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AUG. 31 - SEPT. 13, 2018 • VOL. 12— 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

A dance and a movie

Construction to start next year on national park trail BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

Leslie Teran (left), 7, Jherneva Husband, 5, and other members of the Los Niños Primeros Dancers entertain the crowd at the first “Movies by Moonlight” outdoor film screening at City Springs Aug. 24. The feature shown on an inflatable screen was “Coco,” a Disney animated movie based on Mexico’s Día de los Muertos holiday and traditions, and the event included various Mexican culture displays and performances, as well as an introduction by Javier Díaz de León, the country’s consul general in Atlanta. Sponsored by Leadership Sandy Springs, the film series continues Sept. 7 with “The Greatest Showman” and Oct. 5 with “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” For more information, see leadershipsandysprings.org..

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

PHIL MOSIER

On a recent visit to the city’s future Crooked Creek Park, city parks director Michael Perry pointed out the dead trees and overgrowth that will soon be removed in favor of a trail. The city plans to begin construction early next year on a long-awaited trail to activate the undeveloped city park and connect it to the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area —though for $15,000 more than previously approved. The city bought 5 wooded acres at Spalding and River Exchange drives in the panhandle over five years ago to be used for Crooked Creek Park. In 2017, the city announced it would team with the National Park Service to link its park with a currently inaccessible part of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area via a walking trail. The Sandy Springs City Council apSee CONSTRUCTION on page 22

OUT & ABOUT North end task Japanese comic force begins theater group comes developing ideas to Dunwoody Page 16 BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

The group tasked with proposing redevelopment ideas for Sandy Springs’ north end began pitching ideas for the area for the first time at its Aug. 22 meeting. Ideas were based on public input and include encouraging mixed-income housing; increasing homeownership; creating more green spaces and connectivity to them; and taming Roswell Road. The North End Revitalization Task Force has spent its previous meetings reviewing demographics and data, analyzSee NORTH on page 14


2 | Community

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City Hall meetings move due to theater conflicts BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

The Studio Theatre in the new City Hall was planned as a two-for-one room, doubling as an artistic venue and the chamber for City Council and other official boards. But two government meetings have been bumped from the space since its opening in May, in one case due to conflict with a performance. A July 24 Planning Commission meeting was moved due to work to “refinish” the theater’s floor, according to city spokesperson Sharon Kraun. And an Aug. 14 Board of Appeals meeting was moved due to preparation for performances during the Performing Arts Center opening week, Kraun said. Both meetings were relocated to a second-floor meeting room within City Hall’s offices. Kraun did not explain what “refinishing” meant or name what performance was scheduled. The next performance listed in the city’s calendar for the Studio Theatre was Aug. 16, two days after the meeting. Tochie Blad of the Sandy Springs Council of Neighborhoods attended the August Board of Appeals meeting, and said the room was not set up with a microphone or podium as usual. But a recorder did cap-

ture all the comments from applicants and the public, she said. “Regardless, these conflicts with events taking precedent over public meeting at City Hall is not good practice,” she said. “If planning staff had objected, the meeting would have remained in the Studio Theatre,” Kraun said in an email, referring to both incidents. “In this case, the room change wasn’t a big deal, so they accommodated.” The change was communicated to visitors and the boards by security guards when they arrived at City Springs, Kraun said. Governments are required by the state’s Open Meetings Act to disclose the location, time and date of regular meetings at least one week beforehand. The location was not changed on the city’s public meetings calendar or on the agendas, but attendees were notified by security guards when they arrived, Kraun said. David E. Hudson, an attorney who serves on the board of the Georgia First Amendment Foundation, said that likely meets the Open Meetings Act requirements. “Since notice was provided at the site and the meeting was in the same building, I do not see how this could have impeded someone’s right to attend the meeting,”

Hudson said in an email. The second-floor meeting room is in a more secure area of City Hall, accessible only through the front desk, that often requires visitors to sign in, have their photo taken, and wear a nametag. For the relocated meetings, the city used the same screening process it does for meetings in the Studio Theatre, Kraun said, which only

involves visitors walking through a metal detector and having their bags and other items scanned. Ted Sandler, the chair of the Board of Appeals, said he hopes any visitors were able to find the meeting without trouble. He said he found out about the change in location when he arrived and was directed by a guard to the new room.

