8-18-17 Sandy Springs Reporter

Page 1

AUGUST 18 - 31, 2017 • VOL. 11— NO. 17


Sandy Springs Reporter



► High school football team tackles community needs PAGE 8 ► Local librarians recommend autumn reads PAGE 14

Taking a munch break

City gears up to remake northern Roswell Road BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

Ken Dishman stood in the parking lot of a recently renovated strip mall on a recent afternoon and pointed over the cars zooming by on Roswell Road. The city councilmember noted a tidy green space with flowering trees that had replaced a long-vacant gas station, and a new Wendy’s going into a burned-out restaurant space. And he said it’s not nearly enough. “Those are incremental changes that certainly help overall, but they’re not going to change the game,” he said. Voters elected Dishman four years ago to help spur massive redevelopment of the See CITY on page 18

Michael Swanson, owner of Get Your Goats Rental, gets goat to goatee with Snowball, one of 33 goats hired by the city to munch their way through weeds at Hammond Park Aug. 10. The goats cost $850, which is less than human labor, according to the city. The goats may hoof it to other city parks later. ►See more photos on p. 20.

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This has been a long road the city has traveled to reach this point on the issue of [the] secondary effect of serving alcohol in adult strip clubs.

OUT & ABOUT Walking, wagging for a cause

Former city attorney, speaking on the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling in a decade-long legal battle

See Story, page 2

New zoning code approved with some big changes BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net After more than two years of work, Sandy Springs has a new zoning code with some big, last-minute changes, including the killing of an affordable housing mandate and the creation of a ban on new gas station locations. The Development Code unanimously approved by the City Council Aug. 15 also wipes out most existing “conditions” on previous rezonings and allows storage units in more areas – two other points of contention. The culmination of the city’s “Next

Wendell Willard

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Page 25

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City wins legal appeal on adult business restrictions BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

The city of Sandy Springs is the winner of a federal court appeal challenging its restrictions on adult businesses as unconstitutional. The Aug. 14 decision essentially means that an adult bookstore and two strip clubs must move or shut down unless they file an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court. Cary Wiggins, one of the attorneys representing the adult businesses in the case, indicated that appeal is on the way. “We are still evaluating the decision. But yes, there will be further action on the case,” he said. Wendell Willard, the former city attorney who was involved in the decade-long legal battle, said the city is “pleased the three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals did unanimously and fully agree with the District Court’s opinion.” “This has been a long road the city has traveled to reach this point on the issue of [the] secondary effect of serving alcohol in adult strip clubs,” Willard said. “Many times the courts have upheld similar ordinances in other jurisdictions, and we are pleased to have reached this point.” City Attorney Dan Lee echoed Willard’s comments and said the city is prepared if the businesses file an appeal,

which has a 30-day deadline. “The city’s committed to staying with it,” Lee said. “[We will] keep our powder dry.” The case involves the bookstore Inserection and the strip clubs Flashers and Mardi Gras. It began in 2006, when the businesses challenged new city codes suggested by Scott Bergthold, a Tennessee attorney who specializes in municipal laws cracking down on sexually oriented businesses. The codes aimed to ban the sale of booze — a major source of revenue — in strip clubs and to place strong zoning restrictions on where such businesses could operate. The businesses filed suit in federal district court alleging that the city was violating the First and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Last year, the city won the lawsuit, with a judge ruling that the city was not violating the Constitution and that the plaintiffs essentially had no case. The adult businesses appealed to the federal 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. In an unsigned decision issued Aug. 14, the court upheld the lower court ruling. The court wrote that the businesses were “asking us to announce three new and substantial changes in the law governing their right to free speech and expression under both the U.S. and Georgia Constitu-

tions,” and the court declined to do that. However, the opinion seems to allow some room for an appeal based on the interpretation of Reed v. Town of Gilbert, a significant 2016 U.S. Supreme Court decision involving free speech and city restrictions on signs. The adult businesses would have to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. Inserection is also involved in another lawsuit against the city challenging a ban on sex-toy sales. The city killed that law in March, just days after the 11th Circuit court agreed to hear an appeal and appeared likely to declare the law unconstitutional. However, the case has moved ahead despite the elimination of the law in question, and a decision is pending, Wiggins said. Inserection’s days may be numbered at its storefront at 7855 Roswell Road — directly across the street from City Hall — no matter what happens with the lawsuits. The family that owns the building has it on the market, and its local broker believes redevelopment will happen soon — and will not include Inserection after its lease expires. “We would like to get rid of them, and we think we can do that fairly soon,” said Larry Brown, the broker for the family whose members live in California and Iran. “I foresee that being something dif-


The sign for the adult bookstore Inserection at 7855 Roswell Road.

ferent in the next 12 months.” Brown noted that the city’s new zoning code allows for automotive uses on the property — which is next door to a luxury sports car dealership — and other commercial uses. He said the property nearly had a buyer earlier this year. Inserection is within a small shopping center that is largely vacant. Brown said the center’s representatives have trouble finding tenants willing to be the bookstore’s neighborhood, and he noted that a spa in the center closed down after a police raid last year. “We’re trying to clean up the eyesore,” he said. Wiggins, the business’ attorney, said the bookstore has no plans to move. “Inserection is unaware of a pending or imminent sale of the building,” Wiggins said. “It plans to stay where it is.”

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AUGUST 18 - 31, 2017

Community | 3


Community Briefs


A new fundraising foundation for City Springs’ arts programming has been established, featuring seven board members, many of whom have extensive experience with major Atlanta arts organizations. The Sandy Springs Foundation will raise money for an endowment to fund educational and other arts-related program at the new civic center set to open next year. The foundation will also handle such related affairs as naming rights to the facility’s performing arts center, said city spokesperson Sharon Kraun. The intent is to “make sure we have the highest-quality artistic and cultural events,” said Mayor Rusty Paul at the Aug. 15 City Council meeting, where the board members were approved. The foundation already exists, but was “somewhat moribund,” as Paul put it. It is being revived for the City Springs effort. The first seven members will serve as the executive committee, with others possibly added later. City representatives on the board include City Manager John McDonough and, in an ex officio role, Michael Enoch, the performing arts center’s general manager. Other members include: • Kenny Blank: Executive director the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival; former journalist; board member of the Arthur Blank Family Foundation, the Woodruff Arts Center, the Alliance Theatre and the Metropolitan Atlanta Arts Fund. • Ken Byers: Founder of Byers Engineering Company and trustee of the Georgia Tech Foundation. • Jan Collins: Board member of the local Act3 Productions theater company; past president of the Sandy Springs Society and Art Sandy Springs; founder of the city’s turtle statue project; former appointee to the Georgia Council for the Arts; former board member at the Atlanta Opera and the Alliance Theatre. • Frances Creekmuir: Founder of Creekmuir Wellness and works with such organizations as the Community Assistance Center and the Center for Puppetry Arts. • Mark Oshnock: A Northside Hospital executive. • Ed Patterson: Vice president of corporate communications at Veritiv, a Sandy Springs-based Fortune 500 company, and former public affairs director at Cox Enterprises. In other City Springs arts news, Paul said in a July 31 interview that an in-house theater company for the facility is in discussion, possibly under the name City Springs Players.

P O L I C E T O B UY GOL F C A RT, BUL L ETPR O O F AR M O R A golf cart to patrol the future City Springs civic center and a set of bulletproof armor are on the Sandy Springs Police Department’s shopping list with a $14,492 federal grant. The golf cart will make “officers a little more approachable” at City Springs, said Deputy Chief Keith Zgonc at the Aug. 15 City Council meeting where the expenditures were approved. The cart will cost $8,650. The armor consists of 20 “ballistic plate carriers” – vests with pockets that contain armor plates capable of stopping rifle bullets. Some officers, such as those on the SWAT team, already have such armor, Zgnoc said, but the new gear will be made available to other officers. The cost is $5,842.


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Religious sidewalk singer draws criticism BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

A woman who sings loudly in front of Congregation Beth Tefillah on High Point Road on Saturday mornings is disturbing congregants and neighbors. But she says she is trying to heal what she said is a “rift” between Christians and Jews. Maverine Henry – who goes by “Mercy” — sings from the sidewalk, but ran into trouble in March, when Sandy Springs Police charged her with disorderly conduct and trespassing for allegedly standing in a nearby yard. Henry said in an email that her songs are “prayer set to music in a language the Creator understands. I consider the fact that the prayer songs are not understood a good thing because it allows for discretion even though it is being done in public.” “It’s not singing, it’s wailing,” said Carolyn Massicott, who owns the home at High Point Road and Forest Hills Drive, across the street from the synagogue, where Henry was arrested. “It’s invasive every Saturday morning.” The songs have no words and are essentially high-pitched vocalizations. Massicott said the noise disturbs her family and her neighbors every weekend. “I understand the premise of protest,

but at the same time she is making our weekend unpleasant – she is infringing on my right to have a pleasant weekend.” A rabbi at Congregation Beth Tefilla, an Orthodox synagogue, told police while she has the right to protest, she was not welcome on their property. The rabbi also told police his religion does not recognize women singing and that Henry’s doing so was “very offensive” as people and families had to walk past her to enter the synagogue, according to a police report. The synagogue declined to comment for this story. “The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution gives anyone the right to peaceful assembly,” said Sandy Springs Police spokesperson Sgt. Samuel Worsham. “The issue [in March] was that Ms. Henry trespassed on private property. She was asked to move to the public right of way and she refused. She is allowed to be on public property, [such as] the sidewalk, as long as there is no interference with passage by pedestrians.” Henry is fighting the Sandy Springs charges. Court records show she faces similar charges in Gwinnett County. Henry has recently been joined on the sidewalk by her daughter Grace, 25, who sits next to her mother and reads.

“I think everyone has their right for expression, but I’m not sure what the purpose is,” Heather O’Connor said on a recent Saturday morning as she walked past Henry. O’Connor said she is disturbed to see those attending the synagogue for Saturday services, including many children and toddlers, being forced to walk past her. “Those children have the PHOTOS BY DYANA BAGBY right to go to their place of Maverine “Mercy” Henry sings outside Congregation worship without interferBeth Tefillah on the morning of Saturday, Aug. 12. ence,” she said. out,” she stated. Henry does not speak Henry said she lives near Riverdale in while she is singing and instead plants Clayton County and does not belong to cardboard signs next to her for people to any church or congregation. read that explains what they hear are “pe“I did grow up in church, but in retitions in song to our mercifully compassearching Judaism I realized I was raised sionate Creator for an end to all suffering.” to pray like a Jew and my mom is of JewHenry, who said she plans to soon leish descent,” she stated. gally change her name to Mercy, declined She said she does “prayer songs” in an in-person interview, but agreed to anfront of two churches and two synaswer questions via email. gogues in metro Atlanta on weekends. She “The word-by-word content of these said that since 2007 she has sung in front prayers and the melody the prayers are of churches and synagogues in four states. set to is hidden from even me. When I “My part in earth’s unfolding story is stand in front of a place, in an act of faith, to be the drop that starts the ripple effect I open my mouth, exhale and songs flow for the regeneration and restoration of all creation. Key to this process is ending a 2,000-year-old rift between Jews and Christians,” Henry stated. “Jews and Christians both know the power of prayer to affect change, so for me it is a matter of showing up and playing my part until the job is done,” she stated. Henry said she believes her prayer songs will lead to a “surprise ending for Jews and Christians.” “But it is such a better ending — a good ending for all mankind — not just the ones who got ‘chosen’ because they happened to be ‘in the right place at the right time,’ ”Henry stated. “All of humanity (and creation) has suffered because of the mistake of the first couple. All of humanity deserve life in a world that is free from the darkness their mistake allowed in.” Henry added, “I did not start this family war between Jews and Christians, but I will sure end it because it stands between us and paradise. This is my present mission within my mission.”


