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AUG. 31 - SEPT. 13, 2018 • VOL. 9 — NO. 18

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Local moviemaker attracts stars to ‘inspirational’ stories PAGE 20

AROUND TOWN: Cheers to the geeks at Battle and Brew PAGE 11

Loosen up the look of Dunwoody Village, survey says BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

DYANA BAGBY

Historical Concepts architect Clay Rokicki draws an illustration of various building types people say they want to see in Dunwoody Village while David and Lorna Sherwinter of Dunwoody look on. An online survey shows 85 percent of respondents would like to see a variety of architectural character in the Village area.

Perimeter Business

Transit and 285/400 the focus of new PCIDs master plan PAGE 4GE 4

Atlanta United’s greatest impact is having made soccer ‘cool’ beyond its normal supporter realm. ... Kids from all sports backgrounds are now supportive of the team. SCOTT SNYDER VARSITY BOYS’ SOCCER COACH, THE WESTMINSTER SCHOOLS

See COMMENTARY, page 10

OUT & ABOUT Japanese comic theater group comes to Dunwoody Page 16

A recent online survey shows 85 percent of respondents don’t want restrictions on the architectural style in Dunwoody Village, a strong indicator of changes to come to what many consider the heart of the city. The mayor and City Council have See LOOSEN on page 22

No maintenance money for new projects, city official says BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

If Dunwoody wants to keep building new parks and other projects, it has to drum up more money to pay for maintenance, says the city’s finance director, who is warning of reaching a “crossroads” on spending. In a recent memo to the City Council, Finance Director Chris Pike said the city is currently able to budget operations items, such as park maintenance. But as the city eyes new projects in the future, the money is See NO on page 14


2 | Community

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Community Briefs AUS TI N EL EM EN TA RY OP ENI N G D EL AY ED TO 2020

Heavy rains and the discovery of “essentially a landfill” at the new Austin Elementary School’s construction site in Dunwoody Park means the opening of the school is being delayed five months to January 2020. To make up for lost time, DeKalb County School District officials are seeking variances of the city’s noise ordinance to allow for earlier construction times. The earlier times also include allowing construction on Sundays and holidays. This request, not yet approved, was questioned by several City Council members concerned about area homeowners. The City Council was updated on the school construction at its Aug. 27 meeting. School officials said the opening of the new 900-seat elementary school will be in January 2020 and not in August 2019 as originally planned. The 5-month delay also means redistricting will be postponed for one year. The new Austin Elementary is be-

ing built on about 10 acres of Dunwoody Park, where the Dunwoody Senior Baseball fields were located. “During site work activities, it was discovered that the baseball fields were essentially a landfill that contained buried trees, trash and other organics below the surface. In all, a total of 13,016 cubic yards of unsuitable material and trash was excavated and removed from the site,” according to a DCSD report. Austin Elementary students will move to the new building over Christmas break for a partial opening in January 2020. Redistricted students will not attend the new school until August 2020, according to the report. To help make up lost time and ensure the January opening date, school officials are asking the city to make exceptions to the noise ordinance for earlier construction times. DCSD is asking start time on Mondays through Fridays to change from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 a.m., on Saturdays to change from 8 a.m. to 7 a.m. and for Sundays and holidays to allow construction from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The school district also wants to be able to pour concrete for up to 18 days beginning at 3:30 a.m. The days would be two to three days per month for six months. The time would keep trucks off busy Roberts Road during peak morning travel times, according to Dan Drake, interim chief officer for DCSD. Drake said the same early-morning work was granted by DeKalb County for the construction of Fernbank Elementary School, McNair Middle School and Peachcrest Elementary School over the past five years.

STATE SU PR EM E COUR T R U LES D EKALB ETHI C S B O AR D ILLEG AL

The Georgia Supreme Court ruled Aug. 27 that the makeup of the DeKalb County Board of Ethics is unconstitutional because most members are appointed by non-governmental entities. In the unanimous ruling, Justice Harold Melton wrote for the court that the “private entities do not answer to

the people as required by our Constitution” and “are not authorized to wield the power to appoint public officials to the DeKalb County Board of Ethics.” The state high court’s decision upholds last year’s same ruling by DeKalb Superior Court Judge Asha Jackson. The challenge to the makeup of the board was brought by former DeKalb County Commissioner Sharon Barnes Sutton, who, in 2016, faced ethics complaints against her while she was in office. Sutton challenged the constitutionality of House Bill 597, a referendum approved by more than 90 percent of DeKalb voters in 2015, that allows four members of the seven-member volunteer board to be appointed by outside groups, such as the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce, Leadership DeKalb and DeKalb universities. The new law was intended to create an independent Board of Ethics; prior to the overwhelming approval of HB 597, the Board of Ethics was made up of members appointed by the DeKalb CEO and Board of Commissioners. State Rep. Scott Holcomb (D-Atlanta), whose district includes portions of Brookhaven, Chamblee and Doraville, was the House sponsor of HB 597. “The Supreme Court has spoken and now we need to fix it,” he said. That fix could include continuing to have members appointed from outside groups, but with review by the state legislature under an updated law, he said.

HO US EHO L D HA ZA R DO US WA S T E R EC Y C L ING EV ENT S ET FO R S EP T. 9

Dunwoody residents can dump hazardous household waste like paint at a recycling event from 1 to 4 p.m. on Sept. 9 at Georgia Perimeter College-Dunwoody Campus, 2101 Womack Road. Registration is required before 5 p.m. on Sept. 6 at dunwoodyga.gov. Items accepted include: aerosols; adhesives, resins, and epoxies; mercury-containing items; lawn care products; automotive products; fluorescent bulbs; pharmaceuticals; photography chemicals; hobby and artist supplies; paints and paint-related products; cleaners and swimming pool chemicals; poisons, including rat, rodent and insect repellents; and pesticides.

DUN


AUG. 31 - SEPT. 13, 2018

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Community | 3

Study committee investigates possible new EMS zone BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

A state board’s study committee to review ambulance response times and service in Dunwoody and the rest of north DeKalb County held its first meeting Aug. 27, where members detailed the extensive questions they want answered. The five-member ad hoc committee met at Dunwoody City Hall. It is asking DeKalb County Fire Rescue department and its private ambulance contractor, American Medical Response, to answer dozens of questions as part of an exhaustive review of the quality of service in DeKalb County. Brookhaven’s assistant city manager was among those in attendance. Those serving on the five-member board are: Chair Richard Elliott, deputy fire chief for Clayton County; Chris Whitmire, assistant fire chief for Marietta; Jolyon Bundrige, deputy fire chief for Atlanta; Roswell Fire Chief Ricky Burnette; and Eric Nix, an emergency physician and medical director for Cobb County Fire. Questions to be answered range from number of ambulances in use to response times, contract incentives, fines paid and even ambulance mileage. DeKalb and AMR representatives are also required to provide information on violations of contract requirements, explanations for the violations and any steps taken to eliminate the violations. The information will cover all of DeKalb County as well as specific information for Dunwoody and will include reports dating back to last August. The second meeting of the study committee is set for Sept. 5, also at Dunwoody City Hall. At that meeting, AMR will have the chance to make its case to the study committee. Dunwoody and other municipalities concerned about slow EMS response times will also be able to testify. A third meeting is slated for Sept. 20 to hear from DeKalb officials with the final meeting set for Oct. 4 when a report will be gathered and any recommendations to the full EMS Council will be made. The full EMS Council meets Nov. 8. Brookhaven Assistant City Manager Steve Chapman attended the Aug. 27 meeting. He said the city has no plans to testify. “We’re just there to observe and we look forward to the report they will put out,” he said of the committee. Brookhaven has recorded slow EMS response times in the past and was considering stationing an ambulance on Buford Highway at a gas station the city recently purchased. Nothing has moved on that plan, Chapman said, because the city still has not closed on the property. National standards set by state and local municipalities require 90 percent of ambulance calls respond in under 9 minutes. That’s the time AMR is contracted with DeKalb County to meet as well. In Brookhaven in all of 2017, AMR’s reDUN

sponse times include a low of 8 minute 36 seconds out of 241 calls in January to a high of 11 minutes and 1 second over 211 calls in September. The remaining months consistently fall in the 9- and 10-minute range. According to data provided to the Dunwoody City Council, AMR responded to 1,026 calls in Dunwoody between January and November 2016. Average response time was 10 minutes, 45 seconds. For all of DeKalb County, AMR responded to 82,851 calls between January and November with a 9 minute, 26 second average response time. But mixed in those numbers are numerous 20- and 30-minute wait times as well. Dunwoody officials are expected to testify at the next meeting and Mayor Denis Shortal said he believes the city “has a pretty good case” for the creation of a new EMS zone. The EMS study committee was created Aug. 9 when the Region 3 EMS Council, which advises the state Department of Public Health about setting ambulance contracts and zones, met at Dunwoody City Hall to consider Dunwoody’s request to create its own EMS zone. In May, Dunwoody filed a “Declaration of EMS Emergency” with the Georgia Department of Public Health asking the board to carve out a new zone for the city. The declaration followed years of complaints to DeKalb officials of slow ambulance response times. The final straw occurred in May when police body camera footage of an AMR employee hitting a Dunwoody teen patient was splashed across the airwaves. Dunwoody City Councilmember Terry Nall has led the charge to create a new EMS zone for the city. He said he expects the final report to show what is already known — AMR is not meeting its contractual obligations and DeKalb County should fire them. “The ad hoc committee is now looking at the ambulance performance in all of DeKalb County, as it is a single ambulance zone, which is part of the problem,” he said. “Neighboring large counties are split into multiple ambulance zones.” He also took a jab at DeKalb officials for not doing something sooner to address slow EMS response times. “County leaders have previously said the failing ambulance response times across the county were ‘widely acknowledged,’ so the countywide data should affirm these county leaders’ statements,” he said. A big question is whether anything can happen before AMR’s contract with DeKalb expires on Dec. 31 — and what happens then. The county is preparing to issue a request for proposals for ambulance services, according to a spokesperson. A consultant hired by the county is in the process of evaluating the county’s ambulance services to make recommendations for best practices for its emergency medical system. The current contract between DeKalb and AMR allows for extensions approved by the Board of Commissioners.

The Dekalb Small Business Loan Program is a joint venture between Dekalb Community Development and Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs (ACE).


