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Sandy Springs Reporter

OCT 30 — NOV. 12, 2015 • VOL. 9 — NO. 22


Perimeter Business

‘Battle royal’

MARTA seeks bite of sales tax COMMUNITY 4

Hindu holiday Diwali is all about lights FAITH 16

Needle in a haystack?

PAGES 7-11

Pill Hill housing delayed by new roadway talk BY JOHN RUCH

“I’m confident we will have a very good briefing on this,” Sterling said, adding that “there’s no possibility of losing the big parts [of City Springs].” City Springs is the massive redevelopment under construction on Roswell Road at the Mount Vernon Highway and Johnson Ferry Road intersection. It will include a new City Hall, a performing arts center, parks, housing and commercial space. The bond issuance and a finalized budget were supposed to happen at the same time, but they are separate efforts. Mayor Rusty Paul and several councilmen expressed satisfaction at the bond issue details.

A controversial Pill Hill apartment plan was deferred again by Sandy Springs City Council Oct. 20, pending renewed talk of a new roadway through the area. The Perimeter Center Improvement Districts are moving ahead on an old plan to extend the “flyover bridge,” Councilman Tibby DeJulio said. That bridge takes Perimeter Center Parkway across I-285 to Lake Hearn Drive. “I think we really need to see what [PCIDs] have in mind,” DeJulio said, and not “eliminate the possibility of doing this [connection] in the future” by approving redevelopment on part of the possible site. PCIDs President and CEO Yvonne Williams said in an interview that engineers are doing a 60-day “feasibility study” of the roadway extension. “We’re in an information-gathering mode,” she said. Both the road and the apartment project—planned on Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital land at Johnson Ferry and Old Johnson Ferry—are pitched as partial solutions to the traffic tangles in the medical area at Johnson Ferry and Peachtree-Dunwoody Road nicknamed Pill Hill. Mayor Rusty Paul revealed that on Oct. 19, he had his long-planned traffic-planning meeting with administrators of the three hospitals in the area, Emory St. Joseph’s, Northside and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. “What keeps me awake at night is [the idea of ] an incident like a tornado or something where we can’t get people in for treatment,” Paul said of Pill Hill traffic. The hospitals’ meeting also included traffic consultants from the firm Nelson/Nygaard, according to Emory Saint Joseph’s spokeswoman Mary Beth Spence. “At this initial meeting, all three hospitals committed to working with the mayor and the consultants, and the consultants also shared that they will provide information about best practices from other cities,” Spence said in an email, adding that those meetings will continue. Dane Peterson, the president of Emory Healthcare Hospital Group, attended the meeting. In a written statement, he said, “We are eager to enter this collaboration with our neighboring hospitals to make improvements for our patients, families, employees and the community we serve.”




Cooper Foushee, left, and his brother Brooks, 3, dig around looking for prizes in the Haystack Hunt, during the second annual Heards Ferry Elementary School Harvest Festival on Oct. 24. The event featured games, inflatables and plenty of food choices.

Demand exceeds supply for City Springs’ bonds BY JOHN RUCH

A $159 million bond issuance to fund the City Springs project was approved Oct. 20 by Sandy Springs City Council. Now the project just needs a final budget—in this case, a complicated spending plan that confused members of the council earlier this month. City Councilman Gabriel Sterling was among several councilmen who asked for a better budget explanation from members of the city staff. He said he believes the explanation is coming soon and that core City Springs features are not at risk of budget cuts. “I feel very comfortable with where we are,” Sterling said in a recent interview.

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The Galloway School’s proposal to build an athletics facility in Sandy Springs is drawing emotional attacks from neighbors who argue it will create runoff problems and bring unwanted traffic. “There is not one single person in this community who wants you here,” Sandy Springs resident Sheila Cornelius told Galloway officials during an Oct. 27 meeting at Sandy Springs City Hall. “We don’t want you here. This is not good for our community. We want you to expand and grow your program, but we want you to go somewhere else.” Many among the more than 60 Sandy Springs and Buckhead residents who crowded into the City Hall meeting room applauded her. Galloway officials want to build a softball field, tennis courts, a concessions stand and bathrooms on 8.3 acres at the end of High Point Road, just inside the city of Sandy Springs. After discussions with neighbors, the proposal is to go to the city Planning Commission in December, city officials said. Galloway representatives said the school’s athletics programs have outgrown its Buckhead campus and more fields are needed to accommodate Galloway’s students. The school already has some off-campus athletics facilities on Defoors Ferry Road, Athletics Director Josh Burr told the crowd. The proposed Sandy Springs courts


Sharon Gay, Galloway’s attorney, explains the school’s plans for building an athletic facility.

and field, Galloway lawyer Sharon Gay told the room, would not include lighting, bleachers or a sound system, and would only be used during daylight hours. Most players would be bused from the school’s campus at Chastain Park, representatives said, but the facility would include a parking lot. “We know High Point Road is narrow, and nobody wants us to park on High Point Road,” she said. But residents argued the facility would draw too much traffic to an area they said now has relatively little. “It’s just a quiet, little residential area,” said Tom Ramseur, who said he’d lived in the neighborhood for more than 20 years. “I think the increased traffic would be bad.”

Sandy Springs Government Calendar The Sandy Springs City Council usually meets the first and the third Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. at City Hall, which is located at 7840 Roswell Road, Building 500 For the most up to date meeting schedule, visit

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Pill Hill housing delayed by new talk of new roadway CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

Emory Saint Joseph’s CEO Heather Dexter voiced traffic concerns at the City Council meeting. Commute times for doctors and staff are issues, she said. The hospital sold the land for housing, restaurants and parks because it needs “apartments that employees can afford,” she said. Richard Munger of North American Properties, the developer, claims his project’s “walkability” to hospitals and MARTA meshes with a recent U.S. surgeon general’s report. But the project continued to receive criticism from some Sandy Springs and Brookhaven residents as potentially worsening the traffic issues, among other concerns. Dozens of residents showed up at the council meeting, many clearly there to restate opposition to the project that was proposed in August. They said North American had agreed to reduce the apartment count from 305 to 270, but that didn’t appear to satisfy anyone. While the council chose to defer a decision with the PCIDs’ study in mind, some councilmen leaned toward approval. “Until we locate housing where people work or…near mass transit, we’re not going to impact traffic,” said Councilman Ken Dishman. It also remains to be seen how resi-

dents react to extending the roadway from the flyover bridge, which many jokingly call the “bridge to nowhere.” Brookhaven Mayor Rebecca Chase Williams said in an interview that she has “mixed feelings” about the idea and noted that local opposition to the Glenridge Connector prevented its extension beyond Peachtree-Dunwoody Road. “Use of the flyover bridge is expanding” with new development, said the PCIDs’ Yvonne Williams. But extending its roadway has “not been on our priority list” and could be complicated by impact on wetlands, neighborhood reaction and other issues, she said. The recent traffic concerns triggered PCIDs’ renewed look at whether it is a “project that makes sense,” she said. Paul doesn’t get a vote on the project unless there’s a tie, but he indicated some Brookhaven residents’ comments aren’t helping their cause. “I’ve been a little bit testy about this,” Paul said. “I’ve never been accused of criminality before and corruption, and being in the pocket of developers…Our own folks haven’t talked to us the way people in Brookhaven have talked to us.” The council returned the project to the city Planning Commission and will rehear it Dec. 15.

