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AUGUST 17 - 30, 2018 • VOL. 12— NO. 17

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Unitarian Universalist church proposes expansion as regional interest grows PAGE 4

► Exhibits mark 50 years of teaching art in Chastain Park PAGE 18

Opening acts launch city’s arts center

Fireworks permit proposal fizzles, revision ordered BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

PHOTOS BY PHIL MOSIER

The Room to Move Dance group performs “Shouts and Murmurs” as part of “City Springs Day” on Aug. 11, a free day of performances and festivities to open the city’s new Performing Arts Center. Among the other groups performing were the Atlanta Ballet, the Atlanta Opera, the local Act3 Productions theater company, and Roswell Dance Theater. For more about the PAC’s opening season, see citysprings.com. More photos, page 15.►

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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A state law intended to make it easier for cities to regulate fireworks noise has been anything but for Sandy Springs officials, who have struggled at the last two City Council meetings on whether it will work in practice. The law allows cities to restrict fireworks use under local noise ordinances and to create a permitting system to allow their use. But neither options are simple for Sandy Springs. Although council voted Aug. 7 to reenact the noise ordinance to include fireworks under the existing regulations, city officials are worried it will hard for police to enforce. City officials are pushing to create the new permitting system, but have yet to convince council members. The council opted at its Aug. 7 meeting to ask city staff to come back next time with a more fleshed-out proposal for requiring residents to obtain fireworks permits. See FIREWORKS on page 14

Council reappoints four judges BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

The city reappointed four of the sitting Municipal Court judges at its Aug. 7 meeting, opting to not replace Sharon Dickson, a judge who asked not be reappointed to the court following a bias controversy. The other four judges who have sat on the bench were recommended by Paul and reappointed for another four years unanimously by the City Council. They are Candiss L. Howard, Donald Schaefer, Joseph F. Burford and Marcia M. Ernst. A new judge is not currently planned to be reappointed to replace Dickson. See COUNCIL on page 22


2 | Community

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PUBLIC INFORMATION OPEN HOUSE INTERSECTION IMPROVEMENTS AT JOHNSON FERRY RD & MT VERNON HWY The City of Sandy Springs will host a Public Information Open House regarding concepts developed to improve the intersection of Johnson Ferry Road and Mt Vernon Highway. The meeting provides the community the chance to review the concepts, ask questions and provide input.

Thursday, August 30 6:00 p.m. Sandy Springs City Hall 1 Galambos Way Sandy Springs, GA 30328 For more information please visit sandyspringsga.gov

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North end is safer than city, task force learns BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

