10-12-18 Dunwoody Reporter

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OCTOBER 12 - 25, 2018 • VOL. 9 — NO. 21


Dunwoody Reporter



► Sexism is a problem in politics, elected officials say PAGE 6 ► Anatomy Fashion Show lends hearts and hands to charity PAGE 8

Pages 12-13

Spruill Center considers moving out of city

Strolling through community history

BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

The Spruill Center for the Arts is currently “gridlocked” at its home at the North DeKalb Cultural Arts Center and says more classroom space is needed immediately if the renowned nonprofit organization is to stay in Dunwoody. That was a major message presented to the mayor and City Council Oct. 8 when they were presented with the city’s first Arts and Culture Master Plan, dubbed See SPRUILL on page 14

Local historian Chris Turnbull gestures as he leads a “Twilight Tour” of the 1859 Stephen-Martin Cemetery in Perimeter Center on Oct. 6. The tour kicked off the Dunwoody Preservation Trust’s “Apple Cider Days,” a month of events related to local history and culture, culminating Oct. 27 with Boy Scout Troop 477’s Halloween festival at the Donaldson-Bannister House and Gardens. For a list of events, see appleciderdays.org.

EXCEPTIONAL EDUCATOR Livening up the library with crafts, therapy dogs

OUT & ABOUT Scare up some Halloween fun

Definitely. With stakes this high, I wouldn’t miss it. Are you more likely to vote in the November election than in past elections? See COMMENTARY Page 16

TH 14 !


State committee orders two more ambulances to Dunwoody BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

Two more ambulances are expected to be soon stationed in Dunwoody after a state subcommittee studying DeKalb County’s EMS strategy acknowledged there was a “problem” with ambulance service in North DeKalb. But a decision on possibly creating a new EMS zone specifically for Dunwoody has been delayed until after the first of the year. At an Oct. 4 meeting of a state subcommittee tasked to evaluate DeKalb and its am-

A 37-year-old voter

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See STATE on page 22



(11 pm - 5 pm)

Apple Valley Road (Behind the Brookhaven MARTA Station) 4047 Peachtree Road, Brookhaven, GA 30319


2 | Community

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900-condo plan moves forward amid affordability talk BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

A proposed 900 condominium and mixed-use development in Perimeter Center got the go-ahead from the city Planning Commission Oct. 9. But the commission’s chair is expressing concern that affordable rental units are not part of the plan. The Planning Commission voted Oct. 9 to recommend approval of North Carolina-based Grubb Properties’ proposed development, named The Park at Perimeter Center East. The 20-acre site at 41, 47 and 53 Perimeter Center East was formerly the home of City Hall and currently holds two other office buildings and large parking lots. The developer is seeking to rezone the

property from office industrial to Perimeter Center subarea 2. Besides the 900 for-sale condos, the development would include 500,000 square feet of office space, approximately 12,000 square feet of retail and a nearly 3-acre park. Grubb proposed a similar plan earlier this year, but with 1,200 residential units that included 300 apartments. The developer was forced to withdraw the application after the City Council and members of the Dunwoody Homeowners As-

Tuesday, October 16th | 7-9pm Dunwoody City Hall (Dunwoody Hall 1st Floor)

4800 Ashford Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody Georgia 30338 The City of Dunwoody is holding a Town Hall meeting and we want to hear from you! Be an active participant in your local community and share your thoughts, questions and ideas at the City of Dunwoody 2018 Town Hall. The city is collecting public input on potential topics and issues you’d like to have discussed at the Town Hall event. To submit topics and issues of interest, please visit

www.connectdunwoody.com This is a FREE event and open to the public. The featured speaker will be Dunwoody Mayor Denis Shortal. We look forward to seeing you there! dunwoodyga.gov

Grubb Properties is proposing a 900-condo and mixed-use development in Perimeter Center. The development would be built out over many years and would include four residential towers rising to a maximum of 14 stories with ground-floor retail as well as for-sale townhomes.

sociation balked at the density and the number of rental units in an area that already has a large number of apartments. To appease their concerns, Grubb came back with a plan with only for-sale condos. The DHA voted at its Oct. 7 meeting to back the project with the for-sale units, said DHA President Adrienne Duncan. Planning Commission Chair Bob Dallas raised the issue at the Oct. 9 meeting of the need for affordable housing in Perimeter Center. He said in an interview the backlash from DHA and the council earlier this year resulting in the elimination of the rental units was unfortunate. He said he hopes “calmer voices” and less emotion are part of future conversations around the issue of affordable housing, a topic metro Atlanta and communities around the country are grappling with. “The city should address this before it becomes an issue,” Dallas said. “We need a road map.” City Councilmembers Lynn Deutsch, Pam Tallmadge, John Heneghan and Tom Lambert voted at the council’s February retreat to create an affordable housing task force. Deutsch, who is heading up the effort, said a task force is expected to be in place by the end of the year. Because Perimeter Center is close to public transportation with the Dunwoody MARTA Station and it serves as a major economic engine for the region, it makes sense to include affordable rental units as part of future projects in this area, Dallas said. “[W]e have to consider how important we are to the region; we are not an island unto ourselves,” Dallas said. “Being silent on this issue is not the right thing.” But with only for-sale residential units in the current Grubb Properties application, there is no way to address the issue of affordable housing, he said. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development says that no more


than 30 percent of a person’s income should go toward paying for housing. Affordable housing by many standards is considered 80 percent of the area median income. In metro Atlanta, that translates to $42,000 for one person or $60,000 for a four-person household, according to HUD figures. The city of Brookhaven is seeking ways to accommodate housing for low-income residents now living on Buford Highway as the corridor rapidly gentrifies. The city is close to wrapping up a zoning rewrite that proposes mandating 10 percent of new multi-unit developments on Buford Highway include affordable housing. The Brookhaven Planning Commission is also asking the City Council to consider the affordable housing mandate be included in other areas of the city where apartments are expected to be built, such as along Peachtree Road. As part of the zoning rewrite, Brookhaven is also considering economic incentives to developers who include affordable housing in residential projects. Sandy Springs is also looking at ways to incorporate affordable housing as part of a north end task force that is looking at redevelopment in the area. Dallas said in Perimeter Center, middle managers who work at its many restaurants or professionals beginning their career in the area after graduating from college but saddled with enormous student debt could benefit from some kind of affordable housing. People who are able to live close to where they work also eases traffic congestion, he said. Dunwoody’s proximity to “Pill Hill” and its hospitals and medical facilities also make it attractive for older people who may have limited incomes, he added. “Not every person in Dunwoody is wealthy,” Dallas said. “We can’t ignore this issue; that’s not the right answer.” DUN

OCTOBER 12 - 25, 2018

Community Briefs EA RLY VOTIN G BEGIN S OCT. 15

Early voting in Dunwoody will be held at the Dunwoody Library, 5339 ChambleeDunwoody Road, beginning Oct. 15 and lasting two weeks. Hours are: Monday - Friday, Oct. 15 – Nov. 2: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20 and Saturday Oct. 27: noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28: noon to 4 p.m.


