9-15-16 Buckhead Reporter

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SEPTEMBER 15 - 28, 2017 • VOL. 11— NO. 19


Buckhead Reporter


► Anchor kids, crews put school news ‘on the air’

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High school TV : Student broadc asters link local scho ols to the world

► Solving real-world problems: One school’s innovation institute

A: North Spring School studen s Charter High t Amari Mosby right, interv , iews Hanna Quillen.


B: Westminster students WilliamSchools Bennett Porson Turton and Ireland in Augusbroadcast from t 2016. The Westminster varsity footba team travele ll d to play in the AmeriDublin to can Football Classic.


C: At Holy Innoce nts’ Episcopal School, Hollis Brecher, left, Faith Wrigh t broadcast fromand the studio while and Katie Smith Jack Wood work behind the scenes.


A BY DONN A WILL IAMS LEWI S Students are The AV Tech live streaming lab at North assemblies, plays, holida Springs Charter High Schoo y pageants and l crackled with concerts and producing featur creative energy on a recent es that will afternoon as be emailed, played on closed students produced stories circuit televis for their biweek ion systems, or posted on ly news show. Arnardo Vargas Facebook, YouTu , 18, worked be channels, school tro and ending on an inwebsites and streaming netwo for his video Relatives can featuring the rks. school’s Sparta get ns football player great views ations from of graduJaylan McDo s. Seniors across the countr nald and Paris y. (Check out The Westminster Talbert search apps for “positi ed Schools’ 2016 ve” background graduation on YouTube.) their New Teache music for r segment. Parents don’t Senior Matan have to agoniz Berman spliced e ing over their kids’ sportin misshis feature, video for “Stereotypica g events. They l Students,” watch them Amari Mosby can on their phone and , 16, searched s. among the six Westminster iting rooms edsophomore for equipment Turner Cravens knows to film an interview about last first-hand how spring’s school parents rely WCAT, the school trip to Spain, Portugal and on ’s Morocco. station. He recalle student-run online TV Local high school d dealin g s with increasingly was worried a dad who coming broadc are beabout wheth asting and er the station nitely was going filmmaking breeding groun defito cover a basket ds in a state he couldn’t attend with a boomi ball game film industry. ng .


Marching Warriors’ brass attack

Plan gives walkers, bikers safer passage on Lenox Road

INNOVATION Mount Vernon ’s ‘sc a school’ tackle hool within s real-world projects

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See HIGH on

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LUNCH MONEY School district s develop policies for unp aid meal bills

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BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

The Buckhead Community Improvement District presented plans for a more walkable Lenox Road Sept. 6 to an optimistic crowd that mostly welcomed the plans for new multi-use trails along the major corridor. The hope of the project is to get Lenox Road to “at least resemble a city street,” complete with walkable trails that can also be used by cyclists, instead of a place for only See PLAN on page 14

Group steps up to help more homeless people OUT & ABOUT

North Atlanta High marching band sousaphone players, from left, Kennedy Wright Jr., Michael Ashley Jr. and Xavier Anderson take the field at Chamblee Stadium on Sept. 8 to help cheer their Warriors on Caption versus the Dunwoody High Wildcats in Friday night football. The Warriors won, 14-0.

COMMUNITY Residents, visitors cope with historic storm Irma

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BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

As Buckhead Christian Ministry, an organization that assists those facing homelessness, hires a president and CEO and celebrates its 30-year anniversary, it will face the challenge of supporting additional people displaced in the closure of the PeachtreePine Shelter in Midtown. Keeva Kase, BCM’s president and CEO who began work Aug. 24, said they expect an increase in the visitors seeking financial assistance and necessities. The beleaguered shelter was officially closed Aug. 28 after years of controversy and questions over management, crime and disease. See GROUP on page 22

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Residents, visitors cope with historic storm Irma BY JACLYN TURNER AND EVELYN ANDREWS







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Trees blocked roads and Buckhead creeks threatened to flood as some Buckhead residents spent hours to days without power after Tropical Storm Irma pummeled metro Atlanta with rain and wind Sept. 11. Peachtree Creek and Nancy Creek rose to high levels, prompting officials from the Atlanta Police Department and the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department to go door to door in Buckhead neighborhoods bordering Nancy and Peachtree creeks to notify residents of the flood hazard. Garth Peters, vice president of the Buckhead Coalition and a Memorial Park resident, said Peachtree Creek was noticeably high but he did not see it crest. “Considering the wind gusts, I think we fared pretty well,” Peters said. Gordon Certain, president of the North Buckhead Civic Association, said Nancy Creek reached nine feet, but did not rise high enough to cause any flooding. As the remnants of the storm hit metro Atlanta, many Florida evacuees were hunkered down in Perimeter Center area hotels and homes where they had arrived days earlier to escape the historically powerful storm’s full destruction. Some came here because they knew the area. Some simply found it a good place to stop as traffic worsened and fear of gasoline shortages grew. And all of the evacuees wondered whether Irma’s strike on Atlanta would extend their stay in their temporary shelters. The following are the stories of three Florida families who spoke to Reporter Newspapers while they waited out Irma at Perimeter Center businesses on Sept. 10, the day before the storm followed them to metro Atlanta.

The Shaffners, from Fort Myers

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As Irma approached their home in Fort Myers, Fla., the Shaffner family packed two cars and a small U-Haul for their valuables. They drove through the middle of the state, attempting to avoid I-75 because of the evacuation gridlock. “When [Florida] Gov. Rick Scott said this was the time to leave, we took that seriously,” said Sue Shaffner, whose group included her daughter and grandchild, adding the family had Hurricane Harvey’s recent Texas landfall on their minds. “After Houston we were thinking, we can leave, so we should. “We have a grandbaby and five animals between us, so we weren’t going to leave them,” she continued. “I don’t want to be rescued off the roof of my house.” The group averaged 40 mph on the drive into Georgia. “Gas was a problem. Only one out of 10 gas staPHOTOS BY JACLYN TURNER tions probably had gas,” Shaffner said. “We didn’t plan to come here. We were trying to get north of Atlanta, Sue Shaffner of Fort Myers, Fla. but with the traffic and conditions, and having a child in the car, my daughter was calling from the car to secure a place that was pet-friendly.” They tried a stop at a pet-friendly hotel in Valdosta, Ga., but found it unpleasant. So they aimed farther north and ended up at the brand new Residence Inn by Marriott in Dunwoody. The hotel, located next to the Spruill Art Gallery on Ashford-Dunwoody Road, just opened on Aug. 30 and has found housing Irma evacuees to be one of its first missions. The majority of cars in the Residence Inn’s parking lot sported Florida plates, with a few from Texas as well. General Manager Joe Fallis said the hotel placed orders for glow sticks, flashlights and a larger than normal food order. The hotel also froze prices for those needing to extend their stay due to the storm. Shaffner spoke highly of the hotel for its friendliness to pets, walkability to restaurants, and general hospitality. “I just want to cry. [We] don’t even know these people, but that aspect of Atlanta has blown us away,” she said, recalling a server at a restaurant who gave the family her business card in case they needed a place to stay. Shaffner and her family want to get home as soon as possible to assess the damage of their home and various rental properties her sons own across the state. But for now,

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Reporter Newspapers and the Riverside Homeowners Association will host a Fulton County Chairman candidate forum on Wednesday, Oct. 4. The forum will begin at 7 p.m. at Riverwood International Charter School, 5900 Raider Drive. For updates on candidates who will attend, see ReporterNewspapers.net. BH

SEPTEMBER 15 - 28, 2017

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they have some supplies and are constantly watching the updates. “Some of my neighbors didn’t leave, and they are posting all this stuff [online], and they are so nervous, and upset they didn’t leave,” Shaffner said. “On the other hand, it turns out it’s not as bad as everyone thought. For us, we made the right decision.”

