10-13-17 Brookhaven Reporter

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OCTOBER 13 - 26, 2017 • VOL. 9 — NO. 21


Brookhaven Reporter



► Major buildings rise in construction boom time PAGE 8 ► Food & Drink: Q&A with Pontoon Brewing’s CEO Sean O’Keefe PAGE 10

Tuskegee Airmen descend on PDK

Mall owners say no to city’s Amazon HQ2 bid BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

Brookhaven is one of numerous cities across the country trying to come up with a sales pitch strong enough to lure the $5 billion new Amazon headquarters dubbed HQ2 to its location. But city officials apparently hit a snag when the owner of Northeast Plaza on Buford Highway, a site they considered prime real estate for the massive development, said it was not interested. “We are supportive of the city of Brookhaven’s plans to attract a great See MALL on page 17

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Prayer with no corresponding action is a useless and vain exercise. ...What will make us safer is ordinary people like you and I, from every political stripe, finding the courage to act.

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See COMMENTARY page 18



BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

Brookhaven Innovation Academy, a state charter school founded by the city, is planning to make its permanent home in Chamblee and likely will drop the word “Brookhaven” from its name. BIA board members announced Sept. 27 at a community event at Oglethorpe University that the charter school has contracted to buy 2.5 acres at 3031 Shallowford Road. Plans are to build a K-8 school on the site and open it no later than August 2019.

Rev. Robert C. Wright Episcopal Bishop of Atlanta, on the Las Vegas massacre

Page 19


Brookhaven Innovation Academy plans OUT & ABOUT Thrills & chills: Your move to Chamblee

Dr. Harold Brown, 92, left, and Robert Friend, 97, stand in front of the North American P-51C Mustang plane they flew in combat in World War II, on display Oct. 7 at the fourth annual Atlanta Warbird Weekend at DeKalbPeachtree Airport. Brown and Friend were members of the Tuskegee Airmen, a pioneering program to train African American pilots and ground crews in the then segregated U.S. military. See more pictures on page 30 ►

Page 22

See BROOKHAVEN on page 15

2 | Community

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Community Briefs

Profiles of Positive Aging

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Also celebrating Positive Aging Honorees from the Metro Atlanta Area Margerey Avery 2017 Honoree

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Attending the Oct. 10 City Council meeting are, from left, David Schaeffer, Managing Director of Advocacy at the Latin American Association; LAA Executive Director Anibal Torres; Deputy Consul General of Mexico in Atlanta, Rafael Bernal Cuevas; Consul General of Peru in Atlanta, Miguel Angel Aleman; District 2 Councilmember John Park; District 1 Councilmember Linley Jones, Mayor John Ernst; District 4 Councilmember Joe Gebbia; District 3 Councilmember Bates Mattison; Guanajuato Liaison, Veronica Toscano Leger; Deputy Consul General of Guatemala In Atlanta, Maria del Rosario Ovando; and Membership and Events Director at Welcoming America, Keiron Bone.


The city has joined the “Welcoming America Network” to show that it embraces diversity. Last month the City Council approved a resolution to apply for membership in Welcoming America, a nonprofit and nonpartisan national organization that connects nonprofits and local governments to help them build plans and policies that encourage newcomers and long-time residents to participate in social, civic and economic endeavors while highlighting the importance of being an inclusive city. “It is important that we embrace everyone in our diverse community,” said District 4 Councilmember Joe Gebbia at the Oct. 10 City Council meeting. Members of several agencies attended the meeting to celebrate the city joining the network. “We applaud Brookhaven’s City Council for their leadership in recognizing that their diverse population is a great asset, and for committing to work in partnership with the community to build a more inclusive and welcoming place for all,” Welcoming America Executive Director David Lubell said. Welcoming America is a non-profit launched in 2009 and is headquartered in Decatur. More than 100 cities across the United States have joined this group of welcoming communities, including the cities of Atlanta, Decatur, Clarkston and Norcross.


The City Council unanimously approved the purchase of 2.7 acres of land from Georgia Power Co. at 1623 North Druid Hills Road, near Cross Keys High School. The purchase price for the parcel was $1.1 million. “This acquisition gets us even closer to our goal of eight acres of greenspace per 1,000 residents, as outlined in our Master Plan,” said District 4 City Council Member Joe Gebbia in a prepared statement. “Our goal is to maximize the park’s value to our residents. It’s a great day for District 4 and I want to express my sincerest thanks to Georgia Power for working with Brookhaven and enabling us to preserve this natural resource for the benefit of our residents,” he said.




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The Public Works department will host its first public meeting on the North Fork Peachtree Creek Watershed Improvement Plan on Tuesday, Oct. 17, at 7 p.m. at the Latin American Association, 2750 Buford Highway. The City Council authorized a $187,000 watershed improvement study in April that will identify projects to improve water quality in the North Fork Peachtree Creek. The project will coordinate with neighboring jurisdictions within the watershed, and follow the city’s Peachtree Creek Greenway Plan. The study and plan is scheduled to be completed by May 2018 and includes several “task” projects: evaluate and characterize watershed conditions; identify problems, impairments and threats; identify causes and sources that may impact the watershed’s health; hold two public meetings to discuss the project; determine strategies to maintain and restore the health of the watershed; identify funding sources; and develop the watershed improvement plan. The North Fork Peachtree Creek Watershed originates in southern Gwinnett County and flows through unincorporated DeKalb, Chamblee, Doraville and Brookhaven.


Community | 3

OCTOBER 13 - 26, 2017 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Planning Commission recommends denying Boys & Girls Club rezoning BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

The Brookhaven Planning Commission struck a blow against the developers hoping to redevelop the Brookhaven Boys & Girls Club site with townhomes. The commission voted Oct. 4 to recommend Brookhaven City Council deny the application to rezone the site on North Druid Hills Road to allow a 64-unit townhome development. The council could still approve the application at its Oct. 24 council meeting. Ashton Woods, the developer, is asking the city to rezone the property from R-75 (single-family residential) to RM-100 (multifamily residential). In response to concerns expressed by residents, the developers have revised their plans in order to reduce the CITY OF BROOKHAVEN/ASHTON WOODS number of units from 74 to 64 and to move the entrance from Sylvan Circle to Briar- A revised site plan for the proposed townhome development on the site of the Boys & wood Road. Girls Club on North Druid Hills Road. In a 6-1 vote, commissioners said they had concerns the development would not fit the character of the area and the recommended uses for the area laid out in the city’s comprehensive plan. “North Druid Hills needs to be protected as is, or the change needs to be supported by the community,” Commission Chair Stan Segal said, noting vocal opposition from residents. About 50 community members attended the meeting. Two people, who are both involved with the Boys & Girls Club, spoke in favor of the rezoning while 10 spoke against it. “We know change is coming, but we did not know it would come in the form of a 64-unit townhome development,” one resident said. Other residents opposed the development due to traffic concerns. Many advocated for single-family homes. John Funny, the sole commission member to vote in favor of the rezoning, said he feels the area needs a mix of housing, including townhomes, and that the development would be appropriate at that location because it is near the Brookhaven-Oglethorpe MARTA Station. “If you think about where density should go, it should go close to a transit station,” Funny said. The Brookhaven Boys & Girls Club is trying to sell its property to move to another location about four miles away in Chamblee at 2880 Dresden Drive, a property the organization already owns. The sale is contingent on the rezoning. “As the neighborhood changed and more families that need us moved farther away, we decided we needed to be in their backyard,” said Bobby Dunn, the regional director for DeKalb and Gwinnett Boys & Girls club. The organization officially will relocate to the new location Jan. 1. “We will not be able to do what we normally do without the sale,” Dunn said. Developers of the proposed townhome project say they have revised their plans based on community input, including reducing the number of units. The density of the proposed project is lower than other townhome developments in the area, said Mike Busher, the senior vice president of Ashton Woods Atlanta. Even with a lower density, Segal said he was not comfortable rezoning the property to RM-100. “I just can’t get to RM-100, no matter the density. It’s setting the tone for all of North Druid Hills,” Segal said. The revised plans followed neighborhood meetings in which residents expressed serious concerns about problems the development could foster through its density, possible traffic, lack of green space and the proposed entrance on Sylvan Circle. The developers added a half-acre public “pocket park” that would be maintained in the future by the development’s Homeowner’s Association. Mayor John Ernst asked that affordable housing be included, Busher said, so the developers added a “manor house,” a five-unit condo building. The condo units would range in size from 900 square feet to 1,400 square feet and could cost approximately $300,000 apiece, Busher said. “That’s not affordable to some, but it’s more affordable than what we have today,” Busher said. The city’s affordable housing task force is still working to create a policy, and Segal said he hopes it will provide more guidance for developers once it is adopted. Ashton Woods also would donate land to the city and DeKalb County to facilitate the inclusion of a right-hand turn lane onto North Druid Hills Road from Briarwood Road. BK

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4 | Community

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Voters Guide: City Council District 4 Voters in Brookhaven City Council’s District 4 — which covers the southern section of the city, much of the Buford Highway corridor and Executive Park — will have a choice on the Nov. 7 ballot between challenger Dale Boone and incumbent Joe Gebbia. The Reporter asked both candidates for a biography and the answers to questions about their political stances, and part of their answers appear below. For their full answers, including positions on the Peachtree Creek Greenway, Buford Highway redevelopment and funding infrastructure in Executive Park, see ReporterNewspapers.net.


at the Oct. 10 City Council meeting that the force was only down one officer. But there is a job listing for more than one officer on the city websites. Hiring new officers needs to be addressed at once. Traffic congestion must be addressed, as it is affecting daily life of citizens of Brookhaven.

JOE GEBBIA JoeGebbiaWorks.com

Occupation: President / Owner: Health Matters, Inc., a private corporation selling high quality nutritional products to over 600 health food stores in five states. Previous experience holding elected office: Original councilman when Brookhaven became a city on Dec. 17, 2012. Re-elected to my first full fouryear term in 2013.


Occupation: CEO of World League Of Competitive Eating, Film Director.

Other community service experience: Founding Board Member of the Brookhaven Chamber of Commerce; Founding Board Member of the Brookhaven Innovation Academy (BIA), the first city-sponsored state charter school in the state of Georgia; member/speaker with Georgia Municipal Association on the topic of eliminating sex trafficking.

Previous experience holding elected office: None. Other community service experience: Mayor candidate, 2015; Brookhaven Baptist Church Basketball League Coach What is motivating you to run for City Council? The lack of leadership, accessibility and neglect from our elected official in District 4. The crime rate in District 4 has to be brought under control. Traffic congestion needs a solution ASAP. District 4 needs new leadership.

What is motivating you to run for City Council?

