Zell Miller was elected governor, promising to tackle the incinerator issue with transparency and science. He reconstituted the authority overseeing hazardous waste issues, appointed technical experts as members, and supported a bill to reduce the use of hazardous waste. Lt. Governor Pierre Howard appointed Woodall to the authority.

Ultimately, the incinerator was axed. It simply wasn’t needed. Today, the people of Taylor and Talbot Counties can breathe more easily, literally.

Milestones celebrated, climate issues loom

I decided to write about Mark Woodall and these decades-old stories to emphasize a point. It is “we the people” who must demand that our local and state officials protect the safety, health, and welfare of all of us. In my experience, the only way to prevail against those driven solely by the love of money and power is for those adversely affected to take bold and persistent action.

This year marks milestone anniversaries of some of Georgia’s most effective environmental organizations and coalitions that speak truth to power. The Georgia Chapter of the Sierra Club is 40. Coosa River Basin Initiative (Rome) is 30. Flint Riverkeeper (Albany) is 15. One Hundred Miles (Brunswick) is 10. Last year, Georgia Water Coalition celebrated 20; Chattahoochee Riverkeeper will be 30 next year; and Georgia Conservation Voters is nearing 25. Our state’s oldest conservation group, Georgia Wildlife Federation, will be 90 in a few years.


government agencies and stop polluters. Those advocates, Neill Herring and Jim Kulstad, lobbied for the Georgia Chapter of the Sierra Club and Campaign for Prosperous Georgia, respectively.

Harris’ hazardous waste management authority and local county commissioners supported the plan; the commissioners had met secretly to vote, violating open meetings laws. No consideration was given to the nearby Black community and its residents, dependent on wells that could be contaminated by waste seeping into groundwater. The head of Georgia’s Environmental Protection Division, an active incinerator proponent, said at the time that it would be a waste of taxpayer money to conduct any environmental studies because the safety requirements for the facility would be “so rigid.”

Sally Bethea

The first time Mark Woodall showed up at the Georgia State Capitol, in January 1990, he hoped to find a band of fellow environmentalists who could help him “keep big business from wrecking Georgia.” He and his neighbors were in the middle of an ugly fight to protect their rural community in middle Georgia from a proposed hazardous waste incinerator.

Instead, he found just two environmental advocates working to prod

Thirty-three years later, Georgia is home to dozens of conservation and riverkeeper organizations, many of whom often work together to oppose bad bills (legislation that could harm the environment) and support good ones. Impressively, Woodall is still showing up every winter as a volunteer lobbyist for green causes; for the past 30 years, he’s served as the legislative chair for the Georgia Chapter of the Sierra Club.

Local residents organized. They were led by two powerful women: Marie Jarrell McGlaun and Debbie Buckner, now a state legislator who has been an ardent protector of Georgia’s environment for the past twenty years. The protesters would not back down, even when they were threatened with losing their jobs and teachers were effectively put under gag orders. Governor Harris and incinerator boosters refused to budge from their original plan. When it became evident that Georgia didn’t have enough hazardous waste to justify building the incinerator, proponents said that waste would be imported to Georgia from around

While the movement to protect Georgia’s air, land, and water is much stronger, Woodall notes that environmental issues have become dramatically more partisan than in the past—adding that he’s “appalled” by how little state legislators seem to care about the opinions of average Georgians. Who routinely gets their way at the Gold Dome? The state’s dominant electric utility (Georgia Power), road contractors, and businesses represented by the state and metro chambers.

As we grapple with climate change—the biggest threat to our health and prosperity now and in the future—we have a chance to make some real progress. Belatedly, Georgia is finally embarking on its first climate mitigation plan, as is metro Atlanta. Let’s take, and demand, bold action now, before it’s too late.

Mark Woodall

A History of Water

Sally Bethea recalls her time as Chattahoochee Riverkeeper in debut book

Sally Bethea was one of the first women in America to become a "riverkeeper" – a defender and guardian of an essential waterway. The nonprofit Chattahoochee Riverkeeper she founded in 1994 took Atlanta to court for polluting the river with untreated sewage just a year before the Summer Olympic Games.

Even now, Bethea said a year-old environmental group filing a lawsuit against a major city in the international spotlight was a "bold move."

But the organization prevailed in court and the city was forced to clean up its act – literally.

For the next two decades, the organization would file more lawsuits against companies polluting the river and be a thorn in the side of politicians whose laisse-faire attitude – or political expediency – concerning the Chattahoochee was causing harm to the waterway.

When she retired and passed the torch to a new riverkeeper, she was constantly asked the same question: "When are you going to write a book?"

Bethea honed her writing skills with her long-running, award-winning

the Waterline column, which appears in Atlanta Intown and right here at Rough Draft. But it was reading "The Forest Unseen" by biologist David George Haskell that planted the seed for her debut book.

Haskell visited an old-growth forest in Tennessee on a daily basis for a year to examine its seasonal changes.

"Reading Haskell's book inspired me to start taking walks," she said. "I decided to walk deliberately and attentively through a landscape and oversee the changes and seasons of nature."

In May 2019, Bethea began walking a path along Cabin Creek in the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area (CRNRA). She went back again and again – usually weekly – to simply feel and observe. She documented those walks in a journal.