The Smiths, from Oviedo

For the Smith family of Oviedo, Fla., fleeing to Dunwoody was a natural choice. “We just decided to leave,” said father Omar Smith. “We used to live here and have family here.” Mother Christine said the family watched everyone else leave their street in Oviedo, which is near Orlando. The family placed sandbags out to block flooding, then left. It took them The Smith family from Oviedo, Fla., including, from left, Omar, Christine, Aubry, Anne and Austin. 13 hours to drive to Atlanta – more than twice the usual time. While they are able to stay in that The Grants, from Naples family home in Dunwoody, the evacuaIt took three cars and 18 hours for the tion is taking its toll, the Smiths said. Grant family – seven adults, two young chil“We would like to leave Tuesday [Sept. dren, three dogs – to flee Naples, Fla., for Pe12], get our kids back in school and [get] rimeter Center. And a good thing, too, as back to work,” said Omar Smith. “The that Florida city took a strong hit from Irma. storm’s playing with everybody’s emotions, Lisa and Scott Grant, the family grandbut it is what it is. There’s nothing you can parents, have been watching TV between do about it. It’s better to be safe than sorry.” supply runs to a local Target store, and

managed a visit to the Georgia Aquarium to occupy their 2-year-old granddaughter. “We haven’t even watched the local news, we’re so concerned … and we’re worried about what we are coming home to,” said Lisa Grant. She did know that their home, JACLYN TURNER eight miles from Some members of the Grant family of Naples, Fla., waiting out the the Gulf Coast, storm included, from left, Josh Grant, Jennifer Goetzl, Jason Grant, Scott Grant and Lisa Grant, joined by dogs Cara and Tessie. had already lost power on Sept. another Residence Inn by Marriott on Sa10 after a call to her home phone went voy Road on the Dunwoody/Chamblee borstraight to an answering machine and a der. They originally booked rooms through video doorbell security device stopped Tuesday, Sept. 12, but with the storm’s imworking. “We could see the wind at 8:30 pact, they extended the stay through Frithis morning through the video feed,” day, Sept. 15. If their son’s apartment in she said. Gainesville, Fla., regains power sooner “We’re storm refugees!” exclaimed than that, they may head there. Scott Grant, who explained the famiFor Lisa Grant, it means facing her own ly’s decision to head to metro Atlanta. uncertain future just weeks after she do“It makes sense because it’s the biggest nated to hurricane relief efforts in Texas. drivable city to get [to] out of Florida. It’s “Ironically, I just gave a lot to Harvey, inland. It’s not near water. It’s not going and now I’m paying for three rooms and to get a storm surge.” food,” she said. “But we gotta do what we “It’s vastly populated. It’s not in the gotta do. I’m glad I’m here and safe, but boonies,” added Lisa. nervous about what we are going back The Grants were able to find rooms in to, or when we’re going back.”

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Michelle Nunn, CEO of CARE USA, based in Atlanta, recently spoke to more than 100 members of the International Club of Atlanta in Sandy Springs.

International Club of Atlanta highlights global issues BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

More than 100 people gathered at a recent International Club of Atlanta discussion group gathering in Sandy Springs to hear from a noted speaker with plenty of international knowledge — Michelle Nunn, CEO of CARE USA, based in Atlanta. Nunn, who ran for U.S. Senate in 2014 but lost to David Perdue, gave the crowd at its Sept. 5 meeting a general introduction of CARE, one of the longest-serving humanitarian organizations dedicated to eliminating poverty across the globe. Founded as the “Cooperative for American Remittances to Europe” in 1945, the organization helped the millions of people in need following World War II by organizing a program to send them food relief, or CARE packages, of U.S. Army surplus meal-ready-to-eat food parcels that included such items as meat, butter, coffee, sugar, egg powder and chocolate. In the 1990s, CARE changed its acronym to mean “Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere” to better encompass its mission of helping other countries. Nunn explained that CARE specifically focuses on empowering women and girls through human rights, education, health care, economic opportunities and other resources. Poverty can only be defeated when there is equality, she said. Recently CARE partnered with seven other humanitarian organizations to form the Global Emergency Response Coalition in response to some 20 million people starving in Nigeria, Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia as well as Niger, Uganda, Chad, Cameroon, Kenya and Ethiopia. Drought and wars contribute to the crisis, Nunn said.

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Michelle Nunn addressed a crowd of more than 100 members of the International Club of Atlanta about how CARE USA is working to eliminate poverty across the globe.

SEPTEMBER 15 - 28, 2017


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Tr a n s f o r m y o u r s p a c e t o f i t Y O U

Teji Sahni, left, and former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn, father of Michelle Nunn, greeted each other during a recent meeting of the International Club of Atlanta where Michelle Nunn spoke about the mission of CARE USA to eliminate poverty.

Getting the word out about the global poverty is difficult in “the world of Donald Trump” where the news media is focused on his tweets, Nunn said, adding there are special challenges as a society to tell a global narrative. She also touched on climate change and said CARE “believes in the science of climate change.” “Increasingly we are seeing climate change refugees,” she said. “The impact is not theoretical.” Last year, CARE reached over 70 million people in 94 countries and by 2020 aims to help 150 million people overcome hunger, poverty and social injustice. While the numbers may appear troubling, there is reason to be optimistic because poverty has been cut in half over the past 25 years, Nunn said. Members thanked Nunn with applause. And for Teji Sahni, who founded the International Club of Atlanta in 1991, the meeting was more proof that such as club is needed, and important, in the world today. “The basic idea is we broaden our outlook,” Sahni said. “We go outside the narrow confines of our world and find that human beings are the same, but of different cultures.” The International Club promotes international ties and offers members social and intellectual settings that reflect its diversity, from a book club to bridge night to monthly “Curry Nights” where members visit the more than 100 curry-serving restaurants in metro Atlanta. Bill Bozarth, president of ICA, worked for IBM in the 1970s and 1980s, including a stint in Germany in the mid-1980s. “Other than the birth of my children, nothing in my life has had such a profound effect on me as the experience of living abroad,” he said. “My interests and perspective on the place of America in the world were forever changed. Subsequent jobs after returning with my family to the U.S. in 1988 brought me back to Europe on a regular basis. I stopped all that travel in 1995, and since then, have sought out opportunity to get to know like-minded people.” The discussion group, which hosted Nunn, is a monthly gathering where speakers from various professions share their thoughts on what is going on in the world and the U.S. On Oct. 8, the discussion group will host Jonathan Mann, who recently retired after 30 years of international reporting for CNN. “We offer a tremendous enriching experience – and it’s fun,” Sahni said. “This is not a networking group. Members are from all parts of the world and we intermingle with each other. This is really about learning from each other.” Socializing with people from different countries helps break down barriers and defeat prejudices, Sahni said. “I think ignorance dictates certain prejudices. When people discuss and learn from each other, I think that helps everyone,” he said.

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Local leaders react to MARTA chief’s departure BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