As parks master plan nears a finish, few projects are known BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

As the city works on a master plan for its next decade of park improvements, a dog park is among the few items known to be under discussion. But what else may be proposed by advocates is unknown as an advisory group’s meetings have been conducted without minutes being written down and without notice on the usual city calendar. There was only one general public meeting and the process is relying heavily on a mailed survey that has to be redone after accidentally only going

to a small piece of the city. The revisions to the master plan will detail the current parks and facilities and determine what needs to be added or improved, according to the city. The city started the master plan work in December with a working group meeting before an advisory group was appointed in January. The advisory group plans to make a final presentation to City Council in November. The city hopes to approve the plan by the end of the year, city spokesperson Sharon Kraun said. An update presented to City Council Aug. 21, and a longer form of it presented to the advisory group, doesn’t discuss any specific parks and projects. The process has focused mostly on demographics and is based around a survey that in error only included the city’s “urban core.” The consultant doing the survey accidentally used boundaries from a file that was used for a road project, which only included the center of the city around Roswell Road and Ga. 400, Perry said. The work, which is being led by Barge Design Solutions, a local consulting firm, will be redone correctly with no extra cost to the city, he said. The officials involved declined to discuss what specific projects are being dicussed. Minutes from advisory group meetings where they were discussed do not exist, according to the city. “We should have kept minutes, no doubt about it,” said Michael Perry, the director of recreation and parks. The advisory group has discussed “numerous” specific projects and initiatives, but Ken Dishman, a former City Council member who chairs the group, declined to name any and referred questions to the parks department. “We are focused on a comprehensive strategy for the entire city,” Dishman said. Perry said it was “too early to say” what major parks projects could be included in the final master plan. But Dishman did confirm that a dog park is on the group’s list of needs. City Manager John McDonough mentioned SS


during budget discussion in May that the city is working on dog park proposal, but has not yet released details about it. Some of the group’s general priorities include making the parks more accessible and easy for residents to use and providing connectivity within the city and to other jurisdictions, including the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Areas, Dishman said. According to the appointment resolution, the members of the advisory group and who they represent are: Cheryl Barlow, Sandy Springs Conservancy and Friends of Lost Corner; Scott Busch, Steel Canyon Golf Course; Mark Durbin, “logistics expert”; Danny Martin, Heritage Sandy Springs; George Northrop, Heritage Sandy Springs; and Molly Welsh, landscape professional. “I think we’ve got a really great group that’s advocating for needs across the city,” Dishman said. The advisory group has met three times — on Feb. 27, June 12 and Aug. 12, city spokesperson Sharon Kraun said. The meeting notices were posted on the city’s “community events” calendar instead of the public meetings calendar, where most government meetings are publicized. “People are used to seeing [recreation and parks] activities on that calendar, so the meetings were posted there for maximum viewing,” Kraun said in an email. A working group meeting held in December that included city staff called for two public meetings, one on the

north side and one on the south side, according to meeting minutes. One public meeting was held in April at the old City Hall, largely discussing general demographic information. There are no plans to hold another public meeting, according to city officials. “I don’t think it’s needed because of all that data that’s been collected through the survey and other input,” said Dishman. That input has also included private meetings with “focus groups” with leaders from various organizations, some of which have previously proposed major green space projects. Some of the organizations met with include the Sandy Springs Conservancy, Leadership Sandy Springs, Sandy Springs Hospitality and Tourism, the Fulton County School Board, the Sandy Springs Council of Neighborhoods and the Sandy Springs Environmental Project. The Sandy Springs Conservancy has pushed for a plan to build a trail system that would eventually connect Morgan Falls to Dunwoody. The conservancy and the Sandy Springs Environmental Project have previously jointly proposed brining additional green space to the wild area behind the Sandy Springs Tennis Center. A focus group was held with the neighbors of Old Riverside Park, which was proposed in 2012 and would have brought a 20-acre park near the riverfront, but was controversial and opposed by many in the neighborhood.

