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SEPTEMBER 30 - OCT. 13, 2016 • VOL. 8 — NO. 20


Brookhaven Reporter


Perimeter Business ► Consulates help small businesses cross borders PAGE 4 ► Electric bikes roll into Perimeter PAGE 5

Buford Highway apartments to be torn down for houses BY DYANA BAGBY

Ready to wing it Alan Armstrong does a final pre-flight check on his Mitsubishi Zero, a Japanese WWII torpedo bomber, during Atlanta Warbird Weekend at DeKalb-Peachtree Airport on Sept. 26. The two-day event featured commemorative aircraft, cockpit tours, rides and a nod to the AVG Flying Tigers 75th Anniversary. See more photos on page 15.


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Pulte Homes is seeking to buy land on Buford Highway where two large apartment complexes sit. The company plans to tear them down to build single-family houses and townhomes, potentially displacing hundreds of people now living there. Pulte Homes, based in Atlanta, is one of the country’s largest homebuilding companies. The company is seeking to buy The Terraces at Brookhaven and Northeast Pla-

Page 17

Residents clash with city leaders over possible parkland purchase BY DYANA BAGBY More than 50 people packed a conference room at Brookhaven City Hall on Sept. 21 to confront city leaders over what they planned to do with nearly 2 acres of land at the end of Remington Road at the southern end of Murphey Candler Park, should the city purchase it. Mayor John Ernst, Councilmember Linley Jones and City Manager Christian Sigman met with residents of the Dunwoody Forest Neighborhood Association, several See RESIDENTS on page 13

8/31/16 9:36 AM

2 | Community ■

City re-bids rewrite of Brookhaven-Peachtree Overlay District BY DYANA BAGBY

The Brookhaven City Council is slowing down its zoning review of the controversial Brookhaven-Peachtree Overlay District. The council voted unanimously Sept. 27 to deny extending a contract with Sycamore Consulting and Atlanta-based urban planning firm TSW for $136,500 to conduct the overlay district zoning review. Sycamore is currently facilitating the city’s residential character area studies as part of an overall review of the city’s comprehensive plan. The city will now put out a public bid for the overlay district zoning review and rewrite. The bid process of advertising, accepting bids and awarding a final contract takes about three months, said Patrice Ruffin, deputy director of Community Development. The overlay district rezoning rewrite to be conducted by a firm yet to be hired could also put a kink in the city’s plans for a citywide zoning rewrite. Late last year, the city hired Duncan Associates to conduct a zoning rewrite of the entire city. Shortly after Mayor John Ernst took office this year, he postponed the zoning rewrite until after a reworking of the city’s comprehensive plan was completed. Ernst said he wanted the comprehensive plan review because he heard from many residents saying they did not have enough input before it was adopted in 2014. The character area studies of residential neighborhoods that began in July and include the community charrettes facilitated by Sycamore are that comprehensive plan review. Sycamore is expected to make a presentation on the city’s comprehensive

plan to the City Council in November. Tentative plans are for the city’s zoning rewrite to begin in early 2017, Ruffin said. “The city hired [Duncan Associates] in November of last year for the entire city rezoning rewrite,” Ernst said. “They’re waiting. They have a contract and are on hold.” Councilmember Bates Mattison, who pushed for the zoning review of the overlay district that includes Dresden Drive to be finished before the city’s six-month zoning moratorium expires in February, said he was willing SPECIAL to push the timeline The Brookhaven-Peachtree Overlay District has because he wasn’t its own set of zoning guidelines. To see a larger version, go to comfortable hiring Sycamore Consulting for the overlay “But [this review] will have a signifidistrict project. cant impact on the city’s future and esWith the overlay district zoning repecially on the commercial corridor. This write to be ongoing past February, the is an extremely important area for comcity can either decide to extend the zonmercial development,” he said. ing moratorium, or lift it with uncertainThe council was set to vote Sept. 13 to ty of what the final plans for the area will hire Sycamore and TSW based on a staff include. recommendation to review the overlay “It’s my belief that we are wanting to district that includes Dresden Drive and pull the trigger because this is the easiest Peachtree Road where numerous contenoption,” Mattison said of the proposed Syamore/TSW contract. tious mixed-use developments have been

proposed in recent months and years. Residents and developers have clashed at numerous public meetings on the proposed developments that include apartment buildings with retail on the ground floor on Dresden Drive. Homeowners living around Dresden Drive have also packed City Hall several times this year wearing red shirts to show their opposition to the proposed developments that they say encroaches on their suburban lives with increased density and more traffic, among other issues. The City Council has denied one mixeduse development on Dresden Drive this year and another one is pending. Mattison said at the Sept. 13 meeting he had heard from members of the Brookhaven Peachtree Community Alliance that they wanted to review and have input on the firm the city hired to look at the overlay district zoning. The BPCA started the Livable Community Initiative study that led to the overlay district nearly 10 years ago under DeKalb County. “I very much value the intent and purpose of what we’re doing here. But I do not believe Sycamore is the right company,” Mattison said during the council meeting. He said his opinion was not meant to disparage Sycamore or TSW, and that Sycamore’s strength was in community outreach “and for doing charrettes.” Mattison said it was important to hire a firm that will look at each individual parcel in the overlay district as they come up with a zoning rewrite for the area. He also suggested that the firm hired to conduct the overlay district rezoning review and rewrite work with Duncan Associates as it completes the city’s overall rezoning rewrite.

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Community | 3

Council amends Brookhaven’s ethics ordinance BY DYANA BAGBY

Brookhaven City Council recently voted to amend its ethics ordinance to clarify the council’s role should a time come when a councilmember needs to be removed. The council voted Aug. 23 to make changes that fill what City Attorney Chris Balch called a “gaping hole” in the ethics ordinance by saying the mayor and City Council will preside over any investigation and public hearings for due process where a councilmember, or mayor, is subject to being removed based on an ethics complaint. The person being investigated, however, will not be part of the presiding board. Councilmember Bates Mattison, who voted against the amendment, said he was not comfortable with the City Council being “judge and jury” when it comes to deciding the fate of a fellow councilmember.

“I’d rather see and the official facthe jurors be indeing the complaint, pendent parties, an or his or her attorethics commission ney, to give openor even citizens,” ing statements. Withe said. nesses are allowed City Attorney from both sides and Chris Balch exthere are closing plained there was statements. Crossnot a mechanism examination of witin place to remove nesses is allowed a councilmember and the city is given in the city’s ethics subpoena power. ordinance, which BROOKHAVEN MAYOR JOHN ERNST Last year, forleft a hole in the mer mayor Rebecca process. “You can Chase Williams ordrive a truck or five or six freight trains dered an ethics review of Mattison afthrough it,” he said. ter he took a paid job as executive direcThe amended ordinance outlines the tor at Brookhaven Innovation Academy, council’s role in conducting an investithe new public charter school he and the gation into a viable complaint against City Council helped create. an elected official in which the council An independent attorney was hired holds public hearings that include gathby the council to conduct the investigaering evidence to remove the official. tion and concluded it was legal for MatThe hearing will include time for tison to take the position. The legal rethe prosecutor of the case, an attorney, view advised Mattison recuse himself from any BIA-related discussion and also strongly suggested he not accept a fundraising bonus as part of his job. Mattison stepped down from his BIA post in May.

If we change to have an ethics board, that doesn’t change the fact that these procedures need to be in there.

City spending $1.4 million to pave roads this year

A review of the city’s paving plan shows Brookhaven has paved nearly 19 percent of its streets since it incorporated three years ago and the number of streets being patched and paved increased each year. In 2016, the city is on track to pave 4.57 miles at a cost of $1.4 million. In 2013, the city conducted a laser truck survey of all streets and in 2014 started paving, covering 8.57 miles at a cost of $1.74 million. In 2015, the city paved 9.62 miles at a cost of $2.52 million, according to a presentation by City Manager Christian Sigman and Public Works Director Richard Meehan at the Sept. 13 City Council meeting. Funding for the paving came out of the city’s Homestead Optional Sales Tax and Georgia Department of Transportation grants. In 2013, the city’s streets were ranked, with 20 percent considered in excellent condition, according to national standards. Today, 31 percent of the city’s streets are considered to be in excellent shape. Sigman and Meehan suggested the council purchase Lucidity Software to prioritize streets needing to be paved and to help eliminate the backlog of streets that need to be paved within 10 years. The city also has a five-year paving plan based on the city spending $2.1 million per year plus any GDOT grants it receives.



