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Buckhead Reporter

Perimeter Business

Perimeter growth Liveability and innovation OTP COMMUNITY 4


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A roundabout may solve congestion at Wieuca Road 23 hours day BY ELLEN ELDRIDGE


Joy Hienkle and her daughter Hannah Rutledge, 2, comb the mane of a minature donkey during the annual Fall Folklife Festival at the Atlanta History Center on Sept. 26. See additional photos on page 25.

A study of the busy intersection of Wieuca and Phipps roads in Buckhead shows converting it to a five-legged roundabout would bring the best traffic relief. It also would cost more than $2 million, the most of the three alternatives studied as ways to fix the confusing intersection. At least, for 23 hours a day, said Jonathan Reid, of Parsons Brinkerhoff, the company hired to study the intersection. Reid presented the study’s findings to the Buckhead Community Improvement District’s board on Sept. 29. “This is our 23-hour solution,” Reid said. “Most parts of the day, it works great and provides a safety benefit. And in the p.m. peak, ‘it is what it is.’ SEE ROUNDABOUT, PAGE 5

Rain doesn’t deter those seeking ‘champion’ trees BY JOE EARLE

They weren’t about to let a little rain stop them. The two dozen adults, three dogs and a 2-year-old had gathered a recent Saturday morning to see trees. Champion trees. A steady drizzle wasn’t enough to slow them down as they hiked through the woods of Atlanta Memorial Park in Buckhead in search of some of the biggest trees in town. “We’re big plant and tree people,” said Michelle Mabrey, who lives nearby in Collier Hills. She and her husband James joined the tour because they wanted to know more about the trees in the park. “We want to know what’s around us. I thought it would be nice to be able to better identify these historic trees.” “We love seeing old, massive trees,” James Mabrey

said. “It’s one of our favorite things.” The Atlanta Memorial Park Conservancy organized the Saturday morning excursion to show off the park, which includes undeveloped areas, the Bitsy Grant Tennis Center and Bobby Jones Golf Course. It’s the third largest park in the city of Atlanta, the conservancy says, and this hike was intended to introduce the park’s neighbors to some of its special sights, its specimen trees. This was the conservancy’s first such program, but the response had been strong enough that the group is thinking of scheduling another, said Catherine Spillman, the conservancy’s executive director. Perhaps a Civil War history tour of the park, too, she said. SEE RAIN, PAGE 3

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Eli Dickerson, front, leads a tour through Atlanta Memorial Park in a search for champion trees.

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The Buckhead CID is considering building a 9-acre park over Ga. 400.

Buckhead CID plans to hire design team for park over Ga. 400 The Buckhead Community Improvement District is moving forward on a study to build a new park over Ga. 400. The 9-acre park would stretch from MARTA’s Buckhead station to the Atlanta Financial Center and Lenox Road/Buckhead Loop, the CID says. During the BCID board’s Sept. 29 meeting, Executive Director Jim Durrett said the agency plans to issue this month a request for proposals on the design and engineering of the park. Durrett said he hopes to have a design team selected by the end of the year. “I am getting nothing but really enthusiastic responses from everywhere,� Durrett said.

Leavell, Malone to rock Chastain fundraiser Georgia rockers Chuck Leavell and Michelle Malone headline a benefit concert Oct. 16 to raise money for the Chastain Park Conservancy. Keyboard player Leavell, who has performed with the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, The Allman Brothers Band and others, and BR I EF S Malone, named Best Female Rock performer at the 2015 Georgia Music Awards, will perform during Rock Chastain. Last year, the Rock Chastain show raised more than $150,000 for the conservancy. Tickets to the 2015 show, to be held at Chastain Park Amphitheater, cost $50 per person and are available through Ticketmaster. “It’ll be a great night of fabulous homegrown music,� Malone said in press release.

Peachtree open house set for Oct. 29


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Left, Trey Gibbs and his daughter Katelyn, 2, who live close to the park, were eager to go for a hike and admire the tall trees. Right, the Atlanta Memorial Park Conservancy brought in Eli Dickerson, an ecologist at Fernbank Forest, to lead the tour.

Rain? What rain? Hikers in Memorial Park seek ‘champion’ trees growing in Buckhead CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

The conservancy brought in Eli Dickerson, ecologist at Fernbank Forest in DeKalb, to lead the tour. “I’m a tree-hugger,” Dickerson said to introduce himself to the group. Dickerson used to work for Trees Atlanta and now volunteers with the tree advocacy group to maintain its list of champion trees. To see if a tree belongs on the list, he combines measurements of its circumference, height and canopy. (Google Earth comes in handy when measuring a tree’s canopy, he said.) The largest trees make the list. One thing that makes Atlanta unusual as a city, he said, is that it’s home to “so many trees and so many kinds of trees.” One of the tallest trees in the city, he said, towers alongside the road into the Bitsy Grant Tennis Center. That tulip poplar rises nearly 17 stories, he said. Dickerson said he didn’t know much about Atlanta Memorial Park himself until three or four years ago. “I went for a walk and found a lot of tree champions,” he said. Trey Gibbs was eager to see a few of them. He lives close to the park

and regularly brings daughter Katelyn, who’s 2, to the park to play. “She loves this park,” he said. “This is our backyard. We built on a hill and don’t have much yard, so this is where she goes for running around.” Katelyn, decked out in green rain gear, was eager to get going. “Ready for a hike?” her dad asked. “Yeah, a hike!” she cheered as the group set off across the soaked ground. Soon they were admiring all sorts of trees: bald cypresses, oaks, birches, ashes, a city champion Osage orange, a city champion Loblolly pine. The conservancy found old news articles showing that back in the 1930s, students from local schools planted several kinds of trees in the park to honor past Atlantans. Amy Gerome said she walks through the park regularly, but found the treehunting hike offered a new way of seeing it. “I do like a nice walk,” Gerome said. “And this is something different.” The park also was different than Henry Howell remembered from his youth. He grew up on Peachtree Battle Avenue, he said, and as a boy used to ride his bike along the top of the

sewer line that runs along the creek. In those days, he said, the park got little attention. “It was completely overgrown,” he said. “There’s just a huge improvement. Progress is not always good, but this is.” More changes may be coming soon. The conservancy is proposing an $18 million to $20 million renovation of the park, the tennis center, and the Bobby Jones Golf Course and its clubhouse. About $2 million of that would be for work on the west side of Northside, where the tree hunters concentrated their efforts. Improvements being considered would include fixing up perimeter walkways and interior nature trails, stream and bank restoration to cut back on flooding, and removing invasive plants, Spillman said. Neighbor Gail Driebe worries about the changes. She joined the Saturday morning tree tour “because I want to know everything about the flood plain.” She thinks the conservancy’s plans to redo the park and add a multipurpose trail through parts of it may make the flooding worse. “We would like to see the park remain nat-

ural,” she said. Others joined in just to take a walk in the woods in the heart of Buckhead on a rainy Saturday and learn something new about the place. Helen Trivers, who lives on Peachtree, said she sees signs of the wild world all the time in her neighborhood. “I’ve had hummingbirds in my yard,” she said. “I had a red-tailed hawk in my yard. I didn’t know what it was. I called my husband and said, ‘Sweetheart, there’s an eagle on our porch!’” What brought her out to look at the trees? “I like to keep up,” she said. “I’m an outdoor person.” After walking through the undeveloped portion of the park, the group gathered at the tennis center to admire the tulip poplar Dickerson had determined was 166 feet tall, making it one of the tallest trees in the city. “It’s super, super tall,” Dickerson said. “It’s a massive, massive tree.” It started to rain a bit harder, but no one seemed to notice. As a group, they turned up the pathway and headed toward the top of a nearby hill. There was a big, white oak up there they wanted a look at.

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Atlanta region must innovate to continue, sustain growth


OCT. 2 – OCT. 15, 2015 |


The executive director of the Atlanta Regional Commission says the growth of the Perimeter area shows the benefits of infrastructure planning and says the rest of the metro Atlanta area has to catch up or die. “If regions fail to adapt quickly enough, they can become irrelevant or actually extinct,” Doug Hooker told members of the Sandy Springs Rotary Club on Sept. 28. Hooker said the region must continue to innovate to stay relevant and efficient for its people, natural life and built structures. The way to do this, he said, is through collaboration. The biggest change the region must contend with is its continued growth, Hooker said. Attracting company headquarters such as those for Mercedes-Benz USA and State Farm shows the Perimeter’s strength in connectivity, with highways and MARTA, he said, but continued innovation happens best through collaboration. “The only way to meet these challenges is through cooperative action and collaboration,” Hooker said. “We have to work together across jurisdictions, business sectors, cultural divides and socioeconomic lines in order to win the future.” Hooker wants to choose a path to win the future, he said, by getting serious about improving education and the quality of the workforce, providing for affordable housing and coordinating growth as a unified region. Part of the reason Mercedes, State Farm and other leading companies want to invest in the Perimeter area is because of connectivity between major highways and MARTA, Hooker said. “Your economy is booming as a result of that,” he said. “With MARTA being here, your neighbors to the north, up Ga. 400, want a taste of what you are experiencing now, so they want MARTA to extend out to the north of Fulton County. They want what you have.”

After a 2014 public opinion poll showed transportation to be the region’s biggest issue, the ARC made creating a “world-class infrastructure” a priority. But finding funding has become increasingly difficult, Hooker said, and he cautions not to expect more transportation money to come from the federal government. The ARC works toward better “livability,” Hooker said, which includes connectivity as much as an investment in education and affordable housing for all people. “We’re talking about real human lives,” he said. Hooker spoke about a woman who had to move to Smyrna after losing her apartment in Sandy Springs. She had to walk 19 miles a day to her job at Walmart, Hooker said. Developing and nurturing an innovation economy is crucial, Hooker said. Were the Atlanta region a country, it would be the 36th largest economy in the world, he said. “We are as a region as big as the states of Connecticut and Rhode Island combined,” Hooker said. “We are not a small, sleepy, Southern enterprise anymore.” Having some of the highest rates of income inequality in the region drains its economy, Hooker said. “The average household income in 2013 was about the same as it was in 1998,” He said. “Fifteen years, and essentially unchanged.” Hooker said too many places import talent and leave locals to low wage jobs. Through collaborative innovation, the communities in the region can continue Atlanta’s growth in a manageable way, he said. “Our region is at the precipice of tremendous change and opportunity,” Hooker said. “The choices before all of us are more important than ever. Our future is not written.”