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Keith Parker, the MARTA CEO and general manager who helped put mass transit back on the agenda in north metro communities, will leave for another job this fall, he announced Sept. 5. Now local leaders are expressing a mix of gratitude and uncertainty as they push ahead with that transit agenda – including key SPECIAL General Assembly proposals Keith Parker, MARTA’s CEO and general manager. next session. Parker, who is leaving to “Transit Master Plan” of priority projects become the new president and CEO of to take advantage of any funding that Decatur-based Goodwill of North Geormight come out those discussions. gia, spent nearly five years as MARTA’s MARTA’s board will name an interchief. In that time, he oversaw a finanim general manager while conducting cial cleanup – from massive debt to rea search for a permanent replacement, serves of more than $240 million – and MARTA said in a press release. In addiimprovements to service that also retion, the board has named a deputy generduced the perception linking MARTA to al manager, Arthur “Rob” Troupe, who will rampant crime. start work Sept. 18. Troupe arrives from Years of progress the infrastructure project consulting firm A politically savvy leader, he built reHNTB – one of the companies working on lationships with local and state leadFulton’s Transit Master Plan – where he led ers, whetting an appetite for more tranthe Northeast Division’s transit and rail sit. That helped to win landmark MARTA services. Troupe previously served as a depexpansion funding, including to Clayton uty general manager at the Washington County via a 2014 vote, and last year’s vot(D.C.) Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. er-approved sales tax boost within the city Leaders react of Atlanta. The Atlanta funding, expectAmong local leaders, the loss of Parked to draw more than $2.5 billion over 40 er was met largely with caution that tranyears, could bring light rail to Buckhead’s sit talks will find a way forward without BeltLine segment and the Clifton Corridor the pioneering transit agency chief. out of Lindbergh Center Station, among Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul has many other improvements. emerged as one of the north metro arParker also led the agency through ea’s biggest transit evangelists. Earlier new attempts at transit-oriented developthis year, speaking about regional transit ment with varying results; in Brookhavsolutions, he prophetically warned that en, the community earlier this year MARTA’s improved reputation could be rejected a planned mixed-use redevelopin trouble if Parker leaves. ment at the Brookhaven/Oglethorpe Sta“How long is he going to be here? tion. Local transit-oriented corporate deWill MARTA revert to its previous bevelopment has been more successful, havior if someone new comes in?” Paul such as the new State Farm office towasked at the time. er that is directly connected to the DunIn a written statement on the day of woody MARTA Station platform. Parker’s resignation announcement, Then there was this year’s fire and colPaul expressed the need for continued lapse of an I-85 overpass in Buckhead, good leadership. which Parker could see smoking from “By correcting many of its management MARTA’s Lindbergh Center headquardeficiencies, he has completely turned ters. The snarled traffic afterward was a around the perception of MARTA among watershed moment for Atlanta transit, the policymakers across the region, though and Parker was widely praised for MARMARTA has been slow to develop a regionTA’s increased service for the many new al plan for transit expansion,” Paul said. “I riders avoiding the disaster. hope the MARTA board will find someone Parker’s resignation comes at a cruwith similar credentials who can build on cial time for state and local transit planwhat Keith has done and develop a consenning. The General Assembly is expected sus around a true regional transit strategy.” next session to have unprecedented proFulton County Commissioner Lee posals for possible increased state fundMorris said that a “key player change ing of mass transit and of a new, regional that occurs in the midst of significant initransit governing agency. Fulton Countiatives always creates pause for thought. ty is attempting to quickly wrap up a

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Keith’s leadership has been terrific and his involvement with the Fulton transit study and the upcoming General Assembly session would have been positive.” But, Morris added, MARTA has good board and staff leadership, and “a growing group of legislators who know how important transit will be to the region’s future. So I am optimistic that the change will not set us back.” State Rep. Tom Taylor (R-Dunwoody) has a wide-angle view of MARTA’s leadership question as a member of MARTOC, the General Assembly’s joint committee with oversight of the transit agency’s budget, and as a member of the new House Commission on Transit Governance & Funding. Taylor says that while Parker’s loss will be felt, there are other political factors as the General Assembly takes up a likely discussion on a broader, regional transit system. “My first thought — ‘Gosh, he’s going to be hard to replace,’” Taylor said. But, he added, “No one’s irreplaceable and the system is going to be there … But I think you’ve got some hard political choices to make … With more state funding [of transit] comes more state control.” MARTA’s immediate challenges, Taylor said, are filling Parker’s big shoes from a small pool of likely candidates, at least in terms of executives who have run large transit systems. He said the larger political question, however, is whether the timeline for hiring a replacement

wraps up by, say, year’s end with somegoing to be,” Taylor said. one who could participate in General But whoever is in that next General Assembly discussions. Parker has been Assembly session, Taylor said, “I think serving as an ex ofyou’re going to ficio member of the see more of a Transit Governance & move to expand Funding commission, regionally [bewhich next meets on yond MARTA’s Sept. 15. current threeOther political faccounty system]… tors have nothing to and I’m not sure do with MARTA’s leadwhat that animal ership, Taylor said. On looks like.” Asked the funding end, he whether such talk said, a big question is of a regional syswhether Atlanta will tem — maybe an annex the Emory Uniagency that could versity area of DeKalb supersede MARCounty and thus autoTA — could have matically provide its been a factor in newly boosted sales Parker looking at tax money to fund a new job opportumissing link of that nities, Taylor said planned Clifton Corhe doesn’t think ridor light rail. And so. STATE REP. TOM TAYLOR there are leadership R-DUNWOODY “I don’t think questions not only for that is the issue,” MARTA, but for the Taylor said. “He General Assembly and MARTOC itself. was not being looked at like a guy we need Taylor noted that state Sen. Vincent Fort to get rid of — quite the opposite.” (D-Atlanta), a fellow MARTOC member, State Sen. Fran Millar (R-Dunwoody) and state Rep. Stacey Evans (D-Smyrna) called it a “tremendous loss … He certainrecently resigned to make runs for other ly put MARTA on the right track – right offices. choice of words – going forward.” “I don’t know who the new faces are But asked about effects on the Gen-

No one’s irreplaceable and the system is going to be there … But I think you’ve got some hard political choices to make … With more state funding [of transit] comes more state control.

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eral Assembly proposals, Millar said, “I don’t think so. I think it’s more of a governance situation we’re looking at anyway,” rather than funding models that Parker might have helped to sway. Parker’s exit “also calls attention to the fact of how important it is to have regional transit,” Millar added, and not just MARTA as it exists today with limited county participation. Fulton Commissioner Bob Ellis was another leader expressing caution about continued transit progress. “Mr. Parker has made significant contributions to MARTA, and his leadership will certainly be missed,” Ellis said in an email. “As the Atlanta region continues to grow, congestion and traffic will as well and it will be critical for smart and aggressive transit planning to address the current and future challenges we will face in Fulton and the Atlanta region. Despite a leadership change at MARTA, it is important that efforts like the transit plan that is being developed in Fulton and the work being done at the state level not be delayed.” In Atlanta, which already got the MARTA expansion funding it wanted, Mayor Kasim Reed expressed gratitude. “Keith set a new standard for the role of general manager,” Reed said in a press release. “I cannot compliment him enough on the terrific job he did at a pivotal time for one of the most important public transit agencies in the nation.”

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of land there, so that meant the Google Fiber hut had to be placed deeper into the park, much closer to a stream and Dresden Drive. The proximity to Dresden triggered community complaints about a fence at least 55 feet long front the street in a public park. The first hut is apparently being used, but when and if a second hut will be needed is not known at this time, according to a Google Fiber spokesperson. Google Fiber does continue to lease land from the city of Brookhaven for the Fiber hut in Blackburn Park. In addition to lease payments for the land, Google Fiber also maintains landscaping around the structure. The city and Google Fiber did not respond to requests for how much the lease payments are by press time. The Google Fiber hut in Blackburn Park is currently being used for operational needs, but what that means exactly a Google Fiber spokesperson did not say. Plans are still in the works to use the Blackburn Park Fiber hut in the future to serve customers in the Brookhaven community. Google Fiber announced in January 2015 that it was officially coming to Sandy Springs, Brookhaven, Atlanta, Avondale Estates, College Park, Decatur, East Point, Hapeville and Smyrna.

The high-speed rollout of Google Fiber in metro Atlanta including Sandy Springs and Brookhaven has significantly stalled, although representatives say plans are still in the works to provide the internet service. “Google Fiber is currently available in over 100 residential buildings in the metro Atlanta area and in several neighborhoods in the center of the city. We’re working hard to connect as many people as possible, and encourage people to sign up for updates on our website,” a Google Fiber spokesperson said. In Sandy Springs, however, permits to install the fiber-optic cable stopped six months ago. “I’ve checked with our utilities manager and to date, Google has not provided any formal notice of delay,” said Sandy Springs spokesperson Sharon Kraun. “They halted their permits about six months ago. Restoration work continues, which ensures property where work was conducted is left in order.” Brookhaven city officials say they are not sure when the service will be provided in the city. “We continue to be in contact with Google Fiber. They have communicated that they are still very much committed to the Atlanta market including Brookhaven, but we do not know exactly when service will be offered,” city spokesperson Burke Brennan said. Google Fiber’s quest to offer services in Brookhaven hit a roadblock dating back to 2015 shortly after the rollout was announced for metro Atlanta when the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals denied its request to build a utility hut in Parkside Park. Google Fiber’s system requires a number of utility huts in central locations. In Brookhaven, the city had agreed to provide space for two huts in public parks. One is already built in Blackburn Park; the other was to be in Parkside Park, a narrow strip of green space running along Dresden Drive between Apple Valley Road and Parkside Drive. Former Brookhaven Mayor J. Max Davis at the But it turned out that announcement two years ago that the city was one the city was mistaken in of nine metro area communities where Google will begin providing high-speed Internet connections. thinking it owned a strip


SEPTEMBER 15 - 28, 2017

Community | 9



Workers installed fiber-optic cables for Google Fiber along North Druid Hills Road in Brookhaven in July 2016.