Members of the north end task force learned the area is safer than the city during an analysis of current demographics and statistics at their Aug. 8 meeting. Data showed the prices for retail and residential properties remain lower than the citywide average, but are climbing, the presentation showed. The data was part of a presentation given by the city’s Economic Development Director Andrea Worthy on the “current situation” in the north end at the North End Revitalization Task Force’s third meeting. The task force is charged with creating ideas for initiatives that could redevelop the city’s north end. In 2017, the crime rate in the north end was 17 offenses per 1,000 people, lower than the city-wide total of 27.9. That is the rate for murder, rape, robbery, burglary, vehicle theft and other major crimes. The citywide and north end rates were more similar in 2015 and 2016, but the north end rates were still lower, according to the presentation. So far in 2018, that rate is also lower in the north end, which is defined for the task force purposes as bordered by Dalrymple Road, Ga. 400 and the city’s northern border at the Chattahoochee River. Roswell Road runs through the center of the area. Sandy Springs spokesperson Sharon Kraun said that crime came up as a topic at the north end open house July 25. “We heard from a number of residents that they felt that crime was much greater on the north end than elsewhere in the city. We ran the numbers to see the true statistics,” Kraun said in an email. A task force member, Jeff Garrison, a partner at developer S. J. Collins Enterprises, also requested crime statistics at the task force’s first social gathering. Gabe Sterling, a former Sandy Springs City Council member, pushed back on the presentation’s calling the crime rates “similar.” He said the data shows the north end is “safer.” Several members commented that it was surprising to learn that in recent years the crime rate in the north end has been lower or similar to the rest of the city. Some City Council members in recent years have spoken about the city’s older apartment complexes as havens for crime and described that as one reason to redevelop them. The task force intends to use the information to shape what projects and initiatives it should be propose to the City Council at the end of the process, meeting facilitator Otis White said. Other main takeaways from the presentation: residents in the north end area are less likely to be homeowners; housing costs are lower; the retail vacancy rate is higher; and residents are younger, more diverse and have less wealth. Worthy said she tried to align the 2016 census tracts as closely as possible with the task force’s focus area. The population of black residents in the north end is 21 percent, nearly double what it is citywide. Thirty-nine percent of the population is white, lower than the citywide 66 percent. Another 20 percent are listed as “other,” higher than the citywide 13 percent, according to the presentation, which used the 2016 census numbers. Residential data shows that the vacancy rate in the north end is 6.6 percent, over a fiveyear average, lower than the citywide 7.5 percent, according to the presentation. The retail vacancy rate in the north end was a couple of percentages higher than the citywide average in 2014 and 2015. It fell below the citywide average in 2016 before spiking last year when the Kroger at Northridge Shopping Center closed, Worthy said. The price per square foot for both residential and retail properties is climbing closer to the citywide average, according to the presentation. North end residential costs $1.13 per square foot, while citywide costs $1.26. Retail property on the north end costs $19.28, a few dollars behind the citywide $23.33 average, the presentation said. Apartments on the north end are more likely to be older and lower density, Worthy said. The members also reviewed the input shared by residents at a recent public meeting, which fell into six main categories: transportation and mobility; affordability and diversity; environment and outdoors; urbanism and quality of life; education; and arts, culture and sports. To read the city’s full report from the meeting, visit sandyspringsga.gov. One idea listed by residents the task force supported and was excited by was a community center or multipurpose sports complex. A complex could be something that could “tie the community together,” a group of task force members said. One challenge, the task force learned, is that much of the area is undevelopable because of the river regulations and stream buffers that restrict land from being built on. Gentrification is another challenge often discussed by the task force, which listed it as a threat to the project in a group exercise. “If we are so successful that rents shoot through the roof, we haven’t met our goal,” said Gabriel Sterling, a former City Council member. The task force’s next meeting is set for Aug. 22 at 5:30 p.m. in City Hall, 1 Galambos Way.

SS


AUGUST 17 - 30, 2018

Community Briefs BR OOK H AVEN TO A SSI ST CITY WI TH 285/ 400 P ROJEC T P O LICING

The Sandy Springs City Council approved an agreement with the city of Brookhaven to increase the pool of off-duty police officers available to assist with the Transform I-285/400 project at its Aug. 7 meeting. The Brookhaven Police Department will now assist with providing off-duty officers to help with traffic control and safety needs around the Georgia Department of Transportation’s Transform I-285/400 project, which includes building new roads and flyover ramps, according to the legislation. The agreement is similar to the one struck with the city of Dunwoody in 2017. Sandy Springs later found that the amount of Sandy Springs and Dunwoody offduty officers would not be enough to handle requests from the contractor performing work on the project, according to a memo from Sandy Springs Police Chief Ken DeSimone describing the need for the agreement. At the same meeting, the city council approved a broader agreement with Brookhaven to assist each other with major events requiring a large police presence. Examples of major events listed in the legislation included large protest demonstrations, aircraft disasters, fires, sporting events, parades and jail or prison escapes, among others. The city council unanimously approved both agreements at the meeting.

M O UN T VERN ON / JOH N SON FER RY C ON C EP TS C OMIN G A UG. 30

The city has set the next open house to present Johnson Ferry Road/Mount Vernon Highway intersection concepts for Aug. 30. The meeting is scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. in City Hall, 1 Galambos Way. It will begin with a presentation at 6:15 p.m. followed by the open house, a press release said. The open house follows the March meeting that presented a controversial plan to build a four-lane cut-through street that would run through what is now a Sandy Springs Branch Library park. Officials at this meeting will present two grid concepts that include pedestrian improvements, according to the release. Both grids would create two separate east/west corridors that can operate independently of each other, the release said. The current intersection is an unusual X-shaped configuration complicated by Boylston Drive entering from the south. Located just a block east of busy Roswell Road, the intersection is known as dangerous and gridlocked during rush hour, though traffic can be light at most other times. The project is one of the many intersections around Sandy Springs targeted for improvement under a transportation special local option sales tax.

