AUGUST 17 - 30, 2018 • VOL. 12 — NO. 17
Unitarian Universalist church proposes expansion as regional interest grows PAGE 4
► Exhibits mark 50 years of teaching art in Chastain Park PAGE 18
Blue Heron opens solar-powered research center
BY EVELYN ANDREWS email@example.com
Blue Heron Nature Preserve has opened a new solar-powered research center — including beehives, an amphibian farm and more — tucked away between houses on Land O’ Lakes Road. Blue Heron plans to have the organizations housed at the preserve use the property to work on various research projects, including bird surveySee BLUE on page 22
Alison Hamil, a local artist, paints a mural of a blue heron on the side of the Blue Heron Nature Preserve’s new Field Research Center on Aug. 10.
EXCEPTIONAL EDUCATOR ESOL teacher wins award
OUT & ABOUT ‘HOT PURSUIT’ FOR CHRISTMAS GIFTS Page 16
I stay aware of my surroundings. I also think social media makes the fear worse than it should be. How are you changing your behavior because of fear of crime? See page 6
See COMMENTARY, page 10
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North Buckhead residents push for more local MARTA service BY JOHN RUCH firstname.lastname@example.org
Amid a major citywide debate on whether MARTA will fund or kill the light rail originally planned to run on the Atlanta BeltLine, North Buckhead residents are adding their voices to demand smaller improvements to bus service in their area. “Our goal is to greatly increase transit ridership by improving service, access and shelters,” says a draft resolution from the North Buckhead Civic See NORTH on page 15
2 | Community
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The Kroger grocery store at 3330 Piedmont Road now has an automated motor vehicle tag renewal kiosk. The Buckhead Coalition requested the installation of the kiosk at the store commonly known as “Disco Kroger.” The kiosks have been popular around the state. Word of the kiosk’s installation drew applause at the Aug. 9 meeting of the Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods. The kiosk is already in operation, but a ribbon-cutting is scheduled for Aug. 29, according to Felix Turner, a spokesperson in Kroger’s Atlanta office.
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MARTA’s senior director of transit-oriented development and real estate, Amanda Rhein, is leaving her post to lead the Atlanta Land Trust Collaborative, a nonprofit that focuses on creating and preserving permanent affordable housing. The Atlanta Land Trust Collaborative announced on its website that Rhein will serve as its new executive director. Rhein’s last day at MARTA will be Aug. 22, spokesperson Stephany Fisher said in an email. Rhein oversaw the development of transit-oriented developments at the Lindbergh and Dunwoody MARTA stations. She also was involved in the SPECIAL failed plan to bring a TOD to the Brookhaven MARTA Station, Amanda Rhein. which the transit agency has said it plans to revive in the future. Fisher said the current and future projects will proceed as normal and will be overseen by the directors of real estate and TOD until a new senior director is hired. The ALTC was formed in 2009 to help form land trusts in neighborhoods to provide access to affordable housing. Rhein will represent the group on a steering committee for a Buckhead affordable housing study led by the Buckhead Community Improvement District and Livable Buckhead, the organizations announced in a press release Aug. 13.
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Livable Buckhead announced Aug. 13 that it has selected a consultant to conduct an affordable housing study and finalized the list of members that will serve on a steering committee to help implement solutions. The idea for the affordable housing study came out of findings released in the “Buckhead REdeFINED” master plan that was completed in 2017. The master plan reported that most traffic congestion results from Buckhead employees not being able to afford housing in the area. HR&A Advisors, Inc. has been selected to provide planning services for the project. The firm has led numerous housing and economic development studies including an equitable housing analysis for the city of Atlanta, a press release said. Some of the 30 steering committee members include Tim Keane, the city’s planning commissioner; Sarah Kirsch, executive director of the Urban Land Institute’s Atlanta branch; Trish O’Connell of the Atlanta Housing Authority; Nancy Bliwise, chair of NPU-
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Community | 3
B; and Rachel Sprecher, the Atlanta Public Schools director of partnerships and development. Others include representatives from the Georgia Restaurant Association, residential companies, and Councilmembers J.P. Matzigkeit and Howard Shook, according to the release. The study is funded by a Livable Centers Initiative grant through the Atlanta Regional Commission with local matching funds provided by the BCID. Work on the study will begin in August and is anticipated to take approximately six months to complete, the release said.
PATH 400 WIN S N ATI ON A L AWAR D
People along the PATH400 multi-use trail in Buckhead.
PATH400, a multi-use trail running along Ga. 400 in Buckhead, won an award from a national transportation group Aug. 7. The 5.2 mile trail received the award for Quality of Life/Community Development in the category of projects costing less than $25 million, an Aug. 10 press release said. It was awarded by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials during the 11th annual America’s Transportation Awards. “The path was built on the right-of-way of Ga. 400, reclaiming what was previously a highway-only corridor and creating a multimodal trail by turning under-utilized gray infrastructure green,” the award said. The Georgia Department of Transportation was the recipient of the award as a partner with the PATH Foundation, the Buckhead Community Improvement District and Livable Buckhead, which spearheads construction on the project. “PATH400 converted unused right of way property into something functional and beautiful, offering wonderful health and recreation benefits to the community,” said Meg Pirkle, Georgia DOT’s chief engineer in the release. “We are proud to have helped make this vision a reality.” The trail is about halfway complete, with plans to eventually connect it to Sandy Springs.
ATL A N TA A UD UB ON TO EXPA N D EDUC ATIO N PR O G R AM S
Atlanta Audubon, which is housed at Buckhead’s Blue Heron Nature Preserve, received a nearly $100,000 grant to grow its educational programs and hire an additional staffer, it announced in an Aug. 13 press release. The grant came from a local private family foundation, and will be used to expand its STEM-based learning initiatives and hire an education program coordinator, according to the release. The funds will also be used to provide 10 full scholarships for students in its urban ecology program, the release said. “Opening the eyes of students to the vast diversity of bird life around them helps impart important skills needed to innovate the conservation solutions of tomorrow,” said Nikki Belmonte, the executive director of Atlanta Audubon, in a press release.
S OUTH A F R IC A N RESTA URA N T P L ANS TO O PEN I N THE SH OP S BUC K H EA D ATLANTA
A South African restaurant is planning to open in The Shops Buckhead Atlanta, the shopping center in the Buckhead Village area. The restaurant plans to open in the suite at 306 Buckhead Ave., according to a planning application. The suite has been vacant and was used in December 2017 as a space for Miracle Two, the holiday-themed pop-up bar. The restaurant is seeking to have Oliver McMillan, the landlord, first expand the patio area by 277 square feet. The restaurant will then come back and build out the interior, according to a presentation at the SPI-9 board meeting on Aug. 1. BH
Heritage Society to launch map, database of 650+ historic sites BY JOHN RUCH email@example.com
An interactive map and database of more than 650 Buckhead historic sites is set to be launched by the Buckhead Heritage Society. The “Historic Resources Survey” has been in the works for several years and is intended to be updated continuously. “We don’t think this project will ever be finished,” said Heritage Society secretary John Beach during an Aug. 9 presentation to the Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods about the effort. The survey’s interactive map will launch online for Heritage Society members this month, Beach said. It is unclear when or if it will be available to the general public. The survey so far has 655 entries, ranging from historical markers to “famous houses,” Beach said. On the map, each entry is color-coded by a “theme.” Some themes include architecture, community planning and development, military, “ethnic heritage: black,” social history, religion, transportation, commerce, industry and landscape architecture. Each icon on the map can be clicked to show some details. As one example, Beach showed the entry for Peninsula House, a historic mansion at 281 Blackland Road. The survey entry shows it was built in 1937, designed by the architecture firm Frazier and Bodin, and hosted movie stars Clark Gable and Carole Lombard in 1939 when they attended the Atlanta world premiere of “Gone with the Wind.” With such details, Beach said, the survey contains 10,000 individual “pieces of information” about the various sites. Beach said that tours of sites related to military history are among the many possible uses of the database. The survey dovetails with plans for more comprehensive historic lists, proactive preservation work and community outreach, as described by new Heritage Society Executive Director Richard Waterhouse, who took over the position late last year. Among the resources that Waterhouse previously said he wants to complete is a list of all the buildings designed by Philip Trammell Shutze, who was involved with the Atlanta History Center’s Swan House and other prominent local buildings. Several Shutze mansions have been significantly renovated or demolished in recent years, and the lack of a comprehensive list has been a problem for preservation advocacy. Beach said because the Heritage Society is a small organization — it operates out of a Buckhead Forest office — “we’re scared to death” of the many small corrections and additions it will likely be asked to make to the survey’s database. On the other hand, Beach said, the group is eager to connect with local neighborhood associations to share information and resources. He said the Heritage Society would like to have a “community liaison” in each Buckhead sub-neighborhood to help with survey entries, connect on historic preservation advocacy efforts, and take localized questions from other residents or the media. That was one reason Beach made the survey presentation to BCN, whose chairman, Tom Tidwell, was open to helping. “Ideally, that’s kind of the purpose of this group, is having a single clearinghouse for information,” Tidwell said, though no immediate plans for developing such community liaisons was discussed. For more information about the Heritage Society, see buckheadheritage.com.
