Tree ordinance a ‘yes’
But not everyone approves of latest code COMMUNITY 3
Meet & greet
District 2 candidates share their vision COMMUNITY 4-5
SEPT. 5 — SEPT. 18, 2014 • VOL. 6 — NO. 18
Big dogs, big moves
New parks director talks patience and planning BY ANN MARIE QUILL
PHOTOS BY PHIL MOSIER
Left, Clay Clark, 1, has a visit with Great Danes “Ziggy,” left, and “Elvis,” right, as their owners Darren Rogers, right, and his wife Sherry, enjoy the Brookhaven Farmers Market on Aug. 30. At right, Devon Durfy, 6, demonstrates his skills with a hula hoop. The market, open on Saturdays, is located in the Brookhaven Baptist Church’s parking lot at 1294 North Druid Hills Road.
Police department to communicate with residents via ‘Nextdoor’ BY ELLEN ELDRIDGE
“It has good bone structure,” says Brookhaven’s new Parks and Recreation Director Jerry Kinsey as he walked through the recreation center at Lynwood Park. The recreation center, once a school, is undergoing preparations to open for city-sponsored recreational activities. The renovations should be completed by Sept. 8. “We’re making the lunchroom into a big meeting room,” he said, which will be able to host events like birthday parties and community gatherings while seating more than 100 people. “This will be a fitness and exercise room,” said Kinsey as he continued to walk the halls of the center. Pointing to what must have been the school’s library, he said recreation staff members were packing up old books to donate to a local Rotary Club, which will use the books to stock little outdoor libraries. Kinsey is replacing Ray Holloway, who had only started as parks director in January but left recently for personal reasons. Kinsey arrived at Brookhaven’s Parks and Recreation Department six weeks ago. Along with park department and other city staff, he has prepared an eight-page glossy brochure heralding Brookhaven’s first city-sponsored parks activities and leagues. Those activities include basketball, gymnastics, fitness classes and art activities for both children and adults. “It’s good that we have programs, because they’ll generate revenue ... as we have more programs, more money will come in,” Kinsey said. “Gym classes and basketball leagues pay for themselves and make you money.” That money, he said, helps pay for more passive parks, like walking trails, that have to be maintained. “We’ve got a lot to do in two weeks,” he said. “But we’ve got a lot more to do in the next two years.” Once renovations are done, the center will house a dance studio and arts room, and will be home to a basket-
Brookhaven police are moving into a new area of social media. On Aug. 22, the department announced it will begin communicating with residents using Nextdoor (www.nextdoor. com), a private social network for neighborhoods. “We have always invested in innovative ways to increase safety for our residents,” Police Chief Gary Yandura said. “With Nextdoor, we can help empower neighbors to keep their communities safe and connected, and give them the ability to collaborate on virtual neighborhood watch efforts.” Brookhaven is one of the newest cities to establish an active account geared toward interacting and updating residents by neighborhood or subdivision, said Officer Howard Miller, a community outreach and public relations official for Brookhaven Police. During a meeting, a resident asked if Brookhaven police were using Nextdoor, and Miller said when the department looked into it, the immediate benefit became apparent.
“Unlike Facebook, it allows you to specifically send emails to certain neighborhoods rather than making a city-wide alert,” Miller said. The department’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/ BrookhavenPD) has more than 2,400 “likes,” and Miller said these fans could be residents or people outside the community. But with Nextdoor, residents of individual neighborhoods must be confirmed, and Brookhaven’s 32 total neighborhoods on Nextdoor boast 3,800 people who have signed up. The great thing about Nextdoor as well as social media platforms like Facebook is that applications allow officers to send posts from the road, Miller said, noting that keeping the community informed is possible in real time. Community resident and Nextdoor user Jordan Fox said he likes that people have to use real names to identify themselves. “I like that everyone has to verify their address and use their real SEE POLICE, PAGE 20
ANN MARIE QUILL
Jerry Kinsey, the new city parks and recreation director, has big plans for the rec center at Lynwood Park. SEE NEW PARKS, PAGE 20