AUGUST 2019 - Brookhaven Reporter

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AUGUST 2019 • VOL. 11 — NO. 8

Brookhaven Reporter


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Section Two

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Planning Commissioner challenges incumbent for City Council seat


The Brookhaven Reporter is mail delivered to homes on selected carrier routes in ZIP 30319 For information:


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ST 20

The District 3 City Council race is heating up as a challenger who served on the Planning Commission is taking on an incumbent who has held the post since the city was founded nearly seven years ago. The election will be decided Nov. 5.

Madeleine Simmons, who has been on the Planning Commission since 2017, announced her bid July 15 for the District 3 Council seat currently held by Bates Mattison. Mattison has served on the council since the city’s inception in 2012. “I’ve been in Brookhaven for more than 10 years now, and I’m very passionate about See PLANNING on page 14

Bushra Alfaraj lives near the Brookhaven border and when the weather is not too hot, she likes to walk about 10 minutes from her apartment to the Briarwood Road bus stop to catch MARTA Bus 39 at 9 a.m. It’s about a 30-minute ride on the bus to the McClave Drive stop in Doraville. From there, she walks another 15 minutes to her job as development designer at the Center for Pan Asian Community Services on North Shallowford Road. She also regularly rides Buses 47 and 133, which have stops closer to her home and where she needs to go, but those buses are never as full as Bus 39, she said. “It’s really fun for people-watching,” Alfaraj said of Bus 39. “I can definitely see why Buford Highway requires more stops ... between it being a long highway and the diversity.” Alfaraj said taking the bus to work gives her time to relax. She’s currently studying for the GRE and has digital flash cards she can flip through during the ride. “It’s also a good time to catch up with my family and friends who live all over the place ... Riding Bus 39 is a good time for me to connect with everyone, or I can spend it reading or listening to music,” she said. With an average daily ridership of more than 5,400 on weekdays and more than 7,000 on weekends recorded between December and February, Bus 39 is the most used of MARTA’s 101 bus routes. Bus 110, which serves the Brookhaven and Chamblee area, has the next highest weekday rider average for the area at 3,482, acSee ALL on page 22


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New library location remains a mystery more than decade after funding approved BY DYANA BAGBY

The prospect of building the city’s new library in Brookhaven Park is again on the radar after the DeKalb County Library Board of Trustees recently reached out to the City Council asking the city to take a serious look at doing so. Councilmember Bates Mattison, whose district includes Brookhaven Park, said the city is looking at other sites to build the new library, but no final decision has been made. He said he has heard from the Brookhaven Park Conservancy and the Parks and Recreation Coalition that they are opposed to building a library in Brookhaven Park. Their main concern is that nearly 5 acres of the 20-acre park was recently set aside for an off-leash dog park, Mattison said, and building a new library in the park would eat up more of its natural green space. “It’s hard for me to align how the city has interest in expanding and preserving green space and how it aligns giving up park space for the purpose of a library,” Mattison said. “It’s hard to balance those conflicting interests.” Other sites include tearing down the current library and building the new one at that site, Mattison said. He also said other options include Dresden Drive or Buford Highway, but gave no specifics of where. Mattison said he supports building a new City Hall and the library at the BrookhavenOglethorpe MARTA redevelopment if it ever comes about. “The citizens are very anxious to have their new library,” he said. The DeKalb County Public Library Board of Trustees recently sent a letter to the City Council saying they were interested in building the Brookhaven branch at Brookhaven Park at 4158 Peachtree Road, according to library board member Joel Gottlieb. “It’s being considered, but it is too premature to say,” Gottlieb said. “There are a lot of different possibilities, one of which is Brookhaven Park. That would require an agreement with the City Council and the county.” Talk of building the library in Brookhaven Park goes back to 2006 when DeKalb County voters approved a $56 million bond referendum for library renovations and new library construction. The Brookhaven Library received about $4 million to be used to build a new library. The city of Brookhaven was incorporated in 2012 and took over control of the county parks. The Brookhaven branch of DeKalb County’s library system is located on just over 1 acre on a crowded corner with limited parking at North Druid Hills Road and Apple Valley Road. Built in the 1950s, it is considered a neighborhood library because of its size at just under 7,000 square feet. The new library is planned to be 12,000 square feet. The backdrop to where to build the new library is the city waiting for DeKalb County to finalize its sale of the 7.2-acre front portion of the park to the city, after the city and county agreed last year to a $2.2 million price. The money was included in the city’s $40 million parks bond approved by voters in November. Finalizing the purchase of the front portion of Brookhaven Park would bring to close a six-year process of negotiations between the city and county. The city purchased the back 12 acres of the park from the county in 2017 for $100 an acre. The purchase of the front portion of the park does not include about 3 acres where the DeKalb Services Center and its parking lot are located. The DeKalb Services Center has been located on Osborne Road since 1978 and provides programming for adults with special needs. “The issue is still the same as it has been all along,” Mayor John Ernst said of finding a location for the new library. “Nothing has been decided. The city right now is just trying to purchase the front portion of the park.” When the $56 million bond was approved 13 years ago, the DeKalb library board was hoping to see the new branch constructed as part of a redevelopment of the BrookhavenOglethorpe MARTA Station. Plans for that development broke down, however, delaying any decision on the library’s location. When MARTA began plans in 2015 to construct a transit-oriented development at the station, the idea of locating the library there was revived. But a bitter dispute between the City Council and MARTA officials over public financing of the project, among other issues, resulted in MARTA walking away from the project in 2017, erasing again hope of building the new library there. Redevelopment of the MARTA station is still expected to occur,but when and what kind of redevelopment would take place remains unknown. DeKalb County Commissioner Jeff Rader noted that the Brookhaven branch is the last library scheduled to be built using the 2006 funding. “We want to obviously be consistent with the local government’s vision, but we also have an obligation to deliver the library voted for in 2006,” Rader said. “I’m becoming more and more impatient to get it built,” he added. “The issue of where is mostly in the hands of the city ... but the library board does have prerogative. We are waiting for the city to articulate a clear vision ... that’s why I’m stressing the city come to a consensus.” BK


Community | 3

Community Briefs

Lynwood Park’s existing basketball courts – two outside and one inside the recreation center – will be painted red, include the Atlanta Hawks and State Farm logos at center court, a city of Brookhaven logo and the word “Lynwood” at the free-throw lines, according to an illustration. Renovations at Lynwood Park’s recreation center are also part of the donation and will include renovating a meeting room with new furnishings and technology for a classroom and gaming room. As part of the donation, the city agreed to use money from the general fund for maintenance and upkeep of the donation. The council also voted July 23 to approve a $213,960 contract with New Imaging Roofing to replace the roof at the Lynwood Park recreation center. Money for this project is coming from the 2019 capital improvement plan budget.



The cities of Brookhaven and Chamblee are collaborating on how to plan for future redevelopment along Clairmont Road.


An informational update on a Clairmont Road study plan will be held Aug. 14 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Brookhaven City Hall, 4362 Peachtree Road. The meeting is hosted by District 2 Councilmember John Park. Brookhaven and Chamblee are working together to come up with a “special area plan” for Clairmont Road, which runs between the two cities. The plan is expected to include what kind of redevelopment is envisioned for the corridor as well as streetscape designs. The special area plan encompasses Clairmont Road from Buford Highway to Peachtree-DeKalb Airport. “We hope to create a consistent streetscape design for both cities within the corridor and improve multi-modal connectivity,” Brookhaven Community Development Director Patrice Ruffin said in the release. “Effort will also be made to leverage existing economic assets and create a vision for areas in need of redevelopment,” she said. “We will also work to coordinate improvements with Chamblee that will be mutually beneficial for both municipalities.” A draft of recommendations is expected to be completed by September and presented to the Planning Commission with potential adoption by the City Council scheduled for October. Assisted living facility, city resolve Buford Highway sidewalk dispute The owner of the Orchard at Brookhaven assisted living facility will build a sidewalk and landscape strip in front of its building along Buford Highway to the city’s specifications after first arguing it could not do so because of a faulty survey. The resolution came during the City Council’s June 25 meeting when the property owner, Green Implementation Group, asked for and received approval to reduce a parking lot landscape strip from 10 feet to 6 feet, giving it more room along Buford Highway to build the city-mandated 10-foot sidewalk and 5-foot landscape strip. The facility is located at 1634 Afton Lane located at the corner of Afton Lane and Buford Highway. The size of the sidewalk and landscape strip became an issue when Green Implementation Group LLC, told the city earlier this year it could not build the full 5-footwide landscape strip. A faulty construction survey of the property came up 4 feet short of the space needed, according to the company’s attorney. That solution, recommended by the city Planning Commission, was to reduce the required width of the landscape strip between the parking lot and sidewalk from 10 feet to 6 feet. That gave the owner the 4 feet needed to build out the full 15-feet of sidewalk and landscaping,


Lynwood Park will be getting improved basketball courts and updates to the recreation center this summer thanks to a donation from the Atlanta Hawks Foundation, a nonprofit arm of the NBA team that relocated its practice facility to the city two years ago. The Brookhaven City Council approved the donation valued at $165,000 at its July 23 meeting. State Farm is teaming up with the Atlanta Hawks Foundation to make the donation to Lynwood Park, located at 3360 Osborne Road, as part of the State Farm Neighborhood of Good and the Atlanta Hawks Court and Community Program. BK

Richard Rhodes, a Brookhaven resident, former state House candidate and LGBTQ activist who pushed for the city to pass a nondiscrimination ordinance, died July 21 at 81 years old. Rhodes this year advocated for Brookhaven to pass an ordinance prohibiting local businesses from discriminating against minority groups — including LGBTQ people — in the wake of similar ordinances being passed in surrounding cities. Councilmember Linley Jones has asked the city for more information on considering an ordinance, but one has not been introduced. DYANA BAGBY Rhodes had lived in Brookhaven since 1988, the same Richard Rhodes spoke year he ran as the first openly gay man from DeKalb at the March 26 City Council meeting, where County to run for the state House. he asked the council to He was a trailblazer in LGBTQ activism. Rhodes bepass a nondiscrimination came the first openly gay delegate to the Democratic Naordinance to include tional Convention in 1988. In 1989, he was the first openly LGBTQ people. gay man to serve as the DeKalb Democratic chair. The Atlanta Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce awarded him its 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award for his activism, the organization said in a Facebook post.

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Illustrations of CHOA’s $1.3B hospital show glass tower, green spaces BY DYANA BAGBY

Recent illustrations of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s $1.3 billion hospital in Brookhaven show a tower with huge windows and park spaces open to patients. The hospital at I-85 and North Druid Hills Road is expected to be completed by 2025. Total cost of the hospital and other facilities on the campus is projected to be $1.5 billion. CHOA is currently constructing two 8-story “support” office buildings and a 7-story parking deck on the I-85 frontage road. Plans are to relocate CHOA’s support staff now working in the existing CHOA office park on Tullie Circle to those I-85 frontage buildings. Then the existing office park will be razed to make room for the new hospital. CHOA spokesperson Brian Brodrick said some CHOA employees are expected to move into the support buildings later this year and into early 2020. “We anticipate beginning demolition on some of our existing office buildings in late 2019, but other hospital related construction details are still being finalized,” he said in an email. The new hospital will have 446 beds in two 19-story patient towers. The new hospital will replace the 295-bed Egleston Hospital located on Clifton Road near Emory University. Plans for Egleston have not been determined, according to CHOA officials. The campus will be anchored by the hospital that will include an AFLAC Cancer and Blood Disorders Center and an attached medical office building. The Brookhaven Development Authority in June approved issuing $1.1 billion in tax-exempt revenue bonds to CHOA for its massive development. The deal does not put the city on the hook for any debt and allows CHOA to offer tax-exempt bonds due to the BDA’s nonprofit status, officials say. Across the street from the CHOA campus in Executive Park, Emory University is expected to break ground this year on its plan for a $1 billion “health innovation district.” Emory already operates several medical offices in Executive Park, including a joint medical and training facility with the Atlanta Hawks basketball team that opened in 2017. Emory is scheduled to go before the Planning Commission in September to seek rezoning of more than 60 acres of Executive Park to make way for its new developments that include a new Musculoskeletal Center building as part of Emory’s existing Orthopaedics & Spine Center. Future development for Emory’s Executive Park projects includes a 140-bed, non-emergency, inpatient hospital and an expansion of the Brain Health Center.

Below, an aerial view shows the hospital in the center and the Center for Advanced Pediatrics at the bottom left. The approximate 70-acre campus at I-85 and North Druid Hills Road will include 20 acres of green space and walking and biking paths for physicians, staff and patients to use to get around to various facilities. Top, an illustration of the main entry of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s new 19-story hospital expected to open in 2025. A new medical office building will be built attached to the hospital. Above, the entry court of the CHOA’s new hospital shows green spaces and walking paths.


Education | 5

AUGUST 2019 ■

Summer program marks 20 years of serving low-income students


Students in the Horizons program at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School in Sandy Springs take a bow after finishing a performance.


A summer education program serving low-income students from Sandy Springs’ public schools is celebrating its 20th anniversary. The Horizons Atlanta program at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School (HIES) teaches students so they don’t fall behind during the break, while also helping them deal with major issues like deportation threats. Horizons enrolls 135 students each summer to teach them more literacy and math through special projects at HIES Sandy Springs. Students in the program at HIES come from two feeder schools, Lake Forest Elementary and High Point Elementary, both in Sandy Springs. The teachers and instructors come from a mix of the feeder schools and the host school. Many students at HIES and surrounding schools volunteer to help with the program. The program has grown massively since beginning in 1999. Vera Woods, a recently retired High Point Elementary teacher, has been teaching at Horizons HIES program since it started and seen it grow from 10 students to 135. It has also grown to expand beyond academics to teaching students empathy and social and emotional intelligence, Woods said. “You have your little seed and now have we this beautiful mosaic,” she said of the program. Continued on page 6

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Summer program marks 20 years of serving low-income students Continued from page 5 Since the program at HIES began, the nationwide Horizons National organization has opened an Atlanta regional office, now led by former Atlanta City Councilmember Alex Wan, and eight new host schools began participating, including Atlanta International School in Buckhead. Another Buckhead school is expected to join soon, Wan said. Horizons Atlanta currently only works with Fulton County and Atlanta districts, but they see the need to serve DeKalb, Wan said. “The trick is finding a host institution,” he said. Each host school provides facilities, some teachers and funding, Wan said. The students are nominated by teachers or chosen because they are performing below grade level. All participants join the program as rising first-graders and commit to stay in the program through eighth grade. Students with a sibling in the program get priority, and some students are allowed after first grade if there are open seats, which usually are created when students move. A common reasons students move and leave the program is that they often come from transient families who have to leave communities as rents rise, said Kate Kratovil, the Horizons at HIES site director for Horizons at HIES. When that happens, Horizons allows them to continue attending if they can make it with their own transportation, since busing is only provided within Sandy Springs, Kratovil said. They may also join another Horizons program if one is nearby. During the free, six-week program, students get lessons on math, literacy and emotional well-being, as well as take part in weekly field trips and receive swimming lessons. Swimming lessons give students the opportunity to take lessons like wealthier peers often do, Kratovil said. The program also uses a tool to help students recognize their moods and talk about it with peers, Wan said. “It gives students and teachers a way to articulate and think about how they’re feeling,” Wan said. “I think it has paid dividends.” Horizons at HIES has needed to provide a different kind of support to students and families this year after hearing Hispanic participants frequently talk about their fear of being deported. Following rumors U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement would conduct raids in Atlanta in July, Horizons brought in an attorney to talk with families and give them legal advice. “This summer the students are really aware and openly talking about it. It is certainly a fear,” Kratovil said. “It helped if nothing else for them to know that we are advocates for them.” The curriculum already tackles similar issues to give their students a “global perspective,” Kratovil said. They learn about human rights, the United Nations, freedom of opinion and the Holocaust, among other issues. “It is that mix where we are going to tackle big issues, but there’s also that blend of enrichment where kids refer to it as a summer camp,” she said. “My unofficial mission is to trick them into learning,” Wan said. Horizons plans to host a 20th anniversary event at HIES, 805 Mount Vernon Highway N.W., from 1 to 4 p.m. on Sept. 15.