Roundabout could bring relief to Wieuca Road CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

Creating a multilane roundabout improves traffic through the intersection without taking too much property, Reid said. The study said a roundabout would cost about $2 million for construction, not including the cost of acquiring necessary rights of way. “Most expensive, but it does meet the environmental demands, and it’s safer

for the motorists and pedestrians,” Reid said. The current intersection has a free-flow left lane, Reid said, where some drivers are unsure whether they are supposed to yield to oncoming traffic or stop. Forthcoming mixed-use development, including a hotel, will add to the congestion and confusion, he said. The consultants studied three possi-


Jonathan Reid, with Parsons Brinkerhoff, said a roundabout could help with traffic congestion at the Wieuca and Phipps roads intersection.

ble alternatives for the intersection. The first alternative involves adding left-turn signals at a cost of about $250,000, Reid said. While the signals would also allow pedestrians to cross safely, signals won’t help the traffic backing up along Wieuca, he said. “While it does provide some safety, the movement is so heavy that the queue would start to back up on Wieuca and create other operational problems,” Reid said. The second alternative involved widening Weiuca Road from three to four lanes. This option wasn’t popular with groups that wanted to preserve the area’s character. Besides, it would cost an estimated $1 million, Reid said. Reid compared the three options to the “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” fable, where two options were unacceptable and the third -- the roundabout -was “just right.” The layout shows dual lanes with five legs. Drivers would have to decide what lane they needed to be in to get to their exit. Reid said one lane would empty directly into the Wieuca Road Baptist Church. The next steps for the project include talking to rights of way owners and finding funding. The BCID expects to contribute, Executive Director Jim Durrett said.

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When residents of Ridgedale Park three minutes.” talk about their neighborhood, one One reason is that commuter trafword that seems to come up pretty frefic has been diverted around the comquently is “hidden.” munity. The only roads into Ridgeland They describe their communiPark come from Peachtree. Streets that ty as their little private hideaway, a once provided entrances from Rox110-house slice of heaven hiding alboro Road have been made exits only most literally in the shadows of Buckand their traffic routed to thwart cuthead high rises. through traffic. “It’s kind of out of the way and quiTaylor said she and her family plan et, but you can walk to retail,” said to stay in their current home only Michael Graff, president of the Ridgetemporarily, while they complete condale Park Civic Association. “You can struction of a house of their own nearwalk to Lenox Square in 10 minutes.” by. But others among her neighbors Sitting on the are in for the long eastern edge of haul. John and Buckhead, the nearLinda Matthews Is there something special about ly nine-decade-old have lived in their your neighborhood? Let us know at neighborhood feels home just a like an unhurried ple of doors away island surrounded from Taylor’s for by a frenzy of big 42 years, “longer city. Evening rush hour may gridlock than anybody else on the street,” John Peachtree Road just up the hill, but Matthews said. here the streets are filled with joggers, “It’s a pretty little neighborhood,” kids on bikes and people walking their Matthews, a retired college history dogs. professor, said as he took one of his “I like that it’s in the city, but we’ve dogs, a King Charles spaniel named still got green space and neighbors Correen, for a walk. “It’s actually in – a community,” said Susan Taylor, better shape now than it was 42 years who sat in her front yard one recent ago. It’s super convenient. Despite the afternoon to watch as her three sons fact it’s close to Lenox, it’s quiet.” – Clark, 9, and the twins Grant and The community dates back to 1927, Lane, both 7 – played soccer with Zoe Graff said, and the houses offer a mix Schroeder from the down the street. of styles and sizes. Residents work to Periodically, the ball would roll into preserve the feel of the community, he the street and one of the players would said. tear off after it and retrieve it. “We’ve all been in neighborhoods “It feels very ‘neighborhoody,’” she where one house is 20 feet tall and the said. “But, also, if you need to run to next house is 40 feet tall and it looks the grocery store, you can be there in terrible,” he said. “We have all tried to BH


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Residents call Ridgedale Park their little 110-house “slice of heaven” just off Peachtree Road.



Here are a few scenes from a recent afternoon in Ridgedale Park, a quiet neighborhood in the shadow of Buckhead high rises. Clockwise from top left: Susan Taylor with her 7-yer-old son, Grant; Jennifer Schroeder with one of her chickens; Elizabeth Abston goes for a jog with 16-month-old Vivian Schweikert and lab mix Truman; the Taylor boys -- twins Lane and Grant, 7, and Clark, 9, get in a little front yard soccer practice with neighbor Zoe Schroeder.

preserve the integrity of our neighborhood.” That doesn’t mean the homes all stay small. Graff said he renovated his house, built in 1938, to make it spacious enough to accommodate his large family, which includes five daughters. “The real job was to make it look like it was that [large] from Day One,” he said. A few years ago, Jennifer Schro-

eder’s backyard got a makeover from a television show. When she and her husband Paul told an HGTV remodeling show they wanted both a place where she could work on her painting and where they could keep chickens in the city, the show came through with a fancy coop and a fancy backyard studio. Now her two chickens, “Biscuit” and “Nugget,” guard the yard while

she paints. “Now I’m a farmer,” she said. “An artist and a farmer.” But the little studio didn’t work for her, so she moved her art projects back inside the house and the little backyard building became, to use her words, “fantasy football heaven.” On Sunday, her husband and his friends gather to watch NFL football on several TVs posted around the building. “It’s pretty cool,” she said.

Schroeder said she grew up in Buckhead and her husband grew up in Alpharetta. When they married, “he asked if I would move to Alpharetta. I was like, ‘OK...I’ll try it.’” But when they found the house in Ridgedale Park, things seemed to fit. “We love it here,” she said. “It’s the place Paul and I have felt the most at home. ...There’s something about this neighborhood.”

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Climb a hill After reading all the misinformation spread about Atlanta and biking, I felt compelled as a civil engineer to dispute some letters to the editor with some facts. But then I remembered that in today’s climate, facts have a hard time competing with puffery. Therefore, instead of trying to convince your readers with facts on road diets and commuting changes, I decided to offer a story of my own biking experience as a 50-something-year-old. I kept convincing myself for over 20 years that I couldn’t ride a bike in Atlanta. The hills, the traffic, the drivers, the lack of bike lanes: I had all of the excuses. I grew up in Florida. Biking was in my DNA. But I was a destination biker. I rode to visit friends, to go to work, to school, to hit the beach. I never liked to bike for the sake of exercise, but, to go places, I would happily jump on my Schwinn 10-speed and hit the streets. Atlanta finally started thinking about something other than cars when Mayors Campbell and Franklin started putting in sidewalks in my neighborhood. Not too wide, but wide enough for my family to walk to the grocery stores, coffee shops and restaurants in Buckhead. Real destinations! Next came the Silver Comet Trail and the potential to bike along a less hilly path. I tried the trail a few times, but there was nowhere to go but out and back. Tanyard Creek Trail came next and I started to envision a path from my house in Buckhead to work in Midtown. I used my mapping and routing tools such as Google Maps to devise a route, and purchased a hybrid bike, thinking I would ride over a variety of surfaces to get to my destination. But those damn Atlanta hills. The cheerful salesperson at the bike store explained the vast quantity of gears I had at my disposal, including a “granny gear” for steep hills. “But you won’t need that,” he said reassuringly. I needed that gear - for at least a month. I teased myself through wheezing breaths as I switched down to the granny gear on that last hill home. I still hate that hill, but now I can ride my bike to real destinations throughout Atlanta. My asthma all but disappeared, my carbon footprint got smaller (conveniently calculated at 70 percent using, and I had a workout that gave me the opportunity to be outside, in contact with good and sometimes bad elements,

rather than in a crowded gym. A couple more connecting paths later, like the East-West Beltline, and I can ride comfortably from home or the office to festivals in Little Five Points and Decatur. While improvements in Atlanta’s infrastructure make bike commuting a more realistic endeavor for us older folks, sometimes the biggest hill to climb is in your mind. Michael Wild

LE TTE RS TO THE E DITOR E-mail letters to

Yes, move around Atlanta roadways were to a great extent built with streetcars in mind, not automobiles. The streetcars came before the paving, even, and didn’t vanish until the 1960s. That’s why the roads are so odd in their layout. Atlanta was adapted to the automobile, not built around it. Why do people only drive cars along the Peachtree corridor? A few possibilities: There aren’t enough buses to make them practical, the road isn’t safe for bicycles and those who live within walking distance of one of the train stations may not be well served by them. Would citizens prefer to drive, take public transit or ride a bike, if all were reasonable options? I don’t know, I haven’t seen data on preferences among those choices for that area. Why should cyclists be drawn to Pharr Road simply because it has bike lanes and is flat? Is its failure to attract cyclists indicative of the failure of bike lanes in general? Pharr Road connects to both Peachtree and Piedmont. Neither are bike friendly. That might be a reason for that. If you build it, they will come? Probably. We know there’s significant demand for cycling lanes. Of course people aren’t biking along Peachtree; it’s not safe...yet. That in no way indicates they won’t in the future, if conditions change. Remember, Portland Ore., was once like Atlanta. The traffic wasn’t as perpetually horrendous, but they completely changed the way their citizens move about. They also spend a lot less on roads as a result. It might be a good idea to do

a cost-benefit analysis of the cost for various transit options versus the possible savings and benefits. We’re paying taxes for roads that are impassable, but not paying for the transit options that would allow citizens to move around freely...interesting. I don’t think that’s an effective use of my money. I live near a MARTA station and drive very little. It’s not worth the hassle anymore. I’ve given up on it. I’m lucky that I can take MARTA, walk and Lyft where I need to go and reserve the car for groceries, etc. I have options. Those of us who don’t need to be in a car shouldn’t have to be using one. I’m single. I’d own a bike and use it, if I didn’t live in Buckhead. It’s too dangerous. Let people like me out of the car so Mom can drive her kids around freely, etc. without hassle. The right of freedom of movement isn’t limited to people with automobiles. John DiMicco

Misleading facts [Re: “No Peachtree ‘diet,’’’ in the letters to the editor section of the Sept. 18Oct. 1 Buckhead Reporter]. Ms. Schwartz writes that “GDOT seems determined to road-diet Peachtree Road even though national studies discredit dieting roads that have more than 20,000 ‘annual average daily traffic’ (AADT). Specifically, the U.S. Department of Transportation has stated that road-dieting is not recommended for roads that are at full capacity. In comparison, Peachtree Road has 45,000 AADTs, and is clearly at full capacity.” The report she cites clearly, and in the first sentence of the report, refers to a four-lane to three-lane conversion and cites the 20,000 upper limit on vehicles per day. Georgia DOT is looking at a sixlane to five-lane conversion. Obviously, there is more capacity which allows you to process more vehicles. Citing this study and AADT’s upper limit is misleading. To get questions answered and concerns addressed directly by the professionals who have been working on this project for over two years, the public should plan to attend an open house on Oct. 29, from 5 to 7 p.m., at the Shepherd Center, 2020 Peachtree Road. Jim Durrett Buckhead Community Improvement District

Thanks, Chris!

With this issue, we bid farewell to our founding Creative Director, Chris North. Since January 2007, when the first Reporter paper went to press, he has been involved in the production of every issue—227 in total, including this one—as well as the 29 monthly Atlanta INtown issues published since that acquisition in 2013. Chris was a driving force behind the design of our papers and their respective websites; he’s also been our inhouse IT consultant. We’ll miss Chris, but wish him well in his next endeavor, where he’ll be able to spend more time with family (and less time stuck in Ga. 400 traffic). | OCT. 2 – OCT. 15, 2015 |

© 2015 With all rights reserved Publisher reserves the right to refuse editorial or advertising for any reason. Publisher assumes no responsibility for information contained in advertising. Any opinions expressed in print or online do not necessarily represent the views of Reporter Newspapers or Springs Publishing, LLC.