4 | Perimeter Business

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Perimeter Business

Focusing on business in the Reporter Newspapers communities

Fall 2018 | PCIDs master plan

Transit and 285/400 the focus of new PCIDs master plan BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

Nearly two years into a major reorganization, the Perimeter Community Improvement Districts is poised to unveil a new master plan that is laser-focused on better transportation in the booming business district. In a new preliminary project list approved by the self-taxing business group, the PCIDs is shedding old ideas that aren’t transportation-related, including a sister business association and a long-planned new park at the Dunwoody MARTA Station. Topping the new todo list: New multiuse trails, mass transit planning and grappling with towering new toll lanes that will transform neighborhoods along the I-285/Ga. 400 interchange in the next decade. “This is our lane. We’re going to stay in it,” said PCIDs Executive Director Ann Hanlon about the transportation focus during a recent interview in the group’s office in Sandy Springs’ Northpark complex. “The fact that our work plan is a list of just [transportation] projects speaks volumes about the direction we’re heading in.”

The new “managed lanes” for Ga. 400 run on elevated ramps in this sample concept design from the Georgia Department of Transportation.

The PCIDs’ board approved the project list on Aug. 22. With budgets and timelines attached, the list is the basis for the new master plan, which is scheduled for a board vote Sept. 26. Hanlon says the master plan will be a “glossy document,” but with a technical and practical focus. “This is not propaganda for the district,” she said. “This is meant to be a tool to guide our actions. … This is a real work plan.” The PCIDs consists of two separate but jointly operated districts in Perimeter Center, one on the DeKalb County side and one on the Fulton County side, whose members voluntarily pay extra taxes to fund local improvements. The PCIDs fell into turmoil in September 2016 with the surprise resignation of its previous executive director, a change that exposed some doubts about the group’s focus and organization. Hanlon said the PCIDs, which had a record revenue last year of about $8 million, lacked a solid budget or work plan. One of the PCIDs most attention-getting acts in recent years was a $10 million contribution to the state’s I-285/Ga. 400 project. While Hanlon doesn’t directly criticize it, PCIDS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR she made it clear that sort of unrestricted donaAnn Hanlon. tion won’t be happening in the future. The PCIDs had a backlog of 66 projects and studies that dated as far back as 10 years and were “all over the place,” Hanlon said. For the master plan, that list was whittled down to about 37 projects, prioritized under the categories of “access,” “mobility” and “sense of place.” Aside from getting a budget and timeline, each project will have a “fact sheet” laying out its goals and partners. In part, that aims to avoid paperwork problems that last year led to the embarrassing situation of the city of Sandy Springs suing the PCIDs, a case that was later settled. While the project list got trimmed, the PCIDs itself might expand. Hanlon said the group would welcome more property owners and likely would seek to add them to carry out other transportation-related projects, such as extending the PATH400 multiuse trail from Buckhead. Also possible is a change in the self-taxing millage, but for now it is staying the same at 4 mills.

Transit and 285/400 Discount doesn't apply to member rate

SPECIAL

Transit and the I-285/Ga. 400 highway changes are first among equals on the new project priority list.


AUG. 31 - SEPT. 13, 2018

Perimeter Business | 5

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“Realistically, I think transit is the future here,” says PCIDs project manager John Gurbal, who spends a lot of time figuring out how to move commuters in and out of Perimeter Center. For the PCIDs, that means planning better access and rider options. Perimeter Center and the Medical Center already boast four MARTA stations. But so-called last-mile connectivity – getting riders to and from the stations and their destinations – remains an issue. That’s why multiuse trails are among the priorities. The locations include Ashford-Dunwoody Road, Peachtree-Dunwoody Road and the Medical Center. “I think I’ve heard from my board pretty loud and clear they want to get some shovels in the ground and start building these things,” said Hanlon about the trails. The biggest transportation project right now is highwaydriven. The state is in the midst of reconstructing the I-285/Ga. 400 interchange, but that’s only the beginning. The state wants to SPECIAL add toll lanes on elevated ramps A design of the once-planned park at the Dunwoody MARTA Station. 30 or more feet high around the interchange over the next 10 years. That has sparked questions about effects on mass transit options and quality of life in the area, though the concepts remain little-known to the general public. Hanlon says the highway project is a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” to wrangle some localized transportation improvements. It also shows the importance of having a master plan for “exploring what in the world we can do to affect that,” she said. On Aug. 22, the PCIDs board approved contributing $15,000 to a multi-jurisdictional study of transit options along I-285, an idea spearheaded by Brookhaven Mayor John Ernst. With the toll lanes, Hanlon said the state has been “guarded” with information, but the PCIDs is thinking about ways to approach them. “Some board members really want us to prioritize the aesthetic part of it” and help “those big overpasses look better,” she said. “We call it extreme bridge makeover.” Others are interested in the increasingly controversial topic of where the lanes would connect to surface streets. The PCIDs is among the backers of adding such lanes to Johnson Ferry Road in the Medical Center. Less settled options previously discussed by local leaders include Hammond Drive and Mount Vernon Highway. On both aspects, Hanlon said, the PCIDs will work to “shape them into what is going to help the district.”

What’s out of the plan

Among the projects that didn’t make the master plan cut is what Hanlon calls a “kind of grandiose idea of a park” under elevated tracks at the Dunwoody MARTA Station along Perimeter Center Parkway. Unveiled in 2014, the plan involved turning a drainage ditch into a park-lined stream with a lawn on land owned by the city of Dunwoody and Perimeter Mall. “The price tag was very expensive,” says Hanlon, and the group has “board members who feel PCIDs shouldn’t be in the parks business.” The PCIDs might still create a multiuse trailhead there, she said, but a park would be left to the city or other groups. Also meeting its end is the Perimeter Business Alliance, a kind of sister organization founded in 2012 by PCIDs board members. The PBA’s purpose was fuzzy and the group was most visible to the public as host of luncheon speakers on business and development topics. Hanlon said the PBA will be formally dissolved as of Dec. 31, but it’s defunct and its logo was already removed from the lobby wall in the PCIDs office. Even some projects that made the final cut may not happen for other reasons, Hanlon said. One example is a proposed Perimeter Center Parkway extension between Lake Hearn Drive and Johnson Ferry Road in the Medical Center area along the Brookhaven/ Sandy Springs border. Hanlon said there is “recognition on our board that this is not a popular project” after talking with Brookhaven city officials.

Business Briefs

DYANA BAGBY

State Farm’s regional headquarters stands in the background of where a new 16-story office tower is now under construction on about 4 acres of former Perimeter Mall parking lot adjacent to the Dunwoody MARTA station. Plans are also to build a 10-story hotel on the site. Both are expected to be completed in 2020.

WO R K B EG INS O N 1 6 - S TO RY O FFI C E TO WE R AT D U NWO O DY M A R TA S TAT I O N

Construction has started on the new transit-oriented 16-story office-tower next to the Dunwoody MARTA Station named Twelve24 for its address on Hammond Drive. The office tower will include 335,000 square feet of Class A office space and 11,000 square feet of ground floor retail and restaurants. Developer Trammell Crow is also working with Concord Hospitality Enterprises to develop a 9-story, 177-room Hyatt Place hotel directly connectDUDA PAINE ARCHITECTS An illustration of the new Twelve24 office tower with the ed to Twelve24. Hotel Dunwoody MARTA station and tracks in the foreground. guests and Twelve24 The building is expected to be completed in 2020. tenants will share the elevated outdoor terrace level between the two buildings. The hotel is expected to open in mid-2020. Tenant occupancy for the office building is expected to be available in early 2020, according to a press release from developer Trammell Crow Company. National staffing company Insight Global Insight has already announced plans to relocate from its curContinued on page 6


6 | Perimeter Business

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Business Briefs

Continued from page 5

rent headquarters building at the Ashford Green building at 4170 Ashford-Dunwoody Road in Brookhaven to the Dunwoody office tower. “Given the transit-oriented, mixed-use environment neighboring a combination of restaurants, retail, office and hospitality businesses, Twelve24 creates an exceptional work space atmosphere in a location where tenants can connect, innovate and advance their businesses,” said Brandon Houston, principal with Trammell Crow’s Atlanta Business Unit, in the release. The 3.94-acre site is located on an unused portion of the Perimeter Mall parking lot purchased from the mall’s owner, General Growth Properties. Trammell Crow also purchased the west parking deck once used by the Dunwoody MARTA station. MARTA had been leasing it from General Growth Properties but said it was never fully utilized. The new building also located across the street from the massive State Farm regional headquarters now going up. The entire project is expected to cost $140 million. The Dunwoody Development Authority approved a tax abatement on the project with the value of the abatement expected to be $9.4 million over 13 years of the abatement, according to city officials. The Twelve24 building is a development project of Trammell Crow Company and a joint venture partner advised by CBRE Global Investors, according to the press release. Duda Paine Architects is the design architect, and Wakefield Beasley & Associates is the architect of record. Brasfield & Gorrie is the project general contractor.

EXTEN D ED-STAY H OTEL P L A N NED FO R PI LL H I LL MEDI C A L C EN TER

A Hyatt House extended-stay hotel is planned for a site in Sandy Springs’ “Pill Hill” medical center area, part of a long-stalled office park redevelopment. The nine-story, 186-room hotel would replace a parking lot in the Peachtree Dunwoody Pavilion office park at Lake Hearn Drive and Peachtree-Dunwoody Road. The project passed a hurdle on July 10, gaining approval with conditions from the city Board of Appeals for zoning variances related to setback and pedestrian access.

The hotel would be built by Atlanta-based Legacy Ventures, which also developed the Hyatt Regency at Villa Christina in Brookhaven and manages the Hotel Indigo in downtown Atlanta, among other notable hotels. According to city applications, the hotel is still considered to be part of a mixed-use redevelopment of the 20-acre Pavilion office park by the Midtown-based Simpson Organization. After various renditions, that plan was withdrawn from city consideration in late 2016 over traffic and parking concerns. The hotel’s zoning variance application says the overall Pavilion proposal now includes: an eight-level, 1,010-space parking garage with a restaurant built in; a seven-level, 480-space garage; 230,000 square feet of new office space; more than 26,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space; and a 300-plus unit multifamily housing building by Toll Brothers. SPECIAL Previous verA conceptual drawing of the Hyatt House extended-stay hotel from a city zoning variance application. sions of the plan included a hotel of up to 300 rooms. Boyd Simpson, head of the Simpson Organization, did not respond to phone and email messages about the status of the overall proposal. Earlier this year, the City Council approved a zoning code change allowing extendedstay hotels with various requirements to ensure they are high-quality. Hyatt House is a wellknown sub-brand with existing locations in Cobb County’s Cumberland area and in downtown Atlanta. Hyatt is expanding the extended-stay brand rapidly, with other Hyatt Houses proposed in Colorado and Missouri this week alone, according to media reports. Hotels have become a popular component of mixed-use projects around the world. The Pill Hill hotel would have 2,500 square feet of meeting space; a pool; a fitness center; and 96 on-site parking spaces as well as space leased from the office park. A sign and abstract sculpture currently located at the Lake Hearn/Peachtree-Dunwoody corner would be “displaced,” according to a city zoning application.

TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS are what we do.

To Learn More, Visit PerimeterCID.org or Call 770-390-1780


AUG. 31 - SEPT. 13, 2018

Perimeter Business | 7

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Ribbon-cuttings: Business openings Celebrating the ribbon-cutting for Russell Cellular, left, a Verizon-authorized retailer in Dunwoody, on June 1 are, from left, Jennifer Howard; wireless sales representatives Elexus Fulton and A’Sheriah Jackson; store manager Torre Davis; district sales manager Drickson Toussaint; wireless sales representative Darnell Garner; Patrick Halverson; Chirag Patel; and Stephanie Freeman, president and CEO of the Dunwoody Perimeter Chamber of Commerce. Info: russellcellular.com. SPECIAL

Bottom left, Great Expressions Dental Center at 4920 Roswell Rd in the Fountain Oaks Center celebrated its opening on Aug. 21. From left; Suzanne Brown, Christine Ritchie, Wendy Flanagan, Ursula Ray, Dr. Daniela Lemoine, Wanda Hill, Lisa Jackson and Ashley Williams. Info: greatexpressions.com SPECIAL

Dr. Caroline Ceneviz, second on right, cuts the ribbon on August 10 to open Chamblee Orthodontics, located at 5070 Peachtree Blvd. SPECIAL

The following are some of the new businesses that recently opened in Reporter Newspapers communities. Dunwoody Christian School, 2250 Dunwoody Club Drive, Sandy Springs. Info: dunwoodycs.org. Frutta Bowls, restaurant, 4920 Roswell Road, No. 46, Sandy Springs. Info: fruttabowls.com. Gastroenterology Atlanta, 5669 Peachtree-Dunwoody Road, Suite 240, Sandy Springs. Info: gastroenterologyatlanta.com. Hollywood Feed, pet food, 3535 Northside Parkway, Suite 8B, Buckhead. Info: hollywoodfeed.com. Industrious Atlanta-Perimeter, coworking offices, 7000 Central Parkway, Suite 1100, Sandy Springs. Info: industriousoffice.com. La Quinta Inn & Suites Atlanta Perimeter/Medical Center, reopened after renovation, 6260 Peachtree-Dunwoody Road, Sandy Springs. Info: laquintaatlantaperimeter.com. North Georgia School of Ballet, 8610 Roswell Road, Suite 710, Sandy Springs. Info: ngaschoolofballet.com. Puppy Haven, 230 Windsor Parkway, Sandy Springs. Info: puppyhavenatl.com. Russell Cellular, 2458 Jett Ferry Road, Suite 200, Dunwoody. Info: russellcellular.com. Sandy Springs Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 6100 Lake Forrest Drive, Suite 100, Sandy Springs. Info: sspediatrics.com. Savi Provisions-Pharr Road, 308 Pharr Road, Buckhead. Info: saviprovisions.com. Sheri’s Finishing Touch, 1155 Mount Vernon Highway, Suite 440, Sandy Springs. Info: sherisfinishingtouch.com. She Sparks, branding agency, 400 Northpark, 1000 Abernathy Road, Suite L-10, Sandy Springs. Info: shesparks.com.


8 | Education

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Erica Holmes Dunwoody High School A junior at Dunwoody High School has focused the past two years on helping young students who speak English as a second language, locally and in Costa Rica. Erica Holmes’ project, “Beyond the Backpack: Removing Barriers to Education,” aided students in the Chamblee and Doraville area with a backpack distribution event on Aug. 3 at Cross Cultural Ministries, a Doraville-based organization that provides free tutoring and English classes. At Erica’s event, the students received a backpack full of school supplies, a dental hygiene kit, a personal hygiene kit and fresh produce, including vegetables Erica grew in a garden. Erica’s interest in helping students started in March 2017 when she began learning Spanish in preparation for a Costa Rica trip where she taught girls how to sew skirts they needed for school uniforms. She was able to use this community of people that she knew so closely as a mandatory project to achieve her gold award for Girl Scouts. Erica spent 200 hours and most of her weekends for 18 months preparing for her March 2018 trip, which helped her achieve the Gold Award from the Girl Scouts. She took lessons on how to sew and worked with her project advisor to make a basic pattern for the skirts. “We had to get the pattern as simple as possible then write out its steps,” Erica said. Her Sundays consisted of working with a Spanish tutor to put the steps in Spanish, and then they would work on the teaching of the steps in Spanish. Erica says that the best part of the project was seeing the girls’ faces when they finished the skirts. “When they went into the bathroom and came out with the skirt on smiling and twirling this was the reward. I did not simply give them a skirt to wear to school,

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they made the skirt for themselves, which I think was empowering,” she said. Erica later learned that some of the girls she taught are using their newfound sewing skills as a source of income for their families. When Erica returned from Costa Rica, she began working on a community garden at Cross Cultural Ministries, tending to the garden and taking produce over to the organization. The garden project later spurred the backpack distribution event, which was held in early August. “The kids were so excited to get their pack,” Erica said. Most of us take a new backpack and school supplies for granted, but the joy on their faces was rewarding knowing I helped with that.” Sherri Vultaggio, Eri-

Erica Holmes poses with a student at Cross Cultural Ministries.

SPECIAL

Erica Holmes, center, taught young students how to sew during a March 2018 trip to Costa Rica.

ca’s project advisor, was tremendously proud of her work with her projects as she had the opportunity to watch her grow along the way. “Erica has become amazingly confident in her abilities to teach and lead. I watched her work with her peers here with confidence teaching in both English and Spanish the items that would be made in Costa Rica,” Vultaggio said. “She has a contagious spirit that translates into people seeking her out to assist in whatever project she starts,” she said.

What’s next?

Erica hopes to attend Lee University in Tennessee, and later work with students in special education or English as a Second Language, or both. This spring, she plans to tutor students in English at Cross Cultural Ministries to help teach English and help them become academically successful. This article was written and reported by Kaitlyn Garrett, a student at The Lovett School.


Education | 9

AUG. 31 - SEPT. 13, 2018 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Education Briefs OGL ET HORP E UN IVERSI TY A N NO U NCES N EW T UI TI ON MATC H IN G SC H O LAR SHIP

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In an effort to draw students who don’t consider private colleges due to the cost, Oglethorpe University will begin matching the tuition of flagship public schools in all U.S. states, the Brookhaven private college announced. The matched tuition will be available to students who qualify for a merit scholarship program open to students across the country. The school plans to start the program for freshmen starting fall 2019. “Many students and their families believe they must attend a large state school because they can’t afford a private college education,” said school President Larry Schall in a press release. “Because of perceived costs, many of those students never even apply to a small private college like Oglethorpe. We want to change those misconceptions,” he added. Tuition at Oglethorpe is close to $38,000 a year, according to the school’s website.

H E A L Y O U R B O D Y, MIND AND SOUL

LOC A L P UBL I C SC H OOLS TO C LO SE ON EL EC TION DAY F O R SAFETY

Fulton students will stay home from school on Election Day this November due to safety and security concerns. The Fulton Board of Education unanimously voted at its Aug. 16 meeting to make Nov. 6 a teacher workday. The board previously discussed the change at a June 12 meeting, where Board of Education Vice President Linda McCain cited parents’ safety and security concerns as a reason to close schools. The board voted at the same time to change March 8, 2019 from a teacher workday to a regular school day, meaning students will not lose any instructional time due to the Election Day closure, according to the board agenda. Fulton joins the DeKalb County School District and Atlanta Public Schools in having Election Day be a teacher workday. The Atlanta Public Schools board voted to amend the school calendar Aug. 6 due to traffic and security concerns, the district said in a press release. The DeKalb Board of Education made Election Day a teacher workday when it approved the 2018-2019 calendar at its January meeting, according to the district.

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D U N WOODY GROUP TO HO ST GOLF A N D TEN N IS F UN DRAISER

All Fore One Dunwoody, a nonprofit group that supports local public schools, plans to host its second annual golf and tennis tournament to raise funds for capital and education improvements Oct. 1. The first tournament, held last year, raised $20,000, which was donated to the “Game On” campaign supporting Dunwoody High athletics, the press release said. The group behind that campaign held a ribbon-cutting Aug. 19 on the first phase of improvements, which included 1,000 new spectator seats, a new track around the athletic field, storage facilities, a walkway and landscaping. SPECIAL The funds this year are planned to be put toThe logo for the All Fore One ward improvements at Dunwoody High School and Dunwoody organization. Peachtree Charter Middle School, the release said. The competition will be held at Dunwoody Country Club, at 1600 Dunwoody Club Drive. For more information, including registration and competition start times, visit allforeonedunwoody.org.

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Commentary / Atlanta United gives soccer a cool factor early teams lacked How has Atlanta United’s popularity affected high school soccer in metro Atlanta? Reflection on this question could not be done without reflecting on the recent history of professional soccer in Atlanta. While I am a fairly recent transplant to the area, arriving in 1999, I was aware of previous professional teams from having former teammates and friends play or coach for some of Atlanta’s various iterations, as well as playing against their indoor component myself when I played on a similar team, the Chattanooga Express.

The Atlanta Chiefs Since Atlanta has emerged as a true international city in recent years, the profile of soccer has grown in the area. The largest impact from this early era — the late 1960s to early 1980s — came from the Atlanta Chiefs, Atlanta’s NASL team, which won the league championship in 1968 and were runners-up in 1969 and 1971. The NASL was the first soccer league to have national impact, having famous foreign players come over and ply their trade in the U.S. Other notable teams such as the New York Cosmos, Los Angeles Aztecs and Tampa Bay Rowdies all helped to push soccer forward. The Chiefs were early champions in the league and the best league commissioner, Phil Woosnam, was their former manager. Perhaps the best memory of the team is that they beat Manchester City twice in international club friendlies. According to ussoccerplayers.com, “The team even went as far as to use a woman on horseback around the city’s streets declaring, ‘The British are coming! The British are coming!’” The team “gained unprecedented coverage in the sports pages.”