Briarwood Road from North Druid Hills Road to Buford Highway

Coosawaatee Drive from Cartecay Drive to Briarwood Road

Clairmont Place from the west end to the east end

Georgian Drive East from Bragg Street to Clairmont Road

Somervale Court from the south end to Clairmont Way

Milowyn Place from Thompson Road to Alta Vista Drive

Corporate Boulevard from Northeast Expressway to Buford Highway

Alta Vista Drive from Grant Drive to Milowyn Place

Ashwoody Court from Ashwoody Trail to Candler Lake

Oakland Trace from Osborne Road to the west end

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The council and Balch said there was no rush to approve the amended ordinance because of a pending case to remove a council member. But Balch said to not have a mechanism in place to remove a councilmember leaves the city in a precarious position should something happen. Mattison said the people should be able to decide what to do with a councilmember. “Let the people judge us. They voted us in, they can vote us out,” he said. Mayor John Ernst said it was important to have language in the ordinance outlining due process and that the council can continue to discuss the issue at future meetings. “If we change to have an ethics board, that doesn’t change the fact that these procedures need to be in there,” he said. In Dunwoody, the city has an Ethics Board where complaints against elected officials can be filed. The board is made up of five members and two alternates appointed by the mayor and approved by the City Council. Sandy Springs also has an Ethics Board with five members and two alternates who are appointed by the mayor and approved by the City Council.

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4 | Perimeter Business ■

Perimeter Business A monthly section focusing on business in the Reporter Newspapers communities

Consulates help small businesses cross international borders BY JOHN RUCH

The Indian government consulate for the Southeast, operating from a mansion on Sandy Springs’ Glenridge Drive, has the standard passport and visa office. But the main reason the consulate opened shop there in 2012 was to do business. The northern Perimeter area has 13 foreign government consulates, and many more unofficial “honorary consulates,” that play a little-known but key role in helping small businesses do international deals. “I jokingly say Sandy Springs is the only city with its own foreign policy, because we do have a significant number of consulates here,” said Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul. Countries with consulates in Paul’s city include India, Colombia, Costa Rica and Nigeria. And it’s not an accident—Paul’s predecessor, the late Mayor Eva Galambos, pushed hard to convince the Indian consulate to open in Sandy Springs. “Eva’s mindset, and it certainly still drives me today, is the world is no longer insular,” said Paul. “You’ve got to be able to look beyond your borders…If you’re not forming relationships around the world, you’re getting left in the dust.” Nagesh Singh, India’s consul general in Atlanta, said his country had business on its mind, too. “As the Southeast started emerging as

for example, frequently works with the Buckhead-based Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, which represents mostly large corporations, and the Latin American Chamber of Commerce of Georgia, which represents mostly small businesses. Conexx, a private LEFT, CITY OF SANDY SPRINGS; RIGHT, CONSULATE GENERAL OF MEXICO, ATLANTA America-Israel busiAt left, Indian Consul General Nagesh Singh, left, receives a proclamation from Sandy Springs ness networking orMayor Rusty Paul last year. Right, from left, Javier Díaz de León, consul general, Consulate General of México in Atlanta, and Juan Perez and Gabriel Vaca, both with UPS, attend the ganization serving the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s Membership Meeting on September 21. Southeast, frequently works on Perimeter a manufacturing hub…we started noticing small companies navigate rules, regulabusiness connections. the growth here,” he said of the choice of a tions and tax systems. And it goes both di“Basically, it’s a triangle,” said Conexx Sandy Springs consulate. rections—foreign companies coming here, President Guy Tessler, describing the joint The booming Southeast economy also and vice versa. work among his organization, the Israegets the attention of countries that are al“The large corporations, the big boys, li consulate in Atlanta, and the Israeli govready longtime trading partners, such as have their own ways of doing that,” Díaz ernment’s Economic Mission in New York Mexico, the second-biggest international said. “But we do help a lot of medium [and] City. Working together, he said, they can efbuyer of Georgia goods. Mexico has long small businesses.” ficiently find the proper business partners had a metro Atlanta consulate, now operMultinational companies like Coca-Coamong the hundreds or thousands availating from Chantilly Drive, just across I-85 la and UPS also connect with the consulable in the U.S. and Israeli economies. from Brookhaven and Buckhead. ates, the consul generals said, but more for That “triangle” recently went to work in “It’s no secret the Atlanta region has bedirect talks about government policy rathcreating an innovative Sister City relationcome a multicultural and diverse market,” er than nitty-gritty business help. ship between Sandy Springs and the Westsaid Javier Díaz de Léon, Mexico’s consul While the consulates act as a resource ern Galilee Cluster, a group of local governgeneral and a Sandy Springs resident. for business information, they don’t do it Díaz and Singh said their consulates’ alone. They often work with internationContinued on page 9 business work usually involves helping al or cultural business associations. Díaz,




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SEPTEMBER 30 - OCT. 13, 2016

Perimeter Business | 5

Electric bikes roll into the Perimeter market dents who want to get around campus. And we have some people who are 75 to 85 years old and they say they don’t want to give up their quality of life,” Hunger said. In other words, there is no target market, he said. Hunger said his business does attract more leisure riders rather than competitive, hard-core cyclists. “There are two very distinct groups of cyclists,” he said. Helen Gardner, general manager of Peachtree Bikes with stores in Sandy Springs and Buckhead, agreed there are vast differences between those who like their road bikes and those who want to ride an e-bike. “I thought, ‘What’s the point?’” she said. “I didn’t understand them,” she said. But in the past few years as the popularity of e-bikes has moved from China and Europe to the U.S., Gardner and other touring and road bike fans and stores have opened up to a different kind of cyclist. “We don’t stock many e-bikes. We started carrying them a couple years,” she said. “But we’re still selling regular bikes hand over fist.” The e-bikes are preferred by a totally different clientele than what normally comes into their stores, and Gardner predicts they will bring in a “new genre of customers” in the coming years. Rebecca Serna, executive director of the Atlanta Bicyle Coalition, said she loves her


Eric Hunger has opened his own ElectroBike store in Executive Park in Brookhaven.


It had been 18 years since Eric Hunger of Sandy Springs had gotten on a bike. Bad knees from playing tennis kept him from a onceloved form of leisure activity. Then he learned about electric bikes, which use a battery to provide pedal assistance for riders straining up a steep hill or needing an extra push after a long ride. His first ride on an ElectroBike, the brand of one kind of “e-bike,” as electric bikes are known, a couple years ago sold him on the product.

“I rode 4.5 miles around town and had a blast,” he said. Hunger was so sold on e-bikes that this month he opened his own ElectroBike store in Brookhaven’s Executive Park. ElectroBike is an e-bike brand founded in Mexico City, where there are 28 stores; there are also several stores in California. Hunger is banking on what he believes is an emerging form of transportation in the U.S. by bringing the concept to Georgia and Florida, and then, he hopes, the entire Southeast. “We have millennials coming in who want to commute to work. We’ve sold to college stu-

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6 | Perimeter Business ■

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Yvonne Williams has resigned as the The PCIDs are two jointly operated, president and CEO of the Perimeter Comself-taxing business districts in Perimmunity Improvement Districts after 17 eter Center, one on the DeKalb County years. side and one on the Fulton County side. In a PCIDs press release, Williams citWilliams has led the PCIDs since 1999 ed “life balance and through many major family considerations,” streetscape and roadincluding her daughway improvement projter’s upcoming entry ects, as well as many into college, as reasons influential planning for her resignation. studies. She also led the There is no successor PCIDs’ effort to provide in place, according to some key funding to PCIDs spokesperson speed up the forthcomBill Crane. ing I-285/Ga. 400 interCrane said the PCIDs board canceled change reconstruction its September meeting project. for lack of a quorum. “It “As we prepare to is expected that selecttake on and support ing an interim director the largest transporfor the PCIDs will top tation infrastructure JESSICA MCGOWAN their agenda when that project in the histoYvonne Williams meeting is re-schedry of this organization, uled,” he said. as well as within our “Yvonne Williams region, we want to led and helped build thank and recognize out our Perimeter Yvonne Williams for Community Improveher leadership, long ment Districts into tenure and service in one of the ‘best pracbuilding this organitices’ model CIDs in Georgia,” Crane said. zation,” said Central “We wish Yvonne WilPerimeter CID Board liams luck in all her Chair John Heagy in future endeavors as the press release, referring to the interwell as her intended focus on her famichange project. ly at this time.” -- John Ruch