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

Cities seek a prescription for Pill Hill’s traffic BY JOHN RUCH

Pill Hill in Sandy Springs is nicknamed for the three major hospitals—Northside, Emory Saint Joseph’s and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta—that treat hundreds of thousands of patients a year. But it might as well refer to the aspirin a driver might need for the medical center’s rush-hour traffic headaches. The heart of Pill Hill, the intersection of Peachtree Dunwoody and Johnson Ferry roads, often is clogged. A recent surprise plan for a dense apartment building on a piece of Emory Saint Joseph’s property sparked calls for better Pill Hill planning from the mayors of Sandy Springs and neighboring Brookhaven. Meetings among both city’s engineering staff and the hospitals are in the works. “I’m going to be sitting down with the hospitals…to talk about mobility,” Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul said in August. “It’s truly a public safety issue.” “The bottom line is still the traffic,” said Brookhaven Mayor Rebecca Chase Williams. “We try to work, and certainly talk about working, with a regional view. But now we’ve got to walk the walk.” Emory Saint Joseph’s and Northside said they offer various commuting options to their thousands of employees, many of whom use MARTA’s Medical Center station. But they are open to meeting, they said. “We always welcome dialogue that addresses traffic conditions and traffic safety,” said Northside spokeswoman Katherine Watson. The hospitals agree that there is more to be done in an area also impacted by the neighboring Perimeter Center and the Ga. 400/I285 interchange. Heather Dexter, Emory Saint Joseph’s chief operating officer, said at a recent Sandy Springs Planning Commission meeting that traffic is sometimes a challenge for the hospital’s doctors and ambulances. All three hospitals work with the Perimeter Center Improvement Districts, which offers commuter consulting, and is planning various street and bike path fixes in the area. “We’re very engaged with our hospital community,” said


The intersection of Peachtree Dunwoody and Johnson Ferry roads is often clogged with traffic atop Pill Hill. A recent surprise plan for a dense apartment building on a piece of hospital property sparked calls by the mayors of Sandy Springs and Brookhaven for better planning.

Yvonne Williams, the PCIDs president and CEO. “We know traffic is going to be expanded because so much growth is going on with the medical area and the corporate area in general.” Pill Hill’s boom began when Northside opened its doors in 1970. The other hospitals followed within the next eight years, along with a sprawling array of medical offices and nursing colleges. Today, the medical center is a jewel of the Perimeter, offering a full

range of well-regarded health care, employing thousands, and offering millions of dollars worth of free health screenings and other local charitable activities. At the same time, it’s become increasingly hard to get in and around the area, at least during peak hours. “It’s wonderful we have this fabulous complex of hospitals,” said Sandy Springs City Councilman Tibby DeJulio, whose district includes Pill Hill. Not so |


OCT. 2 – OCT. 15, 2015 | 9


Abernathy Road corporate corridor is booming BY JOHN RUCH

A long-planned office complex dubbed NorthPlace is moving ahead at Barfield Road and Mount Vernon Highway in Sandy Springs’ booming corporate-headquarters corridor along Ga. 400 and Abernathy Road. The Perimeter’s thriving office-space market is moving NorthPlace forward. But it remains to be seen whether that momentum will spread to other stalled plans—including an office skyscraper and a luxury hotel—on major parcels around the Ga. 400/Abernathy intersection.

“The rental rate on office space…is really at the highest levels ever,” said Kirk Demetrops, president of Sandy Springsbased MidCity Real Estate Partners, which is teamed with Atlanta’s Crocker Partners on the NorthPlace project. The apartment market was the first real-estate sector to come booming out of the recession, Demetrops said, and now the office market is following suit. Both trends have made a splash on Abnerathy Road just west of Ga. 400, where Mercedes-Benz USA will build its new headquarters alongside more than


The 3.7-acre NorthPlace site would be anchored by two office towers.

1,000 units of housing from developer Ashton Woods.

Having “one of the premiere brands in the world” moving just up the block

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OCT. 2 – OCT. 15, 2015 |


Local Estate-Planning Attorney Focuses on Keeping Children Safe Jim Fletcher lives in Dunwoody with his wife Sara and their 3 daughters. After seeing what can happen when families fail to plan, he has become passionate about helping parents (like him) make sure that they have a fail-safe plan to make sure their kids are cared for by the right people, and provided for financially, if tragedy strikes. Jim also founded the “Kids Protection Center” to help educate parents about ways to keep their children safe.

Dunwoody Attorney Jim Fletcher

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NorthPlace will be located just west of Ga. 400, near other corporations. To see a larger version, go to

sure doesn’t hurt in marketing NorthPlace’s office space, Demetrops said. Then again, he noted, the Ga. 400/ Abernathy/Mount Vernon area has long been attractive to corporations, with its highway and MARTA access. “Corporate headquarters after corporate headquarters have chosen to relocate here,” Demetrops said. Those include UPS, Newell Rubbermaid and Global Payments on Glenlake Parkway. The following projects are pending or underway around the Ga. 400/Abernathy intersection:

Northpark 100


The 275-room luxury hotel was proposed by the Kessler Collection in 2008 on the wooded parcel ringed by Abernathy, Mount Vernon and Peachtree Dunwoody Road. The project has stalled since then, reportedly due to difficulties in securing financing. Kessler currently has a sign posted on the property advertising 34,500 square feet of it for sale as a “potential high-rise condominium development” to be done “in conjunction with” the hotel. A Kessler spokeswoman said there will be no “official updates” on the hotel until next year at the earliest as the company focuses on an Alabama hotel.

The 3.7-acre NorthPlace office site would be anchored by two office towers, one about six stories and one about 10 stories, along with build-to-suit structures. It’s the second phase of a redevelopment that began about a decade ago with the Promenade at NorthPlace condos farther up Barfield Road. The entire site previously was a car dealership. Demetrops said some potential tenants “have been waiting for us” and will be ready to occupy the site.

Abernathy 400

This massive proposal along Abernathy between Ga. 400 and Barfield broke ground in 2007, but only the Serrano mixed-use building has been built. Plans for over a half-million square feet of offices and a hotel have yet to materialize, though the current development team—Cousins, Ackerman & Co. and H.J. Russell & Company—issued updated drawings last year. The developers did not respond to emails seeking comment.

Tell them you saw it in Reporter Newspapers

A gigantic mixed-use plan with 500 apartments and a 50-story office tower was proposed last year for the 16acre open space in the southeast corner of the Ga. 400/Abernathy intersection. The developer is Hines, who built Dunwoody’s Ravinia tower. After community debate, Hines reduced the scale of its plans, then withdrew them about a year ago. Hines did not respond to emailed questions about the project’s status.

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This 200-unit luxury housing for seniors by Dominion Partners is under construction at 25 Glenlake Parkway. Dominion did not respond to emails seeking comment, but company websites say the project will offer independent living, assisted living and memory care, and is slated for a late 2016 opening.

Dan Sasser loves coming and going as he pleases. That’s just one of many reasons he chose Canterbury Court to be his home. “I left a tenured position so I could live wherever I wanted. Then I retired at 60 and was working part time when I discovered Canterbury Court. I thought, ‘How wonderful it would be to live there.’” When he decided to move to Canterbury Court, he chose a studio apartment, which he says “is more than big enough for me.” The maintenance-free lifestyle also lets him keep a second home in Florida and take frequent road trips. Dan says people are “missing the boat” by not moving to a retirement community sooner. “Here you have several restaurant options, all kinds of activities and excursions, a theater with daily showings, a heated pool and wellness center, 11 acres of beautiful gardens ... it’s like being on a permanent vacation!”

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OCT. 2 – OCT. 15, 2015 |

The grand opening of C2 Education of Dunwoody, located at 1402B Dunwoody Village Parkway, was attended by many supporters on Sept. 9. Front row, from left, Stephanie Snodgrass, Dunwoody Perimeter Chamber president, Farrah Joseph, Christopher Babb, Eunice Kwon, Hanh Giang, Dunwoody Mayor Mike Davis, Wendy Hayes and Jina Pak. Back row, from left, Dr. Betsy Wampler, MJ Thomas, Officer Trey, Dunwoody Police Department, Jeff Kremer and Dan Farrar. C2 Education offers personal tutoring, SAT/ACT test help, customized curricula, personalized attention and a wide variety of enrichment services for elementary, middle and high school students.


AXA Advisors, LLC held a ribbon cutting on Sept. 16, at its location at 780 Johnson Ferry Road, Suite 600, in Atlanta. In attendance, from left, Zack Napier, Joye Swanson, Kathy Benton, Wesley Coxwell, Sam O’Neal, Steve Howell, Antan Wilson, Dave Watson, Lennise Morris, Alan Range and Patty Conway. The company helps connect consumers and businesses with financial services and products to help protect their futures.

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LA Fitness, located at 1155 Mount Vernon Highway, Suite 600, in Dunwoody, recently celebrated their remodel with a ribbon cutting. Friends, family, employees and members of the community were on hand, including, MJ Thomas, Heyward Wescott, Dan Farrar, Jennifer Howard, Logan Williams and Fred Scott. The club offers indoor cycling, racquetball, a kids club, group fitness, basketball, an indoor pool and other amenities.


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OCT. 2 – OCT. 15, 2015 | 13


‘Funky and fun’ Psycho Sisters store closing its doors BY JOE EARLE

Stephanie Cramer intends to stay in business through at least one more Halloween. “Halloween is so much fun,” she said. “Come in right before [the holiday] and sit here. It’s energy. Everybody is happy. ... It’s really, really fun at Halloween.” Cramer says she plans to close the Sandy Springs branch of Psycho Sisters, her vintage clothing and costume shop located at 280 Hammond Drive, by the end of the year. The closing won’t affect the remaining Psycho Sisters shops in Little Five Points in Atlanta or in Hapeville, company representatives said. Cramer, who bought the Sandy Springs location 14 years ago, hasn’t set a formal closing date, but says she’ll certainly hold Perimet er on at least through Pro fil e the spooky dress-up holiday that brings big sales to Psycho Sisters shops. How important is Oct. 31 to her business? “We start counting down to Halloween on Nov. 1, the day after Halloween,” she said. But every day can’t be Halloween. And the marketplace for vintage clothing and Halloween costumes is changing, Cramer said. Too many big chains are moving into the suburbs to hawk Halloween costumes and sell vintage clothes. “Everything has a season and Psycho Sisters’ [business] in suburbia has been taken over by the national chains,” said Angie McLean, the store’s founder and original owner, and now CEO of Psycho Sisters Clothing LLC. “She’s really smart to close the store gracefully.” McLean said she started the Psycho Sisters business back in the 1990s, when the nightclubs in Buckhead were booming and people wanted to dress up in fancy clothes for a night on the town.