What is the biggest issue facing the district and how will you address it? There are two major problems: crime prevention and traffic congestion. Crime rates are high in District 4 due to the city being short staffed. City employees have informed me that the police force is down 11 officers from a full staff. City officials made a statement

I have worked hard to make Brookhaven a great city. We have the lowest millage rate; a state-recognized police force with our own 911, K-9 unit and 3-minute response; aggressively addressed filling potholes, paving streets and installing sidewalks; beautified parks and implemented a multi-year master plan for improvements; preserved precious green space while protecting our tree canopy; implemented our bike/ped plan. I am now focused on the bigger redevelopment opportunities of Buford Highway, the annexed area (CHOA, Emory, Hawks), and the Brookhaven MARTA Station; continue improving our police force; complete the Greenway; find a permanent home for City Hall. What is the biggest issue facing the district and how will you address it?

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Addressing increasing crime besieging our city from outside criminals. This includes car break-ins, home burglaries and incidences at late-night establishments. Brookhaven is the first city in Georgia to work jointly with Georgia Power to install license plate readers and cameras along the public right of way. Motto: “Commit a crime in Brookhaven and you will get caught.” Council is also reviewing policies regarding alcohol permits and serving hours. Another big issue is how BuHi — Brookhaven’s “Diamond in the Rough” — redevelops. As your representative, I am continuing my lead role to ensure we do get it right the first time.

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OCTOBER 13 - 26, 2017 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

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Craig Miller, far left, a producer and chairman of the Georgia Film, Music and Digital Entertainment Commission, moderates a panel on the Georgia film industry at an Oct. 10 Sandy Springs Perimeter Chamber of Commerce event. Joining him on the panel were, from left, Jeffrey Stepakoff, executive director of the Georgia Film Academy, Susanna Spiccia, founder and executive director of re:imagine ATL, and LaRonda Sutton, a consultant who helps cities attract projects.

Panel: Film industry can grow while reducing neighborhood impacts BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

The Georgia film industry needs to spread out from metro Atlanta to sustain the business and reduce impacts on local neighborhoods, said panelists at an Oct. 10 Sandy Springs Perimeter Chamber of Commerce event. As filming, which can can cause road closures or use loud special effects, begins to bother residents of some neighborhoods, moviemaking should become less concentrated in metro Atlanta, said LaRonda Sutton, a consultant who helps cities attract projects, at the event held at the Westin Atlanta Perimeter North hotel. “Some of the neighborhoods in Atlanta are beginning to feel fatigue. The excitement starts to wear off,” Sutton said. Chastain Park neighborhood residents in Buckhead recently experienced that as filming for the NBC show “Good Girls” closed two neighborhood streets, Rickenbacker Way and Midvale Drive, for five days. Jeffrey Stepakoff, the executive director of the Georgia Film Academy, said filming in other areas of the state is needed to help spread the economic benefits. “We’ve got to spread the economic activity across the state,” Stepakoff said. “We are the Georgia Film Academy, not the Atlanta Film Academy,” he said. Sutton and Stepakoff, were joined by Susanna Spiccia, founder and executive director of re:imagine ATL, a nonprofit that teaches students skills needed in the film industry, and Craig Miller, a producer and chairman of the Georgia Film, Music and Digital Entertainment Commission, who moderated the panel. To make Georgia’s film industry sustainable, Stepakoff said, industry leaders need to train writers and bring post-production and distribution professionals to the state. Schools should encourage talented Georgia writers to stay in the state, he said, rather than send them off to New York and California. “That is precisely what we need to stop doing,” he said. “We need to keep

our talent here.” To help train middle and high school students in skills needed in the film industry, Spiccia launched re:imagine ATL, which goes into local schools to train students and teachers. They work in schools across the metro area, including North Atlanta High School in Buckhead. The organization helps students get internships and provides connections to help them get jobs in the industry, she said. “We want to get into as many schools as possible because we are a direct line to the industry,” she said. The film industry in the U.S. was found in 2015 to be predominately comprised of white men, Spiccia said. Bringing Atlanta students into the industry will make the industry more diverse, which is one of the goals of the nonprofit, she said. “We’re going to see a more inclusive industry,” she said. As the film industry continues to grow in Georgia and metro Atlanta, Sandy Springs could make some improvements to attract more projects, Sutton said. “You have to make sure the permitting process is streamlined and you are promoting what is beautiful about Sandy Springs,” she said. Sutton established the city of Atlanta’s office that streamlined the permitting process for filming and created a point of contact for residents with questions about projects filming in their neighborhoods. Companies are currently filming 51 movies and TV shows in the state, excluding reality TV shows, Miller said at the event. Tax incentives passed in Georgia in 2008 are the driving force behind the industry’s growth in the state, but having an international airport and a wide variety of environments also contributes, panelists said. To help attract and support the industry, DeKalb County officially launched the DeKalb Entertainment Commission on Oct. 11. In addition to the TV and film industries, the office will provide government support to the music and video game industries in the county.

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6 | Community

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Trees come down for I-285/Ga. 400 interchange work BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

Sandy Springs’ landmark “King” and “Queen” skyscrapers rise in the background as crews work on Ga. 400 right of way near Mount Vernon Highway.


Trees have been coming down by the truckload along Ga. 400 and I-285 in recent weeks as the state’s “Transform 285/400” interchange reconstruction project preparation moves ahead. Tree-clearing along Ga. 400 — which eventually will require some new sound barriers for local neighborhoods — has been underway for months. But activity in recent weeks has ramped up as the project nears its first milestone: replacing the Mount Vernon Highway bridge over Ga. 400 in Sandy Springs. Right of way clearing on I-285 got started, including at the busy Roswell Road interchange. The work has involved some lane and ramp closures, which are done at night to minimize traffic effects. All of the clearing is just prep work to relocate utilities and make way for new lanes and ramps. Aiming for completion in mid-2020, the project will rebuild the interchange to improve vehicle capacity and flow. It will also add “collector-distributor lanes”— physically separated exit and entrance lanes — to 400 north to Sandy Springs’ Spalding Drive and to 285 between Roswell Road and Ashford-Dunwoody Road in Dunwoody and Brookhaven. The 400/Abernathy Road interchange in Sandy Springs will be rebuilt as a “diverging diamond,” in which traffic flow changes in time with traffic lights to move cars faster, and 33 bridges will be built or rehabbed. Here are some scenes from the recent work in late September and early October.

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An earthmover handles plowed-up trees at the I-285 westbound on-ramp from Roswell Road in Sandy Springs.

Community | 7

OCTOBER 13 - 26, 2017 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net


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A bulldozed right of way runs alongside the I-285 westbound on-ramp from Roswell Road.

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8 | Community

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ON THE RISE Major buildings take shape in construction boom time It’s a construction boom time in metro Atlanta, and cranes are rising across Reporter Newspapers communities. From Perimeter Center to Phipps Boulevard, and from Pill Hill to Executive Park, here are some of the biggest local buildings underway. PHOTOS BY PHIL MOSIER

Center for Advanced Pediatrics ▲

1400 Tullie Road, Brookhaven Project: Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta outpatient care tower, 8 stories. Expected completion: 2018

◄ Northside Hospital addition

1000 Johnson Ferry Road, Sandy Springs Project: 8-story addition to the main Northside Hospital in the Pill Hill medical center, going up along with a 10-story parking garage. Expected completion: 2018

Marcus Heart and Vascular Center Peachtree and Collier roads, Buckhead Project: Piedmont Hospital’s hub for new center funded by $75 million Marcus Foundation gift. Expected completion: Late 2020

Community | 9

OCTOBER 13 - 26, 2017 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Mercedes-Benz USA headquarters Abernathy Road at Mercedes-Benz Drive, Sandy Springs Project: The luxury automaker’s North American headquarters, relocated from New Jersey. Expected completion: Early 2018

▼ Park Center

Hammond Drive and Perimeter Center Parkway, Dunwoody Project: The next two State Farm office towers, one 22 stories and one 19 stories, rising across the street from a tower that opened this year. Expected completion: 2019-2020

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1000 Park Avenue at Phipps Boulevard, Buckhead Project: 27-story, 270-unit apartment building. Expected completion: August 2018

10 | Food & Drink

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Q&A with Pontoon Brewing’s CEO Sean O’Keefe BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

Pontoon Brewing, promising to bring the “pontoon lifestyle” with plenty of beer to Sandy Springs, plans to open in early November. CEO Sean O’Keefe said he along with COO Marcus Powers and Brewmaster Cole Brown are busy finishing up the final touches on their brewery at 8601 Dunwoody Place. The friends all went to the University of Florida together where they learned to appreciate beer -- so much so, they started making their own. Check out more about the brewery at pontoonbrewing.com.


How did you all meet and then decide making beer would be a great career choice?


Marcus and myself [and two friends who are now silent partners] all went to college together. When [the now silent partners] both got jobs in Atlanta,

From Left, Pontoon crew members CEO Sean O’Keefe, Brewmaster Cole Brown, Tyler Cole and COO Marcus Powers. The crew plans to open a brewery in Sandy Springs in early November.



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Food & Drink | 11

OCTOBER 13 - 26, 2017 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net they started brewing as a hobby. I had worked at a brewery during the summers in North Carolina and subsequently, Marcus and I started homebrewing. Once the four of us reunited in Atlanta, we started brewing together and came up with Pontoon! All of us are involved and have helped make Pontoon what it is today.


What was the first beer you made? Did it taste great?

A: The first beer made was Southern

Skipper White IPA! It came out wonderful! [It took a] couple brews to get it dialed in, but from the start, we knew we had something great. No Pants Pilsner came right after.


How come the name is Pontoon Brewing? And why is the otter your mascot?


Pontoon really sells the Pontoon lifestyle — a slow-moving party platform that doesn’t need to be flashy or move quickly to have fun. We came up with Pontoon because no one buys a Pontoon boat to show off or go fast, they do it to have a great time, have a nice cold beer and enjoy where they are at that point in time. Same reason the otter is our mascot. You never see otters working. They even play with their food!

Q: Why locate in Sandy Springs? A: We looked at over 40 buildings

in areas as far as Carrollton, Acworth, Smyrna, the West End BeltLine, all the way to Sandy Springs. We finally found the location we are in today because of the great proximity to the Chattahoochee [River], the amount of traffic and businesses in Sandy Springs and the welcoming city. We thought Sandy Springs was a great location.


What is the secret to making a good beer that no one seems to know?

A: The secret to making good

beer is proper cleaning and taking good notes! Oftentimes, the reason a beer comes out bad is due to infection from oxygen exposure or bacteria that can spoil a great brew. Proper cleaning of all equipment is key. Also, keeping good notes to know what you did right and what you didn’t do right! Educating yourself on new hops, fun yeast strains and new techniques are all good ways to


make good beer.