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SEPTEMBER 30 - OCT. 13, 2016

Perimeter Business | 7

Electric bikes roll into the Perimeter market Continued from page 5 electric bike. She has a toddler who loves to be pulled in a trailer behind her. On the hilly roads of Atlanta, pulling a small child is no easy task, but with pedal assist, uphill climbs are eased. “We want biking to be an option to as many people as possible,” she said. And electric bikes are an option for people who want to ride a bike but are intimidated by, for example, the Georgia heat or the hills of their neighborhoods. “The e-bikes will fill an important role in this arena,” she said. Global research firm Navigant Research predicts electric bike sales around the world will jump from $15.7 billion in revenue in 2016 to $24.4 billion by 2025. More than 35 million bikes are expected to be sold globally this year, according to the firm. Electric bikes are powered by lithium

batteries and allow the rider determine how much help is needed during a ride. With the motor turned off, the bike operates as a traditional bicycle. A flip of a switch turns on the bike’s battery to give a boost, or pedal assist, so a rider can easily pedal with the e-bike taking over the hard riding. Many e-bikes also have throttles which allow riders to not pedal as the bike essentially transforms into a scooter. “We have had some people come in and say they are ‘cheater bikes,’” Hunger said. “But it’s up to you to decide how much exercise you want.” E-bike batteries can be charged in conventional electric outlets. In Georgia they are also are allowed on designated bike paths, according to state law. Hunger said his decision to locate in Brookhaven was sealed as he learned more about the Peachtree Creek Greenway project, a 12-mile multi-use path and linear park that is de-

signed to connect the cities of Brookhaven, Chamblee and Doraville and, in the long term, to the Atlanta BeltLine. The Brookhaven City Council approved in August a $35 million master plan for the greenway. In the Perimeter Center, there is also an ongoing push to DYANA BAGBY E-bikes can sell for $1,000 and up. ease car congestion by encouraging bicygy for the commercial area. While the PCIDs cle use with bike paths being built and striped plan does not specify e-bikes in its plan, it does in Dunwoody, Sandy Springs and Brookhaven. feature a Cox Enterprise employee who comThe Perimeter Community Improvement mutes to her job on Peachtree-Dunwoody Districts has also gotten these cities to approve Road in Dunwoody on an e-bike. a proposed bicycle implementation strate-

8 | Perimeter Business ■

Openings Cheeky Taqueria Chastain brought out the ribbon for its grand opening Sept. 19. On hand, Marian MacleodElliott, Nick Ridgely, Suzanne Brown, Adam Clark, general manager, Gene Suttonk, Zac Smith, Matt Hughes, Roger Prichard, Tom Mahaffey, Joe Luranc, Erica RockerWills, Beth Berger and Angela Forrester. The resturant, located at 4600 Roswell Rd. in Sandy Springs, serves Mexican cuisine.


M ER CED ES- B ENZ US A B R EA KS G R O UND A groundbreaking for the Mercedes-Benz USA headquarters at 6480 Barfield Road in Sandy Springs was held Sept. 26. From left, Dietmar Exler, MBUSA’s president and CEO, Gov. Nathan Deal, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul lift the shovels. MBUSA is temporarily headquartered in Dunwoody while awaiting the new building, due in early 2018.

Complete Spine Solutions opened its newest location at Brookhaven Station, 4060 Peachtree Road, Suite J, and celebrated with a ribbon cutting on Sept. 20. On hand for the festivities, Alan Goodman, Simone Cingel, Alyssa Dennis, Francisco Albizu, Dr. David Shapiro, Arlene Shapiro, Rick Martin, Brookhaven City Councilmembers Linley Jones and Joe Gebbia, Department of Labor representatives, Meagan Hanson, City Councilmember Bates Mattison and Elizabeth Warren.

The Dunwoody Perimeter Chamber celebrated the relocation of Travelfaire after 32 years to 1711 Mount Vernon Road on Sept. 22 with a ribbon cutting. In attendance: front row, from left, Peggy Grant, Bill Grant, Meredy Shortal, Dunwoody Mayor Dennis Shortal, Celia Gardner, co-owner, Jan Gardner, co-owner, Jan McMullen, Carla Thomas and Melissa Brown. Back row, Scott Nathanson, Leslie Shahan, Gary Hinchliffe and Mary Jo Thrasher.

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Buckhead residents Robin and Doug Shore were honored by Kennesaw State University’s Coles College of Business with the naming of its Entrepreneurship Center at a ceremony on Sept. 24. The Shores established an annual scholarship eight years ago for deserving students in sales and marketing, the “Business Press Educational Foundation (BPEF)/Joseph Shore Scholarship Fund.” Doug Shore is an advisory board member for Springs Publishing LLC, the parent company of Reporter Newspapers.

SEPTEMBER 30 - OCT. 13, 2016

Perimeter Business | 9

Join us for a free educational event featuring Jennifer Smrtka, ARNP-C, MSCN, an expert who will discuss topics about multiple sclerosis (MS). Plus, get some tips for talking about MS with friends and loved ones. Mayor Shlomo Bohbot, left, presents Sandy Springs City Manager John McDonough with a gift from the Western Gallilee Cluster.


Consulates help small businesses cross international borders Continued from page 4

terms the Americans may take as a polite brush-off and Israelis interpret more literally. “The simple phrase ‘It’s interesting’ has caused many headaches and need for interpretation,” he said. Singh noted that doing business in In-

ments in Israel. Paul specified that he wanted the Sister City to be more than the typical cultural exchange. He wanted an ongoing economic development partnership focused on medical technology, tourism, and information technology and cyber security. Conexx helped find the right region of Israel with the right sort of industries to match Sandy Springs. Government leaders from Sandy Springs visited the Western Galilee last year, and some of the Israeli area’s SPECIAL From left, Yael Ron, Western Galilee Cluster, Lisa Nash, principal, leaders visited here Heards Ferry Elementary School, Yariv Hameiri and earlier this month, Mayor Yechilei observe schoolchildren at work. stopping at such places as Emory dia can be tough enough for Indians, as Saint Joseph’s Hospital. But besides that there are 29 national languages, each spotraditional form of exchange, “task forces” ken by at least 20 million people. “I’m more of officials from both sides are staying in comfortable speaking with you than [with touch for ongoing connections. someone] in southern India,” he said. The outcomes can be surprising. Paul Likewise, Southern hospitality can be said that during a stop at The Weber a surprise to Indian immigrants who are School, one Israeli mayor noticed the linomore familiar with north communities or leum floor—a common product here, but ones in California. Singh said that when he unusual in the Western Galilee. The mayand his wife took a walk after moving to or was interested in the durable material, Buckhead, they were surprised that drivers and it turns out some of it is manufactured waved at them. “’Who are these people?’” in Georgia. “It’s even mundane things like he recalled wondering. “Then I realized it’s that,” Paul said. a normal thing to do.” Doing business can require some cul“Better cultural understanding of each tural interpretation, and local consuls said other’s habits and ways is almost 50 perthey wished they were asked for help with cent of the job done,” Singh said, “wheththat more often from both sides. er it’s the political sphere or the economic Tessler said that Americans and Israesphere.” lis can misunderstand each other over

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Opinion / Mexican community’s contribution to Georgia economy Wherever new immigrants go, they face significant challenges. Migrants have very high resilience and capability for integration with the members of the communities where they live, but most of the time, they struggle against social, economic, cultural and lawful impediments to move forward towards a better life due to their immigration status. However, they face them with dignity and perseverance. For instance, in Georgia, their adaptation process is in many ways a complex issue, considering the many economic and legislative obstacles that immigrants face in their quest for further or higher education. Unfortunately, many residents believe that immigrants do not deserve an opportunity for a better education, or to obtain valid identifications or access to driving licenses. This is hard to understand, considering that an inclusive, better educated and empowered community provides better opportunities for everybody. Nevertheless, some remarkable initiatives of understanding and acceptance have been carried out in this great city and in this state. Such is the case of “Welcoming Atlanta,” an initiative that promotes inclusion and welcoming to build a multicultural community in metro Atlanta. According to Welcoming Atlanta, the city boasts the second-fastestgrowing foreign-born population in the United States. The city government of Atlanta recognizes the richness of the cultural and economic contributions of these communities, and that makes a lot of sense. Since Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed announced in May 2014 the creation of Welcoming Atlanta, this initiative has focused on five key areas of immigrant integration: ensuring equitable access to services; expanding educational oppor-