She started the business with a lookalike friend – they were the “sisters” – she had known in Florida and from metro area clubs, she said. The Sandy Springs shop was the first Psycho Sisters to open, she said. Why Sandy Springs? Partly for its proximity to the club scene, she said. But mostly, “I just picked a place on the map,” she said. Soon, she opened another Psycho Sisters shop in Little Five Points. Psycho Sisters branches started spreading across the metro area, from Hapeville to Cartersville. Cramer, who lived in Dunwoody, was a regular customer of the Sandy Springs shop, the two women said. Fourteen years ago, when McLean decided she’d spread herself too thin and that she needed to sell the Sandy Springs shop, Cramer happened to be looking for a business to move into. “I needed something,” she said. “It fell right into my lap.” She had just had her first child, she said. Owning and operating the shop meant she could bring her child to work with her. “I wanted something where I didn’t need to day care my child. I went in one day and saw a for sale sign. I called my husband and said, ‘Sisters is for sale.

Business and retail briefs The Buckhead Atlanta development quietly changed its name to The Shops Buckhead Atlanta last month, according to a report from Tomorrow’s News Today. No formal announcement was made, but the development’s website and social media accounts were all updated to the new moniker. SRS Real Estate Partners (SRS) announced that the project leasing team in Atlanta has secured three new leases at Gateway, a 21-acre, mixed-use development at the intersection of Roswell Road and Windsor Parkway in Sandy Springs. The 121,071-square-foot mixed-use development project, which is owned by Core Property Capital, consists of 630 apartment units, a 20,000-square-foot office component and 100,000-square-feet of commercial/retail space. Buttermilk Sky Pie Shop, which makes handmade pies, has leased a 1,530-square-foot space. Kale Me Crazy, an organic juice and smoothie bar, has leased 850 square feet; and Blast, a boutique fitness concept, is relocating from Buckhead to a 2,765-square-feet space. This will be Kale Me Crazy’s fourth location in the Atlanta market. The Metro Atlanta Chamber has announced that Kate Atwood will join the organization as vice president of marketing. In this newly created role, she will be responsible for leading the recently launched ChooseATL regional marketing campaign. At-



OCT. 2 – OCT. 15, 2015 |


Left, Stephanie Cramer, who bought the Sandy Springs Psycho Sisters location 14 years ago, will close the store by the end of the year. Above, Halloween brings big sales to the chain.

I’m buying it!’ I raised my daughter in the store... “It’s been a wonderful journey. I think it made [my daughters] very special children because they grew up with shoppers coming in.” Psycho Sisters still is crammed with Halloween costumes – Harry Potters and Elvises and Disney princesses and “Star Wars” outfits for the kids, and nurses and showgirls and other more adult disguises for the grownups – but Cramer says some of her customers have changed through the years. Nowadays, she said, older women drop by the shop to try out jewelry because they’ve never had their ears pierced. Psycho Sisters still sells clasp earrings. At the same time, teenagers come in to check out the racks of vin-

tage tops and skirts, she said. “Sandy Springs has changed so much,” she said. “This shop was more funky 14 years ago. I’m still trying to keep it funky and fun.” Besides, after 14 years of running her own shop, Cramer decided the time had come to try something new. Her daughters now are at an age where she wants to spend more time with them after school. And she and her husband, who remodels houses, are talking of working together in a real-estatebased business. “I’m ready for a life change,” she said. “It’s not a midlife crisis, it’s a life change. I love doing this, but I’m ready for a change. “I think I could do well at real estate. It’s something that interests me.”

wood will focus on managing a multipronged marketing campaign that includes paid, earned, social and digital media. She will also spearhead the campaign’s fundraising efforts and work closely with multiple partners and stakeholders in the 29-county region to showcase metro Atlanta. Prior to joining MAC, she served as executive director of the Arby’s Foundation. In 2003, Atwood founded Kate’s Club, an innovative grief support organization for children and teens facing life after the death of a parent or sibling. Burn Studios, a multiplatform boutique studio offering stadium-seated cycling, high-cardio kickboxing and various forms of yoga, will open in the new Brookleigh Development, 3575 Durden Dr., Suite 202, in Brookhaven. Burn Studios will open alongside Pure Taqueria, Primrose, Brookwood Provisions, and the soon-to-open Glaze, a doughnut and coffee bar. Elite Crowdfund has launched its online equity-based platform in Atlanta, which allows investors to connect directly with vetted, early stage investment opportunities in exchange for an equity share in the company, while offering startup or early stage funding. Elite Crowdfund’s portfolio of business opportunities is only available to accredited investors, defined by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as an individual with annual net income of more than $200,000 individually or $300,000 jointly, or whose net worth is more than $1 million annually, excluding the value of a primary residence. For more information, visit


Pedestrians may encounter safety and wayfinding challenges when navigating around Pill Hill.


Cities seek a prescription for Pill Hill’s traffic CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

wonderful, DeJulio said, was when he recently was stuck in traffic through 10 cycles of a traffic light next to Northside Hospital. “We need to have a coordinated plan for traffic in the Pill Hill area, where we need to bring all three hospitals together,” DeJulio said. “As the hospitals continue to grow and the population continues to age more…I think it’s just going to continue to get worse.” Children’s Healthcare last month filed paperwork to expand its Pill Hill hospital by 60 beds. A new, much larger Ronald McDonald House, which houses families of ill children, is going up at Peachtree Dunwoody and the Glenridge Connector. Northside owns a huge vacant parcel, the site of a former hotel, marked with signs saying only, “Planning for growth, investing in the future.” Then there’s Emory Saint Joseph’s plan to sell a Johnson Ferry parcel to North American Properties for a 305unit apartment building along the Brookhaven border. North American says it will be just the sort of walkable project that could help relieve Pill Hill’s traffic crunch. Neighbors worry it will add to the traffic nightmare. Lack of notice in Brookhaven was also a concern, drawing Mayor Williams to hold unusual meetings with Sandy Springs officials, helping to spark the new attention to Pill Hill. Communication is an underlying issue: city to city, hospital to city, and both to the neighborhoods. Mayor Williams said she was surprised by Emory Saint Joseph’s “radio silence” on the apartment plan. DeJulio said, “We don’t really hear from the hospitals.” “We are open to having broader conversations and look forward to working with city officials, since the governments will ultimately be responsible for the infrastructure required to make…improvements,” said Emory Saint Joseph’s spokeswoman Mary Beth Spence.

Yvonne Williams said the PCIDs work with the hospitals in two major ways that have helped. One is the new Perimeter Connects commuter consulting program, which helps with such efforts as carpool and reduced MARTA fares. It’s also talking with hospitals about consolidating some of their shuttle services. Then there are major infrastructure projects like the proposed widening of Peachtree Dunwoody, including adding bike lanes, under I-285. That would connect with the PATH400 multiuse trail planned to run between Pill Hill and Ga. 400. Such “multimodal” transportation projects would be a huge help, Williams said, and the pending Ga. 400/I-285 interchange project is a big opportunity for fixes. A previous project, completed in 2009, added better sidewalks and other streetscape for pedestrians. Another big opportunity is some type of transit-oriented development directly around the MARTA station, as MARTA is planning at some other stations, including in Brookhaven. Williams said there no formal plans for that yet. Pill Hill’s issues can be complex. While rush-hour traffic is bad, the streets can be relatively clear on off hours. Pedestrians, on the other hand, can still have safety and wayfinding challenges. The streets have wide crossings where cars turn against walk signals. Construction blocked some local sidewalks last week. On two recent Pill Hill visits, lost pedestrians were struggling to find Emory Saint Joseph’s and a medical office located in one of the many nondescript buildings. Yvonne Williams said that having the Perimeter Center’s “corporate community, a Fortune 500 community, right adjacent to a medical center is very unique…It makes it a very appealing area. Our assets are very strong. We just need to develop opportunities to connect those uses.”

Ultimately, it’s your experience that matters. To be sure, we’re proud of our 27 years of experience in senior living. But, to us, what really matters is your experience at our communities. We do everything with that idea clearly in mind. So, go ahead, enjoy yourself with great social opportunities and amenities. Savor fine dining every day. And feel assured that assisted living services are always available if needed. We invite you to experience The Piedmont for yourself at a complimentary lunch and tour. Please call 404.381.1743 to schedule.

Ask about our Assisted Living services.

Supportive services are available at The Piedmont. See how a little help can give you so much peace of mind.

I n de p e n de n t & A s s i s t e d L i v i ng P r e v iou s ly k now n a s T h e H a l l m a r k

650 Phipps Boulevard NE • Atlanta, GA • 404.381.1743 |

OCT. 2 – OCT. 15, 2015 | 15

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OCT. 2 – OCT. 15, 2015 |

Dunwoody Home Tour

Vintage Affair

Wednesday, Oct. 7, 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. –

Saturday, Oct. 17, 6-10 p.m. – The Commu-

The 43rd annual Dunwoody Home Tour brings visitors to five homes in Dunwoody and nearby Sandy Springs. Tickets: $25 in advance; $30 on the day of the tour. Purchase online at the Dunwoody Woman’s Club website: All ticket proceeds benefit the diversified service products of the club, a 501.3c charitable organization.

Tour de Dunwoody Saturday, Oct. 17, 9 a.m. – The Dunwoody

Elementary School presents their annual family bike ride. Riders can participate in the Tiger Route, a police escorted 3-mile ride through the streets of Dunwoody, or take the Cub Route, a shorter, closed course through the campus. Students will be accepting pledges to raise money for the Dunwoody Elementary Tiger Fund Campaign, which makes possible activities and equipment for the school. All riding abilities welcome. Registration: $20 per person and comes with event t-shirt. Dunwoody Element­ ary School, 1923 Womack Rd., Dunwoody, 30338. Have questions? Go to or email:

nity Assistance Center presents the 13th annual Vintage Affair fundraiser event. Award winning wineries, top local restaurants, silent and live auctions all come together for an evening of charity and giving. Tickets are $110 per person or $200 per couple. For information on sponsorships, volunteer opportunities and tickets, contact Vintage Affair chairwoman Shelly Dozier-McKee at shelly.confettistyle@gmail. com. Go online to to purchase tickets. Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church, 805 Mount. Vernon Hwy., NW, Sandy Springs, 30327.

Harvest on the Hooch Sunday, Oct. 18, 1-4 p.m. – The Chatta-

hoochee Nature Center presents “Harvest on the Hooch,” celebrating farm-to-table practices. Visitors enjoy a garden party tasting, featuring high-profile restaurants, live bluegrass music and activities. Proceeds benefit the center’s Unity Garden, which supplies more than five tons of fresh produce annually to the North Fulton Community Charities’ food pantry. Rain or shine event. Tickets: $40 for adults; $15 for kids; free for ages 10 and under. Chattahoochee Nature Center, 9135 Willeo Rd., Roswell, 30075. Find out more at


The Boxtrolls

Run Your Happy Tails Off

Tuesday, Oct. 6, 5:30-7:30 p.m. – Kids and

Saturday, Oct. 10, 8 a.m. – The second an-

families are invited to watch this PG film following Eggs, a young orphaned boy raised by underground, cave-dwelling trash collectors. Light snacks provided. Free and open to the first 25 participants. Brookhaven Branch Library, 1242 N. Druid Hills Rd., Brookhaven, 30319. To learn more go to or call 404-848-7140.