AUGUST 18 - 31, 2017

Community | 5


Test-driving Atlanta’s new bike share service BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

With Atlanta’s Relay Bike Share service recently rolling out, Reporter Newspapers took a test drive of the bicycle rental service. While the bikes gave a nice ride, the lack of bike lanes on local streets could make using them a challenge. Bike share systems have recently been proposed in Sandy Springs and some private systems are operating in Perimeter Center. But Atlanta is the first local city to launch a full public system. Buckhead is the latest neighborhood in Atlanta to join the city’s bicycle share station system, which allows users to rent a bike for a fee from an automated kiosk or with a smartphone app. Three stations, or “hubs,” were installed in July and can be found across the street from the Lenox MARTA Station at East Paces Ferry and Lenox roads; at Tower Place, at the intersection of Lenox and Piedmont roads; and in Piedmont Center, which is on the opposite side of Lenox Road from Tower Place. None of the bikes at the Lenox MARTA Station were out for use on a recent Sunday, but on some weekdays all the Tower Place bikes are being used. Other experienced cyclists were riding their own bikes were in the area.

The test drive started at the Relay hub at the Lenox MARTA Station, followed by a quick ride around the block bounded by Lenox Road, East Paces Ferry Road, Oak Valley Road and Wright Avenue. None of those streets in that area have bike lanes, making for a challenging ride, and city code bars bike-riding on the sidewalks. For a first-time user, getting a Relay bike takes about five minutes. Instead of renting from a kiosk and swiping a credit card, riders type in an account number and PIN on a small display on the rear of the bike powered by a solar panel. But first, they must download the Social Bicycles app or visit the Relay Bike Share website at relaybikeshare.com to create an account and enter payment information. If a rider isn’t a monthly or yearly subscriber, he or she must buy a 30-minute ride for $3.50 manually on the app or website before each ride and before entering the account number on the bike’s display. A monthly membership costs $15 and allots members 90 minutes of daily ride time. An annual membership costs $10 a month and a full year has to be paid up front. Individual rides are $3.50 for 30 minutes and 15 cents for each minute after. Monthly or yearly subscribers can tap a member card on the same display, similar to tapping a MARTA Breeze card at the


This Relay Bike Share station outside the Lenox MARTA station was installed in July along with two other bike share stations in Buckhead.

transit gates. After paying for a ride online, riders activate the display and follow the prompts to enter the account number and PIN. Then, riders pull out the metal U-shaped lock and place it in the holes on the side of the bike. The display on the back keeps tabs on the duration, distance and cost of the ride. Riders may return a bike to any Relay Bike Share rack for free. Bikes also may be returned to any normal public bike rack in the Relay system’s area for a fee of $2. It will cost a rider $20 to leave a bike at a pub-

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doghouse-turned-airplane in the comic strip “Peanuts.” The logo appears on a patch — authorized by the late “Peanuts” creator Charles Schulz — that has been worn by the unit’s cadets ever since. “The patch represents taking on a difficult foe and facing our challenges and coming out on top,” said Brian Berry, a pilot and the Sandy Springs unit’s

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historian. “It’s unique, it’s bold and simple, and it’s authorized.” The Civil Air Patrol, or CAP, is an auxiliary of the Air Force that specializes in aerospace education, cadet programs, and emergency services. A civilian nonprofit organization, CAP is known for providing search and rescue missions. CAP was created in 1941 to fly anti-submarine combat patrols during World War II. There are currently more than 1,500 units with 57,000 members. The Sandy Springs unit started meeting in 1963 at Sandy Springs High School. Today the squadron meets weekly at St. Jude’s Catholic Church. Senior members teach cadets ages 13 to 21 about aviation and the military. They are trained how to survive in the woods and how to search for missing aircraft. Cadets who complete training receive the Snoopy patch. The patch was designed to adorn the Sandy Springs unit’s uniforms in 1967 by Cadet Commander Joe Congleton. He modeled the patch on the cover of Schulz’s 1966 cartoon book “Snoopy and the Red Baron.” Congleton added the words “The Flyin’ 45th” to refer to the squad’s charter number. Lt. Harry Topliss wrote to Schulz to ask permission for the use of Snoopy’s image on the patch. In a brief letter dated July 25, 1967, Shultz replied, “You

certainly may have my permission to use Snoopy in your squadron patch. I am flattered that you wish to do so.” In the years since, copies of the patch have traveled with CAP alumni to space, to the Middle East, and even on Air Force One, the president’s airplane. Significant wearers have included former Georgia cadet and astronaut Eric Boe in 2011; Andrew Steadman, a White House military aide promoted in 2016 by President Obama; and Thomas McArthur, a Coast Guard rescue swimmer who saved 12 lives in 2010. “[The patch] represents the continuity of the squadron that has done great things in the past and plans to do great things in the future,” said Berry. “It shows a determined Snoopy facing a difficult foe and taking a few hits on his

doghouse and yet with either a grin or a grimace on his face, is working through his problems and facing his challenges.” Congleton is part of that sense of determination. He received a nomination to the U.S. Air Force Academy, but couldn’t qualify for medical reasons. He studied at Georgia Tech before dropping out to go to flight school with the U.S. Army. He was selected to fly the AH-1G Cobra fighter helicopter in 1969. He flew Cobras in Vietnam until April 1970, when his base was attacked and he was severely injured. He earned the Air Medal and a Purple Heart for his service. For more information about the Sandy Springs unit, see ga045.org.

CHECK OUT ANOTHER LOCAL CAP CADET SQUADRON The DeKalb Civil Air Patrol Cadet Squadron meets on ongoing Thursdays, from 6:45 p.m. to 9 p.m. Boys and girls ages 12 to 18 can learn about aviation, aerospace, leadership, search and rescue, first aid and character development in weekly Civil Air Patrol Cadet Squadron meetings at Peachtree DeKalb Airport. The squadron also participates in aircraft orientation flights, field trips and community service. 2000 Airport Road, Suite 227, Chamblee. Info: GA065.org.

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Jeremiah Collier, left, and Ethan Haas, seniors on the Dunwoody High School Wildcats football team, were up early the night after a pre-season game to volunteer to pack food to be sent to impoverished communities in Honduras.


Dunwoody football players tackle community needs BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

Jeremiah Collier, a senior linebacker on Dunwoody High School’s football team, is known for some fierce licks against running backs trying to sneak up the middle during a game.

Jeremiah Collier, a senior linebacker, carries a box of prepackaged food to be shipped.

He also could easily carry a heavy box filled with bags of rice in Dunwoody United Methodist Church’s recent Foodstock event, where volunteers prepared boxes of food to be sent to impoverished communities in Honduras. “I like to help the less fortunate,” Collier said. Collier was working an 8 a.m. shift at the church along with about a dozen other DHS football players who also had played late the night before in a pre-season game against Appalachee High School. The Dunwoody Wildcats won 30-7. “Yeah, I had a good game,” Collier said, smiling. “Had some good tackles.” DHS Head Coach Mike Nash says how his players perform on the field is important – but even more important is how they carry themselves off the field. When Nash came to DHS two years ago from Shiloh High School in Snellville, he wanted to instill in his players not only the fundamentals of football, but also the importance of service to the community. “For me, football is a community thing,” Nash said. “Football does a lot to

bring a community together.” While volunteering for various organizations is not required, Nash said it is strongly encouraged. “It’s important the players understand they are part of something bigger than themselves,” he said. Daneen Collier, Jeremiah’s mother, and Tricia Casey, whose son Charley is a senior wide receiver for the Wildcats, are in charge of organizing volunteer opportunities for the players. The team has done jobs ranging from clearing brush and weeds at the historical Stephen Martin Cemetery, which is tucked behind the strip mall adjacent to the massive State Farm development, to cleaning up and setting up for the city’s annual Fourth of July parade. “There are a lot of projects where it helps to have some brawn,” Daneen Collier said. Tricia Casey said the team’s dedication to community service creates “the closest thing to Mayberry, in a good way,” for the city and its residents. “These boys need to be going out into the community to help the community that supports us so much,” she said.

Ethan Haas, a senior running back, carries packaged rice to be put into food boxes.

Ethan Haas, a senior running back, was all smiles despite the early morning at DUMC as he helped organize the boxes of food. “This is a chance for us to give back to the community, to be part of it, because we want them to come out and support us on Friday nights,” he said.

AUGUST 18 - 31, 2017

Community | 9


FALL 2017 HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL SCHEDULE Listed are the public high schools in the Reporter Newspapers communities


Sept. 1: At McNair Sept. 29: At Pataula Charter Oct. 6: At North Springs Oct. 13: Clarkston Oct. 20: At Glascock County Oct. 27: Pataula Charter


Freshman Wildcats Davis Ledoyen, far left, Conner MacDonald and Grey Kuriger measure rice as part of prepared food packages.