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MARTA plans to ask for portion of transportation sales tax BY JOE EARLE AND ELLEN ELDRIDGE MARTA plans to ask Georgia lawmakers next year to convert a portion of a proposed transportation sales tax for use to add rail lines, the transit agency’s chairman says. MARTA Chairman Robert L. Ashe said the agency wants to use half of a proposed transportation sales tax to pay for transit expansion, and to ask DeKalb and Fulton voters to extend the tax for 42 years, through the life of the current MARTA sales tax. “That’s the only way we’re going to get [the expansions] built,” Ashe told members of the Rotary Club of Sandy Springs during their Oct. 26 meeting. State lawmakers last year agreed to allow voters to decide in 2016 whether to impose a penny sales tax in their counties for five years to pay for transportation improvements, Ashe said. MARTA wants lawmakers to allow Fulton and DeKalb voters to dedicate half of that penny to transit rail expansions and to

extend the tax. If the voters approve the change, Ashe said, the tax could raise $4 billion that could be used to help finance construction of rail extensions north along Ga. 400 to Alpharetta and east along I-20 in DeKalb, and to connect the east and north train lines with a light rail through the Emory University area. But Rep. Tom Taylor (R-Dunwoody), who chairs a MARTA oversight committee, said during a Dunwoody City Council meeting, also on Oct. 26, that the proposed MARTA sales tax would likely bring a “battle royal” in the upcoming legislative session. “The issues that is going on with this is, they are putting a lot of pressure on [legislators] outside the two counties that have funded this for the past 45 years to pass it, saying, basically, ‘Hey, it doesn’t affect you. DeKalb and Fulton are going to pick it up.’” “What I intend to do here is if they

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want to make it a statewide issue, let’s make it a statewide issue,” Taylor said. “If it’s a benefit to the state, let the state get some skin in the game.” Without the sales tax, Ashe said, “we have no way to pay for” the rail line extensions. Together, the projects are expected to cost $6 billion to $7 billion, he said. By dedicating sales tax proceeds to MARTA expansion and extending the tax, he said, the funds could be used to atJOE EARLE tract federal monies to finance the Robert L. Ashe, MARTA chairman, remainder of the cost. speaks to the Rotary Club of Ashe said he was “cautiously opSandy Springs on Oct. 26. timistic” state lawmakers would go along with MARTA’s request. He four years, we have held expenses consaid the state transit agency had changed stant and at the same time, we have imits reputation by putting its finances in proved revenues,” he said. order. The agency posted a $35 million But Taylor seemed unconvinced. surplus in its 2015 fiscal year, with about “This is going to affect county sales tax$443 million in revenues and about es for the rest of our lives,” he said. “I see $408 in expenses, he said. As recently no reason why the counties should bear as fiscal year 2011, the agency had run this burden. This is going to be a big po$35 million in the red, he said. “Over litical fight this session.”

City Springs bonds approved CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

A total of $159,475,000 in bonds will be issued and will produce about $179 million in funds because of some “premium” sales at higher-than-face values, the city’s bond consultants said. The council previously authorized issuing up to $222 million in bonds—the expected maximum cost of the project—and can still do so, but only with a separate action. The interest rates are complex, but have a total “weighted average” of 3.659 percent, according to advisers with the financial firm Raymond James. The city received credit agency Moody’s highest credit rating, “Aaa,” and the second-highest rating category from Standard & Poor’s, “AA-minus.” The bonds, sold in denominations of $5,000, were put on the market on Oct. 20 for advance orders. That helped determine the rates approved by the council, City Attorney Wendell Willard said. He said that they were oversubscribed by $400 million, meaning that demand exceeded supply. The issuance was to occur in late October or early November. “I bought a couple [of the bonds],” Paul said at the council meeting. Not so clear is exactly how much of the funds will be spent and on what. The council already decided to spend no more than $222 million on the project, but a specific “maximum guaranteed price” will be set in consultation with Holder, the project’s construction firm. That was supposed to be done Oct. 6, but the council balked at Holder’s request to delay setting the price and presented budget estimates that had widely varying line items—in one case varying from $75,000 to $1 million. A clearer budget with the price cap was supposed to be delivered Oct. 19, but that

didn’t happen, either. Sterling and Councilman Andy Bauman—two who previously voiced some strong concerns—said that they are not worried about taking a bit more time. “Better to get it right than to get it early,” Bauman said of the budget. “It was more a timing issue than a budget issue…So far, I have no concerns.” Sterling said the budget is inherently complicated and he believes it will make sense in the end. The exact timing of the budget report is unclear, but Sterling said the final design is down to dealing with small details. “This is not the traditional model of building things,” Sterling said of the City Springs process, where a budget cap is set and the project tweaked to match it on the fly. “By doing that, we’ll actually end up saving money because we will do the building faster. We could have complete clarity on the front end, but it could cost us more money and take more time.” However, there is also a question about whether parts of City Springs will be cut from the final design. At the Oct. 6 meeting, consultant Ennis Parker surprised the council by saying one piece of the project—a parking lot off Mount Vernon Highway—might have to be cut. That lot and a park on the east side of Roswell Road were “bonus” projects added to City Springs in June. Asked about whether core parts of City Springs could be cut as well, Bauman and Sterling had different takes. “I don’t want to speculate on scope,” Bauman said. “No. There’s no possibility of that,” Sterling said, adding that the main site’s infrastructure will be in place within a few months. “There’s no turning back from that. We couldn’t decide we’re not going to build that performing arts center, or make it smaller.” SS

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Our sister cities help address similar problems, foster greater understanding

Regardless of location and circumstances, cities everywhere face similar challenges. Traffic congestion is insoluble. Never “just right,” growth is either “too dense” or non-existent. Meanwhile, nothing trumps public safety. Yet, great communities constantly seek to do it faster, cheaper, better. That’s why a six-person Sandy Springs delegation just returned from Israel, after establishing a sister city relationship with 11 communities forming the Western Galilee Cluster. The sister city initiative lets communities experience and learn from each other, exploring new ideas, approaches and opportunities. West Galilee is an emerging technology, medical innovation and tourism area with similar aspirations as Sandy Springs. It also features a rich ethnic heritage where Jewish, Arab, Druze and Christian neighborhoods live peacefully side-by-side; a real contrast with global perceptions. Over five days, our delegation absorbed how this area addresses our similar challenges. For example, the recent I-285/Ga. 400 collision among a fuel tanker, grocery truck and automobile highlighted our vulnerability to mass casualty events. Our seasonal precarious weather can produce widespread damage and injuries, too. So, we were eager to visit the West Galilee Medical Center, a world-renowned trauma facility. Headed by an Arab-Israeli physician, it features state-of-the-art operations, including an underground ER, so it can safely treat mass casualties even when under direct attack. Likewise, West Galilee is an evolving medical technology center. Recent news reports have touted the high-tech exoskeleton system that allows wheelchairbound patients to walk and lead more normal lives. The system, currently fabricated in a West Galilee facility near the

‘Cover and show’ To the editor: [Re: “City’s Next Ten planning process gears up,” Sandy Springs Reporter, Oct. 16-29]. The road show is a joke. A poorly advertised kickoff meeting in an empty storefront and five mini-visits by a hospitality van do not qualify as a serious attempt to gather public comment and input. They are just for cover and show. ‘Springs City’ is a foolish and very expensive attempt to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, the sow’s ear being Roswell Road, and all of its broken intersections in Sandy Springs. We tried and failed 10 years ago with City Walk, which is one of the worst developments I have ever seen, and has been plagued with a revolving door of second- and third-rate es-

OCT. 30 - NOV. 12, 2015 |

Lebanese border, offers lifescored the drama occurring changing hope for individuin Jerusalem’s Old City and als everywhere. the West Bank, we felt safe Sandy Springs is a leader in every location we visited. in using traffic management We walked the streets at technology to make our night in Nahariyya, Tel Aviv roads more efficient. Occaand other communities, sionally, however, we stumfeeling as secure as if strollble across older technoloing through a Sandy Springs gies that still work. Count neighborhood. We knew of me among the skeptics the problems, but as in any about whether roundabouts major city, the news media would work here. Yet, even can report on several inciRUSTY PAUL in dense areas like the city dents dramatizing in such of Akko, West Galilee coma way that the communiGUEST COLUMN munities are using roundty appears more dangerous abouts almost exclusivethan it is. ly to move traffic smoothly. Throughout the week, They do, in the right applications, imour travels repeatedly bumped the Lebprove mobility. anese border. At one stop, we looked Sister cities also promote tourism and down a high mountain peak at Lebanese cultural exchanges to cultivate greatvillages in the valley floor. The danger is er international understanding. While real, but as the Lt. Colonel charged with somewhat off the typical Israel tourist’s northern border security told us, “We itinerary, the West Galilee area shares stand guard, so normal life can go on.” both ancient sites and modern marvels. It does. We visited a cave that was accidenOur sister city program was launched tally discovered when an excavator fell by Mayor Eva Galambos when she fosthrough the ceiling. Not yet publicly actered our continuing relationship with cessible, the cavern lay undiscovered for Taicang, an inland city near Shanghai, 10,000 years due to the collapse of its China. In fact, we, with North Springs original opening. As a result, archaeolChaater High School, hosted a Chinese ogists are finding evidence of human student delegation in Sandy Springs in and animal activity dating back 25,000 early October. years. Going forward, we will hold monthly There were moments of serendipivideoconferences with West Galilee ofty during our trip. During a survey of ficials to work on common objectives, agricultural tourism and farm-to-taand we plan to host an Israeli delegation ble locations, our hosts took us to a bee in Sandy Springs next year. We want to farm, unaware of my beekeeper status. nurture cultural and student exchanges Beekeepers worldwide form an instant over the five-year duration of the sister bond. When local residents visit Isracity agreement, and hope the ties grow el, the West Galilee is definitely worth a so strong, the communities extend the couple of vacation days. relationship beyond its initial phase. Finally - what about the general situRusty Paul is the mayor of Sandy ation there, especially in terms of safety? Springs. While the international media undertablishments. Its clientele is made up primarily of Roswell Road apartment dwellers and an aging community of home-