Button Mania Thursday, Oct. 8, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. –

Drop in and craft one-of-a-kind buttons for yourself and your friends at this workshop. Use personal photographs, illustrations, magazines and other artwork to make unique pins for your bags and jackets. Free. Appropriate for teens and adults. Registration requested by emailing: Need more information? Go to Buckhead Branch Library, 269 Buckhead Ave., NE, Buckhead, 30305.

Night Hike Friday, Oct. 9, 8-9 p.m. – Bring the family

for a leisurely night hike around the wetlands and back forests of Dunwoody Park. Educators from the Dunwoody Nature Center will guide groups through the hike and educate participants on the sounds of nocturnal creatures. Free. Dunwoody Nature Center, 5343 Roberts Dr., Dunwoody, 30338. Call 770-394-3322 or go online to to learn more.

nual Run Your Happy Tails Off Run and Festival benefiting Happy Tails Pet Therapy returns to Brook Run Park in Dunwoody. Fun Run begins at 8 a.m., followed by a 5K at 8:30 a.m. Post-race festival starts at 1 p.m. and offers food from local vendors. Course is USATF qualified. All dogs must be on a fixed (not retractable) leash no longer than six feet. Two dogs maximum per person. Go to for more details and to register. Advanced online registration is $35 for the 5K and $25 for the Fun Run through October 9. Day of registration is $40 for the 5K and $30 for the Fun Run. 4770 North Peachtree Rd., Dunwoody, 30338.

Fall Festival Saturday, Oct. 10, 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. – The Open Arms Child Development Center

preschool hosts their annual Fall Festival fundraiser. Wristbands are $5 each, and include pony rides, petting zoo, beauty station, pirate make-over, inflatable bouncy houses, go fish, matchbox races and silent auction. Proceeds benefit programming at the center. 4000 Ro-

out & about swell Rd., Buckhead, 30342. To find out more, email: or go online to

Fall Fun Day Sunday, Oct. 11 9:30-11:30 a.m. – Celebrate

the onset of fall at the Marcus Jewish Community Center in Dunwoody. Families will enjoy a petting zoo, bounce house, face painting, crafts and more. Snacks and drinks provided. Suitable for all ages. For additional information go online to, contact Ilana Schlam at or call 678-812-5342. $20 for members, $32 nonmembers. 5342 Tilly Mill Rd., Dunwoody, 30338.

Historic Halloween

Growing Up Wild

Grand Lunch Buffet

Wednesday, Oct. 14, 10-11 a.m. – The

Large Wine List • Full Bar Catering for all occasions Banquet hall seats up to 450 people

Bluer Heron Nature Preserve hosts a guided walk around the property, aimed at engaging children with sensory experiences in nature. Accompanying adults will learn how to provide and encourage similar experiences in a safe and positive way. As a bonus, come away with a treasure made from natural materials. Suitable for kids ages 5 and under. Tickets: $5 for adults. Free for children. Strollers are welcome, but the terrain is uneven. Register online at 4055 Roswell Rd., Buckhead, 30342.

Big Hero 6 Thursday, Oct. 15, 5 p.m. – Come out

CSI Academy Tuesday, Oct. 13, 4:30-5:30 p.m. – Learn all about the science behind forensic investigation in this familyfriendly class and workshop, part of the Big Thinkers series. Made popular by TV shows such as “CSI” and “Law & Order,” kids have an opportunity to learn about the technical aspects of the job. Registration required. Space is limited. Stop in the Sandy Springs Branch Library, call 404-303-6130 or email: to register. Go to for details. 395 Mount Vernon Hwy., Sandy Springs, 30328.

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and see a family-friendly movie, “Big Hero 6,” under the stars at Brook Run Park. Snacks available for purchase from food trucks starting at 5 p.m.; screening of the movie begins at dusk. Lawn chairs and blankets encouraged. Free and suitable for all ages. Sponsored by the Dunwoody Police Department. 4770 N. Peachtree Rd., Dunwoody, 30338. For more details go to

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PCMS Fall Festival Saturday, Oct. 17, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. – Peachtree

Monday, Oct. 12, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. – Kids are

invited to show off their favorite costumes in a Halloween parade and festival at the Atlanta History Center. Kids will enjoy costume contests, trick-ortreating throughout the museum, creepy tales and themed art projects, and toddlers and preschoolers will learn a bit of history. Free for members; nonmember tickets are $6.50 for adults and $5.50 for children. Discounted rates available for groups of 10 or more children. Call 404-814-4110 or go to with questions. 130 West Paces Ferry Rd., NW, Buckhead, 30305.

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Charter Middle School presents the sixth annual fall festival following the CV Classic 5K Run. 5K starts at 8 a.m.; 1-mile run/ walk starts at 8:30 a.m. Bracelets are $15, and include access to inflatables, games, crafts, face painting and fair hair. Concessions, a bake sale, book sale, photo booth and silent auction available for cash sale. Race and run/walk are rain or shine events. Race registration, $20. Find out more online at 4644 N. Peachtree Rd., Dunwoody, 30338.

Tree Climb Adventure Saturday, Oct. 17, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. –

Join Peter “Treeman” Jenkins and his team from Tree Climbers International for an afternoon of tree climbing education. Participants learn techniques from the founders of the sport at the Dunwoody Nature Center. Must be 6 years of age or older. Admission is $25 for members and $30 for non-members. Questions? Go to dnc. org or call 770-394-3322. 5343 Roberts Dr., Dunwoody, 30338.

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Center Ceramics Department hosts the 14th annual “Free Beans with Every Bowl” sale. Visitors can peruse and purchase a wide variety of high-quality ceramics created on site by Spruill students and faculty, then stay for a helping of chili. Cash and checks only. Free and open to the public. Continues Saturday, Oct. 17, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Spruill Center for the Arts, 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Rd., Dunwoody, 30338. Need additional information? Go to spruillarts. org or call 770-394-3447.

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out & about

State parks provide public places to admire autumn leaves BY JOE EARLE

The return of autumn means it’s time to hit the highway and check out the changing colors of fall in the Georgia mountains. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources says late October and early November usually bring the peak weeks to admire the reds and golds of the changing leaves. Georgia’s state parks system brags that its parks offer some of the best leaf-peeping around. And, through a website called Leaf Watch, the park system guides tourists to places where they can find the best fall color. For regular updates on where to see leafy views that are at or near their colorful peaks, go to “Beginning in October, regular updates will keep travelers posted on how fall color is progressing across Georgia’s Blue Ridge,” the state says. “The website is filled with top trails and overlooks, mountain cabins and campsites, fall events and safe hiking tips.” And state officials enourage photographers to post their favorite shots to the Georgia State Parks’ Facebook page and on Instagram. This year, DNR recommends a number of state parks to check out for fall color. Here are 10 likely prospects:


CLOUDLAND CANYON STATE PARK A hike down a long, steep staircase in this park takes visitors to a pair of waterfalls. The 5-mile West Rim Loop is moderately difficult and offers great

views of the canyon. For more: gastateparks. org/CloudlandCanyon


RED TOP MOUNTAIN STATE PARK Located about a 40-minute drive north of Atlanta, Red Top Mountain offers views of lake and forest. Families with young children will find a paved walking path behind the park office, park officials say. For more:


FORT MOUNTAIN STATE PARK Although it may be best known for a mysterious rock wall along the mountain top, Fort Mountain offers a variety of hiking trails. They range from a 1.2-mile loop around a lake to an 8-mile, all-day hike. Ga. 52 has beautiful mountain scenery and overlooks. For more: FortMountain


AMICALOLA FALLS STATE PARK Located an hour north of Atlanta, this park includes the Southeast’s tallest cascading waterfall. The falls can be viewed from both easy and difficult trails. The park gets very busy on pretty October weekends, the state says. For more:


VOGEL STATE PARK The 4-mile Bear Hair Gap Trail makes a nice day trip for experienced hikers, offering great mountain color and a bird’s-eye view of the park’s lake, state parks officials say. The twisting roads around Vogel, particularly Wolf Pen Gap Road, offer some of north Georgia’s prettiest fall scenery. For more:


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MOCCASIN CREEK STATE PARK Georgia’s smallest state park sits on the shore of a gorgeous deep-green lake. Ga. 197 is a particularly pretty road, according to state officials. For more:


BLACK ROCK MOUNTAIN STATE PARK Black Rock Mountain (altitude 3,640 feet) is Georgia’s highest state park. It offers sweeping views of the Blue Ridge Mountains from roadside overlooks and its visitor’s center, according to the state parks system. For more: BlackRockMountain-Hiking


TALLULAH GORGE STATE PARK Tallulah offers one of the most spectacular canyons in the Southeast. Visitors can choose from easy or difficult trails as they hike through the park. Hikes along the rim offer several overlooks with waterfall views. Hikers with permits from the park office may trek all the way to the bottom of the gorge. Exhibits in the park’s interpretive center highlight the history of the Victorian resort town and the rugged terrain and ecosystem. An award-winning film features footage of kayakers and news clips from daredevil Karl Wallenda’s tightrope walk across the gorge. For more:

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These Founding Fathers take to Twitter as they start a revolution There were anachronisms, to be sure. George Washington tweeted the whole event. Ben Franklin’s cane looked more than a little like a Halloween prop. One Founding Father wore a patch for the New England Patriots. And in place of his usual tri-corner hat, John Hancock wore a cheese head. “It’s a triangle,” sniffed Adam Rubinger, explaining the orange headgear he wore as he played the part of Hancock. Still, by the time this particular meeting of the Second Continental Congress was done, all the major points had been covered. The delegates had voted to rebel against Great Britain, drum up a militia and sign a short, to-the-point Declaration of Independence that read: “In 1776, we solemnly declare ourselves independent of Great Britain.” Who needs the real Thomas Jefferson and all his wordiness? As Davis Academy history teacher Matthew Barry saw it, everything went just fine in this year’s version of his annual eighth-grade re-enactment of the Second Continental Congress, the gatherings in 1775 and 1776 that led to the creation of this country. Barry played Washington, complete with buff-and-tan coat, white wig, tricorner hat and Twitter account. “Thirty or 40 people are following [on Twitter]

right now, including Independence Hall in Philadelphia, which is cool,” he said shortly after the start of the class. (Washington isn’t the AROUND only historTOWN ic character Barry plans JOE EARLE to bring into class during the school year. He’s also got costumes he uses to portray Sitting Bull, Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt and a pair of Civil War soldiers, one from each side, and a few others, he said. “If there’s a chance for me to dress up, I will,” he said.) This was the 11th time he had organized a recreation of the Second Continental Congress. The four-hour event has become a favorite part of the school year. Students look forward to it. Parents come and watch for part of the day. It’s Barry’s way of trying to get students engaged with history, and have a little fun with it, rather than just reading about it.