The city’s Facilities Improvement Partnership Program that funds nonprofit groups’ budget requests for such things as building repairs and renovations is being eliminated as part of the proposed 2019 budget. Instead, the city would include the facilities funding in the city’s overall Parks and Recreation Department budget. Finance Director Chris Pike explained to the council at its Oct. 8 meeting that funding for building maintenance is being rolled into the city’s approximate $2.8 million proposed parks budget. The total budget is proposed at right at $25 million. Mayor Denis Shortal said he worried putting FIPP funding into the parks budget would create a “political” budget process and open up a “rivalry” between nonprofits. He asked the council to reinstate the program when the budget comes up for a vote on Oct. 16. Pike explained when the city was founded a decade ago, the council relied on nonprofit groups that were tenants of the facilities once maintained by DeKalb County to give input on how much money was needed to maintain their facilities. Now, though, city staff and administrators understand the needs, he said, and it makes sense for the city to put the money into its operating budget. The city’s FIPP program has for many years set aside up to $250,000 for nonprofit parks and recreation partners to apply for grants. This year, the city awarded FIPP grants totaling $82,000 to the Dunwoody Nature Center to add an eco-classroom made from recycled shipping containers to the park and $151,000 to the Dunwoody Preservation Trust to rehabilitate the guest house and expand the parking lot at the Donaldson Bannister Farmhouse. Pike said that nonprofits are not just renovating but also expanding their services and that was a reason to also roll money into the parks budget. Councilmember Lynn Deutsch, who cast the lone “no” vote on FIPP funding this year because of concerns over the process, said she believed eliminating the grants program is the right way to go. Master plans for organizations such as the Nature Center and DPT are included in the city’s master plans and can be vetted as part of the annual budgetary process, she said. Nonprofit groups can still make budget requests, she said, but facilities that don’t have nonprofit advocates would also be included in the budget process when in the past they may have been overlooked.


The mayor and City Council approved Oct. 8 a $70,000 contract with ConnectSouth to be the city’s lobbyist group in the General Assembly for 2019. ConnectSouth has represented Dunwoody at the state Capital since it sought incorporation more than a decade ago. Councilmember Lynn Deutsch suggested opening up the lobbying contract this year to a bid. Last year’s passage of House Bill 876 erased Dunwoody’s restrictions on woodframe apartments and was a major loss to the city, she said. Legislation giving private telecom companies broad use of city right-of-way also hurt the city, she said. “I found last year’s legislative session pretty horrifying,” she said. Finance Director Chris Pike said there was no way the cities were going to win the wood-frame debate because the forestry industry threw its support behind the bill. Small cell legislation is a statewide issue and more work is being done to address local government concerns on how to regulate the small cells, he added. The vote was 6-1 with Deutsch voting no.


The city is slated to grant an aerial easement for the construction of the Twelve24 office building at 1224 Hammond Drive to allow a tower crane to periodically swing over the public right-of-way on Hammond Drive. The City Council heard a first read of the ordinance at the Oct. 8 meeting. The temporary easement expires when construction is completed or on Dec. 31, 2019, DUN

Community | 3


whichever comes first. The work is safe, but any liability would be picked up by the construction company, Public Works Director Michael Smith said. Twelve24 is a 16-story office building being constructed on what was a nearly four-acre unSPECIAL used portion of the PeAn illustration of The Twelve24, which is now rimeter Mall parking lot. going up at 1224 Hammond Drive. The building is adjacent to the Dunwoody MARTA station. The office tower will include 335,000 square feet of Class A office space and 11,000 square feet of ground floor retail and restaurants.

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Phil Kent, left, and Tharon Johnson, right, debate issues and governor race predictions at the Sandy Springs Perimeter Chamber luncheon on Oct. 9.

BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

Two hosts of Fox 5 TV’s weekly political talk show “The Georgia Gang” predicted moderate and women voters to be key to winning the race for governor during an Oct. 9 Sandy Springs event. Hosts Tharon Johnson and Phil Kent also discussed key issues, including transportation and crime, and made predictions for the next legislative session. Johnson is a Democratic consultant who has advised U.S. Rep. John Lewis, former Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign. Kent is a Republican who publishes the InsiderAdvantage and JAMES political magazines. They spoke at a Sandy Springs Perimeter Chamber of Commerce luncheon. Both said the candidate of their party, Democrat Stacey Abrams and Republican Brian Kemp, will need to capture the independents and moderates that may be swayed by national factors such as President Donald Trump and the recent U.S. Su-

preme Court confirmation hearings. If Abrams can rally her base while also capturing moderate and women votes, she has a strong shot at defeating Kemp in the Nov. 6 election, Johnson said. “I’m very optimistic. I think Stacey Abrams has the money, she has the message and she has the grassroots campaign strategy to really make this race very competitive,” Johnson said. Her move to more moderate positions will help her get those votes, Johnson said. “She’s definitely fired up,” Johnson said. “She made, I think, a very smart pivot towards the middle, to be more moderate in her message without running away from her true progressive beliefs.” Kent agreed moderates are key in this election and said both Republican and Democrat bases are “energized.” “The Republican base right now is especially energized after witnessing the leftwing mob rule and character assassination in the U.S. Senate,” Kent said, referring to the hearings to confirm Brett Kavanaugh as a U.S. Supreme Court justice.

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“Here in Georgia, I think there is a unique opportunity for Brian Kemp to reach out to those moderates and independents just like Stacey Abrams is trying to do,” Kent said. Johnson believes women voters will be key and their opinions of Trump may swing their vote toward Democratic. “I truly believe, as we sit here in Sandy Springs, there are a lot of college-educated, suburban, white, Republican women that I think are really taking a second and third look at the Abrams candidacy,” he said. If Kemp is able to keep those voters and consolidate his base, he will “probably become governor,” Johnson said. And Georgia’s long history of Republican dominance puts Abrams in a position to easily lose the race with any mistakes, he said. “She has to run a very perfect campaign because Brian Kemp, being a Republican in the red state of Georgia, is in the driver’s seat,” Johnson said.

Key issues

Community | 5


The two agreed that transportation, criminal justice reform and healthcare are the three key issues in the governor race. Kent added that crime, especially gang violence, is playing a big role, saying it has been correctly described as a “crisis.” “I don’t care if you’re a suburban housewife or someone in rural Georgia, the gang problem is out of control,” he said. “The problem is liberal, permissive judges that keep putting people back on the streets.”

Kent said he and Johnson often agree on transportation topics, including the state’s recent approval of a new authority overseeing all metro Atlanta transit called “The ATL.” Kent encouraged the use of more public-private partnerships that get more private sector funding poured into transit and transportation infrastructure. He said “managed lanes,” which charge drivers demand-based prices and are planned for the Ga. 400/I-285 interchange, are “the wave of the future.” Johnson said the push to expand MARTA farther north, past its current end at the North Springs station in Sandy Springs, should continue. Doing that will include clearing the hurdle of the racist opinions about the service, Johnson said. “One thing I’ll say as an African-American male, sitting in a room of a predominately white crowd, is that we’ve got to get over this whole connotation around crime and race when it comes to MARTA,” he said. He said Sandy Springs has been a bright spot in the push for expanding transit and that Mayor Rusty Paul and the City Council deserve credit for taking “bold” steps. In the upcoming legislative session, Kent predicted more transportation measures to be introduced, in addition to the return of “religious liberty” bills, healthcare reform and more efforts to assist rural Georgia. Johnson agreed and said he also expects medical marijuana and gambling legalization measures to return.