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

owners living between Abernathy and Hammond. This will be the primary Springs City clientele. And they will define the second- and third-rate retailers who will populate the center. I know Mayor Paul (and Eva Galambos before him) envisioned a place where those who live on the Arlington Cemetery side of things would go to shop and socialize, but they are out of their minds. I don’t know any-

one who will park underground to have lunch and shop during the day or go to a concert at night at Roswell Road and Johnson Ferry. I’m still trying to imagine who would want to live at 1 City Walk at Roswell and Hammond. One more thing. It is astounding to me that we would let Holder Construction start digging Springs City holes without a clear set of Carter/Selig plans and then even consider increasing their Stage 1 budget. These are the kinds of things that happen when a politician who is one of the leading lobbyists for developers in Georgia (Mr. Paul) becomes the mayor of a city with major development dreams. Thanks for listening. Wil Johnson SS

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

Council cooks up ways to make Sandy Springs a dining destination BY JOHN RUCH

The Savor Sandy Springs Restaurant Week, returning Nov. 2-8 for its second year, is one of many similar promotions boosting the dining business around the Perimeter and the nation. But there’s something special about the group organizing it, the Sandy Springs Restaurant Council, and about how Restaurant Week fits into its much bigger business plan. An initiative of the Sandy Springs/ Perimeter Chamber of Commerce, the Restaurant Council hosts expert speakers at monthly meetings and is organizing quarterly public events with the goal of putting the city on the metro Atlanta fine-dining map. The Restaurant Council model could become influential amid talk of Dunwoody and Sandy Springs possibly collaborating on future Restaurant Weeks, and as the young city of Brookhaven considers creating its own. “Basically, the purpose of the Restau-

rant Council is to make Sandy Springs a fine-dining destination,” said Karen Trylovich, the council’s chair. “People go down Ga. 400 to get to Buckhead and bypass Sandy Springs ... when we have over 500 restaurants in Sandy Springs.” The council made a splash in August with its new football season cookout party that drew hundreds of customers. At a recent council meeting, Jason Sheetz, the owner of the Hammocks Trading Company restaurant, praised the group’s model. “We have massive momentum,” Sheetz said, adding that with its Restaurant Week program, “You can absolutely see the increase in business year-to-year.” Restaurants Weeks are a collaborative promotion where various restaurants offer special menus with fixed prices. They are typically organized by either a private promotional company, as in Buckhead’s five-year-old RestauCONTINUED ON PAGE 10

The Sandy Springs Restaurant Council made a splash in August when it organized a football season cook-out party at the Prado Shopping Center on Roswell Road.


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Rick Tapia created his own brand of bourbon, J.R. Revelry.


Small batch bourbons becoming a hot commodity BY JOE EARLE

Rick Tapia admits he got really interMiami for his job. But liquor companies ested in bourbon only fairly recently. He’d buy and sell one another all the time, he been a vodka man. said, and before his transfer was complet“Growing up in the Northwest, you ed, his company was bought by anothgrew up drinking vodka, rum, maybe er company and they found themselves some Jack [Daniels] and Coke,” he said. headed to Georgia, instead. “My wife and “I don’t recall any bourbon. It wasn’t sexy I were a bit surprised,” he said. at the time.” In Georgia, he discovered bourbon. But times change. Bourbon turned “When I moved here was when I learned sexy after all. And Tapia, who about it and started drinking it was born in Peru and grew up on a regular basis,” he said. near New York, now lives in P er imet er When his company was sold Sandy Springs and has created again a couple of years ago, he P r o f ile his own brand of bourbon, the and his family faced another favorite whiskey of the Amercorporate transfer, which would ican South. He hopes it will have required starting over in catch on as part of a new interest in small another town. So he decided to head off batch bourbons. on his own, “to create my own brand,” he He named his whiskey J.R. Revelry. said. The “J.R.” represents his initials; his full He knew what he liked in the bourname is Jesus Ricardo Tapia. The “Revelbons he drank himself, he said, so he “rery” part of the name suggests celebration, verse blended” his own brand to get a he said. And the design on the label of his smooth bourbon that would mix well in bottles – a black bowler – is a nod both to cocktails, he said. good times and his family’s roots in South And small batch bourbons now seem America, where the round-topped hats to be the hot commodity. “Things were still represent high fashion in some areas. changing. The whiskey thing was startTapia is quick to point out that his ing to happen,” he said. At the same time, bourbon is 100 percent American-made. in the world of selling whiskey, “the ecoIt says so right on the label, in Spanish. nomics of creating a brand had complete(“The Spanish on the label was for me, ly changed. Craft brewing had evolved to a personal thing,” he said. “I was saying, craft distilling.” ‘Hey, I’m Latino.’”) His bourbon, which Now Tapia takes bottles of J.R. Revelsells for $30 to $40 a bottle, is distilled in ry to golf tournaments, office parties, hapIndiana and bottled in Nashville, he said. py hour tastings - wherever he can find a Even the stoppers are made in the U.S., group of people willing to try a taste. He he said. figures it’s the best way to go up against the Tapia, who’s 44, comes by his interest big companies he used to work for. “Who in producing spirits through experience. knows? Maybe someday they’ll buy my He actually started out as an accountant company,” he joked. (In college, “I knew I couldn’t do a fluffy His whiskey now is sold in six states, degree,” he said.), but quickly moved to he said. But competition is tough. “There working as a promoter for various nationare new brands everywhere,” he said. “We al and international liquor companies. He say there’s the ‘browning of American polpromoted vodka, tequila, even the occaitics’ and then ‘the browning of Amerisional Scotch. He worked for various comca...’” Maybe the time has come, he said, panies during his 18 years in the business. for tastes to turn to darker drinks. About nine years ago, he and his wife “It fits,” he said. “It’s good for us. It’s planned to move from the Northeast to good for America.”



Mercedes-Benz CEO discusses move to Perimeter headquarters

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Mercedes-Benz USA’s relocation to move brings it closer to its future U.S. Sandy Springs is sparking a “transforcustomer base, he said. mation” of the luxury automaker, PresCannon answered questions from ident and CEO Steven Cannon told a crowd of hundreds at the Oct. 20 Sandy Springs/ Perimeter Chamber of Commerce luncheon. Cannon also discussed Mercedes’ forthcoming new office tower and charitable programs. And he voiced his optimistic hope of having a 20-minute commute from his new Buckhead home. “What started as a move from Montvale, N.J., to Atlanta has been a transformaJOHN RUCH tion for the company,” CanMercedes-Benz USA President and CEO non said, describing Mercedes’ Steve Cannon, left, answers a question from move to the Perimeter as a cre- Jim Fitzpatrick, CEO of CBT Automotive ative shake-up. “It’s almost got a Network, at the Oct. 20 Sandy Springs/ start-up feeling to it at our tem- Perimeter Chamber of Commerce luncheon. porary headquarters.” That temporary site is in DunJim Fitzpatrick, CEO of CBT Automowoody, where the company will remain tive Network, a Sandy Springs-based authrough 2017, until the first phase of its tomotive industry news outlet. new headquarters off Abernathy Road CBT provided a comedic video about in Sandy Springs is built. Cannon dethe top 10 reasons for buying a Mercedes scribed the “open-floor, transparent” inhere, including use of an “exclusive Merterior design of the forthcoming towers. cedes HOV lane” and a self-driving car “I said to the architects, ‘Build a that would pilot itself to Sandy Springs’ building around a town hall concept,’” forthcoming City Walk apartments. where employees can quickly and easily Of course, local traffic and commutgather for meetings, he said. “The cubiing nightmares are no joke, and Mercle culture…that’s going away.” cedes is well aware of that part of its Cannon said that local hiring has move. The company is already facing gone better than expected. He said he challenges in Dunwoody. appreciates the welcome and offers of “We’re looking at some flex-time opsupport he has received here. tions” to stagger employee commute In a sign of the political part of that times, Cannon said in an interview afsupport, Cannon was seated at a table ter the luncheon. The new generation of with the mayors of Brookhaven, Dunemployees expect such flexibility in lifewoody and Sandy Springs. style, too, he said. “There’s a great migration going on in “Look, if you don’t offer millennials this country,” Cannon said, with many those kinds of options, you’re not gopeople moving from the North to the ing to hold onto them,” Cannon said. “smile states” of the Southeast, South “You’ve got to change the way you do and Southwest. In that sense, Mercedes’ business.”