"I realized that I had been dashing through landscapes all my life and failed to pay close attention to the wonder and awe," Bethea said. "I love to be outdoors, but these walks brought nature into perspective."

When the pandemic struck and closed the CRNRA for two months, Bethea kept writing about what she had seen. Then, she landed on the idea of pairing her

walk observations with memories of her days as the first Chattahoochee Riverkeeper.

The COVID-19 shutdown gave Bethea time to research and write. "I started writing and kept writing, so the pandemic also acted as a spark plug. I had a lot of time on my hands and all these hours at home. That gave me permission to reflect and not race around and focus on the writing."

The result is "Keeping the Chattahoochee: Reviving and Defending a Great Southern River," which is out now from University of Georgia Press.

The book is filled with lovely passages from Bethea's nature walks to serious and often funny recollections during

Continues on page 18

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Sally Bethea at the Chattahoochee River with her “granddog” Tikka. (Photo by Meredith Habermann


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her time as riverkeeper: From finding common ground with then-Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich on cleaning up the Chattahoochee and finding an ally in former Mayor Shirley Franklin to the early days of the tristate water war and a perilous paddle with former U.S. Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt.

"I wrote this with the goal of helping

waterway. A 15-mile stretch of the river had to be closed when E. coli readings spiked.

Bethea said Atlanta has made a remarkable turnaround in the last three decades when its crumbling infrastructure turned the Chattahoochee into a running sewer. But more work needs to be done.

"Atlanta was failing spectacularly in the '90s, but I would give them an overall grade of B now," she said. " In terms of sewers, I'd give them an A. They are complying with federal deadlines and continue to properly maintain the wastewater system. Stormwater runoff and flooding are issues the city still needs to work on."

The main takeaway from the book Bethea hopes is imparted to readers is to connect with nature, especially as climate change accelerates.

"I encourage people to find their own place to walk or visit regularly," she said. "Get to know it over the seasons, pay attention. It’s amazingly spiritlifting and fun and you learn a lot. In the frantic times we deal with, allowing yourself that opportunity to get out in nature can provide a lot of solace."

Upcoming book signings & events

■ Bethea will sign copies of “Keeping the Chattahoochee” at the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area ( on Aug. 15 at 7 p.m.


Virginia Highland Books marks two years as community staple

readers understand how rivers work," she said. "Many people don't understand how bodies of water are connected; how when someone dumps pollution into a creek over in DeKalb County how it eventually winds up in the Chattahoochee."

The Chattahoochee is still in need of a protector as evidenced by this month's sewage spill by Fulton County into the

■ She’ll also discuss the book with former Mayor Shirley Franklin at The Jimmy Carter Library (jimmycarterlibrary. gov) on Sept. 12 at 7 p.m.

■ Rough Draft and Atlanta Intown will host a discussion and book signing with Bethea on Oct. 17 at Manuel’s Tavern. More details soon.

Located in the heart of Virginia Highland, between vibrant shops and restaurants on North Highland Avenue, Virginia Highland Books is the perfect neighborhood bookstore.

The quaint and sunny space is a dreamy home to a beautifully curated collection of books, ranging from classics to new releases, as well as puzzles, games, and stationery.

Even before it reaches its two-year anniversary, Virginia Highland Books has perfectly captured the eccentricity of Atlanta – the eclectic decor gives the shop a cozy ambiance, especially the small rugs strewn across the hardware floors as well as the inviting cushioned benches in the bay window.

A highlight of the store is the basement, with the rotating collection of paintings and mismatched lamps that shed warm light and give the room a homey feel.

You can’t miss the author stairs leading from the basement to the main level, painted with famous author names on each step.

The new and popular in-store book club, VaHi Books is hosting meetings on Aug. 9 and 13 on Ann Napolitano’s “Hello Beautiful.” RSVP on the bookstore website, as spots typically fill up fast. On Aug. 8 at 5 p.m., the store will be hosting a middle school book club meeting.

Additionally, the store has a developed summer reading program, where kids from grades K-6 can submit a completed book log of the books they read over the summer and receive a prize.

If you’re looking to make the commute to the bookstore and want to explore other

shops in the district, be sure to grab a coffee and a waffle at Perc Coffee. Both will be sure to give you enough fuel for your browsing adventures! Also down the street is The Green Flamingo, a flower shop, Dakota J’s, a clothing store, as well as multiple adorable restaurants and bars.

Overall, this bookstore contains fun for the whole family, with books and games for both adults and kids lining the entire store. Virginia Highland Books has time and time again proven itself as not only a fantastic bookstore but also as a center for the community, with author events and book clubs for all ages. Be sure to pop down to 1034 North Highland Ave. NE and pick up a few new reads!

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Continued from page 15

Art installation highlights AIDS Memorial Quilt

Matt Terrell’s dream has finally come to fruition. On June 23, his exhibition, “Living Room, San Francisco, 1986,” opened in the Fulton County Aviation Community Cultural Center.

A professor of Communications at Kennesaw State University, Terrell has made statement art pieces before, such as “Atlanta’s HIV+ Population Now,” which currently sits outside the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. However, this new exhibition is his largest and most ambitious.

For years, Terrell applied for grants from apexart, a nonprofit in New York that funds artists, trying out different ideas. Finally, he had a winner: the AIDS Memorial Quilt as a piece of fine art. The judges loved it, and Terrell got his funding in April of 2020.