Community Briefs C O UN CI L A P P ROVES L A N D P UR CHASE FO R S PA L D IN G / DA LRYMP LE IN TERSECTIO N PR O JECT

The Sandy Springs City Council approved at its Aug. 21 meeting a small land purchase needed for the project to remake the intersection of Spalding Drive and Dalrymple and Trowbridge roads. The easement includes about 215 square feet on a residential property at 260 Fieldsborn Court, according to the resolution. The city will pay $700 to the property owner for the temporary easement, the amount of the city’s initial offer, the resolution said. The city is preparing to upgrade the intersection with a four-way signal, ruling out a roundabout option after public input.

C IT Y S PR I NGS SP LA SH PA D OP EN ING D ELAYED

The city has delayed the opening a splash pad on City Springs, due to construction issues. The aim was to open the water feature by the first “Movies by Moonlight” event on Aug. 24, but it has been furthered delayed, city spokesperson Sharon Kraun said. The hope now is to open it by the movie event on Sept. 7, although that is not confirmed, Kraun said in an email. “Residents have been understanding, and I know we’re all looking forward to the interactive fountains coming online,” she said. Meanwhile, the city is trying to prevent people from entering the three water fountains in City Springs, due to safety concerns, Kraun said. “Thus far, City Springs staff have been talking with residents, requesting that they enjoy the fountains from a visual perspective to ensure that all enjoy City Springs safely,” she said. “While the fountains are inviting, they were designed for visual enjoyment, not for playtime.” SS

Community | 3

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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

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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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The Epstein School, a private Jewish school in Sandy Springs, announced it has raised more than $5 million that will be used to improve science and math educational programs and address affordability concerns. The funds will be used to launch an affordability program called “Pay It Forward” in the 2019-2020 school year. The program will reduce tuition for current and new families who are just starting their careers, the press release said. The school plans to grow its science, technology, math, engineering, arts and math, or STEAM programs, throughout the year, with a new STEAM coordinator overseeing integrating hands-on learning into all subjects and expanding coding instruction, the release said.

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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

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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 campaign-related 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.” SS


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Next piece of Roswell sidewalk improvements coming BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

The city is set to move forward on the next phase of Roswell Road sidewalk improvements funded with federal money in the coming months after long delays due to stalled negotiations with a property owner. This project is the third phase of sidewalk improvements the city has built out using federal funds from a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development program. The city first began using HUD program funds in 2008. The first two phases of the Roswell Road sidewalk improvements have been completed in the north end. This third phase is on the south section and runs on a stretch of Roswell Road south of I-285 from Northwood Drive down to Long Island Drive. The land needed at Southern Trace apartments was one of the main pieces holding up the project, said City Councilmember Tibby DeJulio, who represents the area. Sandy Springs City Council unanimously approved using eminent domain to take the piece of land fronting a Roswell Road apartment complex needed for the project at its Aug. 7 meeting. The appraisal for the about 1,500 square feet fronting Southern Trace Apartment Homes at 5320 Roswell Road came in at $43,000, according to the city. The property was left to several different people after the owner died, making negotiations difficult, DeJulio said. “It was nearly impossible to get them all to agree,” he said. The owner wanted double the city’s offer, City Attorney Dan Lee said. The city had “exhausted all options” to negotiate purchase of the property, he said. The project was initially scheduled to begin last winter, with the first section from Long Island Drive to The Prado Shopping Center at 5600 Roswell Road, wrapping up by this fall and the second section, from Lake Placid Drive to Northwood Drive, starting this fall and finishing next spring. Now, the city is hoping to start the first phase “in the next several months” before beginning the second, DeJulio said. “It’s a project that’s been on the books for many years,” DeJulio said. “We’ve been systematically redoing Roswell Road, redoing all of the sidewalks for years now.” The project is budgeted to use $625,188 of money the city has received through HUD’s Community Development Block Grant program. DeJulio said that although the project is delayed, the money won’t expire before it can be completed. “It doesn’t go on forever, but it’s not like some projects where you have to spend it or lose it within a certain amount of time,” he said. The first phase was completed in 2012 and the second in 2015. Combined, the projects ran from Dalrymple Road up to SS