Atlanta’s Olympics and the Silverbacks The Chiefs’ demise left Atlanta without a real soccer presence, which was not filled until Atlanta hosted the Summer Olympics in 1996. Soccer was given a big boost with the championship game being held at UGA’s Sanford Stadium. This led to new attempts for Atlanta to have a professional team, and they were in the running to have one of the original 10 MLS franchises. When this petered out, Atlanta forged ahead with many various semiprofessional teams, with the most prominently known team being the Atlanta Silverbacks. Notable facts from that era include making it to the league championship in 2007; having former U.S. World Cup stars play or coach for them (John Doyle and Bruce Murray as players and Eric Wynalda as a coach); and having a former member of the 1994 Bulgarian World Cup team that reached the

semifinals (Velko Yotov). With all of this said, the Silverbacks went the way of all the other professional soccer attempts and suspended operations in January of 2016.

Atlanta United

Scott Snyder

This brings us to the story of Atlanta United, is the varsity boys’ which has well exceeded all expectations for sucsoccer coach at cess. The “Five Stripes” The Westminster Schools. have led the league in attendance since their start and they show no signs of slowing down. While the city’s previous professional teams had their good days of support, they all struggled to find a lasting fan base beyond the ardent soccer supporters, and this was a main reason they did not last. They simply were not able to build a connection to the city, and this is where Atlanta United has changed the soccer dynamic. It does help that they are investing in the local soccer scene and have brought in some young local talent, including Andrew Carlton, Lagos Kunga and George Bello, who currently play on their reserve team. Kunga was a member of Paideia School’s 2014 state championship team. With all of this said, Atlanta United’s greatest impact is having made soccer “cool” beyond its normal supporter realm. This has filtered its way down to the high schools, as kids from all sports backgrounds are now supportive of the team. While I am a soccer coach at heart, I also help coach ninth-grade football and work the clock at the varsity basketball games, and I see as many kids wearing United gear as I do with my soccer team. Younger fans support United not because they necessarily love soccer as much as because Atlanta United is cool. This in turn has had a ripple effect on the sport as a whole. The student base is much more knowledgeable about the sport in general and this has made them more willing to come support their classmates during the high school season.

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Around Town

Joe Earle is editor-at-large at Reporter Newspapers and has lived in metro Atlanta for over 30 years. He can be reached at joeearle@reporternewspapers.net

Cheers to the geeks at Battle and Brew It’s a bar, but it’s no Cheers. they come to play games. Or to watch othBattle and Brew doesn’t look a thing er people play games. The place looks like a like that cozy neighborhood tavern made sports bar — an “esports bar,” Sanders calls famous on TV. Battle and Brew is a place it — and is packed with TV screens showwhere patrons go to interact with TVs. ing video games being played by custom“In 1983, bars were like Cheers,” Battle ers sitting in front of them, groups of paand Brew’s general manager Nate Sandtrons and even by people in other parts of ers said. “In 2018, a bar can mean a lot of the world. things.” One recent Friday night, Neil Patel, a So, how does he describe the place he 27-year-old pharmacist from Brookhaven, runs, which is tucked into the Parkside was sitting at the bar watching a TV screen Shops shopping center on Roswell Road in showing some of the world’s top players Sandy Springs? “We’re a geek bar,” Sandcompete in the video game “Dota 2.” Teams ers said. from China and Europe were playing in In other words, it’s designed to attract Vancouver, Canada, in a tournament offerfolks who would proudly describe theming $25 million in prize money. selves as “geeks” or “nerds” or other mem“I like to watch the pros play,” he said. bers of the “geekdom,” the culture that has “I also play soccer and I watch the premier sprung up around video games, science league every weekend. When the NBA fifiction, technology nals are on, I watch and fantasy literthat. This is no difature and takes in ferent from that. anything from JapaYou can see what nese cartoons to the the pros do and say, “Star Wars” mov‘Oh, I wish I could ies, from Dungeons do that…’ ” & Dragons games On the other side to the HBO series of a big room filled “Game of Thrones,” with towers of TVs from the TV series and computers, JOE EARLE “Stranger Things” Nate Sanders, general manager of Battle and Austin Wright, Kerto even stranger aline Morales and Brew, sits at a gaming computer in the bar. things. Julia and Steve WatIt’s the culture son had settled in celebrated by the tens of thousands of fans on a couch facing a TV and were firing up who gather in downtown Atlanta for Draga computer game. Battle and Brew rents its on Con every Labor Day weekend. If you couch and gaming machines by the hour. can name the Teenage Mutant Ninja TurJulia Watson said she and her friends come tles or get in a heated debate over whether to the bar to be “around fellow gamers.” Han Solo shot first, you might be a geek, or “People like us,” Morales added. at least know one. Sanders, who grew up in Marietta, said What’s the difference between a geek he started playing electronic games when and a nerd? “Basically, a geek is someone he was 5. He says that although many peowho appreciates STEM [science and techple play alone, video games don’t divide. “I nology],” said Brian Smawley, the marketfeel that it’s a misnomer to think that gaming manager for Battle and Brew, “whereas ing is antisocial,” he said. “I‘ve got folks I a nerd is someone who consumes culture get together with … and we game five, six or at such a level they get obsessed by it.” eight hours together. It’s more fun to be sitRegular folks, Smawley said, might say, ting next to the person. That’s what we of“I like ‘Lord of the Rings.’ ” “A nerd,” he said, fer — that ability to have a social connec“is someone who says, ‘I like “Lord of the tion as well.” Rings” and my favorite character is [soBattle and Brew got its start in 2005. It and-so] and on page 873 …’ They’re hyperoutgrew its original location in Marietta, focused.” Sanders said, and opened in Sandy Springs The decor of Battle and Brew reflects on a Friday the 13th in 2014. that culture. A mural of a mutant ninja “It’s kind of the geek cultural hub of turtle snarls from one wall. Paintings with metro Atlanta,” said Sanders, a 36-yearsci-fi subjects cover other walls. They were old whose bushy beard reaches his chest. done by customers, Sanders said. One de“We’re a welcoming safe space. We offer picts a one-eyed space cat saying, “I’m from a fun, accessible place to get lost in. My Meowter Space.” The bar’s bathrooms idea of the perfect bar is a place where you lie hidden behind a blue police call box can go on vacation. We want you to forget like the one that provides entry to Doctor about the outside world and enjoy yourWho’s Tardis. self.” Battle and Brew’s patrons come to Maybe it’s kind of like Cheers after all. drink cocktails or fancy beers, but mostly

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U.S. Rep. Handel talks tariffs, trafficking and more

JOHN RUCH

U.S. Rep. Karen Handel speaks to the Rotary Club of Sandy Springs on Aug. 20.

BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

U.S. Rep. Karen Handel discussed tariff battles, human trafficking policy and more at an Aug. 20 appearance at the Rotary Club of Sandy Springs. Handel’s appearance at the Hilton Atlanta Perimeter Suites Hotel came the day after the Roswell Republican officially kicked off her campaign to defend her 6th Congressional District seat from Democratic challenger Lucy McBath. Handel’s commentary was not explicitly campaignrelated and she never mentioned McBath.

Another name notably never mentioned by Handel: President Donald Trump – though she did support his tariff negotiations and contradicted his claims that some or all of the press is an “enemy of the people.” The 6th Congressional District includes parts of Brookhaven, Dunwoody and Sandy Springs as well as other sections of north Fulton and Cobb counties. Trade battles Trump is leading a new policy of rethinking “free trade” agreements and tariffs. When an audience member asked

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about these “tariffs wars,” Handel replied, “I’m going to call them trade tariffs disagreements and negotiations” and said they need time to bear fruit. Speaking prior to the Trump administration’s announcement that the U.S. and Mexico have agreed to North American Free Trade Agreement revisions, Handel said the government was “very, very close” to resolving that issue. “Canada is a little bit harder,” she added, referring to NAFTA’s other partner country. “I am mindful that time is an important asset for companies,” Handel said about the economy uncertainty and price boosts that some parts of the economy have seen during the trade disputes. But, she said, it will be worth it in the end. She cited China as a “bad actor” in trade that must be confronted. “China, they extort companies and steal intellectual property and create such a barrier for entry into the market,” she said. Human trafficking Handel has put a policy focus on combatting “human trafficking” — a term for enslavement into forced prostitution. She said she considers herself lucky to have avoided it herself. “I left a troubled home when I was 17” in 1980, she said. “Candidly, it didn’t occur to me that trouble was waiting for me ...” She touted her co-sponsorship of House Resolution 1865, a controversial bill that became law earlier this year. The law expanded criminal and civil liability of website owners for facilitating sex trafficking, which resulted in the shutdown of many sexual-related advertisements on such sites as Craigslist and Backpage, where authorities had regularly found human traffickers. The bill was also widely criticized as abridging free speech, restricting consensual relationships and increasing the dangers of prostitution by driving it farther underground. Opioid crisis Handel recently held “summits” in Dunwoody and Sandy Springs about the opioid drug addiction epidemic, as part of an ongoing series of policy-related meetings. She said that long-term addiction recovery and mental health treatment coverage remain challenges in the epidemic. She said that one positive step was Congress’s full funding of the 21st Century Cares Act. That was a bill that controversially focused on speeding up the government’s approval of new drugs, but also had provisions to deal with opioids and insurance coverage of mental health treatment. ICE Opioids and human trafficking are reasons to support the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, said Handel, indirectly criticizing recent “Abolish ICE” criticisms without addressing their origin in the splitting up of families detained by

the agency on immigration charges. “For those that think abolishing ICE is a good idea,” Handel said, the agency helps to stop opioid trafficking at the “lawless” Mexican border, and its agents “rescued 900 children from human trafficking.” That latter claim appears to refer to an ICE estimate that its child sex crime and pornography investigations division has “identified or rescued” more than 900 victims since 2003. Campaigning and media Julia Bernath, a member of the Fulton County school board, asked Handel about how to make political campaigning “more about the issues and make it less about trying to sling mud.” Handel did not answer directly, instead commenting on social media and news outlets in a “different climate.” “Not a week goes by when I don’t get a threat,” Handel said, complaining that her home address has been posted on Facebook twice. Without naming the avid Twitter user President Trump as the source of “enemy of the people” remarks about the press, Handel said she disagrees with it, though she criticized national media as biased. She said local newspapers are doing some of the best reporting, in contrast to national media that she claimed puts reporters in the middle of conflict by putting “opinion on the front page.” “I think Walter Cronkite is probably rolling in his grave right now,” said Handel, referring to the late CBS News anchor who was famous for a calm and trustworthy approach to the news — though also for delivering an on-air editorial opinion that America should withdraw from the Vietnam war. Economy and other issues Handel credited recent federal tax cuts with low unemployment and AfricanAmerican business start-ups. “The tax cuts and rolling back onerous regulation was really what we needed to inject in this economy … And we are just getting started,” she said, as Congress moves to make the tax cuts permanent. Handel said Congress put “billions” into school safety. Citing the DeKalb, Fulton and Cobb districts, she said, “I’m here to tell you … schools in our district are absolutely the safest they can possibly be.” Asked about transportation policy, she said local governments want to keep those policies local. She got applause for saying she helped to secure a grant to expand the Ga. 400 highway. Another audience question was about Rev. Andrew Brunson, an American pastor detained in Turkey on accusations of helping a 2016 coup attempt. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence are among those who have called for his release. Handel rubbed her chin and said, “Well, we’ll see what happens with that.”