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About 15 people attended a recent Sandy Springs Restaurant Council meeting at Seven Hens on Roswell Road.

Restaurant weeks strive to heat up local dining businesses CONTINUED FROM PAGE 7


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Lovett School (Lov86l) 1st proof Buckhead/Sandy Springs/Brookhaven Reporter 4.94w x 4.08h 4c

rant Week, or by the local Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, as in Dunwoody. The goal is usually a modest one: boosting business during a traditionally slow week. “It’s a unique way for residents and visitors to try restaurants they wouldn’t try otherwise, and to try them at a fixed price point,” said Katie Bishop, executive director of the Dunwoody CVB, which has organized a Restaurant Week in collaboration with the city and the Dunwoody Perimeter Chamber each June since 2011. This year’s Dunwoody Restaurant Week had 17 restaurants offering lunch menus and 24 offering dinner menus. Dunwoody copied the Restaurant Week idea from other places, Bishop said, but the CVB has tried some homegrown efforts, too. One example was the “Wine-ing About Winter” event, running in January of 2013 and 2014, with restaurants offering discounted meals or bottles of wine during a dead-of-winter week. “We just want to affect the bottom line that week,” Bishop said. “We’re just trying to drive business into what is a slower week for restaurants.” She and other Restaurant Week organizers acknowledge that measuring the impact is difficult. “Each restaurant owner has their own way of doing things,” said Trylovich, “so it’s really hard to know what that impact is.” The debut Georgia Restaurant Week, a statewide event in July arranged by the Buckhead-based Georgia Restaurant Association, in collaboration with the state Department of Economic Development, shows how the measurements can be tricky. At first glance, an association report looks pretty good: total sales over $900,000; 500 meals ordered from the special menus; 42 percent of customers showing up to try a new restaurant and 81 percent

“highly likely” to return. But with 96 participating restaurants, that means each location sold less than one Restaurant Week menu meal per day. The sales figure includes all restaurant revenue, not just any above-average bump that week. And only 35 customers responded to the survey. Thirty percent of the restaurants saw a business boost, said association spokeswoman Melanie Charyton. She emphasized it was the statewide Restaurant Week’s first year, adding that “we hope to build on this next year and create more revenue for our restaurants.” The Sandy Springs Restaurant Council is aiming beyond the quick-hit Restaurant Week model to brand the city as a dining hotspot like Buckhead or Midtown. The council formed in late 2013 when Mayor Rusty Paul was serving as the Chamber’s board chair and heard the call for more restaurant promotions. “As far as greater Atlanta is concerned, Sandy Springs is a restaurant desert,” Paul said at a recent City Council meeting about the Restaurant Council effort. About 15 people attended a recent council meeting at Seven Hens, including restaurant owners and representatives from the city, the chamber and the Perimeter Center Improvement Districts. One agenda item was the Restaurant Week’s cross-promotion with an older tradition, the Sandy Springs Society’s Elegant Elf event. (Several restaurants will serve “Elf-tini” cocktails.) “It’s been collaborative amongst us. It’s not a competitive thing,” said Tisha Rosamond of Nothing Bundt Cakes, describing the council as a “partnership as well as friendship.” Barbara Boukater, whose 5 Seasons Brewing hosted the football kickoff event, said the collaboration is “driving home that this is a neighborhood effort. Keep it in Sandy Springs.”


Businesses mark new beginnings

The Dunwoody Chamber of Commerce helped celebrate the reopening of Adult Day, located at 1 Dunwoody Park South, Suite 123, on Oct. 21. Attendees included Mayor Mike Davis. The facility is an all-day adult health services center.

Employees with Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa, located at 5610 Roswell Rd., Suite D-120, in Sandy Springs, celebrated with a ribbon cutting on Oct. 26. Front row, from left, owners Mark de la Vega, Luis Pardillo and David de la Vega.

O pening s

On Oct. 17, Total Nutrition Atlanta marked the opening of their store with a ribbon cutting. From left, Jeff Darwin, Derron Collins, Kenea Yancey, owner Ashley Tolisano, owner Derek Fedo, Shawn Macchia, Pete Macchia and Lucas O’Hara. The company, located in Abernathy Square, 6597 Roswell Rd., #21, in Sandy Springs, sells vitamins and supplements.

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out& about



Jewelry Show

Elegant Elf Marketplace

Friday, Nov. 6, 10 a.m. - 9 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 7, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. – The ninth

Saturday, Nov. 7, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 8, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. – The

annual Atlanta Contemporary Jewelry Show brings together 30 of the country’s finest contemporary jewelry artists and displays of their handcrafted work at the Atlanta History Center. A “meet the artists reception” takes place Friday evening from 6 to 9 p.m., and offers a time to relax and chat with the artists about their work. Admission to the reception is included with ticket price. A portion of proceeds from the show benefits CERF+, the Craft Emergency Relief Fund, a national service organization providing relief and assistance to craft artists who have suffered from natural disasters or other catastrophic events. Tickets are $10 each and include access to the Atlanta History Center. 130 W. Paces Ferry Rd., NW, Buckhead, 30305. To find out more, see

Sandy Springs Society presents this festive, highend gift market showcasing around 80 local and regional artists, gourmet food purveyors and vendors. This year’s session includes an entertainment lineup with informative holiday demonstrations, book signings, theatrical performances, dancers and carolers from area school choirs. Admission is $5 each; free for children 10 and under. Funds support education, the arts, the environment, and heritage in the Sandy Springs community, including the hosting school. Lake Forest Elementary School, 5920 Sandy Springs Circle, Sandy Springs, 30328. Find out more information online at

Pumpkin Smash! Saturday, Nov. 7, 3 - 4 p.m. – After Hallow-


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een has come and gone, there is finally a fun use for your decaying pumpkins. Families of all ages are welcome to the Dunwoody Library for a pumpkin smash. Drop your old jack-o’-lanterns and pumpkins off by 2:30 p.m. on Nov. 7, and be there at 3 p.m. for your chance to smash a pumpkin and even possibly find a prize inside of one. The remnants will be turned into compost and donated to a local garden. Free and open to the public. Registration not required. 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Rd., Dunwoody, 30338. For additional details, go online to or call 770-512-4640.

Holiday Festival Friday, Nov. 13, 5:30 - 8:30 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 14, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. – The Dun-

woody United Methodist Church presents their 24th annual Holiday Festival. The festival features handmade arts and crafts by more than 120 talented artisans, an online silent auction, attic treasures, casseroles-to-go, children’s activities, a gourmet shop, photos with Santa and more. All proceeds from the event will be used to build two homes for Atlanta Habitat for Humanity next year. Friday night’s hours are a preview night for shopping, with no children’s activities. On Saturday, the day begins with a pancake breakfast at 7:30 a.m. All other activities start at 9 a.m. Free to attend and open to all. Need more information? Go to

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OCT. 30 - NOV. 12, 2015 |

Fall Bazaar Saturday, Nov. 14, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. – Celebrate the season with this fall festival at St. Martin in the Fields Church in Brookhaven. The event features a kid’s carnival, silent auction, penny social, bake shop, artisan crafts, Christmas shop and a raffle. Tickets are $1 each and you do not need to be present to win. Tickets may be purchased the day of the event or in the church office, Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 3110 AshfordDunwoody Rd., NE, Brookhaven, 30319. Go to to learn more.

out & about

Lunch Buffet

Mon-Thurs $9.99

Grand Lunch Buffet


Fri-Sun $12.99

Family Movie Night

Daffodil Project

Tuesday, Nov. 3, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. – Fam-

Sunday, Nov. 15, 3 p.m. – The Daffodil Proj-

ilies are invited to the Brookhaven Library for a screening of the film “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. ” Movie is rated PG. Open to the first 25 participants. Light snacks provided. 1242 N. Druid Hills Rd., Brookhaven, 30319. More details? Go to or call 404-848-7140.