Those Friday nights are when a community comes together to cheer a team and the players on the field represent their parents, their school and the entire community, Nash said. “Our motto is, ‘Family,’” he said. “We are helping raise these kids to turn them into men.” Sweating on a field in practice and during games is one thing, Nash said, but then to volunteer side-by-side unloading pumpkins for a church sale or hammering 2-by-4s at the Donaldson Bannister Farm as part of its preservation project is another way to bring players closer together. He hopes that dedication to each other will translate into good plays and strong efforts on the field. “Football is a game played with emo-

tion and passion,” Nash said. “But it’s more important to coach the community.” Ben Stecker, a senior and long snapper for the Wildcats, said volunteering in the community “is a way to make our mark on Dunwoody.” Junior cornerback Will Forth said helping others is a way to “try to make things better.” Ricki Vann, a member of Dunwoody UMC, was packaging food with her husband, Mike, and a group of players. “They are hard workers,” she said. “It shows they have integrity and they want to help others. It’s great to have young people involved in positive things and not negative things.” She said she and her husband watch the Wildcats every Friday on TV. The team is forced to play at North DeKalb


Sept. 1: Chamblee Sept. 8: North Atlanta Sept. 22: At Chattahoochee Sept. 29: Northview Oct. 6: At Cambridge Oct. 13: Pope Oct. 20: At Centennial Oct. 27: At Alpharetta Nov. 4: Johns Creek


Sept. 1: At KIPP Atlanta Collegiate Sept. 8: At Dunwoody Sept. 15: Chattahoochee Sept. 22: Pope Sept. 29: At Alpharetta Oct. 13: At Centennial Oct. 20: Northview Oct. 27: At Johns Creek Nov. 3: Cambridge

Stadium in Chamblee because of the poor conditions of its own home field. A $2 million capital campaign is underway to build a new athletic complex at Dunwoody High School. When Nash came to Dunwoody in 2015, there were 17 players on the Wildcats squad. Today there are more than 100. The team’s records have been notably dismal the past several years and the team is still “learning how to play


Aug. 25: At KIPP Atlanta Collegiate Sept. 1: At Towers Sept. 15: Decatur Sept. 23: At Carver, Atlanta Sept. 29: Jackson, Atlanta Oct. 6: Cross Keys Oct. 13: At Grady Oct. 20: Riverwood Oct. 27: At Banneker Nov. 3: At Lithia Springs


Aug. 25: Jefferson Sept. 1: Holy Innocents’ Sept. 8: Woodward Academy Sept. 15: At Banneker Sept. 22: Lithia Springs Oct. 6: At Decatur Oct. 14: Carver, Atlanta Oct. 20: At North Springs Oct. 27: Grady Nov. 3: At Jackson, Atlanta

football,” he said. “We’re miles ahead of where we’ve been the past two years,” he said. “Now we are learning how to be competitive.” Nash also praised the city of Dunwoody, saying the players come to him already with a sense of knowing they are part of a community and helping others is a priority. “This is a special community,” he said.




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Max Seidel has always had a passion for engineering. “Since I was really young, I always wanted to take apart things and put them back together, and I still am that way,” he said. So it seemed only natural for him to enter Riverwood International Charter School’s Science Fair during his sophomore year. His project was a 3-D printed prosthetic arm that a wearer can move with electric impulses from their remaining muscles. “It was basically an alternate way of giving people who don’t have the money to afford $50,000 prosthetic arms individual finger movement, which I achieved by making it 3-D printable and lowering the cost to around $500, which was a big thing for children, specifically,” he said. Although it was his first science fair, Max impressed the judges and won first place. He then went on to a Fulton County fair. He recalls being overwhelmed with pride and excitement. After the county fair, Max competed at the state level and won numerous awards, including “Best Biophysics Project” and “Intel Excellence in Computer Science.” He was also interviewed by Dr. Christopher Horvoka, a professor of prosthetics at Georgia Tech, and won an award from him for “Prosthetics and Orthotics Wearable Technology.” Additionally, Max’s prosthetic arm was shown at the Tellus Science Museum in Cartersville as part of a four-week exhibition. He then went on to the International Science Fair, where he was able to meet teenagers around the globe with a passion for science, technology and engineering. “It really enlightens you to learn that these people are all there for a goal,” he said. “The goal is advancing humanity, whether it be in the sciences, in engineering aspects, biology, biomedical, physics, chemistry, everything. No matter what politics say, people want to do good.” He cites the people he met at the International Science Fair as his favorite part of the experience, and noticed the importance of their passion. “It’s easier to teach someone the

Standout Student


Max Seidel

knowledge behind something. It’s not really easy to teach someone to have a passion,” he said. He was also able to meet Nobel laureates and MacArthur fellows, and was inspired by the work they do to help others. “I’m more into helping other people because I’ve seen how you can do it through other people, how big of a deal it is,” he said. Max always had a deep passion for helping others, and this passion was a large motivator in his project. “I want to help people to achieve things that previously they couldn’t,” he said. Max now is working with his synagogue’s nonprofit organization to fund and create a prosthetic arm for a child in need. Although it was a difficult process to teach himself how to create the arm, Max considers it well worth the effort. To learn how to build the project, he used a combination of YouTube videos and help from teachers, physical therapists and a Georgia Tech graduate student. Max says he has two statements that he lives by. Number one, never let age get in the way of pursuing a passion, and number two, “It doesn’t matter what other people think of you.” “In my philosophy,” he said, “weird people change the world.”

What’s Next?

Max will continue to compete in science fairs, and plans to pursue engineering as a career. This article was reported and written by Sarah Kallis, a student at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School.

Education | 11

AUGUST 18 - 31, 2017 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Vonda Vrieland Pace Academy

ing, reading and writing, with the child’s voice as the primary instrument. The Creative Movement approach teaches elements of music (such as beat, rhythm, dynamics and tempo) and personal expressions through movement. I also use folk dancing to teach sequential dance patterns and world music.

Editor’s note: Through our “Exceptional Educator” series, Reporter Newspapers is showcasing the work of some of the outstanding teachers and administrators at our local schools. If you would like to recommend an Exceptional Educator, please email editor@ReporterNewspapers.net.


A: I was inspired by my mom and teach-

ers I had throughout my school years. As a child, I went to my mom’s music classroom during Spring Break. I remember participating and having the time of my life because I was able to play the instruments, sing and dance. In fact, after her day was over, I would venture out to other classrooms and act like I was teaching a class. Back at home, I am grateful I had friends who loved to play school. We would set up a classroom with a blackboard and assign a teacher and a few students. We all wanted to be that difficult student to see how our friend [playing the role of the teacher] would handle the situation.

Q: Has the appeal changed? A: No, the appeal has not changed. I

think I have the best job in the world because I get to sing, dance, play instruments, listen to music and act every day!

Q: What keeps you going year after year?

A: The exuberant response of the children as they sing, dance, play instruments and create.

Q: What do you think makes a great teacher?

Is there a “trick” that works to get students involved?

Vonda Vrieland




The “trick” is making it fun, while the child is unaware of how much they are learning.


What do you hope your students take away from your class?

During the holiday season, the entire Lower School presents “Light One Candle” to the families and community. The program is a unique reenactment of the Jewish story of Hanukkah, as well as the Christian story of Christmas. Every student learns and sings songs in multiple languages and American Sign Language.


I hope my students gain an appreciation and love for music, progress in musical skills development, become independent learners, and continue to learn and enjoy music throughout their lifetime.

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A teacher who is passionate about teaching, loves children, [is] an encourager, a good role model, mindful of individual needs, actively involved in their lessons and a lifelong learner. A great teacher should be involved in the community by attending workshops, conferences and being part of a network supporting excellence in music education.

Q: What do you want to see in your A:


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Q: What attracted you to teaching at


Drama is a collaborative effort between the classroom and music teacher. Each student in the elementary school participates in a musical play where they have a significant role through speaking, singing and choreography.


Pace Academy’s Vonda Vrieland, who has been teaching music for 21 years, was inspired by her mother’s career in the same field. As a child, Vrieland said, she pretended to teach music classes at her mother’s school during breaks. Vrieland uses singing, dancing, writing and composing, among other activities, to teach her students about music, hoping to see them “to reflect the joy of making music,” she said. The students all participate in plays, including one in the holiday season that has them sing in multiple languages and perform in American Sign Language.

Another feature of our program is the Lunchtime Concerts. Students who take outside music lessons are able to perform in front of their peers, teachers and parents during lunchtime.

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I want them to reflect the joy of making music and take personal investment in their learning.

Q: How do you engage your students? A: I use a myriad of teaching manip-

ulatives and games. Sometimes a puppet introduces a song; a beach ball is tossed from student to student to practice reading rhythms and pitch; a stonepassing game to encourage steady beat; chasing games to teach a musical concept; an interactive board to assist in musical writing; and many other fun games and teaching tools.

Q: Do you have a project or special A:

program you use year after year?

I weave together three best practices in music education: the Orff-Schulwerk, Kodaly, and Creative Movement. Through the Orff-Schulwerk approach, the child experiences music naturally and unconsciously through imitation, exploration, improvisation, composing, drama and speech. The Kodaly Method uses a sequential approach to teaching skills such as singing, listening, mov-

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12 | Community

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Eclipse viewing parties offer safe way to watch BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

Two local nature centers and a public library will host viewing parties for a solar eclipse on Monday, Aug. 21. A total solar eclipse, where the moon blocks the light from the sun, will occur in parts of the U.S. on Aug. 21, including parts of north Georgia. While metro Atlanta will not experience a full eclipse, about 97 percent of the sun will be covered, causing the temperature to drop significantly. The eclipse in Atlanta is expected to peak at about 2:30 p.m. The eclipse should only be viewed through solar filters, such as “eclipse glasses,” which are available at viewing events, because even the small amount of sunlight that gets around the moon can severely damage the eyes. Even very dark ordinary sunglasses are not safe for looking at the sun, according to NASA.


The city of Brookhaven is inviting the public to Brookhaven City Hall at 4362 Peachtree Road and all city parks to watch the eclipse. The city is urging residents to only view the eclipse with protection. The city gave away 500 free solar eclipse viewing glasses to Brookhaven residents on Aug. 16, but ran out within a few hours. “A common misconception regarding solar eclipses is that it is safe to look at the sun during the event due to the diminished sunlight; however, this is not the case. Looking into direct sunlight, for even brief periods, can cause eye damage and even blindness. For this reason, it is important to use special-purpose solar filters when enjoying the eclipse,” Paul White, Brookhaven’s emergency management coordinator, said in a press release.

Only northeastern areas of Georgia will see a total solar eclipse, while areas in the metro Atlanta area will see the sun covered around 97 percent.


The Dunwoody Nature Center will hold an eclipse event from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Dunwoody Senior Baseball Fields at 5321 Roberts Drive. The nature center will provide eclipse viewing glasses. The center asks that visitors park in the baseball field parking lot and bring blankets or chairs. Call 770-394-3322 for more information.

The Northside Branch of the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System will host a viewing party from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. The library will provide viewing glasses, refreshments and educational viewing clips. The library is located at 3295 Northside Parkway in Buckhead. Call 404-814-3508 for more information.

The Blue Heron Nature Preserve in Buckhead welcomes the public to gather in front of its building at 4055 Roswell Road from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Call 404-4553650 for more information.


Brookhaven City Manager Christian Sigman, front, and other staffers get ready for the Aug. 21 solar eclipse.