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Community | 13

Redevelopment of Peachtree Industrial ‘not realistic’ for now, study says “What we learned is that it is unlikely to be developed by private [companies],” he said, adding he didn’t believe the City Council wanted to get in the real estate business. The apartment complexes continue to be profitable and are filled with many blue-collar workers, young people and “lots and lots of kids,” said Adam Williamson of TSW, the planning company the city contracted with for the PIB Study. Williams added that the market study showed it was “very unlikely the apartments would change.” Dyana Bagby There are 2,023 apartGary Mongeon with Bleakly Advisory Group presented a market study of the Peachtree Industrial ment units on 188 acres of Boulevard area that he said shows it is currently unrealistic to redevelop the area. the study area and there is an estimated 2.3 million square feet of BY DYANA BAGBY velopment due to the aging apartment buildings averaging out to less than 11 dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net complexes. The idea was to have a plan units per acre. Rents average at $1,260 per in place when developers approached the month. A market study of the Peachtree Induscity about ideas for the area, he explained. Combined, these properties generate a trial Boulevard area from I-285 to Win“Our assumption was that developers net estimated annual income of $26.2 milters Chapel Road in Dunwoody shows the would be coming into the area,” he said, lion, according to the market study. area currently too expensive to redevelop. “but that was not a good assumption.” Councilmember Tom Lambert said afThe news means the apartment complexes in the area are essentially safe from being torn down soon, according to city consultants. Gary Mongeon with Bleakly Advisory Group said at an Aug. 23 meeting on the city’s PIB Study that the market study conducted by his group shows the land in the study area is valued at approximately $1.1 million per acre and that it would take more than $200 million to simply assemble the apartment complexes included in the area. There are more than 2,000 apartments in the 200-acre study area where many of the city’s diverse and lower-income residents live. The apartment complexes include Peachtree Place North, Dunwoody Glen, Lacota and Dunwoody Village. Total redevelopment of the area at these prices is “not realistic,” Mongeon told a group of more than 20 residents and city officials gathered Thursday at Crossroads Church on Tilly Mill Road. If a public/private partnership was created with about $10 million to $20 million invested by the city into the redevelopment plans, then there is the possibility of major changes being made to the area, Mongeon said. And if Amazon were to locate its second headquarters in Atlanta, the current PIB market study could potentially change, Mongeon said in response to a resident’s question. Councilmember Jim Riticher was at the meeting and said the numbers from the market study surprised city officials who believed the area was ripe for redeDUN

ter the Aug. 23 meeting that he and others were surprised by the value of the apartments. “The values of the property caught us a little off guard,” said Councilmember Tom Lambert, whose district includes the study area. “Now that we know redevelopment probably won’t happen we are turning our focus on other improvements, such as trails, better lighting and better infrastructure in the area.” The City Council in 2017 hired TSW, an Atlanta-based planning firm, for $40,000 to conduct the small area study around Peachtree Industrial Boulevard. Officials presented a concept at the first project meeting held in December that floated a recommendation of replacing some of the older apartment complexes with mixed-use projects. That idea received some pushback, and officials took a step back to let residents voice what development they want to see on the corridor in the coming years. In February, a community meeting was held where that input was gathered. Ideas gathered at that February meeting include adding trails, green space and senior housing.


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No maintenance money for new projects, city official says Continued from page 1 currently not there to cover all costs. “I feel our existing capital investments have reach[ed] a point where the maintenance of which consumes virtually all of our budgeted resources,” Pike wrote in an Aug. 13 memo. “I routinely hear great ideas of how to improve our parks, improve our streets and infrastructure, provide new and more services, and better protect our city,” he stated. “The result of this increase in scope and discussions of more increases place us at a crossroad.” Pike delivered the news as the city plans spending for next year. The 2019 budget process is now underway with department heads and staff and then heads to the Budget Committee in mid-September. “We’re at a unique crossroads in our city’s history,” Pike said in an interview, reiterating the theme of his memo. “The goal is for the mayor and council to start thinking when they build something, ‘How will we take care of it?’” Dunwoody, with a population of nearly 49,000, is a traditionally fiscally conservative city. In the past two years its annual budget came in at $24 million. Neighboring Brookhaven, with a population of just over 52,000, approved a 2018 budget totaling nearly $41 million. Pike praised the mayor and council for their fiscal responsibility over the years. He noted the city continues to undertake capital projects such as paving and sidewalks, but those kinds of projects typically do not need much from the city’s operations budget. The recent purchase of the new City Hall for more than $8 million means more money is needed to clean and maintain the building — costs the city didn’t have to

worry about when it was renting its previous space, Pike explained. City Hall was purchased through a $9.9 million loan and nearly $3 million in surplus funds. City staff moved into the new building in January. The city does not break out maintenance costs specifically by location or facility. They are covered in general departmental amounts. City Hall falls under Finance & Administration and in 2018 the city budgeted $186,000 for repairs and maintenance for all of its facilities. In 2018, the city budgeted $2.3 million

noshal Park was completed a couple years ago. Construction costs for these projects were paid out of the city’s capital budget, but money to maintain them is tight, Pike said. “We’ve crossed over into a different world,” Pike said. “Where are we going to find revenues to take care of operations? That’s the question.” In the memo, Pike explained the city’s dilemma like this: “What capital investments exist in our future? What services do we wish to provide in the future? How will we finance the capital improvements? “Also, and just as important, what operating revenues (i.e. increases in operating revenues) are at hand to maintain these increases in capital and operating requirements? It would be unwise and impractical to SPECIAL continue on pace Left, Mayor Denis Shortal and Finance Director Chris Pike. with capital projects without knowfor its Parks and Recreation Department ing how we will maintain them in the years with nearly $1.4 million dedicated to reto come,” Pike added. pairs and maintenance of all parks. Councilmember John Heneghan sits The mayor and council now face spendon the Budget Committee and said there ing more than $7 million to renovate Brook needs to be a “happy medium” in providing Run Park, including adding a band shell in more programs that mean more costs. the Great Lawn and building two multiuse “There is no infinite amount of monfields at the park. Not only are there costs ey,” Heneghan said. “We’ve been focused on associated with maintaining these new parks and paving and now we’ve started capital projects, there is money needed to moving into programming and that’s more staff and plan the programming at these expensive.” fields. The city is financially sound and has The city also recently built two new a four-month reserve saved up, Pike said. baseball fields for Dunwoody Senior BaseThe city can look at cutting back on capiball for more than $7 million, and Per-

tal expenses or find ways to increase revenue, he said. He pointed to Brookhaven’s decision to put a $40 million parks bond referendum on the November ballot. And like Brookhaven, Dunwoody also recently raised its hotel-motel tax to use for trails and parks to attract tourism, but also for use by local residents. Brookhaven recently issued $15 million in revenue bonds backed by the anticipated hotel-motel tax funds to pay for construction of the Peachtree Creek Greenway, a linear park and multiuse trail. Dunwoody could also issue revenue bonds on its projected revenue from hotelmotel tax money to quickly build planned green space and trails in Perimeter Center that have been sitting on shelves for years. The city expects to bring in $850,000 a year with the new hotel-motel tax money. Mayor Denis Shortal said he is willing to look at issuing bonds backed by the city’s hotel-motel tax money. But bonds for anything else, he doesn’t support. “Bonds just put you in debt,” he said. “I’m not a bond person. I’m not a debt person. It’s going to be ‘pay me now or pay me later’ when you use bonds.” As for Pike’s warning that the city is now at a crossroads, Shortal said he agreed. “We are still in the black, we can do all the things we want to do,” he said. But this year’s $1.85 million for the new intersection on Roberts Drive for use by the new Austin Elementary School and also the Dunwoody Nature Center was an unexpected hit to the pocketbook, Shortal said. “There isn’t a lot of surplus. We’ve never had a big surplus,” he said. “We don’t have big budgets like everyone else.”