Farmers Market Saturday, Nov. 7, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. – Come out and enjoy the fall weather for this rain or shine farmers market. Stock up on fresh produce, meats, eggs, artisan oils, freshly baked breads and pastries, prepared foods, coffee and sweet treats. This weekly event takes place every Saturday through Dec. 12. Free and open to the public. University Baptist Church, 1375 Fernwood Cir., NE, Brookhaven, 30319. More information can be found at or

Free Park Day Wednesday, Nov. 11 – In honor of Veterans Day, the National Park Service offers a free park day at select locations across the nation. One such participating park is the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, and visitors are invited to enjoy the grounds and property with no entrance fees. More information can be found at findapark/feefreeparks. Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, 1978 Island Ford Pkwy., Sandy Springs, 30350.

Happy Tails

ect aspires to build a worldwide living memorial in remembrance of the children who perished in the Holocaust, and support children who continue to suffer in humanitarian crises today. The public is invited to participate in the planting of daffodil bulbs at the Hammond Drive Park entrance. The shape and color of the daffodils represent the yellow stars that Jews were forced to wear during the Holocaust, and yellow is the color of remembrance. The Daffodil Project is a service project of Am Yisrael Chai!, a nonprofit Holocaust education and awareness organization. For more information, visit or contact Mike Weinroth at mikeweinroth@ Free and open to the public. 705 Hammond Dr., NE, Sandy Springs, 30328.

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Footprints Road Race Saturday, Nov. 14, 8 a.m. – The Sandy Springs

Education Force presents the second annual Footprints for the Future 5K and Family Fun Run, a certified Peachtree Qualifier. The event also includes a pre-race warm-up at 7 a.m. led by fitness professionals, live entertainment, vendor booths and a 1K family Fun Run starting at 8 a.m. T-shirts and swag bags given to all race participants. Lake Forest Elementary, 5920 Sandy Springs Cir., NE, Sandy Springs, 30328. Additional details and registration information can be found online at

Reed & Barton Baby’s First Stocking #84645 $119

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Children aged 5 and up are invited to work on skills by reading to trained and registered therapy dogs. Sedona, a golden retriever, and Dugan, a border collie mix, are great listeners, and will be on hand. Sign up for 15-minute sessions by emailing Registration required, but free to participate. Buckhead Branch Library, 269 Buckhead Ave., NE, Buckhead, 30305. Questions? Go to or call 404-814-3500.

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gregation Or Hadash presents a special discussion, “Estate Planning for the Heart: The Importance of Sharing our End of Life Wishes” to explore how to share your wishes for end-of-life care with loved ones and physicians. Rabbis Analia Bortz and Mario Karpuj lead the program, with four local physicians who will share their experiences and perspectives. Free and open to the community. Registration requested by calling 404-250-3338 or emailing by November 5. Congregation Or Hadash, 7460 Trowbridge Rd., Sandy Springs, 30328. Go to to find out more.

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Co-chair of 24th annual Jewish book festival sees it as ‘our gift to the community’ BY JOE EARLE

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OCT. 30 - NOV. 12, 2015 |

Susan Tourial could barely contain The festival’s appeal also is based on her enthusiasm. the authors it chooses to present and “I’m ready to go already. How much how it presents them, Tourial said. More longer?” she asked one recent afternoon than 200 volunteers are involved in 14 as she sat at the kitchen table of her Sandifferent committees that put on the fesdy Springs home. “I’m ready to start. tival, according to the MJCCA. Get this party started, already!” From 75 to 100 volunteers are inShe wouldn’t have to volved in the author sewait much longer. The lection process, Tourial party she eagerly awaitsaid. Some read books ed is the Marcus Jewand rate them. Some ish Community Center take part in one annuof Atlanta’s 24th annual event, held in New al book festival. It starts York, that functions as Nov. 5 and continues sort of “speed dating” through Nov. 22. between writers and Tourial’s enthusiasm book festival officials is understandable. This from across the counyear, she co-chairs the try, she said. Other auevent. She’s been inthors are chosen after volved with the festival their publicists contact for five or six years and festival officials to prostarted working on this mote their work, she year’s edition last Janusaid. ary. Is it worth all the Besides, she thorwork? “I think it’s an JOE EARLE oughly enjoys this animportant thing to Susan Tourial, co-chair nual showcase of Jewish do,” Tourial said. I think of the Marcus Jewish writing that has grown it’s an important culturfrom presenting just Community Center’s 24th al festival for the whole annual book festival. three authors in its first community. Atlanta’s a year to hosting more big community. I grew than 40 this year, inup in a Jewish Atlanta cluding such recognizable names as Ted where there were maybe five synagogues. Koppel, Alan and Arlene Alda, Mitch Look how many there are now.” Albom and Dr. Ruth Westheimer. “We Besides, she said, “I love to read. feel like this is our gift to the communiWhen I started going to the book festity, to have the caliber of some of these val, I realized how much I enjoyed hearauthors,” Tourial said. ing an author talk about their process.” Besides, she said, “it’s so much fun. So, after months of putting the fesIt’s probably the most fun volunteer tival together, Tourial is eager to get thing I have ever done.” things started. Through the years, the festival also “I really and truly enjoy it,” she said has been fun for the writers, too, she enthusiastically. “It’s fun.” said. More than 13,000 book fans are expected to attend the festival’s events this year. And they buy books, Tourial Marcus Jewish said. “Over 24 years, Atlanta has built up a really good reputation for the numCommunity Center’s ber of people in our audience, the way we treat authors and the fact we sell 24th annual book books,” Tourial said. festival Author Joey Reiman of Buckhead, who will discuss his book, “Thumbs Authors as varied as Mitch Albom, Up! Five Steps to Create the Life of Your Arlene and Alan Alda, Judy Blume, Dreams” on Nov. 22, calls the Marcus Alan Dershowitz, Jonathan and Faye Center festival “one of the most imporKellerman, Ted Koppel and Dr. Ruth tant festivals that has ever been creatWestheimer talk about their books. ed.” Part of its appeal comes from its atWhen: Nov. 5-22 tachment to the Marcus Center, which was named for Home Depot co-founder Where: 5342 Tilly Mill Road, DunBernie Marcus, Reiman said. “In Jewish woody nomenclature, there is something called Cost: varies by event a mensch,” he said. “A mensch is a genuine human being in the moral and ethiFor more: 678-812-4005 or atlantacal arena. When I see Bernie is involved with an organization, the word mensch comes up.”

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out & about

Local model railroads highlighted by tour BY JOHN RUCH

There’s a train that runs past a drive-in theater showing “Gone with the Wind,” over Savannah’s famous River Street, alongside an Atlanta Steel plant, and into the Georgia mountains. It’s called the My Way Railroad, and it makes the entire trip in a basement on Nesbit Ferry Road. Mike and Lee Dunn’s enormous model train layout was one of several Sandy Springs stops on Oct. 25 on an open-house tour called the Piedmont Pilgrimage. Hundreds of model railroad fans