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Education | 7

AUGUST 2019 ■

Kathy Vail, Dunwoody High School Kathy Vail has led Dunwoody High Fencing from its start as a small team in 2009 to a full club with a large practice area. Now, she’s won the United States Fencing Association’s Outstanding Service Award for Youth Fencing for her work building and coaching the program, which allows high school students to learn fencing and participate in competitions with other Georgia schools. “Receiving the award at the National Championships in front of coaches and fencers from across the country was amazing and humbling,” Vail said. “To be asked to speak to young fencers about our sport was a great honor.” USA Fencing is the national governing body for the sport of fencing in the United States. It oversees competitions and promoting the sport. USA Fencing Membership Director Bob Bodor and Brandeis University Head Coach Jennie Salmon presented the award to Vail at the 2019 USA Fencing National Championships in Columbus, Ohio. “You especially deserving for everything you do for the sport and for how much you did for the development of the youth component to the national level competitions,” Bodor said when presenting the award.

and learn about themselves as they progress. Good footwork and good blade work can take you a long way in our sport. Knowing what you want to achieve and what you need to do achieve it can make you a champion.

Q: What types of competitions does the team do? A: The team competes in the Georgia High School Fencing League. There are


teams that compete in the Georgia High School Fencing League. The GHSFL is the third largest high school fencing league in the nation. New York and New Jersey rank first and second.

Q: What do you think fencing teaches high schoolers? A: Discipline, decisiveness and confi-


eight tournaments, with men’s and women’s events, throughout the season culminating in Individual and Team Championships. The members of the DHS team also take part in the “GHSFL Day at the Capitol,” a fencing demonstration held in the state Capitol rotunda each year.

Q: How common are high school fencing teams? A: Sixteen years ago, there were no high school fencing teams in Georgia. Today, there are 20 high school fencing

dence. Although fencing is an individual sport, students also learn the value of being part of a team. Fencing provides a platform from which high school athletes can earn college scholarships and fence on a National Collegiate Athletic Association team. It can also provide a great way just to connect with other students when starting college

Q: What do you like about fencing? A: Our sport has been called “physical


Kathy Vail receives USA Fencing’s Outstanding Service Award for Youth Fencing at its National Championships in Columbus, Ohio, held in June and July.

gence and athleticism required for fencing. I like the fact that while strength and agility are required, it is the smart fencer that, more often than not, wins the bout. I also enjoy sharing the long, colorful history of our sport. Fencing is great fun when you know the story behind an action or tactic.

chess” due to the combination of intelli-

Q: How did you get started fencing? A: My first experience with fencing was a physical education course in college. By taking that class, I discovered a sport that I have enjoyed for many years. I have gone on to do coaches’ training at the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Center in Colorado Springs and continue to earn professional certifications through USA Fencing and the U.S. Fencing Coaches Association.

Q: How did you get involved teaching the Dunwoody High team? A: In 2009, a student from my private fencing club, Dunwoody Fencing Club, asked me to help start a fencing team at DHS. I’ve been coaching the team ever since. At the start, we were a small team with limited practice space and time. As we grew and earned tournament medals, the DHS administration has given the team a large practice area and allows fencers to earn P.E. credit.

Q: What do you like about teaching youths? A: Young students are always eager to try something new. Helping them discover the mental and physical aspects of our sport is rewarding. Watching the light bulb come on as they understand a new strategy or master a new tactic is great.

Q: What do you hope the students who teach learn from you? A: I hope my students learn that with hard work they can achieve their goals,

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8 | Commentary ■

Hospital’s volunteer corps celebrates a half-century ‘paying it forward’ Carol Niemi is a marketing consultant who lives on the Dunwoody-Sandy Springs line and writes about people whose lives inspire others. Contact her at

cancer patients the day after their surgery, Ten years ago, after a successful career I’m the face of survivorship.” as a corporate executive, Dunwoody resiAnd the leadership skills she had honed dent Chris Cox retired and soon found herduring her long career didn’t go unnoticed. self in a bed at Northside Hospital recoverSoon, she was asked to join the auxiliary ing from breast cancer surgery. board. Filled with fear and uncertainty about “When I got the call to join the board, I her future, she was visited by a former pawas ‘OK. I’m back in the groove,’” she tient who had survived the same surgery. Carol Niemi is a marketing consultant wholike, lives on the Dunwoodysaid. “Itwhose became part of my reinvention afDressed in a NorthsideSandy Hospital AuxiliaSprings line and writes about people lives inspire others. Contact heranat ter a busy work life.” ry blue volunteer’s coat, Cox’s visitor As a volunteer in the auxiliary, Cox is swered her questions and allayed her fears. not unique. Patients and visitors at the hosThus began a whole lot of healing bepital would be surprised at how often the yond cancer. When she felt better, Cox beperson greeting them in the lobby, pushing gan spending four hours a week doing for their wheelchair, delivering flowers, staffother breast cancer patients what had been ing the gift shops, bringing in therapy dogs, done for her. Gradually, those hours betaking baby pictures, driving courtesy carts came part of her own recovery as well. and offering information and comfort to “When I retired, all of a sudden, I had patients and their families is a retired cornowhere to go,” she said. “I was pretty lost porate executive. Others are teachers, artand didn’t know what to do with myself.” ists, veterans, homemakers, high-school Volunteering at Northside gave her students and more. what she was missing. Though from diverse backgrounds, “The doctors’ job is to fix things. We help they all seem to have one thing in common: patients get through the aftermath,” she they were inspired by the kindness of othsaid. “As a volunteer who visits with breast

er volunteers when they or their loved ones were patients. “Most of us who volunteer have experienced being in the hospital and had someone do something that changed our life,” said Vicki Atkinson, Auxiliary board president and breast cancer survivor. As personal as volunteering is, the Auxiliary volunteers are essential to the overall operation of the hospital. Formed in 1969, the year before Northside Hospital officially opened, the auxiliary is celebrating 50 years of providing services. Since its founding, auxiliary members have volunteered more than 2.3 million hours and raised more than $20 million, all of which is used to benefit the hospital. The auxiliary also operates Camp Hope for cancer survivors, the Special Projects Fund, which allocates $200,000 a year to fund hospital wish list requests, $40,000 for advanced training scholarships for hospital employees and volunteers and the Educational Grant Fund for teenage volunteers in the summer “Volunteen” program. Other projects the auxiliary has funded include playground equipment for the Children’s Developmental Center, the Serenity Garden, a security system for newborns, CAD digital mammography equipment, a mobile mammography truck, PCI (angioplasty) equipment and a daycare

center bus. Besides fundraising, one of the most valuable things auxiliary members do is free up the staff. “We’re everywhere in our blue coats,” said Atkinson. “As greeters, we’re usually the first people patients see and also the last because we wheel them out.” The auxiliary has been celebrating its 50th anniversary all year through a series of events. One of them included fielding a team on July 4 that “ran” the Peachtree Road Race, also celebrating its 50th anniversary. For some of the team in their 60s, 70s and 80s, it was their first Peachtree ever. But not all auxiliary members who ran the Peachtree are corporate retirees. One of them, Sonia Ray, is a young mother who lives in Rex, about 45 minutes south of Sandy Springs. A two-time breast cancer survivor, Ray says “paying it forward” is proof her “battle was not wasted.” In addition to counseling patients, she has started a nonprofit to help fund services for breast cancer patients who live in her underserved area. The auxiliary has a tagline: “Be the Difference.” Members say you can be the difference by giving just four hours a week. For information, visit northsideatlaux. com.


Community | 9

Electric vehicle parking accommodations now required for new construction BY DYANA BAGBY

New developments in Brookhaven will be required to include electric vehicle charging stations as the city continues to implement sustainability initiatives. The City Council voted 3-1 at its July 23 meeting to approve an ordinance that requires public electric vehicle charging stations in 5% of off-street parking for new construction in multifamily residential, commercial, employment, mixed-use, master planned development and Peachtree Road districts. The council also approved requiring the installation of equipment for EV charging stations in new homes built in RS, R3 and RSA residential areas. Equipment includes connectors, attachment plugs, power outlets, wiring, electrical capacity and other wiring necessary that allows the installation of a future charging station. “We are fastly moving to electric transportation,” said Mayor John Ernst, who drives an electric Nissan Leaf. The ordinance, he said, lays the groundwork for the future. He also noted the ordinance only applies to new construction. The ordinance also says that a parking space with a public electric vehicle charging station will count as two spaces to meet minimum off-street parking requirements for lots and garages that need more than 10 spaces. The ordinance went into effect immediately. The city Planning Commission had recommended 2% of new construction in certain districts be required to have electric vehicle charging stations, but City Councilmember Linley Jones, who drives a plug-in electric hybrid, made the motion to raise the number to 5%. The council learned during a work session presentation on sustainability by management analyst Marybeth Bucklen that Brookhaven has about 1,000 registered electric vehicles in the city. There are about 22,000 electric vehicles registered in the state, giving Brookhaven about 4.4% of the state’s total of electric vehicles. City Councilmember Bates Mattison voted “no” because he said he’d prefer the city offer incentives for developers to build electric vehicle charging stations rather than requiring them do so. “I’m a huge proponent of the intent, but I’m not comfortable with a mandate,” he said. With City Councilmember Joe Gebbia absent from the meeting, Ernst cast a vote as part of the quorum. Brookhaven followed the city of Atlanta’s lead, which in 2017 adopted an ordinance requiring all new residential homes and public parking facilities to accommodate electric ve-

hicles. Atlanta’s ordinance requires 20% of the spaces in all new commercial and multifamily parking structures be electric vehicle ready, according to a press release. It also requires that all new houses be equipped with the infrastructure needed to install EV charging stations, such as conduit, wiring and electrical capacity. Brookhaven has made electric vehicles a priority in the city as part of an overall sustainability plan. There are four charging stations at City Hall and one at Skyland Park. Plans are to install stations at more parks. The city recently purchased a 2015 Tesla electric car for $45,000 with confiscated drug funds to use on patrol as city officials look to replace the police fleet with electric cars. A major reason to consider switching to electric police cars is cost savings, according to the city. DYANA BAGBY Brookhaven City Hall has four electric vehicle The current pocharging stations for use by the public. lice fleet includes 36 Ford Tauruses, 36 Ford Explorers, two Ford Escapes, one Ford F-150 EcoBoost and 11 Chevrolet Impalas. Costs to repair and maintain the vehicles in 2018 totaled nearly $140,000. Gasoline costs totaled nearly $223,000. The city’s new public safety and municipal court building to be built along the Peachtree Creek Greenway will also include charging stations.

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Commentary / How to take back our streets for pedestrians Editor’s Note: In recent weeks, accidents have injured non-motor-vehicle-driving users of major local roads, including a bicyclist and a pedestrian killed on Sandy Springs’ Roswell Road and pedestrians injured on Brookhaven’s Buford Highway and Buckhead’s Peachtree Road. The Reporter asked Sally Flocks of the advocacy group PEDS about her group’s vision of safer streets. If you’re like me, you dream of your community becoming a place where children walk to school, the elderly cross the street without fear, and streets are places where people enjoy chance encounters on sidewalks and at street cafes. Walkability doesn’t happen on its own. Development won’t necessarily bring it. Making our streets and communities great places to walk depends on us. Together, we need to think small in a big way. For decades, transportation agencies have made maximizing the flow of cars and minimizing de- Sally Flocks is president and CEO of PEDS, an lay to drivers the top priorities. advocacy group working Would you prefer other goals? Do health, safety and quality of life matter more to you than getto make streets ting places a minute or two faster? walkable and safe In the Atlanta region and elsewhere in Georgia during the past five years, the number of people who lost their lives while walking increased an alarming 50 percent. Some 264 people were killed in 2019, the worst in history. The loss of life was tragic. But the brutal crashes were also predictable and preventable. High-risk roads have a typical pattern: high-speed, multi-lane streets where safe crossings are few and far between. Buford Highway, for example, is the third most dangerous road for pedestrians in Georgia. The fatal crashes are also symptoms of a region and state that invests far too little in pedestrian safety improvements. Instead of top-down planning, let’s start from the bottom up. No one knows a street as well as the people who live along it. What kind of place do you want to live in 25 years from now? And what will your grandchildren want 50 years from now? Issues we hear about frequently -- technical expertise and cost -- are not the real barriers to walkable communities. Plenty of quality engineers know how to create safe crossings and “right-sized” roads in urban and suburban areas. Transportation agencies spend millions each year. The real issue is how they spend it. The key to success is community vision and will. One size doesn’t fit all, so be inclusive. Hold meetings at places that are easy to get to, even for transit users and people on foot. What does success look like? Come in with a blank slate. Leave professional degrees at the door. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that wide streets and speeding reduce our quality of life. Once your community has identified its values and vision, develop a strategic plan for achieving it. Reach out to others – and consider opportunities, challenges and partners. Think beyond sidewalks. People walk more when they have places worth walking to. Would you like to walk to a restaurant or coffee shop? Achieving this may require zoning changes, but don’t be afraid to ask. City Springs, Sandy Springs’ civic center, provides a shining example of the benefits that come with compact, mixed-use development. Leadership matters. The most successful change agents are those who listen and inspire. Empower a champion to maintain the momentum. You’re building a movement, not just a campaign. Forget about silver bullets. Change takes time. It also requires relationships. “You vs. them” rarely, if ever, results in good outcomes. Instead, collaboration between community activists, developers, transportation professionals and elected officials is essential. And never forget, it’s up to the people in your community -- and the elected officials who represent you -- to identify your vision and values. Transportation agencies are responsible not for setting the vision, but instead for implementing projects that enable you to achieve that vision. Seeing progress is a great motivator, so try out a pilot project. Ask an elected official or someone in your public works department for permission to use orange cones or bales of hay to keep people from parking close to a crosswalk. Or try using them to narrow travel lanes or create a traffic circle at an intersection in your neighborhood. Does that get drivers to slow down? Streets have many uses, only one of which is moving cars. They’re also public spaces, accounting for nearly one-third of the land in our communities. Working together, we can take back our streets and make them places we love.