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4 | Faith

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Unitarian Universalist church proposes expansion as interest grows BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

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

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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

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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 johnruch@reporternewspapers.net 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.

Exceptional

Educator

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!

SPECIAL

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

SPECIAL

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 dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

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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10 | Commentary

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

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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?

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Put more cops on neighborhood streets

Add more cameras to the police surveillance network

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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 SS


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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Order the book at bestofthenest.net Follow Robin’s book-related appearances at robinconte.com. SS

Commentary | 11

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A car dealership on northern Roswell Road has received approval from the city to expand its parking lot and renovate its showroom, in part for preparation to sell an electric vehicle line. The company also will save space for a multi-use trail on the site to be used as part of a Sandy Springs Conservancy plan. Car dealerships on the north end were once prohibited from expanding, but a controversial 2016 change again allowed them to do so. The area is currently home to several dealerships and is the subject of a specially-created task force to propose redevelopment and “revitalization” ideas. Classic of Atlanta, an existing franchise for new Cadillac, Subaru and Karma vehicles located at 7700 Roswell Road, is proposing to renovate and expand its smaller, closely located sister-site at 7799 Roswell Road, according to its application. Zoning variances needed for the plan were approved by the Board of Appeals at its Aug. 14 meeting, city spokesperson Sharon Kraun. The company would renovate the 3,500-square-foot, one-story showroom building and expand an existing parking lot from approximately 75 parking spaces to approximately 220 parking spaces, the application said. The expansion is proposed in part to sell the high-end electric vehicle line Karma, according to the application. The dealership sought three zon-

ing variances to design around an existing creek setback and easements held by Georgia Power and Colonial Pipeline Company. The company can’t install shade trees on some traffic islands, remove a guardrail for streetscaping or establish additional greenspace due to these constraints, it said in its application. “The redevelopment of an outdated existing automobile dealership into an attractive high-line dealership is an opportunity to wash a low quality, obsolete commercial property and rejuvenate it with a cutting edge automotive retail attraction that meets the city’s development code in all ways where possible,” its application said. The company proposes to save 8,745 square feet for a 15-foot multi-use trail to be used for the Sandy Springs Conservancy’s plan that would eventually connect Morgan Falls to Dunwoody, according to the application. The property is next to Georgia Power’s high-voltage transmission line right of way. The Conservancy revived a plan to build a multi-use trail underneath in 2017. City staff supported that trail proposal and recommended conditions that the company also provide 14 feet of seating along the trail, according the staff report. It also recommends the company comply with streetscape standards where it can along the southern half and plant the required island trees in other areas. The Board of Appeals approved the variances with those conditions, Kraun said. SS


AUGUST 17 - 30, 2018

Community | 13

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New city park quietly opens on Windsor Parkway

Scenes from the new Windsor Meadows Park on Aug. 11. PHOTOS TO PHIL MOSIER

The city’s newest park quietly opened on Windsor Parkway in recent weeks, though some finishing touches are still on the way. Windsor Meadows Park, at Windsor Parkway and Northland Drive along Nancy Creek, is a 4-acre neighborhood park intended for passive use. It has a short loop trail, a lawn, some seats and a swing. The park does not yet have a sign. A few of those touches are coming and a ribboncutting will be held at some point, according to a city spokesperson. The park is the site where three houses were destroyed in a historic 2009 flood. The city purchased the land through a federal flood mitigation grant program. The park was planned for years, but had to go through lengthy state and federal environmental reviews. A pedestrian bridge that connects to the park opened a year ago.

