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Sandy Springs Reporter



Water hazard Are local dams safe? COMMUNITY 12-15

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OCT. 16 — OCT. 29, 2015 • VOL. 9 — NO. 21

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City Springs construction budget confuses council, may alter project BY JOHN RUCH

Gabriel Williams, 17 months, selects his favorite pumpkin while shopping with his family at the North Springs United Methodist Church’s annual pumpkin patch on Oct. 10. The patch, located at 7770 Roswell Road, is a fundraiser for the church’s youth ministry.


A request to more than double the $12.6 million early construction budget for the City Springs redevelopment— and to delay setting the final budget until January—confused members of Sandy Springs City Council at their Oct. 6 meeting. The council put off any big decisions until its Oct. 20 meeting, when a new budget estimate will be available from Holder Construction. The City Springs project’s schedule and overall budget—previously announced at about $220 million—are not changing, City Manager John McDonough said. The request for additional funds came because Holder is struggling to estimate an updated budget due to plans that still lack details, city consultant Ennis Parker said. In turn, the final budget may force changes to the plan—including possibly removing a surface parking lot proposed along Mount Vernon Highway. “We’ve added scope to the project south of Mount Vernon [Highway]. We may not be able to afford that,” Parker told the council. The confusion and the potential changSEE CITY SPRINGS, PAGE 7

Senior condo owners protest Mount Vernon roundabout plan BY JOHN RUCH

The city’s plan for double roundabouts in front of the Mount Vernon Towers senior condos is unsafe and will create a “geriatric demolition derby,” the condo’s executive director said. “If the city elects to press ahead…there’s going to be financial and political consequences,” said Scott Jacobson, an attorney representing the 300 condo residents, at the Oct. 6 Sandy Springs City Council meeting, where several residents also showed up to express opposition to the roundabout plan. City spokeswoman Sharon Kraun noted the roundabout design has been around for years, but also that it is still in a concept phase. But Towers residents say it recently changed without notice to eat up most of their building’s front yard and driveway, and that the city’s responses are vague. “There is a difference between concept documents and engi-

neer’s construction design plans, and we have assured the Towers representatives that the project will be built meeting all legal standards,” Kraun said. The plan targets the unusual X-shaped intersection of Mount Vernon Highway and Johnson Ferry Road. Public meetings on possible changes were held eight years ago and resulted in a recommendation to replace the X with double roundabouts. That concept was included in the city’s 2012 City Center Master Plan. The city began moving toward an actual design in 2010 with a public meeting. However, a final design was only announced early this year, and included shifting the roundabouts northward. That design would demolish about a third of Mount Vernon Towers’ treeSEE SENIOR CONDO, PAGE 7


Chris Peterson, executive director of Mount Vernon Towers, questions the need for the double roundabouts.

COMMUNITY Brookhaven and Sandy Springs officials meet about Pill Hill

This Fall Begin Again

Staff members from the cities of Brookhaven and Sandy Springs recently met privately to discuss Pill Hill’s planning issues. The meeting included planning staff from both cities and was held Oct. 2 in Sandy Springs. Spokeswomen for both cities declined to say exactly what was discussed. Sandy Springs spokeswoman Sharon Kraun said it involved “sharing of information” and “things Brookhaven folks would love to see” but need to be reviewed to see if the wishes are “realistic” and “legal.” The meeting followed renewed traffic and planning concerns about Pill Hill, the medical center area at Johnson Ferry and Peachtree-Dunwoody roads that is home to Children’s Healthcare, BR I EF S Emory Saint Joseph’s and Northside hospitals. A new apartment proposal in the area triggered the discussions.

Moody’s gives city an ‘Aaa’ rating


Moody’s Investors Service has rated the city of Sandy Springs’ long-term credit as “Aaa,” the highest rating possible for a municipality, the city announced recently. “The rating reflects the economic strength of our community and sound, conservative management of our taxpayer dollars,” Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul said in a press release. “Sandy Springs is a hub of economic strength, through the businesses that call our city home to the people who live and work here, creating a strong, vibrant community. And as a 10-year-old city, we are extremely proud to receive a Triple-A rating following our first review.”

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City’s Next Ten planning process gears up BY JOHN RUCH

City officials have called public meetings and set up an interactive website to gather comments as part of a plan to overhaul city planning and zoning. Over the Oct. 16 weekend, the city planned to debut a “mobile planning unit” van that would visit various parks, shopping centers and even a football game to provide information and gain input for the Next Ten planning process. “It’s like a little road show,” said city spokeswoman Sharon Kraun. The city is also adding features to the Next Ten website,, including polls and an interactive map for pointing to areas for improvement. “It’s important that we get feedback from across the community, and to ensure we meet that goal, we are taking the conversation to where community members work, live and gather,” said Deana Rhodeside, director of the city-hired planning firm Rhodeside & Harwell, in a press release. The Next Ten includes two main

pieces: an updated Comprehensive Plan to guide design and a Unified Development Ordinance that will replace the current zoning code. The current Comp Plan and zoning code are frequently criticized by residents and the city itself as outdated, poorly enforced or both. The Comprehensive Plan covers the entire city, but the Next Ten process includes four “Small Area Plans” targeting certain neighborhoods for more detailed planning. Those areas are the Roswell Road corridor north and south of the central City Springs area; the Powers Ferry Road corridor along I-285; the area covered by the Perimeter Center Improvement Districts; and the areas around MARTA’s North Springs station and potential new station at Ga. 400 and Northridge Road. That Northridge area will

be planned with the assumption of the MARTA station being built there, Kraun said. The Unified Development Ordinance, or UDO, was added to the Next Ten process by the Sandy Springs City Council on Oct. 6. The UDO will combine a new zoning code with code-related ordinances, design guidelines and permitting processes. The intent of an UDO is to create a single, clear document about city zoning and permitting. When Sandy Springs incorporated a decade ago, it simply adopted Fulton County’s old zoning code as its own and modified the code over time. At the Sept. 15 City Council meeting, Mayor Rusty Paul described the code as “beyond patchwork…It’s kind of like the shirt I’m wearing today. It’s 13 years old and I found my elbow sticking out of it today.” The UDO work increases Rhodeside & Harwell’s contract fee by

$230,000, said Assistant City Manager Jim Tolbert. That boosts the Next Ten process’s budget to roughly $1.175 million. Launched in June, the Next Ten process will run one to two years, with the general Comp Plan work wrapping up next summer and the UDO taking the longest. Various meetings and input processes will be scheduled over the next several months. Some changes to the city’s zoning review process, intended to boost transparency, will come sooner, city Community Development Director Michelle Alexander said at the Sept. 15 City Council meeting. People who want a zoning variance or rezoning will have to hold pre-application meetings with the community and with staff. Public meetings will be held in the affected neighborhood if possible. Some of those changes could come as early as next month, Alexander said. Paul said that would be good for the public and city officials. “There’s an awful lot of mystery tied to this [zoning review process],” Paul said. “Even those of us who do this day in, day out have moments of mystery.”

Mayor Rusty Paul, local business leaders travel to Israel A Sandy Springs delegation visited the “Western Galilee Cluster,” an ethnically and religiously diverse group of cities in northern Israel. The intent was to promote economic development, especially in medical technology, “data security” and tourism, Mayor Rusty Paul said at the Oct. 6 Sandy Springs City Council meeting. Joining the mayor on the trip were: Tom Mahaffey, president and CEO of the Sandy Springs/Perimeter Cham-

ber of Commerce; Andrea Hall, the city’s economic development director; Sandy Springs City Councilman Andy Bauman; Jennifer Cruce, executive director of Sandy Springs Hospitality and Tourism; and Jan Paul, executive director of Leadership Sandy Springs, who also is Mayor Paul’s spouse. The trip included a visit to Jerusalem as well, according to city spokeswoman Sharon Kraun. Paul described

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the trip as “one day to play tourist and the rest is all work.” City Council approved a sister-city agreement with the Israeli cities earlier this year. The city paid for Paul and Hall’s airfare at a total cost of $3,811.12, according to Kraun. Mahaffey and Cruce’s expenses are covered by their respective organizations, while Bauman and Jan Paul are paying out of their own pockets, Kraun said.


Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul, right, with Yehuda Shavit, mayor of Matte Asher.

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Marsh Creek stormwater facility and park is in the works BY JOHN RUCH

An experimental pond and wetland that will capture and treat stormwater runoff—and double as a new city park—is now under construction on Johnson Ferry Road just north of Sandy Springs Circle. Work should finish by next June. For residents, the 2-acre Marsh Creek Headwaters Bio-Retention facility will include a fountain, benches and educational displays. For the Georgia Environmental Protection Division, which contributed a $388,000 grant to the total $4.6 million cost, it’s a pilot project for the state. Small bio-retention facilities, which use trees and plants to suck up pollutants, are fairly common in medians and parking lots. But, says Sharon Izzo, the city’s stormwater services manager, “Doing it on this scale is unusual. Doing it as this scale is kind of visionary.” It’s also controversial to the Watershed Alliance of Sandy Springs. That environmental group’s founder, Patty Berkovitz, has criticized the project since it was announced last year as a subsidy for developers who don’t contain their own stormwater and as a possible source of pollution itself through fertilizers or similar park-use impacts. “We hope that it works, but there are some aspects of it that we’re not comfortable with,” Berkovitz said, adding that it’s “not a well-thought-out, good example of an environmental project.” The city dismisses the criticisms as incorrect. Izzo says the project won’t use fertilizers and got reviews from the state and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. And while it will handle runoff from 30 acres, including the new City Springs city center and shopping centers, that water already flows into the area, causing flooding, erosion and eventual pollution

of the Chattahoochee River, city officials say. City Springs will have on-site stormwater containment as well, city spokeswoman Sharon Kraun said. The facility will serve two main functions: containing stormwater runoff and scrubbing some of its pollutants out— especially fecal coliform bacteria, according to EPD. The city estimates the facility can hold about 90 percent of runoff from normal rains and 50 percent from heavy storms. A large pond will detain water and will have a fountain to aerate it. The “bio-retention” part means the water first flows through an area where soils and selected plants can pick up pollutants. There is a long list of potential plantings, including variety of trees, grasses, plants and ground covers. They range from magnolias and cypress to sunflowers and Black-Eyed Susans. “Our goal is to remove 20 percent of the pollutants,” Izzo said. How well it really works, and how much maintenance is required, they will only know when it is operational, she said. EPD will monitor it and compile the data as an example. An observation deck will overlook the bio-retention area, Izzo said. The plans also include five parking spaces. If the facility works well, the city has two similar facilities sketched into its 2012 City Center Master Plan -- one on Boylston Drive behind the Northside Tower and the other at Cliftwood Drive and Sandy Springs Circle. There is no timeline for building them. Another controversy with the Marsh Creek plan was the eminent domain used to take properties for its site. Land acquisition is one reason the cost is $1.1 million higher than originally announced, Kraun said.

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The 2-acre Marsh Creek Headwaters Bio-Retention facility will contain a fountain, benches and educational displays. The facility will serve two main functions: containing stormwater runoff and scrubbing some of its pollutants out. To see a larger version, go to SS |

OCT. 16 – OCT. 29, 2015 | 5

COMMUNITY C A TC H ING UP Revisiting a local news story from the recent past


Interior and exterior work is now underway at the Church of Scientology of Georgia, located at 5395 Roswell Road in Sandy Springs.