the Chattahoochee River, according to the city. HUD awarded the funds to the city for the project because the sidewalks are intended to help low- and middle-income residents living in the apartments along Roswell Road, according to project documents. DeJulio said the project is meant to encourage people to provide connectivity and encourage people to walk. “More and more are walking around in Sandy Springs, and we just want to go ahead and encourage people to have a mobile community where they can walk rather than have to drive everywhere,” he said. The city plans to construct 1.2 miles of sidewalk, install required ADA improvements and make other improvements to the existing sidewalk network, according to project documents. Streetscape improvements, including trees and lighting, are also planned. Construction for the first phase is planned to include 6-foot wide sidewalks, except for a half-mile section between Mt. Paran and Glenridge drives that is planned to be 10-feet. The second phase is planned to be 9-foot wide sidewalks, according to project documents. The city applications for HUD grants

CITY OF SANDY SPRINGS

Above, A photo from the appraisal document shows the land that was approved to be used for the Roswell Road sidewalk project. Left, A map shows the two sections of the current phase of sidewalk improvements within the area eligible for federal Community Development Block grants.

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“Because the target area is built-out, relying upon development to meet the mobility needs of the area is not an option,” the application said.


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North end task force begins developing ideas

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The North End Revitalization Task Force members brainstorm ideas at their Aug. 22 meeting at City Hall.

Continued from page 1 ing the strengths and weaknesses of the area and defining its mission. This meeting, held at City Hall, marked the first time the task force sat down to think through ideas. “This is an important night. We’re sort of at a peak,” task force chair and City Councilmember Steve Soteres said at the start of the meeting. The ideas supported by the task force mostly stemmed from suggestions provided by residents at a July open house. Other ideas included creating separate “nodes” with distinct characters and connecting those nodes; installing better internet infrastructure and attracting a young workforce.

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Sticky notes with north end ideas are categorized on one of the meeting room walls at the Aug. 22 meeting.

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The group also wants more connectivity to the riverfront, an “obvious unique amenity,” Gabe Sterling, a former City Councilmember, said. The need to reduce congestion on Roswell Road brought about many ideas, including creating more access to other surface streets to divert traffic. The task force frequently was drawn back to one of its main challenges: bringing redevelopment without causing gentrification, which Mayor Rusty Paul has instructed the group to steer clear of. The group was often reminded by Otis White, the group facilitator, to not get into the weeds at this stage of the process. How the ideas will be accomplished will be determined at later meetings, he said. But the topic drew debate among task force members. “You are going to displace people,” developer Don Huffner said. “As long as we can find another place for them to live we haven’t displaced them. There are ways that it can be done,” said Melanie Couchman, one of the task force co-chairs. The idea to provide easier paths to homeownership was mentioned several times by residents at the open house, and is seen by the task force as a way to bring more community investment from apartment renters. “Even if we push for homeowners, that doesn’t mean we gentrify it,” said Carolyn Axt, a former Leadership Sandy Springs executive director. The main factor preventing renters from buying a house in the north end is the “missing middle” housing, Sterling said. “We have plenty of low-income housing. We have plenty of expensive housing. We have none in the middle,” he said. The path to buying a house starts with keeping rental rates low enough that residents can save, Melanie Couchman said. “You also can’t have $3,000 rent and expect them to save for a home,” she said. Each task force member will now determine which ideas they are best suited to research and propose specific ideas to focus on during their monthlong break. The next task force meeting is planned for Oct. 3 from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. at City Hall, 1 Galambos Way. The next public open house is scheduled for Oct. 18.

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e’re honored (again!) that Reporter Newspapers won 12 awards in its division in the Georgia Press Association’s 2018 Better Newspaper Competition. Added to last year’s recognitions, the four Reporter editions have now won a total of 24 awards for editorial excellence in GPA competitions, which are judged by newspaper professionals from around the country. Thank you to our readers, advertisers and peers who support our mission of providing trusted, hyperlocal community journalism.