The AIDS Memorial Quilt is “an epic 54-ton tapestry that includes nearly 50,000 panels dedicated to more than 110,000 individuals.” Each panel represents a person or group of people who lost their lives to AIDS.

“The hardest thing was, undoubtedly, finding the right gallery space,” said Terrell. “I couldn’t even find a space that had a ceiling height that could accommodate this. And you can’t have any natural light

in the gallery, so nothing with windows, [which] eliminated a lot of spaces.” The Fulton County Aviation Community Cultural Center’s gallery ultimately fit his needs.

Terrell is not displaying the entire Quilt, only a few sections of it. When asked how he picked which panels he wanted, Terrell said he focused on local interests.

“One was made by Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus in 1988 in honor [of members] who had died of AIDS. And another one I chose was African American entertainers in honor of Eazy-E, Arthur Ashe, Willi Smith, [and a] bunch of others,” Terrell said. “Another quilt that I chose is in honor of Keith Haring, and it’s an entire Keith Haring motif … I think it’s really one of the most stunning quilts.”

Terrell said one of the most meaningful panels has just first names on it. “It’s one of the earliest, from when people were too afraid to put a last name on the quilt for fear of outing their friends’ having had AIDS.”

Terrell collaborated with multiple artists on the exhibition, including fellow KSU professor Robert Sherer, Joey Terrill, Aubrey Longley-Cook, Charles R. Drew University professor Cynthia Davis, and Emily Davis. All of their work focuses on different aspects of the AIDS/HIV


When asked what he hoped people would take away from this exhibition, Terrell didn’t hesitate.

“I want them to feel like they got to see the early days of the AIDS Quilt and people using art as activism to fight AIDS, and I want it to be in a way that’s more than just work on the walls, but is more

experiential. That’s why we have the touch part of the exhibition, that’s why we have a living room that’s got chairs you can sit in … I want people to feel like they are witness to history.”

“Living Room, San Francisco, 1986” is open until Oct. 15. You can view it online at or in person.

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AUGUST 2023 | 19 © 2023 Sotheby’s International Realty. All Rights Reserved. Sotheby’s International Realty is a registered trademark and used with permission. Each Sotheby’s International Realty office is independently owned and operated, except those operated by Sotheby’s International Realty, Inc. All offerings are subject to errors, omissions, changes including price or withdrawal without notice. Equal Housing Opportunity.
Artist Matthew Terrell, right, talks with visitors at the opening of the AIDS Quilt exhibition.

If you like this, then you’ll love that

wines are overrated and underwhelming. Embrace the idea of finding your next favorite bottle of wine at a restaurant, dinner party, or your favorite wine shop. There are so many undiscovered gems right under your nose.

If you like Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc…

You’ll love Clos Henri “Petit Clos” Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand. Produced by one of the most established winegrowers in France, Famille Henri Bourgeois, Clos Henri gives you the classic flavors of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, while combining the Sancerre heritage and distinction. It’s the best of both worlds that you never knew you needed.

anchored in the Russian River Valley. When poured into the glass, you instantly note the explosive and rich pinot noir flavors - black plum, cassis, and raspberry. This wine has a concentrated, lush mouthfeel, much like everyone’s beloved Meiomi. Not only is this wine approachable and affordable, but there is also significantly less sugar in Valravn making it more food-friendly than Meiomi.

Average Retail Price: $26.


In a world overflowing with an abundance of wine, the fear of the unknown has taken hold. People seem content with sticking to what they know, afraid to venture into uncharted territory and discover new flavors and styles. We’re here to say, don’t shy away from change! Many of the popular grocery store

Sunny days ahead.

Let this list be your go-to reference for unique and unforgettable bottles that will elevate any occasion. Our objective is to help you replace those familiar wines that you know and love with lesser-known, yet truly exceptional alternatives, all while staying within your budget. Be sure to stock up so you never find yourself in a bind.

If you like LaMarca Prosecco…

Then you’ll love Borgoluce Lampo Prosecco. Your brunch glass will be filled with fine bubbles and elegance from this beautiful prosecco. Though not as sweet as LaMarca, Borgoluce shares the same notes of ripe apple, peach, ginger, and white flowers. It’s wildly refreshing and much like other prosecco, it’s food friendly and perfect with eggs benedict. Average Retail Price: $22.

Clos Henri is crisp, dry, and refreshing with notes of citrus, pear, apple, and stone fruit. The herbaceous characteristic that New Zealand Sauvingon Blanc lovers typically look for is a bit muted in this expression, though still conveying a sense of place.

Average Retail Price: $19.

If you like Caymus Cabernet…

You’ll love Récoltant Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley. Look no further for the perfect cabernet! Récoltant is the latest project from Julien Fayard, arguably one of the best winemakers in Napa Valley, who has worked in both

If you like Stella Rosa…

You’ll love Demarie Birbet. Reimagine sweet wines with this sparkling red nectar made from 100% Brachetto from Piedmont Italy. It’s the perfect addition to any olive oil cake or afternoon pasty. Birbet is a wine typically consumed during celebrations and paired with local traditional desserts. It is low in ABV at a mere 6.5% so you’ll never have a reason to turn down a glass when offered. The wine is aromatic with notes of blueberry, raspberry, and strawberry. It is everything you want when looking for an after-dinner drink. Average Retail Price: $24.