Church moving on and in after settling lawsuit





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Three years after settling a parking dispute that exploded into a freedom-of-religion lawsuit, the Church of Scientology of Georgia is finally preparing its new church in Sandy Springs. Heavy interior and exterior work has been underway since the summer on the mansion-like former real estate office at 5395 Roswell Road at the intersection with Glenridge Drive. The Church of Scientology of Georgia, currently based in Doraville, did not respond to questions about an opening date, but a person answering its phone said the church still plans to move in. The church bought the property around 2005, but first sought rezoning for use as a place of worship in 2009. The church, then based in Dunwoody, proposed a $3 million renovation and said it had about 100 active members. Many area neighborhood associations opposed the move, citing traffic and parking concerns, especially since the church

sought to reduce the number of parking spaces to expand the building. The Sandy Springs City Council heard the matter at least four times over several months before deciding to approve the rezoning—but without the parking reduction. The church then sued the city, claiming the decision violated the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of religion. The case spent years inching through the legal system while any rehab remained on hold. Finally, a court ordered a settlement via mediation in 2012. In that successful settlement, the church was allowed to expand the building and to meet the parking requirement by sharing spaces at the adjacent post office. It appears that major rehab work began this summer, and there’s a sign that the church and the city are getting along better. In February, the church granted a long piece of the property’s frontage to the city for $1 for road improvements.



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Senior condo owners protest Mount Vernon roundabout plan CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

filled front yard, a memorial garden with benches, and most of its driveways. “There’s been a lot things done, I don’t want to say behind closed doors, but without public notice,” resident Sue Gilchrist told City Council members on Oct. 6. “This thing has morphed beyond what the public originally thought it was going to be.” Residents hired Jacobson, who in turn hired an independent traffic engineer, A&R Engineers of Marietta. Its 37-page report is critical of the roundabouts, said Chris Peterson, the resident-hired executive director of Mount Vernon Towers. “Tons of safety issues were brought up,” said Peterson, adding that the average age of Towers residents is 83 1/2. Concerns include difficult pedestrian crossings, poor sightlines and a required traffic merge for drivers using the Towers’ driveway. During a recent walk around the Towers’ front yard, Peterson pointed to the current, easy-to-use pedestrian crossings and the sign and other infrastructure that would be removed. Kraun said that city staff members have met at least three times this year with Mount Vernon Towers representatives. Residents acknowledge they have been given alternative plans that relocate the Towers’ driveway out of one roundabout. But they say that adds to safety problems by making the driveway steeper for pedestrians. “We’re also trying to figure out why they’re doing it at all,” said Peterson. In meetings, he said, city staff say the round-

abouts won’t improve traffic at rush hour, which is the only time the intersection is choked, he said. Towers residents and representatives also question the northward shift of the design. Kraun said the change was required because of a “historic district” in the Glenwood Forest neighborhood to the south, but Jacobson said that’s a “red herring” and that “there is no historic district.” The neighborhood is not on the National Register of Historic Places. A 2011 letter from the state Historic Preservation Division does refer to a historic district, but says the project would have “no adverse effect” on the area. Residents attended the Oct. 6 council meeting because the agenda included approval of beginning negotiations with property owners over project right of way. The council approved the process, but Councilmen John Paulson and Gabriel Sterling urged staff members to work with Towers residents. The plan should “minimize the impact with Mount Vernon Towers if at all possible,” Sterling said. “We are doing our best to listen to and communicate with all in that corridor, residents as well as businesses,” Kraun said in an email. Jacobson said that if the city takes the property by eminent domain, Towers residents will seek a high price and will not rule out suing. “Nothing is on the table or off the table,” Jacobson said of a possible lawsuit. “It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see this current plan is going to damage the property.” The city’s plan for double roundabouts in front of Mount Vernon Towers, at left, has been called unsafe and will create a “geriatric demolition derby,” according to the condo’s executive director, Chris Peterson. The roundabout design calls for eliminating about a third of the condo’s front yard. Residents have hired an attorney who has said that if the city of Sandy Springs takes the land by eminent domain, residents will seek a high price and will not rule out suing.



City Springs construction budget confuses council CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 Donough, explaining that is due to es are based in the way the city chose the ever-changing nature of the earto budget City Springs. It involves ly estimated budget. setting a hard budget cap—a “guarParker and Holder’s Brian Tayanteed maximum price”—and then lor said that constant shifts in costs constantly tweaking construction for materials and similar aspects of costs and project plans to match. the project mean constant recalcula“I know everybody’s concerned tion of exact prices within the budwe’re going to go over budget,” said get cap. Mayor Rusty Paul, promising that “Until you have 100 percent won’t happen, but that the City [complete design] documents, you Springs design may change. “If we don’t have 100 percent [budget] cerhave to make reductions in the scope tainty,” Parker said. of the project, we’ll do that.” The possible removal of the surFormerly called City Center, the face parking lot from the project— City Springs project began construca bonus item officially added to the tion this summer on a 15-acre site plan in June—surprised Councilwhere Mount Vernon Highway and man Graham McDonald, who said Johnson Ferry Road meet Roswell the council should be “kept as inRoad. The redevelopment, slated for formed as possible” about such completion in 2017, will include a changes. new City Hall, apartments, comParker apologized for the “lack of mercial space, and concert and theclarity” in the request. Parker and ater halls. Taylor agreed to a council proposIn June, the council approved al to wait until the Oct. 20 meeta preliminary construction budget ing—the day after the latest budcapped at $12.6 million, essentialget estimate is due—to review any ly to begin site preparation, with the big changes. But in the meantime, understanding that by November, the council authorized a $2 million Holder would ofboost to the prefer a full budget and liminary conthe city would set struction budget in stone the guaras a “buffer” to anteed maximum make sure work “We’ve added scope price. can continue on to the project south of But on Oct. 6, the site. Mount Vernon [HighHolder and city At the Oct. staff told the coun20 meeting, the way]. We may not be cil that the full budcouncil also is able to afford that.” get won’t be done slated to considuntil Jan. 15. In the er details of issumeantime, it sought ing up to $222 – ENNIS PARKER a boost in the premillion in bonds CITY CONSULTANT liminary constructo fund City tion budget to Springs. Mc$27.8 million to Donough said continue working the budget disuntil then. cussions don’t afParker said the contractor needs fect the bonds. more budgeting time because the In other City Springs business, City Springs plans “lacked definithe council approved a deal to retion in the drawings,” including claim some land from the neighbuilding interiors, exteriors and othboring Fidelity Bank at the corner er items “not adequately described of Johnson Ferry Road and Sandy by the designers yet.” Springs Circle. The bank acquired Councilmen said they were conan easement for eight parking spacfused and uneasy about the request. es many years ago, according to City Councilman John Paulson noted the Attorney Wendell Willard. The city wording seemed to add to the total now needs that easement removed to project cost, not just the preliminary gain clear title to the land. construction budget. Councilman According to a letter of intent, the Tibby DeJulio questioned whethbank agreed to give up the easement er the guaranteed maximum price in exchange for the city providing would be delayed again come Janulandscape improvements and new ary. A fresh budget estimate is due parking spaces, at a cost of about on Oct. 19. $250,000. In addition, Fidelity gets Councilmen Andy Bauman and exclusive rights to provide bankGabriel Sterling repeatedly said that ing services within the future City various line items in a budget estiSprings development for 15 years or mate—including one that varied until Fidelity moves out of its curfrom $75,000 to over $1 million— rent building, whichever comes first. “don’t add up.” Fidelity also gets the right to place “They won’t add up,” said Mcan ATM within City Springs. |

OCT. 16 – OCT. 29, 2015 | 7

COMMENTARY Reporter Newspapers Our mission is to provide our readers with fresh and engaging information about life in their communities.


S T REET T ALK City officials have named Sandy Spring’s new $220 million city center project “City Springs.” What do you think of the name?

Published by Springs Publishing LLC 6065 Roswell Road, Suite 225 Sandy Springs, GA 30328 Phone: 404-917-2200 • Fax: 404-917-2201 Brookhaven Reporter | Buckhead Reporter Dunwoody Reporter | Sandy Springs Reporter Atlanta INtown

“I like it. It sounds good to me.”

Gretchen Webb, with Tucker and Spencer

CONTACT US Founder & Publisher Steve Levene

“It seems fairly corporate to me.”

“It’s fine. I guess I don’t have a strong opinion either way.”

Anna Cummings, with Ellie, 5, and Juniper, 2

“I just sort of liked it as ‘city center.’ I guess I don’t care one way or another. The name’s not what’s important to me. What matters is the amenities that are there.”

Chris Duncan “‘City Springs.’ I like that. It’s catchy and pretty cool.”

David Kotz

Editorial Managing Editor Joe Earle

Jack Lewis

Associate Editor: John Ruch

“We’re going to walk there all the time on all the new sidewalks.”

Intown Editor: Collin Kelley Staff Writer: Ellen Eldridge

Judy Fritz

Copy Editor: Diane L. Wynocker Creative and Production Creative Director: Rico Figliolini

“Average. [I’m] not terribly impressed.”

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“It sounds good. We like to support our city and look forward to having it all in place and visiting it.”

Fred Gittinger

Susan Solomon

Sharon Lynch, with Marshall Lynch

AP history biased

vatives.) In the review section at the end of the chapter there are five multiple choice [Re: ‘Who decides what should be questions. Three questions concern Clintaught in U.S. history?’ Reporter Newston and two on George Bush. Of the Contributors papers Education Guide, Sept. 18-Oct. Clinton quesPhil Mosier 1)]. tions, it is clear The bias in the AP history that the intent is curriculum is easily provable by LE TTE R TO to have students Free Home Delivery a simple review of the key conthink of Bill ClinTHE E DITOR cepts that are taught. 65,000 copies of Reporter Newspapers are delivered ton in a positive In the 2011 AP study guide by carriers to homes in ZIP codes 30305, 30319, E-mail letters to light and Bush in 30326, 30327, 30328, 30338, 30342 and 30350 and (edited by Stephen Armthe negative. to more than 500 business/retail locations. strong), I reviewed the section For examFor locations, check “Where To Find Us” labeled “Prosperity in a New at ple, Question 1 World Order (1988-2000).” For delivery requests, please email discusses the “defining characteristic” The first thing you note is that the tiof the Clinton presidency. Not one of tle of this section gives away a secular © 2015 With all rights reserved the five choices refers to impeachment, Publisher reserves the right to refuse editorial or agenda – only the Left promotes the which any objective historian would at advertising for any reason. Publisher assumes notion of a world order that is govno responsibility for information contained in least provide as a possible answer. The advertising. Any opinions expressed in print or erned by people that share their views. online do not necessarily represent the views of “correct” answer is B – pragmatic poli(Hint: the elite leaders are not conserReporter Newspapers or Springs Publishing, LLC. cy making. | | 8 OCT. 16 – OCT. 29, 2015 Office Manager Deborah Davis

“I like that – because Sandy Springs is a city and you’ve got the ‘City’ instead of ‘Sandy’ in the name.”