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New ball fields draw crowds, but can locals play? attract such national attention to Dunwoody, but that was a product of the fields the city built. The number one focus is still its recreational leagues, he said. The new baseball fields with artificial turf cost about $7 million in city funds. They were built between Brook Run Park DYANA BAGBY and Peachtree Charter The new Dunwoody Senior Baseball fields, located between Peachtree Charter Middle School and Brook Run Park, cost Middle School after the the city about $7 million to build and include artificial turf. city swapped the Dunwoody Park fields with BY DYANA BAGBY the DeKalb County School District to build dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net a new Austin Elementary School. In return, the school district paid the city $3.6 million. The two new Dunwoody Senior BaseAfter many construction delays, one ball fields are busy with league and tournafield opened in March and the second field ment play, but some City Council members opened in June. The fields were packed with are questioning their openness to general league play as soon as they opened, Weinpublic use. er said. The ball fields, owned by the city and The baseball fields’ use has been an ongomanaged by DSB, opened earlier this year. ing debate in the city for some years. When DSB President Jerry Weiner gave the mayDunwoody Senior Baseball was located at or and City Council an update on the new Dunwoody Park, some residents argued fields at the Aug. 27 council meeting, saying that the tax-funded fields should be open the fields have attracted national attention to more public use rather than just baseball from leagues throughout the Southeast. league play. Residents have argued there For example, Perfect Game USA, an amare not enough athletic fields in the city, inateur baseball league based in Iowa that cluding fields for girls’ softball, soccer or laboasts on its website it is “the world’s largest crosse. The city says that the new multi-use baseball scouting service” for colleges and fields planned for Brook Run Park will help Major League Baseball, held tournaments alleviate some of that demand. at the fields from June through August, The new fields’ more prominent locaWeiner said. Teams from across the eastern tion along North Peachtree Road are heightU.S. came to Dunwoody to play with about ening concerns about their use. 300 people per day at the park. “We appreciate what you’ve done,” Another baseball league, Triple Crown Councilmember Lynn Deutsch told WeinSports, based in Georgia, brought in 500 er. “But something is different now that you people over a weekend in June and will are very visible.” bring in more players and fans in SeptemShe raised concerns about admission ber through November, he said. fees being charged for weekend tourna“And they used our hotels and restauments and said no fees should be charged rants,” Weiner said. “The fields are attractfor use of public parks. She and Heneghan ing a lot of attention.” also asked if the fields were being overused. But Councilmember John Heneghan She also said she followed some leagues on said it may be time to put a public calendar Facebook and noted the players were not in place through the Parks and Recreation staying in Dunwoody hotels. Department to allow local residents time to Weiner said the agreement DSB has with use the fields for recreational soccer, softthe city gives the league control and responball or kickball leagues. sibility of the fields. He added that charging “We want your program to thrive, but we admission fees is something he would also also want the fields for community uses,” like to see done away with, but the tourhe said. “I see this wonderful play area as a nament sponsors require them. He added community area, not just for baseball playDunwoody residents are never charged an ers from all over the Southeast.” admission fee. DSB is hosting a grand opening of the Other nonprofits located on city-owned new fields slated for Monday, Sept. 22, property charge fees, he added, such as the where the public will be welcome to visit Dunwoody Nature Center. and play, Weiner said. “I don’t know why we are being singled Heneghan added all the new leagues out,” Weiner said. and tournament play seemed to be going Mayor Denis Shortal raised concerns “against the grain” of DSB’s original misabout the maintenance of the fields. He sion to serve baseball players ages 13 to 18. said he noticed a man with his feet up on Now there are major league players and the fence at a game. Players are also spitting outsiders coming in, he said, leading to posunflower seeds into dugouts and leaving a tential overuse of the fields. mess, the mayor said. Weiner said it was never DSB’s intent to “These fields belong to 48,000 people. DUN

You have to take care of your stuff,” Shortal told Weiner. He also said some of the money DSB saves up from fees needs to be put into a “sinking fund” so when repairs need to be made, there is money to make them. Weiner said DSB spent $69,500 on improvements to the new fields as well as

GYN

renting other fields while the new fields were still being constructed. He estimated the league needs to spend another $225,000 for more capital improvements, including rebuilding the bullpens. He said the current bullpens, where pitchers warm up, have light poles in the middle of them.

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16 | Out & About

BROOKHAVEN

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BUCKHEAD

DUNWOODY

SANDY SPRINGS

PERFORMANCES

SUNSET SIPS FEATURING SAINTE JANE

Thursday, Sept. 13, 6:30-9:30 p.m. Sainte Jane, a new Americana duo, performs at the Chattahoochee Nature Center. Picnics welcome, cash bar. Included with general admission. 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell. Info: chattnaturecenter.org.

KYOGEN: TRADITIONAL JAPANESE COMIC THEATRE

Friday, Sept. 14, Noon to 1 p.m. The Nomura Kyogen Group of Nagoya, Japan brings its first international performance of traditional Japanese comic theater to Georgia State University’s Dunwoody Campus Auditorium. The group’s founder is a 14th-generation Kyogen performer who appeared in the movie, “The Last Samurai.” Hosted by the Consulate General of Japan and partner sponsors, including the Japan Club of GSU’S Dunwoody Campus. Free. 2101 Womack Road, Dunwoody. Info: 404-926-3023.

SUNDAYS ON THE RIVER CONCERT: BEN SOLLEE AND KENTUCKY NATIVE

Sunday, Sept. 9, 6-9:30 p.m. Ben Sollee, a cellist, singer-songwriter and composer known for his political activism performs at the Chattahoochee Nature Center. Bring a blanket or chairs and have a picnic in this year’s final Sundays on the River concert. Cash bar. Doors open at 6 p.m., with access to CNC grounds until concert begins at 7 p.m. $12-$18; children 2 and under free. 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell. Info: chattnaturecenter.org.

GET ACTIVE GET EXCITED & MOVE!

Ongoing Thursdays, 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Move your body, put on some boxing gloves and challenge yourself with agility ladders and other fitness equipment in this GEM event for active adults ages 60+ at the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta. $5 community; free for members. 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody. Info: atlantajcc.org/gem.

GEORGIA FALLS PREVENTION AWARENESS DAY

Friday, Sept. 14, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Learn about activities that can improve health and reduce falls; get health screenings for issues that can make you more likely to fall; and learn how to minimize fall risks at an event in its fifth year at the Shepherd Center. Flu shots; hearing, vision and bone density screenings; Tai Chi demonstrations. Free. Sponsored by the Georgia Department of Public Health, Shepherd Center, and other partners. 2020 Peachtree Road N.W., Buckhead. Info: eventbrite.com/e/georgia-falls-prevention-awareness-day-atlanta-tickets-48350044284.

CONCERTS BY THE SPRINGS — BOGEY & THE VICEROY

Sunday, Sept. 9, 7-8:30 p.m. Gates open at 5 p.m. Heritage Sandy Springs wraps up its Summer Concert Series with the funky soul of Bogey & The Viceroy. Picnic baskets and coolers welcome. Free. Food and beer, wine, sodas and water available for sale. 6110 Blue Stone Road, Sandy Springs. Info: heritagesandysprings.org.

STEPS 2 FREEDOM WALK

Saturday, Sept. 15, 8 a.m. to noon. Mary Hall Freedom House, a nonprofit that helps women break the cycle of poverty, homelessness, and addiction with recovery, housing and support services, celebrates National Recovery Month with a day of music, food, testimonials, games and a 2.5 mile walk. Free. Rivercliff Lutheran Church, 8750 Roswell Road, Sandy Springs. Info: maryhallfreedomhouse.org.


AUG. 31 - SEPT. 13, 2018

Art & Entertainment | 17

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COMMUNITY

BOOK TALK WITH JEROME DOBSON

Tuesday, Sept. 11, 6-7 p.m. Local author Jerome John Dobson, who, with his wife, Bridget, was head writer for several soap operas, discusses his first novel, “Paricutin: The Miracle of Daniel Pulido,” in a wine and cheese event sponsored by the Friends of Northside Branch Library. “Paricutin” is a story about premonitions, the San Andreas Fault and love at first sight. Free. Northside Branch Library. 3295 Northside Parkway, N.W., Buckhead. Info: afpls.org/events.

DUNWOODY BBQ & COMMUNITY FESTIVAL

Friday, Sept. 7 and Saturday, Sept. 8, 5-10 p.m. Sample barbecue from 60 teams competing for prizes in an event sponsored by The Rotary Club of Dunwoody. Event includes a kids’ area, local vendors and live music. The majority of funds raised support education and First Responders in the local community. Free. Perimeter Mall, 4400 Ashford-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Info: dunwoodybbqfestival.com.

VISUAL ARTS DUNWOODY FINE ART ASSOCIATION MEETING

Wednesday, Sept. 5, 9:30 a.m. Refreshments and social time are followed by a program featuring Amy Spanier, interior designer/owner of I.D.E.A Gallery in Chamblee. Free, and open to all artists. Spruill Arts Center, 5339 Chambee-Dunwoody Road, Room 4, Dunwoody. Info: dunwoodyfineart.org.

MEOW

Saturday, Sept. 8, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. A reception will be held for an exhibit that observes and reveres the feline form at the Abernathy Arts Center. Free. Exhibit runs through Oct. 5. 254 Johnson Ferry Road N.W., Sandy Springs. Info: fultonarts.org.

KIDS AND FAMILIES

DUNWOODY GARDEN CLUB

Wednesday, Sept. 12, 9:30 a.m. Guest speaker Wayne Juers, aka “The Plant Doctor,” talks about creating interest in your garden with new plants and varieties. The garden club meets monthly on second Wednesdays from September through May at the Williams Room of the Dunwoody Library, 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Info: dunwoodygardenclub.com.

CHEROKEE GARDEN LIBRARY LECTURE: LOUISE WRINKLE Wednesday, Sept. 12, 4 p.m. Louise Wrinkle discusses her new book, “Listen to the Land: Creating a Southern Woodland Garden,” in a conversation with her friend Jim Landon at the Atlanta History Center. The book is her memoir of tending a woodland oasis in Alabama according to her philosophy of allowing the land to speak for itself. Book signing and light refreshments follow the conversation. $10; $5 AHC members. Reservations required. 130 West Paces Ferry Road N.W., Buckhead. Info: atlantahistorycenter. com/programs.

DOGGY DIP DAY

Sunday, Sept. 9, 1-4:30 p.m. Dogs get their chance to cool off in the Murphey Candler Pool after city pools close for the season [Sept. 3] in an event sponsored by Brookhaven Parks & Recreation. Dogs under 35 pounds get the pool from 1-2:30 p.m. Dogs 35+ pounds can paddle from 3-4:30 p.m. $10 per dog. 1551 West Nancy Creek Drive, Brookhaven. Info: brookhavenga.gov.

BACK TO YOUR ROOTS FARM FAIR

Sunday, Sept. 16, Noon to 4 p.m. Meet farm animals and farmers, learn about local food, explore harvesting and join the Unity Garden Guided Hike at the Chattahoochee Nature Center. Garden activities, native plant sale, live music. Bring a picnic or pick up food from a food truck. Included with general admission. 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell. Info: chattnaturecenter.org.

HIGH

HIGH MUSEUM OF ART ATLANTA | HIGH.ORG

Enjoy free admission and special programs on the second Sunday of each month.

LEARN SOMETHING SANDY SPRINGS LITERARY SOCIETY

Tuesday, Sept. 4, 10:30-11:30 a.m. Join the Literary Society’s book club discussion on the first Tuesday of each month. The next book selection is “Lights Out” by Ted Koppel. Free. Dorothy Benson Center Conference Room, 6500 Vernon Woods Drive, Sandy Springs. Info: 404-303-6130.