who’s writing a book about her husband’s ancestor. She pointed out some of the layout’s small details that were often charming or humorous, such as “Wicked Wanda’s,” a miniature railroad brothel. Small details and family roots were themes in all the local layouts. At Joe Nichols Jr.’s Ridgemont Drive home, father Joe Sr. helped him run a recreation of 1917-era Colorado gold-hauling train. Joe Jr. and Joe Sr. share a name, a profession—they’re both surgeons—and the family hobby. They’re both NMRA-certified “Master Model Railroaders,” only the third father-son pair to have the status, Joe Sr. said. The elder Nichols will open his home on the Nov. 7 Piedmont Pilgrimage date, and his son will return the favor by helping to run it. “He’s got one of the biggest layouts in town,” around 1,000 square feet, said Joe Jr. The space, cost and SPECIAL time needed to build Mike and Lee Dunn’s model train layout is one a layout mean that most hobbyists get into it later of several Sandy Springs stops on an openin life, Joe Jr. said. house tour called the Piedmont Pilgrimage. “The biggest limitamade the trip, and will visit more layouts tion is cost,” he said. “The second limitain Dunwoody and Sandy Springs as the tion is getting permission from your wife.” open houses continue through November. That’s Lynn Nichols, who confirmed some “It gets bigger every year,” said Dave complex negotiations underway about Bennett of Woodstock’s Train Installasome extra basement square-footage. tions, who built the layouts for the Dunns Many of Joe Jr.’s Colorado mountains and many other model-railroaders. were still unfinished Styrofoam carvings, In fact, Sandy Springs is an epicenand he isn’t picky about the complexiter of the old-school hobby. The regional ties of switches and signals on the miniaPiedmont Division of the National Modture railroad. “I don’t care if they derail,” el Railroad Association meets monthhe said, explaining that he enjoys building ly at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School, the train models more than running them. sometimes drawing 100 members. BenFor Robert Young, who runs a minianett stays busy working with many memture Pennsylvania Railroad in his Hunters bers, making home visits in a locomotiveTrace Circle basement, the appeal is crestyle van outfitted with a cowcatcher and ating trackside scenes—people fishing, a smokestack. He also maintains the train fire trucks leaving a station and hundreds layout running in the Children’s Healthmore events packed into the landscape. care hospital on Pill Hill, an item donated “It’s vignettes,” said Young. “You pick by one of his customers. an area and it tells a little story. That’s the Building a model train layout can take part I enjoy, is detailing it.” years and cost $1,500 to $15,000—or way Young has worked on his layout since more, for layouts such as the My Way line, 2006. His love for the hobby was passed said Bennett. The Dunns’ layout fills a on by his father, who built a layout about 30-by-25-foot room with 500 feet of track 50 years ago. Some components of that and realistic murals providing a 360-delayout are in Young’s setup today. gree background. The Piedmont Pilgrimage “I guess it’s in the genes,” said Mike Dunn. He got hooked on model trains model train tour as a kid in Los Angeles, then became an entrepreneur and a fan of trap-shooting. When: weekends through Nov. 22, Years later, after coming South, he learned with stops in Dunwoody and Sanhis great-great-grandfather was a trapdy Springs on Nov. 7 and Nov. 15 shooter and president of the Central of Cost: Free Georgia Railway. For more: “I’m the historian,” said Lee Dunn,

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Diwali celebrated as Hindu festival of lights BY ELLEN ELDRIDGE

Nearly every fall, Viju Rao and his color.” family throw a huge party. Although the Raos don’t attend the They invite crowds of guests to their local temple or consider themselves relihome — “everybody that we meet on the gious Hindus, “we are cultural Hindus,” street in Dunwoody, plus Viju Rao said, and happy to all of [daughter] Devika’s celebrate the holiday. friends,” Rao said. “Most “The cultural part is of them have started asking, very peaceful, very secular,” ‘When’s Diwali this year?’” Devika Rao added. This year, Diwali, the Viju Rao said a HinHindu festival of lights, will du guides himself with two be celebrated Nov. 11. Piybooks, one of which is the ush Behre, a volunteer with “Ramayana,” an 8,000the Hindu Temple of Dunword epic poem written in woody, said the holiday is Sanskrit about the story of mostly celebrated in homes. Lord Rama. “These stories Diwali commemoare not religious,” Rao said. rates “the day Rama comes “They’re just mythology.” SPECIAL back to his kingdom after Sunitha GandavaAshby Fox and 14 years—that’s why all the di teaches Sanskrit to chilDevika Rao lights,” Viju Rao said. “The dren at the Hindu Temple kingdom lights up and evof Dunwoody. She, too, says erybody celebrates the return of the culture and spirituality outweigh reliking.” gious dogma. “We just say we are HinIn Dunwoody, Hindu families hang dus because of the festivals we celebrate,” on to their cultural heritage by celebratGandavadi said. ing the stories and the traditions. DeviShe added she and her friends “are not ka Rao described the celebration as “fire religious in a way that would look down sparklers, food, friends, family and lots of on another religion.” “We don’t,” Gandavadi said. “Even back in India, we went to Catholic schools.” When people understand the messages in myths, such as tales about Lord Rama, Rao said, the stories teach about morality. “The fact is it’s a very intelligent, smart way to teach a commoner,” Rao said. “If you spend a little time thinking about it, and reading about Indian spirituality, you start to understand why they told these stories.” He says his family is celebrating the new year when he invites people for Diwali, which mirrors Christmas because people exchange gifts and sweets. Accountants get their books blessed “so they can cheat for the rest of the year,” Rao joked. Last year, the Hindu Temple of Dunwoody opened at 2029 Pernoshal Court. The owners of Indian Bazaar grocery store converted a warehouse they own into the temple space, Gandavadi said. CALL NOW Gandavadi said the local temple brings families together, with dancing and celeDunwoody/Sandy Springs brating festivals. “We do pot luck festi678-500-8185 vals,” she said. Gandavadi and Sunitha Umashankar Decatur/ N. Druid Hills moved to Dunwoody in the late 1990s. They said they are thankful for the tem404-963-9904 ple, which introduces children to their Indian culture and their community. Lake Oconee/Greensboro “Everybody who comes here is part of 706-438-4227 Dunwoody,” Umashankar said. The temple offers yoga, Hindi lanLake Sinclair/Milledgeville guage and religious classes, she said. 478-607-7576 The women of the temple teach children how to pray and about moral ues, Gandavadi said. “It’s not really about religion,” she said. “We teach them the good stuff.”

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The computer name game: ‘Always write,’ yet somehow still always wrong I finally decided to follow my son’s ThroughTumblr account, seeing as he’s currently out this exerROBIN JEAN on the other side of the globe and at one cise, however, MARIE CONTE point interviewed the opposition leadthe Tumblr er in some sort of uprising in Macedosite offered ROBIN’S NEST nia. His activities have piqued my inme a collecterest enough for me to make the effort tion of new and unsullied usernames, to logon and sign up. such as “SecretPhilosopherBouquet,” His activities have piqued my interand “AtomicBluebirdFart,” which were est enough for me to make the effort to admittedly tempting, but didn’t quite logon and sign up.. feel right. So, no. And what an effort it was! UsuStill on the flower theme, I tried “honally it’s my password that doesn’t pass eysucklerose,” but that was also taken. I muster, which is why I now have apcould be “bat-honeysucklerose,” which proximately 43 variations on my origdoesn’t even make sense, or “honeysuckinal (six-letter/one-digit) password-oflerose-stuff,” which is equally inane. choice, each with a slight deviation of No, and no. Tumblr, meanwhile, ofcapitals, digits and letters, and therefore fered me “TenaciousFuryStudent,” and all now completely im“UnadulteratedNinpossible to recall. But jamoon,” but neither again, this time I was of those really define able to slip by easily me, so, no. with my newly updatI was getting testy ed, backup eight-letnow. Our ample bowlter/one-digit passwordful of Halloween candy of-choice (which I will prompted me to go allstill probably forget). out with “99%chocThis time, it was the olate,” a name which username that got me. not only describes my Of course “robdiet, but also my fain” wouldn’t work— vorite Lindt chocoI didn’t even attempt late bar. I came awfulthat. But I had created ly close with that one, a handy new username, but was informed that “alwayswrite,” that I “Tumblrname can only SPECIAL have used before on contain letters, numRobin’s latest computer other sites and considbers and dashes,” alered somewhat clever username contains chocolate. though I could choose in a punny sort of way, “omg99chocolateand which I can actually remember. blog,” which again, for reasons menSo I keyed it in, but that one was tioned, I would never do. taken. I could chose “I-alwayswriteOn the suggestion of one of my blog,” which completely loses the pun, twins, I typed in “99chocolate” and was or “awesomealwayswritelove,” which finally admitted to an entirely new page, is an awful username. So, no. I could but then demurred, because I was not also choose “youralwayswrite,” which I ready to abandon the qualifying “%.” would never, ever do, because your in So I backtracked, and of course, this case should actually be the contrachad to start all over again. But I was retion you’re, and I would rather melt my warded with a new offering: “Teenagekeyboard into a useless metal blob than DoughnutEarthquake,” which my own choose a username that so defiles one of teenage son thought fit me perfectly, the most basic grammar rules. and which convinced me that checkI could, of course, revise the name to ing out username suggestions on Tumread “youralwayswritemother,” but that blr could become a habit. also blows the pun right out the winCommitted to my username decidow. So, no. sion, I typed in “99percentchocolate,” The feeble flicker of username crewhich did indeed and at last work. ativity that I possess had already been But now I was forced to reveal my age expunged upon the name “alwayswrite,” (because Tumblr did not accept “old so I looked around for inspiration. My enough” and because I cannot tell a geraniums are still in bloom in the blue lie, not even to Tumblr). I then assured pot on my back deck, so I typed in, “geTumblr that I am not a robot, and that ranium.” was all it needed to know in order to I was stunned to be informed that present me with a veritable landslide of “someone has already claimed your Tumblr accounts prime for the followusername,” even when it was so coming. pletely random, and I was offered the It doesn’t understand. I’m only here names “geranium-things,” “a-geranito follow my son. um,” (both of which are stupid, I’m sure Robin Conte is a writer and mother of you agree), and “omg-geranium,” which four who lives in Dunwoody. She can be is not only stupid, but juvenile. So, no. contacted at