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Sexism is a problem in politics that should be confronted and changed, some local elected officials and former candidates said at a forum held by The Galloway School. One of the attendees, recently elected state Sen. Jen Jordan, said she did not expect sexism to be so prevaSPECIAL lent in the General AssemState Sen. Jen Jordan speaks at the Oct. 1 “All Politics bly. is Local” forum conducted by The Galloway School. “One of the things that surprised me about the state Senate is that it’s really like 1950 there,” she said in a video recording of the forum posted by the school. The Oct. 1 “All Politics is Local” forum featured elected officials who are alumni of Galloway or parents of current or former students, according to the school. Participants included Jordan; Peter Aman, a former Atlanta mayoral candidate and a Buckhead resident; Sandy Springs City Councilmember Andy Bauman; Brookhaven Mayor John Ernst; Atlanta City Councilmember Amir Farokhi; Fulton County Commissioner Lee Morris; and Shea Roberts, a candidate for the local state House District 52 seat. The moderator was Michelle Maziar, the director of the Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. SPECIAL Shea Roberts, a candidate Jordan, a Democrat who reprefor House District 52. sents parts of Buckhead and Sandy Springs, said she was surprised by the “advice” she was given by a committee chair. She said he repeatedly called her into his office and told she needed to “smile more” and should bring her children in so people “could relate to [her] better.” He asked why she got “so agitated,” Jordan said. “Every time, I kept thinking to myself, ‘Am I getting “Punk’d”?,’ ” SPECIAL she said, referring to a prank TV Brookhaven Mayor John Ernst. show. When asked by Maziar what advice she had for men, Jordan said to not perpetuate gender stereotypes and that it is as simple as treating women equally. “If you’re a leader in a community people are watching how you treat young girls, how you treat women,” she said. “It does matter.” Bauman, the Sandy Springs councilmember, said that he would like to see more women run for office because they can bring a different perspective and may be more willing to work across the aisle. “I talk to people, both Republican and Democrats, where I say, ‘I think we would all be better off if, frankly, we did nothing but elect women for the next couple of elections,’ ” he said. Morris, the Fulton commissioner, said, “We certainly need more women in government and all that is changing for the good.” When asked by Mayor Ernst if Jordan thought younger generations were less

OCTOBER 12 - 25, 2018

Community | 7


likely to make sexist comments, she said the committee chair referenced in her story was in his 40s. “It’s not generational, and by God I wish it were, but that’s why it’s so important that we keep pushing,” she said. Roberts, a Democrat who is running for the House District 52 seat SPECIAL against Republican incumbent Rep. Deborah Silcox, said women need Fulton County Commissioner Lee Morris. more voices in the General Assembly and to vocally oppose sexist statement. “We just have to call them out when we hear them and change the impression of what women can and should be doing,” she said. Jordan said the hearings on the sexual assault accusations against Brett Kavanaugh, who was later confirmed as a U.S. Supreme Court SPECIAL justice, make it even more imporSandy Springs City Councilmember Andy Bauman. tant to listen to women. “Especially after last week, it may be particularly important to make sure women feel like they are being heard,” she said. The forum also included discussion on such topics as affordable housing, police, election security and transit. To watch the video, visit youtube.com/user/GallowaySchool.

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Anatomy Fashion Show lends hearts and hands to charity

BY JUDITH SCHONBAK The house was packed, the music of DJ Khaled’s “No Brainer” with Justin Bieber, Chance the Rapper and Quavo blared from the speakers, and the models strutted their stuff down the run-

way, decked out in original designs depicting bones, muscles and organs. This was not your mother’s fashion show. It was the third annual Anatomy Fashion Show held Sept. 28 by Phi Delta Epsilon, the pre-med professional fraternity at Brookhaven’s Oglethorpe

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Left, striking poses as the skeletal system are Denae Douglas-Ocasio, left, and Natalia Pierre-Paul. Above, Ally Benisek walks the runway in an outfit depicting the lungs and other parts of the respiratory system.

University. And those original designs? They were the systems and organs of the human body. The event was a fundraiser for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, a member of the national Children’s Miracle Network. The show got its start at OU in 2016 with a committee of three, including PDE president Benjamin Hopper, who presented the welcoming speech for this year’s show. In an interview, he said that, inspired by seeing other chapters’ renditions of the Anatomy Fashion Show, “We thought it would be something that the community on our campus would appreciate and vibe with well.” He added that it has caught on so well that it is now a signature event, hosted annually during OU’s Family Weekend. Students, two at a time, modeled — front and back — various systems and organs of the human body, 11 in all. Art-

fully and realistically done, the designs were painted on leotards and, in some cases, the skin of the models by more than 20 students in Oglethorpe’s art department. The more complex systems, such as the skeletal, muscular and circulatory, took as many as 18 to 20 hours to paint, while the more compact systems, such as the digestive and reproductive, took two hours or fewer. An enthusiastic audience of more than 200 gathered in the Turner Lynch Student Center, which had been transformed into a fashion show venue. The audience included students, especially from the social and professional Greek groups, parents and relatives visiting for OU’s Family Weekend, OU alums, Phi Delta Epsilon alums and medical personnel from Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Emory Hospital, Shepherd Center and other medical centers in metro Atlanta.

Making a Difference | 9


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a mix of the two as a hospital educator. At 21, she has aged out of Children’s, and is receiving therapy at Buckhead’s Shepherd Center, where she is on the adaptive ski team and sometimes volunteers to talk with patients. Since CMN’s founding in 1983, the network has raised more than $5 billion, most of it $1 at a time through the charity’s Miracle Balloon icon campaigns. Funds raised within the community remain with the local member. Throughout the evening, a donation jar was passed around. The goal of the fundraiser was to top the 2017 total of $1,500. With donations coming in after the event, the sum reached $1,700, said Benjamin Hopper. A hot competition percolated among the Greek societies to see which one could raise the most money for Children’s that night. In wrapping up the evening Hopper announced the winners of the Anatomy Fashion Show: Ms. Body – Ariana Jimenez, Alpha Phi Omega, Circulatory System; Mr. Body – Tyler Stridiron, Alpha Phi Alpha, Digestive System; and Best Artist – Chrysta Avers, Digestive System. He ended with the news of the group that raised the top funds, Alpha Phi Omega with $135.

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A large screen at the head of the runway flashed detailed pictures of each body system and organs as students modeled them. The students had the runway moves down and virtually all the pairs had choreographed their performance, much to the appreciation of the audience. First to take the runway was the duo depicting the skeletal system, followed by models showcasing the muscular, nervous, circulatory and endocrine systems, each a complex, full-body, and often, colorful, work of art. After an intermission came the respiratory, lymphatic, digestive, excretory and reproductive systems, and the last was pregnancy. During intermission, the college’s Khayos dance troupe performed, most of them sporting a painted body part. The intermission speaker, Amelia Holley, 21, shared her story about her lifetime of medical care at CHOA, her “second family,” she said. Born with hydrocephalus, a build-up of cerebrospinal fluid on the brain, she has endured 41 surgeries in her young life. Holley is now an English major at Oglethorpe and expects to graduate in 2021. Her goal is to be a child life specialist, a high school English teacher, or

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Local candidates make pitches at Chamber event DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

Several candidates or their representatives stopped in at a recent Dunwoody Perimeter Chamber networking event while out on the campaign trail, making their pitches to potential voters as the Nov. 6 election rapidly approaches. The candidates included U.S. Rep. Karen Handel (R-Ga.); state Sen. Fran Millar (R-Dunwoody); and Ken Wright and Mike Wilensky, both of Dunwoody and vying for the state House District 79 seat being vacated by Dunwoody Republican Tom Taylor. They made brief pitches to the small crowd of mostly Chamber members at the Oct. 1 meeting held at Le Meridien Atlanta Perimeter hotel. Also attending were representatives for gubernatorial candidates Democrat Stacey Abrams and Republican Brian Kemp. Those invited but did not attend nor send representatives on their behalf were Democrat Sally Harrell, going up against Millar in state Senate District 40; and Democrat Lucy McBath, who is challenging Handel for the 6th Congressional District seat.


Millar framed his re-election campaign as he has in other stump speeches in the northern suburbs — that as the lone Republican in the DeKalb delegation at the General Assembly, he will serve as a safeguard against increased property and MARTA taxes. He also said as a Republican he would play a major role in any redistricting process and would work to ensure those living in his district “won’t end up with Hank Johnson as your congressman.” “Some of you who are older remember when we had Cynthia McKinney and I worked hard to have her no longer be our congressperson. I’ll leave it at that,” he said. Millar also touted bipartisanship. He said he worked with DeKalb CEO Michael Thurmond, a leading Democrat, on the special local option sales tax approved by voters last year to create new money in the county for fixing roads as well as for public safety. He made a point to say his election

is not a referendum on what is going on in the nation’s capital. “At the end of the day, … this election isn’t about presidential tweets or about Washington, D.C. It’s about whether or not you can get things done for the people who live here,” Millar said. “I stand on my record.”