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Fireworks permit proposal fizzles, revision ordered Continued from page 1 The state law, HB419, passed in March, followed a controversial 2015 legalization of fireworks sales in Georgia that led cities to call for regulation over the use. State Rep. Deb Silcox, who represents parts of Buckhead and Sandy Springs, was the law’s lead sponsor. She said it succeeded as a compromise between the needs of rural and urban areas. Cities would now be able to prohibit fireworks use under their noise ordinances, and rural areas could continue using them because they don’t have noise ordinances. Under the state law, several holidays are exempted from the controls, including Jan. 1; Memorial Day in May; July 3 and 4; Labor Day in September; and Dec. 31. But cities are free to prohibit fireworks on other days under their existing noise ordinances, which were previously overridden by state law. Before the bill was passed, Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul and the City Council strongly supported it, and the council passed a resolution urging the General Assembly to approve it. Now, the law is leading to confusion and complaints from City Manager John McDonough that local governments still do not have enough control over regulating fireworks. The law requires cities to use their existing noise ordinance and reenact it if planning to regulate fireworks under the ordinance. They can’t create new regulations specifically tailored to fireworks, according to the law. The council unanimously voted to reenact the ordinance, which means fireworks are now enforced under the noise ordinance. But Sandy Springs officials are preemptively worried police will not be able to cite people for using fireworks under the noise ordinance, in part because of a February change that now requires police officers to use decibel readers to measure sound before issuing citations. City officials feared the previous noise ordinance was too vague and unenforceable. In Sandy Springs, the ordinance prohibits noise over 65 decibels during daytime hours and 55 at night in residential areas, which rules out virtually all fireworks, Lee said. But measuring the noise is a different question, Lee said. “This is like setting a speed limit, and not having radar to clock it,” he said. Police Chief Ken DeSimone said at a previous council meeting that police may struggle with enforcing the fireworks regulations with only the decibel readers.

It’s unclear whether other local cities are having similar struggles. City of Dunwoody Spokesperson Bob Mullen said officials are looking into what they could do under the law. “While nothing has been formalized to date, Dunwoody city staff is looking further into the new state law and what potential changes to existing city ordinances, if any, may mean going forward,” Mullen said. Silcox defended the law and said it is working as intended: to provide flexibility for local governments in how they want to enforce it. “That’s kind of the beauty of this bill, is that you can find what works best in your city,” she said. Lee said the permitting option would give police stronger ability to enforce the fireworks restriction. Only allowing residents to use fireworks on non-exempted days if they have a permit would give officers more ability to enforce it, he said. If a police officer arrived and saw evidence of fireworks use and the resident did not have a permit, they would be in violation, he said. Under the current proposal, permits would cost $5 and last for a day, Lee said. The $5 would cover the cost of the paper the permit is printed on, according to the proposal. State law limits the cost of the permits at $100, and requires they designate the time and location a person could set off fireworks. Residents who receive a permit would be able to shoot off fireworks between 10 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. for the day they have the permit, the city’s proposed ordinance said. Council members wanted much more detail and regulation on the permitting process, including potentially restricting how many could be given to one resident, setting approval criteria and requiring neighborhood notification. McDonough said city staff would look into applying some of the standards the city currently uses to issue filming permits, but Lee warned cities don’t have much leeway for control. “I don’t want you to get your hopes up,” he said. “The state law is very limiting in what you can do.” Councilmember Andy Bauman initially moved to deny the permit proposal, but council later unanimously moved to table the matter until staff could come back with a modified ordinance. “This is a tough one. I think we really need to think it through,” Bauman said. Lee said the ordinance could come back at a work session before the next council meeting Aug. 21. “It’s clear we’ve got some additional work to do on this,” McDonough said.

SS


AUGUST 17 - 30, 2018

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Community | 15

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Opening acts launch city’s arts center

PHOTOS BY PHIL MOSIER

Audience members await a free performance in the Studio Theatre, which doubles as the City Council chamber on non-artistic Tuesday nights.

Olivia Sherman plays a beanbag tossing game with brother Samuel in the City Green park as part of the outdoor festivities.

Having some fun with a barbershop quartet workshop in the Byers Theatre lobby are, from left, Jim Moore; instructor and performer Nick Demeris; below, Anna Stidsen, 7, and Nicole Bluestein, 7. Moore had a leg up as a singer with Atlanta Vocal Project.