The nine cities were to work closely with Google to build a brand-new fiber-optic network capable of delivering gigabit speeds throughout the service areas. It appears building that fiber-optic cable network was more difficult than anticipated, resulting in the slow-down of getting the service to these cities. Teri Anulewicz, the former mayor pro tem for the Smyrna City Council, wrote on georgiapol. com last month that Google Fiber repre-

sentatives told Smyrna officials that the “construction project is a large, complicated infrastructure project, and they encountered more challenges than they expected in many markets” including metro Atlanta. In July, Gregory McCray, the CEO of Google Access, which oversees Google Fiber, resigned following Google Fiber’s announcement in October 2016 it was stopping work in cities it was in talks with to bring their service. The average American broadband speed is 11.5 megabits per second. In contrast, Google Fiber is expected to bring metro Atlanta residents access to gigabit internet connections up to 1,000 megabits per second. Google Fiber internet plans cost either $50 or $70 a month; internet and TV plans combined cost $140 or $160 a month. -— John Ruch contributed.

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Commentary: DACA youths help make America great When a country declares education to be a priority, it demonstrates a clear vision of the path to a more developed society. An investment in education implies the development of the nation, it gives citizens the opportunity to cultivate their own minds and instills within them the capacity to be leaders. An investment in education produces conscientious citizens who are responsible for the role they are to play in a productive society and the world. In 2013, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announcing the Global Education First initiative said, “People today often ask about my country’s transformation from poverty to prosperity. Without hesitation, I answer that education was the key.” In 2017, on Sept. 5, President Trump announced the end of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), a program which offered opportunities for development to those who were brought into the country as children, a country which they know to be their native land where they have built their lives. The end of DACA will affect approximately 800,000 young people who have sought to reach their universal right to education here in this country. For them, DACA has been an opportunity to feel part of the only country they have ever known, not in the shadows but in the light. DACA is the face of María, José, Jorge, or Camila, who were able to walk free from the fear of being detained, or drive without the fear of being arrested. For many families, DACA has provided opportunities which have kept them out of poverty and all that poverty implies. These families, who arrived over a decade ago with the courage to seek out a better life for their children, learned to survive and guide their children through the complex process of assimilation to a new culture in the so-called “land of dreams.” In Los Niños Primero, a nonprofit organization that helps

underserved Latino children from age 3 to be successful in school and develop passion for learning, we have seen the faces of many DACA recipients. As children, they found the space to grow and learn English. They were able to build a solid foundation from which successful academic careers could blossom. Thanks to DACA, these children had the space to create, a space where their parents could build hope. Maritza Morelli These same children have matured Executive Director into self-assured young people. María, of Los Ninos Primero, José, Jorge or Camila, they have since a nonprofit organizagraduated from high school, and purtion that helps undersued their dreams on to higher educaserved Latino children tion, never losing hope of attaining a college education. They, who were once children, now return to the program having developed a sense of social responsibility to help others in their community, and contribute in service of an organization that opened its doors to them when they were only 3 and 4 years old. The suspension of DACA ends a world of possibilities: the dream of escaping poverty, of being prosperous citizens. María, José, Jorge and Camila won’t be added to the list of graduates, or doctors or engineers, now they will go back to believing that the opportunities they’ve longed for are simply not for them. As community leaders in this country, who have seen the enrichment of our society thanks to diversity and the desire that this group of young people have to thrive, we have the individual and collective responsibility to let it be known that DACA recipients are brave human beings who are making this nation extraordinarily great.

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More than 100 Dunwoody High School students rallied Sept. 8 in support of DACA recipients.



SEPTEMBER 15 - 28, 2017

Commentary | 11


Atlanta’s Mexican consulate is ready to help Dreamers

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Since the new federal administration came into office, the government of Mexico has promoted the continuation of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in order to safeguard the protection of thousands of young beneficiaries of this program, known as “Dreamers,” who make significant contributions to the economy, culture and society of the United States of America. Without any doubt, U.S. immigration policy is solely determined by American people and institutions. However, Mexico cannot ignore the fact that thousands of Mexican-born youths will be potentially affected by the rescission of the program. In the face of this situation, the government of Mexico has the moral duty to act, through diplomatic channels and always fully respecting the rule of law, to actively promote both with the U.S. executive and legislative branches a solution to the legal uncertainty faced now by DACA youths. The Mexican government, through our ambassador to the U.S., Gerónimo Gutiérrez Fernández, sent a letter to U.S. legislators in which he underscored the significant contributions of these Dreamers to American society and invited them to continue analyzing options to permanently solve the legal situation. The Mexican Government will keep an open and permanent dialogue with the U.S. Congress to support a solution. Also, we are in contact with Department of Homeland Security authorities to learn in full detail the implementation process of the measure announced on Sept. 5. Furthermore, Mexico will receive with open arms those young Dreamers that eventually return to our country. Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has instructed federal agencies to reinforce actions that support these young people and make the most of their talents and abilities, as well as fully integrate them to our national economy and society. The Consulate General of Mexico in Atlanta has the responsibility of protecting young Dreamers born in Mexico that live in Georgia, Alabama and most of Tennessee; hence, it will strengthen its actions to offer personal and comprehensive consular assistance to every Dreamer that asks for it, particularly legal advice and representation. There is a very particular danger of fraud from paralegals, “notarios” and false attorneys. We urge the Mexican community to keep informed through official channels and report any abuse. We invite them to contact us at informacion@consulmexatlanta.org; to call the Center for Information and Assistance of Mexicans (1-855-463-6395), a toll-free line available 24/7; and to download the free app “MiConsulmex,” which has an emergency button to contact any Mexican consulate in the U.S. Javier Díaz de León was appointed as the consul general of Mexico in Atlanta in 2016. He previously served as consul general in Raleigh, N.C., and as deputy consul in New York and San Diego, Calif.

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12 | Community

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Community Briefs

Councilmember Shook calls for repeal of the noise ordinance


Hunter Hill has resigned from his State Senate District 6 seat to continue his campaign for Georgia governor. Hill had represented District 6, which includes large sections of Buckhead and Sandy Springs, since 2012. He frequently cites transportation, education and healthcare as his top issues. A special election will be held to fill his seat for the rest of his term, which was to end in 2018. The election will be held Nov. 7, 2017, the same day as many other city elections. Candidate qualifying for District 6 was set to end Sept. 13, but was postponed due to inclement weather caused by Hurricane Irma. The qualifying period will now end Sept. 15 at 1 p.m.

BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net


Hunter Hill resigned from his State Senate District 6 seat to focus on his run for Georgia governor.


The state has lifted water-use restrictions put in place 10 months ago due to drought conditions. Fulton was among many counties that were under “Level 2” restrictions that were lifted Sept. 7. The water-use restrictions had included a ban on non-commercial carwashing and limiting lawn-watering to two days a week. Fulton is still under a “Level 1” drought condition, but that has no restrictions on private water use. It only requires that public water system authorities inform the public about the need to conserve water, according to the state Environmental Protection Division. The EPD notes in a press release that, whether there is a drought or not, state law bans lawn-watering between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. That is to prevent overuse of water that evaporates quickly in the daytime.