SEPT. 9 & OCT. 14

PLANTING FALL VEGGIES

Saturday, Sept. 8, 11 a.m. Presenter Ann Bone offers tips on planning and planting a fall vegetable garden at this month’s Dunwoody Community Garden & Orchard Master Gardener Learning Session. Free, refreshments served. DCGO greenhouse complex in Brook Run Park, opposite the skate park. 4770 Georgia Way South, Dunwoody. Info: dcgo.org.

Designed for little kids, big kids, and the whole family, Second Sundays are for everyone. Visit us each month and experience new interactive, innovative family activities inspired by our collections and ever-changing exhibitions. Second Sundays are sponsored by the Lettie Pate Evans Foundation.


18 | Art & Entertainment

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Award-winning Act3 prepares a new season of community theater

BY JUDITH SCHONBAK Fresh from winning five awards for last year’s offerings — including best musical — Sandy Springs’ Act3 Productions theater company is preparing for its 16th season, starting Sept. 7 with “Godspell.” “Community” is a word Act3’s directors use frequently in describing how they select a season’s worth of shows. “Important in all these considerations is what makes the season appealing to our audiences and to the actors who will audition and perform,” says Artistic Director Michelle Davis. “In a small space like Act3’s, the actors and audiences need to feel a connection. It is like being part of a community.” The community approach has the small black-box theater regularly in contention for local theater awards. Act3 took home five awards at the 2018 Metropolitan Atlanta Theater (MAT) Awards ceremony on Aug. 26, led by Best Overall Performance of a Musical for its 2017-2018 season production of “Into the Woods.” Act3 was nominated for 15 awards for last season. Act3 began in 2003 in East Cobb County and moved to Sandy Springs seven years ago. It was long the city’s only community theater company. It is based in what had been a nameless warehouse be-

hind all the retail shops and restaurants in Sandy Springs Plaza at the intersection of Roswell and Johnson Ferry roads. Now Act3 has theatrical neighbors virtually across the street with the birth of City Springs, a new civic center that includes the Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center, which opened in early Au-

gust. The new City Springs Theatre Company is performing larger-scale Broadway-style musicals at City Springs. Act3 aims to fill a smaller niche, and its youth troupe performed at the City Springs grand opening.

Act3 is a semi-professional theater company that presents a full mainstage season of five diverse shows — musicals, dramas, improvisation and original productions — in its intimate 100-seat playhouse. The company also operates its Act3 Arts Academy with year-round classes, workshops and performance opportunities for K-12 students. Act3 is opening its 2018-2019 season on Sept. 7 with the award-winning 2012 revised version of the hit Broadway musical “Godspell.” The Christian-themed musical, with music and lyrics by Stephan Schwartz, first took Broadway by storm in 1971; a hit film followed in 1973. The revised version features new arrangements by Schwartz and the injection of contemporary cultural references. In the play, a small group of people help Jesus tell different parables using games, storytelling, audience interaction and comedy. The eclectic songs include the international hit “Day by Day,” “Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord,” “By My Side” and “Turn Back, O Man,” among others. The music ranges from pop and rock to vaudeville as the story of Jesus’ life unfolds from his public teachings to the Last Supper and, ultimately, his crucifixion. The company chose “Godspell” to open its season because it met Act3’s long

list of criteria for shows that will make a good season. Selecting productions that work together is a lengthy, multifaceted effort that starts almost a year before the first actor enters stage right. “Directors may pitch show ideas for the next season from Nov. 15 to Jan. 15, and we begin the selection process midJanuary,” said Davis. She and Mary Sorrel, Act3’s executive director and board chair, bring show candidates to the table. For musicals, they call on the expertise of John-Michael D’Haviland, music director for Act3 and instructor at the Cobb County Center for

Act3 Productions 2018-2019 season 6285-R Roswell Road Sandy Springs 30328 Info: act3productions.org ■ Godspell, Sept. 7-23 ■ The Graduate, Oct. 12-28 ■ Radio Christmas Carol, Nov. 30-Dec. 16 ■ Peter and the Starcatcher, Feb. 8-24 ■ Big Fish, April 12 - 28


AUG. 31 - SEPT. 13, 2018

Art & Entertainment | 19

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Excellence in the Performing Arts at Pebblebrook High School. “We look at our viable options, starting with a mix of shows that work well together,” said Davis. The selection process includes obtaining the license to produce a show. There are a number of small and mid-size theaters in metro Atlanta that may be vying to produce the same show; however, there is a 50-mile radius exclusivity rule, so the earlier Act3 can apply for a license,

the better. Act3’s season bookends are an opening production that is an attention-getter that will draw audiences, usually one with good name recognition and is a known hit, like “Godspell”; and a closing production that “will compel audiences to come back for the next season,” said Davis. For 2018-2019, that show is the musical “Big Fish,” which went from novel to Broadway hit to top-grossing film. In the mix of season shows, Act3 in-

cludes an edgier work — this season, “The Graduate,” based on the novel and hit 1967 romantic comedy-drama about a young man who has an affair with a married older woman and then dates her daughter. This season’s holiday production is “Radio Christmas Carol,” a sequel to “The 1940s Radio Hour,” an Atlanta favorite which ran for 25 years at the original Theatre in the Square in Marietta. Act3 also always offers one or two family shows, like the February production “Pe-

ter and the Starcatcher,” a prequel to Peter Pan and Neverland. Besides the mix of shows, there are physical considerations, too. The number of cast members and the orchestra, if it is a musical, must fit comfortably on the small stage as well as backstage. Act3’s entire stage and seating area is about 1,756 square feet in the 3,414-square-foot building. Generally, the cast ranges from 8 to 15.


20 | Art & Entertainment

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Local moviemaker attracts stars to ‘inspirational’ stories BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

Harrison Powell loves romantic comedies — films like “Father of the Bride,” “50 First Dates.” “I’m the one that cries in those movies,” he says. But the 31-year-old Sandy Springs resident doesn’t just reach for the box of Kleenex. He also pulled out his wallet, getting into the moviemaking business himself. Now he’s producing a rom-com — as they call it in Hollywood lingo — that’s filming in metro Atlanta and starring Oscar-winner Ellen Burstyn and “Godfather” icon James Caan. “Welcome to Pine Grove!” is based on Powell’s story idea, too. How did a local guy who studied finance at UGA get the mojo to make movies with stars? Speaking from Day 14 of the movie shoot at a retirement community in Duluth, Powell described a mix of work, luck — and, of course, money. In college, he “fell in love with venture capital and start-ups.” About four years ago, he started eyeing industries with “inefficiencies” that he thought could be improved at a profit. Healthcare and entertainment stood out. Then he partnered with a family friend, Rick Jackson, who runs a healthcare staffing and technology business in Alpharetta. Jackson’s a charitably minded entrepreneur and also had invested in roughly 20 films – about 90 percent of which lost money, Powell says. Powell and Jackson formed a production company to make religious — or “inspirational,” as Powell prefers — mov-

Above, sharing a hug on Day One of production on “Welcome to Pine Grove!” are, from left, producers Fred Bernstein, Dominique Telson and Sandy Springs resident Harrison Powell. Top inset, James Caan. Bottom Inset, Ellen Burstyn. Bottom left, Harrison Powell.

ies on a model of donating the profits to charity. “Not only telling inspirational stories, but making as much money as we can and giving it away,” Powell says. Their first effort, “90 Minutes in Heaven” (2015) gave away money in all the wrong ways. Despite starring Hayden Christensen of 1990s “Star Wars” fame, the film bombed. “I would say we ran out of toes, we shot ourselves in the feet so often,” Powell says. “Paul, Apostle of Christ,” released earlier this year, has performed better. It stars Jim Caviezel, who played Jesus in Mel Gibson’s controversial 2004 hit “The Passion of the Christ.” Also just released: “An Interview with God,” starring David Strathairn (“Good Night, And Good Luck”). With bigger films and more experience in mind, Powell teamed with Astute Films, founded in 2016 by Fred Bernstein, a former executive at Columbia and Universal studios. Also on the Astute team is Dominique Telson, former vice president of original programming at Showtime. Now Powell is branching out into more broadly “inspirational” movies. One coming soon to 1,500 screens nationwide is “The Best of Enemies,” based on a true story about a Civil Rights activist and a Klansman who became allies on a school committee, starring Sam Rockwell and Taraji P.

Henson. “Welcome to Pine Grove!” is a more personal effort. Powell says it’s based on his wife’s grandmother, who “begrudgingly moved into a retirement community in Jacksonville.” She found it was like “high school all over again,” with cliques set in their ways. But then she fell in love and married two years ago. Powell knew he had a great story for a movie — “the idea that it’s never too late,” he says. But it’s a long road from a story idea to hiring, say, Burstyn, who won a 1974 Academy Award for Martin Scorsese’s “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore.” Other veteran stars in the film include AnnMargret (“Grumpy Old Men”), Christopher Lloyd (“Back to the Future”) and Jane Curtin (“3rd Rock from the Sun”). Director Michael Lembeck previously helmed two of Disney’s “Santa Clause” movies and Dwayne Johnson’s “Tooth Fairy.” Bringing the $6 million budget to the table from the start helped a lot, says Powell. “If you have money, that is something that typically doesn’t happen in Hollywood,” he said, explaining that film funding usually works the other way around, trying to raise a budget based on the cast’s star power. Not only did he have the funding, but by filming in Georgia, the state tax credit will return 25 to 30 percent of it. A draw for the cast, he said, was the lack of leading roles for older actors in Hollywood. And he thinks the genre is a good selling point. “There’s not many heartfelt comedies anymore, especially

SPECIAL

romantic comedies,” he said. He describes moviemaking as a tough and often “dysfunctional” business. “There’s a lot of egos and there’s a lot of mixed incentives,” he says, with crews wanting overtime and producers wanting the fastest possible shoot. (“Welcome to Pine Grove!” is planning a 23-day shoot.) And after assembling an 80-person cast and crew, a month or two passes and it’s time to start all over. “You’re constantly having to recreate yourself and your business,” he says. But getting the film into theaters is the hardest part, he says, especially in today’s endless viewing options online. “We need to be willing to jump on the coffee table and light our hair on fire because we believe in the story,” Powell said. “It can be so difficult to get above the noise.” Now that’s he got a taste of the artistic side by providing the movie’s story — though not the script — Powell wants to try his hand at playwriting. He said he’s inspired by Tyler Perry, the actor/director/playwright who runs an Atlanta film studio. The stage sounds like a good way to test out potential film scripts, Powell says. Of course, Powell is still a moviegoer as well as a moviemaker. Has working behind the scenes changed how he sees the silver screen? “It’s been hard to enjoy the story sometimes,” he says, as his mind starts calculating payrolls and shooting days. On the other hand, he says, “it caused me to appreciate the end credits a lot more.”