On The Record

tunities; facilitating economic empowerment; enhancing public safety and fostering a connected community; and building immigrant civic engagement and leadership. Through this initiative, the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs was established, which has been working as the liaison between the city of Atlanta and the immigrant and refugee comJavier Díaz de León munity. The goals of this was appointed as the consul general of Mexico in Atlanta in office are, among others, June. He previously served as consul general in Raleigh, N.C., public safety, community and as deputy consul in New York and San Diego, Calif. engagement, and economic development. ico. Georgia has increased its exports to Here is some hard data that may proMexico in more than 200 percent since vide an overview of the importance and NAFTA started. The top exports from contribution of the Latino and Mexican Georgia to Mexico are: insulated wire; community to Georgia: 1 in 10 Georgians aluminum sheets; gas turbines; civilian are Latinos; in 2014 the purchasing powaircraft and related engines and parts; er of Georgia’s Latinos was $17.6 billion and refrigerating or freezing equipment. (an increase of 1,232 percent since 1990); And on the other side, these are Georgia’s and Latinos in Georgia paid $1.9 billion in top imports from Mexico: insulated wire; federal taxes and $1 billion in state and televisions; motor vehicles; refrigerators local taxes in 2013. or freezers; internal combustion piston Mexico’s importance for Georgia in engines; and lamps and light fittings. terms of our economic relationship is Mexico and Georgia share a strong surprising to many. Mexico is Georgia’s and vibrant relationship, since we are fourth-largest trading partner in the very important to each other. We are world, after China, Germany and Canabusiness partners and we share an interda. Our bilateral trade reached $9.7 bilest in common prosperity. lion dollars in 2015; but more importantMexican migrants moving to Georly, Mexico is the second-largest buyer of gia embrace a dream for a better life. We goods from Georgia, after Canada. Geormust understand their ideals and needs, gia exports to Mexico reached $3.4 bilbut also recognize their daily contribulion in 2015, when Mexico accounted for tions to the economy and social fabric of 9 percent of Georgia’s exports worldwide. Georgia. We encourage them to be proud Besides the above mentioned, Georof their roots, their culture and the place gia’s exports to Mexico have grown at an where they come from, but also to be an annual average rate of 10.2 percent in 21 integrated, empowered and vocal part of years since NAFTA came into force; Georthe communities they live in. gia is the 11th U.S. state in exports to Mex-

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“It’s kind of like planning for war.” --Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul, speaking at a Sept. 21 forum about the traffic impacts from the new Atlanta Braves stadium coming to nearby Cobb County “The city of Sandy Springs opposes any boycott, divestment or sanctions initiative whose purpose is to instill hostility or promote anti-Semitism.” --An excerpt of a Sandy Springs City Council resolution that opposes the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions political movement that is pressuring the Israeli government on alleged human rights issues

“Everyone knows where I stand. We’re a democracy and votes were taken. In a democracy, majority rules.” --Dunwoody Mayor Denis Shortal, speaking at a Sept. 20 town hall, about the recent City Council vote to demolish the Brook Run Theater “I’m struggling with the lack of green space. In my experience, when a developer asks to up density in an area, the government gets something in return. I don’t see what benefits the city is receiving ... in an area full of concrete.” --Dunwoody City Councilmember Lynn Deutsch, speaking at a Sept. 26 council meeting about Transwestern’s proposed office tower next to the Dunwoody MARTA Station

“This is a boycott. No longer will Macy’s, no longer will Lenox…profit off of our suffrage. No longer can they get another black dollar off of our pain.” --“Sir Maejor” Page, leader of Black Lives Matter of Greater Atlanta, during a Sept. 24 protest at Buckhead’s Lenox Square Mall in the wake of more controversial police killings of black men and boys around the nation “The most important piece of advice I give a community like Atlanta that is considering [a cap park] like this is, find your champion.” --Tara Green, president of Klyde Warren Park in Dallas, which is a model for a similar highway-capping park proposed in Buckhead


SEPTEMBER 30 - OCT. 13, 2016

Commentary | 11

The uber-listmakers among us Robin’s Nest Robin Conte

I pulled something out of the pocket of a jacket I hadn’t worn since last season. I know you’ve had that serendipitous experience, of discovering perhaps a forgotten $10 bill or a Robin Conte is a writer Werther’s Original caramel that had been stuffed into a piece and mother of four who of clothing. But that’s not what was in my pocket; it was an lives in Dunwoody. She old list. can be contacted at I find them everywhere—lists in my purse, lists on my nightstand, lists under my lists. You see, I am a compulsive list-maker. I know I’m not the only one. There are those who are list-makers and those who are not list-makers, and then there are those who are uber-listmakers—the truly OCD among us—like me. I am an uber. If you’re not a listmaker, you’re not, and you know you’re not. You’re one of those happy-go-lucky, “que sera, sera” people who skip through life not worrying, being happy. What you don’t know is that you’ve been missing out. You don’t know the little tingle, the small rush, the spark of joy you get when you cross off an item on your list. It’s a cheap thrill, but it’s still a thrill. If you are a list-maker, you know that, too. What you may not know is the difference between yourself and an uber. I am here to illuminate the distinctions. If you are a garden-variety list-maker, you will take the time to jot down the specific groceries you intend to buy or the items you need at the hardware store. You might make a note on your smartThing, reminding yourself to take the dog to the vet or that you need to update your tetanus shot. But you will be able to function normally without a list. If you are an uber, you cannot. Your day will not truly begin until you have a list. List-less, you will wander aimlessly through the kitchen, coffee cup in hand, wondering what you are supposed to do until you see, let’s say, a newspaper begging to be read. That will jolt you into action, so you will find a stray piece of paper and write down “read the newspaper,” along with 10 other tasks, and you can start your day. If you are an uber, you will then prioritize the jobs, and if you are an advanced uber, you will also designate the time periods within the day during which the jobs will take place. If you happen to complete a task that wasn’t yet written on the list, you will write it down just for the satisfaction of crossing it off again. You know you’re an uber if you need that fix. If you are an uber, you will take one task and break it down into multiple steps, i.e.: write the letter, address the envelope, stamp the envelope, mail the envelope. This allows for optimal crossing-off satisfaction. If you are an uber, you will throw a little party for yourself if you actually complete everything on your list. I hope you have been enlightened as to the differences among us. Now, if you are an uber, please cross this off your list and go about your day.

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12 | Community ■

One-of-a-kind political collection now on display at Oglethorpe BY DYANA BAGBY

Oglethorpe University now is home to thousands of pieces of political and campaign memorabilia dating back to Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The James and Camilla Comerford Collection opened Sept. 19 on the second floor of the Weltner Library after Sen. Johnny Isakson spoke at the university’s celebration of Constitution Day. Since he was a small boy, Comerford has collected political buttons, posters and literature, and over nearly 50 years has amassed a collection of 20,000 pieces. A sizable piece of the collection, from 1932 to 2012, hangs from the university library’s walls and is encased in glass-covered shelves as part of a permanent exhibition. From Roosevelt to John F. Kennedy to Barack Obama, the collection is a visual history of American politics. Comerford, managing director of Proscenium Capital, is the chair of the Sandy Springs Chamber of Commerce’s Economic Development Committee. He’s served as chair for the campaign of U.S. Rep. Tom Price and on the transition team of Gov. Sonny Perdue. He told a group gathered at the opening that he started his collection in elementary school with a Dwight D. Eisenhower button. “I was interested in history ... and this collection was a means of teaching myself on a myriad of subjects,” he said. “In politics you get everything from economics to psychology.” A University of Virginia graduate and University of Georgia law school graduate, Comerford said he wanted his collection at Oglethorpe University “where it could make a difference.” His oldest son graduated from Oglethorpe. “The mission as a liberal arts college is centered on the development of leadership,” Comeford said. “Here it can really make a difference in teaching leadership and history and economics ... and all disciplines you find in politics.” Comeford has not stopped his own collecting, but he said he hopes students at Oglethorpe will add to the collection with memorabilia from their home states.