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Commentary | 11

Having twins gets easier – once they go to college They say that God doesn’t give you any more than you can handle, and I like to think that’s true, but I do believe that sometimes He slips a few more pounds in your pack while you’re not looking and sends you on an uphill trek. I know that because I have twins. Aug. 3 is National Twins Day, and I’m going to observe it by reliving the mania of the Early Years. I’ll set the stage by saying that I happen to have two older children who were born a year-and-a-half apart, so I can speak from direct experience and tell you unequivocally that two babies born less than two years apart is challenging, but two babies born one minute apart is in another category altogether. I was on bedrest for the last trimester before their birth because my doctor routinely ordered that for his patients carrying multiples. I laid there in my command center of the den sofa as friends and family stopped in to bring dinners and pick up or drop off my other two tykes. These helpRobin Conte lives with ful people always had faces awash in sympathy for me -her husband in an emp- poor soul! -- confined to the couch for three months, but I ty nest in Dunwoody. was thinking all the while, “Hey, this is as easy as it’s ever going to get.” Never have I been right to such a colossal degree. I knew that it would be hard after the birth, but I did think that sometime during their first year of life, I would be able to get to the mailbox. No, it wasn’t until they were 13 months old that I finally emerged from the house, tangle-haired and droopy-eyed, wearing a bathrobe speckled with crusty Cheerios. I peeked my haggard face out of the front door and paused for a moment to adjust to the light of day, then collected myself and made the trip to the curb, hoping against hope that I would not encounter a perky mom in a tennis skirt. As an encore, my husband took me out to dinner. I showered and put on lipstick and a bra that didn’t have nursing flaps. I wore a nice dress and must have cleaned up pretty well, because one of those moms who had dropped off food for me a few months earlier happened to be dining at the same restaurant and was convinced that my husband was with another woman. She told her spouse: “I’ve SEEN Robin, and that’s not Robin!” The man actually came over to verify. When I learned I was carrying twins, I had two prayers: Please, God, let them be healthy, and please, God, let them be friends. Thankfully, they were born large, strong and healthy. As they aged, they forged a friendship – honestly, it was more like an alliance in “Survivor.” See, the thing about twins is that they destroy in tandem. They use their secret twin-speak to gang up against you. Before they could even talk, my toddler sons could communicate subversively with each other to figure out how to make a break from their playpen. The brains of the operation would find the weakest link and point it out to the brawn, who then barreled through it. Between two toddlers, there is always enough energy for a tantrum. One would have a crying fit, then pause for a break and pass the baton to his brother, who’d pick up where the first one left off. On the days I took them to preschool, they each clung, sobbing, to one of my legs so that I entered the building looking like I was trying to free myself from a pair of wailing koala bears. Twins moms often whispered encouragingly to me, “It gets easier.” I kept wondering when that would happen, and I finally realized that it got easier when the boys left the house and went to college. They turned 21 last fall, and for the first time in their lives they were not able to celebrate their birthday together. They were truly disappointed to be apart for their milestone, to a degree that warmed their mother’s heart. Yes, they are healthy, and, yes, they are friends… and somehow, by the grace of God, their mother handled it.


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A farmers market director’s work is never done – and always delicious Sara Craig-Goodell has a thing for food. She’s quick to say so. “Yes, I do like food,” she says with a grin. “I like eating it. I like learning about it. … How can you not care about food? I spend most of my day waiting for get hungry again so I can eat.” Her fondness for good food comes naturally. She remembers visiting her grandparent’s home and orchard in rural Mexico, where she dined on fresh avocados and pecan, limes and figs, persimmons and nectarines. “I’ve just always been a big eater,” she said. “I like to try new things. She likes to cook, too. “I’m an enthusiastic cook,” she said. “I like making food that tastes good, usually so I can eat it. Not for other people. I mostly want to make food I can eat.” JOE EARLE She remembers the first Sara Craig-Goodell on a recent Saturday at meal she ever prepared for the Peachtree Road Farmers Market. herself. She was about 8, she said, and wanted eggs, so she got out a pan and scrambled some. She’s been cooking since. Now she favors pasta or tacos made with whatever’s in season. At home, she said, “the kitchen is my space.” Her taste for fresh food was part the reason the slim, energetic 34-year-old was hustling around the parking lot behind the Cathedral of St. Philip in Buckhead one recent Saturday morning. The lot is the home of the foodie haven that is the Peachtree Road Farmers Market, one of the larger open-air markets in a metro area now brimming with such Saturday morning food sales. Since March of 2018, Craig-Goodell has run the place as the market’s executive director. One recent Saturday, she was doing what executive directors do: walking around the market to check in with vendors; finding a generator and power cord for the blender to be used in a cooking demonstration; making chalkboard signs for special events; introducing a visiting chef; generally keeping an eye on things. She’s been known to rack up five or six miles on her Fitbit just hustling around doing errands on market mornings, she said. “You get a lot of steps,” she said. Later, once the market wound down and the vendors prepared to pack up their tents, she would go shopping herself. “I cook with an eye for whatever I see at the farmers market that looks good,” she said. “I do all my menu planning the morning of.” During the week, she works with vendors and to find ways to keep the market relevant in a time when customers have lots of other options for finding fresh veggies. After all, she says, customers can have food delivered to their homes now from groceries or online marketers. That’s where Craig-Goodell’s degree training in psychology comes in handy, she said. “A lot of [my job] has to do with [customers’] perception, and with doing research,” she said. The path to her job at the market hasn’t exactly been a straight line. In fact, it wasn’t even her affinity for food that brought her from her home in Texas to metro Atlanta. It was Georgia Tech, which she attended with plans to major in biomedical engineering. But, in a story typical of Tech students, she ran into Calculus 3 and other courses she needed for engineering, “so I changed my major to psychology.” Then, “I graduated into the 2008 depression,” she said, so she ended up working at lots of jobs. Looking for work led her back to food. She did a stint as the cook at a private school. She baked cupcakes at a shop in Buckhead. She went back to school, this time to culinary school. She proofread pages for a cooking magazine. She worked as assistant director at the farmers market before she was promoted to executive director. Working at the market allows her to promote good, fresh food for others, as well as herself. “It’s one way of … creating a sustainable environment,” she said. “It’s one way to give back. “I do personally prefer to eat food that’s been produced ethically and sustainably,” she said. “You vote with your fork. I’d like to send my money on food that’s been produced in ways that don’t make me feel sad.” Besides, the Farmers Market is where the fresh food is. “I’d probably be at the farmers market anyway on a Saturday morning,” she said. “I might as well get paid for it.” BK


Community | 13

City orders a public mural to be removed BY DYANA BAGBY

A Brookhaven Fields homeowner was ordered by city officials to remove a mural painted on a wooden fence enclosing his yard because they say it violated a sign ordinance by being in the public right of way. The mandate came days afDYANA BAGBY ter the city attorThe mural at the corner of Sylvan Circle and Cartecay Drive was ordered removed by the city after officials ney advised the City determined it violated the city’s right of way policy. Council the mural was protected by the First Amendment. A constitutional attorney says the city could be “traveling on thin ice” by choosing to restrict public art just because it is in the right of way when the action could be perceived as trying to regulate free speech. Marty Scheufele, who lives at the corner of Sylvan Circle and Cartecay Drive, said he wanted the mural painted to cover his “ugly fence” and to give passersby something nice to look at. The city’s apparent confusion over how to regulate the mural is disappointing, he said, but he intended to comply and paint over the mural. “I guess they changed their stance,” he said after receiving a notice from code enforcement on July 25 that he needed to remove the mural. He said code enforcement had told him the week prior the mural was legal. “The mayor got a lot of flack ... or something. It is what it is,” he said. The colorful mural included a skyline painted against a pale blue background and was the first known artistic mural on a residential property in the city. There is currently no law on the city’s books dealing specifically with murals or public art on private property. Community Development Director Patrice Ruffin said in an email the mural was determined by city staff to be a sign, and because it was being painted on a fence located in the right of way, it was illegal. “The determination has been made that the mural meets the definition of a sign, which is prohibited within the right of way where the fence is located,” she said. Ruffin’s statement was the opposite of what City Attorney Chris Balch told the City Council just days earlier. At Mayor John Ernst’s July 18 town hall, Ernst was asked by one of Scheufele’s neighbors if the mural violated the sign ordinance. She told him she worried about traffic accidents happening at the corner as people stopped to look at the mural. She also said she was concerned the public art would sink property values. Ernst told her Balch had looked into the matter after the city received some complaints and determined the mural is not considered a sign that can be regulated by the city. The property owner’s constitutional rights entitled him to paint art on his fence, Ernst said. “We’ve not had any art regulations, so it becomes a massive First Amendment issue,” Ernst said at the town hall. “This is a very new issue, so I’m sure we will be talking about it more.” An open records request for Balch’s original written opinion on the mural being legal was denied based on attorney-client privilege. It is unclear whether Balch issued another opinion regarding Ruffin’s decision that the mural was prohibited for being in the right of way. Scheufele said he was cited for violating section 21.62 of the sign ordinance. This section covers the types of signs prohibited, such as one placed in the city’s right of way. But what is the definition of a sign? At the town hall, Ernst said Balch explained that if the mural included a commercial message for a product such as beer, for example, the city could regulate the mural as a sign. Gerry Weber, a constitutional attorney, said governments have latitude to regulate the location of signs on government property, such as right of way. But any contentbased restrictions on speech would likely be unconstitutional even if done by regulating the location of the sign, he added. “All this is to say is it is a complicated question,” Weber said. But governments regulating based on content are “traveling on thin ice,” he said. Weber represented several property owners and artists in a 2017 federal lawsuit against the city of Atlanta after the city tried to regulate murals on private property, BK

such as those painted on the side of commercial buildings throughout the city. Atlanta wanted to require artists to go through a complicated application process to be approved to paint a mural on public property. The city also threatened to paint over existing murals if property owners did not go through a multi-step process to gain approval for their public art. The city settled shortly after the lawsuit was filed and the regulations were dropped. Part of the answer in the Atlanta lawsuit was that most government entities don’t regulate murals on private property, Weber said. He also questioned why a city would restrict a mural in the right of way. “Is there really a need to regulate murals in the right of way? What is the need?” he asked. He added it would be difficult to find the cause of any traffic accidents if they were due to a mural. In an interview after Scheufele was cited, Ernst said Councilmember Bates Mattison pushed for the mural to be removed. Mattison represents Brookhaven Fields and raised questions about the mural after he received complaints from some of his constituents. “The person from that council district had a big problem with it,” Ernst said. “It’s on him.” Mattison said he asked for further review after Balch issued his opinion due to concerns from some of his constituents. At the July 23 council meeting, he said he was told by city administrators the fence was in the right of way and in violation of city ordinance. Mattison said he and other council members supported the city enforcing the right of way ordinance. “[W]e can’t have people painting or putting art in the right of way without some kind of city approval,” Mattison said. “That’s why we have to develop this mural policy.” Scheufele said the idea for a mural came after the city built a new sidewalk last year along Cartecay Drive, a sidewalk he acknowledged he did not want. As part of construction, the city removed many shrubs and landscaping growing along the fence to reveal the “ugly” fence underneath, he said. Painting a mural, he thought, would make the fence more pleasant to passersby. “My intention was for people to enjoy it when they walk by with their dogs. But if it’s causing that much of a problem, then I’m not going to mess with it,” he said. “I want to respect my neighbors.” 960 Johnson Ferry Road NE, Suite 500 Atlanta, GA 30342

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frustration with Mattison’s “lack of communication and leadership” on issues inour city,” Simmons said in an interview. cluding the new Brookhaven dog park, Due to her decision to run for council, Brookhaven Heights traffic calming meashe resigned her seat on the Planning Comsures and the MARTA station redevelopmission effective July 15. ment. Mattison said he looks forward to the “I know I can be accountable,” she said. race. Mattison stood by his record on the City “I wish her the best of luck, but I will Council, including his work on Brookhavbe vigorously fighting to continue serving en Heights traffic calming measures; the the constituents of District 3 in the city of Brookhaven Park off-leash dog park, which Brookhaven,” he said. is considered one of the largest in metro AtDistrict 3 roughly includes the east-cenlanta; and his work to ensure quality detral part of the city, centered on Brookhavvelopment at the MARTA site through the en Park. city’s MARTA Citizens Review Board. City Council races are non-partisan, but “Rather than criticizing my opponent, the Democratic Party of Georgia unveiled I would rather focus on what a program in July to recruit candidates can do to contincandidates for city races, acue to make Brookhaven a betcording to the Atlanta Journalter place to live,” he said. “I will Constitution. continue to work to produce Simmons said she was not excellence in our government contacted by Democrats or operations, while focusing Republicans to run for office. policies to ensure we remain She said she spoke to neighfiscally conservative.” bors who are Republicans, As part of her campaign, SPECIAL Democrats and independents Madeleine Simmons, Simmons is holding weekly and was told by all that they who has served on meetings on Sundays from 5 want a representative who the city’s planning will return their phone calls commission since 2017, is to 6 p.m. at the Sugar Shack, and emails, work collabora- running for the District 4058 Peachtree Road. If elected, she said, she would hold 3 seat on City Council. tively with other councilmemDistrist 3 roughly monthly meetings for resibers and tackle the issues of includes the east-central dents. the district, including green part of the city centered Simmons touted her nearspace, traffic, parking and on Brookhaven Park. ly three years serving the smart planning. Planning Commission as pre“This is a race about acparing her to serve on the City countability and leadership; Council. She cited her knowlwhich we currently do not edge of the city’s comprehenhave,” Simmons said. “I will sive plan, zoning initiatives provide both of these muchand development projects. needed skills.” Simmons said she chose to Simmons has already run for City Council because picked up the support of two “municipal representation Democrats in the General Asmatters” by giving City Counsembly: state Reps. Matthew cil members “the ability each Wilson, a Brookhaven resiSPECIAL day to make a difference on Bates Mattison has dent, and state Rep. Scott Holthe ground level.” served on the City comb, whose district includes Council since the city Simmons said the fact that a portion of Brookhaven. was founded in 2012. more women in Georgia are She said she was pleased running for office, according to get their endorsements because the City to the Center for American Women and Council must have a working relationship Politics, did not directly impact her deciwith state legislators. But their party affilision to run for City Council. But she notation does not matter, she added. ed that City Councilmember Linley Jones is “I am confident that no matter what the only woman on the Brookhaven counparty affiliation our local legislators have, cil. I would receive their endorsement because “I absolutely believe that diversity on I am the best candidate for the job,” Simour City Council is not only important but mons said. will provide a true benefit to the residents Lack of parks and traffic congestion in of our community,” Simmons said. District 3 are issues she says have not been Simmons is an equity partner at the handled “head-on” in the past. Overflow Morgan & Morgan law firm. parking into residential neighborhoods Mayor John Ernst and Councilmember from businesses on Peachtree Road and Jones are also running for reelection but Dresden Drive is something she also wants have not yet picked up any challengers. to address as a councilmember, she said. The qualifying period for the mayoral She said she would focus on “commuand council races is scheduled to run Aug. nity interest first and foremost” when it 21-23 at the City Clerk’s office. comes to the expected redevelopment of Brookhaven elects a mayor every four the Brookhaven-Oglethorpe MARTA Stayears, and its four councilmembers on tion. staggered four-year terms. Simmons said residents have expressed BK