As for Bush – all questions promote negative views. Question 2 begins with the statement “George Bush alienated many conservatives by …”. Question 3 begins “Critics accuse Bush of lacking vision because…”. The chapter also emphasizes Clinton’s success in the economic arena, when in fact he simply presided over an economy that was in the midst of the Internet revolution – a trained monkey could have been president during the Clinton years and (incorrectly) gotten the same credit. It is clear that the people that create American History curriculum are predominantly liberal (as polls consistently show) and you have to look no further than the study guides to confirm this fact. Rob Branson SS


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Kate Burke grew up in Kentucky, where her mother made every Halloween costume she ever wore, she said. “We wouldn’t dream of buying a storebought costume,” Burke said. Burke, her husband, Wells, and her two kids, Owen, 5, and Margaret, 3, live in the Margaret Mitchell neighborhood in Buckhead, where every year her neighbors gather for a Halloween party before the kids head out to trick-ortreat. She said they love the festivities so much that Burke’s mother comes to visit so someone is home to hand out treats. “I want to do it all, so I have to have my mom man the door,” she said. Suburban Atlantans go crazy for Halloween. Families in neighborhoods spread from south Buckhead to Dunwoody North get into the spirit of the Halloween holiday. They celebrate with friends, organize cul-de-sac parties, bring in food trucks, and plan parades to supplement their trick-or-treating. In Brookhaven, the Redding Road neighborhood has someone who organizes a donation collection to help residents buy candy every year, nearby resident Sonja Greeley said. “They have the street shut down, and last year a person took charge of soliciting candy donations because so many people come to Redding. It was a polite gesture so everyone who lives there doesn’t go broke handing out candy,” Greeley said. And in Dunwoody, the Briers North neighborhood has become so well known for its Halloween celebration that the neighbors close subdivision streets from 5:45 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and won’t let cars inside. Drivers park at a nearby church that collects donations to benefit its school. Briers North resident Joe Bowen said he’s been decorating for more than 15 years and he’s flattered when people

comment favorably about the neighborhood’s celebration, but he’s nervous about attracting more attention. “The problem is that the number of visitors is at critical mass. That is not an exaggeration,” Bowen said. “The streets are so crowded (5,000 plus based on candy count) that it is difficult for volunteers to walk the streets.” Karen Siegel, who organizes the event and handles media requests, said Halloween has become increasingly stressful for the homeowners. “We are now at a critical juncture as the number of visitors is continuing to rise and is overwhelming our subdivision and stressing out many of our homeowners,” Siegel said. “Even with hiring three off-duty Dunwoody police officers to handle the outside traffic and over two dozen resident volunteers handling the inside visitors/children, many in our small neighborhood think it’s simply gotten too large.” Bowen said the neighborhood spends several thousand dollars for candy, and even more for decorations. Others see Halloween as a chance to raise money for charity. In Sandy Springs, Jeff Marcus erects an extravagant yard display to raise awareness of autism, a developmental disorder characterized by emotional detachment and impaired communication. He collects donations from passersby as well as online at He said last year he raised almost $20,000 for the cause. “It kind of just evolved because my daughter, who’s autistic, loves Halloween,” Marcus said. “My wife says it got out of hand.” Burke’s Buckhead neighbors start their party with food trucks at the nearby school, she said. CONTINUED ON PAGE 10

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Halloween means decorations, candy and... beer? CONTINUED FROM PAGE 9

“The Morris Brandon Primary Center is right down the street so the entire neighborhood congregates there,” Burke said. “It’s a do-not-miss event in our neighborhood.” Burke said her house has become popular with neighbors because of the goodies for kids and their parents, she said. “We have a bucket of beer for the dads,” Burke said. “You’ll see people who don’t know us as well and kids will say, ‘My dad wants to know if he can have a beer.’” Marsha Sims gets ready for fall with her 11-year-old triplets, Olivia, Jack and Nicholas Schramkowski, by decorating the yard in the Argonne Forest neigborhood in Buckhead. Sims said she grew up on the other side of town and went to Druid Hills High School. “We always went trick-or-treating,” she said. “Neighborhoods got all decked out for Halloween.” But Sims said the gatherings weren’t as big back then. Her daughter said on

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Halloween the neighborhood gathers at the Chateau Drive cul-de-sac, with a food truck from the Varsity that opens at about 5:30 p.m. “We go and eat and then while the adults are eating—because adults normally talk—the kids trick-or-treat on the street and little by little everyone starts migrating around the neighborhood,” Olivia Schramkowski said. Though Olivia said she normally climbs into her pajamas and eats chocolate with her friend after about an hour of collecting candy, her brother, Jack, stays out late to reap the late-night rewards. “Sometimes, we knock on people’s doors and they’re watching something and say, ‘You’re our lucky winners’ and the guy comes with two huge bowls of candy and gives one to my brother and one to me,” Jack Schramkowski said. He added that he might go as a baseball player this year and he’s almost as excited to watch sports before the neighborhood gathers and the kids get candy.

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Buckhead residents Marsha Sims, center, with two of her children, Jack Schramkowski, left, and Olivia Schramkowski, decorate their yard for Halloween. They also take advantage of a Varsity food truck that parks in their neighborhood during the evening of Oct. 31.

OCT. 16 – OCT. 29, 2015 |

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It’s time for tasty treats, spooky fun and crazy costumes BY ISADORA PENNINGTON Whether you’re in it for the costumes, the parties or the candy, there’s something for everyone to look forward to on Halloween. We compiled a list of some of our favorite events in our communities to share with you and yours this season. Have a spooky good time! Haunted Halloween at the Atlanta History Center Friday, Oct. 23, 6:30 - 9:30 p.m. Get ready to be scared at Atlanta History Center’s newest after dark program. The center’s historic houses are transformed into fictional haunted experiences. Festivities include classic Halloween movie screenings, costumed character photo ops, Monster Mash and Thriller dance lessons, and lots of history mixed in with the haunted home displays. Snacks, beer, wine and specialty cocktails available for purchase. Tickets are $10 for members, $15 for nonmembers, and $8 for children. 130 West Paces Ferry Rd., NW, Atlanta, 30305. To buy tickets and learn more, go to or call 404814-4000. Chattahoochee Nature Center Halloween Hikes Friday, Oct. 23, Saturday, Oct. 24, and Friday, Oct. 30, 7 - 10 p.m. If you have been searching for a non-scary alternative to traditional Halloween festivities, check out the Chattahoochee Nature Center’s evening Halloween Hikes. This well-lit tour of the trails includes entertainment and education relating to the woodland creatures that live at the center. Groups of 2025 will walk the trails that last roughly 45 minutes. Campfires, s’mores, world music and crafts also available during the event. Admission is $9; free for kids 2 and under. Ticket sales are available from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. each night. CNC members can purchase their tickets in advance at the Visitor Services Desk in the Discovery Center. Please leave pets at home for this event. Bring cash for snacks. 9135 Willeo Rd, Roswell, 30075. Visist or call 770992-2055 for more information. Haunted Farm Tour & Festival Saturday, Oct. 24, 3 - 9 p.m. Boy Scout Troop 477 hosts its annual Haunted Farm Tour and Festival at the Donaldson-Bannister Farm House. This family-friendly event features a haunted tour, games, live music, s’mores and snacks. Recommended for kids elementary school age and younger. Free parking at Independence Square (corner of Chamblee-Dunwoody at Peeler) with regular shuttle bus service to the property. Additional parking can be found at the Vermack Swim Tennis Center. This fundraiser

helps send boys to summer camp who might otherwise not be able to afford the experience. 4831 Chamblee Dunwoody Rd., Dunwoody, 30338. Questions? Call 770-451-5180. Chamblee Halloween Spooktacular Saturday, Oct. 24, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Get a head start on Halloween with this outdoor event at Keswick Park. Visitors will enjoy a spooky fun house, hay rides, pumpkin painting, pony rides, a free costume contest at 1 p.m., food, music, face painting, bounce houses and a cupcake walk. Costumes are encouraged. Event suitable for all ages. Free and open to the public. Keswick Park, 3496 Keswick Dr., Chamblee, 30341. To learn more or to get involved, contact Chris Madden at or call 770-986-5016. Halloween Hunt Monday, Oct. 26, 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. School-age kids are invited to the Brookhaven Library for a Halloween scavenger hunt. Equipped with a scavenger hunt sheet from the circulation desk, kids will solve puzzles and search for clues throughout the library, and winners will receive a prize. Recommended for ages 3 to 12 years. Free and open to the public. 1242 N. Druid Hills Rd., Brookhaven, 30319. Go online to or call 404-848-7140 for additional details. Haunted Sandy Springs Friday, Oct. 30, 6 - 7:30 p.m. and 8 - 9:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 31, 1 2:30 p.m. Take a walk through historic Sandy Springs with a spooky twist. The tour begins at the Williams-Payne House, where you can enjoy hot apple cider, light snacks and scary stories. Tour guides then lead participants to the original spring site and over to the Sandy Springs United Methodist Church Cemetery. Tours last approximately an hour and a half. Tickets are $15 each and tours are limited to 20 people per group. Must be 15 years or older to participate. Go online to to purchase tickets. 6075 Sandy Springs Circle, Sandy Springs, 30328. Have questions? Call 404-851-9111, extension 2.

GA Peach Trick or Treat Saturday, Oct. 31, 2 - 4 p.m. Join the GA Peach Authors for a literary costume event at the Buckhead Library. Authors Marissa Monteilh, Norlita Brown, Jade Jones and Marlon McCaulsky will be featured, and visitors can participate in a costume contest, enjoy trick-or-treat goodies and enjoy readings during the afternoon. All ages welcome. Free and open to the public. 269 Buckhead Ave., NE, Atlanta, GA 30305. Find out more at or by calling 404-814-3500. Halloween Storytime Saturday, Oct. 31, 3 - 4 p.m. Ms. Leah presents a fun seasonal story time with related activities for the whole family. Registration is required and space is limited, so stop by the library during normal hours, email or call 404303-6130 to sign up. Recommended for kids aged 3-7; free and open to all. Sandy Springs Branch Library, 395 Mount Vernon Hwy., Sandy Springs, 30328. Halloween at Briers North Saturday, Oct. 31, 6 - 9 p.m. Looking for a fun spot to bring your kids and go trick-or-treating? Look no further than Briers North, a quiet Dunwoody neighborhood that goes all out on Halloween. decorations. Rain or

shine. Free and open to the community. Suitable for all ages. Pets not allowed. Candy will be distributed from 6-9 p.m.; no admission to the subdivision after 8:30 p.m. No parking inside the subdivision, so participants are encouraged to find suitable street parking nearby. Brier North Road (off Tilly Mill Road), Dunwoody, 30338. Go online to for more information and to see pictures from previous years. A Social Mess Halloween Party Saturday, Oct. 31, 8 p.m. - 2:30 a.m. Costumes, drinking and partying - oh my! The popular Social Mess Halloween Party returns for its sixth year to the Buckhead Theatre. This event draws thousands of partiers and promises an evening of top-rated DJs and adult beverages. 21+ only; no refunds. General admission tickets are $23 each.Group tickets can be purchased for $20 each, minimum 10 guests. 3110 Roswell Rd., NE, Atlanta, 30305. Go online to asocialmess. com to buy tickets and learn more. Monster Bash 2015 Saturday, Oct. 31, 8 p.m. Join the celebration at a Latin and international Halloween party at Eclipse di Luna in Dunwoody. Returning for its 17th year, this party offers Latin and international music, a costume contest with $2,000 in cash prizes, drink specials and other giveaways. Ladies must be 18+ for this event; guys must be 21+ to attend. Costumes required. Admission is free until 10 p.m. 4505 Ashford Dunwoody Rd., Atlanta, 30346. Find out more by visiting monsterbashatl. com.