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16 | Art & Entertainment

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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.

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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

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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 info@cgatl.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.

VOLUNTEER

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 lesliew@prumc.org.

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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 hglass@heritagesandysprings.org or call 404-8519111 x6.

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18 | Art & Entertainment

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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

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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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► Eyed for trails, pipeline routes are serious business

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

Little-known vet memorials | 8

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

OUT & ABOUT Lantern Parade will light up the Hooch

Page 20 buys condos, displaces tenants

Page 16

johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

JAN PAUL

Chairperson, Georgia Public Broadcasting

See Commentary, Page 14

GRUBB PROPERTIES

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.

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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

PAGE 14

City’s new medical center wants to grow

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

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

See CURRENT on page 22

DeKalb CEO: EMS response time improves BY DYANA BAGBY

dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

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

PHOTOS BY PHIL MOSIER

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

EXCEPTIONAL EDUCATOR Passing on her culinary passion Page 27

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

See PERDUE, page 21.

OUT & ABOUT Get grounded with Earth Day events Page 6

11 — NO. 5

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Glowing for a cause

BY DYANA BAGBY spapers.net dyanabagby@reporternew

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

16, 2017 • VOL.

Buckhead Reporter

and

BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.n et

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

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

FACEBOOK.COM/THEREPOR

Picking up at Peachtree Creek

BY JOHN RUCH

PHIL MOSIER

VOL. 9 — NO. 8

Brookhaven Reporter

PAGE 6

FY2018 budget

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

Pages 18-19

APRIL 14 - 27, 2017 •

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

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

EDUCATION Top of the Class

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

Buckhead ma ster plan to allow more input on big ideas

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

BY DYANA BAGBY

apers.net

dyanabagby@reporternewsp

Classroom gam from math to es, Shakespeare

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

See 6TH on page 18

reporternewspa pers.net

PAGE 5

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

6th District hopefuls squareEXCEPTIONAL EDUCATOR off in debate

EPORTER_NEWS

► New prog ressive attracts activ group ists

OUT & ABOUT

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

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

Massell: Buckhead getting bigger busier, wealth , ier

BY JOHN RUCH

johnruch@repo

rternewspapers.

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

*Source: independent reader survey

www.ReporterNewspapers.net ■ Published by Springs Publishing LLC

net

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


AUGUST 17 - 30, 2018

Classifieds | 21

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Council reappoints four judges for city’s municipal court Continued from page 1 Dickson was accused by a Muslim civil rights organization of making “bigoted” comments to an Iranian-American man, Fazial Azizan. The sentence she set for Azizan was later reduced in a deal be-

tween the city and Azizan’s attorney. Dickson sent a letter to Mayor Rusty Paul and City Attorney Dan Lee July 25 asking not to be reappointed, city spokesperson Sharon Kraun said. “At this juncture, I ask that you not consider me for an appointment for the

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next four-year term. I request the four judges have said they that I be taken off the calendar believe they can handle the for the remainder of the year,” case load among themselves. Dickson wrote. “Again, thanks Paul can later recommend an for the opportunity to serve.” additional judge if it is needed, Dickson also serves on DunMcDonough said. woody’s court. Dunwoody The city has said that muspokesperson Bob Mullen said nicipal judges serve until they Sharon Dickson. that she has performed “admiare replaced or reappointed, rably” on its court and the city even if the reappointment date is not preparing any review of her cashas passed. Councilmember Andy Baues or employment. She has not resigned man asked if Dickson should resign due from Dunwoody’s court, Mullen said in to that. an email. “I thought that someone served until All five judges were overdue for reapthey are either replaced or until they repointment, with their original appointsign. Do you think it would not be more ment letters in 2014 calling for them to be appropriate for this person to resign?” reappointed by the first June city council Bauman asked. meeting. McDonough assured Bauman that Paul said in a previous interview that passing the resolutions that reappointed he does not let “arbitrary” deadlines stop each judge would reduce the number of him from having the appropriate amount judges to four without retaining Dickson. of time to make appointment decisions. The resolutions say that each judge Paul was absent from the Aug. 7 meeting would each need to be reappointed by due to a family death, city spokesperson the first regular council meeting in AuSharon Kraun said. gust 2022. City Manager John McDonough said

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AUGUST 17 - 30, 2018

Public Safety | 23

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Police Blotter / Sandy Springs Steve Rose, who runs the Citizens on Patrol and volunteer units, provided the following information. The following incidents and arrests represent some, but not all, of the reports filed with Sandy Springs Police from July 26- July 31.