AUG. 31 - SEPT. 13, 2018

Classifieds | 21

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22 | Community

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Loosen up the look of Dunwoody Village, survey says Continued from page 1 pushed for changes to be made in the Dunwoody Village Overlay renowned for its mid-Atlantic architecture, commonly called the “Williamsburg” style. The Community Development Department attempted to erase most of the strict regulations that regulate such details as types of roofs and size of windows and doors, but backlash from the community to slow the process down and gain more public input was heeded, leading to the Aug. 25 daylong community open house. A total of 1,812 people responded to an online survey conducted for the city by Historical Concepts, an architecture and planning firm based in Atlanta and New York. The results were released Aug. 25 at a community meeting at Vintage Pizzeria in the Shops of Dunwoody. More than 1,000 respondents selected Canton Street in Roswell as what they would like to see in Dunwoody Village, making it the top pick of what they envision for Dunwoody Village. Brookhaven Village on Dresden Drive in Brookhaven came in second with more than 500 votes. Other results include: more than 99 percent of respondents get to Dunwoody

Village by car; most respondents believe Dunwoody Village is not very vibrant but want it to be; and 85 percent of respondents said they would like to see a variety of architectural styles in the Overlay. A final report from Historical Concepts including recommendations on what changes to make the Dunwoody Village Overlay ordinance is expected by the end of September and the Planning Commission will consider the changes at its Oct. 9 meeting. Plans are then to take the recommended changes to the City Council for approval in November and December. The city is paying Historical Concepts approximately $23,500 for consulting on the Dunwoody Village Overlay. The cost covers meetings with staff, four meetings with different community stakeholder groups, the survey and survey analysis, and a final report for the Planning Commission and City Council. At the Vintage Pizzeria meeting, several staff members were on hand, including architects drawing illustrations of proposed ideas For Kevin Clark, principal with Historical Concepts, one sure thing the survey showed is Dunwoody has an “impassioned citizenry.”

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Community Development Director Richard McLeod talks to attendees at an Aug. 25 community meeting to discuss possible changes in the Dunwoody Village Overlay.

A main takeaway from the survey is people don’t see Dunwoody Village as a “vibrant” place, Clark said. “There are very restrictive regulations in place,” he said. “People want consistency, but also variety.” The top four downtown areas people selected in the survey could not be built under the current restrictions in the overlay, he added. Lorna and David Sherwinter with their 15-month-old son, Adam, at their feet, looked over maps and pictures of pictures of various downtown areas set up in a room at Vintage Pizzeria located in the Shops of Dunwoody. The couple were among more than 100 people who showed up on Saturday, Aug. 25, to look over survey results of what people would like to see in the Dunwoody Village Overlay district as city officials ponder removing some of the strict regulations the overlay now has in place. “We are in support of change, more variety in restaurants, a place to spend time outside,” Lorna Sherwinter said. “We spend a lot of money going to dinner in Chamblee, Brookhaven, Alpharetta. We’d like some of that money to stay here in Dunwoody.” David Sherwinter said Dunwoody’s location in North DeKalb is better than the other cities they travel to for meals, shopping and simply walking around in various parks. But Dunwoody is not doing anything to keep up with the current trends, he said. “The city with the best location is not the one doing anything to reinvigorate the architecture, businesses and culture,” he said. Many people attending the community meeting also complained about the vast parking lots in Dunwoody Village and how it does not invite pedestrians to get out of their cars to walk around. “We hate coming here because of the traffic,” said Catherine Baird, who has lived in the city with her partner, Milena

Khlabystova, for 11 years. “There are miles and miles of parking lots here,” she added. An update to Dunwoody Village is overdue, Baird said, to attract newer businesses. One thing she does know, however, is this: “The last thing we need is another bank.” “No more banks” is a common refrain when talking to people looking at making changes to Dunwoody Village. The current architectural regulations have made banks easy to build in the overlay. Geri Penn, who has served on the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals and is an executive with the Dunwoody Homeowners Association, worked for many months on the original Dunwoody Village Overlay. She said she liked the changes supported by a majority who took the survey — allowing flat roofs, large windows, green spaces and focusing on pedestrian access. “There is so much asphalt and parking that is not used,” she said. “If we have a green area, that will make it easier for people to congregate and get to know each other.” But bringing in “industrial” architecture without recognizing the city’s historic Cheek-Spruill House on Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, known as the Farmhouse, is not something Penn wants. “We need to protect what little history we do have,” she said. “Putting an industrial building across the street from the Farmhouse is an insult.” City resident Jack Eubank acknowledged he prefers Dunwoody Village’s “Colonial” style now in place. He criticized the city in the survey for showing respondents various downtowns that have their own common theme. Placing a new theme or architectural style in Dunwoody Village will create a “hodgepodge” of buildings, he said. “The common theme we have is what we are getting away from,” he said. DUN


AUG. 31 - SEPT. 13, 2018

Public Safety | 23

www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Police Blotter / Dunwoody From Dunwoody Police reports dated Aug. 19 through Aug. 26. The following information was pulled from Dunwoody’s Police-2-Citizen website.

LARCENY/ SHOPLIFTING/ THEFT „„100 block of Perimeter Mall — On

Aug. 19, in the morning, items were taken from a car. „„2200 block of Dunwoody Crossing —

On Aug. 19, in the morning, items were taken from a car. „„4300 block of North Peachtree Road

— On Aug. 19, at noon, a larceny was reported. „„4400

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Aug. 19, in the afternoon, a larceny was reported. „„6300 block of Abercorn Avenue — On

Aug. 19, in the afternoon, items were taken from a car. „„4500

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Aug. 19, in the evening, a woman was arrested and accused of shoplifting.

incident was reported. „„4400

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Aug. 22, in the afternoon, a shoplifting incident was reported. „„2300 block of Dunwoody Crossing —

On Aug. 22, in the evening, a car was reported stolen. „„4400

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Aug. 22, in the evening, a larceny was reported.

„„5300 block of Hallford Drive — On

„„5100 block of Tilly Mill Road — On Aug.

21, in the morning, a woman was arrested and accused of an expired tag.

„„I-285/Chamblee-Dunwoody

Aug. 23, in the morning, items were stolen from a car. „„4400

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Aug. 23, in the afternoon, a woman was arrested and accused of shoplifting. „„100 block of Perimeter Center Road —

On Aug. 23, in the afternoon, a woman was arrested and accused of shoplifting.

„„4400

„„4400

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Aug. 25, in the afternoon, a man was arrested and accused of shoplifting. block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Aug. 26, in the afternoon, a man was arrested and accused of shoplifting.

A S S AU LT „„4600 block of Peachtree Place Park-

way — On Aug. 24, at night, a man was arrested and accused of simple battery.

„„1700 block of Old Spring House Lane

„„1000 block of Crown Pointe Parkway

„„4700

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Aug. 21, at night, a man was arrested and accused of shoplifting. „„4700

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Aug. 22, in the afternoon, a shoplifting incident was reported. „„100 block of Perimeter Center —On

Aug. 22, in the afternoon, a shoplifting DUN

On Aug. 21, at night, a man was arrested and accused of marijuana possession. „„1400 block of Holly Bank Circle — On

Aug. 22, in the afternoon, a man was arrested and accused of reckless driving. „„100 block of Perimeter Center — On

Aug. 22, at night, a man was arrested and

„„I-285/Peachtree Road — On Aug. 26, in

the morning, a man was arrested and accused of speeding. „„I-285/Chamblee-Dunwoody

Road — On Aug. 26, in the morning, a man was arrested and accused of reckless driving.

NOW ENROLLING FOR CITIZENS FIRE ACADEMY

CLASSES BEGINNING SEPTEMBER 20

„„2100 block of Peachford Road — On

Road — On Aug. 21, in the evening, items were reported stolen from a car. — On Aug. 21, in the evening, items were reported stolen from a car.

„„100 block of Perimeter Center East —

Road — On Aug. 26, in the morning, a man was arrested and accused of driving unlicensed.

ARRESTS Aug. 19, in the morning, a woman was arrested and accused of driving with a suspended license.

„„5300 block of Chamblee-Dunwoody

„„Meadow Lane Road — On Aug. 25, in

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Aug. 25, in the evening, a man was arrested and accused of criminal trespass.

„„100 block of Perimeter Center — Be-

On Aug. 21, in the evening, three women were arrested and accused of shoplifting.

Road — On Aug. 25, in the morning, a man was arrested and accused of speeding in a construction zone.

„„4400

„„4700

„„100 block of Perimeter Center Place —

Road — On Aug. 21, in the early morning, a man was arrested and accused of driving with a suspended license.

„„I-285/Chamblee-Dunwoody

Boulevard — On Aug. 22, at night, items were stolen from a car.

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Aug. 20, in the afternoon, a woman was arrested and accused of shoplifting.

Aug. 21, in the afternoon, items were reported missing from a car.

„„Perimeter Center/Ashford-Dunwoody

On Aug. 24, in the afternoon, a man was arrested and accused of disorderly conduct.

the evening, a woman received a DUI.

„„4500

„„1700 block of Chateau Drive — On

Aug. 20, at night, a man was arrested and accused of failing to stop at an accident.

„„100 block of Perimeter Center East —

Road — On Aug. 21, in the early morning, a woman was arrested and accused of improper lane usage.

„„6700 block of Peachtree Industrial

Aug. 20, in the morning, a larceny was reported.

tween Aug. 20 and 21, there were five thefts reported from vehicles in the shopping center.

„„I-285/Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On

accused of criminal trespass.

„„Perimeter Center/Ashford-Dunwoody

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Aug. 23, in the evening, a man was arrested and accused of shoplifting.

„„12200 block of Madison Drive — On

On Aug. 20, in the evening, a woman was arrested and accused of violating probation.

— On Aug. 19, in the evening, a woman was arrested and accused of disorderly conduct. „„I-285/Peachtree Road — On Aug. 20, in

the morning, a man was arrested and accused of marijuana possession. „„2200 block of Cherring Lane — On

Aug. 20, in the afternoon, a woman was arrested and accused of speeding. „„I-285/Chamblee-Dunwoody

Road —

FOR MORE INFORMATION AND REGISTRATION, VISIT SPR.GS/CFA


24 |

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