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These 11 dams could cause extensive damage should they fail The following list shows the current conditions of the 11 local “highhazard” dams as reported in state Safe Dams Program files. Unless otherwise noted, the owners of record did not respond to questions. Capital City Country Club Lake Dam, W. Brookhaven Drive, Buckhead Built 1925. Latest inspection information from 2014 indicates it is in good condition. Cherokee Country Club Lake Dam (middle lake), Hightower Trail, Sandy Springs Built 1966. Latest inspection information from 2013 reported some erosion that needed to be repaired. A 2010 inspection found erosion that “should be closely monitored.” Dunwoody Club Crossing Dam, Dunwoody Club Crossing, Dunwoody Built 1988. No clear inspection information on file. Lake Forrest Dam, Lake Forrest Drive, Sandy Springs Built circa 1945-1950. The city of Sandy Springs is in the process of examining its condition. Charles Wilson of Schnabel Engineering previously expressed concerns about signs of a leaking pipe within the dam, but a formal exam was still pending. Murphey Candler Lake Dam, W. Nancy Creek Drive in Murphey Candler Park, Brookhaven Built 1953. Latest report is from 2012, reporting relatively minor maintenance issues, when DeKalb County still owned the park and lake. The city of Brookhaven did not have an immediate report on its current condition. Lake Northridge Dam, Northridge Road, Sandy Springs Built 1970. Latest inspection report from 2014 said the main dam parts are in “excellent” condition. The homeowners association said the dam is regularly

inspected by its engineer. Peppertree Lake Dam, Dunwoody Springs Drive, Sandy Springs Built 1939. Trees and brush removed this year from the spillway. A follow-up state report in July said the tree stumps should be removed and noted an unmarked and submerged drain. The report also advised against a request to place park benches in the spillway. Powers Lake Dam, Powers Lake Drive, Sandy Springs Construction date unknown. A 2014 report shows trees and brush were removed and an animal hole filled in. “To my knowledge, according to the state, our dam is in excellent shape,” said Donald Dutson Jr., the owner of record. Scott Candler Reservoir Dam, Peeler Road, Dunwoody Two reservoirs built: one in 1942; the other in 1953; dam expanded 2004. Latest reported information from 2012 called for relatively minor repairs and maintenance issues. DeKalb County did not respond to questions.



Eleven dams in the Buckhead, Dunwoody, Sandy Springs and Brookhaven areas have been classified as “high hazard” in the Safe Dams Program files.

Silver Lake Dam, off Ragley Hall Road, Brookhaven Originally built in 1911 and rebuilt since then. An inspection in May by Piedmont Geotechnical found some minor maintenance issues. Regular inspections say the dam is in “very good condition, according to James Gallo of the Silver Lake Civic Association. The state reported concerns about a “bolt-

ed cover” on an drainpipe, but Gallo says the pipe was never intended as an emergency drain and appears to be an old construction artifact. Tera Lake Dam, Burdette Road, Sandy Springs Built circa 1958. Latest inspection information on file showed issues of

“seepage” and a spillway in a “deteriorated condition.” Safe Dams Program spokesman Kevin Chambers said the owners’ engineers “have met with our office, but no further progress.” Mike Johnson and Mark Pollack of Pollack Shores Real Estate Group are among its owners, the state says. Neither responded to phone calls.

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OCT. 16 – OCT. 29, 2015 |


State monitors ‘high-hazard’ dams BY JOHN RUCH

When record-breaking rains hit South Carolina earlier this month, the deadly floods were made worse by the failure of little-known dams on privately owned lakes. Many were built decades ago with dubious engineering and were monitored by an underfunded state agency that sometimes struggled to identify the dams’ current owners to order repairs, according to local media reports. Georgia dodged the historic rains, but has similar challenges with more than 4,200 dams. The state Safe Dams Program lists more than 40 dams in Brookhaven, Buckhead, Dunwoody and Sandy Springs, most built decades ago during a boom in suburban leisure lakes and still the responsibility of private owners. The state categorizes 11 of those local dams as “high hazard,” meaning that if they were to fail, the flood likely would kill people downstream. The “high-hazard” category is based on the size and location of the dam, not its current condition. Statewide, 474 dams are currently categorized as high-hazard. Some of the local highhazard dams are well-known and publicly owned, like the lake in Brookhaven’s Murphey Candler Park. But many dams impound private lakes hidden behind backyards and possibly unknown to neighbors living downstream. When the state categorizes a dam as high hazard, the owners have 180 days to get an operating permit, which includes filing an assessment of the dam’s condition. But in reality, determining the ownership and condition of such dams can be tough. The Lake Forrest Dam on the Buckhead/Sandy Springs border is a classic example. The tree-covered dam is easy to miss even though Lake Forrest Drive runs right atop it. The state declared it high hazard six years ago, only to discover the dam’s complicated ownership tangle involving a homeowners association and the cities of Sandy Springs and Atlanta. Sandy Springs agreed to take the lead on assessing the dam’s condition and any repairs, which has turned out to be a slow and labor-intensive process. Currently, the lake above the dam is half-drained, with some fish removed by boat, which in turn required lopping down many trees. There is still no final report on the dam’s integrity. “It’s just kind of sitting on hold,” said Hansell Roddenbery, president of the Three Lakes Corporation, the local homeowners association. “We’re just not real sure what’s going on.” Sometimes, the state can’t find any owner at all. In other cases, local homeowners are entirely on the hook and can be taken to court by the state if they don’t properly maintain their dams. State records show homeowners actively

monitoring many of the local dams, but often at great effort and expense. Lake Northridge on Northridge Road in Sandy Springs is one example. Gordon Elkins, president of Lake Northridge Inc., the local homeowners association, said he was pleasantly surprised when he moved into his home to learn of the beautiful, well-hidden, 88-foot-deep former quarry turned into a recreational lake in 1970. “I was shocked because I had no idea…this thing was even here,” Elkins said. A far less pleasant surprise was the maintenance duties of dealing with “beavers, geese and a Class I [high-hazard] dam…It comes with a lot of responsibility, too.” The homeowners association contracts with a private engineer who inspects the dam three or four times a year, Elkins said. Inspection reports are posted on the association website, The latest, from November 2014, reports the dam’s main parts in “excellent” shape. State records on the 11 local highhazard dams show only one safety issue presented as significant, and it may not

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The city of Sandy Springs is assessing the condition of Lake Forrest Dam, built circa 1945-1950.

Well-known dams on list CONTINUED FROM PAGE 13

be a real issue. A “bolted cover” on an emergency drainpipe on Brookhaven’s Silver Lake Dam could have “catastrophic consequences,” according to an engineer’s report dated in May of this year. But James Gallo of the Silver Lake Civic Association, which maintains the 27acre lake, said that pipe appears to be a non-functional leftover from 1980s dam reconstruction and was “never intended as emergency relief.” Regular state and private inspections show the dam is in “very good condition,” Gallo said. While state records do not show significant issues with most other dams, the records range from formal engineering reports to personal emails. For some, the most recent information dates to 2012. Some files show the state cajoling owners for years to conduct maintenance. The management company responsible for the 76-year-old Peppertree Lake, which is tucked behind apartments off Peachtree-Dunwoody Road in Perimeter Center, recently removed trees that could have blocked an emergency flow of water from its dam. Re-

cords show a state engineer wrote it took more than a decade for the trees to be removed, and that the stumps still have to go as well. That company, Working Solutions, did not respond to a phone call. While the maintenance issues can be minor, the stakes can be high. The Safe Dams Program was created after a 1977 dam failure in Toccoa, Ga., killed 39 people. In 1978, state inspectors found Silver Lake Dam to be so unsafe that the governor declared it “a real and immediate threat of a disaster.” The lake was drained and the dam demolished. The civic association restored it in the 1980s. The local dams withstood metro Atlanta’s historic rainfalls and floods of 2009—in some cases with significant damage—but that doesn’t mean they will survive the next disaster. Georgia’s Safe Dams Program faces staffing shortages and budget cuts, according to, an informational website run by the Kentucky-based Association of Dam Safety Officials. In South Carolina, there is talk of requiring reinforcement of old earthen dams and boosting the state inspection program.

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The last report on Murphey Candler Lake Dam, built in 1953, outlined relatively minor maintenance issues.


Other local dams on state inventory The following is a list of other local dams that are on the state’s Safe Dams Program inventory.


D’Youville Lake Dam, D’Youville Trace


IBM Lake Dam, North Atlanta High School, Northside Parkway Lake Moore Dam, Rickenbacker Drive Reeder Lake Dam, Rilman Lake Court Rivermeade Dam, Rivermeade Drive Stern and Early Pond, Harris Valley Road


Brooke Farm Lake Dam, Brooke Farm Drive Fountain Square Lake Dam, Peachford Road Kingsley Lake Dam, N. Peachtree Road Meadowlake at Dunwoody Dam, Lakesprings Way Meadowlake Dam, Meadowlake Lane Mill Glen Lake Dam, Mill Glen

Read all of our editions online

Drive Zaban Park Lake Dam, Womack Road

Sandy Springs

Arlington Memorial Park Dam, Arlington Cemetery on Mount Vernon Highway Carroll Manor Lake Dam, Carroll Manor Drive Century Springs Lake Dam, Hammond Drive Cherokee Country Club Lake East and West Dams, Hightower Trail Dunwoody Country Club Lake Dam, Dunwoody Club Drive Glen Errol Lake Dam, Glen Errol Road Glenlake Dam Nov. 2, Abernathy Road at Glenlake Parkway Hartrampf Lake Dam, Huntingdon Trail Huntcliff Lake Dam, Huntcliff Trace Huntingdon Lake Dam, Huntingdon Trail Innsbruck Lake Dam, Innsbruck Drive Lake North Dam, Colquitt Road Laubman Lake Dam, Powers Lake Drive Mission-Sandy Springs Lake Dam, Roswell Road


A dam at Arlington Memorial Park in Sandy Springs is among dozens in local neighborhoods included on the state’s Safe Dams Program list.

Natures Acre Lake Dam, Byrnwycke Road Orkin Lake Dam, Monterey Parkway Small Pond Dam No. 1, Powers Chase Circle


Spalding Lake Dam, Spalding Lake Court Turners Lake Dam, Long Island Drive Wildercliff Dam, Wilderlake Court

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‘Lions in Illyria’ Thursday, Oct. 22 and Friday, Oct. 23, 7 p.m. – Separated from her brother after a storm at

sea, Violet, a young lioness, must brave an unknown country all alone. This family-friendly, one hour show is a re-imagining of Shakespeare’s 12th Night told through animals, humor and music. Tickets are $5 each and support the MVPS Arts program. Black Box Theater, 510 Mount Vernon Hwy., NE, Sandy Springs, 30328. To purchase tickets in advance and for more information, go to mountvernonschool. org or call 404-250-5880.

Family Movie Night Friday, Oct. 23, 6:30 p.m. – The All Saints Catholic Church in Dunwoody presents a screening of the popular classic “The Wizard of Oz” in the Social Hall. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the movie starts at 7 p.m. This event will be Chastain style; guests are encouraged to bring a blanket and food, and watch the movie. 2443 Mount Vernon Rd., Dunwoody, 30338. Go to or call 770393-3255 for additional details.