Community | 15

City and county officials consider buying house for Brookhaven Heights park BY DYANA BAGBY

Brookhaven Heights residents are asking city and county officials to buy a residential property and turn it into a community park – an idea backed by the current owners as well. Officials are considering the idea, but a hefty $1.62 million price tag could be a major obstacle. Karen Cariello, president of the Brookhaven Heights Community Association representing 430 homeowners, said several members have talked with Mayor John Ernst and City Council members about purchasing the property at 1174 Pine Grove Ave. at the corner of Matthews Street. The property, which includes four lots, was recently put on the market. The 1,500-square-foot house at the address was built in 1930 and sits on nearly 1 acre of flat land, the last sizable lot in the neighborhood. Clint Fields, listing agent for the property, said it includes four lots and is priced at $405,000 per lot, totalling $1.62 million. Another lot in Brookhaven Heights has sold for $400,000, Fields said. He said the property has been in the Langford family since 1930 and the current owners, two brothers, would like to see it sold to the city and preserved as a park and memorial to their uncle, Bob Langford, who was killed while fighting in the Vietnam war. Fields said his father grew up with Bob Langford and the Langford family in the 1950s and ’60s, when they all attended Cross Keys High School. “This is the largest remaining privately owned [property] in Brookhaven, to my knowledge,” Fields said. “We would like to leave it as a legacy to Bob if we can.” Six offers have so far been made on the property, but Fields said the owners are hoping the city finds a way to purchase the property. City Councilmember Bates Mattison, who represents Brookhaven Heights, said he is not able to discuss the property because real estate is discussed by the council in closed executive sessions. Mattison said he recently met at the property with DeKalb County Commissioner Jeff Rader, whose District 2 represents part of Brookhaven, and discussed the county helping to purchase it. “I’m encouraged and optimistic, but nothing is definitive,” he said. Rader said there is about $1 million remaining in county parks bond money from 2001 for all of District 2. Besides Brookhaven, District 2 includes the city of Decatur, much of Chamblee and part of Atlanta and areas of unincorporated DeKalb County. The county looks for strong community support such as a park “friends” group before showing interest in earmarking money, Rader said. The county also wants matching funding, and in this case that money would come from the city of Brookhaven, he said. “We’re never the 100% player,” he said. Rader added he was surprised the city’s $40 million parks bond, approved by voters in 2018 to make capital improvements at six city parks, did not set aside funding to purchase additional green space. Government purchases of property are constrained by a price determined by a third-party appraiser to ensure tax dollars are spent wisely, Rader added. That restriction can deter property owners from talking to municipalities if they believe they can get more money from a private buyer. “Even if this is a great idea and this is what everybody wants ... these transactions are [restricted],” Rader said. The Brookhaven Heights neighborhood was built in the early 1900s as a place to get away from the hustle and bustle of Atlanta city life, Cariello said. “The nice thing about this neighborhood is it’s just tucked in here, it’s centrally located, and you can get almost anywhere in 15 minutes. That’s part of what keeps people here for many years,” Cariello said. But the one thing they say is missing is a neighborhood park. “This is not really a kid-friendly neighborhood,” said Bill Roberts, a Brookhaven Heights resident for 20 years. Some residents use orange cones to block off a section of their street to make it safe for children to play. Cut-through traffic regularly clogs the neighborhood’s narrow streets, they say, making it difficult for families to take a simple walk around the neighborhood. When the community wants to hold its annual Halloween party or any other events, Cariello said, they are forced to gather on streets. “We kind of just knock on neighbors’ doors in a cul-de-sac and ask if we can use their street for a couple hours,” she said. “We really have no place to gather.” The commitment from Brookhaven Heights residents is firm, Cariello said. Shortly after the Pine Grove Avenue property went on the market in June, 23 neighbors pledged nearly $17,000 to show city and county officials their desire for a neighborhood park. A homeowner who lives across the street from 1174 Pine Grove Ave. is spearheading BK

A Google Earth image shows the property at 1174 Pine Grove Ave. in Brookhaven Heights.

the formation of a Brookhaven Heights park group with the help of Park Pride, a nonprofit organization that works with communities to advocate for and improve parks. The new nonprofit will be in charge of fundraising. “It’s time for us to get a park we really need,” Cariello said. Added Roberts, “It’s kind of a now-or-never moment to do this.”

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16 | Public Safety ■

Crime Reports / Brookhaven From Brookhaven Police reports dated July 14-28. The following information was pulled from Brookhaven’s Police-2-Citizen website.

T H E F T A N D B U R G L A RY 3500 block of Buford Highway — On

July 14, a street robbery involving a gun was reported. 2800 block of Buford Highway — On

July 14, in the evening, a shoplifting incident was reported. 3300 block of Buford High-

way — On July 15, in the early morning, a shoplifting incident was reported. 2600

block of Ashford Road — On July 16, in the afternoon, items from a car were reported stolen. 3500 block of Buford High-

3300 block of Buford Highway — On

3500 block of Buford Highway — On

2800 block of Buford Highway — On

July 20, at midnight, items from a car were stolen.

July 15, in the early morning, a man was arrested and accused of aggravated assault.

July 14, at night, a man was arrested and accused of driving with a suspended license.

1400 block of Dresden Drive — On

3000 block of Clairmont Road — On

July 15, in the afternoon, a simple battery was reported.

July 15, in the afternoon, a woman was arrested and accused of driving without a license.

700 block of Brookhaven Avenue —

On July 20, in the afternoon, a theft was reported. 700 block of Brookhaven Avenue —

On July 20, in the afternoon, a theft from a business was reported. 3900

block of Peachtree Road — On July 20, in the evening, a theft was reported.

700 block of Town Boulevard — On

July 16, at night, a woman was arrested and accused of aggravated assault. 3400 block of Buford Highway — On

July 17, in the early morning, a man was arrested and accused of battery.

2900 block of Clair-

100 block of Glen Way — On July 18,

mont Road — On July 21, at noon, an entering auto incident was reported.

at night, a simple assault was reported.

1200 block of Exec-

3300 block of Peachtree Corners Circle

— On July 18, at night, a man was arrested and accused of aggravated assault.

3500 block of Buford Highway — On

July 15, in the afternoon, a man was arrested and accused of failure to appear. 4000 block of Peachtree Road — On

July 15, at night, a man was arrested and accused of driving under the influence of alcohol. 3200 block of Buford Highway — On

July 15, at night, a man was arrested and accused of marijuana possession. 1900 block of North Druid Hills Road

way — On July 16, at night, a no-forced entry burglary at a residence was reported.

utive Park Drive — On July 21, in the afternoon, a theft of services was reported.

2800 block of Clairmont Road — On

July 20, in the afternoon, a battery was reported.

— On July 16, in the early morning, a man was arrested and accused of driving with a suspended license.

2400 block of Briarcliff Road — On

3600 block of Buford Highway — On

3500 block of Buford Highway — On

1300 block of Briarwood Road — On

July 16, at night, an entering auto incident was reported. 4000 block of Peachtree Road — On

July 16, at night, items from a car were reported stolen. 2900 block of Buford Highway — On

July 17, in the evening, a theft from a building was reported. 3100 block of Buford Highway — On

July 17, at night, items from a vehicle were reported stolen. 1600 block of Northeast Expressway

— On July 18, in the afternoon, items were reported missing from a car. 2000 block of North Druid Hills Road

— On July 18, in the afternoon, a theft was reported. 1400 block of Briarwood Road — On

July 18, in the evening, a theft was reported. 2500 block of Appalachee Drive — On

July 18, in the evening, items were reported stolen from a car. 2900 block of Buford Highway — On

July 18, in the evening, items from a car were reported stolen.

July 21, in the evening, a theft by taking auto incident was reported.

July 20, in the evening, a simple battery incident was reported.

3500 block of Durden Drive — On July

4200 block of Peachtree Road — On

22, in the afternoon, a man was arrested and accused of theft of services.

July 22, in the evening, a battery incident was reported.

2900 block of Clairmont Road — On

1300 block of Keys Crossing — On July

July 22, in the afternoon, a man was arrested and accused of burglary.

23, in the early morning, a man was arrested and accused of simple assault.

1900 block of North Druid Hills Road

3500 block of Buford Highway — On

— On July 23, in the morning, a theft by taking auto incident was reported.

July 23, in the evening, a man was arrested and accused of simple battery.

1400 block of North Cliff Valley Way

3400 block of Blair Circle — On July

— On July 24, in the afternoon, a forcedentry burglary at a residence was reported.

25, in the early morning, a woman was arrested and accused of family violence.

1400 block of Northeast Expressway

July 25, in the morning, a woman was arrested and accused of simple battery.

— On July 24, in the evening, items from a vehicle were stolen. 2900 block of Buford Highway — On

July 27, in the morning, a man was arrested and accused of stealing tires. 2100 block of North Druid Hills Road

— On July 27, in the evening, a man was arrested and accused of theft of services.

3100 block of Buford Highway — On

3600 block of Clairmont Road — On

July 26, in the morning, a woman was arrested and accused of simple battery.

ARRESTS 2800 block of Buford Highway — On

July 14, in the early morning, a man was arrested and accused of marijuana possession.


3900 block of Peachtree Road — On

1800 block of Northeast Expressway

3600 block of Buford Highway — On

— On July 19, in the afternoon, an entering auto incident was reported.

July 14, in the early morning, a verbal dispute was reported.

July 14, in the early morning, a man was arrested and accused of driving without a license.

2900 block of Buford Highway — On

3300 block of Buford Highway — On

3300 block of Buford Highway — On

July 19, at night, items from a car were stolen.

July 14, in the morning, a simple battery was reported.

July 14, in the evening, a man was arrested and accused of making an illegal Uturn.

July 16, in the morning, a man was arrested and accused of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. 1200 block of Lynmoor Drive — On

July 16, in the morning, a wanted person was located. 3800 block of Buford Highway — On

July 16, at night, a wanted person was located. 2800 block of Buford Highway — On

July 17, in the early morning, a wanted person was located. 2800 block of Buford Highway — On

July 17, in the early morning, a man was arrested and accused of driving without a license. 2600 block of Buford Highway — On

July 17, in the early morning, a man was arrested and accused of the manufacturing, sale and distribution of marijuana. 800 block of Town Boulevard — On

July 17, in the early morning, a man was arrested and accused of mariuana possession. 1700 block of Northeast Expressway

— On July 17, in the early morning, a man is arrested and accused of driving without a license. 1200 block of Dresden Drive — On

July 17, in the morning, a man was arrested and accused of driving without a license.



Art & Entertainment | 17

Act3 aims for theater season success by starting with ‘Disaster!’ BY JUDITH SCHONBAK Act3 Productions aims for a successful 2019-2020 theater season by starting with disasters. The Sandy Springs semiprofessional theater is bringing earthquakes, infernos, tidal waves and swarming wildlife to its stage with ”Disaster!,” a musical parody of the disaster movies that proliferated in the 1970s, which premieres Aug. 9. Act3 is fresh from a 2018-2019 season that garnered a record 38 nominations for Metropolitan Atlanta Theater (MAT) Awards. The ceremony is to take place on Aug. 25. For the new season, Act3 has an ambitious schedule following the close of “Disaster!” on Aug. 24. Second on the season docket in September is courtroom thriller, “Twelve Angry Jurors,” based on the acclaimed movie with Henry Fonda. The thought-provoking drama explores what it means to live in a democracy. In November, “Baby,” a musical, follows the highs and lows of impending parenthood for three couples: college age young people just going into adulthood; 30-somethings determined to succeed in conceiving; and middle-aged parents expecting a surprise baby. Next up in February is “Calendar Girls,” a comedy based on a true story. Two best friends decide to raise money for Leukemia Research by posing nude for a calendar. The news of the women’s charitable venture spreads like wildfire, and hordes of press soon descend on their small village. For its season closer in April, Act3 chose the 1998 Broadway revival production of the classic award-winning musical “Cabaret,” which follows entertainer Sally Bowles in the decadent Kit Kat Klub as the Nazi Party quietly takes hold of 1930s Berlin. But first, it’s time for “Disaster!” In the musical comedy, the array of threats doesn’t stop a cast of characters from dancing, gambling and romancing on opening night in 1979 aboard New York’s first floating casino and discothèque, “The Barracuda.” During the 1970s, more than 30 disasters at sea, in the sky, on and under land, and from space lit up, flooded, blew away, crashed, shook and burned on the big screens during the disaster film decade. Some reached iconic status: “Poseidon Adventure,” “The Towering Inferno,” “Earthquake” and “Airport” are among them. As the trend took hold, their numbers grew, as did sequels. Along with jukebox pop hits from the ’70s, it makes for “a show filled with fun, goofy, kitschy humor with some underlying drama,” says Spencer G. Stephens, director for the Act3 production. How will they bring all those disasters to a small theater? Stephens said he did not want to give away too much, but he


“Disaster!” cast members carry out a dress rehearsal in July.

did share that “the stage will be infested with rats, ceilings will fall, and there will be some casualties.” “Disaster!” by Seth Rudetsky and Jack Plotnick, first appeared Off-Off Broadway in 2012, moved to Off-Broadway in 2013-14, and in March 2016 made it to Broadway at the Nederlander Theatre, with an all-star cast. The Broadway production closed three months later after 32 previews and 72 regular performances, though it did garner some rave reviews from New York critics. But the show has always been around under the radar and is surprisingly well-known, said Mary Sorrel, Act 3’s executive director and board chair. This is a rare opportunity to see the show. There is no record that it has played in a community or professional theater in Atlanta to date, although it has appeared on high school stages occasionally, noted Stephens. “Disaster!” popped up on the radar during Act3’s initial consideration for season shows, which started from Nov. 15 and continued through Jan. 15. Sorrel and Michelle Davis, Act3’s artistic director, pitch shows for the next season and

Act3 Productions

selection begins in mid-January. For musicals, they call on the expertise of JohnMichael D’Haviland, music director for Act3 and instructor at the Cobb County Center for Excellence in the Performing Arts at Pebblebrook High School. “It’s a lengthy and complex process,” said Davis. “Important in all these con-

siderations is what makes the season appealing to our community — our audiences and the actors who will audition and perform. In a small space like Act3’s the actors and audiences need to feel a connection. It is like being part of a community.”