A, B, C: The James and Camilla Comerford Collection at Oglethorpe University showcases thousands of pieces of political and campaign memorabilia dating back to Franklin D. Roosevelt.

D: Sen. Johnny Iskason, left, spoke at the school’s celebration of Constitution Day, and James Comerford’s collection opened that same day, Sept 19. Comerford, right, wears a 1990 Iskason for governor button.



SEPTEMBER 30 - OCT. 13, 2016

Residents clash with city leaders over possible parkland purchase Continued from page 1


Community | 13

of whom were angry and hostile, to explain the city was seeking to purchase the 1.7 acres of residential property at 1664 Remington Road. The city officials said plans would be to preserve the slice of land as green space and save it from possible redevelopment. City officials have eyed the property, zoned residential, for the past several years, Ernst said. The city is in talks with the property owner, but has not purchased the land and may not purchase it, he said. Sigman explained the city cannot use eminent domain to purchase green space. Residents in the area fear the city wants to buy the land and use it to create connectivity to Murphey Candler Park through a public path and bridge over Nancy Creek. They also fear the city would create a large public parking lot for use by those visiting Murphey Candler Park. “I wish this was happening next to your house, buddy,” a man shouted at the mayor. “Why do you want this property so bad? Access to Murphey Candler Park is the reason,” someone else shouted. Many residents criticized the city for an apparent lack of transparency by not telling them of the plans to buy residential property near their homes. They also wanted to know what the city planned for the property, but Jones said it would be up to the community to decide. “Many people are not accustomed to our grassroots form of government where the community plans … what to do with property,” she said. A single-family home that has been vacant for 12 years is currently on the property that has a wooded yard that backs up to Nancy Creek. Neighbors in the area already use the land as a neighborhood park, where children play and adults walk and run. Many residents said they are able to cross Nancy Creek to get to Murphey Candler Park via a stormwater pipe. Most homeowners spoke, and some shouted, their opposition to the city buying the land because they did not want a public park or space in their neighborhood. They said, among other things, a public space would bring unwanted traffic to their streets and that crime would increase because of people from outside the neighborhood coming into the area. Many also accused the city of planning to connect the property to the approximate 6 acres owned by the Ashford Glen Homeowners Association to put a parking lot on the property to alleviate the current parking woes at Murphey Candler Park, known for its sports complex.

They also stated they did not want any kind of connectivity, either via a bridge or another kind of path, from their neighborhood over Nancy Creek and to Murphey Candler Park. Ken Fedor, who lives on Ashford Trail, said he and his son cross Nancy Creek using the stormwater pipe to get to Murphey Candler Park, but to open up the area to the public would mean dozens and dozens of cars would be parked in the neighborhoods so people could access the public trail to the park’s sports complex. “Fix the parking, please, at Murphey Candler Park before creating other parking issues,” Fedor said. Not everyone was opposed to the city buying the property. Todd Copilevitz of Colt Drive said he understood the process the city goes through to buy land is as transparent as possible. He also welcomed the idea of living near a greenway. “It really embarrasses me the amount of fear mongering that is going on,” he said. “Do not try to gin up a bunch of fear … argue facts instead of theory.” Tom Reilly with the National Wildlife Federation and a Remington Road resident said the purpose for the city to buy the land is to keep it the way it is. “All we are looking at is a change of ownership. Your imagination is doing a lot of damage here,” he said to opponents. Ernst tried to assure the crowd they would have input on anything that would occur on the land should the city buy it. “What I hear is there is great fear and trepidation of change. There is fear of a parking lot, there is a fear of crime, there is fear of parking on the street,” he said. “We don’t know if we are going to acquire it.” Ernst also acknowledged there is a distrust of government, but the city was trying to be as transparent as possible by holding a community meeting to talk about land it hasn’t purchased yet to try to quell rumors. Normally a municipality does not discuss real estate purchases with the public before a purchase has been finalized. He also said there are deed restrictions that can be requested by neighbors to ensure that a parking lot or paths are not put on the property. Jones, who represents those living on Remington Road in District 1, said she first got the idea of the city purchasing the land “in the heart of Brookhaven” after talking to residents who wanted to save it from redevelopment. Jones said the property is ripe to be purchased and a new, large home built on it. She warned the new property owner may not allow neighbors free use of the land as they have now. She said the idea would be to keep the land as it is, if that is what the community wanted to do.


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Buford Highway apartments to be torn down for houses Continued from page 1 za Apartments, located at 3510 Buford Highway and 3506 Buford Highway respectively, said Joel Reed, vice president of operations of Pulte Group. “We don’t own the property; we’re under contract,” he said. “This is all very pre-

liminary and we’re in the very early stages.” Reed said plans include tearing down the apartments to build “a nice quality neighborhood” of single-family homes and townhomes.

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As for the hundreds of people living in the apartments, Reed promised a “fair transition.” “We would never transition in a way that is unfair to the folks who reside there,” he said. He did not elaborate what a fair transition would include, because he said the project is at the very beginning stages. Councilmember Joe Gebbia, who represents that portion of Buford Highway, said he is concerned about the people currently living in the apartments where the planned development is expected to go. He said he knows developers are coming in and wanting to tear down apartments along Buford Highway, and as a result displacing hundreds of people, mostly Latino, and pricing them out of their homes. “The city is investigating into ways to intervene or try to ensure affordable housing when massive apartment complexes are disassembled and people are going to be displaced,” Gebbia said The Terraces at Brookhaven is a twostory building constructed in 1968 and has 244 apartments; rents range from $885 to more than $1,300 for one-, two- and threebedroom units, according to website information. The Terraces at Brookhaven is owned by Marquis Investments, a subsidiary of

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Dunwoody-based Crown Holdings, which in recent years has bought eight apartment complexes along Buford Highway. Marquis Investments purchases real estate and implements its “3R Strategy” to “Recapitalize, Renovate and Reposition” to capitalize its multi-family assets, according to the company’s website. Northeast Plaza Apartments is also a two-story structure with 100 one-, twoand three-bedroom apartments. Rents are comparable to The Terraces at Brookhaven, according to website information. “Our goal is to improve the area,” Reed said. “It’s hard to find property like this, where you can do sizable development, and in this case, we will be reducing density. We will be taking apartments, tearing them down, and building new homes.” Gebbia said an ideal way for this to work is for the city to somehow gain control of the land, but not by purchasing it, so the city can then dictate to developers that there should be some form of housing made available for the people living there. For example, he said, the Brookhaven Development Authority could be utilized to market land for future development and mandate affordable housing be included. The city’s intervention would be used to protect people who work in fast food restaurants, he said, but also local teachers and police officers. People with lowpaying jobs in Brookhaven are not going to move 20 miles away to a more affordable area and then commute to work, Gebbia said. The news of Pulte Homes’ planned development comes on the heels of Brookhaven forming its first Affordable Housing Task Force. Gebbia said he hopes the task force has ideas on ways to ensure people who work in Brookhaven can also afford to live in the city. “This issue is really a dilemma .... and we need to be forward thinking,” he said. “Because nothing is being done today.” Pulte Homes is also asking the Briarwood Park Conservancy to support a land swap with the city to build an access road from Briarwood Way into the proposed new development. In exchange for the land needed to build a road, Pulte Homes would donate a stretch at the northern end of the park. Gebbia said he asked for a traffic study to see if such a road is feasible. He said he knows some residents living near the park are not happy with the idea of a road through the park, but he wants to make a decision based on “facts and not feelings.” Pulte Homes has not filed anything official with the city concerning its proposed development. BK

SEPTEMBER 30 - OCT. 13, 2016

Community | 15

Warbirds and more take flight at DeKalb-Peachtree Airport





A: Re-enactors, like Capt. Gary Byrd, center, go over objectives for a transport mission to Burma during World War II in a Curtis C-46 Cammando airplane, “The Tinker Belle.” The re-enactors were one part of Atlanta Warbird Weekend at PDK Airport, which included rides and tours, as well as a nod to the 75th anniversary of the AVG Flying Tigers. B: Sunday O’Dare, left, and Joanna Griffin strike a pose next to a Beach AT-11 airplane. DeKalb Peachtree Airport; Saturday September 24, 2016 1:00pm. Commemorative h Anniversary P-40 gathering. C: One of the planes on display, a TBF Avenger torpedo bomber.


D: Neil Wilson, center, and his two sons Sam, 9, left, and Angus, 7, have binoculars ready to watch the airshow.