Blue Heron Birthday Saturday, Oct. 24, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. –

Come out and learn about the Blue Heron Na-

ture Preserve’s 30-acre property nestled in the heart of the city during this fall festival that celebrates the Preserve’s 15th birthday. Participants will enjoy interpretive walks of the grounds and exhibits, plus first-hand knowledge about the preserve’s stewardship of the environment, conservation and educational initiatives. The event feature sfood and cake, scavenger hunts for kids, honey bee demonstration with a local beekeeper, live plant seed harvesting, music, rescued urban animals with AWARE, bird walks with the Atlanta Audobon, a ribbon cutting and historical data from Buckhead Heritage. Free and suitable for all ages. 4055 Roswell Rd., NE, Atlanta, 30342. Find out more by going to or by calling 404-345-1008.

Seussical the Musical Friday, Oct. 30 and Saturday, Oct. 31, 7 p.m., and Nov. 1, 3 p.m. – The Dun-

woody United Methodist Church presents an all-ages musical adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ stories. The skits pull from the “Cat in the Hat,” “Horton Hears a Who!” and other well-loved stories. General admission tickets are $20 each. Student tickets are $10 when purchased at the door. Show up in costume for half-price tickets. 1548 Mount Vernon Rd., Dunwoody, 30338. Go online to or call 770394-0675 with questions.


Great Day of Service

Volunteer Day

Saturday, Oct. 24, 9 a.m. – The Dunwoody

Saturday, Oct. 24, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. –

United Methodist Church Great Day of Service provides opportunities to participate in one of over 40 projects at the church or in the community. Start the day with a breakfast followed by a variety of projects to get behind, including Stop Hunger NOW! food packing, Potato Drop for the Atlanta Community Food Bank, make blankets for Project Linus, and much more. Off-site service projects like yard work and home repair also available. Lunch provided afterward. Free and open to the public. 1548 Mount Vernon Rd., Dunwoody, 30338. Go to for more details.

Come out for a morning of giving back at Brook Run Park. Volunteers will be working with Trees Atlanta to plant new trees in the park as part of Dunwoody’s Volunteer Day. Free and open to the public. Brook Run Park, 4770 N. Peachtree Rd., Dunwoody, 30338. To find out more information and to register as a volunteer go to


Fast Forward

Ovarian Cancer

Wednesday, Oct. 21, 7 p.m. – Martin Ford,

Thursday, Oct. 29, 7 p.m. – The Ovarian

author of the best-seller “Rise of the Robots,” Trung Le, a designer of learning ecologies, and screenwriter and educator Joe Conway headline Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School’s speaker series at the Atlanta History Center. The evening also includes Larry Friel from the FIDO Project, an ongoing research project at Georgia Tech’s Animal Computer Interaction Lab, that researches ways to improve communication between working dogs and the humans they assist. Tickets are $25 each and can be purchased online at Atlanta History Center, 130 West Paces Ferry Rd., NW, Atlanta, 30305.

Cancer Institute hosts “A Modern Approach to Ovarian Cancer” event at B’nai Torah. Lecture by Dr. Benedict Benigno, founder and CEO of The Ovarian Cancer Institute and Northside Hospital’s Director of Gynecologic Oncology. Q&A and panel follow presentation. Free and open to the public. Donations appreciated. RSVP at kharper@ovariancancerinstitute. org or 404-300-2997. B’nai Torah, 700 Mount Vernon Hwy. NE, Sandy Springs, 30328. Need more details? Go online to

out & about



Apple Cider Days

Wednesday, Oct. 21 through Sunday, Oct. 25, hours vary. – Bring the whole fam-

ily out for carnival rides, amusements, food and vendors. This annual fall fundraising event is hosted by Dunwoody Preservation Trust. Free to attend; bring cash for rides and snacks. Perimeter Mall, 4400 Ashford-Dunwoody Rd., Dunwoody, 30346. Find out more by going online to

Fall Festival Saturday, Oct. 24, 1 - 5 p.m. – Enjoy the crisp weather at Lynwood Park with a fall-themed get-together for the entire family. The event will have food, a bounce house and other activities. Free and open to the public. Lynwood Park, 3360 Osborne Rd., Brookhaven, 30319. Go to to learn more.

the school. For more information, email Heards Ferry Elementary School, 6151 Powers Ferry Rd., Sandy Springs, 30339.

Ashford Park Fall Fair Saturday, Oct. 24, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m –The Ashford Park School Fall Fair is a community tradition that helps support on-going professional development for teachers, STEM classroom and student enrichment programs, and special events throughout the year. Activities include a rock wall, inflatables, festival games, sand art cart, petting zoo, food trucks, raffle prizes, craft vendors and School of Rock. Free and open to the community. All-inclusive wristbands are $15; purchase by Oct. 20 and pay only $12. Adults do not need a wristband. Children 2 and under play for free. 2968 Cravenridge Dr., Brookhaven, 30319. Go to ashfordparkschool. com or call 678-676-6702 to learn more.

Dia De Los Muertos

Harvest Festival Saturday, Oct. 24, 11 a.m. –

3 p.m. – The 2nd annual Heards Ferry Harvest Festival includes carnival games, interactive attractions, a rock wall, arts and crafts, a school-wide pumpkin auction, holiday cake auction, cupcake walk, a live DJ and several local food vendors. Wristbands provide unlimited access to most of the activities, and are $25 for children over five and $15 for children under five. Tickets also be available in $10 increments for individual games and attractions. Parking available at the Fulton County Office building next door to

Sunday, Nov. 1, 12 - 5 p.m. –

Visitors of all ages are invited to learn about and experience a Day of the Dead Festival at the Atlanta History Center. The event features storytelling, crafts, authentic Mexican food and entertainment, plus a display of altars honoring lost family and friends that are decorated with flowers, favorite foods and beverages. This event takes place on free admission day, and is open to all ages. 130 West Paces Ferry Rd., NW, Atlanta, 30305. Call 404-814-4000 or go online to atlantahistorycenter. com for more details.

St. Martin in the Fields Episcopal Church invites you to join us at our new adult Sunday School Class, Church in Today’s World, a weekly speaker series from 10:10 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. on Sunday mornings. October 25, 2015 – Rev. Stefanie Taylor and Arthur Taylor, Ph.D. will discuss Virtuous Living in a Post-Globalized World. November 8, 2015 – Carl McColman, a contemplative writer, speaker, retreat leader, spiritual companion and author of several books, including Befriending Silence, Answering the Contemplative Call, and The Big Book of Christian Mysticism, will discuss “Christianity and the Nones”. November 15, 2015 – Sean McConnell, National Director of Engagement for the Episcopal Relief & Development Fund (“ER&D”), will discuss how ER&D is creating deep and lasting transformation in the lives of the people it serves.

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Sunday, Oct. 25, 1 - 4 p.m. – Calling all artists! The city of Brookhaven hosts an afternoon of art in Blackburn Park. The day features art contests, treats and a bounce house for the kids. Artists of all ages are encouraged to participate. Paper and art supplies provided. Winning entries will be displayed at City Hall. Free and open to the public. Blackburn Park, 3493 Ashford-Dunwoody Rd., Brookhaven, 30319. For more information, go to To sign up as a judge or to inquire further about the event, email or call 404-637-0508.

Rivers Shivers 5k Saturday, Oct. 31, 8 a.m. – Get active and sup-

port the students at E. Rivers Elementary School in this 5K along Peachtree Battle Avenue. Race proceeds benefit the E. Rivers PTA. Race day check-in and same day registration opens at 7 a.m. and closes at 7:30 a.m. Tickets start at $30 each for 5K participation and $15 for the 100-yard run. E. Rivers Elementary School, 8 Peachtree Battle Ave., NW, Atlanta, 30305. Find out more at eriverselementary. com or by calling 404-802-7050.

Duck Duck Goose 5K Saturday, Oct. 24, 9 a.m. – The Murphey

Candler Park Conservancy presents the second annual Duck Duck Goose 5K and one-mile fun run. This fundraiser supports the conservancy and their efforts to maintain and promote the park. Online registration is $30 for the 5K and $20 for the one mile until Oct. 21. Runners are encouraged to arrive by 8:45 a.m. 1662 West Nancy Creek Dr., Brookhaven, 30319. More information? Go to

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Garden Talk & Tour Saturday Oct. 24, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. – The

Dunwoody Community Garden at Brook Run Park hosts a DeKalb County Master Gardener seminar, plant sale and garden tour. Visitors will have a chance to learn about “Square Foot Gardening” and “Nature-based Play,” followed by a plant sale and an outing to the nearby garden. Pre-registration is recommended by going online to Tickets are $20 until October 23; $25 at the door. Brook Run Park, 4770 North Peachtree Rd., Dunwoody, 30338. To learn more about this event, go to

Party with the Past Thursday, Oct. 29, 6:30 - 9 p.m. – The At-

lanta History Center hosts a program designed to introduce Atlanta’s young professionals to the history of Atlanta. This free history series takes place at different historically significant spots all around the city. Every Party With the Past features a free history lesson from a guest speaker, a cash bar and food for purchase, as well as activities and prizes. Bring a blanket and have a picnic on the main quad. Costumes encouraged. Food and beverages are available for purchase. Oglethorpe University, 4484 Peachtree Rd., Brookhaven, 30319. Learn more at


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Lisa Bartlett offers a simple reason she agreed to provide a booth for the first Elegant Elf marketplace: the mayor asked her. Bartlett, who owns a Sandy Springs landscaping and decorating shop called Gramma B’s, recalls when Sandy Springs’ former mayor, the late Eva Galambos, dropped by the shop to talk up the new holiday marketplace, a fundraiser for the Sandy Springs Society. Galambos’ sales pitch worked. “I’ve had a booth since Year One,” Bartlett said. “And we expand every year.” This year, the Elegant Elf ’s fifth, Bartlett again is expanding her presentation as the market tries something new. The two-day holiday market is offering live performances for the first time, and Bartlett is scheduled to take to the stage for about an hour to demonstrate how to make holiday decorations such as wreaths or “winterscapes” encased in apothecary bottles. “It’s kind of do-it-yourself [displays], anything you can do at home with your girlfriends or with children,” she said.

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Her appearance is one of more than a dozen performances scheduled during the marketplace, which takes place Nov. 7 and Nov. 8 at Lake Forest Elementary School, 5920 Sandy Springs Circle. The committee that puts together the annual market decided to add live performances this year to “enhance the excitement of the market,” said Valerie Love, past presValerie Love ident and advisor to the Elegant Elf. “I call it the ‘sparkle,’” Love said. “That’s what the holidays are all about.” Performers other than Bartlett who are scheduled to take part range from dancers to choral singers to Patricia Barnes, the Elegant Elf ’s honorary chair, who’s known for her Sister Schubert Homemade Rolls and is scheduled to demonstrate cinnamon bread pudding. Others on the schedule: string players from Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School; the Mount Vernon Upper School Chamber Winds; actors from Act3 Productions; the Ridgeview Singers; the Weber Chorus; the Highland Dancers; Chef Jamie Adams, who will provide a cooking demonstration and tasting; and Atlanta author Mary Kay Andrews, who will sign books. During a brainstorming discussion after last year’s market about how to expand, someone suggested using the stage in the Lake Forest cafeteria for performers. The idea quickly caught on, Love said. “It just kind of kept snowballing,” she said. “Everybody we approached in the community was excited to be part of this.”