Accepting New Patients! Primary Care of Brookhaven is a full-service primary care practice providing the highest quality care possible to families of the Brookhaven and the Atlanta Metro Area. Our board-certified physicians, Dr. Jennifer Burkmar and Dr. Jeffrey Reznik provide care for the whole patient, and offer a full range of family medicine services, including: • Primary Care for Patients of All Ages Including Newborns • Immunizations for Children and Adults • Acute Illness Care & Chronic Disease Management • School & Sport Physicals • Women’s Health Services • Preventative Health Consultations We take pride in serving each patient with personalized attention and care, accept most insurance plans, and offer same day appointments for sick visits.

2019-2020 season 6285-R Roswell Road, Sandy Springs Info: ■ Disaster!, Aug. 9-24 ■ 12 Angry Jurors, Sept. 13-29 ■ Baby, Nov. 8-24 ■ Calendar Girls, Feb. 7-23 ■ Cabaret, April 10-26

Jennifer Burkmar, MD, MBA, FA AFP

Jeffrey Reznik, MD, FA AFP

Call 404-365-6500 for an appointment • 4062 Peachtree Road, Suite C, Brookhaven, GA 30319 Prim ary C

18 | Art & Entertainment ■ may be reserved starting at $40. Info: citysprings. com/events.





Saturday, August 17, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Discover hundreds of butterflies across three tents. Games, crafts, animal encounter, live music and concessions will be available too. Early registration reccomended. Doors open to members an hour early. Tickets: $10 Adult/$5 child per a tent. Dunwoody Nature Center, 5343 Roberts Drive, Dunwoody. Info:


Friday, August 9, - Saturday August 24 A new musical comedy from Broadway, featuring some of the most unforgettable songs of the ‘70s. Presented byCITY Act3SPRINGS Produc- THEATRE COMPANY tions. Tickets: “MARY$16-$32. POPPINS/SEASON” Act3 Playhouse, 6285- NEWSPAPERS for REPORTER R Roswell Road, Sandy 10”x6.185” Springs. Info:





Sunday, Aug. 11, 5-8:30 p.m. Atlanta Brass Cats, a 10-piece rock band recreating the sounds of Chicago, Billy Joel, Paul McCartney, Bruno Mars and more, takes stage starting at 7 p.m. Beforehand, the Taproom Concert Series will offer a craft brewery pop-up tasting experience. Taproom Tastings $18. Heritage Sandy Springs. 6110 Blue Stone Road, Sandy Springs. Info:


Fridays, Aug. 16, 30; 6:30 p.m. The City Green in Sandy Springs continues its summer music series with Sam Burchfield & the Scoundrels and the Trongone Band (Southern soul/rock) on Aug. 16; and Ruby Velle & The Soulphonics and Delta Moon (Southern soul/rock) on Aug. 30. City Green, 1 Galambos Way, Sandy Springs. Free, no tickets required. Tables


Saturday, Aug. 24, 7 p.m. Angelica Hale, a child singer who received the famed “Golden Buzzer” on America’s Got Talent, takes the stage in a hometown show fresh off the release of her debut album, “Feel the Magic.” Tickets: $30-$130. Byers Theatre, 1 Galambos Way, Sandy Springs. Info: Groovin’ on the Green Saturday, August 10, 6-9 p.m. The final Groovin’ on the Green concert of the summer is a back-to-school social. Enjoy live music by the Wheelers, free ice cream bar, pretzels, cotton candy and snow cones, giveaways and a photo booth. Free. Pernoshal Park, 4575 North Shallowford Road, Dunwoody. Info:


Aug. 8 through Sept. 29 Opening Reception August 1, 5- 7 p.m. Atlanta landscape artist Lila McAlpin showcases her work at GALLERY 4945, an exhibition space for emerging and established artists in the area. Highpoint Episcopal Community Church, 4945 High Point Road, Sandy Springs. Info: or 404252-3324.


Friday, Aug. 16 through Jan. 31, 2021 Commemorating the upcoming 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, this exhibition documents how women gained the vote and the ways they have used political power over the last century. Included with admission, $21.50 ($18 students, $9 children under 12). Swan House at the Atlanta History Center, 130 West Paces Ferry Road, Buckhead. Info:


Through Saturday, Aug. 24, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Spruill Arts Center displays artwork from its students and instructors during its annual juried exhibition. Spruill Gallery, 4681 AshfordDunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Info: spruillarts. org.






Art & Entertainment | 19



Wednesday, August 7, 7:40 p.m. A documentary about the origin of one of Broadway’s most beloved musicals, “Fiddler on the Roof.” Tickets: $15, Byers Theatre, 1 Galambos Way, Sandy Springs. Info:


Fridays, Aug. 9 and 23, 6 p.m. Catch your favorite movies on the big screen outdoors with “How to Train your Dragon 3” on Aug. 9 and “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” on Aug. 23.Food trucks and festivities at 6 p.m., entertainment on stage at 7 p.m.; movies at dusk. Lawn chairs, blankets and picnics welcome. Free. The Green at City Springs, 1 Galambos Way. Info: citysprings. com/events.


Saturday, Aug. 17, 6-10 p.m. Enjoy a free outdoor showing of “Toy Story” on a jumbo screen with Chick-fil-A meals and King of Pops ice pops for purchase. Plus “Toy Story” costume contest and tours of the farm. Movie starts at 8 p.m. Free. Donaldson-Bannister Farm Park, 4831 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Info:

BOOKS & AUTHORS SAM JONES, ‘WHOLE HOG BBQ’ Wednesday, August 7, 6 p.m.

ty Room, Heritage Sandy Springs, 6110 Blue Stone Road, Sandy Springs. Info:



Tuesday August 13, 4-7 p.m. Sandy Springs hosts its annual Back to School Bash at Hammond Park. Event will include water slides, games, a DJ, face-painting, snow cones and popcorn, and opportunities to learn about fall programming. Free. Hammond Park, 705 Hammond Drive, Sandy Springs. Info:

Jump start their futures!

Now Registering for r School Yea Classes

FREE baby classes * Just You & Me Kid * Preschool Gymnastics * Recreational Gymnastics Team * * J-Sport * J-Fit * Dance Boys Gymnastics * * School’s Out Camps * Acro * Silks Winter/Spring/Summer Camps * Birthday Parties Parents’ Night Out * * Tumbling Clinics Special Events * * * Jump Start Travels



Saturday, August 10, 8 a.m. Oglethorpe University hosts its first-ever 5K race benefiting the track and field team with a closed-course road race starting at the Track and Field Complex and continuing through the historic campus. Cost: $40. Oglethorpe University Track & Field Complex: 4484 Peachtree Road, Brookhaven. Register:

5920 Roswell Rd Suite 208 * Sandy Springs, GA 30328 * WWW.JUMPSTARTGYM.COM * 404-252-JUMP (5867)





Saturday, August 24, 7:30 a.m. - 8:45 a.m. A 5K run and walk for humans and their dogs. Proceeds benefit the Ahimsa House, which is dedicated to helping the human and animal victims of domestic violence reach safety together. Cost: $30-$40. Lenox Park, 2220 Lake Boulevard, Brookhaven. Info: ahimsahouse. org/walkwagnrun





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sk u D t ga n i d n n 2 2 n t i s u g g Au Be , through

T h u rs d ay s


FREE movies

Saturday, August 24, 8 p.m. The annual Brookhaven Police Department Hot Pursuit Glow Run 5K benefits the Shop with a Badge initiative, which raises funds for Christmas gifts for underprivileged children. Cost: $25. Murphey Candler Park, 1551 West Nancy Creek Drive, Brookhaven. Info:

LEARN SOMETHING CHINESE BRUSH PAINTING In “Whole Hog BBQ,” Sam Jones and Daniel Vaughn recount the history of the Skylight Inn in Ayden, North Carolina, which opened in 1947, and share step-by-step instructions for cooking a whole hog at home. Cost: $10, $5 members. Atlanta History Center, 130 West Paces Ferry Road, Atlanta. Info: 404-814-4150 or


Wednesday, August 7, 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Sandy Springs native and author Edward Buckley uses his experiences growing up in the Mount Vernon Woods neighborhood to inform the events in ‘All The Way Home,’ a coming-of-age tale about two boys navigating their growing awareness of the Civil Rights Movement, racial inequality and the meaning of love and family. Free. Communi-

Tuesdays, August 6, 13, 20 and 27; 4 p.m. Learn simple Chinese brush-painting techniques. Supplies will be provided. Free. Sandy Springs Branch Library, 395 Mount Vernon Highway N.E., Sandy Springs, 30328. Info: 404-303-6130.


Monday, August 26, 7-8:30 p.m. The class will cover fall season crops, sustainable gardening techniques, preparing the garden for winter and more. Free. Lost Corner Preserve Cottage, 7300 Brandon Mill Road Sandy Springs. Info: master-gardener-classes.


Saturday, Aug. 24, 2-5 p.m. Bring your own snacks and drinks while you socialize and paint with your family and friends. Cost: $30. Hammond Community Building,705 Hammond Drive, Sandy Springs. Info: registration.sandyspringsga. gov.

AU G 8 PG-13

AU G 1 5 PG-13

AU G 2 2 PG






w w w . t o w n b r o o k h a v e n . n e t

Located on Peachtree Road adjacent to Oglethorpe University

20 | Art & Entertainment ■

Covering the world of sports: Q&A with CNN anchor Don Riddell BY KEVIN C. MADIGAN

A marathon runner and lifelong soccer fan, CNN sports anchor Don Riddell has lived in Buckhead near Chastain Park since moving from England to Atlanta in 2012. He has hosted “World Sport” for CNN International for the past 16 years and has also presented “Living Golf” and programs such as “World News” and “CNN Today.” Riddell, 46, covered the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil, as well as the fatal plane crash that wiped out most of the Brazilian Chapecoense soccer team that same year. He produced two award-winning documentaries: “Branded a Rebel” about a West Indies cricket team that defied the rules of the day by touring apartheid-era South Africa, and “They’ll Never Walk Alone,” about the aftermath of the 1989 Hillsborough disaster in Sheffield that killed 96 soccer fans.

Q. How and when did your fondness for sports begin? A. Soccer was the first sport I really loved. My team is Tottenham Hot Spurs, the Premier League team in North London that got to the Champions League Final this year.

Q. How has the perception of U.S. soccer fans changed in recent years? A. The rest of the world looks at the United States with a curious eye. Americans do have a great interest in sports generally, but had less in soccer. ‘It’s a sport that high-school girls play’ -- that’s how [the U.S. attitude] was viewed overseas. I knew that wasn’t necessarily true, but I was interested to find out what the case was. Clearly in the last 10 to15 years a lot has changed and it’s undeniable now that this country is really getting into it. For a while I thought that fans were just going along with it -- because it was different -- but didn’t necessarily get it or understand it, but now that I live here I see the passion is real and genuine. There is a real love of the sport, and what’s happened with Atlanta United is just extraordinary. I’m thrilled it’s happening in my town.

Q. What do you think of the recent Women’s World Cup won by the U.S. team? A. That’s really exciting. The amount of investment is clear to see because they are streets ahead of anyone else, but in this World Cup we saw that certain European teams are catching up. The quality and the

skill is undeniable and the standard is improving at a fairly rapid rate. The reality was there wasn’t enough money being put into the game and they were not being coached or trained properly. Now look how good they are.

markable to cover. It was utter devastation. Every night fans would come to the stadium because they didn’t know what else to do. This was a very tight-knit, close community. There was SPECIAL Don Riddell. a lot of love for the team. I went back two months later when they got a team together and played their first Q. What was it like covering the Olymgame. Friendships were forged out of this pics in Rio? tragedy. A. The popular narrative had people mocking it months before we even got there. But Q. Do you believe sport can lift us? here I was at the Olympics -- my first time A. It can teach us so much about indi-- and it was really cool. Didn’t everybody vidual growth and development. In terms want to be here? You’d go to the stadiums of breaking down barriers, especially now and things might be a little disorganized, that the world is so polarized, you get a but if you watched it on television it all bunch of people together on any kind of looked great. At the end of the day it was all playing field or court and all that goes out about sport, and there was some incredible the window. We are all just human beings sport. To see the finale in the flesh is just a just trying to be better. remarkable experience. Unforgettable. I reSports is a great way of realizing and ally enjoyed it and hope to be at the next appreciating what we have in common -one in Tokyo in 2020. working together trying to achieve a common goal. I’m not sure I swallowed that Q. Shortly after that you were coverwhen I was younger, but now that I’m olding the Chapecoense plane tragedy. er and wiser it’s quite clear to me sport has A. It was a really intense experience -- rea huge role to play.

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22 | Community ■

All aboard MARTA’s busiest bus line, the Buford Highway Route 39 Continued from page 1 cording to MARTA records. Bus 39 also serves one of metro Atlanta’s most diverse communities. Larry Keating, a retired Georgia Tech urban planning professor and author of the influential policy book “Atlanta: Race, Class and Urban Expansion,” has said that many Asian and Latino immigrants and others moved to Buford Highway rental housing in the 1980s through 2000s during metro Atlanta’s construction and immigration boom. They did so because many apartments were large, some as big as 900 square feet for a two-bedroom apartment; rents were cheap and near the bottom of the metro rental price range; and the apartments were accessible to public and indigenous transportation, he said.

The first three trips are people just trying to get to work, so those are very important times to me, making sure I’m keeping it moving.