Students re-enacting the Second Continental Congress gather around teacher Matthew Barry’s laptop to videochat with a class in Chicago.

“It’s one of the most exciting parts of the eighth grade,” said parent David Rubinger, whose twin sons Adam and Eric were taking part this year and whose two older children had been through previous congressional re-enactments. “He really brings history to life in a way I don’t remember when I

was going to school.” This year, 58 eighth-graders from Barry’s U.S. history and government classes gathered in the school library to portray the delegates. Flags of the rebellion, including several showing a coiled snake and reading “Don’t tread on me” lined the back walls, and an image of a

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At left, Davis Academy student Ian Quegan discusses revolutionary ideas with fellow delegates. Teacher Matthew Barry, above and at right, portrayed George Washington, and tweeted the entire event.

tax collector hanged in effigy was projected at the front of the room. Each student played the part of a particular delegate to the original Second Continental Congress, which met in Philadelphia back in 1775 and 1776. Barry’s classes contained two students too many for the 56 actual delegates, so the extras portrayed other Sons of Liberty from the time, including Paul Revere. The students dressed in a variety of costumes to represent their 18th century characters. Some wore white wigs. Others donned costume tri-corner hats, boots, vests or long coats with knee-length pants.

At one point, someone shouted at Samuel Felner that he had a stain on his trousers. “They’re not trousers,” he replied. “They’re baseball pants.” There were girls among the delegates, too. Several wore long braids. “I think we’re supposed to be boys,” said Gabi Louis, who played the part of Arthur Middleton of South Carolina. Seated at 13 tables covered with green tablecloths and small, electric candles, the delegates shouted approval or disapproval as various positions were presented and argued. They banged on tabletops. They hooted at opponents.


“Arguing is a very fun aspect,” said Adam Prass, who portrayed New York delegate James Duane and drew catcalls for arguing against independence. Debate touched the major issues of the day: slavery, trade, how to raise a navy when you don’t have one, what to make of battles with British soldiers in Boston. At their table, Jonah Medoff and Arie Voloschin worked on a drawing of the tarring and feathering of a tax collector. Once all the shouting and tablebanging and presentation of arguments were done, 11 delegations voted to de-

clare independence, Barry said the next morning. Two delegations voted to abstain. That suited Barry just fine. “I just let them go with it,” he said. And you can take nothing for granted when it comes to recreating history. Past re-enactments have varied in their outcome. Over its 11 years, Barry said, the Davis Academy version of the Continental Congress is 10 and 1 when voting for independence. One year, the whole thing collapsed into bickering. “They went to war with each other,” he said. “North Carolina declared war on South Carolina.”

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Food: It’s all good for you

Years of research help create years of memories.

In a perfect world, my favorite foods would have magical properties. Croissants would make my hair smooth and silky, potato chips would make me sing on key, and bacon would kill germs that cause bad breath. Lo and behold, dear readers, that world has arrived! Every time I log-on, I see a new announcement splashed across the Internet that a formerly forbidden food is now considered healthy. It started with chocolate…dark chocolate. Somewhere, somehow, someone discovered that dark chocolate is jampacked with antioxidants, which of course are the superheroes of our generation, and furthermore, that dark chocolate releases endorphins, which are good for the soul. Chocolate with ice cream is even better for the soul, and if there is coconut oil somewhere in the mix, it will kill your belly fat as you eat it. The happy news continues. Coffee is good for the muscles, red wine is good for the heart, hamburger and avocados are good for the brain, and beer is a probiotic. And to round things out, I will add that olive oil and garlic are good for the joints. It’s as if we’ve fallen into the Land of Oz. Pretty soon we’ll learn that apple strudel whitens teeth and pasta quattroformaggi improves your chances of winning the lottery. Why, just today, a headline appeared in the “healthy living” section of my newsfeed, entitled, “The Top Ten Best Foods You Can Eat.” I took the bait and clicked on the link. All the usual suspects were there—blueberries, kefir, beans, spinach—but buried in the middle were mushrooms, which gave me pause, and then, making a grand finale appearance on the list, was pork! Pork, people, pork! Well, now we’re talking. It appeared to me that all food is trending “good for you,” so I decided to try a little experiment. I googled random foods and attached the question, “Is it good for you?” And I have discovered that (with the exception of strawberries,

which we’ve been eating all wrong, but that’s another column) it’s all good! Guided by my original wish list, I went craROBIN JEAN zy and started with, “Are MARIE CONTE croissants ROBIN’S NEST good for you?” I found a site which explained that, sure enough, they are! Croissants contain iron and selenium, and even though I have never in my life heard of selenium, it happens to be an essential mineral, and that is good enough for me. And take our old friend bacon, for example. I googled, “Is bacon good for you?” and up popped a post that is entirely devoted to the virtues of bacon. It’s on a website called Bacon Today, posted by Boss Hog (who else) and liked by, at last count, 24,735 humans. It is titled “Top Ten Reasons Bacon is Actually HEALTHY for You!” and it informs us that bacon is good for the brain, the heart, blood pressure, general well-being, and that it can fuel your car and major industry, too. I have spent several days researching the health benefits of foods-formerlyknown-as-unhealthy. I have concluded that a hamburger cooked medium well, covered with mushrooms and melted Swiss cheese, served with a side of (gluten-free) chips, guacamole and a beer, and finished with a dark-chocolate brownie a la mode, is the ultimate brain-powering, endorphin-boosting, healthy meal. Plus, after you eat it, you will make all the green lights. Robin Conte is a writer and mother of four who lives in Dunwoody. She can be contacted at

Northside Hospital Cancer Institute treats more men with prostate cancer than anyone else in Georgia. And Northside’s patients have access to the latest research and treatments. These are a few more reasons why people from across the country trust Northside for their cancer care. No team works harder to help make cancer a distant memory. For help finding a cancer specialist, call 404-531-4444.

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Let’s rock! The band No Solution, comprised of North Atlanta High School students Devon Gates, Max Bittner, Chris Robinson and Atlanta Classical Academy student Micah MacLane, recently won the the Atlanta Blues Challenge, Youth Division, sponsored by the Atlanta Blues Society.

There’s so many! Olivia Berry, a student at Spalding Drive Elementary, is wowed by the mountain of shoes collected by the school’s Shoes for Paws service project, in which donated shoes are cleaned and shipped to those in need.

It’s fast, it’s fun! North Springs Charter High School algebra student Deraun Fry, center, shows off a “classroom response device” that encourages students to participate in math class. The school’s math department won a $10,000 grant from the Sandy Springs Society. Also on hand, from left, Friends of North Springs Foundation grant chair Mary Reid, Sandy Springs’ philanthropy chair Joan Plunkett, Sandy Springs Society President Karen Meinzen McEnerny, Principal Eddie Ruiz, Math Department Chair Jessica Woods and Foundation President Sandra Jewell.


Far out! At left, Susan Oltman of Brookhaven, and April Whitt of Dunwoody, second from right, recently joined NASA for two scientific research flights. Also on board were Nichelle Nichols, known As Lt. Uhura on “Star Trek” and Ivor Dawson of the Traveling Space Museum.

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Standout Student Student Profile: Ansley Guthrie Whitefield Academy, junior Ansley Guthrie is a young philanthropist with a passion for graphic design. Last summer, she traveled to Uganda, caring for imprisoned children. With siblings adopted from China, Ansley has always felt an urge to help children less fortunate than she was growing up. She is amazed at how such a small effort by her family helped her siblings in such a huge way. It also motivated her to help in other ways when given the opportunity. The perfect one presented itself this past summer. Her godparents live in Uganda and work for Sixty Feet, which is mainly a well-digging service for drought-ridden towns and villages. Ansley explained that they hit water at 60 feet under the ground, hence the name. The organization has divisions outside of well digging: clothing, food and a few others, including working in children’s prisons. She explained that her godparents are in charge of all the company’s Ugandan operations, so they knew when they needed help. Ansley was eager to help out and to take a trip to Uganda.

The children’s prisons in Uganda are very different than the juvenile correctional facilities in the United States. In Uganda, Ansley said, children can be imprisoned if they beg or simply cannot find their family in public. Ansley went to work every day in these prisons, giving the children food, water and clothes, and simply being someone they could talk to.

The teenagers and older boys value the conversations, Ansley said. And she admits that her time wasn’t spent in completely selfless action; she loved the conversation and time with the children as much as they did. Overall, she enjoyed her time in Uganda, and plans to go back in the future. In addition to her humanitarian endeavors, she is very enthusiastic about art. Ansley said she loves graphic design and hopes to pursue it in the future. Also, she would like to incorporate graphic design into helping less fortunate children. She hopes to create advertising to raise awareness for organizations such as Sixty Feet. Art and graphic design is very much a part of Ansley’s life at school. She is in

“ Weber students embrace the creative process and connect with who they are artistically, culturally, and spiritually.”

AP Art and a member of the Art Club. AP Art teacher Rebecca Brown says Ansley’s work is “thought provoking and highly original.” “She enjoys working creatively to produce conceptual works of art that are highly skillful,” Brown said. “Ansley is one of the most considerate students I have ever taught. She is compassionate and generous, and lives out our school’s mission statement in all she does, but especially the part – ‘for others ahead of self.’” Ansley also is a member of the Whitefield tennis team. She plays number 3 singles, and the team went to regional competition last year. This coming spring, she will captain the varsity girls’ team.

What’s Next: While her college search is well underway, Ansley is sure that she wants to go to college either in New York or Chicago. She says the energy of a big city excites her and draws her in. Also, she is inspired by the constant movement and happening of a large urban area. This article was reported and written by Sam Wimpfheimer, a student at The Galloway School.

Read all of our editions online

- Hilda Willis Performing Arts, Director in Residence



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OCT. 2 – OCT. 15, 2015 |



Atlanta History Center focuses on the changing seasons

The Atlanta History Center held its annual Fall Folklife Festival on Sept. 26, giving guests the opportunity to learn how Southerners, in the past, prepared for the changing seasons. Above, left, Kelly Whitfield strokes a rabbit while in the Little Red Barn Petting Zoo. Center, Sophia Wetherbee, 9, poses with a chicken. Right, Kate Kovach has a close encounter with a cow. Middle left, the Little Country Giants, consisting of husband and wife duo, Russell Cook, center, playing acoustic guitar, and Cameron Federal, right, on stand-up bass, perform. Kenneth Johnson, on electric guitar, accompanies them for this performance.