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made 1,950 lunches for hungry children. This school year, John is serving as president of ONE Apostolate. The sandWhile many Atlanta-area high school wich ministry is not as active during the students spent the summer lying out school year, so the organization focuses by the pool, Holy Spirit Preon volunteering at soup kitchparatory School junior John ens and sewing sleeping bags Arnold was feeding hungry for the homeless. children. Last summer, John When not engaging in coordinated a communitycommunity service, John is wide lunch-making effort in a competitive archer. He still partnership with Action Minfinds time to excel academicalistries that made 300 lunchly, too, and counts Latin, AP es per week for disadvantaged Calculus and AP U.S. History children in College Park and among his favorite classes. East Point. “John is very bright and “I was so enthralled with very driven,” said Jill Stedman, this ministry because it struck John’s AP U.S. History teachme that there were children in John Arnold er and ONE Apostolate advithis nation, a nation with so sor. “He is one of the best critmuch global affluence and respect, who ical thinkers I have taught during my relied so heavily on the public school career. John will be able to accomplish systems and private donations for someanything he sets his mind to. He has a thing as simple as a peanut butter and strong work ethic, and he has a personjelly sandwich,” John said. ality that inspires his peers to be excited During his sophomore year, John and engaged in their work.” spent every Sunday and Tuesday night “John’s maturity, respect for others with his family making lunches for Acand love of ideas is inspiring,” added tion Ministries, but he was not satisfied John’s homeroom teacher, Archie Deen. with this level of commitment. Upon re“John’s ability to relate to all sections of alizing that many children go hungry in our school community, and his respectthe summer when they are unable to reful and engaging connection with his ceive free or reduced-cost lunches from teachers speaks to the wonderful young school, John organized a weekly sandman he has become.” wich-making mission in the main hall of Holy Spirit Catholic Church. What’s Next: “I was the person going through the John is looking at University of Georprocess of coordinating dates for sandgia, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, Harvard wich making, figuring out how many and Yale. He hopes to take what he has people could show up, actually making learned through the sandwich ministry the lunches, as well as delivering all the to college to operate a “feed the hungry” lunches to the sites,” said John. service group. He plans on a career in The sandwich-making ministry soon law. became a part of ONE Apostolate, Holy Spirit Prep’s community service organiThis article was reported and written zation that serves the homeless. By the by Catherine Benedict, a senior at The end of the summer, the initiative had Westminster Schools.

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Rotary Club honors police, firefighters The Sandy Springs Rotary Club recognized local police officers and firefighters on Oct. 19 with its 2015 Public Safety Awards. From left, co-Police Officer of the Year Elizardo Rodriguez, Civilian Employee of the Year Kim Davis, co-Police Officer of the Year Katrina Bruce, Police Chief Ken DeSimone and Police Supervisor of the Year Sgt. Scott Levy. SPECIAL

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Sandy Springs Police Blotter Sandy Springs police blotter: Oct. 9-23 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.

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block of Northridge Crossing Drive—On Oct. 19, two laptops were taken from an apartment.

„ 500

block of Calavaras Drive—On Oct. 20, someone forced entry into the basement door of a home through a window. Pry marks were found. It appears at least two TVs were taken. The resident


said that two men who looked to be in their 20s had come to the home earlier to ask about cutting grass, although neither CONTINUED ON PAGE 20

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block of Glenridge Drive—On Oct. 20, a man said he returned home after four days to find that his residence was entered and he is missing a PS4, two guitars, an external hard drive and an electric shaver.


block of Roswell Road—On Oct. 21, the manager of a doughnut shop said that around 11:30 p.m. a man came into the closed store with a key and stole $300 from the register. Video captured the burglary. The manager confirmed that the front door key was missing. The suspect’s physical description matched a recently fired employee.

TH EFTS „„5500 4423 Mount Paran Parkway - $1,475,000 Joyce Schechter 404-797-9698 Renovated Buckhead Home w/many amenities on 1 level. Fin ter level. Large & open kit flowing into a Grt Rm w/high cathedral exposed beams. Magnificent hdwds throughout. Large Sunny Sunny Isles Beach | 5/2 | $12,000,000 Windows. Lower Level includes ste, bar and Rec Copy to go here. Copy to go here. Copy here. Copy to go here. water & out-door frpl. Copy to goRm. here.Salt Copy here.pool, Copyspa to go here. Copy to go here.

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block of Roswell Road—On Oct. 17, employees of a discount department store reported that a man came into the store wearing a black Polo shirt and khaki pants, which look like the normal dress for some employees. He went to the customer service desk and asked for the keys to a locker. He signed the keys out under the name Darrin. He went to the stock room. Inside, he told other clerks in the room that he was at this store for

the first time and asked where the locker was. They showed him and he opened the locker and took 26 phones that he placed in a small duffle bag that he had concealed under a sweatshirt. While doing so it was noted that he was on the phone, possibly being directed by the person on the other end. The man then returned the keys to the desk and left the store in a white two-door Nissan Altima or Infinity. It appears the same suspect entered a store at Atlantic Station and took a large number of phones as well. „„5300

block of Roswell Road—On Oct. 17, package store employees reported that a man came into the store and took three bottles of Cîroc Vodka, placed them in his pants and then waddled out.


block of Powers Ferry Road—On Oct. 17, a restaurant employee reported that he left his iPhone 6 on the podium to greet customers. He believes one of them took the phone. Meanwhile, at another restaurant, the manager reported that four males fled without paying the $54 bill, running to a car and leaving south on Roswell Road. The tag was obtained and it is being investigated. CONTINUED ON PAGE 22

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Sandy Springs 5252 Roswell Road, Suite 202 | Atlanta, GA 30342 Sandy Springs 404.252.4908 5252 Roswell Road, Suite 202 | Atlanta, GA 30342 404.252.4908

The property information herein is derived from various sources that may include, but not be limited to, county records and the Multiple Listing Service and it may include approximations. Although the information is believed to be accurate, it is not warranted and you should not rely upon it without personal verification. Real estate agents affiliated with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage are independent contractor agents and are not employees of the Company. ©2015 Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. All Rights Reserved. Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Operated by a subsidiary of NRT LLC. Coldwell Banker, the Coldwell Banker logo, Coldwell Banker Previews International and the Previews logo are registered and unregistered service marks owned by Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. 11146_ATL_08/15



Administered American Home Shield Administered by by American Home Shield

OCT. 30 - NOV. 12, 2015 |

Petition Number:



Gary Unell

Property Location:

5755 Powers Ferry Road

Present Zoning:



Rezone from R-1 to R-2A for the development of three (3) single family lots.

Public Hearings:

Planning Commission November 19, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. Mayor and City Council December 15, 2015 at 6:00 p.m.


Sandy Springs City Hall, Morgan Falls Office Park 7840 Roswell Road, Building 500, Sandy Springs, Georgia 30350 770-730-5600




Angie Mabry

Property Location:

5111 Peachtree Dunwoody Rd, 0 Peachtree Dunwoody Rd

Present Zoning:



Rezone from R-2 to R-3 for the development of three (3) single family lots.

Public Hearings:

Planning Commission November 19, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. Mayor and City Council December 15 at 6:00 p.m.


Sandy Springs City Hall, Morgan Falls Office Park 7840 Roswell Road, Building 500, Sandy Springs, Georgia 30350 770-730-5600 SS


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We Can Help!

Dear Friend,

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 in the back of this amazing family 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

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 care I have virtually eliminated all offered at an exceptional fee. Our 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. 30 - NOV. 12, 2015 | 21


Sandy Springs Police Blotter CONTINUED FROM PAGE 20 „ 8700

block of Roswell Road—On Oct. 18, employees of a grocery store reported that a man came in and took two containers of baby formula and then left the store, got onto a black motorcycle and drove off.

„ 8100

block of Colquitt Road—On Oct. 18, a man reported that another man ran up beside him and took his purse…then ran off.

„ 5300

block of Roswell Road—On Oct. 19, a 27-year-old woman reported that she accidently left an iPad inside one of the apartments in the complex. The locator app directed her to that apartment where she talked to the resident who said he just bought it for $150. The report wasn’t conclusive as to if or not it was returned, but it is being investigated.