MAY 12 - 25, 2017• VOL. 8 — NO.

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Current City Hall site targeted for redevelopment

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

PHIL MOSIER

Page 16

EXCEPTIONAL See CITY on page 11 EDUCATOR

BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

From documentaries on diversity and inclusion to community partnerships on autism awareness, GPB is an educational lifeline to millions of Georgia students, teachers and residents. JAN PAUL

Chairperson, Georgia Public Broadcasting

Pages 18-19

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

Teaching literature Homelessness through life nonprofit Page 20 buys condos, displaces tenants

See Commentary, Page 14

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

GRUBB PROPERTIES

OUT & ABOUT Storyteller ‘Rosie the Riveter’ comes to town Page 19 I want to see a competition that celebrates our everyday Home Kitchen challenges. ... The Chairman would be the Original Iron Chef’s Mother-in-Law. Prizes are a month’s supply of lasagna and a spa weekend. A chef wins if her kids eat her food. Robin’s Nest, page 15

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on ► MARTA’s CEO speaks response to I-85 disaster PAGE 5

► ‘The good, the bad the ugly’ of 2017 legislative session

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City’s new medical center wants to grow BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

A developer plans to build two residential towers and an office tower at Perimeter Center East, where Dunwoody City Hall now is located. Representatives from North Carolina-based Grubb Properties described their proposal, which is still in the concept stage, to the board of the Dunwoody Homeowners Association on May 7. The company owns about 19.5 acres in Perimeter Center East, with three mid-rise office buildings, one of which serves as City Hall. The property is behind the Ravinia complex off Ashford-Dunwoody Road. The city is relocating to a new City Hall See CURRENT on page 22

DeKalb CEO: EMS response time improves BY DYANA BAGBY

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.net

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

PHOTOS BY PHIL MOSIER

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

EXCEPTIONAL EDUCATOR Passing on her culinary passion Page 27

OUT & ABOUT Get grounded with Earth Day events I believe [President 6

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

See PERDUE, page 21.

Page

16, 2017 • VOL.

11 — NO. 5

Buckhead Reporter

and

BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

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

OUT & ABOUT Lantern Parade will light up the Hooch

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Picking up at Peachtree Creek

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

VOL. 9 — NO. 8

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City proposes $106 million FY2018 budget

Dawn of a new church

EDUCATION Top of the Class

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

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gressional furiousPage are trying 28 didates in the large field from the pack. ly to separate themselves was at The latest public opportunity forum hosted by the April 9 candidate Association the Dunwoody Homeowners at Dunwoody High and Dunwoody Crier early voting in School. Voters are already seat that had been the election to fill the Tom Price, who reheld by Republican

See 6TH on page 18

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BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternew

[Students need] more ‘reallife’ education scenarios: finances, investing, budgeting. A lot of kids graduat e and don’t

know how to balance a checkbook, but know how to do some math problem with only symbols. ”

Residents grade schools on preparing students for careers and civic life See COMMUN ITY SURVEY Page 14

Newspaper Website

| P22-27

Buckhead mast plan to allow er more input on big ideas

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

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Layout & Design /2 awards (Rico Figliolini)

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Glowing for a cause

Classroom game from math to s, to the April 18 As the days tick down Shake Conthe open 6th speare special election to fill the 18 canDistrict seat, each of

BY DYANA BAGBY

Lifestyle Column /2 awards (Robin Conte)

► Historic locomotive makes tracks to Buckhead PAGE 4

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

6th District hopefuls squareEXCEPTIONAL EDUCATOR off in debate

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The Buckhead master plan on planning will keep for a while. A Feb. 27 community meeting for the “BUCKHEA D REdeFINED scheduled to ” plan was be the last, but now input will continue into April to hash out some controversial ideas, said Eric Bosman lead consultant of Kimley-Horn. clude ideas Those inlarge and small for Buckhead’s commercial core, from a new Ga. 400 terchange to ina neighborho od trail loop. A crowd of about 100 at the International School received Atlanta ing, 90-minute a sprawlpresentation rowed some that narearlier ideas, others, and elaborated introduced still more concepts, all new while mingling long-term plans. short- and Several of its steps” are already recommended “first ing the PATH400 underway, like finishtrail along Ga. 400; some See BUCKHEAD on page 16