MARTA created the Route 39, offering continuous service along Buford Highway, in the mid-1980s, when it saw the need to serve the growing population. LAVONDA Although there is not a formal record of JONES how Bus 39 came to be, MARTA spokesperson Stephany Fisher said the MARTA service likely began when the Lindbergh station to catch a train to get to their Center Station opened in 1984, and that jobs. Without traffic or interruptions, the route took its current form in 1992 she can make the trip in 45 minutes. with the opening of the Doraville station. “The first three trips are people just There are now about 90 stops between trying to get to work, so those are very the 8-mile stretch between Lindbergh and important times to me, making sure Doraville that include numerous sprawlI’m keeping it moving,” Jones said. ing shopping centers: Northeast Plaza, “Even when people are getting out Asian Square, Plaza Fiesta and Pinetree their fare, I’m looking at traffic trying Plaza, which are identified by signs in Koto keep that bus moving so they will get rean, Spanish and other languages. Othto the train on time,” she said. er major stops include DeKalb-Peachtree DYANA BAGBY Jones’ other regular riders include Airport, the Centers for Disease Control Lavonda Jones pulls up to a Bus 39 stop on Buford Highway with the Latin American and Prevention’s Chamblee campus, an Association seen through the windshield. Jones has been driving the Bus 39 route between the CDC and IRS employees, women going to Lindbergh and Doraville MARTA stations for three years and driving a MARTA bus for 15 years. get their hair done at a salon in one of the Internal Revenue Service building, the shopping centers, DeKalb County crews Latin American Association and the Buworking at a waste transfer station and ford Highway Farmers Market. people headed to the Goodwill Career Center in Northeast Plaza to gain training and Fisher said Bus 39 has long been one of MARTA’s top-ridership routes, likely due find jobs. to the high concentraOn a recent Thursday morning, Pedro Marquez, 73, boarded Bus 39 at a stop in front tion of apartments and of Plaza Fiesta. He said he was going to Grady Hospital to pick up medicine for his diashopping centers on betes and heart problems. To get to Grady, Marquez had to take the Gold line from Lindthe route. There is also bergh to Five Points, then transfer to the Green line to get to the Georgia State station. a high level of transit From there, he had about a five-minute walk to the hospital. use in the internationHe said in limited English that he walks along Buford Highway every day. “I have no al community along the car, no nothing,” he said. Marquez said he has lived along Buford Highway for 17 years route, she said. and goes to the hospital two or three times a week. Lavonda Jones has “This is my transportation. I live by myself,” he said. been driving a MAROn a separate trip, an older man in a white T-shirt pushing a cart covered by a blue TA bus for 15 years, the tarp sat close to the front of the bus after boarding at the Doraville station. A woman past three years dedicatwith a black-and-white scarf wrapped around her head sat alone. A woman with two ed to route 39. Her shift playful young boys boarded and she squeezed them all together into two seats next to begins at 4:50 a.m. at the each other. Doraville MARTA StaDYANA BAGBY In another seat, a young man wearing headphones stared out the window as the tion and she said most Charissa Dubose-Jenkins, a 12-year MARTA employee, bus rode past a nondescript strip mall where “Fuerza Latina Insurance” could be purshows off a blanket she is crocheting. She was taking of her riders boarding Bus 39 from the Lindbergh MARTA station to the chased next door to a Cricket wireless store. The bus passed a drab, brown building the bus that early are nearby Michael’s store to purchase more yarn. with a “Cash America Pawn” sign emblazoned on its front appeared to be shuttered, and headed to the Lindbergh



Community | 23

where many aging single-family houses are now homes to local businesses. A blue Statue of Liberty stood at the front door of one of those buildings where an attorney works. At the Lindbergh station, Charissa Dubose-Jenkins got on Bus 39, but not to travel on Buford Highway. She was headed to the Michael’s store in the Buckhead Crossing Shopping Center, just a few minutes away from Lindbergh, to buy yarn for a blanket she is crocheting. Dubose-Jenkins has worked for MARTA for 12 years, cleaning the Hamilton E. Holmes train station in West Atlanta. She said after buying her yarn, she was going to ride Bus 39 back to the Lindbergh station and then take Bus 30 to Executive Park to pay the mortgage on her home located in West Atlanta. Just another day on MARTA, she said. Marie Barajas, 25, boarded Bus 39 on

a recent morning at the Lindbergh station. She said she rides Bus 81 from a stop close to her home in East Point to the East Point MARTA Station. There, she takes a train to Lindbergh where she then catches Bus 39 that takes her nearly to the front door of the Sessoms Law Group office, where she works as a legal receptionist. The hour commute each way and transfers are worth it to not have to drive in traffic, she said. “It’s very convenient for me,” she said as she pulls the cord to signal the bus driver to stop. Barajas moved to Atlanta from Los Angeles a year ago and knew she wanted to work helping Hispanic people. The Sessoms Law Groups includes immigration law as a practice area and Barajas said she does a lot of work translating legal documents from English to Spanish.

“People lie all the time to Hispanic people, they don’t always have the best intentions and sometimes are only trying to steal their money,” she said. “This is a way I can help.” For Jones, the passengers and their stories are what make her job driving a MARTA bus enjoyable. Some buy her gifts, including the necklace and bracelet she wears. Others bring her a hot cup of coffee in the early morning hours. Some are teaching her Spanish and tease her when she asks them how to say certain words. “I love them, they love me,” she said. “They thank me every day. That’s why I stay out here. I love it out here.”


Marie Barajas lives in East Point and takes Bus 39 from the Lindbergh MARTA station to get to her job at a law firm on Buford Highway. The commute is about one hour each way, but Barajas said it is worth it to not worry about traffic.

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Perimeter Business Focusing on business in the Reporter Newspapers communities

Summer 2019 | New Atlanta airport chief discusses improvements, investigation | P27

Born from the Atlanta Olympics, a sports news outlet seeks to preserve its legacy BY JOHN RUCH

Talk of the lasting legacy of the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics usually revolves around a downtown park or stadium. But tucked inside a Buckhead office tower is a different kind of product of that heady time: a pioneering sports publication covering Olympics news and politics. And now it has its own legacy to preserve as its owners seek to pass the torch to new hands and find a home for their precious historic archives. Around the Rings was founded in 1992 by editor-in-chief Ed Hula, an experienced radio journalist, as a specialty newsletter covering Atlanta’s Olympics planning. It grew into a top Olympics trade publication – the only one based in the U.S. – and an early example of an internet-only, subscription news site. “It’s a fascinating world,” Hula said of the Olympics in a recent interview in Around the Rings’ small newsroom at Peachtree and 25th streets. “It combines the sport, the entertainment side… the business side. All the things I was interested in were part of the package called the Olympics.” While reporters typed up the latest sports news, Ed and Around the Rings publisher Sheila Scott Hula reminisced about more than a quarter-century of Olympics coverage. The couple and their team have amassed a collection of memorabilia that ilContinued on page 26


Publisher Sheila Scott Hula and editor-in-chief Ed Hula pose in the “Around the Rings” office with Olympics torches and other memorabilia, including “Izzy,” the Atlanta Olympics mascot. Sheila holds a torch from the 2008 Beijing, China, Olympics and Ed holds an Atlanta Games torch.

Please eat our plants: An edible landscaping trend began in Buckhead BY JOHN RUCH

Atop a steep, shrubbery-spotted embankment in a Buckhead office park, where I-85’s traffic roars by just behind a low concrete wall, is one of Morgan Carswell’s favorite places to go for a work-break snack. In that unlikely locale, many of those shrubs are blueberry bushes, and Carswell says she and her coworkers at EpiCity Real Estate Services have gleefully picked “two to three large Tupperware bowls” of ripe berries in recent weeks. It’s no coincidence of nature that the plants are there. EpiCity has partnered with a Decatur-based company called Natural Born Tillers to turn its Buckhead headquarters into a pioneering experiment in

“edible landscaping,” an effort that has borne fruit and expanded to the Atlanta corporate campuses of Delta Air Lines and the Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim. Employees scrambling eagerly over the grounds of the Armour Junction office park on Plasters Avenue, searching for fruits and vegetables and beauty, is exactly what Cory Mosser, the farmer-founder of Natural Born Tillers, had in mind with the concept of edible landscaping on commercial sites. “I started looking at people in traffic and seeing how sad they were,” says Mosser. “I saw a lot of boring, placeholder landscaping.” He figured edible, rather than purely decorative, landscaping could be a feature



Figs from a tree planted at EpiCity Real Estate ervices in the palm of Cory Mosser’s hand.


26 | Perimeter Business ■

Born from the Atlanta Olympics, a sports news outlet seeks to preserve its legacy Continued from page 25 lustrated the stories. Elaborate Olympic torches from several different Games. A Wheaties cereal box signed by Olympic swimming champion Janet Evans “to my friends at Around the Rings.” Such Atlanta Games souvenirs as a license plate, stuffed toys of mascot “Izzy,” and an “Olympic Gymnast” Barbie doll. In a back room are even more historic materials – Ed’s archive of roughly 1,000 audio recordings of Olympics reporting, including landmark moments in Atlanta’s bidding process. Many of them are on then cutting-edge, now outdate media, such as digital tapes and MiniDiscs. And it’s time for much of that material to find a new home, the Hulas say. They already sent 31 boxes of memorabilia to the LA84 Foundation archives in Los Angeles. Ed is looking to the Atlanta History Center --- home to the official Atlanta Olympics exhibit, now under reconstruction – and the Switzerland-based International Olympics Committee as possible permanent archives for his recordings. The couple have reached retirement age, and Around the Rings subscribers are not as plentiful as they used to be as once-frenetic city bids for Olympics have waned amid controversy over spending and corruption, and the IOC calling for less lavish promotion and marketing. The Hulas are looking for an investor or two to take the reins. “We’re trying to wind down our involvement,” said Ed.

Covering the bid

The Olympics is not a world he expected to be involved with in the first place. In the 1970s, he was a PBS radio reporter in Florida and earlier this year appeared in the Netflix documentary “Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes” to share his memories of covering the serial killer’s crimes there. In 1984, Ed moved to Atlanta to work as a writer and show producer at CNN. Sheila worked there as executive producer of a travel program and they met. Ed went on to become news director at Peach State Public Radio, now known as Georgia Public Broadcasting. For Peach State and other radio stations, he began covering Atlanta’s Olympic bid. “I didn’t have any real Olympic experience then to make the decision how to cover it,” he said. “This was all new to everybody.” In 1990, he went to Tokyo, Japan, to cover the IOC’s announcement of which city won the 1996 Olympics hosting rights. Atlanta’s chances were considered so unlikely, Hula had a back-up assignment to report on cooperation between Japanese and Georgia businesses. “And little did we know, we came


Top, a 1996 Olympics license plate is among the memorabilia in Ed Hula’s office. Above left, a Wheaties cereal box signed by Olympic swimming champion Janet Evans is among the trophies in the “Around the Rings” office. Above right, “Olympic Gymnast” Barbie is an Atlanta Games souvenir the Hulas aimed to donate to a friend.

home with the Olympics to worry about,” he said. Sheila was as surprised as anyone that Atlanta won the bid. “Home of the Braves. Home of the Falcons. Are you kidding me?” she recalled with a laugh. Ed was not only in Tokyo for the announcement, but he was with such legendary leaders as Mayor Maynard Jackson, former mayor Andrew Young and Billy Payne, the Dunwoody businessman who led the bid committee. Among the moments he recorded was Jackson and Young shouting, “You did it!” to Payne. “They sounded like kids on their first Christmas,” Hula said. “In 1990, when the announcement was made in Japan at the IOC session, [only] myself, maybe Sally Sears from Channel 2 and Bert Roughton from the AJC… were actually embedded with the Atlanta bid team on the floor of the IOC session,” Ed recalled. “We were right there. To be in the group at the moment when they heard ‘Atlanta’ -- it was an electrifying moment… I realized my life was probably changing.”

Around the Rings

It sure did. Back in the States, Salt Lake City was soon in the news for pursuing another U.S. bid, this time for the Winter Olympics. Ed saw an opportunity in covering Olympics bids and started freelancing radio pieces about the process in 1992, when he covered his first Games in Barcelona, Spain. At the same time, he heard from Bill Shipp, a legendary Atlanta Constitution journalist and publisher of a popular political newsletter, who wanted to circulate an Olympics newsletter as well. In those days, paid specialty newsletters circulating by mail or fax or were a trend. The result was “The Hula Report,” which Shipp later handed over fully to Ed. After the Atlanta Games, it was renamed Around the Rings. For some years, Ed remained focused on radio reporting. In 1998, the Hulas moved to Australia for a two-and-a-halfyear stay to cover the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympics for radio there. They kept a small office active in Atlanta, but really geared up in 2001 to become a pioneering digital news outlet for the Games and

the first internet-only media accredited to cover them. Operating as an early subscription news site with a paywall, Around the Rings grew to become a top Olympics news outlet in a specialty field with about a half-dozen competitors worldwide. Today it has six staffers in Atlanta and freelancers in key international countries. During the Olympics, it publishes special print editions as well. In 2009, the Hulas also established a companion news site, World Football INSIDER, to cover soccer and World Cup bids. Around the Rings work was frenetic in the glory days, when the 2004 Summer Olympics drew 11 bid cities. But that is changing, with bidders drying up and the IOC asking those who remain to spend less on self-promotion. That’s because the Olympics is in another of its regular cycles of scandal about corruption, wasteful spending and human rights impacts. The 2014 Sochi Olympics and 2016 Rio Olympics drew high-profile controversy for skyrocketing budgets and corruption. A 2015 revolt against Boston’s 2024 Olympics bid led to an unprecedented dual award of the 2024 and 2028 Games to other cities for sheer lack of interested bidders. “I think we’ve seen the last of unbridled, no-holds-barred bidding. The IOC realized the bid process ended up killing bids,” said Ed. That’s good for the Olympics, he said, because “I think it was moving toward collapse, going the way they were going.” But it’s not so good for Around the Rings, where contested bids helped to boost subscriptions and advertising. “They killed their own golden goose… It’s too bad, because it was so much fun,” said Sheila, lamenting the loss of bid excitement. “In some ways, it was a good thing,” she added, citing a bidding process that led to “hurt feelings, humiliations, angry taxpayers.” The Olympics may be nearing the end of giant construction projects, too, Ed said, noting that “Atlanta has one or two white elephants…venues that didn’t make it after the Games.” The emerging model, he said, is to “make the Olympics fit your city rather than making a city fit the Olympics.” As they look to move on from the Olympics scene, the Hulas have their own favorite memories. “I’m still a little bit in awe of the high level of human achievement – athletes, royalty, heads of state,” said Sheila. Ed said he appreciates the friendships, meeting world leaders and sports champions, and “getting to see parts of the world I wouldn’t ordinarily visit.” To read their latest Olympics news, see


Perimeter Business | 27

New Atlanta airport chief discusses improvements, investigation BY KEVIN C. MADIGAN John Selden was invited to visit the cockpit of a Bermuda-bound flight when he was five years old. He sat on the co-pilot’s lap and even got to hold the control yoke for a bit. That started his lifelong love of all things related to aircraft, the new general manager of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport explained during a June 27 Buckhead Business Association breakfast. He took his position last October after serving in a similar role at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. Calling the new post “the pinnacle of my career,” Selden said, “Atlanta hospitality has been very nice, totally different from the one I came from in New York. People smiling… I have had a very warm reception since I arrived.” Selden touted Hartsfield-Jackson’s position as the world’s busiest airport, with an average of 2,750 daily flights, but his goal is to increase that number eventually to 3,400. A sixth runway is in the planning stages, as well as more buildings. “We have the capacity to grow,” he said. “The infrastructure has to keep up with the growth,” Selden said. “We cannot turn into [New York’s secondary airport] LaGuardia. My goal and my team’s goal is to do everything we can to work with everybody that SPECIAL John Selden. we need to [in order to] ensure that Hartsfield-Jackson is not a limiting factor on the growth of the Atlanta region.” A massive new parking garage will be built in College Park, between the rental car center and the airport, becoming the first stop on the Skytrain. West of that, a five-star hotel will be erected, as will a 50,000-square-foot office building. “We are building pedestrian walkways,” Selden added. “Somehow you all believe you can come out of the terminal, looking at your phones, and texting, without getting hit. Three people have been hit since I’ve been here.”