Handel steered clear of any specific mention of President Donald Trump but leaned on the “historic” tax cuts approved by Congress last year. Those tax cuts, she said, are giving “average” families of four in the 6th District a savings of more than $4,000. She said the country’s economy has grown by 4 percent and the federal government has made “historic” investments in the military and the Department of Veterans Affairs. “And we’re just getting started,” she said. Handel also got personal and shared that she believed she is the “most unlikely member of Congress.”

After a rough childhood and running away from home at 17, Handel said she “never imagined I would grow up to be a member of Congress.” She said the “exceptionalism” of the country gave her opportunities that allowed her to become a U.S. congressperson. That exceptionalism, she said, gives others facing similar battles to chance to have the same opportunities she’s had.


Wilensky, a Dunwoody attorney, is seeking his first political office. If elected, he would serve as a Democrat in the DeKalb delegation at the Gold Dome and he took exception to Millar’s claim that those in his party want to raise taxes. “Over the past eight months, I’ve knocked on 3,000 doors,” he said. “Nobody wants higher taxes … nobody in the DeKalb delegation wants higher taxes.”

WEEK 2018


OCTOBER 12 - 25, 2018

He said while he has not served in elected office, he has worked in the legislature lobbying on behalf of small businesses and against discriminatory legislation. Wilensky said while the legislature also fully funded education in its last session for the first time in more than a decade, it was important to understand the funding is based on the Quality Basic Education Act formula from 1985. “That formula was drafted in 1985 and it’s never been updated,” he said. Updating the QBE numbers every year is essential to ensuring schools receive the money they need, he said. By doing so, he said, the addition of trailers at DeKalb schools to deal with overcrowding could stop.


Wright is Dunwoody’s founding mayor and the former president of the Dunwoody Homeowners Association, which reviewed local issues before the city was incorporated in 2008. He said he also helped found the Perimeter Community Improvement Districts, self-taxing districts that use additional property taxes to fund transportation and infrastructure improvement projects. As Dunwoody’s first mayor, he said he hired the “best police chief” and worked on everything from writing ordinances to creating the city’s first police department. Wright works as a healthcare IT entrepreneur and said he would represent business owners at the Capital. “There are enough attorneys down there,” he said.


Community | 11


Campaign representative Martha Zoller, who ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 2012, said Kemp is focusing on

reaching out to all Georgia voters. She said he is focusing on school safety and education “and making Georgia as safe and secure” as possible while continuing the business-friendly legacy of Gov. Nathan Perdue. “He wants to make Georgia first,” she said. Zoller said a strength of Kemp is that he has worked in and out of government before becoming Secretary of State, as a businessman and as a former state senator.


Cathy Woolard, a former Atlanta City Council president, started off her comments by saying she got to know Handel on the campaign

trail years ago. “And I think she would agree it is time for a woman to be governor of Georgia, right?” Woolard said to laughter from attendees. Woolard said she got to know Abrams while on the Atlanta City Council when Abrams was a city attorney who was tasked with rewriting the ethics code, doing a “superb job.” Woolard said she watched Abrams’ political career climb to her post as House minority leader in the General Assembly where she said she earned a reputation for working across the aisle and understanding the issues better than most. “She’s the smartest candidate in the room,” Woolard said. Abrams’ mission to reform healthcare in Georgia is crucial to growing all businesses in the state, Woolard said, including expanding Medicaid.

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to key races on Nov. 6 ballot For full answers from the candidates, see ReporterNewspapers.net


Republican incumbent Karen Handel and Democrat challenger Lucy McBath are competing for the 6th Congressional District seat. McBath did not provide Voters Guide answers.

KAREN HANDEL Karenhandel.com

What is motivating you to run for Congress? The people of the 6th District, our great state and this exceptional nation are my motivation. The citizens here know me and know my deep commitment to working on their behalf. My business roles, public service and my own personal experiences — along with my nearly 25 years as a resident of the 6th District — give me a unique

perspective and broad understanding of the issues facing our community. As a first-term member of Congress, I have helped to deliver meaningful results on important policy matters — reducing taxes, creating jobs and helping to combat opioids and end human trafficking.

What is the biggest issue facing the district and how will you address it? In Congress, we can’t be single-issue. I have three focuses: Fostering economic prosperity for all; ensuring safety

of families; and expanding access and lowering costs for healthcare. Economic prosperity grows with low taxes and less regulation. The tax cut for the average 6th District family is more than $4,4000; unemployment is the lowest in decades. Our communities are safer thanks to historic investments in our military, school safety and combatting opioids and human trafficking. On healthcare, while more needs to be done, we’ve expanded health savings accounts, association health plans, protected those with pre-existing conditions and passed “Right to Try.”


Democrat Sally Harrell is challenging Republican incumbent Fran Millar in the state Senate District 40 race.





What is motivating you to run for this office?

What is motivating you to run for this office?

We are at a crucial moment in Georgia’s history — a time that calls on us all to embrace our future. I believe that government is an integral part of making that happen. All our citizens deserve affordable healthcare; universal, quality education, including affordable child care and debt-free higher education; efficient transportation options; and clean air and water. I look forward to working with the people of Senate District 40, shaping an agenda that works to improve the quality of life in our neighborhoods and throughout Georgia, now and in the future.

I helped give people the right to vote on cityhood in Fulton and DeKalb. I have authored legislation on education reform, various disabilities, infrastructure and tax relief. In DeKalb, I am the last Republican and help stop bad legislation such as increasing the MARTA tax or repealing my property tax freeze. I have worked on similar legislation in Fulton. I have been endorsed by six of the seven mayors and a large amount of our local elected officials (Democrats and Republicans) because, unlike my opponent, I have actual accomplishments, not sound bites and slogans.

What is the biggest issue facing the district and how will you address it? Our public education system needs attention. A decade of budget cuts totaling $9.2 billion has left our K-12 kids without enough buses, crowded classrooms, and teachers that now make $4,000 less than the national average. Young parents find it difficult to locate affordable childcare options. And over the last decade, costs of higher education have skyrocketed by 77 percent and college debt is a serious economic problem for our up-and-coming generation. Georgia will benefit economically from a legislature that makes funding public education a priority.

What is the biggest issue facing the district and how will you address it? The biggest issue facing the district, other than transit, is getting economic development throughout DeKalb and Fulton. In DeKalb, the Democratic CEO praised me for working with him for tax relief and infrastructure improvements in transportation, public safety and capital repair. Without a Republican in the DeKalb Senate delegation, I can assure you the Republican-dominated General Assembly will have no interest in DeKalb’s prosperity. Fulton will continue to prosper because of the Republican influence. Those are the facts.


OCTOBER 12 - 25, 2018

Community | 13



In House District 79, Democrat Michael Wilensky and Republican Ken Wright are vying to replace retiring incumbent Tom Taylor.


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What is motivating you to run for this office? For almost six years, I have been down at our Georgia State Capitol assisting two groups, fighting against discriminatory legislation and for Georgia’s small businesses. Over that time, I have seen how much time we waste on harmful bills, bills that will hurt our economy, hurt small businesses, and cause discrimination. I have two daughters and I want to make sure they grow up in a Georgia that prioritizes people over politics. I want my daughters to have the opportunities that I had, including attending safe schools and being able to make their own medical decisions.

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What is the biggest issue facing the district and how will you address it? I have learned during my six years at the State Capitol that our current representatives have the wrong priorities. We have legislators trying to force guns into our schools instead of fully funding education. We need leaders who are focused on bringing good jobs to our state instead of chasing them away with discriminatory legislation.