The Elegant Elf Holiday Gift Market When: 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Nov. 7; 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. Nov. 8

Where: Lake Forest

Elementary School, 5920 Sandy Springs Circle

Admission: $5 For more: elegant-elf.html

out & about Money raised through the marketplace goes to the Sandy Springs Society, a 27-yearold nonprofit that provides grants to support other local charities in Sandy Springs. The Society says it has raised and distributed more than $3 million. “We love the idea of pulling everyone in from the community,” Love said. “There is something gratifying about getting our community to come together to support this ‘shopping for a cause.’ We just think we have amazing talent here in Sandy Springs. The goal from the start was to bring in the best of local and national vendors.” In addition to the live performers, more than 80 vendors are scheduled to show and sell their wares during the marketplace, Love said. Bartlett plans to be back with her holiday display, which she said now

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Our team has grown... thanks to you! Above, Lisa Bartlett, owner of a landscaping and decorating shop in Sandy Springs called Gramma B’s, has had a booth at the Elegant Elf marketplace since its first year. This year the marketplace is offering live performances, and Bartlett will take to the stage to demonstrate holiday wreath decorations. PHOTOS BY JOE EARLE

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OK Café has reopened at the corner of Northside Parkway and West Paces Ferry in Buckhead after a fire damaged much of the interior nearly a year ago. Taka Sushi and Passion is reopening in Sandy Springs next year after closing its Pharr Road location in Buckhead. Tomorrow’s News Today reports that the restaurant will open in the Gateway mixed-use development, which is also home to Sprouts Famers Market. Here to Serve Restaurant Group has closed all 10 of its restaurants, including Smash Kitchen & Bar and Noche in Brookhaven and Twist and Prime in Buckhead. The company, which also recently shuttered Aja in Buckhead and Goldfish at Perimeter Mall, said it is looking for investors to help re-launch in the future. Petite Auberge, 2935 North Druid Hills Road, will host its annual Oktoberfest Party on Oct. 24 from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. The event will feature a buffet with all-you-can-eat traditional German and Bavarian cuisine. The cost is $40 person and includes coffee, tea, tax and gratuity. Reservations are requested by calling 404-634-6268.

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The Palm Restaurant in the Westin Buckhead Hotel, known for its first-class steaks, and outrageously large Nova Scotia lobsters, is marking its 20th anniversary with a renovation. Andrei Caciula has been named the new general manager. The redesign includes two private dining rooms and a hand-painted feature wall that highlights Atlanta’s landmarks. There’s also a new bar that opens to the hotel lobby. For more information, visit Atlanta Les Dames d’Escoffier International hosts its 15th annual Afternoon in the Country at Serenbe on Nov. 8. Chefs from Atlanta’s top restaurants paired with the area’s best farms will be set up in a tasting format alongside fine wines and premium microbrews. There will also be live music, cake raffle featuring sweets from Atlanta's top pastry chefs, hayrides, children's activities and a silent auction offering dining and travel packages, food and wine merchandise and original art by local artists. Proceeds from Afternoon in the Country benefit Georgia Organics, Wholesome Wave, Global Growers Network, The Giving Kitchen, The Wylde Center, The Atlanta Community Food Bank and Atlanta Les Dames d’Escoffier International’s scholarship fund for women in the culinary, beverage and hospitality arts. For more information and tickets, visit --Collin Kelley


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we ate a complete meal out of the leftovers the next day; we finally finished the last bites on the third day; we only paid about $40 a piece for this much face-stuffing. Everybody around here knows that Chef Gillespie knows what he’s doing. When you go in, the only hipsters are the ones behind the bar making two terrific kinds of punch (go with the Chatham Artillery). Revival is not a place for trying out edgy new concepts. The interior is blue and white with actual Gillespie family photos hanging everywhere. All the food is the very best possible version of exactly what you think it is. My wife ordered a beef and pork meatloaf that was, naturally, wrapped in bacon. I order the fried chicken, which was neither greasy nor overcooked. We both swooned over the fatback-fried silver queen corn, and actually raced for the last bite of hickory-smoked greens. Most of the time, neither of us will even go near the greens! This is all very telling, because even as Gillespie is delivering exactly the Southern menu you desire, he is most considerately tweaking the details to provide a surpris-

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Decatur is beginning to suffer from an overabundance of choices. You can get French, Thai, Korean, Greek, Spanish, Italian, Indian, Irish and 17 unusual kinds of ice cream, all within a couple of blocks. It’s delightful; it’s a great way to raise your kids right – unless your kid wants to eat nothing but pickles and mac and cheese. Well, you can still order them some junk off the kids’ menu while you enjoy your higher class food, can’t you? Except your awesome eatery doesn’t really focus on having a great pickle and mac and cheese for the kids. Decatur needs a reminder of the familial food things at the heart of the South – it needs a Revival! Enter Atlanta native Kevin Gillespie with a treasure trove of classic home-style recipes under his arm, courtesy of Grandma Geneva. Naturally, my wife and I ordered the Family Style Dinner. We each got to pick an entree and dessert off the regular menu, and the kitchen took care of the rest – meaning finger sandwiches and pickles, bread service, a salad to share, five gigantic sides of the chef’s choice, and coffee or tea. We ate until we were overfull;

ingly unique plate. Take the cornbread, for example. It’s brown and crispy on the outside, thanks to a light dose of bacon fat. The inside is completely fluffy; no hint of the usual flaking or crumbling you’d expect after an outside with such crunch. They’re shaped like triangles instead of slices or muffins. The butter is sculpted, not simply scooped. This is a bread service that speaks to a thousand, loving little considerations – the time and attention lavished upon you by grandma. Revival is a deeply hospitable place, and more than just the familial food style makes it so: the place owes its soul to Kevin Gillespie’s little sister, Kayla. You don’t have to ask around to figure out which one she is. The Gillespie siblings share twinkling blue eyes, flaming red hair, mischievous grins and serious charm. Kevin works the kitchen magic, and Kayla works her spell over the dining room. She told us some great stories about the stuff on the walls, helped

us decide on desserts, and kept all the servers in good spirits so they remained just as friendly and helpful as she was. Every time she approached a table with a little kid digging happily around in a blue ramekin of perfect mac and cheese, Kayla would talk to the children first and the guardians last. She reminds me of my favorite cousin – the one I most often got to see when we all ended up at grandma’s house for dinner. As much as Decatur certainly appreciates a celebrity chef making dinner in the neighborhood, Revival is truly at its best when it reminds us of our roots and traditions. Couldn’t we all use a little more Sunday dinner in our lives? Revival, 129 Church St., Megan Volpert lives in Decatur, teaches in Roswell and writes books about popular culture.

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Helping our neighbor

Students and faculty from Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School, front row, from left, Jackson Miller, Brittany Hickman, Beth Harrison, Jasper Pilkenton, back row, Warku Chekol and Associate Head of School Dorothy Sullivan, gathered water on Oct. 6 to ship to areas of South Carolina damaged by flooding.


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Sandy Springs Rotarian Fred Ferrand, left, welcomes four students from China’s Mingde High School during The Rotary Club of Sandy Springs’ Oct. 5 luncheon meeting. The students were visiting from Sandy Springs’ sister city of Taicang, China, and attending North Springs Charter High School for one week. EPA RATED NON-ALLERGENIC Mention this NON-TOXIC ad for Fall&cleaning discounts!

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OCT. 16 – OCT. 29, 2015 | 23


Discovering Everything Except Their Limits.

Standout Student Student Profile:  John Willingham  Mount Vernon Presbyterian School, senior

In the right atmosphere, students will take chances and seek out challenges. With the right mentors, students will discover interests and passions they never knew they had.

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Saturday, December 5 at 11:00 a.m. 404-255-4026

A community of 1,375 students, ages 3-years-old through 12th Grade.

John Willingham has set his bar high. High in the sky, in fact. John started two clubs during his high school career: rocketry club and Bible study club. He participates in a variety of other school activities -- robotics club, business club, community service club -- and is Head Prefect at Mount Vernon Presbyterian. And somewhere along the way, he found time in his schedule to get his pilot’s license. “I’ve always been interested in flying,” he said. Asked what attracted him, he struggled for the words, “You know, the actual…being able to fly off ...and to have that sense of freedom.” John obtained his license to fly when he was 17 years old. He’s a member of the Civil Air Patrol unit based at DeKalb-Peachtree Airport. The nonprofit CAP consists of about 60,000 volunteer youth and adults nationally, and performs services for the federal government as the civilian auxiliary to the U.S. Air Force and for states and local communities, according to

Share in the Spirit Marist School provides an education where the joy of 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. Come visit to experience Marist’s spirit yourself. Open House Sunday, December 6, 1-4 p.m. Learn more at or call (770) 457-7201




OCT. 16 – OCT. 29, 2015 |

the organization’s website. John was promoted recently to 2nd Lt. Deputy Commander and was awarded the Billy Mitchell Award, the highest award given to cadets. Only 2 percent of cadets receive this award, he said. “John is an exceptional young man and is not one to let obstacles stand in his way when it comes to something he wants to achieve,” said his dad, Bill Willingham. “He’s always setting and pushing to complete more difficult goals. Receiving his private pilot’s license was a very special day for him, and it’s one goal his Mom and I enjoyed very much seeing him achieve.” John said that getting his pilot’s license was, like his other passions, worth the work it required. “Having that interest to get up every morning and keep working at it,” he said, “it’s definitely reachable.” John’s dad was his first passenger. “Once John passed his [Federal Aviation Administration] check flight this past summer in Orlando, he asked me if I would be his first passenger. Of course, I said, ‘Yes,’ and we flew to The Villages, Fla., to see his grandparents waving up at us from their house. “This was the first time I had the chance to see him in action, and was impressed in how he communicated with the tower and Flight Watch. He didn’t seem to be nervous at all and even requested and was given clearance to fly over the parks because he wanted to show me all the people standing in line. All in all he handled everything like he’d been flying for years. It was a very special day for both of us.”

What’s Next: John hopes to attend Georgia Tech next year to study aerospace engineering. This article was prepared and written by Ricky Cao, a student at Dunwoody High School. Do you know a standout high school student? Send nominees to



Peachtree bike lanes draw fire News knows few borders. Here are some of the local news stories breaking in neighboring communities that could be of interest to Sandy Springs residents.

Call (404) 497-1020 for an appointment.


the organization started its list, there were 12,704 apartments in the community, the coalition said in a press release.