Additionally, traffic lights will be installed outside the terminals “where they scream at you ‘don’t walk’ because everybody’s got their headphones on.” Another potential area of growth is cargo and the possibility of Atlanta as a hub for ecommerce. “It’s coming. Cargo creates tons of jobs,” he said, noting that too many planes are flying with cargo holds that are practically empty. Referring to Hartsfield-Jackson as a “competitive machine,” Selden announced at the meeting that requests for proposals were recently issued for development of roughly 800 acres of land owned by the airport on its periphery. Selden credited part of the airport’s success to its landing fees, some of the lowest in the country. He cited Delta Air Lines’ 80 million annual passengers as well, and said Hartsfield-Jackson is the largest employer in the state with 63,000 jobs. “We generate $52 billion in revenues in Atlanta metro. The rest of Georgia is another 15,” he said. “There is $83 billion worth of economic activity in the region — a huge economic impact. Concessions were $1.1 billion gross last year.” But not everything runs as smoothly as Selden would like. On arrival at the breakfast, Selden took a call regarding the attempted kidnapping of a child in the airport’s atrium that had just been defused by Atlanta police. He also has to maintain a working relationship with the City of Atlanta, which owns the airport. The city is being investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration for possible misuse of airport funds, and the U.S. Department of Justice is looking into the handling of an FAA subpoena of airport records. Hartsfield-Jackson is one of several airports picked for a financial compliance review, according to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution. “The procurement process is run by city hall and is different from the operation of the airport,” Selden told the Reporter after his presentation. “My goal is to monitor where the money and the funds are spent. I can’t speak of the past, only going forward, and we haven’t misused any funds.” “Mayor [Keisha] Lance Bottoms has a task force; she is leading the charge to reform the city to ensure that all these alleged corruption scandals are mitigated, procedures are put in place and she is moving the city forward,” he said. “She called it a cloud over the city.”


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28 | Perimeter Business



Please eat our plants: An edible landscaping trend began in Buckhead

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Top, Cory Mosser of Natural Born Tillers discusses the blueberry bushes planted along I-85 at the EpiCity Real Estate Services campus in Buckhead. Bottom, Morgan Carswell of EpiCity Real Estate Services, left, watches as Mosser offers fresh figs. Opposite page, a sunflower sprouts in the garden created by Natural Born Tillers at Adult Swim’s Midtown headquarters. (Special)

Continued from page 25 that “breaks people’s bubbles” between cars and the landscape, between the natural environment and the office environment. It’s a concept that already has some popularity in residential areas – including the recently opened Urban Food Forest in southeast Atlanta, where Natural Born Tillers is a contractor – but the commercial side is a new field. About three years ago, Mosser got the chance to try the concept through a chance introduction to EpiCity president Tom Stokes via a mutual friend who operates an organic farm at Emory University’s Oxford College in Oxford, Ga. Stokes and EpiCity’s architecture firm partner, Sizemore Group, agreed to help plant the seeds of the idea at the real estate company’s five-building complex on Plasters Avenue. Today, instead of generic evergreen shrubs under the office windows, EpiCity

has lavender plants and pineapple guava, which bears edible flowers. Trellises on an exterior wall will soon hold vines of muscadine grapes. On a closer look, landscape plants turn out to be the aromatic herb rosemary or the fruit-bearing serviceberry. Coming soon are “cocktail herbs” and tea plants for a new bar that will open in the complex. On a recent morning, Mosser strolled across the visitor parking lot, hopped onto the curb, stuck his hand into the foliage of a small tree, and produced some figs, which the Reporter can confirm were yummy. “When was the last time you stopped and looked at a plant?” Mosser said. “I think it changes your relationship to the landscape when you get something from it.” The edible landscaping was a hit. Now several EpiCity-managed properties have edible landscaping and garden beds, in-


Perimeter Business | 29

cluding another office park on Powers Ferry Road in Cobb County. “We are really enjoying this collaboration with Natural Born Tillers and the ability to offer our community members more amenities and a chance to get outside and to be a part of God’s beautiful creation,” said Stokes in a press release highlighting the Cobb project. And bigger clients have followed, among them Adult Swim, which brought Natural Born Tillers in to plant a corporate landscape garden at its Midtown headquarters in 2017. Matt Harrigan, Adult Swim’s vice president of digital operations and one of its top writers and hosts, also oversees the company garden. He says the taste of nature is a nice alternative to the company’s largely electronic work. And the harvest every week or two includes not only staples like tomatoes and blueberries, but “a few surprises” Mosser and the team planted, such as “tiny Mexican sour cucumbers, Carolina Reaper peppers, edible nasturtiums [flowers].” “Our garden is a fun, parallel organic universe populated with bees, butterflies and the occasional rabbit, and part of the fun of this garden is that it’s in a perpetual state of change,” Harrigan said. “The employee reaction to it has been overwhelmingly positive.” That kind of ecosystembuilding is another benefit of edible landscaping, especially in the pesticidefree method Natural Born Tillers does it, Mosser says. He said 210 native species of moths can live on blueberry bushes, and Carswell said she has noticed more honeybees on the property as they come to pollinate the variety of plants. Attracting a full range of creatures is a way the landscaping can solve one issue that often worries property-owners – vermin that might like to eat the plants as much as people do. “One of the biggest concerns I get when meeting with new clients is, ‘What about pests?’” Mosser said.

“If you have predators, it’s not an issue.” Natural Born Tillers not only plants edible landscaping but also offers ongoing maintenance, replanting and programming. The pricing depends on the size and complexity. Planting can run anywhere from $2,000 to $100,000, Mosser said, and monthly maintenance could be $500 to $2,000. “It’s more expensive than traditional landscaping,” he acknowledged, but offers many benefits, and can come with such additional programming as presentations from guest chefs or local farmers. “It’s not just about, ‘Oh, we’ve got a fig tree out here,’” he said. For corporate clients, “It’s a great team-building exercise,” he said. And for employees, there’s always the big plus: “having excuses to go outside.” For more details about the landscaping service, see And for information about EpiCity and Armour Junction, see



We’re looking for high energy people with a passion for selling and proven experience in any type of outside sales. We offer excellent compensation, with base salary+ commision and company-paid health insurance.

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30 | Perimeter Business ■


The following businesses recently opened in Reporter Newspapers communities Aviva Plastic Surgery & Aesthetics, 110 Johnson Ferry Rd N.E., Center Pointe 2, Suite 470, Sandy Springs. Info: Boardroom Salon for Men, Buckhead Court, 3872 Roswell Road N.E., Buckhead. Info: Expedia CruiseShipCenters, travel agency, 4505 Ashford-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Info:

Bhavin Vadgama, left, and Hiral Vadgama celebrated the opening of their Rush Bowls restaurant at 1110 Hammond Drive, Suite 25, Sandy Springs on May 23. Info:


HOTWORX, fitness, 6115 Peachtree-Dunwoody Road, Sandy Springs. Info: Ron Self & Associates, Allstate auto insurance agency, 2498 Jett Ferry Road, Suite 102, Dunwoody. Info: Wallis Bank, 1710 Mount Vernon Road, Dunwoody. Info:


Dunwoody Mayor Denis Shortal holds the bow while owner Daniel Wu cuts the ribbon, joined by restaurant employees and local government and Dunwoody Perimeter Chamber of Commerce officials, at the opening of the FUGU Express Hibachi & Poké restaurant at 1165 Perimeter Center West, Suite 303, Dunwoody on May 17. Info:

Vibrant, Lush Lawns Delivered Daily

• Certified Turf Professionals • High-quality Sod Varieties • Open Saturdays • 770.431.1350


Special Section | 31


The Red Barn Cafe at Tiger Mountain Vineyards After a weekend tour of Tiger Mountain Vineyards, relax on the patio over a meal. The café is open May through November for Friday and Saturday night dinners as well as Saturday and Sunday lunch/brunch. The menu includes soups, salads, small plates, entrees and desserts. 2592 Old 441 South, Tiger. Information:

you there. 76 Forge Mill Road, Morganton. Information:

61 Main▲ This farm-to-table restaurant serving up quail, grouper, rabbit and shrimp is located inside the historic Jasper Theater building. 49 S. Main St., Jasper. Information: 61main. com.

The Dillard House ► Famed for serving up Southern and country cooking, The Dillard House Inn and Restaurant doesn’t skimp on breakfast either. Whether you’re checking in for a getaway or just want some homestyle cooking, you’ll find out what’s been drawing hungry visitors for more than a century to Dillard. 768 Franklin St., Dillard. Information:

Bodensee Restaurant If you’re soaking up the charms of Helen’s Bavarian village, be sure to try some authentic German favorites like spätzle, Weiner Schnitzel, and house-made sausages. There’s also a great outdoor patio to en-

Wild Thyme


Try these acclaimed restaurants in Georgia and North Carolina when you head for the hills

The Black Sheep

The Sawmill Place ▲

Beechwood Inn ► Check in for the weekend and enjoy panoramic views of Black Rock Mountain from your room and the restaurant, which offers

The Orchard▲ Set in a century-old farmhouse, this Cashiers, NC favorite serves up local fish, beef and a big selection of wine and beers to enjoy while gazing out over the orchard. 905 Highway 107 South, Cashiers Valley. Information:

joy the view. 64 Munich Strasse, Helen. Information:

Blairsville residents and visitors alike swear by the big breakfast served at The Sawmill Place. We’re talking homemade biscuits, bacon, baked apples and much more. You can also grab lunch there, too. 1150 Pat Haralson Drive, Blairsville. Information:

This gourmet restaurant in Highlands, NC serves up an American menu with Asian influences, not to mention a wine list praised by Wine Spectator magazine threeyears running. 343-D Main St. Information:

The restaurant serves up new American dishes, including local beef and veggies, with private label wine and a giant outdoor patio with raw bar and craft cocktails. 480 W. Main St., Blue Ridge. Information: award-winning cuisine prepared from local food and the inn’s own wine list. 220 Beechwood Drive, Clayton. Information:

◄Harvest on Main

turkey. Don’t forget the Brunswick Stew! 4971 Gainesville Highway, Blairsville. Information:

Hofer’s Bakery ►

Consistently named one of North Georgia’s best restaurants, Harvest on Main uses seasonal products from local farmers ¬– grass-fed beef, veggies and trout – to craft its menu. 576 E. Main St., Blue Ridge. Information:

Enjoy breakfast and lunch in the Bavarian dining room, featuring entrees specially prepared European staff and breads baked in a stone hearth oven. Deli sandwiches are perfect to pick up for picnics or hikes and there’s also an outdoor biergarten. 8758 N. Main St., Helen. Information:

Jim’s Smokin’ Que

La Pizzeria at Cucina Rustica

If it’s barbecue you’re hankering for, head to Blairsville for smoked baby back ribs and expertly smoked pork, chicken and

If you’re in the Blue Ridge Mountains but craving a taste of Italy then La Pizzeria’s menu of wood-fired pizzas will take

Table 64 If you’re in Sapphire Valley, be sure to have dinner at Table 64 with its unique tapas menu and diverse wine selection. 3093 Highway 64E, Sapphire Valley, NC. Information:

32 | Special Section ■

Mountain Events

Music, tennis, wine and more things to do in August in North Georgia and North Carolina Concerts at Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds Head to Hiawassee for concerts by Vince Gill (Aug. 9) and Sawyer Brown & Exile (Aug. 31). For tickets and information: Mountain High BBQ Festival and Car Show

2019 Events Blood, Sweat&Tears Vince Gill Sawyer Brown and Exile

August 2 August 9 August 31

2019 Dailey&Vincent Landfest

Sept. 12-14

Georgia Mountain Fall Festival

October 11 -19

Appalachian Brew, Stew&Que

October 26

This two-day event, Aug. 10-11, featuring authentic, mouth-watering BBQ, live entertainment, a car show, crafters and tastin’ tent will be held in Franklin, NC. Information: Georgia Mountain Tennis Championships The 9th annual tournament will be held at Young Harris College Aug. 23-25. Divisions will include singles, doubles and mixed doubles for juniors, adults and seniors. Brackets will be determined by age and skill level. Information: Helen’s 50th Celebration Street Dance ▼ Head to Helen, GA on Aug 24 to mark the Alpine village’s 50th anniversary with a host of events including a big street dance

Mountain Country Christmas in Lights Opens Thanksgiving Night

Highway 76 West


Hiawassee, GA I 706-896-4191


in downtown from 6 to 8 p.m. Information: Crush Festival ▼ Head to Ellijay’s Cartecay Vineyards on Aug. 24-25 for grape stomping, live music, vineyard tours, food, fun and more. Information:

Village Square Art & Craft Show Now in its 14th year, the Aug. 25 event features regionally-made fine art, crafts and rustic furniture. The festival is held in Kelsey-Hutchinson Park in Highlands, NC. Information: Blairsville Mountain Heritage Festival Mountain music, arts and crafts, and living history activities are featured at the Heritage Festival held Aug. 31 to Sept. 1 on the town square. Information:


Special Section | 33

Blue Ridge’s Only Golf and River Community

New Home Construction, 18-Holes of Extraordinary Golf Ready to Play this Summer, and a Growing Membership, the timing couldn’t be better to visit Old Toccoa Farm. For more information:

OLD TOCCOA FARM REALTY, LLC 596 Curtis Switch Road, Mineral Bluff, GA 30559

Real Estate 706.946.4663 | Membership 404.277.4980 | Golf Tee Times 706.946.4653 Obtain the Property Report required by Federal law and read it before signing anything. No Federal agency has judged the merits or value, if any, of this property. This is not intended to be an offer to sell nor a solicitation of offers to buy real estate in Old Toccoa Farm by residents of Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania or South Carolina, or any other jurisdiction where prohibited by law. No offering can be made to residents of New York OLD TOCCOA FARM, LLC AND ITS PRINCIPALS TAKING PART IN THE PUBLIC OFFERING OR SALE ARE NOT INCORPORATED IN, LOCATED IN, OR RESIDENT IN THE STATE OF NEW YORK. THE OFFERING IS NEITHER MADE IN THE STATE OF NEW YORK NOR MADE TO THE RESIDENTS OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK. THE OFFERING IS NOT DIRECTED TO ANY PERSON OR ENTITY IN THE STATE OF NEW YORK BY, OR ON BEHALF OF, OLD TOCCOA FARM, LLC OR ANYONE ACTING WITH OLD TOCCOA FARM, LLC’S KNOWLEDGE. NO OFFERING OR PURCHASE OR SALE OF ANY PROPERTY SHALL TAKE PLACE AS A RESULT OF THIS OFFERING, UNTIL ALL REGISTRATION AND FILING REQUIREMENTS UNDER THE NEW YORK MARTIN ACT AND THE NEW YORK ATTORNEY GENERAL’S REGULATIONS ARE COMPLIED WITH; A WRITTEN EXEMPTION IS OBTAINED PURSUANT TO AN APPLICATION IS GRANTED PURSUANT TO AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH COOPERATIVE POLICY STATEMENTS #1 OR #7; OR A “NO-ACTION” REQUEST IS GRANTED.