KEN WRIGHT Wrightforstatehouse.com

What is motivating you to run for this office? Growing up in the Branches neighborhood and then living in the heart of Dunwoody with my family for 24 years — my roots are grounded in this community. Actively serving Dunwoody for the past 20 years has been my privilege. As Dunwoody’s founding mayor, the council and I worked to secure our community as one of the best and safest places in the country to live, work, raise a family and retire. My proven public service history, proven leadership skills, proven entrepreneur skillset, and proven devotion to the community will help lead the 79th District forward at the State Capitol.

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What is the biggest issue facing the district and how will you address it? Two equally important issues — harmful bills introduced by the local delegation and education. I will protect the 79th from bills being brought forwarded by the DeKalb delegation. Annually, punitive bills are introduced, such as House Bill 244, where DeKalb would require Dunwoody residents pay $2.3 million MORE in taxes toward the county’s pension obligations. As a member of the majority House caucus, I am the only candidate with the power to prevent these bills from possible passage. I will work to bring education to a local level, where the needs, resources and funding can be appropriately directed and held accountable.

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14 | Community


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Spruill Center considers moving out of city

COME TALK TO US ABOUT THE FUTURE OF THE NORTH END City of Sandy Springs to host open house on draft redevelopment vision and goals.

An open house is planned for Thursday, October 18, 2018 6:00 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Sandy Springs City Hall 1 Galambos Way Sandy Springs, GA 30328 For more information please visit sandyspringsga.gov


The city’s first Arts and Culture Master Plan includes an illustration of how the current North DeKalb Cultural Arts Center could be transformed.

Continued from page 1 “Create Dunwoody.” The space issue “probably needed to be solved two years ago,” consultant Susan Silberberg of CivicMoxie said. The city hired CivicMoxie last year for ap-

proximately $86,000 to come up with the Create Dunwoody Arts and Culture Master Plan presented at the meeting. Bob Kinsey, CEO of the Spruill Center for the Arts, told the council during public comment that he and his board have looked to moving to Sandy Springs because the space for programming is so tight at the center’s current home. The Spruill Center is not facing financial hardship, but the crowded classrooms and having to constantly turn people away from its popular arts classes, he said, is preventing the nonprofit arts group from fulfilling its mission. “We are gridlocked,” Kinsey said of the Spruill Center’s location at the arts center on Chamblee-Dunwoody Road. “We are anxious to move forward with an expansion. And we are willing to fund a good amount of that. Waiting a couple years is not an option.” The Spruill Art Gallery with the famous “Everything Will Be OK” mural is a separate facility located on Ashford-Dunwoody Road. Also located in the North DeKalb Cultural Arts Center are the Stage Door Players and the Chattahoochee Handweavers Guild. The arts center shares a building with the Dunwoody Library. The proposed master plan states the Spruill Center immediately needs three more classrooms totaling 2,000 square feet; Stage Door seeks to grow from 125 seats to 300-350 seats; and the guild needs twice its existing space of approximately 600 feet. One of the master plan’s proposed scenarios to find that space includes expansion of the Spruill Center on site by relocating Stage Door Players to one of the city-owned medical office buildings adjacent to Pernoshal Park and moving the DUN

OCTOBER 12 - 25, 2018

handweavers guild to the old Austin Elementary School building once that site is available. Shortal seemed to discount the idea immediately. “To shut them down for any amount of time puts them to an end,” he said. Public discussion on what to do with the old Austin Elementary School will be heard before any decision is made, council members stated. No action was taken on the master plan and another public vetting of the plan is slated for Nov. 5. Other proposed ideas in the master plan include adding a second floor to the arts center or even demolishing the building. Stage Door Players’ Artistic Director Robert Egizio was not at the council meeting but participated in the Arts and Culture Master Plan. He said the company has long needed more space but there is no immediate need to move out like the Spruill Center said it is facing. “We definitely need more space,” he said in an interview. “But we can wait. We’re lucky because we can add performances.” If the Spruill Center for the Arts relocates, the Stage Door Players would be happy to use their space for its programming, Egizio said. “It would be a godsend,” he said. The Spruill Center’s need for space is not a new one. Kinsey went before the council in February 2017 asking for the city’s financial help in expanding its space. They decided to wait until the Arts and Culture Master Plan was completed before taking a next step. But that next step may mean moving out of Dunwoody. “We urge you to please consider this [master plan] as quickly as you can and give us some direction,” Spruill Center’s Board President Rose Kirkland told the council. “We have a desire to stay where we are. We love being part of this community.” In an interview, Kinsey said Spruill Center needs buy-in and investment from the city to expand because it owns the cultural arts center building. “We can’t do anything without them,” he said. Cost for a major expansion at the arts center would be in the “hundreds of thousands of dollars,” he said. He and Kirkland added they do not want to find a third space for classes because having two locations is confusing. Major discussion also centered around the idea of public art, funding and the creation of a nonprofit arts council. Councilmember Terry Nall said wall murals do not belong in Dunwoody. “I’m not interested in murals on walls,” he said. “When I see murals, I think of a more urban look. We struggle to maintain a suburban lifestyle. These painted walls look like Midtown and Downtown and that is not what we are.” How to fund any of the proposals in DUN

Community | 15

www.ReporterNewspapers.net the master plan was also a key concern for most council members. “Money doesn’t grow on trees in Dunwoody, Georgia,” Mayor Denis Shortal said. And, he noted, government “always has to subsidize the arts, like public transportation.” Silberberg said it’s important to understand a thriving arts and culture program enhances a city’s tax base and promotes economic development by developers and corporations seeking amenities for customers and employees. Another top priority proposed in the master plan is the creation of a nonprofit “Create Dunwoody Partnership” arts council separate from city government but with city collaboration, including seed money from the city. Annual funding for the council is estimated at up to $150,000 including a paid staff member. Councilmember Lynn Deutsch said major corporations are not relocating to Dunwoody to be in Dunwoody; rather they consider themselves to be part of Atlanta. And large company CEOs are more likely to contribute to a major Atlanta foundation over a local Dunwoody arts council, she said. Silberberg said the idea is not to sell a Dunwoody arts initiative to national corporations to compete with Atlanta but to sell it as a recruitment tool to attract topnotch employees seeking to work and live in a place that values arts and culture.

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16 | Commentary

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Community Survey / Divided politics make for eager voters Turnout for the November election could be high, if the voters follow the lead of respondents to a Reporter Newspapers community survey. About six in 10 of the 200 respondents said they are more likely to vote in the November election than in past elections. And more than a third of the people who responded that they weren’t more likely to vote this time said that was only because they vote in every election anyway. The survey was conducted by 1Q.com via cellphones to residents in Reporter Newspapers communities. The results are not scientific. Why do so many plan to vote this November when they otherwise might give the ballot box a pass? “The U.S. is in a mess,” a 34-year-old Buckhead woman said. Dozens of other respondents appeared to agree, and they offered a variety of reasons for their beliefs. In fact, responses illustrate just how divided our politics is now. “There’s so much noise from extremists that level-headed, thinking people need to step up and exercise their right to vote to keep things on track and moving forward,” a 64-year-old north Atlanta woman said. “I want to be sure and express my preference for intelligent public servant leadership and not power-hungry career politicians!” Others were more bluntly partisan in their responses. Many said they planned to vote because of their feelings about President Donald Trump. “I will vote Nov. 6,” a 46-year-old man said. “[I] didn’t vote in previous years, but we need someone to offset what Trump is doing.” However, a 33-year-old Sandy Springs woman wrote she would vote because “I want to keep Republicans in power.”