How do you come up with the names of your beers — for example, No Pants Pilsner?


We actually have a pretty fun text group for coming up with names! Sometimes after having a few Pontoon brews! It’s a good mix of all of us that come up with the names.


How do you decide on flavors that go into your beers? Is it trial and error or is there a formula you all follow?


A lot of the beers we try to make are food inspired. For example, we made a Pecan Pie nut brown ale that is savory and perfect during the holidays! We also made a sour beer with cranberries, tangerines and fall spices. We take a traditional style of beer, really nail down the recipe and try fun varieties! Sometimes it doesn’t turn out like we like, but we brew as many times as it takes before we sell them.


Making beer seems like a dream job for people who love beer. Is that true? Any challenges to brewing?

Do you each have a favorite beer? Which ones and why?


We are very diversified when it comes to favorite beer styles. Cole likes his German styles, a good mild and IPAs. As our brewmaster, BJCP [beer judge certification program] judge and level 2 Cicerone [beer certification program], he can appreciate all styles, though! Marcus likes saisons, Kolschs and IPAs. You can always find at least two of those in his fridge. My favorites are stouts, browns, Scotch ales and saisons. It could be 100 degrees outside and I could be sipping a rich, chocolatey stout.


What does the future hold for Pontoon?


We are planning to open in the first two weeks of November! We will have a big grand opening with bands, a live otter [from North Georgia’s Zoo to You] and great beer! Pontoon will likely open a second location that focuses on production to get into future states like Florida, Alabama, Tennessee and other southern states. We are so excited to open the brewery! It’s been a lot of work but we’ve had tremendous support from a lot of companies and individuals. We can’t wait for our fans to help experience the Pontoon lifestyle as well!


We think it’s the dream job! We started Pontoon because we love beer and love the industry. The industry is very unique and is very collaborative. For anyone considering opening their own brewery, I would say build a good team, brew for a few years and make it happen! There are some big challenges. Capital is needed. It’s hard to start a brewery without money. There is also a lot of red tape and things that pop up. All of these things make it tough for little guys to come in but it does happen and it makes it all the more exciting.

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What can people expect when they come to the Pontoon brewery?


A big taproom with ample seating, and outdoor area, good selections of beer in all shapes and sizes, games, TVs and a great atmosphere. Beer is made on site so tours will be available, as well as take-home beers. Pontoon will be hosting many events like corporate events, weddings, fundraisers and weekly events. We will also be doing tours that will take people with beer in hand to the Chattahoochee to drop in, get picked up and brought back to the brewery. Food trucks, seasonal parties and beer releases! All sorts of fun stuff!


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12 | Perimeter Business

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Beer business an ‘untapped’ development boon, experts say BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

Craft beer isn’t just fun to drink, but also a billion-dollar industry with “untapped” potential to spark economic booms in local cities, according to experts at an annual north Fulton development conference. Indeed, “Untapped” was the official theme of this year’s “North Fulton Opportunity Outlook” event, held Sept. 15 at Sandy Springs’ Wyndham Atlanta Galleria hotel. Presented by the Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce and the Council for Quality Growth, the conference brings city officials and developers together to network on trends and redevelopment sites. “There’s a lot more breweries coming,” said Paul Gatza, director of the Brewers Association, a Denver-based craft brewing trade group. One of them in Pontoon Brewing, set to open next month in northern Sandy Springs. Its CEO, Sean O’Keefe, was among the “Untapped” panelists. Pontoon will be Sandy Springs’ first brewery – as opposed to a brewpub that also serves food – and city leaders see it as potentially sparking their longtime urban planning goal: redevelopment of northern Roswell Road’s older shopping centers and apartment complexes. And that’s not the only craft brewing

business headed to one of Sandy Springs’ redevelopment wish-list areas. Another is Porter Pizza Brewery, slated to open this winter at Powers Ferry Road and Northside Drive, just across the street from the Wyndham. Owner Allen Porter says he hopes to create a brewpub chain that can open a Dunwoody location as well. At the conference, economic development officials from other north Fulton cities said they have their eyes on the craft business. A Roswell representative said that city aims to have breweries operating within its borders by year’s end. In Milton, an official explained, the city offers a new “limited tap” license that allows up to four beer taps at a business that does not regularly serve food. One of the first to take advantage: a company that wants to stage bicycle rides that end with a drink. Gatza put some numbers on the craft — meaning made locally by small businesses — beer business’s exploding market share. In 1980, he said, there were 89 breweries in the U.S. owned by 42 companies, of which five were craft. Today, there are more than 5,600 breweries, and craft has grown to 13 percent of the market share. Each year, about 900 craft breweries open and about 100 close, he said. The emergence of craft beers in the late 1980s helped to revitalize his hometown of Denver, Gatza said. The opening of Wyn-

koop Brewery was “the ignition point for the whole downtown area to emerge,” he said. He added that today, downtown Denver’s real estate is so expensive that some of the breweries that made it successful, such as River North Brewery, have been priced out of their own neighborhoods. Georgia is benefiting from the craft beer trend as well, Gazta said. The state had 53 breweries in 2014; today, it has 65, of which 38 are craft breweries. Another 85 are in the planning stages, a number that Gatza said could triple in next five years. He praised the so-called “Beer Jobs Bill” — the last legislative session’s Senate Bill 85 — which allowed breweries and distilleries to sell a certain amount of alcoholic drinks directly to consumers rather than through a distributor. The Brewers Association is pushing for a higher cap on the amount of alcohol sold, among other legislative changes. The bill was shepherded through the legislature by former state Sen. Hunter Hill of District 6, which includes parts of Buckhead and Sandy Springs. Pontoon is among the breweries that opened or changed their business model in response to the Beer Jobs Bill. “The word ‘red tape’ is thrown out a lot,” said O’Keefe, describing the complexities of licensing and permitting for an alcohol-producing business. But, he added, reaching out early to the city of Sandy

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Pontoon Brewing CEO Sean O’Keefe, far left, speaks during the Sept. 15 “Untapped” event. Joining him on the panel are, from left, Michael Sard, an attorney specializing in alcohol licensing; Matt Curling, owner of Roswell’s Variant Brewing; and Michael Lundmark, CEO of Alpharetta’s Jekyll Brewing.

Springs for advice was key, and legislation like the Beer Jobs Bill helps the industry. One of those city officials is among those looking to benefit from the craft beer trend. Gabriel Sterling, a Sandy Springs city councilmember and candidate for Fulton County Chair, has been working on his own beer for several years under the name Elbow Bend Brewing. While the business is on hold while Sterling campaigns, he attended the “Untapped” event as a public official and spoke afterward about the plans he has brewing. Sterling said he had originally planned to contract out his beer-brewing, but with the Beer Jobs Bill allowing for direct sales, he “might open a physical location,” he said. “I’d love to do it in Sandy Springs.”

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Community | 13

OCTOBER 13 - 26, 2017 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Last call for bars will be an hour earlier

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Last call at Brookhaven bars will be an hour earlier — 2 a.m. rather than 3 a.m. — after the City Council voted 3-1 on the change at its Oct. 10 meeting to roll back “last call” for alcoholic drinks. The decision comes after months of debate. The new hours take effect April 10, 2018. City staff recommended rolling back the hours earlier this year as part of an overhaul of the alcohol ordinance. The police department has requested for more than a year that hours be cut back due to increasing reports of violence and crime at the nightclubs in Northeast Plaza on Buford Highway. The 2 a.m. last call aligns Brookhaven with last calls in Dunwoody and Sandy Springs. Closing hours will also now be 2:30 a.m. rather than 3:30 a.m. The new ordinance applies to all venues that serve alcohol. Councilmember Linley Jones made the amendment to change the ordinance from 3 a.m. to 2 a.m. and it was seconded by Councilmember John Park. Both said they supported the change because it was in the best interest of the city and its residents. “It’s our duty to protect the safety and welfare of the community … to protect our citizens and our police force,” Jones said. She said statistics provided by the police department in June showing a sharp increase in DUIs and aggravated assaults on Buford Highway between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m. were compelling enough to make the change. Councilmember Bates Mattison, who cast the no vote, said rolling back hours to try to stop police incidents caused by a few businesses would in turn harm other businesses. “We started the city with a belief that we would be pro-business,” he said. “From incorporation, we’ve changed [bar] hours from 4 a.m. to 3:30 a.m. to 3 a.m. and now to 2 a.m. Some of these businesses are not the source of police problems … and they will have to close because of this ordinance change. “I have compassion for those business owners,” he said, “and for the workers who will have to find new jobs.” Mattison said it is clear there are crime and public safety problems on Buford Highway, but they are caused by “a couple of problem operators.” The city currently takes in approximately $900,000 a year from venues serving alcohol through license fees and excise taxes. Cutting back hours could significantly impact that revenue, Mattison added. Councilmember Joe Gebbia, whose district includes Buford Highway, asked that XS Lounge in Northeast Plaza be exempted from the earlier closing hour.


Hakim Hilliard, attorney for XS Lounge in Northeast Plaza, speaks at the City Council meeting.

In 2014, the restaurant and nightclub obtained the five-year special land use permit through the city to be categorized as a late-night establishment. The SLUP allowed XS Lounge to operate as a restaurant until 12:30 a.m. and then become a late-night venue with the ability to sell alcohol until 3 a.m. City code required restaurants to stop selling booze at 12:30 a.m. even though they could stay open until 3:30 a.m. Police and council members have complained in the past that some venues in the city were getting around the SLUP process by stating they were restaurants but would then keep selling alcohol after 12:30 a.m. XS Lounge’s SLUP expires next year, Gebbia said, and he asked the council to “honor its contract” with the club and let it remain open later until 2019. He said the club owner invested in his business based on that five-year SLUP. Gebbia also said that XS Lounge is not one of the clubs with numerous police calls. “The [SLUP] process has worked well with XS Lounge,” he said. City Attorney Chris Balch argued a SLUP is not a contract in the “traditional sense of the word” and he advised the better course of action would be to treat all alcohol licensees the same. He also explained that the SLUP does not include hours of operation. Jones said the police have noted problems with XS Lounge going back to 2015 and said it was not accurate to portray the nightclub as a good community citizen simply because it has a SLUP. “It has long been a major user of police resources and a place of criminal activity,” she said. Hakim Hilliard, attorney for XS Lounge, addressed councilmembers during public comment before the vote and disputed the police department’s claim of numerous incidents at the business. He also asked them to exempt his client from the earlier closing time until after the SLUP expires. After the meeting, he said XS Lounge would now have to consider its options, including possibly taking legal action against the city before the new hours go into effect in April. “We weren’t asking for a legal conclusion, we were asking for a policy decision to honor the contract,” he said. “And a SLUP is a contract.”

