Election Day nears Three candidates running in District 54 COMMENTARY 8
Perserving the past
OCT. 31 — NOV. 13, 2014 • VOL. 8 — NO. 21
History Center records vets’ stories COMMUNITY 18-19
Can I win a crown like yours?
American Legion Post begins reaching out to its neighbors BY JOE EARLE
Left, queen and game official Laura Sladkus, with cake walk contestant Orly Leach, 3, at the Pace Academy’s Fall Fair on Oct. 25. The 51st annual fair featured inflatables, live music and a street market. More photos on page 23.
Leaders of the American Legion Post based in Buckhead say they are reaching out to their neighbors to get them more involved with the facility. “We feel like we’ve got a great location and there’s a lot more we could do with it,” said Shawn Reed, post adjutant. “We’re reaching out to the community and doing some things we haven’t done in the past.” And as new, younger members who served in the Iraq and Afghan wars swell the ranks of American Legion Post 140, post Commander Ken DeSimone said, they are bringing new energy and a desire to increase involvement with the surrounding community. “There’s a lot of new blood in the American Legion,” said DeSimone, who was named post commander in July and who is police chief in Sandy Springs. “The new guys are saying, ‘We’ve got to continue [involvement].” DeSimone said post leaders are talking with the Neighborhood Youth Organization, which provides youth sports leagues in the area, to allow construction of a T-ball field on the Legion’s property at Chastain Park. SEE AMERICAN, PAGE 3
New city greenspace opens at site of Fort Peachtree BY JOE EARLE
Signs posted on the front gate weren’t exactly welcoming: “No trespassing,” “Stop, restricted area, only authorized personnel allowed,” “Warning: This property patrolled by surveillance equipment.” But the gate was open. After being locked away for years behind metal gates and tall fences, a new city of Atlanta greenspace has opened to public use on the banks of the Chattahoochee River. The property at 2630 Ridgewood Road, owned by the city’s Department of Watershed Management, once was the location of the first non-Native American settlement in the area, and was the community that gave Peachtree Street its name, the city says. On Oct. 16, city officials formally opened 15 acres of the property at the site of the former Fort Peachtree to public use. The newly opened area will be operated by the city
parks and recreation department and is open to the public during daylight hours. Bill Jordan seemed pretty happy about that. One recent sunny Sunday afternoon, Jordan, who lives nearby, and two of his children hopped on their bikes and rode to the park to check it out. “We heard the gates were open,” Jordan said. “It still looks fairly forbidding, doesn’t it?” But he thought the little tract showed a lot of promise. “It needs some work, but it’ll be just great when it’s done,” Jordan said as his 7-year-old son Clark and 11-year-old daughter Lilly biked up the rutted dirt road through the creek-side greenery. Jordan said he first heard about plans to open the area through a presentation to a homeowners’ group. Atlanta City Councilwoman Yolanda Adrean said she had been working to get the parcel opened for public use SEE NEW CITY, PAGE 6
Bill Jordan and two of his children are pleased the public can now enjoy greenspace at the former Fort Peachtree site.