Massell: Buckhead getting bigge r, busier, wealt hier

BY JOHN RUCH

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

on page 17

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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

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To Advertise, call 404-917-2200 ext 110

REAL ESTATE

CARE GIVER

SERVICES AVAILABLE

55+ Condo for Lease or Lease/Purchase – Renovated condo in Sandy Springs for 55+ active adults. $2495 per month includes all utilities, housekeeping plus more. Contact Kim at 404-4148307 or kim@dunwoodybrokers.com. Lease or lease to own options.

CNA – Flexible & Dependable with References. Minimal 4 hours available per client. Personal care for loved ones. 404-397-9429.

Driveways & Walkways – Replaced or repaired. Masonry, grading, foundations repaired, waterproofing and retaining walls. Call Joe Sullivan 770-616-0576. Matthew’s Handy Services – Small jobs & chores are my specialties! Shelves, organizers, carpentry, painting, etc. Call 404-547-2079 or email: mwarren8328@gmail.com

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Construction to start next year on national park trail

Crooked Creek Park is named for the small creek that runs through it and up to the Chattahoochee River.

Continued from page 1 proved at its Aug. 21 meeting a $54,500 purchase of nearly 2 acres of undeveloped land behind The Retreat at River Park, an apartment complex at 3100 River Exchange Drive, to be used to build the trail. Construction of the trail is planned to begin in spring 2019, said Michael Perry, the city’s director of recreation and parks. On a recent tour of the area, Perry said the development of the park will include clearing debris on the ground, which is currently overgrown and covered with fallen tree trunks and branches; installing some benches or other seating; and adding a few trash cans. The focus is really on the trail, Perry said, and the park will remain passive without any playground equipment or major amenities.

EVELYN ANDREWS

A previous Leadership Sandy Springs volunteer project has added a short mulch trail into the park. Getting to the park now is somewhat difficult with a lack of any parking spaces and only a few feet of sidewalk recently built during construction next door. The city plans to add six to eight parking spaces, and more sidewalks should be coming to the area through different projects, he said. Floodplain restrictions don’t allow any construction of a cement or other hard surface, Perry said, so the trail will likely just be cleared and leveled dirt. The trail is planned to run approximately 1 mile from the city’s park, behind the apartment complex and up to the Holcomb Bridge section of the National Recreation Area. The national park runs along nearly 50 miles of the

A city map shows the planned route of the trail from Crooked Creek Park to the Chattahoochee National Recreation Area.

EVELYN ANDREWS

Michael Perry, the director of recreation and parks, discusses the plans for the trail during a recent visit to the city’s future Crooked Creek Park.

river on such scattered, separate parcels. The Holcomb Bridge site is more than 40 acres of woodland lacking a public entrance. Bill Cox, the superintendent of the Chattahoochee National Recreation Area, said in an email that he believes working with adjacent cities like Sandy Springs provides “an opportunity to connect people to the natural resources that provide quiet and solitude and improve our quality of life.” He hopes creating new access, like the Crooked Creek Park trail, will create new advocates for protecting the Chattahoochee River. “Having opportunities for quiet and solitude in such a densely populated urban area is quite unique and worth preserving,” he said. The owner of the apartment complex previously was against selling the right of way to the city due to security concerns about the trail, but later changed its mind, according to the

city. A city memo about the purchase said the owner now wants a fence installed along the length of the trail inside its property as a “security measure for its residents.” That request will be discussed during the final design process, the memo said. The land purchase was previously approved by the council in February at a lower cost, but the Utah-based owner of the apartment complex later notified the city that closing costs would be an additional $15,000, Perry said. “We pushed this along a little quicker than we needed to. We thought we had our bases covered. We did not,” Perry said. The additional cost is covered in the project budget, according to the city. The approximate budget for the trail is $275,000 to $300,000, Perry said. Councilmember John Paulson has been the main advocate for the park, and “gleefully” moved for approval. The purchase was unanimously approved by the council. SS