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Howard Shook, a city councilmember representing Buckhead’s District 7, introduced legislation Sept. 5 to repeal the noise ordinance, but acknowledged in the press release that the move was meant to get the attention of city officials. “It was meant to let people know not everyone ignores this issue, “ Shook said in an interview. The noise ordinance is unenforced in most cases, especially regarding an unnamed Buckhead bar that has drawn numerous noise complaints, but has not received a citation, he said. “The [noise ordinance] raises false expectations and it is a fraud on the public,” Shook said. Shook said he introduced legislation after becoming frustrated with the lack of enforcement of the noise ordinance and failed attempts at fixing it. The legislation says that the noise ordinance “falsely suggests that the City of Atlanta cares about its citizen’s right to the quiet enjoyment of their property during nighttime and early morning hours” and “has all the effectiveness of mammary glands on a fish.” The legislation to repeal the ordinance also says that sound meters owned by the city “are to be deemed surplus property and sold as doorstops.” The legislation comes after a group formed in Buckhead to combat what they say is unreasonable motorcycle noise on Peachtree Road. The group held its first meeting Sept. 7 to sign a petition and discuss its next moves. The city code requires noise stays under certain decibel levels, but part of the problem, residents say, is the motorcycles are gone before police can come to the area to measure the noise. Residents complain motorcycles rev the engines, speed, and have altered them to create amplified noise. Jaci Johnson, who lives in the Buckhead Forest neighborhood, is helping lead the group and hopes to get the noise ordinance enforced or changed if it is unenforceable. Johnson said about 10 people came to the meeting, which she said was a disappointing turnout. However, they are distributing a petition to send to city councilmembers and Zone 2 of the Atlanta Police Department. They will also speak at the Sept. 18 city council meeting and they hope to present audio of what they say is unreasonable motorcycle noise. Johnson said they hope to receive at least 100 signatures. The petition calls for more consistent enforcement of the noise ordinance. Johnson said her group is happy to have Shook’s support to fix the noise ordinance, and would provide community support if he contacted them. So far, their emails to him have gone unanswered, she said. “We appreciate his action, and if he wants support I would think he would reach out to the community,” Johnson said. Johnson acknowledged problems with noise and the ordinance are not new, and wonders why the city has not been more motivated to enforce it. “I know it has a history here. It’s an ongoing problem and it hasn’t been addressed, maybe because the funding or the will isn’t there,” she said. Motorcycles are tricky, Shook said, because they produce a loud noise, but are still legal unless it can be proven they are altered to be louder. “It’s not illegal to ride a motorcycle. Unless you can prove they are intentionally doing it, you aren’t going to win a case in court,” Shook said. “There are no enforceable laws to use.” Still, Shook hopes to find a solution to this ongoing problem and overall problems with a lack of enforcement of the noise ordinance, he said. “We need to truly fix it and enforce it,” he said.

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SEPTEMBER 15 - 28, 2017


Community | 13

Atlanta City Design calls for transit expansion, conservation of tree canopy BY EVELYN ANDREWS

says. The design also recommends organizing development around transit routes and The city’s Department of City Planning adding different levels of transit to areas released a book Sept. 6 that will guide fuwith different levels of development. Develture development in Atlanta, and it calls for opments near MARTA lines would have to increasing development in areas that can be high density and have limited parking. support it while limiting development and Developments near only bus stops could protecting the tree canopy in the rest of the have less density and more parking. city. “Transit investments will align with arThe project, an almost 400-page book, is eas of the city that have untapped capacity meant to guide Atlanta through projected for growth,” the design says. population growth in the coming decades. Another idea that could affect Buckhead It can be read in full at atlcitydesign.com. would be the “Hashtag BRT” routes. These “The Atlanta City Design is the frameBus Rapid Transit lines would be paired work for inclusive with major corridors in growth that Atlanta has the city to create a giant been missing,” Tim Ke“hashtag” and help proane, the Department of vide directional orientaCity Planning commistion to riders. Each line sioner says in the introwould have dedicated duction to the book. lanes to keep transit sepRyan Gravel, the lead arate from traffic and designer for the design would have recognizand best known for creable end-point destinaating the Atlanta Belttions. Two routes would MAPS AND PHOTO COURTESY DEPARTMENT OF CITY PLANNING/THE ATLANTA CITY DESIGN Line, notes in the beginrun through Buckhead: Four Bus Rapid Transit routes could be added to the city, including two in Buckhead. ning of the book that the West Paces Ferry to the design is not a plan, but airport and Buckhead to the “best example” of the relationship beThe competition, called the “domestiCa vision for what the fuLakewood. tween growth and conservation areas beITY” competition, was announced Aug. 30 ture city should look The design also calls cause it has tall buildings combined with and calls for organizations to propose feasiThe design calls for the intersection like. There are no specifof major roads and waterways for designated growth smaller developments surrounded by the ble models for designing and constructing ic timelines for projects to be developed into public and conservation areas. tree canopy. multi-family affordable housing units. Sanspaces, including Peachtree Creek laid out in the book. Growth would be orgaRestoring the Neighborhood Planning ta Fe Villas, a four-acre 147-unit supportive where it runs under Northside “Instead, it’s a stranized into areas that are Units’ power is also listed as a specific goal. housing development in Southwest AtlanParkway in Buckhead. tegic realignment of already developed and The design calls for “rejuvenated staffing ta, will serve as the pilot project site for the plans, projects, policies and priorities,” suitable for taking on more development. and resources,” saying that they could be competition. The registration deadline for Gravel says in the book. The rest of the city would be protected from used for more government transparency the competition is Oct. 30. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed attended the overwhelming growth and development, and civic participation. NPUs would also “The domestiCITY design competition Sept. 6 unveiling and said in a press release supporting the city’s stated goal of protectharness digital technology to report issues is an extension of Atlanta City Design that the design will ensure Atlanta continues to ing the tree canopy. like code violations and provide better onwill examine innovative strategies for the grow and grow in a sustainable way. “Denser development may be making line access to information and meetings. planning, design, construction and opera“We are in a unique position to plan for city life better, but we fear it’s coming at To support the Atlanta City Design, the tion of affordable and sustainable developthis growth in a smart, efficient and intenthe expense of our natural assets,” the book Department of City Planning is creating a ments in increasingly urbanized areas,” Ketional manner. By planning for our future, says. new transportation plan and an affordable ane said in the release. Atlanta will remain a global center for busiPeachtree Road in Buckhead is used as housing competition. ness, continue to draw the best and brightest talent and secure our status as a center for culture and innovation,” Reed said in the release. The book begins by reflecting on Atlanta’s history and on the work of Martin Luther King, Jr., who inspired the title of the book, “Aspiring to the Beloved Community.” The design identifies Atlanta’s core values, explains how the city will change in the coming decades and then describes how to uphold those values during the changes. For Buckhead, that includes a few specific ideas. As part of providing access to nature for everyone, the design calls for the intersections between waterways and roadways to be improved and made into public spaces, which would include the intersections of Peachtree Creek and Nancy Creek with major corridors in Buckhead like Northside Parkway and Roswell Road. “Most of these places are invisible today, but through design and investment, they’ll become some of the most special and memThe design calls for areas already developed to grow more, while The design would have more transit be added to development areas protecting other areas of the city and the tree canopy from development. and new development to be focused near areas with rail lines. orable public spaces in Atlanta,” the book evelyn@reporternewspapers.net


14 | Community

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One of the proposed ideas, which came out of the “Buckhead REdeFINED” master plan, is creating a multi-use boardwalk along the western edge of Lenox Road from East Paces Ferry Road to Peachtree Road.

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Plan gives walkers, bikers safer passage on Lenox Road Continued from page 1 cars, Darion Dunn, the CID’s director of capital improvements and planning, said at the meeting held at the Buckhead Library. About 30 people attended the meeting. The project is part of the recently released “Buckhead REdeFINED” master plan and would bring new multi-use trails to Lenox Road from Piedmont to East Paces Ferry Road. The proposed trails would be 10 feet wide, allowing use by both pedestrians and cyclists. The plan would also install new crosswalks, allowing for the first time legal crossing of Ga. 400 ramps at the interchange with Lenox Road. One of the trails would connect to PATH400. To be able to have enough room for the trails, the Lenox Road lanes would be narrowed from 12 feet to 11 or 10 feet in different areas. This narrowing would also lower car speeds, making the road safer for pedestrians and drivers, Steven Hopper, a landscape architect at Stantec, explained.