„„Battle Ridge — On July 28, the resident

R O B B E RY

„„5500 block of Roswell Road — On July

„„4300 block of Spring Creek Lane — On

July 31, a 33-year-old man reported to police that a man robbed him inside the apartment complex. He told officers that he arrived home just before 5 p.m. It was raining, so he ducked into a breezeway and was looking at his phone when a man suddenly approached him and demanded his money. He told the perp he had only $3 and he could have it. The man pulled a gun and pointed at the victim and again demanded money. Again, he was told all he had was $3. The man ordered the victim to go up the stairs and not to turn around. The suspect then fled. The lookout is for a 20- to 30-year-old male about 6 feet tall, wearing a gray hoodie.

B U R G L A RY „„6000 block of Roswell Road — On July

30, the resident said her cellphone and computer were taken from her apartment. She said she leaves the door unlocked for convenience. She said the burglary took place between July 5 and July 6.

THEFT „„1100 block of Glenridge Place — On July

26, the complainant said just before 1 p.m., a man, described as tall and slender with a red cap, black long-sleeve shirt, red shorts, blue socks, and who appeared to be in his 20s, took two packages from his doorstep. The theft was recorded on video. The items taken were a pair of shoes and a cap. „„Westfair Court — On July 27, the com-

plainant said she ordered medication that never arrived. She said a neighbor found the package, which had been opened. The contents included medicine that needed to be refrigerated immediately. „„1000 block of Johnson Ferry Road — On

July 27, the complainant said he parked his 2009 VW CC Sport in the parking deck at around 7:15 a.m.. He told the officer he left the keys in the car. When he returned just after 10 a.m., the car was gone. Video showed a man about 6 feet in height, slim, wearing a red T-shirt, jeans and black tennis shoes with white soles. He had a shaggy haircut and carried a red backpack. He exited the ninth-floor stairs and took the car. „„2400 block of Sandalwood Drive — On

July 27, the resident reported a UPS package was delivered, and then stolen from his apartment. The package contained an iPhone. SS

reported that a package delivered around 4 p.m. was stolen. The package contained a car seat. 28, the complainant said he was sitting on his doorsteps with his phone. He momentarily left to return inside, then returned to the steps to find that his phone was gone. „„200 block of River Vista Drive — On

July 29, the complainant’s Sondors electric bike was stolen from a shared storage area. „„6500 block of Roswell Road — On July

July 27, the victim said someone used his name and personal information to open a fake construction company. SunTrust Bank informed him that the company bank account was overdrawn over $17,000. „„6500 block of Roswell Road — On July

27, an employee of a store that buys used clothing wrote a check to a customer for $28. That check was later altered to read $2,400. The person who sold the clothing and took the check is suspected of doing the same in Atlanta and has an active warrant. „„300 block of Summerset Lane — On

29, the complainant said her Mazda 6 car was stolen.

July 30, a victim said someone in Dallas, Texas used her information to lease an apartment.

„„700 block of Hammond Drive — On

„„5400 block of Chemin De Vie — On July

July 30, the complainant said his 2015 red Nissan Altima was stolen from the visitor’s parking area of the condos. „„8000 block of Roswell Road — On July

30, the complainant said she left a black suitcase outside of her apartment at around 8:45 p.m. She went back outside at 9:30 p.m. and the suitcase was gone. She told the officer there was nothing of value inside the suitcase, but she felt violated. „„8300 block of Roswell Road — On July

31, a 29-year-old man reported that he shipped a new iPhone, valued at $1,000, to an address in Louisiana. He was later told the box he shipped was empty. The box appeared to have been cut from the bottom and then re-sealed. He told officers he shipped from the UPS store and watched as the package was sealed. UPS has initiated an investigation into the theft.