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4 | Faith
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Unitarian Universalist church proposes expansion as interest grows BY EVELYN ANDREWS firstname.lastname@example.org
The expansion of a Unitarian Universalist church in Sandy Springs is just part of the faith’s metro Atlanta growth at a time when some other religious congregations are struggling or shutting down. The Northwest Unitarian Universalist Congregation, located at 1025 Mount Vernon Highway N.W., is part of a Boston-headquartered religion that teaches from all major world religions and allows members to read any religious text. The city Planning Commission recently recommended approval of the church’s request to expand its footprint by 2,400 square feet to expand the sanctuary and build a fellowship hall. “One of our huge strengths is that we are welcoming to all people,” said Hannah Cowart, the church’s Board of Trustees president, about the growth of Unitarian Universalist congregations. Other UU churches in metro Atlanta
An illustration shows the plan for the church’s expansion, including a larger sanctuary and new fellowship hall.
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have grown as well. Unitarian Universalist Metro Atlanta North in Roswell recently moved to a larger building that was formerly a Baptist church, according to David Zinner, chair of the Sandy Springs congregation’s expansion steering committee. The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta, the faith’s mother church in metro Atlanta, voted to sell its property to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta for its massive Brookhaven campus in 2017. The church is currently renovating a new property on North Druid Hills Road for its new location, according to its website. Some other local churches have shuttered or struggled in recent years with declining membership and the burden of expensive buildings. A Lutheran church and a Southern Baptist congregation were among those closing down over the past two years. Zinner said the Sandy Springs UU church’s current sanctuary has a capacity of 165. In recent years, the church’s membership has grown to 200, and, although not everyone comes every Sunday, it means people have to squeeze in for big events, he said. The fellowship hall is planned to be built over the existing patio, Zinner said. “We’re a church that, like most churches, fellowship is really important to us,” he said. Rather than leave the church for a new, bigger location, the congregation voted to pay for a $700,000 expansion, not wanting to give up its home since 1971. Constance Derricks, who spoke on behalf of the congregation at the planning meeting, said that, despite the expansion, the church is not looking to become a large congregation. “A big part of our identity has always been that we are small,” Derricks said. “But
we are crowded, and uncomfortably so.” Cowart said the church members are drawn to the rural feel of the church’s location. The building is surrounded by trees on its large lot, which is encircled by singlefamily homes. “If you ask any of our members, they’ll call the church our home in the woods,” Cowart said. “Everyone kind of considers it a haven from the busy city.” The church’s website notes they welcome people regardless of “religious background, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender expression, age or ability.” It’s also part of the “Welcoming Congregation Program,” a 1990 Unitarian Universalist Association initiative that encouraged congregations to take steps to be more welcoming to the LGBTQ community. “People come to us when they feel the religion they grew up with is not welcoming to them,” Zinner said. The church supports other liberal policies, such as access to healthcare, living wages, family-oriented immigration policies and workplace equality, according to its website. In 2012, the church was recognized by the Unitarian Universalist Association as an “Accredited Green Sanctuary,” in part because it installed solar panels on its roof, the website said. Zinner said he believes people are drawn to the religion because it allows members to explore other religious beliefs and build their values based on a combination of different teachings. Many members were previously in other faiths and denominations and found their teachings too rigid, he said. “It’s more about defining your own spirituality,” Zinner said. “That’s very appealing to an awful lot of people.”
AUGUST 17 - 30, 2018
Public Safety | 5
Private probation may end amid country club murder outrage an online petition that has garnered over 6,600 signatures, on the premise that releasing Myrick was wrong and led to Broder’s death. The crime has fed into growing concern about an uptick in theft and burglary, especially in Buckhead. Ann Walsh, a Buckhead resident who led the Aug. 8 meeting, is a member of a large, private Facebook group that exchanges crime information and holds similar private meetings, attracting such officials as Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields. She said she is concerned, as one example, about increasingly brazen thefts at gas stations, where criminals will snatch purses from the front seat of a car during a fill-up. The Aug. 8 meeting included two Fulton County prosecutors: Lauren McAuley, the deputy district attorney for the juvenile division, and Assistant District Attorney Brendan Daughtery, who prosecutes crimes in Buckhead. Both said they could not talk about details of the Broder case. But they did speak about the juvenile and adult criminal systems in general, and in part spent the time debunking some audience assumptions about juvenile offenders returning to the streets. McAuley said a much-criticized “catch and release” system, where a defendant can get out on bond quickly, does not apply in the juvenile JOHN RUCH system. And a “point system” used to assess juveniles before initial deFrom left, state Rep. Beth Beskin, organizer Ann Walsh and Fulton County Assistant tention has nothing to do with their sentencing, as is commonly misunDistrict Attorney Brendan Daughtery conclude the Aug. 8 meeting. derstood, she said. “It’s not fun being a prosecutor and seeing the same kids come back BY JOHN RUCH over and over,” said McAuley, describing a small group of chronic offenders as the email@example.com main crime problem. Partly to blame is a 2014 juvenile law rewrite, she said, calling it “horribly rewritten because it contradicts itself on every single page.” A private probation option for Fulton County juvenile offenders may end as one “On the flip side, the system actually does work” and often rehabilitates children, result of outrage over a July 13 murder and robbery at the Capital City country club. McAuley added. “When they say it takes a village to raise a child, it really does.” State Rep. Beth Beskin (R-Atlanta) said she’ll aim to end the system with legislation McAuley also said Downs’ sentence in the Myrick case was an “abnormality.” after hearing from about 100 residents at a private meeting with Fulton County pros“I think what Judge Downs has done has spoiled the perception of what the maecutors Aug. 8 at the Lodge at Buckhead’s Peachtree Presbyterian Church. One resijority of judges have done,” she said. dent called the private probation system “insane” amid comments it could be a danHowever, McAuley and Daughtery agreed that the system of allowing private orger to both the public and offenders themselves. ganizations to handle probation has serious flaws. Most county governments con“This crime hit me as much as it hit you,” Beskin told the crowd, adding that she tract with the state for probation services, but Fulton allows private nonprofits to “really heard feedback loud and clear today” that the system must change. do it. There is no list of approved contractors and no official vetting, the prosecutors However, that was one of the few solid and clear points of potential reforms as the said, beyond whatever questions judges choose to ask. prosecutors debunked some other alleged systemic factors in the murder. The description of the system shocked many audience members. The outrage follows the shooting of Christian Broder, 34, of Washington, D.C., dur“So they’ll privatize probation but not garbage pick-up?” asked one woman. ing an armed robbery outside the country club on the Brookhaven/Buckhead border. “An unvetted agency could be abusing kids, could be starving kids?” asked anothBroder died several days after he was shot. Two suspects have been charged with feloer. “It’s insane … There’s more oversight in the restaurant business.” ny murder, robbery and related charges: Jayden Myrick, 17, and Torrus Fleetwood, 20. One man suggested having a grand jury review the private probation system. Myrick was previously convicted of armed robbery at age 14 and could have still Others didn’t like the idea of probation at all. “Do the crime, do the time,” one been in state prison under a plea deal, according to media reports. However, Fulton woman said, while a man suggested creating a north Georgia boot camp with “two Superior Court Judge Doris Downs chose to have him serve over two years in juvehours of forced education” and “hard labor … Let that word get out on the street.” nile detention, followed by probation supervised by a private organization called ViAs the meeting concluded, Beskin told the crowd that she had spoken at length sions Unlimited, on the hope that he would be rehabilitated. Myrick reportedly was that morning with Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard about the situareturned to detention for misbehavior, but then was to go back to Visions Unlimited. tion. She was reading the probation statute on her phone as she spoke and said she He did not show up again prior to his arrest in the Capital City crime. would seek legislation to change it. Myrick has not been convicted in Broder’s killing. However, Broder’s family and “But it doesn’t bring Christian Broder’s life back,” she added. some Atlanta residents have called for Downs to resign or be recalled, including via
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6 | Education
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Mary Schmidt, Riverwood International Charter School I was going to do, and the last month before I was to graduate, the Peace Corps came to my university campus to recruit for the program. I signed up and told them I wanted to go to Africa. I believe it was meant to be because I graduated in June and in August I was in Sierra Leone, West Africa. I taught science and did teacher training while I was in Peace Corps. The experiences of Peace Corps led me to ESOL teaching.
Q: What was your response when you learned you won the award? A: Astonished, dazed. I read the email five times out loud in my classroom — no one was present — crying and laughing, wondering how it happened.
Q: What do you want to see in your students? A: I hope that their dreams and aspirations come true in their new country! I wish them all the happiness, contentment and success in their lives.
Q: What are you most proud of in your career? A: My students who are not giving up on their dreams and having fun living them! I have
empowered them to have confidence in themselves and strive to find what makes them successful and happy even through the tough times! All the ESOL students who came to this country, most of the time not by choice, learned English and were able to graduate from high school and went on being great people. One ESOL student was told that she would not be able to go to university, but perhaps to go to a junior college. I explained to her to follow her dreams. She and I worked on her applying to many universities. She was accepted to UGA where [she] obtained her BA and MBA. She is now working for an accountant firm!
Riverwood ESOL teacher Mary Schmidt accepts an award from the Georgia Department of Education alongside (left to right) Georgia State School Superintendent Richard Woods, Riverwood senior and ESOL student Anh Tran and Riverwood Principal Charles Gardner.