“What we are trying to do with the plan is to bring more connectivity, accessibility and safety to the road,” Hopper said. This 1.25 mile section of Lenox Road includes major businesses and destinations: the Buckhead MARTA Station; Lenox Mall; Phipps Plaza; Tower Place Park; Alliance Center; and Atlanta Tech Village. When Lenox Road was built as a state route decades ago, none of the major destinations and shopping centers existed. That ecosystem formed around it, while Lenox Road remained an unwelcoming environment for pedestrians, Dunn said. Now, the CID is trying to catch up the road’s pedestrian infrastructure, he said. “[Lenox Road] was not envisioned as being what it is today,” Dunn said. The master plan laid out “six big ideas,” and the Lenox Road improvements would be part of the fourth idea, “Foster a Distinctive Buckhead Identi-



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This graphic shows the planned work on Lenox Road from Ga. 400 to Peachtree Road which would include new multi-use trails and intersection improvements.


SEPTEMBER 15 - 28, 2017

Community | 15


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This graphic shows the planned work on Lenox Road from Peachtree Road to East Paces Ferry, which would include a new multi-use trail, landscape work and intersection improvements.

ty Along Lenox Road.” That fourth idea also includes possibly reconfiguring the Ga. 400 and Lenox Road interchange. The CID plan presented Sept. 6 came from the Lenox Road Scoping Study, a required step to get the Georgia Department of Transportation, which controls the road, to sign off on the project. The CID will hold at least one more public meeting on the project, use input from the meetings to tweak the plan if needed and then submit it to GDOT and the city of Atlanta for approval, Dunn said. The CID will then work to obtain funding for the project and put out requests for bids for the construction. Dunn said construction can be expected to begin within two to three years. Work on the section of Lenox Road from Peachtree Road to East Paces Ferry Road will likely occur first, Dunn said. That part of Lenox is controlled by the city of Atlanta, which Dunn said has expressed support of the project. A boardwalk will be created along Lenox Road in this section. That section of Lenox also runs along Lenox Square mall, and the project will benefit from having the support of the mall’s manager, Robin Suggs, on the CID board, Dunn said. Suggs attended the open house and expressed support for the project, giving a thumbs up and saying, “this is a good thing.” “I think the boardwalk development will be a nice addition and the project will improve connectivity to Phipps [Plaza] which is always a tough thing when you’re crossing so many streets,” Suggs said. Ben Howard, president of the Buckhead Condo Alliance, also expressed support, saying it will bring pedestrians to BH

the area and allow people to have an option other than driving. “There aren’t many pedestrians now, but it’s because there is really nowhere to walk. This will bring pedestrians and give people options,” Howard said. Sally Flocks, president and CEO of PEDS, which advocates for safer pedestrian access in Atlanta, approves of the project. “I’m glad to see the wide sidewalks. Most of this does look like it’s making it better,” Flocks said. “It’s crazy to have highdensity housing and lots of jobs with roads that don’t work for people.” Gordon Certain, the president of the North Buckhead Civic Association, said he is worried there will not be enough done to educate drivers about crosswalks running across the Ga. 400 ramps. “You can cross there, but you’ll get run over,” Certain said. “People need to be able to cross [Ga. 400]. To be able to cross is good, to be able to do it safely would be better.” Mindy Biggs, who lives on Ferncliffe Road, which is off of Lenox Road south of East Paces Ferry Road, said she agrees changes need to be made to make the area more walkable and approves of the project proposals. “I think the concept is really good and trying to make it more pedestrian friendly is good,” Biggs said. She added that trying to cross streets or walk in some areas currently is “just plain scary.” “I applaud the people who are trying to do something to improve it,” she said. Dunn said the plans will be online soon. For more information, visit buckheadcid. com and livablebuckhead.org.

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16 | Out & About

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HIGH HOLIDAY WORKOUT Thursday, Sept. 28, 6:45 to 9 p.m.

All ages are invited for Zumba and a Sh’Bam dance party at the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta. Beginners to advanced welcome; open to the community. Free. 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody. Register: atlantajcc.org. Info: Rachael Rinehart at 678-812-4022 or rachael.rinehart@atlantajcc.org.


Bring your flashlight for a guided, family-oriented hike and hear the sounds of nocturnal creatures at the Dunwoody Nature Center. The hike follows trails around the wetlands and returns about an hour later to the meadow, where hot cocoa will be served around a fire. Strollers not recommended. Free. RSVP requested: email holly@ dunwoodynature.org or call 770-3943322. 5343 Roberts Drive, Dunwoody. Info: dunwoodynature.org.

SANDY SPRINGS LIGHTNING 10K/5K Saturday, Sept. 23, 7 a.m. registration, 8 a.m. race start.

This 27th annual race on a fast, flat course through Sandy Springs neighborhoods is a Peachtree Road Race qualifier and kicks off the 32nd annual Sandy Springs Festival. $30-$40. Race day registration: Sandy Springs United Methodist Church Activities Center parking lot, 85 Mt. Vernon Highway N.E., Sandy Springs. Parking and other info: sandyspringsfestival.com.


Sunday, Sept. 24, 4 to 7 p.m. Free beginner dance lesson at 3 p.m.

The Grammy Award-winning Chubby Carrier & the Bayou Swamp Band bring their traditional accordion, 70s funk and classic R&B sound to the Dorothy Benson Center in an event sponsored by the Atlanta Cajun Zydeco Association. Tickets: $18; $5 students; $14 active military. No partner necessary. All ages welcome. Cajun/Creole food for sale. 6500 Vernon Woods Drive, Sandy Springs. Info: aczadance.org or 877-338-2420.

FALL NATIVE PLANT SALE Friday, Sept. 29 and Saturday, Sept. 30, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Members only preview: Thursday, Sept. 28, 4 to 7 p.m.

Azaleas, hazelnuts, ground covers, evergreens, veggies and a variety of butterfly attractors in full bloom are among the items that will be up for grabs in the Fall Native Plant Sale at the Chattahoochee Nature Center Greenhouse. Horticulturists and master gardeners will be on site. Admission is free to the horticulture area. Chattahoochee Nature Center, 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell. Info: 770-992-2055 ext. 229 or horticulture@chattnaturecenter.org.


Saturday, Sept. 23, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 24, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The 32nd annual two-day festival will feature art, live music, cultural performances, a pet parade with prizes on Saturday at 10 a.m., children’s activities, classic rides, 10K and 5K races, a Battle of the Bands on Sunday from noon to 3:30 p.m., a car show and a variety of food options. A new Heritage Sandy Springs exhibit about Jewish life and culture in the city, L’Chaim Sandy Springs, officially opens during the festival. Festival admission is free, for the first time in its history. Heritage Green, 6075 Sandy Springs Circle, Sandy Springs. Info: sandyspringsfestival.com.


Saturday, Sept. 23, 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Members preview begins at 9 a.m.

The Atlanta History Center’s celebration of Southern culture includes folk art, storytelling, demonstrations of crafts such as woodworking and blacksmithing, and acoustic music by The Whiskey Gentry band at the Smith Family Farm, a preserved 1840s farm. Michael W. Twitty, author of “The Cooking Gene,” will demonstrate open hearth cooking. Hot dogs, craft beers available. Admission is included in cost of general admission; free to members. 130 West Paces Ferry Road N.W., Buckhead. Tickets and other info: atlantahistorycenter.com/family.

SEPTEMBER 15 - 28, 2017

Out & About | 17





Tuesday, Sept. 26 to Sunday, Oct. 1, mall hours. Preview night is Monday, Sept. 25, from 6 to 9 p.m.

More than 75,000 gently used books will be for sale at bargain prices when the Atlanta, Cobb County and North Fulton branches of the American Association of University Women hold their 58th annual book fair. Free. $10 admission on preview night. Lower level of the Dillard’s wing at Perimeter Mall, 4400 AshfordDunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Proceeds fund educational endeavors. Info: bookfairaauw.com.