THEFTS FROM VEHICLES „„Between July 26 and July 31, 16 thefts

from vehicles were reported.

F R AU D „„7900 block of Roswell Road — On

July 26, a former property manager at an apartment complex was suspected of cashing money orders intended for rent payments. „„100 block of Lexington Place — On July

26, the Wells Fargo fraud department reported a possible fraud after a customer had his account accessed and money deposited, followed by an attempt to withdraw $1,746. „„2000 block of Dunwoody Club Drive —

On July 26, a 56-year-old Marietta man is suspected of an attempt to cash a $1,682 check from a company in Cincinnati. „„500 block of Parkerton Lane — On

Perimeter Mall to buy clothes for his son. According to the complainant, the driver did not follow directions to the mall, so he attempted to give a correction. The driver became verbally abusive so the complainant told her he wanted out. She said something to the effect, “I’ll handle you,” and at some point let it be known she had a pistol in the car. He said the gun was never pointed at him or even shown. To date, they have not identified the driver although the driver herself called 911, at the same time the complainant did, to report the incident and said that she did have a weapon in the car.

30, a victim reported someone used his personal information to open an account with Charles Schwab Co. The company cancelled the account before any activity occurred.

A S S AU LT „„200 block of Sandy Springs Place — On

July 27, a restaurant employee said she accidentally bumped into a co-worker, who then punched her in the arm and then yelled at her in front of customers. „„5600 block of Glenridge Drive — On July

28, a 28-year-old man said he took MARTA from Decatur to Sandy Springs to meet with his uncle at his workplace somewhere on Glenridge Drive. He met his uncle at an office, then briefly excused himself to the bathroom. When he came out, he was looking into his phone. He looked up to see his uncle, who then began punching him in the face. He told officers his uncle was mad over the victim doing something with his daughter, a.k.a. the cousin of the victim. A friend took the victim to St. Joseph’s Hospital where he was treated for injuries to his face. So far, the victim cannot provide any information on his uncle other than his name. „„100 block of Northwood Drive — On July

28, a 35-year old man reported that shortly after 2 a.m., he and his friend were walking from a nightclub when five males approached them, armed and demanding money. The victim tried to run but fell and then was beaten with a metal pipe. The suspects stole his friend’s wallet and phone before fleeing. The victim was treated for injuries, including a large laceration to his leg. The only descriptions of the suspects was that they wore all black and had afrostyle haircuts. „„6400 block of Peachtree-Dunwoody

Road — On July 30, a man reported to police he hired a Lyft driver to take him to

ARRESTS „„1000 block of Johnson Ferry Road—

On July 27, a 51-year-old man was arrested after he was observed injecting an unknown substance into the IV line of a patient at Northside Hospital. According to the report, the patient went into cardiac arrest within a minute but was revived and later taken to ICU where he is recovering. „„Ga. 400/ Northridge Road — DUI „„I-285/Roswell Road — No Insurance „„Ga. 400/Northridge — No Insurance „„6600 block of Roswell Road — Cruel-

ty to Children „„Roswell Road/ Northridge Road —

DUI „„Harbor Point Parkway — DUI „„200 block of Sandy Springs Place—

Shoplifting „„Ga. 400/Northridge Road — Cocaine

Possession

OT H E R I N C I D E N T S „„A 41-year-old man reported that he con-

ducts business for his auto dealership on Facebook. On July 29, he answered a “friend” request that appeared to be one of his 40plus contacts on social media. He soon received nude photos from a woman who said she was 26 years old and lived in Germany. He responded by sending nude photos of himself. Shortly after, the woman, or someone informed him, that she was a minor and he was participating in child porn. A demand for money soon followed. Later, to make things worse, he was suspended from his workplace pending an investigation. Well, if you read this report enough, you’ll recognize that this is not the first time we’ve seen this scenario. Guys, remember this: Don’t let Little Elvis leave the building! Recognize that unsolicited nude photos of women may not be a legit signal to return the favor.


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