Peachtree Dunwoody Internal Medicine

& Rheumatology is proud to announce In Brookhaven, Children’s Healthcare the addition 28 of Dr. Elizabeth D. Butler Exit Exit 28 In Buckhead, residents angered by a of Atlanta plans to build an 8-story amI-285 26 to our practice. 5780 plan to add bike lanes along a portion of bulatory care center at I-85 and N. DruLake Hearn Drive Interchange Women's Peachtree Road are continuing their efid Hills Road. Construction would begin Center Parking Garage forts to convince state officials to put on next year and continue through 2107. Women’s 5671 5673 Center the brakes. “It will be one of the only centers of its GA-400 Cancer Center 5667 5669 Dr. Butler Offers Parking Georgia’s state traffic engineer got an kind in Georgia and will attract patients NORTHSIDE HOSPITAL Services For earful at a Buckhead Council of Neighfrom all around the state,” said Children’s Cardiology ’s Saint Joseph ICU 960 Hospital 980 borhoods meeting Oct. 8 as a standingspokeswoman Patty Gregory, adding that Admissions 5665 Emergency •Center Rheumatoid Arthritis room-only crowd at times booed and an estimated 300,000 annual patient visJohnson Ferry Road Marriott 875 Pointe Sun Trust 1100 975 jeered his presentation of a proposal to add its are expected. Bank • Lupus bike lanes to Peachtree. The residents said Children’s “We have engaged a traffic consultant, Medical Healthcare 993 Quarters • Gout state officials should come up with an aland we are working to develop plans,” C of Atlanta 5555 5545 ternative plan. Gregory said of possible traffic impacts. • Osteoarthritis 993 D BCN President Tom The 300,000-square5505 • Osteoporosis Meridian Mark Tidwell questioned whethfoot facility would “proPlaza Exit GA-400 5445 3 er state officials were “panvide outpatient clin• Auto-immune Disease dering to the bike lobic services for kids with On Our Borders Exit 4A Glenridge Connector by,” while other residents chronic and complex disblamed the Buckhead eases,” Gregory said. Dr. Butler is a board-certified rheumatologist who brings over three decades of Community ImproveIt would have about practice experience. She offers excellent, personalized care to adult patients, as ment District for pushing 900 employees, though it the bike lane option despite community has not been determined how many would well as thorough preventive screenings for the diagnosis and treatment of opinion. be new jobs and how many would transmedical problems before other complications arise. Georgia Department of Transportation fer from other Children’s locations. The fastate traffic engineer Andrew Heath said cility would go on the site of the 19-story state officials looked at a number of plans Executive Park Motor Hotel, which Chil875 Johnson Ferry Road NE, Suite 200, Atlanta, GA 30342 and even built a computer simulation of dren’s demolished last year. The site is adPeachtree to monitor traffic flow before arjacent to an existing Children’s office riving at the current proposed plan, called plex on Tullie Road. the Peachtree Battle Hybrid Alternative. Under this plan, there would two traffic lanes north and south, a center turn lane and bike lanes on either side from I-85 to Peachtree Battle. Beyond that point, the road would shift to three southbound lanes, two northbound lanes and a center turn lane to Maple Drive. Heath said traffic models showed reNorth Campus, 86 Mt Vernon Hwy moving the bike lanes at Peachtree BatNorth Campus tle would help improve traffic flow while South Campus and Activities Center, 85 Mt Vernon Hwy giving cyclists access to the nearby Atlan9:45 AM Sunday School Sandy Springs, GA 30328 404-255-1181 ta BeltLine trail. for All Ages Peacht ree Dun wo

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Also in Buckhead, North Buckhead Civic Association President Gordon Certain wants to stop Atlanta’s streetcar from rolling through much of Buckhead. Although the streetcar now is limited to a 2.7-mile loop in downtown Atlanta, long-range plans call for a 50-mile system of streetcars crisscrossing the city. The tracks would follow the 22-mile Atlanta BeltLine loop and run along Peachtree from the Buckhead MARTA station to Fort McPherson. “Wouldn’t streetcars be a charming addition to our future?” Certain asked in an editorial in the October edition of the NBCA’s monthly newsletter. “Actually, no.”

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Meanwhile, the number of apartments in Buckhead has increased by more than 100 percent over the past 3 ½ years, according to the Buckhead Coalition. The coalition says more than 13,190 new apartments have been built or announced since January 2012, when the organization started keeping a roster of new apartment buildings planned for Buckhead. When SS |

OCT. 16 – OCT. 29, 2015 | 25


Police stay local for better benefits, pay and family feel BY ELLEN ELDRIDGE

The Sandy Springs Police Department started with 86 police officers. The Dunwoody opened with 40 and Brookhaven began with 54. The departments have expanded through the years as they have become better established -- Sandy Springs is up to 128 officers; Dunwoody has grown to 52, with openings for two more and a request to hire even more in 2016; and Brookhaven has 70 sworn officers patrolling its streets. In the beginning, the city departments had little trouble attracting new officers. Brookhaven Chief Gary Yandura said he received 1,600 resumes from would-be Brookhaven police. Sandy Springs police recruiter Officer Nick Smith said new police departments typically add a “bit of persuasion” to their salary scale and benefits to bring in the best people. “When you start out a city and you have nobody, you don’t have the manpower or ability to train brand new officers, so you have to incentivize it to the point where your pay and your benefits are going to attract some of these people that are in locked pensions to move over,” Smith said. But officials of the young police agen-

cies say they still have little trouble attracting new officers as they grow, at least in part because they typically offer higher pay, better benefits and more training opportunities than some other, older departments, Smith said. Some officers say these departments also attract and retain officers for other, less tangible reasons. “We know a lot about one another and we’re a big family,” said Sgt. Andrew Fondas, who helps recruit for Dunwoody police. “In a big agency you’re sometimes just a name and a badge number. Here, you’re a real person.” In Sandy Springs, some of the original hires of the police department say they’ve stayed put because they value the high caliber of their co-workers. In some cases, recruits from other cities who started five or six years ago might be making less money because of the recent recession and a lack of raises in their departments, Sandy Springs recruiter Smith said. “They are not upset or disgruntled,” Smith said about officers who leave other city or county departments to work for Sandy Springs. Instead, they see that the SSPD has given cost-of-living raises of between 1 percent and 3 percent for the last six years, so

they decide to make a change, Smith said. “Word of mouth is big for us, for Sandy Springs,” Smith said. “We set a high standard and we don’t lower our standard just to fill a position. We will go without if we don’t have a qualified applicant.” Brookhaven Officer Celeste Rausch left Smyrna police to join the DeKalb city’s department in February. She traded the rank of sergeant, and working as a shift supervisor in charge of nine people, for the rank of police officer because she’d be making more money and working for a better agency. “I like the management here. I feel like they let you do your job,” Rausch said. “The people who are in charge here have all made their names somewhere wasn’t about proving themselves.” Yandura said law enforcement goes through cycles in which there are times it’s more attractive as a career than at other times. “It is more difficult to be a police officer now, with what’s going on in the country, so you have people who are a little leery of getting into law enforcement,” Yandura said. “But you’re always going to have people interested in law enforcement.” Dunwoody, Brookhaven and Sandy Springs police officials say that they aren’t losing their officers to other agencies. In Dunwoody, for instance, Fondas


Sandy Springs police recruiter Officer Nick Smith.

said the department has retained most of its workforce and when officers leave, they are either changing fields or moving out of state. Many who left went to work for federal agencies, he said. While leaving the Sandy Springs Police Department isn’t the norm for officers, Smith said some people have come and gone. “One person this year left because he went to work for Waffle House as a manager,” Smith said. “In the long run, he’s going to make a lot more money and I guess that’s what drives him.”

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OCT. 16 – OCT. 29, 2015 |



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It’s hard to believe, I know, but it’s true. Last year more Americans were killed by prescription drugs than by guns, AIDS, suicides and terrorists combined...But we’ll get to that in a minute. Let me start by explaining the photo in this letter. You know, when I meet people in town they usually say, “Oh yeah I know you, you’re Dr. Acosta. I’ve seen your stories for years....”Well, that’s me. I’m also the guy on the right of this amazing foursome of love. In the early 90’s during Atlanta’s pre-Olympic Construction Boom, I was a Carpenter. First interior trim and decks, then framing, then I installed hardwood floors, then my own remodeling company. About the time of my hardwood installation career, I started to become disabled with debilitating low back pain. It would take me 15-20 minutes to stand up straight in the mornings. I was scared. What would I do if I couldn’t work? And what a blow to my indestructible 20 something year old ego. A friend suggested I try Chiropractic. The Chiropractor explained to me what might be the cause of my disability. The explanation made sense to me. The Upper Cervical Chiropractor did a unique exam, took some special 3D films, and then “adjusted” my spine. The adjustment didn’t hurt, it actually felt good. He helped me get better and keep my job! I have been visiting a Chiropractor ever since as part of my health strategies. I did not become a Chiropractor myself until many years later when my brother himself ran into some health challenges. It was his potentially life threatening situation that had a meaningful impact on me. I knew right then and there that I wanted to be involved in helping SS

others, especially in a way that helps them “get out of the woods,” and on to greener pastures. My kids, Riley and Nica, were adjusted within the first 15 minutes after birth. They obviously didn’t complain of neck pain or back pain; I adjust them to keep them healthy... as with all the hundreds of children I care for in my office. You see, it’s not normal for kids to get ear infections, asthma, allergies or a number of other illnesses we see clear up in our office every day. When the nervous system is working correctly your internal resistance and healing powers are enhanced. A healthy family does NOT rely on medication to make them well. My family does not turn to medication to seek health and we don’t have a “medicine chest” in our home. Due to years of advertising saturation from the pharmaceutical companies most Americans do seek health from outside- in and most families have a “medicine chest” filled with an average of 16 different medications. In an average year, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports over 1.5 million hospitalizations due to medication. Last year the WHO reported 350,000 deaths due to medication people took... and 160,000 were when the drugs were prescribed correctly. More people died last year from medication than at Pearl Harbor and Vietnam. Amazing huh? If drugs make people well, then those who take the most should be the healthiest, but this simply isn’t the case. Many people are beginning to understand that health comes from within. This is why Upper Cervical Chiropractic helps so many people. You see, God created a body that can heal itself. Your body doesn’t

need any help; it just can’t have any interference. With chiropractic, we don’t add anything to the body or take anything from it. We find interference in the nervous system and remove it thus enhancing the healing capacities of the body. We get tremendous results... it really is as simple as that.

from Upper Cervical care. We believe that you should be able to have a conversation, without making a commitment. That is why we offer a Complimentary Conversation. We listen to you, and then determine if your problem is an Upper Cervical problem. If your problems are being caused Here’s what some of my patients by an Upper Cervical problem, then have to say: there is no one more qualified to “I quit taking pain medication help you. I utilize a highly specialtwo weeks prior to starting care with ized adjusting technique (only 300 Dr. Acosta so that I would know if doctors in the world use this) in my his care was helping. I am now drug office to better serve you. I’m here to free, and the terrible pain I lived with serve you and make a difference in for years is now gone. Chiropractic your life. I’ve been entrusted to take is a way of life for me and I love it.” care of tiny babies to 98 year olds for (Carol C.) over ten years now. My assistant; my wife Ashley is “I had been told that the only great and absolutely full of love. Our way to relieve my back and neck pain was to live on pain medication office is both friendly and warm and because surgery was not an option. we try our best to make you feel at home. I had scoliosis as a child and back We have a wonderful service, surgery at 15. Since Dr. Acosta’s off ered at an exceptional fee. Our care I have virtually eliminated all office is called UPPER CERVICAL the medications including aspirin CHIROPRACTIC of GA and is that I used to take to get through located at 310 Hammond Drive the day. My husband, both my NE. Sandy Springs GA 30328. children, and myself have benefitOur Website is www.Getwellga. ed greatly from Dr. Acosta’s care” com. Our phone number is 404(Shelly H.) 796-9010. Call us today for an appointment. We can help you. Being a chiropractor can be tough because there’s a host of soThank You. called experts out there. They tell people a lot of things that are just Dr. René Acosta plain ridiculous about my profesUpper Cervical Structural Chirosion ... usually it’s “My neighbor’s practor for Children & Adults sister’s friend said...” Let me ask you, do you make your healthcare P.S. As part of our Re-Grand decisions based on honest facts or opening receive $50 off a biased opinions? Interesting quesComplete Upper Cervical tion, isn’t it? NOW... Find out for yourself if Structural Examination upon you and your family can benefit completion of a consultation. |

OCT. 16 – OCT. 29, 2015 | 27


Sandy Springs Police Blotter THEFTS

Sept. 26 through Oct. 5 „ Knightsridge

Court—On Oct. 1, a resident reported that between Sept. 7 and Oct. 1 several pieces of jewelry were stolen from her home. She discovered the theft on Sept. 7, prior to a party. She recalled that a contractor, doing work inside the home, was discovered in her daughter’s room.