Mary Schmidt almost didn’t become a teacher. After becoming “disillusioned” about teaching during her college student teaching, she considered changing career choices. But then the Peace Corps visited her college and after graduating, she left for Africa. Her experience in Africa led her to teach English as a second language, or ESOL. Now having taught for 20 years, she was recently recognized by the state for her achievements in teaching the subject. Schmidt, who has been teaching at Riverwood International Charter School in Sandy Springs for 15 years, was recognized as a Georgia Department of Education STAR ESOL teacher in May. She was one of 10 teachers recognized statewide and was nominated by Riverwood senior Anh Tran, according to a press release. She also started a program called Steam Camp that allows Lake Forest Elementary ESOL 5th graders to visit Riverwood on Saturdays to experience attending high school classes. “These students have many [hurdles] they must overcome, but to be inspired at an early age is important and memorable,” Schmidt said.
Q: Why did you decide to become a teacher? A: I wanted to be a CBS reporter or a missionary to Germany, but my school counsel-
or said they did not have missionaries in Germany and only men were CBS reporters. I loved playing school and loved children, so I decided to be a teacher. I also had a great PE teacher in middle school who inspired me and a third grade teacher who said I could do anything I wanted if I wanted it. She is the one who taught me to read!
Q: What drew you to teach ESOL? A: After graduating in three years from university and having a less impressive student teaching experience, I was very disillusioned about teaching. I was not sure what
Mary Schmidt, center, poses in a photo with ESOL students, from left, Maria Zavala, Maria Baron, Laura Gallegos, Anabel Sala-Valladares and Joceyln Romero.
Q: What do you hope students learn from you? A: I hope through my modeling of “paying it forward” to others that it will become part of their behavior. It is important for me to teach them to be kind and help others. Thinking out of the box and being adventurous. Also, at the beginning of each school year, I always say to my class that there are three rules in my classroom: there is no lying, stealing and cheating in my classroom and just be honest with me. I also hope that these ethical issues are learned by my students in developing their character!
Education | 7
AUGUST 17 - 30, 2018 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net
Education Briefs WEB ER L A UN C H ES DESI GN , TEC H N OLO GY ACAD EM Y
The Weber School in Sandy Springs has launched a new academy focused on technology and design. The Zalik Academy, which launched this school year, will support “hands-on experimentation” in engineering, fashion, multimedia design, robotics, architecture and science research, according to a press release. It will be housed in a new digital fabrication lab, dubbed the “Fab Lab,” that is expected to SPECIAL Ari Slomka, left, an 11th grader at The Weber School, open in August 2019. The acadeworks with Chris Chapman, a Fab Lab manager my is being funded by the Zalik and a program coordinator on a 3D model. Foundation Fund, a local Jewish education philanthropy. “Fab lab” is a term for a facility using computer-guided fabrication machines to create various products and objects. The fab lab concept started as a Massachusetts Institute of Technology class and is now a movement promoted and aided by the Bostonbased Fab Foundation. There are about 1,000 fab labs in facilities in 78 countries, according to the foundation’s website, fabfoundation.org.
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O GL ETH ORP E UN IVERSI TY RECEIVES GR A N T TO IN C REA SE FA C ULTY D IVER SITY
Oglethorpe University was awarded a $500,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to improve faculty diversity and bring it more in line with the diverse student body. “Currently, our student body is substantially more diverse than our faculty, and we know that curricular offerings will be further enriched with a greater breadth of experiences and points of view in the classroom,” said school Provost Glenn Sharfman in the press release. The grant will fund faculty member appointments during a four-year effort to increase diversity, the release said. Of the Brookhaven university’s 1,250 students, 38 percent are Caucasian, 24 percent African American, and 11 percent Hispanic, with the remainder self-identifying as multiracial or not identifying, according to the release. Of the faculty, 82 percent are Caucasian, 6 percent are African American, 8 percent Asian, and 3 percent Hispanic, the release said. “Our enrollment composition makes Oglethorpe atypical among liberal arts colleges-and drives the need to diversify our faculty,” Sharfman said in the release. “Our goal is for our faculty to better reflect our students. This grant will help us move toward that goal significantly.” Oglethorpe previously received a three-year Mellon grant in 2014 to support an initiative to revise the curriculum to better reflect the growing diversity of students, according to the release. “This important initiative will build on our last grant from the Mellon Foundation,” Sharfman said.
BUC KH EA D SC H OOLS STA RT YEAR WI TH T R A UMA K ITS F ROM BUC K H EAD CO ALITIO N
Buckhead public schools started the school year with new trauma kits donated by the Buckhead Coalition at the end of the last school year. Each kit contains gauze, a tourniquet, wound dressing and a pair of gloves. The school packs, containing five kits each, are being offered free of charge to the principals of the eight public schools in Buckhead. The packs are designed to hang on the wall next to the standard first aid shelf. The Buckhead Coalition, a nonprofit civic group, previously donated similar kits to the Atlanta Police Department. “It was after learning of the inordinate number of public safety personnel dying from loss of blood when wounded in the line of duty that this nonprofit civic group arranged for front-line police to carry these kits specially designed for assistance in blood containment,” the coalition said in a press release. Discount doesn't apply to member rate
8 | Special Section
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NOW Chamblee aims to remake historic downtown as ‘Town Center’ destination BY DYANA BAGBY firstname.lastname@example.org
A walkable “Town Center” with a wider variety of development and maybe even a signature bridge are ideas for a new master plan for Chamblee’s historic downtown. The vision likely means City Hall and the police department would move. In January, the city’s Downtown Development Authority hired Seven Oaks Company for $150,000 to create a master plan for the Town Center that will include public-private redevelopment of the area centered around Broad Street just off Peachtree Boulevard. Considered the heart of the downtown area, where one-story retail businesses, an antique mall and City Hall and police department are now located, the historic district is ripe for bringing in retail and residential development as well as green space to create a destination location, according to the master plan. Bob Voyles, principal with Seven Oaks, presented the master plan in July at a combined event of the Chamblee and Brookhaven chambers of commerce. The plan includes creating a zoning overlay district for the downtown area. The plan was approved by the DDA in June and the mayor and City Council in July. “City staff have been working on the recommendations and next steps that Seven Oaks provided in the plan, which include the creation of a sub-district for the downtown area and designing the streetscape along Broad Street,” city spokesperson Tisa Moore said. “The next official action would be council approving the contract with whatever firm is selected to help with the rezoning this fall,” she added. The city owns about 17 properties between Chamblee-Dunwoody Road and Ingersoll Rand Drive around the Broad Street area. The city is looking at acquiring or entering into ground leases for many more of the tracts in the area, Voyles explained. Voyles said City Hall and the police de-
partment will likely have to be relocated from the area, although a precinct station would be located in the new district. Chamblee is not new to redevelopment. Since 2000, the city has seen dramatic development that has “marched up” the split at Peachtree Boulevard and Old Peachtree Road, Voyles said, including the Peachtree Crossing shopping center anchored by Whole Foods. A market study for the area shows a demand for 644 apartments in a transit-oriented development with structured parking, including a portion of these apartments targeted toward empty-nesters and those wanting to downsize from large single-family houses. The market study also shows some demand for 60 attached townhomes and 47 single-family homes on the outskirts of the Town Center area. A 120-room hotel including a lobby bar, meeting space and shuttle service can be supported in the Town Center project, according to the market study. And there is plenty of demand for neighborhood retail and a combination of fast-casual and fullservice restaurants with community gathering areas and a safe, accessible walking urban environment. Parking is an issue that faces many small cities, Voyles said. In many cities with thriving downtown areas, such as Decatur, parking decks are “hidden” in pockets of development. There is also a movement toward paid parking, he said. The
city is also looking to start an autonomous shuttle service to provide connection to Doraville’s Assembly site. A major challenge in developing the master plan is that Chamblee’s roads were created for large warehouses and industrial buildings as part of its railroad history. This means long roads with no blocks, Voyles explained, which are not conducive to creating a walkable community. That means new roads will have to be built to break up the large blocks between Peachtree Boulevard and Peachtree Road, Voyles said. The new roads, combined with on-street parking to help slow traffic, are also intended to encourage pedestrian accessibility. The master plan recommends development in phases. The first phase focuses on taking downtown Broad Street to incorporate existing buildings into a new pedes-
trian-oriented boulevard from Peachtree Road. The second phase includes allowing for construction of a traffic circle on American Industrial Way (to be renamed American Way), as well as implementing streetscape improvements along that road and Broad Street. The third phase will encourage private owners to take part in the overall master plan to transition the area from industrial use to office, residential and other retail or commercial uses. Creating a gateway into the city is also a crucial part of the Town Center project, Voyles said, and the idea of an iron bridge at Peachtree Boulevard and the newly named American Way or Peachtree Road at the Chamblee-Dunwoody overpass are being considered.