16 | Out & About ■






holds a reception honoring artists and host businesses at Fidelity Bank, 2 Perimeter Center East, Dunwoody, 30338. Free. Open to the community. To find out more and see participating artists and city-wide venues, go to:


Wednesday, Oct. 5, 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. The 44th annual Dunwoody Home Tour features four homes in Dunwoody and Sandy Springs. Tickets, $25, available at: home-tour, from Dunwoody Women’s Club members and also at area businesses. Pick up online ticket purchases at Will-Call, 5393 Redfield Cir., Dunwoody, 30338 (first home on tour).

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Saturday, Oct. 15, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. The 2nd annual Brookhaven Arts Festival gets underway! Check out more than 100 participating artists, featuring fiber, glass, jewelry, mixed media, painting, photography and sculpture. Free entry. Continues Oct. 16, 12-5 p.m. 4047 Peachtree Rd., behind the Brookhaven MARTA station on the Apple Valley Road side, 30319. Questions? Go to:

Saturday, Oct. 8, 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. Chastain Arts Center holds its 4th annual Pottery on the Porch sale. Check out functional, sculptural or for the garden pieces. See demonstrations of throwing on the wheel. Free and open to the public. 135 W. Wieuca Rd., NW, Atlanta, 30342. For additional information, call 404-2522927.

BEANS & BOWLS Friday, Oct. 14, 5-9 p.m. Spruill’s 15th annual “Free Beans with Every Bowl” sale gets underway. Purchase ceramic pieces and stay for a bowl of chili, made by Spruill Arts Ceramics Department students and instructors. Free. All are welcome. Proceeds benefit the department. Cash and checks preferred. Continues Oct. 15, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Oct. 16, 12-5 p.m. 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Rd., Dunwoody, 30338. Questions? Go to: or call 770-394-3447, x223.



Sunday, Oct. 16, 7 a.m. Certified as a Peachtree Road Race 2017 qualifier, this Rotary Club of Dunwoodysponsored 5K begins and ends at Perimeter Mall. The course is designed for runners—a fast and challenging course. The 1-mile Fun Run begins at 9 a.m.; Tot Trot, for ages 2-5, at 9:15 a.m. 5K, $25-$35. Music, awards, door prizes, refreshments. 4400 Ashford-Dunwoody Rd., NE, Atlanta, 30346. Register and learn more:


HOOS IN THE FOREST Saturday, Oct. 15, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Reception for Dunwoody Nature Center’s inaugural Art in the Park event, “Hoos in the Forest,” featuring 20 whimsical creatures made of naturally found materials. Artist’s talk, tour, workshops, “poetry on demand.” Lunch and beverages provided. Free admission. Exhibit runs through Nov. 15. See additional details: or call 770-394-3322.







FINE ART MONTH Wednesday, Oct. 5, 5-7 p.m. The Dunwoody Fine Art Association announces that October is Fine Art Month, and

Wednesday, Oct. 5, 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. The Dunwoody Branch Library holds a class for senior drivers. Topics include: blind spots; maintaining proper following distance; safety belts, air bags, antilock brakes and new technology; effects of medications; eliminating

SEPTEMBER 30 - OCT. 13, 2016

distractions. Taught by certified instructor. Free. For those 55 and older. Limited to 20 participants. Call 770-512-4640 to register. 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Rd., Dunwoody, 30338.

Robert Swan

Polar explorer & environmentalist

and magazines. Free. Open to the first 10 participants. Appropriate for those ages 13-17. 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Rd., Dunwoody, 30338. For further details and to register, call 770-512-4640.

Out & About | 17


MOVIE NIGHT CLIMATE CHANGE Wednesday, Oct. 5, 6:30 p.m. Polar explorer and environmentalist Robert Swan visits Pace Academy, who will discuss climate issues, part of the school’s Isdell Center for Global Leadership’s Year of Climate. Free. The public is welcome to attend. Knights Hall, Garcia Family Middle School, 5th floor, 966 W. Paces Ferry Rd., NW, Atlanta, 30327. Learn more by going to: or calling 404-262-1345.

Tuesday, Oct. 11, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Join others at the Brookhaven Branch Library for a screening of “Where the Wild Things Are.” Rated PG. Free. Open to all. The first five families in attendance receive a personal copy of the book. Snacks provided. 1242 N. Druid Hills Rd., NE, Brookhaven, 30319. To learn more, call 404-848-7140.

FALL GARDENING Saturday, Oct. 8, 10:30-11:30 a.m. Find out about fall gardening from the president of the Dunwoody Garden Club. Light refreshments provided. Free. For adults. No registration required. 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Rd., Dunwoody, 30338. Call 770-512-4640 to learn more.

STILL LIFE ART Tuesday, Oct. 11, 10:30-11:30 a.m. Get to know artist Frida KahFrida Kahlo lo and her work, Artist then create your own still life drawing based on her style. Learn how to use lines, shapes and angles. Free. For adults, ages 18 and up. Open to the first 15 participants. Call 770-512-4640 to sign up. Dunwoody Branch Library, 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Rd., Dunwoody, 30338.

OPEN HOUSE Saturday, Oct. 15, 9 a.m.-12 p.m. Gather at the Blue Heron Nature Preserve for their fall Open House, with Atlanta Audubon and Trees Atlanta also in attendance. Enjoy a bird walk, nature hike, planting trees, children’s crafts, theater performances and tours. Free. Open to the community. 4055 Roswell Rd., NE, Atlanta, 30342. Call 404-345-1008 or visit: for details.

KIDS’ STUFF CREATE CUPCAKES Monday, Oct. 10, 3-4:30 p.m. Fill your sweet tooth with this cupcake decorating session. Come create an edible masterpiece! Geared for those ages 10-12. Free. Open to the first 15 participants. Call the Brookhaven Branch Library at 404-8487140 or swing by 1242 N. Druid Hills Rd., NE, Brookhaven, 30319 to sign up.

ALTERED BOOKS Tuesday, Oct. 11, 4:30-5:30 p.m. Celebrate Teen Read Week at the Dunwoody Branch Library by making decoupage boxes out of old books

COMPUTER GAME DESIGN Thursday, Oct. 13, 6:45-8:45 p.m. Marcus Jewish Community Center-Atlanta offers a threesession workshop for teens, grades 8-11, covering fundamentals of video game design and programming, including how to build code with HTML, CSS and JavaScript. $80 for non-members; $60 for members. Continues Oct. 20 and 27. 5342 Tilly Mill Rd., Dunwoody, 30338. For more information, contact Paige Godfrey at 678-812-4082, or email:

HEAD TO TOE! Friday, Oct. 14, 2:15-3:15 p.m. This program invites young audience members to think, observe and move like their favorite animals. Inspired by Eric Carles’ book of the same name. Free. All are welcome. Suitable for those ages 2-4. Sandy Springs Branch Library, 395 Mount Vernon Highway, Sandy Springs, 30328. For details, call 404-303-6130 or email:

FUN ART Friday, Oct. 14, 3-4 p.m. Get creative with arts and crafts inspired by nature and the seasons. Free. For those ages 5-12. Open to the first 10 participants. Dunwoody Branch Library, 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Rd., Dunwoody, 30338. For information and to sign up, call 770-512-4640.


Most women know to get a mammogram but not a lung screening. Yet lung cancer kills more women than any other type of cancer. The good news is a lung cancer screening can help detect it early when there are more treatment options. Northside Hospital Cancer Institute offers a low dose CT screening if you’re 55 – 77 years old and a current or previous smoker. It’s quick and easy and could save your life. For information call 404-531-4444 or visit

Friday, Oct. 14, 4:30-5:30 p.m. Create animals using plastic bottles at the Sandy Springs Branch Library. Registration required by emailing: leah.germon@fultoncountyga. gov. Free and open to all. Suitable for ages 5 and up. 395 Mount Vernon Highway, Sandy Springs, 30328. Questions? Call 404-303-6130.