If you like Meiomi Pinot Noir…

You’ll love Valravn Pinot Noir from Sonoma County, California. Valravn Pinot Noir is an exploration of the region,

France and California. The word "Récoltant" in French translates to "someone who grows AND produces wine from their fruit," which perfectly encapsulates the philosophy behind this wine. They have longstanding relationships with top vineyards and farmers in Napa Valley, allowing them to source the best grapes for their wine. The result is a wine that is transparent, authentic, and a true reflection of the region's terroir. This beautiful Cabernet Sauvignon has a deep crimson color and enticing aromas of black cherry and cassis, with hints of spice and leather. When you take a sip, you'll notice the luxuriously silky, yet weighty mouthfeel. The long finish is gratifying with flavors of milk chocolatecovered cherries, vanilla, and oak. Fill your cellar with this wine and thank us later.

Average Retail Price: $50.

Katie Rice & Sarah Pierre Borgoluce Lampo Prosecco Demarie Birbet Valravn Pinot Noir
AUGUST 2023 | 21 SOUTH BUCKHEAD 1745 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta, GA, 30309 // WWW.EVATLANTA.COM // MORNINGSIDE 1411 N Highland Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30306 ©2023 Engel & Völkers. All rights reserved. Each brokerage independently owned and operated. All information provided is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed and should be independently verified. If your property is currently represented by a real estate broker, this is not an attempt to solicit your listing. Engel & Völkers and its independent license partners are Equal Opportunity Employers and fully support the principles of the Fair Housing Act. Engel
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Which restaurants will get a coveted star rating as the Michelin Guide expands to Atlanta? The publishing company said in July that anonymous inspectors are already dining at Atlanta restaurants, which will be revealed later this fall. Restaurants are given a one, two, or three-star rating, putting Atlanta eateries in the same league as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, London, and Paris.

◄Tickets for the 12th annual Atlanta Food & Wine Festival are officially on sale now. The festival, benefitting Children of Conservation’s school lunch program, will once again be primarily held in Historic Fourth Ward Park on Sept. 20-24, bringing together chefs, mixologists, farmers, and brands. Tickets for the festival are available for purchase at

Underground Atlanta has terminated its lease with Atlanta Brewing Company after the brewery failed to begin construction, according to a report from Urbanzie Atlanta. Atlanta Brewing announced last summer that it would transform the old visitors center space on Upper Alabama Street into an 8,600-square-foot brewery, taproom and restaurant. The company planned to move from its current location in northwest Atlanta. The brewery was supposed to open by the end of 2022, but construction never commenced, leading to the termination of the lease.

Giving Kitchen is celebrating its 10-year anniversary with a new addition. The Atlanta nonprofit, which helps support food industry and hospitality workers in need, recently brought on Brooke Kamke as its first chief operating officer, according to a press release. Kamke has previously held positions at Emory Rollins School of Public Health, Emory Healthcare, and the literacy organization ReadSource.

►A new Chick-fil-A restaurant is planned at Buckhead Place shopping center at the busy intersection of Peachtree and Piedmont roads.

Coro Realty, owner of Buckhead Place, wants to build the nearly 6,000 squarefoot restaurant at 3234 Peachtree Road, where a shuttered David’s Bridal store now stands. The fast-food restaurant would include 58 parking spaces, but no drive-through due to zoning restrictions.

◄For the team at Muchacho, earning the rank of one of the best breakfast spots in the nation was as much of a surprise to them as it was to anyone else.

“We were just as shocked as everyone else when the article came out,” said General Manager Rozie Slaughter. “We were like, what? That’s awesome!”

The Travel + Leisure article called Michael Lennox’s Reynoldstown breakfast spot “the perfect cocktail of buzzy atmosphere, yummy food, and delightful beverages.” It was one of 15 restaurants that made the cut.

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Too Good To Go app aims to limit food waste

A new app meant to limit food waste called Too Good To Go has officially launched in Atlanta.

The app launched in Copenhagen seven years ago, according to Senior PR Manager Sarah Soteroff. After moving to markets across Europe, the app came to the United States in 2020 and now can be found in 14 markets across the country.

Too Good To Go aims to limit the amount of food waste – as well as it environmental impact – by allowing businesses to bundle and sell any leftover food at the end of the day.

Consumers can snag “surprise bags” of food from businesses – meaning whatever food the business has leftover that day – for less than the retail price, and businesses can recoup some of the money they would have

lost if the food had remained unsold.

“It kind of is a cyclical way in which everyone is benefitting,” Soteroff said. “And without even trying, everyone is helping the environment.”

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 30-40% of the food supply in the U.S. goes to waste, and that food waste exacerbates climate change and has a significant greenhouse gas footprint.

“We’re constantly talking about the rising temperature and getting climate change under control,” Soteroff said. “This is a thing that everybody does every single day and really doesn’t get the attention that flight travel does, for example.”

According to Soteroff, as of the end of June around 75 metro Atlanta businesses had signed up for the app. The app is already available to use, and most of the

businesses available appear to be those that offer baked goods, which generally don’t last much more than a day. Most of the bags range from $4-$6.

Soteroff said that the app typically sees a lot of bakeries and cafes, but any business that has food waste is eligible to sign up.