The following incidents and arrests are some but not all, of the reports filed with Sandy Springs police from Sept. 26 through Oct. 5.The following information was provided by Capt. Steve Rose of the Sandy Springs Police Department from its records and the information is presumed to be accurate.

BURGLARY block of Ivy Hall Drive—On Oct. 1, a resident said that sometime between 9:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. someone entered her home by way of a rear window (forced entry.) Missing items include 31- and 50-inch televisions, PS3 game system with 150 games, jewelry and some documents.

„ 400

„ 8100 block of Colquitt Road—On Oct.

2, a woman said that around 11:45 a.m. she was in her bedroom when she heard someone knocking on the door. She ignored it, but later answered the door and found no one there. A minute or two later she heard noises in her son’s bedroom and found two men entering the apartment through a window. They made eye contact and the two men fled south, along the wood line of the apartment area.

„ 7500


„ 1100

„ Woodcliff

Drive—On Oct. 3, a resident said that he left his home on Aug. 25 and when he returned home on Oct. 2 just about all his belongings were gone. A neighbor said that back a few months ago, two men came to the house with a U-Haul and loaded up items from the home. The neighbor said the two men told her the homeowner was in jail and they were moving his stuff. The owner said he suspected his son due to his cocaine use but the witness said his son was not one of the two men.

block of Mount Vernon Highway—On Oct. 1, a woman said she was at a gym from 6:45 p.m. until 8:30 p.m., when she discovered her keys were taken from her unlocked locker. She discovered her 2006 Pontiac had been stolen from the parking lot outside the gym. Inside the car were several items of personal ID and cards.

block of Roswell Road—On Oct. 2, the folks at an oil change business reported that two employees were found stealing money by way of taking receipts and refunding the money, to themselves. They admitted it and one actually returned $200. The other guy didn’t return anything. 8600 block of Roswell Road—On Oct. 4, a server at a sports bar said a customer, who had left a license at the beginning of the tab, stiffed her for $40. „

„ 5900

block of Roswell Road—On Oct. 4, a man reported that he accidentally left his iPhone 6 inside a grocery store. When he returned, he could not locate the phone, but the GPS showed the phone was in the parking lot. He paced the direction of the phone and saw a car. He saw a woman wearing a security uniform walking to and getting into the car that was occupied by a man. He tried to get her attention but she ignored him and drove off. The phone tracked in the same direction as the car so he followed it to 6596 Peachtree Industrial Boulevard. No further information was developed from there.

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Sandy Springs Police Blotter FRAUD „A

woman reported that she had her resume out there in cyberspace and received a call from Kristen Kuboyama, who said she was with Kaiser Permanente. Kristen said she reviewed the resume and wanted to offer a job in data entry and customer service. She was told that Kaiser would purchase several work items for her. She later received a check for $3,650 from a company called “Goodrich” out of Judicial Road in Burnsville, Minn. She was instructed to deposit the check, which her husband did. She was told to withdraw and deposit $3,000 of it in an account at Wells Fargo for “Brunswick Corporation.” She was told to keep $150 for herself. Shortly thereafter, her bank notified her that she was overdrawn because the deposited check was fraudulent. Later of course she received another check, this time for $4,340 with the same instructions because the crooks thought since she fell for it once… right? She questioned Kristen, who insisted she deposit the check. She finally wised up. This is a common scam with one goal: To get the victim to forward funds from their personal account to the target account before the original check is found to be fake. HOLD THE CHECK UNTIL IT CLEARS OR COMES BACK FRAUDULENT. Anytime you receive mail with this scenario, deposit our check and quickly deposit the majority of it in another account, you’re getting scammed. Don’t fall for it.


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38-year-old woman, employed by a moving company, was talking with a customer who was upset about something regarding the move to his Glenridge Drive residence. She told the officer that she was on her phone and the customer demanded to use it to complain to her manager. The customer grabbed her arm with enough pressure to cause bruising. The man let go after another employee inserted himself into the incident. The employee left the location and went home where she later reported it.

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block of Hammond Drive—On Oct. 4, a woman reported to police that, while staying at a hotel, she was provokingly mushed by another man. Prior to the mushing, the suspect (musher) woke up in a foul mood which, according to the mushee, was normal. An argument ensued leading up to the mushing. The man also said he would kill her and burn down the house. Do you know what “mushing” is? Hint: Moe did it a lot to the other Stooges.


Our board-certified physician, Dr. David Fowler has been recognized as one of the top orthopedic surgeons in Atlanta, and utilizes conservative and alternative methods care, opting for surgery only if needed. We proudly offer the latest minimallyinvasive procedures to restore your quality of life and return you to a high functional level.

• Arthritis care • Arthroscopy of the upper & lower extremities • Sports medicine and general orthopedics • Tenex tendon repair • Trauma and fracture treatment • Alternative methods of care phone: (404) 303-8665 fax: (404) 303-8482

„ I don’t normally post domestic situations involving children but this little dude needs some attention: A 37-year-old woman reported she was having an issue with her son who had been kicked out of school, disobeying the home rules, and bringing “shady” and unwanted people over to the house. She was arguing with him over an unwanted friend who had stayed over when the boy cursed her. CONTINUED ON PAGE 30 |

OCT. 16 – OCT. 29, 2015 | 29


Sandy Springs Police Blotter CONTINUED FROM PAGE 29

Pretty sad. We always relate to situations like that by way of, “What if I said that to my mother?” It would have had an ending including the statement, “When I regained consciousness.” „„A

47-year-old woman on Wingate Way said she got into an argument with a woman over a loose dog that startled her. The woman argued with her and called her a racist name.


44-year-old woman reported on Oct. 1 that around 7:15 p.m. she and her friend were driving in a parking lot when she saw that two cars were blocking the roadway. She asked the driver to move. He pulled down his pants, mooned her, and flipped her off for good measure. The woman’s passenger recorded it on his cellphone.


block of Peachtree-Dunwoody Road—An incident occurred recently involving Newport cigarettes. An employee of a grocery store said a man came in asking for a carton of Newports, valued at just over $62. During the transaction, the man grabbed the carton with no intent of paying. The employee quickly grabbed them back. The man fled, but was blocked by another employee, so he ran through the fire exit.


block of Roswell Road—Another theft related to Newports occurred on Oct. 2 at a grocery. A man, probably the same guy as above, requested a box of 10 Newports ($55) from the customer service area. He grabbed them and ran out. What this mutt is probably doing is selling them for drugs. He’s not smoking them that fast and according to the witnesses and video, he runs fast.

meaning he was being recorded. (Uh oh.) Now, Hailey told him that he needed to send her money, via MoneyGram, to the Philippines, to a “Ronnie Del a

Cruz, “ or else she would post the video onto his Facebook page for everyone to see. He paid, which he did again and again before finally calling the cops.

VFW Cop of the Year


block of Roswell Road—On Oct. 2, a man, same guy we think, same M.O., requested the carton and then snatched it and ran.


26-year-old man, reluctantly I’m sure, called the police to report the following: He met a woman named “Hailey” on a phone app (Skout). She told him to add her as a friend on Facebook, which he did. He and Hailey messaged back and forth for a time. At some point, she told him to add her on Skype, which he did. He and Hailey eventually graduated to a video chat where he observed a naked woman. During that excitement, he noticed he was on the screen-sharing window

Officer David Romero has been named Officer of the Year by the Dunwoody-Sandy Springs Veterans of Foreign Wars, (Officer and FTO David Romero was presented with the Officer of the Year Award by Loren Cook) Sandy Springs police announced. Romero joined Sandy Springs Police in 2006, following his career with the Fulton County Police Department. He currently is assigned to the South District Uniform Division.

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Home Services Directory Appliance Repair ALL WORK GUARANTEED

Call Kevin 24/7 770.885.9210

• All Major Appliances & Brands FREE Service • Stoves, Ovens, Dishwashers • Refrigerators, Disposals Call with • Washers, Dryers Repair or $25 Service • 30 Years Experience Charge Servicing All of Metro Atlanta

North Georgia Lawn Care

To Advertise, call 404-917-2200 ext 110

Trash, Junk Hauled For Less

35 – $150


per load

Oriental Rug Cleaning

We will pick up appliances, furniture, tree limbs, construction debris, basement and foreclosure clean-outs.

Call James

cell (404) 784-5142 home (770) 455-6237

Bennett Painting & Remodeling, LLC. Commercial/Industrial/Residential

• Most Air-Cooled Models In Stock and Ready To Install • Most Air-Cooled Models In • Automatic Standby Generators Stock Ready To Install • Most Air-Cooled Models In • Automatic Standby Generators Stock Air-Cooled Ready To Install • Most Models In (770) 251-9765 • Automatic Standby Generators

(770) 251-9765

Stock Ready To Install • Automatic Standby Generators (770) 251-9765

(770) 251-9765


Commercial & Residential Junk Removal Recycling 770-399-6605 Licensed Insured

Free Estimates

Locally Owned Since 1997

Ronnie Bennett 404-432-0385


Wallcovering, Special Coatings, Pressure Washing

Antique and Decorative Rugs since 1976

5548 Peachtree Ind. Blvd Atlanta, GA 30341 404-995-8400

Pre-screened Providers. Pre-negotiated Rates.


EST 1975

Oriental Rug Shop

• Roofing • Gutters • Painting



This A d

404-467-8242 • 3255-5 Peachtree Road NE, Atlanta GA 30305

poern ou c stom u 0 c $ 5 e per

Call Tony 404-402-5435

HVAC, Plumbing, Carpet Cleaning, Pest Control, Moving Services & More


In the heart of Buckhead


Honest Affordable Dependable Free estimates

15% O

Antique Repair Specialist • Speciality Care Hand Wash Cleaning (front and back with plenty of water) • No Chemicals Used Air Dried, Scotch Guard • Mothproof, Padding, Storage Appraisal & Insurance Statements • Pickup and Delivery Available

Belco Electric

• Family Owned since 1972 • Fast, Dependable Service by Professional, Uniformed Electricians

A+ Angie’s List

1.5 miles inside 285 in Chamblee Plaza

Fall & Holiday

Atlanta’s Premier

• Window Cleaning • Gutter Cleaning • Pressure Washing • Family Owned • Licensed and Insured • FREE ESTIMATES

since 1968

770-455-4556 Your home. Our help.

Check out our new website and follow us on


% 20 OFF

Cleaning & Repair of All Rugs

With coupon. One per family.

The Handyman Can • Plumbing • Electrical • Sheetrock • Floors • Tile • Framing • Kitchens • Painting • Roofwork • Concrete • Stained Glass • Antique Door Restoration as well as many other issues...

John Salvesen • 404-453-3438

Get help around the house by calling one of our Home Services and Services Available advertisers. Tell them you saw their ad in Reporter Newspapers! SS BK |

OCT. 16 – OCT. 29, 2015 | 31



The Eva & George Stern Family

Barbara and Ed Mendel








OCT. 16 – OCT. 29, 2015 |

The Zaban Foundation

10-16-2015 Sandy Springs Reporter  
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