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Respondents to the survey were fairly evenly divided among political parties. About 30 percent were Republicans, about 27 percent Democrats and about 30 percent independents. About 13 percent identify as “other.” When asked to name the issue that most motivated them, respondents, taken together, provided a list that touched on just about every imaginable political debate. Their responses ranged from the economy to immigration, from healthcare to welfare reform, from gun safety to women’s rights, from international trade to local education, from impeaching President Trump to keeping Democrats out of office. Several respondents listed the controversy over the appointment of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court, while others said they were interested in the election of a new governor in Georgia. And a 37-year-old Dunwoody woman said she was motivated by “every single issue.” Several respondents who said they were no more likely to vote this election than in past ones said they thought casting a ballot was pointless. “Voting has little effect on actual legislation,” a 41-year-old Atlanta man wrote. “Republicans and Democrats are on the same team against our freedoms.” And a 52-year-old north Atlanta man said, “I’m so disillusioned with our political process that by and large, I’ve stopped paying attention.” But many respondents seemed eager to head to the polls. This election, several said, would count more than others had in the past. One 19-year-old Sandy Springs woman noted the reason she was more likely to vote in the election this November than in prior ones was simple: “Because I’m finally old enough to vote.”

Here’s what some of the other respondents had to say when asked whether they were more likely to vote in November than in past elections “The Left is getting ridiculous and it scares me to see how they want to throw away the fundamental tenets of our civilization, such as truth, jurisprudence and free speech.” – 50-YEAR-OLD SANDY SPRINGS MAN

“I’m not ‘more likely’ because I always vote. I think voting is a privilege and you should exercise that privilege every opportunity you get, regardless of the current situation or your desired results.” – 52-YEAR-OLD SANDY SPRINGS BUCKHEAD WOMAN

“No. The media has ruined politics.”


“Yes, I always vote, but these midterms are especially crucial in ensuring our administration is checked and held accountable, and that human rights are protected.” – 23-YEAR-OLD BUCKHEAD WOMAN

“Trump and the Republicans are lunatics.”


“I believe it is even more important to vote now to protect the civil liberties that our so-called president and the right-wing members of Congress wish to roll back.”


“Definitely. With stakes this high, I wouldn’t miss it.”


“I feel that the Republicans must maintain control to advance our conservative agenda. Things are going very well with the economy and I am fearful of what will happen if the Democrats take control. If you can ignore all of the noise coming from the media about the discontent of America, I think the reality is that most people are happier and more optimistic about their economic position today than they were four years ago.” – 40-YEAR-OLD ATLANTA MAN

Letter to the Editor


I just wanted to thank you for the outstanding article on air pollution from traffic in north Atlanta. (“As 285/400 interchange expands, air pollution is a concern,” Sept. 28.) Your report highlights the urgency for us to transition to electric vehicles while greening the grid. Hopefully your reporting, coupled with the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report (and many others) will spark much-needed action to reduce pollution. Tina Wilkinson Chairperson, Solarize Dunwoody and United Methodist Church Earthkeeper

OCTOBER 12 - 25, 2018

Commentary | 17


Taking a spin on the Wheel of Worry

Robin’s Nest

Everyone from Christ to Buddha and from Bob Marley to Pinterest preaches about worry, and I hear the same “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” theme played regularly. I don’t mean to discount any of them. And I may be teetering on sacrilege here, but I do imagine that the Blessed Mother worried a bit about Jesus. I think that all moms have a Wheel of Worry. I think it comes with the territory. You have a kid, you begin to worry. Yet I will add that nothing compels me to prayer most sincerely and frequently and often than my Wheel of Worry. I will spin the wheel, and wherever it lands will be the focus of my prayer — and action — for the day. If it satisfies the preachers and Rastafarians out there, I can call it “concern.” I have a healthy concern for my kids and their well-being, as we all do. And when I’m in a calmer mood, I will spin my Carousel of Concern.

2 W To GA 018 in p Pr & ne C e 2 r ol ss 0 um A 17 ni ssn st !

I have a Wheel of Worry. It came into existence with the birth of my first child, and it started small. It spun to topics such as HIGH FEVER, WHY WON’T HE STOP CRYING? and STRANGE RASH ON BABY’S CHEST. I had more children, and the wheel grew. It got bigger as the children did, and its topics became more varied, ranging from to WHAT DID SHE JUST SWALLOW? and THEY’RE TOO QUIET UP THERE to CROSSING THE STREET and WILL THEY MAKE FRIENDS? By the time the last two children hit adolescence, the wheel was pretty substantial. It spun between KIDS LEARNING TO DRIVE, KIDS DRIVING ALONE, MY KIDS DRIVING THEIR FRIENDS, THEIR FRIENDS DRIVING MY KIDS, KIDS DRIVING TO A PARTY, KIDS DRIVING TO ATHENS … driving took up a full half of the wheel, with what was happening at the destinations occupying the other half. As my kids got older and became more adventurous, the wheel began to spin to increasingly esoteric, but nevertheless valid, matters. When the daughter was working in Nicaragua for a year and our weekly Skype conversations with her were regularly interrupted by the bat that lived in her house grazing her head, my wheel spun consistently between MALARIA and RABIES. Robin Conte lives with One son was studying in China and not advised until too her husband in an emplate to get a particular inoculation, so the wheel rested for ty nest in Dunwoody. To months on JAPANESE ENCEPHALITIS. And naturally, the son contact her or to buy her with severe allergies to stinging insects loves to hike for weeks new column collection, in remote wooded locations. Spin the wheel to ANAPHALEC“The Best of the Nest,” TIC SHOCK ... spin again to BEAR ATTACKS. Both twins love see robinconte.com. bouldering and rock climbing, so FALLING OFF A CLIFF is a regular resting spot on the wheel. The son who hitchhiked across Europe kept the wheel spinning to topics I can’t even bring myself to print. Why do they do this to me?

Read Robin Conte’s debut book ‘The Best of the Nest’ “The Best of the Nest” offers 49 of Reporter Newspapers columnist Robin Conte’s witty essays on suburban family life, organized by seasons. They include some of the pieces that won Robin the first-place Lifestyle/Features Column award in 2017 and 2018 and first-place for Humorous column in 2018 from the Georgia Press Association.

Order the book at bestofthenest.net Follow Robin’s book-related appearances at robinconte.com.

18 | Art & Entertainment

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3 Days + Over 200 Bites


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Fridays and Saturdays, Oct. 19, 20, 26, 27, 7-10 p.m. The 33rd annual Halloween Hikes at the Chattahoochee Nature Center are non-scary guided walks into woods dotted with costumed nature characters. After the hike, there’s hot chocolate, cookies, popcorn, s’mores and family fun events. All ages. $12; children 2 and under free. Save $2 off admission during the first weekend. No ATM on site; cash is needed for drinks and snacks. Chattahoochee Nature Center, 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell. Info: chattnaturecenter.org.




Thursday, Oct. 18, 7-9 p.m. Cultural critic Greg Garrett, author of more than 20 books, including “Living with the


Friday, Oct. 26, 6-10:30 p.m. Heritage Sandy Springs announces the return of a night of eerie entertainment including live music, psychic readings, fire pit and s’mores bar, costume contest with cash prizes, and a movie screening of “Hocus Pocus.” Also returning are the Haunted Hikes on cemetery tours featuring North Springs Charter School’s Thespian Troupe #4389. Pizza and cocktails available, with beverage proceeds benefitting the Heritage Sandy Springs Museum. Free; tour tickets $15-$35. Heritage Sandy Springs Museum at Heritage Green, 6075 Sandy Springs Circle, Sandy Springs. Info: heritagesandysprings.org.


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Saturday, Oct. 27, 3-9 p.m. Boy Scout Troop 477 presents trick-ortreating, a Halloween-themed farm tour, food court, games and s’mores as part of Dunwoody’s month-long Apple Cider Days. Free. Donaldson-Bannister House and Gardens, 4831 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Info: appleciderdays.org.



Saturday, Oct. 20, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 21, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Featuring musical performances and more than 140 artists with works of fiber, glass, jewelry, mixed media, painting, photography and sculpture, this 14th annual festival will be held behind the Brookhaven MARTA station. Food, kids’ activities and on Sunday there’s a classic car show. Free. 4047 Peachtree Road N.E., Brookhaven. Free parking in the MARTA lot. Info: brookhavenartsfestival.com.