“There’s surplus food waste at every level,” she said. “We really are calling on any business that sells food. Even if you just have $15 of surplus a day, you can put that on the app.”

More information about the app can be found at

AUGUST 2023 | 23
Photo courtesy of the artist

QUADSis Shoes designed to fill age-gap for growing pre-teen feet

When Janet Ward’s now teenage daughter was in 2nd grade, she wore a woman's size 7.

Unable to find anything age-appropriate that her daughter wanted to wear, Janet knew something had to change.

In November 2022, after extensive research on how fast girls feet grow during pre-teen years and how shoes are designed and constructed, Ward and her longtime friend, Stephanie Guido, launched QUADSis Shoes.

“Give a mom a problem and she will find a solution, especially as it relates to her kids” Guido said. “We’ve created everything. We did not buy an existing product.”

Working with a professional shoe designer, they developed a 1.5″ high wedge for stability paired with easy-to-care for materials and youthful styling.

“The molds for the outsoles are expensive, so you want to make sure that you can reuse them down the line,” Guido said. “The wedge could be taken from a dress shoe and made into a bootie, or a sandal.”

Ward said QUADSis started out selling directly to consumesr via their website ( to connect to their customers and hear their feedback.

“Our greatest goal is to help these girls

be confident in who they are,” Guido said. “If you’ve got a larger foot than your peers, you’re already feeling awkward and out of place at a time when everything is awkward and out of place.”

The name of the company is derived from quadriceps, one of the strongest muscle groups in the human body and the Latin word for four, and “Sis” is for the co-founders, who each have two daughters (ranging from ages 7 to 14) and are often mistaken for sisters.

"It takes courage to jump into a new industry and follow a dream. I enjoy every moment of this exciting journey; from weekly meetings, forecasting, product development, photo shoots, factory and tannery visits in Brazil, to so much more alongside these two amazing entrepreneurs," shared Caroline de Baere, a 30-year footwear industry expert and product consultant.

Just in time for back-to-school, QUADSis is introducing a boot and bootie in two colors, and ballet flats are on the way.

Ward’s advice to other entrepreneurs: follow your gut, give yourself grace and believe in yourself.

“It’s empowering to have our daughters see that [if] you see a hole and a need in the market … you can create a fix,” Guido reflected. “It’s like Marilyn Monroe said, ‘Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world’. That is our mission.”

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QUADSis co-founders Stephanie Guido, left, and Janet Ward.

‘Proofreading error’ will allow self-storage facility on BeltLine

A controversial self-storage facility will soon be built on prime Atlanta BeltLine property due to a 2019 clerical error that was overlooked by the Atlanta City Council and staff.

The oversight allowed Atlanta Botanical Garden (ABG), located within Piedmont Park, to gain city approval to build a new Public Storage building in the VirginiaHighland neighborhood on Monroe Drive, between Kanuga Street and Cooledge Avenue.

ABG’s building of the Public Storage facility on Monroe is part of a land swap with the California-based company. ABG wants to expand about seven acres along Piedmont Avenue where a Public Storage building now stands. Plans are for ABG to raze the existing building and construct a replacement facility in Virginia-Highland.

The nearly two-acre site for the new Public Storage building, zoned light industrial, is steps away from the Eastside Trail entrance where it connects to the southern tip of Piedmont Park, a busy area for pedestrians and cyclists. Vacant buildings now stand on the site.

ABG’s plans angered many VirginiaHighland residents, including the powerful Virginia-Highland Civic Association. The plans were also blasted by the advisory Atlanta BeltLine Design Review Committee.

Self-storage buildings are vehiclecentric and contrary to the BeltLine’s vision for public access to live-work-play areas, said residents and committee members

And, in fact, self-storage buildings were not supposed to be built along the BeltLine. A 2017 ordinance approved by the city council prohibited self-storage buildings within 500 feet of the Beltline because they are “are incompatible with the objectives, purposes and intent” of the BeltLline.

Soon after the 2017 ordinance was approved, former mayor Kasim Reed announced a $100 million expansion of Piedmont Park and the Atlanta Botanical Garden.

Also during this time, the city started the multi-year process of rewriting its entire zoning code, something not done since 1982.

The city decided to tackle the massive zoning rewrite in phases. In 2019, the council approved hundreds of

amendments, called “quick fixes.” These amendments are considered changes dealing with things like accessory dwelling units, density requirements in certain areas and what could be built in industrial districts.

Somehow, the approved amendments under Section 3 erased the 2017 ordinance banning self-storage units within 500 feet of the BeltLine.

“As far as I can tell, it was an absolute unintended mistake,” said Aaron Fortner, a planning consultant for the VirginiaHighland Civic Association’s planning committee.

“It was not an informed, purposeful decision to take the restriction on selfstorage out of the zoning code,” Fortner said. “People did not realize the mistake had been made until this Botanical Garden thing happened.”

In mid-June, the city council corrected the mistake and passed an ordinance banning self-storage buildings, warehouses, and distribution centers in light industrial districts. ABG property on Monroe is zoned light industrial.

The legislation noted a “proofreading

error during recent quick fix zoning updates to the Atlanta City Code” that permitted self-storage buildings, warehouses and distribution centers in light industrial district “but not limited within the BeltLine Corridor.”