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14 | Community

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Oglethorpe gets $50M for new business school 3887 Peachtree Road, Buckhead/Brookhaven • Delivery (Limited Area, Min.$12) Tel: 404-816-2229 • Fax: 404-816-5929 • www.ChinChinGa.com


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from Oglethorpe University in 1973 and went on to a successful career as president and COO of C.W. Matthews Contracting Co., recently donated $50 million to his alma mater for the creation of a new business school. “I didn’t know it at the time, but my years at Oglethorpe resulted in much more than the requisite college degree,” Hammack said in a prepared statement. “As I reflect back upon my professional success, I can directly attribute it to the leadership, communication, and critical thinking skills I learned by attending a liberal arts institution. By making this gift to Oglethorpe, I hope to help a new generation of business leaders find their own success.” Hammack retired three years ago from C. W. Matthews Contracting Co., the company that recently made headlines when it replaced, one month ahead of schedule, the I-85 bridge that collapsed after a major fire broke out underneath it. He still serves on its board of directors. The $50 million gift was announced Sept. 29 and it is the largest gift made to the university in its 182-year history. “This gift will be transformational for Oglethorpe,” Oglethorpe President Lawrence M. Schall said in a prepared statement. “For an alumnus to make this significant of an investment is the greatest possible validation that the education and experience we offer is valuable both to our students and to the community they go on to work within,” Schall said. “This is a truly exciting next chapter in Oglethorpe’s proud history and we will owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to Bill Hammack for many years to come.” The gift will come to Oglethorpe through a foundation established by Hammack and his wife, Diane, and a significant portion will go to the university’s endowment, according to a university press release. The first portion of the gift will be used to start the Q. William Hammack, Jr. School of Business. A search for the new school’s dean will begin later this year. The Hammack School of Business is expected to open in the fall of 2019. The new business school will be located in the new $20 million I.W. “Ike” Cousins Center for Science and Innovation, scheduled to break ground in spring 2018 and open in 2019, according to university officials. The building is named in honor of 1927 Oglethorpe alumnus Ike Cousins, a science major and three-sport letterman and father of Cousins Properties founder Tom Cousins. Ann and Tom Cousins recently donated $2.5 million to go toward the Cousins Center for Science and Innovation.

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Top, The $20 million I.W. “Ike” Cousins Center for Science and Innovation, BY DYANA BAGBY scheduled to open in 2019, will house the dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net William Hammack School of Business. Inset, Bill Hammack, left, with Oglethorpe William B. Hammack Jr., who graduated University President Lawrence Schall.


4969 Roswell Road, NE, Suite #245, Sandy Springs, GA 30342 p.404-250-8988 www.ciboatlanta.com

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Community | 15

OCTOBER 13 - 26, 2017 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Brookhaven Innovation Academy plans move to Chamblee Continued from page 1


BIA is still going through due diligence on the property, but board member Adam Caskey said the board wanted to let parents know about the plans early in the process. “We committed to open and honest communication on this issue,” he said. “We understand the emotion involved.” The news was greeted by applause from the crowd. Total cost of the property is $1.375 million, Caskey said, but only $500,000 is needed by Nov. 6 as a down payment. A fundraiser started in July has already raised $150,000 and a metro Atlanta foundation has agreed to a matching grant of $175,000, meaning families need to raise $175,000 by the Nov. 6 deadline, board members said. Board members would not name the foundation making the matching grant. The property is located between I-85 and Buford Highway and adjacent to the 6-acre Dynamo Swim Center. DeKalb tax records show the property is zoned for office or institutional development. Changing the name of the school is likely. Board Chair Jennifer Langley said she has registered The Innovation Academy with the state and the board will soon vote on the potential name change. Caskey praised the city of Chamblee for helping BIA in the process of finding land and working with the board to bring the school to the city that neighbors Brookhaven. “Frankly I’ve been blown away by the city leadership and its vision for the future,” he said. Chamblee City Councilmember Tom Hogan was on hand at the Sept. 27 event to welcome the school. “We couldn’t be more excited for the school to come to a part of town that needs it,” he said. “Welcome to Chamblee.” In a later interview, Hogan said the city is not providing any tax incentives to BIA and that tax incentives were never discussed. He said after BIA board members reached out to the city’s economic development director, there were several “roundtable” conversations about what the city could do to help the school. In the end, though, it was the BIA board that found and negotiated for the property, he said. A major incentive for BIA to locate in Chamblee, Hogan said, was the city’s recent purchase of 16.5 acres of the former Jim Hearn golf center property on Buford Highway that the city will maintain as a green space. He also praised the working relationship BIA has established with the Dynamo Swim Center, where early plans show the two facilities sharing parking. Brookhaven Councilmember Bates Mattison, who was chair of the BIA’s board when it was approved by the State Charter Schools Commission in 2015 and served for a time as its executive director, said he was happy for BIA and the city of Chamblee. “This is a huge step in [BIA’s] journey … and I’m also very happy for the city of


Brookaven Innovation Academy was created by the City Council with a mission on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). 2014

The State Charter Schools Commission rejects BIA’s petition, citing, among other reasons, city officials serving on the school’s board of directors.


The State Charter Schools Commission approves Brookhaven Innovation Academy after the board cuts the number of seats held by council members. BIA also becomes an independent nonprofit, although Councilmembers Joe Gebbia and Bates Mattison, who helped found the school, remain on the board of directors. BIA hires Mattison as interim executive director. Mayor Rebecca Chase Williams asked for a legal opinion to determine if Mattison’s job with BIA created a conflict of interest, as he also serves on the City Council. Mattison is cleared by an outside legal opinion to serve as BIA’s executive director. Mattison agrees to recuse himself from any council discussion on BIA. BIA also agrees not to pay Mattison a fundraising commission following the ethics questions. BIA proposes to the City Council to build its first school partly on the Skyland Park property. The proposal does not work out.


BIA announces that because it cannot find a location in Brookhaven, it will open in a temporary space in Norcross. BIA hires Laurie Kimbrel as the first head of school. In 2015, Kimbrel was selected to be the superintendent of Chicago’s Township High School District 113, but resigned after the school district learned her husband was accused of cyberbullying while the couple lived in California. BIA board members said they knew of the controversy and considered her the best qualified. Councilmember Mattison steps down as executive director of BIA. The school opens in Norcross with 420 students in grades K-6. The City Council buys for $5.7 million some 30 acres of PDK Airport land. BIA parents ask the council to consider the construction of a permanent BIA on a portion of property but the council votes 3-1 to keep the area a green space with no development. Mattison cast the no vote.


Kimbrel steps down before the new school year starts. BIA hires interim head of school Terri Potter, former principal at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School. Classes resume in the Norcross facility. BIA announces it plans to buy land in Chamblee for its permanent location with room to expand to a high school.

Chamblee and the citizens in the area who will benefit from the great school the city of Brookhaven created,” he said in an interview after the meeting. An outside lawyer cleared Mattison to be able work for BIA and serve on the council, but he later resigned the post. Mattison said he hopes the city of Brookhaven “sees this as a missed opportunity, but learns the value of a charter school and how it can transform an area.” He said he is now serving on a board with an organization trying to bring a similar charter school to Doraville. He said changing the school’s name would be a “horrible idea.” “A name has tremendous value and the origins of the idea were created by the city of Brookhaven. The name is irrelevant,” he said. “But even me, who has tremendous passion and put blood, sweat and tears into the school should not be focused on the name. It’s never been about the name — it’s about the mission of the school.” Councilmember Joe Gebbia, who also helped found BIA, said he was pleased the charter school had found a permanent home, even if it was not in Brookhaven. “The name is in jeopardy, which is a shame because of the city’s ties,” he said. “After we did the initial funding, we divorced ourselves from the school. I wish the school the best.” BIA opened last year in Norcross after not finding property in Brookhaven.

16 | Community

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A guide to Buford Highway’s Living Walls murals

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Buford Hwy NE


The We Love BuHi and Living Walls public art experience continues indefinitely through the larger-than-life murals painted on the sides of buildings along Buford Highway. The collaboration between the two organizations, named The BuHi Walk, was held Sept. 8-17 and included Buford Highway’s inaugural Restaurant Week and community discussions and wrapped up with a block party and night market in Northeast Plaza in Brookhaven. Local and national artists were selected to create their murals after meeting with people who live and work along the corridor renowned for its multicultural residents, businesses and, of course, many restaurants. Living Walls was created seven years ago and brought public art to downtown Atlanta, but this year decided it was time to bring the project to Buford Highway to raise awareness of immigrant experiences, especially as Buford Highway faces rapid redevelopment. Here is a map of the Living Walls murals.


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Community | 17

OCTOBER 13 - 26, 2017 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Mall owners say no to city’s Amazon HQ2 bid Continued from page 1 company like Amazon to the area. However, we have long-term leases with our tenants and plan to redevelop the center at a future date,” said Kristen Moore, senior vice president of marketing for Brixmor, the company that owns Northeast Plaza. Moore said city officials did approach Brixmor about joining them in putting together a proposal package, but that Brixmor declined. “We are not interested,” she said. Gentrification and redevelopment are threatening Buford Highway’s regional attraction as a multicultural corridor, including the displacement of the many immigrants who work and live there. Ongoing debates have led to numerous studies about how to ensure the cultural diversity of Buford Highway is maintained as new development comes in. Brookhaven resident Marian Liou, founder and executive director of We Love BuHi, an organization dedicated to preserving and promoting Buford Highway’s cultural diversity, said she is not surprised to hear the city is seeking to pitch the corridor to Amazon. “Northeast Plaza saying no gives us more time to collectively decide on a shared vision for Buford Highway,” Liou said. “This is an opportunity for everyone who loves Buford Highway, ... to consider the effects of a massive redevelopment project on the people and businesses of Buford Highway.” Amazon also has a reputation for gentrifying communities where it settles. Liou said Amazon revolutionized retail and commerce and perhaps the city can find inspiration in that model for the city “to pioneer with intention how communities of color, or cities with a large population of people of color, can directly and substantively benefit from development and change,” she said. “With or without HQ2.” Brookhaven city officials declined to comment on their attempts to lure Amazon HQ2. City Councilmember Joe Gebbia, whose district includes Northeast Plaza, also declined comment. Moore said Brixmor understands the strength and value of the “well-located” property on Buford Highway. The property is located on roughly 41.5 acres with slightly more than 442,000 square feet of office space. Recently, Northeast Plaza was the location for the Living Walls/We Love BuHi block party and night market as part of their public art campaign to bring awareness to the immigrant communities living and working on Buford Highway. Amazon posted Sept. 7 a press release to its website stating it was seeking to open Amazon HQ2, leading states BK

Other criteria Amazon lists in its RFP: ► Metropolitan areas with more than a million people ► A stable and business-friendly environment ► Urban or suburban locations with the potential to attract and retain strong technical talent The sign at Northeast Plaza displays the numerous businesses located in the Buford Highway shopping center.

across the country, including Georgia, to submit bids by the Oct. 19 deadline. Amazon states it would invest over $5 billion in construction and employ up to 50,000 people. Phase One of Amazon’s request for proposals calls for enough room for buildings of more than 500,000 square feet by 2019 and up to 8 million square feet beyond 2027, according to Amazon. Access to mass transit is also crucial in the request for proposals. Northeast Plaza is not served directly by a MARTA station, but the No. 39 MARTA bus serv-


ing Buford Highway is the most heavily used bus route. Amazon states in its RFP it will consider undeveloped sites that measure about 100 acres, leading many media reports to float the idea that the former General Motors site in Doraville, now being redeveloped and called Assembly, is a top contender site for Georgia. The RFP states that the sites do not have to be contiguous, but should be in proximity to each other to foster a sense of place and be pedestrian-friendly.”