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Clifton Corridor light rail line appears to be gaining momentum BY CLARE S. RICHIE ridor anchors has promise. It could cut current commute times between Lindbergh and Emory in half and shave 17 minutes off the trip from HartsfieldJackson Atlanta International Airport. The line would also provide access to Cheshire Bridge, Suburban Plaza and DeKalb Medical Center, and connect riders to MARTA’s Red and Gold (north) lines and the Blue (east) line. Right now, the proposed project is in the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) phase that will look at two alternatives; the second (Alternative 2) is a lower-cost option with only street level, or at-grade, rail. This phase includes environmental analysis, cost refinement, station locations/ design and other potential impacts, as well as community outreach and public hearings. More details like track locations, traffic signals, bike lanes, sidewalks and bus route connections will come later. Completion of the final EIS statement is expected in 2017. Submission of the statement is the first step in applying for federal funding under the New Starts program. A project this size isn’t cheap. “$700


There are two proposals being discussed for the Clifton Corridor light rail line. Above, Alternative 2, would only have “at-grade” or street level crossings as it winds its way from the Lindbergh MARTA station in Buckhead to Avondale Estates. It is the lowest cost option at a projected $700 million. To see a larger version, go to

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Despite the 2012 T-SPLOST defeat, MARTA and its regional partners are actively pursuing the Clifton Corridor Transit Initiative, a proposed light rail line that would link the Lindbergh and Avondale stations and provide relief to one of Atlanta’s most congested job centers. Each day an estimated 50,000 cars travel to Emory University, Emory Hospital, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Children’s Healthcare, and the Veteran’s Administration Hospital, through an area described as the Clifton Corridor. In the next 25 years, 65,000 more jobs are expected in this area, which currently lacks access to an interstate or MARTA stations. The three MARTA bus routes (6, 19 and 36) and Emory private shuttles are simply inadequate, according to officials. “Can you imagine if downtown or the Perimeter had no interstate or MARTA option?” asked Tameka Wimberly, Clifton Corridor Project Manager-MARTA Office of Transit Systems Planning. “It’s an urban area that’s not connected the way it should be.” A light rail line connecting the cor-

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Alternative 1, above, would feature at-grade crossings, elevated tracks and tunnels. Both plans are currently undergoing environmental impact studies. To see a larger version, go to

million is the current cost estimate for Alternative 2. It assumes light rail operating on street level with existing vehicles, but costs could change as the project is refined in the EIS process,” according to Wimberly. What’s also daunting is that the Federal Transportation Administration expects 50 percent or more of the project cost to come from local sources. “Atlanta is competing with cities like Los Angeles that only ask for 20 percent federal funding,” Wimberly shared. And MARTA is the only subway system in the country that doesn’t

receive state funds. Instead, MARTA and its supporters will work with the Georgia General Assembly to pursue levying a halfpenny sales tax in DeKalb and Fulton counties. If all goes as planned, light rail service in the Clifton Corridor could begin in 2025. For more, visit or Send comments, questions, ideas and concerns to the Clifton Corridor Project Team at

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The Briarcliff and Zonolite roads intersection would be one of the main stops on the Clifton light rail line. inside Battle lines DeKalb representatives want districts redrawn


Egg role


Area draws film, television productions

demand jobReporter cuts

By MaGGie lee 29 — AuG. 11, 2011 • VoL. 5 — no. 15 JuLy

Southern eatsProperty owners in parts of northern DeKalb County will


His ‘house’ Southside youth center bears his name

Splash down Chattahoochee River ready for riders

Relax, reflect


Even clergy need to take a holiday

Scouts honor


Buckhead, Ugandan troops make connection

String lover


Read our other editions, get daily news from your community and sign up for e-mail alerts at

His ‘house’

full pews




commmuNity 8

Diamond Graders of America



See our ad on page 14 404.438.9842 . In the Whole Foods Shopping Center next to Canton Cooks

The Sandy Springs City Council on July 12 approved incentives to lure a business into the city that claims it will create 289 jobs, but some council members said they were wary about what the city’s long-term economic development policy would be. “We need to give this a tremendous amount of thought,” Mayor Eva Galambos said. The unspecified project planned for the Powers Ferry area, code-named “Project Gamma” by City Manager John McDonough, will receive around $190,000 in incentives from the city. City officials did not name the company. The pay-off for the city will be 289 new jobs with an additional 50 expected in the next five years, McDonough said. Mc-

By Joe earle

HisJenna ‘house’ Shulman knew exactly why she and the others were

phil MoSier

Tom Bennett, left, with wildlife wonders and the North georgia Zoo & petting farm, gives Ben irastorza, 7, a rare



When Gordon Certain first moved to north Buckhead in 1975, he used to take walks along Mountain Way. “It was just beautiful,” he said. “You couldn’t tell you were in the city.” Things change, of course. Now, “all you’ve got to do is look up,” Certain said. “[You see] the concrete cloud.” These days, Mountain Way passes beneath those most urban of developments – Ga. 400 and MARTA trains. The winding road, which connects North Wieuca and North Ivy roads, passes beneath the highway and the commuter train that runs through the area. But Certain, who’s president of the North Buckhead Civic

5982 Roswell Rd., Sandy Springs

Hands up

page 17

buildingyouth papercenter rockets in a Dunwoody gym. Southside She’d been to Space Camp before, the one in Alabama, and bears his name they’d made and launched similar air-powered rockets there. mAkiNg“We A diffeReNce 10 and they went up into the air,” said Jenput air in them na, who’s 11.

See SANdy SpRiNgS AppRoveS, pAge 5

But launching rockets wasn’t the main thing she and her

brother Seth planned to do during their week at the Marcus Splash down

Jewish Community Center of Atlanta’s first Space Camp. Chattahoochee River “We’re going to do a space mission,” Jenna said. “We’re ready for riders out & About 11

See Space camp, page 19

phoToS By phiL moSieR

See our ad on page 10 .

Aidan berry, 5, above, closely inspects his chalk-covered fingers after making sidewalk creations at the Sandy Springs farmers market on July 2.

In the Whole Foods Shopping Center next to Canton Cooks

Left, Hannah Rose Much, 5, and right, Alex berry, 5, twin brother of Aidan, busily make their own chalk art masterpieces at the market. more photos online at

Read our other editions, get daily news from your community and sign up for e-mail alerts at 404.438.9842

5982 Roswell Rd., Sandy Springs


Diamond Graders of America


sandy springs approves incentives for ‘project Gamma’ By dan WHIsenHunt

paper rockets and a shuttle take flight as an era ends

ARouNd towN 7

kid-built movie magic Area draws film, television productions

chance to touch a skunk during a program for children and Residents talk up a new parents at the dunwoody public Library on July 9. more park on Mountain Wayphotos on page 17 and online at


Nicole Soileaul, left, swings with Darin Cornell as they enthusiastically get into a dancing groove at the Atlanta Cajun Zydeco Association CD party and potluck dinner at the Garden Hills Recreation Center in Buckhead July 24. More photos on page 16 and online at

See ciTy couNciL, page 3

These creations are not for breakfast


5982 Roswell Rd., Sandy Springs


egg role

makiNg a diffeReNce 10

See our ad on page 10 404.438.9842 .

Pint-sized Picassos

All ears

Mormon church splitsSuperintendent ErNancy Meister introduced Interim roll Davis Jr. at a July 21 meetingcrowds at Garden Hills Elementary to handle School and gave him her full endorsement. commuNiTy 15 “I believe he is the right man at the right time and here for the right reasons,” the District 4 Atlanta Board of Education member told the packed house. Readinour other editions, Davis was drenched sweat hadyour removed his jacket by get daily newsand from the end of the night after taking more than an hour’s worth of community and sign up for e-mailand alerts at questions from parents, students teachers. The crowd frequently his answers. Davis takes over at a perilous moment for Atlanta Public Schools. Former Superintendent Beverly Hall left with a cloud of suspicion hanging over her head after a cheating scandal hit

In the Whole Foods Shopping Center next to Canton Cooks


Skid marks

Southside youth center bears his name


Citizens group solicits donations for city study

Diamond Graders of America

commuNity 2 Dunwoody City Council has postponed a final vote on the city’s parks bond proposal until its July 25 meeting.July 15 — July 28, 2011 • vol. 5 — No. 14 City officials want a referendum, which will ask Dunwoody residents to vote on the issuance of $33 million in general obLocal paving project ligation bonds, to appear on the November ballot. The council willshifts need gears to approve the referendum by the end of July in order for it to make it3onto this year’s ballot. commuNity Council members had several concerns about the bonds, which would be used to acquire land for city parks. It will equate to a 0.75 mill increase for taxpayers. One mill is equal to $1 for every $1,000 of the taxable value of a property. Inschools the future, a second $33 million bond issue will be put beFulton leader forefeeback, voters toopinions develop park land, city officials have said. seeks City Councilman Denis Shortal wanted to know what intercommeNtARy 6 est rate the city could expect if voters approve the bonds, which the city would be responsible for paying back over a 30-year pe-

commuNiTy 8

By JOe eaRle


Buckhead, Ugandan troops make connection By Melissa weinMan

FUNNY MAN egg role page

These creations are11 not for breakfast


Connect with Reporter Newspapers!

page 16

City Council puts off

Inside parks bond voteSandy again Springs Scouts honor

commeNTaRy 6

movie magic


Vacant schools post requires action

Area draws film, television productions

A non-profit group has begun collecting donations to finance a study of the feasibility of creating a city of Brookhaven. Citizens for North DeKalb announced recently that it had begun collecting donations through its website and by check. The group hopes to raise enough money to pay for a state-mandated study by the Carl Vinson Institute of Governmental AfPHIL MOSIER fairs at the University of Georgia to examine whether a proposal Noah Rich, 5, listens to his father Mark, as he gets a bicycle to create a new city in the area makes financial sense. lesson at Keswick Park July 9. Noah, who will attend “We want to learn all we can about the municipal options kindergarten at Murphey Candler Elementary School this fall, that are on the table,” Doug Dykhuizen, president of the group, Practice, practice says was so encouraged he learned to ride that afternoon. More this cello master told members of the Brookhaven Community Connection on photos on page 4 and online at SEE GROUP, PAGE 5 STANDOUT STUDENT 18

Diamond Graders of America

Close encounter

commuNiTy 4

Super stall

Meister expresses confidence in interim school superintendent

Let the good times roll

Stage fright


Georgia Attorney General favors transparency

aRouNd TowN 7

Local author praisessee their taxes rise substantially under a new tax millage adopted purloo, moonshine by the DeKalb County Commission. At the same time, the commission presented a list of deAROUND TOWN 7 mands for spending oversight changes, including a reduction in the number of county employees. The tax rate for residents in unincorporated areas of DeKalb will rise by 4.35 mills, from about $8 on $1,000 of taxable valVeteran comic ue of a property to about $12.35. That means the taxes on a opens new club $200,000 house could rise by about $180, county officials said. The tax hike for Dunwoody residents will be lower, rising 2 OUT & ABOUT 11 mills, meaning the taxes will rise from about $8 to nearly $10 on $1,000 of taxable property value. That’s because Dunwoody provides some of its own services, like police. That could mean

DunwooDy priDe

July 15 — July 28, 2011 • vol. 2 — No. 14

open doors

Atlanta budgets feel the pain

Movie magic

commuNiTy 2

page 18

DeKalb council votes

Inside property taxBuckhead hike,

Pension pinch


Dunwoody Reporter

Tax hike DeKalb County Commission votes for increase, job cuts


JuLy 15 — JuLy 28, 2011 • VoL. 3 — no. 14

Fast learner

These creations are not for breakfast

Read our other editions, get daily news from your community and sign up for e-mail alerts at


Brookhaven Reporter


Yellow card Concern continues over soccer club’s plans

(just south of Piedmont Hospital next to Panera Bread)

Reapportionment: Sandy Springs voters want new district

at home | at the office online | on your smart phone

Reporter Newspapers

By MelIssa WeInMan

Buckhead and Sandy Springs voters are telling state lawmakers they want to live in election districts that will strengthen representation of their neighborhoods. Legislators listened to residents at a public hearing June 30 in preparation for the upcoming special session of the Georgia General Assembly in which the state’s legislative and Congressional districts will be redrawn to reflect changes in population. Many of the speakers expressed hope that “communities of interest” – areas which share common beliefs and lifestyles – would be kept intact during the process.