AUGUST 18 - 31, 2017

Community | 13


Construction executive announces council run BY JOHN RUCH

election to the seat, which represents much of northwestern Sandy Springs and the northern Roswell Road corridor. Soteres is Steve Soteres, a construction compathe first announced candidate for the seat. ny executive and Sandy Springs Board “As a longtime resident of Sandy of Ethics member, has announced a Springs, I am very excited about the prosrun for the Sandy pect of serving my Springs City Councommunity and becil District 2 seat. ing a catalyst for He is the latest meaningful transforcandidate to join mation,” Soteres said what has been a My hope is to continue the in a press release. “My quiet lead-up to the hope is to continue Nov. 7 municipal work I have started as a the work I have startelections for mayor private citizen and to give ed as a private citizen and City Council. So and to give back to far, two open coun- back to my community in my community in a cil seats have one a more formal capacity … more formal capacity announced candi… Aside from Northdate each, and in- Aside from Northern [Roswell ern [Roswell Road] cumbents are run- Road] Corridor redevelopCorridor redevelopning unchallenged ment, I am also very for the other offic- ment, I am also very paspassionate about proes. There is still time sionate about protecting our tecting our properfor that to change, ty values, improving as the candidate fil- property values, improving neighborhood safety, ing period runs Aug. neighborhood safety, and and supporting our 21 through 25. public schools.” In District 2, in- supporting our public schools. Soteres is a vice cumbent Ken Dishpresident at Sandy STEVE SOTERES man has said he CANDIDATE FOR SANDY SPRINGS Springs-based Chowill not run for re- CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 2 SEAT ate Construction johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

Co., a large commerAt Choate, Soteres cial builder. He lives in co-manages a unit the Huntcliff neighborspecializing in intehood and is a member rior construction. of the Cherokee Town Among its major projand Country Club. He ects underway is the said he has never run build-out of the new for public office before. Comcast tower next Soteres was among to SunTrust Park in the members of an Cobb County. The advisory committee company is also about Dishman formed sevto undertake a reneral years ago to find ovation at the Dunways to spark redevelwoody Country Club, opment along northwhich is in Sandy ern Roswell Road. Springs. SPECIAL Dishman won the While redevelopSteve Soteres. seat in 2013, oustment might be weling an incumbent, comed by some in on a platform of replacing the current District 2, high-density projects and reapartments and shopping centers with lated traffic have been a hot-button is“higher-end” development. That hasn’t sue citywide. Soteres said that in the happened yet, but it is a main prioriconstruction business, he just follows ty of the city’s new land-use and zoning what developers and planners lay out. plans, which are nearing final approval. “It’s got to be smart. It’s got to be well “I really think I can help reinvigthought-out,” he said of development. “Oborate this movement toward redevelviously, traffic on Roswell Road is an issue.” opment in this northern corridor,” A 14-year Sandy Springs resident, Soteres said in an interview. “I really Soteres is on the boards of Mount Verthink what a shame it would be not to non Presbyterian School and Leadercapitalize on our natural resources and ship Sandy Springs, and is a member of the potential we have.” the Rotary Club of Sandy Springs.


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14 | Commentary

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Commentary / Local librarians recommend autumn reads School is back in session, so students have new reading lists for the fall. But what about their parents? We asked local folks who know about books — librarians in Reporter Newspapers communities — to recommend some fall reading for adults. Here’s what they suggested, just in time for the arrival of National Literacy Month in September.

Published by Springs Publishing LLC 6065 Roswell Road, Suite 225 Sandy Springs, GA 30328 Phone: 404-917-2200 • Fax: 404-917-2201 Brookhaven Reporter | Buckhead Reporter Dunwoody Reporter | Sandy Springs Reporter www.ReporterNewspapers.net Atlanta INtown www.AtlantaINtownPaper.com Atlanta Senior Life www.AtlantaSeniorLife.com



by Ruta Sepetys No, this book has nothing to do with “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Instead, this is the story of a Lithuanian family and their deportation to Siberia during the Stalin era. It’s a gripping story about a part of history that doesn’t get much attention.

by Andrew Davidson This book will grab the attention of readers from the get go. It opens with a single-car accident leaving the driver with severe burns all over his body. The rest of the book entails his recovery in the burn ward and his relationship with a patient from the psychiatric ward who visits him during his stay.



C O NTA C T US Founder & Publisher Steve Levene stevelevene@reporternewspapers.net Editorial

Catherine Lampley Librarian, Brookhaven Library

by Hanya Yanagihara In a way, this is a coming of age story. It’s a book about friends, careers, relationships — past and present — and figuring out one’s lot in life. At times the subject matter is extremely difficult to read, but readers will turn page after page in the hopes of a happy ending.

Managing Editor John Ruch johnruch@reporternewspapers.net INtown Editor: Collin Kelley Editor-at-Large Joe Earle Staff Writers Dyana Bagby, Evelyn Andrews

by Chris Bohjahlian A beautiful story written about the Armenian genocide. It alternates between 1915 and 2012 as a writer from New York researches her family history. Readers will become engrossed in this book about a segment of history that often times fails to get recognized.

Copy Editor: Donna Williams Lewis Creative and Production Creative Director Rico Figliolini rico@reporternewspapers.net Graphic Designer: Soojin Yang Advertising Director of Sales Development Amy Arno amyarno@reporternewspapers.net Sales Executives Julie Davis, Jeff Kremer, Janet Porter, Janet Tassitano


by Ryan Gravel The creator of the Atlanta BeltLine discusses his inspiration for the BeltLine and his personal journey towards more sustainable, walkable cities.


by Margaret Atwood The author of “The Handmaid’s Tale” sets Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” in the modern day with a college professor ready to employ a team of prisoners to exact his petty revenge. You don’t need to be a Shakespeare buff to enjoy this one!

Office Manager Deborah Davis deborahdavis@reporternewspapers.net Contributors Phil Mosier, Jaclyn Turner

Free Home Delivery 60,000 copies of Reporter Newspapers are delivered by carriers to homes in ZIP codes 30305, 30319, 30326, 30327, 30328, 30338, 30342 and 30350 and to more than 500 business/retail locations. For locations, check “Where To Find Us” at www.ReporterNewspapers.net For delivery requests, please email delivery@reporternewspapers.net.

© 2017 with all rights reserved Publisher reserves the right to refuse editorial or advertising for any reason. Publisher assumes no responsibility for information contained in advertising. Any opinions expressed in print or online do not necessarily

MY TWO SOUTHS: BLENDING THE FLAVORS OF INDIA INTO A SOUTHERN KITCHEN by Asha Gomez Local chef Asha Gomez shares recipes for delicious and fresh dishes, with her unique fusion of South Indian and American Southern cooking.


by Curtis Sittenfeld In this modern day re-telling of Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice,” the Bennets are an old, moneyed Cincinnati family struggling to keep up with the Joneses; Mr. Darcy is a highly-eligible bachelor neurosurgeon; and Mr. Bingley is a reality TV-show contestant looking for a bride.

Madigan McGillicuddy Principal librarian and branch manager, Sandy Springs Library branch

THE LONELY POLYGAMIST by Brady Udall Golden Richards has an enormous amount of responsibility on his shoulders keeping his construction company afloat and struggling to pay the bills while caring for four wives and 28 children in rural Utah. This novel takes a surprisingly humanizing look at the struggles of polygamist Mormons.

represent the views of Reporter Newspapers or Springs Publishing, LLC.


AUGUST 18 - 31, 2017

Commentary | 15




by Sarah Miller This highly anticipated historical novel, authorized by the Laura Ingalls Wilder estate, retells the classic story of “Little House on the Prairie” from the perspective of Caroline “Ma” Ingalls, detailing the hardship she and her family faced on the frontier of the late 1800s.

by Brené Brown. Self-help books may be a dime a dozen, but this one is a modern classic. Based on her popular TED Talk, Brown’s insightful and heartfelt book describes how having the strength to admit your own vulnerabilities can transform every aspect of your life.

Jared Millet Manager, Dunwoody Library branch


by Bill Bryson Autumn is a great time to get back in touch with nature. If the weather doesn’t cooperate, you can curl up indoors and read about Bryson’s ill-fated and hilarious attempt to hike the Appalachian Trail without getting lost or eaten by bears.


by Attica Locke The author of “The Cutting Season” and producer of the TV show “Empire” returns with the brand new thriller about a black Texas Ranger on the trail of a double homicide. Described as a “rural noir,” Locke’s latest novel could be the sleeper hit of the season.

POLICING THE BLACK MAN: ARREST, PROSECUTION, AND IMPRISONMENT Edited by Angela J. Davis This collection of essays explores the way the criminal justice system is failing black boys and men. A very readable book that is filled with alarming data and statistics as well as heartbreaking stories.


by Gabrielle Zevin An uplifting and funny book about a young intern who has an affair with her Congressman boss, and, when the scandal breaks, it ruins her life, not his. She escapes to a faraway place with a new identity but must come face to face with her past when she decides to run for mayor in her small town. (Scheduled for release this month. The author is scheduled to appear at the Margaret Mitchell House on Sept. 14.)



by Brad Meltzer My 7-year-old loves these approachable and wonderfully illustrated history books about how ordinary people changed the world through following their passions and/or taking a stand. “I Am Sacagawea” will be released this fall and will be a great addition to the collection. (Scheduled for release Oct. 3.)

SMITTEN KITCHEN EVERY DAY: TRIUMPHANT AND UNFUSSY NEW FAVORITES by Deb Perelman Fall always makes me think of food, and getting back into the kitchen to try out new recipes. Deb Perelman’s “Smitten Kitchen Cookbook” is one of my all -time favorites and I eagerly await her new book “Smitten Kitchen Every Day.” (Scheduled for release Oct. 24.)


by Ernest Cline Don’t wait for the movie next spring. This surprise hit novel from 2012 packs a truckload of adventure wrapped in a feast of 1980s nostalgia, arcade games, movies and Saturday morning cartoons. Anyone who fondly remembers that decade must read this book.

THE BREAKDOWN by B.A. Paris I love a good psychological thriller, and this one kept me in suspense until the very end.

Kate Whitman Vice President of Public Programs, Atlanta History Center, who orchestrates author programs for the center and the Margaret Mitchell House.

16 | Commentary

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CITY OF SANDY SPRINGS NOTICE OF QUALIFYING FOR POSITIONS OF MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL Qualifying for candidates in the November 7, 2017 nonpartisan municipal election will take place August 21 – 25, 2017. Candidates may download the application from the city’s website, sandyspringsga.gov/vote, or pick up the application and qualify at Sandy Springs City Hall between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. from Monday, August 21, 2017 through Thursday, August 24, 2017 and between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. on Friday, August 25, 2017. The qualifying fee is $1,200/mayor and $540/council member.