► Communities that think big and creatively when considering locations and real estate options HQ2 could be, but does not have to be: ► An urban or downtown campus ► A similar layout to Amazon’s campus in Seattle ► A development-prepped site “We want to encourage states/provinces and communities to think creatively for viable real estate options, while not negatively affecting our preferred timeline,” the RFP states.


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18 | Commentary

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Commentary: After Las Vegas, ministers speak on ‘the unspeakable’ It struck many of us as all too familiar. A gunman had climbed high in a hotel and opened fire on a concert crowd below. All that seemed different about the Las Vegas shooting on Oct. 1 was the location and the numbers of the dead and wounded. Police found the body of the killer, Stephen Paddock, in a hotel room stocked with a small armory of guns and ammunition. They even found calculations he’d made to better target people in the crowd below once the killing began, according to news reports. By the time he was done, 58 people were dead, nearly 500 wounded. Many officials locally and around the country responded with statements of thoughts and prayers for the victims, while national media was filled with debates about whether thoughts and prayers are enough. In the days after the shooting, we asked several local ministers what they would say — what they could say — to console members of their congregations after yet another mass shooting. Here’s some of what they said.

In the face of unspeakable gun violence in Las Vegas on Sunday night, many of us are left wondering how we respond. As our hearts break, we are called first to lament, to remember, and to pray. We hope that many of you will find the church to be a space of healing in the face of such an act of evil. – Covenant Presbyterian Church Senior Pastor Rev. Dr. Richard Hill and Associate Pastor Rev. Katie Owen Aumann emailed a note to their congregation.

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In the aftermath of the horror of Las Vegas, I ask you to remember and pray for the souls of those who have died, including Mr. Paddock. I encourage you to seek the comfort we find in Christ Jesus. Holy Scripture reminds us that we are to “… rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep.” It is an important part of what makes us human. Even though Las Vegas is more than 1,500 miles from Georgia, we are nevertheless connected with the men and women struck down and the loved ones they left behind by our ability to empathize and have compassion. So, we pray. We reach to God in familiar words to remember the dead and send our positive psychic and spiritual energy to those still in shock and who will grieve for years to come. But let us remember also, Jesus was a man of prayer and of action. Prayer must be prelude to action. Prayer with no corresponding action is a useless and vain exercise. Most importantly, prayer without action is not the faith Jesus practiced! My sincere prayer is that the lives of those killed in Las Vegas will not be in vain. I still believe that America is a great country! I still believe we can accomplish great things together. I believe we can affirm the Second Amendment, protect the rights of hunters and sportsman, and enact common sense gun laws that put into practice intelligent safety measures. This is not a partisan sentiment. Morgues and cemeteries are not divided by political affiliation. This is about coming to the realization that moments of silence and prayer will not, of themselves, make us safer. What will make us safer is ordinary people like you and I, from every political stripe, finding the courage to act. Jesus often asked men and women he encountered, “What do you want?” I want an America where we are less afraid and more neighborly. An America where it is more difficult to get a semi-automatic weapon or high capacity magazines than it is to get a bottle of Sudafed. I want an America where special interests like the National Rifle Association don’t control our elected officials with campaign donations that render them spineless. I want an America where law enforcement officers are better equipped to keep us safe than criminals are equipped to do us harm. These are not Democratic dreams or Republican dreams. This is an American dream. – Rev. Robert C. Wright, Episcopal Bishop of Atlanta, in a public statement.

“Violence has once again horrified us as a nation and drawn us together in sorrow. All of us — people of faith as well as those with no particular religious affiliation — are stunned by the tragic, senseless, and incomprehensible loss of life in Las Vegas. “At the same time we are awed by the courage and selflessness of the first responders, touched by the kindness of generous neighbors, and moved by the actions of strangers who have reached out to care for those who have been hurt, separated from their companions and frightened. I invite all of us to pray for those whose lives were taken and those whose lives have been altered by such violence. “May Mary, the Mother of Jesus, comfort the people of Las Vegas and strengthen our nation with trust in one another and hope for our common future.” – Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta in a public statement.

With many tears and fears for the present and the future, we lament in hope and humble ourselves to pray. As we pray, we remember the promise that you hear our prayers and heal our land. Father, our hearts ache from the frequent earthquakes and natural disasters, wars and rumors of wars, and senseless acts of violence. And honestly, as much as we desire to be a faithful people who trust in you, in the back of our minds lingers the question, “Where is God in all of this?” In the effort to find a suitable answer, we search the depths of our hearts, minds and souls, seemingly to no avail. And suddenly, out of the abyss of darkness, springs the hope of Elijah. Elijah who, even as a prophet of God, wrestled with these same questions. You responded to him as you respond to us now: “I am not the author of disaster. I am not the author of confusion. But I am with you, so close you can sense my presence and hear me whisper, “I love you.” Father, you are an only-good God. You love us and promise to never leave us nor reject us. You hear our prayers. And so we ask: comfort our hearts, renew our minds and refresh our souls; give us hope. And father, because we do not understand the why in all of these things, we need you to help us. Help us do our part to heal our land. We repent of any error in our ways and ask you to forgive us and reconcile us. Reconcile us, not only to you, but also to one another and teach us to love as you love, forgive as you forgive, be present as you are present and be good to each other as you are good to us. In Jesus’ name, amen. – Pastor William C. Givens, Buckhead Baptist Church, in a statement issued to Reporter Newspapers.


Community | 19

OCTOBER 13 - 26, 2017 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

This girl’s a natural behind the wheel BY JOE EARLE joeearle@reporternewspapers.net

She just got it. The first time Malena Shipley climbed into a Soapbox Derby car, it was obvious to the adults around her that she instinctively knew what to do to make that car go fast. She was just 7, but she somehow seemed to know how to handle the car. That’s what Nancy Mooney saw. She was there that first day. Mooney’s the race director of the North Georgia Soapbox Derby, which holds its races in Dunwoody. Back five years ago, she was showing kids soapbox cars during Lemonade Days, Dunwoody’s annual hometown celebration, when Malena first got into a Soapbox car and piloted it down a hill. Mooney’s been around Soapbox cars much of her life. Her dad raced them when he was a boy and she raced them when she was a girl. When she saw Malena get in the car, Mooney watched the young girl naturally get into a racing position. “She definitely had a natural ability at 7 years old,” Mooney said. “She had a natural instinct to put her bottom back and lean her nose forward.” Mooney recruited Malena as a driver and found her a car. A short time later, Malena won her first race.


Since then, Malena’s never stopped. The Brookhaven seventh-grader has been the North Georgia champion in each of the three different divisions of Soapbox racers, was a top rally point earner in the nation in the “stock” division last year, and has been to the national competitions in Akron, Ohio, five times to race against other top drivers, said her dad, John Shipley. Now, at age 12, Malena’s a world champion. In July, Malena took first place in the local masters division of the All-American Soapbox Derby. Her black-and-yellowstriped car will be displayed in a derby museum alongside all the other winners’ cars from eight decades of competition. How good is she? “On a scale of 1 to 10? She’s a 12,” Mooney said. Malena’s dad, an art director, serves as his daughter’s pit crew. They travel together to competitions scattered from Florida to Virginia. Malena figures she races about once a month. Some of her best friends are now drivers in other cities or other states. In a race, Malena has to work the track to find places her gravity-powered cars can gain speed. She’s not really sure how she knows where to go, she just goes. “We look for places to go downhill,” she said with a

Above, Malena Shipley poses with her trophy and her winning Soapbox Derby car. (SPECIAL) Inset, Malena Shipley, right, and her dad, John Shipley, discuss her racing success. (JOE EARLE)

shy grin. “It’s like skiing. I don’t ski. I just know stuff about skiing.” Through five years of racing, Malena’s learned her way around a Soapbox track. She’s taken tips from other drivers and watched closely as winners made their runs. “I’ve learned by trial and error and by watching people,” she said. In a race, she said, things slow down. She tries to work out an imaginary line that offers the quickest run downhill and stick to that line. “When we’re going downhill, things are like in slow motion — and going fast, too,” she said. Drivers of the masters-level Soapbox cars aren’t seated, but more or less lie down and peek through a narrow slot to see where they’re going. “Can you see your competitors?” her dad asked. “I don’t look at competitors because you

tend to steer to where you look,” she said. That would slow her down, of course. So, leave worrying about other drivers to the ones behind her. The point, after all, is to go as fast as possible. Malena likes that. “I like the way it feels to go downhill,” Malena said. “I guess I just like going fast.” “She’s a little edgy,” her dad said. “She’s likes things with a little challenge.” What comes next? Malena already has a new car, painted black and yellow like her old one, and she’s started competing again regionally. She can race Soapbox cars through age 20. But she doesn’t think she will. She’s turning her competitive nature to a different sort of sport. She wants to play basketball, to drive for baskets instead of finish lines. She plans to play in the WNBA someday.