Saturday, Oct. 27, 3-10 p.m. This first annual family-friendly event will in-

Living Dead: The Wisdom of the Zombie Apocalypse,” will be featured in a Jane Baird Lecture at the Cathedral of St. Philip. Garrett will discuss how zombie stories such as “The Walking Dead” are retelling some of the most powerful secular and sacred stories. Free. 2744 Peachtree Road N.W., Buckhead. Reserve a seat: connecting.episcopalatlanta.org/events.


Thursday, Oct. 18, 7 p.m. Author Amy Stewart discusses her book “Wicked Plants: The Weed That Killed Lincoln’s Mother and Other Botanical Atrocities.” Book-signing and a reception will follow this Cherokee Garden Library Lecture at the Atlanta History Center. $25. 130 West Paces Ferry Road, Buckhead. Reservations required: 404-814-4150.

clude daytime games, beers and food for purchase and a lineup of bluegrass, folk, Americana and roots musicians, including Sailing to Denver, Sierra Hull, Early James and The Latest. Free. City Springs, 1 Galambos Way, Sandy Springs. Info: citysprings.com.


Saturday, Oct. 27, 8:30 a.m. The Melanoma Research Foundation holds a 5K run/walk to raise funds for research, education and advocacy for melanoma. The Atlantic Station event includes free skin checks by presenting sponsor Dermatology Associates of Georgia, LLC and breakfast pastries courtesy of Da Vinci’s Donuts and Proof Bakeshop. Site opens at 7:15 a.m. $45-$55 runners, $40-$55 walkers, $15 youth, free for ages 5 and

OCTOBER 12 - 25, 2018

Art & Entertainment | 19


under. 1371 Market St. N.W., Atlanta. Info: dermga.com/milesformelanoma.


Sunday, Oct. 28, 3-5 p.m. Eve Hoffman discusses her new book “Memory & Complicity” at the Mount Vernon Presbyterian Church Chapel, hosted by Friends of the Sandy Springs Library. A sixth-generation Georgian, Hoffman grew up on a dairy farm by the Chattahoochee River. Free. 471 Mount Vernon Highway, Sandy Springs. Reservations required: eventbrite.com/e/fossl-author-talk-featuring-eve-hoffman-tickets-50411536262.


Sunday, Oct. 28, 7:30 p.m. The Jewish Grandparents Network presents: “Grandma, Grandpa, Tell Me a Story: The Special Role of Grandparents as Storytellers in Jewish Family Life” at The Temple. Marshall

Duke and Ron Wolfson, two master storytellers, will discuss how stories frame our lives and strengthen our families and the essential role that grandparents play in sharing these stories. A dessert reception and book signing will follow the presentation. Co-sponsored by The Temple and the Breman Heritage Museum. Free. 1589 Peachtree St. N.W., Atlanta. Info: jewishgrandparentsnetwork.org.


Sunday, Oct. 21, 4 p.m. The Atlanta Concert Band presents “Bernstein at 100,” a musical celebration of composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein, at the Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center. Free; donations accepted. 1 Galambos Way, Sandy Springs. Info: atlantaconcertband.org.


Sunday, Oct. 21, 4 p.m. The Choral Guild of Atlanta performs the works of composer Dan Forrest as artist Clara Blalock simultaneously paints her interpreta-

OCTOBER 27, 2018

Atlanta Concert Band tion of the music. The painting will be sold at silent auction following the concert. $15; $12 seniors; $5 students. Northside Drive Baptist Church, 3100 Northside Drive, Buckhead. Info: 404-223-6362 or cgatl.org.


Sunday, Oct. 21, 4 p.m. A concert highlighting vocal music features songs by composers including Samuel Barber, Leonard Bernstein, George Gershwin and C.G. Walden. Free. Dunwoody United Methodist Chapel, 1548 Mount Vernon Road, Dunwoody. Info: Brentley Cauthen at 770-542-1661 or brentley.cauthen@dunwoodyumc.org.


Sunday, Oct. 28, 4-5 p.m. Harpist John Alan Wickey performs in the Skylight Gallery Concert Series at the Oglethorpe University Museum of Art. Wickey has performed with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic and the New World Symphony and with soloists ranging from Mel Tormé to Cab Calloway. $5. Lowry Hall, Third Floor, 4484 Peachtree Road N.E., Brookhaven. Info: museum.oglethorpe.edu.

Fans of Bluegrass, Roots, Americana and Folk music will enjoy a full Saturday of music on the Green as the City of Sandy Springs presents its first annual Harvest Music Fest.

FREE • STARTS AT 3:00PM Performance by Early James & The Latest • Sailing To Denver • Sierra Hull • City Strings Picking Party with: The Gibson Brothers, Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley For more information visit citysprings.com

20 | Education

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Open House Saturday, Dec. 1 10 a.m.- 1 p.m.

Paula Boston, E. Rivers Elementary


Paula Boston, left, a media specialist at E. Rivers Elementary, holds books made during a bookmaking activity taught by Greg Christie, right, the owner of a children’s bookstore.

Paula Boston, media specialist at E. Rivers Elementary, a public Buckhead school, is working to make the library the star of the school, transforming it from a quiet space to a place of collaborative information. Boston, who was nominated as “Exceptional Educator” by school Principal John Waller, has also partnered with a group to bring in trained therapy dogs for students to practice reading aloud. The activity is hoped to make any student a more confident reader, Boston said. Trained therapy dogs are used because they have been screened for behavior and temperament. She’s implemented “makerspace” activities, which include a variety of craft activities from web coding to cardboard activities. Boston has been at E. Rivers for five years. She has been a media specialist for eight years, following a 13-year career as a classroom teacher.



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ilee Kelley from Reading P.A.W.S. One of her volunteers, Sis O’Hearn used to work at E. Rivers as a speech teacher. She really wanted to do the Reading P.A.W.S. program at E. Rivers. I was so happy to say yes! We are hoping Reading P.A.W.S. will help our readers become more fluent in their reading abilities. We have collected reading achievement data before the program and will collect data at the end of the program. We are hoping the program will yield reading progress and fluency. Research says that reading to a dog is less intimidating than reading to a human.

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Q: How do you think libraries/media centers in schools have changed in recent years? A: Media centers are not the quiet libraries of the past. They are vibrant places where chil-

dren can explore, build, design and imagine new things. They are collaborative places to share ideas and learn from one another. I am currently working to change the furniture in the media center to encourage collaboration. Libraries are a place for exploration through books, technology and hands-on manipulatives. I compete with the morning “Power Up” class in the gym, where lots of exciting games are played before the 8 a.m. morning bell.

Q: What keeps you going year after year? A: I love trying new things. A few years ago I worked to set up the media center with mak-

erspace activities; last year I added the Lion’s Tale Book Clubs for Kids; and this year I am tackling bookmaking with students. Changing things up keeps things new and exciting for everyone! I also love finding books that children are excited about reading.

Q: Why did you decide to work in a media center? A: I had gone back to school for a master’s in educational leadership, but I realized I still wanted to teach children. I found out that being a media specialist was a combination of administrative work and teaching children in the media center. It was the best of both worlds.

Q: What are you most proud of in your career? A: I love helping students learn how to choose a book that is just right for them. I love help-

ing students become readers. I love helping students find books they will love to read! I love having books in the media center that kids want to read.