“It’s a little too late … but at least we can prevent this from happening again,” Fortner said of the new legislation. “[Selfstorage buildings] are not the best use to be on our premier transit corridor in the city of Atlanta.”

“It was just it was an absolute, crazy alignment … the perfect storm of a scenario that the [the restriction] got inadvertently taken out and no one knew,” he said.

The legislation doesn’t impact ABG’s plans. Danny Flanders, spokesperson for the Garden, said ABG was unaware of the 2017 ordinance and its removal in 2019.

“We based our information on the code as written,” he said.

AUGUST 2023 | 25 8
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A rendering of the Self-Storage facility.

Pre-leasing begins at Signal House tower

Real estate investment firm Jamestown has announced that pre-leasing is now underway at Ponce City Market’s Signal House.

Signal House is a new 21-story, 162-unit residential building located directly adjacent to the Atlanta BeltLine at North Avenue.

The building offers one- to threebedroom residences, with each residence featuring light-filled interiors, spacious bedrooms, modernized kitchens, balconies with views of Old Fourth Ward and more.

Among the amenities that will be included are a pool terrace, multipurpose fitness room, wellness rooms, a clubhouse lounge, and a dining room, to name a few. The building will also have numerous common spaces, such as a rooftop terrace and community gardens.

Signal House will be offering an allin-one smartphone app for its residents, which can be used for a variety of functions, including paying rent, booking a suite of services (maintenance, housekeeping, dog walking, etc.), scheduling appointments, arranging a ride-share, keyless entry and managing the in-suite thermostat.

The building will also have a community coordinator who will plan onsite events,

classes, and gatherings (all bookable through the smartphone app) for residents.

Jamestown says that Signal House’s incorporation of fully integrated technologies, services and experiences will create a more “connected community,” according to a release.

“We believe there is unmet demand for an Intown, tech-enabled community living experience tailored to a more sophisticated audience,” said Michael Phillips, president of Jamestown.

“Signal House integrates digital convenience with high-touch analog support to create a frictionless lifestyle. Interwoven with the broader Ponce City Market community and amenities, Signal House will be a community within a community organized around wellness, culinary, and other lifestyle programming and made effortless by intuitive tech.”

Signal House is a part of the next phase of Ponce City Market’s mixed-use development plans, which will include over 700,000 square feet of new live, work, and shop space.

Signal House’s residences are expected to be move-in ready sometime in the fall of this year.

For more information, visit signalhouse. com.

Portman buys land for Junction Krog phase two

Portman Holdings has closed on 1.3 acres of land at the corner of Sampson and Irwin streets in Old Fourth Ward for phase two of its mixed-use Junction Krog project.

The property –currently home to Irwin Street Market and the Atlanta Bicycle Barn –also sits along the Atlanta BeltLine’s busy Eastside Trail.

Mike Greene, Portman’s vice president of development, told the Atlanta JournalConstitution that the new building will mimic phase one just across Irwin Street.

Phase two of Junction Krog is expected to feature 15,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space, outdoor gathering spots, and potentially 220,000 square feet of offices. Greene said construction won’t begin until phase one is complete and occupied.

Portman is also developing two other high-profile mixed-use projects along the BeltLine, including the Ponce & Ponce development near Ponce City Market and the redevelopment of Amsterdam Walk, which will see the current buildings raised to make room for apartments and retail space.

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Collin Kelley Signal House at Ponce City Market is now leasing units. A rendering of phase two of Junction Krog.

Real Estate Briefs

Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. has purchased a 6.3-acre site at 350 Chappell Road, NW, in the city’s Grove Park and Historic Westin Heights neighborhoods. In cooperation with Atlanta nonprofit City of Refuge, which serves communities in need on the city’s Westside, this collaboration will lead to the development of affordable multifamily homes near the future Westside Trail – Segment 4 and near the BeltLine’s largest planned site in support of affordable housing, the 31+ acre site at 425 Chappell Road, NW. The $4 million transaction reflects another step in the BeltLine’s creation of long-term affordable housing and commercial options around the corridor. To date, the BeltLine has invested $43 million in more than 72 acres across six sites. The property, once the site

of an apartment complex that fell into disrepair, is also near the recently opened Westside Park.

Ormewood Avenues in East Atlanta. The townhomes range in size from 1,565 to 1,613 square feet with prices starting in the high $500,000s. Visit for more details.

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices


Properties marked its 60th anniversary with a celebratory at Mercedes Benz Stadium in June. The celebration included over a thousand attendees who enjoyed music, food, and networking. The company and former BHHSGA leaders, including Founder Ed Erbesfield, Chairman Emeritus Dan Forsman and Executive Vice

President Emeritus Toni McGown, were all honored with special commendations signed by Gov. Brian Kemp.

►Shirley Gary, owner and CEO of Engel & Völkers Buckhead

Atlanta and Engel & Völkers Atlanta

North Fulton, has been named Georgia’s Number One Individual Agent for both sales volume and sides closed by REAL Trends, a privately-held company that has offered analysis and information on the residential real estate industry since 1987.