20 | Community

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City’s proposed budget set at $40.7M BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

The city’s 2018 proposed budget has been set at $40.7 million, up from a nearly $37 million budget approved last year. City Manager Christian Sigman presented the budget to the mayor and City Council at its Oct. 9 meeting. Two more public hearings on the budget will be held during regularly scheduled City Council meetings on Oct. 24 and Nov. 14. The council is expected to vote on the budget following the Nov. 14 hearing. Sigman noted that the city’s general fund, which funds day-to-day operations, is proposed to be $26 million, a 2.8 percent increase over last year’s general fund budget. Features of the proposed budget Sigman pointed out: ■ The 2.74 millage rate is unchanged and remains one of the lowest in DeKalb County. ■ The 2018 year-end General Fund reserve is projected to remain at 25 percent of expenditures. ■ The 2018 paving program is funded at $2.5 million, consistent with the 2018-2022 paving plan. ■ Parks Master Plan implementation funding is proposed at $1.2 million. ■ The Brookhaven Tourism Department is established. ■ Funding is included for the construction of Phase I of the Peachtree Creek Greenway, which is set to begin in the second quarter of 2018. “The budget funds a full-service police department, maintains 13 parks with three pools and two recreation centers, and invests in paving, sidewalk and stormwater upgrades at $777 per capita [for each person] — some people pay more in HOA fees,” Sigman said. He also noted there are risks that come with a budget, including construction inflation costs and issues that may arise with acquisition of right-of-way property. “Some people donate, some charge us and some take us to court,” Sigman said. The proposed budget includes a 12 percent increase for employee healthcare, but Sigman noted the volatility of healthcare plans in Washington, D.C., could affect

that number in the future. The city will also see increased revenue due to an increase in the hotel/motel tax to 8 percent from 5 percent. The tax increase went into effect this month. While the city has contracted with Discover DeKalb for promotion and tourism services, the proposed budget provides $1 million of the new revenue be set aside to re-establish the Brookhaven Convention and Visitors Bureau for promotion, marketing, gateway and wayfinding signage. The city will continue its relationship with Discover DeKalb. Proposed Parks and Recreation capital projects are budgeted at $2.5 million for 2018. Some of the proposed projects defined during the parks master plan process were: ■ $800,000 for a trail to connect Murphey Candler Park to the sidewalk next to Marist School. ■ $400,000 for a treehouse in Briarwood Park. The treehouse will be built among trees along the trail through the park. ■ $150,000 for a parking lot at the new 33-acres PDK Airport greenspace the city purchased this year. The money will go toward the installation of a new gravel parking lot, a wooden fence and a park sign. ■ $160,000 for the complete renovation of the Blackburn Tennis Center. ■ $300,000 to rebuild six of the 18 tennis courts at Blackburn Park Tennis Center. ■ $150,000 for repairs to the Murphey Candler Park pool house. ■ $180,000 for improvement projects at the Murphey Candler Park athletic facility. ■ $300,000 to be used to continue the bank restoration project at Murphey Candler Lake. The 2018 proposed paving budget includes resurfacing of 3.87 miles, or 9.94 lane miles, and another $300,000 is proposed to be spent on sidewalk projects.


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Community | 21

OCTOBER 13 - 26, 2017 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Sandy Springs author releases crime drama set in desert


BY JACLYN TURNER Steven Cooper did not sleep well two nights before the release of his first novel in 10 years. “I’m excited-slash-anxious,” said the novelist, a Sandy Springs resident. “It’s like delivering a baby and asking the world if you like my baby.” This baby’s name is “Desert Remains.” It’s the first in a series of crime dramas following Detective Alex Mills and psychic Gus Parker, who team up together in an unconventional partnership to catch a killer. The psychic character, Gus, is meant to turn psychic fiction on its head. “It’s well integrated in the reality of the crime drama without it being fantasy,” said Cooper, who hopes to reach a broad audience with his book. The book is set in the deserts around Phoenix, where Cooper once worked as a TV reporter. “It’s a love letter to the desert as a backdrop to crime,” Cooper said. “As beautiful as the desert is to look at, the book allows the desert to become a character of its own. The killer is using the desert as a tableau for his crimes, to manipulate people. “It has unexpected elements to a crime novel with unpredictable characters, an unusual setting, not a big city setting,” Cooper said. Prior to setting up residency in Sandy Springs to try a corporate life working communications at Newell Brands, Cooper was a TV reporter in Phoenix and Orlando. He has received multiple Emmy awards and nominations and an Edward R. Murrow Award. He also taught at Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla. In Phoenix, Cooper often covered crime as a young reporter. “I sat in trials, observed the crazy [things] people do to each other. It’s not uncomfortable [for me] to write about crime. It’s a way to work out the ugliness I had to watch going to crime scenes and seeing body bags,” Cooper said. His home also backed up to a mountain preserve, which he often hiked and which served as an inspiration. “Ever since I left Phoenix, I knew I wanted to write this story,” Cooper said. When he found the momentum to pick up his writing career, he pitched the idea to his family and friends, receiving positive feedback, and started writing. Last year, Newell Brands chose to relocate its headquarters to New Jersey. Cooper received a two-book deal from publisher Seventh Street Books three weeks after finding out about the move. He didn’t want to uproot himself again, so he set to writing. The release date for his novel, Oct. 10, coincidentally marks the first anniversary of his departure from the company. Cooper frequently writes and edits at the Starbucks and Einstein’s Bagel Bros. coffee houses at Peachtree-Dunwoody and Hammond roads. “It’s a chance to get out of the house, be around a different vibe, and be around a lot of coffee. Coffee is key for writers.” During the editing process, Cooper visited Phoenix to explore the mountains, trails, and the neighborhoods. He consulted with the Phoenix police department to discuss how they deal with crime. But now, Cooper is feeling quite settled in to his metro Atlanta lifestyle, and imagines he might one day want to write a book with Atlanta as a backdrop. “Atlanta has great neighborhoods and pockets of intrigue in it.” Yet Cooper noticed a trend about how he writes, saying the process is to immerse and then get distance. His previous books, of a more campy mystery genre, are also inSPECIAL fluenced by places he’s been or lived, and he Steven Cooper. did not write them until he lived in Florida. “I’d probably write my Atlanta novel flying off to a vacation somewhere. I’ll start it when I’m away,” Cooper aid. “I’d like to go to Peru.” “Desert Remains” is available on Amazon.com and at local bookstores. Cooper will be hosting book signings at Barnes & Noble, 2952 Cobb Parkway, on Saturday, Oct. 21, at 2 p.m., and at Tall Tales Bookstore, 2105 LaVista Road, on Sunday, Oct. 29, at 2 p.m.

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22 | Out & About

Facebook.com/TheReporterNewspapers ■ twitter.com/Reporter_News parking: Sandy Springs Christian Church and the Weber School (shuttle buses available). Info: visitsandysprings.org.


Saturday, Oct. 28, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.




Dressing up is for horses, too, at this Halloween event featuring pony rides, barn tours, a horse show competition and Atlanta Mounted Police demonstrations. Children are encouraged to come in their Halloween costumes and parade with costumed horses. All proceeds benefit Chastain Park’s therapeutic riding and community outreach programs. Free, with food and drink for sale and a silent auction. 4371 Powers Ferry Road, Buckhead. Info: chastainhorsepark.org.





Friday, Oct. 20, 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Members preview: 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Kick off the night with a Mad Hatter Tea Party, enjoy Music in the Museum with a DJ, and stroll through the Atlanta History Center’s foggy gardens and haunted historic houses. Scare factor ratings on all events ranging from 1 (all ages) to 5 (“very scary!) will help you decide which paths to take. Children are encouraged to come in costume. Food and drink available for purchase. $20 general public; $15 members; $10 children. 130 West Paces Ferry Road N.W., Buckhead. Info: atlantahistorycenter.com.


Saturday, Oct. 21, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Join costumed characters for a “not-so-frightful” evening at Abernathy Greenway Park. Events include a trick or treat candy station, face painting station and a photo op station. Food available for purchase. Free. 70 Abernathy Road N.E., Sandy Springs. Handicapped parking on site. Other


Friday, Oct. 20 to Sunday, Oct. 22, 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday; 2 p.m. on Sunday.

Galloway Theater Company presents the Tony Award-winning play, “Peter and the Starcatcher,” at the Chaddick Center for the Arts at The Galloway School. Features 35 Upper Learning actors playing 100 characters from marauding pirates to unlikely heroes. Suitable for ages 5 and up. $10 online or at the door. 215 W. Wieuca Road N.W., Buckhead. Tickets: gallowayschool.org.

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Out & About | 23

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Thursday, Oct. 19 to Saturday, Oct. 21, 6:30 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 22, 3 p.m.

Riverwood International Charter School presents this Tony Award-winning tragicomedy set in Hazlehurst, Miss., in the home of the Magrath sisters, who are dealing with their own problems while awaiting news of their gravely ill grandfather. $5 students; $10 adults. Riverwood auditorium, 5900 Raider Drive, Sandy Springs. Info: RiverwoodICS.org.

“HARMONIC PROGRESSION: THE JOURNEY” Sunday, Oct. 22, 7:30 p.m.

The Atlanta Concert Band performs music by Wagner, Strauss, Alexander and Grainger in a concert at North Springs High School. Free. 7447 Roswell Road, Sandy Springs. Info: atlantaconcertband.org.


Perimeter North Family Medicine Welcoming new patients! Perimeter North Family Medicine is proud to serve the families throughout the Atlanta area. Dr. Mithun Daniel provides comprehensive, patient-centered care to patients of all ages, and offers a full range of medical services, including chronic disease management, preventative care, acute illness care, mental health services and specialized care for men and women’s health. We accept most insurance plans and offer a convenient location for the families of the Greater Atlanta area.

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Sunday, Oct. 29, 3 p.m.

Covenant Presbyterian Church’s adult choir presents “Requiem” by Gabriel Faure in the historic sanctuary at the church. Free. 2641 Peachtree Road N.E., Buckhead. Info: covpresatlanta.org.

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Throughout October, Sundays to Fridays 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturdays 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta invites the community to its Cycle Studio throughout October. Participate in at least eight indoor cycle classes, track your progress on the leaderboard, and earn points toward the chance to win a Precor indoor bike. Free. MJCCA Zaban Park, 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody. Register: atlantajcc.org/biketoberfest. Info: deanne. jacobson@atlantajcc.org or 678-812-4025.

PICKLEBALL CLINIC Thursday, Oct. 19, 6 p.m.

Check out pickleball, which combines elements of badminton, tennis, ping pong and racquet ball, in a beginners’ clinic at Hammond Park. For adults ages 18 and up. Free. Hammond Park tennis courts, 6005 Glenridge Drive, Sandy Springs. Info: tramos@sandyspringsga.gov. Register: registration@sandyspringsga.gov.

BEGINNERS ZYDECO DANCE CLASSES Thursdays, Oct. 19 and Oct. 26, 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Learn Zydeco dance in two classes sponsored by the Atlanta Cajun Zydeco Association. No partner or previous dance experience needed. Wear comfortable shoes and clothing. Food and drink available for purchase. Arrive early to dine with instructor Don Baggett. $10 per class. Darwin’s Burgers and Blues, 234 Hildebrand Drive, Sandy Springs. Walk-ins welcome, or register: essex34d@aol.com. Info: aczadance.org.