AUG. 31 - SEPT. 13, 2018

Public Safety | 23

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Police Blotter / Sandy Springs Steve Rose, who runs the Citizens on Patrol and volunteer units, provided the following information. The following incidents and arrests represent some, but not all, of the reports filed with Sandy Springs Police from Aug. 11 to Aug. 23. Effective Aug. 18, narratives to incidents are no longer available. Further information about incidents can be found by contacting the City of Sandy Springs Communications Department or Sandy Springs Police Public Information Office.

B U R G L A RY „„1000 block of Calibre Springs Way —

On Aug. 12, an apartment resident said he walked out of his door and saw a man attempting to get through his window. The suspect wore a black shirt and khaki shorts. „„120 Northwood Drive — On Aug. 13, an

officer responded to an alarm at La Escodia just before 2:30 a.m. and discovered the door had been forced. Three registers inside had been tampered with, but contained no money, so the burglar came away with nothing. „„5800 block of Kingsport Drive — On

Aug. 13, an apartment resident said someone entered his residence during the day while he was away. They entered through a window and stole $600 cash. „„600 block of Hammond Drive — On

Aug. 15, the complainant said someone door-kicked the front door of the home and entered. Several items were taken. The home has an alarm, but the resident was not sure if it was set at the time. „„6300 block of Roswell Road — On Aug.

16, an alarm was triggered at Carniceria Los Pinos at 4:25 a.m. SSPD was notified by the alarm company at 4:38 a.m. The officers responded and found the store had been burglarized. The owner said two cash registers were missing and a third was missing the cash. The missing registers had just over $200 in each, but several bags of cash totaling just over $1,000 were missing. The video showed two males using a pry bar to enter the store. Both were dressed so as not to reveal their faces. If your alarm company takes 13 minutes to contact the cops when the alarm activates, find another company. „„1100 block of Hammond Drive — On

Aug. 16, the resident said she left the apartment just before 10 a.m. She returned at 2 p.m. and found that someone entered the apartment through a back glass door. The missing items include three pistols and two televisions.

R O B B E RY „„1500 block of Monterrey Parkway —

SS

On Aug. 13, the victim said he called for an Uber. The driver arrived just before

1 a.m. The complainant asked the driver to wait while he retrieved his brother from an apartment. He said that a man appeared out of nowhere. He pulled a dark object the victim assumed was a gun and said two things: “Where is building 1200?” and “Give me your money!” The victim handed over a diamond bracelet, diamond necklace, diamond earrings, diamond pinky ring, $500 cash and his iPhone 6. The driver confirmed the story. The suspect was described as 6 feet tall, with husky voice and wearing all black. Officers later found a pile of black clothing behind an apartment building where the suspect was said to have run. A police dog smelled the clothing and tracked to an apartment nearby. An officer rang the doorbell, but no one answered.

THEFT „„7700 block of Spalding Drive — On

Aug. 11, two men entered a grocery store and took the following: 37 Good Start Gentle infant formula packages, worth $621; 20 Similac Neosure infant formula packages, worth $355; six Similac Advanced, worth $101; 11 Similac Soy Isomil, worth $186; eight Similac Sensitive, worth $134; six Similac Alimentum, worth $233; and assorted diapers costing over $1,900. The two men grabbed carts, got the items into the carts, put the items in a green car and left. „„5600 block of Kayron Drive — On Aug.

11, a Stihl blower was taken from a pickup truck while the truck was parked and the driver was working on landscaping in the yard. „„8600 block of Roberts Drive — On

Aug. 13, the victim said someone stole two credit cards from her purse while she was at her office. One car was used at a Best Buy for just over $755. The same card was used later at Target for $377. A third attempt was made at Home Depot, but the card was declined. The other card was used at Paces Bottle Shop for $27 and $127. „„6600 block of Roswell Road — On Aug.