Where the Extraordinary Happens Every Day

18 | Dining Out ■

B A: The rooftop space at 5Church in Midtown B: Peanut butter and jelly pie C: Jumbo lump crab cake D: “60 second” New York strip steak E: The ceiling features the handpainted text of “Art of War”




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Dining Out Megan Volpert Megan Volpert lives in Decatur, teaches in Roswell and writes books about popular culture.

the whole ceiling is covered with the entire hand-painted text of Sun Tzu’s Art of War. Wear some hot pink and prep for a great photo op. The food lives up to the space. 5Church began in Charlotte and opened in Charleston before coming here as well, and they really understand how to do plates that are both Southern in their comfort and cosmopolitan in their construction. Might have something to do with James Beard Award-winning executive chef RJ Cooper. One dish for which he isn’t responsible is the “60 second” New York strip, featured on the menu in all three cities, from the mind of partner and chef Jamie Lynch. Equal parts delicious food and food for thought, the steak gets a quick sear on one side so the heat soaks up into it and leaves the other side barely cooked. Examining pink from one side instead of in the center results in a whole new mouthfeel and that is worth trying for a change of pace. On the other hand, there are a couple of plates that are worth ordering over and over again. They’ve got a wasabi crusted ahi tuna on a bed of miso foam and seaweed salad that will make you forget Shout ever existed. Ditto for the jumbo lump crab, which is done as a salad and not as a cake. On the brunch and dinner menus it’s a first course, but on the lunch menu it’s an entree. Personally, I could take a bath in it. This is also the case for the cave aged cheddar agnolotti, piled high with the pop of peas and the crunch of ham, straight out of autumn’s fantasy food land and hopefully will stay on the menu yearround. The sides are served family style and I don’t know why you’re bringing your kids to Midtown, but they will happily enjoy the mac ’n’ cheese while you bask in the afterglow of

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Dining Out | 19

E that creamy agnolotti filling. For dessert, get the peanut butter and jelly, which is a delicious experiment in layers. Then again, the duck-fat beignets are a serious challenger and the oven roasted pineapple is improving. The coffee is from a roaster near the original Charlotte location, and as much as 5Church has brought its familiar touches from home, it fits into Atlanta already. The bar program is maybe a little on the fizzy and fruity side of things for me, but hey, what’s Midtown without a wild berry mojito and a rosemary gin fizz? There are a dozen kinds of bubbly, too, so if you miss Shout more often than you like to admit, go toast to 5Church’s success. 5Church is at 1197 Peachtree St. For more information:

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20 | Education ■

Exceptional Educator: John Gresens of North Springs Charter High School Editor’s note: Through our “Exceptional Educator” series, Reporter Newspapers is showcasing the work of some of the outstanding teachers and administrators at our local schools. If you would like to recommend an Exceptional Educator, please email John Gresens teaches visual art, ceramics, sculpture, jewelry design and other art courses at North Springs Charter High in Sandy Springs. He has been teaching for seven years and sponsors the school’s participation in “The Deconstruction,” a twoday, online international competition during which students deconstruct something and reimagine it as something else. North Spring students won the competition two

years ago. For this year’s challenge, the students will deconstruct America.



Q: What attracted you to teaching at first? A: I was given some bad advice when I was a young person. I was always the “art kid,” and I knew that I wanted to be an artist from a very early age. Someone close to me in a position of authority told me, “You’ll never be able to make a living as an artist.” I listened and I was occupationally derailed for a long time. After marrying my wife, who is an artist and was a sculpture major at the time, I realized that I had to create. In 2003, my mother died in a house fire and I had an epiphany. In a moment of ex-


John Gresens teaches visual art, ceramics, sculpture, jewelry design and other art courses at North Springs Charter High School.

treme clarity, I knew that I wanted to be an art teacher. Q: Has the appeal changed? A: I think it changes from year to year. This is such a dynamic occupation that is subject to radical shifts annually. Changes in policy, administration, strategy and technology all have such an effect on teacher motivation. I’ve had some real struggles with all of the previously mentioned issues in the past. While I have to deal with the non-classroom issues, I’ve really embraced the idea that the focus is, and will always be, the student. Q: What keeps you going year after year? A: The personal connections with my students that I get to develop are so rewarding. To be able to teach a 14-year-old student and watch her or him grow, change, struggle, fail, triumph and ultimately leave at 17 or 18 with a stronger sense of who he or she is, is amazing. I smile knowing that I had a part in that! Q: What do you think makes a great teacher? A: A wise teacher told me early in my career that teaching is all about relationships. I believed it then and I believe it now. All of the best teachers I know really care about their students and they let them know that daily. The strategies may be different, but the caring and communication are constants. If your students trust you, you can teach them anything. Q: What do you want to see in your students? A: I want to see them engage with process, find passion in the content, and execute a strong, informed product. All of this while showing respect for others and the studio. The sum of this should produce an artist or at least an art appreciator. Q: How do you engage your students? A: Every day is another show. It’s like being on stage, banging out a performance worthy of appreciation. I try to make sure that my passion for the content areas is always

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strong and that I’m actively learning on my time. Being “on fire” for the material carries over in my lectures and demonstrations. I also teach an adult wheel pottery class at the Spruill Art Center on Monday nights. Teaching adults in a three-hour block helps me to solve more advanced problems and bring that knowledge back into the classroom at North Springs. Q: Do you have a project or special program you use year after year? A: Two years ago we participated in “The Deconstruction.” It’s a 48-hour global project where you bring a bunch of stuff together, tear it apart and reassemble it to solve a creative problem. We won the whole thing in 2014! The competition/project “went dark” for a year as the organizers reloaded. It’s back this year and we plan to participate again. This year the theme is “Deconstructing America.” Check it out at I am also running a Maker Lab at North Springs. The whole student body will have access to my tools and equipment to satisfy their creative curiosities. I’ll have it up and running in the next month or so and it will be accessible a couple of days a week after school and at least one day before school. We’ll work collaboratively with science, some clubs and science teams to get them access so that they can learn and compete. Q: Is there a “trick” that works to get students involved? A: Have fun and tell them you care about them. Show them some passion. They might not completely buy in, but it’s hard to let down someone who explains their motivations and stays real. Q: What do you hope your students take away from your class? A: I hope that they will understand the challenges and beauty of communicating through objects and performances that are made from knowledge, wisdom, hard work and creativity. I also hope they will come out unafraid to take calculated risks for rich rewards.

CORRECTIONS In the Reporter Newspapers’ Education Guide [Sept. 16-29], a quotation from Riverwood International Charter School student Celine LaGrange was accompanied by a photograph of a different student. Here is Celine’s photo. Also in the Education Guide, Mount Vernon Presbyterian School’s production of “eurydice” was omitted from a list of plays planned at local high schools this fall. The play is scheduled to be performed Oct. 13-15 in the school’s Black Box Theater on its Glenn Campus.

SEPTEMBER 30 - OCT. 13, 2016

Classifieds | 21

Reporter Classifieds SERVICES AVAILABLE Home Tending - Regular inspections of your unoccupied property. Call Charles, 404-229-0490. Driveways & Walkways – Replaced or repaired. Masonry, grading, foundations repaired, waterproofing and retaining walls. Call Joe Sullivan 770-616-0576. Tranquil Waters Lawn Care – Pressure washing, flower beds, trimming, tree/shrubs installation, hauling of debris, pinestraw & mulch. Free estimates. Discounts for Seniors & Veterans. No contracts needed. Call Mike 678-662-0767 or Andrew 678-672-8552. Quinn Windows – Family owned and operated. Window replacement and home remodeling company since 1980. Visit www. or call 770-939-5634.

To advertise, call 404-917-2200 ext 110 CEMETERY PLOTS

Matthew’s Handy Services – Small jobs and chores re my specialties. Shelving/ organizers, carpentry, drywall, painting, plumbing and minor yard work. Member of the Better Business Bureau. Call 404-5472079 or email: Cleaning Services – Do you want your house cleaned at a Reasonable rate? Would you like someone that is Dependable, Professional and can give you Quality Service? Charlotte’s the one for you – call 404-604-7866!

YARD SALES Cross Creek Fall Yard Sale – Saturday, October 15, 8:00 – 2:00 (rain date: October 22). 1221 Cross Creek Pkwy (off of Bohler Rd). Large sale, great chance to kick off holiday shopping!


Arlington Memorial Park – 3 Mausoleum Crypts, Sunrise Chapel, outside level A #16, 17, 18. Includes entombment fees, crypt plates and use of chapel. $9,000 each. Call: 985-966-9029


One Cemetery Plot: Arlington Memorial Park, Sandy Springs - Single plot in Monument section. $4500. Seller will pay deed transfer. Call: 404-641-4417

Consumer Research Panelists

HELP WANTED FT/PT Positions Available - Filo’s Greek Grill in Chastain Square is looking for experienced servers – Over 21 please apply. Call 404-455-9122.