„ 5700

block of Roswell Road—On Oct. 20, a gas station employee reported that a man came in and asked if he could pump gas and pay later. The employee agreed and turned the pump on. The man pumped $51 of gas and then drove off without paying.

„ There

were numerous reports of thefts from vehicles recently. In all but one or two, there were personal items in the cars including sensitive account numbers, personal ID, etc. The recent trend the past couple of weeks has been focusing on hotel parking lots. Even at home and especially if you park in community parking, such as for apartments and condos, or especially if you use parking decks, take it all out of the car. That is the only way to guarantee that your stuff won’t be stolen. We’ve stepped up patrols, especially




Investment Partners X, LLC

Property Location:

342 Johnson Ferry Rd & 185, 203, 225, & 245 River Valley Rd

Present Zoning:

R-1 & R-3 (Single Family Dwelling Districts)


Request to rezone from R-1 and R-3 to R-3 for construction of ten (10) single family homes with concurrent variances.

Public Hearings:

Planning Commission November 19, 2015 at 6:00 p.m. Mayor and City Council December 15, 2015 at 6:00 p.m.


Sandy Springs City Hall, Morgan Falls Office Park 7840 Roswell Road, Building 500, Sandy Springs, Georgia 30350 770-730-5600

at night, but we can only cover so much area between calls. Please do yourself and us a big favor and stash your stuff. Take it out if at all possible. Never leave anything in view if you have to leave it in the car. It doesn’t matter if you’re going to be out of the car for two minutes or two hours. Take it all out.


woman reported that she has been nagged by a man named Jim Ziegler, who is from South Carolina, regarding help due to the recent flooding. She believes that he found her Facebook page, seeing apparently that she was from S.C. She believes the call is scam-based.

AS S AULT „ 100

block of Northwood Drive—On Oct. 18, a 31-year-old man reported that he was at a party and got into an argument with another man who broke a bottle and cut the lip of the victim. Alcohol was involved.

O T H ER T H I N G S „ Jefferson

Drive—Cops responded to a neighbor dispute. They were told by the upstairs neighbor, who called the police, the downstairs neighbor came up and complained that they were stomping on the floor. He was banging on the door, then walked down to the parking lot and kicked the upstairs neighbor’s car and threatened to fight him. The upstairs neighbor, who was on the balcony and saw the car being kicked, yelled at the man who yelled back, etc. etc. etc. A wit-

ness saw him kick the car and eventually he was arrested. „ Huntcliff

Village Court—Responding to a suspicious-person call, an officer found a male in his car parked near the leasing office. The man was semi-conscious and had numerous needle tracks on his arm. Uncapped needles were on the console. The officer called an ambulance for the man who admitted he had

Read more of the Police Blotter online at just injected heroin into his arm. He was taken to the hospital. Some heroin, bagged up, was found in the car. „A

man called the cops to say his friend took his keys and won’t give them back.


woman called and said that his son was watching a R-rated movie and as such, the boy’s uncle, also in the room, disconnected the TV. The boy threw a rubber ball at the uncle. It missed, but the uncle’s return throw did not. The officer said it left a minimal mark on the boy’s neck. The uncle was charged with assaulting the boy.

ARRESTS „ Brentwood

Way—On Oct. 17, around 3 a.m., “Jerry” was caught smoking dope in his car. He also had a probation warrant on him from Sandy Springs. He was arrested.

Reporter Classifieds HELP WANTED Administrative Assistant – Part time, 1:00 – 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, Dunwoody CPA Firm. Previous office experience helpful. Strong computer skills a plus. Pleasant phone manner. Good communication skills, both written and oral. Nonsmoking office. Fax resume to Human Resources, 770-551-5868. Computer/IT - Consulting Manager (70% travel), Implementation Consultant (20-30% travel), Senior Software Engineer, Software Engineers and Software Engineer IIs, Atlanta, GA. Apply: Vernon Woods Animal Hospital – Kennel Assistants needed for our three locations in Sandy Springs and Brookhaven. Experience preferred, some weekends included. If you are interested in long term employment, please contact: Dr. Jay Empel, Dr. Andrew Empel or Cindy Martin. Call 404-252-1641, Fax 404-2527401 or Email:

Computer/IT - Software Engineers and Principal Software Engineers, Alpharetta, GA. Apply: Administrative Assistant - Well-established family law firm in the Sandy Springs area is currently seeking an administrative assistant to greet clients, answer phones and provide administrative support to our team. An ideal candidate will have experience within a family law firm. However, more importantly, the applicant should have a positive attitude and a willingness to learn. Basic knowledge of Microsoft Office Suites is a necessity. Candidate must be reliable and on-time each day. Office hours are 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Salary will be commensurate to experience/skills. This is an immediate opening. Please send your resume to crobinson@mgefamilylaw. com (LinkedIn Profile Address must be provided within your resume).

ReporterClassifieds can work for you. 22


OCT. 30 - NOV. 12, 2015 |

WINDOWS & SIDING Offering vinyl, wood and composite windows – All types of siding. Factorytrained installation. Family-owned, Familypriced. Angie’s List ‘A’ Rated. BBB ‘A+’. 33 Years In Business. Quinn Windows & Siding. 770-939-5634.

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

CEMETERY PLOTS Arlington Memorial Park Sandy Springs – Two spaces in the Garden of Roses (Section D - Lot 42B). Side by Side, $2000 single or $3500 both. Call Karen Brock, 256-2440203 or email: Arlington Memorial Park – 2 Prime lots in Lakeside. Asking $17,000. Call 912-6950094.


Detail Cleaning Services – Houses, apartments, offices and more. Affordable prices excellent references. I will beat any advertised price. Call 770-837-5711.

FOR SALE Fall Sale! - Arborvitae, Leyland Cypress, for beautiful privacy borders, FREE delivery & planting start @ $59 each. 404-839-4736 or visit

Annual Fall Accumulation Sale Christmas décor, furniture, clothes, jewelry, luggage, glassware, books, treasures & more! Thursday, Nov. 19 9am-4pm Friday, Nov. 20 9am-2:30pm (Half Price Day)


3750 Peachtree Road, NE • 404-261-6611



Personal & Professional Services Directory 7875-A Roswell Rd Sandy Springs, 30350

House Cleaners

404-917-2200, ext 110 Affordable. Display. Frequency.


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

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

15% O With


This A d

In the heart of Buckhead

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

poern ou c stom u 0 c $ 5 e per

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


Honest Affordable Dependable Free estimates

Hair Stylists

Insurance Agents



Pet Sitters

Life Coaches

Next to Johnny’s Pizza


Positive, Gentle Methods

Health Instructors



Private Training In Your Home

Place your SERVICES ad here! Accountants

Certified Dog Trainer

Now cutting hair at Tangles!


Good Rascal Dog Training

• 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

Call Tony 404-402-5435

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

EST 1975

Wallcovering, Special Coatings, Pressure Washing Ronnie Bennett 404-432-0385

Skilled Handymen at Your Service (770) 251-9765 ELF Home Improvement

• Roofing • Gutters • Painting

& Repair

Pre-screened Providers. Pre-negotiated Rates.

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




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

Free Estimates

Locally Owned Since 1997

• Kitchens • Decks • Bathroom • Fences • Windows • Doors • Electrical • Plumbing • Various Repairs


Call for an Estimate! Ed Fulcher • 678-630-4543 Mark McCoy • 404-542-2495

Belco Electric

Fall & Holiday

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

Atlanta’s Premier

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

since 1968

Your home. Our help. 770-455-4556

Check out our new website and follow us on


Windows • Siding • and More! • Free Estimates • BBB A+ • Family Run • References Available 35 years experience


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 BH |

OCT. 30 - NOV. 12, 2015 | 23

T N A I G Y A T S ! A T N A L AT



GO TO FACEBOOK.COM/BRAWNY FOR MORE DETAILS ©2015 Georgia-Pacific Consumer Products LP. All rights reserved. Brawny, The Brawny Man image, Flextech emboss, Strength to Take On Tough Messes and Georgia-Pacific logo are trademarks owned by or licensed to Georgia-Pacific Consumer Products LP. *vs. comparable paper towel roll and sheet size Bounty is a trademark of Procter & Gamble



OCT. 30 - NOV. 12, 2015 |



10-31-2015 Sandy Springs Reporter  

Covering the City of Sandy Springs news, city council, education, business, police blotter, community news, event calendar, public safety,...

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