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Community Survey / Reacting to crime fears With theft on the uptick in some local communities, concerns about crime have convinced some of us to change our ways. Nearly half of the 200 respondents to a survey of residents of Reporter Newspapers communities reported they were doing something different in their daily lives because of their concerns about crime. About an equal number said they haven’t changed their behavior because of fear of crime. Those who said they had made modifications to avoid becoming crime victims listed changes ranging from adding or expanding home security systems to being more careful about locking their cars, to just staying home at night. “We don’t walk our dog when it’s dark anymore,” a 32-year-old Atlanta man reported. “I always park under street lights now and refuse to look at my phone as I walk to my car a night,” a 24-year-old Atlanta man noted. “Atlanta is a dangerous place,” a 70-year-old Atlanta woman commented. “I only go out during daylight hours.” But not everyone is changing because of fears of crime. “We live in a densely populated urban neighborhood,” a 37-year-old Atlanta man wrote. “Making intelligent decisions solves most problems before they happen.” “My behaviors have not changed,” a 28-year-old Dunwoody man said. “I take basic precautions (e.g., lock doors and windows).” The survey was conducted by 1Q.com via cellphones to residents in Reporter Newspapers communities. The results are not scientific. Although local police agencies say overall crime rates continue to decline, police in Buckhead and Dunwoody have reported seeing an uptick in property crime. Slightly more than half of the crime in the city of Atlanta revolved around cars, Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields said in June. Residents have noticed. “We have seen an increase in car break-ins/theft at night,” a 36-year-old Brookhaven woman noted. “We are now extra careful to not leave the car in the driveway and if we do, to ensure there are absolutely no items worth stealing!” When asked their opinion on the best way to reduce crime in neighborhoods, respondents to the survey generally looked to more policing. Asked to choose among a half-dozen possible ways to address crime, more than a quarter (28 percent) of the respondents called for more police on neighborhood streets and nearly as many (23 percent) supported adding to the police department’s network of surveillance cameras. But about as many (24 percent) backed the idea of improving diversion programs to steer young adults from gangs. Smaller groups backed better teaching of social responsibility in the schools (11 percent) and ending probation for repeat offenders (10 percent). Some survey respondents said they were becoming more engaged in crime prevention. “I keep a more active eye on odd activity in the neighborhood and drivers around me when returning home,” a 50-year-old Atlanta man reported. Others indicated they were taking matters into their own hands. Quite literally. “I walk with my keys in my hands gripped hard,” a 30-year-old Sandy Springs woman noted. “I bought a baseball bat,” a 25-year-old Buckhead man said.
What do you think would be the best way to reduce crime in your neighborhood?
Put more cops on neighborhood streets
Add more cameras to the police surveillance network
Teach social responsibility better in the schools
Improve programs to divert teens and young adults from gangs End probation for repeat offenders Other BE COUNTED IN OUR NEXT READER SURVEY 1Q is an Atlanta-based startup that has developed a technology which sends questions and surveys to a cellphone via app or text message from businesses and organizations across the country. Respondents are paid 50 cents per answer, through PayPal, for sharing their opinions. Payments may also be donated directly to charity. Sign up to be included in our local community polls at 1Q.com/reporter or by texting REPORTER to 86312.
Here’s what some other respondents had to say “I reinforced my front door after having it kicked in twice during the day. I also installed blinds. Sad, but true.” — a 36-year-old Atlanta woman “I take pictures with my phone of suspicious cars and their license plates.” — a 52-year-old Buckhead woman “I always lock my doors and am considering adding a security camera.” — a 29-year-old Atlanta man “I have always been fairly diligent, but am even more so now. I recently had my car broken into and am very leery of parking garages.” — a 43-year-old Brookhaven woman
“The crime rate is generally low. However, there are a lot of cat-callers, which makes me feel unsafe sometimes. Especially when they follow you. I have started wearing headphones when walking around so I can be left alone.” — a 24-year-old Buckhead woman “I live in the city and don’t experience much crime. Although some basic precautions are necessary, like not keeping items visible in your car when parked on the street.” — a 40-year-old Atlanta man
“We make sure to park in well-lit spots, walk in pairs at night, leave the back deck light on all night/motion sensor lights, etc.” — a 29-year-old Atlanta woman “I am more cautious when walking by myself or driving. I usually am not outside at night alone by myself.” — a 33-year-old Buckhead woman “Walking my dog or parking my car in a public area, I realize it is important to remain vigilant.” — a 54-year-old Sandy Springs man
“I stay aware of my surroundings (but always have). I also think social media makes the fear worse than it should be.” — a 38-year-old Buckhead woman BH
AUGUST 17 - 30, 2018
Following the social media crowd and liking it I’ve become my own carnival barker. I have a published #book, and now I am on social media, hawking it to anyone who will view a post. I never was interested in social media. I never did Facebook. For me, joining Facebook would be like living in Disney World; I didn’t think I could handle the constant carnival. I dabbled in it just enough to stalk my children, but that’s as far as I allowed myself to go. So instead, for my first foray into social media, I opted for LinkedIn, which is a fairly tame, buttoned-up professional network. It was perfect because I didn’t have to say a thing, and I could send out invitations for people to join my network each night while I was falling asleep. This was my kind of media! Unfortunately, LinkedIn was not enough. When you’re #published, you have to put yourself out there, all over cyberspace. I had to pick another network, one with teeth. I could choose between Twitter (not me), Robin Conte lives with Facebook (already voted down) and Instagram, which won by deher husband in an fault. Plus, if I had to jump on the social network train, I figured I empty nest in Dun- might as well jump on the newest car in the station. Instagram and I are pretty #happy together. For one thing, woody. To contact her it’s fairly streamlined. It’s basically pictures on an app on your or to buy her new colphone. You take a picture and post a short caption and add few umn collection, “The #hashtags so that people all over the world can find you and like Best of the Nest,” see you and, hopefully, follow you. If you’re an advanced Instagramrobinconte.com. er, you can also create mini “stories.” I quickly learned the Insta-ropes, namely, how to bait strangers with hashtags (go #atlantaunited!) and photos of food. I started an account at my first book signing with practically no millennial assistance at all. (OK, I took the pictures all by myself and the nice staff @davincidonuts showed me how to open the account.) But the thing about Instagram is that it’s somehow connected to Facebook, so that if you’re already on Facebook, your Facebook friends can flow seamlessly into your Instagram account. Since I wasn’t on Facebook, I started off #instapoor. (Which rhymes with #rusticdecor.) There’s nothing more humbling than having fewer followers than someone who doesn’t even have one post. No, there IS something more humbling, and that is when you’ve been scrounging for likes and followers for months, and then your son gets two times more likes on his first post than you have total followers … or when you see that someone’s pet has more followers than you do. I managed to start off with six followers because I begged my family to follow me, and I discovered that somehow I had an old Instagram account that I started years ago, which allowed me to follow myself. And to add to my humiliation, I got schooled by my youngest, who gently suggested that I check out the unwritten rules of Instagram (which are helpfully written all over the internet if you only know to look for them), and I learned to dial back my postings. I also learned how to post in incomplete sentences. (Just for fun. Because … Instagram.) Now I feel like I’m back in high school trying to get into the popular crowd. “Like me, and I’ll like you,” “Follow me, and I’ll follow you.” (Unwritten rule: you never post “follow me and I’ll follow you” — but believe me, you imply it.) And the irony is, I ended up starting a Facebook account after all. Yes, it’s addictive, and yes, it’s great fun. So here I am, @robincontewriter, barking to the cyberworld, but it’s all #instagood.
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Commentary | 11
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Community | 13
Developer rethinks townhomes behind Landmark Diner BY JOHN RUCH firstname.lastname@example.org
A developer is rethinking a plan to build 23 high-end townhomes behind the Landmark Diner amid signs of opposition from Tuxedo Park neighbors. Monte Hewitt Homes is seeking a rezoning of 10 Blackland Road to allow the project, which would replace the shuttered Harold E. Bailey Landscaping business. The 2-acre site is largely undeveloped and wooded. The developer has deferred NPU-A and city Zoning Review Board appearances until October, according to attorney Carl Westmoreland. “We’ll use the time to try and determine if there is a project that the applicant can live with and that the neighborhood can support, but we’re not there yet,” said Westmoreland. NPU-A Chairperson Brinkley Dickerson said he suggested the deferral to allow more time for the developer to speak with neighbors. Dickerson said he heard “every conceivable concern” from residents about the townhomes concept, and based on those calls and emails, “I would expect substantial community opposition to the current plan.” In July, the developer filed plans for 23 for-sale townhomes to be priced at approximately $1 million to $1.15 million, with three- and four-bedroom units. None of the units would be designated as affordable. The 10 Blackland property is just to the northwest of the prominent intersection of Blackland, Roswell and Piedmont roads. The Landmark Diner and the Punchline Comedy Club stand between the property and Roswell Road. The developer’s rezoning application says the townhomes project would “provide an appropriate transition between the commercial uses along the Roswell Road corridor and the adjacent single-family neighborhoods.” The filing also says it would be “consistent with the neighborhood character.” Neighbors in Tuxedo Park, with its large single-family homes and estates, don’t seem convinced. Dickerson said he heard many complaints of varying importance. Traffic is one concern, but congestion is already bad in the intersection, he said. Dickerson said that more significant concerns are that the project would “significantly, and negatively, impact the value of the eight or 10 nearest houses” and “risks incursion of denser housing into a well-established singlefamily community.” The NPU and the Chastain Park Civic Association regularly see such proposals on such border streets as Powers Ferry and Wieuca roads and near the Mount Paran Country Store, Dickerson BH
said. The same rationale of “transition” in housing type is often used, as well as providing “housing diversity” and the “opportunity to ‘age in place.’” “It is a slippery slope,” Dickerson said.