Good start, but more needed, on affordable housing I am encouraged by the affordable housing strategies and tools being considered by the city of Sandy Springs planners and consultants. After all, I’m still haunted by Mayor Rusty Paul’s Jan. 5 description of affordable housing as “new houses in the $400,000 to $600,000 price range.” The mayor’s definition indicates he is either ignorant of or disinterested in the issue, perhaps both. It is an embarrassing reflection on Sandy Springs leadership. I have been an affordable housing professional for almost 20 years and a Sandy Springs resident since 1999. The community has changed considerably in the last decade. It’s certainly not surprising that this location is sought after, given our MARTA access, quality schools, employment opportunities, social and recreational amenities, and easy access to all metro Atlanta has to offer. But rising costs of existing housing and the luxury nature of new development are quickly pricing out our teachers, firemen, police officers, hospital employees, small business owners (to name but a few). These professionals are a critical part of our social fabric and what makes us great. Making Sandy Springs a place where only the elite can afford to live is no good for anyone. Toni Morrison said, “All paradises, all utopias are designed by who is not there, by the people who are not allowed in.” It’s time for Sandy Springs to invest in those who live and work here now (versus force them out), but also to create opportunities for young residents and families who want to grow roots here. It seems the lack of affordable housing in Sandy Springs has been whispered about for many years, but I thank Mercedes-Benz USA for raising the issue and getting it real attention. Maybe Sandy Springs is finally getting serious about addressing it? Mixed-income housing, inclusionary zoning and affordable housing set-asides are established, tested tools. They have been used extremely successfully in cities across this country. I hope Sandy Springs will consider other strategies and resources as well: down payment assistance for teachers and public employees, employerassisted housing programs, land trusts, city-supported homeownership and financial education (to name but a few). Betsy Wallace Sandy Springs

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Back to School Cool

All applications must be submitted to the City Clerk’s Office in person by 12:00 p.m., August 25, 2017. The Clerk’s Office is located at Sandy Springs City Hall, 7840 Roswell Road, Building 500, Sandy Springs Ga. 30350. Required qualifications: No person shall be eligible to serve as mayor or council member unless that person shall have been a resident of the area comprising the corporate limits of the City of Sandy Springs for a continuous period of at least 12 months immediately prior to the date of the election for mayor or council member, shall continue to reside therein during that person’s period of service, and shall continue to be registered and qualified to vote in municipal elections of the City of Sandy Springs. In addition to the above requirement, no person shall be eligible to serve as a council member representing a council district unless that person has been a resident of the district such person seeks to represent for a continuous period of at least six months immediately prior to the date of the election for council member and continues to reside in such district during that person’s period of service. 7840 ROSWELL RD, BUILDING 500 SANDYSPRINGSGA.GOV/VOTE 770-730-5600

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AUGUST 18 - 31, 2017

Community | 17


New zoning code approved with some big changes Continued from page 1 Ten” planning for the next decade won council approval and general support for achieving its main goals: simplifying the code, protecting most single-family-house neighborhoods from large infill redevelopment, and targeting certain “small areas” with more detailed and refined plans. However, there was some saber-rattling about possible lawsuits from attorneys and residents unhappy with the new zoning categories for particular properties. It is likely the code will get further tweaks – possibly even before it takes effect on Sept. 15, when moratoriums on rezonings, special use permits and applications for new gas stations and convenience stores will end. Three months later, lead consultant Lee Einsweiler of Austin, Texas-based Code Studio will return to review and update the code.

Affordable housing In the biggest policy shift, the council killed the affordable housing mandate in the code, but kept various incentive programs, while also announcing a new affordable housing “task force.” Affordable housing for primarily middle-income, but also lower-income, households is an issue the city is grappling with as real estate prices and rents skyrocket. Various drafts of the code changed tactics repeatedly, including a unique incentive formula later discarded as confusing. Until the council vote, the latest draft combined various affordable housing incentives, such as permit fee discounts and density increases, with the city’s first-ever mandate to make a certain percentage of new multifamily units affordable or pay a fee in lieu of building them. That inclusionary zoning system — a term used by cities nationwide but avoided by Sandy Springs’ leaders — was controversial, drawing criticisms that it was both insufficient and too restrictive. Big developer advocacy groups, including the Council for Quality Growth and the Atlanta Apartment Association, opposed it. City Councilmember Ken Dishman expressed concern the mandate could have “unintended consequences” and prevent redevelopment. That’s especially an issue in the northern section of the city he represents, which the city is targeting as its top redevelopment priority now that the “Next Ten” is done. While the mandate is gone, the city instead will form the task force to study the best practices in affordable housing and add them to the code later. It will look at serving all income levels, all types of residents, and both rental and ownership affordability, city spokesperson Sharon Kraun said. The city of Brookhaven had a similar affordable housing task force that recently issued recommended tactics — among them, inclusionary zoning.

Conditions mostly gone, some survive Perhaps the mostly widely controversial part of the new code is its erasure of most existing conditions. The council stuck with that plan, though it expanded the short list of types of conditions that will survive. Conditions are limits or improvements that a developer agrees to in exchange for rezoning a property, often with neighborhood input. Conditions can be set on nearly anything, from new roads to landscaping to building heights. With many rezonings dating back to before the city’s 2005 incorporation, conditions can be hard to apply years later, officials say, and the new code aims to do without them as much as possible. City planning officials want to wipe out most existing conditions, except for green space easements, traffic-related mitigations for large-scale developments, and landscape buffers and setbacks. But residents who have won other types of conditions wanted to keep them, as do the attorneys representing some of them. The city Planning Commission previously recommended the preservation of all existing conditions, and that was written into a previous draft. City staff had recommended keeping only three types of conditions: those relating to green space provision, traffic mitigations and buffers between properties. The council added two more types to the final code: restrictions on lighting and sound at ballfields/playgrounds; and restrictions on vehicular access to or from a site.

No new gas station locations Redevelopment of aging gas stations was another hot point in “Next Ten” meetings. Among the tactics the city considered in earlier drafts was a “cap and trade” approach, where developers could build a new gas station if they tore down an old one somewhere else. As a constraint, the new gas station could not be within a halfmile of an existing gas station – a limit that industry representatives criticized. The council resolved the issue in the final draft by simply killing the option to build a gas station at a new location. That essentially freezes the number and location of the city’s gas SS

stations, with any redevelopment happening on sites where stations already exist.

Church redevelopments An issue that emerged late in the code discussion, and might become a lingering topic, was the zoning status of churches whose leaders might want to sell out for redevelopment. Following what officials have said is a zoning rule of thumb, the code gives existing religious institutions a default zoning status that also allows use as residential development on 2-acre lots. Life Center Ministries on Mount Vernon Road in the panhandle made a late request, quickly withdrawn, to the city Planning Commission to gain a higher-density zoning category for possible redevelopment. At the Aug. 15 council meeting, Highpoint Episcopal Community Church — formerly and apparently still officially known as Church of the Atonement — made a similar request via an attorney, an architect and a church member. The well-known but struggling church wants the option to possibly sell for redevelopment, they said. Randy Young, the architect, said the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta’s officials “rarely like to give up land,” but it’s something “they may have to look at doing.” He suggested a zoning designation for 1-acre residential lot sizes. Life Center Ministries came up again at the Aug. 15 council meeting in a different context: the lack of any historic protection language in the new code. Resident Carol Niemi noted the possible historic status of a cottage on the church’s property, said to date to 1876 and reputedly where authors worked on famous novels, including Margaret Mitchell editing “Gone with the Wind” and Pat Conroy writing “The Great Santini” at a time when it was owned by a publishing company agent. Niemi noted that the city’s lack of historic protections means the house could be lost to any redevelopment. “It’s not just a Sandy Springs treasure,” she said. “It’s a world treasure, given what happened there.” “We’ll look into it,” replied Mayor Rusty Paul. Historic preservation debates in the city peaked in 2015 with the demolition of the Glenridge Hall mansion by its owners, who later sold the Abernathy Road property for the Aria housing development that is now under construction.

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City gears up to remake northern Roswell Road Continued from page 1 apartments and shopping centers on this northern stretch of Roswell Road, and it hasn’t happened — yet. Instead, city government is powering up a massive effort to make that change. This week, the City Council approved a new zoning code as the last piece of its “Next Ten” urban planning vision. It calls for transforming the city’s northern sprawl into a new mixeduse, mixed-income community with a pedestrian- and transit-friendly Roswell Road. And that plan isn’t supposed to sit on a shelf. Mayor Rusty Paul says that he will soon form an “advisory board” on ways to make the redevelopment happen. “It will look at implementation of the Next Ten plan in the north end of the city and how we can revitalize that area with a healthier mix of residential types as well as retail/commercial,” Paul said. Many local homeowners and businesses express enthusiasm for the vision of what they often call “higher-end” redevelopment. But there are also some concerns about gentrification displacing hundreds of residents and disrupting existing businesses. There’s also the question of whether such large-scale redevelopment will happen at all. It hasn’t so far, as skyrocketing rents keep older properties profitable. Some de-

velopers say the new zoning code has too many restrictions that will get in the way. Dishman is among the officials who believe the higher-end redevelopment can happen and that it can include housing for people of all income levels. But, he acknowledges, it might take a public-private partnership like City Springs, the new downtown civic center where the city is pitching in $220 million through bonds. The corridor’s future may have to come “in a similar manner where the city put its full weight behind the redevelopment of City Springs and the city center,” Dishman said.

Opportunities and challenges

From Dalymple Road to the Roswell border at the Chattachoochee River, Roswell Road is a classic suburban highway. Five lanes of asphalt are flanked by car-oriented strip malls and apartment complexes, many dating back to the 1960s through 1980s. The housing ranges from apartments that accept federally subsidized rents to the upscale Huntcliff neighborhood, which has its own horse stable and circles the Cherokee Country Club, a favorite haunt of the city’s power brokers. The Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area’s Island Ford park is a major feature of the area, but the river is virtually invisible and unreachable from

the main drag. MARTA’s long-discussed extension of the Red Line to a possible Northridge Road station is another development opportunity the city anticipates. “Imagine activating the river up here so it becomes an amenity you PHOTOS BY JOHN RUCH Tiffin Greer schedules customers for body art don’t just drive over,” Dishman said. at Empyrean Tattoo & Art Studio, located in About 18 months ago, Dishman a shopping center at 8610 Roswell Road. gathered an informal committee of residents and real estate professionment was driven out due to concerns about als to brainstorm ways to leverage redeveltraffic and the store’s discount market. Redeopment. Among the members was Steve velopment of the former Big Lots-anchored Soteres, a Huntcliff resident and construcNorth Springs center near Dalrymple has tion executive who now is seeking to sucbeen stalled by pollution cleanup from a forceed Dishman on the City Council. Dishman mer dry cleaning business that, according to chose not to run again. Dishman and real estate sources, will limit Soteres said that strategies were hard the property’s reuse to renovation, though to come by, but the benefits were clear: “enthat may include an upscale grocer. hancement of property value”; more dining “For our property taxpayers, there’s not and shopping options for his neighborhood; enough for them” in terms of retail and resand improvement of the schools by reducing taurants, Dishman says. the number of “transient” tenant families. Pontoon Brewing Company, on the oth“It improves everything for everyer hand, is a recent win in attracting hip body,” he said. business. The beer-maker is expected to

Business boosts

The community has been frustrated by near-misses on some recent strip-mall sites. A “European store” proposed at the North River shopping center turned out to be the grocery chain Lidl and that develop-

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open on Dunwoody Place this fall and to offer sit-down drinks and such events as a river-rafting tour in conjunction with Roswell’s Shoot the Hooch. Pontoon CEO Sean O’Keefe said the company chose the area over about 40 other locations for its high traffic and because