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Thursday, Sept. 22 through Sunday, Oct. 15

Tony Wendice has married his wife, Margot, for her money and now plans to murder her for the same reason in this classic crime mystery presented by Stage Door Players. North DeKalb Cultural Center, 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Schedule and ticket info: stagedoorplayers.net.

DINNER AND A DIVA Tuesday, Sept. 26, 7 p.m.

Singers from the Capitol City Opera Company will perform highlights from Giuseppe Verdi’s opera “Aida” in the monthly Dinner and a Diva program at Petite Violette restaurant. Appetizers and cash bar begin at 6:30 p.m. Three-course dinner includes a glass of wine. Reservations required. 2948 Clairmont Road N.E., Brookhaven. Pricing and reservations: 404-634-6268. Dinner and a Diva info: ccityopera.org. Continued on page 18

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18 | Out & About

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Sprong Children’s Shoes 3716 Roswell Rd, Atlanta, GA 30342 (404) 846-8506

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Thursday, Sept. 28, 6:30 p.m.

The acoustic band Crooked Wits performs in the last “Sunset Sips” event of the year at the Chattahoochee Nature Center. The family-friendly event welcomes picnics. Cash bar. Free to CNC members; included with general admission for others. $10 adults, $7 seniors and students; $6 children ages 3 and up. Chattahoochee Nature Center, 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell. Info: chattnaturecenter.org.


Through Saturday, Oct. 28. Tuesdays through Saturdays 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Artist Andrew Lyman’s photography and multimedia work is on display at the Spruill Gallery & Gift Shop in conjunction with Atlanta Celebrates Photography, a community photo festival. An Artist Talk at the gallery is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 7, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Both events free. 4681 Ashford-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Info: spruillarts.org/ gallery or 770-394-4019.

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SEPTEMBER 15 - 28, 2017

Out & About | 19


LEARN SOMETHING “THE COOKING GENE” Thursday, Sept. 21, 8 p.m.

Culinary and cultural historian Michael W. Twitty, author of “The Cooking Gene,” a memoir of his roots and the origins of Southern cuisine, will speak at the Atlanta History Center. Twitty was named one of “Fifty People Changing the South” by Southern Living magazine. $10 general public, $5 members. 130 West Paces Ferry Road N.W., Buckhead. Info: atlantahistorycenter.com.

“THE CUBAN AFFAIR” Tuesday, Sept. 26, 7:30 p.m.

New York Times best-selling author Nelson DeMille presents his new novel, “The Cuban Affair,” at the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta. DeMille will appear in conversation with Alan P. Gross, who was accused of spying when he was working as a subcontractor for the U.S. Agency for International Development and spent five years in a Cuban jail cell. $10-$15. Info: 678-8124005, or atlantajcc.org/bookfestival.


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20 | Community

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‘Camino Tom’ Beck shares his 50 years of experience on the trail BY GARY GOETTLING Tom Beck and his fellow Arctic hikers didn’t think twice about cooking a fresh fish dinner out in the open over a campfire — until company arrived. “A huge grizzly bear came into our camp area and raised up on his haunches and just looked at us,” the 72-year-old hiking enthusiast and longtime Sandy Springs resident recalled. Fortunately, “we made a lot of noise, and he turned around and walked off.” Beck and two companions had been flown from an Alaskan Eskimo village named Bettles to a point about 250 miles into the bush, where they began their trek. Heading northwest through the Atlanata Valley, they hiked for two weeks to a rendezvous with a supply plane bearing kayaks. After six days of paddling along the Noatac River, they were picked up and returned to civilization. “It was an awesome trip and a jawdropping experience as well,” Beck said. “We had caribou running through our camp, too.” Over the past five decades, the retired insurance executive figures he’s walked about 8,000 miles, including hikes at “just about every major mountain in the U.S.” Three years ago, he completed his fourth journey along the Camino de Santiago — The Way of St. James — a 1,200-year-old route followed by early Christians making a pilgrimage to the burial site of the apostle James at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in the coastal town of Galicia, Spain. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the

Camino de Santiago is the collective name for a number of pathways that all converge at Galicia. Beck favors the 500-mile route starting in St.-Jean-Piedde-Port, France, and continues over the Pyrennes Mountains and across the width of Spain to the coast. This popular route draws about 200,000 hikers and cyclists a year. “You walk through a lot of tiny and medium-size Spanish towns on a paved surface, but about 70 percent of the trail is through woodlands, eucalyptus groves and vineyards,” said Beck, who first hiked the Camino in 2011, then again in 2012, 2013 and 2014. “It’s a moderate hike,” he continued. “It’s definitely not strenuous like the Appalachian Trail, but some parts are a little tougher than others. “If you’re relatively fit and don’t mind getting up in the morning and walking 12 or 15 miles a day for 35 days, you can do the Camino,” he added. “I’ve hiked with people in their nineties, and I remember walking with a lady pushing a carriage with her eight-month-old son inside. She was walking the whole trail.” Hostels along the way provide places to eat, socialize and spend the night. “After a long day of hiking, it’s great to get to your hostel in the late afternoon and sit and drink beer and wine with interesting people from all over the world,” he said. Beck started serious hiking more than 50 years ago when he and his best friend and co-worker, David Adams, decided on a whim to walk the 2,190-mile-

Reporter Classifieds

long Appalachian Trail. They completed all but the final 250 miles. “I don’t know why I haven’t walked the rest of it,” Beck said, “except that it’s strenuous and I’m getting older, and I no longer feel the need to say I’ve hiked the whole thing.” Beck teaches a class on international hiking every other month at the REI at Perimeter Mall, where he’s affectionately known as “Camino Tom.” His classes draw anywhere from 25 to 150 experienced and would-be hikers, with more than 1,000 having attended since Beck began the lectures five years ago. For long-distance hikes like the Camino, Beck recommends placing 25 pounds of sugar or flour — they’re compact and easy to load — in a backpack and wearing it for a 30-minute walk every day or every other day for a month prior to the hike. “This helps prepare your back, but otherwise there’s not much else you can do to get ready for walking several miles every day for weeks,” noted Beck, who also works part-time in REI’s shoe

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Drivers Wanted Senior Services North Fulton, a non-profit organization, has an opportunity for drivers in their transportation program. If you live in the Sandy Springs or Roswell area of north Fulton, would like to earn some extra money, set your own hours, like to drive, have a car, and like to be of service to seniors, please contact Mobility Manager at

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department. Beck stays in hiking shape by walking around his neighborhood and jogging about a mile and a half a day, but he’s not necessarily preparing for another Camino hike. “I’ve had a little bit of heart problems, and I don’t know if my legs would allow me to do that again, so I don’t know,” he said. “But I’d like to do it again, definitely.” For more information on the Camino de Santiago, call Camino Tom at 404-680-2325.

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Classifieds | 21


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22 | Community

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Big Al’s Butter Made Burgers now open in Buckhead! PHOTOS BY EVELYN ANDREWS

Voted Atlanta’s Best Burger Atlanta Business Journal

From left, Cristi Wells, BCM’s chief development officer, stands with Keeva Kase, BCM’s new CEO and president, and Eloise Williams, BCM’s chief program officer, at the organization’s headquarters at 2847 Piedmont Road.