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Classifieds | 21


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22 | Community


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State committee orders two more ambulances to Dunwoody Continued from page 1

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bulance provider American Medical Response and its service throughout DeKalb and particularly in Dunwoody, members voted to hold off until February before making a recommendation on whether a new EMS zone should be created for Dunwoody. All members, however, agreed the county’s ambulance service strategy is suffering. “There is a problem in DeKalb,” said Clayton Deputy Fire Chief Richard Elliott, chair of the subcommittee. “If not, we would not [be] where we are today.” Councilmember Terry Nall, who has led the city’s effort to create its own EMS zone, said in an interview he was not happy with the subcommittee’s decision to delay. But, he said, “the county is clearly on notice.” The next meeting of the full Region 3 EMS Council is Nov. 8. The subcommittee plans to meet again Feb. 7 and determine if there is a need for a new EMS zone in Dunwoody. The full council then meets Feb. 14 to consider the recommendation. AMR’s five-year contract with DeKalb County is set to expire Dec. 31 and no specific plan is yet in place to deal with that deadline other than likely extending AMR’s contract. The state subcommittee said it hopes a new request for proposal and a consultant’s report on how to improve ambulance service will be ready within five months. The subcommittee was formed in August by the Region 3 EMS Council, a division of the Georgia Department of Public Health, after the city of Dunwoody in May declared an “EMS Emergency” with the DPH. Dunwoody officials have for years complained about slow response times from AMR and tell stories of delays of more than 45 minutes on some calls. The delays, they say, can and are putting lives at risk. The major issue, all seem to agree, is the 2013 contract between AMR and DeKalb County. That was when the county contracted with the private company to provide ambulance service to more than 730,000 people spanning 271 square miles. The current contract was “doomed to failure,” said Eric Nic, Cobb County Medical Director and ER physician, at the Oct. 4 meeting. DeKalb Fire Chief Darnell Fullum told the subcommittee Oct. 4 that a new request for proposal, or RFP, for ambulance services continues to be hammered out with its consultant, AP Triton. DeKalb cities are invited to an Oct. 18 meeting with the county’s EMS consultant to provide input on what they want in the contract. Currently, AMR bills patients directly for their service, rather than billing the county. The contract includes the provision that AMR pay the county $750,000 a year, which Dunwoody officials argue should be invested in EMS services.

The contract also mandates AMR respond to 90 percent of its calls in under nine minutes, something Dunwoody officials have complained for several years does not regularly happen in the city. Reasons for slow response times include heavy traffic and extended waits at hospital emergency rooms where ambulances must wait oftentimes more than an hour for a patient to be admitted, keeping the ambulance from responding to other calls, according to AMR officials. DeKalb has assessed fines of nearly $1.9 million against AMR for the slow response times in the past year. “We know there needs to be a new contract,” Fullum said. Fullum said the new contract would include standard response times for calls that require a paramedic with an advanced skill set, and “tiered” response times for calls that are not life-threatening. Dunwoody officials were angered at the subcommittee’s meeting last month when an AP Triton representative said response times were not that important in determining patient outcome. All members of the subcommittee came out to say response times do matter, as did Fullum. “We know responding quickly is important. But we also know the public trusts we will be there,” Fullum said. “Response times are an important part of any system.” Another provision in the new contract will likely include allowing cities to pay extra to “enhance” their EMS services, Fullum said. “That has to be part of the agreement,” he said. “Right now, the AMR contract is silent on that … and this will be clearly defined in the new agreement.” Sandy Springs, which has its own fire department, also contracts with AMR for ambulance services. The city is billed $10,000 per month for service, according to city spokesperson Sharon Kraun. This year, the city agreed to pay $650,000 more a year for two additional ambulances in the city to ensure better response times. In an interview, Nall said he disagreed with the county’s recommendation that cities pay extra for enhanced EMS service. “We all pay taxes to Dekalb and we insist, we demand, we expect higher levels of service from the ambulance service,” Nall added. DeKalb County Commissioner Nancy Jester attended the meeting and said in an interview there must be a provision to allow cities to pay more for an “upgrade” in EMS service and noted that Sandy Springs does this. “Nobody on the commission is happy with the current contract,” she said. “It’s unrealistic. “Response times need to be looked at, but they must be tiered – that’s the standard,” she said. DUN

OCTOBER 12 - 25, 2018

Public Safety | 23


Police Blotter / Dunwoody From Dunwoody Police reports dated Sept. 29 through Oct. 6. The following information was pulled from Dunwoody’s Police-2-Citizen website.


block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Sept. 29, in the afternoon, items were reported missing from a car. 4300 block of Ash-

taken from a car were reported. 100 block of Peachford Circle — On

Oct. 2, in the morning, a larceny was reported.

4300 block Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Oct. 2, in the afternoon, a man was arrested and accused of shoplifting.

— On Sept. 30, in the morning, a man was arrested and accused of aggravated assault with a gun.

ford-Dunwoody Road — On Sept. 29, in the evening, a shoplifting incident was reported.

4400 block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Oct. 2, in the afternoon, a man was arrested and accused of committing larceny.

2600 block of E.

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Sept. 29, at night, a shoplifting incident was reported. 4800 block of North Peachtree Road

— On Sept. 30, at midnight, a larceny was reported. 4300

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Sept. 30, in the afternoon, a shoplifting incident was reported. 4400

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Sept. 30, in the afternoon, a woman was arrested and accused of shoplifting. 4400

1600 block of Potomac Road — On

Oct. 3, in the early morning, a motor vehicle was stolen. 4700 block of North Peachtree Road

— On Oct. 3, in the morning, a larceny was reported. 6700 block of Peachtree Industrial

Boulevard — On Oct. 3, at night, a motor vehicle was stolen.


On Oct. 3, at night, a man was arrested and accused of shoplifting.

On Oct. 1, items were reported missing from a car.

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Oct. 4, in the morning, a shoplifting incident was reported.

1500 block of Old Spring House Lane

100 block of Perimeter Center West —

— On Oct. 1, in the afternoon, someone reported theft of mail.

On Oct. 4, in the afternoon, a shoplifting incident was reported.


block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Oct. 1, in the evening, a theft was reported.

5400 block of Chamblee-Dunwoody

8300 block of Azalea Garden Drive —


Road — On Oct. 4, at night, a shoplifting incident was reported.

On Oct. 1, in the evening, items were reported missing from a car.

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Oct. 5, at noon, a woman was arrested and accused of shoplifting.

1800 block of Cotillion Drive — On



Oct. 1, at night, a man was arrested and accused of simple assault.

1000 block of Perimeter Center — On

Oct. 3, at night, a woman was arrested and accused of marijuana possession. Perimeter Center — On Oct. 4, at

night, a man was arrested and accused of weapon possessions. 6800 block of Peachtree Industrial

Boulevard — On Oct. 5, at night, a woman was arrested and accused of prostitution; a man was arrested and accused of loitering and prowling.


I-285 WB/Ashford-Dunwoody Road —

300 block of Perimeter Center North

On Oct. 5, at night, a man was arrested and accused of driving under the influence of alcohol.

— On Oct. 1, in the afternoon, a man and woman were arrested and accused of forgery.

On Oct. 3, in the early morning, a motor vehicle was stolen.

2300 block of Azalea Garden Drive —

Oct. 1, at night, two incidents of items

2100 block of Peachford Road — On

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Oct. 3, in the afternoon, a man was arrested and accused of failing to follow traffic control devices.

2400 block of Dunwoody Crossing —

100 block of Perimeter Center Place —

4000 block of Dunwoody Park — On

300 block of Perimeter Center North


9400 block of Perimeter Lofts Circle — On Oct. 2, at night, items were reported missing from a car.

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Sept. 30, in the evening, a shoplifting incident was reported.

Oct. 1, at night, items were reported missing from a car.

4600 block of North Shallowford Road

— On Sept. 29, in the afternoon, a man was arrested and accused of simple assault.

4400 block of Ash-



block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Oct. 2, in the morning, a man was arrested and accused of shoplifting.


ford-Dunwoody Road — On Sept. 29, in the evening, a shoplifting incident was reported.

Madison Drive — On Sept. 29, in the evening, items were reported missing from a car.

On Oct. 6, in the evening, a man was arrested and accused of shoplifting.

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Oct. 5, in the afternoon, a man was arrested and accused of shoplifting. 100 block of Perimeter Center West —

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