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“the redevelopment potential for that area ly businesses, especially businesses that ena high percentage of ownership units. is really untapped.” gage more with our surrounding commuCity officials often describe the apart“We see it as the start of turning that nity,” said Sherwood owner Gia Azhar. “We ments as a hot spot for crime and fire safearea into something really fun,” O’Keefe are particularly interested in renewal of ty hazards and as an economic drag on the said. “I think the direction Sandy Springs this area. Our business would benefit greatarea. City statistics also show they make wants to [go], they want to bring that enterly from higher-scale surrounding estabthe north end one of the few areas of racial tainment, that almost tourism aspect, to it.” lishments. It would be great that Sherwood diversity and housing affordability. But the old strip malls still nurture new is remembered for other reasons than beDishman and other officials are conbusinesses. Empyrean Tattoo & Art Studio, ing located in a ‘strip mall.’” vinced they can create a new community located in a shopping centhat will be affordable ter near Hightower Trail, is to people of all income about to celebrate its third levels. But their specific anniversary in September. policies have been critOn a recent weekday aficized as contradictory ternoon, Tiffin Greer, who and confusing, and have runs the front of the shop, changed significantwas busy signing in clients ly several times during for custom body art. Next Ten planning. Greer said that, aside Newly updated ecofrom terrible rush-hour nomic development politraffic, it’s a “great locacies and the zoning code tion” with good visibility include various incenand plentiful parking. tives to replace apartThe Empyrean staff ments with mostly ownalso patronizes other nearership housing and to City Councilmember Ken Dishman points to a city-owned green by businesses, from lunch make a certain amount space that replaced a vacant gas station at 8475 Roswell Road. at the Japanese restaurant of the units affordable at Enzo to drinks at the neighborhood bar the Boyd Simpson isn’t so sure the city will various income levels. But in a last-minute Rusty Nail. get that redevelopment anytime soon. change, the City Council scrapped an affordThe Rusty Nail has been a Roswell Road Simpson literally owns City Hall — his able housing mandate in the zoning code — fixture for more than 40 years. On a reSimpson Organization is the city’s landthough it could return — with Dishman in cent visit, everyone in the bar greeted a reglord at the Morgan Falls office park — and particular noting it could hinder redevelopular by shouting his name in unison, and he’s not a fan of many redevelopment rement. the bartender handed him his favored beer strictions in the new zoning code. The Atlanta Apartment Association, an without the need for an order. “I just think it’s inevitable the amount of industry advocacy group that happens to Jason Sheetz, who opened the Hamnew development in Sandy Springs, indebe headquartered on Dunwoody Place, was mocks Trading Company restaurant near pendent of location, will diminish,” he said. among those objecting to the mandate. Dalrymple in 2012, says it’s not a big deal if Simpson said there’s “no question” “Our members have expressed concern such old-school places are lost to redevelopthat most of Roswell Road has low vacanwith the city’s mixed message about affordment. He said the corridor needs “newness cy rates, and he has no plans to redevelable housing,” said Jim Fowler, the associaand variety and choices for entertainment.” op Morgan Falls after City Hall moves into tion’s president, in comments prior to the “The neighbors want restaurants and its new City Springs facility next year. The mandate’s elimination. “… Further, we are shops and everything and up-and-comproperty is renting well, he said. concerned with the potential of these policies ing city has … and of course, they want it The zoning code isn’t the only tool, howto displace apartment community residents without traffic,” he said with a laugh, addever. The city recently improved new taxand increase the cost of housing for all.” ing that he feels the same way. The corridor and fee-waiving incentives for small busiThe city says it will form an affordable also needs a better sense of place, he said, nesses that locate to such areas. housing task force to come up with a new describing how directions to Hammocks policy. It will be separate from the northoften amount to “make a right, kind of past Clearing out older apartments an abandoned strip mall.” While upgrading commercial areas is Another excited business is Empythe goal, city officials view the many apartrean’s neighbor, the Sherwood Event ment complexes as the factor that must Hall, where many of the Next Ten planchange first. That means getting developning meetings were held. ers to tear them down and replace them “I would love to see more family-friendwith denser housing projects that contain

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Community | 19 ern Roswell Road advisory board, but in practice, that area is likely to be where policy will play out first.

Schools and ‘transients’

A side benefit of replacing apartments with more ownership housing, Dishman and Soteres say, is reducing the number of “transient” students in local schools, which they presented as a challenge while saying the schools are good. However, there are differing views on that issue. Betty Klein, a parent of two North Springs Charter High School students and an advocate for rebuilding the school facility, agreed that redevelopment would bring better “balance” and “equality” to schools and the community. “By removing the older apartments with new development of affordable houses and apartments, we not only stabilize our community but we are improving the living conditions of all of that area,” she said. Bo Lefkoff, a former Sandy Springs Charter Middle School PTA president and current parent-teacher organization member at North Springs, said the bigger “transient” issue is with school leadership — such as the six principals in eight years at the middle school — and parents sending kids to private schools. She said it’s true that parents from renter families often don’t have as much volunteer involvement or the resources to get students to pre- or after-school activities. But, she said, the middle school PTA never had a problem filling its board or signing up volunteers. She said she doubts that “having [more] homeowners north of Dalrymple would really affect the schools that much … I think it would affect the perception.” Lefkoff said she knows that “perception” well, as she was “scared to death of all the rumors” when her son first attended the middle school. “The perception was, there’s gangs. There’s drugs. There’s violence,” she said, while in fact, the school turned out to offer a great education.

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Nature’s lawnmowers get to work at Hammond Park

Continued from the front page Chris Hicks of Get Your Goats walks Hammond Park, checking for any holes or debris that could injure the animals before they start chewing. These goats are among 33 hired by the city to munch their way through weeds at the park on Aug. 10. The goats cost $850, which is less than human labor, according to the city. The goats may hoof it to other city parks later. PHOTOS BY PHIL MOSIER




Bottomless mimosas Live music from 1-4pm SS

AUGUST 18 - 31, 2017

Community | 21


Veteran’s book tells of brotherhood and war, faith and forgiveness BY JACLYN TURNER

Press, a publisher that specializes in military Vietnam veteran Michael March is history and veteran living his second childhood. He writes, memoirs. goes to the gym, spends time with his March grew up in family and girlfriend, and sings in the the 1960s and describes choir at his church. himself as a “peace and He’s also an author. March has writlove hippie.” His faten a fictionalized tale of serving in Vietther urged him to go nam and describes his book, “Each One a to Fashion Institute of Hero: A Tale of War and Brotherhood,” as a Technology for induswar novel in the tradition of “Catch-22” or trial engineering so he “M*A*S*H.” It’s based on his year as a memcould manage a knit ber of the 11th Armory Cavalry Regiment. shirt factory in North Many mornings, March sits at one Carolina, but Marsh of the large chairs in the corner at the followed his passion Panera Bread restaurant on Mount Verfor music. non Road writing, editing his books, “It was all I lived and hashing out more ideas. for,” he said. A loquacious 70-year-old, March has In 1965, March piercing blue eyes and long sandy hair competed in a battle peppered with grey. He moved to Sandy of the bands at the Springs five years ago from New York City World’s Fair in New York and took sevto help his brother with their 90-year-old enth place. mother. Two of his children March was drafted into soon followed, as the 11th Armory Cavalry did his ex-wife. Now Regiment and spent a year March is happy to in Vietnam coordinating talk about the acartillery fire. At the base complishments of his camp, he remembers, he children and the two played guitar for his felother books he’s in the low soldiers. He eventumidst of writing. ally went through four March wrote an guitars while in the early draft of his novarmy, he said. el more than 22 years “I did my year ago when he lived in and got out, but I New York, but life and also needed to write raising a family seemed about it,” he said. to get in the way. “The experience After he moved to Attaught me about lanta, he unearthed the God, life and how floppy disk holding the stoto be a better a ry, and decided to revive it. person and use the experiHe spent many months reence to do good. My parents thought I writing and trying to find the right pubwas out of mind when I came home, belisher before partnering with Hellgate cause all I wanted to be was a good person and God wanted me to represent good.” He said a stranger, who had been a sniper, sought him out, saying, “I’ve been looking for you. I’m a messenger from God. He sent me to find you. If God can forgive me, he can forgive anyone. Our generation is going to save the world.” March used that encounter as the climax of his book. His military service, he said, “taught me how to live life and MICHAEL MARCH be appreciative.” AUTHOR OF “EACH ONE A HERO: A TALE OF WAR Writing his book and AND BROTHERHOOD”

I did my year and got out, but I also needed to write about it. The experience taught me about God, life and how to be a better person and use the experience to do good.

Michael March settles in for some writing at Panera Bread.

its related spinoffs, he said, has brought a different sort of fulfillment. A fellow veteran told him he thought he was reading about himself, truly making the “blood and guts” of war into a story of connection, brotherhood and shared experiences.


“I don’t believe in hurting others and taking lives,” Marsh said, “but you do what you need to do when your country calls on you.” For more information about “Each One a Hero,” see hellgatepress.com.

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22 | Community

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Local horror author is inspired by Atlanta’s history




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The story takes place in May 2010, when many people were still suffering from the housing and economic colA local science fiction and horror lapse. author is inspired by Atlanta’s urban“It takes place in a bedroom comization and sets his books in the city, munity that suffered heavily from the with its monsters Great Recession,” haunting the same Quinn said. places he’s lived and The book also gone to school. plays off the “The protago“atrocities of racnist is a student at ism” that occurred [Georgia State Uniduring the Civil versity]. He’ll walk War, Quinn said. the same halls I did Daly is threatand ride the same ened by a “monMARTA routes I strosity” with tendid,” said Matthew tacles that has Quinn, a Buckhead been worshipped resident, about his by a cult since beforthcoming sequel fore the Civil War. to his debut novel, The property it “The Thing in the lives on was the Woods.” site of a Civil War Quinn, a former battle. Recent dejournalist who now velopment of the teaches high school city threatens to history in Fulton MATTHEW QUINN reveal the cult’s County after getting AUTHOR OF and the monstrosa history degree at “THE THING IN THE WOODS” ity’s secrets. GSU, recently pubQuinn delished a new book drawing on his exscribes the novel’s genre as horror, but periences living in Griffin, a small city south of Atlanta. His new book is set in the fictional town of Edington, Georgia. The book not only plays off the urbanization of Atlanta, but off recent national events. The main character’s father buys a house after receiving a promotion at an Atlanta law firm, but loses his job during the Great Recession. The son and main character, James Daly, described by Quinn as “a teen Buckhead snob whose family has moved to a small town,” now has to work at the local Best Buy to help his family pay the Matthew Quinn’s first novel mortgage. was published in May.

The protagonist is a student at [Georgia State University]. He’ll walk the same halls I did and ride the same MARTA routes I did.

AUGUST 18 - 31, 2017

Community | 23


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• Financial Assistance • Certifications • Accredited Curriculum • Job Placement Assistance • Day & Night Classes • English as a Second Language Program • GED Preparation Matthew Quinn, a Buckhead author, at a book signing event for his recently published horror and science fiction novel at an event at Tall Tales, a bookstore near Emory University.

also focusing on characters overcoming their prejudices, with the main character condescending to local “rednecks” while members of the cult have racist attitudes. “Part of James’ character arc is that he outgrows these attitudes,” Quinn said. Quinn’s experience as a history teacher also inform his novels and help address racial issues, he said. While Atlanta’s geography and culture inspire Quinn’s storylines, the metro area’s horror-writing community helps him write them. Quinn is a member of the Lawrenceville Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Group in Gwinnett County, which require him to commit to writing a chapter before each meeting. That keeps him on schedule. “They kept me on deadline and helped me get the book done,” Quinn said of the writing group. Quinn was first inspired to write this book in 2007, but put it down for a few years before picking it back up in 2014, he said. He has published several short stories, but this is first novel. He is now working on a sequel. Quinn will host a book signing and discussion of the book Oct. 28 from 1 to 3 p.m. at Posman Books in Ponce City Market. For more information, see the author’s website at accordingtoquinn.blogspot. com.