Group steps up to help more homeless people Continued from page 1


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“With the shelter’s closure, we most certainly expect an increase in community members seeking assistance – looking for shelter, food, water, hygiene products, and financial assistance. While BCM is a wonderful resource for those we serve, the loss of a major shelter is a community issue we all must address together,” Kase said. “Our community must strive to be one where no one is lacking for food and shelter.” BCM also helped provide evacuees and homeless community members food, water and hygiene products during Hurricane Irma on Sept. 11. Kase, a Georgia native, most recently worked at a free speech advocacy group in Charlottesville, Va. and previously worked in foster care in New Jersey. As the new leader of the organization, he said he hopes to expand the shelter and commission a study on the organization to find areas needing improvement. Located at 2847 Piedmont Road, BCM provides financial assistance and necessities to people in 15 ZIP codes across northwest Atlanta and to anyone who is homeless. In 2016, BCM helped over 6,700 people through its Emergency Assistance Program; helped prevent homelessness for over 1,200 people by providing one-time assistance with rent, mortgage or utilities; and provided over 15,500 bags of groceries to hungry families. BCM operates a thrift store on Miami Circle that provides free clothing to people in crisis and sells affordable clothing to the community. More than 400 volunteers provide financial education, help with day-to-day operations and staff a food bank. For Kase, those numbers are good, but they aren’t enough. Their work isn’t only

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Buckhead Christian Ministry operates a food bank at its Piedmont Road location. The food is donated by the community and churches. BH

SEPTEMBER 15 - 28, 2017

Community | 23


Police Blotter / Buckhead The following information, involving events that took place Aug. 20-Sept. 2, was provided by the Zone 2 precinct of the Atlanta Police Department.

AG G R AVAT E D A S S AU LT 3200 block of Roswell Road — Aug. 20 1800 block of Peachtree Road — Aug. 22 2100 block of Faulkner Road — Aug. 23 1900 block of Monroe Drive — Aug. 24 1600 block of Leona Street — Aug. 28

Buckhead Christian Ministry provides hygiene items and baby supplies to families in need and to the homeless community.

about providing food, but helping people become self-sufficient through financial help and education. Kase wants to provide more of those services to help people out of homelessness and become financially stable. “It’s not enough to say that we gave out $25,000 worth of clothes. That’s fine, that’s wonderful. It’s not enough to give out 20,000 bags of groceries. All of our services need to lead to self-sufficiency,” Kase said. To find out how BCM can help more people become self-sufficient, Kase is hoping to find a firm or doctoral student willing to do an academic study on BCM. “We need to get a strong, comprehensive understanding of our long-term impact. “We need to find out what we are doing well and what we maybe need to stop doing,” Kase said. “If we can’t figure those things out, we’re not making the best of our donors’ dollars and can’t do our best work.” BCM was founded in 1987 by six local churches to provide emergency assistance, and, in 2001, it began offering longer-term assistance. To prevent homelessness by intervening before families lose their homes, the organization provides weekly case management meetings with a staff social worker, money management classes, and time with a volunteer financial coach to establish a household budget. BCM also offers a program that provides 12 months of rent and utilities to homeless families. Because they consistently run out of parking and are outgrowing their space, Kase hopes to expand BCM by either enlarging its location on Piedmont Road or adding a location. “We are at capacity here. If I want to hire one more person, they’ll have to work on the roof,” Kase said. Another option is leaving its main building and openBuckhead Christian Ministry offers free bread and baked ing smaller locations goods donated by local bakeries to people waiting. throughout Buckhead instead. If the study shows people are coming from a variety of places far away, several smaller locations may be more effective, Kase said. “We need to find where the people we serve come from and be close to where they are,” he said. BCM relies on private donations and financial support from its 30 member churches. Kase said he hopes they and the community will support them during growth. “We need the community’s support to step up and help us grow,” he said. To increase support during expansion and improvements, Kase wants to add seven new member churches to BCM. “Our staff and volunteers need to reach their fullest potential. We need to give them support, facilities and infrastructure they need to do that,” he said. For more information on programs and volunteering, visit buckheadchristianministry.org. BH

2500 block of Chantilly Drive — Aug. 28

R O B B E RY 2400 block of Piedmont Road — Aug. 20 1300 block of Collier Road — Aug. 20

LARCENY Between Aug. 20 and Aug. 26, there

were 45 larcenies from vehicles reported across Zone 2 and 28 reported cases of larceny and shoplifting. Between Aug. 27 and Sept. 2, there were 49 larcenies from vehicles reported across Zone 2 and 24 reported cases of larceny and shoplifting.

B U R G L A RY 2300 block of Bolton Road — Aug. 20 2400 block of Cheshire Bridge Road —

Aug. 20 2500 block of Forrest Avenue — Aug. 21 3200 block of Lenox Road — Aug. 27 1700 block of Howell Mill Road —

2300 block of Bolton Road — Aug. 21

Aug. 27

300 block of Deering Road — Aug. 23

2900 block of Pharr Court — Aug. 28

500 block of Bishop Street — Aug. 23

900 block of Crane Road — Aug. 29

100 block of Park Circle — Aug. 24

700 block of Sidney Marcus Boule-

1900 block of Peachtree Road — Aug. 25 800 block of Huff Road — Aug. 26 1100 block of Howell Mill Road — Aug. 28 1400 block of Brooklyn Avenue —

Aug. 28

vard— Aug. 30 2300 block of Adams Drive — Aug. 31 600 block of Garson Drive — Sept. 1

AU TO T H E F T There were 10 reported incidents of

500 block of Main Street — Aug. 29

auto theft between Aug. 20 and Aug. 26.

3000 block of Pharr Court North —

There were 12 reported incidents of

Aug. 31

auto theft between Aug. 27 and Sept. 2.

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YOU’RE INVITED to the PNC Buckhead Branch

We want to reward you for banking with us. When you open an account with us, you receive the resources we have to offer. Our knowledgeable staff and convenient Virtual Wallet® money management tools will help put you on the path to success. OFFERS END SEPTEMBER 30, 2017

Earn up to



when you open and use a select new PNC checking product.* To receive the reward, simply establish a qualifying direct deposit and make 10 purchases with your PNC Bank Visa® Debit Card. Reward amount depends on which checking product you open.

CALL US TO SCHEDULE YOUR APPOINTMENT: PNC Buckhead Branch 3146 Peachtree Road Atlanta, GA 30305 CALL: 404-464-3386 BRANCH HOURS: M–Th 9–5 • F 9–6 • Sat 9–1


*You may earn a $100 reward if you open a new Virtual Wallet®. You may earn a $300 reward if you open a new Virtual Wallet® with Performance Spend or Performance Checking. You may earn a $400 reward if you open a new Virtual Wallet with Performance Select or Performance Select Checking. You will only be considered for one reward amount, which is based on the product type you open. To qualify for the reward, you must visit the PNC Buckhead Branch to open the new checking account between 9/1/2017 and 9/30/2017 and the following conditions must be met within the first 60 days: (a) qualifying direct deposit(s) must be received and (b) 10 qualifying purchases must be made using the PNC Bank Visa® Debit Card associated with the newly opened account. Your checking account must remain open in order for you to receive the reward, which will be credited to the eligible account within 60 days after all conditions have been met and will be identified as “Cash Trans Promo Reward” on your monthly statement. A qualifying direct deposit is defined as a recurring direct deposit of a paycheck, pension, Social Security or other regular monthly income electronically deposited by an employer or an outside agency into a Performance or Performance Select Checking Account, or the Spend Account of a Virtual Wallet, Virtual Wallet with Performance Spend or Virtual Wallet with Performance Select. The total amount of all qualifying direct deposits credited to your checking account must be at least $500 for Virtual Wallet, $2,000 for Virtual Wallet with Performance Spend or Performance Checking, or $5,000 for Virtual Wallet with Performance Select or Performance Select Checking. Credit card cash advance transfers, transfers from one account to another or deposits made at a branch or ATM do not qualify as qualifying direct deposits. A qualifying debit card purchase is defined as any debit card purchase made at point of sale using your signature or PIN, or a purchase made electronically or online using your debit card number, including recurring payments. New account will not be eligible for offer if any signer has signing authority on an existing PNC Bank consumer checking account or has closed an account within the past 90 days, or has been paid a promotional premium in the past 12 months. If multiple accounts are opened with the same signers, only one account will be eligible for the premium. For this offer, signing authority will be defined by the customer name(s) and Social Security number(s) registered on the account. Offer may be extended, modified or discontinued at any time and may vary by market. The value of the reward may be reported on Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form 1099, and may be considered taxable income to you. Please consult your tax advisor regarding your specific situation. Visa is a registered trademark of Visa International Service Association and used under license. ©2017 The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. All rights reserved. PNC Bank, National Association. Member FDIC BH