COMMUNITY INPUT MEETING The City of Sandy Springs is hosting two public meetings to provide the community with information about the proposed Path 400 Multiuse Trail Extension. The first of these two meetings will be on Wednesday, October 25, 2017 from 10:00 a.m. – noon. A second town hall meeting will be held that same day from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Both meetings will cover the same content. Location:

Highpoint Episcopal Community Church 4945 High Point Road

Saturday, Oct. 21, 8 a.m. race time; 6:45 a.m. to 7:15 check in.

Hosted by Riverwood International Charter School’s Community Service Club, all proceeds from this 5K go toward building two houses for Nicaraguan families and supplying food and hygiene kits to the same community. The race begins and ends at Riverwood. $35; $40 on race day. 5900 Heards Drive, Sandy Springs. Register: runsignup.com/ Race/GA/Atlanta/RiverwoodRunsforaReason5k. Sponsor info: Laura Taylor at taylorls@fultonschools.org. Continued on page 24


For more information please visit sandyspringsga.gov

24 | Out & About

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Continued from page 23


Medical Associates

SANDY SPRINGS READS Throughout October

Celebrate community through this annual event whose theme this year is farmers markets. Volunteer to read “Fresh Picked Poetry, A Day at the Farmers’ Market” to a classroom of second graders and lead related creative activities and discussion at Sandy Springs elementary schools. Through Oct. 28. Info: Myers-kathy@comcast.net.

Welcome Dr. Michael Crowe! Peachtree Dunwoody Medical Associates is proud to welcome Dr. Michael Crowe, a boardcertified gynecologist with over three decades of experience practicing in the Atlanta area. Dr.

Sandy Springs second graders share poems from “Fresh Picked Poetry” and some of their own poems at the Sandy Springs Farmers Market, 6100 Lake Forrest Drive. Saturday, Oct. 21, 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Crowe offers comprehensive gynecologic care to women of all ages, serving with the same excellent, compassionate care you are accustomed to from Peachtree Dunwoody Medical Associates. Dr. Crowe is welcoming new patients, accepts most insurance plans, and offers a convenient location

Children ages 7 to 14 can create their own dishes and learn about locally grown foods at the Sandy Springs Library, 395 Mount Vernon Hwy. N.E. Thursday, Oct. 26, 4:30 p.m. Registration required: leah.germon@fultoncountyga.gov or 404-303-6130.

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Through Saturday, Oct. 28. Workshop: Saturday, Oct. 21, 10 a.m. to noon.

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Pick up a rock in the lower parking lot at the Dunwoody Nature Center through Oct. 28 and decorate it for a new event co-sponsored by the nature center and the city of Dunwoody. Decorate at home or in a free Oct. 21 workshop at Spruill Center for the Arts. All paints and materials must be nontoxic and water-based. Rocks will be placed at the nature center during the Dunwoody Rocks! Party on Saturday, April 28. [See next Out & About event.] Nature Center: 5343 Roberts Drive, Dunwoody. Spruill Center: 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Info: dunwoodynature.org.


Saturday, Oct. 28, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Dunwoody Nature Center at the Dunwoody Rocks! Party. People who have decorated rocks for the event [see above Out & About event] can place their rocks around the center and participate in activities including a DJ, picnic lunch and chalk artist Taylor Wilkins. 5343 Roberts Drive, Dunwoody. Free. Info: dunwoodynature.org.


Sunday, Oct. 22, 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

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More than 20 teams will cook through the night vying for grand champion status in this 5th annual festival coordinated by the benevolent society Hebrew Order of David. Festival guests are asked to bring Kosher nonperishable food items in exchange for free tasting tickets for this event, which benefits six charities. $1 per taste. Brook Run Park, 4770 North Peachtree Road, Dunwoody. Info: theatlantakosherbbq.com.

Out & About | 25

OCTOBER 13 - 26, 2017 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net



DAY OF THE DEAD (DIA DE LOS MUERTOS) FESTIVAL Sunday, Oct. 29, noon to 5 p.m.

Experience traditional dancing, crafts and authentic Mexican food and entertainment at a Day of the Dead Festival presented by the Atlanta History Center in partnership with the Consul General of Mexico and the Institute of Mexican Culture. This free admission day at Atlanta History Center includes access to exhibitions and historic house experiences. 130 W. Paces Ferry Road N.W., Buckhead. Info: atlantahistorycenter.com.


This 13th annual festival features a chili cookoff, arts and crafts, children’s Halloween costume contest, music and other family activities. Suggested donation: $20 family. Free with High Point Civic Association membership. Highpoint Episcopal Community Church, 4945 High Point Road N.E., Sandy Springs. Info: highpointcivic.org.




Saturday, Oct. 28, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., rain or shine.

Functional and sculptural ceramic works created by more than 25 teachers and students will be for sale at the Chastain Arts Center 4th Annual Pottery On The Porch Pottery Sale. Raku firing demonstration and bluegrass music from Hicks with Picks. 135 W. Wieuca Road N.W., Buckhead. Info: ocaatlanta.com/chastain.

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LEARN SOMETHING “TOMORROW’S BUCKHEAD: A WALKING TOUR” Tuesday, Oct. 17, 10:30 a.m. to noon.

Join Jim Durrett, executive director of the Buckhead Community Improvement District, for a guided tour of Buckhead. A PEDS’ Walktober event [walktoberatl.org], the tour will highlight the locations of transformation projects including the Park over Ga400 and wraps up at the newly renovated Charlie Loudermilk Park. Free. Register for one of 25 spaces. Meet outside of the main lobby entrance at 3340 Peachtree Road N.E., 100 Tower Place, Buckhead. RSVP: buckheadcid.com.


Learn what you can do with those boxes of random family photos in a presentation at the Atlanta History Center by Sue VerHoef, the center’s director of Oral History and Genealogy. $15 nonmembers; $10 members. 130 West Paces Ferry Road N.W., Buckhead. Info: atlantahistorycenter.com.



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26 | Out & About

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Saturday, November 11 Kindergarten–Grade 5, 1 pm Sunday, November 12 Grades 6–8, 1 pm • Grades 9–12, 4 pm The Lovett School practices a nondiscriminatory admission policy. Financial aid is available.

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OPEN HOUSE Sunday, December 3, 1– 1–44 p.m. p.m. December 4,

Share in inthe the Spirit

Smile, Sandy Springs! Photo contest promotes city’s natural appeal A group that works to preserve green space and recreation areas in Sandy Springs has launched a digital photo contest to raise appreciation for those areas and to encourage their exploration. The two themes are nature — photos that capture the vibrancy of Sandy Springs parks, greenspace or trails — and family fun, photos that show how people can thrive using those parks, greenspace and trails. The Sandy Springs Conservancy will use selected images on its website and promotional materials and at the 2018 Thought Leaders Dinner hosted by the

Conservancy in the spring. Photos may be submitted by any Georgia resident through Dec. 16. There is no entry fee and multiple entries are permitted. Four prizes will be awarded: one to an adult [18 or older] and one to a youth in both the nature and family fun categories. The adult winners will receive $500 and one ticket to the Thought Leader Dinner to accept the prize. The youth winners will be awarded $100. The Reporter Newspapers is a sponsor of the contest. For contest rules, visit sandyspringsconservancy.org.

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Serving grades 7–12, Marist School provides an education where achievement exists within a spirit of humility and generosity. Students are challenged by an extensive college-preparatory curriculum while an array of extracurricular activities inspire exploration and uncover hidden talents. Through it all, students gain a unique strength of character and skill and a joy of serving others that prepares them to be compassionate, confident leaders.

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Education | 27

OCTOBER 13 - 26, 2017 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

All-School Open House Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Daniel Stern

The Weber School, junior Daniel Stern has always had a passion for tennis and he used that passion to create a tennis camp for children with mental disabilities. Daniel began playing the game at age 6, following in the footsteps of his older sisters. He played competitiveSPECIAL ly until eighth grade, Daniel Stern, right, a junior at The Weber School, created when a knee injury a tennis camp for children with mental disabilities. forced him to take a break. After recoverhours to updating every racket donated. ing, Daniel began playing again recreationDaniel plans to continue the tennis ally, and eventually played singles for the camp with Friendship Circle next summer, Weber School’s tennis team. and wants to expand the program to reach Along with tennis, Daniel also has a other kids. strong passion for helping others. He beSarah Kallis, a student at Holy Innocents’ gan volunteering at Friendship Circle, a Episcopal School, reported and wrote this arnonprofit organization that provides comticle. panionship to people with special needs, after hearing a representative speak at his school during his freshman year. Daniel started out being paired with someone with special needs at an event, such as a karate class. “I really became interested in this program,” he said, and he enjoyed seeing the difference he was making in someone else’s life. Daniel quickly made the decision to become more involved in Friendship Circle, signing up for its “Buddies” program. He was paired with a man named Mike and visits him once a week. After playing tennis with Mike one day, Daniel became inspired to share his love for tennis with other people involved in Friendship Circle through a summer camp. It was a long process to turn the camp from an idea to a reality. “The most difficult part was starting off,” he said. First, Daniel went to the Sandy Springs Tennis Center to start the process of acquiring a court. “I asked them if they would be willing to donate courts for a special needs tennis camp, but I really didn’t know what I was doing yet,” he said. Luckily, the tennis center was very willing to help. “They gave us shady courts with a picnic area,” Daniel said. Next, Daniel approached Friendship Circle, told them his plan for a four-day tennis camp, and rounded up 15 campers through them. He then found 17 volunteers, mostly from the Weber School, to help him with the camp. Each camper was paired with a volunteer. The students also donated $1,200 raised on a crowd-source fundraising website for camp food and supplies. Daniel also held a racket drive at school, and later dedicated

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At Holy Spirit Prep, we are committed to making our school a remarkable communion of joy, so that when our students graduate and enter their colleges or universities of choice across the world, they are joyful young men and women poised for a lifetime of happiness. Learn more about our remarkable students, how to visit, and how to apply at holyspiritprep.org.


Preschool Tuesday, November 7 Grades K-6 Thursday, November 2 Grades 7-12 Friday, November 3 Details at holyspiritprep.org/visit.

An independent Catholic school for students age 6 months-12th grade. www.holyspiritprep.org/visit

28 | Education

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Dunwoody Elementary School is hosting a bicycle race Oct. 21 to raise money for the school’s “Tiger Fund,” which helps fund school programs and events. Registration costs $20 per person and will be open until the day of the event. Registrations is open online at dunwoodypto.membershiptoolkit.com. The event is limited to 300 participants and will be held rain or shine. All participants are required to have a helmet, according the event website. There are two routes: a 2-mile open course on the street and a route for younger riders that stays within the school’s parking lot. Check in and registration begins at 7:30 a.m. and the first race begins at 8:30 a.m.