Q Research Solutions, a leading consumer product testing company, is currently looking for consumers ages 18 and older in Sandy Springs/Dunwoody, GA (near the Perimeter Mall) who would like to be part of a special trained panel that would meet regularly on a part-time basis to assess food/nonalcoholic beverages for a period of approximately 12 months. For questions contact:

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22 | Public Safety ■

Police Blotter / Brookhaven From police reports dated Sept. 15 through Sept. 23. The following information was pulled from Brookhaven’s Police-2-Citizen Portal Event Search website and is presumed to be accurate.

R O B B E RY „„3500 block of Buford Highway – On

Sept. 15, arrest for armed robbery.

B AT T E RY „„3900 block of Clairmont Road – On

Sept. 16, arrest for battery-family violence. „„1800 block of Corporate Blvd. – On

Sept. 16, arrest for simple battery-family violence. „„1700 block of Briarwood Road – On

Sept. 17, arrest for simple battery-family violence. „„3000 block of Buford Highway – On

Sept. 17, arrest for simple battery. „„3000 block of Buford Highway – On

Sept. 17, arrest for simple battery. „„1100 block of Town Blvd. – On Sept. 20,

arrest for battery-family violence. „„1400 block of N. Cliff Valley Way – On

Sept. 20, arrest for battery-family violence. „„3600 block of Buford Highway – On

Sept. 23, arrest for battery.

OT H E R „„4000 block of Peachtree Road – On

Sept. 15, arrest for DUI. „„3200 block of Buford Highway/N. Cliff

Valley Way – On Sept. 15, arrest for no driver’s license.

Sept. 17, arrest for public intoxication and consumption.

Sept. 19, arrest for no driver’s license. „„2000 block of N. Druid Hills Road – On

3000 block of Buford Highway – On Sept. 18, arrest for disorderly conduct.

„„3200 block of Buford Highway – On


Northeast Expressway/N. Druid Hills Road – On Sept. 18, arrest for DUI. „„

„„3600 block of Bu-

„„2900 block of Bu-

ford Highway/N. Druid Hills Road– On Sept. 16, arrest for no driver’s license. „„2100 block of Clairmont Road – On

Sept. 16, arrest for no insurance. „„1200 block of Ashford Creek Pk. – On

Sept. 16, arrest for disorderly conduct.

2900 block of Buford Highway/N. Druid Hills Road – On Sept. 18, arrest for DUI. „„

„„100 block of Executive Park/N. Druid

Hills Road – On Sept. 18, arrest for failure to obey traffic control device. „„2600 block of Buford

Sept. 16, arrest for no driver’s license.

Highway – On Sept. 18, arrest for failure to appear.

„„3200 block of Buford Highway – On

„„1900 block of N. Dru-

„„3500 block of Buford Highway – On

Sept. 17, arrest for terroristic threats.

„„3300 block of Buford Highway – On

Sept. 17, arrest for public intoxication and consumption.

block of Peachtree Road/ Dresden Drive – On Sept. 16, arrest for open container. ford Highway – On Sept. 16, arrest for wanted person located.

Highway – On Sept. 19, arrest for no driver’s license.

„„2600 block of Buford Highway – On





Sept. 20, arrest for driving on suspended/revoked driver’s license. Sept. 21, arrest for failure to appear. „„2900 block of Clairmont Road/Barone

Ave. – On Sept. 21, arrest for driving on suspended/revoked driver’s license. „„2900 block of Buford Highway/N.

Druid Hills Road – On Sept. 21, arrest for no driver’s license. „„3300 block of Buford Highway/Briar-

wood Road – On Sept. 21, arrest for no driver’s license. „„1300 block of N. Druid Hills Road/Bri-

arwood Road – On Sept. 22, arrest for driving on suspended/revoked driver’s license. „„ 3100 block of Clairmont Road/

McJenkins Drive – On Sept. 23, arrest for DUI. „„ 1900 block of N. Druid Hills Road – On Sept. 23, arrest for marijuana possession.

„„3800 block of Peachtree Road – On


Sept. 17, arrest for loitering and prowling.

„„2000 block of Johnson Ferry Road –

„„3500 block of Buford Highway – On

On Sept. 15, arrest for theft by deception.

„„3500 block of Buford Highway – On

Sept. 17, arrest for public intoxication and consumption.

Burglary suspects nabbed at apartment complex Two Atlanta men face multiple felony counts after Brookhaven Police arrested them for allegedly burglarizing an apartment at the Avana Uptown complex on Clairmont Road. Michael Crowder, 25, and Malcolm White, 26, were arrested at approximately 2 p.m. on Sept. 27 after police were called to respond to a burglary in process at the apartment complex in the 2900 block of Clairmont Road. “Upon their arrival, officers were directed to the exact incident location in the complex where witnesses observed both suspects attempting to make entry into an apartment,” said Officer Carlos Nino in a press release. The suspects attempted to flee, but Brookhaven officers immediately captured Crowder outside the complex and White was apprehended a few minutes later with the assistance of the Sandy Springs Police K9 unit, Nino said. Two stolen guns and a stolen car were recovered at the scene.

The two men are charged with burglary in the first degree, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of burglary tools, theft by receiving stolen firearm, theft by receiving stolen vehicle and obstruction of police officers. Brookhaven Police also linked Crowder and White to an Aug. 31 burglary in the same apartment complex. “In that incident, the [resident] interrupted the burglary. When confronted, White pointed a gun at the victim and her nine year-old daughter,” Nino said. The two men face charges of aggravated assault, cruelty to a child and burglary in the first degree for that incident. Brookhaven Police are working with neighboring jurisdictions to determine if the suspects are connected to other similar crimes, Nino said. BK

SEPTEMBER 30 - OCT. 13, 2016

Community | 23

New Buford Highway business association forms BY JOHN RUCH

Buford Highway now has its own business association representing the street’s corridor through the cities of Brookhaven, Chamblee and Doraville. The Business BuHi Coalition intends to “promote the area’s international character and business community,” according to a press release. It has been meeting since May, but formally launched Sept. 15. The group has more than 30 members, including Plaza Fiesta, the Latino mall on the Brookhaven-Chamblee border. “I am pleased to work with the Business BuHi Coalition in order to promote growth and increase businesses’ interaction with local government,” said Plaza Fiesta General Manager Julio Penaranda in a press release. “This coalition is the perfect gateway for local business owners to learn how local government works and become an advocate on policy decisions that affect their operations.” Buford Highway is renowned for its highly diverse immigrant culture. Development pressures have increased talk of preserving, promoting and better representing the corridor’s communities. A previous effort is the group We Love BuHi, whose founder, Marian Liou, issued the business coalition press release. “We Love BuHi is providing organizational support to the coalition,” Liou said. Brookhaven City Councilmember Joe Gebbia, who represents this section of Buford Highway, called the business association “a fantastic idea. It has the ability to provide a much needed voice when new development issues are discussed - a voice that does not exist today. “It’s also a sign of the times,” Gebbia continued. “The association highlights the regional need for the cities of Brookhaven, Chamblee and Doraville to work in concert when developing, promoting and maintaining this culturally diverse asset.” The idea for the coalition came from discussions about Doraville’s Comprehensive Plan update and an upcoming Livable Centers Initiative study, conducted by the Atlanta Regional Commission, of Buford Highway in Chamblee and Doraville.

Some members of the new Business BuHi Coalition, front row, from left, Kay Park, Victoria Huynh, Lilly Zhao, Jay Xue and Marian Liou. Back row, Ben Vo, Ken Lim, Ching Hsia, Gina Rivers, Andy Eun and Arkadiy Yakubov.


The group’s official mission statement, according to the press release, is “to encourage economic growth and vitality in the Buford Highway area by providing its members with advocacy and marketing that promotes the area’s multicultural character.” The coalition’s next meeting will take place immediately before the first LCI study public forum, which is yet to be scheduled, but likely will be in early October, Liou said. For more information about coalition membership, contact Liou at marianliou@gmail. com.

Coming in October: A new way to reach active seniors e f i L is the fastest-growing age group r o i Sen in metro Atlanta wing Fall leaf vie a at Georgite sta parks


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Pickleball— where what it is, page 10 to play it


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Projected increase in metro Atlanta’s 65+ population between 2010 and 2020



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