Top, the former landscaping company at 10 Blackland Road. JOHN RUCH
Left, a drawing of how the townhomes might be laid out at 10 Blackland Road from the city rezoning application. SPECIAL
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14 | Community
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99 West Paces developers reduce parking request BY EVELYN ANDREWS email@example.com
A large development proposed for West Paces Ferry Road has come back to Buckhead planning boards with fewer proposed parking spaces due to new requirements set by a parking overlay passed last year. Developer JLB Partners is proposing to build a 13-story residential building at 99 West Paces Ferry Road, a property it purchased in 2015. The developer plans to build out the site in phases, with the first phase proposed to bring 313 multifamily units and 542 parking spaces, according to a presentation given Aug. 1 to the Development Review Committee of Special Public Interest District 9, a zoning area in central Buckhead. The committee met at Tower Place 100. The site is currently a small office building, surrounded by a few condo buildings, a bank and the St. Regis Atlanta hotel. The second phase is currently approved for a residential or hotel use, but JLB has not presented plans for that phase yet. The developer also made changes to the building’s design based on feedback
Top left, developer JLB Partners presented its new design at the Development Review Committee of the Special Public Interest District 9 Aug. 1 meeting. Top right, the developer changed this previous design based on SPI-9 feedback that recommended it be more modern and in character with other Buckhead Village developments. EVELYN ANDREWS
Right, Jessica Hill, a partner at Morris, Manning and Martin, representing the developer, presents the new design for 99 West Paces Ferry at the Aug.1 SPI-9 meeting.
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from SPI-9 given at that previous meeting. The committee had recommended the developer change the design to be more modern and in character with the Buckhead Village area, according to the report. The new design swaps the brown brick and gray siding for more glass and metal features. “It looks architecturally better,” Bonnie Dean, a committee member said. The developers will now seek approval from city of Atlanta planning boards. The amount of parking spaces had to be cut down due to the passage of the “Buckhead Parking Overlay District” in September 2017, but the SPI-9 board had already expressed disapproval of the amount of parking proposed at the developer’s previous review. The initial proposal in 2017 called for 989 parking spaces and 525 apartments for both phases combined. The committee recommended the number of parking spaces be “reduced significantly” at the 2017 meeting, according to the report. The new limit under the overlay for both the planned phases of the development is 750 spaces, according to the SPI-9 report, but the committee recom-
mended the developer come in even lower than that “to the extent possible.” Hudson Hooks, a partner at JLB, said the amount of units had to be decreased because of the new overlay limits. The developer made the units larger instead to bring down the number of cars residents would have, he said. The developer is also planning 5,900 square feet of commercial space on the ground level, and JLB anticipates heavy parking space use by those customers. “Ultimately, we might get into a situation we’re we might have to share parking,” he said. The parking overlay was established by an ordinance by District 7 Councilmember Howard Shook and former District 8 Councilmember Yolanda Adrean. Shook said he has not received many comments or any complaints about the new district, which signals to him that it has been effective. “That suggests to me that it’s working and that the previous parking amounts were too generous,” he said. “Developers put their pencils down and made it work.” The parking overlay was passed with the hope of easing Buckhead’s traffic congestion. BH
AUGUST 17 - 30, 2018
Community | 15
North Buckhead residents push for more local MARTA service Continued from page 1 Association and its recently formed transit committee. The group is urging other neighborhood associations to weigh in with MARTA, too. “If you don’t fight, you don’t win,” said NBCA president Gordon Certain at the Aug. 9 meeting of the Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods, where his group presented the call for improved buses on Roswell, Peachtree-Dunwoody and Wieuca roads and various accessibility improvements. The backdrop is debate over “More MARTA,” an expansion of MARTA’s transit service within the city of Atlanta that is funded by a half-penny sales tax. Approved by voters in 2016, the tax is expected to generate nearly $2.5 billion for transit expansion over the next 40 years. The “More MARTA” tax was approved with a proposed list of projects. Some of the biggest ones involved southeastern Buckhead, including constructing light rail on the BeltLine; building a new Clifton Corridor light rail line between Lindbergh Center and Avondale stations through the Emory University area; and adding a new Armour Yard station on the Gold and Red lines. Now that the tax is in place, MARTA says it can’t afford all of the projects —the Armour Yard station is among the casualties —- and is debating construction priority on others. Major controversy has erupted over MARTA’s plan to prioritize the Clifton Corridor and delay BeltLine rail or even change it into bus service or something else. Ryan Gravel, the urban planner who envisioned the BeltLine, is leading a “BeltLine Rail Now” campaign for it to have rail and top priority, and restoring an Armor Yard station to the mix is also on his agenda. Other “More MARTA” projects for Buckhead on the original list are still slated to happen. They mostly involve bus service upgrades intended to mean faster travel times on Peachtree Street/Road and Northside Drive. The BeltLine/Clifton controversy has led MARTA to delay finalizing the project list for an indefinite but apparently brief period, and it is holding a string of neighborhood meetings around the city for further input. The NBCA sees the process as a chance to advocate for more North Buckhead improvements after having very little on the current “More MARTA” list, which only adds more buses to Roswell Road routes. “Everybody’s out there arguing for their cause,” said Robert Patterson, head of the NBCA transit committee, adding that there is fear of losing even currently planned improvements. His group is calling for even better bus service on Roswell Road; restoring a cut bus route on Peachtree-Dunwoody Road; and creating a “crosstown” bus on Wieuca and West Wieuca roads. Also on the agenda are accessibility improvements: crosswalks, parking for cars and bikes near key stops and the Buckhead MARTA Station, and the basic amenity of bus shelters. Certain said the NBCA did an unscientific survey of residents earlier this year and found MARTA ridership is “terrible,” largely because of these accessibility issues. It leaves residents “forced to get in our cars and drive to work” and makes for ever-increasing traffic, he said. Patterson said he lives a mile from Roswell Road, but “I have no way to access Route 5” if he goes there by car or bike. And there are few crosswalks on the neighborhood’s long stretch of Roswell Road, he said. “I’d like to think Atlanta is more progressive than Sandy Springs, but Sandy Springs has beat us to the punch” by building a signalized crosswalk across Roswell Road near the Fountain Oaks shopping center, Patterson said. The NBCA is also calling for bus stops to have shelters — which very few do currently — as a “very baseline human need” with a cost that would be a “rounding error” in the “More MARTA” funds. “It’s really just kind of a crime,” Patterson said of the lack of bus shelters, calling them the “most brain-dead, most obvious, thing to do.” In more formal language, the NBCA resolution says: “While a bus shelter signals that MARTA respects its riders is a significant inducement to riding MARTA, seeing people standing in the rain and heat tells people to avoid MARTA at all costs … All other More MARTA initiatives should come after this basic need is met.” The NBCA urged other neighborhood associations to join its resolution or make ones of their own. There were no immediate takers at the BCN meeting, but BCN chairman Tom Tidwell spoke favorably of the effort. “It would be nice to get a little more input from Buckhead and a little more MARTA in Buckhead,” Tidwell said. The larger BeltLine/Clifton debate is getting local attention as well. Fulton County Commissioner Lee Morris, who lives in and represents much of Buckhead, is on the Atlanta BeltLine Inc. board and said he’s concerned about the Clifton project being a
“Johnny-come-lately jumping to the head of the list.” He remains optimistic that MARTA might be swayed to put BeltLine rail first. I’m not sure it’s a lost cause on the Clifton Corridor. I think they’re softening on that,” he said. North Buckhead’s MARTA wish list Items on the North Buckhead Civic Access Association’s draft resolution about local • Expand bike parking on bus routes MARTA improvements include: 5 and 110. Service levels • Provide car parking along the same • Upgrade Roswell Road’s Route 5 bus bus routes. to “arterial,” meaning it runs especially • Install mid-block crosswalks on Rooften and gets priority at traffic signals. swell Road near bus stops or other high• Test an Uber-style pick-up service for demand places. accessing rail and bus stations. • Provide car parking at Buckhead • Add a bus route on Peachtree-Dun- MARTA Station. woody Road between Lenox and Medical Shelters Station MARTA stations. • Install shelters on Route 5 and other • Add a bus route on Wieuca and West bus lines “at virtually every stop where it Wieuca roads and any other streets to is physically possible.” create a crosstown service.
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WALK, WAG N’RUN
Saturday, Aug. 25, 7:30 a.m. Ahimsa House, Georgia’s only nonprofit that helps human and animal victims of domestic violence, hosts its seventh annual 5K and Fun Run. The 5K starts at 7:30 a.m. Fun Run begins at 8:45 a.m. Funds support shelter, veterinary care and legal advocacy. The 5K is a Peachtree Road Race qualifier and runs through Lenox Park in Brookhaven. Dogs welcome. Free parking adjacent to the park at 1025 Lenox Park Blvd. N.E., Brookhaven. Register: ahimsahouse.org/walkwagnrun.
HOT PURSUIT GLOW RUN/ WALK
PERFORMANCES STEFAN DONNER ORGAN CONCERT
Wednesday, Aug. 22, 7-8 p.m. Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church presents organist Stefan Donner, of Vienna, Austria, playing works of Carl Czerny, Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms, Felix Mendelssohn and Franz Schmidt. Free. 805 Mount Vernon Highway N.W., Sandy Springs. Info: holyinnocents.org/ music/friends-of-music.