See SANdy SpRiNgS pAge 4

See our ad on page 10 404.438.9842 . 5982 Roswell Rd., Sandy Springs

In the Whole Foods Shopping Center next to Canton Cooks |

OCT. 2 – OCT. 15, 2015 | 27


Buckhead Police Blotter From police reports dated Sept. 6 through 19

 1900

The following information was provided to the Buckhead Reporter by the Zone 2 precinct of the Atlanta Police Department from its records and is presumed to be accurate.

ROBBERY  2400

block of Coronet Way—Two men with guns approached another man at a bus stop and demanded his property. They took the man’s wallet, house keys and cellphone from his pockets before fleeing on foot.

 700

block of Huff Road—When a man unlocked the front door to allow an employee to enter, a man entered with his hand in his pocket as if he had a gun. He said, “No one moves, no one gets hurt. Where’s the money?” He then told everyone to lie on the floor. Three other men entered. One of the suspects went behind the counter and removed the cash drawer with $150 inside, a Sony laptop, iPhone and car keys to a 2001 white Lexus RX300. The other suspects went through the victims’ pockets taking property. Arrests have been made.

 1000

block of Collier Road—A neighbor saw someone in the stairwell bleeding from the head and with an electrical cord tied around his right wrist. He said “Robert” was inside his bedroom talking, when he suddenly got up and said, “I want your stuff. I need this, I need this.” The suspect struck the victim about the head with a hammer and flashlight before taking an Apple iPhone 6, wallet and keys to a 2013 Hyundai Elantra. The victim was transported to Grady to be treated for significant injuries to his head, face, hands and legs.

 3200 Lenox Road—A man was sitting on

his sofa when a man with a mask entered, pointed a knife and demanded money. The man complied and gave the suspect $50.

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block of Piedmont Circle—A man with a 9mm gun and a woman entered a room at a suites hotel, threatened the resident, took his TV and drove off in a red Ford Explorer. The suspects and a second man were located in the vehicle a short distance away, and identified by the resident. The residents and robbery suspects know each other and use drugs together. The robbery suspects claimed the resident said it was okay to take the television because he owed them money for drugs.

 2100

block of Monroe Drive—A man left his white Dodge Charger running while he entered a store. While inside, he heard his vehicle speed off. He exited the location and yelled out “HEEEY!” A man stuck a black gun out of the window, which made the car owner retreat back inside. Video captured the man exiting the driver side of a powder blue Infiniti and the male passenger sliding over to the driver’s seat.

 2400

block of Coronet Way—A man approached a woman and demanded her cellphone. When she refused, the man said, “Look, I’m going to ask you one more time or I’m going to punch you in the face.” She handed the man her iPhone 5C and he ran off.

 1400

Reporter Newspapers Brookhaven Reporter

Buckhead Reporter

Dunwoody Reporter

Sandy Springs Reporter

Consider selling advertising for our fast-growing community publications. We’re looking for high energy people with a passion for selling and proven experience in any type of outside sales. We offer excellent compensation and benefits. For information, contact publisher Steve Levene at 404-917-2200, ext. 111 or email



OCT. 2 – OCT. 15, 2015


block of Mecaslin Street—People met up in person after connecting on Craigslist to sell an X-Box. Two men pulled an AK-47 and a black handgun, fired shots in the air and demanded their X-Box, wallets and keys. They fled in a Silver Nissan Altima and fired shots at the seller when he ran after their vehicle. Eleven .40-caliber shell casings were recovered. A projectile struck one vehicle in the parking lot.

er is known as “El Abuelo” and that he and his girlfriend know when the victim gets paid and has taken money from him in the past.  4200

block of Roswell Road—Someone walked into a cellphone store with a revolver, forced the clerk and customers into the back and demanded electronics items (phones and tablets). Employees complied and placed several items and monies form the cash register into a black plastic bag. An arrest has been made.


block of Peyton Road—A verbal altercation turned physical when someone picked up a stick. Both parties pushed each other to the ground and one person retaliated by beating the other with the stick. A patrol officer noted visible lacerations to one person’s hand, bruises to the forearm and back.

 3200

block of Roswell Road—While handling a booting dispute, a man used a handgun to knock on a driver’s window several times. While on scene, the man with the gun was positively identified by the driver as he walked by. The handgun was recovered after a “consent to search” warrant was obtained.

 1700

block of Northside Drive—Several men attacked a man, who was outside an apartment complex in the pool area. He reported being punched, kicked and thrown into the pool. He received several rib fractures as a result of the incident.

 I-75

at Northside Drive—A man pulled beside another man on the highway, lowered the passenger window and pointed a handgun at him.

 3400

block of Kingsboro Road—An intoxicated man showed up at a woman’s front door and began a verbal argument. When she refused to open the door, he kicked the door in, splitting the doorframe. Once inside, he choked her and said he would kill her. The man snatched the woman’s iPhone when he realized she was recording the entire episode. Arrests were made.

 First

block of 25th Street—Men drove up to a driver in a gold sedan, pointed guns and stated “You know what we want [expletive deleted],” and “You know what we do, ho.” They took the driver’s keys, wallet, necklace, credit cards and cell phones.

 3100

 First

 200

block of Roswell Court—Two men in a black Nissan approached a man. One suspect showed a gun in his waistband while the other suspects took $660 from his pocket. The victim said the driv-

block of Roswell Road—A man and a group of men were engaged in a verbal dispute that turned physical when he was struck in the face and head with a glass bottle. He was later treated for five fractures and also some possible muscle and tissue damage behind his left eye. block of Sardis Way –After being thrown out of a bar for a argument, one person was stabbed in the stomach while walking down the street. The suspect latCONTINUED ON PAGE 30 BH





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Buckhead Police Blotter CONTINUED FROM PAGE 28

er phoned 911 in Sandy Springs to confess his part in the attack. Police responded to the scene, recovered the weapon and the suspect was taken into custody.  2400

block of Piedmont Road—During a fight, a person was struck in the face with a drinking glass and cut about the face. The suspect was able to leave the location undetected, but was lat- er identified when a member of his entourage showed police his Facebook page.

 2600

block of Piedmont Road— Police units were dispatched to a shoplifting call at a department store. Upon arrival, police saw someone trying to run away. As police approached, the suspect picked up a chair and swung it at officers, who tased the suspect before arrest.

 2300

block of Cheshire Bridge Road— A man cut off a woman’s vehicle as she entered a parking lot. When she began honking her horn, he “gave her the middle finger” and used profane language. As she was walking from the ATM, he sped his vehicle in the direction she and a minor child were walking, almost striking them. When she said she was phoning police, the man said he didn’t care and

fled the scene.  1700

block of Cheshire Bridge Road— A man said he was struck in the head with a flashlight when he refused to leave a nightclub parking lot. He drove himself to Atlanta Medical Center for treatment and later to Grady Medical Hospital for follow-up. Police were unable to confirm or deny the incident took place. The victim sustained a contusion to the forehead.


block of Paces Ferry Road—A 70inch flat-screen TV, a Bose Surround System, Apple TV box, a Blue Ray player, a diamond ring, a pair of diamond earrings and other jewelry were taken from a house that is being renovated.

 700

block of Huff Road—Several drawers inside an apartment were ransacked, but no items were taken.

 2500

block of Defoors Ferry Road— A washer, dryer, stainless steel stove, refrigerator and a Kitchen-Aid dishwasher were taken from a house.

 1100

block of Collier Road—A MK watch, a MK diamond necklace and an MK ring were taken from an apartment.

 2000

block of Northside Drive—A Dell laptop, a Ryobi tool kit, an electric scooter and two blue bikes were taken from a house.

 700

block of West Wesley Road—A basement window was broken and a GE refrigerator, a white Whirlpool washer and a white dryer were taken.

TV, a Phillips 55-inch TV, two Dell 13inch laptops, a Sony Dolby stereo, a wedding ring, a women’s handbag and a set of house/work keys were taken.

 2000

 500

block of Peachtree Road—A 50inch TV, a Visio laptop, a wallet and two Money orders were taken.

 200

block of Laurel Forest Circle—A Kitchen Aid gas stove top was taken from a house that is vacant.

 3500 block of Roxboro Road—A Honda

gas powered pressure washer, 47-inch TV, a 50-inch Sony TV, a Blackberry Device, an Xbox, a 37-inch Samsung TV, a brown comforter, a Dell Inspirion laptop and a Daniel Wellington watch were taken.

 2100 block of Piedmont Road—Apart-

ment keys, key fob, a vehicle key and a keyless remote entry were taken by the resident’s ex-boyfriend.

 4000 block of Conway Valley Road—A

gas-powered leaf blower was taken from the carport and an iPad Mini and change jar were taken from the resident’s room. A pillow case was discovered on the kitchen counter.

 1900

block of Hollywood Road— A burglar bar was found lying on the ground and a window was broken. The interior of the residence was ransacked and the alarm panel ripped form the wall and broken. An LG 60-inch LED

block of Collier Road—A Whirlpool microwave and gas stove were taken from a vacant house that is currently listed for sale.

 4000

block of Arden Way—A Sony Bravia 40-inch TV, a MacBook Air laptop and a leather wallet with a checkbook and credit cards were taken.

 4200

block of Wiecua Road—A Nintendo WII, an Xbox One, two laptops and three flat-screen TVs were taken from a house currently listed for sale.


block of Peachtree Road—The safe keyboard was damaged and the register tills totaling $600 were taken. Milk was poured on the keyboard and electronic devices.

 2400

block of Bolton Road—A window air conditioner and 100 DVD movies were taken.

 1300

block of Ellsworth Industrial Boulevard—A black TV stand, a black LG flat-screen TV and three Dell monitors were taken.

 3200

block of Roswell Road—A cash drawer that contained $300 in currency was taken.

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OCT. 2 – OCT. 15, 2015 |

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