13, the victim said someone popped his gym locker open and took his phone, wallet and pants. „„4900 block of Trail — On Aug. 15, a

resident reported several pieces of mail were taken from her mailbox sometime that day. Tracking showed that a rewards card was delivered to the home on Aug. 10, but it was apparently intercepted and taken. Other items are believed to have been stolen as well. „„1100 block of Gettysburg Place — On

Aug. 15, the complainant said she lent

her 2005 Mazda Tribute to her friend who hasn’t been seen since. The friend is not missing but, for some reason, won’t return the car although she texted the complainant to say she would.

LARCENY „„There were 13 cases of larceny be-

tween Aug. 18 and Aug. 22.

THEFTS FROM VEHICLES „„Between Aug. 11 and Aug. 16, eight

thefts from vehicles were reported. Three of those thefts involved stolen guns, which are now on the street. Between Aug. 18 and Aug. 23, 15 thefts from vehicles were reported.

F R AU D CO M P L A I N T S „„6000 block of Roswell Road — On Aug.

11, the victim said someone used a Home Depot card that was mailed to her but intercepted by the new resident of her former apartment. A total of $961 was put on the card in Georgia and New York before the victim cancelled the card and reported the fraud. „„5600 block of Glenridge Drive — On

Aug. 13, the complainant was contacted by Chase Bank regarding a charge on his account. He confirmed that he did not use the card. Someone tried to access his bank account via his Social Security number, and then tried to re-route his mail to an address in Miramar, Fla.

„„1400 block of Summer Way — Aug. 20 „„700 block of Starlight Drive — Aug. 20 „„100 block of West Belle Isle — Aug. 21 „„900 block of Hammond Drive — Aug.

21 „„400 block of Woodcliff Drive — Aug.

22 „„6300 block of Roswell Road — Aug. 22 „„6000 block of Blue Stone — Aug. 22

A S S AU LT „„7500 block of Roswell Road — On

Aug. 12, there was an employee dispute that resulted in one man being hit on the back with a baseball bat, causing a bruise, and the batter being charged with Aggravated assault and arrested. „„4900 block of Roswell Road — On

Aug. 13, a store employee said she was harassed and threatened by a security guard. „„8300 block of Roswell Road — Aug. 18 „„1100 block of Hammond Drive — Aug.

18 „„6600 block of Roswell Road — Aug. 18 „„8600 block of Roberts Drive — Aug. 20 „„200 block of Colewood Way — Aug. 21

ARRESTS

„„Spalding Trail — On Aug. 14, the vic-

tim applied for but did not receive a credit card from Chase Bank. Later, she was contacted by Chase to approve charges consisting of nickle-and-dime purchases at several stores and restaurants in Roswell, Alpharetta, Atlanta and Sandy Springs. „„2700 block of Treelodge Parkway —

On Aug. 15, the victim met and secured a deal, via Facebook, to turn over a 2011 Sonata for a 2018 Sonata. She wired the seller $500 down payment and arranged a meeting on Aug. 11 to swap cars. He didn’t show. He promised to meet her at another time, but has not shown. „„200 block of Franklin Road — On Aug.

16, the victim said several charges have been made on his USAA AMEX card that he keeps in his car for emergency situations. He loaned his car to his ex-boyfriend. He does not suspect his ex, but does suspect his ex-boyfriend’s other exboyfriend may have used the card. „„7300 block of Roswell Road — Aug. 18 „„400 block of Mount Vernon Highway

— Aug. 18

„„5600 block of Roswell Road — Posses-

sion of synthetic narcotics „„6400 block of Blue Stone Road — DUI „„5600 block of Kingsport Drive — Sim-

ple assault „„I-285 at Riverside Drive — Reckless

driving „„I-285 at New Northside — DUI „„7500 block of Roswell Road — Aggra-

vated assault „„2400 block of Treelodge Parkway —

Simple battery „„8100 block of Colquitt Road — Simple

assault „„Northside Drive/ Powers Ferry Road

— Disorderly conduct „„I-285/Ga. 400 — Aug. 18, DUI „„1100 block of Monterey Parkway —

Aug. 18, Arson „„5700 block of Roswell Road — Aug. 18,

Suspended driver’s license


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