34 | Special Section ■

Chasing Waterfalls

Georgia State Parks offer recreation, beautiful sights

While exploring for that new home in the North Georgia mountains, be sure to drop by one of Georgia’s State Parks to check out some impressive waterfalls. Not only are they beautiful, but the parks also offer amazing recreational amenities, too. ◄ Amicalola Falls State Park The tallest cascading waterfall in the Southeast, Amicalola Falls towers above the surrounding greenery at 729 feet high. The falls supply various vantage points for visitors to view the scenery, including a hardsurfaced trail perfect for strollers and wheelchairs. Climb the more challenging staircase to the top for unprecedented views of the falls. AmicalolaFalls. Cloudland Canyon State Park Cloudland Canyon is one of the largest and most scenic state parks in Georgia’s repertoire. Within the park one can find canyons, sandstone cliffs, caves, waterfalls, creeks, dense woodland and abundant wildlife. One of the most popular hiking trails includes the two-mile Waterfall Trail leading to two scenic falls that cascade over sandstone and pour into beautiful pools at the bottom. ◄Tallulah Gorge State Park One of the most impressive canyons in the southeast, Tallulah Gorge is 1,000 feet deep and roughly two miles long. The gorge contains numerous paths and overlooks for visitors to view the six waterfalls cascading through the bottom of the gorge. To gain access to the floor of the gorge and “Sliding Rock” (Bridal Veil Falls), visitors must acquire a permit available at the visitor’s center. Passes run out quickly, so it’s important to get an early start on the day for the full experience.

▲Black Rock Mountain State Park Located within the Blue Ridge Mountains, Black Rock Mountain State Park is located at the highest elevation of any Georgia State Park. The rugged terrain and fresh mountain air are home to Ada-Hi Falls. A short but steep trail and staircase lead to this small, secluded waterfall. Vogel State Park Vogel State Park is one of the nation’s oldest state parks, and rests at the base of the beautiful Blood Mountain. Located directly below Lake Trahlyta, this stepping stone waterfall cascades 40 feet. ►Moccasin Creek State Park Moccasin Creek State Park sits on the shores of Lake Burton and is a central location for visiting multiple falls in the area. The park’s two-mile trail Hemlock Falls Trail leads to the beautiful Hemlock Falls of Rabun County. The trail is kid-friendly, offers glimpses of the waterfall along the way and supplies a beautiful pool of water at the base of the falls.


Special Section | 35



192 Delphi Hills Lane 24 acres on Fightingtown Creek 5BR/4BA | $2,495,000

858 Adra Road Lake Blue Ridge Estate 6BR/4.5BA | $2,400,000



4 Stuart View Drive MINERAL BLUFF - MOUNTAIN VIEW 3BR/3BA | 1.28 AC | $434,900

41 Hall Street Intown Living - Blue Ridge 4BR/3.5BA | $699,000



153 Johnson Mill Road Executive Home - Ellijay, GA. 6BR/5BA | $400,000

Lot 9 Aska’s Grand Vista BLUE RIDGE - NEW CONSTRUCTION 4BR/3.5BA | 1.68 AC | $599,000



370 Enchanting Circle 1.8 AC lodge style cabin with long range views 5BR/3.5BA | $429,000


388 Shawnee Trail Overlooking the Cohutta Wilderness 4BR/3.5BA | $450,000


2185 Macedonia Church Road 43 AC Farm adjoining USFS 4BR/3BA | $589,000

396 Hideaway Road 1 AC Lake Blue Ridge cottage with easy walk to dock | 2BR/1BA | $749,000

Your Luxury Connection to the

Blue Ridge Mountains

Kim Knutzen cell: 770-402-1908

| office: 706-632-7211 #1 Agent Blue Ridge Office #1 Agent in Total Units Companywide Luxury Marketing Specialist Senior Marketing Consultant Life Member - Million Dollar Club


OLD TOCCOA FARM Fly Fishing & Golf Communtity Resale Lots $117,500 - $225,000


2941 Mobile Road - Will Subdivide 192.47 AC - $2,400,000 63 AC - $749,000

Harry Norman, REALTORS® Blue Ridge Office | 252 W. Main Street | Blue Ridge, GA 30513 The above information is believed to be accurate but is not warranted. Offer subject to errors, changes, omissions, prior sales and withdrawals without notice.

36 | Special Section ■

Cabin Life

Even laundry, cooking and cleaning feels like a vacation in the mountains BY ROBIN CONTE I don’t usually do nothing. I’m not a donothing person. But here, in the mountains in our house built of logs, I feel like I have not only permission but almost an obligation to do nothing. If it’s pouring outside, I can spend the day listening to the rain on our metal roof while lying on the couch with a good book. If it’s warm outside, I can choose the hammock. In the morning, I sit on the deck perched on a tall chair with a cup of coffee, watching as the mist rises like steam over the river below and lifts to reveal layers of mountains disappearing into the horizon. I sit again at night in an Amish rocker as the air cools, and I listen to the call of the whippoorwill. I plant flowers. I sweep floors. I wash clothes. I make meals. I always plan on writing, but

I usually get distracted by doing nothing. When I’m here in the mountains, even when I’m doing something, it feels like a vacation. I organize the pantry, clean out a closet, schedule for repairs. If it’s a long weekend and I have time, I’ll boil sugar water and put out a hummingbird feeder. I buy fresh, local peaches in the summer and apples in the fall, and in the spring I’ll get strawberries by the gallon, little glistening red gems that are so sweet they’re like juicy lumps of sugar.

Escape to Extraordinary. Escape to Blue Ridge. With a cabin vacation from Escape to Blue Ridge, premium amenities are as important as creating priceless memories. Year-round adventures are as abundant as picturesque mountain views. And making an escape isn’t just accepted, it’s encouraged.

Discover why our vacation cabins are North Georgia’s finest at 855-885-4894


Special Section | 37

My daily exercise is a hike along the river or through the mountain trails. I call the drug store, and the pharmacist answers immediately, in person. When I stop by later to pick up a few things, there are no lines, there is no waiting. I go to the local nursery to buy plants and it’s like walking through a candy store. I salivate all the while over the bright, luscious blossoms, and I get gorgeous potted arrangements at bargain prices. I drop by our post office to mail a letter, and there is a box of tiny green army soldiers and a sign that says, “Please take one and remember to pray for our service men and women.” We go to church, a small one-roomed chapel, and afterwards we walk to the local grill to have dinner with friends from the congregation. Someone always picks up the tab for our priest. We built the place almost 20 years ago, now. We hunted for a couple of years, driving from Greensboro to Hartwell to Hiawassee and back down to Ellijay, looking for just the right spot for a family retreat. Did we want to be in the mountains or on a lake? Those are your choices if you’d like an easy two-hour drive from Atlanta. Our compromise was a North Georgia river, and our river is the Toccoa. We planned the design and the details of the cabin together, as a family. Our general contractor went AWOL when it was time to pour the foundation, and, with the encouragement of my builder, I ended up GC-ing the job. I went through two electricians and three masons. I chose the logs for the structure, the rocks for the fireplace, the nails for the floor, and handled everything in-between. The place seems more like ours because of it. When we’re here in the mountains, we are an undistracted family. We play board games and card games together. If there’s something good showing, we’ll go to the drive-in theater—one of the last of its kind in the U.S.—where the kids used to buy funnel cakes and toss footballs or Frisbees while waiting for the sun to set. My husband built a tree house with the twins when they were young, and all of our children have taken turns blazing trails with him. We go kayaking and canoeing and wading, when the river is down. We watch birds. We pick blackberries. We bake apple pies in the fall and berry cobblers in the summer. We churn ice cream. We chop wood. We roast marshmallows for s’mores. We look for tracks in the snow. We sit in rocking chairs and stare at the mountains and the river and the wide open sky. And mostly, we do nothing. Robin Conte lives with her husband in an empty nest in Dunwoody. To contact her or to buy her new column collection, “The Best of the Nest,” visit


Happy Bear

92 Pinehurst Court MLS #89044 Beautifully furnished 4 bedroom, 4 and a half bath timber frame home in Old Edwards Club at Highlands Cove! The Master is on the main floor with two walk-in closets. Comes fully furnished.

Beautifully furnished 4 bedroom, 4.5 bath home. Kitchen includes Viking Professional appliances with Cambria countertops, gas log fireplace in the living room, and wood burning fireplace on the deck. Temporary club membership is available.

Highlands Cove Realty specializes in luxury North Carolina mountain homes, breathtaking homesites, condominiums, cottages, and vacation rentals at Old Edwards Club and in the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountain communities.

Starting at $775/night



14 Old Wagon Trail MLS #L87047A Make your vision a reality by owning two new lots located inside the gates of the prestigious Old Edwards Club. These lots provide the best of all worlds, featuring exceptional mountain, golf course, and lake views!

Absolutely stunning, designer furnished modern, mountain condominium that has an amazing mountain and golf course views! Lower level floor plan with two master suites plus an additional guest bedroom with its own bath.

With an average high temperature of 78° in the summer, the gated community of Old Edwards Club at Highlands Cove offers the restorative experience of mountain living along with year-round access to a wide range of activities like rock-climbing, whitewater rafting, hiking, exploring waterfalls and best small-town specialty shopping, rated by USA Today. Whether you plan to spend your days exploring nature or enjoying world-class amenities from golf, fine dining to shopping, we’ll help you find your oasis.


Starting at $375/night Barnell

Whether your passion is exploring nature or reading by the fireplace, this 3 bedroom, 3.5 bathroom home is the perfect place to spend your vacation! All of the bedrooms have been updated and outfitted with new mattresses and top of the line linens.


Discover the Mountains


Starting at $575/night Roostica Cottage







The quaint town of Highlands is located in the beautiful Western North Carolina mountains. Just 2 hours from Atlanta, and in close proximity to interstate 85.


Starting at $425/night

Ed Hillis

Jennifer Blake

Bill Gilmore

Letty Murphy


75B Burning Bush Lane MLS #86753 Price reduction of $20,000.00. Seller is motivated to sell! This 3 bedroom, 3 bath condo features a floor plan that is all on one level and has hardwood floors throughout.

Roostica Cottage was recently featured in Cottage Journal Magazine! This beautiful home includes 2 main floor suites and sleeps 8. Cottage is across the street from the largest lake in Highlands – Lake Sequoyah.

95 Raleigh

410D Highlands Cove Drive MLS #90842 One of a Kind 3 bedroom, 3 bath condominium has tons of upgrades and comes fabulously decorated! RAREUpper unit with only a few steps going in with exceptional views of both the mountains and the golf course.

William Peavey

Toll Free: 833-456-4150

38 | Special Section ■

Call us to help you find your place on Lake Lanier! 770.235.6907

Selling Lake Lanier Lifestyles since 2001!

7095 Shadow Lane

$1,595,000 6BR| 6FB| 2HB | Pvt dock

Bill Stewart designed south lake retreat

Mountain Fitness

Stay fit with kayaking, trail biking and rock sliding If you’re planning to make the move to North Georgia and wondering how you’ll stay fit without your local gym, the state parks have some interesting and unusual ways to get your regular exercise. With only a $5 parking fee, you can visit multiple parks on the same day and stay fit year-round.

4345 Mceachern Drive $1,495,000 4BR| 3FB| Pvt dock

45 acre private Lake Lanier Estate

Hike with your dog 5954 Nachoochee Trail

7360 Pine Valley Road

New Low Country Style home

Young Deer area, South Lake, Tennis court

6746 Gaines Ferry Road

377 Night Fire Lane

$1,495,000 5BR| 4FB| 1HB | Pvt dock

$1,595,000 5BR| 5.5BA | Pvt dock | Pool Elegant South Lake home

8545 Anchor On Lanier Ct $649,900 3BR| 3FB| Pvt dock Forsyth County

$1,250,000 5BR| 5FB| 1HB | Pvt dock

Georgia State Parks just launched the new Tails on Trails Club, geared toward dog owners and their pups. While all of Georgia State Parks’ trails are dog-friendly, the Tails on Trails Club encourages dog owners to complete seven designated hiking trails for a reward. Upon completion of all seven trails, dog owners will receive a T-shirt and dogs get a bandana. Participating parks include Fort Mountain, F.D. Roosevelt, Don Carter, Sweetwater Creek, High Falls, Fort McAllister and Red Top Mountain. Find out more at

$979,000 6BR| 6FB| dock available On the Chestatee Golf Course

5500 Truman Mountain Rd $1,495,000 4BR| 3FB| 2HB | Pvt dock Fabulous open water views

Sheila Davis Group is part of the Norton Agency

Paddle lakes and rivers Don Carter State Park is the only state park on the northern edge of 38,000-acre Lake Lanier, making it the perfect paddling spot for stand-up paddleboards or paddling. For a challenging workout, take a three-mile trip to Flat Creek Island, the northernmost island of Lake Lanier. Don’t own a boat? Canoes and/or kayaks may be rented seasonally at more than 20 state parks. Join the Park Paddlers Club and paddle 22 miles of scenic waterways to earn a T-shirt reward. More information:

434 Green St, Gainesville, GA 30501

Sheila Davis 770.235.6907


Cycle the trails If biking is your thing, get on the trails at Fort Mountain State Park near Chatsworth,


Smithgall Woods State Park and Unicoi State Park near Helen, Don Carter State Park in Gainesville and Tallulah Gorge State Park. Find out more at

Splash in state parks Those looking for a more daring dip into nature can make a splash at Tallulah Gorge State Park and Watson Mill Bridge State Park, both of which provide summer swimmers with a unique opportunity to experience a natural waterslide made of “sliding rocks.” Get more information at Swimming. Find out more about where to get fit at

Special Section | 39

40 | Special Section ■

Your mountain Retreat

just an hour north of Atlanta

Find out what happens when you get away from it all

In today's nonstop , fast-paced world, time is our most precious gift. Big Canoe's convenient-yet-secluded location means less time spent driving to your mountain retreat and more time spent breathing the clean mountain air, teeing off, casting a line, lounging lakeside, reading a favorite book and sharing moments worth remembering with the ones who matter most. It's the private residential getaway you're looking for and it's only about an hour outside the city.


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