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24 | Out & About

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Thursday, Aug. 24, 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

The Electromatics, a selfdescribed “blues, jazz and Americana band,” performs in this family-friendly event at the Chattahoochee Nature Center. Cash bar available. Bring a picnic supper or snacks. Included with general admission and membership. General admission: $10 adults, $7 seniors and students; $6 children ages 3 and up. Chattahoochee Nature Center, 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell. Info: chattnaturecenter.org.

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ISRAELI CUISINE Inspired by Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking.


Saturday, Aug. 26, 10 a.m. to noon.

Join us at Food 101 Thursday, August 24th at 7pm for a Night of Authentic Israeli Cuisine Prepared by Jenny Levison of Souper Jenny and Linda Harrell of Food 101.

Tickets $60 per person

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Choral Guild of Atlanta kicks off its 78th season with a workshop featuring guest composer and choral conductor Timothy Powell. Join the choir in singing excerpts from its fall concert including the “Bluegrass Mass” by Carol Barnett. All singers welcome. Free. Refreshments served. St. Luke’s Presbyterian Church, 1978 Mount Vernon Road, Dunwoody. Info: 404-223-6362 or info@cgatl.org.

AUGUST 18 - 31, 2017

Out & About | 25




Saturday, Aug. 26, 7:30 a.m.

The Ahimsa House Annual 5K and 1K Fun Run benefits the animal and human victims of domestic violence. Dogs are welcome on the course, which follows roads around Lenox Park. The 5K course uses chip timing and is a Peachtree Road Race qualifier. 5K: $30 early bird fee through Aug. 19; $35 through Aug. 25; $40 day of event. 1K fee: $15 anytime. Free parking adjacent to the park at 1025 Lenox Park Blvd. NE, Brookhaven. Register: ahimsahouse.org.





Ongoing Fridays, 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.


The Heritage Sandy Springs Outdoors Club hosts weekly hikes through Sandy Springs parks every Friday and Saturday and on some holiday dates. Free. Open to all ages and skill levels. Advance registration recommended, and all participants must sign an online liability waiver. Locations and other info: heritagesandysprings.org.




770-367-8291 - NMLS: 1155639

MOVIES BY MOONLIGHT Friday, Aug. 25, 6 p.m.

“The Lego Batman Movie” will be presented by Leadership Sandy Springs on a huge inflatable screen in a community event also featuring performances, a Kids Zone, and food trucks. The movie begins at dusk. Free. Sandy Springs United Methodist Church, Activity Center terraced lawn, 85 Mount Vernon Highway and Sandy Springs Circle. Continued on page 26

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26 | Out & About

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Continued from page 25 Inclement weather info: 404-256-9091. Other info: leadershipsandysprings.org or the Movies By Moonlight Facebook page.


Saturday, Aug. 26, 10:30 a.m. to noon.

For More Information Contact: Hilary Miller at hmiller@bnaitorah.org p. 404.257.1753

Participants travel through time via the perspectives of historic characters of the American Girl books in a monthly program hosted by Heritage Sandy Springs. This month’s topic is an art class with Saige, a resident of New Mexico who is skilled in horseback riding. Best suited for ages 5-12, and kids can bring their favorite dolls. Advance registration recommended. $8 members, $10 non-members, or $15 at the door. Heritage Sandy Springs Museum, 6075 Sandy Springs Circle, Sandy Springs. Info: heritagesandysprings.org.

700 Mt. Vernon Highway NE Sandy Springs, Georgia 30328 www.bnaitorah.org

DUNWOODY COMMUNITY BIKE RIDE Sunday, Sept. 3, 2:45 p.m. to 4 p.m.

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A community ride for all ages and abilities kicks off at Dunwoody’s Village Burger on the first Sunday of each month through November. Helmets are required and bikes with gears are recommended to handle hills on a 4.5-mile loop around Dunwoody. Riders age 10 and under must be accompanied by adults. Rides cancelled in inclement weather. 1426 Dunwoody Village Pkwy., Dunwoody. Info: bikewalkdunwoody.org.

AUGUST 18 - 31, 2017

Out & About | 27



The Atlanta History Center hosts a panel discussion on the Atlanta Beltline, a burgeoning 22-mile trail and transit loop. Speakers include BeltLine founder Ryan Gravel; Alexander Garvin, the city planner who created the “Emerald Necklace” plan of connected parks along the BeltLine; and Mark Pendergrast, author of “City on the Verge: Atlanta and the Fight for America’s Urban Future,” which uses the BeltLine story as a narrative thread. $10 public; $5 members. 130 West Paces Ferry Road N.W., Buckhead. Info: atlantahistorycenter.com or 404-814-4150

IMMIGRATION AND FAMILY RESEARCH Saturday, Aug. 26, 10:30 a.m. to noon.

Sue VerHoef, director of Oral History and Genealogy at the Atlanta History Center, teaches you how to get information about your immigrant ancestors. $15 public; $10 members. Atlanta History Center, 130 West Paces Ferry Road NW, Buckhead. Info: 404814-4042.

DIOCESAN DAY ON IMMIGRATION Wednesday, Aug. 30, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Priests, Christian lay leaders and Episcopal bishops provide theological guidance and practical ways in which Christians can respond to the needs of immigrants during the current political turmoil over immigration. Free. The Cathedral of St. Philip, 2744 Peachtree Road NE, Buckhead. Info: episcopalatlanta.org.

AUDITIONS SPOTLIGHT ON SPECIAL NEEDS Sunday, Aug. 27, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.


Thursday, Aug. 24, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday, Aug. 27, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.; and Tuesday, Aug. 29, from 10 a.m. to noon.

The Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta is helping parents take the bite out of meal prep time with a menu of classes that promote simple, healthy, home-cooked dishes. Among upcoming topics are classes on 30-minute meals (Aug. 24), freezer meals (Aug. 27), and cooking for babies and toddlers (Aug. 29). $45 members; $55 community. Culinary studio at the Kuniansky Family Center at Zaban Park, 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody. Info: atlantajcc.org, 678-812-3798 or sandra.bass@atlantajcc.org.

The Spotlight Theater Company for adults with special needs, ages 18 and up, is holding auditions for its second year of programming. The company is part of the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta’s Blonder Family Department for Special Needs. Participants meet weekly on Fridays, perform productions, take trips to arts organizations and have classes with professionals. Free. Auditions are open to the community. Appointments required. MJCCA Zaban Park campus, 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody. Info: 678-812-4073 or email auditions@atlantaSUBMIT YOUR EVENT LISTING WITH US AT jcc.org.


28 | Out & About

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Sandy Springs’ Act3 nominated for 38 theater awards Act3 Productions, a Sandy Springs semi-professional theater company, has been nominated for 38 Metropolitan Atlanta Theater Awards for its past season. The bevy of nominations includes the “Best Overall Performance” category for the play “And Then There Were None” and the musicals “Violet” and “Urinetown.” “The annual MAT awards are not only wonderful for recognizing individual theater professionals and stand-out performances, but the organization also brings us all together to celebrate the exceptional work being done by community and semi-professional theatre companies throughout the city,” Act3 artistic director Michelle Davis said in a press release. The awards have been granted annually since 2004. The 2017 award-winners will be announced at an Aug. 27 ceremony at the Roswell Cultural Arts Center. Act3, based at 6285-R Roswell Road, has been a frequent nominee and winner. The 2017 nominations mark the most the company has received in a single year, according to the press release. For its current season, a production of the musical “The Robber Bridegroom” began Aug. 11.

The full list of nominations includes: Leading Actor, Musical ► Tyree R. Jones, “Violet”; and Zac Phelps, “Urinetown”

Major Supporting Actress, Play ► Alisha Boley, “And Then There Were None”

Leading Actress, Musical ► Laura Gronek, “Violet”; and Barbara Cole Uterhardt, “Urinetown”

Minor Supporting Actor, Play ► James Connor, “And Then There Were None”; and Toby Smallwood, “And Then There Were None”

Major Supporting Actor, Musical ► Weston Slaton, “Violet”

Minor Supporting Actress, Play ► Jessica Hiner, “And Then There Were None”

Major Supporting Actress, Musical ► Summer McCusker, “Urinetown”

Sound Design, Play ► Ben Sterling, “And Then There Were None”

Minor Supporting Actor, Musical ► Andrew Berardi, “Violet”; and Jonathan Goff, “Violet”

Lighting Design, Play ► David Reingold, “And Then There Were None”

Minor Supporting Actress, Musical ► Doriane Velvet Alston, “Violet”

Costume Design, Play ► Alyssa Jackson, “And Then There Were None”

Youth Award, Musical ► Dorey Casey, “Violet”

Best Overall Performance of a Play ► “And Then There Were None”

Set Design, Musical ► Will Brooks, “Urinetown”

Best Ensemble, Play ► “And Then There Were None”

Lighting Design, Musical ► Taylor Sorrel, “Violet”; and Bradley Rudy, “Urinetown” Sound Design, Musical ► Ben Sterling, “Violet”; and Ben Sterling and Ian Gibson, “Urinetown” Moira Thornett Director’s Award, Musical ► Taylor Sorrel with Johnna Barrett Mitchell, “Violet”; and Liane LeMaster with Ian Gibson and Melissa Simmons, “Urinetown” Choreographer ► Misty Barber Tice, “Urinetown” Music Direction ► John-Michael d’Haviland, “Violet”; and Laura Gamble, “Urinetown” Best Ensemble, Musical ► “Violet” and “Urinetown” Best Overall Performance of a Musical ► “Violet” and “Urinetown” Moira Thornett Director’s Award, Play ► Amy Cain with Michael Rostek, “And Then There Were None” Leading Actor, Play ► Clay Johnson, “And Then There Were None” Leading Actress, Play ► Emma Greene, “And Then There Were None” Major Supporting Actor, Play ► Gwydion Calder, “And Then There Were None”; and Paul Milliken, “And Then There Were None”

“THE ROBBER BRIDEGROOM” Through Saturday, Aug. 26

Act3 Productions presents “The Robber Bridegroom,” based on the novella by Eudora Welty about a dangerous, handsome rogue who’s a gentleman by day and bandit by night and who falls for the beautiful daughter of a wealthy planter. Act3 Playhouse, Sandy Springs Plaza, 6285-R Roswell Road, Sandy Springs. Schedule and ticket info: act3productions.org.

AUGUST 18 - 31, 2017

Classifieds | 29


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30 | Public Safety




for local news and information! We’re honored that Reporter Newspapers won 12 awards, including three first-place selections in its division, in the Georgia Press Association’s 2017 Better Newspaper Contest.