AUGUST 2023 | 27
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▲Monte Hewett Homes has built The Harman townhome community at the intersection of Moreland and

A Weekend in Nashville

Music City offers honky-tonks, hot chicken and country legends

Earlier this year, I road-tripped to Nashville, TN with friends to see singer Tove Lo – an artist you wouldn’t normally associate with the capital of country music. However, Tove Lo was performing at the historic Ryman Auditorium, which is a great first stop on a weekend visit to Music City.

Located just four hours north of Atlanta, the city of Nashville has a little something for everyone – even if country music isn’t your thing. The drive up takes you over the Smoky Mountains so prepare for some cool views and your ears popping from the altitude. And you will definitely want to take a car, because Nashville doesn’t have any public transportation other than buses and a commuter train from downtown to Lebanon, TN.

There are plenty of Airbnbs in Nashville, but we decided to stay in a hotel for this trip. We chose the Hyatt Place Downtown ( since it was less than a five-minute walk to the Ryman and steps to Broadway, which is where you’ll

find all those bars and honky-tonks with live music spilling from every doorway.

The Ryman ( is a gorgeous former old church building that became home to the Grand Ole Opry concert broadcasts from 1943 to 1974. In the lobby, you can see artifacts and history of the building, but you can feel the history of the place once you’re inside the hall with its church pews still intact. There are regular tours if you’re not seeing a show.

Since we were in town for the concert, we decided to stay a couple more days to check out the city and go barhopping along Broadway. Think of it as Bourbon Street, but instead of New Orleans jazz, you’re hearing country and rock. There’s lots of drinking and dancing going on.

One of the places we stopped in was Tootsies Orchid Lounge (tootsies. net), which is a legendary bar known

as a filming location for “Coal Miner’s Daughter.” It was wall-to-wall with people so be prepared. We also waited in line to get into Legends (, which has strong drinks and a mix of tourists and locals out for a night to hear live music. Whether or not you’ll like these places depends on how much you like boisterous crowds and loud music. I’m not a country music fan, but it was still a fun time.

When it’s time to eat, you have to try a Nashville staple: hot chicken. And by hot, I mean spicy. We went to Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack (, which has been serving up bird for nearly a century. You can order tenders, wings, or whole chickens ranging from lite heat to XXX heat. I had the latter and it made me break out in a sweat. Hot!

For breakfast, we had to stop at

another landmark – The Pancake Pantry ( I love pancakes and these were probably the best I’ve ever tasted. I had a fluffy stack with bacon and eggs as my sides.

If you want to dig deeper into Nashville’s country roots, visit the Johnny Cash Museum and Patsy Cline Museum, which are in the same building in downtown. There are instruments, clothing, letters, and much more about these two legends.

We also drove over to Centennial Park, which is home to the Parthenon, which is a full-scale replica of the original in Athens, Greece. If you’ve seen Robert Altman’s classic movie “Nashville,” you’ll recognize this spot from the big political rally scene at the end of the film. There’s also an art museum inside. The park is a beautiful place to walk around or have a picnic.

A great way to close out a weekend in Nashville is at Riverside Park for some selfie moments. The John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge over the Cumberland River offers amazing views of the downtown skyline.

28 | AUGUST 2023
GET OUT OF TOWN Head for the Hills  Coastal  Weekend Trips
Tootsies Orchid Lounge in downtown Nashville. The Parthenon at Centennial Park. Ryman Auditorium The John Siegenthaler Pedestrian Bridge over the Cumberland River in downtown. Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack
AUGUST 2023 | 29

New Charleston museum nods to historical roots of U.S. health disparities

between past and present,” said Felice Knight, director of education at the new museum, which was more than 20 years in the making.

The galleries span centuries of trauma and triumph. But what sets this museum apart from other sites dedicated to Black history is its location. It is built on Gadsden’s Wharf — where tens of thousands of enslaved Africans first stepped foot in America after their capture and two-month transport across the Atlantic Ocean.

“That fact alone makes it probably the most significant landing spot for Africans in North America,” said Nic Butler, a historian for the Charleston County Public Library.

During the two years leading up to 1808, when the importation of enslaved people from foreign countries to the United States became a federal crime, it’s likely more Africans were sold into slavery at Gadsden’s Wharf than at any other site in America, Butler said. Other states had already made the importation of slaves from Africa illegal; South Carolina was the last holdout.

disparities. “The medical system was just stacked against us. It’s just heartbreaking.”

It’s common for historians who study health disparities to link current health outcomes to the past, said Kevin McQueeney, an assistant professor of history at Nicholls State University in Louisiana and author of “A City Without Care: 300 Years of Racism, Health Disparities, and Health Care Activism in New Orleans.”

McQueeney cited research in his book estimating huge numbers of Africans captured in their homeland died from disease or trauma before ever boarding a slave ship. Up to 20% of those being transported died during the Middle Passage, he said. Then, thousands more men, women, and children who’d survived up to the point of being sold would die within the first 18 months of arriving in America. Those who didn’t die would likely suffer from a variety of health ailments related to respiratory illness, malnutrition, and physical injury for the rest of their lives, he said.

Maude Callen, a Black nurse-midwife, delivered more than 800 infants across the South Carolina Lowcountry starting in the 1920s, when segregation made it difficult for Black people to get medical care.

Although Callen isn’t commonly considered a household name, visitors passing through the new $120 million International African American Museum that opened in


June will learn about her work.