Saturday, Aug. 25, 7:45 p.m. Sponsored by the Brookhaven Police Department, this second annual event supports the “Shop with a Badge” program that helps provide Christmas gifts to underprivileged children. Events begin with a tot trot glow run at 7:45 p.m. The 5K starts at 8 p.m. and a 1.5M event starts at 8:10 p.m. Murphey Candler Park, 1551 West Nancy Creek Drive N.E., Brookhaven. Register: raceroster.com/ events/2018/18054/2nd-annual-hot-pursuit-glow-run.
IGNITE MACCABI OFFICIAL LAUNCH PARTY
Sunday, Aug. 26, 3-6 p.m. The Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta will hold an official launch party and torch lighting for the 2019 JCC Maccabi Games, an annual international Olympic-style event for Jewish teens. The games, to start next July, will be held in Atlanta for just the second time since they began in 1982. The launch party will feature music, sports and swimming pool activities, video game trucks and food trucks. All ages. Free. 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody. Info: atlmaccabi2019.org.
SUNDAY COMMUNITY CYCLE Sunday, Sept. 2, 3-4 p.m. Join Bike-Walk Dunwoody on the first Sunday of each month for a Community Bicycle Ride kicking off and ending at Village Burger on Dunwoody Village Parkway. After a pre-ride safety talk at 2:45 p.m., the group departs for a 4.5-mile loop around Dunwoody. Hang out after the ride for $1 custards, $1 discounts on beers, and post-ride socializing. All ages and abilities welcome. Helmets required. Free. 1426 Dunwoody Village Parkway, Dunwoody. Info: bikewalkdunwoody.org.
KIDS AND FAMILIES MOVIES BY MOONLIGHT SUNSET SIPS FEATURING NO SOLUTION
Thursday, Aug. 23, 6:30-9:30 p.m. No Solution, an award-winning blues and rock band comprised of Atlanta high school students, performs at the Chattahoochee Nature Center. Picnics welcome, cash bar. Included with general admission. $10 adults, $7 ages 65+ and ages 13-18, $6 ages 3-12, ages 2 and under free. 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell. Info: chattnaturecenter.org.
GET ACTIVE DATE NIGHT RIVER CANOE TRIP
Friday, Aug. 24, 6 p.m. Chattahoochee Nature Center canoe guides will lead this 2.5-hour adult-only evening paddle. Learn all about the Chattahoochee River and look for wildlife with naturalists. When the trip is done, roast marshmallows over a campfire. Ages 21+. $35; $30 CNC members. 135 Willeo Road, Roswell. Info: chattnaturecenter.org.
Friday, Aug. 24, 6 p.m. Leadership Sandy Springs opens its free outdoor movie series with the animated Disney film “Coco” and premovie activities celebrating Mexican culture as part of the inaugural season of the Performing Arts Center at City Springs. Children enrolled in Sandy Springs’ Los Ninos Primero dance program and the Mariachi Los Arrieros band of Atlanta are scheduled to perform. A fullsize Day of the Dead Altar will be on display. Games, food trucks, picnics welcome. City Springs Center Lawn, 1 Galambos Way, Sandy Springs. Info: leadershipsandysprings.org/events/movies-by-moonlight or 404-2569091.
COMIC BOOK MAGNETS
Tuesday, Aug. 26, 4-5 p.m. Aug. 28 is Read Comics In Public Day. Comics lovers of all ages are invited to the Northside Branch Library to create magnets using comic art. Color copies will be made of comic art in the library’s collection or bring your own art. Free. 3295 Northside Parkway, N.W., Buckhead. Info: afpls.org/northside-branch.
AUGUST 17 - 30, 2018
Art & Entertainment | 17
GET INTO THE COMMUNITY
CHORAL GUILD OF ATLANTA
Ongoing Choral Guild of Atlanta, a group of volunteer singers who connect with the community through music, invites singers of all voice parts to audition for the guild’s 79th season. To schedule an audition, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 404-223-6362. Info: cgatl.org.
SUMMER SIPS WITH SANDY SPRINGS
Wednesday, Aug. 22, 6:30-9 p.m. Join the Sandy Springs Perimeter Chamber’s Health and Well-Being Council and Sandy Springs businesses at the Aston City Springs Clubhouse for an evening of food from area restaurants, wine from Total Wine & More and giveaways. Learn about the services local businesses provide. Free. 6400 Blue Stone Road, Sandy Springs. RSVP required. Info: business.sandyspringsperimeterchamber.com/events.
THE LIMELIGHT – HOTLANTA – OH MY!
Wednesday, Aug. 22, 7 p.m. The Buckhead Heritage Society revisits the Limelight nightclub in a program featuring Guy D’Alema, house photographer for Limelight, which operated in Buckhead from 1980-87 and was often referred to as the “Studio 54 of the South.” D’Alema will project photos from his recent book, “LIMELIGHT … in a sixtieth of a second.” Disco duds welcome, with special recognition awarded to the best dressed individuals and couples. $10 members; $20 nonmembers. Sanctuary Nightclub, 3209 Paces Ferry Place, Buckhead. Register: buckheadheritage.com.
THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO WINNIE THE POOH
Sunday, Aug. 26, 10-11 a.m. Explore the spiritual dimensions of A. A. Milne’s “Winnie the Pooh” series from a Christian perspective at Peachtree Road United Methodist Church. Free. Register for a Winnie the Pooh Picnic at the church at 12:15 p.m. and for a 1:30 p.m. tour of the Winnie the Pooh exhibit at Atlanta’s High Museum of Art, with behind-the-scenes stories from docents. Children welcome. Nursery available during the forum. Picnic and tour are $15 each. 3180 Peachtree Road N.E., Buckhead. Info: prumc.org/events. Or Leslie Watkins at email@example.com.
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AUGUST 25, 2018
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Ongoing Hundreds of volunteers are needed for the 33rd annual Sandy Springs Festival, a Sept. 22-23 event presented by Heritage Sandy Springs. Individuals and groups (adult and youth) are needed Sept. 21-23 to set up, serve as greeters, sell beverages, register runners at the 10K/5K, and to fill other needs. Info: sandyspringsfestival.com. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 404-8519111 x6.
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Special exhibits mark 50 years of teaching art in Chastain Park BY JUDITH SCHONBAK Fifty years ago, a former almshouse in Chastain Park transformed into a center where people of any age and skill level could learn how to make art. Now the Chastain Arts Center and Gallery is celebrating its golden anniversary with special exhibits while continuing to teach painting, jewelry-making, potteryfiring and more. It’s Atlanta’s oldest community arts center, according to the city’s Office of Cultural Affairs. “This place has a special atmosphere,” said Karen Lowe, the facility manager and curator at the 135 West Wieuca Road N.W. arts center since 2010. “Students come here to begin art and to continue their art. We have students who have been coming almost since it opened, and there are students who have become professional artists and who return regularly to sharpen their skills and to enjoy the camaraderie of other artists.” The center has several longtime instructors, too. Dolores Kennedy is one of them. A Brookhaven resident and graduate of the former Atlanta College of Art, she’s been teaching painting and related subjects at the center for 45 years. Kennedy recalls signing up to teach at the center when the Buckhead area was a
PHOTOS BY PHIL MOSIER
Anu Sipp, 7, learns “Doodling as a Fine Art” from Meta Cooper, the center’s summer art instruction coordinator.
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Top, Carol Santos, a Sandy Springs resident and artist, and daughter Marina, 10, join in an outdoor painting contest during the Chastain Art Center’s 50th anniversary celebration Aug. 11. Left, a palette awaits a painter’s brush.
sleepy and remote bedroom community to Atlanta. She was one of only three instructors, and the only painter; the others were a potter and a weaver. “It was up to me to suggest classes and I chose beginning watercolor and basic drawing,” she says. In those days, the center had no air conditioning in the summer, and heat in the winter came from old steam radiators. The lack of basic comforts were part of the building’s history as one of two racially segregated almshouses — county homes for seniors and people with disabilities who were poor — built near each other in
1901 to 1911, before Chastain Park existed. The other, far grander almshouse is now the Galloway School’s signature Gresham Building. Both Neo-Classical buildings were designed by Thomas Henry Morgan, an architect whose firm was behind many of Atlanta’s civic and educational buildings — including Agnes Scott College’s main building — and early skyscrapers, according to the New Georgia Encyclopedia. In 1968, the city of Atlanta bought the almshouse, shut it down and turned it into the arts center. Ten years later, a former caretaker’s outbuilding in the rear was turned into the gallery and connected to the main building. Today, the center is busy with dozens
AUGUST 17 - 30, 2018
Art & Entertainment | 19
Perimeter North Medical Associates is proud to serve the families throughout the Atlanta area. Offering a full range of family medicine and endocrinology services, our experienced physicians offer attentive, compassionate care to keep you and your family happy and healthy at all stages of life. We accept most insurance plans and offer same-day appointments for sick visits.
Our Services Include: • Physical exams & wellness care for men, women & children • Care for chronic illness, including diabetes, hormone and thyroid disorders Top, the members of Hicks With Picks — from left, Mike Nugent, Jeff Pore and Mary Gowing — play on the Chastain Arts Center porch during its Aug. 11 50th anniversary celebration.