Business Writing First Place - Managing Editor John Ruch Lifestyle/Feature Column First Place - Robin Conte, “Robin’s Nest” Page One First Place - Designed by Creative Director Rico Figliolini


Hard News Writing Second Place - John Ruch News Photograph Second Place - Phil Mosier Special Issues: Second Place - Fall 2016 Education Guide Humorous Column: Second Place - Robin Conte

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Police Blotter / Sandy Springs Capt. Steve Rose, of the Sandy Springs Police Department, provided the following information, which represents some of the reports filed with Sandy Springs police July 29-Aug. 3.

B U R G L A RY West Belle Isle Road — On July 29,

after 5 a.m., the victim told officers responding to a burglary in process call that a person had been inside his detached garage, using a flashlight. The suspect left and walked from the area. The officers were unable to locate him. 100 block of Dunwoody Springs Drive

— Sometime between July 23 and July 29, someone entered the home by forcing a sliding door to the kitchen. The resident found the bedroom ransacked and jewelry missing from her jewelry box. 500 block of Calaveras Drive — On

Aug. 1, between 9:15 a.m. and 1 p.m., someone entered the residence and took a MacBook Pro, Mini-iPad, Ryobi nail gun, Ryobi drill/driver, and a Milwaukee drill/ driver. The burglar entered through a rear basement door. Once inside, the suspect(s) moved to the garage, where they stole the tools. The electronics were taken from an area near the dining room.

THEFT 6900 block of Roswell Road — On July


Serious Column: Third Place - Robin Conte

30, a 26-year-old man said he took a ride share home at around 2:30 a.m. and accidentally left his cellphone and debit card in the car. He said when he arrived home, he got out of the car and opened the gate at which time the car drove off. The card was later used.

Newspaper Website: Third Place

300 block of Peachtree-Dunwoody

General Excellence: Third Place Local News Coverage: Third Place - Staff Writers Religion Writing: Third Place - Staff Writers

These awards are especially meaningful to us since they are judged by professional journalists and include respected, large-circulation community newspapers across the state. However, what’s most important is that they validate what you have already told us in our readership survey: Reporter Newspapers are your preferred source for local news and information. That’s the “prize” we value most. Thank you for helping to make us the most preferred and most-awarded local newspapers in our communities.

Road — On July 30, a Suzuki GSXR motorcycle was stolen.

block of Glenridge Point Parkway — On July 31, a 57-yearold woman reported that upon returning from a trip, she discovered that several items were missing from her apartCaptain ment and that her STEVE ROSE, laundry room had SSPD been damaged. srose@sanThe officer’s redyspringsga.gov port noted that she was burning incense that she claimed was due to the “devilish things going on.” She told the officer that she would be contacting the “Feds” because she could not remain silent anymore about what she knew, having something to do with a rap group and family member. 2000 block of Dunwoody Club Drive

— On July 31, the owner of a liquor store said that about 8 p.m., a man came into the store and took two vodka bottles and left without paying. He drove off in a VW Jetta with a temporary tag. 6400 block of Roswell Road — Em-

ployees at a package store said a man came in and stole a bottle of Ciroc Pineapple Vodka and put it in his pants before leaving. He looked like he was happy to see everyone when he walked out. Men are so egotistical that they believe they can steal anything, shove it down their pants, and walk out completely unnoticed. Those items include small tools (not a pun) and even circular saw blades. 1000 block of Calibre Springs Drive —

July 30, a black Diamondback bicycle was stolen from the loft parking space.

On Aug. 1, a woman reported she met a woman named “Daisy” at a wine tasting event. The woman allowed Daisy to stay at her residence for a few days. Later, she noticed her tablet, camera, clothes, makeup, and shoes were missing. All she knew of Daisy was that her first name was Allison. Do your homework. You are allowing others well within your home and your stuff. You need to know more about them.

900 block of Abernathy Road — On July

6600 block of Roswell Road— On Aug. 1,

800 block of Edgewater Trail — On July

30, a 38-year-old woman reported that during a time when their home, which was for sale, was viewed during an open house, someone stole a watch and jewelry. 6000 block of Blue Stone Road— On

31, the complainant said that sometime between July 28 and July 31, someone accessed the construction site and stole a 20-foot-long trailer used for equipment. 300 block of Highland Park Trail —

www.ReporterNewspapers.net Published by Springs Publishing LLC


On July 31, a 47-year-old man reported that he discovered that the community mailboxes had been opened and from his mailbox he was missing his medication and other miscellaneous mail. Included in the stolen mail was a Pep Boys rebate card that later was used.

a 41-year-old man said he was at a gym between noon and 1 p.m. when someone took two credit cards and a debit card from his wallet. $970 was later charged to one card and $1,201 charged to the other credit card. On Aug. 2, another man reported the theft from this same location. His AMEX card number was taken and later used fraudulently. $50 cash was also taken. 6000 block of Cherry Tree Lane — On

Aug. 2, resident reported that a surveyor was working on the home next door and noticed two canoes on the edge of SS

AUGUST 18 - 31, 2017

Public Safety | 31


City of Sandy Springs Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH) Adoption & Public Hearing September 19, 2017 the victim’s property. He inquired if they were for sale and the resident said they were not. He asked if she would move them off the property line, which she did. She left town for a few days later and on return, discovered the two canoes were gone. She contacted the company that did the survey, asking where they were. She was informed they found one of them, but not both. The found canoe was brought to her home.

THEFTS FROM VEHICLES Between July 29 and Aug. 3, there were

11 thefts from vehicles.

ARRESTS 5500 block of Roswell Road — On July

28, a loss prevention employee at a discount department store witnessed a man steal a Jensen Cassette player, remove it from the package, and then walk past all points of sale. He was detained and later charged with: 1. Shoplifting and 2. Living in the past. 7000 block of Roswell Road — Follow-

ing a traffic stop on July 28, the driver was found to be wanted by the Barrow County Sheriff’s Office on a warrant accusing him of criminal trespass and simple assault related to family violence. He was arrested. 1100 block of Perimeter Center West

— On Aug. 1, police were called to a charity clothing store just after 4 p.m., after an employee became disruptive after being fired. She began to throw items from the shelves to the floor and briefly tangled with the store manager, who said the actions caused the “shoppers to flee.” The woman was arrested. I don’t need to tell you but remember, it’s all fun and games until the shoppers flee. 5500 block of Roswell Road — On Aug.

1, employees of a discount department store detained a man they said stole two phone chargers, removed them from their packages and placed them in his pocket. His actions were captured on video. He was later arrested. GA-400 — On Aug. 1, a patrol officer

lent transactions with those cards. 5500 block of Roswell Road — On Aug.

2, two men were arrested at a discount department store for stealing two Altec speakers valued at about $40 each. Both men were taken to jail.


As required by 24 CFR Part 91. 105 (b) (2), the City will hold a public hearing on September 19, 2017, at 6:00 p.m. in City Hall located at 7840 Roswell Road, Building 500, Sandy Springs, GA, 30350. All meetings start at 6:00 p.m., are open to the public and are held at Sandy Springs City Hall. Citizens in need of translation services or materials in alternative formats should call 770-730-5600 seven calendar days prior to the regularly scheduled meeting

Abernathy/Glenridge roads— On Juy 28,

a 53-year-old man reported he was in traffic. The traffic moved with the exception of the car ahead. He honked, then drove around and alongside where he saw a woman who pointed a gun at him and asked if he had a problem. She then drove off. A 60-year old man reported that

someone accessed his credit card information and used it at a shopping club in Alpharetta for $9,973 on July 18. They used it again for $9,950 on July 21. At the time of report, the club was not yet sure what was purchased. A 35-year old woman reported on July

30 that she has been receiving threatening messages from another woman she suspects of being romantically involved with her boyfriend. She said the “other woman” threatened to burn her home and to assault her. While the officer was at the victim’s home, she received another text that the suspect was on the way to beat her up. She did not show. 6000 block of Ferry Drive — On July

30, a resident reported that his video camera showed a man standing on his doorstep just before 5 a.m. The video did not reveal anything about the suspect, only a flashlight in the pitch black background. No evidence of burglary or attempt was found. 100 block of Allen Road— On July 30, a

man said he was hiking in the area of Allen Road when he came upon the abandoned home at #75. There, on the carport, was the mostly skeletal remains of a female lying in the carport. Items around the body (water bottle) indicated that she may have been homeless and died in her sleep some time ago. The preliminary report from the M.E’s. office showed no obvious signs of trauma.

spotted a car traveling around 80 mph. He stopped the car because it was in the 55 mph construction zone. The man was 1000 block of Hammond Drive — On on probation, so the officer checked furJuly 30, a 30-year old woman reported ther and found that the man was known that her neighbors were harassing her to carry firearms, and had been arrested and listening into her apartment. They for assault and narcotics. He was subselisten to what she is doing, then yell at quently arrested for possessing cocaine her. The neighbors said they do not yell and a weapon during the commission at her and they aren’t listening to her. of a crime. The man had in his possession several credit cards, not his, and was READ MORE OF THE POLICE BLOTTER ONLINE AT charged with making fraudu-



The City of Sandy Springs has completed its Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH) study for final adoption by Mayor & City Council at the September 19, 2017 regular meeting and submission to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on October 4, 2017. This assessment aims at identifying any barriers to fair housing choice by providing a method to identify fair housing issues, contributing factors, and a way to develop a plan to establish fair housing goals that reduce patterns of segregation, disparities to opportunities, and disproportionate housing needs. The report is available at www.sandyspringsga.gov. To review the report, select the CDBG Program on the Community Development Department’s webpage.

City Sandy Springs 2016 Consolidated Annual Performance Report (CAPER) Adoption & Public Hearing September 19, 2017

The City of Sandy Springs has completed its Consolidated Annual Performance Report (CAPER) for final adoption by Mayor & City Council at the September 19, 2017 regular meeting and submission to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on September 20, 2017. The report is available at www.sandyspringsga.gov. To review the report, select the CDBG Program on the Community Development Department’s webpage. As required by 24 CFR Part 91. 105 (b) (2), the City will hold a public hearing on September 19, 2017, at 6:00 p.m. in City Hall located at 7840 Roswell Road, Building 500, Sandy Springs, GA, 30350. All meetings start at 6:00 p.m., are open to the public and are held at Sandy Springs City Hall. Citizens in need of translation services or materials in alternative formats should call 770-730-5600 seven calendar days prior to the regularly scheduled meeting


City of Sandy Springs


An Ordinance to amend the Character Area Map, an element of the Comprehensive Plan. The intent is to correct errors and to ensure consistency with the proposed Zoning Map.

Public Hearings: Planning Commission September 28, 2017, 6:00 p.m. Mayor and City Council October 3, 2017, 6:00p.m. Location:

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




Renaissance Development Corp.


6550 Scott Valley Road


Variance from Section 6.4.3.B of the Zoning Ordinance to encroach into the 50-foot minimum front yard setback to construct a new single-family detached house.

Public Hearing:

Board of Appeals September 14, 2017 at 6:00 p.m.


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

32 |

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