The Callen display serves as both a celebration of Black achievement in medicine and a reminder that the origins of modernday health disparities are rooted in history and racism. More than 100 years after Callen launched her midwifery career, South Carolina remains one of the deadliest states for Black mothers and babies and continues to battle troubling health inequities.

“We want to constantly cause people to recognize that there isn’t that much distance

“It was peak madness of the African slave trade in North America,” he said, adding that the health of enslaved people at Gadsden’s Wharf “totally deteriorated” during those years.

Once in Charleston, Africans died in such large numbers from disease, exposure to cold, malnutrition, and physical trauma, Butler said, that local lawmakers passed an ordinance in 1805 establishing fines for anyone caught dumping the bodies of Black people into Charleston Harbor.

A line can be drawn between what transpired at Gadsden’s Wharf more than 200 years ago and health outcomes observed among Black Americans today, historians and health care providers say.

Thaddeus Bell, a North Charleston family physician and founder of the nonprofit Closing the Gap in Health Care, attended the museum’s groundbreaking. When he visited Gadsden’s Wharf, he said, he couldn’t help but think of his Black patients, many of whom suffer disproportionately from cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.

Research published in JAMA last month found that Black people in the U.S. experienced 1.63 million excess deaths from 1999 to 2020, representing 80 million years of potential life lost, compared with white Americans. African Americans today have higher infant, maternal, and cancer mortality rates, and overall mortality rates, compared with white Americans, according to KFF.

“You think about all of the health issues that Black people did not get the appropriate care for, all of the racist doctors we had to deal with,” Bell said. He said he wished museum leaders had done more to focus on health

Health disparities have persisted over generations for a variety of reasons, including poverty, racism, and genetics. “In a lot of ways, these are the legacies of slavery,” McQueeney said.

Museum architects designed the building and gardens with this trauma in mind. Small, quiet rooms near the main gallery allow visitors to sit and privately process their grief. A sign in the memorial garden designates the site as a “sacred space” — an acknowledgment that the experience of visiting Gadsden’s Wharf may be difficult, even traumatic, for some people.

“I want people to feel the sorrow, the pain, the burden of the history of the site,” said Walter Hood, a California landscape architect whose studio designed the outdoor space. At the same time, he said, he doesn’t want visitors to consider Gadsden’s Wharf a memorial to the dead.

“It’s almost like Plymouth Rock when you think about it. It’s a place of arrival,” he said. “We are still here.”

KFF Health News, formerly known as Kaiser Health News or KHN, is a national newsroom that produces in-depth journalism about health issues and is one of the core operating programs at KFF.

30 | AUGUST 2023
A special, twice-yearly special section in Atlanta Intown & Reporter Newspapers Coming
on Education atlanta NeReporterwspapers A Publication Atlanta Intown A Publication Contact:
Felice Knight, director of education at the museum, is a historian and an expert on the lives of enslaved people in the city. (Photos by Lauren Sausser) Nurse-midwife Maude Callen delivered hundreds of infants across the South Carolina Lowcountry during a time when segregation limited access to medical care for many African Americans.

Helen, GA in the North Georgia Mountains is famous for its quaint Alpine village, Oktoberfest, and a destination for Christmas shopping. But White County has plenty of other outdoor adventures including camping, hiking, kayaking, fly fishing, mountain biking, zip-lining, and more.

Helen is about five miles from the Chattahoochee National Forest, where you can hike just under five miles roundtrip to the double-cascade Raven Cliff Falls.

In nearby Cleveland, the multi-use trail system within the 1,000-acre Yonah Preserve is open to the public Thursday through Sunday. Access the trailhead from Albert Reid Road and enjoy some 10 acres of walking space and mountain trail biking. Yonah Mountain is one of the top three rock climbing spots in Georgia, and its climbing and trail hikes are challenging enough that the Army Rangers use them for training. Other unique opportunities to explore on foot include a section of the Appalachian Trail, which intersects GA75

and SR348 and offers parking at both locations.

The two-mile Andrews Cove Trail is an old logging road from Andrews Cove to the Appalachian Trail and Forest Service Road 283 at Indian Grave Gap.

The NFS Andrews Cove Campground offers a scenic trout fishing stream and no-reservation, first come first served sites.

Only enough time for a taste of the wilderness? Take a four-hour immersion, winding through the Chattahoochee National Forest, with some of North Georgia’s most scenic vistas, stream crossings, and swimming at the pool of Helton Creek Falls.

Wanderlust Adventure Tours offers a ride in 4×4 Overland vehicles to the top of Blood Mountain at the historic Neel Gap location of the Appalachian Trail. The stone buildings were a dining/ dance hall and inn completed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1937, the same year as the Appalachian Trail. The building is now Mountain Crossings, a supplier and provisions shop. Part of the original inn is now run as a historic hiker hostel.

Love water adventures? The Upper Chattahoochee River Water Trail starts at Sautee Creek and the Chattahoochee River in White County and includes Class I - III rapids. Kayaking can be a DIY or guided trip. Wildwood Outfitters takes guests on a Class I to II float down

the river to soak in the scenery or a Class III rapids-running adrenaline kick. Overnight camping and other trips can be arranged.

For more details on all the adventures mentioned in this article, visit helenga. org.

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Floating down the Chattahoochee River. (Courtesy Alpine Helen/ White County CVB)
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