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of courses. The fall schedule begins Sept. 4 with more than 60 classes in the visual arts. The majority are 10-week sessions for adults, and there are classes for children, pre-teens and teens. The classes range from beginning painting and drawing to advanced courses in painting and composition, as well as a full schedule of pottery classes, jewelry making, printmaking and others. The center is celebrating its anniversary with several shows and events, including the two-part “Fifty-Fifty” exhibit, which showcases the works of the center’s instructors and students. The first part, “Vessels,” features the work of past and present Chastain instructors in pottery and jewelry making and their interpretation of a vessel. On display in the gift shop area, the show ends Aug. 18. The second part presents 50 works in a variety of mediums by current Chastain Arts Center students. The show, also in the gift shop space, opens Sept. 7 and runs until Nov. 8. On Aug. 11, the center celebrated its official 50th birthday with public festivities on the grounds. The event included outdoor painting, food, live music — and plenty of art. A major exhibit, “The Chastain Experiment,” was unveiled in the art gallery during the Aug. 11 event. It features the work of 10 of the center’s artist-instructors. The large-scale works — seven feet by eight feet — were created directly on the gallery walls. The art is on display through Sept. 8, then the works will be scrubbed off or painted over. “Even though these are ephemeral paintings, every artist created a significant piece of art,” said Lowe. And for those who would like to learn more about Chastain Arts Center itself, there’s plenty more of that on display, too. Premiered at the celebration was a video about the center’s history, told through
more than 50 interviews with past and present instructors, students and employees. Shown on a large screen in the gift shop, it will run for several months. For more information about the center, see ocaatlanta.com/chastain.
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The #1 preferred source for local news and information!* MAY 12 - 25, 2017• VOL. 8 — NO.
MAY 26 - JUNE 8, 2017 • VOL. 11— NO. 11
Sandy Springs Reporter
► New law is a boost to local beer, whiskey crafters PAGE 4 ► Cuban sandwich shop mixes tastiness with tenacity PAGE 5
Dawn of a new church
► Eyed for trails, pipeline routes are serious business
Current City Hall site City proposes targeted for redevelopment $106 million
Little-known vet memorials | 8
The city is proposing a $106 million operating budget for fiscal year 2018, an increase of about a half-percent over the current year, officials said at a May 23
OUT & ABOUT Lantern Parade will light up the Hooch
Page 20 buys condos, displaces tenants
Chairperson, Georgia Public Broadcasting
See Commentary, Page 14
OUT & ABOUT Storyteller ‘Rosie the Riveter’ comes to town Page 19
BY JOHN RUCH
From documentaries on diversity and inclusion to community partnerships on autism awareness, GPB is an educational lifeline to millions of Georgia students, teachers and residents.
MARCH 3 -
on ► MARTA’s CEO speaks response to I-85 disaster PAGE 5
► ‘The good, the bad the ugly’ of 2017 legislative session
SPECIAL SECTION | P22-26
City’s new medical center wants to grow
Mary Hall Freedom House, a nonprofit that helps women with homelessness and addiction issues, has bought 33 units of a Sandy Springs condominium complex for use as transitional housing and possible redevelopment into a larger facility or headquarters. One of the two dozen tenants currently renting those condo units is complaining about the “irony” of losing her home to an organization that helps the homeless. See HOMELESSNESS on page 22
I want to see a competition that celebrates our everyday Home Kitchen challenges. ... The Chairman would be the Original Iron Chef’s Mother-in-Law. Prizes are a month’s supply of lasagna and a spa weekend. A chef wins if her kids eat her food. Robin’s Nest, page 15
See CURRENT on page 22
DeKalb CEO: EMS response time improves BY DYANA BAGBY
Ambulance response times in the city are improving after changes were made by the private company contracted by DeKalb County to provide the emergency service, including hiring more staff, according to county officials. The City Council in December raised serious concerns with the DeKalb Fire & Rescue chief and the regional director of American Medical Response over ambulance response times in the city, noting there were numerous instances of ambuSee DEKALB on page 13
PHOTOS BY PHIL MOSIER
on April 8 as part Corporate Boulevard page 19. of Peachtree Creek around For more photos, see a bank of the north fork “Sweep the Hooch” event. Volunteers clean up Riverkeeper’s annual of the Chattahoochee
EXCEPTIONAL EDUCATOR Passing on her culinary passion Page 27
I believe [President Trump] is strong enough to force Congress to break through this nonsense and get something done. DAVID PERDUE U. S. Senator
See PERDUE, page 21.
OUT & ABOUT Get grounded with Earth Day events Page 6
11 — NO. 5
Glowing for a cause
BY DYANA BAGBY spapers.net dyanabagby@reporternew
A developer plans to build two residential towers and an office tower at Perimeter Center East, where Dunwoody City Hall now is located. Representatives from North Carolina-based Grubb Properties described their proposal, which is still in the concept stage, to the board of the Dunwoody Homeowners Association on May 7. The company owns about 19.5 acres in Perimeter Center East, with three mid-rise office buildings, one of which serves as City Hall. The property is behind the Ravinia complex off Ashford-Dunwoody Road. The city is relocating to a new City Hall
16, 2017 • VOL.
BY DYANA BAGBY email@example.com et
percent decline. The police department would get a budget boost of more than 9 percent to about $22.8 million. Part of that is a salAbove, a a bird’s eye view of the proposed redevelopment in ary increase to remain competitive as Perimeter Center East includes, residential towers and a new office to the left, two new tower. In the State Patrol pay boost is attracting offiremain and have retail on the ground center are two current mid-rise office buildings that would floor. To the right are two new apartment Inset, an illustration of what the buildings. cers away from the department, city offistreetscape might look like in the development. cials said. The boost also includes hiring
EXCEPTIO 11 See CITY on pageNAL EDUCATOR ss literature Teaching Homelessne through life nonprofit
Picking up at Peachtree Creek
BY JOHN RUCH
VOL. 9 — NO. 8
home of St. Joseph Maronite to the first Mass, held Sunday, May 14, at the new Rev. Dominique Hanna welcomes his congregation the former building of Apostles St. Joseph moved from an Atlanta location into Catholic Church at Glenridge and Hammond drives. attended St. Joseph’s debut. financial turmoil. More than 400 parishioners Church, a Lutheran congregation that closed amid
APRIL 14 - 27, 2017 •
► Buckhead company keeps ‘quirky’ old-school sodas fizzing
City Council meeting. The budget will take effect July 1. The council will hold public hearings on the budget on June 6 and June 20. The budget projects revenues of about $92 million, with money from a reserve fund balancing the expenditures. The revenue projection is about 1 percent higher than fiscal 2017. While most revenue sources are projected to increase, property taxes are expected to show a 2.2
EDUCATION Top of the Class
► Historic locomotive makes tracks to Buckhead PAGE 4 SPECIAL SECTIO N | P22-27
Buckhead ma ster plan to allow more input on big ideas
Wearing glow necklaces and Garden Hills shirts with in the Garden Hills/Pe second annual Family reflective shoeprints, adults, Flashlight Fun achtree Park kids of all ages, Run, held Sunday Friends Group strollers and PHOTO BY volunteers, PHIL MOSIER dogs take benefits Childre evening, Feb. 26. The nearly 1-mile to the streets of n’s Healthcare race, organiz of Atlanta. More pictures, page ed by 18.►
BY DYANA BAGBY
Classroom gam from math to es, Shakespeare
to the April 18 As the days tick down the open 6th Conspecial election to fill each of the 18 cangressional District seat, furiousPage are trying 28 didates in the large field from the pack. ly to separate themselves was at opportunity public The latest forum hosted by the April 9 candidate rs Association the Dunwoody Homeowne at Dunwoody High and Dunwoody Crier early voting in School. Voters are already seat that had been the election to fill the Tom Price, who reheld by Republican
See 6TH on page 18
of Atlanta is seekChildren’s Healthcare along the Northing to have 11.4 acres into the city of east Expressway annexed 8-story office Brookhaven for a proposed massive expansion of building as part of a at North Druid Hills its new 45-acre campus includes buyRoad and I-85. The expansion ing out a church. city officials say is It’s just part of what redevelopment commajor medical-related to the Execuing after years of anticipation tive Park area. request with annexation the filed CHOA is asking for a spethe city on April 5. It also for some of the propcial land-use permit the 8-story, 340,000erty in order to build on land currently square-foot building CHOA also wants zoned only for five stories. to build a parking deck. SLUP requests are The annexation and up by the Planning expected to be taken Council in June. Commission and City SLUP is approved “If the annexation and See CITY on page 20
6th District hopefuls squareEXCEPTIONAL EDUCATOR off in debate
► New prog ressive attracts activ group ists
OUT & ABOUT
[Students need] A very special more ‘reallife’ education scenarios: finan es, investing, c- performance of budgeting. A lot of ‘The kids graduate Wizard of Oz’ and don’t know how to balan ce a checkbook, Page but know how 6 to do some math problem with only symbols.”
BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@rep orternewspape rs.net The Buckh ead master plan will keep on planning for a while. A Feb. 27 community meeting for the “BUCKHEAD REdeFINED” scheduled to plan was be the last, but now input will continue into April to hash out some controversial ideas, said Eric Bosma lead consul n of tant Kimley -Horn. Those clude ideas inlarge and small for Buckhead’s commercial core, from a new terchange to Ga. 400 ina neighborhood trail loop. A crowd of about 100 at the Atlant Internationa a l School receive ing, 90-min d a sprawlute presen tation that rowed some narearlier ideas, others, and elaborated introduced still more concepts, all new while mingli ng short- and long-term plans. Several of its recommende steps” are alread d “first y underway, ing the PATH4 like finish00 trail along Ga. 400; some See BUCKHEAD on page 16
Massell: Buckhead getting bigger busier, wealth , ier
BY JOHN RUCH
Residents grad on preparing e schools students for careers and civic life See COMMUNITY SURVEY Page 14
*Source: independent reader survey
www.ReporterNewspapers.net ■ Published by Springs Publishing LLC
Buckhead is big, busy and wealthy. And by 2020, it’ll be even bigger, wealthier. busier and So said Buckhe ad Coalition Sam Massel president l in his annual “State of the Community” address Feb. 23 at the City Club of Buckhe ad, hosted by the Buckhead Business Associa tion. Massell listed branding points” several “bragging and projecting the the neighborhood booms in ’s population, real estate See MASSELL on page 17
AUGUST 17 - 30, 2018
Classifieds | 21
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55+ Condo for Lease or Lease/Purchase – Renovated condo in Sandy Springs for 55+ active adults. $2495 per month includes all utilities, housekeeping plus more. Contact Kim at 404-4148307 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Lease or lease to own options.
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Single Office for Rent – Located in Class A space in Sandy Springs overlooking Buckhead. Access to 400/285. Covered parking, Fitness Center and Cafeteria. Access to Break room, Conference room and Storage room. Call Jonathan at 404-983-1279.
CEMETERY PLOTS Arlington Memorial Park – Section F. Two side by side plots. Single $2000 - Both $3500. Call 1-706-354-8312.
Matthew’s Handy Services – Small jobs & chores are my specialties! Shelves, organizers, carpentry, painting, etc. Call 404-547-2079 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org Property Home Tending by Charles – “On the market or just Away.” Regular inspections of unoccupied property. Call 404-229-0490.
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22 | Community
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Blue Heron Nature Preserve opens solar-powered research center Continued from page 1 ing by Atlanta Audubon and amphibian breeding by the Amphibian Foundation. The preserve celebrated the opening at an Aug. 11 event. Ten solar panels will be used to power the facility. The panels were donated by several solar companies and volunteers will install them in the coming months when the remaining materials arrive, said Miranda Swaim, the communications coordinator, on a recent tour. The new Field Research Center is a former garage structure that previously shared its lot with another gaB rage and single-family home at 3931 Land O’ Lakes Road. The single-family house and an additional garage were demolished in 2015 after being purchased by the city from a developer. The developer initially bought the property to redevelop it, but later learned flood plain regulations prevented him from doing so, Swain said. The idea to restore the property into a research center came from the founding executive director, Nancy Jones, who has since retired. Jones closely watches property sales around Blue Heron in an effort to piece together properties and grow the preserve, Swaim said. Jones originally founded the preserve in 2000 to protect the area from development. Blue Heron began restorations on the property in early 2016, including removing invasive plants and replacing them with native grasses and flowers. Much of the work has been led by Brooke Vacovsky, the project and operations manager. Volunteers have helped with restoration work, including removing a quarter-acre of bamboo, Vacovsky said. “It’s been done with a lot of volunteer power,” she said. Blue Heron has also installed a bee apiary, a facility to grow amphibians and renovated the garage to be used for research. “We’ll use the apiary to help teach about native bees and their role in our environment,” Vacovsky said. Several large containers are set up to allow amphibians bred by the Amphibian Foundation to finish growing. The foundation is working to restore the populations of endangered species, including the flatwoods salamander and Carolina gopher frog. Tanks that will eventually be filled with younger amphibians are lined up
PHOTOS BY EVELYN ANDREWS
A - Blue Heron has installed a bee apiary at its new research center that will be used to educate visitors on the importance of bees to the ecosystem.
B - One of the preserve’s four education centers, a center focusing on woodlands, is located on the research center site. C - Several containers are set up on the property to safely grow endangered amphibians. D - Solar panels are propped up against the research center during its Aug. 11 opening celebration, in a photo provided by Blue Heron.
along one of the walls in the building. One of the preserve’s four education centers is located on the site. This one focuses on woodlands and is used for Blue Heron’s various youth education classes, Swaim said. During the tour, local artist Alison Hamil was at work painting a large mural of a blue heron along the wall of the garage. The property can’t be seen from the street, and is hidden at the bottom of a steep driveway. Like Blue Heron itself, the property is unexpected, tucked away in the middle of Buckhead. The research center connects to Blue Heron’s Emma Wetlands and is planned to be connected to the rest of Blue Heron’s property with the completion of its Blueway Trail Initiative. The first phase plans to bring three miles of low-impact trails and boardwalks to the preserve and is halfway funded, Swaim said. BH
AUGUST 17 - 30, 2018
Community | 23
Many trees to be saved, planted in Bobby Jones Golf Course compromise
Police Blotter / Buckhead The following information, involving events that took place in Buckhead Aug. 1 through Aug. 9, was provided to the Buckhead Reporter by the Zone 2 precinct of the Atlanta Police Department from its open data records.
BY JOHN RUCH firstname.lastname@example.org
Dozens of trees will be saved and more planted in a compromise over a dispute about the Bobby Jones Golf Course redesign’s effects on Buckhead creeks. Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, an environmental advocacy group, earlier this year protested the Bobby Jones Golf Course Foundation’s request to state officials to build within a 25-foot buffer along the Peachtree and Tanyard creeks. Both creeks run through the golf course, located in Atlanta Memorial Park along Woodward Way. In a joint press release, the organizations said the foundation has redesigned the plans to remove 18 large trees rather than 47, and to plan 70 replacement trees within the buffer area along both creeks. The revised plan also includes more ground cover of native grasses and shrubs, which are intended to reduce erosion. “One of our Foundation’s primary focuses from the outset has been environmental stewardship,” said Foundation Chairman Chuck Palmer in the press release. “We appreciate CRK’s thoughtful suggestions on how to further enhance the golf course’s improvement of this green space. CRK’s input has improved the overall project.” Jason Ulseth of Chattahoochee Riverkeeper also praised the compromise in the press release. “We are committed to protecting Tanyard and Peachtree creeks because of the important functions they serve within the larger river system,” Ulseth said. “We appreciate the Foundation’s collaboration and commitment to minimizing impacts and taking steps to better stabilize these stream banks.” Meanwhile, another dispute about the golf course work remains in court. In May, a group of local residents sued the foundation and the state, saying the golf course project is violating various city codes, including the tree ordinance. The foundation says the golf course is state-owned, so city zoning and ordinances do not apply. Palmer said in an email that motions to dismiss the lawsuit are awaiting a judge’s decision. He said the legal action is preventing a similar compromise with the residents. “I’d much prefer to have discussions like we had with Riverkeeper than litigation,” Palmer said. “The lawsuit derailed the productive conversations we were having with the six neighborhood associations.” The formerly city-owned historic golf course was transferred to the state in a 2016 land swap and is undergoing an extensive renovation into a reversible nine-hole course, along with a larger facility whose features will include a golf hall of fame. The state leased the course to the Bobby Jones Golf Course Foundation, which is overseeing the renovation. Construction is underway and the foundation says the course is on track to open this fall.
2300 block of Parkland Drive — Aug. 2 800 block of Chattahoochee Avenue
— Aug. 6
350 block of Peachtree Hills Avenue —
1700 block of Peachtree Street — Aug.
2100 block of Cheshire Bridge Road —
3600 block of Peachtree Road — Aug. 6
500 block of Bishop Street — Aug. 8
400 block of Northside Circle — Aug. 8
B U R G L A RY-R E S I D E N C E 500 block of Echota Drive — Aug. 3 500 block of Bishop Street — Aug. 5 500 block of Bishop Street — Aug. 6 500 block of Bishop Street — Aug. 8 1800 block of Marietta Boulevard —
R O B B E RY 2500 block of Piedmont Road — Aug. 4
LARCENY Between Aug. 1 and Aug. 9, there were
77 larcenies from vehicles reported across Zone 2 and 45 reported cases of larceny and shoplifting.
AU TO T H E F T There were 19 reported incidents of
auto theft between Aug. 1 and Aug. 9.
B U R G L A RYN O N-R E S I D E N C E 1300 block of Peachtree Road — Aug. 1
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2300 block of Parkland Drive — Aug. 2
link local school s to
ent broadcasters the world
A: North Spring
r High School studen t Amari Mosby , right, interviews Hanna Quillen.
B: Westminster students WilliamSchools Bennett Porson Turton and broadcast from Ireland in Augus t 2016. The Westminster varsity footba ll team traveled to play in the AmeriDublin to can Football Classic.
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C: At Holy Innoce nts’ Episcopal School, Hollis Brecher, left, and Faith Wright broadcast from the studio while and Katie Smith Jack Wood work behind the scenes.
A BY DONN A
WILL IAMS LEWI S The AV Tech lab at North Spring ter High Schoo s Charl crackled with creative ergy on a recent afternoon as studen enduced stories ts profor their biweek ly news show. Arnardo Vargas , 18, worked on an intro and ending for his video featuring the school’s Sparta ns football player s. Seniors Jaylan McDonald and Paris Talber t searched apps for “positi ve” background music their
Students are live streaming assemblies, plays, holiday pageants and concerts and producing featur es that will be emailed, played on closed circuit televis ion systems, or posted on Facebook, YouTu be channels, school websites and streaming netwo rks. Relatives can get great views of graduations from across the country. (Check The Westminster out Schools’ 2016 graduation on YouTube.)
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