St. Jude the Apostle WES TM IN SCatholic TER’ S TV N EWS PSchool ROGRA M WINS AWAR D

The Westminster School, a private school in Buckhead, won an award for its student TV news station, WCAT. The students won a 2017 National Student Production Award, presented by The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS), the organization that hosts the Emmy Awards, according to a school press release.


October October 17, 17, 9:30-10:30 9:30-10:30 AM AM and and 7-8 7-8 PM PM


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Reporter Classifieds


Left, William Turton, a Westminster sophomore, and faculty advisor Daniel Searl filming for the school’s TV news program, WCAT, which recently won an award.

Bennett Porson, a senior, William Turton, a sophomore, and the WCAT staff won in the live sports event category for their coverage of the varsity football team’s secondround state playoff game against Savannah High School on Nov. 18, 2016, the release said. “It’s an honor for WCAT to receive the National Student Production Award for Live Sports,” said Daniel Searl, WCAT’s faculty advisor, said in a statement. “The award recognizes the hard work and professionalism of our students who plan, organize, and execute full-fledged broadcasts with six cameras, three on-air announcers, a pre-game show, replay, custom scoreboard, graphics and more.”


Pianos for Peace, a local nonprofit that hosts a piano festival each fall, has donated pianos to several Atlanta schools, including schools in Buckhead, according to Atlanta Public Schools. The nonprofit hosted the festival, which brought around 50 pianos to public parks and streets, in September. After the festival concluded, the pianos were donated to local schools, nursing homes and community centers, according to the organization’s website. Two of the pianos were donated to Garden Hills Elementary and Warren T. Jackson Elementary School on Mount Paran Road. Nine other pianos were donated to other Atlanta schools.

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Matthew’s Handy Services – Small jobs and chores are my specialties. Shelves, organizers, carpentry, drywall, painting, and plumbing. Member of BBB – 404-547-2079 Email: mwarren8328@gmail.com.

Piano Lessons – Looking for piano lessons? Affordable lessons for ages 4 & up. Serving Dunwoody, Roswell, and Sandy Springs. Call 770-367-0024. www.facebook. com/keys4soul

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Driveways & Walkways – Replaced or repaired. Masonry, grading, foundations repaired, waterproofing and retaining walls. Call Joe Sullivan 770-616-0576.

Piano Lessons in Your Home – lessons for all ages, levels & styles. Call Kimberly Izor 404-444-8440 or www.pianolessonsforyou.net

Hiring for Office Assistant at SpaceWorks in Dunwoody. Email resume and cover letter to jobs@spaceworks.aero. See www. spaceworks.aero/careers for more details.


Handyman Services – Moving and Delivery too! Local owner – call 803-6080792 Cornell Davis.

Kebensa Math Tutoring – Honors Algebra, Honors Geometry, Honors Algebra 2, Trigonometry, Honors Pre-Cal or AP Cals AB/BC. Single & Group rates --- in-person or online. Better grades guaranteed! Call 678-641-8871 or email: keithsawyer@ bellsouth.net.

2860 Spalding Dr (Rivergate side street parking). Antiques / Interior’s Dealer Clearance – Christmas Bric-a-brac, repair supplies, hardware, frames & prints, tools, furniture, etc. Fri./Sat./Sun., October 20, 21 & 22 - 10 AM – 4 PM.


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CEMETERY PLOTS Arlington Memorial Park – Sandy Springs - Beautiful, Pine crest section, Plots 11B, spaces 3 & 4. Arlington staff will be happy to show plots. Call 973-714-2499.

Classifieds | 29

OCTOBER 13 - 26, 2017 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Home Services Directory

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30 | Community

Former news anchor to run for 6th Congressional seat BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

Former Atlanta TV news anchor Bobby Kaple will run as a Democrat to challenge U.S. Rep. Karen Handel in the 6th Congressional District next year, he announced Oct. 9. Kaple, a Milton resident, left his journalism job at CBS46 last month, saying he would run for office. In a phone interview, he said his work in local reporting — in Iowa, Florida and Los Angeles as well as Atlanta — gave him experience in earning trust of members of both parties and in seeing real-world effects of national politics. “It gives us a front-row seat to the actual consequences of the dysfunction in Washington,” Kaple said of local news journalists. In a press release announcing his campaign, Kaple said his priority is healthcare reform that includes coverage for pre-existing conditions, partly because his twin children were born prematurely and needed extra care. “I’m running for Congress because my kids, my mom, my family, and countless friends and neighbors, through no-fault of their own, have pre-existing conditions,” Kaple said in the press release. “In Congress, I’ll fight passionately to make sure every American has access to affordable healthcare. I will not sit by and let Washington politicians take us back to the days of denying coverage to those who are sick and placing lifetime caps on people’s care. That’s wrong and people here know better.” Handel won the 6th Congressional District seat earlier this year in a special election that drew national attention for strong competition from Democrat Jon Ossoff in the Republican-dominated area. The 6th District includes parts of Brookhaven, Dunwoody and Sandy Springs SPECIAL SPECIAL U.S. Rep. Karen Handel. as well as east Cobb and north FulBobby Kaple. ton counties. “My total focus right now is on the constituents of the 6th District and the issues that are important to them, such as passing tax reform,” said Handel in a written statement. Ossoff, who last week declined to say whether he will run again, did not respond to requests for comment. Handel was elected to serve out the unexpired term of Tom Price, who briefly served as U.S. secretary of health and human services before resigning last month amid scandal over his use of charter and military planes for work travel. The office goes onto the ballot again in November 2018. Kaple said he was “troubled” by the reports of Price’s expensive flights. “It’s a perfect example of what people are so sick of when it comes to career politicians,” Kaple said. Kaple is positioning himself as an independent-minded candidate — neither his campaign announcement nor his website’s main page mention he’s a Democrat — with a compelling personal story about the crucial issue of healthcare reform. Asked about whether he consulted national party leaders, Kaple said, “I have not talked to the Democratic National Committee. I don’t take any cues from them.” “I voted for Jon Ossoff,” Kaple said, but added that 2018 will be a different race, and “I’m a different candidate.” He noted the special election’s timing helped it to gain national attention and predicted the 2018 midterms, when the office is next on the ballot, will be quieter and more locally focused. “This isn’t about all the outside interests that turned [the special election] into a circus,” Kaple said. Kaple noted that, unlike Ossoff at the time of the special election, he lives in the district. And in places like Milton, he says, people tell him they “don’t feel they’re being represented by Karen Handel.” Ossoff is also a journalist, working as CEO and managing director at Insight TWI: The World Investigates, which produces documentaries about corruption and crime. Asked about the coincidence of another journalist challenging Handel in a time when the media is often a target of national political criticism, Kaple underlined differences between his work and Ossoff’s. Kaple emphasized that his work has been in local journalism — including coverage of the 6th District special election — while Ossoff’s documentaries often have international subjects. Kaple is now a full-time candidate and said he will remain so during the race, while the family’s income comes from his wife Rebecca, a reporter at FOX Sports South. Kaple elaborated on the story of his twins’ premature birth at Buckhead’s Piedmont Hospital and how the situation fuels his concern about healthcare reform. He recalled calling the hospital daily on his way to work to “ask if the kids had stopped breathing,” learning that they occasionally did. The twins survived and finally came home after more than two weeks in the hospital. Kaple said the medical bill would have bankrupted someone who lacked his salary and quality of insurance.

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Tuskegee Airmen descend on PDK A

Tuskegee Airmen were honored guests at the fourth annual Atlanta Warbird Weekend at DeKalbPeachtree Airport Oct. 7. The Tuskegee Airmen was a pioneering program to train African-American pilots and ground crews in the then segregated U.S. military.

A and D- Visitors saw

famous aircraft, met World War II veterans and noted authors and visited with war reenactors at the event.

B- Tuskegee Airman

Charles McGee, 97, stands in front of the plane he flew in combat during World War II, a North American P-51C Mustang.


C- Wes Robinson and his

son Evan Robinson, 1, take a selfie in front of the Boeing PT-17 Stearman Primary Trainer bi-plane aircraft used in the Navy during World War II. PHOTOS BY PHIL MOSIER




Public Safety | 31

OCTOBER 13 - 26, 2017 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Police Blotter / Brookhaven From Brookhaven police reports dated Sept. 29 through Oct. 8 pulled from

On Sept. 30, in the evening, a strong-arm robbery was reported.

Brookhaven’s Police-2-Citizen website.

1900 block of Briarwood Court — On

T H E F T A N D B U R G L A RY 1600 block of Clairmont Place — On

Sept. 29, in the morning, a burglary attempt was made. 3700 block of Buford Highway — On

Sept. 29, in the morning, parts were reported stolen from a vehicle. 3200 block of Buford Highway — On

Sept. 29, in the evening, a theft was reported. 3200 block of Buford Highway — On Sept.

29, at night, items were stolen from a car.

Sept. 30, in the evening, a burglary was reported. 4000 block of Peachtree Road — On

Oct. 1, in the early morning, a theft by taking auto incident took place. 2800 block of Clairmont Road — On

Oct. 1, in the early morning, a theft of services incident was reported.

3400 block of Clairmont Road — On

theft by taking auto incident took place.

Oct. 2, in the morning, a shoplifting incident took place.

3300 block of Buford Highway — On Oct.

4300 block of Chamblee-Dunwoody

Road — On Oct. 2, in the morning, items were stolen from a car.

3, at night, items were stolen from a car. 3300 block of Buford Highway — On

Oct. 4, in the evening, parts were taken from a vehicle.

4000 block of

Peachtree Road — On Oct. 3, in the evening, a



1000 block of Glen Way — On Oct. 1, in the

afternoon, two cars were illegally entered. 4000 block of Peachtree Road — On

3000 block of Buford Highway — On

Sept. 29, at night, items were stolen from a car. 3100 block of Buford Highway — On

Sept. 30, in the morning, items were stolen from a car. 3000 block of Buford Highway — On

Sept. 30, in the evening, a carjacking was reported. 1800 block of Corporate Boulevard —

Oct. 1, in the evening, a theft by taking auto incident took place. 3700 block of Buford Highway — On

Oct. 2, in the early morning, a theft by taking auto incident took place. 3700 block of Buford Highway — On

Oct. 2, in the early morning, a shoplifting incident took place. 1000 block of Glen Way — On Oct. 2,

in the morning, a car was entered.

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32 |

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Saturday, October 21st (10 am - 6 pm)

Sunday, October 22nd (12 pm - 5 pm)

• Over 140 artists • Live music • Classic car show Sun 1-4pm • Children’s area • Food & beverage vendors

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Apple Valley Road (Behind the Brookhaven MARTA Station) 4047 Peachtree Road, Brookhaven, GA 30319 www.BrookhavenArtsFestival.com


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